For Which I Should Be Faceplanting

Scene from February Some Year, a.k.a. How To Embarrass Yourself Completely Without Having A Wardrobe Malfunction, A Nervous Breakdown In Public, or even Being Seen By Anyone You Know:

1. Re-watch The Hairy Bird (or whatever title your DVD says it's got) for the 1000th time.

2. Begin craving prissy school-uniform-like clothing as a consequence, especially the pleated skirts.

3. Go on an mission to find and buy pleated skirts to wear.

4. Fail miserably because the local clothing store buyers are probably secret school uniform fetishists at heart, as a result of which every pleated skirt on the rails of a commercial clothing store is far too short to prevent knicker-flashing if one leans down to tie a loose shoelace, and resembles slutwear more than schoolwear. ( also, any actual schoolgirl in one of these would be sent straight home to change before being allowed over the threshold of a classroom)

4. Give up in disgust.

5. Go home to visit parents, and notice that there is a girls' school next to their house.

6. A girls' school with pleated-skirt-featuring school uniforms! (the skirts in question blessedly go all the way to the knee, just like in the picture above. Unlike the one in the picture above, however, they are worn by girls, not boys).

7. Unfortunately, they're actual school uniforms. Only to be worn by their students.

8. You are not a student of the school in question. You are also too old - much too old- to be a student. 20-something years old, to be exact.

9. That doesn't stop you.They are nice, eminently prim knee-length things with a very handy pocket in the side.

10. Prepare a long-winded cover story for the tailors to explain why a non-student wants a school skirt (because no one's going to believe the truth, let's face it), involving an absent younger sister- I have none- needing a new uniform, and handing over measurements and payment with preferably minimal fuss and no investigation.

11. Rehearse the story a couple of times, for good measure.

13. Have the plan fall flat on its face once the tailor asks, without even allowing you to get to the sister story, which class you are in, and therefore need a uniform skirt for.

14. Much to your own horror, play along with the mistake, but not without major redface and the expectation that your nose is growing at a speed to beat Pinnochio's. It's one thing to finagle a uniform skirt out of the tailors under false pretences, quite another to have to pretend to be an actual high schooler to get it.

15. Feel like an even bigger fraud when you actually get the (very reasonably priced, entirely innocuous-looking) skirt in your mitts a week later.

16. But since fashion has the collective memory span of a goldfish, turn completely shameless and wear it anyway.

image from www.tokyobopper.com


It's Not Really A 90s Revival

...until someone ties their sweater around their waist, stretched-out sleeves be damned (especially if, as in my case, those sleeves happened to be the sleeves of one's school cardigan).
image from fabsugar


The Artsy Fart Focus: Ronald Searle

I've never made a secret of the fact that I'm a huge fan of Ronald Searle's work, and St Trinian's in particular- the first post I did about it led to the words "stocking tops" becoming the top search leading people to this page. But despite how much people- self included- want to be the bloodthirsty, devious little (and adolescent) monsters who were the heroines of those books(and God knows, I like seeing girls wielding weapons and whacking their antagonists), the artist himself has never been as well appreciated as he should, IMO, be. Hence the cartoon above, which sums it up more or less perfectly.
So, onwards to the point of this post- the pictures.

"I'll just die, then you will be sorry."

Ronald Searle does a New Yorker cover! Just like one of my other favourites, Michael Sowa!

The spindly limbs and shambolic, chaotic lines of his characters' figures kept me hooked to his work even when it wasn't a set of cartoons about a pack of cheerfully weird, murder-happy schoolgirls (the younger they are, the more murderous they turn out to be).

I had to put the last two pictures above into this post- they are illustrations Searle drew as an accompaniment to an article by Peter Mayle (whose accounts of Provence, where he and Mr Searle both live, are among the best things I've ever read). For more, I suggest checking out ronaldsearle.blogspot.com, which is a tribute blog that is brilliant.


I dare anyone viewing this page to listen to the song above and not have immediate warm happies, no matter how uncool you think Oasis are (though I admit to bias, they were my first-ever favourite band).

photograph by Jill Furmanovsky from www.guardian.co.uk

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.