nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
If there is one thing that the EU ought to have done and has failed to do, it is to standardise the labelling on women's clothing. I don't care which system we adopt, but when 38, 40, 42 are the same size** depending which country of various adjacent countries you are in, it is unhelpful.

Which is to say that the mail order clothing from this post has arrived. Alas, though the ski jacket is a very acceptable shade of pinky lilac, I gambled on the sizing because they didn't have mine and it is far too small. I knew that was a risk, because they didn't have my best guess as to my size, but it is so small that it might be that they did have my size, it's just that my assumption the Czech Republic uses German sizing rather than French was wrong. However I suspect that two sizes up will be far too big around the ribs (for some reason ski jackets always are. Come on, amateurs are not built like Olympians), so I may not bother trying again. Annoyingly the retailer has some gorgeous Halti jackets and I know what size I am in those because I borrowed my sister's, but if I ordered one it wouldn't arrive until I was actually on holiday. So I think that I might leave it for now and see if there are any sales when I get there.

Naturally, after the above, the Norwegian thermals I bought in the same order put the "long" into "long underwear", and I am going to need to chop 1.5 inches off the legs and fold back the wrist cuffs a bit. But I am keeping them because they are otherwise excellent and the only ones I've seen that have wool on the outside and polyester on the inside, so they should manage to be warm and not smelly and not itchy. The latter can never be guaranteed, but fingers crossed.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
Why is it that the socks that appeared black when I put them in the cupboard, got them out of the cupboard, and put them on, all done under decent lighting, nonetheless have revealed themselves as I re-tie my shoelace to be very definitely navy blue. Damn you, socks!
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
Early December: purchase evening trousers. They are very long. I can't find an exact picture online*, but they are a bit like these only more sort of women's 'tuxedo' trousers with bits of satin gesturing at that round the waist, and slimmer calves.

Rest of December: fail to turn up new trousers.

Rest of December: thus do not wear new trousers.

Early January: fail to turn up new trousers.

15 January: must turn up new trousers today so they can be worn to party tomorrow evening, when have sworn to wear them. As tomorrow evening involves driving 90 miles earlier in the day and staying overnight, this must be done by the end of today.

15 January: pin up trousers to different lengths, unsatisfactorily. Come to conclusion that trousers look better slouchy round the ankle. Decide not to shorten them.

15 January: wonder whether I still have that pair of very high heels that I might have chucked because they were too tight, on account of my feet not stopping growing until I was about 26.

15 January: no, I chucked them. Mid-heeled court shoes with straps** look stupid. Also, bottom of trousers don't fit over them anyway, so trousers are either designed for woman 6' tall, or are supposed to be slouchy round ankles. Decide the latter, and resolve to wear flats and go for slightly louche Bohemian look.

15 January: start to reconsider tops. Oh sod it, I'll pack them all and decide when I get there. That's what cars are for. Ditto jewellry.

The moral of this story is that life should involve more occasions for dressing up, because then I'd have already sorted this out. It is also that I should really, really get better at prioritisation.

*These are a pair I didn't buy. They looked amazing on (I was in "try on anything by imagining you are with your sister" spirit), had I been auditioning for the Rocky Horror Show, but ultimately mine is not a life that calls for such an aesthetic.

**I just cannot use the term "Mary-Janes" for shoes. It makes me feel like I'm in a Ramona book.
nineveh_uk: Screenshot of Wimsey and Bunter from the 1987 television production. (wimsey and bunter)
* It is week 7 at work, which is really week 8 because we have a week 0. The building water supply is contaminated with Serious Germs. The taps are taped up. We can use the toilets + anti-bacterial hand gel (no, thank you) or go to another building. Not next door, they've now got the same problem... What joy it is. On the plus side, my unexpected last hour of the day yesterday spent getting running round trying to arrange things to get someone whose visa'd passport had been stolen back into the country this lunchtime ended up working, so that was good. Since this person wasn't actually one of our employees, I am expecting a small box of chocolates to turn up in return. Mostly, though, my work thoughts are occupied in hoping to avoid Intestinal Doom, for which the incubation period is now extended.

* Is this a mid-life crisis? I appear to re-visiting my teenage years. The vampire musical watching turned into re-reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and that was all very well (I still hate Lestat, a man who deserves to be murdered many times over, and since he is a vampire, can be), but then at the weekend I bought a pair of trousers, and… There is nothing wrong with these trousers. They are excellent trousers and I shall wear them on Christmas day and for going to the theatre when I can’t be bothered with a dress and so on, which is what I bought them for. They are black with that sort of damask effect that is about at the moment, and they fit nicely and suit me well.

It’s just that I realised when trying them on again at home that I could cosplay a vampire count in them. Especially when added to the black blouse with big sleeves and beads on it (Laura Ashley late 90s) and dark red velvet waistcoat (Dorothy Perkins mid 90s) that lurk at the bottom of a suitcase in case I find myself needing a random fancy dress costume. At least I don't own a Dracula wig.

* Speaking of clothing... Does your suit jacket constrict your movements when you want to leap mighty buildings in a single bound, exercise your licence to kill while drinking a martini, dance cheek to cheek, or merely play the violin? A high armscye is the answer! I suspect that it also contributes to why Peter Wimsey can't pick up a napkin with a couple of broken ribs. On a more mundane level, you can see this effect in action on your non-Savile Row clothes by comparing e.g. the greater arm-movement you get in a tight leather jacket compared to an elasticated T-shirt with low arm-holes.

* In a fortnight's time I shall be on annual leave for Christmas! This is both good and bad... There is quite a lot to do before Christmas. I am suffering from tree indecision. After my last real tree bit the dust after 2014, failing to survive the next year, I resolved I would buy an artificial one, which is really more convenient when you're going to be away from home for nearly a fortnight. And yet I have not done so. The problem is, the artificial ones don't smell. I did the artful bunch of painted twigs last year, that isn't the same, either.

* The OTW seems to be making a fascinating hash of things.

Headgear

Feb. 14th, 2015 07:02 pm
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
One of the many things I am enjoying about the BBC’s current adaptation of Wolf Hall is the proliferation of hats, caps, and headdresses for women, men, and children*. Finally! A costume drama in which people are not all waltzing around with their hair loose over the place.

I am particularly in mind of this today because I had my hair cut this morning, and as a rather cold-blooded person find myself as a result more than usually chilly despite the cashmere jumper, wool cardigan, and central heating**. So in the course of bemoaning that in days of yore I could have put a cap on, I realised that there was nothing actually stopping me tying a silk scarf round my head. So I did. I look as if I were promoting industrialization in the former USSR, but at least I am a bit warmer. Sadly, I don’t think that this is an option at work unless I want to look as if I have joined a religious cult. It is tragic in that frankly I look rather good in a cap/scarf/wimple and have no chance to wear one in public, whereas I do not look great in hats. I can put hope that 2016 brings a sudden fashion craze.

*One notes that Benjamin Hill’s wonderful Duke of Norfolk, a man who would undoubtedly consider himself none of the above, is bare-headed a good deal more than the average.

**The latter would be more effective if there weren’t a giant hole in the sitting room ceiling caused by the stairs running up there. If I owned the place I would glaze the stairwell within the first week. I would also put a better radiator in the kitchen.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
All my summer office trousers suddenly look horribly wide-legged and frumpy rather than Katherine Hepburn. Damn. I am going to have to see if I can alter them. The pair that doesn’t look horribly wide-legged suffers from Inadequate Waistband Construction Syndrome, and I need to alter those as well, and the one on a casual pair. Argh! I am fed up of crap waistbands on what can be quite pricey trousers. Waistbands have a job to do, and they need to be shaped so that they fit the contours of the body, and they need to be a bit smaller than the top of the trousers, which should be eased into them. It is NOT sufficient to line a bit of bias fabric and sew it round the top. There is more to finishing a pair of trousers than making the raw edge not show. I assume it is all down to money, and saving the pittance that a decent waistband would cost the manufacturer in pursuit of MORE PROFIT. I particularly resent this on trousers that are in fact rather expensive, and where part of the justification for the price ought to be decent construction, which is why one pair has just been returned with a sharp note.

In non-trouser news, I have now had election leaflets from the following: Conservatives, Lib Dems (loads from both), Labour, Greens, UKIP, Socialist Party of Great Britain, BNP, and the “Independence from Europe” party (AKA we fell out with UKIP). There are Monster Raving Loony Party posters in the centre of Oxford; I am not sure if they are standing in the council elections, but I am in a different ward.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
It's not that the frock I saw in Marks and Spencer yesterday was taking retro a bit far, but it was on sale for £39.50 and 7 clothing coupons.


*The only word for it as far as I was concerned, though I see that ration books liked to cover all options for the avoidance of class-based arguments at the counter.

Victory!

Jan. 26th, 2014 04:50 pm
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
I have defeated the bleeding jeans*! After scrubbing them, and multiple washings, yesterday and today I have attempted wearing them again and I am not blue! Also not blue are my jumpers and anything I have sat on during the weekend. I might not trust them against cream leather car seats (not that I have those, though my grandfather's car did back in the day, and I thought they were terribly swish), but otherwise they are wearable and my money isn't wasted. Hurray!

Also achieved, a go on the commando slide in the local park where I went for a late afternoon stroll (if it isn't cloudy, it is now light at 4:30pm. Things can only get better). I have been meaning to do this since it was built, but haven't managed to be there when there were no children. Today I passed it and the area was empty so I seized the day. I had to sit on it, because standing up would have probably bashed my head against the support**, but I finally had a go (several times). Hurray again!


*As Peter Wimsey put it, that's not swearin', that's an adjective of quality. I'm as sincere as he was.

**It is in one of the children's playground bits of the park.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
Rant One

On getting onto the bus to work this morning, I discovered that it had speakers, and that said speakers were playing a morning radio show. Oh joy. The volume was carefully chosen to make reading impossible, while not allowing me to hear what was being said. Yes, the 'entertainment' actually worked to guarantee that I was bored. Then they started playing a recording of Scotland the Brave. Bagpipes at 8:30, it’s like they really worked hard to think what would make a commute worse.

The driver said that it was just because they had borrowed the bus from the Oxford Brookes student route because of the University open days, but there will definitely be an email about this not becoming permanent.

Rant Two

I need a new swimming costume on account of having one that is at least 16 years old, faded, and permanently stained with Dead Sea mud, and another that is a too-short halterneck. It apparently impossible to find a swimming costume in the shops this year that does not feature at least one of the following undesirable qualities: halterneck, what they are calling ‘tummy control’, ruching, straps in completely random places, no straps at all, racing back, and in the case of one particularly odd choice in BHS what appeared to be an insulated lining. All I want is a straightforward swimming costume that isn’t hideous and doesn’t attempt to make me into any shape that I am not. I want a front bit and a back bit, preferably in an attractive colour. I do not consider this too much to ask.

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