Saturday, 21 November 2015

Cold Weather and Cocktails

A lot of things have happened since my last post, with the most significant being that I landed my first full time job! I now work in a department store, and while much of the usual retail/customer drama comes into play, I'm actually rather enjoying myself, and I work with some really great people. Is it what I initially envisaged for myself? Absolutely not. But I'm one for trying to make the best out of whatever it is I'm dealing with, and that's certainly the case here. Besides, it's good to try things you wouldn't normally, as they might lead you to the dream. That's what I tell myself anyway!

It feels a little surreal at times to be dressed in a smart blazer and work trousers, like I'm wearing a disguise. I don't wear lolita nearly as much as I used to because I'm at work 5 days a week, but somehow I feel as though my appreciation for my clothing has grown. Putting together a coordinate, no matter how simple, always feels like "coming home". The warm, comforting familiarity of it is wonderful. On the flip side, it's been somehow nice to be pushed out of my comfort zone and try a completely different look. One thing I've always been wary of is becoming too reliant on lolita fashion to the extent that my personal style completely stagnates, and if faced with the prospect of wearing something different I'd be screwed. I'm relieved to say that I am more than capable of coordinating clothes regardless of whether they're alternative or not!

I was born and raised in England, so naturally, I enjoy talking about the weather. It's been getting colder recently, and it's quite a shock to the system after what has been a really warm year. Trees are looking very bare, and the town centre is already in a mad rush as the Christmas shopping season is well under way. The days are short, with darkness taking hold of the sky by mid afternoon. I have always hated November for its cold, stark oppressiveness but this year I feel completely different. In the past I have suffered quite badly from seasonal affective disorder, particularly during this month, but I have been largely unaffected by it this time around. It could be down to multiple factors, of course, like the fact I'm no longer in education (it still feels SO good to be able to say that), am working full time, and am more active than I used to be. Whatever the reason, I am really thankful, because I'm appreciating this month in a way I was never able to beforehand. OK, so I'm really behind on my Christmas shopping (well, err, I've not started it), I've not done any sewing in weeks and weeks, and I've largely been neglecting other domestic duties (I've been meaning to take a bag of old clothes to the charity shop for literal months at this point). But I feel happier, more purposeful, and financial stability has blown away a lot of storm clouds from my mind. Fore now at least, things are swell.


Recently, I met up with my best friends for the first time in far too long, and we had a really lovely day out. The weather was abysmal, and yet we couldn't have been in better spirits. We had burgers at the pub, before heading to a bar for cocktails. My umbrella got obliterated, our hair got rained on, and we were blown about in all different directions, but I look back on that day with such fondness.

OK, so I don't look with fondness on the moment when a gust of wind so strong it completely ruined my favourite umbrella came along. I hit poor James in the face by accident with it, and he still obliged to hold the broken remains so I could take a picture. Thanks, James.

The first stop on our day out was the crafts boutique I used to work in, where my brand's items are stocked. There was a store party happening, with drinks and snacks for everyone.

 My current selection of stock! Gosh, I miss sewing. I want to make some cute, simple skirts next.

After this pit stop, we headed to the pub for food. I had a pulled pork burger which was an absolute mess to eat. It was tasty, but I could have done without the apple sauce, which made the bun disintegrate into a mushy mess. I was so full from it that I couldn't even finish my chips.

After food, it was time for a group photo. We were seated by windows overlooking the River Kennet. It was quite the picturesque affair.

Because the weather was so bad, I didn't feel like wearing any pale colours, and opted for a simple coordinate with my go-to old school jumperskirt.
I really liked how this outfit turned out, and I definitely need some more black and white items in my life.

After we were done eating, we made the huge mistake of ordering a pitcher of cocktail called strawberry woo woo. It was a disgrace-- some disgusting syrupy concoction without even a hint of alcohol, and watered down even more with an excessive amount of ice. I did enjoy the process of ordering it, though, as we were served by an Australian bartender who seemed completely uninterested in formalities like actually checking our ID (unheard of here, where you get ID'd for absolutely everything). He merely waved a dismissive, jovial hand at our poised ID cards and said "are you guys all eighteen? Cool, well you all look the part so it's fine." What a shame our resultant order was a complete and utter waste of money. But fear not, for we decided this simply meant we needed to head to a different venue. So we did.

The Purple Turtle is one of my favourite venues aesthetically-speaking, done up in (of course) purple, with lots of posters of bands and musicians, drum kits for lampshades, and novelty seating. Take a virtual tour here, and don't forget to go downstairs. I've never been there late at night because I'm not really a clubbing/"let's get drunk" sort of person, but it's a super chill place to be early in the evening, and they play music I tend to like, which on this occasion was some old school Suede.

After being excessively ID'd by a member of staff (she couldn't believe Luna was 27) we got ourselves a round of cocktails as there was a 2-for-1 offer. Sammi and I had a Love Potion 69, and boy was it delicious, and something I need to have again as soon as possible. We had a leftover Sex on the Beach as James didn't want a cocktail, so three of us decided to act like it was a "fishbowl" for reasons best unknown.

We ended our day by having all manner of conversations, and contemplating going to a show happening at the bar later in the month, described on the leaflet on our table as "boobs, bottoms, belly-dancing and burlesque." Well, that sold it to us.

I really enjoying hanging out with these guys and I'm already looking forward to our next adventure, whatever that may be! Thank you so much for looking and reading, and do let me know what you've all been up to during November. See you next time