"They used to have a fish on the menu that was smoked, grilled and peppered. They did everything to this fish but pistol-whip it and dress it in Bermuda shorts." - William E. Geist

I realize that I say this every year but...bear with me (and join in the chorus if you so desire)..."how, oh how, do we go from approximately one evening of spring to 90 degrees and high humidity?"...it's like mother nature enjoys a good practical joke...and I'm her chosen victim.

Time to consider...as I invariably do...before abruptly dismissing them...shorts. This year...the denim bermuda (minus the rather off-putting cork platform). Will this, I ask myself as I continue to curse M.N. under my breath, be the year that I actually succumb to the short pant?

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"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage." - Mark Russell

Yet another travel-ish post I'm afraid...but (if this is any assistance in the rationalization process) it is Memorial Day weekend...a time when those foolhardy enough to leave the house are destined to be stuck in traffic or an airport at some point...so mentioning something cute and luggage-y isn't entirely off-topic.

Even better...when the C.L. item in question is designed for children...and therefore much less expensive than the adult version would be. The stars bring to mind Swedish label, Rika...the "train case" shape, a time in the distant past when it was possible to travel with some level of elegance and not have to remove your shoes every five seconds or carry your toiletries in a Ziploc bag...

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"Books...are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development." - Dorothy L. Sayers

Continuing upon this week’s travel theme...I usually find myself impervious to the charms of the airport store (unless they’re supplying me with the necessities of life on the road...i.e., water, gum, or magazines). I've never been able to decide who needs an emergency tie-dye wife-beater emblazoned with "New Jersey"...or a bottle of regionally explosive hot sauce that is guaranteed to detonate in your suitcase at 30,000 feet...but, rushing to my gate at Providence airport (after a delay and a couple of (entirely therapeutic) margaritas), I noticed the following...

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Now...lobsters are...my childhood pets...my favorite crustacean...and what I will order from even the most land-locked menu. Ergo, even if it meant boarding the plane a little late and having to check my carry on luggage, the bag was a necessity. Heck, at $1.99, it was almost an insult not to buy it.

Now all I need is a lobster lover kit to tuck away inside...

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"Sometimes I need what only you can provide...your absence." - Ashleigh Brilliant

I'm not quite sure why I'm so fascinated by photographs that I take...looking out of plane windows...at 30,000 feet...perhaps it's the millions of people, whose lives (or airspace) I enter for a brief second...mid-flight boredom...or the sheer, ever-changing, beauty that can be created when the perfect mix of cloud, sun, and earth come into frame...

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This is by way of being an "oops...sorry" post...for, traveling for work with no time to blog-check, it wasn't until I got home that I discovered that Blogger had failed to live up to its end of the bargain and publish what I'd pre-written for my absence...

 
 

"I have too much money invested in sweaters." - Bob Hope

How long will it take for me to realize that I am the living embodiment of "never say never"?  Probably a lifetime...who knows, I may even be buried claiming that "I always wanted a coffin but, what the hell, go ahead and cremate me".

For, fresh on the heels of questioning why anyone would fork over their cash...months in advance of the anticipated delivery date...and with a less-than-customer-friendly return policy...on something from Moda Operandi's website...I found myself handing over my credit card information for a sweater (egads...a sweater?...right at the beginning of summer...and in full knowledge of the mountain of woolens already gaining dangerous heights in my closet). Not just any sweater, it's true...a distressed Fair Isle from Edun's Fall/Winter collection...classic...yet destroyed...always a dangerously alluring combination in my eyes.

Now I just have to wait until August to get my sticky little hands on it...
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"We were the leopards, the lions, those who take our place will be jackals and sheep, and the whole lot of us - leopards, lions, jackals and sheep - will continue to think ourselves the salt of the earth." - Prince Don Fabrizio Salina, The Leopard

Despite never having owned a cat...and therefore being fairly illiterate in the ways of the cat (though, with a couple of bouts of cat-sitting under my belt, not being a complete novice)...I've recently found myself contemplating the pros and cons of inviting a feline friend into the Hebden household.

Fast forward to Into The Gloss' feature on jewelery designer (and beautifully dressed woman-about-town) Gaia Repossi...and her Bengal cat, Petra. Forget the words of skincare wisdom...I want a cat that looks like a leopard.

Of course...then the research starts...and I discover that the Bengal cat "is a relatively new hybrid breed of cat, formed by the cross of a domestic feline and an Asian Leopard Cat ("ALC")"...and that, furthermore, "The Bengal cat has a desirable "wild" appearance with a gentle domestic cat temperament, provided it is separated by at least three generations from the original crossing between a domestic feline and an ALC."

Hmmm, so...over three generations of breeding, sumptuously beautiful pet...under three, semi-wild animal that could rip your head off. Given the bad luck that I can have with such things, should I continue to contemplate such a potentially risky venture?

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"In a society where the rights and potential of women are constrained, no man can be truly free." - Mary Robinson

I'm not going to post a picture because...quite frankly...it's an image that I'm trying to erase from my mind...so I certainly don't want to inflict it on anyone else...but...for those who want to share my bemusement...click through to view a "support thong" on Net-a-Porter. Yet another example of the creepy clothing hybrid...

 
 

"I wasted time, and now doth Time waste me: For now hath Time made me his numb'ring clock; My thoughts are minutes" - William Shakespeare

At the tone, the time will be...serenely retro...and (pun alert) pretty as a picture...

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"Sacred and inspired divinity, the sabaoth and port of all men's labours and peregrinations." - Francis Bacon

Random images...inspiration for now...and...(I'm looking at you, fur coat)...next winter...

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Stella McCartney...in one of those deceptively simple dresses that are virtually impossible to find...until you track one to its lair...and discover it's also impossible to afford...

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Eagle claw ankle boots from Australian label, Friend of Mine...

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An Australian Fashion Week attendee working the "disheveled lady" vibe...always a favorite...

 
 

"Golden words he will pour in your ear..." - Shirley Bassey

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed at home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy?
He just pretended he was starring in a Bond Movie...

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to Goldtrotter...

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"TV - a clever contraction derived from the words Terrible Vaudeville. However, it is our latest medium - we call it a medium because nothing's well done." - Goodman Ace

Given the negative associations of most fashion contractions...jeggings anyone?...I'm hesitant to mention the melding of espadrille and sneaker in case it becomes tainted and referred to as the espaker or sneadrille...a definite downgrade to what is, in reality, a very refined little shoe.Photobucket

 
 

"When life sucks and hands you lemons, I say beat the crap out of it and demand some Florida oranges as well." - unknown

A little more orange love...courtesy of the windows of Joseph's Fulham Road store in London..."stencilled" by Katie Grand. It may be (at least in my portion of the universe) a rather overcast, dreary, little Tuesday but it's impossible not to feel cheered by polka-dotted orange rabbits...

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"Orange is the happiest color." - Frank Sinatra

I know that there are folks out there who revel in vintage shopping...who have closets filled with "finds"...and seem to have a unique ability to unearth unique items that suit their personality. In the main, I'm not one of those people...my "finds" usually falling into one of three categories...too small...too expensive...or "what exactly is that stain/smell?"

Which is probably why I was so pleased to find this little slice of orange heaven at a local thrift store...geeky, pointed collared...the best polyester that Givenchy could produce in the 1970's...with nary a stain in sight...

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"My choice of colors does not rest on any scientific theory; it is based on observation, on feeling, on the experience of my sensibility." - Henri Matisse

The colors of...summer? Perhaps (though I generally steer clear of nail polish once the thermometer starts to rise). At the very least, T. LeClerc's Vieux Rose...Gris Noir...and Rouge Théophile are the sort of beauty lay-a-way items that you can buy now, wear later...in the manner of a particularly conscientious squirrel happening upon an unattended stack of walnuts.

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"I've waffled before. I'll waffle again." - Howard Dean

There are the necessary things in life...the whimsically unnecessary...and the complete and utter wastes of money that will be used once or twice and then relegated to the cupboard under the sink. I leave you to decide which category a waffle cone maker falls under...

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Normal service will resume...I hope

Blogger, who hath served me so faithfully for all these years, appears to be throwing a bit of a hissy fit. Not sure if others are affected or I am the sole beneficiary of his tantrum (that's right...historically, ships are female...issue-causing blog providers, male). Anyway, attempts will be made to post as usual...

What I had hoped would be my new summer fail-safe...Gap's billowing black dress...finally arrived. As did a question from Anon...which mysteriously disappeared when Blogger started acting up. Anon's question was as follows..."what size did you get? just your normal size? my boyfriend just bought me this (we're long distant) and I'm suddenly afraid its do big."

The answer...I did get my normal size but the dress seems to run a little large (not overwhelming so...the skirt portion being voluminous anyway...just a bit big if you like things tight around the bust area). Now for the rest...

The fabric, sadly, isn't what I hoped...it's a bit...cheap looking (the sort of thing that makes you scared to go too near an open flame). The dress is long...close to ankle length and I'm 5'11"...and the built in slip is rather long as well, which diminishes some of the summer floatiness that should be inherent in the dress, and makes you feel cocooned (great in winter, sweaty and somewhat shroud-like in summer).

The slip can be shortened...the length is more a welcome surprise than a let-down...the fabric is...a problem. I just can't decide if the dress is a less-than-enthusiastic-keeper that I would definitely get some wear out of...or a good-try-that-misses-the-essential-requirements-of-the-perfect-summer-dress (for me).

Anon...would love to hear your thoughts when your dress arrives...

 
 

"He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass." - Edgar R. Fiedler

Finally...someone has realized that something needed to be done about the "klutz vs cut crystal vase" issue. Up until this point those of us with less than stellar coordination have been forced to give a wide berth to anything faceted and fragile. Now, thanks to a mixture of ingenuity, polyseter, polymide, and polyethylene, we have a solution to the "crash, bang, don't move or you'll cut your foot" conundrum...vinyl vases...

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"Grant that I may become beautiful in my soul within, and that all my external possessions may be in harmony with my inner self. May I consider the wise to be rich, and may I have such riches as only a person of self-restraint can bear or endure." - Plato

Yesterday was a tribute to the over-enthusiastic logo...the structured...the in-your-face...in fact, the diametric opposite to the subdued charms of the bag I actually ended up buying...bachelor number two..."the over-sized monk", aka the Hartsfield Travel Tote from WANT Les Essentials de la Vie...a restrained combination of leather and organic cotton...voluminous, yet with interior pockets for the essentials that tend to get lost in a large bag...a tranquil workhorse that can be carried by hand, on the shoulder, or slung across the body...stuffed to the gills...or enshrouding the bare minimum in its understated depths...

 
 

Logo-a-go-go

Back at the beginning of April I mentioned that a new quest was i progress...for a laptop/miscellaneous technological odds and sods bag that would hold everything I need for work and manage to not give me a hernia in the process. The search actually concluded a lot more swiftly than I first imagined...in fact, I ended up finding not one but two bags that met the criteria.

In my head, I think of bachelor number one as "the Eurotrash millionaire"...good looking, expensive, and covered in logos...officially, it's known as Louis Vuitton's Icare...structured, roomy, with the potential to encourage upgrades. The downsides...apart from the logomania which you either love or hate...a certain weightiness even when empty...and...let's face it...the price...all of which means that the EM is on the wishlist for wealthier times...and bachelor number two (who you will meet tomorrow) is "the one".

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"I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this." - McMurphy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I can't decide...Golden Goose's dheli dress is either...a laid-back, linen, striped piece of summer bliss...or...an expensive take on the hospital gown. Thoughts?

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"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cautionary tale...the definition of "don't assume, it makes an ass out of you and me". When I moved to the US, I assumed that mother's day (like every other shared celebration) was on the same date on both sides of the Atlantic.  I realized my mistake when, UK mother's day having passed by in a state of silence, I received parental accusations of the "mind like a sieve" variety. Claims that the big MD was the following month...and that festive plans were in place...fell on deaf ears (until corroborating evidence could be supplied).

The moral of the story...celebrate mother's day early, and often...and never assume...

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Mama Hebden, circa 1961 - menacing in silk and sheepskin

 
 

"Scheherezade is easy; a little black dress is difficult." - Coco Chanel

If there wasn't a lingering feeling that the need still exists for a thick sweater every now and again...ie, despite the fact that the sun has finally started to shine there's still quite a nip in the air...I would have embraced the bi-annual closet transition prior to this. As is, I'm loathed to move any "winter" clothes into storage as (depressingly) I haven't actually stopped wearing them.

This lack of transition means that I've also been rather tardy on evaluating the remnants of last summer...the things that I wore to death and (somewhat optimistically) packed away in anticipation of another year's wear. Something that I realized when I pulled my fail-safe black linen dress out of mothballs...and saw (in the cold, and exceedingly harsh light of day) that it was looking a little worse-for-wear.

Enter a (in my opinion) very un-Gap maxi dress from...the Gap...able to be dressed up...or down...worn alone...or layered to within an inch of its life...a theoretically-easy-but-difficult-to-find-in-reality basic...

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"There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos." - Jim Hightower

Given my inherent klutziness, this 4" high tribute to Alexander McQueen's Armadillo shoe (one of the tchotchkes that The Met has had made for the Savage Beauty exhibition) could be my ideal form of shoe shopping...easy on the pocketbook...the feet...and the eye...Photobucket

 
 

"If I were to die and I could come back as anything, I would want to come back as one of your tears. What girl wouldn't want to be conceived in your heart, born in your eyes, live on your cheek, and die on your lips." - unknown

In all things there is the high-maintenance option...and the low one. When it comes to lips...as in so many other things...I tend to fall at the LM end of the scale...with an addiction for lip balm and gloss...a couple of lipsticks lurking sheepishly in my medicine cabinet...and an inability to color inside the lines. As I constantly seem to "misplace" these items (for which I blame large handbags and stuffing my jacket pockets with the enthusiasm of an over-eager chipmunk) I am always on the lookout for replacements. Enter Covergirl's Natureluxe Gloss Balm...a gloss...with SPF 15...and, in peony, the blue/red shade that seems to work well with very pale skin and blonde hair.

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Of course, if you talk about low-maintenance you have to balance things out...at the HM (sub genre - kooky) end of the spectrum are these temporary lip tattoos. Thousands of questions come to mind...what happens if it suddenly starts to peel off when you're talking to someone?...if you kiss is there a chance of lip transfer?...and, most importantly of all, are there really that many people who want pink polka dot, leopard print, or fishnet lips?

 
 

"I haven't seen so many men wearing pink since I was a kid in the '70s and 'The Preppy Handbook' was in its first printing." - Brian Boye

So, to date, we've discussed Gothic skulls...vodka-filled skulls...skulls that were human...and skulls that were from some other form of animal life...but (and tell me if I'm wrong and my short-term memory is playing tricks with me) I don't think we've talked about preppy skulls. You know, the ones that are frightfully brainy...have a slightly clipped way of talking...and an affinity for stripes, plaids, and bow ties.

Which leads me to these terribly trad lapel pins...made for men, but why should boys have all the fun?

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"One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one fine day" - Aristotle

Mornings are somehow better after a couple of laps round the local pond. Not for the physical health benefits...the Starbucks clutched in my grubby little hands would preclude that. The mental ones, on the other hand, cannot be over-emphasized...half an hour or so watching the ducks being dive bombed by a squadron of over-zealous swallows and I am ready to start the day...

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"In garden arrangement, as in all other kinds of decorative work, one has not only to acquire a knowledge of what to do, but also to gain some wisdom in perceiving what it is well to let alone." - Gertrude Jekyll

Sometimes, it is better to admit defeat early on...to realize that you will never be a modern-day Gertrude Jekyll...that the warning signs were there the day your echinopsis spachiana slowly started to lose color from top to base...and that the best thing would be to stop the mindless seed slaughter and buy some porcelain plants instead.

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"...the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." - Albert Einstein

I sometimes feel that I'm more interested in the details of an outfit than the outfit itself...or perhaps that's just my way of justifying my interest in bags, bracelets, and all other forms of personal ephemera...

Sunday...denim day...in forms other than jeans...

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Shoes - Urban Outfitters, dress - Gap, jacket - Barneys New York

 
 

"Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window." - Ralphie

Time has passed...it's been a while since the last cracker was pulled...the final remnants of the festive shortbread have been eaten...and the missing fairy light bulbs have just come out of hiding. It's summer...when Christmas past is just a distant memory...and Christmas future is a mere blip on the horizon.

Which could explain, I suppose, why someone created a straw hat that can only be described as a tribute to The Old Man's leg lamp in A Christmas Story...
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