I can’t help it, I’m obsessed with jumpsuits. I can’t decide whether it’s because I’m a child of the Seventies and I’m still lamenting the loss of my Charlie’s Angel dungarees or whether it’s the easiest way to get dressed ever – throw it on, accessorise, add some shoes and walk out the door.
I also appear to have one to suit all occasions:
Navy pinstripe one for work
Black tailored strapless one for black tie events (throw on a tuxedo jacket and heels – effortless yet edgy elegance)
Wide leg chartreuse number for weddings / garden parties
Black jersey one for “emergency, I don’t know what to wear to that party” panic buy avoidance
Denim dungarees for lazy summer days
As I student in the Nineties I opted for playsuits and chunky boots – favouring ditsy prints, crushed velvet or distressed denim. It was just so much easier than wearing dresses – and when you grew up in the windy wilds of Scotland, at least a playsuit kept your dignity intact on particularly breezy days.
I admit that jumpsuits are not for everyone, they can involve some snazzy yoga moves to get in and out of them (sometimes with a bit of jumping to release yourself completely), underwear choices are critical, and you often have to plan bathroom breaks well in advance.
But, I still find myself yearning for more…
And I’m not alone, the fabulous people at StyleMeTraining show how it can work for you.
I’ve been conspicuously absent these last couple of months – this is due to epic amounts of stress on all fronts. My coping mechanisms have included the following: I’ve indulged in oodles of retail therapy, satisfied significant carb cravings and have swigged a few too many bottles of sauvignon blanc – and it’s never a good idea to write a blog under the influence of that last one.
Enough was enough – it was time to retake control. I joined a gym close to the office and vigourously signed up for a few classes. I was still reasonably fit thus was slightly over-confident in my abilities. I started easily enough – the Zumba class was sweaty but fun, I did a few cardio-only sessions on the cross trainer, and then I leapt happily into Urban Iron. Oh dear god. Utter Agony for the following two days was the result – I really enjoyed the class but chose too heavy a weight set. Half way through I knew that although I was doing ok, I was going to hurt in the morning. And hurt I did – ‘no pain, no gain’ was the mantra I kept repeating to myself over and over. I nearly had to wake Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits on the Monday morning convinced that my legs were incapable of bending enough for me to buckle up my shoes. My body had aged 30 years over night, I had to mentally prepare for lowering myself into a chair or heaving myself up again – taking a good 30 seconds each way and a lot of groaning.
But I worked through the pain and booked myself onto the same Saturday morning class for the week after, I halved my weight set and got through the whole class and the following two days without any pain. I’m going to Strength & Tone tonight, I’m on the standyby list for the terrifyingly named RIPPD on Thursday and will be back to Urban Iron again on Saturday. I haven’t over-indulged on the vino or partaken in an online shopping spreen since getting back to the gym. Somehow, throwing those weights around is good for the mind, the body and the bank balance. And that’s good enough for me.
It’s not the light start and end to the days, the cherry blossom on the trees or the fact that I’m trying to get my feet sandal fit that marks the onset of a new season for me. It’s the itchy eyes, the sneezing and the bulk purchase of the strongest antihistamines that money can buy.
I didn’t even suffer from hay fever well into my twenties; I spent a blissful childhood running through fields, throwing myself into mounds of grass cuttings and picking wild flowers. I’ll be forever grateful for that at least. It was a mild irritation when we lived in Scotland rarely flaring up for more than a few days at a time, but it became debilitating when we moved to the southwest of England. It’s hard to maintain a professional facade when your client starts handing you tissues when your eyes won’t stop running.
It’s easy enough to prevent though, which is just as well or I’d spend my spring and summer time in a barren landscape. I also have trouble with orchids and christmas trees, so whenever I visit my parents I need to bring industrial strength drugs with me.
I wouldn’t change it for the world though. There is no other season that makes me feel as alive as I do in spring – it’s as though I’m awakening from a dark, muted sleep and open my eyes to a sea of colour. We held a ‘yellow’ day in the office last week in support of a local charity and decorated the office with daffodils. Neither we, nor the office, have ever looked brighter or healthier. They call it mellow yellow for a reason.
Last week was one of those which are funnier after the event than living through it. It was a week of misunderstandings, miscommunications and misconceptions.
Cue the post I wanted to publish mid week:
“I’m irrationally angry. I know I am. I can feel the rant but can’t stop it. I want to vent. I need to vent – I need to go Mariah. I need to go diva – epic diva at that.
However, neither my liver nor my credit card can actually take me to the limit – both will fail me before I can calm down. It just isn’t in me though. I’m already bored of my inner dialogue, my soliloquy to divadom. In fact, I’m already over it. Therein lies the problem; I need to hold the anger ahead of a strategic management meeting tomorrow so I can go all red haired Scottish scary – think a short, dimply, spectacle-free Frankie Boyle. Enter stage left an impeccably dressed Irn Bru character assassin.
I get tediously bored trying to hold onto negative thoughts; my subconscious deals with negativity as though it’s a game of Tetris, everything has a place, you just have to put it there. I put my anger away and come out with solutions and lists. It’s my way. Damn that mantra “in with anger out with love”, it wins every sodding time.
I’m annoyed because it’s not one thing that’s set me off, it’s a culmination of 12 months of minor irritations. I only have myself to blame.
There’s only one thing left to do – music on loud (Mariah, Dionne, Shirley) and lists. Lots and lots of lists.”
The next day was almost worse than the one that brought out my inner diva. BUT, and that’s a gigantic BUT in capital letters – I let it all go. I left a meeting mid way through to go and gather my thoughts, my sanity and my temper. I then had another meeting where I could explain my frustrations.
As the week went on it became clear that there were a number of factors that had led to diva-gate. It was the fact that key personnel hadn’t asked the right people the right questions. I was the right person with the right information but no-one had asked me the right questions. With proper hindsight, I could have foreseen the issues ahead of time, this time I didn’t – next time I’ll know how to counter the idiocy before it begins.
Both Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits and I have been ill with a glandular fever-esque virus for a few days. It sucked. We got snarky, over-dosed on Season 4 of The Good Wife and I slept more than I have so far this year.
I attempted to go to work on Monday – I managed a little over two hours in situ, but with my tolerance levels at an all time low I thought that I should leave before I started on a squeakily terrifying laryngitis riddled tirade of abuse that was bubbling up inside me. I made it home, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits saw my sweaty little face and attempted to cheer me up by liberating the shoes I bought in London. They were were hostages for over a week and he wanted some thanks. I think not !
I made it in today, called a few clients, dealt with an alarming amount of emails and boxed up and returned some little parcels of loveliness that weren’t quite right. I’ve come home, tackled the ironing, done the dishes, made some calls, and done some jobs for Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits for his early start tomorrow. In short, I’ve achieved more in the last 14 hours than I have over the last 5 days.
It’s good to have a bit of a spring back in my step, and I’m feeling a lot more like my old self.
I’ve been absent without leave from the blogosphere, which means that I’ve been busy. And when I say busy, I mean sleep-deprived busy. As has Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits.
Which is why we were stunned, dazed and confused when our schedules combined within a 2.5 mile radius in London on Monday. We were in the same place at the same time. In the 10 years we’ve lived south of the border, this is unheard of.
I quickly booked a hotel for us in Kensington for Sunday night – this meant that we could get up slowly on Sunday and head through to the big smoke for the day. We could shop, we could enjoy a glass of wine or two, and then we could shop. Between us we bought three pairs of shoes, two for me one for him. This is a normal and healthy ratio for a female:male shoe-off. Although, I haven’t seen my new shoes since then. Hmm, I may be the victim of a hostage situation – he may actually be holding me to the ‘one pair in, one pair out rule’. I don’t remember that discussion over late night gin in a tin.
We did all that and more and headed off our separate ways on Monday morning. My conference was less than a 30 minute tube ride away, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits was a 15 minute drive away so I left for work later than I do every day I’m in the office – a brilliant start to a Monday I find. He finished filming 30 minutes earlier than I did and came to collect me so that we could drive home together. My own windswept and interesting chauffeur – all I had to do was keep a steady supply of coffee and chewing gum flowing on the journey home.
I’m still in a state of shock, and no matter what this week has since thrown at me, I remain well and truly inside my happy bubble.
Thus, our once in a decade day will be remembered as happily as eating warm apple strudel in the restaurant at the top of Grossglockner.
It’s been a challenging week so far and today has gone beyond, way beyond taking the Michael.
And thus I wandered home, looked longingly at the box of wine, decided “later my pretty, later” and put the OBB kit on instead. It’s been a good night – I’ve lunged my way through the pyramid of doom, spinned my way through the women’s curling bronze medal match (go Team GB), and successfully planked for the designated 150 seconds (thank you Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits for the Metallica playlist). I now feel better about this week – it’s amazing how much life goes back into perspective when you’re wheezing for dear life whilst the little endomorphins rush around your body.
But today was a tough one – my default fantasy when office life is getting me down is to run away and join the circus. I have it all figured out – I’m the bombshell who gets fired out of a cannon wearing spandex outfits emblazoned with The Titanium Tempest. Hey, a girl’s gotta dream.
Anyway, my day started off with puddle avoidance, deteriorated into broken wifi routers, faulty laptops, disobedient developers, a depressing amount of yet-to-be-written policies and anarchy. I also have two members of staff on compassionate leave, another about to go on paternity leave and an alarming office plague that’s turning lovely people into feverish phlegm-spouters. I bought cookies and wasabi-flavoured crisps – it was the only sensible thing to do.
A rather unexpected day in fact – with highs and lows.
a) Mission Dinner Jacket or Die (MDJoD) is complete
b) I had time for a manicure in my lunch hour
c) I successfully completed Day 17 of the Plank Challenge – all 120 painful seconds
d) I didn’t lose my temper at work when I was totally and utterly justified in doing so
a) I was soaked to the skin on the walk home by passing cars after successful completion of MDJoD
b) I’m going to have to come up with a damage limitation strategy for (d) above
On the bizarre front, here’s a photo of some sparkly (borderline stripper shoes) that Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits mum sent me to cheer me up.
Today will forever more at West Wing Towers be known that the day that the internet died. And die it did, albeit unspectacularly. The first I knew that anything was wrong when the entire office leapt to attention like meerkats in sight of a predator, with hushed voices exclaiming, “the internet’s down”. Shocked glances turned into furious keyboard tapping, phone calls across the office to the techies who know about this kind of stuff, and quickly led to meetings being disturbed by nerd-like shrieking.
This was not good.
In fact, this was a real life emergency. The root cause had to be found and rectified as quickly as possible, how could we survive without instant access to the world wide web? This meant that people actually left their desks and headed to the mother ship, well the temperature controlled security vortex also known as the server room. They were on a mission, they would succeed in bringing back the internet or die trying.
It turns out that someone had tripped up and subsequently pulled out the ONE really important cable. He was explaining to some colleagues how careful you need to be when you’re backing up the system, being very serious and spouting good practice. It was an unfortunate and somewhat ironic accident. Alas, this was a serious security breach and the ISMF (Information Security Management Forum – I’m not making this up) had to be informed. An incident was duly recorded, and will be discussed at the next meeting of the ISMF.
Once we rebooted the internet all was well. The nerds settled back down into coding heaven, the geeks could get back online and order suitably geeky stuff and I could carry on shopping. For those of you lucky enough to work outside the technology sector I shall clarify the difference between nerds and geeks via the image below. Welcome to my life, I work with both tribes. No wonder I buy shoes.
Today, on the way to work, I really was Mary Poppins – the wind made me fly (sadly, very unlike Ms Poppins) way up in the air with my rather large umbrella. At this point I faced with the impossible choice – wrestle with my umbrella or keep some dignity intact and hold my skirt down – there was no time for both. So apologies to any car drivers who saw a small flurry of an oversized purple umbrella and grey woolly tights fighting their way through the cobbled slippery streets.
Once I’d reconnected with mother earth I stepped off of the pavement straight into a puddle so deep it overflowed my little chelsea boots. Not exactly the best start to the day and thus I arrived at work battered, bedraggled and bemused – like most of my colleagues.
A surreal start to the day for everyone means that you share little moments of hilarity throughout the remainder – any subject was open for ridicule, planking (of course), prostrate examinations, dubious code changes, top end graphic cards and cooling units. Not my top 10 funny moments ever, but instead an endearingly dorky day – nerds vs weather. The weather won.
Now for a 40 second planking session now that my feet have dried out.