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museums and fine dining…..and a massive rant about Lolita fashion!

Despite having to stop due to a mega cold at the end of last week I have actually been sewing and completed one new dress, however my mum couldn’t get any photos of it today whilst we were out, my camera has the longest exposure time ever, and my mum has hypoglaecemia so gets a bit wobbly, so bad combination, so I will have to wait for Jon to come home from band rehearsal much later tonight to get a picture of it.

Today I took the day off to go to the V&A with my mum though. Well it was sort of the day off, it was also sort of a research trip.

First up we hit the Ballgowns Exhibition in the newly tarted up Fashion Gallery. Have to say it was awesome. So amazing to see Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen and Hardy Amies dresses in the flesh and to get a good look at them. Favourites were the first dress I saw, can’t remember who by, but made for the Queen Mother in the <s>18</s> 1950’s, and a late seventies 50’s style prom dress number with kind of quilted satin done up with pastel representations of a fairy story painted and written all over it, actually really contemporary to whats going on in street fashion right now.

Biggest problem with the exhibition was the dummies, as far as size goes, yeah they were all thin, but as most of the dresses downstairs were couture from actual peoples actual collections rather than designers samples they were on reasonable shaped dummies. However whoever had posed them had decided to do so in the most bizarre catwalk poses, including one I can only describe as the time warp…

 

which is not a way to make any outfit look attractive, no matter how beautifully made. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m as much an aficionado of Americas Next Top Model as anyone else, but i was under the impression that those kinds of poses were there to break the monotony of a runway show, or for an editorial shoot that is ostensibly about the clothes, but actually about something else entirely, the clothes are just the excuse. But for a static mannequin in an exhibition showing how gorgeous the ballgowns are; baffling! I felt like I was in some kind of parallel skinny-rich people dimension where the rules of physics and aesthetics behaved completely differently, a feeling I revisited several times throughout the day.

The difference between how I perceive beauty and how a designer does grew even more when I went upstairs to the contemporary (ie last 3 years) bit of the show. Apart from draped garments being really really not my thing, I failed to relate to most of the garments up there, I loved the concept of the fifties silhouette galaxy dress from last year (can’t remember who by) but on the model it looked sort of wrong.

Then my Mum and I saw a black full length sheath dress with intricate beading and simultaneously went ‘thats more like it!’ and of course it was about the only dress on that floor that wasn’t a sample and was actually worn by Beyonce, and the difference between that mannequins proportions and those of the dresses next to it was striking. Of course theres nothing wrong with size 0, and if someone is size 0 and has a dress made specially for them it can look spectacular, but a whole army of size 0 mannequins is a bit creepy, and actually in my mind didn’t do the dresses any favours. I mean I suspect Beyonce is tiny sized also, but omg the difference a bum and some tits made to the dress. Really don’t see how designers think what they do helps sell things.

After that went and had a salad for lunch in the cafe..it was a yummy salad, but most definitely a salad!

then we went and had a look for the ‘Kitty and the Bulldog’ exhibition, which I was really excited to see, cuz it was ostensibly an exhibition on how Gothic Lolita relates to Western Fashion. Except it wasn’t it was 8 or so dresses in the japan gallery, it started out ok with a ‘in the mid 90’s a load of Japanese designers and musician types saw Viviane Westwood stuff and  all the lovely gear you used to be able to buy down Camden market (sobs..may it rest in peace!) and thought “we’ll have a piece of that! ” ”

And that was about it for analysis, Malice Mizer and Kamikaze Girls were mentioned, but it went no further than that. I am glad in a way, cuz it explicitly counters one of the more irritating Lolita fallacies that ‘The Japanese designers invented lolita in a sort of vacuum between victorian times and 21st century japan and it has no overlap with or relevance to actual goth or any western alternative culture at all, and never has had – yes you might have been into it in 2001/2 and actually remember and I am 22 but I can afford brand and you can’t so I know more what I am talking about than you do!” not that I’m bitter or anything.

And it was good that it had putamayo and moi dix mois ega line stuff which actually do look like stuff you could/can buy down camden, but it would have been good to have some actual western stuff for comparison.And more analysis!!!Cuz after the first few dresses the analysis just went off on one and went into some bizarre theory about lolita being a western fashion and feeding back into japanese traditional culture..not as one would expect via wa-lolita but via a black and red samurai outfit with a fetish mask and a traditional kimono with a bit of  (rachelle) lace on it and a head dress. Apparently the head dress was a western style item! (nope, me neither!) . I mean it was japanese street fashion, but whether it had anything at all to do with lolita was highly debatable!

They also put two virtually identical blue BTSSB and AATP dresses next to each other as examples of different styles, which out of an exhibition of 8 or 10 or so was a bit lame really.

And then there were the mannequins. Japanese girls are really skinny, they are not usually 6 foot! Hence every single dress was a good 2 inches above the mannequins knees, and therefore it looked a bit odd, specially with the angelic pretty!

Anyway…I will cease moaning about it. Its worth a look if you are there anyway, but I wouldn’t go out your way to see it!

After that we went to Harvey Nicks to the roof garden for some refreshment , cuz it has been taken over by Penhaligon and they are doing a special floral inspired desert and cocktail menu. Unfortunately all the cocktails are alcoholic,which was no good cuz my mum is fatally allergic to the stuff and has a really bad attitude to anyone else drinking around her, so we had a non alcoholic one each off the main menu, which were refreshing, but not that great! (they promised me grenadine!) However if one is going to fall off the diet wagon, it is best to do it somewhere you can do it in style, so we ordered a peony flavoured white chocolate mousse each with berries. And it arrived and I remembered I was in skinny-rich parallel dimension and with that portion size I wasn’t really falling off the wagon at all. It was however totally gorgeous! The revelation of the meal was that as well as peony scent in the mousse, which tbh I didn’t massively notice, they had soaked the fruit in some kind of violet water, which was one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted, specially in conjunction with the mousse. I am going to experiment at home and try to replicate something similar. i will not be able to get hold of water as I suspect , having had a quick look at the web, that that’s a do it yourself jobby and I don’t have a garden. I have however found these, which are from the most amazing website for cooking, and also gives me the excuse to buy this and these at the same time and have a go at a really poncey dinner party! 🙂

Rather than take the direct lift we took the escalators through rich-skinny land down the store. Its not actually so much the rich i mind, its the assumption that you can’t be rich/a valid consumer if you aren’t a size 10 or less all these stores and designers hold. 😦  Oh well, this is why I make my own stuff I suppose!…which I’d probably better get on with!

I may try and skulk back to Harvey Nichols at some point to try the actual cocktails, cuz they looked awesome, but with someone a bit more amenable to mid afternoon drinking….. looks around shiftily for volunteers! (it is ruinously expensive though!)

 

acorns and unicorns and pretty things!

So I’ve been really quite busy.

In between watching the olympics on the telly and avoiding the olympics crowds by hiding at my parents’ I have been buying things and making stuff.

Firstly..I picked this up a couple of weeks ago (£1.50 in a charity shop- nice!), but forgot to post about it,

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The acorns are made of little bits of polished wood. It is so pretty, and very very Mori Girl!

Then I made a couple of long sleeved t-shirts…..

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This one is a quick remake of a plain round necked purple job a friend of my mums gave me, it was too big and the neckline wasn’t flattering.

The unicorn was copied freehand from this colouring page and the lace is vintage i picked up ages ago.

I’m not sure about it, I think the neckline is too low, I didn’t actually cut it that bad, but it has stretched. i had the same problem with my cherries top I made a couple of weeks ago. It was the same kind of jersey too, the thick old fashioned sort rather than the thin modern sort, which I seem to be having no problems with at all. Does anyone know what i can do to stop this happening? I’ve stabilised the shoulder seams.

Also I made this for Jon….

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It is using the same sewaholic pattern as all the rest, which is technically a girls, but jon is going to wear it for goth clubbing and playing onstage with his band, so it actually works really well as a guys top for that purpose. It is the first renfrew top I have made I can say is pretty much perfect, there is nothing wrong with it at all, so I am really pleased! 🙂

So I already have a list of sewing projects taking over the flat, and then when I was out shopping in a local shopping centre (Which shall remain nameless, as this was too good a discovery) I walked past the £2 a meter stall, which I usually ignore because it is usually full of crepe style synthetics I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole and noticed it actually had a few interesting looking pieces on it….

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These three are all jerseys. I think I got 2 meters of each but in a couple of cases its a little more, cuz although the guy would cut it for you, there was no point if there was only 75cm or so extra in the piece.

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This is some kind of gauze, which is more the usual stock of this particular stall, but it has pretty feathers on it! No idea what I’m going to use it for yet, but at that price I don’t really care.

And this is the find of the century….

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About 5m of UNICORNS!!!! Sadly it is viscose, not cotton so is a bit shiny and see through and therefore better fro a Marilyn Monroe style Vivienne of Holloway knock off dress, rather than a Lolita number, but given I was revving up to spend 15 quid a meter on this (possibly if i could afford it) £8 for 5m of the viscose equivalent seems like a brilliant deal to me. The care label on it also says it is Japanese, so at least its quality viscose!

Apparently he got all this stuff cuz the samples department at Wallis were having a clear out. No idea what they would need unicorns for, but I am very grateful to where ever it came from.

Recently my sewing has lacked a bit of focus actually, but this month I have 3 actual deadlines for garments for the end of the month, otherwise I am going to have to go out and buy stuff, so given I have so much fabric to play with now its good to be forced to prioritise. I’m not going to say what the things are for incase I don’t manage them though! 🙂

the art of putting up posters.

So we bought our flat two years ago, and found rather quickly that the walls, which are made of two layers of very dense 70’s brick, really didn’t like having holes drilled into them.

We got the builder when we moved in to put some hooks up for pictures and mirrors and things, but as we settled in we tried to put some up ourselves using our black and decker drill and couldn’t get more than a couple of centimetres into the wall.

So we spent the past two years, firstly waiting for a friend to lend us her masonry drill, which never happened, and then saving up to buy one ourselves, until it was pointed out by my dad that , given we don’t intend to stay here forever anyway, and given the sort of drill we’d need to make any kind of dent in the walls would cost over £200, and given we don’t have that many framed pictures to go up at the moment, it really is bad value for money to buy one. And apparently blue tack doesn’t damage the wall if you take the residue off using nail varnish remover, so its a far better idea to use posters.

This has been a bit of a poser. Somewhere in my parents attic, waiting to be rescued next time I go to see them, are all my posters from when I was a teenager, a few of them are still cool, a lot of them just scream 18 year old. And I think thats the problem with posters in general. We haven’t had any on the walls in 8 years, everywhere we’ve lived, be it rental or bought we’ve used framed pictures. And thats what I was planning for this place, I was on the lookout for gold baroque looking picture frames from local charity shops, ready to fill with incongruous images of pop culture figures and photographs of twisted tangled branches, preferably both at once. I’m not really in the headspace for posters anymore.

We had a good look on the internet anyway, I think if I’d been buying/stealing posters regularly for the past 8 years, and had loads to collage everywhere all over the walls, I’d be a bit more up for band or film posters. I mean we really like music, but if you just buy two or three, thats kind of defining your taste in music and your taste in art publicly a bit more than I feel comfortable with. I always over think things, but to me for example, a lone Manics Street Preachers or Suede poster says ‘I was 17 in the 90’s’ whilst a Lady Gaga poster kind of says ‘I’m not 17 now, but I’m going to pretend I am’.

Hopefully over time, we will organically get posters of things we are into and build them up into a mass of images, and then maybe we can fill our walls and still look cool.

However for the moment, we decided, after several hours of browsing that the immediate problem of filling our walls wasn’t going to be solved by buying a personality off the internet. But we still really need something, every time I take a picture of our flat, I am totally struck by how plain it looks and slightly dingy with endless ikea book shelves and then nothing. So I decided to make some.

Coincidentally I have a couple of new iPhone photo apps that needed playing with. 🙂

So I created these photos……

  

   

  

yeah, ok they are of our toy collection, but they are for our bedroom, which has a lot of wooden furniture and a fairly old fashioned, and matching(!) bedspread and curtains, and desperately needs glamming up.

I am hoping to get them all on the walls as A3 posters, with one A2 sized one to fit a particular space, however the online printing company I am using thinks they are too low resolution, so I have sent one off for a test print to see what happens.

If they don’t work I will make some more along a similar line.

I can’t wait. Its a so much cooler, and cheaper, way of decorating the walls than buying loads of commercial posters I wasn’t massively happy with anyway.

BTW Photos are copyright to me and anyone attempting to use them without my permission will be in trouble!

sewing meet up, Jons new bass, and one for the music geeks!

So on Saturday, Jon and I got up ridiculously early and went to Brighton, where I took part in a sewing meet up, with a load of lovely people I’d never met before, as shown in the photo above, taken by a lady called Claire.

I’m really sorry to any of the ladies from the meet up that finds this, I’m not able to tag everyone in the photo, as I find the tagging function on wordpress fairly baffling, and I am rather run down today, so I’m concentrating on getting something published rather than it being particularly something good! 🙂

Anyways,we went to a restaurant,and swapped sewing stuff, I got rid of loads of  stuff I didn’t need to very good new homes and acquired some stuff for myself….

this flowery and leopard print and black silky fabric is absolutely gorgeous. I had a few ideas what to do with it, but as soon as Jon saw it, he was all ‘sexy nighty’, so that was that! Luckily I have a 1930’s vintage slip pattern that will do perfectly already in my collection. Its far too nice of course to just wear in bed and not show off in public, when I was a teenager I used to do the whole Courtney Love, wear a nightie as a dress with a skinny t-shirt underneath thing, so I may have to revisit that look!

I got this sewing magazine, with how to make a sock monkey in it! 🙂 I like sock monkeys, so I am glad to get hold of a pattern for one.

I also acquired this gorgeous vogue pattern from the 60’s for an amazing looking suit.

After lunch, I shot off early as we were aiming to go to Jon’s brother’s birthday in the evening and it was already 3pm. Popped into Ditto Fabrics, partly just to have a browse, but mainly to check out a couple of things I’d seen online and rather liked the look of. I am never going to make the mistake of buying stuff that isn’t cotton online without getting a sample or checking it out in person ever again!

First on the list was this jersey…

which was as nice as I’d hoped it would be. If you look really closely it has naked ladies all over it! 🙂 It also has writing saying ‘Black Tomorrow, recorded on Parlephone’  Having googled Black Tomorrow, there are a couple of bands called that, but they are all really small and modern, certainly not important enough to have their own psychedelic t-shirt fabric. Was wondering if any of the music experts I know would be able to shed any more light?

Anyway, I am waiting for my sewaholic renfrew top pattern to turn up, and it will go nicely with that.

I looked at Ditto’s supply of coating, cuz I have a cape pattern I’m looking to use at some point, and I am so glad I didn’t buy online, as non of it was at all to my taste, the  duck egg blue I thought I liked was all hairy in real life. 🙂 But then I spotted this in the sale for £8 a meter……

it is wool fabric, and I thought it would be perfect for either my new suit pattern, or given that I think, having looked at the back of the packet, that  that one may be for a sewist who’s a bit more expert than me, the new simplicity mad men suit pattern.

I ended up buying 5 meters instead of 4 because that was what was left on the roll, and it was in two separate pieces so I wanted to be sure I had the right amount, hopefully that will give me a bit left over at the end for something else. 🙂

On the whole I think I was rather restrained!

Then before we went home, Jon, who had been trying out bass guitars at various shops whilst I was fabric shopping, took me to see one he really liked, that was massively reduced in price as it had a tiny chip in it, and generally a total bargain. So he bought it, which is a real relief as his old bass has a broken neck that has been repaired so many times, its just waiting for someone to drop it for there to be a disaster.

So this is it..

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a bit of a crappy photo, but I was having massive problems with lighting. It is a black Ibanez Soundgear. Personally I think it is totally outshone by my Daisy Rock next to it, but I suppose its not bad looking for a bass, and it has a pretty dragon on the fretboard! 😛

In front is Jons new leopard print pedal bag, nicely decorated with the larger part of our badge collection. So rock and roll!

Anyway..we got back from Brighton according to schedule, the plan was to dump stuff at home and then go straight out again, but Jon had come down with a bit of a temperature, so we thought we’d better not go to his brothers party, which was just as well really as it started snowing and didn’t stop, and it would have been a nightmare getting back from Highgate in that sort of weather.

I was feeling quite smug cuz I’d paced myself all day so I was well enough to go out again, and Jon wasn’t, but then I’ve been mostly in bed yesterday and today, so meh!

I did get my tartan fabric washed and ironed over the weekend though, it is a total dream! I am now thinking it might not be wool, and may be the sort of cotton grunge style lumber shirts are made of or something. But it doesn’t really matter, it means the dress I make will be easy to care for anyway.

Hopefully I’ll be well enough in the next few days to get on with it!

fabric organisation

Haven’t posted on here for rather a while, before christmas I was insanely busy, and since christmas I’ve been rather ill, so haven’t really done anything of note.

I’ve been somewhat recovered over the last week or so, and needed to sort out my fabric collection anyway, due to hoping to attend zoe’s  fabric swap in Brighton on the 4th Feb. And to be honest it was getting a bit of  a nightmare, it hasn’t been that I didn’t know what I had, more that I had no idea how much of it I had, which has lead to inappropriate pattern buying..

So anyway, after tidying into a box all the patterns that are not in my current dress size, and tidying into a drawer all the pieces of fabric less than 2m in length, I’m left with this little lot!……..

tartan, probably wool,4m  that I bought from ditto fabrics last year. I know what I am going to do with this, I have a dress planned, but i am a bit scared of washing it, given I was a complete idiot and forgot to ask the care instructions when I bought it!

this one is also from ditto fabrics, it is 3m of stretch jersey stuff. Its the pair to the green I posted about that I bought a few months back (which is going to the fabric swap). I thought it was also a mistake, but simplicity have just brought out a madmen style office outfit, complete with a little cardigan/jacket that this will do perfectly for. I totally need to find out the care instructions for this, as dispute being polyester the green version did not wash at all well, so I will be asking when I visit Brighton in 2 weeks.

The colour does not come out as vivid as I had hoped, but this is 3m of fluorescent yellow twill from McCulloch and Wallace, that will be turned into a cycling jacket of some sort for jon. He has yet to decide whether he wants a 40’s, 60’s 70’s or denim/cowboy style jacket, but when he has I’ll start looking for a pattern.

these two are Liberty fabrics from their latest collection, I only got 2m of each as they were bloody expensive, which is not quite enough to make a long sleeved blouse. I am trialing a sleeveless blouse pattern at the moment, but if it doesn’t work I will go with the same pattern I used for my hellbunny style dress as that only takes 2m of the main decorative fabric.

this is actually mint green damask, 4m. Off Birmingham rag market. Not really sure what to do with this, mint green is terribly fashionable this year, so I ought to do something. This (and the next fabric I’m about to post) were bought to go with some 1940’s patterns I got my hands on. Unfortunately, the mockups of each pattern were such a disaster and I couldn’t work out exactly what had gone wrong, that I am ditching the patterns till I’ve lost a good bit of weight. However this does somewhat limit me to slightly more modern patterns for these dresses. For this one there is a 60’s repro pattern I have that might do the trick, but I haven’t tested it yet, so I’m not sure.

4m strawberries cotton from Goldhawke Road. As I said above, had the perfect 40’s pattern lined up for this one, fell through, really no idea what to do with it at all now! 😦

Have about 3m of this, tattoo print cotton off the internet, already had a blouse out of the same piece. had a 80’s nightdress pattern lined up for this, but when I opened it, it was missing 2 pieces. The lady from etsy gave me my money back, but I am on the lookout for another in the same size then I can get on and make this.

this is the glittery shiny stretch fabric I used to pin to my walls at uni, theres about 2m of it, and it is very 2000 style! I want to make a t-shirt out of it, but I was looking for a good pattern, but now I have sewaholic’s Renfrew pattern on order, that should work somehow or other.

And lastly this, more liberty fabric 2m from their quilting collection. Yeah, ok, its technically quilting cotton. I got loads, and have already made a nightdress that doesn’t fit anymore 😦 but 2m is an awkward amount, so I have no idea what to do with it yet.

so yeah, thats probably awfully boring for anyone who isn’t me, but at least I’m organised now, and know what I’ve got. Hopefully I will be coming back from Brighton with a load more fabric, but this lot will take me the best part of the year to do the rate I’m going. Need to be less ill 😦

Now I suppose I’d better go and get on with it!

bad taste pottery

I have a bit of a thing for novelty china that i pick up from charity shops. I used to collect the 1970’s green rustic looking stuff, but it has now got sufficiently expensive that charity shops rarely stock it anymore, so I decided to switch to novelty stuff instead.

Luckily I live in a part of London with really rather awful charity shops, so I don’t usually   find anything, however…two weeks ago we went to Hitchin in Hertfordshire, and I came back with this…

isn’t it fabulously ugly! It was £5 and now lives on our windowsill, scaring the blackbirds that live in the ivy behind our flat.

However if that wasn’t good enough, today I completely excelled myself…..

it is hard to tell from the picture, but it is actually quite huge! Isn’t it amazing? It doesn’t have any chips or anything on it, and the ladle is all in one piece!

It also doesn’t have any makers marks on it, so I will have to do a bit of research to find out what it actually is. It was only a tenner though, so it really doesn’t matter whether its valuable or not, though it will be fun to find to about it.

It is so big, that at the moment there is nowhere to put it, so it is going to have to live in a cupboard and only come out for special occasions…..like Christmas! We are doing Christmas at home this year, so it can sit on the table with my grannies china dinner service and hold the sprouts!  Can’t wait! 🙂

Rampant Consumerism

On Thursday night, as Jon  was working too hard to sort food, and I was too ill, we went out for dinner to The Ravensbourne Arms, the new (ish) pub in Ladywell, that has now started serving food. We’d heard good things from a few people and their ale is always excellent, but we were really disappointed.
The menu looked good, proper gastropubby, maybe a bit too pubby and heavy for my liking, the only ‘heathy’ options were a tart, but they didn’t say what came with it, and a fish pie ,and sadly I am allergic to shellfish, which often creep in somewhere along the line if these things are done properly. So I went for a half chicken and chips and peas, and Jon went for a burger and chips.
To be fair the chicken was excellent, as was the gravy, the chips however for both of us were a different story completely. they had gone for the gastropub thing of doing skin on chunky chips, except these weren’t chips..they were wedges, well actually they weren’t wedges, they were about a quarter of a potato per chip and they were terribly undercooked.
Jon’s burger was also nearly rare, which was sort of ok, cuz he would usually ask for medium for a burger, except he wasn’t asked, and he said it was rather fatty.
There isn’t a proper food pub around the Catford/Ladywell area, and they have roughly the right idea in terms of menu and prices, its just a shame about the way it was cooked.
We will probably eat there again, as we will be drinking down there fairly regularly and occasionally get hungry, but its not somewhere I’ll put myself out to eat unless it gets a lot better.

Friday and Saturday were quiet because I was still feeling ill and Jon was exhausted after such a long weeks work, however I made time to order my Christmas food shop from Waitrose for delivery on the 22nd.
This to me is perfect, it gives me two days to buy stuff if anything is missing off the order, and it saves the horrors of last year, which was a bit of a disaster as even though we weren’t cooking, we went to my mums, a load of stuff ended up being picked up in the station as it had been snowing for the best part of 3 weeks, before which I was ill, so there was no chance at all of getting out and getting to the shops. Not that its necessarily going to be as bad this year, but we don’t have a car and the local Tesco isn’t great at having full shelves or products that are what I am looking for, so its better to be safe.

Sunday we carried on in the same theme and went into town to try and get started on present shopping. We made a list of roughly what we were looking for, and reckoned the train fare for me (Jon has a season ticket), given most of the items we were thinking of could be bought on Oxford Street, was cheaper than potential shipping from 5 or 6 different websites. It is just as well we did actually. One of the ideas we had our eyes on were these http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/bin/venda?ex=co_wizr-xapian&bsref=urbanoutfitters&searchfld=&searchpage=0&searchinvt=1&searchstry=0&searchicat=0&searchlike=1&itemsperpage=12&threshold=1&filtercat=shop&carryfields=U%2CV%2CC%2CF%2Ccatname%2Cminprice%2Cmaxprice%2Csortname%2Csortprice%2Csortrelease%3E&xptpl=wz_xapian_advanced&srchopt=U%2CV%2CC%2CF%2Cminprice%2Cmaxprice%2Csortname%2Csortprice%2Csortrelease&U=&V=&C=&F=&ARG_DEFAULTOP=OR&minprice=&maxprice=&bklist=&searchex=hip+flask hip flasks from Urban Outfitters, which we thought would do nicely for male relatives…however, as soon as we saw them, we realised they were about half the size in real life as what I would consider normal for a hip flask to be, and didn’t look that impressive. So its good we checked them out in real life first.

Also I saw this…http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/velvet-bow-cocktail-hat/invt/5752428162402/&bklist= and as I am a sucker for miniature hats fell completely in love.

In the end we got a good 2/3 of the presents we needed to get, so thats a real relief.

Half way through the shopping trip Jon started massively sneezing though, and so spent Monday off work with a cold! I cooked an awesome curry from this months Waitrose recipe cards (ingredients courtesy of Tescos) which was great, apart from only serves 4, not 6 as the card said. And a not so nice Saag Aloo, using a Pataks easy cook sachet and following the instructions on it, didn’t really end up tasting like what you actually get in a restaurant 😦

Tuesday Jon went back to work and in the evening we went to see the Smashing Pumpkins at Brixton. Thanks to my Good Beer Guide App on my iPhone, we found the Trinity Arms, up a back street in this really amazing garden square that looked like it had accidentally lost its way from Chelsea, I’d heard there were posh bits of Brixton, I just hadn’t realised they’d be so near to the centre! Scarily posh looking pub, everything decked out in immaculate Farrow and Ball paint, however, it does a decent pint of Youngs, and proper good quality pub food like the Ravensbourne is failing at, only properly! We got burgers with properly cooked , perfectly sized, skin-on chunky chips, on a two for a tenner deal (!!! 🙂 ), and to be honest I’d have been happy if we’d payed twice as much. The clientele was a lot less scary than the pubs decor suggested as well, most of them were our age, and as the gig drew nearer, a load of obvious pumpkins fans piled in and they were fine with it. Will definitely go there again, and will actually look forwards to gigs being in Brixton now possibly, rather than see it as something to be endured.