Posts Tagged ‘clothes’

Autumn has arrived. There’s a chill to the air in the morning, the sun is getting up later, I’m remembering to not leave the house without a coat or a light scarf (which had been mostly unnecessary for Summer).

To be honest, I’m enjoying it. I was a bit over the extended Summer I’ve just had. My body and senses wanted a break from the warmth and brightness. It was craving a chill to the air, cold noses, rugging up in coats and blankies. I know that in winter I will absolutely hate these things, but, I have a very strong sense of cycles and rhythm and my body and subconsious were constantly trying to tell me that it was supposed to be cold and they’d like a break from heat and humidity now. Please.

This may seem odd in a society which is devoted to following the sun, and to comfort. I’ve had a few strange looks from people here when I’ve mentioned I’m sick of my extended Summer (although this may be because I am ignoring the complaints about the weather heirarchy). However I feel that cycles are important. Change is important. Relishing each season for what it brings is important. Trying to cheat the natural cycles, or getting frustrated because it’s not always warm is pointless and stressful.

Leading on from the advent of Autumn is shopping! Maybe this is why I’m enjoying it. I’ve not spent any money on clothing during Spring and Summer knowing that I would need to purchase heavy coats and boots and scarves and gloves and layers and hats and trousers and socks and all things to stop me getting desperately cold in my first winter in England.

Last week was the start of this process. I now own a couple more merino wool jumpers and a long cardie, argyle socks and stockings, a merino wool smock dress, stripey long-sleeved tops, plain long-sleeved tops and a faux sheepskin hooded coat, all courtesy of UniQlo (we love UniQlo). We probably spent more than we meant to in the store, but they are all good quality, simple items that will last us for a number of years, even with heavy usage, so in my book that’s entirely OK.

I’ve also acquired a pair of black brogues, to wear on rainy days when I’m sick of boots, an angora cardie, and a gorgeous maroon silk, empire line, knee-length dress. With pockets! It’s lovely. (I meant to take a photo yesterday after wearing it to work, but was a bit worn out after my commute home).

Still on the list is a pair of knee high, flat soled boots (or two). Ankle boots (casual pair, and a work pair). Warmer fabric trousers to wear to work. Heavy knitwear that I was covetting last season in Australia and never purchased, but were out of stock when I arrived here. A long sleeved, floral dress to wear under various layers. More leggings and a pair or two of wool tights for the keeping warm of legs. A warm waterproof hooded jacket.

The question I’ve been meaning to ask: what do you deem necessary to get through a Northern Hemisphere winter? What really obvious thing am I possibly going to miss and regret not owning?

(we did some other stuff as well, including me staying in London unexpectedly overnight and having a very lovely breakfast with Mikki and J the next morning, and building of lego towns with L. But weekly update posts do not always need to be in the format of monday, tuesday, wednesday etc. )

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This is probably going to become a regular post, since it’s good to think about it.

NB: I am a firm believer in the phrase “It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just different”. This is me observing the differences in my new culture, not casting judgement on what is right or wrong. Possibly with the exception of number 4, and maybe 5.

  1. The smell of smoke is not a cue to panic, it might be someone legitimately having a bonfire in their backyard. Not that there are not health and environment issues with this, just that it’s NOT A RAGING BUSHFIRE THAT MIGHT RAIN BLACK GUM LEAVES DOWN UPON YOU.
  2. Heels are more common than flats, actually smartly dressed women are much more common. Possibly the result of a colder climate and tailoring being necessary in winter.  Or maybe a more defined class conciousness? Whichever way I am torn between wanting to fit in and my standard impulse to want to be that extra bit stylish and cool, which was much easier in Sydney’s relaxed clothing environment.
  3. Water running out of taps is more OK. Mostly over this one now, but it’s strange to shift from adrought mentality to a mentality that admits it’s not so dire.
  4. Teenage pregnancies and teenage mothers are more obvious, more common. It seems to be seen as a valid lifestyle choice, and no-one really seems to know what to do about it, or accept that it’s a systemic social failure, except from a moralising THEY should know better and SOMEONE should do seomthing about it, but really what can anyone do, it’s in their nature/background/upbringing/education. Sex education doesn’t seem to be as common, or as thorough and straightforward. Not that I have the answers either, I’m just noting it as part of the weird.
  5. Drinking to excess is more normal. I’m starting to feel like a grumpy goody-two-shoes because I don’t drink much. Regualr drinks on a weeknight are normal, getting completely plastered on the weekend is virtually expected and you didn’t have a good weekend if that didn’t happen. Almost as if a large part of the population never got over their early twenties.

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