Friday, 4 March 2011


I've managed to get quite tired and run down recently, so yesterday I gave myself a break. I spent most of the day lying in bed reading this blog, which is my official new favourite. In it, an impossibly cute and elfin woman buys hideous second-hand dresses, transforms them into impossibly quirky little outfits, and then sets out on a series of impossibly stylish nights out in art galleries and bars.

It is just about the perfect blog to read as you sit in bed in your middle age, patting a stomach entirely made of different types of cake, whilst wearing a huge brown fleece poncho bought in a charity shop and not altered a bit. Unless you count cutting the price tag off.

When I saw the poncho I thought how lovely it would be for camping. I imagined folding it up neatly until it was time to pack up the sleeping bags in summer. I have not taken it off.  I do not look in the least bit elfin in it. I resemble a large, misshapen easy chair that someone has attempted to cover with a blanket.

I was obviously thinking a lot about summer and camping this week as I borrowed a camping cookbook from the library. My holiday cuisine is mainly based around emptying jars of sauce onto packets of gnocchi. In this book, people in wellington boots dig large pits in the ground in order to bake whole roast ducks which are decorated with slices of orange.

It's not comforting, when you barely have the energy to get dressed and put some oven chips on a tray, to know that elsewhere people are refashioning clothes and going to bars and cooking ducks in pits. It only brings home the importance of rebooting the Happiness Project I started last year which has somehow found its way onto the back burner.

Chapter One is called Energy. Expect updates.

Happiness Project


  1. Also, don't forget, tis the end of winter...not known as an energetic kind of time.

  2. She's cute. But I'd still prefer the fleece poncho. Remaking a dress, then getting dressed up, then photographing yourself, then going somewhere AND THEN doing something...just seems like too much work. I need a nap just thinking about it.

    I'd stick with the fleece poncho.

  3. At least your fleece poncho is an attractive fabric. My fleeces are a. old b. belong to my husband and c. black or blue. And not even a pretty blue.

    Pass the biscuits.

  4. Don't fret about camping cooking. All you need are sausages, ketchup and bread of some kind. You can survive for weeks on that.

  5. Oh god - if there was a fleece poncho hereabouts I'd be crawling into it. A day in bed sounds very appealing.

  6. I love your happiness post. Made me smile big time. That beautiful elfin woman deserves to be shot! She's just much too clever and probably childless too, therefore not a real person. very clever but definitely not real.
    Hope you fell better soon

  7. I think that a fleece poncho sounds like the perfect garment... and as for the little elfin woman... I'm not so sure she looks so good in all that stuff. It looks like cut up bad charity shop stuff to me.

  8. Sounds like one of the camping cookbooks I bought my husband. I don't camp but I do like a camping cookbook. My husband doesn't cook so it's all a bit of a waste of money really. The List Writer is right -sausages, bread and ketchup.

    Love that blog even though she's going to have a job 'changing the way I think about fashion' as I don't actually think about fashion.

    Hope you find some energy from somewhere soon.

  9. I only got two posts into that blog and found it too exhausting to continue. My camping cooking is mostly pasta and sauce too. What is the good of a recipe for duck-in-a-pit when most campsites won't let you light a fire anyhow?

  10. Me
    and my
    pyjama bottoms,
    strolling down the avenue.

    I've worn little else the last few days, except when I went out to get more calpol. Can I borrow your poncho please?

    You may be wanting one of these too:

    ... then you'd have a tent-like garment for all eventualities.

    I'm wanting the spring to come back in your step.

  11. I wore a shapeless top with the pjs, obviously.

  12. Sod all these high standards with which we paper the walls of our minds- get round here, in poncho, and grab some apple crumble while it's still hot!

  13. This February greyness doesn't help, does it. I dropped everything I was doing this afternoon when the sun appeared and actually lied down on the floor to catch a bit of it. That helped a bit. Especially when I picured what I must have looked like to anyone coming into the room.

  14. fleece ponchos wins hands down in the fashion stakes for me. all those tunic style outfits make me look like a pregnant peasant....

    hope you have a relaxing refreshing weekend, and get some sleep, a happiness project essential x

  15. Gawd, I couldn't even be bothered to cook a duck in the oven at home, let alone do it whilst camping. Actually, my idea of camping is to go on Craft Camp, sans family to a nice house with bone china crockery, a dishwasher and a claw-foot bath long enough to lie down in. I'm mad for that type of camping.

    I suggest that dancing is an excellent way to rekindle your energy/happiness, but I would say that.

  16. Helen - yes, you are right. No children in evidence anywhere! No wonder she's got so much time and clear floor space.

    Jannette I love the idea of you lying down on the floor. If it were me I would have had to close my eyes to combat the dust.

  17. Yep, the only way to have the time to refashion a dress every day is to have no children. Simplest way to retain sylph like figure, ditto.

    The Happiness Project is a great book with some good ideas, but it did begin to irritate me on a second reading. It's putting it into practise that's the difficult part!

  18. LOL I'm with eurolosh and stomper girl ... I need a nap now and I'm all for the fleece poncho/slouch socks couture look ...

    I couldn't lie down on my floor to savour the sunshine either, I'd be suffocated by marauding dust bunnies ...

    never fear sweet coffee lady ... spring is a comin' and soon you'll have more energy than you could throw a bit of lego at ..

    (my word verification is "comin", so you know it must be true!)

  19. I always like to imagine myself drifting through my life in the village in a quaint, linen-smock-tops-and-hair-in-artful-topknots sort of way. The reality is holey cardigans, unbrushed hair, and filthy jeans.

    I quite like the idea of a happiness project. Off for a look.

    Rachael (currently v. scruffy)

  20. Your poncho looks great. Doesn't show grubbiness, stains of different types of coloured food - is warm... allows cake-stomach to protude unnoticed. What's not to like?

  21. Spring will soon be here. Remember it? I think I do. It seems a long time ago. x

  22. If you love that blog, here's one that started much earlier. Maybe the elfin lady got inspired here?

  23. Oh, that is a good one, Polli! Thanks.


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