Wednesday, August 31


The husband gave me comic anthology "A Graphic Cosmogony" for my birthday and it is such a stunning book I've been itching to show you guys a little of it.

You know how I said only a couple of weeks back that I don't think I'll ever get a real tattoo? Well, I have some thoughts on one tattoo I would actually really, really like and can imagine growing old with - I know just the spot too. I'll wait a while, see if I get cold feet. Try it on a transfer maybe. Sorta exciting :)

Meanwhile, I am enjoying my rub ons in places I would be very hesitant to get a permanent tattoo: Wearing them like jewelery on my fingers, throat, the inside of my arm. I am really loving the little stars on the first phalange of my finger. Other than my wedding band I rarely wear rings, they always seem to get in my way, but this colourful embellishment I could get used to :)

I've been itching for a drop waist dress for some time so when I found this Jessica McClintock/Gunne Sax cream cake I knew my search was at an end. It's light (I am making it sound like sponge cake now) and I love the big lacy sailor collar. Mind you, the v neck is so deep it's lucky I had a vest to match.

So, it was my birthday this month. The last one in my twenties. Twenty-nine years and none the wiser :D Growing up is for kids!

I am not doing too well with my post hoarding so I've decided to institute my own brand of daylight savings for the blog: Instead of every other day I will only post every third day until spring.
Major blogging withdrawal will surely ensue but I am forcing myself to slow down a little getting ready for winter. My body insists on hybernation each year so I've resolved to make an effort and preserve my energy this time ;)

See you Saturday!

earrings & ring: present (passed down from Mom)
necklaces: DIY & jewelery stall
dress & rub on tattoos: eBay
royal blue tights: c/o welovecolors

h&m hasbeens

Monday, August 29

Only Human

I've touched on my feelings regarding individuality before, struggling vainly to express myself. I thought about it again while cycling home after taking these shots today and I reckon the only way I can really explain myself is anecdotally. You know me, I am the anecdotal type ;) I understand everything by analysing my own self. It rankles, but I am solipsist like that. Me. Me. Me.
Anyway, here goes my anecdotal evidence..

Last year I read a novel that sounded like my inner voice. If that makes no sense, let me try to explain: I don't know about you but my rhythm of speech, the expressions I use, they are subtly different when I speak or write to the way I sound as I re-read this sentence silently after writing it, here in the back of my head (welcome to my head.. well, almost).

So like I say, it's strange but right away this story sounds like it's been pulled out of the back of my head. The main character is on the dissociative side and as the awkward sod muddles on from page to page dealing with his predicament this fictional guy is quite clearly me.

His mind plays all the same tricks on him as mine on me, he insists on making all the same errors and pretty quick the experience leads him to the same conclusions. As if hearing the story of a rough time in your life retold in the rhythm of your own thinking isn't enough, he keeps tearing down the Fourth wall, addressing the reader directly. Speaking to me.

Sure, I know it's not   r e a l l y   the character speaking but simply a writer's calculated efforts to make this book more engaging. The device also serves to ride home the dissociative theme so central to the novel (no doubt the source of much of my deja vu reading experience), putting all us readers right out of our comfort zones.
Smart ass. Really the author is just talking to himself or maybe to someone that inspired the damn book in the first place but for all intents and purposes: Major mind fuck. This guy speaking to me with my voice, he's laugh out loud cringy, he's got the patent on awkward, that is, I have. Me, in black ink on recycled paper. Only I am an American male. A sorta promiscuous one.

Differences. "See" I soothe myself "You're unique after all - anatomically, geographically, sexually" Evey time the story deviates a little further, every time my inky mirror image becomes a little more warped, it feels like a small victory. I am no duplicate. Not a copy of a fictional character. I kept thinking "this better be at least partially autobiographical". I really didn't like the idea someone so like me could simply be invented. How real is real? When you were little did you ever worry you might just be a character in a book? I know I did. When I wasn't fussing about demonic possession I was always trying to find a way to prove whether I am "really real" or not.

You know, even when the story finally went off on a tangent, when a thread that was unlike my own life unravelled and for a little while it was just a book not a mirror image looking back at me,  those differences, they were so small. So, so small. And that's just what blows me away (and incidentally the main character is totally steam rollered by this one too): It's not our differentness, this fabled uniqueness that is so damn awesome but the real crazy amazing thing about life is just how alike we all are.

No, there are no exact copies but our uniqueness, if you ask me it's little more than a technicality. Negligible. Our body chemistry messes with us in similar ways, we find ourselves in near identical situations, have the same ideas (sometimes at the same time. Just check out simultaneous discovery). People dream the same dreams, aspire to the same ideals, we arrive at the same conclusions all the time.

We are brought up to value individuality and originality so much, when you come to realize everything has been done before and the whole unique little snowflake thing doesn't hold up so well in practice, it is pretty scary. At first.
Thing is, it's actually OK. In a world where we are all leading our separate little lives don't you find it comforting that we are all so similar; That we look, feel, fear alike?

You see, I am all for a world wide Vulcan-style mind meld. It can be scary to let go of "unique" but it is freeing too. All my life I've been striving for the unobtainable. I kind of knew all along, I just couldn't help myself. We are all encouraged to set ourselves apart and that's all good.

Creativity is awesome but creativity is not synonymous with uniqueness. When I was little my Mom used to say "there are as many great artists in this world as there are grains of sand on the beach" The brush strokes are subtly different but we are all painting the same pictures. But just because I think we are not all that unique doesn't mean there is no merit, no value. There is. I am no nihilist. Existentialist yes, but if you ask me life is pretty darn personally meaningful.

What I am trying to say is, even when everything has been done before (and most everything has) it can and should be done again. By you. I am not talking about repeating or copying. It's not copying if you arrive independently (And being inspired by others is not plagiarism). It's not a dupe if it comes from deep down. It's all about the journey. That's right. Soppy maybe, but right. It just has to be right. Right? ;)

Nope, I really don't believe in unique.
I believe in this sentient, messy mass of humanity all quite alike but trapped alone inside their own little minds and the only way to get out of there is to share yourself in some way. Not in order to prove just how different you are, but to celebrate how much we have in common.

Connect. Create something that reflects you, so someone, somewhere can look at you and find themselves. It's pretty scary but: hey, that's OK. It's better than OK. It's good. We're in this together. All 6.94 billion of us. We belong.

hat: tk maxx
earrings: DIY (buttons)
blouse: etsy
skirt: h&m
sky blue tights
trainers: eBay

Odd outfit shot out:
bloues: all-mighty
brooch: etsy

Glasto 2011 appreciation shot - such a long wait until next time :)

Saturday, August 27

Proof positive

Two proofs in one post: I am totally Austrian and I absolutely live in Cambridge although I never seem to show you guys any of the sites.

Last Sunday the husband and I took a leisurely wander around the Fitzwilliam Museum. David visits regularly but I haven't been in years. I definitely don't want to leave it this long until next time :)

I'd love to show you the inside which is totally lush (and I am not even talking about the collections, the building alone is pretty awesome). Sadly I am a goodie two shoes when it comes to the "no cameras" rule. I only break it when I am absolutely certain I won't get caught. I am none of those gung-ho photo guerrillas with memory cards stuffed in their socks or even hidden in bodily orifices. Nope. I am just your garden variety law abiding camera addict.

I am crazy about this nail polish by the way: It's grace green from Models Own. It reminds the husband of Airfix models and I guess it is the colour of my toy soldiers too. Whether it's the playtime association or not, warm and fuzzy feelings ensue upon application.

Ehem.. yodelay? It's been a while since I last wore a dirndl on the blog. When in Austria I wouldn't dream of wearing a traditional dress without its matching pinafore but here in England nobody knows I am only wearing half a dress so I can get away with it no problem. It's fun taking traditional clothing out of its native area, so much easier to ignore the rules without garnering unpleasant stares.
Quite like wearing a nightie out, which is easily done with your head held high as long as nobody recognizes the brand as an underwear manufacturer. :D

See, I really do live in Cambridge, although my husband helpfully pointed out that these touristy photos do not constitute proof positive. I could have taken these snaps on a holiday or maybe I just thieved them from another website.. hmmm. Something to think on you guys. I could be having you all on and really I might well live in Chatteris.. or Swansea (if there really is such a place).

Greetings from Cambridge Chatteris Swansea!

earrings: accessorize
dirndl: present (H.Moser)
sky blue tights
h&m hasbeens

Thursday, August 25

I know you have a cold so I put..

Triangles mark 2 and a pencil case I used to carry in my toy satchel back in the early 80s when I was looking forward to becoming a "school child". I still have a soft spot for this cute pencil case with it's nonsensical message (put.. what? Carrots?) bright, cheerful colours and not to forget those googly eyes :)

Well, I really needed a bit of brightness last Thursday. The sun had been AWOL for a few days and people were starting to comment on the autumnal weather. You really know it's bland out when you're by far the brightest subject in shot :D

I've not been feeling particularly wordy this week but I've been doing some listening. Ears plugged tight, drifting far away from some repetetive work which I am glad I've now nearly finished (Thank goodness for muscle memory - I'd go spare if I couldn't just trance out over certain tasks :D).
For the past hour I've had this on repeat. So hooked. Darn, that girl got a voice! Me, I can't hold a tune to save my life but thankfully no such trouble with my ears :) Bless the poor souls near me when I can't help but croak along. Florence and the Machine are giving me goosebumps again!

I think tonight I'll settle for a nice cuppa, read a few chapters of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and then do my nails while watching Torchwood.

earring: present
bangle: primark
jacket: zara via time enough for drums
dress: all-mighty
scarf: present (pass me down)
skirt: etsy
shoes: office

Tuesday, August 23

Bat Country

New dress! I don't go for stripes much but this linen lovely from knitted dove had me smitten right away. Originally I wanted the blue version but I am actually glad my size was out of stock because these warm hues are going to cheer me up something awful on grey autmn and winter days.

Recently my bargain sixty pack of nail star polishes arrived. They're pretty neat but I don't think I'll be using them as much as I thought I might. I know nail polish in general is not exactly what you'd call healthy but this stuff leaves the room in such a solvent haze I might as well burry my nose in poppers. Solvents. I can think of better ways to burn some spare brain cells thank you very much. Also, this polish dissolve hard as nails which I've been using as a base coat. To be honest I am perplexed that anything can get to that stuff. After all it really is hard as.

I am getting my outfit post time machine warmed up in preparation for shorter daylight hours (when it will be dark both when I arrive at and leave work). Last winter I dealt with dark days by keeping my outfits from the past week aside and going for three or four outfit shoots on the weekend. This time around I am going to do my damndest to stockpile some outfit shots for winter. I like the idea of an extended summer on the blog :) If I can't have it in real life I bloody well will on the interwebs! :D Today's pics are fairly recent though, they were taken last Friday.

earrings: DIY (buttons)
scarf: present (pass me down)
dress: modcloth
fairy pink tights
h&m hasbeens

Sunday, August 21

Highway to Hell

These boots don't show up on the blog much in the summer but they're my go to for quick trips to the corner shop (to procure ice cream and coke), especially when I've been stuck in heels all day at work. I love pairing them with rich blue hues :)

When I was getting ready to finally catch some shots of this outfit last Sunday someone was singing karaoke to highway to hell close by. Listening to their performance through the open bathroom window I couldn't help but croak right along. I think I'd like to wear these boots for the ride :D

Happy Sunday everybody, I for one am ready for my coffee infusion..

headscarf: present (pass me down)
brooch: present
dress & skirt: modcloth
belt & neckscarf: primark
royal blue tights: c/o welovecolors
boots: sheplers

Friday, August 19

Club houses & hay lofts

When I was a kindergartener I loved watching my Mom apply her bright red nail polish. I'd crane my neck to get a closer look and it was just as magic as seeing her paint. The solvent smell left me light headed in quite the same way as her oils too.

This is how I did my nails the day after I took the rest of these pics.  No outfit shots from that day - too knackered :)

By the time I started secondary school quite a lot of the girls in my class had turned into bonafide nail artists. They would use pinheads to draw intricate designs, a skill oddly mirrored by the boys homespun tattoos applied during breaktime first using felt-tips, later needles and ink.
These were practices I watched from a distance as an anthropoligist might the customs of an indiginous people. I was busy drawing peace- and accidental mercedes signs (oh lord, won't you buy me..) on my painstakingly ripped jeans instead but had I not been so gloomily convinced of my status as an outsider I might have found the courage to join the nail art huddle.

I don't think I would ever have had the guts for a break time dragon tattoo though, neither the girls DIY safety pin ear piercings or to partake in the brief euphoria of the fainting game played secretly in the restrooms.

As much as I didn't fancy going through pain for a tattoo I always enjoyed lick 'n' sticks. In primary the daily trip to the corner shop across from school was a real treat and invariably it would be followed by the unwrapping of some sweet, bright pink bubble gum, licking the wrapper and smacking it hard on my bare arm to bond the complimentary tattoo to my skin. Much later I played with the thought of getting a real one and I knew exactly what I wanted too: A star on my neck. Occasionally I'll play with the thought but to be honest the forever after of it is too much for me. Feeling sentimental I did buy a few sheets of lick 'n' sticks on eBay the other day though. Nothing is too childish chez Diversions!

In case you are thinking "recess prison tattoos?! Where did Stef do her educational time?": I went to a little primary serving a number of tiny farming communities. There were just over 100 of us between the age of six and ten back then although the school has grown much larger over the past twenty years. I attended secondary in a marginally larger village so I guess my class was busy rough housing to ensure everybody knew us country bumpkins were tougher than the village kids we thought of as city slickers. Growing up is crazy even when you get to build club houses in the woods and play hide and seek in hay lofts.

What shenanigans did you guys get up to (or timidly miss out on) at school?

hat: festvail
earrings: present (pass me down)
blouse & dress: h&m
compass necklace: etsy
children's tattoo: eBay
orchid pink tights
sandals: tip of my tongue.. sorry

Wednesday, August 17

Do you see what I see?

I was watching an episode of Horizon the other day which was all about colour vision and how colour affects us. Considering I am wearing red and blue here I'll have to tell you about one of the experiments: Test subjects stood bathed in blue, red or white light. They were then asked to judge the passage of one minute. Turns out red light slows subjective time while blue speeds it up. I got me some fast ticking legs and slow feet you guys ;)

Colour perception seemed particularly interesting. We all know bananas are yellow, so no matter what colour light we see bananas in they always look yellow. Our brains just go right ahead and correct the cast.

That reminded me of my first days in the colour darkroom. I was unable to spot the difference between a green and yellow cast, blue and cyan, red and magenta. It all looked the same to me. Eventually I learnt to make the distinction and swiftly turned into a stickler spending my days in pitch black behind a beautiful beast of an enlarger. In a black and white darkroom you get to work under red lights because the paper is not sensitive to it but printing colour you just stick your hands out ahead of yourself like a somnambulist and memorize where everything is ASAP.

I am doing that digressing thing again, suffice to say: Looks like the answer is no. We experience colour subjectively. My pink is probably not your pink, it is coloured by all my past pinkness and the associations I've learnt to make regarding it. I found pink late in life, I wasn't a rose coloured little girl that much is for sure. Blue remains my favourite though :)

What's your favourite colour?
Have your feelings about some colours changed over time as well?

knitted bow: present (pass me down)
earrings: present (I'll show you a close up another day)
necklace: children's easter bracelets multipack (supermarket) DIY
dress: vintage 80s (etsy)
royal blue tights: c/o welovecolors
sandals: kurt geiger years ago

Monday, August 15

Tigers don't change their stripes

Ensuring my striped fingernails show in every last close up doesn't even come close to conveying the incredible sense of shameless smugness I feel at this, my momentous striped achievement. If smugness overdose could kill, I would rest now. In smugness not peace. It was an honor just to be nomiated but I am pleased to accept the price for most self-satisfied nail varnish adventurer in all the blogosphere.

I actually have Kaylah to thank for my smudge free stripes. Her colourful nail designs are always a joy and without her tut I'd still be clueless on the varnish front. To think only a few months ago I posted about liking varnish on others but feeling freakish seeing it on myself. Tigers and stripes, ey?

Stripes aside, check out these pretty hankies :) My parents helped my Grandma with a big pre-move clear out and sent these my way along with a glorious detachable collar and some tasty chocolates. Next time I have a cold my nose will run in style ;)

earrings, scarf & belt: present (pass me down)
dress: lipstick vogue/etsy
pale pink tights
my wedding shoes