Wednesday 31 July 2013

Do ya think I'm sexy?

So do ya?

And do you think you're sexy?

There's been a bit of sexy talk going on lately; read Bella's, Jane's and Tamera's thoughts over at their blogs.

Jane hasn't posted her proposed link up of bloggers looking sexy, but I had intended to use this photo as my contribution.

Do I look sexy? No idea.
 I don't much care, and that's my point.

 I felt good, I was wearing a frock that I love, I was having a little dance and a swoosh in my garden on a sunny day, and not thinking much about anything except enjoying myself and having a laugh.

And if we are saying sexiness is all in the attitude and the confidence (and we are saying that, aren't we?) and not about age or shape or size, not about nudity or exposure or fake body parts, then I guess I'm as sexy as anyone else.

Just take a moment to go and type sexy into Google Images.

Go on - I'll wait for you.

Are you back?

How are you feeling?

Amused, appalled, saddened, depressed, angry, resigned?
 Or do you feel sexy?
 No, me neither.

Our culture does conflate semi/nudity with sexiness, it's a lad's mag view of women, all big hair and pouts, tits and ass, lots of flesh.

It's a parody of sexy, a cartoon/porn version.

So do ya think I'm sexy?

I don't mind dressing up, slapping on a wig and some false eyelashes, showing a bit of cleavage and some leg.

But I'm joking; it's not the real me, it's that cartoon version of sexy again. It's role playing, Circus/Bordello Girl, or Cabaret Dancer, or Housewife Pin-Up.

It's not the me who takes the kids to school, schleps round Lidl, clears out the cat litter tray, takes the rubbish out, cooks dinner, loads the dishwasher, meets friends for coffee, volunteers in class.

Am I sexy doing those things? Of course not. Do I want to be? No, not really.

Is anyone sexy all the time, in everything they do? Would that not be a bit strange?

Our sexiness can fluctuate, as can our expression of it.
It's affected by the state of our relationships, by confidence and self-esteem issues, by hormonal changes, by depression, by anxiety, grief, fatigue, or illness.


Hot? Not?

The truth is, sexiness is highly subjective, complex, personal and sensitive, and for most of us, very private, it's virtually impossible to define, and therefore even harder to discuss in any meaningful way.

And even though it's a term I use too, I am increasingly fed up with sexiness being the currency, the thing that matters. Melanie wrote something similar here (a whole year ago, my goodness!);

 I am so tired of the word sexy I want to scream!! Sexy's rightful home is in the brain and so far they don't make lacy push-up brain bras.

It's a shorthand, I suppose, a quick way of saying someone has a particular brand of confidence, sass, charisma and style. It doesn't rely on beauty or physical attributes, and it doesn't depend on dressing a certain way. It's a part of who we are, we may choose to deliberately enhance and display it, or we may not. It's not all we are.

Would I be offended if you said I wasn't sexy?
Would I be offended if you said I was unintelligent and inarticulate?

I trawled through a whole load of my old photos looking for images to include in this post.

Try it - it's quite a challenge to look at yourself and consider whether you look sexy or not.

This shot is old, poor quality, I'm wearing trousers (a jumpsuit actually), I'm covered up, no wig, no playing a character or hamming it up.

And yes, I do think I'm sexy.

Edit: linking up after all with Jane at Flight Platform Living for her Shiny T Tuesday!


Sunday 28 July 2013

Sat on their park bench like bookends

What a wonderful time we had in North Yorkshire.

But first things first - a new frock!

I couldn't resist. 

It came from one of my favourite Sheffield vintage sellers, Marie, at The Queen's Drawers.


1970s cotton sundress - vintage shop Vintedge
Sandals - Ebay
Belt and bangles - charity shopped
Red painted bangle - gift from dearest Tania

I'll be linking to Jane's Shiny T Tuesday on the allotted day, using this photo.

I have more to say about this, but it can wait - I know, such a tease!
And of course I'll be at the usual party over at beautiful Patti's for Visible Monday

So - suitably visibly attired, the kids and I caught the train to Thirsk on Friday.

And when we got there, we headed to Newby Hall.

We explored the outdoor sculpture exhibition.

Plenty of organic shapes and tactile textures...

...and fauna...

...and human figures.

 Gorgeous textures, created and natural.

Don't these trees look as though they could be Ents?

Beautiful house, and stunning gardens, the borders were glorious.

Soooo many bees!

And lest you think we inflicted art and horticulture on the poor little beasties  instead of letting them play...

... here's the evidence to the contrary!

They loved the adventure playground and the swingboats.

And back at Patsy's, there was plenty of this...

... and this!

Top l-r:
crazy face
angry face
happy face
thoughtful/intelligent face.

Hams, the lot of them.

These are the views from the house.

And these are the neighbours.

It's beautiful there.

Snapshots of Thirsk.

We've known each other over 20 years, and we're rather like an old married couple, plenty of bickering and disagreeing, but huge amounts of love and laughter.

Strong women rock!


Thursday 25 July 2013

We're looking at the Big Sky

So the school holidays are underway, and we have had a few lovely lazy days.

Life is so much easier when I don't have to nag the kids about homework...

There's been plenty of this.

That cloud, that cloud - looks like Ireland!
C'mon and blow it a kiss now.
But quick, cos it's changing in the Big Sky. 

There's been some wandering around our local area.

The kids love this.

Eldest was "being serious".

Who knows why?

Our local swimming pool, opened in July 1909.

The Edwardian signage was rather more elegant than the modern version.

This glorious Art Deco building houses a wholesale carpet business.

Surely it was built for something more impressive?

We called in for a browse at one of our nearby antiques and collectables centres, and to have a drink and a slice of cake on the roof terrace.

Eldest posed in big hats, and we stumbled across a pair of Converse for Littlest for a fiver - result!

(No, I don't know what they were doing in an Antiques centre either.)

1960s shift dress - vintage fair
Cardigan, canvas shoes, sunglasses and bangles - charity shopped
Leggings - jumble sale

Suitably sunny, summery colours.

 Or maybe not.

It's a ghost dress!

See what I mean about problems with lighting at the moment?

Tomorrow, the kids and I are off to enjoy the famously big skies of North Yorkshire, we're visiting my friend Patsy and her family.

Can't wait!



Monday 22 July 2013

Make mine a double

My dearest friend Vix posted a while back about two dresses she bought from Ebay, same style but different colours.

Go see her gorgeous pair (of frocks, I mean) here.

And the ever-delicious Tania mentioned a similar experience, though she chose the red and left the turquoise version of her frock for someone else.

Now it's my turn!

Why have one superb 1960s maxi when you can have two?

These are Sherman of London dresses, both bought from Ebay.

I loved the story of the navy/pink version, which the seller described in her listing (bought in 1969, then family came along, and the dress was unworn and relegated to a suitcase).

While browsing Ebay some time afterwards, I spotted the black/yellow version, with no such story attached, and not in such good condition, but obviously too good to miss.

The prints and colours make me happy just looking at them.
(Please ignore the creases...)

I haven't worn this one as much; the elastic of the shirred bodice is loose, and there was a hole in the skirt.

I've patched the hole now, I intend to take in the sides of the bodice for a snugger fit, and let down the hem where it has been taken up.

1960s Sherman maxi dresses - Ebay
Kimono jacket, black cardigan, hair flowers, necklace and bangles - charity shopped
Sandals and sunglasses - retail
Pendant - car boot

I suppose maxis are my signature style (though I sound a right pompous arse using that phrase).
I enjoy wearing dresses and skirts of other lengths, but I often feel my best in a maxi.

My best self.

So I'm linking these beauties to Jane's Shiny T Tuesday, the theme this week being Undeniably Me.

Is anyone else finding it hard to know what time of day to take their photos? 
The bright sun around midday is impossible, but even later in the afternoon/early evening, the conditions are tricky, at least for my modest little point-and-press camera.

Maybe I should forget any attempts at realism and just go mad with PicMonkey's effects...

Sometimes, amid a sea of black, grey, cream and denim, I think I must look like this to other people.

Oh well. 

My pair of Shermans and I can live with it.

Hope you are feeling colourful and beautiful and undeniably your best selves this week.
Thanks so much for all the encouragement to continue having a big mouth!


Saturday 20 July 2013

Big Mouth strikes again

It seems this dress is not to everyone's taste, it gets a very mixed reaction.

I don't know what the problem is - a bit of 1980s rara action never hurt anyone!

Cotton, a mad print, ruffles and angel sleeves- what's not to love?

Here's a question - do you ever speak out about something, because you feel strongly that you should, only to wish you'd kept your head down?

I went on a school trip on Monday which I thought was pretty dreadful, for various reasons.

After a bit of pondering, I decided to email the teachers in charge to express my concerns. Politely, reasonably, but clearly. I'm quite forthright.

I have had a formal letter in reply, refuting all my points, in a very defensive and angry tone, and I should obviously consider myself reprimanded. They are extremely disappointed that I contacted them to say what I felt.

I'm a parent, helping out as a volunteer.
I'm giving considered feedback
Shouldn't they be able to listen, without getting cross?
Or is that expecting too much?

What is your experience of telling professionals things they don't want to hear?

1980s dress - Ebay (99p)
Belt, sunglasses and bangles - charity shopped
Sandals - Ebay

Oh, my sense of justice and my big mouth get me into trouble sometimes.

Lalalala, I'll just shake my rara and pretend I'm not mad as hell.

I may be persona non grata in some areas of school, but the staff  I work with regularly as a volunteer gave me some lovely flowers to thank me for helping out.  

An interesting contrast.

So Eldest has now left primary school, which is something of a milestone.

And to mark the event, I took her to get her ears pierced...

and to a folk music festival. 

Guess which event she was most delighted about, and which, well, frankly, she could have done without?


Very low water level in the river Porter, we haven't had any rain for weeks.

Sheffield's music festival Tramlines is great, lots of free stuff, and a wide variety of music on offer in different venues in  the city.

After some street food, a quick listen to a band in the city centre, and queueing for ages in Claire's Accessories for the aforementioned ear piercing (held up by a family insisting the staff pierce the ears of their small and very agitated baby; to the staff's credit, they refused), Eldest and I headed to Endcliffe Park, the site of the Folk Forest stage.

We met up with Sally and Carol, who had been organised enough to bring chairs...

 ...listened to some great music, drank some wine (the grown ups, that is), browsed the stalls, and queued again, for the toilets.

 Just like a proper festival!

Look at the joy emanating from her every pore.

Well, I enjoyed it, which is all that matters.

1950s Hawaiian dress - flea market (£1.70)
Cardigan and bangles - charity shopped
Sandals - retail (sale)

I'm happy to put all the school hoo-ha behind me, to relax, and enjoy the next few weeks with no particular routine, lots of lovely lie-ins, and the occasional trip and treat.

Hope your weekend is suitably relaxing!

Linking to lovely Patti and the gals at Visible Monday.