A New Year
A New You
A New Me!
(Fireworks around the London Eye)
Phew – we've all survived Christmas for another year. What a palava it is – with all the parties, the madness of last minute shopping, the excesses of too much food and alcohol and frivolity, the family dramas, the sadness of not being with family and friends that are no longer here, or live in other parts of the world. Love it or loathe it, Christmas is a time to get through – and hopefully dear readers, you are still all in one piece and have sailed through ready to face the new year.
(Getting waylaid with some of my staff on the way to our Christmas party!)
I've somehow managed to hang in there. What with an over abundance of parties to attend, I was more than happy to have a quiet family Christmas tucked away in a little cottage by the sea, where many an hour was spent on bracing walks with the dogs along coastal paths battling gale force winds and non stop rain, and even more happy hours were spent in the local pubs whittling away many an afternoon by the fire with a stiff drink and a laugh with the locals.
(Into the pub for a lazy afternoon!)
Christmas brings a certain poignancy with it as well, for one cannot help but reflect on the year that is ending and the new one that is about to start. Come the end of the year I, like most people I think, always give myself a bit of a self assessment of achievements that have been accomplished and goals that have been reached. Being a highly driven, always on the go type of soul, I can't help but look back and wonder how much more I could have fitted into the year and what I could have done differently to have made my life and work better.
On reflecting over the past year, the word 'courage' kept coming to mind. Take the glorious year that Britain had with both the Olympics and the Golden Jubilee. The courage of all those athletes to dedicate their lives to their chosen sport, not knowing for years whether they would succeed or fail. To move out of their comfort zones and to push themselves to the very limits of training and discipline in their goal to succeed. Some excelled with medals and some went home with nothing, but they all had the courage to get out there and try their very best.
(The thrill of the Olympics!)
The Golden Jubilee likewise celebrated the reign of another woman of great courage – HM Queen Elizabeth the Second. I had always thought of her merely as a dedicated woman, committed to her role within the country, until I had a conversation with an elderly lady who spoke of the immense courage the Queen has had throughout her life, to rise to the role in which she was thrust, through no choice of her own, and to make it successful. To also have the courage to face criticism on a daily basis for the little things – how she acted, what she wore and what she said. For making decisions on how to be seen to be acting through a recession, how to behave through an era of great technological advancement, and so the list goes on. So easy would it have been on many occasions for her to bury her head in the sand and hide.
(Looking gorgeous in blue!)
It all got me thinking – of how those in life that are successful and fulfilled are often the ones that have had the courage to take risks – be they big or small. Maybe they have had to go out on a limb and risk everything to achieve their goal, or have had to face criticism from contemporaries and family, or maybe they have had to overcome an immense fear and face dreadful uncertainty in their aim for something better. Maybe they have just had to make really difficult decisions. It can be scary of course at times to strive for success and real happiness in work and our personal lives – but the rewards are there waiting.
(Climbing the impossible mountain!)
Believe it or not, I regularly meet courageous women who come to the studio for clothes and face 'clothes fears' head on.. Let me give you an example. It is remarkable how many girls face fears about wearing a dress. They receive an invitation to attend a wedding and not having worn a dress for years, decide to throw out their trousers for a day and don a dress for the special occasion. I have yet to meet a woman who has done this and who has regretted it. It is amazing how many women have not worn dresses for ten, twenty, thirty years.
One lady recently had a dress made for a wedding she was attending a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time she had put on a dress and shown her ankles since her own wedding twenty eight years ago. After the event she wrote me a card to say that she was so glad she'd had the courage to ditch the trousers for the day and wear a dress. In fact, she had had so many glowing comments and so much attention, that she had not wanted to take it off and had considered wearing it the next day to work!
(Not sure I will be ditching these trousers this spring – they are heavenly – made from a double crepe silk – ultimate luxury in trousers!)
So ladies, I challenge you all to summon up a little courage this year – for that is indeed what I plan to do. To try something new, be adventurous, make hard decisions, take risks, put aside fears and hesitancies which hinder and to move forward in life. Nothing like a courageous spirit to sail into the new year with!
(Looking incredibly demure in green – a colour I have never worn before, but thought I would try.
Worn with an old vintage necklace- not sure if the whole look is me or not – but there's nothing like trying something different!)
Keep your eyes peeled on our website this year, for we have lots of fabulous fashion shows and events coming up which will be packed with great fun, gorgeous girls and of course heavenly clothes!
Here's to looking and feeling fantastic in 2013!
Farewell to Mr Boffin
A few days before Christmas I had to say a very tearful good-bye to my dear old cat Mr Boffin. At the ripe old age of 20 his heart was getting a little dodgy and he was becoming feeble, so that terribly tough decision had to be made that it was time to say farewell.
He was a typical villain of a cat, sharpening his claws on the best pieces of furniture, rolling about on the laptop as I was working, sleeping on things that he shouldn't have been on. He had a habit of catching mice, bringing them into the house and letting them go under the bed – all in the middle of the night of course.
But my dear Boffy was an adorable cat who loved cuddles and snuggles and who purred loudly with pleasure. He made me laugh, he terrorised the dogs and he ruled the house in only a way that a cat can do. It is all horribly quiet now without him and I miss him enormously as only cat lovers will ever understand.