Wednesday, 7 September 2016

September 2016 - Carpeted items, doggie paraphernalia, and missing Princess Di

Summer is symbolically over for us in the northern hemisphere.

I didn't ride the pedal boats this summer but I walked around the Serpentine a few times.

Don't you love this British sign - 
it is a "polite notice" to would be thieves.

I love this person's faith in humanity.

Physics says - action results in reaction.

Design wise I think seeing so many curated and styled out fashion, interior, and art vignettes have made me crave the naff and wonky.

If I had the space I would have bid on this carpeted folding cupboard.
Utterly useless but would have been enough "off" for any room.

It must be in the waters because Miu Miu had a carpeted table in their windows.

Furry slippers is huge this season and you know they were channeling Cookie Monster who was my favourite Sesame Street character when they did the blue pantone option. 

I am obsessed with plant pots at the moment and this one below is actually a few feet high.
I am itching for some pots from British Whichford pottery.

My sweet peas that I planted on a whim and way too late in the season did so well that I am going to cover the whole rail on the verandah.

I had one of those utterly embracing the consequences moments and had an apple tart with cream in bed.

Then I also had a satisfying session of shredding old bills and I have about 20 more sessions to go as you can only shred for 2 minutes with a 30 min break.

Millie loves a British holiday and went to Norfolk and tells me I should go.

My sane side knows that all she wants is walks, snacks, and cuddles which I imagine most children want as well but then my nonsensical side thinks she would love these doggie theme paraphernalia.
Chewnel and Hairmes cushions would really suit her don't you think?
I am tempted to give her a Christian Loubarkin chew toy but then my brother might think I am barking mad.

Come on, you love this Mutt and Chandog chewtoy and I will be gifting this to the human of a canine.

I have been trying to do mini walks even if it is 10 minutes instead of sitting on my arse for hours on end.
Tonight I was feeling reflective and was thinking of everything and nothing as we all seem to do these days.

I think I finally figured out my own personal reasons why I never warmed to Kate Middleton.

Thing is I don't dislike here but I can't embrace her like an American Anglophile without the cultural baggage.  
I was confused at why this seemingly harmless couple who would blend in under any other circumstance in a parents evening at a minor private school in Clapham can irk me so.

Yes, those pants are atrocious and if you like it - I am happy for you and there are more for you to purchase. 
The reason isn't because she has no fashion sense because 
I am at an age and point in my life where 
I won't judge you for your clothes.

But to keep in succinct, 
I think I resent her for essentially not being Princess Diana.

It is cruel and unfair of me, I know.

Don't get me wrong - Princess Di was emotionally unstable and all those things Prince Charles accused her of.

  But she was also generous, caring, and a proud ambassador for Britain and humanitarian causes.  Ironically, by having an affair and then admitting to it on prime time television 
( I remember that moment and the collective gasp in London) ensured the monarchy several more generations. 

The royal family have to live in the minds of the people and that is their social currency so all the pathological insistence of William to have a private life as a member of the public is the very antidote to the mystique and popularity of the British Royal family. 

I reminisced with my friend about that weekend and the heady days of Diana driving around London before she shockingly died.  
We were a bit sad that no newspaper did a proper commemoration about her considering it was a slow news weekend; not even the Daily Mail.  

It seemed that people had forgotten Diana.  
I had even come across people who didn't even properly remember her.  I wondered if this was what it would be like having children that didn't know their grandparents.  It's just the age old face to face with mortality and this is what the royal family is there for - to reflect parallels in our own lives.

So I have made peace with KMid after my Jungian analytical session - but still hate those GAP trousers.


  1. I give K-Middy very high marks across the board but she did miss badly with those trousers.
    I remember the weekend Di died. They had a huge memorial spontaneously set up for her on Chicago's Magnificent Mile and people dropped off bouquets by the thousands.

    1. You guys don't have to pay for them and they don't have the theoretical power to nominate a government so that alleviates any complications GSL!

  2. God I LOVE this post.

    The sky looks awesome and nice work with the sweet peas and the walking. I live to walk and I love it too.

    That royal fotog James someone who essentially discovered Di in like 1980 said when he saw Kate Mid "she hasn't got IT". I think he meant Di's star wattage. I know she was unstable and manipulative but by God she connected with people. Her dresses did not' fly up, she used hairspray so her hair wasn't all over her face, she worked hard, she had a job before she married, she always dressed beautifully and flew the flag for British designers…I could go on but I won't. I miss her all the time.

    Old Katie doesn't have it. She annoys me too. It's v unpop to admit it but she just does. Also, I think she prefers the girl to the boy and I really don't like that. Boys are awesome too.

    I imagine old W would be a nightmare to be married too.


    1. I think Diana though genuinely posh and as many said did marry down but yet she was friends with all sorts of people whereas I wonder if K has any friends ( of her own ). For the first time I felt a bit sad that a huge cultural figment of people's psyche was just forgotten while they were talking about Kate's trousers on the death anniversary...Time moves on and I am now edging part of the older generation! I am team Hazza!! xx

    2. In Australia, I think Di is still really on most people's minds…or is it that she is on mine that I think that?

      I don't think Old Kate has any friends. I think she is someone who just focusses on her husband who I think is controlling. Carole is prob her bestie. Di had friends and significantly, a Job. I think it's a shame Kate didn't have much of one for all those years because I think it would have done her the world of good.


    3. I think Kate would do well with friends and it might help her persona and the vibes she gives off - I imagine Anne Boleyn had more of a social life and I think that was the clincher for me - if she were a recluse I would say - fair enough - but it is highly questionable indeed.

  3. My teen has the matching cookie monster eye mask/shades as she needed it as a prop for school. Cost AUD$3. would be very fetching look to have the matching slipper and eye mask set.
    DOC is very thin, so don't think mere mortals would suit those pants at all, but as I'm no fashion guru what would I know. Have never worn print pants so maybe I'm missing something. Some things for me, are best just avoided.
    Princess Diana was something else.
    Very happy spring is here. Den xx

    1. Don't tell Miu Miu that Den!! I think her thinness is one of the most interesting things about her...I miss Di too! xx

  4. I'm not a K Mid fan, at all, and I think the lack of star power without the compensation of sharp intelligence or personal warmth are to blame. Plus I wish she'd keep her hair out of her face, and her skirts down a little more.
    Moving on, those chew toys are hilarious! As are the Mui Mui shoes/ slippers. I'm not so sure about that carpeted drinks cupboard, but I think you're right and that it is just enough off. I was thinking about that cover of the H&G mag (latest issue we discussed) and reflecting on how "normal" it was, and not designery, and maybe that is actually capturing the zeitgeist after all the perfectly curated interiors we've had of late, with everything just so.
    Love the sweet peas x

    1. That cover needed an off item to justify it being on the cover - I must draft a letter to the editor this weekend before it is too late to make the cut off. We need Harry to marry someone who will revamp the royals otherwise too much boring then it won't be good value for money! xx

  5. My take home message for today is how badly I need those soft furnishings....

    SSG xxx

  6. Love the stuffed champagne bottles--the doggie puns are perhaps a bit much. Didn't they used to carpet everything is sight in the 1970's? The apple tart must have been delicious, especially considering the great baking apples available in England. Your sweet peas are perfection,and your photo does them magnificent justice.

    1. Jim, There was more in that shop!! Didn't they also carpet walls? It seems a bit sanitarium but I suppose it was for insulation? Apple tarts are great year round and I don't discriminate seasons when it comes to dessert. I hope I can get away with planting some sweet peas in the next few weeks for some colour.

  7. Diana had indeed star power,she was one of a kind. I don,t think its too bad that Kate and William are boring,less scandals for a future king and queen.. Can,t wait to see which girl Harry marries!
    I really really want those slippers..

    1. Truly one of a kind and it raises the bar rather highly! I also can not wait and hope we get a public holiday for his wedding too!!

  8. Do you think her habit of nude shoes is to visually balance her husband's baldness? Not a dig at bald men but I have often wondered why she is so prone to nude shoes. And I think having another flesh colored point in a photo lessens the starkness of a bald head. Is my American conspiracy theorist showing?
    I like Kate. She is unfortunately what the age of social media demands which is so depressing. I always wonder if she draws the curtains and puts on a fur coat and smokes a cigarette and enjoys some volume in her hair and yells at the staff just to get it out of her system.
    Love Diana. I went on an exhaustive search to prove I was related to her and came up almost empty which was disappointing. I found a chain with many links but I think we're all related that far back. She has ties to Ohio, don't you forget! I think that's what made her so likable. :)

    1. All sorts of conspiracy theories Stephen!! Main thing is to elongate the leg although she has great legs and are her best feature so I don't know why she needs to elongate any further but i suppose never too rich too thin? She is kind of the new wallis simpson but in reverse. She def used to smoke but not sure if she still does. Funny bc the curtains are drawn at the Kensington flat but then again thousands of people walk by the palace so for the prevention of paparazzi pictures I suppose they have to. Apparently she doesn't really interact with people unless it is an official engagement and rarely even socialises with her husband's friends anymore either. You just need that turnkey relative genealogy wise - I do know she has one of those people in her line who spread her seed that Diana is related to many people including Camilla PB - I think they have some karmic stuff to sort out bc you know that Camilla and Diana were related to two of King Charles II's two favourite mistresses. so they were always rivals to a king's affections!

    2. She is a def a smoker. Are you all mad? Course she smokes like a maniac. So obvious. Think the stress of public life makes her need this crutch. Reckon W smokes too.

      I feel sad for her.


    3. ^I think the nude shoes are to make her legs look longer. I too embrace the nude shoe. If you actually look at her proportions though in the latest photo with the gap pants and with the flats on instead of wedges she has a very long torso, and short legs proportionally. All her dresses have the waist line above natural waist height to make her legs look longer. But her legs are very thin so combo of flippy dress with high waist line, nude shoes and everyone raves about her being leggy.
      I think the stress would be horrific. Plus William doesn't exactly seem like a lot of fun to compensate. Of course she smokes, and likely drinks like a fish too to cope. xx

    4. @FF - the other Middletons smoke but thought KMid would have quit for the kids. It does keep one thin for sure. I don't feel sad for her bc she got what she wanted so she needs to embrace it wholly bc the patience of the public is turning over here!

      @Heidi - I know what you mean but legginess at the expense of everything else doesn't make sense. I can't with those wedges but the trousers overtook the publicity!! Wills is such a thumping bore and very much a Windsor but we all feel terribly sorry for him for having lost his mother so young so the public accept his foibles but once again the public seems to be finally questioning him over here as he is flying the copter around all the time!!

    5. Stephen, excellent point re balancing the bald head with nude shoes. Also consider, the Queen frequently sports black shoes. Maybe nude shoes are a little part rebellion as well as KM's style signature in the making.

  9. Naomi,
    Always enjoy your posts. Something about those Cookie Monster slippers makes me want them. So crazy and probably ridiculously expensive! As far as Kate, the pants seem very unattractive, but it's good she's making mistakes. Perfection is over-rated. I think people should appreciate she's not a doll they dress up, but makes her own decisions-sometimes bad. Also let me just say the Brits are far too critical of this young mom. As a mom with two kids her age, I was exhausted and even if she has help, it's her main job and priority obviously. Why not admire that? If she wasn't doing that then the Brits would be criticizing her for being out too much and not home enough. She cannot win. I'm sure once her kiddos get older she'll do more royal duties, but isn't raising the future king enough right now?

    I think she's normal and nice and lucky for William he found someone like that! As far as Diana, still adore her and the American papers had quite a few articles on this anniversary of her death.

    xo Kim

    1. I didn't even for the fun of it ask the price of the slippers! I think the viewpoint of KMid differs greatly depending on where you are from - I find Americans are always very generous in their opinion of her as they view her as a celebrity where as the Brits come at it from a completely different view as the royal family get via the Queen are due to get £45milion next year plus they keep gifts and have an opaque yet beneficial tax burden so most aren't viewing her as mothers at the school gate would opine on a civilian mum. It is nice to see that she was remembered and maybe next year as it will be 20 years she might get a nice memorial xx

  10. Oh those sweet peas look amazing! Would you believe it that I too am finally reaping the benefits of planting a packet of heirloom mixed seeds. I only had the pink show up in August, but now all the colors have appeared.

    I'm off to peruse that fabulous source for British terracotta pots, thank you. Oh, but before I go, I cannot help but laugh at (and think about) the Cookie Monster when I see those slippers. Just goes to show you can sell anything if you slap a designer label on it nowadays. Sheesh!

    1. I loved using the rails instead of stakes which i would have never got around to but it just works perfectly. I am in love with the elephant plant pots from which ford and the shakespeare collection i might get in the spring. Still deciding if I should plant my bulbs now for spring.

    2. Gosh, thanks for the spring bulb reminder. Only this week, I received an alluring catalog full of colorful spring bulbs so I must put my order in soon. If you are planting your bulbs in pots, I suppose you could a while to do so.

  11. Great post. I agree on so many points. The day after Diana died I went to the British Consulate in Manhattan and signed the condolences book and left flowers in her honor. I still miss her. I don't know about Kate anymore, that snubbing of the Irish Guards this year just went all over me. Is she kidding? Who does she think she is? I also think it is way (way way) past time for her to get a stylist. She cannot keep doing this on her own, or asking Pippa or friends for help. It's time, and those atrocious pants (with wedges!) prove it. I loved that Diana always wore her heart on her sleeve, and liked Duran Duran, and to poke people's backsides with her umbrella at Royal Ascot. She seemed so much more relatable than Kate, who is very controlled and seems to have a Master Plan for everything. xx

    As for Millie, she needs some Hairmes and Mutt and Chandog in her life!

    1. I think the couple thought they could do no wrong and were taking liberties when even the Queen at her age and her husband older and not well were doing more public engagements than them. They are our paid ambassadors so they do have certain obligations. You can really tell she needs guidance even from a public addressing issue because family counsel is great and much needed but you need an unbiased perspective which friends can give but she has been such a one man no friends kind of girl that it is starting to show...There was a play called Charles the third and basically a pastiche which was hilarious! xx

  12. I love everything you write and wish you would write a book!

    That said, OMG I extra heart this post! The Cookie Monster slippers! If they weren't so ridiculously expensive, I'd get them in a flash for a laugh because my husband's nickname for me is Cookie!

    The dog toys are hilarious. Whoever came up with that was very clever. If I had a dog, I would be buying one of every kind!

    I think Diana had "IT" due to a variety of factors. (1) her youth (at the start) - she was so young when she married Charles, and Charles had been a bachelor for so long - I think everyone was taken by the story feed to the public of how it was a fairy tale romance, Diana had captured his heart. Compared to Kate, I think the fact she waited around for SO long, plus they broke up in between until the final engagement - it wasn't the best story. (2) Diana had genuine warmth - most people who choose to work with kids do and it was clear she ADORED children. Kate on the other hand always seems like she is trying SO hard...being warm and socially engaging just doesn't come naturally to her. (3), Diana was stunning. Where as Kate, I honestly find her very average looking. Being thin and tall with good hair, teeth, and clothes takes her a long way but her face is actually rather plain and her skin is terrible - I agree with FF that she MUST smoke! (4), Diana was not afraid to look vulnerable - yes she manipulated this to her advantage at times, but it made people like her because she wasn't trying to pretend that life was perfect. Kate refuses to show any sign of weakness. Everything is stage managed. We have no idea what Kate really thinks or feels about anything. Diana had PERSONALITY and Kate is like a cardboard cutout. (5) Diana actually had a job before marrying Charles and it seemed like she had a life with friends outside of "The family". She came across as well-rounded despite her privilege. Meanwhile it truly seems like Kate spent her entire 20s focused entirely on doing whatever it took to convince William to marry her. The desperation and total lack of self beyond that single ambition rubs a lot of people the wrong way. She is truly the poster child for "lazy rich kid" and even worse, she seems so anti-feminist.

    So that's my take on it!

    1. Aren't the doggie toys hilarious?!

      Isn't it interesting though the action reaction thing - Diana was such a diva and such a personality that William and the monarchy probably wanted an opposite figure but Diana engaged the public and made us warm to her, question her, worry about her, argue with her ( in our heads) so she lived on as a member to the public but the detached smiles from KMid with her reluctance to do duties which every other monarch and royal member does regardless of personal circumstance makes the British public not so inspired when public spending is cut yet the spending on them rises above the rate of inflation. You could tell Diana had many friends and to be frank I agree with you and she seems anti-feminist but I didn't want to say that originally in my post LOL!!

  13. Great fan of Hazza too. There is something so engaging about him. Probably the Diana legacy.
    Have always felt a bit sorry for Kate (and William) as she has an impossible act to follow. She will always have to live with the reality of people comparing her to Diana and finding her wanting. Was shocked to hear about her smoking - but when I think about it (not that I do think about her, much) it does seem probable. Diana was always so anti-smoking, she'd have been horrified.
    Miss Diana, her natural warmth and love of children and her genuine compassion for those in pain, whether physical or psychological. The media owners and managers must miss her badly too. Just her face on the cover would sell out whole issues.
    The combination of beauty, fragility, vulnerability, warmth and compassion - and growing confidence - and her commitment towards using some of her time and energy (in addition to her love and care for her own children) to benefit those who needed help and support the most. I think of her open warmth and support for AIDs victims at a time when most people were too scared of infection to reach out a hand or to show affection, likewise to lepers and Mother Theresa's suffering poor, and to the victims of landmines, especially the children. Her involvement and the free publicity her attention attracted made a huge difference. She was gorgeous and a fashion plate but she was so much more. Though acknowledging too that because of her own difficult upbringing in a dysfunctional household she must often have been something of a trial as a friend because of her own great neediness. But she also drew on this and her own pain to relate to others and to reach out and give them the empathy and support they needed. She was unique.
    Love your sweet peas. They're such beautiful flowers, I specially love their colour and scent. Pammie xxx

    1. I have just ordered more seeds but now am confused to when to plant again!
      Yes you described Diana beautifully and that is why I feel guilty of not loving Kate. What a huge act to follow and it seems that is another reason why they don't want to always conjure up the Diana myth too much. But I just felt sad as it seemed death really might work in people forgetting which is a life issue and nothing to do with Kate really...Here's hoping that Kate does develop and transform into more of an ambassador for Britian and some desrving causes once she gains some footing soon! xx

  14. Well congratulations on the mini walks which I'm sure in time will turn to maxi walks although as we approach winter that may be more difficult. I'm currently in the midst of deciding what to plant in the garden - something easy and low maintenance me thinks! I just see it as Kate is Kate and Diana was Diana and I'm pleased she's not trying to emulate her - I think she's still just coming into her own - its a tough job! xx

  15. I being THE AMERICAN loved DIANA and I think KATE is doing a SMASHING JOB!I remembered DIANA on the 31st.........ALWAYS will.
    Of course, you have MORE of the INSIDE SCOOP...........
    That LIFE canNOT be EASY!I think they have done a GREAT JOB keeping the kids out of the papers and magazines as well.
    I have NEVER been able to grow SWEET PEAS!!!!!!GOOD FOR YOU.
    AS for those POTS...........YES, WE all need some!

  16. I still can't get over how gorgeous Princess Diana looks in those photos by Mario Testino. I remember we rushed out to buy that copy of Vanity Fair as soon as it came out. Sadly, I am sure there are tons of millenials who have no idea who she is. No opinion on Kate Middleton except to say that I can't believe how thin she manages to stay, even after two kids!! Prince Harry is much more interesting and has a fair bit of his mother's charisma.

    I am also off to check out those beautiful terracotta pots. I bought a set of blue glazed pots many years ago but several were destroyed during the winter when I neglected to put them in storage before the deep freeze set in.

  17. I'm always saddened when I'm reminded of Lady Diana. If her dyslexia had been picked up and addressed early, she might have had more faith in herself. She was used cruelly, and learned to make the best of it. I loved that the American couple she'd mothers-helped for were invited to her wedding. I like to remember her as a hopeful girl with a charming smile, in a sweater with intarsia sheep.


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