Friday, December 10, 2010

Question I wake to in the morning and pass out with at night: "What's my popularity with my fellow white people?"

Wow, this week has been a long one, hasn't it? Or maybe it's just me. In any case, I've had a good week, even if it has lasted longer than some years have, so I'm extra happy to be at Friday today. How's that for a nice positive thought to start this blog entry off with?!
Seriously though, I have had a really good week. I feel like I've got my sparkle back at the end of a very difficult year, and I am so thankful for that. I've been sparkling away like nobody's business this week. Work has been good, with some interesting meetings and some fun social stuff as well and that has undoubtedly helped me to regain some of my confidence overall. So I'm merry and bubbly today - apologies in advance to those of you who might find that a bit twee. I'm working from home today, which is nice. Or rather, which became nice after my stupid work computer started to work (after a call to our IT people) I'm not that bad with gadgets and stuff, but I find my work laptop utterly frustrating. It never fucking works. I can feel that vein in my forehead start to pulse just thinking about it, so I'm going to quickly change the subject and show you my working from home outfit for today. It's not so cold today, but I am wearing some layers underneath this and the dress is wool. As I type this I'm also wearing a cardigan, so I'm feeling pretty snuggly:

Ruby Belle Bardot dress, red tights from Dorothy Perkins and my old faithful Bertie Sardinia shoes
The waist is high on this dress and I'm not sure I suit empire line frocks, so I added my red belt from Accessorize. To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced about this outfit although I suppose it's hard to tell - there isn't enough natural light for the photo to be all that clear and I don't have a full-length mirror in the flat. What I do like about this frock is the fact that it is so comfortable, it has pockets, and I like the colourway. Also it was really cheap on ebay, which is a win! I decided to stick with the nautical theme and accessorise this frock with this fabulous anchor necklace, which was a gift from Lauren:

Red plastic anchor = FUN
And sticking with the red plastic theme, I wore this ring, which was a gift from my wonderful colleague J:

Roses. I could do a lot of damage with this, but isn't it beautiful?!
I mentioned a few posts ago that some of my lovely blogging friends are taking part in the Dressember challenge - Amber, Fi, Caroline, Lauren and my dear Victoria Deloria are all taking part and you should definitely keep an eye on their progress. I'm not taking part myself, at least not officially. This is mainly because I wear dresses every day anyway (I only own two pairs of trousers, and I've lost one of them) so I'd feel a bit of a fraud by signing up to the 'challenge' aspect of it. I think it's a fabulous idea, however, because I firmly believe in the power of pretty outfits in helping you to feel good about yourself.
I know that to some people this idea seems impossibly trivial and frivolous (not you guys, though, or you wouldn't keep reading this blog!) but I don't think it is trivial or frivolous to care about how you dress. This isn't just about dresses, either. I'm not saying that wearing a dress = well dressed; I admire the sentiment behind Dressember, which is to consciously try to look your best. It isn't about what you wear, it's about how what you wear can make you feel.
My (now former)colleague J and I had a long conversation this week about clothes and their relation to self-esteem and mood. J is utterly fabulous - I'm really going to miss working with her. She comes to work in Vivienne Westwood skirts and Chie Mihara boots (ooooh the Chie Mihara boots, they're heartbreaking) and it isn't because she's wearing designer labels that she looks amazing, it's the way her style is such a reflection of and expression of her personality and her intellect. Her intelligence, wit and irreverence are evident in the way she dresses because she has fun - mixing textures and colours and classic shapes with interesting accessories. She's inspiring because all of this style is just a way of decorating her personality and her intellect and her talent.
It's for this reason that I think Dressember (and other similar challenges) are such a good idea. It encourages us to be creative with our style, and to find what makes us look good and, by extension, feel good. Sally McGraw from the marvelous Already Pretty wrote a post this week entitled How To Be A Body Image Role Model in which she pointed out it is more socially acceptable to trash-talk your body than it is to praise it, and she's right, and it sucks. I love how a challenge like Dressember can encourage people to combat that - to put on outfits that they feel good in and want to share, that make them want to say "Hello world, don't I look gorgeous today?!" If you haven't already done so, I urge you to go and read Sal's post (and her whole blog, which is awesome) and to think about what she advises. I know that, since I have been consciously mixing it up, experimenting and trying new things with my style I have felt better about my body and myself. It's given me a confidence I simply didn't have before.
Anyhow, that's my opinion on that. Heh.
As I was saying earlier, this week has been pretty snazzy even if it has been looooooong. On Wednesday evening I went to the pub with my colleagues and with Nic to take on the pub quiz. It was lots of fun, although I am slightly worried that my team-mates now think I'm the Rain Man (or Elephant Man) of Pub Quiz TV rounds. In my defence, I only knew Aleksandr Orlov's name because I saw his book in WH Smith! Yesterday I met my darling Louise for an extremely tasty lunch and glass of wine in Pizza Express. As always when we get together the time passed in a blur of giggles, and I fairly skipped back to the office that afternoon. Nic met me after work for a coffee in Coventry before we went round to lovely Tom's house to watch the live episode of Coronation Street. We were joined by really good people and had a lot of fun and maybe some wine (okay, yes, I did drink some wine. Don't be too shocked) Nic and I don't have a television so I haven't been keeping up with Coronation Street but, perhaps because of having grown up with it I seem to pick it up via osmosis so I totally knew what was going on. Yes, I am the Rain Man of television programmes, I admit it. Judge me all you like! I really enjoyed watching a live episode of something, and watching it in the company of fellow TV enthusiasts and shouters-at-the-tv was so much fun. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun watching the TV. And in the middle of it all I won an ebay auction for something I have been trawling the internets for for a few years now, AND for about half of my maximum bid for it. Photos to follow when I get my grubby little mitts on it, hopefully early next week.
Now, I'm going to go out for a wee dander in town before it gets too dark to enjoy it. I'll be back over the weekend, with tales of Saturday fun and Sunday dancing. Tune back in then, and have a wonderful Friday afternoon.