Fashion: Looking Cool v Feeling Comfy

I’d Rather be Comfy

image Elizabeth Mall
Elizabeth Mall, Hobart’s shopping street.

I was never fashionable, not when I was in my teens and twenties and certainly not now.

It’s not that I don’t like clothes, I have always enjoyed looking at them. I am always out of step with fashion trends though. I wasn’t the nerdiest looking girl at my High School  but I wasn’t one of the ones with the elastic belts for hitching my skirt up to my thighs either. I was the regulation skirt two inches above the knees girl, just trying to blend in.

I didn’t think I looked good in a mini skirt but I didn’t like maxi’s either. I would never have worn hot pants or see through tops when they were the fashion and as for platform soled shoes I’d have fallen over if I’d even tried to walk in those and I’m sure that stilettos would have killed me.

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Platform shoes-Ellie821heel courtesy Wikimedia/commons

I both love and loathe shopping for new clothes. I used to love a Friday night in the city  after work or a morning checking out the shops at one of the suburban shopping centres.  I would always be full of hope that I’d find something I would love. When I was in my twenties and thirties I’d shop for clothes in department stores and be annoyed that a lot of the clothing  was either for the very young and slim or looked “too old”. As I grew older those “old lady” dresses and crimpelene slacks disappeared but I still struggled to find clothes that felt like me.  My working life was spent wearing uniforms, more than twenty years of blue shirts and navy pants just about put me off  wearing those colours for a few years.   Now I’m not working and don’t have either the occasion to wear fashionable clothes or the money to buy them so I live in jeans or track pants, T-shirts and sweatshirts. On the whole I’d rather be comfortable than fashionable though. I don’t really care what’s hot and what’s not and I don’t see the point of buying expensive clothes to wear around the house and get dog hair all over them. Make up doesn’t interest me much either. I never learned how to do it properly and I don’t like how it feels on my face so these days I mostly go without. If I’m going out I do what Mum used to do, lipstick and some face powder.

I have a few fashion rules though. Years ago I read “Color Me Beautiful”by Carole Jackson and discovered that I was a “Winter”. See I do take some interest in my appearance. So I don’t wear yellow, brown or orange.  I don’t wear a lot of pastel colours either because I prefer bright ones. I like white tops but white pants I worry about messing up so I can’t relax in them. You can guarantee that if I wear something white we’ll have pasta for dinner and I’ll spill some on my clothes. I like to wear  black and sometimes charcoal grey as neutrals  and brighten them up with reds, purples, blues and greens. I love red, especially a bright, letterbox, London bus, Ferrari sort of red but now I’m a bit older and grayer I don’t wear such large amounts of it.

I prefer flats to heels although I loathe buying shoes of any kind. Last year I was fortunate to find a pair of calf length boots that fit comfortably and in cooler weather I like to wear them with leggings and a tunic.  I rarely wear dresses now, mostly because then I have to think too much about what I put on my feet. I like my sneakers but even I don’t think they look good with a dress.

In the past couple of years I’ve discovered the pleasure of buying clothes online and from catalogues which means I’ve come full circle as Mum used to buy a lot of our clothes from mail order catalogues when I was young. I do enjoy getting a catalogue in the mail and browsing through it with a cup of coffee. I’ll usually make my selection online though because I like to read customer feedback. It’s nice that so many women take the trouble to write down that dress A is true to size but not the same shade of red that was in the picture or that sweater B is snug and if you are full-figured you should buy the next size up. Of course I can send anything back that doesn’t fit or even if I don’t like it on me after all and it’s no more inconvenient than travelling 50km to the nearest large shopping centre anyway.

If I suddenly had a lot of money to spend on clothing I’d certainly be getting myself a new wardrobe and I’d enjoy choosing it but I probably have just as much fun if not more enlarging the wardrobes of my dolls, and they would look a heck of a lot better in the latest fashions than I would!

image Barbie dolls
If only I could look as good as they do.

For those that don’t know I have a doll blog, unimaginatively called Dolls, Dolls, Dolls. In it, as well as a lot of photos of my dolls, I’ve written about my opinion of the whole “Barbie is a bad role model” debate so I don’t want to go into it here. I feel bad that I even have to say this because to me playing dolls is just fun but I know there could be people who think I have body image issues and I promise you I don’t just because I envy my Barbies their looks. I’m just saying that the things that looked good on me when I was in my teens and twenties don’t look good now.Mum had an expression for it. “Mutton dressed as lamb.” I can make myself look good but I  can’t make myself look twenty.

Links:

http://www.colormebeautiful.com/index.html

Signs Of The Times

#marchinmarch Hobart

Images from today’s march in Hobart.

I first heard about the March in March when reading Victoria Rollinson’s blog. I decided to find out if there was to be a march in Tasmania and although I’ve never attended any kind of protest in my life I felt that I must go. My recent pessimism about the future has been brought on largely by the actions of the current federal government since taking power last year as well as my fear that a right-wing conservative state government would make matters worse.

I’m not a member of any particular party and don’t believe any one of them has all the answers but I do want a kinder, more compassionate government than the one we have now. And by the way where is the spare planet Tony? (see last photo.)

image Not In My Name #marchinmarch Hobart
Or mine Tony.

image Not Happy Jan #marchinmarch Hobart

Image Give Us Our Country Back #marchinmarch Hobart
One of the larger and more colourful signs.
Image "Dog's Breakfast" #marchinmarch Hobart
I wouldn’t feed them to a dog.
image Parliament House
Rally at Parliament House
image Nick McKim #marchinmarch Hobart
Face In The Crowd. Greens Leader Nick McKim.
image media conference #marchinmarch Hobart
After rally press conference.

Daily Prompt: If You Leave

image spirit of tasmania ferry
Leaving on the night ferry

Daily Prompt: If You Leave

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CROSSROADS.

I’ve done my fair share of leaving things over the years probably starting with leaving England to live in Australia although that was mum’s idea not mine. I’ve moved house a few times, with the family too, no choice again. Later I was married and moved  into a flat with Hubby, from there  to our own  house and then away from South Australia to come to Tasmania.

I’ve left jobs too. At first that was hard. It seemed foolhardy to give up jobs, especially full-time ones, without knowing what the future would bring. I’m not really that sort of person. I like security and certainty but as I’ve got older it seems to have become easier to walk away from things that I don’t want to do anymore. I suppose I’ve been lucky because although I wouldn’t say that all of our decisions have been great financially we’ve always managed to get by.It seems like the less money we have the less I feel worried by not having it. As long as we have our home I feel safe.

I think that in the end I’ve usually chosen to follow my heart rather than my head when it comes to leaving. I chose not to stay in a full-time job that was giving me major stress. I was getting headaches and one day found myself searching for the exit to a department store I knew well and not being able to find it because I was on the second floor. I decided I needed to get away from an environment that was hurting me. I chose to leave another job, which I quite liked, to follow our dream to come to Tasmania and another because I was finding the work physically hard and was afraid I might end up with chronic back pain if I kept doing it. I could have stayed longer at all of those places but for me the pros of leaving outweighed the cons. The biggest con in moving here was leaving close family behind but we hoped that there would be visits, phone calls and of course social media to help us keep in touch. You can live in the same street as someone and not keep in touch with them if nobody makes the effort. The rest of the cons were basically all about money.

The last thing that I contemplated leaving was a group I belonged to that I no longer enjoyed being a part of. It was not a hard decision to make. I can walk away now from a place or people who make me unhappy and not feel guilty about it or care much if others think I was wrong to do it.

Photo Thursday – Mickey and Major – Bullocks

Mickey and Major

I snapped this with my old Kodak Easyshare back in 2008. Mickey and Major were the lead bullocks of a team owned by Brian Fish of Oatlands, Tasmania. Mr Fish often takes his team to country shows.

Daily Prompt: Never Surrender

Stubborn as a Mule

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stubborn

adjective

  • 1Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good reasons to do so: you’re a silly, stubborn old woman

  • 1.1Difficult to move, remove, or cure: the removal of stubborn screws

Are you stubborn as a grass stain or as easy going as a light breeze on a warm day? Tell us about the ways in which you’re stubborn — which issues make you dig your heels in and refuse to budge?

Although I’m generally an easy going person and tend to go along with what people around me want I can be extremely stubborn at times. Sometimes this can be a good thing, for example if I am trying to do something with a computer I’ll worry away at it until I get it to work the way I want. I just hate to let it beat me.

It also means that once I form an opinion I don’t change it very easily. I won’t say I never change. Politically I’ve changed from the Right to the Left but it took over ten years.

If I decide I’m not going to do something it’s very hard to move me. I resisted when my cousin tried to persuade me to join the Girl Guides with her. I had made up my mind that it was not for me and nothing she could say could change it. She also tried to persuade me to go to the same high school as her and didn’t succeed in that either. I was more interested in the subjects being taught at the other high school in town and peer group pressure wasn’t going to change that.

On the other hand I can be very stubborn about things that really don’t matter at all.  For example, in the early 1970s when I was a teenager Daylight Saving Time was introduced in South Australia where I lived . Like many people at the time I wasn’t impressed with the idea, not because I thought that my chickens would stop laying or my curtains would fade. I just thought that it was messing with the sun and that if people wanted to have more free time to go to the beach after work they should all just start work an hour earlier. I often used to get up at 5:30 a.m. in those days and couldn’t see why others couldn’t do the same. Well, as I was too young to vote my thoughts counted for nothing and we got Daylight Saving anyway. I was having none of it though. I decided that the rest of the state could do as they pleased but there was no way I was putting my watch forward come October. I didn’t either, I can’t remember how long I kept it up for but it was at least a couple of years. I never put my watch forward or my alarm clock so for half the year I was out of sync with everyone else. If anyone asked me what time it was I told them the time by the sun. It didn’t change anything but I felt I had scored a point over the stupid Daylight Saving supporters. I think that in the end I realised that Daylight Saving Time wasn’t going to go away so I bowed to the inevitable. I actually don’t mind it now but only since we’ve lived in Tasmania where the climate is better and the extra hour of daylight doesn’t mean an extra hour of extreme heat.

Further Reading:

How To Be Stubborn

DP Challenge -Golden Years

Gravestones

Why I Wouldn’t Want To Live Forever

Would I want to live forever and never age? No. I don’t believe I would. I have to admit that the never aging part sounds tempting. It’s no fun to find it uncomfortable to kneel, to put your back out cutting your toenails, and to feel generally more creaky and slow than you used to. However what would it be like to be the only one who didn’t age when everyone around me did? What would it be like to outlive everyone I’d ever known? No. I don’t think I would like that at all. I think that I would always feel like a fish out of water never quite fitting in with anyone. Perhaps I’d  be afraid to become too close to anyone because they would get old and die  while I stayed the same age.

Imagine if there were drugs that kept you alive forever. Only the rich and powerful would be able to afford them. Wars would be fought over them and society would be more divided than ever as the long-lived would organise things to suit themselves. Maybe it’s a sign of approaching age that I’m cynical about this. Instead of imagining a world where humane and enlightened leaders try to find ways to share their good fortune with everyone I worry about leaders who would want to stay in power and would not be concerned about the needs of those people who were not going to live as long. I don’t think I would want to live in such a world.

And what if we could all live forever? Well I can’t see that working either. Unless we stopped reproducing we’d overpopulate the planet and if we did stop having children we’d stagnate.  On the whole I think one good lifetime is enough. Threescore years and ten plus a few more as a bonus ought to be enough time to do what you want to do and to see the changes each new generation brings.

I am not afraid to grow old but I do find as I get older that I’m thinking about things that I didn’t worry about before. I have always enjoyed reflecting on the past but I’ve also looked forward to the future. Now when I look back I sometimes feel a sense of loss, perhaps that comes with age, regretting the good thing that are gone. When I look forward, instead of thinking of things I hope to do, I sometimes find myself thinking about what might lie ahead for us both personally and for the world. Hubby and I have no children so a time will come when we will have to make arrangements for our future if we become unable to care for ourselves. I never used to worry about that before but now I do sometimes.

I’ve always thought that Australia of all places really was the lucky country and compared with many places it still is but I worry it might not be in the future, that there will be  a bigger gap between rich and poor and that it will be harder and harder to achieve the things we’ve taken for granted, like owning a home and earning a wage you can live on. I worry that we are becoming more short-sighted, greedy, selfish and  shallow and less compassionate towards others.

I am not usually pessimistic about the future but having passed the half way mark in my life, I’m fairly certain I won’t live to be more than 112, I do think more about it.  There are still good times ahead I’m sure and good people but yes, maybe my golden years do have a little tarnish round the edges.