Saturday, 30 January 2016

Clock Towers

This clock appers on the tower of Rubislaw Parish Church, Queens Cross, Aberdeen. A wonderful gothic building. Unusually for Aberdeen it is not built in grey granite so provides some colour at this busy junction in one of the nicest parts of the West End. I drive past it on my way to work and, in the winter, it catches the low sun with the dark looming sky behind.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Balcony at the Ballet

Updated post: dancers dressed as flowers, in watercolour. From the theatre balcony you get an aerial type view which makes you see the dance in a different way. The ballet was Scottish Ballet's Cinderella. I always love seeing ballet but I don't think this was one of the best I've seen. The story of Cinderella is a bit unexciting really and the music by Prokofiev was unmemorable. Lovely costumes though and always a treat to be in the atmospheric old Edwardian theatre. Have rediscovered my ballet karma with ballet on Youtube.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Seen from the Road: Claypotts

Claypotts Castle is one of my favourite buildings. You can see it from the road at the roundabout at the back of Broughty Ferry, Dundee. The castle dates from the 1500s and has unusual little house like structures instead of turrets on top. I am not sure if this is original or if any other castles have this? Perhaps someone can tell me. 
There are four interesting castles to visit in Dundee: Claypotts, Broughty Castle, Mains and Dudhope. Many people imagine Dundee is just a grimy ex industrial sprawl, but the castles of the city tell a different story.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Body Positivity

I suppose this falls under the new year resolutions category.
This year I will be being more 'body positive'. This is a movement which aims to encourage acceptance of all body shapes and sizes. I think it is a great thing in today's climate of retouched models, 'thigh gap', pseudo science about superfoods and endless coverage of celebrity weight gain and loss. 
Last year, due to my foot injury I put on quite a lot of weight and a full dress size and a bit. This left me me feeling really negative about how I looked and about what I wore and even how I felt in my body. It would have been easy to start this year with a crash diet. However, this is not something I will be doing again. Here are some thoughts based on my experiences this last year and over many years. Like many people, I suspect, I have been uncomfortable with aspects of my body and weight since my teens. 

We can all lose weight with a two week crash diet, but it is better to eat a varied, tasty and healthy diet and to treat yourself sometimes. Don't get obsessed by calorie counts, although the coloured food health stickers are useful when shopping.
Exercise is good. It may not make you lose weight, but it will make you fit and strong, which is more important. I like pilates and walking. Urban walking, not cross country hikes.
Wear clothes you love. Give all your clothes that don't fit to a charity shop. Having things that don't fit you that you keep trying on is really depressing and futile.
Don't criticise your body to yourself or others. Love your body.
Don't weigh yourself or keep measuring yourself ( unless it is because you make your own clothes, which I do.) ignore the numbers. Don't worry about clothing sizes, which vary hugely. Making clothes is interesting because you can spot your poor body image if you keep cutting things out which are then hugely too big! 
Stop reading articles about 'your bikini body' and all that self hating stuff. Treat yourself with a massage or a pedicure or a long bath so you feel good.
I have also been saddened by hearing friends, all of whom I have always seen as attractive, charismatic people, talking about their problems with body image and how they look. Rest assured, other people always think that you are more attractive than you do and probably envy you too!

And here endeth the lecture. This is a bit personal for me and my blog but I really wanted to talk about this.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Flood Birds

We have had appalling flooding in Aberdeen, it has rained for a week. Today the rain finally passed and I went for a walk along by the river Dee. It was in torrential flood, full of debris and surging up the banks. Struggling against the current were lots of beautiful goosanders. This is a male and female pair. I stood for ages, enjoying the plunging river and little birds bobbing on it.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Personal Perfume

As I pottered about the bedroom this morning, I found myself thinking about perfume. I currently have three on my dressing table (many of which I have had for years); Chanel 5, Samsara and Loulou. 
Being me, I then had a leaf through my perfumes book Perfumes The Guide by Luca Turin to think about other perfumes I liked and why.
Scent is such a personal thing and reflects how you want to be seen or how you think of yourself. I seem to be attacted to the big floral/oriental type perfumes of the 80s. Pictured above, Tendre Poison which I loved in the early 90s. The bottle is wonderfully Disney Evil Queen. I also liked Tuscany per Donna and always have a bottle of Chanel 5 because it is the first posh perfume I ever had, which my granny Jo bought me. 
For me, perfume is all about my love of big old department stores full of arcane bottles and potions and glossy ads in old copies of vogue. I secretly long to be super glamourous, confident and harkening back to those High maintenance ladies of the 80s and 50s.
What perfumes do you love and why, readers?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Christmas Culture

Well, culture is a bit pretentious but I liked the alliteration.

Christmas viewing:
Then There Were None was a sinister and psychological reworking of the cult Agatha Christie novel. It was gripping, violent and starred the insanely gorgeous Aidan Turner. Aidan's towel scene was a big hit with my female friends.
Runner up, pictured above, was a Slow TV two hour programme with a woman and her reindeer sled travelling through a snowy landscape. Next best thing to being there.

Christmas reading:
I got four second hand Inspector Montalbano novels, love the writing, the wit and the food descriptions.
Also the very plush Dita von Teese beauty book. Wonderful pictures and I am religiously following her pilates routine. D von T is a retro icon and burlesque performer and probably the most glamorous   woman in the world.

I have lots and lots of other books and dvds (thank you everyone) which I will be enjoying through the dark days of the Aberdonian winter.