Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Last-Week Girl: 26 August 2012 (a bank holiday special)

This bank holiday I was lucky enough to escape up to Edinburgh for the last weekend of the festival. I went to Edinburgh for university and my return visits always make me strangely melancholic and makes me myself ask all kind of panicked questions: why did I leave? What would my life be like if I'd stayed? Do I want to be where I am now? Those feelings were heightened this time as I travelled up with a group who largely hadn't visited before and I got to see the city again through their weary London eyes. I tried to grasp at some answers to the way I was feeling on the train on the way back but in the end, typically, I fell asleep.

The festival itself was magnificent and I wasn't as much as a mopey cow as that first paragraph might suggest. Josie Long was magnificent and made me want to do, you know, THINGS, I was picked on for the first time in a comedy show while watching Paul Foot and survived, and Daniel Kitson was great finale to the events (closely followed by the chips and salt and sauce we had on the way back to our flat). Other highlights were an amazing meal at 21212 for one of our groups 30th, with possibly the best cheese board I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. We then dragged our cheese feverish bodies up Arthur's Seat where the view was a predictably beautiful and breathtaking and confusing as ever.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Last-Year Buy: Pretty vintage cotton dresses

With the crazy temperatures this weekend, I was doing my best to convince myself I was doing anything but shuffling round busy, grimy London streets, desperately clinging to an iced coffee. My default wardrobe choice for hot weather is a cotton dress, so I can pretend I'm swanning around the Mediterranean as a 1950s starlet, or at least the English countryside, Laura Ashley style ... which is how I ended up with these two new (to me) dresses.

They come from a shop I think is called (it's not exactly clear) the London vintage store on Holloway round. The first dress, shown at the top of the post, reminds me a bit of my Nadinoo Tweety dress, and is a similar knee-length with a bottom-up top. The patterns is of pretty brown, yellow and turquoise roses (more roses!) and I hope will do me through the rest of summer and into autumn. It offers some pretty exciting coloured tights prospects.

This second dress is slightly bonkers. I adored it in the shop and now, from within the safety of my flat, I'm not so sure. In case you can't tell, it is a dress, with a flesh coloured panel above the waist, not a cropped top and skirt. I've always wanted to give vintage-style crop tops ago but have always been a bit scared, so that's probably why this appealed. My office is always boiling so I'm tempted to wear this into work. However, I can't help feeling it's slightly work inappropriate even though I'm entirely covered-up - what do you think? I guess it might have to wait until I finally make it to the Mediterranean in the sunshine.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Last-Week(s) Girl: 11 and 19 August 2012

Yep, I skipped a week. Somehow, since I decided to post every Sunday, it's turned into my most social day of the week. My excuse for last week is pretty good, however - I went to see Blur playing Hyde Park. While not quite living up to the blissful 2009 Glastonbury reunion gig, this one definitely trumped their last Hyde Park gig - the nice weather and everyone feeling jolly about the Olympics made for a much more relaxed crowd. Blur played a deliciously downbeat set too - getting the cheery crowd-pleasers out of the way relatively early on - which included both Caramel and No Distance Left To Run. Me crying? Na, something in my eye, honest. The Specials were also fantastic in the sunshine and we spent a long time debating just why Terry Hall is so attractive. No Ghost Town from them though, perhaps they felt it didn't fit in with a city basking in its Olympic glow.

More cultural Olympic gubbins in my week thanks to Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege, a giant inflatable Stonehenge which visited Crystal Palace. On a beautiful summer's day in the park, it seemed both fantastical and the most natural thing in the world to be happening.

My flat is now wallpapered which is very exciting indeed. Walking in on the finished result is probably the closest I've ever felt to being a real grown-up. Above is a design by Louise Body, and below is the hallway where I've allowed my love of roses full reign.

A couple of theatrical outings too: Swan Lake performed by the English National Ballet, which made me want to re-devour all my beloved childhood Lorna Hill Sadler's Wells books for the billionth time, and a very impressive Richard III at the Globe. It's Shakespeare's second longest play apparently, but the intrigues and high death count made the time whizz by, even when standing.

More high quality theatrics to come, I hope, next weekend as I'm heading up to Edinburgh for the closing weekend of the festival. I can't wait to smell Edinburgh's own distinctive hoppy smell again!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Last-Week Girl: 5 August 2012 (and late again)

Okay, so I'm late with this thing yet again. My excuse is that this Sunday I was up at the crack of dawn (read before 9am) to go to an old school friend's wedding in Cambridge. It was a lovely occasion, I got to wear my Orla Kiely dress for the first time and it meant all the Olympics chat got moved to a slightly more glamorous venue.

Yes, like every single other person I know, I'm in the grips of the Olympics roller coaster: crying at the telly, crying at the Evening Standard, crying any time I see a volunteer. I was lucky enough to go to two Olympic events this week: the requisite (it seems) session of beach volleyball and the men's trampolining. Squint at the picture and you'll see two very brave men doing their warm-up. The trampolining was quite terrifying to watch, with around six of the men misjudging jumps and crashing out. The medal winners, however, all made it look ridiculously easy - as if twisting four times as you tumble to the ground and flipping over is the most natural thing in the world. As you can tell from the description, I obviously failed to learn the correct trampolining terminology.

I also managed to fit in a couple of good eats this week: at Arang on Saturday for delicious Korean food and MeatMarket on Thursday for a delicious burger. That's a definite win for team FA.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Last-Week Girl: 29 July (a bit late)

A slightly later catch-up than usual, due to the fact my usual day of my write-up coincided with my birthday. This week was pretty monumental in more ways than one, as the Twin Peaks trio - me, my old flatmate and Robo-H - got together to watch the final episode together. Well ... I didn't see that coming, and I'm pleased (though sad for characters like Audrey or Norma) that everything didn't tie together neatly.

And then my birthday. As an outing, I went to the Troubadour for the first time on Friday night which was as atmospheric as I thought it would be, before returning home to sniffle my way through a recording the opening ceremony. Saturday was spent at other people's birthday's - this chart has never seemed truer. And then for Sunday, my actual birthday, I held 'Birthflatwarmday', a bit of a birthday bash, a bit of a flat warm and really an excuse to eat cake and cheese in the company of lovely people. An angst free way to turn another year older.

My last birthday seems like more than a year ago now. It's been a full-on year. One serious relationship ended and I subsequently had to move flat three times which is up there on my sucky scale. Some great stuff happened too: I'm now in my own flat and in an exciting new relationship. I've been to Amsterdam, Turkey, Dublin and Copenhagen, I've contributed to a book and I've made some fantastic new friends, I've taken classes in clothes-making and screen-printing and  I've watched the entire series of Twin Peaks. I've ended the year feeling all-round-happy really. Which is all any birthday girl could wish for.
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