Monday, 28 February 2011

The workwear conundrum

Applying for so many jobs lately has made me question what actually constitutes work wear nowadays? It’s a conundrum I seem to be faced with in alarming regularity at the moment and has forced me to reassess my wardrobe and my ideas of who I’m going to be.

When I was younger I always thought that when I had a career I would wear a suit, but now here we are 28 years in and that hasn’t happened (and if I’m honest, the idea of wearing a traditional suit actually makes me want to vom a little bit). I was also a girl who in year seven at school would idolise the older girls and declared that when I was in year eleven I would wear my hair up every day, as I thought that’s what you did when you got older. Needless to say by the time I reached year eleven I still hadn’t managed to master the kind of chic up do I had imagined so continued to sport my usual messy blow dry (how I coped in the years before straightners I will never know).

So, I find myself in 2011, still with no clue on what to wear for interviews let alone actual work. Lookbook is proving a great source of inspiration as always, here are some looks I’m loving for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Life as an unemployed graduate

Well my four week placement in London is over and now I'm officially unemployed. Scary times indeed. Last night I hopped on the last bus from Victoria with the Boy and headed south to home for a weekend of TLC with the family-i.e. a Saturday morning stroll around the park and shops with mother for me, whilst The Boy and Father hit the local beer festival. Spending time with Mother was of course lovely however the shopping was pretty terrifying due to a trip to the bank which coincided with the realisation that I really don't have much money and now I have no source of income (aside from selling my life on ebay and at my local carboot).

Unpaid work experience is all very well, but when you're not a RAH can be a difficult lifestyle to maintain. As friends swan round London thinking nothing of picking up numerous decaf skinny latte's, the latest fashion magazine and a bottle of Evian, or a must-have item from Topshop, I on the other hand am refilling my water bottle and eagerly awaiting my walk to the tube to pick up my free copy of Stylist or the ES Magazine.

At 27 I feel like my life has been put on hold, you never realise how important money is until you don't have it. Still, on Tuesday The Boy and I escape to France for a few days relaxation before the major job hunting begins, and I'm planning on enjoying myself (whilst preferably spending as little money as possible).

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A return to long lost loves...

Having recently finished the hell that was my MA course, the infinite amount of free time I now find myself with is coming as a bit of a shock. Over recent weeks I’ve mostly been sorting stuff out to sell at the carboot and on ebay (desperate times and all that), applying for jobs and flat hunting. Although, without a job the flat really is a pipe dream so I should just concentrate on tracking down that elusive career of mine.

Reading is one thing I’m getting back into, having devoured two books over the last week alone. The pleasure that reading a good book whilst on one of my endless train journeys brings me is unbelievable, especially after months where every spare second was filled with uni work. The next of my past loves to return will be drawing and painting. This fills me with excitement as it literally feels like it’s been months, if not years, since I sketched anything. An upcoming holiday in France with The Boy and our best friends seems like the natural place to start and I can’t wait to try and capture anything that catches my eye. For now I’m sparking my imagination by looking at the work of many a talented artist and illustrator online, such as Brett Manning, whose work I discovered through one of my favourite blogs Delightfully Tacky.

Lunch at Harrods

My many house/job hunting trips to London over the past few weeks have led me to develop a new food obsession: chicken caeser wraps from Harrods food hall (I’ve even gone so far as to make a detour in order to get one for lunch). A weekend walk with The Boy led us to pick one up on the way to the park and there’s been no going back since, they are officially may favourite food for lunch on-the-go in London town.

At £3.80 they’re cheap-ish for London lunch prices (especially for a girl with no job) and taste absolutely lush. Can’t wait for the summer when I can grab one for lunch and relax in the park with a good book and The Boy in the sunshine.

Harrods food hall itself fascinates me enough. I always want to buy pretty much everything I can see and often imagine winning the lottery (or just getting a well paid job) and being able to do my weekly food shop there. Or at Whole Foods on Kensington High Street, which I always browse with The Boy and then instead end up hunting through the reduced section in Waitrose down the road. I’d even settle for a job at Harrods food hall, although I’d spend all my wages on food at least I’d be happy (and full).

Lunch at the Queens Head, Brook Green

Last week saw me spending another weekend in London town (not that I’m complaining). Still no luck with the flat/job hunt so stayed for a few days with The Boy in West Kensington. On Sunday following a lie in, we ended up spending lunch relaxing at the Queens Head in Brook Green. Me: reading The Sunday Times Style magazine, him: the sports section (natch). Having spent my entire life being dragged around grotty pubs all over the country in my Dad’s quest for real ale, The Queens Head was a welcome change from many London boozers. A great little village pub with a friendly atmosphere (and, on Sundays, Yorkshire puddings to die for), the warm atmosphere saw plenty of couples and families enjoying a lazy day.

We had visited once in the summer and sat in the beer garden but on a chilly February day we selected a cosy nook in the bar and settled in for the afternoon.

It was pretty much a perfect day for me, apart from the hellish bus journey back to Titchfield later that afternoon, followed by an evening of trying to cobble together something resembling a professional portfolio for my interview on Wednesday. Need to stop half-living my London life and actually MAKE IT HAPPEN.

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