Sunday, 27 March 2016

Hello & Goodbye

Hello, long time no see! How've you been? If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you'll probably know that I've been in Cape Town these past couple of weeks. I know, it's a hard life.

While I was gone, Blogger decided to eat Disqus: by which I mean, my comments form has completely disappeared, taking all the comments with it, and I have no clue how to get it back. Coming on the heels of a long-ish term disenchantment with blogging (a sort of 'why the hell are people interested in this crap? May as well not bother' feeling of ennui, rather than my previously experienced writer's block or disenchantment with the blogging world generally), it's given me an excuse to say goodbye to the blog for a while.

I assumed that changing jobs, going from the full-pelt insane stress of teaching to a calmer and more enjoyable workplace, would give me more time to write but instead it's made me less in need of blogging as an outlet. I no longer need a space online in which to de-stress. And because my new job entails managing the digital side of the business, I find that by the time I get home I'm more than ready for a break from social media, rather than desperate to spend hours on Twitter and Blogger.

I'm sure I'll be back. If I can get the comments situation sorted, it will be sooner rather than later. And I think I'll probably keep going with my monthly Reads and Buyer's Archive posts - because I know how annoyed I'll be to get to the end of the year with months missing - but other than that, I'm going to concentrate my energies on writing zines, reading the many books I acquired while away, and spending time with Thomas. So, for now, goodbye. Except for when you 'see' me on Twitter. And Instagram. Or email me, as one lovely reader did yesterday when she couldn't comment as usual.

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Buyer's Archive: February

A year ago I joined in with Elise's monthly Buyer's Archive project, recording all my spending on clothes, shoes and accessories. The idea was that by keeping a record of what I bought, I'd more easily be able to identify what were good buys and what I don't wear, therefore reducing my spending in the long-term. Well, that was the plan...

Last February, I spent £169 on ten items. Looking back on those buys, it's clear that I made some silly mistakes. A smart jacket (I literally have never worn a jacket in my life, because boobs), not one but two pink jumpers despite not liking pink, a pair of Converse which were slightly too big for me... not clever purchases. The only items from 12 months ago that get regular wear are the scalloped collar top from La Redoute, which I wear at least once a week, and a pair of slim-leg work trousers from H&M, which I wear for school. Of the rest, three things - the navy dress, the striped Boden jumper, and the Converse - have been sold on eBay, one - the grey t-shirt - has been sent to a charity shop, and the remaining items languish in my wardrobe.

So, not a good start to Buyer's Archive last year. But how did I do this February? A lot better, I reckon.

Heart print skater skirt, Primark via charity shop £2.99
This serves as a reminder to always look carefully at clothes in charity shops - this skirt is a size 12 so should be miles too small. However, I loved the print so took some time to examine it more closely and found that the stretchy waistband meant it'd fit me pretty well. I've been wearing it with a black t-shirt and mustard cardigan; it makes for a quick and comfortable work outfit on the days I'm not in school.

Black polka dot top, La Redoute £11 (with 50% discount code)
One thing I've learned through Buyer's Archive is that I love a discount; 30% of my purchases over the past year involved a discount code. Equally, it's hardly the news of the century that I like polka dots. Back in December I found a white polka dot blouse, which I love, in a charity shop so I was thrilled to see this top - basically a black version of the one I have - on the La Redoute website. It's already been worn multiple times, teamed with black skinny jeans and a cardigan, and is well on its way to becoming a wardrobe favourite.

Polka dot dress, Closet via House of Fraser £25 (not online)
I know what you're thinking, "Another blue polka dot dress Janet? Really?" But hear me out... I'm going to Cape Town next week for my cousin's wedding and, despite planning on wearing the navy blue Closet dress I bought in July for my brother's wedding, needed a second smart dress as we're having a somewhat fancy family meal the night before the actual wedding. And I also needed the second dress to be suitable for South African summer temperatures and it needed to go with the one pair of navy blue heels I'll be taking. So when I found a single size 16 polka dot dress in the sale at my local House of Fraser, and it fit like a glove, I sort of had to buy it. Right?

Striped dress, Dorothy Perkins via clothes swap £0
I wasn't sure whether to include something which was free in Buyer's Archive but hey, here it is anyway. I met up with Rebs and Bettie a couple of weeks ago to go to a plus size clothes swap in Loughborough and, although there wasn't tons of stuff in my size to choose from, I lucked out with this lovely summer dress. Stripes and navy blue? Janet heaven.

My total spend for February this year was therefore a far more manageable £38.99, enabling me to save some pennies for my trip to Cape Town, hooray!

This month, as well as Elise, Hazel, Donna and Lucy have all taken part in Buyer's Archive.