About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Sunday 1 January 2012


This year I will not be buying myself any new clothes.  This includes footwear, sportswear, underwear and accessories.  I was moved to make this bold resolve when I counted my winter boots.  I had 9 pairs.  That's 9 pairs of black winter boots.  I have a tan pair and two brown pairs as well.  And yet this didn't prevent me from feeling quite sincerely that I needed another pair of black winter boots.

I blame my mother here.  When I was growing up all the other girls in my class (a phrase children believe in devoutly but parents dismiss as myth) got knee-length zip-up leather boots to wear in the winter, while I had to make do with my Clark's lace-ups.  And just for the record, I did not thank her when I was 40 and still had nice feet, because by the time I was 40 my right big toe joint was already shot.  I blame my father here.  I inherited my hallux rigidus from him.  It's nothing to do with wearing silly high-heeled shoes.  (Unless he has a secret we know nothing about.)

Anyway.  Hence my love of black leather boots.  You may have other reasons for loving them.  But honestly--9 pairs?  Surely there comes a time to say Enough!  Stop the black leather boot madness!  We are not arming to take over the world.  We are not even forming a can-can troupe.  And then I thought, why not stop the entire wardrobe madness thing?  Or put it on hold, anyway.  After all, I do not have a personal duty to shop Britain out of recession.

 I have imposed short-term clothes-buying amnesties on myself before, but a whole year is a new challenge.  Will I end up looking like a bag lady?  Am I, indeed, starting out looking like a bag lady?  To be honest, I've got LOADS of clothes.  I see this afresh every time I have a hormone-driven clothing crisis which involves trying on about 200 things then bursting into tears because I have nothing to wear.  Here, in no particular order, are the sartorial problems I anticipate may crop up in the next 12 months:

  • boredom
  • important function requiring new outfit
  • massive weight gain
  • house fire
  • pervert stealing all my underwear off washing line
  • wardrobe malfunction while away from home
  • no tights left intact

Oddly enough, I don't anticipate yielding to temptation and buying some irresistible garment.  It's always far easier to do total abstinence than moderation, I find.  Spending less on clothes is harder than spending nothing.  This way I only have to make one big decision, i.e. my Resolution.  Henceforth I will not be plagued by micro-decisions about lemon yellow capri pants.

How much money will I save, and what am I going to do with it?  I have yet to decide.  I suspect the answer will be to give to charity.  Fair dinkum: 95% of my clothes come from charity shops anyway.  I'd hate to think good causes were suffering because of my resolution.

So, here's what I wore today: skinny jeans (charity shop), black boots (black boot swap with older sister on Boxing Day), pale aqua cashmere polo neck (designer, but I've forgotten which because the label was annoying me so I cut it out.  Charity shop, anyway), black leather biker jacket (I'm just going to type CS for charity shop from now on: CS) and a pale aqua pashmina (CS).  Oh yes, and a chunky silver necklace to break up the vast expanse of polo-necked frontage.  And the killer question: Does this outfit make me look fat? Answer: No, that was all the festive food and drink.


  1. Should we have a competition - perhaps one a month - for readers favourite outfit? This is mine so far (for the demystification of the future reader, I am writing this comment when posts up to Day 9 have already appeared). I am having trouble imagining you detailing your outfit every single day for the next year though. Do you really think you will?

  2. What a good idea. Vote for your favourite outfit at the end of each month, folks! As to whether I'll blog each day's outfit, that will depend on how bored you all get. (I fear I will have no problem sustaining a daily stream of shallow self-absorbed prose.)