Posts from the ESSENTIALS Category

End Of The Night 2013-10-04 (09.33.46-165 PM)
Good morning! Welcome Monday and, yeah, you’re just going to have to trust me that todays title is what all the kids are saying in reference to their, um, over exuberance the night before. Well, some of the kids, maybe. A small and elite bunch.
Nothing like starting the week with a bit of a head and you know what my motto is?
Always Worth It.

Print it out, stick it above your desk and pour the coffee, you’ll feel much better soon. Promise.


Whatever it is, pictures, words, making a Gif, performing a pirouette turn, it all takes practice. A whole lotta practice. The trick is not to get frustrated along the way.
I say this not because I take my own advice, but to remind myself that I DO know the trick…

Have a lovely weekend.

With thanks to the beautiful Maria for being my model.

Essentials 2013-09-13 (11.25.41-057 AM)
Funny thing about exercise.
I haven’t been to a dance class this week, I didn’t go to a dance class last week. I go at the weekend but there has been too much work on, too many distractions, I’m tired, it’s raining, I need to get this edit finished, update my site….and on and on. The energy I’m putting into the excuses is bigger than is required to take the class!

But that’s not the funny thing. The funny thing is, I’m exhausted.
Chatting to a girlfriend last night (yes, I can always summon the energy for a chat, now that’s funny) I mentioned this and she completely agreed. “People who don’t exercise don’t understand that it actually gives you energy.”
Also funny, I had never really thought of myself as A Person Who Exercises. I love to dance, that’s it. I don’t run, I don’t spin, I don’t ‘work out’….do I?
OH! I do!
Or rather, I haven’t been, and boy do I feel it.
So, as I sit here, craving sugar and a nap and generally feeling like any sort of movement would be a really bad idea, I’ve decided, I gotta get my ass to a class.

If only someone hadn’t put LFW right in the way as a distraction…

white jeans-1

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Oh Julie, you are, as always, so right.
There is a short list of things that I decided many years ago were essential, whatever the holiday destination. From work trip to country weekend to beach, there are a couple of things that I always find I need, or rather, that I feel a bit panicky without. These things, since you ask so nicely, are as follows: some kind of massive pashmina, (this is in fact my comfort blanket, airline pillow, extra jumper and cuddly toy all rolled into one). (Although I actually quite object to wearing one in the evening as it makes me feel slightly like I’m in too flimsy an outfit at a wedding. In Surrey.) Lavender oil, (to make my pillow smell like home) (I’ve gone a bit pillow-centric here, but bear with me) a gallon of moisturiser and a pair of jeans (or, if you’re feeling fashion today, a jean). You can travel in them, they knock the edge off your oh I’m not sure now new holiday top and if your beach based Easter break that was supposed to get you away from the biting, trying to hurt you cold in England, turns out to be not that warm either they will keep you cosy while you saunter casually up to the bar and order yourself a another medicinal whiskey.
How then, what with these strict rules and everything, did it come to pass that I ended up in the Canaries with no jeans? Error.
But in every mistake lies an opportunity and all that and this, I felt, was just the time to indulge the white jean fetish that has been gently growing inside me for about four years. (I am not one of life’s fast learners).
The issue I have with white jeans is that they also look a little bit Euro Sloan. Or, when worn in combination with any cashmere item, a little bit Yummy Mummy. I do not pass judgement on these looks and yet, they are not the ones I aspire to. Despite this, my yearning for a pair was growing as they would, I fancied, turn me into a cool French girl in a band a la Charlotte Gainsbourg. Now that is a look I can aspire to. Please.
Well, as with so many questions, Zara was the answer. I’m in the middle of nowhere currently and the shopping opportunities are few but if I know anything I know that there’s always a Zara. So quick shopping trip done and white jeans in hand, or rather, on slightly goose pimply legs and I’m gonna tell you what I’ve learned.
Number one, go up a size. White jeans should not be skin tight. This, from a girl who lives in skinninest skinnies.
Number two, roll them up a bit. Simples, but makes all the difference.
Number three, know that you do indeed now look a little bit Euro-sloany and a little bit Yummy Mummyish and not at all really like you edit French Vogue, but stop caring. Just stop.

Walk your warm legs to the bar and get the whiskies in.

In this weather, a girl needs a vest.
Yes, indeed, I’m turning into my mother. A terrifying prospect, but true nonetheless.
The thing is, Hanro vests don’t feel too sensible. I wear them all year round, under in the Winter, outer in the summer. What I love is that they don’t change shape, I’ve got ones I’ve had for five years or even more and they are exactly the same as when I bought them.
I got some new ones today and I am SNUG.
(And yes, OK, a little bit SMUG).

Eau Dynamisante smells like summer.
Honestly, that’s a lot. It might even be enough, but wait, there’s more.
Eau Dynamisante smells like being fifteen.
Yep, true story. And really, a beauty product that makes you feel fifteen has, essentially, hit pay dirt. Am I going to buy this forever? Well yes. Yes I am.
When I actually was fifteen, I was sent (for reasons not entirely clear but I’m sure terribly well intentioned and educational) to stay with a family that I didn’t know in France…somewhere, for three or four weeks. Now this was a time of great discovery on many levels, you can imagine, but one of the key discoveries I made on that trip was how to sneak into the mothers bathroom and access the beauty products of a real live genuine French Woman. (I know, you’d have loved me in your house wouldn’t you?)
Now, whether the patient and kind mother of this family noticed that I smelt of her scent and that all her moisturisers had disappeared alarmingly quickly, I really don’t know. But she was kind enough not to say anything and when I left she gave me a little gift of, guess what?
My own bottle of Eau Dynamisante to take back to suburbia so that I could swan around like the true sophisticate I knew myself to be.

Meet Posy, I’ve known her since I was nine and, though she no longer sleeps in my room, she’s still a loyal friend.
Today for example, she sat patiently while I faffed around working out some lighting, never moaning or complaining that she needed a break or that her legs had gone numb. Despite always having had ‘difficult’ hair, (I can so understand, I think she suffers from an over zealous toner) she endures my lens patiently, and would never whinge about retouching.
Thanks P, you’re a real pal.

Ever since my friend Leslie bought me a bottle of this stuff a couple of years ago I have just been obsessed. I know, I know, it’s a classic, I’m the last person on the planet to know about it yadda yadda but it smells soooo good. And it’s not at all greasy the way some oils are. And it makes even my scruffy bathroom feel like a hamman. And I love it. So it’s an essential. I thank you.


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