Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Am I to entertain your ballad of dissatisfaction, or has something actually happened? Because I am at work, dear.

Afternoon everyone! Well, it feels like it's been forever since I've written a blog, but I suppose that's what being on holiday will do for a girl. I'm back to work tomorrow, and this past fortnight has felt like forever so I can't quite imagine actually being back in the office. Still, there are definitely worse things than the office, and I feel very well rested from my break. Well, emotionally and mentally anyway - my body seems to be disagreeing and I've been feeling somewhat under the weather for the past few days. Maybe I'm subconsciously rejecting the thought of going back to work, eh?

So, when I last wrote Nic and I were still down in Kent. The rest of our week continued to be as lovely as the bit I've already told you about. We settled down our gallavanting and stayed mainly around the village where Nic's parents live (with a day out to another town to visit his grandparents.) We did lots more paddling in the sea, some writing, lots of reading and sleeping and watching films and even a little bit of shopping. The village has a consignment store and when I spotted these babies in the window, my willpower went all out the window and I bought them. Still, they have never been worn and they were cheap, and I loves them. So I don't feel too bad.

Irregular Choice Cortesan heels
Towards the end of our stay the weather had started to cool a bit, but both of us were sorry to be going - I feel so lucky to have access to such a gorgeous bit of the country, and I'm already looking forward to the next time I can do this:

Lounging on Sandgate beach
We decided to travel back up before the royal wedding, thinking that we didn't want to be passing through London on that day. So on Thursday we packed up all our stuff and headed back to Leamington, making a brief stop in London for a visit to both of our favourite haunts. Nic bought a few things in Orbital Comics and obviously I did a bit of payday shopping in Fever and also at Paul and the International Cheese Centre in Marylebone (I always want to call it the International House of Cheese)

Not pictured: Paul camembert sandwich and Tayto crisps and Black Bomber cheese from the International House of Cheese
It was actually really nice in London - we wandered through Trafalgar Square on our way back to Marylebone and everything was getting geared up for the big day. There was a nice vibe - lots of tourists (and probably Londoners, too) waving flags and wearing deely boppers. Lucky old Nic ran into the happy couple, obviously they couldn't get the day before the wedding off from their employers at Patisserie Valerie off Charing Cross Road.
Our only celebrity spot that day...

Now, I'm not knocking anyone who did watch the wedding - whatever floats your boat, right? But it was not for me, and so Nic and I had a very relaxed and non-weddingy Friday at home. Nic and I watched the second part of the excellent Sarah-Jane Doctor Who serial The Sontaran Experiment (having watched the first part before going on holiday)and the last few episodes of the third season of Mad Men before we went out for a walk and to do a bit of grocery shopping. In the evening I got on with that ridiculous pursuit, sewing - another Simplicity 2591 - and Nic did some drawing. It was all very companionable and civilised, and not a scrap of bunting in sight.
Work in Progress - Joel Dewberry fabric and Simplicity 2591
I was up and out of bed at an unearthly hour (for me) on Saturday morning. I wanted to be in London before 10 to hit the Vivien of Holloway sale. It's been a while since I caught the train to London on my own (since our offices in London closed, although I guess that commuting is set to start up again later this year) and I enjoyed speeding through the sunny countryside with a book and a snack (no coffee, sadly!) I got to the Holloway Road just after 10 and was greeted by mayhem in the rather small Vivien of Holloway shop:
apologies for the blurry phone photos... but this hopefully gives you an idea
It was difficult to move and while I'd had an idea to try on one of the pencil dresses to get an idea of fit, after spending over half an hour in the stationary changing room queue I decided to cut my losses and go with what I knew would fit me. I was joined by Sugar Plum and the two of us came away happy (and tired) with two dresses each, and went to reward ourselves with a drink and a good old gossip. She had to leave shortly afterwards and, while I had planned to hit Walthamstow market for some fabric shopping I was starting to feel a bit wobbly so decided to go home. Well, not straight home. I went back to the Charing Cross Road for a look in the bookshops, and then had a wander through one of my favourite bits of London - Soho. It was a gorgeous day, and Soho was full of happy looking people sitting outside cafes. I bought a macaron and an Orangina from Paul on Old Compton Street and had a wee poke around The Cloth House on Berwick Street before catching the tube back to Paddington to come home. I didn't buy anything in the Cloth House, but it is certainly a lovely shop:
Pretty trims
My darling Nic greeted me at the station when I got back to Leamington, and we had an ice cream in the park before wending our way home for a lazy evening with a film. By this stage I was starting to feel really weird, so I changed into my jammies and dozed on the sofa. But I know y'all want to know about the four dresses I managed to buy in the space of three days, so I did take this wee picture

Fever Delilah summer dress, Fever Matoid pencil dress, Vivien of Holloway Purple Rose dress and Anchors Away dress - also some awesome sunglasses I bought in Hennes for £3.
Sunday was almost completely a washout because I felt like shite, but by Monday I was revived enough to be joined by Denise and Lauren for an afternoon of sewing. I finished my Simplicity dress (photos to follow) while Lauren worked on a fabulous-looking fuchsia circle dress and Denise did some alterations. Nic pottered in and out, bringing us food and doing some work, it was a delight. After the ladies had left, Nic made a comment that resulted in us rearranging the furniture in our living room which was a dusty but satisfying job. I do enjoy bank holidays!
I don't go back to work until tomorrow so today decided to treat Nic to lunch at one of our favourite restaurants. Naturally, I couldn't wait to take one of my new dresses for a spin, and decided to roll this up into a shoe challenge, as part of Shoeperwoman's Shoe Challenge:

Tuesday 3rd May 2011
Vivien of Holloway Anchors Away dress, Bettie Page belt and Irregular Choice No Place Like Home shoes
Isn't this dress amazing?! I've wanted it for ages, and couldn't resist treating myself to it in the sale. This one is different to my other Vivien of Holloway frocks in that it is made with a heavier weight cotton sateen, and it feels so luxurious. I love it! Lots of people stopped me in the street this afternoon to comment on it too, which made me feel a wee bit bashful but very pleased all the same. I resisted the temptation to wear the lovely anchor necklace that Lauren gave me a while ago (I thought it would be overkill) but I did put on some swallow earrings

Tuesday 3rd May 2011
another one, just for good measure
The fabric
The shoes need no introduction, and I think they add the perfect amount of whimsy to this outfit
Irregular Choice No Place Like Home
Irregular Choice No Place Like Home shoes
Tuesday Shoesday
My darling Nic was the perfect accessory - I don't like to brag or anything, but I did feel very lucky to be on his arm
A very handsome man
And so it's farewell to hollibobs and back to work tomorrow. Still, it's been a fantastic fortnight and very much what I needed. I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed again . Not by work this time, but other stressful things and lots of rest and fun have definitely helped a lot. I think that I'm a bit better equipped to deal with stressful situations now, and I know when I need to step back and give myself a break from things, and doing that has been really good. And, you know, I have a few new frocks to parade around the office in so maybe going back to the old 9-5 won't be too too painful. Here's hoping not, at any rate.