Thursday, 2 August 2012

It ain't easy for a circus girl

Yesterday was spent having a very long wait to be seen at Sheffield's NHS Walk-In Centre.

Littlest has another skin infection. It's an occupational hazard with her skin condition*, and I have become adept at knowing when we need to get antibiotics for her. I have seen how frighteningly fast her skin can break down if we don't get her some treatment immediately, so I don't hang about.

She's fine. That kid is a bloody trooper.

But I found myself feeling a little downhearted about it all.
Which doesn't serve any purpose, I know. If she can live with it, then so can I.

(* Bullous Ichthyosiform Erythroderma/Epidermolytic Hyperkeratosis)

And what do I do when the going gets tough?

Dream a little dream of another life and play dress up!


(There isn't a video for this song, but play it as a soundtrack for the post if you fancy.)

While we were at my sister's, she took us to see the fabulous Giffords Circus. It's a small traditional circus run by Nell and Toti Gifford, who develop a new show with a different theme each year.

The band.

Their sassy, sexy Victorian bordello styling has been my inspiration!

There was no chance that the frilly bloomers weren't going to make an appearance, was there?

 Beautiful Nell, taking a breather during the interval. It was hot in that Big Top!

Feathers? Yes please.

I found this corset top in a charity shop yesterday, as we pottered around town after we had got Littlest's meds. Serendipity or what?

Gratuitous boob shot!

Wild West cat house chic!

Giffords Circus stars.

It was a fantastic show, warm and funny (no clowns), skillful and quirky. The girls joined in the dancing at the end, Seldom Seen Kid refused but agreed to a pic with Mama.

Circus costumes - 1980s Stirling Cooper sheer skirt, wigs, feather fascinator and lace-up boots (Ebay)
Ann Summers corset, bowler hat, tights, petticoats and bangles (charity shops)

This post is dedicated to all those who are struggling.

With their own stuff.

With the stuff affecting loved ones.

With troubles.

I know dressing up doesn't change anything. But just for a moment I'm on top of the world.

Just for a moment, I'm a circus girl.



Lashings of Vintage said...

What a star - a fantastic way to deal with feeling overwhelmed with 'life' - it is all a circus after all ha ha!! Love the pics and LUV your outfits - inspirational!!! :-)

Unknown said...

aahh lovely i have a huge lump in my throat bless your heart. Im with you on this today the past few weeks have been very diffcult in my little world to hence why i have been away form blogging. But playing dress up looks like a great fun release to me ;-)) That circus looks amazing. I hope your little girl is comfortable. Big hugs to you, dee xxx

Lynn Hasty said...

Love your corset top and the circus inspiration! Sorry you have to deal with the skin condition in your dear sweet child. Isn't it hard when one of our children has something we cannot make go away! Big hugs!!


Robert Barnsley said...

That's a lovely post Curtise, thank you for sharing it. What cheers me up is the prospect of getting drunk with you at Dave and Sharon's wedding. X

Krista said...

I am always blown away by the strength and optimism children have, even in the most difficult of situations. Your littlest is such a wonder, I have seen that big smile of hers and it truly is a magical gift to be able to smile through it all. I can imagine some days it just sucks! I am glad you found a wonderful way to take your mind off it but at the same time acknowledge how you feel. Life can't be all smiles all the time now can it, if it was how would we know when we are really happy.

I think you look amazing as a run away circus gal in each and every creative shot you took. I love that you have an escape and that you can share the good and the difficult with us. Your littlest one inspires me to not take my health for granted and to be kinder and more understanding of those with such difficult and uncomfortable skin conditions. She's your baby girl I totally get why this hurts you too.

I really hope she's feeling better soon and this trip to the circus looks like it was such a wonderful time. You are a sweet Mama, I'd be so proud if you were mine. Hang tough sweets, I got nothing but love for ya!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

Aww you're such a superstar mum and all round Queen of The Charity Shop Burlesque. That corset must've been fate because it's so perfect! And you've got those stunning pins out again! I love frilly bloomers! Looks like you had a great day out, what a cool circus! Littlest is such a star, as I said before you'd never know anything was bothering her with that big grin xxx

Unknown said...

And just for a moment I'm on top of the world with you!

Thank you for this wonderful post - you look FANTABULARSEHOLE in every guise. I ADORE the bustier/corset and the white ruffled petticoat and the boots and hat and hair flowers and bangles - but mostly I adore YOU, for being so wonderful. I hope your little love is ok soon.

A little escapism is good for the soul.

With LOVE from your number one idiot fan, Sarah xxx

Unknown said...

And just for a moment I'm on top of the world with you!

Thank you for this wonderful post - you look FANTABULARSEHOLE in every guise. I ADORE the bustier/corset and the white ruffled petticoat and the boots and hat and hair flowers and bangles - but mostly I adore YOU, for being so wonderful. I hope your little love is ok soon.

A little escapism is good for the soul.

With LOVE from your number one idiot fan, Sarah xxx

Anonymous said...

{{{{{{gentle hugs to your little darling}}}}}

That circus looks AMAZING!!! Vintage and intriguing--not all glitzy and tarted up commercialized like Ringling Brothers.
I love your outfits!!! So saucy!!! What did your man think of them???

Vintage Coconut said...

*Oh Poor Littlest!* I hope her antibiotics are fixing the infection quickly.

You look rather glamorous all dressed up. What a sexy corset "oh LA LAAAA" I also love your hair ith the black and red. You look like a naughty bordello chic. *heheh*

I have not been to a circus in years. Your post makes me want to find one. =D

thorne garnet said...

The circus and theatre are magic. Love the band's getups. You look beautiful with all the different hair. And yes it really is a leather poncho!

karensomethingorother said...

Damn it Curtise. I am a shitty friend, because I can never remember to ask you just what your littlest girl has, and now you've said it and I googled it and if it makes you feel better, I'm crying for you, because I understand the struggle! Yeah, you know I do. I lament it enough. Still, we all have each other don't we. So let's hold hands. You be the stylish circus girl, and I'll be the clown.

OP SHOP MAMA said...

phwoar woot woot mama! You look amazing!

Hope your girl is ok.. skin things are horrendous. I used to get baddy things happening to my skin.. but the last time was when I was preg with my first! Wierd- kids cured it!
thanks for the lovely comments on my blog. x

Jean at said...

Curtise! Your posts and comments that I glimpse on other sites are so brave and kind, I wish I could offer some support other than saying hang in there or I feel you!! This post is poignant. We are all performers on some level, yes? As a mom you are a lioness, as a blogging friend you are one of us clowns/acrobats in pretty clothes walking the tightrope.

We are family, though, and I want to say I'm here for you as you navigate this time. I love corsets,too, by the way. You look incredible.

Love, Jean

Melanie said...

I see you in a wig and I know we're in for a ride! I imagine you doing the can-can in a gold-rush town in the Klondike. Ride that carousel, baby! It's all horses with makeup and sideshow barkers. I'm glad you remind us of where to go when the going gets tough - the CLOSET! This post is a treat. Thanks, Curtise. Littlest can be the ringmaster. Hope she's feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Oh man! Your photos are so fun and creative. Your Cat House Chic pics are just the best. I love what you did with your hair.

Hope your little one is feeling better. I too grew up with so many skin ailments it's a wonder I don't have scars everywhere. I must have had a nervous scratching disorder or something....ugh.

Thanks for this upbeat post!

Stacey said...

I love your approach to dressing up! I feel much the same way - dressing up may not solve all my problems, but it makes me feel a damn sight better! Your circus girl outfits are absolutely gorgeous. I am a huge fan of frilly bloomers!

Vicky Hayes said...

Poor Littlest, I really feel for her as it can be depressing to have to manage a skin condition. And you too because it's horrible to watch people we love getting depressed about having to manage their skin condition. Loving your circus bordello look! Vicky x

Vintage Bird Girl said...

You always manage to bring a smile to my face....Thank YOU for that! What a gorgeous corset top. You are really channeling our Desiree with that underwear as outerwear. And you have your gorgeous 'guns' out again. Fab fab arms my dear! I do hope the antibiotics help your little one to get some relief. Xx

Melanie said...

I'm so glad Littlests is okay, bless her heart.
That top picture of you, I used to dress like that as an everyday thing! Ahh, those were the days.
That circus looks fun and I'm not one for such things, one of my earliest memories was being taken out of a circus screaming blue murder.

Louise Mc said...

Poor littlest. That must be so difficult for her, and for you. Bless. I do love the circus. Does that one travel because it looks fantastic, I would love to go. Circus has always been a favourite thing for me. Love your dressing up too. Xx

two squirrels said...

Oh Curtise my little heart is soft and warm as I imagined running away with the circus too!!!!! Thank you!!!!!
You look truly splendid my dear and ready to dance with the clowns, tame the tigers and master the ring!!!!!!!
May your wee poppet rest and recover quickly.
Much love and hugs.

Kitty said...

Nice one Curtise.... just...nice one.
Beautiful sentiments.xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx.

Miss Magpie said...

I love Gifford's Circus the first time I went was pure magic. The bear is my favourite I laughed until I cried and until I ralised everyone else had stopped and was staring at me because I hadn't.

I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to go through what you have but I think you are incredible.

Forest City Fashionista said...

You are definitely rivalling Desiree for "Best Circus Girl" in this post! Your wonderful spirit and humour is busting out all over these photos (no pun intended, but that corset does look freaking fab on you!). So sorry your daughter has to cope with her skin condition, but she definitely has a supportive and loving mom to help her through. I don't have kids, but I can imagine how much it makes your heart ache to see her suffer.

The Giffords Circus is definitely my kind of circus (couldn't you just see Desiree fitting in with the performers perfectly?). I love their costumes and the whole vintage vibe - What FUN!

Nikki @ Penelope Cat Vintage said...

Poor littlest, hope it clears up and you all feel better soon.

That circus looks amazing and so do you.

Take care

Nikki x

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

I love the Circus, and used to pretend (OK, lie) to a friend of a friend that I lived in one (not recently, when I was small). My proof for this was that I could do a forwards roll over a railing. I'm reading 'The Night Circus' right now, you'd make a gorgeous member of any troupe.
Hope littlest's skin clears up soon, any change in temperature and Boy1's eczema can go a bit mad.

Sarah Jane said...

Curtise, I really don't know what to say other than I completely understand the sickening sinking feeling that goes along with being a parent. When things happen to your kids, you seem to feel it a thousand times more than they do. I completely understand the need for escapism and you are the queen of dressing up! You look fab in all your guises but I'm so drawn to those Victorian style boots - me want!!

Thinking of you and littlest xxx

Kaffesoester said...

When our loved ones are ill we feel so powerless - and not being able to cure them is just he worst! If we don't find a way to let out steam we'll go nuts. I love the way you've expressed what's bottled up inside you! And what an amazing circus - the Giffords Circus! I really liked you in the blue frilly bloomers and the feathers! But you would fit right in in all your outfits!

doradadama said...

Oh amor,
I hope little smiley is getting better. Your a wonderful Mama.
Damn, we could of both ran away with sone clowns to the circus!!
You hot circus puta! You know I love your booblicious shot and frilly knickers. Perving at your Sexy legs.
You wild west beauty! Keep showing them pins off.

The Goodwill Fangirl said...

Curtise, dressing up always makes things better, at least for a bit. I know you cheered me up immensely. I don't even know which outfit I like the best, just that they're all rather brilliant.

I hope Littlest is feeling better. Sometimes I think the kiddos handle their health challenges better than we do.

You remind me of my tattoo wish. Maybe something representing hope and resilience.

Helga said...

Darling,that circus looks amaing,and I'm cray for the band!
But you!! OMG! You are making me moist and sweaty and I love it!!! Looking SO foxy! And a fabulous way to just forget your cares for a while.Frivolity does serve a purpose! Being strong for your daughter takes it's toll,I am sure.Some kids just have a lot to deal with,and it's cruel.Thank goodness she has you to keep a watchful eye!
You are gorgeous and wonderful and frigging saucy! I want to be in a sandwich with you and Desiree today......
Cheers for the gratuitous booboid shot.just the ticket!
Love you madly! XXXXXXXXXXXX

The Style Crone said...

Your outfits in this post are spectacular and come from a place of courage and strength. Dressing up has a healing quality and you are inspirational in these photos. The transformation to circus girl helps you I'm sure, but it also sends a positive message to us.

Monsterchen said...

omg i totally love it! i have to confess i normally don´t like circus but if there would be more fabulous ladies like you with so many outfitchanges i definitely would go more often to see a show on circus;)

Anonymous said...

I'm a mom and I'm a little too sensitive when I read that other children are suffering, but I know well how much they are stronger than us, I really want to have their same courage to face life.
I'm glad that she's feeling better now and I'm sure that she loved the Gliffords circus, the photos of the show are amazing!
You take everyone on the top of the world with this post, because we can feel low, but life is a circus and we must be the star of the show for our loved ones.

Lots of hugs and kisses!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Can I just say ... I rully, rully love you?!!!!!!!!! Thank you. I have tears streaming down my face. This is the best blog post in internet history. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Fiona said...

What can I say Curtise ? You look totally saucilicious in your victorian bordello inspired looks and your collection of syrups is enviable! The Giffords circus looks great fun and such an improvement on the naff ones. Sorry to hear LLB is going through a tough time with her skin. (and you too of course) Children are often more resilient than we give them credit for and it sounds as if Littlest is no exception. She is lucky to have such a cool and caring mum too. Big love to you all. xx

teresweetstyle said...

incredible post honey, i really love all this photoss


Heather said...

Love all the looks for your corset!! And how fun to play around with your hair I have often wanted to try a wig on I think I need a wardrobe filled with all that fun stuff!! The circus sounds like a wonderful distraction! love the band hehehe....and Praying your daughter heals up quickly, and is comfortable during the process. I have much empathy for her as I have been suffering all summer with itchy burning peeling skin from allergic dermatitis ...That is not fun and my kids have had this as well and I must say they handled it much better than I am. She is one Brave Cookie and your a great Mama for spotting it so soon!! ~Love Heather

Nelly said...

Well that put a much needed smile on my face LOVED it Have been blogging slack lately hope I get my bloggy spirit back again sometime I miss you all xx

Priscilla said...

Your Blog is cute ♥
If you have time you can also check out my blog,
I just shared Buck the Bank Holiday I would love to hear your comment about the shoes.. Thanks Dear


Clara Turbay said...

Your suggestions are always inspiring.

Unknown said...

Hi Curtise!

Sorry to ask again, what is your vendor's name on E-Bay, this time i will write it down!

You never cease to surprise me!
You have guts! this is so over the top coooool!

I hope the little one is ok

Ariane xxxx

Vix said...

When the going gets tough, the tough get blogging! It's sure helped me stay sane over the past two years, nothing like putting on a fab frock and forgetting your troubles.
You look absolutely mind-blowingly fabulous, that spotty corset is the find of the year, you look ravishing in it!
Little 'un is an absolute trouper and that's down to her amazingly cool parents and siblings. Nice to see Seldom Seen Kid rocking the blogger clashing prints craze!
You are a bloody inspiration. xxxx

lucy joy said...

What a brilliant post - I'm sorry I hadn't seen it sooner.
You've every right to get a bit upset over seeing your child suffer, who wouldn't?
Dressing up to deal with stress...yes! I do it all the time. I got a bit cross the other day though, nothing fits. I'm ballooning by the week. Never mind, I found a gorgeous lace, nylon and satin 1970's nightie and dressing gown set the other day. Must have been bought for a honeymoon. I flounced in it for an hour. Even considered getting some Marabou feather slippers, but ebay didn't have any under £15.

You are a star, in every sense of the word. Thank you Curtise!

Anonymous said...

DH and I often threaten to run off and join the circus when life gets to be too much! I love your wig and the thrift store gods were smiling when the corset came your way.

Dawn said...

Ohh my, the little one is better now I hope. I worked many years at childrens hospital and I think the parents were more nervous than the kids going in for surgery. With a mum like you, I am sure you made it all better by just being world's greatest. Playing dress up has followed me from my childhood into adult life...looks like so much fun. How do you do it all? Lovely post!! creative! dawn suitcase vignettes

Dawn said...

Yes, to muslin. Thank you for giving me the name of that old baby doll material in my thursday's thrift....hugs. dawn suitcase vignettes xo

citizen rosebud said...

I love you as a circus girl!

Angie said...

Great post but mostly I love how daring you are.As for the clothes you certainly gave us the vibe from that era.

Mrs. D said...

Beautiful post. Clothes can be seen as frivolous but for me it is a way of expressing myself and adding some colour to grey and depressing days... And you do just that with your great circus inspired outfits (one of my favourite themes too!).
I hope the little one is feeling better by now.

city said...

thanks for sharing.

Crazy Ravens Studio said...

Love all your bordello looks and am totally envious of having that circus. Maybe I will blow through the end of winter blues by creating my own circus character.