November 11, 2014

I found this article on my newsfeed today and it made sense to me. A couple of roommates in Calgary have saved $55,000 by not buying anything for a year. They didn't actually not buy anything for a year but they changed their lifestyles significantly. love this, but it helps when you have everything in place to begin with.
I didn't get it together until I was 28 - I kept amassing huge unpayable Visa bills. We have an over-inflated sense of self. Don't buy anything unless you can afford it. We don't deserve to have a house full of new furniture at age 22 - you got to pay your dues and work up to it. Or else you don't learn how to manage money.

I think it's easy for people who have a good sense of self. who know themselves, their style, that they don't have to change their patio furniture with every whim, or buy five couches in 10 years.

We take transit
By antiques or vintage
at the fraction of new furniture.

I have my foibles. I buy a lot of clothes from an English catalogue and spend a lot in duty. But it's quality stuff. Whereas by front porch looks like dog patch but I have a really nice porch light!

False economy

Clothing exchange

September 8, 2014

Light Luggage - Paris for a Week, Perhaps.

Mais Oui.

easy packing

 Hey everyone. I came across an article on Oh Happy Day - How to Pack for 2 Weeks to France in a Carry-On. It inspired me.

It's a pretty good, informative article. I'm a light packer too. Although my last Paris trip (2010, sigh) was only for a week, I think even Jordan has packed too much. Pack whatever floats your boat, but for my comfort a lighter suitcase is a better suitcase.

I would never pack 4 pairs of shoes. One extremely comfortable pair of boots or shoes on your feet should do. Two at a pinch. Shoes are heaviest, most clumbersome things to pack. Alegria shoes are the most comfortable thing I travel in. They are hell to pack though (and no backwoods hiking!) so I wear them on the plane. Security loves their huge soles!

If going in autumn  I would pack my most flattering, comfortable dress and a stand-out tunic or sweater dress for colour. Black tights and leggings, a black double-knit mini (or 2), a black turtleneck, a white shirt,  and a pair of black pants can be mixed and matched. Pick whatever colour,  but it's easier if its monochrome.  I would pack a heavy-knit wrap-around top and a light jersey cardi. A graphic t-shirt dress to sleep in. ( I will explain)  Everything can be dressed up with a colourful scarf or some chunky jewelry.

Things I would change from my last trip. I would add is a good pair of jeans and to switch the shoes for knee boots. I have to admit that no women I saw in Paris looked overly dynamic - Just jeans, leather boots, scarves galore and a good hair cut. I saw one really great coat on someone in the 4th Arrondisement, but all the craziness that one sees on the Sartorialist for example, must have been reserved for some other time and place because I saw none of it.

I would also tone down the stand-out tunic. I wore an orange sweater-dress from IVKO and I know that I was the only person in Paris wearing orange that day. It was obvious I was an out-of-towner,  Parisians still prefer dark colours. But if you want to stand out, go right ahead. I still might. I did wear a somewhat bright dress from Boden and was mistaken (from the back) for a French women's friend!

No PJs I just slept in a  long t-shirt dress. If you want to go to the disco. Wash it in the sink, dress it up with jewelry and accessories. I took a Roots Test Pattern T-shirt dress to sleep in (not the expensive Stella McCartney above). Needless to say (because I'm shy) I did not wear it out to a disco.

I've can come up with at least eight outfits from the above. Good luck if you are traveling this autumn. Bon Voyage.

I created the top collage on Polyvore. I haven't quite got the hang of it yet.

September 1, 2014

August 31, 2014

Do you want whine with that? - a commentary.

One of those fucking ubiquitous Fornasetti plates that I see in every fucking magazine.

It’s that time of year again when I’m feeling melancholy. Melancholy and itchy and restless and angry. I feel like I’ve left the iron on but I’m half way to Montreal. Please, please excuse me while I rant. Blogging is therapeutic.

I just went through a stack of magazines donated by my belle soeur. What a lot of crap. No offence Sis, but I’m tired of the platitudes, the Disneyfication, and the false Hallmark sentimentalities found within their pages. I used to be a devotee of fashion magazines, graduating to decorating magazines, but then the mags became full of dogma. Rules. I don't need to be told what to do. The only magazines I subscribe to now are French so I don’t know what they are impelling me to do.

Rules abound. Gentle suggestions that make you feel bad about yourself. The fashion industry, of which I once thought I’d be a part, has been trying to sell me plaid every autumn since I was 12 years old. I found out from my step-monster-in-law that there is a proper way to edge your flower beds. French edging. What fresh hell is this?

Decorating magazines – do people really need obelisques and reflecting balls on their mantels? Have they not had enough life to decorate their nests properly? Can one become “bohemian”? Isn’t it a schtick one develops over time?

Never been a big one on false conventions. Grooms’ cakes. Wedding rehearsals. What’s to rehearse? Do what my mother did in post-war England. Walk down the aisle. Get wed. Have a reception at your mum’s. Enjoy a couple of Bass Pale Ales. Go to Hastings. Get over yourselves. I CAN NOT STAND the “to the manor born” mentality of weddings. Couples puking their guts out just days prior at their own stags and hen parties adopt a genteel, demure attitude, following rules that were set up in Jacobean times if not earlier. Then they puke their guts out again, perform some primordial rituals and commence paying off their credit card debt. Because of these biases I’ve been with the same man for 24 years and we have yet to marry. Luckily he is as biased as me.

 I’ve missed the memo on a number of things – when Peking was supposed to be called Beijing. Bombay – Mumbai and so on. I apparently missed the memo telling me that a selection of wine or cheese is now called a “flight”. WTF.

Any how. I’ve left this blog untouched for quite a while. Maybe I’ll start back at it. Interesting themes for interesting people. Watch this space.

June 23, 2014

Valmont vs Dangerous Liaisons

Milos Forman’s film Valmont came out in 1989, the year after Steven Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons. Both are based on Chloderos Laclos' scandalous 1782 novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Both feature rich and bored aristocrats and are set in Baroque France prior to the guillotine.

A scheming widow, the Marquise de Merteuil, and her sometimes-lover Valmont make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married and very pious woman. Valmont wagers that he can seduce the newlywed, even though she is very honourable. If he wins, the Marquise promises him one last night with her. However, in the process of seducing the married woman, Valmont falls in love.

I prefer Valmont to Dangerous Liaisons. Colin Firth as Valmont does the "wet puffy shirt" before Mr. Darcy strips off in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice. Firth is passion and charisma to John Malkovich’s reptilian cold-bloodedness. I know who I’d rather snog with.

This was the first role I saw Annette Bening play. She’s ripe, peachy and pretty and looks too nice to play Madame Merteuil but she’s just as evil as Glenn Close.

Pretty Meg Tilly played the pious Madame de Tourvel. Well and truly seduced, Firth moved to the forests of Canada to be with her.

Here’s a list of the major players in Valmont and their equals in Dangerous Liaisons.

Colin Firth – John Malkovich
Annette Bening – Glenn Close
Meg Tilly – Michelle Pfeiffer
Fairuza Balk – Uma Thurman
Henry Thomas ( Elliot from ET) - Keanu Reeves.

And the 1989 trailer.