Sunday, 23 November 2008

Zen's day out

So there are pros and cons to living in London.

Con: one is always having to deal with boilers and fridges and washing machines that leak. (This is not inherent in living in London, but they never made me deal with this kind of nonsense in Cambridge! Hence it is with London that I associate tardy plumbers.)

Pro: everyone has interesting shoes!

Con: -- and I think this is something peculiar to city life -- one suddenly understands road rage in a way one never did before, because when you're pushing and shoving in a crowd of about 1 million people all pushing and shoving to get on a bus, and it is cold and wet and smells of exhaust (not to mention exhaustion), and suddenly some City dude with an irritating tie steps on your foot -- then you know the true meaning of abrupt fury!

Pro: but you can have such great days out!

The subject of this post is going to be days out, because City workers with irritating ties and boilers are not very interesting things to blog about. Also they are not as photogenic!

Yesterday my nice young man came down from Cambridge and we went to the Royal Academy for the Byzantium exhibition -- highly recommended, particularly if you're interested in Christian art. But there won't be any pictures of that, because probably they wouldn't have allowed it, and anyway I left my camera in the cloakroom.

But what is more relevant to our purposes: I'd been impressed by the too-quirky-to-be-formal chic of this classy lady's outfit on Wardrobe Remix, and was eager to attempt to replicate the look with my H&M lace dress.

(It is such a great dress.) Unfortunately, while it has much in the way of charm and retro quality, there is one thing it lacks significantly, and that is length. And yesterday I checked the temperature and it was 1ÂșC in London.

How we suffer for beauty! Alas, not only was I freezing whenever necessity drew us outdoors, I did not manage to get any pictures in which both I and the outfit looked nice, so posting to Wardrobe Remix in ecstatic homage will have to wait for another day.

Outside a shop window, yearning to be let in :(
Jacket - Dorothy Perkins; shawl worn as scarf - random London shop; glittens - Accessorize; lace dress - H&M; 2 pairs of tights - Uniqlo and Debenhams; ballet flats - Franco Sarto

This, for example, is rather a nice photo, but it is useless as regards showing you what I was wearing. Nevertheless I have included in tiny font a list of what I was wearing, because I do so love knowing what people are wearing and where each item comes from.

What I was gazing at were these:

Which inhabited a shop fronted by this:

There's a knock-down argument for you!

After admiring Byzantine art and macaroon towers, we went to Patisserie Valerie to have PASTRIES.

but seriously it is ridiculous how photogenic pastries are!

I had a strawberry-and-kiwi tart.

The cream goes right down into the heart of the tart, and it is encircled by a layer of strawberry jam between the strawberries and the pastry. It basically tastes of happiness.

After that we wandered around Piccadilly and down Regent Street, where I poked my nose into shops, withdrawing it in some disappointment when it turned out that there were no sales. But there's a happy ending to this story: discovering to his shock that I had never heard of or been down Carnaby Street, P led me down that street of wonders, where we found Kingly Court, home of Cha Cha Moon and something even better -- vintage shops.

Which is all basically just a roundabout way of saying: I scored a dress in the bargain bin! Woo!

NB. I look slightly less like a hobbit in real life

I'd prefer short sleeves, but long sleeves are so authentic! We shall see. I plan to wear this with a houndstooth scarf, tights for the winter and boots; it will be interesting to see what works.

- Zen

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