Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Secrets and surprises

First things first: the other day I had a chat with NR over a delicious Indian meal at Chaula's about his new name. We decided on MM (My Man, as suggested by Madame la Moue [edit: I should have said suggested by NADIA - sorry Ms Terrazzini]), as this allows me to use his actual initials while still maintaining an air of mystery...

The other thing I must tell you about is what happened last Friday: the night started with me going out for birthday cocktails with a few close friends. I thought I'd give my outfit for this weekend's wedding a trial run:


So I had a mojito and a couple of cosmopolitans then got a lift back to MM's house - where he was supposed to be cooking me a quiet meal - with Nancy.

I couldn't work out why she a. took the wrong route back; b. decided she suddenly needed to stop off at the cash machine; then c. proceeded to have a long and unnecessary conversation with a random stranger at said cashpoint. Couldn't work it out, that is, until I walked in and found nine of my closest friends waiting to surprise me - some of whom had actually hot-footed it down from the cocktails to get there before me.

Lovely friends; MM's is the empty seat - see what I mean about the air of mystery?

It turns out that MM and Madame la Moue had been plotting a surprise dinner without my knowledge, the crafty beggars...

MM made THE MOST DELICIOUS three course meal, which included butternut squash and almond tart to start, HANDMADE ravioli, tofu, porcini mushrooms, roasted aubergine and mashed potato, and mango fool for pud. On top of which, Madame la Moue had commissioned the most DIVINE, strawberry-topped vegan chocolate cake.

I cannot tell you how super-touched I was by all this - no one has ever thrown me a surprise birthday before. I am a very lucky girl and feel very blessed to have such truly gorgeous friends and such an amazing man. That is all.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

What I bought

Today is my birthday. I am an LP.* In order to cheer myself up in the face of impending old age, I took myself off to The Shops. Want to see what I got? Oh, okay then:


THAT'S RIGHT. I got it. And in a size 10 as well. There is only one thing worse that having too little choice. Yup, you've got it: having too much. Warehouse went from having NO tens to having SIX.

Aa anyone who has spoken to Madame la Moue about my shopping behaviour, or read this, will know, I can occasionally be prone to indecision... So I'm afraid I had to try on all six of them. THREE TIMES. But it was worth it because NOW I KNOW THAT I GOT THE BEST ONE.


To go with it I got this softer-than-a-kitten's-armpit grey scarf from Zara (£19.99) and this perfectly-coordinating corsage from Claire's Accessories (4.99), which I will wear in my hair for the wedding:


Ooh, and also this gorgeous pink blusher by Bare Minerals (17.99):


I know, I have been very bad and spent lots of money I don't have, but yesterday was my birthday. Speaking of which, naughty Madame la Moue and NR conspired with others of my lovely friends to surprise me...

More on this story later, now I am off to watch Argentinian detective thriller The Secret in their Eyes. A plus tard mes petits.

* 33 (rpm).

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Dress dilemma

I have fallen in love again. But this time it's with a dress...

I have been looking for something to wear to the wedding of one of my oldest friends in two weekends time. It has to be drop dead gorgeous as 1. I am doing a reading so everyone will be looking at me for at least two minutes and 2. weddings of schoolfriends are a bit like school reunions: fertile ground for comparisons and one-upmanship.

Could it be because you all started out from exactly the same point that comparisons like who's more successful/richer/thinner or has better looking partners/children/clothes are SO tempting? And I don't just mean in the bitchy 'She's put on a few pounds' whispered-from-behind-the-hand way either. I mean in the must-look-half-decent-so-do-not-return-home-with-sole-desire-of-slashing-own-wrists way.

SO. Today I thought I had found a solution in the form of this nude/pink, silk ruffled number from Warehouse, reduced to £45:


This ticks all the boxes in that it is smart, sexy and just a little bit boho/vintage-esque. I ADORE IT. There's only one problem: no size tens left in the entire country...

As always happens when I am happy/in love, I have had a healthy (ahem) appetite recently and have managed to go up from a size 8 to a size 10. At least, I have in Warehouse sizes anyway (could someone please tell me that WH are notoriously small sizers generally only worn by supermodels and heroin addicts?).

So here is the dilemma, do I: 1. Order it in an 8 and not breathe or eat for the entire wedding? 2. Spend the next week and a half crash dieting? Or 3. Spend the next week and a half looking for something similar which will inevitably not be as nice, then spend the whole wedding wishing I had bought the first one?

Advice please.

Edit: Have just realised that strictly speaking this is probably a trilemma, but am not certain whether this is an actual thing or not...

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Glamourous Granny

Thank you for your suggestions for a new name for NR. I will put them to him tonight and see which, if any, he prefers. Stay tuned for the results...

Today I thought I would just show you a picture of my super-stylish, 84-year-old grandmother. This summer she had to give a speech in New Zealand in front of the Prime Minister. This is what she wore (she is the one in the middle):

Precisely how fabulous? She bought this maxi dress in Italy and wore it for her silver wedding anniversary in 1975. It still fits and it still looks utterly stylish. In fact, it looks so perfectly this season that I have asked her if I can borrow it for a wedding in October.

All I can say is that if I can look this fab in my eighties, I will consider myself very fortunate indeed.

Right, am off to a bohemian TV presenter's party with NR now. Am wearing paisley snakeskin metallic boots and a dress and necklace swished from Mrs H. Pics coming soon...

Monday, 13 September 2010

Cockatrice is in love...?

Cockatrice is in love indeed... Thank you Madame la Moue.

Hello dear readers, if any of you are still out there. I am afraid I must apologise for going absent without leave from Paper Flowers for practically the whole of August. AND half of of September. Bad bloggess.

So what is my excuse? Well, Madame la Moue said it all, really. I suppose I have been swept up in a bit of a whirlwind romance and have neglected, well, practically everything else, to be honest. NR and I have been to Italy and Edinburgh (see below. Yum, whisky...) and the Peak District and have cooked and entertained and played extremely competitive scrabble...

...which has all been more wonderful than I ever could have hoped, actually. However it has also been a bit of a whirlwind (the clue's in the name, isn't it really?). Which means that NR and I have both felt a little disorientated at different times, and also that it's sometimes hard to work out how the bits of one's old life fit back together in the new one... if that makes any sense?

And those bits include blogging. But do not fear, I have no intention of deserting Paper Flowers just yet. Not while there are clothes to be swished and outfits to be analysed, anyway.

On another note, I must think of a new name for NR, and not only because those are the initials of an old flame (although it took me ages to realise that. Which should give hope to anyone out there who feels like the scars of lost love will never fade. Turns out that sometimes they already have without you even noticing). But also because at some point every romance stops being new (as in NR = New Romance), so I will have to change it at some point. For a while I was calling him PM (Perfect Man), but that might put too much pressure on the poor chap - he's only human, after all. So what do you think dear readers? Any suggestions?