Friday, January 29, 2010

Album of the Week

Hurrah! The reason I haven't been doing my regular music posts is because it has been weeks since I've been game to update my 'Pod. Game, because iTunes keeps losing music and then when I go to update it, it deletes the stuff it lost! Stoo-pid I know. But I finally got up the courage to give it a go, as I realised it doesn't happen if you just update and don't let it Sync. I'm getting bogged down in the details, sorry.

So this morning is the first time I actually got to listen to Gossip's new album in its entirety, and I was blown away. I think the only song I knew was the single Heavy Cross, but they are all really catchy I felt like I could almost sing along straight away. Wes says this is a bad thing and that if you like music straight away, it means it is too pop-y and you will tire of it quickly. I don't work that way. I am not fickle with my music and once I like something alot, I like it forever. I love this cover artwork, too. At first I thought it was a bit strange, but it actually fits really well with the Gossip's ideals of challenging gender preconceptions. And it is so striking visually - that bone structure, wow!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Evening, not-so-Standard

As a 'coastie', being from an Australian town with a yearly average temperature of just over 25 degrees celcius, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm not terribly experienced at winter sports. While lugging skis up a hill or falling on my arse off a snowboard do not interest me whatsoever, ice-skating has always held a certain romance for me. I always fancied it might be my hidden talent and that as soon as I stepped on the ice I would realise my previously unknown potential and go on to Olympic glory. Or something like that. I hope I am not the only person who has these kind of fantasies?

So, my third London winter in, I finally got up the courage to head along to Somerset House and have a go. As luck would have it, I have been twice in the past couple of weeks with different groups of friends. I am not brilliant. But it is so much fun! Here's hoping that somebody remembers to buy me a course of Skate School next year.

This post must, however, be underpinned by a tinge of guilt and a dose of sympathy as Wes did not have quite as good a time and broke his watch as well as possibly some other bits in a nasty fall. He is still a bit swollen and bruised, and I am still catching up on all the sleep I lost playing nurse.

Plus, I got my first ever gift from Tiffany&Co! A cupcake, and it was free! (And had way too much icing, I couldn't even finish it, and I am the icing queen).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

i am too distracted by this elvis movie to think of a title

After a nap yesterday arvo I still sooo didn't want to go out, but Wes chucked a tanty and said I had to. All credit to him, too, because I had a great time, got pretty tipsy and made some new friends. I think I even invited them to my birthday dinner and got invited to another party next Saturday. I may need to check the details with Wes as my memory is a bit fuzzy. I was not too drunk,  though, to document my outfit when I got home. I have had this outfit in my head for ages and for some reason never wore it. I think it was usually because every time I wanted to wear it, it was raining and I didn't want to flick mud up the back of the light-coloured skirt :-)

I took heaps of photos but these are the only ones that turned out! My hair is a bit limp and I think I'm poking my tongue out in the first shot, but it was sometime after 2am, so...!

Top: H&M; Skirt: Diesel; Belt: vintage from Rokit; Tights: somewhere in Sydney circa 2001; Popcorn necklace: Tatty Devine gifted from Wes  .

Saturday, January 23, 2010

louder than silence louder than bells

Never one to be bothered by the weather, I was rather shocked when S.A.D. turned up today. Just in time for the official most depressing day of the year on Monday, today I just feel blaargh.

Red lips and a food-themed outfit would cheer anyone up, right? Well not exactly, see I have a cold so my lips are really dry and I had to take my lippy off halfway through the day :-(

I am feeling pretty unhappy with this-here blog at the moment. I really wish I had a decent camera, or at least a tripod so I could take better photos of myself. (Note how you can't even see my popcorn necklace in any of these pics?). I would really like to be able to make this blog something I can be proud of. I tried to cheer myself up with a smiley photo shoot...

But perhaps it is just because I went to Topshop today and didn't buy one thing. They are renovating or something so there is only about half the usual changerooms open, and the idea of getting my gear off didn't appeal anyway, so I left empty handed even though I had seen lots of things I liked :-(

I have decided I need: an SLR; a tripod; this Whistles dress; a checked shirt dress; MAC gel liquid eyeliner; Maltesers, stat!

Coat: Whistles; Top: H&M; Jeans, Brogues: Topshop; Wafer brooch: Paris; Popcorn necklace: Tatty Devine.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

it takes a kind of genius

The problem with dressing for my life in London is dressing for the 'every occasion'. There is so much to do everyday that coming home to change is usually not possible and everything just kind of blends into one massive day out. Work, gym, shopping, dinner, drinks, all happen in such quick succession that to take time out to change would surely be social suicide whereby some essential experience is missed and is forever rued with all the 'you just had to be there' references you will hear for the rest of your life. So every morning comes this impossible wardrobe dilemma - how to dress so you're comfortable during the day, dressy enough for evening, warm enough for who-knows-what weather's gonna be thrown at you, and still feel like you are wearing an outfit you are happy with and feels like it encapsulates the mood you were going for that day.

Usually the worst part is footwear. I know I've spoken before on this blog about how bloody much I walk in this city. Well, triple it. Walking is my new thing. I walk everywhere. I walk to work everyday, then I walk to the gym, then I walk home or to dinner or the pub or wherever. I would love to be wearing heels more, but for now, the biker boots have it.

Example: On Saturday I had a sore throat so I ate an orange before I left the house in pouring rain about midday, got covered in mud walking to Stoke Newington Church Street, tried on more glasses, shopped for a coat for Wes, attended a birthday/engagement party and drank copious amounts then had Nando's and hilarious conversation for dinner on Upper Street before dragging myself home and eating a Magnum before going to bed.

Tunic: Topshop; Belt: ASOS; Biker boots: KG; Ankle boots: Steve Madden; Leggings: Target.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

goggle goggle

I was all prepared to trek into 20/20 on Tottenham Court Road to try on glasses again this weekend, when I popped up to Stoke Newington Church Street and found all these wonderful frames on my doorstep! There are at least two opticians, both of which stock Ray Bans (my main optician-al criteria) as well of heaps of brands that Selfridges didn't even have! I tried on a bunch, and got amazing service, at Stephen Davis Optometrist, right near the men's Hub store. Remember customer service?

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Booth & Bruce

Anna de Valentin, I think

Calvin Klein

Hmm, can't remember

Face au Face. A frontrunner, but mega expensive

Sunday, January 17, 2010

i'm on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire!

Hmm, blurry feet. Man, I need a new camera.

Heehee, I was trying to time a jump with my camera's flash but I just got a whole heap of comical out-takes.

I wanted to document this particular outfit just because I was so excited to be wearing my leather jacket again, instead of the winter coat I've been wearing every day for months now. Yes, it was something ridiculous like seven degrees today! Yipee! Balmy! So I did wear my massive scarf but underneath it was just singlet, tee, cardigan and jacket! And jeans with no leggings underneath them! Look ma, no hat!

The scarf is from Spanish uber label Hakei. Isn't it perfect? It was a little expensive when I bought it over a year ago, and that was when the pound had only just started going down the toilet. I shudder to think how much it would be now. Such a shame, because I wanted to buy literally everything in that shop from the shoes to the handbags to the clothing, and I dragged Wes all over Madrid so I could visit every single one of their stores!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

you're beautiful, you're beautiful, to me

I don't usually have much of an idea when it comes to beauty products. Okay, maybe I am being a bit harsh on myself there - I am interested in new things, and always read the beauty section of my mags studiously, but I don't really have the budget to be able to try too many of them due to the risk of a large proportion ending up in the bin. But I felt I had to share a couple of recent additions to my 'beauty case'.

This is I think the first true anti-perspirant. As in, it actually stops you from sweating, waaay more than any others I have used in my life. You put it on the night before (!) and it even works after showering. Quite amazing.

Then I finally caved and bought some Batiste Dry Shampoo thinking it would change my life, but I think I need a little practice to get the hang of it!! I'm really good at applying too much so I end up looking like I'm ready to take the stage as Granny in the school play. It is good for scoring a few giggles, but I can't help but think that's not exactly what it is intended for. Anyone else use it? Appropriately? Any tips?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Music of the Week

I am a baaad blogger. I'm sure nobody else even noticed how long it is since I've done an Album of the Week post. But I know. And I'm apologising for it right now. Busy...Christmas...New Year...yada yada. And yet I still don't really have an album review so to speak, more of a reminder: To vote in Triple J's Hottest 100 2009! My favourite, and reportedly the world's biggest, music poll, closes at midnight Sunday AEST. So get voting! This is one tradition from home (and summer) that I just cannot let go of. I love love love Triple J and its' Hottest 100 so much, not to mention the great memories of spending Australia Day listening to the broadcast while barbecuing or lolling about in a pool somewhere. I really take voting seriously, compiling lists, refreshing my memory by re-listening to tracks, and somehow slowly whittling it down to my 10 favourite tracks of the year that was. This year was actually not that hard, because I didn't know heaps of the songs (where have I been?) but I figure it's a great jumping off point for discovering new stuff I should already know about and would have heard if only I could listen to my beloved station regularly!

In case you were wondering, my choices were thus:

Florence & The Machine - Dog Days Are Over (I think she might get number one, but not sure if she was as big in Aus as she was here)
Florence & The Machine - You've Got The Love (yes, two, but the year really did belong to her, didn't it?)
Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls
Kasabian - Fire (should hear me sing along to this one! If you've heard the song, you'll know what I'm talking about)
La Roux - Bulletproof
Metric - Gimme Sympathy
Passion Pit - Little Secrets (not their biggest song, so may be a wasted vote there, but I really like it alot better than the single, The Reeling)
Phoenix - Lisztomania (obv)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll (tough choice between several tracks on this album)
Bertie Blackman - Byrds Of Prey (ditto)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

we poured our hearts out as the train pulled out

Is it too late to still be talking about the weekend? It was a pretty crazy night on Saturday, and it all started with this little contraption. Ross and Viv spent Christmas and New Year in Germany with some family friends and were exposed to this amazing method of making mulled wine. Since trying mulled wine for the first time this winter, I am absolutely loving it, and so far have found I can enjoy several (ahem!) glasses yet somehow avoid my usual red wine headache. Yay!

So, this is called the feuerzangenbowle. You put a big lump of sugar called a zuckerhut on a metal holder thingy over the mulled wine and pour 80% proof rum over it and light it until the sugar melts and caramelises and drips into the wine. It is sooo potent, but yummy and fun and a little bit dangerous. It set the scene for the perfect night in with good friends when it was freezing cold and snowy outside.

And yes, later on there was singing and dancing and Belinda Carlisle was involved. Man I sounded awesome - the mulled wine must do something for the vocal chords.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

save me with your specs advice

So, popped into Selfridges yesterday to have a look at their specs selection, and for a coat for Wes. We had Square Pie and browsed around my favourite department (the food, of course!) and I dropped some hints about what might I might like for my birthday, which of course went straight over his head because I didn't hold both his shoulders and look right into his eyes whilst shaking and shouting 'buy me THIS!!!'.

Anyway, there were a few that I liked. Wes was not so sure, but very helpful nonetheless. The reason I went to Selfridges on a Saturday is not because I have a death wish but as they seem to be the only place that stocks Ray Ban frames in this whole hemisphere! Well, the bit that I inhabit. There is another good place on Tottenham Court Road that I want to check out too.

But I really want your opinions! I am looking for something with just the right amount of geek chic, without too much Shoreditch twat, but they must also be practical because I do need them to see, these are not a mere accessory people! Let me know what you think!!!?

Oliver Peoples?

Dolce and Gabbana?

Ray Ban Wayfarer?

Ray Ban Clubmaster?

Or Chanel, darling??

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stuff January

January is usually such a busy month, and it looks like this one will be no exception. We will be:
  • catching up with friends, farewelling some and hopefully making new ones also

  • eating out alot, as lots of restaurants do cheap meal deals to entice hibernating Londoners out to spend more money they don't have since they spent it on Christmas

  • making some travel plans (finally!)
But this is what else is on:
  • Cirque Du Soleil is in town doing the show called Varekai. I have never been to see these guys, and would love to, but don't think I will get around to it this time. Until 14th Feb.

  • La Clique is a burlesque-type show that's had great reviews and is running in Camden until 17th Jan. Would be really good to go with a group of friends and make a night of it. I think it might be Australian?

  • Movies! So many movies! A bit of an overload for a usual non-movie-goer like myself. I have been to see Where The Wild Things Are, and still want to see Nowhere Boy, Sherlock Holmes, and Alice in Wonderland when it comes out. I'm currently resisting everyone's insistence that I see Avatar. The more you insist, the more I think I might like to stage a mini protest by deliberately not seeing it. Also this week I saw Inglourious Basterds for the first time and loved it. It is brilliant, so if you haven't seen it, you must. I insist.

  • Selfridges is putting together a retro 90s themed pop-up type arrangement with Rellik, Beyond Retro, IDEA and Work It, which runs from 11th to 29th January - should be worth a perusal.

  • Apparently the V&A is currently running an exhibition on Indian Maharaja. It is nearly finished (17th January), but I had no idea it was even on! Shocking considering I am almost related to a maharaja myself. Unfortunately none of us royals have organised a mailing list.

  • But also at the V&A, the Decode: Digital Design Sensations exhibition is running until 11th April. Wes' birthday. Coincidence? I think not. This is all the weird and wacky sort of stuff he focussed on for his final year architectural thesis - interactive, manipulating, computer-generated automatic design type stuff. So I'm guessing I will be making a visit as soon as he hears wind of it. Of course he doesn't actually read my blog, so...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


So apparently we took a disappointing number of photos in Cardiff! Here are a few of the least crappy ones. We stayed near the Cardiff Bay area which has been undergoing a bit of zjujjing up recently, but we were told there was a really dodgy area nearby, so we felt right at home - a city just doesn't feel right to me anymore if there's no risk of a mugging or stabbing.

There is the Opera House-thingy that looks like a beetlebum; and the Welsh Assembly which is quite cool looking, but reminds me of wasps nests and I'm a bit unsure of it's purpose; and another ye olde arcade which housed a lovely boutique called Seren.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

deck the halls

I've never been to Cardiff before, but had a fine time exploring it over the Christmas holiday. The shopping is great, with everything you'd expect of a larger city, but I especially liked the old arcades where you can get away from the crowds and find something a little different to the usual high street fare in a handful of boutiques. I miss boutiques when I'm shopping in London. I'm sure there are heaps, but you just have to know where they are. Plus they usually stock labels I much admire but cannot actually afford to buy, which is sometimes a very fun kind of shopping, but sometimes just depressing, you know?

This shirt and the studded beret are a couple of things I treated myself to when I got paid for the first time in 9 months!!! Wes rang me to tell me the money had gone into our account when I was in Topshop doing some Christmas shopping. It was truly fate.

Beret: Urban Outfitters; Shirt: Topshop; Singlet: Gap; Jeans: Lee; Boots: who knows?
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