Runway to school

School run fashion is a serious business.

I know Mums that make a special effort to look good at school in the morning. Its almost like a fashion parade. One Mum had a full face of make-up that wouldnt have looked amiss at a nightclub. She had clearly given a lot of thought to her clothing, layering the latest biker style jacket with coloured jeans and ankle boots…….and this was just for ‘meet the teacher’ morning.

Another Mum wears a completely different style every day. It might be the ‘Madonna does exercise’ look before bootcamp one day, featuring a black baseball cap, white long sleeved sports top and a ‘skort’. The next it will be a long black coat teamed with matching beret. Another day, the 60s ‘Mad Men’ look, with quirky glasses, brogues and turn-ups. In fact I quite like this complete change in fashion, it makes a refreshing change from jeans and a top, no make-up and hair scraped off the face, like most Mums on a weekday morning struggling to get the children out of the house.

This Mum has three children too, so how she fits in styling with breakfasts and getting ready for school, is a marvel and I say good on her, if she has the time and thats her thing then why not?

Sometimes its easy to scoff at Mums who take pride in their appearance. But for some Mums thats all they have got to retain their identity in amongst the daily routines of school runs, cooking, housework and other typical ‘housewife’ duties.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

A very British School Summer Fair

Things that dont normally happen at your average school summer fair:

1) you win the bid for a pair of Alexander Mcqueen Puma sneakers supposedly once worn by Miley Cyrus (they must have been worn for namoseconds as they were not remotely cheesy). My daughter is thrilled to have won them (she will have to wait a couple of years for her feet to grow) and I was semi-humiliated as it was announced how much I bid (after a glass of Pimms and mild sunstroke). I laughed it off saying it was an early Christmas present and I figured at least the money (£70) is going to the school. My daughter seemed more than happy to have them as her Christmas present, although I wonder how she will still feel about that come December. Before i bid for them I was initially disappointed as I selfishly thought i could have them for myself, but when i discovered they were size ‘4’ it then dawned on me that I have a daughter who is showing the beginnings of shoe worship like her mother. In fact she has an effortless style that i never seemed to be able to carry off when I was eight, probably because my dad was too busy enlarging my girth with frequent trips to McDonalds.

Things that normally happen:

1) Gossip and the discovery that any news from you has already raced its way through the grapevine so that you have nothing to add (except put a few facts straight)

2) Getting a bit too competitive in the Mums race – I tried not to care that i didnt get a medal for coming third (i will wear trainers next time)

3) drinking a bit too much pimms

4) Moaning about senior management decisions, in this instance changing the school logo to…..wait for it……a child’s drawing of a tree (how original) to add insult to injury it looks more like a propeller with green blades

5) Just when you successfully had a clear out of toys, books and bears for the fair donations pile, you end up walking out of there with an armful of more toys, books and bears

6) The home movie that you will watch over and over again when your son is older of his first ever race (he was too comfortable to stand up for the get set, ready, go part and came in second to last – but was one of the cutest on the track)

7) Two children with way too much sugar in their bloodstream

8) The need to lie down in a darkened room, plus lots of paracetamol afterwards

But its all good in the mummy hood.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Flcking the V sign to all things ‘vintage’

Since when did everything previously described as ‘retro’ or ‘had it’ or ‘one-way ticket to the dump’ become labelled with the rather glamorous term of ‘vintage’?

Vintage should be reserved for the best old champagnes, the best old cars and anything that comes under ‘luxurious but old’. But suddenly any old tat has become vintage in an effort to ‘upscale its worth.

This observation came after watching the Irish property developers programme ‘amazing spaces’, during which he described a delapidated old camper van and caravan as a genius conversion to a mobile ‘vintage tea room’. There seems to be a proliferation of businesses starting up mobile catering in ‘vintage’ modes of transport that are cramped and frankly toxic for the environment. Pizza, cakes, coffee, pies and even cheese on toast can now be served out of the back of an old VW or Citroen at a premium price across Summer fetes this year. No doubt I will lose count of how many variations of this ‘vintage catering’ trend i see at Camp Bestival later this year.

I say bring back the good old fashioned Transit van, but with maybe slightly better options than burgers and hotdogs. I dont care how it got to the venue, as long as the food tastes good and the best before date isnt ‘vintage’, its all good in my present day hood.

Vintage is so last season darling…..

I am blogging for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Coconut & Kitsch

I have just drunk a cup of coffee mixed with coconut milk and it tasted good. I am also wearing a small Jack Russell porcelain ornament on a necklace around my neck on an impulse buy this morning – it is a strange mixture of cute and bad taste, I suppose you would describe it as ‘kitsch’. However as I passed it dangling in the shop window it pulled me like a magnet because it looked like one of my dogs when she was a puppy. However, the way it is assembled looks as if the dog is literally hanging from its neck ie being hung, or it is playfully dangling – I see it in different lights according to my mood. It was relatively cheap (funny that) so it is not as if I spent a fortune on something whimsical  – I am a fan of spending money for better causes.

Nethertheless, like the bag I have covered in boats, it was something that ‘I had to have in my life’. My husband succumbs to these temptations too but they tend to be a lot bigger budget (machines mainly). I knew he would grumble at my hung dog so I decided not to mention it, despite the fact that it is dangling around my neck – he hasnt noticed it yet – shows how often he looks at my chest…

This is a short one today as I have had my head in a computer for long enough already filling out another job application. In an ideal world I would be a social worker, but until they bring back the one year degree conversion training, I will plough on through my existing ditch, in an effort to avoid the dead-end that is looming.

I think the message from today’s post is try something different if your gut says go with it, even if its coconut milk and porcelain miniature dogs on chains.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Do the Kardashians really represent all that is wrong with the world?

I’m typing this while watching the Kardashians. The sisters are having an argument over a Chanel bag. The dad is irate over his 11 year old wearing make-up emulating her overly done sisters. I don’t really know why I am watching this but like a lot of people I am strangely drawn to it. Part of me is thinking ‘are these people for real?’ and part of me enjoys the escapism of observing people whose lives are dominated by  trivial issues. But then I thought about how many times I look in the mirror every day and how long I think about what I am going to wear in the morning – which is not an enjoyable process but I still care what I look like. Why? is it for me or for my husband…or my friends. Or worse….other mothers at the school bus stop.

Apparently a large percentage of mothers manage to squeeze some time into the regular morning mayhem to stick on some slap. Why? Are we all a bunch of secret lesbians why do we need to be physically appealing to the same sex? A Mum once said to me that it was important to her that she was not the fattest mum in school and not the oldest. I have so far resisted the temptation to colour my hair but maybe I might change my mind when I resemble a badger or a witch – not sure which is worst. My daughter’s school mascot is a badger……

Maslow’s (I think its Maslow) hierarchy of needs shows that I am doing alright, like the Kardashians because my concerns have gone beyond feeling safe, nourished and under shelter. I feel guilty about that. Guilt is good though because it means celebrities like the Kardashians can pay-off guilt with charity bashes – charities benefit a lot from Western guilt. They have to look good at these bashes though…so does attending these bashes satisfy their conscience or boost their profile? A bit of both. Don’t forget the puppy dog eye appeals  to get the public digging deep. I think the worst was Victoria Beckham watching an Indian girl picking through rubbish for items to sell – as she did her piece to camera with the girl in the background asking us to part with her cash I noted that she looked good in her designer outfit.

The only people who don’t seem to feel guilt at success and personal wealth are (my apologies for this sweeping generalisation) ……bankers. Hislop presented a programme recounting the philanthropic actions of the Victorians – with the families behind some of the big banks doing some amazing long-term life-changing actions that are still having a positive effect on society today. Not sure our current crop of bankers will leave the same legacy. When will they start to share their wealth and put back some good in the world? I think Channel Four’s the Bank of Dave has the right idea – bring back community banking, encourage local business growth to boost the local economy, prospects and employment; make a modest profit and donate to local charities. Go Dave….boo Kim.

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