Some of you who follow the same blogs as I do may have already guessed what this particular get-up is all about. I am pretty late for the "tulle and teacup on a step" portraiture party that was started by this amazing lady, subsequently turned into a blogger challenge by the wonderful Sarah, and taken up with gusto by a few of my favourite fellow tutu-loving bloggers (see Helga, Desiree and Butane Anvil for some tulle-layered inspiration par excellence).
Running late seems to be a recurring theme for me these days. I'm getting up too late in the mornings, I'm late with Christmas shopping, I'm late with blog posts and I'm very late in extending a big heartfelt thank you to every one of you who took the time to read and comment on my personal tale of a storm. I was overwhelmed with the heartfelt and emotional reactions to the story, and to those of you who warmly encouraged me to turn it into a piece of fiction I will say that yes, this has been an idea for some time and your encouragement has been more invaluable than you will ever know.
I kept hand written diaries when I lived in Spain documenting my flamenco related experiences and sometimes when I return to read them it seems, from the distance of the much quieter life I live now, like I'm reading stories about somebody else. I have to remind myself that no, that really was me. I'm suddenly getting a craving to put pen to paper again, to revel in old fashioned handwriting rather than just typing on a keyboard, to see my scrawling script drying in ink on a crisp white page and to write about things other than just clothes or fashion (though I still love doing that).
But for the moment my mind is on clothes. One reason I'm so late for the tulle and tea party is that all my tulle skirts had been in storage and I only recently managed to get this one out. I was an avid ballerina for many years and so I have a soft spot for a tutu and satin ballet flats. I had another dance related "was that really me?" moment not so long ago. In these photos I'm seated on the step of our garden shed, part of which I had turned into a dance studio to rehearse in when we moved here. I don't rehearse there much anymore as a major and irreparable leak in the roof has rendered it unusable. In winter it has become inhospitably cold and damp and we have recently been moving out our personal belongings to a dry storeroom as mould has been attacking things.
I'd forgotten that I'd stored every pair of ballet shoes I'd ever owned in a bag in there and when sorting things out I was saddened to find them sodden and covered in a furry layer of nasty green mould. My beautiful pink satin pointe shoes, my beloved canvas split soles and my pink leather ballet flats so battered and bruised from overuse, all ruined. I was reminded of the excitement of buying a new pair, the simple joy of admiring the beauty of the pale pink satin or taking in the scent of new leather, the sewing on of ribbons and pink elastic straps, the ritual of breaking in a pointe shoe, the pride of wearing them for the first time, and all those hours of practice and pain in dance studios as a ballet student. Throwing that bag away was like bearing witness to the death of a previous life, sad yet also cathartic in a way.
I am such a dreadful hoarder of things of sentimental value, so perhaps this was the universe saying it's time to let some things go now and move on. It might also be because it is that time of the year again but I am already setting myself some resolutions for the near future. I don't want to pin them to New Year exactly as I think you should be free to resolve to do something at any time of the year, but I do think putting one's goals down in writing is always helpful to visualise a path to achieving them.
So here's my shortlist:
1. Mr V and I need a new place to live. We've outgrown this flat, we need more room, I need a grown up wardrobe rather than the current arrangement of crammed and bowing rails on a wall that frustrate me daily, and I need a place at home where I can rehearse properly.
2. I need to have the mother of all wardrobe clear outs. I need a proper, honest and brutal look at what I do not wear anymore and let it go.
3. I want to get back into writing something, anything, more regularly. It may not necessarily be here on this blog but I'll let a post count.
4. Mr V and I would like to do a digital photography course together. We both love photography and I'm sure we are not getting nearly as much out of the camera we have as we could with a bit more know how.
5. Although we travel alot, for the last few years it has tended to be to the same destinations. We'd like to travel to some new places together, especially ones where we can indulge in some travel photography. We've got the ball rolling with a tropical stop off on the way to Australia for Christmas. We leave next week!
P.S. It feels like ages since I did but better late than never - I'm linking up to Patti's Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style.
Victorian embroidered net tulle blouse: Vintage; Black wool turtleneck: Cos; Embroidered tulle skirt: Wheels and Doll Baby; Pony skin ballet flats: Dune; Pewter flower earrings: Vintage inherited from my grandmother; Teacup: Anthropologie