Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 348: My Favourite Colour



Who: Melanie at Bag and Beret


What: The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show


When: A while ago (have I told you trying to buy a house keeps getting in my way!)


Where: At, around and in the vicinity of ACCA


Why: Do you even have to ask?


Who Else: B—— for the photos, Melbourne Bike Share for the props (although I did pay for that, and we spent so long riding around getting moving pictures that they charged me again so I am not really sure why I am telling you about them: this isn't a plug, except that they are quite cool!)


What the ?: Sunshine incarnate in the form of a yellow skirt travels the world searching for women, bold and beautiful, who make it their own for a day, or a week and share their own take on its joyous light with everyone out there who thinks that being an exceptional individual with the daring and bravado to walk your own way, strut your own stuff and be your own you is a good thing! That's my take on it, but you can read the full story on the link to the skirt above. Make sure you check out all the wonderful women by whom the skirt has passed.

















The Outfit
Skirt: Melanie at Bag and Beret
Jackets: Both thrifted in the US
Belt: Thrifted
Tights: Retail
Earrings: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice Hook Line & Sinker


Photographer de Jour: B——


Who Wore It Better?



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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 347: Largs and Lassitudes

stream of consciousness literary model narrative technique psychology James Joyce Virginia Woolfe good enough for them to get everything on the page in a hurry no need to worry about punctuation

Okay, might be hard to read but it's about me not you. The final full stop. Read Ulysses, it'll make more sense.

for now this is the quickest way to catch up and move on in this blogging silliness stopped for weeks by the all-consuming search for houses and the associated stasis it has wrought on everything else of meaning in my life

Irene               List_Addict

Pictures are of Largs months ago at Kelburn castle where they needed to render the wall but couldn't afford it so graffiti artists painted it in the meantime now everyone prefers it to the render except the council it must be a reason people pay quite a hefty fee to come in even though there isn't a lot to see just some hamsters a good birds of prey keeper a maze a sort of scary jungle-gym which would be occ-health-and-safety-ed-the-living-day-lights-out-of in this country a couple of two thousand year old yew trees

seventy-one house inspections since that holiday it makes perfect sense to book another holiday the exasperation of continually being outbid on properties justified it until the broker wanted to know why the value of our deposit went down

going to koh samui

Left: Kelburn Castle
Right: Close(r) up detail of the graffiti


joined a book club at poppy loves reading lee rourke's vulgar things also joined up with steptember walking ten thousand steps every day sort of if you'd like to donate their page donate to team called The Quick Feet of Flinders Street that's us proceeds help people suffering from cerebral palsy got a bookriot box with more books read more books joined covet app enraged but addicted it deserves a blogpost of its own coming soon few minutes away from being shafted on another house

it's all about houses brain or thyroid gland going to explode

that is my life all caught up am trying to blog three times a week monday (fail) wednesday or Thursday (fail) and saturday (fail) back to Monday see how it goes want to cry bye bye

full stop

Top Left: Cow on Great Cumbrae, the little island off Largs which the ferry visits all day long
Top Right: A typical sunset from the window of our rental flat
Bottom Left: Looking back at Largs from the ferry—our flat was at the left side of that white building in front. Perfect!
Bottom Right: Looking down at Largs bay from the hills above


The Outfit
Shirt: Primark
Jacket: Gift; Vic and I swapped jackets because he knew I preferred the yellow one
Leggings: Target
Shorts: Primark
Scarf: Buff
Gaiters: Kathmandu
Boots: Meindl


Photographer de Jour: V——


Who Wore It Better?



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Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 346: Stages

[Quickly, before you start, pop over here to see what stage I reached on the Bout of Books 11 challenge I did last week: it's underwhelming!]

I'm stuck on stage three of the process of grief. Anger. The people around me are becoming uncomfortable. They can't understand why I won't move on. I think it's because I didn't see it happen at the time. I have only just realised that it is, already, a done deal; something that can't be brought back, something forever gone that I didn't realise was leaving us. A lot of people don't even appear aware. When did the word 'fewer' actually die and leave the English language? Suddenly it is gone and I must spend all my time yelling at the television—from ads to news to fiction to categories of programs sometimes referred to, ignominiously, as high-brow television—for 'lesses' where there should have been 'fewers'. All. The. Time. 'Less' harsh chemicals in Finish dishwasher tablets, for example. Is it my past lives in times when English was spoken well that grate with modern usage? Is it the seventy-third gene on my DNA strand that switches grammar-fascism on in my brain? I'm in hell! I'm usually an advocate of the organic nature of language, but this one affects me. It's like we are loosing a poetic nuance for the sake of simplicity, loosing a complicated step in a dance because it's easier to step clumsily into the next phase: something more difficult but more beautiful. We are making language a thing people can use without thinking about it! Dangerous precedence!

List_Addict               Irene

I'm stuck on stage one of the process of grief. Denial, shock. At least, I was when I started this blog post, but due to time passing, as it inevitably does, I have moved through depression (stage four), and am onto the 'I'm okay' stage—which may actually be number one all over again. I should be dead. Merrily wending our way, along the freeway, to look at a house for the second time—a house which we have since fallen in love with, made an offer for, increased the offer, increased it again, got disillusioned with, and lost to another bidder, in the end, gratefully—we suddenly found ourselves, in no discernible increment of time, going from talking about who-knows-what, to spinning through three lanes of late afternoon traffic. I can't recall the bang of the semi-trailer hitting us. Just the surreal change of being. V—— was on the side which was hit; his expectation, in the infinity of time it took to come to a halt, was directed to all the other vehicles that should logically have been impacting with us as we spun through their lanes. I was calm. I didn't scream. I held my paper cup of coffee throughout, uncrushed. Although I have coffee all over my face and coat when we stopped. It was a miracle. Miracles f^€% with your mind. You come out thinking you should feel grateful for your life, you should be feeling you have a second chance. But the bizarreness of the event being survived unscathed, the trivialising of something significant, and the expectations of an abundant thankfulness instead made me depressed. I am fine now; V—— is too. His car is being repaired as we speak and he is getting by in a tinny loan vehicle. Life goes on. But you know what is strangest of all: we went back to the house a few days later, starting at the same point and ending at the same destination, and the GPS didn't take us on the same road. If miracles make your mind explode, then I can't express the effects the idea of meant-to-be, and the subsequent lack of agency it suggests, have on my poor little synapses!


The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Tights: Retail
Bling: Red bracelet from a bike chain gifted by my lovely B——, charm bracelet gifted by my lovely V—— with a charm gifted by B——, ring gifted by V—— from the craft centre of the universe, near Largs, Scotland
Shoes: Irregular Choice Golden Harpy


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day 343: Any Excuse for a Bout of Books (11)

I have a Quarterly Box that I spoil myself with four times a year. It is from Book Riot, which means I get books and book related fabulousnesses sent to my door. What a blessed thing! Last time the wonderous box arrived on my door it had a voucher for a couple of free monthes use of the Oyster Books app. Being an Australian, I am unable to access Oyster as it currently only works in the United States. Sooo! If you have been having thoughts of joining up and are a United States resident, and if you have an email attached to your comments, then be the first person to comment saying you want it and I will email you privately to get your details and send it on. I don't know if that is the right thing to do, I can't guarantee if it will work, but I am happy to send it to you to give it a go. Let me know.

List_Addict               Irene

I'm seriously jealous of Oyster, even though I have the perfectly fabulous alternative that does like the credit cards of Australians: Scribd. I use oodles of valuable reading time scrolling through books I could read on Scribd if it wasn't for the fact that I spend too much time looking for books to read on Scribd—a snake with its tail in its mouth. If I had an Oyster account I would have even less time for actually reading books per se. So although I can't wait, I am grateful for any delay in their decision to expand. Antidote-erally ('coz that's a word, meaning to perform an action that has an antidote effect on the action that couldn't be performed in the last set of sentences), I am joining up with something else instead. Bout of Books 11. It is a week of reading as many books as is humanly possible—in a week. It is a reason to do nothing at any given spare moment for a whole week but read books. I am so excited. The only down side is I am starting a diet that week with my mum, and possibly my sister, and so the reading will be unassisted by chocolate biscuits, marshmallows, cake or any such joys. [There you go B——, books and diets in one blog for you]. Bout of Books is brought to you, if you would like to participate, by the folks over at Bout of Books. You can be like me and sit on your couch reading and not eating yummy things, you can add cakes to the equation, or you can go all out with updates and competitions and Twittering and have a great social week of books. Join in, go on—I'm so looking forward to saying 'Sorry, I can't. I'm reading.' Even if it is just for one week!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


Time to be devoted to reading: All that is physically possible.

Goals: Read lots and lots.

Books: I'm going to aim for ones that help finish some of my challenges, details to come.

Progress:

Monday:

00:44: Starting a whole forty-four minutes late due to a problem opening one of the selected books on Scribd (still unresolved), I have now, if front of me, the first four books I will attempt this week. They are all from my Semi Charmed Kind of Life Book Challenge. Number Fourteen on the Times Bestsellers Paperback Trade Fiction list at the time I started reading it: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (501 pages). A book written before I was born: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick (3883 Kindle location units(?) equalling 259 pages). A book another blogger (or eighty) has read for the challenge: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (415 pages). And, a biography, autobiography or memoir: The Twelfth of Never: A Memoir by Louis Nowra (377 pages). Off I go! Good luck to all.

23:37: Scribd resolved.
The Signature of All Things - 16/501
The Man in the High Castle - 9%
Gone Girl - 36/415
The Twelfth of Never - 31/377

Tuesday:

22:49: Update The Signature of All Things - 29/501
The Man in the High Castle - 16%
Gone Girl - 72/415
The Twelfth of Never - 33/377

Wednesday:

03:01 (technically Thursday): Couldn't help it! Added a book. Semi Charmed Challenge. A book from the Children's section of the library or bookstore: The Name of This Book is Secret by Psuedonymous Bosch (326 pages).
The Signature of All Things - 53/501
The Man in the High Castle - 25%
Gone Girl - 88/415
The Twelfth of Never - 44/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 70/326

Thursday:

01:19 (technically Friday): Not going quite as well as I expected!
The Signature of All Things - 73/501
The Man in the High Castle - 43%
Gone Girl - 124/415
The Twelfth of Never - 74/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 114/326

Friday:

00:16 (just gone Saturday): Abysmal!
The Signature of All Things - 82/501
The Man in the High Castle - 48%
Gone Girl - 178/415
The Twelfth of Never - 90/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 168/326

Saturday:

23:21: Update
The Signature of All Things - 82/501
The Man in the High Castle - 57%
Gone Girl - 262/415
The Twelfth of Never - 90/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 196/326

Sunday:

13:06 (the next day, fell asleep last night!): In a week I read 810 pages and didn't finish a single book. I guess I'm just not a finisher, and now I have five more unfinished books on my pile. They're all good reads so I will get to enjoy them a little longer. [sigh]
The Signature of All Things - 82/501
The Man in the High Castle - 65%
Gone Girl - 274/415
The Twelfth of Never - 90/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 196/326


The Outfit
A Green Velvet Dress Many Ways
Dress: Op-shopped
Jacket: Thrifted, Savers, USA
Necklace: Retail
Shoes: Dr Martens


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 342: A Tangled Web We Weave

Eek! These photos are from before I went away. I must have been channelling some deluded idea of haute couture at the time. I was reading On The Daily Express the other day (here and here) where Gina had gathered together a group of other bloggers from around the States—one from each time zone—and done a survey about trending looks. Essentially she asked each blogger about a series of trends (crop tops, rompers, jean styles, Birkenstocks, etc) and whether these trends translated to the street in their area. Often they didn't. What is fashion? An elite group of designers who make clothes that only a small percentage of people can afford or wear? An enormous group of retailers, advertisers and marketers who push a quick-turnover must-do look in order to sell, sell, sell? Or one person—you—deciding what to wear when you wake up today?

Irene               List_Addict

I am sure I am not the first person to riddle-me-this, but tell me, if you can, why doesn't the fashion industry make sense? And now, with the added dimension of the fashion blogging community, it has got even weirder. Do you think blogging is about what we 'should' wear? Is it about what we 'do' wear? Is it about trends and perpetuating the dictates of the clothing industry, or is it about people being an antidote to a prescriptive money-making train which wants to see us conform to a constantly changing ideal? Of course, there isn't an answer to that—there are blogs that fit into every category. Bloggers trying to make a living from it have to jump on board with big-business—they're the ones with money to spend, and they're only going to spend it where they get publicity. It's a no-brainer. The op-shop/thrifter bloggers and the sewing/fashion bloggers have different incentives: they celebrate getting a contemporary look via a different route which is creative and economical, or, they celebrate looking nothing like everyone else becuse that is the beauty of thrifting. Some bloggers are so close to the periphary of the exclusive end of the fashion industry that we can only call it a different door to the same arena: high end fashion items, model looks, professional photography. Others seem to be at the door of a theatre instead—where it is about dressing-up, not dressing. What kind are you? What kind am I? It's quite fascinating.

Me: a thrifting, shoe-obsessed, dresser-upper-er who wears, in real life, some of what is on her blog, in a non-conformist interpretation of what seems to be 'trending' at some stage in the last two years or the next three, as long as she can find it in an op-shop (thrift store) and as long as she doesn't have to walk too far in the shoes. You?


The Outfit
Dress (under): Op-shopped
Dress (over): Handmade
Belt: Myers
Necklace: Retail
Golf Shoes: eBay


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?

C

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 345: Keeping Me Busy

Oops. I think I got 'blog three times a week' and 'blog every three weeks' mixed up. Here's what is keeping me away from the written word:

The Tour. De France. My one and only sporting go-to. I couldn't gives a fiddle about World Cup soccer or the upcoming Commonwealth Games (unless there is going to be diving, gymnastics, synchronised swimming or ice skating). But the tour will keep me up well, well beyond bedtime—and I am talking about my bedtime, which is well, well beyond anybody else's bedtime. How good was the day with the cobblestones? Sensational riding—they still averaged out at a ridiculous amount of kilometers an hour and came over the line looking like they had just finished Tough Mudder. A tough Mudder would probably have been easier. Talk all you like about drugs in the Tour de France, there are some who don't indulge—I am convinced. You can see it in their faces. And what they do is incredible. Plus there's the scenery.

The flu. What? Again? If this keeps up maybe I will have to start getting the virus injected into my arm, and the bag of sweets, after all. Then if my theory pans out that I will get the flu from having the injection, it will at least be three times less than I'm currently averaging per year.

The house hunting. It continues. I know it seems like a long time but what you have to remember is I work shifts, my other half works (different) shifts, showings happen on Saturdays. The chances of those three things lining up are similar to some rare meteorological events, and also requires two pieces of cardboard, one with a pinhole in it, to safety protect your eyes while viewing. We have been home from holidays for five weeks, but have only been able to go looking for two days in that time. Saying that, we do have a house on our radar. I don't want to put the mozz on it, so I won't say much here, but keep your eyes peeled for more news. Trawling the Internet for other options and getting the finances sorted are taking up a lot of thinking-time, if not doing-time as well! I hate tax. So much. So, so much.

List_Addict               Irene

The fashion mags. A dear friend at work is finding and passing on a treasury of fashion magazines for me to pour over. I've said it before that I can never justify buying them, but who can resist looking at them. They do take up a fair bit of reading-at-work time that I then make up at home with reading instead of blogging, but they do remind me of a couple of the most important things in this 'fashion blogger' game: don't take it so seriously, and, do take it over the top!

The [name omitted]. [Name omitted] and [name omitted] are running, during July, their inaugural [name omitted] fitness challenge. The idea is to do [detail omitted] in [detail omitted]. I haven't gone out of my way in any awfully extravagant manner to exercise, but I have walked to do errands, walked to work a couple of times and done some walks during work, around and around the car park. I've had four days unfortunately where I scored a grand total of zero miles, most often because I spent the whole day in bed, but I am just short of thirty [detail omitted] so far and don't doubt I will make it. I don't have a car. It is amazing how creative you get avoiding walking. I wait for the boy to go shopping to do mine; I catch the tram to work. I was about to post this blog when I noticed that the ladies organising this challenge had started another one for next month. I went to sign up. In their rules they stipulated that people had to be doing some sort of organised gym class or session to qualify for time spent doing it: that 'errands' or 'travelling' and similar activities were not valid, and that people who thought they were, were cheating themselves. Until then I had felt proud that I had, to some small degree, stepped back from finding the lazy way out of my no car situation. I wrote them a friendly Facebook note and de-joined the group. But it doesn't mean that I will get back precious blogging time, because despite not being a 'proper' exerciser, I am going to continue trying to get my moving ratio higher. Just on my own this time.

Speak to you soon: maybe this week, maybe in three weeks time!


The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Jacket: Thrifted, Salvation Army, Santa Fe, NM
Tights: Retail
Boots: Doc Martens


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 344: A Rocking Horse

Here, at near enough mid-way through the year, a time when tax should be all I am thinking of, is the abysmal progress—in little, cantaloupe coloured, visual-deterrents-to-denial bar graphs—of my many book challenges. In case you were wondering about it while you did dishes.

Goodreads:

So easy: everything I read qualifies. But this is all about numbers. I pledged to read a hundred and one books. I am up to seventeen.

16.8%
0
101 Books



Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014:

I nominated books for this when I signed up. Do you think it is cheating to change them if it means I can say I have read more? I'm a purist, so at only halfway, I am saying no. Closer to the end of the year I may change that—The Handmaid's Tale is a Governor General and Authur C Clark Award winner after all! Puristically though, I have read one book in this challenge: Meg Cabot's The Boy Next Door.

8%
0
12 Books



Semi-Charmed Summer Book Challenge 2014 (SCSBC14):

5 Points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long—Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire (372 pages, 4 stars)

20 Points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014—Divergent, Veronica Roth (487 pages, 5 stars)

12.5%
0
200 Points



Around The World in Twelve Books Challenge:

I am forty-two per cent of the way through book one. Do I make that sound impressive? See the bar for how un-impressive that is. I am currently reading Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor, set in Nigeria. Short stories. Magical realism. More about that when I finish.

4%
0
12 Books



Tournament of Books (ToB):

Mmm. This is all about newish books: all the books in the tournament are selected from those published in 2013. I only own one at the minute but because it is a real book and my pile is a teetering injury risk, I am popping off right now to buy an e-book so I can start working this list. Okay, I am back from my shopping expedition. I chose via the lowest common denominator—money. Is that awful? I am trying to buy a book room with a house attached to it remember! Next on my TBR e-book pile is Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things.

0%
0
17 Books


Irene               List_Addict

While I have you (because face it, if you are still reading then you may have a little bit of an interest in books), and (can you tell I am hurt by the fact my best friend won't read blogs I write about books), but while I have you, here is a tweet-sized run down of what I have finished lately. All in one place. Concise. Quick.

Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters; Mark Dunn; 4 stars

Ultimate fun equals playing with language. Epistolary novel that literally loses a letter each time a tile falls from the statue of Nevin Nollop, author of 'The quick brown fox jumps over the laxy dog'. Until someone makes a new pangram.


Airframe; Michael Crichton; 4 stars

Politics, espionage and capitalistic greed don't make good partners with airplane maintenance and media representation for the average passenger. Don't read before flying.


Highland Surrender; Tracy Brogan; 3 stars

Typical girl's-brothers-make-her-marry-a-boy-from-warring-clan, girl-hates-boy, boy-is-perplexed-because-he's-basically-nice-despite-his-clan-alliances, girl-comes-round, brothers-get-it-in-the-end. Don't usually read them. Didn't mind it.


Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Gregory Maguire; 4 stars

Recycle, upcycle, refashion, retell. Cinderella rewritten from a stepsister's p.o.v. Explores what beauty means. Timely in a society where it means 'selfie'.


23 Shades of Black; KJA Wishnia; 4 stars

Female, Latina. It's a struggle being a cop in NYC. But at least your author makes you appear both vunerable and superhuman. Punk, art, toxic waste skew the crime genre norm, but not believably.


Divergent; Veronica Roth; 5 stars

Can't help picturing Jennifer Lawrence. Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. To see the ideal in human traits is to ignore their downfalls. It's sure to fall apart. Loved it despite its issues—see a literary criticism class near to you for further.


Case Histories; Kate Atkinson; 4 stars

Flawed but charming detective; check. Multiple interwoven plots and intrigues; check. Quiet, small, powerful writing packed into character filled vignettes; not expecting that. New favourite author. One of.


The Handmaid's Tale; Margaret Atwood; 5 stars

Dystopia without fight scenes that require special effects budget and stuntmen. Explores both the frivolity of human nature in the late twentieth century, and our right to have it.


The Outfit
A Green Velvet Dress Many Ways
Way One: Itself
Dress: Op-shopped
Earrings: Retail


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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