Monday, November 24, 2014


Fashion seems to have been in a bit of a rut for a while now, but as I've been in that rut known as over-tired mother with lots to do and no time for herself, the timing has been pretty good.

But the other day, I stumbled on the Italian brand Vivetta. I probably can't fit into anything they make and don't want to spend a ton on clothes that don't fit. It's not easy to find over here (nothing on ebay) and what little is on sale is in the tiniest sizes. so it will remain a fantasy for the moment. Here's some pieces I'd buy if I could afford it and fit into them.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Following Amanda's Example

Today is that rare day when I have work to do but enough time to do it and have an hour or two to myself (something I won't have for another couple of weeks at least as it's advising time for the spring semester). I've gone to our wonderful Thursday toddler jitterbug class with Severin (it may be one of the best hours of the week for both of us), booked doctors appointments (a wtf for me, vaccines for the boy), bought some fruit and veg, cuddled a cat and caught up on some email. Grading awaits, but I know the papers are good and I'll be able to get them done in time.

I was over at Amanda's fabulous blog, and as I'm also procrastinating and luxuriating in having this hour to myself, I thought I'd answer the same questions.

1. What are you wearing?
Rails shirt, Gap jeans, no socks.

2. Have you ever been in love?
Of course

3. Have you even gone through a horrible breakup?
Hopefully never again.

4. How tall are you?
5 ft. 9in.

5. How much do you weigh?
More than I want after having Severin. I'm making good progress and will hopefully be back on the right side of 150 lbs soon. 

6. Do you have tattoos?
One that's not as artful as I would have liked. Perhaps it's best not to do something on the spur of the moment to celebrate getting your Ph.D. But the memories almost make it worthwhile.

7. Do you have piercings?
Ears--two in one, one in the other (with one probably healing up due to laziness)

8. What is the ideal couple to you?
Mum and Dad. Nanna and Grandad.

9. Your favourite TV show?
Way too many--who doesn't love TV? A few favourites include The Avengers (Diana Rigg vintage), I'm Alan Partridge, Saxondale, Twin Peaks, Beverly Hills 90210, Bagpuss, Pipkins and Pogle's Wood. I'm also fond of Downton Abbey, The Bletchley Circle, Location, Location, Location, Grand Designs and a host of trash, including The Only Way Is Essex and Say Yes to the Dress.

10. Your favourite band?

11. Something you're missing?
Mum, Dad, friends from home, England, double cream, smoked haddock, proper chocolate.

12. Your favourite song?
I can't pick just one.

13. How old are you?
The wrong side of 35.  Inside, I think I'm about 32-33.

14. What's your astrological sign?

15. An essential quality for a boyfriend?
Can't be selfish.

16. Favourite Quote?
Last line of Middlemarch: "for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."

17. Favourite Actor?
Presuming this means male, I'd say James Mason, Jimmy Stewart (for his work with Hitchcock), Claude Rains (because he's the man) and then there's probably a slew of others I can't remember,  I have even more favourite actresses...

18. Favourite Colour?

19. Do you listen to music at a low or high volume?
Medium. But I also really enjoy silence.

20. Where do you go when you are sad?
Somewhere safe, where I can be alone or cuddle the ones I love--human and feline. I'm a Cancer and I sometimes turn into a cat.
21. How long do you stay in the shower?
Too long. Ideally 20-30 minutes if I can. It's a great place to think.

22. How long does it take to get ready in the morning?
Five minutes--brush teeth, wash face, comb hair and get dressed. Unless you factor in having a shower and coffee.

23. Did you ever get in a fight?
Yes. I have brothers.

24. Something that seduces you in a man?
Kindness, sense of humour. 

25. The most repelling thing in a man?
Violence, aggression, selfishness--and bad hygiene. Smoking. Inability to earn a living and take responsibility for himself.

26. Why do you have a blog?
As a keepsake, to surprise myself in years to come. Because it's like a message in a bottle--you throw it out there and wonder what will happen and who (if anybody) will see it.

27. What are you afraid of?
Death and illness--my own, my family and friends. Anything happening to Severin. Never having another child.

28. The last thing that made you cry?
The thought of never having a daughter or another son.

29. The last time you said "I love you"?
To Severin about 30 minutes ago when he went out for pizza with his sitter.

30. What does your blog name mean?
Nothing. It's a stupid, crappy name because all the good ones had been used, mostly by people who then blogged once or twice. It's the result of desperation, throwing words together until I found something--anything--that hadn't been taken. It's terrible, embarrassing and I know it. I hate it.

31. The latest book you read?
Jason Priestley's autobiography (I still love Beverly Hills 90210).

32. What are you currently reading?
Both Michael Ankerich's Mae Murray: The Girl With the Bee-Stung Lips and Lon and Debra Davis, Francis X. Bushman: King of the Movies.

33. The latest TV series you watched?
Project Runway and True Tori (as mentioned, I really am a big Beverly Hills 90210 fan)

34. The last person you talked to?
Severin's babysitter's sister. The last sentient being I spoke to was Blue the cat.

35. Who did you last text with?
Evan, Lisa and Andrew.

36. Your favourite food?
Tom Kha Gai, wild salmon, good raspberries, good peaches, avocadoes, mum's chicken, mushroom and leek pie, and English or Belgian milk chocolate. And those amazing chocolate dipped fresh cream meringues that my grandmother used to get from Oelrichs.

37. Places you want to visit?
The pyramids, Florence, Paris, Berlin

38. The last place you visited?
Pittsburgh, PA. I was in a wedding.

39. Are you currently sweet on someone?
My baby boy.

40. The last person you kissed?

41. The last insult you were told?
I have no idea--but it probably came from the passive aggressive student I dealt with last week.

42. Your favourite candy flavour?
Don't have one. Unless it's chocolate

43. Do you play an instrument?
Clarinet and some piano.

44. Your favourite piece of jewelry? .
Tie between my grandmother's delicate rose gold watch and my rose gold S necklace with his date of birth on the back.

45. The last sport session you practiced?
Too long ago to know for sure, but it was probably pilates.

46. The latest song you sang?
Theme tune to Raa Raa, The Noisy Little Lion this morning

47. Your favourite catch phrase?
My grandmother's--"more haste, less speed."

48. Have you ever used it?
All the time, but only to myself.

49. Your last evening out?
Class of 2005 NYU MA reunion a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully there will be another one next year.

50. Who are you tagging?
Anybody who may be reading this. Which could be nobody.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rails shirts

Last week, I was meeting with a group of my favourite students, one of whom was wearing a beautiful plaid shirt. She told us to feel it--it was so soft and the fabric draped beautifully. She's the kind of girl who is unaware of her beauty--pretty much anything would look great on her--so I did not want to compare myself to her nor copy her style, but the shirt was nice and soft. It was by Rails, the LA-based company so favoured by west coast celebs. Usually, West Coast brands are not my style, but it is the season for checked shirts. When I got home, I found out that amazon had a few styles for 20% off, including one that was reduced. By the time all the discounts were applied, I got it for under half price ($61) with free shipping.

I'm now wearing it and it is soft and drapes so well that I'm tempted to get a second. I'm trying not to splurge on clothes this year--too many other expenses and important things to do--but if this one wears well, I may very likely buy a second, as long as I can get a discount.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Everlane Question

Many of my sweaters are beginning to look tired and it's that time of year again where my mind turns to winter dressing. I've been thinking about getting one of these Everlane cashmere crew necks, shown below, but before I bite, can anybody tell me about how soft they are, how likely they are to pill  and how they fit (too small, true to size)? I prefer fitted or fairly loose fitting sweaters and realise these are somewhere in between but don't want to get one that's too small to get that kind of fit. I'm presuming that too large wouldn't be an option. I'm a M in J Crew, a L in Madwell and around a 8-10, although these days more a 10. I also like the oversize ones, but I just don't do v-necks (if only they had a round neck). Thanks so much!