Guardian Girl

Guardian Girl IV: Revenge of the Return

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on April 26, 2010

As predicted by the previous post announcing my latest break from the project, I am back. I’ve decided never to say never again with this lark – I will probably be stopping and starting well beyond the day Weekend magazine becomes an augmented reality, Daily Prophet-style feast involving Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall walking out of the pages to offer you a taste of his home-cured gammon fillet and Tim Dowling plopping slow, sardonic tears into the palm of your hand as he recalls the latest argument he had with his wife.

This time it wasn’t the Guardian life I missed so much as the communication and catharsis of writing a blog every day. And maybe the pastry just a wee bit, especially now I’m back to running my four miles a day, so eating whole cakes all the time no longer feels like entirely the wrong thing to do.

I will carry on until I begin to lose my mind again, then I will stop and be free for a while, then I will get bored and start again. That’s OK, isn’t it.

As seems to be the trend for some reason, my first weekend back was celebrated with a pretty ridiculous outfit. Saturday’s had me looking like Wurzel Gummidge (not for the first time as I recall) but that didn’t matter much because I barely left the house that day.

Heavy petal

Heavy petal

Never mind, petal

Never mind, petal

Sunday, however, was a different matter. For the first time ever I attach a headshot just so you can get some small idea of what was going on beyond the required pose.

In the absence of a feather headdress I tied a headscarf around my head, Slash-style, which is practically uniform around East London these days, so no blushes there. I have recently cut my fringe with the kitchen scissors again and dyed my hair bright red, which perhaps laid the foundations upon which this look’s utter madness was built. I hung a pair of enormous gold earrings from my ears and a gigantic gold plastic chain from my neck to get the jewellery as close as possible and added a shirt, black peggish trousers and heels. It was an eccentric outfit for a walk in the park, which is what I did that afternoon, but not entirely out of this world. I think what made it look really weird was the make-up. In the picture the model has a sort of yellow, burnished eye/cheek shadowy thing going on, which I recreated by smearing gold eyeshadow in big patches on the tops of my cheeks. It was quite an orange gold and the overall effect made me look like I had a strange case of localised jaundice or a very bad fake tan. I certainly didn’t look quite right. Many people stared, several sniggered. At one point an entire table of people sitting in a cafe I walked past turned around and began to laugh loudly. I’d think I was just being paranoid if my companion Charlie hadn’t kept up a running commentary of the reactions going on around me.

Nevertheless by the end of the day I’d walked my friend’s dog, sat and had a coffee in the park, stocked up on dahlias (as recommended by the gardening page), bought a few records, gone to Sainsbury’s for steak salad ingredients and whiled away a few hours in the pub, all with no ill effects beyond a few sneery glances and some rather unkind laughter. It makes you think: why not dress up in silly clothes more often? It is pretty fun after all, certainly allowing you to use more flamboyant hand gestures. Next time you see someone dolled up like a bit of a twit, it might be worth cutting them some slack. Especially if you are John Power of the band Cast, who drinks in my local pub and didn’t seem very happy about the headscarf.

As for my friends, Charlie didn’t mind the ensemble when I first appeared at the door but became irritated by it after about ten minutes. Later, in the pub, he pulled the headscarf off and said something along the lines of “Now I can relax”, which I took as an opportunity to remove the painfully heavy earrings and stupid gold necklace so that I could also breathe again. We bumped into Genius Jesse in the street, who said I looked great. Housemate Jess concurred and the folks I was in the pub with later decided it wasn’t that mad and even looked kind of stylish. Cliche of the day: everyone’s different.

Pow wower

Pow wower

Power wower

Power wower

Hugh’s steak and potato salad was wonderful, although not smoked. I scanned the column, saw something about a smoke alarm and some sawdust, and decided that unsmoked would be just fine.

Home-smoked ribeye steak salad

Home-smoked ribeye steak salad

Unsmoked ribeye steak salad

Unsmoked ribeye steak salad


  • I feel my relationship with the Guardian has now taken on the status of the on-off love affair that has you crying, laughing and drawing all around you into the magnificent drama of the thing. For about a week. Pretty soon the novelty wears off, it becomes accepted that whenever you’re apart you will remember what you really love about one another, after five minutes together you’ll remember why you really split up, and all your friends will have banned you from mentioning his/her name. I will just quietly get on with this fate I have signed myself up for.
  • People aren’t that tolerant of eccentric dressing if it looks a bit trendy, and yet eccentric dressing is entirely harmless, and far less daunting than it seems.
  • There are some pretty amazing-looking dahlias.

2 Responses

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  1. dressingmyself said, on April 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Welcome back! I just like the idea that you are out there, doing this – and your writing about it is even better.

  2. Emily said, on April 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Very amusing post this week Jo, good to see GG back.

    I’d be proud to have that outfit at my table in the local, but would also laught when i first saw it on my front step!

    E HH XX

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