Saturday 18 August 2012

Maybe I ought to practice a little now

I have noted the recent furore surrounding goings-on in the Independent Fashion Bloggers community, but from the safe distance of one who doesn't give too much of a toss about being a "successful" blogger.

To me, my blog has succeeded beyond any expectations I had when it began. It has put me in touch with a range of wonderful women whose intelligence, warmth, generosity, humour and style I admire.

That's good enough for me. 

See? Happy!

In amongst the swathes of commentary and reaction, it's great to see that delicious minx Desiree has been highlighted here as a "non-traditional" style blogger of note. 

Of course she is, we knew that already!


Doing what she does best!

One of the comments on the post featuring Desiree included the poem Warning, by Jenny Joseph.

For those unfamiliar, here it is;



When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph



 At 48, I guess many young style bloggers would consider me to be an old lady.

 I can understand that. I remember as a young teenager thinking Debbie Harry was old at 32. 

But it certainly didn't stop me appreciating how stunningly gorgeous she was (still is.)

But I'm now thinking I should get some purple-wearing practice in, you know, for when I'm positively ancient. And a good splash of red never goes amiss.

Neither does a flash of one's petticoat!

Dress and sandals - Ebay
Cardigan, red shoes, petticoat, belt, bangles - charity shops
Hair flowers - retail
Pale freckly never-tanned skin - I blame my parents

The day started off a little cool, hence the leggings and cardigan, then it rained, then it was hot. 

Such unpredictable weather makes getting dressed very complicated!

Lord, you wouldn't want to get into an online fracas with me, look at my bitch face!

So here are my thoughts, for what they are worth;

Wear what you love, no matter how young/old you are.
Be inspired by others, no matter how young/old they are.
Have a bloody laugh, they're only clothes.


If it's good enough for a fuchsia, it's good enough for me.

Don't know what I'm looking for there among the pebbles.

My lost youth perhaps?

Nah, I'll take what's left in front of me, thanks!

And just for my friend Joni, who commented on my previous post that she thought the cherry tree might throw me into a spin and kiss me...

... a little tree hugging. We all need one sometimes, right?

Hope you have all had wonderful weekends.



Jean at said...

You make me smile. I wholeheartedly agree with you and the poem (which is in my bookshelf!). Red and purple are magnificent, you are magnificent, and Desiree is, as well. I'm so far removed from the IFB melee (I'm thinking, is the IFB a wrestling organization?) that it's amusing. Glad you're not caught up in the fray.

The red shoes amongst the ferns is particularly lovely.

Kylie said...

I know nothing of the furore you write about Curtise so I can't comment on that, but I love the poem. I wish I could feel more positive about getting older. I know I should be embracing each extra year I'm lucky enough to be given, but I just don't like being perceived as old. It's not a vanity thing either, more a fear of being regarded as insignificant. Invisible even.
Oh well, that's for me to deal with.
I think you are a successful blogger Curtise, you write from the heart, you're extremely funny and I know I would like you if I had the pleasure of meeting you in person. So there! Success in my eyes x

Anonymous said...

That is sweeeet! Thank you for the special little photo...but I'm so jealous. None of my trees are mature enough to want to throw me into a sexy all consuming kiss. I love these photos in your yard. That cherry tree must be over 40 years old.
It's funny you chose the red and purple colors today. When we were on vacation I saw a large group of women all dressed in the red and purple, with hats, etc...having lunch together and they were having loads of fun. I admired them for their celebration of that special time in our lives when we're SO past caring! ;) Like right now is good enough for me.
I hope you're having a lovely weekend to match your lovely stylish self.
You're a good friend Curtise. ;)

OP SHOP MAMA said...

Bloody marvellous post!
YOu rock!

Red and purple go brilliantly, and, as I write I am unwittingly dressed like a fuschia myself!

My blog is also a non-profit making unsuccessful type of one and that's also good enough for me! lol!

Somehow I keep missing all your posts - it must be a hemispherical thing... love the leopard dresses and they suit you brilliantly!

Lynn Hasty said...

Love this post, Curtise! I think you said perfectly why many of us blog, and what many of us have gained from blogging! Yay!! You look mighty pretty in your purple and red. I have pale freckly skin too. And I am a year ahead of you at 49. :)


Thrift Bee said...

Fabulous post!

Today in honour of your post i shall be wearing purple.


CityScape Skybaby said...

Love the tree hugging picture Curtise, all the trees in our garden are young, but I'd love some big shady old trees to sit under. I remember being shocked to find out Debbie Harry was in her 30's too, and wondering how could someone so ancient be so beautiful. I'm only new to Blogger and I know anything about the IFB but you and Desiree are both very successful bloggers as far as I can see, because you're both very good at it. I love the individuality of all the bloggers here and I imagine that would get lost in something like the IFB. Love the red and purple by the way, and this weather is crazy isn't it, I'm changing my clothes constantly to keep up with it. xx

Trees said...

I'm not sure what all the drama is about, but I love this post! There seems to be an unwritten rule that women over a certain age should become invisible and dress accordingly. Which is SUCH crap! I am 33 and already it seems that people think I should "tone it down a bit". Bollocks to that I say! You have to dress for yourself :D

Melanie said...

Desiree is like a giant candy in the sweet shop. I just love to savour her style and she makes me so happy all the time. You have found me a new favourite poem. I didn't see it at Desiree's place, although it must be at home there. I have been practising very, very hard already.

Your practice warrants a gold star, Young Missy, which you can add to your delicious purple and red ensemble. Your cherry tree loves you.

Fiona said...

I've just had a look at that IFB nonsense and thought WTF? Really, I can't understand why people get so intense about stuff like that. Personally I prefer individual, original, witty and unpretentious blogs and had never even heard about IFB until now,
but enough of all that.
Purple and red are most regal colours and I've always thought they are a splendid choice together. You look magnificent hugging your tree, were the neighbours curtain twitching today? Spectacular fuchsia photo btw. xxxxxx

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Don't you look divine in purple & red! I must say purple is one colour I haven't delved into yet. Who knows it may be next after red, blue & beige. Blogging has certainly made me more adventurous in frocking up. There's plenty of life left in you yet girl. Thanks for being such a style icon! Xx

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Love that poem and love that outfit. Have to agree with GBS; youth is most defintely wasted on the young.

Stacey said...

You are amazeballs! I love your purple & red outfit, and that poem. Speaking as a "young person" in the blogging world, I love that blogging has introduced me to so many fab older ladies! It's so good to see that beige cardis & mom jeans aren't the only things waiting for me as I get older!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this poetic post and for all the gratuitous amount of red and purple ( that is an amazing pair indeed)!You are such a wonderful and beautiful woman which I look at full of admiration, "aged" is definitely not on my dictionary when I think about your style!
I love the floral leggings and the penguins dress is my favourite!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the purple & red - you look great. I don't think style & looking good has anything to do with age.

doradadama said...

Damn straight amor!
bloging amigas are my magazines admiration and obsession.
Desireeita is a fine ass example of true beauty and inspiration.
I see we are red petticoat devilish twin prostis.purple and red look marvelous on ya!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Your definition of blogging success echoes my own. I'm afraid I'll never be a "professional blogger" according to IFB's standards. I'm too old and quirky for that! LOving the purple and red, and I was wearing an outfit in the same colour combo this week which will soon make a blog appearance. Thanks for including the full Jenny Joseph poem.

Vix said...

That was one of my Mum (and mine's) favourite poems, she always used to write it in birthday cards of her friends when they reached a "landmark birthday".
What the hell is a successful blogger anyway? How does one measure success? I might not have a squillion followers but I found fabulous women like you who I'm privileged to call my real life friends and you can't get much better than that, can you?
Amazing words, killer colour combo and a kick ass attitude. I'll take you over some boring bint trying to flog me something I don't want any day of the week.
You rock! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

The Goodwill Fangirl said...

Curtise, you are stunning, and you're wearing my fave: pleats. And purple. Gotta find me some pleats.

Re the poem. I will always buy butter. I eat a ridiculous amount, and have always joked that I only need a little bread to support butter. My dad used to look at my toast, and say, "Damn, Lynne, there's enough butter on there to float a horse." Yep.

You did scare me a bit in that one pic :o

thorne garnet said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I'm still kind of shocked I have followers, it's a trip. I love those red shoes, even a old woman like me could walk in them!LOL!

PS: why wait? Wear what ever you want, have fun, and don't give a rats ass about somebody thinking you're too old .

Lou said...

Wise words! I'm not blogging to be some huge success - I just enjoy making new friends and sharing snippets of my life! x

Diane said...

Sound advise to one who was made to wear a Primark "Hello Kitty" PJ top around Toon! My shoes were sparkly but flat as I can't do heels anymore as I have sodding arthritus in my big toes! x

Anonymous said...

WORD Curtise!!! Awesome post and so so true!!! I didn't know what IFB was until all of this came down.
I get crap all the time about "monetizing my blog" and "pulling in new readers" etc. etc. etc. I'm not blogging for money-I have a job. This is my fun outlet and I'm doing it for ME.
What i've reaped is far better then mere money--getting to know this wonderful community of ladies who live all around the world and share their different and interesting lives with me. Who can put a price tag on that???

Love your outfit!!!!


Mrs. D said...

Fab shoes, love how the outfit matches the flowears!
Age? What age? I have just been to a blogger event with a few girls in their early 20's and it's a lot of fun. I thought I'd feel a bit more awkward seeing that I'm 15 years their senior, but it was fine. We worry too much sometimes, I think.

Come to Nottingham! I live in Grantham, which is close by and I do know a few places to visit in Notts. send me an email to glitzykitty@gmail so we can plan something :)

Cordelia Earle said...

I love what you are wearing. I must start to wear a petticoat. Your shoes are particularly awesome.

I always hug trees. In fact I can't pass an Oak without having a cuddle so he can tell me his secrets.

Keep up the good work. Tally ho!


Unknown said...

You are cool, gorgeous,hip, lovely,smart, fabulous and i adore you what else do you need girl?

That flower fuschia ia out of this world! I want it in our garden, is this the real name?


Ariane xxxxxx

joyatri said...

I have never heard of that poem, so thank you for sharing it.
Thanks for pointing out that for many of us, blogging is not a competition. I do not know of these successful bloggers of whom you speak. Are they the ones in over-size eyeglasses and high-waist trousers? I am blissfully unaware of all the brouhaha.
Let's hear it for red and purple! Red and purple with the addition of gold is my favorite color combination. Most of my apartment is based on that color combo and it is my go-to, feel-good color combo when getting dressed, too.
I blog so that I can share my love of vintage with others since none of my real-life friends are into vintage fashion. I get vicarious pleasure seeing what you and other fabulous women find and put together. I also like knowing that I am in good company when I wear purple paratrooper boots (like today) or micro-mini skirts (also today) at the age of 51, even though my real-life friends would never dream of wearing such things.

Anonymous said...

I love your "thoughts" with the Amen at the end...and the peek of that red slip! Don't get too frisky with the tree...

The Style Crone said...

Purple and red! Such a beautiful combination and 48 is young, as far as I'm concerned. It's all relative! But back to the purple and red, the poem and Desiree - you are intelligent, warm, generous, witty and stylish.

elodie g said...

What I find so puzzling about getting older is that i still feel like I am 20 in my head. And I know a lot of people who feel the same. I bet you feel the same. I hadn't been on your blog for a few days. You may be jealous of my holiday in France but I am so jealous of that 'pairs' game you found! It's SO beautiful!!

Melanie said...

Gorgeous outfit and colour combination!
I've never understood blogs that are littered through with sponsor posts.

Unknown said...

Ooh la la - what I wouldn't give to be that tree! The fuschia is beautiful and SO ARE YOU! I absolutely love this PERFECT colour combination - in fact, in my poetry-writing-days, I wrote a poem describing my perfect man as wearing "red red jeans, purple suede shoes, he'll be a hat wearing fool, singing the blues"... and I stand by that awful poetry!

I have missed this furore, having been out of action for a wee while... but I trust you to keep me informed, mi amor.

You are more beautiful every day. LOVE! Sarah xxx

Miss Simmonds Says said...

All these fashionista blogger girls are just sooooooo boring. I even find some of the trendy cliquey vintage girls the same. When I first started my blog I wished on a star (literally) for it to be sucessfull and it has! My life is so much better for meeting (sort of) you lot. You look amazing in red and purple and pretty much any colour. I'm so glad I found you and the other older bloggers as well as the great girls round my age too. Fantastic out fit as ever - you look wonderful!

Krista said...

Curtise this post illustrates perfectly why I love you to peices! The poem is so appropriate and makes me smile as does this gorgeous red and purple outfit. You really look spectacular.

I can't be bothered with to much fussiness with blogging we just do what we do and don't worry too much about it. I love all the wonderful women I have met and that is what I adore about it most!

Tons of blogging love baby! I'll be seeing you soon~

Unknown said...

I so agree with you about wearing what you like when you like ;-)) Im not sure about whats happening in blogland with the fashion police etc but i to wear just what i want and what makes me happy i have my own sense of style and i wouldn't have a clue what was in fashion. I always dress up no matter where im going. I loved the the little words of wisdom i had a tear at the end. You look gorgeous in red and purple and im loving your red shoes. So loved reading this post. dee xxx

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa said...

Pah, I reckon purple & red look good together! You certainly managed to put together an amazing outfit with them. One of the few negative things I actually get about my outfits is that I don't 'colour co-ordinate' and wear clashing prints.. I like them, so everyone else can sod off! XO.

Vintage Coconut said...

I have NEVER thought of you as old! So don't start wearing purple frocks and red hats just yet!! *lol*

Nikki @ Penelope Cat Vintage said...

Purple is may favourite colour, but I don't have as much of it as I'd like in my wardrobe.

I love the outfit - you look wonderful - and I'm sure I have the same petticoat myself.

I'd say most of my favourite bloggers are older than me (I'm 27) and a lot are in their 40s. I find their blogs are often much livelier and brighter (as they tend to wear more colourful clothes and have more fun) and more personal and less... staged for want of a better word.

I don't know about all this IFB stuff but I had a look at their site to see what all the fuss was about and I can't say I'm a fan.

I have no problem with people making money from blogs, but I think you can tell when people are just in it for the money and it puts me right off.

Nikki x

Kitty said...

A thoughtful and entertaining post as always Curtise :)
That must be the poem that inspired the Red Hat Society, personally I think they go together perfectly well, esp. on you.xx.