Guardian Girl

Towelling it on

Posted in Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on February 3, 2010

Best Liv came over last night to help throw away some of my pathologically hoarded possessions (this sort of thing is why I call her Best Liv [I also call her Little Wrenny Bolokov, but that’s another story]). As some sort of recompense I force fed her a few mountain ranges of chorizo carbonara and many rivers of cold custard that were left over from Sunday’s cake-a-thon. I also made the mushroom part of Hugh’s polenta feast and we had a little taste of that (delicious) before I decided to palm the rest of all this food off on whichever pals come over for fondue tonight.

We then got to work sorting through my infinite boxes of tat, some representative examples of which included a collection of small shreds of plywood, a startling number of ribbons I have no recollection of ever receiving, a tiny bag containing a button and a 1p coin, an umbrella cover stuffed with a pedometer and a hairband, and a very disturbing veterinary receipt from last year when one of my beloved cats had kidney failure and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to have her put down:

“PRODUCT/SERVICE:       EUTHANASIA CAT ONLY

QUANTITY:                           ONE

PRICE:                                     £28.13 inc VAT”

It’s not exactly soothing, is it.

Also, what do they mean by “cat only”?

We were up so late sorting out my rubbish that Liv stayed over and was able to take my photo this morning. I was standing, perplexed, in front of her holding a grey double-breasted blazer in one hand and a brown leather jacket in the other, trying to work out which one was more similar to today’s required outfit, when she glanced over my shoulder and remarked that it was a shame I couldn’t wear the peach-coloured towel hanging on the back of my door, since it perfectly matched the model’s jacket. And hence, I bring you today’s pic. Looking outside I decided it was probably a bit chilly to go out in a towel so I plumped for both the jackets at once. What with the orange plimsolls being the closest non-heeled thing I own to the model’s gold shoes, I look a bit clownish today, but I’m well used to that by now.

The blazer

The blazer

The towel

The towel

Conclusions:

  • Happy tonight’s dinner is the last energy-rich recipe for 10 I have to cook, for obvious reasons related to waistbands.
  • I am now seeing my collection of c.1970s hand-me-down towels through new eyes.
  • William Eggleston exhibition looks well worth a visit but the opening hours tally not with my work duties.
  • A trip to NY to use the subway is not on the financial agenda.
  • Acne interiors: if you have bad skin, you don’t want to fill your house with Acne sofas any more than you want to walk around in Acne jeans, looking for all the world like you’re wearing your medical diagnosis proudly upon your denims. In fact, don’t tell anyone but it took me a year to get over moving to Hackney for the same reason.
  • What?!! It’s not my fault. Spots make you very self-conscious.
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Blazers #1

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on February 2, 2010

Blazers I can do but the rest of the garments in this shoot are totally under-represented in my wardrobe. I’m going to be in the same pair of black jeans all week because my other trouser options keep falling apart.

I need the Measure to recommend me some decent strides, please. Preferably ones that won’t make me look too much like Sandi Toksvig.

What?

What?

Clot

Clot

Photographer Cari just emailed to congratulate me on my improved posing skills after seeing yesterday’s effort but I think she might retract her blandishments on seeing the above.

The old broken foot is still preventing me from wearing heels and I’m getting mighty fed up with it now. The growing-out fringe continues to produce curtains. When oh when will it be long enough to tuck behind me lug’oles?

Food update: last night I went home alone and cooked chorizo carbonara for 10. I don’t know what to say about it. A surreal evening spent hovering over a vast cauldron of calories feeling very much like I was doing the wrong thing, mostly because I have yet to work out what I’m going to do with it all. It’s so filling I could only eat one bowl, although I might possibly have revisited the vat on my way for a night-time wee.

I have a recently developed a pretty embarrassing habit of listening to new-age sound effects as I drift off to sleep. Last night’s was supposed to be a campfire crackling with a few crickets chirping nearby or something. But all I could hear was frying chorizo, haunting me with its oily fumes. I had to switch over to “medium cicadas with owl near creek”.

Measure update: yesterday I pulled my socks up and got going on the kitchen linens front. I am soon to be the proud owner of a Chanel-style John Lewis oven glove. I already have two very nice oven gloves and could really have done with the apron but the Labour and Wait website is out of stock. Blooming Guardian readers have sucked them dry it would seem. What a shame. The best thing about online shopping is that you often get to send yourself a free gift card with a personalised message. If you enjoy, as I do, fabricating long and convoluted jokes purely for your own amusement, I recommend this.

As for some of the other items on this week’s list, I’ve been a mild Yeasayer fan for several years now so no action was required on that front. Tanlines provided the soundtrack for Saturday night’s bollito misto feast and got the thumbs up from Phoebe and I. I didn’t buy any though – if I’m going to spend money on music I’m going to go and buy a record, and I feel a bit embarrassed about going up to the counter with an album that’s in the Guardian that week. Is that ridiculous? Coming from a girl who walks around with a stuffed toy pinned to her shoulder because it was in the Guardian that week, probably.

Vocab update: thanks to Abby for teaching me the word ‘blandishments’ when we were 15. I knew it’d come in useful one day.

Conclusions:

  • Nothing left to conclude.

Non-sequintur

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on February 1, 2010
Midas touch

Midas touch

Frodo's touch

Frodo's touch

Conclusions:

  • Don’t have a sequined blazer.
  • But do have a black wall. You win some, you lose some.
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Denim: let’s go to workwear #4

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on October 16, 2009

I thought I was going to fail at today’s outfit but actually I feel like I did OK. I couldn’t work out which combination of jackets and coats to go for so I’ve plumped for the ubiquitous boxy Gap blazer with a gingham shirt underneath.

It’s becoming clear that I could do with a new pair of blue jeans (that knee tear is less rip, more ravine) but regular readers will know my problems with jeans shopping. Shuddery shuddery shudder.

Trusty

Trusty

 

Crusty

Crusty

 

Conclusions:

  • A good pair of jeans will find me soon, I’m sure of it.
  • The outfit would be better balanced with a baggy hat like the one the model’s wearing, but I don’t have one, so there we go.
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Tuesday 11 August

Posted in Fashion, The Measure by guardiangirl on August 12, 2009

My magnificent pal Adam had very thoughtfully brought some geeky spec frames with him when he visited me at the weekend, so that I might better replicate this look:

Glasses

Glasses

Farces

Farces

I don’t think I’ll rush out to buy a pair and you’ll be pleased to know I didn’t wear them at my desk – only in the bogs. I think prescription-free specs are just about acceptable but if they don’t even have plastic in them, let alone lenses, they ought to be attached to a fake ‘tache in a dressing-up box.

After work I went on a little Measure-fulfilling mission, which was fun and successful. This experiment hasn’t dictated that I buy too much stuff lately, apart from a million pounds-worth of cooking ingredients each week, so I didn’t feel too guilty. Plus these were actually quite reasonable suggestions – a useful jacket and a white dress to do some small justice to the Ibiza dream despite not having the time or cash to book a holiday. I visited no fewer than four Warehouse concessions before I found the right jacket in the Argyll St branch, but it is a nice blazer, although not especially flattering. Bit Poddington Peas if you know what I mean.

Then I popped to Topshop and found a white maternity dress  reduced to £12. I highly recommened maternity wear to anyone who doesn’t already have some in her wardrobe. It’s so roomy. Admittedly I do look quite pregnant in this dress and you can tell its intended use from the fact that the hem dips down at the front to take up the slack for the baby who’s meant to be there but, in my case, isn’t. It also has an elasticated panel in the front, come to think of it. Is it a bit Hand That Rocks the Cradle to wear a maternity dress when you’re not pregnant? Could it jinx my fertility forever? Never mind –  I’m as barren as a nine-bob bit anyway.

By the time I got home I was ready to fail at the last of Hugh’s fruity recipes. Lemon verbena syrup sounds delicious but I’ve yet to find it on sale in the shops near me and it was 9pm by the time I arrived home from town. As usual I paid homage to his ideas (just to keep up the momentum of the experiment really) by eating some cakes. Heh. Ummm..

Because my performance with the recipes has been unforgivably disappointing so far this week I offer a photo as a peace offering. It’s the back of the t-shirt of a man I was walking behind down Edgware Rd. The slogan is the catchiest thing since Yes We Can.

 

 

aMAZing
aMAZing

 

My second gift to you is a snippet of conversation I overheard as I stood next to a young couple looking at floral dresses in Warehouse. The girl motioned to a particular example and said: ‘How about that one?’

‘Nah,’ said her boyfriend. ‘It wouldn’t suit you. I tell you who wears that sort of stuff a lot and looks really good in it though, and that’s my ex, Lizzie.’

She smiled sweetly and asked ‘Oh, did she?’ as they walked off arm in arm. I hope she was planning to slip some arsenic into his tea later.

 

Conclusions:

  • No geek specs for me.
  • Thank goodness the week of fruit preserves is over, as these recipes almost made me give up the whole experiment. It’s disheartening to aspire to such a distilled mainstay of rural life when you have neither the time, the equipment nor the patience to yield results.
  • Next up is Yotam’s yoghurt pie, which I promise to cook to the very best of my ability.