A Tracky Question

Looking at my blog fav list it will come to no one’s surprise that I love fashion. Like so many females the question of what to wear features high in my list of priorities and I always thought that experimenting with fashion is one of the best 'funs' in life. So when I started working in a 'proper' company (instead of for myself) one of the more difficult adjustments was the existence of a dress code. In the corporate world men wear suits and women wear (often rather long) skirts. (Actually, before moving to England I thought long skirts were exclusively worn to the opera). Now, I like wearing a suit, sometimes (I draw a line at a long skirt though), but what I like even more is to wear whatever I want and that depends on how I feel in the morning.

So when one day my morning mood called for a pair of black Michael Kors shorts and pretty much EVERYBODY at work had given me a rather obvious stare (so un-English) and I (naïve German) thought they were just admiring my outfit, I was taken aside and it was explained to me that the company had a ‘no shorts’ policy. Oh dear!

Luckily my boss happened to pass and intervened. "But you are German! You can wear whatever you want." Bless her. I don’t know why my German-ness gave me a licence to thrill (fashionably), but hey, I thought, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth! Since this incident I wear pretty much what I want and the glances have stopped. (I just ignore the mutterings around the corner.)

No problem with short dresses, satin leggings, even batiked jeans (they get a lot of positive comments). But lately I have become infatuated with the jogging look. I mean, really, you just can’t get away from it. I tried to ignore it at
Garance Doré in May, but now all fashion magazines feature the ‘trackie look’ and when I stumbled upon it again in the The Glossy my thoughts went wild: This just looks sooo comfortable, couldn’t it be the perfect pre-Christmas work look?
Sadly our tolerant, protecting-the-continental-ways boss has left us. So the question is: Do I want to fight my fashion corner? But maybe they’ve given up on me anyway.

P.S. Special Thanks to Sarah and Harriet for modelling!


Will Melatonin Prevent Me from Turning into a Zombie?

Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. Dave Barry

I don’t know if it’s autumn or some strange virus – but I cannot sleep. I go to bed, utterly exhausted, read a bit, close my eyes, and then I lie there.. and lie… and lie… for hours. First I thought it was the full moon, but that came and went and slumber still escapes me. ‘I can’t sleep!’ I howl. ‘If it goes on like this I will get wrinkly and grumpy and ill!’ (in that order)

‘Maybe you are taking something that keeps you awake’ asks sensible husband. ‘Are you taking a new product?’ (He knows I am my best customer when it comes to supplements. In fact, when I’m working on a catalogue our kitchen is filled with all these great products I have to try.) ‘I haven’t changed anything.’ I say ‘I take alpha-lipoic acid and astaxanthin to stay young forever, acetyl-l-carnitine, chromium and CLA so I can eat as much as I want, ashwagandha and rhodiola against stress, lecithin and fish oil for happi- and cleverness plus calcium, magnesium, selenium, probiotics as well as vitamins b, c, d and e because you just can’t go without them.’ ‘Maybe you should stop it all, to see if any of these substances are the cause?’ ‘WHAT? Now I need them more than ever, since I have to function with hardly any sleep.’ No, I certainly can’t do that, but I could add something…

So when - again - everyone in the house is snoring, but me, I rummage through our kitchen and find some melatonin that we brought back from Australia. That was 10 years ago and the ‘best until’ date is 2001. I’m beyond caring; all I want is sleep.
Yes, it did work. I might have felt a bit drowsy in the morning, but the sensation of having slept is wonderful. I wonder, do I need to add another supplement to my daily regime?


Scent & Sensibility

It’s not that I needed one… I was actually quite happy with my current perfume – oriental, musky, lots of amber – just what I like. But then November arrived and the weather turned bad and I really needed a pick-me-up. Whenever I need a bit of consolation from the dreariness of everyday life I go to Liberty London and stroke the handbags. The sales people there probably already know the sad handbag-stroker. And since Yasmin Sewell had gone on about ‘Pulp’ by Byredo in the shop’s magazine I thought I’d have a whiff of that, too. What a very strange olfactory sensation! Pulp is supposed to be ‘a compilation of exotic and Swedish influences creat[ing] an international fruit basket.’ And it goes on: ‘A dramatic composition focused on the idea of ripe, sweet, shapeless mass of fruit, an unruly and intense savor.’

I don’t know how Sweden smells (childhood memories are pictures of forests full of blueberries, wild streams with crabs and beautiful butterflies which my dad would make us look up in field guides, but no smell recollection). The combination of bergamot, cardamom, blackcurrant, fig, red apple, tiare, cedar wood, peach flower and praline (???) was intriguing but also slightly repellent (it must be the rotting fruit basket). Anyway, I had my whiff and moved over to the Frederic Malle counter (most charming French shop assistant!) and nearly bought Musc Ravageur (very much in my olfactory comfort zone). (Daughter wanted ‘French lover’ but I think she’ll have to wait a bit for this one). Then I remembered that we are in the middle of a recession and I will end up like Carrie Bradshaw – the lady with shoes, but no home – and darted out.

The problem was, I was absolutely hooked. For a week I would sniff at the sweater I had been wearing that day and fall into some kind of scented trance. All I could think of was I really wanted the pulpy mix. But how to overcome my financial morals? Easy! This could be my first christmas present from myself to me! (When it comes to persuading myself to spend money I’m actually quite ingenious.)

To help me through the long wait until Christmas I also bought one of their candles (Cassis - cinnamon, clove buds, blackcurrant, lingonberry, strawberry, cedarwood, black amber, birch). Beautiful fragrance and easy on the nose.
Naturally I can’t wait ’til December 25th. So now every morning I unwrap the whole shebang to get to my Christmas present just to spray a few secret whiffs of my smelly addiction. Come Christmas I’ll probably need a new one…