Category Archives: Absorbing

absorbing the world around me, observing, listening, eavesdropping. Snippets I’ve overheard and things I’ve noticed or seen.

As we say goodbye to 2011

I have a proper roundup post coming, but there’s no way I’ll finish it tonight so I thought I’d better do a quick post instead! I’m up in Nottingham and we’re going to head out for drinks at a friend’s house to see in the new year, which will be lovely :)

On a quick sprint through The List, I can now cross off:

319 Replace light bulb in hallway (I tried, I was too short, Dad did it for me)

318 Replace air filter in MR2 (on Boxing Day)

311 Participate in internet swaps (the curiosity project in September and at Christmas)

281a Incorporate my alter-ego’s behaviour and style into my life (heehee, Lotta is good for me)

252 Keep a stock of cards for birthdays, anniversaries etc (now I just need to remember to send the bloody things at the right times!)

204 Keep website and blogs updated (duckingfabulous.co.uk is now this site and I’m doing ok with the blog. Project Pin Up could be better but I have Plans for it in 2012)

168 Get a subscription to a magazine – I’ve subscribed to Cloth to keep me entertained and busy when the new sewing machine arrives in my life

101 and 102 organise and decorate new flat beautifully, unusually and craftily

Not bad! I hope your 2011 has been as mostly fabulous as mine has been, thank you for being part of it and I hope that your 2012 is even better!

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Dreams…

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.

-Marsha Norman

(I found this quote on my WordPress ‘just published’ page – I liked it so much I had to re-post!)

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Best spam comment of the month so far…

“Well macadamia nuts, how about that?”

Worthy of a Monday morning gigglesnort!

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hilarious slogan of the day

‘delivering zero emission cheese to London’. Don’t know quite why that made me giggle, but it did!

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overdue

Just heard at the station: ‘We are sorry to announce that the 6.05 service is running approximately four hundred and nine minutes late. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.’

First time I’ve seen a platform of people all laugh at once!

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Why I’m an Unmade Bed – and proud

Having found this article completely by chance (it’s from my pre-regular-blogging days), I thought it was worth sharing. I’m most definitely an Unmade Bed, and all the happier for it. Women, she says, are either Unmade Beds (UBs) or Pristine Pillows (PPs).

We all know a PP or two, those women who never have a hair out of place, whose houses are shrines to minimalism and white leather, and who always turn up early for everything, in high heels. They don’t eat much, turn their noses up at proper alcohol and keel over in shock if they catch you eating carbs. The rest of us live our lives… we eat pasta, we drink wine, we go barefoot, we play, and we’re liberated and happy. We also scrub up pretty well when the occasion calls for it!

To demonstrate, my flat only gets properly tidied (and indeed, the bed made properly) when my parents or a man are coming to visit. My friends love me for who I am and are quite used to the organised chaos I usually live in (some of them had the mis/good fortune to live with me for a year or two) and don’t object to it. I’m anal about cleaning my kitchen, but my tidying is very much of the shove-stuff-in-wardrobe-and-shut-door variety. Only I have rails, not wardrobes, so instead I shove in boxes, put boxes in the studio and shut that door instead.

In the article, Shane also mentions handbags as another dividing line between UBs and PPs. Ohh, handbags. From mine today (and this is very much the light version, as I’ve not been home from holiday long and haven’t had a chance to clutter it up properly), I extracted the following:

hand cream, deodorant, my purse, £4.10 in change, six euros fifty in change, 90 Romania Lei, various cards, my driving licence (these were all loose at the bottom, not in my purse), a ticket to colchester zoo, a notebook, six pens, one pencil, mobile phone, mum’s camera, usb lead for my phone, earrings, sunglasses, a box of plasters, sudocrem, chewing gum, keys for my flat, keys for julia’s flat, keys for work and keys to my parents’ house, my council tax bill, various bits of printed paper, a map, socks, ibuprofen, a bag full of makeup, a random red lipstick, pro plus, my hairbrush, a glasses cleaning cloth, tissues, four hairbands, spare floozies, spare tshirt, can of diet coke, a half eaten bar of chocolate, a novel, a Homes & Antiques magazine and eleven post it notes.

And I wonder why my shoulders hurt! I’m seriously considering doing a monthly post on what’s in my handbag… I might discover some long-forgotten treasures! However, I usually have everything I need with me (actually it’s missing cross stitch, knitting or crochet – I almost always have my current small project with me) and I’ve been the go-to girl in every office I’ve ever worked in for the random things you should have in your bag but just never do… painkillers, tissues, hairbands. After 25 years of trying to be tidy, I’ve accepted that I’m a chaotic but happy kind of a person… and that’s just fine by me. Us Unmade Beds live life to the full :)

So which are you? An unmade bed or a pristine pillow? And what’s really in your handbag?

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Fear and exhilaration in equal measure

** Warning – waffly post, no photos and may not even appear because has been scheduled. My fingers are crossed.

I am having a feel-the-fear-and-do-it-anyway phase in my life at the moment… with a whole plethora of things in both my work and my personal life. Taking the plunge and just doing something, and leaving my comfort zone way behind, seem to be the order of the day.

This is not a bad thing, but it’s not particularly restful either… my naturally fretful side (which is usually eclipsed by the laid back, anything-goes side of my personality, but which does rise to the surface during times of stress) is having an absolute field day worrying and analysing and generally freaking out.

However, I am doing these things regardless and I have to say, afterwards, it’s a fabulous feeling! We’re talking a relatively long list of things ranging from wearing red (proper red) lipstick and a vintage dress to work on dress-down Friday, to starting skating again, to organising the company’s Staff Day (which is a massive undertaking I would have sworn I wasn’t able to do, but have actually managed ok so far, touch wood) to my biggest piece of madness to date, agreeing to go on this utterly mad rally.

It’s going to be exhilarating and freeing and liberating, and it will be a massive sense of achievement when I’ve done it, knowing I can drive abroad and sleep in cars and cope with not knowing the language and be in a different country every day and make new friends and let’s not forget talk to blokes on an even footing (as opposed to melting into a terrified puddle every time one approaches). There are all these positives and I am still terrified.

But sometimes, life really is too short not to do things that scare you. And that kind of mood comes around so infrequently (to me, at least) that I’m embracing it and doing things I definitely wouldn’t normally.

On the list of things I would like to do while this mood continues are things like attend a vintage themed event, set up another collective, this time with a theme (that’s an ongoing project anyway, but is going to take courage and luck to actually launch), finally get my shops back up and running, make a start on the book, read my old diaries, have a jumping lesson (on horseback), drive through London, etc. They’re all quite small individually but looking at the things I’ve done, I do and I want to do, and comparing the girl I am now to the girl I was just a few short years ago makes me realise how far I’ve come and how much I am, now, the girl I want to be.

Here’s to adventure and happiness… and a healthy dose of recklessness! (Hell, I’m in my 20s – it’s practically compulsory!)

What do you do that’s unusual, that scares you or that you know might not be entirely sensible?

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Filed under Absorbing, Adventuring, Driving, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Personal Development, Planning, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Thinking

Overheard at Liverpool Street Station this evening

“Aaaaah, I’m wearing the wrong bra for running in!”

Ok, so it’s juvenile and immature, but I snorted with giggles – and the girl who said it heard me, caught my eye and giggled too!

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Just occasionally, I’m right in the zeitgeist

Yesterday, within another post, I posted a brief introduction to the Pinup Project. This is my attempt to look better all the time, and therefore feel better and get further. I do not subscribe to the thin-is-everything look, but I do want to be healthy and happy and yes, to turn heads on occasion. It’s my attempt to be a more polished version of myself, which I hope will have a positive effect on my life.

I’ve long thought that you can be strong, independent and career-minded, look fabulous while doing so and still ultimately want more traditional things like a partner and/or children. I can be quite forceful, when the subject arises among friends, about our rights to choose what we want – just because I’m not yet sure I want children, doesn’t mean I want to be a ballbreaking career woman married to the boardroom either. It’s all about the balance. And for women who are working, particularly in the City, I think it’s really important to hang onto your femininity – among the many things we can do equally or better than men, that’s the one they can’t even compete with.

I don’t think we should be ashamed of dressing up and wearing pretty things, be those things shoes, clothes, jewellery or makeup. It doesn’t affect our ability to work and it should differentiate us from the men who do similar jobs. A close friend of mine always wears a vintage dress, curled hair and red lipstick to work on dress down Fridays, and gets a lot of stick for being ‘so dressed up’ – when actually, that’s how she would like to dress all the time and only conforms to the office dress code in the week because it’s required in her contract. It’s as though turning up in anything but a shapeless suit during the week, or a tshirt and jeans on Fridays, is somehow against feminism. And I really couldn’t disagree with that more.

So it’s rather nice, all of a sudden, to find that my views are being backed up by Dr Catherine Hakim from the London School of Economics. She’s dubbed it ‘erotic capital’, and there is a halfway decent article on it here, written by Bryony Gordon (with whom I used to work in my design days).

The last time I was this close to the zeitgeist was when I wore a tshirt under a strapless dress because the air conditioning in the office was cold. I spent all day fending off compliments about how on-trend I was. But it is a good feeling to know there are others out there who feel the same way as I do on this particular issue, whether or not it’s a trendy topic or not.

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