Posts tagged ‘Mulberry Antony’

March 19, 2012


This isn’t the post I thought I would be writing today. In fact, it’s not a post I thought I’d be writing ever. On Saturday, someone walked into my house, picked up my beloved Mulberry bag, and walked out again. We were all in the house, sitting a mere 20 feet away in the next room, or, in the case of my children, upstairs in bed.

Upon seeing that the back door was open, the first thing my husband did was run upstairs to check on our kids, so don’t think that I haven’t thought about the absolute worst that could have happened. Really, I know that someone just took advantage of us leaving the back door unlocked after we’d opened it to let the kids catch hailstones in a bowl earlier in the evening. I still feel a bit sick thinking that they could have tried that door many times before, and finally been rewarded by our forgetfulness.

After a truly dreadful recent event, I have had lots of good fortune recently. I have met lots of new people, kindled some new friendships and invested time in older, important ones. I’ve been to wonderful events, had lovely family time and even won a competition. So, there is a part of me that thinks this happened just so I didn’t get too big for my boots. As if the Universe was redressing the balance. Giving me something bad, so that I make sure I appreciate the good.

In being the victim of some really horrible behaviour, I have actually had my faith in the overall goodness of people restored by the reactions of others. From my lovely friends both virtual and in real life, I have had nothing but support and kindness. They have sworn on my behalf, given out hugs, made cups of tea (essential in any kind of British crisis) gone out and searched the local area and on Ebay for signs of my stuff. One lovely soul spent half the morning getting my work laptop extracted from the cupboard in which it was locked (my key was taken) and my boss let me work a short day so I could deal with everything. When I went in the library to tell them that I needed new cards, the lovely librarian gave me my reserved books without charge, simply because she is wonderful. Of course, the books I had reserved were all Agatha Raisin crime novels.

Many of us do love a crime novel. Mainly though, the appeal is in the solution. At the end of a crime novel, especially old favourites like Agatha Christie, we can be assured that justice will be meted out and the bad guys will get what they deserve. Sadly, real life does not often provide us with tidy and satisfying solutions. I doubt the person who stole my things will ever be caught, which makes the whole thing more difficult to live with. There is an episode of ‘The Good Life’ television programme (after which this blog is lovingly named), in which Tom and Barbara’s house is broken into. Because they have nothing worth stealing, the perpetrators simply trash the place. They refuse to back down, saying that what happened was not their failure, it was someone else’s. What has just happened to me is not my failure. I admit that I’m shaken, sad and angry but I will not be beaten by it. I will not let my overwhelming faith in people be ruined by the failure of one.

So, now I’ve got that out of my system, let’s move onto happier things, shall we?

March 5, 2012

Handbag Contents: What does a blogger carry?

I’ve seen quite a few of these posts over the years. The bag contents of bloggers are neatly laid out for us all to peruse and everything is chic, well designed and organised. So, feeling a bit inspired by this, I thought I might have a go myself.

The bag I carry around everyday is my beloved Mulberry Antony. The large version of this is big enough for a book or magazine, and even though I am notorious for over-filling bags to breaking point, it seems to absorb all my rubbish very well. Plus, and very importantly for me, it leaves my hands free for catching wayward toddlers before they step off the nearest ledge, hailing buses, messing about with Iphone apps or reading a book.

So let’s have a look what is in there. I’ve basically tipped everything out of it onto the floor. I may be doing this wrong…

The only thing you can’t see here is my iPhone because that’s what I used to take the photo, but believe me, it’s there ALL the time. iLimb, as my lovely friend calls it.

In amongst the jumble and ignoring the old bus tickets, there are things that I’ll point out.

  • My lovely dinosaur purse from Sew You.
  • This week’s edition of Stylist magazine. I adore Stylist magazine and the daily Emerald Street email they send out too.
  • Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. As someone who is often changing nappies, cooking or gardening, I wash my hands a lot, so they get sore. I’m really wary of having old lady hands so am obsessed with great hand cream.
  • One small sock. Probably the sole survivor of a pair. I have no idea why it is in my bag, but it’s the kind of thing I’m likely to be carrying around. To be honest, I’m surprised there isn’t a toy car in here.
  • A giant chewy sweet, taken from my son who decided it was perfect breakfast food. We disagreed. I may eat this to save him from the tooth decay.
  • My beloved orange leather gloves bought in Florence, Italy. I love orange but this is the closest I get to wearing it, as it doesn’t really suit my skin tone.
  • Two books. This is why the bloody bag is so heavy! One of these is my library book. I’m reading through all the Agatha Raisin murder-mystery series at the moment. They’re very engaging and so easy to read. The second book is called ‘A Boat in Our Baggage’ by Maria Coffey, which I’ve borrowed in preparation for my Epic Kayaking Adventure in the Lake District. Which is really a little paddle, but in my head is now ‘Swallows and Amazons’ (and before you say it, I know they didn’t kayak!) so I need the inspiration.

The silver bag is my Emergency Pouch. I recommend one of these. Inside this I keep painkillers and other medications, things that women need (you know…) spare contact lenses, lipstick, and for some reason, earrings. Never had an earring emergency but it could happen. Having it all in the pouch (and remembering to replace stuff you’ve used) means you can just take it all out of one bag at once and drop into another. Handy.

In the emergency pouch are also two make up saviours: Posie Tint by Benefit and Laura Mercier cheek cream in ‘Canyon’. If I’m looking for a bright, but light way of freshening up my face, I use the Posie Tint on my cheeks and lips. I love the Benefit stains, as they just don’t wear off. If I’m after a simpler but healthy look, I’ll use a bit of the cheek cream instead. It’s a great light terracotta type colour that seems to suit everyone and just gives me a healthy glow.

So, this what I carry around. Alongside this is usually a small notebook and pen too, in case I need to remember something. As an inveterate list writer, this is essential, although I’ve started to use the notes function on my phone more often. One thing you can’t see here is a giant DSLR camera. That’s because I don’t have one. There is a plan afoot though, so hopefully one day soon you’ll see better photos on the site!

What do you carry around in your bag every day? Do let me know, I’m unashamedly nosy…

November 11, 2011

Fashion Maths: my best successes.

Let’s play a game of fashion maths. Everyone knows fashion maths, don’t they?

It’s the cost of an item, divided by the number of times you wear it, which gives you a cost-per-wear figure. The lower the cost-per-wear, the better the bargain.

It’s otherwise known as the way in which you justify to yourself spending a small fortune on a single piece of clothing – especially useful for those classic items; the perfect white shirt, cashmere sweater, trench coat, tote bag, blazer. Things that you might wear forever, and are therefore worth spending extra on. As an aside, if you ever do find the perfect white shirt, or a pair of trousers that are just right, and you can afford it – buy more than one. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

This is not to say that all of my wardrobe is expensive.  Most of it is high street, second hand or actually so ancient (vintage!) I barely know where it came from. I do, however, believe in buying quality over quantity and am very much against very cheap, throwaway fashion.

So, what are my best ever fashion maths results?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a few classics. My Mulberry Antony in a great burgundy colour, which I wear almost daily (you can see it here). It was a few hundred pounds new – but owes me nothing now. It’s a bit like an extra limb, I can barely bring myself to leave the house without it! I also have a Mulberry Ledbury in a black crocodile finish, which is smaller and more structured – better for when I’m without the kids, as I have to hold onto it.

Alongside that, I have a handful of Longchamp pliage bags, which I use all the time, and have over the years acted as nappy bag, carry-on luggage, laptop bag, gym bag and shopping bag. Again, they’re not terribly cheap (cheaper in France than in the UK) but I love how they fold up when empty, yet remain stylish  – just take a look around if you’re ever in Paris and you’ll see half the female population toting one.

The most expensive pair of shoes I ever bought are this pair, from Bottega Veneta.

Favourite red shoes.

Yes, they were ‘take-a-deep-breath-and-hand-over-the-money’ expensive, but they’re beautifully made, stylish and (importantly for someone who is always in a rush) they’re flat. Plus, with a pair of cropped slim black pants, they make me feel as gamine and Hepburn-esque as I am ever going to feel and so I wear them a lot.

So, those are some of my successes – where I’ve not felt bad about spending a bit more money to have something that I love and get a lot of use out of. Not surprisingly, they’re accessories rather than actual pieces of clothing. I find it far easier to buy high street clothes and then accessorise well, than the other way around.

But what about my failures? I’m going to own up to them soon…

What are your best fashion maths successes?