Monday, 29 March 2010

A Little Unique

'And she did not want him to think her quite mad, only a little unique, only containing within her just that measure of the unexpected sufficient to make her irreplaceable.'
Rose Tremain Music and Silence

I've always loved this sentence. Is it something about the female creature? I think it's there in our modern female characters - Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, Bridget Jones and surely Carrie Bradshaw. But yet isn't it also there in Elizabeth Bennett? We like to be unique - but not too much hence the importance of the word 'little'. If we're too unique who will dig deep enough to get to know us? Will our eccentricity put others off? But a little unique is that something we all desire to be on occasions?
The two things which reminded me of this...
I've been experimenting with perfume and although this next bit is by no means unique, it is unique to Warmth. I've been layering my scent with his Paul Smith. It's not me using his scent, he never wears it, but it's the 'woman wearing a man's scent' thing. And that is also what's appealing about being a little unique - it's different to everyone. My 'little uniqueness' to you is somebody elses 'quite normal'.
Secondly, as we get to know others more we reveal our thoughts, hopes, daydreams and sometimes daft thoughts. That moment of 'What are you thinking?' and it's something really random. Do you pretend it was erudite or do you just think 'Oh let's go with the truth.' Warmth looked at me and laughed when the other day I shared this thought.
'I was so busy thinking about what I was going to wear that I forgot to put my bra on.' What makes this unique for me is not the thinking of what to wear but that I don't have the bust of someone who ever goes without their bra, even in a small flat. What makes it unique to him is that anyone could think of what to wear that much to be forgetful.

So what's your 'little uniqueness' in this world?

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Bahama Mama

Away this weekend, alas not to the Bahamas but my nails are in the land of sun. I'm thinking this colour will go well with my new blue and white silk top from Zara. I'm hoping this top will become a firm favourite in my wardrobe. It's striped, which is always a bonus. Silk - so I can basically wear it at any time of year. Three quarter length sleeved, another feature I like my tops to have. It will be a great top to wear any time any place and especially those moments when I'm not sure what to wear either because of how I'm feeling, not sure quite where we're going. I'm thinking of wearing it with skinny jeans and kitten heels on Saturday night. One of those times when you're seeing new friends in their home and just aren't quite sure what they'll be wearing out to supper.
Back to the sun. I had my first glass of rose wine this week. Alas it was inside, not outside but those days will come.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Where do you write?

Twin always likes it when she's visited where I'm living so she can 'visualise you when we're talking on the telephone.' This made me wonder. Where do you sit and write your blog? I'm reading your thoughts, interests and learning a little about your life. Our minds can't help but conjure up how each other may look as we read written words, just like imagining characters in a novel. For me part of that imagination is the space we occupy when we write. I wonder do you write in the same room, office, home? And within that space is it always the same place? Always at the kitchen table or on the bed? Where would your dream place be to write? source
What would you imagine with this office view?

Would you sit on the sofa or the chair? Imagine a roaring fire in the winter or the windows wide open in the summer, observing the world passing by below..

Oh to eat, drink, discuss, laugh, cry and write at this table....

Or do you prefer to write in public places?


So where dear reader do you write?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The V&A Quilting Exhibition Part 1

'So they are all in that quilt, my hopes and fears, my joys and sorrows, my loves and hates. I tremble sometimes when I remember what that quilt knows about me.' Excerpt from a letter by Ohion Woman who spent 25 years stitching one quilt. (I don't know where I found this quote from. Looking back through my quote book it was in 1998. It may have been from a quilting exhibition at Olympia or else a Shaker exhibition. Both were around this time.)In my late twenties I fancied trying to make a quilt. I started saving fabric from favourite clothes, which I would no longer wear. Somehow it didn't seem extravagant discarding or deciding against an item of clothing if it was going to be reused in a quilt. I visited a cousin who'd made a quilt to get help, my mother gave me a book she had on quilting, and I went to those exhibitions. I cut out paper templates and began to find a place to store the books and fabric. But the cutting and sewing? Well no that didn't happen, and has never happened. I do look at classes in quilting but the ones I find are always day time – a hobby for the retired it is seemingly saying. Although no it's not is it? Think of Tracy Emin. Why was I drawn to quilting? I fondly remember the one my Grandmother made and unpicking memories from the fabric – the dress we wore as five year olds to a family wedding, my Grandfather's tie... Memories which would have been lost to me if not for that quilt. These quilts hold the memories and stories of those who made them, but also of those who remember the fabric.
image source

Monday, 22 March 2010

Lola Loves Liberty

Part of my current Liberty Love lies in their selection of Lola Rose jewellery. Lola Rose has been one of those brands which each season I look at and admire thinking 'ooh how lovely.' And then when I seriously consider buying a piece decide it's not quite me. I'm not sure why. I love the colours. I either wear very delicate or chunky jewellery. But somehow it doesn't quite work for me. This season is different. I have already bought one impulse piece which I am loving wearing with my silver bangle. it feels spring like on my wrist.

and if it weren't for our upcoming holiday I may have bought a second.

Maybe I'll put it on a birthday wish list....

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A list

I don't feel very 'A-List' today with a streaming cold but my nails are. I've returned to being bold with my nail colour and it feels better, more me. Just re reading that last sentence. How can a colour of nail varnish give you a different feeling? It makes me feel happy and even happier as I think I've found my perfect red nail varnish. It's with just the right hint of blueness, no orange tone to it. It's red but not tarty. Elegant and no hint of mutton dressed as lamb old lady about it, which can sometimes happen. I shall definately be having my toenails painted in this sometime soon. My final thought today. Do I stick with this red always or venture to maybe find an even better one? What would you do?

Friday, 19 March 2010

Friday Evening In Selfridges

About six o'clock is best. It's bustling. It's different to any other time. One can almost smell the scent of 'Friday evening in Selfridges.' Oh to be able to bottle that atmosphere. Friends together, women alone, partners maybe in town for the weekend. The beauty counters are alive with colour, people and anticipation. The nail bars are full and the shades are shades for the weekend. Walking through, or gliding up the escalators, to the clothes high street, high end or both. It doesn't matter here. I would never casually wander into the shops of the concessions that I stroll through here. Wistfully pretending that I may need/want these clothes for every day, for that special occasion. Seeing up close and personal what the dress in Vogue is like in real life. I can lose myself amongst the rows of clothes - to touch, to try on, to daydream. Clothes to be worn tomorrow night, or maybe another time. (It's why internet clothes shopping and me will never be as close as shopping in shops shopping are. That inability to touch.)
So, that's why I love Friday Evening in Selfridges. I've always loved it. When single I looked forward to a Friday evening mooch by myself before meeting friends or going home. I still relish wandering by myself and returning to Warmth, meeting him or friends later. Even if I don't buy tonight I've still had a fabulous time and think about what I may buy another time. Yes, the whole Friday Evening in Selfridges is a 'gesture of optimism' to me.

'Buying clothes is a gesture of optimism about the future...' L. Grant Vogue November 1996

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Six impossible things before breakfast

We went to see Alice in Wonderland at the weekend. I'd really been wanting to see it and when I mentioned it to my mother and twin they both replied with 'you used to really like Alice as a child.' I don't really remember that but I do know that I have two beautiful Alice books on my bookshelves at my parents'. I'm really glad that they remember what I have long since forgotten. Their memories then made sense as to why I so definately wanted to see Alice - a buried memory of childhood favourites? I presumed that I wouldn't have a quote from Alice but looking in my work quotation book I happened upon this from 'Through the Looking Glass and What Alice found there'.
'"When I use a word," said Humpty Dumpty "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither-more nor less."
"'The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty," which is to be master - that's all."
Lewis Carroll
I don't totally understand it but I don't think that really matters. I just like the thinking about whether we can change the meaning of words.
What I do understand is doing 'six impossible things before breakfast'. Now where shall we start?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

I predict a riot

I'm fed up of the cold. I'm especially fed up of wearing dark colours and warm clothes. I seem to be wearing lots of black this winter and now I want colour, bright, vibrant, stylish colour. A riot of colour. Colour which makes you smile, puts a spring in your step and strangers who see you in the street. I want colour of the most marvelous field of flowers, bouquet of flowers. I'm starting slowly. My toenails are a deep pink and my lingerie is never, ever black.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


I'm going to friends for supper tonight. I'm really looking forward to chatting and catching up but one thing I'm especially excited about is my gift. I love to be excited about giving gifts and here's mine, well it's what's being tied on the bottle of wine. I'm a sucker for stationery and so often look wistfully at American internet sites with all their letterpress this and here is a company in the UK. I think it is a great idea - especially as the friend I'm visiting loves dogs - so it all just seems perfect.
I've ordered quite a few lovely things from Papermash. Sign up for the newsletter you'll receive discount codes. When my order arrived there was a hand written note saying 'Thank you for supporting small businesses' What will you order from Papermash?

Monday, 15 March 2010

A White Rose

Discovering these wonderful white roses by Zoe Bradley reminded me of this poem.
'The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.'
John Boyle O'Reilly 1844-1890
I do love roses, so much so that I knew they'd be the flowers for our wedding. Cream white rose but with a flush on its tips so well describes them. The time I really love roses is when they're just about to fade and wither. There's something even more delicate and precious about them. Is that unusual?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mothering Sunday

'I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished and good; to be admired, loved and respected; to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. ' Louisa May Alcott Little Women
I'm not a mother but my mother has two daughters. I'm not sure what her wishes were for us when she first held us in her arms. Did she hope we'd be beautiful? I think probably 'admired, loved and respected.' I thank my parents for our happy youth. I know she wished us to be wisely married and for me that was a wish she waited a long time for. In fact I often think that she worried about me meeting the right man far more than I ever did. But then she didn't know about the possibilities that filled my daydreams, I just shared the tears when those hopes were over. And now she can relax. And thankfully the sorrow we've shared as a family and with friends.
With love this Mothers' Day x

Friday, 12 March 2010

Merci Liberty

I think have a new favourite shop in London. Liberty.
I shopped in there tonight to buy my Mother's Day card and gift and bought. Today I'm going to share Merci Liberty. A pop up room - oh I wish it would pop up in my home. I was tempted by much, feel restrained in what I bought and hope to return again soon..
I've always loved bracelets, I think due to being a teenager during Aha worship and also that whole 'I went to France this summer and so have brought back with me lots of friendship bracelets' type fashion. As I've grown up the string has been replaced but I still like that look. So this was perfect for me. At the moment I'm wearing it around my neck but tomorrow who knows... The one I've chosen is white with pink roses - perfect for when summer arrives.

What else tempted me but I didn't buy - well this time?

How could one resist this? The perfect brown envelope.

No matter how small your flat there's always space for one more cushion...
To explain more about Merci here's a sections of what's written on the flyer. Merci - it's an idea in answer to those questions: How can we give? How can we help? Merci's founders, Marie-France and Bernand Cohen, who after selling Bonpoint, imagined this unique place. The founders won't take any wages out of this business and will transfer all its profits to a foundation in they established to help the poorest children, especially in Madagascar.
If you're in London in the next few weeks do pop in or else pop online.
Merci x

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Hello Harvey

Today to celebrate our dear colleague's imminent maternity leave we're going to Harvey Nichol's Fifth Floor Bar. I'm looking forward to drinking champagne, laughing, talking about clothes, babies... I'm going to really miss her. It's funny how good work colleagues become so much more. They're the people you see first thing the morning after the night before, whatever that may have been. We may not meet socially at the weekend but we share our thoughts - in some ways they know more about our day to day life than our dearest girlfriends. She's seen me get to know Warmth, fall in love, become engaged, get married. I've seen her get engaged, get married, try for a baby, blossom throughout her pregnancy. Who will I discuss the Oscar outifts with next year? What do we think of the next new Chanel nail varnish? Where's a great place for girl drinks? What shall I do about such and such in my life?
Our team of five will change - and that's sad and that's good. Teams need to move on but I don't think I'll ever work in such a strong team ever again. We compliment each other professionally, we have a shared passion for our jobs, clothes, art, friends and families. We stick together - our team is bigger than the individual and comes before the individual - that's never been spoken it just happens.
We'll stay in touch, hurrah for email and living in London, but knowing the snippets of our daily life, our thoughts well that will move on.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


...'I no longer want to be anything except what who I am. Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each 'I', every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow the world.'
Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children

Looking back through my books of quotations a recurring theme is this question of Who am I? How have I become who I am? and Who/How will I be in the future? How did the baby become the girl become the woman I am today? Where will I jouney next? What would life have looked like if I'd met someone earlier? If I had children? If I hadn't met Warmth? How do the journeys of my parents, grandparents shape the journey of my life? How will I shape The Blessings lives? I love the idea of me shaping life after I've gone - and not because I'm great but because I lived and connected with people. And I love that it's all exactly the same but completely different for you.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Temporary Secretary

I love the way these two words work together, I love the shop and I love the necklace. I enjoyed wearing it to a Valentine's Party and, had I not forgotten it, I'd have worn it to travel to and from a recent wedding. Warmth however does not like it. He mocks it. I wear it proudly. I now have another one to add to my collection. 'cupcake'. A dear friend bought it as a 'saw this and thought of you gift'. (Oh how I love those gifts, to know we are kept in mind.) I also love my cupcake necklace as it was partly given to annoy Warmth.
I love that inexplicable relationship between something that one person loves and another person loathes. I think it's especially true when we're in a relationship - sometimes men just don't get it. SJP - case in point. Ruffles, bows and corsages - case in point. I'm in the strange place of having never really been a jeans and jumpers girl but Warmth likes me best in those clothes. We meet in the middle, and I am learning to wear jeans and jumpers. However sometimes I just need to dress up - a ruffle, a corsage, a random necklace, a frill on a skirt and heaven forfend the 'pussy bow' blouse.

What do you have that you love to wear but is disliked by others? And do you continue to wear it anyway?

Sunday, 7 March 2010


As it's Sunday afternoon I thought this would be a good quotation to post and it also tells you a little more about me...
'As my cat would say all hours are good for sleeping..'
Jose Saramago Seeing

This would be a lovely bed to sleep on...

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Fruit Cake

'Life she thought, is sometimes sad and often dull, but there are currants in the cake and here is one of them.' Nancy Mitford The Pursuit of Love
Nancy, thank you for being one of the currants in the cake of life.

I hope you enjoyed Nancy Mitford Week. I'll return to a scattering of thoughts from a variety of people and places next week.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Post script to Dressing for Tea

I'm back from having my nails painted and my feelings about the colour echo why the 'Dressing for Tea' quotation speaks to me. I'm not sure about the colour (Essie Curve Ball) I feel all a bit anxie and unsettled. I'm trying to decide is it just becsause it's a shade I'm not used to wearing or is it that it doesn't suit me. I am seriously considering taking it off and going au natural, or else seeing if the spa where the wedding is could repaint it for me. It's one of those moments in life when I think 'Is it vanity or is it a slight autistic streak within me?'. All the anticipation, thought and looking forward to having my nails painted has slightly disappeared.
Note to self:
Curve Ball is perhaps best with longer nails.
Curve Ball is perhaps best with a tan.
Perhaps I am a stronger nail colour type of girl.

Dressing for Tea

'I can't think of any occasion – a tea party even – without seeing an exact picture of how I shall look at it, down to shoes and stockings. I often wonder how social life –or life at all – can be pleasure to people who don't care about dress. I'd hardly get myself out of bed in the morning if I hadn't something pretty and rather new to put on, and never get myself to a party.' Nancy Mitford The Blessings
Albertine to Juliette after she'd missed the ball as her new dress wasn't ready. (I wouldn't miss a party for not having something to wear now that's just silly) How much time do you spend thinking about what to wear? I spend lots of time, probably too much time but I do enjoy it, especially when I'm going to a wedding – which I am tomorrow. Off to have my nails painted.

pretty dress

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Keeping the house warm

'These loves were strong and painfully delicious; they occupied all our thoughts but I think we all realised they would be superceded in time by real people. They were to keep the house warm... for its eventual occupants.'
Nancy Mitford The Pursuit of Love
I think one of the reasons I enjoy reading novels is for the moment when you read something and it fits your life, clarified an experience, puts words where it had just been a feeling. This is one of those times.
Fireplace by Heals

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Chocolate Cake

As I walked to work this morning I thought I could now post my Mitford quotation about blossom. However now I'm home - it's cold and I'd like tea and chocolate cake and so this quote seems more apt for my feelings.

'Unfortunately, it never seemed to be chocolate cake and silver teapot day when Lady Montdore came.'
Nancy Mitford Love in a Cold Climate
Newly married Fanny in Oxford. When are your silver teapot days?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Do you see your self as a woman who wears diamonds? I love this necklace but I love my diamond studs more. Quite probably as they're truly mine, and not in my imagination, but more for the story behind them.
I have the delight of having a twin sister, henceforward known as Twin. We had always teased my father that he could buy 'four for under £2000' (meaning four diamond studs for our four earlobes). When twin married 10 years ago my parents gave me an extra birthday gift which were diamond studs saying.
'So you know that we love you and are here for you as much as your sister, even though in the next few weeks we maybe focusing on her.'
And do you know the most wonderful thing of all is that I didn't need these beautiful earrings to know that.

I love this quotation - it makes me smile.
'A woman of my age needs diamonds near her face, to give it a sparkle.' Nancy Mitford Love in a Cold Climate

What diamond jewellery would you chose?

Monday, 1 March 2010


'Friendship is something to be built up carefully, by people with leisure, it is an art, nature does not enter it.' Nancy Mitford The Pursuit of Love

I love the way this quote talks about carefulness and leisure - yes it does take care and time to build up friendships. I wonder where this blog will lead to as I tentatively dip my painted toenail into the vast ocean that's out there.