greenbottletree











{25/09/2012}   Copenhagen: expectations

I will be holidaying from my blog tomorrow until Monday as I will be in Copenhagen with a good friend.  We will be eating lunch at Noma on Friday, about which I will be passing commentary on when I get back!  I have only been to Copenhagen once, when I was 18, and I didn’t like it much.  So I thought I’d write here what I expect from Copenhagen through proper adult eyes.

At 18, my backpacking friend and I spent a very long, wet day in Copenhagen.  I remember the Tivoli Gardens looking quite bleak (October), the Little Mermaid was covered in graffiti, the harbour area was pretty but that not much else was pretty.  The whole city was probably ruined for me because of the combination of rain and falling ungracefully, unflatteringly flat on my backpack-laden back and squashing a bag of tomatoes I had attached to the backpack.  The tomato mess was altogether too much for me!

My friend and I are staying on a very modern and incredibly funky-looking house boat a bit out of the centre.  This alone could promote Copenhagen from being near the bottom of my favourite places list to near the top.  I have always wanted to stay on a house boat.

As for the city, I am expecting interesting architecture, quite a lot of water, trees in the central areas and lots of furniture shops selling classic and contemporary wood-based furniture.  I am fully expecting prices to be on a par with Stockholm, which is distressing.  I am hoping there will be lots of bakeries so I can establish whether Danish pastries will be called “Danish pastries” or just “pastries”.  I have thought about this more often than I would like to admit!

We will be eating at Noma, something I am ludicrously excited about and which I will devote a whole blog post to next week!  There have been things on the menu over the preceding weeks that I have struggled with: live shrimps, served in a sealed jar full of ice, blueberries with ants (I hope there are toothpicks at the ready!) and fish foam.  I am expecting Noma to be an experience rather than a favourite-food restaurant.

As for other food, I’m not actually sure what to expect.  For some reason, I don’t think it will be that similar to Swedish food.  I think bread will feature with most meals and I think there will be emphasis on fish and berries.  I have high hopes for good coffee and pastries!

I think the people will be friendly, the city will be clean and I am hoping there will be a good water bus service.  I reckon most people will speak “a little English”, which actually means they are reasonably fluent.  I also think if we see the Little Mermaid again, it will still be disappointing.  Apparently there will be rain and temperatures around 11 degrees centigrade, possibly on a par with my October experience 19 years ago.

However, as I’m going with a good friend, we’re staying on a boat and we’re eating in the world’s best restaurant (I have packed suitably stretch clothes in optimistic anticipation of a hearty meal) I’m confident we’ll have an amazing few days!



Why does an apple cut into eighths taste better than an apple consumed any other way?  Why do oranges taste better as juice than whole?  A carrot grated is a totally different taste experience than chunks of carrot.  I expect there is some scientific or psychological reason for this, but, having just grated some cheese and eaten most of it, I am pondering this matter.

If I had in front of me plates with the same, for example, Cheddar cheese on each but on each plate the cheese were presented differently – sliced, cubed, grated – without hesitation I would go straight for the grated.  If, however, I was in possession of apple segments to go with my Cheddar, I would go for the cubed.  It seems strangely obvious to me.  I have a slight niggle not everyone feels the same, but I am also a teensy bit optimistic that at least one other person will agree with me on this score!

Cooked potatoes on plates – chunky chips, French fries, jacket, boiled, rosti, roast, mashed, cubed roasted – then it’s a little more difficult but I’d probably linger over French fries and cubed roasted.  Maybe that’s because they’re easier to pick at.  If the potatoes were to go with meat and two veg … yes, it would be cubed roasted.

A carrot snack would be carrot sticks over slices or grated, but for a salad, it would be grated rather than sticks or slices.  I’m not a big fan of tomatoes but the juice would be avoided at all costs and I would opt for small, whole tomatoes rather than slices or quarters.  As for a pear, I’d rather have that as juice than as a whole.  I’d rather have mango in chunks than as juice, likewise papaya and pineapple.

I could easily go on but I do find the psychology of eating a fascinating thing.  I don’t think all the above is just about presentation, I am sure that all these things taste differently depending on how they are served or prepared.

Another good example is eggs.                 Imagine being confronted by plates of eggs cooked in different ways (with only salt and pepper or sugar possibly added) – fried, poached, scrambled, boiled, omelette,  meringue – which would you choose?  I know people who dislike eggs but could eat and enjoy them scrambled, as an omelette or meringue.  For me, my favourite is probably fried, then meringue and poached.

It amazes me that such trivial things can prey on my mind, but it gives me immense satisfaction to air my niche thoughts on such matters.  However, I really am struggling to come up with a pithy and fascinating conclusion.

I think it’s probably safe to say that everyone has preferred ways of eating certain things.  Maybe it is purely psychological but maybe there are some more researched and scientific reasons as to why grated carrot tastes so different to chunks of carrot and orange juice so much more appealing than orange segments.  I am now rather fancying some apple segments with Cheddar cheese …



{23/09/2012}   Life before email

Sometimes I am almost overwhelmed by the genius of email and how quickly and easily pretty much everyone can be contacted in an instant.  However, I think it is a shame we can get very sloppy with email and how we utilise it.  I’m not going to bang on about how it’s stopped us writing letters and demonstrate what a Luddite I am at heart, but there are a few things that both bother and please me about email.

On the positive, I am in touch with friends overseas or who I see less frequently on a much more regular basis thanks to emails.  I also like that at times you can have an exchange of emails, knowing you’re both online at the same time; questions don’t always get answered when replying to emails but they often do when you have a live exchange.   It’s also a really easy way to share information, such as photographs or links or by forwarding information to multiple people, for example.

As for things like applying for jobs, internet shopping enquiries; it’s incredibly easy.  However, I know people who do recruitment and who often get significant cut and paste errors.  Plus, it seems that people don’t bother much with spell checking when it comes to the body of an email, which when you’re looking for employment is quite a major faux pas.

It is much easier to send your CV off to multiple people, but with that comes questions about the presentation; what is email etiquette for applying for jobs?  Do you write a covering letter that you attach?  Do you use the email space to introduce yourself?  Do you use Dear Sir/Madam?  So the list goes on.  I think it is too easy to make things inappropriately informal and looking like you’ve been writing en masse.

I have not worked in an office since the discovery of email, but I think it’s safe to conclude that people get more correspondence via email than they ever would have done in the fax and letter-heavy days of yore!  While it’s quicker to reply, it’s easier to send content that could get you in trouble, and people expect replies much quicker.

However, along with all this comes the huge annoyance of junk mail, a phenomenon that infuriates me, though I guess spam filters are fairly effective.

As for emails I send, particularly as I have a Smartphone, I do kind of assume people read them within a very short space of time after receiving them, thus I am prone to get annoyed if a reply is not forthcoming from an email I perceive to be important/interesting.  There is a sense of pressure to respond to emails.  However, at times you don’t have the time or inclination to respond and, as emails pile in, it’s then hard to remember them and that they need replying to.  It annoys me that I sometimes read an email I want to reply to but at the time I’ve read it (and often because it’s been read on my limited phone rather than on a computer) it hasn’t been the right time to respond, so I’ve left it and days have passed before I reply.  Also, when friends send newsy emails, I don’t absorb the content as much as I would if it were a letter, though sometimes I will print out really long emails so I can savour them more.

However, sloppiness and etiquette aside, I am happy that it is so easy and free (ignoring wireless charges, etc) to send and receive emails.  I just wish sometimes that I read and wrote them as carefully as I would write or type a letter; so long as I don’t start writing or receiving emails in text speak – c u l8r, LOL.



I required comfort yesterday and found myself seeking solace in a morning cappuccino (at home) and chocolate digestives.  A new comfort snack, but a good one.  It made me realise that there are moments in life that require a snack, nibble or drink to calm the nerves, or whatever!  I’ve thought a lot about comfort food, but comfort snacks are a bit of a revelation to me.

If things are not going well, a Snickers bar will do the trick.  Maybe it’s the mix of nuts, caramel and dense calorific substance to a Snickers bar.  I only ever have them for emergencies and they always perk me up no end.

As an afternoon hug, a good strong cup of tea with a Flake bar is always a winner.

For evening comfort, I am thinking that I have had dry roasted peanuts (always poured from bag to bowl, never eaten from a bag) a fair few times.  There is also the possibility of a beer accompaniment.

Ferrero Rocher are also extremely good comfort snacks, possibly for similar reasons to Snickers bars.  However, the big problem with Ferrero Rocher is that just one, two, three, four, five … are not enough.  I can plough my way through them and before I know it my comfort joy has degenerated into a possible puke scenario, which pretty much wipes out the early comfort.  I should invest in the three-packs and have done with it.  I recently found myself in possession of a box of 16 and before I knew it the top layer was demolished.  A matter of minutes later and I was feeling sicky and craving vegetables; serves me right, I know.  Restraint is paramount.

Some people are most annoying in their, “Oh, I just need an apple”.  This is tosh.  An apple is only good if it is accompanied by cheese, ideally a generous slab of Cheddar.  Likewise, celery munchers; dip it (slather it) in peanut butter and we’re talking comfort lovin’, but on its own … the mind boggles, that stuff on its own equates to minus calories for a reason.

I did for a while get a weekly Graze box.  I found this very exciting, but the grazings served merely as snacks, rather than genuine comfort snacks.  Chocolate-coated raisins versus a chocolate digestive?  For me it’ll be the digestive every time.  Not that I’m that into chocolate digestives, mind you, there is just something familiar about them, a bit of childhood biscuit nostalgia.  Likewise Wagon Wheels, but it transpires they actually taste of old chocolate, stale biscuit and mildly sweet foam and I have never tasted the jam in the fancy ones; huge disappointment.

That’s what it is for me though, I’ve just realised, it’s the childhood connection.  We didn’t used to have many snacks about the house so they were always treats so maybe that’s why I, and probably many others, find comfort in snacks from childhood; little pick-me-ups.  This also matches my unexpected delight at being offered a Chocolate Orange Club (I would rather it had been a mint one though!) recently.  With a mug of tea it gave me that contented cat-with-cream feeling.  Mmm.



I live on the top floor of a Victorian house which backs onto large private gardens/a small park that is for the use of everyone, including me, who backs onto it.  I’ve lived here over a year now and realise I know a fair bit about some people’s routine or habits.  I see a possible film from this, though it’s not exactly Hitchcock’s Rear Window in the excitement stakes!

Someone has a chubby brown and white cocker spaniel who has a permanently bandaged “useless” back leg.  The dog seems happy and enjoys three-legged running around.  I am always amazed by animals who just get on with the joys of sniffing and running despite, for example, missing or malfunctioning limbs.  He seems like a sweet dog and I like seeing him running around.

The man who has just left the park now is quite tall and seems to go into the gardens wearing a suit.  Before work he’s with a dog and after work he’s usually with his children and the dog.  Maybe he sometimes doesn’t wear a suit but I only recognise him in a suit.

One hot, sunny Sunday morning, maybe 8-8.30am, I spotted a man, probably in his early 30s, wearing a t-shirt and shorts exiting his garden and walking straight across the grass for maybe 10m.  He was armed with a newspaper.  He then plonked himself on the grass and proceeded to read the paper.  Within minutes, a similar man exited his garden a few doors down and walked maybe 15m across the grass, armed with a paper, which he then sat down to read.  If I am not mistaken, clues from what I could see of the gardens of the houses they came from, they both had wives and children in the house.  Hmmm.

There is a family a few doors the other way and quite often two children from there and one from somewhere else go cycling around the gardens.  One of the little girls is hideously bossy and shouty to her friend and can only ever be in front as they cycle around.  I wish the other girl would find a nicer and better play mate.

As for the houses, one evening there was a power cut in my flat but I thought it might just have been my flat due to a surge.  I looked out and realised everyone was affected as some residents to one side of my vision usually have a massive flat screen TV on, usually a largely green-screened sport.  It was off, so easy to conclude there was a power cut.

One lot of people have a very fancy garden shed.  I am convinced it’s a little study.  As soon as it gets dark an outrageously bright light comes on.  It ruins things for me.  I have often thought about disabling that light.

Not so long ago, one family bought a large trampoline.  I can see that these are fun things to have, but I would have fun for a maximum of five minutes before collapsing on an exhausted heap.  After an hour, they were still bouncing and squealing.  I suspected summer would be a riot of trampoline noises, but, unsurprisingly, that was soon laid to rest.  Similarly, some children made a rope swing off the branches of trees.  There was much excitement for up to a week, but all has fallen silent with the rope swing too!

I really like having that space at the back of my flat and it’s nice to see and hear people enjoying being outdoors.  I have been in it once, merely to walk across it and see my house from that side.  I always thought I’d sit in it and read a book, instead I have become a curtain twitcher and merely look at it!

 



I will be eating at Noma in Copenhagen a week tomorrow, allegedly the best restaurant in the world.  I feel justified in having extraordinarily high expectations, though I am expecting it will be memorable primarily for serving food I have never tasted, perhaps even experienced (live shrimps, for example!); a series of new and exciting taste sensations.   Having spent some time wondering what will make this experience unique, I have thought a lot about restaurants and what makes me want to go back to certain ones and not to others.

The food is of course a huge draw.  The environment is also important and the cost is relevant in so far as it matches expectations and quality of food.  To add to that, the waiting staff can make or break or restaurant, as can unexpected additions to the bill (For example, I object to tips being added to the bill and I hate being charged extra for bread or, fortunately rare, a table charge).  But, having recently read The Evening Standard Food Magazine and realised the restaurant reviews didn’t interest me, I realised that the other clientele can also ruin a dining experience.

I am lucky that I can eat out a fair bit, though I appreciate it more when I just eat out for a treat or special occasion rather than going out more regularly as I sometimes do.  I eat out for the experience, to have someone else cooking and washing up, to try food I wouldn’t cook myself and/or to have an evening out with friends.

Restaurant reviews in magazines and newspapers tend to be for more expensive restaurants, often ones with white napkins.  These are not the restaurants I want to go to for I know the odds are high I will leave slightly peckish and with a distressingly lighter wallet than I went in with.  However, as a very special occasion and when in the mood to dress up, such places can be a suitable treat.  I just can’t think of any off the top of my head that have made me desperate to go back.

In an ideal world, as seems to happen more often when you’re on holiday, I would be wandering around somewhere, ready to eat dinner, and some non-chain, simple restaurant would seemingly appear out of nowhere and I would go in, wearing, say, jeans and a t-shirt, and I would feel comfortable.  The food would be fairly simple, the tables and chairs wouldn’t be matching, the menu would be small and variations to the dishes would be possible (eg, “No, sorry, you can’t have that dish without the brussel sprouts”, would always send off warning bells that I am about to be served a glorified ready meal).  I know a few places around London that fit the above criteria but, sadly, I don’t know any around where I live now.

I have eaten some unforgivably dreadful food in restaurants, had service so bad I should have walked out without paying, felt distressingly out of my comfort zone, walked out before ordering as nothing on the menu appealed or I got an overwhelmingly bad feeling and I have been embroiled in bill disputes, from overcharging to having to refuse to pay the service charge for the atrocious service (a lot of faff and a new receipt had to be printed but I would not let them make me feel guilty, the service was exceptional for its awfulness).  However, I have had some memorable meals in memorable locations and with memorable friends.  So, come on, Noma, I’m going with a memorable friend, so let’s hope the rest exceeds expectations and goes on my short but treasured list of amazing dining experiences … not that I think they won’t have white napkins or be posh or serve me some, erm, challenging food (fish foam, anyone?!).

 



Yesterday, as with many days of late, I found myself in a work-induced rage.  My current issue is regarding the repayment of expenses.  It’s not my chuffing fault Switzerland is so expensive or that I am unaware of arbitrary rule changes.  However, this is not meant to be a specific rant, more an airing of views where work stresses are concerned.

Speaking to friends who do different jobs, it seems that everyone I have spoken to of late has issues with work, usually around the inappropriate/unprofessional behaviour of fellow employees or, more often, people’s bosses.  Recently I have heard of bullying bosses who have got away with it, people blacklisted from work for completely unjustified reasons, glory-seeking bosses, idea thieves, delayed payment, undue pressure to work long hours, not treating people according to their role and position, corporate hurdles that are more like brick walls and unreasonable demands about work location and changing shifts/work patterns, often accompanied by pay cuts.  Seriously, I’ve been shocked by how many of my friends are stressed at work because of some of the above issues and stresses.

It’s a really rubbish time for most of us financially and diminished job security doesn’t help.  But all the above issues are unnecessary additions to our already stressful working lives.  I find it infuriating that so many people seem to have dreadful bosses, whose rise through the ranks is unfathomable.  For these people, the issue seems usually to be around their people skills, not always just their work-specific skills.  But it is people that can make a job or work ok.  I mean, I can have a really awful day but when everyone you work with is friendly, considerate, chatty and amenable, things don’t seem as bad.  But the bad day coupled with even just one “bad egg” can make things so much worse and so much more consuming.

I resent finishing work, getting home or going out and feeling a need to rant to anyone who will listen.  It is not nice for your friends and family who endure this and it is also not nice for them to see how stressed you are.  I am not referring to me now, though that has been the case in the past; fortunately, I finally came to my senses and changes were made.  But for a lot of people, it seems their hands are tied behind their backs and they are worried about rocking the boat of their already shaky job security.  These are things that make me incredibly angry.  A friend the other day was telling me how her boss has essentially managed to drive out half the work force, albeit of a small group, with her disgraceful bullying and lying tactics.  Somehow this person got promoted to a job with power and a good salary and even higher powers seem to be turning a blind eye.

I wish I had suggestions or could lead a revolt against poor, challenging and thoroughly unacceptable management and undue work stresses put on people.  It is horrible to spend your free time consumed by work stresses that just shouldn’t burden you outside of work.  But from all my rants and moans of late, it seems you are not alone.

 



I have absolutely no interest in being a celebrity and it is supremely unlikely I will ever be one; it would be hell, largely because of the paparazzi and supposed public interest in my daily activities.  Thinking about my activities yesterday (nothing out of the ordinary and certainly no boobs on display), I wondered what it would have been like to have done those things knowing that I was being watched and photographed and that at some point the most “interesting” or risqué photos would have been published with some kind of tag line.

I have long suspected, due in part to mild hay fever, that I am a nose fiddler – “picker” is more visual and gross than I care to associate myself with – so there were probably plenty of finger-up-nostril moments.  I would not have enjoyed seeing these splashed across the weeklies.

There was a near incident with a duvet that I had drying on my balcony, namely that it almost blew away so I had to make a perilous lean.  I suspect there was some cleavage on display, though I reiterate no boobs on display (I do feel very sorry for Kate Middleton).  I suspect that could have attracted some interest, though surely scraping the barrel.

It may have seemed odd that I moved my car a bit for seemingly no reason.  The exciting truth was that I wanted to move my car from being under a notorious seagull and pigeon toilet perch as I have recently had it cleaned.  It may also have been noticed that I retrieved a bottle of wine from the boot (good job it wasn’t the day before, when I retrieved three large bags of wine from the boot!).  That, coupled with a mistaken belief that my hair could go three days without washing, could easily have led to rumours of my hitting the bottle, which would have been untrue I hasten to add.

I petted a neighbour’s small dog at the top of the flight of steps up to the house in which my flat is located, which suggests I could have given pappers an unrestricted view of my bottom from a most unflattering angle.

I walked to the train station with – scandal – a man.  I later sat on a bench where a (very odd) man circled my bench on his bicycle.  It could have been manipulated to look like an illicit tryst or some such.

I put a bin bag into the wheelie bin.  Some prying creep could easily have had a rummage in that for gossip fodder.  They would have largely found blue mussels (long story but they were retrieved from a toilet full of blue colouring, a Bloo toilet flush), sachets of cat food and remnants of French food packaging.  I could have been labelled a binge eater (hmm, not as far off the truth in this case than it would normally be!).

I went out briefly later on to post some letters, I’m sure the subject of them could have been scandalised/incorrectly guessed.

I really did do very little that was outside or near a window viewable from the road.  However, just writing this makes me see to a certain extent how easy it could be to make my life a figment of other people’s imagination and unrecognisable to me as my daily life.  It must be so hard to maintain normality if you’re hounded by the press and you must always be aware of what you’re doing, what you’re wearing and even what you’re throwing out.  It actually makes me feel repulsed to think about it and sad that so many young people aspire to be celebrities.



{17/09/2012}   French supermarkets

A friend and I went to France for the day on Saturday.  As usual, I had a fairly big supermarket shop and as usual it was so much fun!  We were both very excited about the prospect of a shop, though we lost a precious 15 minutes of our one-hour pre-Eurotunnel supermarket sweep (for that is a little how it is with me!) due to trolley issues and my leaving my wallet in the car, fortunately discovered before being poised to pay.  There is something ludicrously exciting about shopping in French supermarkets.

This really is going to be an ode to Auchan as that was our supermarket of choice.  My friend and I think there are a lot more choices in large French supermarkets than large British ones, which we couldn’t explain when the floor space is probably the same.  We then worked out that the areas we were most interested in in Auchan were wine, soft drinks, cheese, cured meats, salady stuff and all things boulangerie and patisserie.  I think it is safe to say that all these sections are French staples and, for reasons unknown, are not British staples to the same extent – though in fairness British bakery sections take up a fairly large area.

There is something unexpectedly thrilling about seeing different brands and slightly different choices.  For example, there was a huge array of tomatoes.  I don’t often buy tomatoes and I certainly don’t get excited about them (though multi-coloured tomatoes have always fascinated me to the extent I buy them occasionally- I have recently discovered Lidl and they have a supremely exciting multi-coloured tomato pack!).  However, in Auchan I bought one of those beef steak (no, surely not “beef”?  Anyway, something like that) tomatoes.  It’s huge and has segment shapes like a very mis-shapen orange without its peel.  Guess how heavy it was?  650g.  For one tomato.  How cool is that?!  What I am going to do with it, I don’t know, though my friend had stuffing suggestions which sounded good.

However, when am I going to have time to stuff and eat a tomato when I have a fridge full of cheese, pate, cured meats and tubs of salady things.  Oh, just writing about it makes me feel desperate for it to be lunch or dinner time!  Though I do have croissants and pain au chocolate to satisfy my breakfast needs!  I know you can get coleslaw and potato salad, etc, in British supermarkets and I know M&S have a fantastic and inspiring selection of salady things, in fact more selection than in Auchan, but the French ones just seem far more exciting and delicious.  Plus, I do have a soft spot for mayonnaisey things and the French mayonnaise dishes seem lighter and nicer.

As for wines, most bottles mean absolutely nothing to me.  I know very little about wines, knowing a few that are easy to get hold of in the UK that I like, but about French wines I know even less; in fact I very, very rarely buy French wines in the UK.  In France, I go by the label and the price and am occasionally drawn to ones proudly displaying an award of some sort.  It’s always been hit or miss but now I have cottoned on to peeling off labels from bottles I like and sticking them on “wine I like” paper, my wine selection time is slowly reducing.  Mind you, as we had a mere 45 shopping minutes, my wine selection was very much grab, grab, grab!

It used to also be significantly cheaper to do supermarket shops in France, an extra bonus.  Now, I suspect only a few things are cheaper, but it still makes a supermarket shop a thing of excitement and a chance to shop with an “oh, f*** it, I’lll ‘ave that” mentality.  Plus it’s all in euros so that’s, ahem, Monopoly money so doesn’t count … right?!



{16/09/2012}   Deciding what to wear

Yesterday, I spent almost an hour choosing what to wear.  I was going to France for the day with a friend and we’d planned to get picnic food, have a feast on the beach, go for a big supermarket shop and take lots of photos (we don’t meet up very often and this is a birthday day out).  So it could have been windy and a bit chilly sitting on the beach for a few hours, but probably warm in the car and if there were sun but no wind, it might have been sunbatheable at a stretch, and as there would be photos it needed to be something that looked ok and supermarkets are always chilly.   Finally, I opted for layers, but it really was a struggle.

My preferred outfit was a short sleeved black top with white patterns on it.   I thought I had the top sorted, until I realised that it would be a bit sad going to France, very much Brit abroad, wearing a top covered in little Eiffel Towers!  I’d say that would have been on a par going to France wearing a navy and striped t-shirt, a beret and a string of garlics around my neck!

The what to wear dilemma annoys me no end, I can never quite understand why some days I love wearing X but on other days it feels horribly wrong and sometimes looks hideous and sometimes flattering.  I guess it has as a lot to do with your mood, hair, what or where it is you’re dressing for.  But it’s still annoying that even my most frequently worn, favourite clothes sometimes don’t work.

I used to have a t-shirt I loved and I wore it loads, then one day it stopped looking good and soon after, with heavy heart, I threw it away (it was quite worn so not charity shop suitable).  There are lots of photos of me wearing that t-shirt and in some it looks fine, but in later ones it didn’t look right.  I think my body shape has changed a lot over the years so I suppose that is probably a contributing factor, added to which it was only a fitted cotton t-shirt so it will have changed shape too.

But if you don’t trust what you see of yourself in the mirror, you won’t feel relaxed or comfortable.  Sometimes I go out to the local shop wearing scruffs, ie what I’ve been slouching in at home.  I did that recently and was bedecked in clothes for dirty chores, most notably very old jogging bottoms with one leg partially bleached and a top that was far too tight/small (ie clothes you didn’t mind getting dirty in).  It was quite early in the morning and I was only walking round the corner to move my car.  But as soon as I got outside and felt committed to my errand, I saw people walking towards me, nice people wearing nice clothes.  I felt wretched.  I know it’s silly, I mean they were total strangers, but I looked and felt really horrible.  After that, I vowed to always go out in clothes I would have no reason to be embarrassed being seen in.  So with that scenario again, I really would get changed into jeans and a t-shirt, for example.

Similarly, it’s horrible to be overdressed.  The point really is that I want to feel like I blend in and don’t stand out too much.  I mean, I’m happy to wear bright colours (glasses, clothes, jewellery) but not to be wearing clothes unsuitable for the occasion, ie I don’t mind standing out for “interesting” fashion sense but I do mind looking like a scruff at a posh venue or looking posh in McDonald’s.

I do think your overall attire is your packaging.  A bunch of roses look nice but with pretty paper and ribbon they look complete; you can’t see the knobbly bits on the stalk and they are displayed to show them in all their glory.  So I think I was right to faff and dither yesterday, I just wish it hadn’t taken so much of my morning!  In the end, I was about right: the supermarket was chilly, the car warm, the beach very warm  but wispy cloud cover made it chilly and the wind was a little cool; layers on and off all day.  The only fail came with the photos and that neither of us can agree on a nice one of both of us!  But that’s probably not the fault of my clothing choice!



et cetera