Friday, 23 January 2015

Special knowledge holds true, bears believing

We had a dusting of snow this week.

I cross our local river, the Sheaf, on my walk to work on Wednesdays.

Like many urban rivers, it's home to the occasional shopping trolley and bike, plus the usual detritus of takeaway cartons and beer cans. But despite that, it's healthy enough to support four pairs of mallards, several moorhens, a community of rats, brown trout, and a visiting heron.

The snow didn't last long, but the treacherous conditions did cause this awful scene, just up the road from us. There is an incredibly steep hill just opposite this house, and the driver was unable to stop at the junction across the road. Thankfully, no one was hurt.


 So here's a question for you all.

How far do you trust first impressions?

Our immediate responses to people and situations are based on our ability to assimilate information quickly and relate it to our experience (and our belief systems) thereby coming to a view, a conclusion about that person/situation. I don't know if that's quite the same as instinct, but I suppose it's what we mean by the phrase gut reaction.

For me, there is a fine line between trusting those initial instinctual responses, and making unfair snap judgments. I am well aware of our tendency to attend to information which supports our existing opinions and beliefs, and ignore or dismiss anything which does not.

Yet, when I think about it, I can cite many examples of that first reaction proving correct.

A man came in the shop on Wednesday. I immediately bristled; I didn't trust him, but I sternly told myself that he was a stranger and had done nothing to warrant my suspicions.

He stole something.

I still can't articulate what it was about him that made me feel suspicious, but I just knew he was dodgy. And I talked myself out of being more vigilant, because I didn't want to be judgmental. Yet isn't it true that we make judgments all the time? Don't we have to, in order to make decisions and negotiate relationships and life, to survive?

What about you? Do you go with your gut?

Faux fur jacket, sequin beret, flower, and knit/sequin top - charity shopped
1970s pussy-bow blouse - gift
1970s Brettles lurex skirt and boots - Ebay
Leather gloves - retail (sale)
Jess - Sheffield Cat Shelter

 When I first set eyes on Jess, I fell in love. She was just one of a large litter of kittens, all as cute as anything, but she was the one for me. She still is. I just knew. 

Something I didn't know, but have learned this week, is what happens to unclaimed lost property recovered from trains which terminate in this city. It is donated to charity, and on Tuesday our shop received several bags full of the belongings which rail travellers failed to retrieve.

Bags, hats, scarves, gloves, books, umbrellas. Lots of umbrellas.
Sports kits.
Dry cleaning.
A pair of trousers.
A pair of knickers.

Hmm... Is there an equivalent to the Mile High Club for rail travel? 

But who leaves their Burberry trench coat on the train and doesn't move heaven and earth to get it back? Or their Barbour jacket? Someone with more money than sense, I suppose.

Endlessly fascinating with all their quirks and foibles, aren't they?

Hope you have a fabulous weekend. If you're intending to have sex on a train, can I suggest you take your underwear home with you? I just instinctively know that's the right thing to do.



Kezzie said...

Number 1

Kezzie said...

Yes, I do get instincts about people. When I lived in Bali, one of the Hungarian students' boyfriend came out to be with her. I just didn't like or trust him. We fell out as I thought he was v rude. It transpired towards the end of my year, that he'd cheated on her and got another girl pregnant and left her and was dealing drugs. Was horrid for her.

I was SO cross. I left my Cath Kidston umbrella on the train and phoned the lost property but it never turned up!

You're looking gorgeous and bright!!!x

Lesley Extance said...

Love the pictures of the river where you walk so pretty ,yes I tend to go with my gut, love the outfit btw ,Have a great weekend Curtise xxx

Anonymous said...

Looking most glorious as always lovely. Yep I go with my gut and feel I'm a pretty good judge of character. I don't doubt that it is what has kept safe at many times. Come to think of it, it's not something I often consciously try and talk myself of as it hasn't been often it's sent me terribly wrong.

Diane said...

You could be a copper! My husband gets that sense and he is never wrong. I didn't know that about the lost property. You are right - people are fascinating xx

Laurie Duncan said...

Oh, that fur jacket, I'm so envious! It just makes that outfit!
I think we should trust our instincts, even though I try to keep an open mind. Where we get tripped up is letting others try to tell us what to think. :)

Anonymous said...

I do get gut instincts but often I'm not certain enough to act on them right away. Mostly in hindsight I realize. ...oh right! I should have acted on them. I watched a couple shop together a few times in the charity shop where I worked but I just could not catch them in the act but fairly certain they were pulling a fast one on me.

Mother of Reinvention said...

You look so nice in that blouse. Fab colour on you. Definitely always go with my gut. Once was introduced in the pub to a new friend of two of my female friends who they had known for a couple of months and couldn't stop singing his praises. I had such a sick feeling about him that the first thing I said to him was " f*** off" which is completely and utterly unlike me, thus provoking a big fall out with my mates. Later that night he went back to their flat for a beer and got both of them legless. Then when they staggered to bed alone he stripped off, got into bed with them and tried to molest them against their wishes. First one then the other, only being saved by the chance calling round of another friend. I always go with my gut. Never lts me down.

Winter Moon said...

Ha! How the heck could anyone leave their undies behind!?

That car accident looks really bad :( No snow here yet, which now I'm quite glad of.

Looking great, as always!

Jess looks so cuddly :)

Have a brilliant weekend xx

Sue said...

See I trust my gut instincts. Maybe this is because of my age these days, but often my lads will say to me 'how did you know?'. I like to form my own opinions on things and not be swayed by others, and my gut instincts are usually right. Shop lifters in charity shops really piss me off, but lets not go there. I would have taken Jess home too, she is beautiful. Love the snow pictures, so pretty. As for that car, WOW!!!

Goody said...

I had to learn (the hard way) to trust my gut. If I find myself making excuses for someone, or trying to convince myself I'm overreacting, I nearly always end up wishing I'd trusted my gut. That's not to say I haven't been caught completely off guard-sometimes my gut takes the day off, I guess. Run into enough of it, and it starts to skew your view of humanity-or maybe that's just me having a bad time of late. Well, I have a good feeling about you.

I can't wrap my head around the underwear at all. AT ALL.

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I definitely trust my gut. Even if that guy stole something it might not be worth trying to stop him. Don't want to get hurt over something like that!

Virginia at A Sewing Life said...

I consciously choose not to always listen to the "feeling in the gut" precisely because of what you say about judgment. I'd rather have something stolen (or, as has actually happened, be bashed over the head with a glass bottle) than be in the habit of sorting people into categories of "trustworthy" or "sketchy" based on intuitions that are very likely to be based on prejudices. I simply would prefer to withhold that judgment, even knowing that sometimes there could be negative consequences. However, now that I'm a mother, I do take more notice of my intuition where danger is concerned.

On the other hand, I envy your "knowing" so decisively which cat...or trinket...or beret is for you!

Beth Waltz said...

The faux fur is a lovely specimen of your impressive collection of skins of the faux!

The auto accident is horrendous: both the driver and the homeowner are probably still receiving comforting medication. (Wait till the insurance adjuster arrives...)

And, yes, as a professional people watcher I do trust my first/gut reaction. And I urge any woman over the age of 30 to do the same because what's happening is the recognition of a pattern of behaviours that signals trouble/danger. Keeping in mind that pro villains practise disguising those patterns, be especially alert to the warnings received from friends who were watching them from a different viewpoint!

Patti said...

Hmmm, knickers on the train (or knickers *off* on the train) -- there is a story.
I do trust my instincts, but I believe our instincts are well informed by experience.
Love your fur and long skirt, and the dusting of snow is lovely to see.xox

thorne garnet said...

I trust my gut , it's better to be wrong than dead.

Rakel said...

Love your jacket! Check out my fave:

Vicky Hayes said...

Yes definitely trust your instincts. We live ina very weird and broken society which keeps encouraging us to fly in the face of our instincts and it does no good at all. I think the reason people leave their things in lost property is that they don't want to spend endless hours of their lives trying to get things back! (Although to be fair I've never owned a Barbour or anything worth wasting my life for!) Vicky x

beate grigutsch said...

knickers lost in a train! :-D
like everyone else i was told to not make fast judgements. once (as a student) i rented a apartment from a man. my "guts" got on alarm the very first moment i saw him. i told myself stupid. after 5 month he wanted to cancel our one year contract out of nothing. as i said him thats impossible he hit me - i hit back of cause. but it was horrible. since then i trust my instincts. they never fail. i have lots of evidence because after that i use to track down my feelings and the following experiences. not all people are the same and some are really bad. this is reality.
beautiful pic of you and jess <3

Hippy At Heart said...

always trust your instincts! the crash looks awful, your outfit is a killer!!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Darling Curtise,

We have said it before....but, we shall say it again.....that blouse looks simply fabulous on you. And, the elegant yet so very important touch of the red gloves transports this outfit into the sublime. Black and red are a marriage made in heaven and, together with the layered textures of faux fur jacket and sequinned hat,this whole outfit works so incredibly well.

Like you, we have very strong reactions to people on a first meeting. Indeed, we even have the same feelings about fellow bloggers. We seem to instinctively know whether we should get along with the person or not....never having met them. But, it is, as you say, important not to be totally governed by first impressions and we too have made bad judgements on the spur of the moment. Stealing from a charity shop does leave a very bad taste in the mouth....not that any form of stealing is acceptable. When people have given their clothes and their time for the benefit of others less fortunate it is very sad indeed that someone is able to steal from them. Oh dear.

As for sex on a train.....the loos are so small....but, then, there is the mile high club and aeroplane loos are tiny too! Still, long may people be forgetful of their belongings if your shop is the beneficiary!

Porcelina said...

Oh gosh that poor driver and poor house owner, I'm glad no-one was hurt! A bus slid sideways down a steep hill locally the other week but no injuries there either, thankfully.

From a psychology point of view, I think there's a lot more to 'gut' feelings than we realise. We pick up on microscopic details, sometimes subconsciously, and our brains diligently compare these details to our memories of past situations. E.g. so if someone is overly charming then we might recall someone else in the past who fit that, and remember that we didn't like them, and then that feeling crops up again in the present. So there's a LOT going on in gut reactions, it's called "rapid cognition" because from an evolutionary point of view, we don't have time in some situations to think them through consciously, because it would be too late!

Loving the pussybow by the way!


Olga Rani said...

I try not to be judgmental but I do trust my guts. It amazes me too how all this works, you see someone for the first time and everything seems normal but still you feel something is wrong.

Kylie said...

I usually go with my gut - its let me down a couple of times, but not in a bad way - usually pleasantly i.e. a person turns out to be a lot nicer than I thought they were...
There are a lot of horrible mean-spirited people out there, but luckily there's a lot of nice ones too.
So what I want to know is: did you take the knickers home, wash them and then try to flog them in 'your' oppy, or did you ditch them? Once I bought Anth a pair of boxers from an op-shop - they were an expensive brand and made of really cool fabric. Even though I washed them (hot cycle!) he refused to wear them so back to the oppy they went! (I was a bit shocked - I truly didn't and don't understand his refusal to wear them)

Elizabeth Rebecca said...

I hope everyone involved in the crash was OK.

Lizzie Dripping

Bobbi said...

I feel so bad for the driver of that car! Driving on slick, icy roads is the worst.
Your fur coat blends beautifully with Jess!
I can't even imagine leaving knickers on the train...Yikes! Someone must not have been able to wait until they got home!

Connie said...

Snow and a pussy cat bow. Two of my favorite things. Oh and You. Three favorites. What a great question. I'm like Goody. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes you just KNOW. Like I know that I love you in a beret. It looks beautiful with your bob.

Miss Magpie said...

I saw that picture of the car in the newspaper in the week, I'm so glad no one was hurt but what a shock it must have been.

I did the same thing with my cat Edward. There I was faced with a whole litter of cute as can be kittens but the moment I spotted him he was the one. My Mum always says it was true love, she might have fed him and cleaned his litter tray but he only had eyes and snuggles for me!

I always go with my gut instinct, if I think I'm being to quick to judge I will reserve judgement and watch and wait.

Natalia Lialina said...

So many things in one post, Curtise - love your blog for this wonderful mix! I am very intuitive, and I trust my instincts almost always. In cases when I don't trust my instincts, I regret later. I don't think it's about judgement. The beauty of intuition is that you know without judgement. To make a judgement, you kind of have to stop and think. To follow your intuition, you don't stop - it all is a naturally flowing process.

What a scary scene with the car in the house - I am so relieved to know that no one was hurt. Justin said, he saw a scene similar to this one a few times, and there was no ice to blame. Oi.

You look beautiful, love the pussy bow, and red and black are so great together! Jess is such a beauty!! I have a story similar to yours - when we came to pick up two kittens, we had to choose out of five fluffy balls of cuteness. My heart went to Bagirka immediately, but I did not say anything because we promised Anya that she would pick the kittens. And that was her very first choice too! :)

Love your stories! Have a wonderful weekend, my dear! xxxxx

peaches mcginty said...

Yeah, I saw the car in the news too, how utterly terrifying, I'm so glad no-one was hurt though - Love you in the pussy bow and accompanying outfit, perfect pussy bow size too, I like them proud - and what a Lousy charity shop thief! that's a nasty bugger though, I trust my gut and teach my girls to have confidence in it too one example of mine was when we were about to cross at a junction, all red lights and I just couldn't cross the road, then it went a little slow mo, I turned and saw a woman about to scream and a black car sped through the lights (I had Abby and the 2 little ones in a pram) we would have been knocked over, still gives me shivers - anyhoo, have a wonderful weekend Curtise! ps Dave fell in love with Jaffa, full on love and instant x x x will also remember to pick up scanties in future haha! x x x

Mrs Bertimus said...

Your outfit is amazing!
Me and my Mum do have our famous gut feelings but I do let myself down when I don't trust it too.
Happy weekend x

Angels have Red Hair said...

I trust my gut ... and I find time and again that it's amazingly trustworthy.

kobieta niewidzialna said...

Nice fur jacket. Nice car :))))

Carina Rosenholm said...

the snow and ice has been causing a lot of accidents here, drivers with bad attitude and poor driving skills are the worst on slippery winter roads . I have managed to stay on the road !
As i grow older i trust my gut feeling moore and moore...its the right thing most of the times and i seldom have sex on a train ! Lol.
You look so gorgeous as always !
Sorry for my bad commenting but as you know i can only leave comments while using a computer and i seldom does ! but im always here !
big hugs from the cold land in the north !

SuperLux said...

I don't believe in first impressions too. I withhold judgment on first meetings if I could.

Loving that flower in your hair.

Fiona said...

I usually go with my gut instinct but occasionally it lets me down, mostly, like Kylie, when I've been judgemental about someone and they turn out to be much nicer than I thought. Then I feel very disappointed with myself.
I saw that car in the news online and immediately read it in case it was your house. (I thought it looked similar to your frontage) How awful. I won't be having sex on a train anytime soon dear, it's far to cold to be dropping my drawers on a draughty inter-city! It's the same on aircraft but the stuff all gets flogged off at the auction down the road. Lovely outfit as usual...hope you had your thermals on? xxx

Charis said...

Ha ha ha, the things people leave behind! Loving your blouse Curtise :)

I am usually driven by my gut instinct and when I ignore it I always end up being annoyed with myself.

Suzanne Carillo said...

There was a Burberry trench and Barbour recovered??? I'd have loved to been in that charity shop when they arrived.

The panties...not-so-much.

Going with your gut and judging someone I think of as two different things. I'm trying not to judge people. But if my gut tells me something is amiss...I'll usually follow it.

That bow blouse is fantastic. And I LOVE the red gloves. I need some like that. I had my hands on some recently when we were in NYC at a thrift shop and then let them go. After seeing you I'm suffering a little buyer's remorse.

I can't believe the car running into the house! Lucky no one was hurt.


freckleface said...

Ooh...that's a big juicy one...If I feel in any way that I'm going into a dangerous situation, then I trust that and don't take any chances, but with people, usually if I don't take them to them immediately, then I give them a while to grow on me, and most people turn out to be alright. Now, I've given it quite some thought, and I've decided I won't be having sex on a train any time soon. My underwear is staying put! You're looking luscious in your new pussy bow red blouse and sparkly beret. Winter is definitely the most difficult season in which to be glam, but you've nailed it. How could you not fall for Jess, she's a sweetie. Xxxxx

Shawna McComber said...

Your instincts are amazing and I would trust them any day. I have made a note, based on your advice, never to leave my knickers behind on the train. Thank you.

I would fall for Jess too. She is my type and I definitely have a cat type. I love them all but I fall hard for the Jess and Sophie types. I have more than once.

I agree with you about the judgements. I think there is a bit of an over-simplification in this idea of not being judgmental that gets bandied about. We have evolved to be so that we can best survive the jungle, or savannah, or city. I am inclined to think some people make better judgments than others do but that the best advice is not to avoid making judgments but simply to be aware that you are and be prepared to change your mind. I am a big supporter of prudence and discernment.
Glad nobody was hurt in that car crash. I would be awfully upset if that were my home though.

Helga said...

I always go with my gut, and am mostly right. I like to think I can spot a dodgy a mile off. But then, I am extremely paranoid as well.
O, jeez, the poor person in that car! What a fright they-and the house occupants-must have had! Snow does wreak all sorts of havoc like that.
My gawd, the things that get left on trains! So glad they go to charity, I wonder if we do the same? Can't think HOW one would come to leave knickers behind......!!!!!

Sheila said...

We're constantly making judgments on people, and sometimes it's not always the overt signs that can set off alarms for us - our senses pick up things we may barely be consciously aware of. I think this is our instinct/gut reactions. I worked in shops for nearly 20 years, and I could always spot a shoplifter (and there are all different types of them). Trust your instinct.

I feel bad for the people who have that house! I grew up on the top of a hill and saw all kinds of accidents at the bottom of our street.

Forest City Fashionista said...

It's such a fine line between being judgemental and trusting your gut reaction to someone. I put a lot of stock into first impressions, and have been right far more than wrong. Working in retail for almost 20 years tends to hone your ability to read people.

That is such a stellar blouse, and you definitely chose the right kitten - Jess is a beauty!

Delia Ryder said...

I have learnt the hard way over the years in relationships anyway to nice that's my problem, to trusting My Mum says. But now I ALWAYS TRUST MY GUT instinct it never seems to let you down its like a sick sense almost. We haven't had snow this year yet but its forecast on Thursday so they are saying I normally love snow and don't mind it in December but January no thank you I am on the count down to spring, lighter nights etc :-) Loving your outfit you look so cosy and warm. Blimey that poor familys home and that poor car but there were some frightened people that day. Have a good week, dee xxx

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Great! I knew they'd turn up! Could I have my knickers back please? xxxx

Mim said...

Ew to knickers on a train. I suppose someone could have gone out knowing they'd stay overnight and taken a spare pair, which they dropped... Can't imagine where anyone would want to do the nasty on a train, though - I'd only use a train loo in an emergency, can't imagine one being a nice location for a tryst!

bobbi said...

You made me laugh, and I will never thank you enough for this as I didn't wake up feeling my best.
I have learned to trust my instinct over the years. Until now it never proved wrong and I can say that the only times I've been in serious trouble with people is when I didn't trust my first impression and tried to re-evaluate my judgment out of fear of being too critical. Now I just let myself go. If I don't like in you in the first five minutes I will never do!

Ivy Black said...

And a bit more snow on the way I think! You look a gorgeous winter warmer in that outfit.

I saw that car on the news....bloody hell.

Knickers on a train. Apart from sounding like the title of a novel(I'll leave that one with you, love)it makes me recall a woman I used to work with who had a thing about copping a bit of naughty on trains. Apparently the thing is to do it before you come in to a station...steady...and not get caught. Too bloody knackering for me. I can just about finish a cup of station tea before I reach Salisbury.
I am one for trusting my instincts and I do try to listen to the voice in the back of my head especially when it's shouting 'What a wanker'. I'm not bad at picking lovely people either.
I did the same with the dog rather than the cat who just seemed to rock up and own the place. I picked the mutt from a litter and it was love at first sight. Awww.
Loves ya.

The Vintage Knitter said...

I go with gut instincts too although my guts were wrong the other day (not in the loose bowel sense I hasten to add). I was in our local 99p shop (classy!) and saw this 'dodgy' looking bloke peering around a display unit in the direction of an old lady. I thought he was casing out her tartan shopping trolley that she had behind her and was planning to lift her purse. So, in good citizen mode I told my suspicions to the a shop assistant. Turns out that the 'dodgy' guy was the store
detective and the OAP was a known shoplifter! First appearances and all that!!!!

Sarah Jane said...

Yeh I usually trust my gut instinct. Particularly if someone provokes such a strong feeling of recoil. I'm always happy to be proved wrong though xxx

Sarah Jane said...

Wow, comment number 50 - get you!;) xxx

Penny-Rose said...

I go with my gut too - my gut feeling is that the owners of the Barbour and Burberry are too rich to care! I like your instincts and your humour!

Melanie said...

Oh those poor people who lived in that house and the driver of the car too, how dreadful.

I trust my instinct for the most part but will hold my hands up if I was wrong xxx

Trees said...

Lovely snow pictures! That accident looks terrible, I'm glad no one was hurt!! I feel like there is a difference between trusting your gut and "judging people". I feel like if you're judging someone straight out its because of something visible - like tattoos, piercings, they look a bit rough - whatever. They may very well be nice and decent people. But when its your gut you usually feel like "humm...somethings not quite right here, I'm NOT sure what it is...but there's something.."