I hope you had a great Christmas!

A cross-eyed tabby cat with reindeer antlers
Ha, I'm back! (And quite surprised to see I did actually manage a blog post at the start of the month; I thought I hadn't done any). I hope your December has been brilliant – I've been keeping up with people on Instagram, but that's not the same as the actual conversation of blogging, isn't it? Few of us use IG as a vehicle for thoughts and ideas. I do like it, as when life is hectic there's something soothing about the whirl of pretty things and happy friends, but blogging meets a deeper need. (Don't ask me why I still use Twitter, "I'm a bloody masochist" may be the answer there...)

Anyway, December was in many ways not as hellish as I'd expected. I had three print deadlines in three weeks. Yes, yet again I had possibly the worst schedule of any editorial production bod in my company, which meant working some evenings and weekends. Despite that, I didn't actually need the beta-blockers I got from my doctor (they help me manage my anxiety), though we did get through most of the food we'd premade and frozen. Mr Robot is an absolute saint, but even he won't want to cook every day, so having the frozen stuff means we didn't resort to pizza delivery when tired. On top of work I had a couple of parties (one for my company, one for games journos in this area from any firm), went to see the new Star Wars with the Official PlayStation Magazine team, and organised a collection at work for the local food bank. I was utterly flattened by the end of it, and my blogs had to go to the wall for the month, but I did it. And I've taken an extra week off so have a fortnight to get over Hell Month.

A copy of 'Cooking Price Wise' by Vincent Price laying on peacock print velvet.
Mr Robot and I always go full-on for Christmas. Since he lost his mum he hasn't had many people to buy for, so gives me a deluge of presents. And that's not counting the saucy lingerie he gave me before Christmas (as he ruefully admitted that was more a gift for himself, so he shouldn't give it to me on the big day) or the tub of Haribo he stashed in the living room and then forgot about. Shortbread, new pyjamas, turkish delight, earrings, an incredible perfume... he spoiled me. My big present was four metres of incredible peacock-print velvet which I'd been planning to treat myself to. He bought whatever the company selling it had left so I couldn't buy any! You can see it here, below my least expected present, a cookbook by Vincent Price. (How cool is that?)

The velvet feels incredible and I'm still mulling over what to make with it. I'm thinking of a 60s-style shift dress with emerald green scarf collar in silk, but that will still leave around a couple of metres. So... matching bolero? Mini skirt for when I want the velvet but a full dress is too much? People have suggested a coat, but I don't know what I have that would go under a peacock velvet coat, and I'm not sure I have the skills to make a coat anyway. I'm in no rush to use the velvet, so will keep thinking it over. What would you do with it?

I've also bought myself a few things. I needed a new pair of black brogues, and my old Clarks pair get so much wear it made sense to get a brand-new pair. They more than earn their keep. Not so sure about the practicality of snakeskin-patterned ankle boots I got in the sale, but they really are pretty. I also bought myself a blue cord miniskirt. I'd had it in mind to make a mustard one but couldn't find the right pattern, wasn't sure if I had enough time either, and then found the blue one on sale. It goes with lots of my things and will definitely be worn. And I had a voucher, which is how I came to acquire these pyjamas in an incredibly loud, painterly paisley print. Those speak to my secret dream of being a bohemian 1920s type drifting around in loungerie, eternally somewhere between going to a party and going to bed.

I am feeling a little guilty for buying new things but... I'm still not able to get into my vintage clothes. I'll be back in the gym and back on the salads in the new year, but that's no guarantee that my vintage will fit. I did think I should get rid of it, but I love it. And over this break I've been reflecting on how I have a terrible tendency to change to suit other people or fade into the background, and that's probably part of the reason my mental health hasn't been brilliant in 2019: I've been erasing myself. So I've got my new stuff, which I bought because I liked it, and I'm keeping my vintage because ditto. I'm going to try to be truer to myself in 2020, and that means more sewing, reading, watching films and blogging – and more time reading my pals' blog, because when everything felt awful at times, knowing there was this bunch of amazing, stylish, independent women out there who were being fabulous in their own way and not giving in to the pressures of the world was a massive source of strength to me.

You're a blogger? YOU'RE A BLOODY ANGEL. Have a fantastic 2020.


  1. What a lovely post, Mim!

    Those pjs are just wonderful - made for lounging in the most sophisticated way possible; probably involving a cocktail glass and a cigarette holder...

    I saw the peacock print velvet on IG; and oh my goodness the possibilities are endless! Whatever you make will look amazing with your fabulous hair and colouring.

    I'm so glad you've decided to be true to you - it all sounds so positive and enjoyable. Sewing, reading, watching films and blogging - what's not to like and enjoy? You work so hard and deserve to buy yourself nice , new things so don't feel guilty about it. Oh, and Mr. Robot has excellent taste by the sound of things...lucky you!

    Have a wonderful New Year!

    1. Thank you!

      That velvet is amazing, it's so soft. I'm going to spend a lot of time thinking about what to do with it; I don't want to ruin it.

  2. Happy New Year to you, Mr Robot and the Urchins!!
    I'm loving the sound of that velvet and the pyjamas look wonderful. That bloke of yours certainly knows how to look after you. Loving the idea of a coat but it'd be a shame to make something you'd rarely wear.
    Instagram is fun but it's a bit like a crowded pub, it's exhausting trying to communicate with your friends as you're always being pushed out of the way or distracted by something. Blogging is like popping round to a mate's house for coffee, far more civilised and intimate.
    Your true self sounds exactly like mine. 2020's gonna be fab! xxx
    PS Classic Car Boot Sale - 13th & 14th June - Hackney! We're already booked.

    1. Oooh, I shall whack those dates in my diary - maybe I can persuade Gisela to come along.

      I do love the idea of a coat from the velvet - a full-skirted frock coat style - but it would require a whole lot of new stuff to go underneath it. I'm going to keep thinking things over and watch out for the perfect pattern. With four metres there might be a skirt suit in there...

  3. December can be quite hectic at the best of times, but three deadlines in three weeks does sound rather hellish. Well done on making it to the other side without needing the beta-blockers! I know it's sometimes easier said than done - I've been there, and sometimes I still have that terrible tendency to suit other people - but being true to yourself is the best and healthiest resolution you can make for the new year. So, yes, buy things for yourself, and do not (I repeat NOT) feel guilty about buying new once in a while. I'm loving those loud paisley print pyjamas and the fabulous peacock-print velvet Mr. Robot got you for Christmas. It would make a great skirt suit, and you could wear both pieces separately as well. Have a fabulous 2020, Mim. xxx

    1. Thank you!

      I do love my pyjamas. There's nothing like lounging in style. I do make myself get dressed properly on days when I'm working from home!

  4. Glad you survived the deadlines and had such a great Christmas. The PJs are fab and I can't wait to see what you make with the velvet. Keep being true to you and sod the rest. xx

  5. The Vincent Price cookbooks are very well regarded by people in the retro cooking community. Unlike so many novelty cookbooks, the recipes are tested, and they're good. You'll have to share what you end up making from it.

    The advantage of doing a coat with that fabric is that it will be something absolutely no one else has. You'd only be able to wear it with something solid beneath, but that's what black polo necks and wide trousers are for. I would have a very hard time resisting feather trim as well. Thankfully though, you're you not me so I'm certain you'll do something tasteful with it!

    Our freezer was a lifesaver last month. I don't know how people survive busy times without something they can heat up at a moment's notice.

    Here's to a great 2020!

  6. Happy New Year and lots of love to your 'be true to yourself' resolution for the new year, it's one of the wisest resolutions ever!
    Glad that you managed your December quite nicely, it's a great idea to have food in the freezer to avoid eating fast food. We cook our food for the week, so there's always something tasty & healthy in the fridge and it makes a difference. I'm also quite dissapointed because some of my clothes don't fit me and I'm determined to loose the weight I've put on!. But it's taking me ages!.
    And I'm totally in love with the peacock-print velvet, so delightfully decadent!, such a luxurious color!. I totally understand that you have to take your time to think what to make with it. I'd probably make a dress if I had the skills, with a flared skirt, and a 60's style shift dress sounds lovely!
    And a cookbook by Vicent Price is damn cool, totally agree with this!
    Your pyjamas look absolutely fabulous and very flapperish! love a 20's bohemian vibe! You rock!!

  7. Happy new year. Wishing you a fabulous 2020. Love the look of those glam pyjamas and the fabric is just beautiful. I say keep your vintage if it makes you happy. I can't fit mine either, maybe one day I will, maybe not, but I like to have it around. Thank goodness for knitting and sewing so we can make clothes we love that fit!

  8. I think I feel inspired to blog again by your lovely post. (Being called a bloody angel has to be inspiring, right?) Mine has been in the doldrums lately, and it's hard to get started again. But you're right that it feels much more like a conversation than Instagram does, in some way. I love the fact that you sometimes get a response to a post years after you originally posted it - so it can be a very slow conversation, but still a conversation.

  9. Happy New Year, Mim! What a lovely, juicy post, and how wonderful that Mr. Mim spoiled you so (L spoils me too, gawdluvim). I got a kick out of the Vincent Price cookbook, and I'm drooling over the peacock velvet fabric. I would do a miniskirt in it, and make the hem scalloped to match the print! I would wear that in a heartbeat. I love the idea of a 60s-style shift dress too. An envelope clutch for evening would also be fun, and a great accessory with a plain dress.


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