Thursday, 30 November 2017

I think my Wardrobe is Over-Curated!

These days I've been feeling as if I need to shop for clothes. Really. No joke. 

For those who think they know me... this sounds like a ludicrous statement. I'm always shopping, aren't I? But my friends who notice these things know that just because I'm always talking about fashion, and always looking at clothes, either on-line or in real life, doesn't mean I'm always buying. 

In fact, I've purchased relatively few fall and winter clothes since I retired. 

Monday, 27 November 2017

Keeping in Touch

We all know the importance of keeping family and friends close. The value of a strong, supportive social network. How staying in touch with loved ones contributes to mental and physical health. 

But sometimes, keeping in touch can be, well, complicated. 

We might live miles, and sometimes continents, away from family and old friends. We're busy with work and kids. We change jobs, or retire, or move away. We might spend large chunks of the year travellingLife moves on and so do we. And people we used to see everyday gradually fall off our radar. 

view of mountains from a plane

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Winter Monochrome-ish

Winter is here. It's been here for a few days, now. We had a minor snow fall last weekend, and the snow has stayed. Hubby's heavy jackets, and winter gloves and toques are unpacked. And he's been skiing once already. So it's official, for him. 

But, me... I've been thinking that I should delay hauling out my winter coats until the very last minute. I've been trying to come up with outfit combinations that involve extending the season for my fall jackets, while at the same time trying not to freeze various parts of my anatomy. 

So I've been looking for outfit inspiration while pedalling my exercise bike, perusing on-line images, and leafing through magazines from the last few months. I love all the monochrome looks I've found. Not monochrome in the standard matchy-matchy way. But outfits comprised of a single colour theme, with differing shades, and textures. Like these looks below. The red outfit is from Victoria Beckham Fall 2017. The blue/grey look is on Victoria Beckham, so one presumes it's from her own collection. And the cream sweater and pants are from Max Mara Fall 2017.

three outfits on three women
Find all these images on my Pinterest board here
I love all these looks. Since I saw that all red outfit in Vogue, I've been hoping to find a long skirt that I can wear with the Akris burgundy sweater I bought earlier this fall. But, I'm really only half-heartedly looking. And in the meantime, I thought I might cobble together my own monochromatic-ish look from items in my closet. Hence we see below.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Reading. Sometimes It's Like Falling In Love

Many years ago when I was in my twenties, I quit a job I hated, left a life that wasn't making me happy, and moved home to New Brunswick to get myself back on track. I was determined to try to recapture all those things that had somehow fallen out of my life after years of living in the big city. And to focus on a career in teaching. Oh yeah... and I swore off men. Especially the kind of men I'd been meeting: good-looking, but unreliable, and overall too smooth by half. After a year down east, sufficiently refreshed, and retooled, so to speak, I moved back to the city. And in the first few weeks of teaching, I met Hubby. 


I didn't intend to meet anyone. I didn't, in fact, want anything to distract me from achieving my goals. But, after numerous lunches in the school staff room, and conversations over coffee, we had our first date in mid-December. Then a movie or two, a few dinners, several cross-country skiing dates and, by late January, the writing was on the wall. He was much more emphatic, more sure about things than me. I was more hesitant, less trusting. I guess I was a bit gun shy, slightly commitment phobic. We spent more and more time together. Talked on the phone for hours at night. I remember thinking that things were moving too swiftly. I wrote in my journal that the situation felt as if I was negotiating a steep set of stairs in high heels, one tentative step, then another, then catching my heel on something, and tumbling all the way to the bottom. I was tumbling all right. Unable to catch myself. And not sure anymore that I wanted to catch myself. Sometimes love is like falling downstairs... except less painful. Ha. 

And now, here is my point... sometimes reading is like falling in love. Really. Let me explain. 

You pick a book off the shelf on a casual visit to the library. You start reading, and suddenly you can't put it down. You don't intend to read until the wee hours, but you are so captivated by the characters, so desirous of finding out what happens next that you are... well... infatuated. The hours simply fly by; time has no meaning when you're reading a book like this. You can't spend enough time with your book. You think about it even when you're apart. 

See what I mean? Just like falling in love.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Vintage Connections... Wearable and Otherwise

On Sunday an old friend and I attended the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show. This is what I wore. Yep, I finally, finally mustered my courage and wore one of my vintage hats... out in public. I love vintage hats. But, I buy them, plan an outfit around them, and then at the last minute chicken out before I make it out the door. Not this time.


woman in black jacket and pants, on a lawn with river behind
On my way to the Vintage Clothing Show, in black and vintage.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Mired in the Mud ... Thoughts on Poetry and Fiction and War

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I usually write something about Remembrance Day in November. 

For many years, I taught at a school named for John McCrae, who wrote the famous poem "In Flanders Fields," so observing Remembrance Day was a big deal for us, teaching students about the meaning of Remembrance Day and at the same time showcasing student art, and music, and creative writing. Now that I'm retired, I'm no longer involved in helping my writing students to research and write about what this day means.Trying to help them scale down the melodrama, and the overt hero worship, to look at the reality of what the men and women who fought in wars, or were affected by war, endured. Helping them to uncover facts, and to write sensitively, and respectfully of our history in times of war.


Lest We Forget mural and monument
Photo of the monument at John McCrae Secondary School courtesy of Arlene Angel-Blair

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Thoughts of Boots

I once had a biology professor who could see the lighthearted side of just about anything. I remember one morning he strolled to the front of the lecture hall, stood for a moment stroking his chin pensively, and began,"Imagine this. It's a warm spring evening, and a young worm's fancy turns to thoughts of love." I don't remember much else about that course, but I never forgot that line. 

So, let us begin. Imagine this. It's a crisp autumn morning, and a young-ish (or old-ish if you prefer) blogger's fancy turns to thoughts of boots. Sigh. I love boots. And boot season is finally here. 

Friday, 3 November 2017

Back to the Eighties: My Perfect Sweats.

I've written often on the blog about the never-ending trials of finding the perfect jeans. I've even been known to compare the endless labour of shopping for jeans to the punishment meted out by the gods to poor Sisyphus. You know, the mythological king who so angered the gods he was sentenced to push a rock uphill, only to have it roll back down. Every time. For eternity. Just like jean shopping. Sigh.

Don't laugh.