Daily Diary:Whatever happened to gnomes?

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Back home (Nottinghamshire) in the 1980’s, gnomes were the thing, a concrete bird bath was an essential and no garden in our row was without one, one neighbour had a bird bath with a little concrete bird perched on the lip slightly smaller than a sparrow, I wouldn’t say I loved it but always looked on it with fascination, even at a small age I knew such sweet details were wasted on it’s owners.

G and D were nice respectable people married their whole lives and retired already when I was just very small, they had bought their council house which was the case for most of our small rural row. That was something revered and an envious situation, which seemed to leave a slight bitter taste in the mouths of those who continued to rent their homes. Whether it was a community feeling or just within the walls of number 7, I am not sure but to admit that you were renting your home and that you did not indeed have a small concrete bird perching on your well placed bird bath was treated as an embarrassment, perhaps even indeed a failure. How sad to think that I could have absorbed this information from my household, that my parents felt a degree of shame or embarrassment to their circumstances.

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Side note : (I like to use the most unflattering images of myself so that the focus is on what I write, OK?!!!)

All this derived from garden adornements, but the happier side came later in the form of our neighbour in a new town with more garden gnomes than I’ve ever seen in my life. Every day as I walked our dogs I would take it all in, each placed with love and care, a whole city of shiny demented faces would marvel out at the world and the eccentricity and devotion to what I can only call the ugliest garden companions I have ever seen filled me enormous love. In the years that I walked down that road not one little face left it’s position, more came to join the party and I watched the garish rosy complexions age and weather and become softer and sweeter. Both the gnomes and I grew up, I however moved on, I believe they remain to this day.

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My lovely street in which holds my even lovelier first home has finally taken me full circle back to the seeming comfort of having garden companions, this time of the animal variety.

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A rabbit, a squirrel and lots of other little creatures all perch on the walls of various gardens like sweet faced guardians. One neighbour has a number of little stone friends lined up on the top of a wall, their once pointy ears and noses rounded by the bountiful rain and wind of the South West. I love it, seeing this same attachment to adorning a garden no matter the size instantly propelling me back to the gnome gathering in Nottinghamshire.

I do wonder if it’s a generational thing? I can’t imagine even those of my age retiring and thoughtfully thinking to add a small animal to their decking or all glass extension. I think it is these thoughts that make me a little sad, or perhaps it’s just nostalgia which seems to take hold the older you become. But I think of myself in twenty years, sitting with tea in hand and dog in lap, wondering where did all the gnomes go?

Hmmm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Diary.

 

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Ready for groundbreaking writing from an exciting jet set lifestyle?! Well I offer my apologies, as you will not find that here.

These are my musings, of what is a very small life, valuable but small – (if anyone knows the film reference I believe we are destined to be kindred spirits).

I got this idea while washing up, a station I man every day, mainly with a huge amount of grumpiness and resentment.

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But today I felt chuffed to be up early, with the whole day ahead of me to tidy and organise my home. I am such a organisation lover, my beautiful home is currently a building site and has been for over six months. We are living in it while we crawl towards the finish line of comfort and pristine white things.

Add to my modest building site, my almost one year old miniature Dachshund who is mainly at his happiest when he can sleep on my lap for 6-8 hours a day mixed with a rather wonderfully massive dose of anxiety the result of which tends to make me a little unproductive.

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So today filled with washing up and ideas was a rare treat.

I was doing the dishes (as we’ve established) and looking out to my lovely garden, (yes also a work in progress) watching a lovely plump lady blackbird flinging one of our shrivelled crab apples which had fallen many weeks ago from the now skeletal branches.

In that moment it occured to me how happy such small things make me, I adore birds and have been entranced by their little selves since I was a indeed as little as a Wren. I watched her sharp little eyes spotting i’m sure lots of plump worms periscope up as the weight of the early April showers soaked into the lawn. She hopped around like a little cricket and made my chores around one hundred percent happier I would say.

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I feel grateful for being able to stand in my kitchen with my rubber gloves on with my little birds jumping around and I concluded that birds don’t seem to mind the rain at all.

I’ve often worried about birds and ducks and swans when winter has been whipping around us, do they feel cold, unhappy and generally a bit fed up. Mr E always says i’m ridiculous to think so, that they’re birds and don’t view the weather like we do. In fairness I don’t think many other humans think about the weather with the same doomed concern as we Brits do, so to me it seems perfectly feesable that any little creature might look to the grey skies and tutt.

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My own very precious pup is most certainly a fair weather dog. He is improving, but his first winter brought sincere looks of horror when I suggested he go forth into the various cold and wet for a walk or wee in the garden. The unseasonably mild February we’ve had (the last day of which is today!) has helped on all above puppy activities.

 

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By the end of the washing up the fat rain drops had stopped falling and the spring sunshine swept in to take it’s place, with it’s puffy white clouds and fresh blue sky. Happily for my puppy I was more than ready for a cup of tea and a sit down, where he promptly plopped himself down on my lap as resolutely as those raindrops, leaving me to gaze wistfully at the ironing board and a huge pile of “bits” that somehow need to all find homes.

Perfect.

Fabric Feels..

 

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I’ve been wondering a bit lately. Wondering about how well documented it is that our clothes are our essence. How they are our confidence, our way of expressing who we really are.

I have gone through such a constant evolution of style over the years, I feign to say that it is as I learned to know myself better, but I am not sure that’s totally true.

 Perhaps because it is intended to be such an indicator of knowing ourselves that I have struggled so much with it, I put relentless pressure on myself so viewed the situation as – “obviously if you are not sure of your style then it shows quite clearly that you do not know yourself?”

I have wrestled with the need to be minimal, with clean lines and simple shapes. It soothes my soul to have everything neat, tidy, well made and clean cut. Decision made? No.

You see I love everything. I can see the styling potential in everything.

I love the pretty, the patterned, the whimsical, the lacy and the beaded. I love the slightly odd.

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I love to wear an unusual colour combination, quirky hats and a pair of vintage shoes, those are the things that come far more naturally to me than monochrome simplicity.

That then leaves the question of what that says about me? More to the point is that how I want to be seen? Socks and sandals may be my jam but I do often look at the beauties of Instagram in their Scandi hybrid coolness or their Francoise Hardy chicness and think that I would like to look “normal” mainstream, just to fit in a little more.

As a result I decided to take a step back from my incessant Instagram use and magazine buying (I LOVE MAGAZINES) because I felt TOO influenced. Not something I’ve ever thought about before. By spending my time browsing I was actually subjecting myself to hours of forced marketing. Instagram had become one long real of what I should be buying and what I should be into. But quite frankly it wasn’t me. It was not my voice, but mainly the voices of clever advertising and pretty products. I didn’t know what I liked and it started to make me feel tired.

So a cull ensued. I cut my following list down by half – they do not make this easy for you, engagement is life after all. I then had a feed filled with quirky, whimsical women and men that inspired me and wanted me to again consume their clever styling and brilliantly open minded way of looking at personal style. *Enter theatrical sigh of relief.

I am not against Instagram, I love love to while away my time looking at outfits. I think because I have been working from home I have been on it too much and I was left worn out by social responsibility and bombarded with other people’s worlds while still trying to figure out my own.

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I wonder if I can feel this self-doubt at 38, what my 28 or 18 year old self would’ve been feeling. I’m glad that when I was 18 I didn’t own a mobile phone, I’m glad at 28 I didn’t care about anything other than laughing my pants off with my friends.

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So for now, until that minimal vibe kicks in, you can expect to still see me rocking socks and clogs, peter pan collars and granny knits. I am indeed Miss Marple, bet I could make that a hash tag…

Fin xx

Sweet day with a sweet dress

I found this cute little dress in a charity shop for around £3 and there was just something about it that made my heart sing.

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I am sat here outside the most beautiful independent store in Exeter called Lorna Ruby I worked here for many years and it is home to some of closest friends like this gorgeous human Gemma who is the store VM and owner of Cabinet Jewellery, THE most beautiful jewellery collection possibly in the world.

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The weather has been so beautiful and this sweet little 90’s dress is so loose and comfy I actually managed to look summer cool rather than sweaty grossness.

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Both of my bracelets are Cabinet Jewellery.

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Ring Alex Monroe

Bracelet Cabinet Jewellery

‘E’ Brooch Willow Hilson Vintage

 

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Teddy is my style sniffer dog.. how else do you think I find all the bargains?

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But good grief it is EXHAUSTING work for a fashion forward puppy.

 

Fin x x

When living in a building site…

…down tools and take a bunch of pictures of your new thrifted triumphs.

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As someone who has never really “summered” well, in particular finding the clothes that match my mind made creation of what summer dressing should be, (see The Talented Mr Riply, Swallows and Amazons with a little of I Capture The Castle in there for good measure) when in actual fact it’s one giant polyester nightmare – all be it a genuine 60’s nightmare – and mounds of heavy denim, brilliant.

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Not that i’ve nailed it this year by any means, but I have found some surprisingly good linen and cotton bits that has meant that even though we have finally got the long hot summer that the UK literally dreams of and never usually gets, I haven’t been as big of a sartorial sweaty mess as usually I am. Result.

IMG_3881IMG_3868Step forward this cotton, viscose mix summer dress I found on my recent rummages. At a uk size 16 it is a little big but never be put off by things being oversized. This dress had a little waist tie which traditionally would be tied around the back, on me it looked better tied around the front which made it look a little more modern and made my short waist look less obvious by gathering the fabric rather than stretching it.

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It was so hot this day I kept my styling super minimal. The most simplistic of jewellery, my tiny Alex Monroe ring and Cabinet Jewellery bracelet.

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I stumbled upon these dreamy shoes at a local charity shop, they were just £4 I truly don’t think I breathed the whole time until I had them paid for and in my bag.

My little bag holds so much! But is super delicate so I have to keep it to a minimum, only one book and maybe three lipsticks..and maybe a snack..or two.

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I think I might take the little flowers off of it making it more chic when it’s plain, what do you reckon?

Obviously every aspiring blogger needs an assistant. Get yourself a little Teddy, he is the best in the world.

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A new radiator in the background, can anyone say FASHUN.

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x x

In the Pink

She was destined for my little store The Whimy Thrift, but…she didn’t quite make it.

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(cameo appearance by my very sexy clothes dryer, I know i’m so good at this..)

She made it to me and my little wardrobe and we have been dreamy friends ever since.

This is one of my finds from my visit earlier this year at Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair in Bristol, after much rummaging I saw her glowing on the rail and grabbed her like a crazy women. I may or may not have squealed and hugged her, maybe.

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(Stray hair has come to help out the sexy clothes dryer to help ruin my shot. Sweet.)

These little black plastic circle earrings are clip – on and I swear the only pair of clip on earrings that have ever been comfortable. A perfect match for the little dress no?

I have a few different ways I wear this, shoes in particular change it up so much.

We have my favourite style of shoe, the mary jane..

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Or I sometimes go for my tan clogs ..

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These Bally brogues are one of my all time great charity shop finds.

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It’s the endless possibilites of a garment that makes me the happiest, that I can and do spent hours styling something, gives me the biggest thrill.

What else is a girl to do when living in a building site than to twirl?

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Fin x x

Merry & Bright.

English weather is not just an obsession of mine, it’s a joy. It is no secret the the Brits like to discuss ( not just moan ) about our changeable weather, weather chat for us is more than it seems, it’s our awkward social saviour.

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Often when we chat about the weather it is our stilted way of warming ourselves up (excuse the pun) to be bolder and braver in conversation. Because once we get going it’s great, we just have to recall a season past or current fail of our climate and we feel eased into the real deal of conversation.

I am next level with this, when I speak about our weather it’s truly because I love, love, every season and all its micro seasons within. I’ve always been the same, since I was very small and weird.

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Today’s halceon drift of early summer made me so happy, so rare is it for us to have truly hot weather (ever) on a bank holiday.

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I genuinely think part of my love of weather is because I do so love changeable things and I love the challenge of how I will meet said rain storm, deep snow, or in this case heatwave sartorially. A little vapid maybe but nevertheless I feel giddy when I think WHAT will my outfit of choice be???

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Lightweight summer dress for the snow storm….add in thermals, roll neck, thick tights and oversize cardigan, with beret and ankle wellies..D-R-E-A-M-Y.

Heatwave? Well a 1960’s yellow, blue and white daisy (my favourite flower) print summer dress, with front zip, mandarin collar – sleeveless and naturally in the lightest cotton. Perfect!

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As I was at home for the day with my little pup whom I love so very much, there were few accessories other than him needed.

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An attempt to control my mop of hair with a black braided barette being the only additon. Apart from my daily staples of best love engagement ring and favourite tiny bracelet from Cabinet Jewellery

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Beautiful Vintage Book by Pia Storm check out her stunning blog and instagram..swoooon..

Fin!

WT x