Monday, 29 November 2010

Toasty Warm at the North Pole

Newcastle is sporting almost a foot of snow at the moment:

It's all very picturesque, but in the past week I've spent an inordinate amount of money on items to keep me warm.

My jolly old pink tweed winter coat has been on its last legs for the past two or three years.  It was my birthmas present in 2004 and Mum threatened to withold it if I fannied around any more on the subject of completing my UCAS application form personal statement, which was supposed to have been done in October, only my devious ploy was to NEVER do it, and thus NEVER go to university and stay seventeen FOR EVER HOORAY!  (Yes, you may all roll your eyes at me.  I am.)  Anyway, lovely pink bribe coat's lining is in shreds and tatters, one button doesn't match the others because it pinged off and I replaced it with an odd one, one button is missing altogether, it lets in the rain, and in all honesty it's too small, so I thought it wouldn't be too much of a needless extravagance to spend my birthday money (oh crap, must write thank-you letter to Granny!) on a lovely new coat from Oasis.  

It was actually several months ago that I started eyeing up this coat, but I'd been very indecisive about it for a long time, because it was rather expensive. Then I found myself unexpectedly on a course on Friday, and it finished at 3 and I was in town already so I thought "Bonus!  Free shopping afternoon!", and of course I found myself, quite against my will, being magnetically drawn into Oasis, and lo and behold they were having a random 20% off day, which took the coat over the threshold from the scary three-digit zone into the more acceptable two-digit zone, and I had a birthday cheque (cough ahem write thank-you letter to Granny tonight before you forget again cough ahem) burning a hole in my pocket and my mind was made up.  Except my mind wasn't made up, because I had to try the coat on in both colour variations FOUR TIMES EACH before I eventually decided to get it in grey, on the basis that it would look better with red accessories.  As you see:


So that was keeping most of me warm, but in addition to that I've also had to buy those very schön polkadot wellies that you see above, a pair of knee-high fur slippers and the best £10 I've ever spent, a pair of thigh-high cable-knit woollen stockings! 

Grey woollen coat, red polka-dotted skirt, grey woollen socks, red polka-dotted wellies.
Also pictured (accidently, but I rather like the effect), my No. 1 winter warmer, the switch for my trusty electric blanket.
They're seriously the best things ever.  I refuse to be cornered into wearing trousers (hate the things) for the duration of this 'cold snap' (Er no, Kirsty the Daybreak weathergirl, I think you mean 'bleakest midwinter'), so I've been simply slipping these babies on over my usual thin tights for my walk Herculean struggle through knee-deep snow to work, then peeling them off once I arrive (to the general hilarity of the staff room, but they'll get used to me and my dressing up).  They're so lovely and snug, and also they're woollen stockings and they make me feel like a Chalet School girl in the Alps in 1935.  I'm going to get them in every colour.

So between that lot and the leather gloves, polkadot scarf and cashmere jumper that I was given for my birthday by various lovely people, I've been as warm as (betteon)toast.  Oh, and I must just show you my other secret weapon...

That's a very lovely, Christmassy vinatge box, Bette.  What can be within?

Hmm, looks...furry?

Nice vintage label, these garments must be very elegant and chic...

(Note the artfully placed, seasonally-themed clutter in the background - coats, wellies and brolly)
Fur and leather ENORMOUS gloves, possibly fashioned from the paws of an actual gorilla (doubtful but you never know).  I must admit, I did think "Yeah, never gonna wear those" when they were given to me by one of my more eccentric relatives several years ago, but that was before I'd lived through a Newcastle winter.

Overheard in the staffroom this morning:
"Do you have a pair of wellies to co-ordinate with EVERY outfit, Elizabeth?"
While we're on the theme of wellies, I wore mine out for drinks on Friday night, much to the scorn of Simon, who claimed I looked like a farmer.  I thought I looked like Keira Knightley in The Edge of Love, but we agreed to disagree.

(I was digging, 'cos that's what farmers do)
Victory was mine, however, when the blizzards meant that we had no hope of getting a taxi and had to walk much of the way home.  Poor Simon's feet were soaked in his flimsy canvas Converse [/completely sarcastic fake sympathy].  And then we made a snowman and snow angels in the middle of our street because it seemed like fun at the time. 

This toast post has got ridiculously large.  None of you care this much about my winter woolies.  I'm off to write my thank-you letter to Granny.  Nighty night!

Friday, 26 November 2010

"A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing."

Overheard in the staffroom this morning:

"Don't bother taking off your coat, Elizabeth, you're going on a course today.  A taxi's picking you up in ten minutes.  See you on Monday!"

Well, I was slightly miffed because I'd been promised that today we were going to skip numeracy and have an hour of singing practice instead, but I thought hey, free lunch, so off I went to this course on autism, and very interesting and useful it was, and there was plentiful tea with nice biscuits.

But!  Lunchtime!  Anyone who's read that book about the Dog in the Night-time knows that sensory food issues are a common side effect of autism (and I should know, 'cos food issues are one thing that I'm very good at!), so you would expect, wouldn't you viewers, that the National Autistic Society would know better than to shove three or four ingredients into every little sandwich, all mixed up together touching each other and horrid things urgh urgh urgh urgh?!  I was ravenous and I couldn't eat any of the sandwiches because they all had shit in, and what was for pudding?  Fruit.  So in the end I managed to find two ham-and-pease-pudding sandwiches on the same plate as sandwiches with tomatoes in and they were alright after I'd scraped the slime off and picked the fat off the ham, and I took a banana, but as it would have been my third banana of the day I simply couldn't face eating it. 

I went to Greggs on my way home.

Anyway, traumatic sandwich experiences aside, at least I looked awesome:

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

My Glamorous Showbiz Life, In Pictures

My weekend and the following few days have involved all manner of lovely things.

Weekending in the capital:

Birthday tea!


And to top it all off, a big pile of new lovely things, all for me!

Spoilt, happy Bette.  

A Warning to all Twenty-Three Year Olds

Yesterday was my 24th birthday.  Today the following remarks were made, in quick succession, by the ladies with whom I work...

1) [Backstage info: I had a long piece of red material tied around my neck like a cape, yes, I know, the ceaseless fun we get up to in Key Stage 1.] "Aww, you look like a bride!  Go on, practice doing the walk for when you have to do it for real."

2) [Backstage info:  I was putting a plaster onto a poorly finger] "Ee, this will be good practice for when you're a mother."

3)  "So, have you decided to become a teacher yet?"

4)  "So I was thinking, why don't you train as a child psychologist?" [I make the diplomatic reply; "Who knows, maybe I will one day."]  "Look, I just think it's about time you decided what to do with your life."

So take heed, girls.  Twenty-four is officially the age where you are required to stop buggering about, catch a husband and produce a litter.  Evidently it's too late for me - enjoy your youth while you still can!

Sensible, grown-up outfit (snort), courtesy of my splendid sister and her uncannily brilliant birthday present-buying skillz.  See that belt?  Almost exactly the same as my favourite vintage belt that broke because I'm a fatty because the leather was old and weak!  I think the ensemble would look better without the black bodysuit (it's tights and a t-shirt, but I think it looks disconcertingly like I'm wearing a leotard under my dress!) but Newcastle seems to have moved to the North Pole today.  Brr.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Who exudes both charm and loveliness, plus her special rubber-gloviness?

Honestly, viewers, I go away for two days...

I thought I was supposed to be the inept one?!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

An Outfit for a Cold Day (No Gingers Allowed)

It would have been Louise Brooks' 104th birthday this past weekend, and in her honour (Lies. Coincidence.) I Brooksified my hair.

Went on a school trip to an urban farm today, and it was fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-freezing. 
 Outfit details:
Deco-print scarf - was a present, methinks it came from Next
Belt - The amazing Copenhagen charity shop
Jeans Denim-look trousers, so I can get away with wearing them for work - Peacocks
Very on-trend chunky-knit jumper - actual little boy's cricket jumper, stolen from an actual little boy (Mum bought it in Help the Aged for a friend's son but I thought it would look better on me)
Not pictured - chocolate leather bomber jacket from Oasis 
Also not pictured - the ugliest trainers in the world

Oufit muses: Flying flappers Elinor Smith and Amy Johnson

I've got to admit, I miss my ginger locks a wee bit. I think the black washes me out a little, but it could just be the plague that I'm currently bearing manfully without whingeing (Lies. Lots of whingeing.) that's making me pallid.  I feel like I need a smidge more definition with my make-up this week.  Still, I like the raven hair, and what's the point in making a change if it's going to come out the-same-only-different?

Drink, anyone?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Laurel-Crowned Biscuit Thief

 I tell you what, Simon doesn't make it easy for me to steal his biscuits.

Look at that - a completely equal number of biscuits in each column, thus making it very obvious when one 'disappears'.  The only noble thing to do was to steal two, 'cos if they're uneven Simon's head will explode.  Aren't I kind to him?

(Fear not, fans of justice.  I've been researching biscuit recipes to make some treats to take for my chums on our birthday celebration (hurrah!) slash Christmas shopping (groan groan groan) weekend in London, and I daresay there will be one or two left over to repay Simon.  I'm thinking chocolate gingerbread Christmas trees and lemon stars.  Is it Friday yet?!)

In non-biscuit-related news, on Friday night I went out with a necklace on my head.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow

Do you ever have those days where you stagger to your room at bedtime, meaning to give half a thought to what you're going to wear tomorrow and then get totally into it and end up having clothes-combination brainwaves and trying things on for the next hour?  Happens to me all the time.

Poppies are my favourite flowers, I'm geekily interested in things related to world wars one and two, and I'm a sentimental sap about Remembrance Day, so I generally can't resist the temptation to wear my poppy dress on the 11th November.  This is it:

As you can see, it's a shade too short and too see-through to be worn as a dress by itself, so I wear it over trousers.  Well I always wear it over trousers, and I don't really like wearing trousers all that much, and I actually wore trousers yesterday and all in all it just wasn't working for me and I decided to rifle through my wardrobe and see what could be done about it.

I tucked it into a black pencilish skirt, pulled it out to create a bonkers peplum effect, covered up the weedy thin black ribbon with a whacking big red belt, and suddenly it was a blouse!  It looks a bit '80s power dressing-y, actually.  Could you tell it started life as a floaty babydoll tunic??

On another note, I'm a total trendsetter.  All the little girls in Year 1 now insist on wearing their poppies in their hair like Miss Hamer instead of masking-taped to their jumpers like everyone else.

So.  There was my completely frivolous remembrance tribute.  Must remember to observe my minute's silence at 11pm tonight (does it count if you're asleep?), since I think I was jabbering on about the oa phoneme and the ai phoneme and the ng phoneme at 11 o'clock this morning.

When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today

Monday, 8 November 2010

Things I Have Learned This Evening

1) The United States Army seal is cool.

It reminds me of that bit in Bedknobs and Broomsticks where the substitutiary locomotion spell brings the suits of armour to life and they clank around with no heads and the Germans totally wet themselves.  ("Es ist eine Hexe!!", "Pfft, es gibt keine Hexe." [Miss Price flies overhead on broomstick, waving Union Jack], "ARGH ES IST EINE HEXE!")

2) Slightly out-of-date Morrisons 'Pumpkin Shaped Biscuits With Marshmallow Topping' are not very nice.  They only way to dunk them in your tea is to scrape off all the disturbingly orange marshmallow with your teeth, and only then can you break the biscuit bit into thirds and dunk them, and then they don't even taste very nice.  This disappointing knowledge doesn't give me high hopes for the 'Ghost Crispies ... covered with a chocolate flavoured coating with white sugar paste' that are coming next.

3)  I just spent a few minutes clicking 'Random Article' on Wiki in search of more Things I (could) Learn This Evening, but they all seemed fairly dull, unless you're interested in the Socialist Party of Texas.  Now I'm going to wash my hair.  If I learn anything interesting in the shower, I'll be sure to let you know.

Please feel free to comment with your favourite interesting fact.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Torturing Myself with Modcloth


Here are a few (very few!) of my picks from the 1200 dresses currently displayed on the website.

The Red-y and Rarin' To Go dress, the Well-Wrought dress, the Angelique dress, and the Third is the One in the Polka Dot Dress dress

The Grasshopper Pie dress, the Guest of Honor dress, the Blumengarten dress and the Safari So Good dress

The Seafarer dress, the Literally a Shirtdress dress, the Port of Call dress and the With Flying Florals dress
 Oh gosh, just in flicking back through the dresses to look for the names of the ones I pictured, I've seen a hundred more I can't live without.  They do ship to the UK, but I think it's better to pretend they don't, to stop me doing anything rash.  Sigh.

On an unrelated note, what is the POINT of Louie Spence?  He's been on TWO adverts today.  I abominate him and his stupid jazz fingers dancing.  Poo.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Overheard in The Staff Room

"So, for Marie's birthday we're getting her that lipstick, and then we're just going to find a young man and offer him money in exchange for Elizabeth."

"... eh?!"

"Well, pet, we haven't got any camels."

Monday, 1 November 2010

Vunderful, Vunderful Copenhagen

So, I expect you've all been VERY SADDENED to notice there has been a bit of a famine of boring outfit posts recently.  This is because I've been on holiday and have spent most of the past week in my pyjamas.  (One day I actually left the house, and when I went to put on my face I found I'd completely forgotten how to paint eyeliner.)  Anywhoo, here's one day when I did actually make an effort:

I looked like a Bond girl or a flasher, depending on who you believe.
I bought both the boots and the dress in a Red Cross shop in Copenhagen, 100 kroner the entire outfit, AND I got a free canvas bag, so it was totally worth the ten-minute checkmate of confusion that came about because Red Cross Lady was the only Dane in Copenhagen who didn't speak English, and my knowledge of extremely useful Danish phrases ("Varm Kakao med Flødeskum", "Nye Tomaten, tak", "Hvor er den lille Havfrue?") didn't stretch to mundane things like paying for goods.

Me outside a shop the Danes named after me.

Back at school with the bairns now, and on Day One of the new term, one of them was sick, one of them bit me and one of them ran away.  Bring it on, Day Two.

Here is a joke that meine kleine Schwester just told me: "Q: How do you turn soup into gold?  A: Put 9 carrots into it."  Har har har.

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