The winter wardrobe is waning – come on spring!

When we first moved abroad,  I remember that each morning my parents would look out the window, grin at each other and say ” it’s sunny again today”!  It became a bit of a thing and we all used to dread coming back to the UK each summer; having to pack for every possible weather condition known to man.  I say ‘we’, but I expect it was actually my Mother who used to do all the dreading as she was probably in charge of the packing.

Some years later when I came back to school in the UK I took charge of my own packing and at the end of each terms I would fold all my school uniform and mufti clothes away in my school trunk at the end of each term and it would be stored in the basement until the next term. It didn’t phase me at all and I was quite used to  living by this regular three month ritual.  Thinking about it now, I did have have four separate wardrobes back then; a very British school uniform ( pinnies, boaters, white and brown gloves and an actual cloak) mufti to wear after school, summery clothes to wear when at home abroad and another set for the summer holidays, mainly spent on the Dorset coast in the UK. That probably sounds far more glamorous than it actually was; it’s not like I had fancy ‘collections’ or anything; I just had climate and occasion appropriate clothes to suit the various aspects of my life. On reflection, it’s no wonder that for so many years since, I’ve had such a bizarre, eclectic collection of mismatched clothes and have struggled so to find my own style 😀

Somehow, over the the years and with most of my time being spent in just one location and with a far less interesting and varied lifestyle,I slipped in to the habit of just having two season’s worth of clothes and swapping over twice a year. It didn’t really work that well and what with all the different styles and personalities I was trying to wear, it all became a bit manic and out of control.  I kept on buying stuff in the vain hope that I’d manage to find myself somewhere in amongst all the bizarre collections of clothes.  I had so many outfits which I’d co ordinated prettily from pieces I’d found from various places but they frequently disappointed me. Either  the style of the outfit was wrong for my height and shape or the colours were wrong for my colouring. The more I failed to achieve what I sought, the more pieces I bought…

Well, I’m so happy to have finally stepped off that wheel of continual want and waste. Of all the separate pieces I had in my winter collection, there is only one item I haven’t worn at all and that’s the red jeans, because they are ( still) too tight.  Although, I’ve only worn my navy dress  the pink tweed skirt  and my pink wool coat just one time as well.  I like the idea of the tweed skirt, the colour and the style are fine but I’m just not sure  how it looks on…

Perhaps I’m not dressing it with the right things so I’ll keep it a while and try to find some new ways to wear it.  I LOVE my pink coat but I’ve decided that it’s more suited to spring.  I don’t need two knee length wool coats for winter and I’d rather not wear a black one in Spring so I’ll have it cleaned and then store it away until Autumn or Winter and keep the pink one for use in early spring.

There are quite a few items I’ve let go. For the first time, I think, I shall be ending a season with less than I started and would you believe that it’s now nearly two months since I bought any clothing … the pair of tights I bought to replace a worn pair doesn’t count.

I’ve donated three scarves,  a cardigan, a jumper and two tops and swiftly returned a pair of shoes which I loved and wore about the house for two days until I finally conceded that I just cannot comfortably wear heels over two inches. However fabulous they may look and no matter how much they may elongate my legs, I SIMPLY WILL NOT SUFFER for appearance’s sake. Had I not injured my foot as a child then I may well be able to wear heels now and for a long time I did wear them; ignoring the pain, but I value my health and body so much these days and as my (imaginary) modelling career is probably also on the wane, I shan’t worry too much!

I’ve already had a peek in the trunk (the very same one I’ve had since school) at my Spring  and Summer selection and I’ve already donated a pair of jeans, a tunic jumper, top, skirt, leggings and dress from it so I’m expecting to start off with a collection of items in which I like every single pieces.

I’ll admit that I am ready for a change now, I’m starting to feel just a bit bored with seeing the same items each time I open the wardrobe and as I honestly haven’t worn a pair of shoes in months, I’m quite looking forward to seeing something other than boots on my feet.

I’ve kept my diary free for next weekend, and thank goodness I don’t work Fridays, this seasonal  wardrobe swapping is definitely a Three Day Event!

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So long September…

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… it’s been a little bit more hectic than I would like.

Each year I really do know it’ll be super-busy what with going back to school and all that involves … letters, information evenings, permission slips, consent forms, payments, photos and requests for money for clubs, trips, events etc… and the huge physical shock to our systems.  For me it’s having to share the bathroom time in the morning, actually, just having to share morning space.   For the Teen it’s having to get up at 7 rather than 10 and walking, a lot !

However much I know how busy September is, I’m never completely prepared for the relentlessness of it.  Added to the heady mix of abrupt routine change and financial ravaging, is one daughter having a birthday bang in the middle of it, and then the other, who’s birthday falls at the beginning of October ( meaning it still needs preparing for during September)

Then sprinkle in a bit of Teen dropping her phone at school during the first week back…IMG_4963

Meaning 3 separate trips to town in one week, for a replacement,  and then top it  off with the very same girl managing to break the charger once she had the replacement phone and you have one harassed and ever so slightly seething parent.

It’s no surprise I’ve not been feeling myself at all for the last couple of weeks.  I’ve had aches and pains all over my hands and arms, my fingers have been so stiff it hurt to type and tiredness has literally overwhelmed me.  I was coming home and falling on to the sofa for a nap. Every day.  I eventually sought medical advice and had some blood tests done. No results yet but I’m extremely relieved that the symptoms seem to have subsided.

It’s not all been bad though,  I am enjoying having Friday’s to myself again and I’m very strict about how I spend them; woe betide anyone from my work place who dares to call…

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Admittedly every Friday in September was spent either attempting a thorough post-summer hols clear out, shopping for birthday gifts or catching up with laundry and cleaning, but as of THIS Friday coming, I shall be back to making the most of my day and I have a riding lesson booked.  I’m very excited about this and have bought myself a pair of purple riding gloves to celebrate !

I planned to have 9 fast days during September and am pleased to report that I completed 8 and am feeling a lot more in control of my eating and have a better understanding of both the types and quantity that my body is requesting.  I started off well with the 10,000 steps a day target, every day for the first week, then, sadly as the pain in my hands and the fatigue kicked in, I didn’t manage to achieve the 10,000 steps more than twice a week.

I did however, manage to get rid of 101 items from my home – yay !  I’m really pleased with this although it was a struggle to find things at times, and then other times I’d get inspired and purge loads of things in one day.  The majority of items were clothes and most have been either donated to family or charitized while old T shirts were turned into cleaning rags.  I’ve always  struggled to shift pieces that I bought and loved even if I rarely wore them.  A lot of the items I gave to my eldest will suit her colouring far more than me, although I loved the soft colours when I bought them and this has actually helped me confirm that the colour choices I’ve made for my own autumn / winter wardrobe are the ones which flatter me the most. More on that another time though.

I shed unworn make up and jewellery, books, ornaments, gadgets, games, paperwork, tools, crockery, bags, accessories, shoes.  I look around me and right now I see more items that I don’t need, but  which need me; to take care of them, clean and maintain them, what a drag !

There are still so many things that  I can let go of, things which have been in my home for so long that I don’t really notice them anymore. With each item I say goodbye to, I find it easier to let go of the next one. Sentimental reasons have made me hold on to some far longer than I need to. I’ve learned that the memories don’t fade once the item is no longer in my possession and this has been a revelation and such a relief.

I’m not done with purging, and err… I’m not done with shopping either ! I’m just learning to shop with my head for what I truly need.  Like these gorgeous little soup pots, I could easily have bought 4 or even 6 but I only needed 2 so yep, that’s all I bought – yay !

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