Thursday, 19 May 2011

Embarrassment is My New Religion.

It's not just the parents who embarrass...

 When you are young, there are many things to be embarrassed about. Your name, your spots, your family' bright yellow banana box of a thing they called a car, the whole catholic church going burden you have to tow the line with. And then you get older (let' skip the twenties because even those aren't 'proper' adult years anymore) and you come to realise that those embarrassments have come to hold a place in your heart. The British holiday you once abided has come full circle. You are loving rainy Devon, windswept Norfolk and the damp beaches of Wales, where your parents would drag you to the wet beaches and publicly ridicule any petulance you might dare to exhibit. The once dull, uninspiring weekly market in the East Anglian town where I grew up, piled high with shockingly un-with-it clothing stalls and frightening grannified undies, is reassuringly welcoming and the honest 'say it how it is' approach of my parents and their cohorts is a tonic.
 I think when you come to witness these new joys in your life you are probably finding your own self. I'll always be drawn to the aesthetic of clothes, furniture, a restaurant, even the food I eat but for someone once so steeped in the fashion game, it comes as a revelation to enjoy these aesthetics without the need to check others approval. It is incredibly liberating and creatively much richer. Trusting your impulses, loving things that are different which makes something so refreshing and finding your own language. So this summer my children will continue to be carried around on the back of my ridiculous tricycle, learn to deal with their mother' chaotic time schedules, sing and dance whenever and wherever the moment grabs them and be forced to wait patiently as I talk at length to anyone who is nice, reminding myself that one day, they too are going to embrace the same. They'll be all the more interesting for it. Oh, I forgot that they must be wearing peculiar clothing combinations on all of these occasions. Amen.
Thou shalt guard mummy' purchase and WAIT
for her to stop prowling around a car boot sale. 
Thou shalt DANCE, SING and appreciate all types of musique.
Thou shalt be prepared to WEAR peculiar clothing.
Thou shalt RIDE on the boss' bike!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Tony's collection of cartoon figurines - what can I say?
 I was never a collector of 'stuff'. Brownie badges wielded little charm, Just 17 magazines were girly and Brosette fans with their bottle tops for laces and all the other necessary bits were just daft. I was never much of a club member type and as a result I didn't really embrace the collector affliction. No stamps, only a few pongy rubbers and maybe a handful of scratch n' sniff stickers. They would all be thrown into one old Wall's Ice Cream tub and left to ferment and stagnate under my bed. Maybe I didn't really have the maturity to swear an allegiance to the collector club mentality. It was often a hobby that was shared with a girl friend and led you to the same shop week on week, emptying out your pocket money coins on the counter in exchange for what I saw as an unworthy bit of nonsense that didn't look any different to the other bit of unworthy nonsense bought the week before that and the week before that. So it came as a slight shock when I realised the other day there is a bit of 'collectorism' occuring under my own roof all these years later and I'm not referring to our eight year olds addiction to all things Pokemon.
 I have managed to amass more than a few sewing stools(?!) and stone wall heads(??!!). I blame second-hand furniture shops, car boot sales and antique fairs because it is at all of these places where you find yourself wandering, as if around an art gallery, slightly aimlessly and without much intention. Drowning a little in the array of trinkets and oddities that you don't need but your senses respond to. However, these have become the purchases which add personality to our house and without them our home would be much like any other house. It is good to let your heart lead the way sometimes. Especially when it doesn't break the bank. So as I pass one of the many heads on my daily journeys through the house and reach out for a book, stinky sock or more wishfully a big fat glass of wine from the more interesting sidetables (sewing boxes), I take some pleasure from my little collections in a way I was never able to appreciate as a kid. I'm just a little nervous of the similarity in the words collection and addiction!

some of my heads;
 and some of my sewing stools;

books and a thief
nappies and more nappies
Oooh! A big fat  glass of (ribena pretending to be) wine.

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Who is this Lady?

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went to st.martins,graduated as a fashion designer, worked in italy, set up my own womenswear label, married a lovely man and then stopped everything (well, almost) to pop out four little boys. have plans. will do.