Tuesday 27 May 2014

And you may ask yourself...well, how did I get here?

You know me and the dreaded post-event slump syndrome; I am struggling to drag my head down from the top of The Shard, and my heart back from the 1980s, and am feeling a little melancholy and reflective in the process.
 Bizarrely, I have developed a painful neck strain over the past couple of days; it's the price you pay for looking back, obviously.

Or it's the result of carrying my bag at the weekend, and a shitload of shopping on Sunday, take your pick.

Either way, thank goodness for Ibuprofen.

A delicate wisp of a 1970s frock in a soft watercolour print suits my delicate, wispy state of mind.

It came from my local hospice charity shop's Vintage Corner, which often has something tempting to offer.

Thankfully, they haven't put the prices up; the vintage Irish linen peacock tea towel, 1970-80s sheer blouse, Miracle pendant, and green plastic beads set me back the princely sum of a fiver. 
I consider that cheap therapy.

The kids are on half term holiday this week, so we did a spot of shopping, Nina admired the various souvenir dolls in the 50p box, and then we went to the cafe for a drink.

1970s sheer angel sleeve dress, denim jacket, belt, bangles and tights - charity shopped
Necklace - gift
Boots - retail (sale)

The tote bag was made by darling Tania from 1950s barkcloth and gingham - delicious!

So yes, I am settling back into my everyday existence after a sweet taste of the high life, and a large helping of nostalgia.

I suppose it's inevitable that a reunion like ours will stir up memories, and provoke reflections on the person I was then, who I am now, and whether there is someone else I might have been, an alternative path I might have taken to a different destination.

Generally, I think I am happier in my skin now than my younger self ever was. I spent a lot of time at university, and afterwards, feeling scared, inadequate and intimidated. I rarely feel like that now. I know what I'm worth.

A fiver spent in a charity shop and a cappuccino, apparently!
While I do agree with Socrates that an unexamined life is not worth living, one can have enough of navel-gazing (and I'm not going to compare my twenty-something belly to the almost-50, had three babies version...)

The here-and-now is where we live, isn't it? Better get busy enjoying it!



Unknown said...

Completely love your dress. Completely get the melancholia, tis understandable and worthy of a wallow. And totally and completely sympathise with the neck pain, rest, rest, rest, nothing else will do (other than the pills!) Get well soon x

Diane said...

I think we all go through that reflection phase at some time or another. It can be unsettling. I hope you bought those 50p - I love 'em1 xxx

Fiona said...

I understand your melancholy but hope you'll soon be drawn out of it. Reflections of a past you are only natural after such a reunion, but it sounds like it won't just be a Once In A Lifetime get together, so... much to look forward to I'd say. The hospice shop has come up trumps, I adore that peacock print on the tea towel and you are dead right when you say it is cheap therapy. The kids are good value as always and you and the garden are a picture. xxxxxxxxx

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Curtise,

A blue mood is created here. The dress is a sheer delight, all beautifully dreamy and pastel. It definitely suits the nostalgic ambiance of today's post.

It is difficult to imagine you being intimidated and insecure. You bravely face the camera each time you post and you look your readers straight in the eye and tell us exactly what your thoughts and feelings are. This is definitely a woman who knows herself, is comfortable with who she is, is pretty sure about where she is going and is ploughing an individual furrow that we certainly admire. Bravo!

And, keep on taking the pills.......we certainly do that.......for pains in the neck as well as neck pain!

Becky said...

It's aways so weird to think about how things could of been if we'd made different choices. Best not to trip out on it too much. At least you got to catch up and drink some champ with old buddies! I love the peacock tea towel---I'm on the hunt for those lately myself.

mispapelicos said...

You always find dresses with the most amazing sleeves, ahhhhhhh
It must be the angels making them at night for you
Tons of love and sunshine, dear Curtise

mispapelicos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kobieta niewidzialna said...

I love your style and your state of mind. Nostalgie is beautiful :)

Miss Magpie said...

I guess the thing is to have no regrets. Just keep grabbing life by the throat right?

Asparagus Pea said...

As my lovely friend in NYC (who I only see once every couple of years) likes to say "How can you miss me if I never leave?" Your simple daily pleasures and treasures are as important as the big exciting stuff - if you're lucky you get to have both! xxx

Melancholy and Menace said...

It's quite normal to feel nostalgic after such an outing and thinking of your dear, departed friend too.

The delicate colours of today's dress, really seem to suit your state of mind too.

I love all your charity shopped finds, especially the miracle pendant (I only ever come across brooches), and the souvenir dolls :)

Have a perfect evening xx

Suzanne said...

I knew this was going to end with a chuckle : ) I did think you would be worth at least a tenner!

There seems to be a moody blue malaise that has decided to settle on a few bloggers lately. A bug caught through the internets no doubt.

"We're flawed, because we want so much more. We're ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had." Don Draper...MadMen.

Hope your neck is feeling better soon.


Patti said...

"I know what I'm worth." Best thing I've heard today - we do appreciate ourselves more as we age. But I totally understand the nostalgia. I wish I'd known you back at university, perhaps we'd have bolstered each other's confidence. Or at least had loads of cheap wine together.

Kezzie said...

You look like you're wearing Maria's party dress from the Sound of Music-the one she wears for the Lonely Goatherd! X

Melanie said...

You are a spectacular woman and we know what you're worth just by the snippets of life you share here. Wispy dress, wispy feelings - yes, I understand that. You look dreamy. I wonder about my path too and enjoy the same kind of cheap therapy as you do. Cheers!

Jayne H said...

A vintage corner and a visit to a cafe - cheap therapy indeed, no wonder you are reflective after your reunion. Your dress is so floaty and gorgeous as are you, keep taking the medication and return for more therapy as needed xxx

Unknown said...

Awwwh. I'm sorry you haz a owwwwie. Nice wine, hot bath ... and a note to self to make the kids carry the damned shopping. See what happens when they're not handy!?
Glad you had fun with your buds, but it can bring on a case of whatifs. I've lost touch with everyone from past lives, so I envy the bittersweet.
Heal up fast, Curtise. Congrats on your chazzing haul, and for looking hauntingly wistful. Demure and romantic!

Shawna McComber said...

Ibuprofen is my friend this week too. I hope your neck feels better soon! That dress is very pretty and really shows off your gorgeous tiny waist!
Navel gazing, yep I do it too. I found some lint. I'm considering making a navel lint art piece. I'm sure I could sell it for millions.
Hugs for you, Curtise. You are a macaron, your choice of colour, you pretend you are all about being crusty but actually you are very sweet.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Could Nina pop back and send me all the dolls please? Kidding, I love them, but I'm scared of creating another Wobbly Towers scenario like at the old house. I love school holidays with a passion and on the days one can drag oneself out of the house with proper-like clothes, it must include hauling a kid or three through the oppies followed by the traditional morning tea and cakeage buy-off. These are the things we grow to love in our dotage (HA!) - a spot of naval-gazing is allowed but we get snapped back to the present at the sound of a plate dropping, scream and squabbling over the last lolly. You're serene darling. xoxoxoxo

Helga said...

A fiver and a cappuccino?! You're MY kinda bargain, baby!
Ah, yes, the reflective period....gah...it's inevitable, I guess.That sweet, soft frock IS perfect for your current state of mind, and indeed, bless Iboprofen!!! Fabularse stuff!
You are such a splendid woman, I wish you were in my everyday life in the FLESH. C'est la vie.

The Goodwill Fangirl said...

You've convinced me to go redder. I can't stop looking at your hair :)

Unknown said...

I don't really look back much anymore, water under the bridge. But it is fun to remember good times. Like you though, I live in the now! Lovely dress by the way, very floaty! :)

Sheila said...

Love that song - "same as it ever was!"

Love the flowy dress.

Sue said...

It is nice that the older I get the easier I am to please, like you a bargain or two in a charity shop and a hot drink seems to tick all the boxes on my happy sheet!!

Caroline said...

Half term, kids cluttering up the streets, the house, the shops etc. at least I get a lie in.

Nostalgia is a funny one. I've been thinking about going back to revisit my uni haunts but I'm worried I'll be disappointed.

Hope you feel better soon.

freckleface said...

I love what Sacramento said about your angel sleeves! You do look lovely in your soft colours. I totally understand your post high slump and introspection. It's the most natural reaction to Friday, the excitement and the what-might-have-beens. But of course you did the right thing, vintage shopping and a coffee with little Nina would cheer anyone up. Ibuprofen? I couldn't live without it! Hope that neck of yours stops playing up soon. Xxxxxx

Vicky Hayes said...

I went to a funeral last week Curtise and took away the same message - life is short so you'd better get busy enjoying it. You look beautiful in those soft colours and the belt is perfect with the dress. Enjoy half term with your lovely family! Vicky x

bahnwärterin said...

love that airy dress! and your hair looks wonderful!
because catching up - what a great day with your old friends in london! gorgeous to have such a bunch of mates.
i´m better in my skin now too. when i was leaving art school i had zero idea what to do with my life. too much possibilities i think ;-) and i could´t warm to the idea that you always "have" to be successful and very busy. i love my quiet life i live today. don´t need fame ;-)
take care of your neck <3

Vix said...

I hear you! I'm not once for reflection, either back or forwards. I like to live in the here ad now and occasionally pat myself on the back for getting this far.
That floaty frock is delicate and beautiful and works perfectly with the boots and denim jacket giving it some attitude.
Tania's bag is gorgeous and I love the vintage bargains, too. That Scottish dancer! Check out the gang of three looking like butter wouldn't melt.
Get some ice on that neck and take it easy, its too miserable to leave the house today.
Love you! xxxxxxxx

Unknown said...

The past is fun revisiting sometimes but the present is now and i think we are so much better enjoying life when we have a few moore years in the bag ... Self confident and relaxed in our skins.
Love your new pretty dress !

Angels have Red Hair said...

Love, love, love the combination of wispy frock and denim jacket ... and the colours look amazing on you.
Wondering what might have been is an easy trap to fall into ... But I try not to worry about things I cannot change. I'm definitely more comfortable in my skin now ... I just wish that skin was as line free and perky as it was back then :0)

Unknown said...

I know that post reunion feeling well. I went up to Sheffield (for the first time since the late 90s!) to spend time with a much loved friend. I have vowed to do it again soon, despite the inevitable come down it was so exciting to see the her again and the place where I did a lot of growing up.

Goody said...

The present has that odd way of snapping us out of wherever we've drifted off to. My "present" is someone yelling from the top of the stairs asking where something is.

Be young again with all that gut wrenching doubt, awkwardness, and sense that *everything* is a matter of life or death? No thanks. I don't know about you, but I look back on all that sleep lost worrying about some nonsense thing and think, "Fool, you're never going to get those hours back."

Hope your neck feels better soon (the hair on the head above is looking great, by the way).

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for vintage corner to help lift your spirits a little, great little treasures they are too! That reflective melancholy feeling will pass I'm sure, though it's not a great feeling when you are in it. Thank you for putting me on your blog list! xx

Peaches McGinty said...

Your trip with your uni friends looked amazing, champagne and oysters and good times, I expect it's only right to feel the 'come down' of such an intoxicating event, reflection is sometimes inevitable isn't it? although I must admit I try and avoid looking back, I am the result of all my decisions and choices (watching Disney has clearly made me quite philosophical!) I love your dress, and I adore angel sleeves and bargains too, and a well spent fiver! x x x

Krista said...

Oh sweetheart of course this meeting stirred up all kids of feelings how could it not? I think it's perfectly normal to feel just as you do but I still wish your sadness away. As I get ready to head back to my Dad's I can feel the sadness well up inside me and almost choke the words from my mouth. I think we need to mourn when we lose people we love and then get right back to living and trying to find joy in simple things. I think you do this very well Curtise.

I love the subdued hue of this dress on you and it's made me pull a similar one out of my closet that I have yet to wear. See what you did there:0 I love you beautiful lady!
Here's to always trying to look at the world from someplace beautiful!

Connie said...

oh I always appreciate a Talking Heads reference. David Byrne was on tv the other day and he is looking appropriately older and still very handsome and much calmer but still insane in that wonderful intellectual punk way. So this was a perfect metaphor for your reunion. You are looking floaty and pretty and wispy because you are feeling wistful.

Forest City Fashionista said...

A bit of reflection is a good thing, especially after one has had a weekend of reminiscing with old friends. Memories are recalled, and stuff gets stirred up. Then there is the post-event letdown, which I get every time I come back from a trip or special event. Of course it's better for one's mental health to live as much in the moment as possible, but there's nothing wrong with a look back now and then(unless you turn your head too far and hurt your neck...)

I would have enjoyed looking through those dolls with Nina, and that is such a pretty tea towel!

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that you're feeling nostalgic about your gathering. You're right we are,Irving the now and we are perfectly where we need to be right now.

By the way, I like school holidays too. I'm a sucker I know Cohen inky started school this year but I love having him home and having little outings with him. Of course that means some op shopping fun and cake together.

Angie said...

You are a lot happier now and that's what matters.I feel the same way now but when I first heard that in my early 20s from the mum of my then boyfriend I almost fe off my chair. Absolutely couldn't relate.See, there is always something great waiting for us in the corner. That's the kind of mentality worth wearing the dress you have on today!

Señora Allnut said...

A little bit of melancholy sometimes appears as an after-party hangover when you've got a lot of fun!, and a neck pain is not the best thing to cheer up your day. But your charity shopping therapy seems very effective, and you look gorgeous, so your here-and-now is pretty enjoyable!!
besos & alegría

silvergirl said...

hope you are feeling more yourself soon
i think i need a skirt made out of the peacock tea towel fabric

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Know it, felt it too Curtise! The big exhalation, and the oddly empty feeling. You'd think we'd feel a big full feeling of contentment after the experience. Ah well. It takes time to process these things, and then things tend to fall back into place.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

When I was at school I was in a play called "Salad Days".
There was a line in a song that has always stayed with me.
"We mustn't say these were are our happiest days but our happiest days so far."
Something like that. It always reminds me that the best is yet to come, however nostalgic I am feeling.

Ileana said...

Love the dress you are wearing!!! The print is so beautiful! This post really inspired me to start checking the vintage stores around here :)


Don't forget to check my Shopbop gift card giveaway!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful attention to detail. I particularly like the peacock-patterned fabric.

Fanny x

thorne garnet said...

those dolls, those weird, weird dolls would have all come home with me, bwahaha.......

sorry about that.

Veshoevius said...

You look fab! What a gorgeous dress! I love the angel sleeves and the pretty pastel colours.
I think a lot of us have spent large swathes of our youth feeling intimidated, scared and inadequate - probably why they say youth is wasted on the young! I found some old videos of me dancing and remember it was a time I thought I was utterly crap - actually it was the strongest I ever was and would be and I didn't take the time to enjoy it. As you say - best to enjoy the here and now.

at my dressingtable said...

Great dress you do find some lovely clothes, yes when I feel blue I head for charity shops and coffee cannot beat it best wishes to you xxx

Trees said...

Such a beautiful frock!! I've been feeling blue for a while to be honest, I have a holiday coming up shortly. If that doesn't cheer me up - not sure what will xoxo