Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Blogswap - A BlackLOG guide to Fashion

The post that was over at fashion editor om sugar....

Hi, I'm visiting from over at BlackLOG and have agreed to do a Blog swap with Amy this week. I freely admit that I'm way out of my depth on a fashion-based blog and it is certainly an interesting challenge for a fashion luddite like myself - in fact, I'm currently so far out of my comfort zone that I'm looking down on planets that no one else on earth has seen yet. I'm also struggling to come to terms with Amy's almost pathological sense of organisation. The BlackLOG likes to take a more random approach to blogging, mixing topics and events in a huge blender, before spewing them in front of the reader, with the effect that it's like looking at a smorgasbord of life seen through a kaleidoscope. I'm sure you will be fine but if you can avoid throwing up I would appreciate it.

Preparation - not something I'm particularly hot on but since I'm a guest this week I thought I should show a bit of willing:

I've been listening to Fashion (David Bowie)

Fashion! turn to the left
Fashion! turn to the right
Oooh, fashion!

Listen to me - don't listen to me
Talk to me - don't talk to me.......
but it would be nice if you left a comment.....

I would play the song for you but Amy, the little minx, has neglected to leave me anything to play it on (Amy feel free to grab the code off of the BlackLOG for the jukebox)....In case you were wondering, while I have enjoyed the nostalgia trip that the song brought me, it did absolutely nothing to inspire me in any fashion sense.

Let's start with some basics. What do I know about fashion?......Hmmm.......the answer is an unequivocal "Not a lot" but don't let that worry you. A lack of knowledge about a subject has never stopped me expressing an opinion. I do have a favourite fashion quote though (I.e the one I just looked up on Google) :-

"Fashion fades, style is eternal" -Yves Saint Laurent* 1958

* Didn't he play for West Brom in the late 1950's?

This sounds good.... I can't help but think it would work so much better for me, if only I actually had some style to replace my lack of fashion.....

Probably a more appropriate quote would be:

"Fashion fades, randomness leaves its mark all over the place" - BlackLOG 2010

So, with a deep breath and eyes firmly shut, let me begin my guide to fashion....

UK fashion
Last week the UK has been mainly wearing a rather fetching Volcano Ash number, so fine it is like gossamer (whatever that is), especially imported from Iceland at great expense.** For once, we have edged ahead of the French and Italians, in the fashion stakes, they are, however, expected to follow the trend shortly. It was such a big event that people delayed their holidays, refusing to fly until the "exciting" phenomenon had passed. Quite frankly, I can't see what all the fuss is about. Rather like the Emperor's New Clothesthere was nothing really to see....

** Can someone check that Gordon Brown has not traded the whole of the Icelandic finance debt to the UK, for what is basically a load of dirt? I wouldn't put it passed him. He did, after all, swap the UK gold reserve for what amounted to a handful of beans and a pantomime horse.....

Fashion in the B lackLOG house

The only times that I have ever come close to being in fashion is purely accidental. It's a bit like a stopped clock - at some point it's going to be of the moment but it will be brief. Still, if you wait long enough it will come back full circle. Take my flying helmet and goggle combination (used for skiing not walking down Bishop Stortford's high street). It's probably about 90 years out of date, so it could be said to be long over due for a comeback.

Even I have to admit that it does not have many redeeming features other than it keeps me warm and it makes Mrs B laugh when the flaps stream out behind me on the slopes, like a long eared dog with it's head out of a car window. This also covers an important area regarding my philosophy on life - where possible make them laugh, especially when you can't make them swoon....that's not to say I don't have a few Fashion Rules up my Cowl style Sleeve:-

- Don't wear white socks with sandals, in fact don't wear any socks with sandals.

- Pyjamas should never be worn out of the house, unless you hear the bin men coming and you have forgotten to put the bin out.

- Budgie smugglers (men's tight-fitting Speedo-style swimwear) are a big no no, unless worn by extremely fat people for comic effect - even then, best not viewed after you have recently eaten...

- Anything made of polyester.

- Pop socks - Worn by women when they are fairly certain*** they will be not be having sex. Much loved by Mother Theresa, that well known nun or, in the context of this sentence, it could well read "none"...
*** "Fairly certain" - I doubt even David Blunkett would go there.

- Muffin tops the female equivalent of builder's bottom.....

Other than these simple rules, anything goes, although please don't expect me to notice......

You may be shocked to discover that other than some watches, my wedding ring - white gold****drizzled over gold gold, with three inlaid diamonds, to compliment Mrs B's engagement ring - and some novelty cufflinks, for the odd occasions when Mrs B forces me to wear a dress shirt, my jewellery trunk***** is empty. No earrings, nipple flanges****** , nose studs (they just look like zits to me) , belly bars or even a Prince Albert - You can look it up for yourself if you don't know what it is....

**** I'm still not convinced it's not just silver with a fancy pants name

***** Some of the watches are quite big....

****** OK you got me, that's to do with drilling rigs. However since I also know very little about drilling rigs (and strongly suspect anyone reading this won't either) I feel I can legitimately slip it into this article.

My hair seems to lead a life of it's own*******. No matter what I try and do with it, it just clings to the top of my head, mocking me. Then miraculously for around 1/2 an hour it actually looks good, at which point I know it's time to get a haircut or put on a hat, because after 31 minutes it starts to rapidly deteriorate....

******* Probably far more interesting than mine. One day I will have to sit it down and get it to contribute to the BlackLOG, I'm sure it will triple my readership.

Getting ready to go out
Generally for me this involves arriving at my clothes cupboard about 10 minutes before we are due to go out, grabbing the first thing that looks clean and heading for the door. More often than not it will end with disapproving looks and tutts from Mrs B - if this includes raised eyebrows and shaking of head I return to the cupboard and start again.

On the odd occasion (Please note very rare) when I have thought about it and have a particular garment in mind it might end in a frantic rush around the house looking in all the wrong places until Mrs B takes pity on me and points me in the right direction.

Mrs B
Considering what a great relationship we have, when it comes to fashion Mrs B and I are like chalk and cheese, we even have a few fundamental differences when it comes to dressing up the house.

Mrs B goes for the cushions, candles, drapes, throws etc...and does not understand why I don't get excited by such things. My attempts at draping things lovingly around the house (socks, underwear, damp towels etc..) are met with mild hostility. In my opinion if it does not have flashing lights, wires (don't tell me I can't move with the times, I'm embracing the wireless world as we speak....as long as you don't count the plug attached to the wall at one end and my PC at the other), push buttons or slides I rapidly lose interest. In short I like things that you can do things with. Take the new coffee table that we have on order - I insisted that we pay extra on top of the already hideously breath-stealing amount (even after the huge discount that would bale out most reasonably-sized countries) for the height-adjustable version. I have no doubt that after the initial playing around with it, it will be set in one position and remain like that for the rest of its natural life (which, in my mind is at least 20 years but in Mrs B's is perhaps 6 months until she finds a similar model which is identical in every way, except 2 shades lighter, and thus far more suitable and desirable.....Aaaarrggghhh) I just need the reassurance that those extra centimetres of adjustment are there in case of emergencies.

My main contribution to dressing up the house has been to source as big a TV and as many surround speakers as I can get away with (currently 7.1, the .1 being a subwoofer. In an ideal world I would like (need) 9.2 or more) Oh and covering things....examples of my covering things activities include :-

New dining room table :- three weeks and 1 day after Mrs B's new dining room table arrived it was covered by a full size air-hockey table - in fairness, it was her surprise Christmas present and although she did not strictly ask for it, I had thought I was onto a winner, because her little face always used to light up whenever we come across one when we were out and about. I have subsequently been informed that the key word here is "Out", as in not "in" our house...

Kitchen refurb - When we had the kitchen revamped, a few years ago, there was a corner section of wall left between the wall mounted cabinets and work surface. Mrs B insisted on having matching panelling which I have to admit looked very smart. Within 4 days Mrs B came home to find that I had sourced and installed a TV that fitted the gap exactly, completely blocking her panelling....

Mrs B used to show me everything that she was going to buy but this invariably ended up with one of the following conversations:

Mrs B -"Do you like it?"
Me - "Not really."
Mrs B - "I'm sure you will get used to it."
Sales assistant - "Will that be cash or credit card?"


Mrs B - "Do you like it?"
Me - "I think it looks great."
Mrs B - "I'm not sure, I don't think it suits me."
Sales assistant - "Will you be taking the item?"
Mrs B - "No, I think I'll leave it."

Nowadays our fashion conversations go more like:

Me - "Is that new?"
Mrs B - "What this old thing? I've had it for ages."

I did manage to talk Mrs B into buying a new coat before Christmas, which has proved a big hit with almost everyone who has seen it - Surely that's enough fashion success for one life time.....Can I collect my fashion pension now... ?

Other member of the BlackLOG Hosehold.
Despite my best efforts to persuade them otherwise, two members of the household continue the cruel and unfashionable practice of wearing real fur.
Mischief favours black, which she feels is slimming.

while McG insists on wearing what can only
be described as the equivalent of a shell suit...baggy
and shapeless in a sort of reddish beige. He
claims it is comfortable....

Even more disgrace as ElleGee our BMW takes every
opportunity to parade around topless, the hussy

So that's about it, and since I've tried really, really really******** hard to stick to one topic as a reward to myself I can't resist mucking about with the schedule Amy sent me.

******** Have you regular readers of Amy noticed she seems to like things in three's, like LoveLoveLove, I'm assuming it's not a nervous stutter...

Mondays and Wednesdays are fashion,
Tuesdays and Thursdays are whatever I fancy posting about,
Fridays are Feel-Goods,
Saturdays are local-based and
Sundays are Alphabetti Spaghetti

.....Did I mention that I think Amy might be pathologically organised.....

Let's see. Sundays is Alphabetti Spaghetti and Amy has been methodically going through the alphabet one letter at a time.... So although it's not Sunday and the letter B has already gone....

Today's non-Sunday Alphabetti Spaghetti letter is brought to you by the letter:

BlackLOG - the name of my blog, quite simply a combination of my surname and the word Blog, not very imaginative but I like the fact it can be used as a Brand...

B as in Mrs B - The love of my life, we have been together for 25 years and married for 16 (Yeah do the maths, I kept her waiting for almost 10 years, shame on me).

Bishops Stortford - Our home for the last 12 years.

Beatles - The best band in the world.

Bang Bang - B.A. Robertson the first single I ever purchased. What can I say? I was young....

Boney M - Night Flight to Venus, the first album I ever bought - Oh, the shame, I would so like to say it was something far cooler but it wasn't. It was the first of a huge collection of music, over 3,000 CD's and now countless MP3 downloads - The latest album I've downloaded is the new Scouting for Girls "Everybody Wants to be on TV" - it's a bit poppy but great fun and I like it. They are also the next band I've got tickets to see live. The last band I saw was Vampire Weekend back in January.

Blue-ray - Still not convinced that this is not a bit of a con. The discs take an age to load and I just don't see a great deal of difference between a DVD that has been upscaled, even on our 58" TV.

Bugger this, never again - Amy's current thoughts about Blog swapping.

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