You read that right: I’m giving you words AND pictures! Get pumped.
March so far:
You read that right: I’m giving you words AND pictures! Get pumped.
March so far:
One of my goals for the new year was to take a picture every day. If you have a fancy camera you may be familiar with the situation — when you travel or do something fun it gets a ton of use, but then you’re home and you go transfer the photos and you realize you’ve shot two days in three months. I wanted to challenge myself to get better photos of everyday things, as well as find beauty in the common.
I did a fairly good job for sixteen days; on the sixteenth day, my camera made a whirring sound and said, “Error 99!” And that was that. I have now borrowed a Nikon camera from a friend, which should hold me over until I figure out what to do with my Canon. I’m waiting to hear whether it can be repaired at all, and how much it will cost me to do so. If all else fails, I can probably afford a 700D body. I’m telling myself it’s not the same as spending on a laptop that won’t last; it’s always good to have multiple camera bodies, so the 700D won’t be left in the dust whenever I have enough money to buy my dream 5D Mark — but it’s still money I wasn’t planning to spend.
What this means on a practical, blog-front level — I will hopefully have another fortnight in pictures for the middle of February, but I skipped three weeks. I still kept up with many other habits, so it’s all a work in progress and I’m not too fussed about it. I take plenty of photos — I’m a bit compulsive as a shooter — so there’s never much of an obvious gap. And here’s a summary of my January — at least the first half.
The icicles are each one of my individual limbs. To be clear there.
Since I moved home I’ve gone shopping more often than I used to, mainly because I keep running out of clothes to wear while I wait for them to finish drying, and even if I could afford a dryer I wouldn’t have a place to put it. This was one such time. I always look significantly better put together on laundry day, because when I have things to choose from, I always choose the same stuff. And I like that stuff! So on Saturday, while I was waiting for my jeans to dry, I scavenged around my closet for something to wear under my new shiny green coat — a gift from a friend — and go find myself a new pair of jeans, and shoot an interesting outfit while I was at it, since me wearing interesting outfits is such a rare occurrence.
It was cold and rushed and while I was editing the photos, I kept rumbling, “I can’t believe I wore tights for this.” But that’s week 1 of 52 self-portraits complete! (I haven’t picked the One yet. Possibly the one above?) And the coat is awesome, shopping was quite successful, and my jeans were dry when I came back.
It’s possible, however, that I lost the tights and the hairdo around Zara, and walked around in mismatched socks and bare legs in the middle of winter for about an hour. You guys, tights suck. Why do they have to look good?
Is this global warming? Is it just weird out there? Some may know, but I am not one of them.
It’s not like it’s summer hot outside, but it’s warm enough to prance around without a coat on at 5 in the afternoon, and that’s a little weird. I remember this time in late December or very early January a couple of years back when I tried to shoot a knit dress under my coat, and not only did the pictures come out blue (I hadn’t learned about white balance at the time) but I pretty much decided then and there that I wasn’t putting on another dress until April at the earliest. I kept that promise.
It was around that time that I accepted I couldn’t stand tights no matter how good they looked, so it wasn’t all that hard.
I’ve become pretty good at shopping for myself — you would think you’re born with that skill, but it took me many years to figure out how I worked, clothes-wise, and these days I get a ton of use out of everything I buy. Half this outfit was bought on Oxford Street back in September — I’m wearing the gorgeous booties I splurged on as well as half my Primark purchases: sweater, and not pictured: long-sleeve tee, bra, two pairs of socks.
The jeans were the only (kinda) flare, (kinda) thick jeans I could find in town, because all anyone ever sells anymore is skinny jeans that are so thin they’re more like leggings and I bloody hate leggings and if I wanted to wear leggings, I would not wear jeans! Why is this a thing? I had a browse online before going to a few stores and ended up buying the exact same jeans I’d found on the Zara website. Even the store itself has changed and is weirdly disappointing now? But at least the jeans are good.
And so: a post featuring an outfit I wear roughly once a week. Comfy stuff.
Lounging at the mini pool on the roof terrace at the Vincci Bit in Barcelona, or quickly slapping on a pair of heels and sunnies, getting the elevator up, taking the pictures and running so my best friend could catch her bus. Nobody has to know which these are. But these are the latter.
The weather wasn’t even that great to enjoy the roof terrace, which was sad, but if that’s all the pool they had in mind, meh. How about the beach five minutes down the street instead? Mm the beach.
I rarely wear sunglasses, but I’m obsessed with these Twiggy frames from SpecsPost. I think I tried cat’s eye glasses once when I bought my first pair, but the shops in town mostly carried stuff that was way too big on me so I looked terrible. These aren’t petite, but they’re on the smaller size, and when I put them on I felt that feeling I rarely get anymore where something just fucking fits. They didn’t just look right; they looked good and made me look good.
I am a cat’s eye convert. Unfortunately sunglasses aren’t really my thing — I look at these photos and I’m torn between “damn I’m hot” and “damn I look like an asshole who is also hot” — so I’m hoping I can get a pair of these same frames with standard lenses sometime, because I truly love how they look on me.
The shorts are from ASOS and the shirt I bought on a last-minute Sunday run at Maremagnum right there in Barcelona because I packed like shit and had nothing to wear on Monday unless I bought it. Maremagnum is a big mall and the only thing I could find that was open on a Sunday (it is Spain, after all), and it is situated on a pier of sorts, so basically I got to see the port and a whole lot of sea at night, which was impossible to capture well on my camera, but which I enjoyed immensely.
I like to pretend my outfits are worthy of jazz standard lyrics. Let me have this one.
I also like to think if I saw this post on my feed, I wouldn’t bother to read anything written alongside it and would instead just look at the photos. I’m proud of them; there’s room for improvement, but I had a great deal of fun shooting with my best friend, and I think I look quite lovely considering… various things I shall not draw attention to. This is a cheap dress, and it has pockets (!), and the only makeup I’m wearing is drugstore lipstick. I carried my heels in a bag and they barely show up in any pictures.
In short(er): red is a lovely color, and Barcelona is an interesting place.
At the end of last month, I’d come up with a relatively straightforward plan to launch three things in November, as well as do a significantly better job of keeping up with another two areas of my business. I’m happy to tell you my blogging and client work have gone unusually smoothly, but the projects… not so much.
Everyone always shares what they did to make things work, sometimes what didn’t work during those launches, and how much work happened behind the scenes that you may have assumed did not. They usually talk about things that happened, after they happened. The fact that they got pushed back or weren’t ready when they were supposed to is a line in the larger scheme of things — just like I’m hoping this post will be a small note once I get my projects going.
But for now, I’m going to tell you about how this month, I didn’t.
It didn’t rain when I was in London in September until the very last minute — it literally started as Annemari and I waited for the bus to Liverpool Street Station for the train to the airport. Meanwhile, two hours in Barcelona and we got a serious fucking storm falling on us.
Judging by the photos, you wouldn’t be able to tell how much it affected my head — I still got loads of them. The next day was much better for me. This one, however, has the sea going for it.
I didn’t grow up by the sea; I don’t have that kind of connection that so many
pretentious assholes people claim to have to the ocean. I’ve never felt I couldn’t live far from the ocean because, hell, I’ve been doing exactly that for twenty-six years. Honestly, it’s just a lot of water, and humidity, and I can’t even swim.
And yet. As Annemari and I walked to the ocean, my mood went from ‘mildly stable’ to ‘giddy like a five-year-old;’ my energy grew and I started smiling and by the time we were overlooking the sea from a little ways away, I was ready to dance.
I’m not going to lie — when I say ‘capsule’ in the post title, I don’t really mean ‘clothes you can mix and match for maximum functionality’ this time (see previous capsules here and here). I’m thinking more about a receptacle in which you can live, like a cave where a bear hibernates, and the things you might want to have in it before holing up and not coming out until the sun does, like a bear when it hibernates.
These days I leave the house like, once or twice a week, usually the day after the wine runs out. I try to run all my errands at the same time, too; my town is pretty small so I might as well disrupt my routines as little as possible. I’m happy to tell you I’m no longer so unstable that going to the supermarket messes up my entire day, but I’m still lazy, and let’s be real, even if you go out every day, the best thing about winter is curling up on your bed or an armchair with a hot beverage, a book and your choice of
cat furry pet, wrapped up in something warm and comfortable. Mmm, cozying up.
And just in case you forgot that a) I mentioned a book and b) I read, I come bearing book recs, too! Because I’ve looked forward to and tweeted about two fall releases far too much not to mention them here as well.
This fall, two of my favorite non-fiction writers released new material. First, it was the incomparable (shut up) Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess, who followed up Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, a book so hysterical I translated entire passages to my sister on the fly, with Furiously Happy. Furiously Happy is just as hilarious, but delves even deeper into Jenny’s experiences with depression and other disorders, including acute social anxiety, with passages as heartbreaking as they are, for me and many other people, massively relatable. Her flying fears are my flying fears! There are also (live) cats and (taxidermied) raccoons, and if you don’t think taxidermied animals can be fucking funny, you’re about to be converted.
The other new book I just started reading last night is Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell, who you may recognize from This American Life (a podcast I’ve only heard a tidbit of, though I mainlined its spin-off Serial) or appearances on The Daily Show (where I have in fact seen her; she was one of Jon Stewart’s last guests). I know very little about the period of American History in her book — or any other periods — though it’s getting a big fandom push lately with the Hamilton musical, which I swear I will listen to in time (Renee Elise Goldberry! My love, my light) — but I’ve inhaled about four of Vowell’s books, starting with probably my favorite, Assassination Vacation, and her writing style is just so goddamn engaging I know I will care. She probably shoulders 80% of the responsibility for my morbid interest in the Civil War era, so you know she’s got chops. Also, like, she’s Sarah Vowell. So give it a go if you don’t know her.
That should keep you cozy and entertained for a while! Now back to your cat.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. In fact most links are affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission if you purchase! And I mean small. But a commission all the same. Esprit unfortunately does not have an affiliate program that I’m aware of, but boy, am I in love with their collection… surprising absolutely no one.