Monday, 29 October 2012


White looks wonderful under a bright blue sky.
This small church is in the grounds of the hotel where we stayed last week.
It is used by guests who have come to the hotel to be married.
Our bedroom looked as though it was expecting honeymooners
with a round bed and robes with a message!
Ah, well, I tried to make myself at home.

At the beach
I found a bride and groom.
Now, call me old-fashioned but doesn't a white wedding dress signify something? 
Has nobody told the designer?
"Leaves nothing to the imagination," said Himself.

I keep some clothes just for holidays in the sun and many of them are white. In England white is often a cold colour, blue or grey in tone, but in strong sunlight it transforms. I have a few simple, inexpensive, easy to pack pieces;
a shift dress from M&S

and an M&S beaded fine cotton caftan.
A linen skirt from Benetton with two good pockets and an elasticated waist, great for pulling on after a swim. I wore it last Monday for Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style with an old t-shirt and even older, battered espadrilles.
You can see how cold white becomes in England, even on a sunny day. (One crumpled skirt, just pulled out of the case after seeing a lot of beach life and lolling about!)

And, of course, that holiday essential, a white bikini.
I'm looking a little bit white today because I was up all night dancing at Tess Kincaid's virtual ball

What a hostess! Possibly overgenerous with the absinthe, but that's poets for you.
It turned me only slightly green!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Having a ball!

I've come to Willow's Annual Ball with my partner, Nick Carroway. He can charleston like a dream and his manners are impeccable.  I'm aware that he is quite a people watcher, but that's okay , for so am I. We spotted Jordan Baker in the distance, which gave me a bit of a turn.
We have been dancing for hours. I don't care for Mr Lovecraft's opinion, who is he to call me insane, or  "almost nobody." I am perfectly sober.
Willow's peppermint cordial is delicious, but I think I'll sit the next dance out.

What did you say? It's absinthe!
Better put on my mask.

Saturday, 27 October 2012


Oh, goodie, Willow is hosting another ball!
But I haven't got a thing to wear
apart from a black net petticoat.
No gloves, or pink dress, neither the body nor the attitude for this outfit!
I'll have to give it some thought.
 My partner for the ball is going to be Nick Carraway.
I like an outing where the imagination can run riot.
Illustrations copyright Rosemary Murphy.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A taste of London

After rainy Friday I stayed overnight with our elder daughter and woke to sunshine and the prospect of a happy day ahead.
We hopped on a bus for a short ride to Clerkenwell for brunch.
It was warm enough to sit outside
but we didn't!
We went inside and settled to the serious business of choosing what to eat.

Oh, what to choose...
Mmm, raspberry and ricotta pancakes, and for me, the spicy waffles.
A long central table had been set out with glasses and jugs of bloody Mary's and in due course the stag party arrived, all adorned in matching bow ties, with the groom-to-be wearing red. Such a happy tableful of men I had to take a photo and as soon as I did so all their cameras and phones came out so that I could record the event for them also.
Hunger pangs dealt with, we were free to wander wherever we wished. There are so many delightful and tranquil  places to be found all over London, even on a busy Saturday morning. This church cloister is just across the road from the Modern Pantry.
We went to one of our favourite streets, Lamb's Conduit, and to Persephone, a lovely bookshop where everything is tempting. (Check out their site,
Then along to the LRB. I'm a member and their bi-monthly magazine is posted to me. It is a joy to visit really good independent bookshops. Not to mention the LRB coffee shop and it's cakes, (which we felt obliged to sample).. delicious!
After visiting another bookshop on Wigmore Street we dipped into the designer Margaret Howell's shop. Such desirable clothes and a lovely autumn display of rosehip branches.
The assistant looked wonderful, her hairstyle was pure Dora Carrington. I love this cut.
"Have a change, Mum," said daughter. I think that she is tired of me looking lop-sided!
We did a lot of looking and a little bit of shopping in the sort of long-established shops that are increasingly hard to find outside London. Rothe and Son have been going for many years.
Their window displayed a taste of London.
I had such a lovely day and caught the evening train back home to the country, all talked out!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Museum style!

I went to London last Friday in squalls of rain. When the appointment that I was in town for was over I stayed on the tube to South Kensington, and, avoiding the battle of umbrellas in the streets above me, took the underpass to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I studied at the museum in the sixties when I was an art student at Goldsmiths and it has been a favourite place to visit ever since. If I lived in London I would be signing up for their courses and workshops. I think that the museum is an absolute treasure trove.
I wandered in the quiet around some of my favourite rooms then went to have a peek in the fashion gallery. Some of the clothes are truly of a bye-gone era, impossible to wear today, such as this enormous hat from 1909 of plaited straw decorated with artificial wisteria flowers made of fine cotton.
 But these scarlet shoes, dated 1900, look very of the moment, both in colour and style.
And the Christian Dior scarlet dress from the fifties, with it's matching petticoat, I would happily wear, given the chance!
When the displays reached the sixties and seventies I was on home ground; I have the same Biba catalogue and some of the clothes that it advertises.

and now!
I used to have the matching long, fitted waistcoat and trousers, as seen in the catalogue, but they were unlined and the tweed was itchy so they are long gone! But I'm still hanging on to the rather battered hat and coat - if only for sentimental reasons!
For Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.
(I didn't go to the 'Ballgowns, British Glamour since 1950' exhibition at the V&A. It's on until early January so I'm saving it up for next time. Unfortunately no photographing will be allowed. Another exhibition starting at the end of this month and running until next January is to be 'Hollywood Costume'. It is advertised as "over one hundred of the most iconic costumes in the history of film-making." Wow, it sounds a must-see!)