Reduced…to Tears

Having more or less resolved my mutton/lamb styling issues for my birthday I decided it was time to shop. Things did not go well…


#1 It’s only a bargain if it actually exists in your size. Until I’m either a size 20 or a size 6 that never actually happens.






Oh, but they only had my size in the Saint Laurent jacket…excuse me while I don’t part with ¬£1,770!


I didn’t have any more luck looking for a sequinned skirt either.



For heaven’s sake!

#2 There’s plenty of completely random stuff that’s not an urgent purchase out there though.


Who needs to buy a Santa jumper right now? Why is it clogging up the shelves of the internet, available in every size, when instead shops could be selling stuff I actually want to buy?

Mind you, apparently 20 other people were looking at the jumper at the same time as me. What is wrong with these people? Don’t they realise they’re perpetuating the shop’s belief that we could actually be interested in such expired tut? Gah!

#3 You decide you’d be happy to pay full price, but can’t because the options are purely of non-existent stock.

Could normal shopping service – or stuff that costs a bit more, but are actually things you want to buy in a full range of sizes – please resume as soon as possible please? Preferably before I spontaneously combust with rage and frustration. I’m having a fashion crisis here and you retailers really aren’t helping!


Neither Mutton Nor Lamb

Three weeks til B-day (I’m not rounding up, I’m not rounding up). An amazing and wonderful and thoughtful friend has taken it upon herself to organise a night out of fabulousness – food, cocktails, dancing – and I’m actually getting excited. A select group of friends who know how to party hard but classily have been invited – all said they were on board in a heartbeat – and my sister (who is yet to reply). Blood may be thicker than water, but water can be turned into wine (or something).

But anyway, the essence is, it’s going to be a great night. And technically I shall still be 30-something, so will hopefully feel less old.

The only question is: WHAT TO WEAR???

Because, the thing is, nightlife isn’t really targeted at those of us who have reached the apex of our personal hills and who are now taking a leisurely meander down the other side. We’re meant to be eating in fancy pants restaurants – from the size of my backside I’m clearly on board with this as a leisure pursuit – but cocktails and dancing? Isn’t that for the young/skinny/beautiful people? No one wants to be the woman the ‘kids’ look at with pity as she shakes her muttony thang on the dancefloor.


And actually, getting busy on a dancefloor is fantastic! And there shouldn’t be an age limit on it. But, don’t tell me you can look at this picture of Goldie Hawn and not judge just a little bit:


The Daily Mail certainly did! Although, in fairness, it was the Daily Mail – they judge everything. But still, there are a lot of people out there who are like walking Daily Mails, ready to rain on your parade for not fitting in.


To add to the pressure my celebrations aren’t going to be happening in our little two-bar town where it’s easier to be a saddo amongst a group of saddos. No we’re off to the giddy heights of Cambridge! (Ok, so it’s better known for its universities and all things esteemed and learned, but if there’s one thing students know how to do its party!)

So there we’ll be, supping our Manhattans, surrounded by the young, the skinny and the beautiful (and brainy and probably rich and entitled, dammit). No one wants to be Samantha in East Anglia’s answer to Sex and the City. Or worse, the woman at the bar wearing a scrunchie!


Because dreadful though the thought of being mutton-dressed-as-lamb is, being mutton-dressed-as-mutton is almost as bad. Dump the frump – my invited friends are all, without exception, beautiful creatures. I don’t want to be the old one wistfully staring into my vodka cocktail creating ever-deeper frown lines about having frown lines.

I thought my dilemma would be easy though. I Googled ‘what to wear at 40th birthday’ and checked Pinterest out for the same. Now, either these women are ageing incredibly well or they’re not actually anywhere near 30, never mind 40.





Or worse, it seemed I’m meant to be in fancy dress.


Just no!

So instead I turned to the world of celebrity. Ok, my own version would be closer to Primark than Armani, but there have surely been enough famous people who’ve passed their own landmark birthday and are still deemed young and beautiful enough to party.

Queen of Partying, Kate Moss turned 40 last year for a start. I seem to remember it being typically epic, so how did she do it?

Apparently she went to Necker Island and presumably wore not-very-much. Not really an option when facing January winds blowing across the Fens. For her birthday lunch she opted for black with leopard print.


Except formative-years TV has a big impact on the psyche and I know I’d feel I’d be channelling Bet Lynch in leopard.


Again, no.

A red ball gown like Princess Letizia (whoever she is) might be a bit much.


Ditto Sarah Jessica Parker’s frock:


Well, thanks for nothing you two.

Gywneth Paltrow looked rather fabulous and not-at-all mutton in a black and white strapless jumpsuit for hers.


And Posh Spice went for black and strappy at her bash.


But then neither of them had to end the night waiting for a train. Or have bingo wings. Even a micro macrobiotic diet won’t bust those babies for me in three weeks. I’m definitely going to need more upper body coverage.

So black, warm and body-friendly. Maybe I should wear a burka!

But then – thankfully – I discovered that The Guardian’s style columnist Jess Cartner-Morley is 41 and always looks fabulous and therefore I can trust her over and above Pinning 20-somethings and celebs with far more niche celebrations/far more toned bodies than me. Plus she wrote in favour of sequins for New Year wearing a very covetable skirt.


I looked for it on It’s in their sale! Yay! Sadly it’s out of stock in anything but XS – but at least it’s a starting point!

Bring on the party! But first let the shopping commence!

2015 Predictions


Not literally 2015 predictions – that’d be going some! – but predictions for the Gluestick family for the next 12 months:


Noodles starts nursery. There are tears (his and mine…and possibly his key worker’s).

Work begins on the kitchen roof. This costs more and takes longer than predicted. Teflon Man becomes increasingly grumpy. The windows that need replacing and rendering that needs doing remain not done.

Another bit of the house also starts to fall down.

January 26th is officially nominated as Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. Which just happens to be my 40th birthday. How dare other people jump on board my misery?! Celebrations end up being a bit blah and weepy rather than epic, what with everyone still being broke from Christmas and holding onto new year’s resolutions by their fingertips. Meanwhile I spend money on face cream.


Eve and Indy turn 20. Their combined age is now the same as mine. I weep.


The V&A wedding dress exhibition comes to a close. Despite having museum membership I still won’t have seen it.


My passport has expired but a) the cost of renewal and b) the fact that my passport photos are always depressingly and embarrassingly awful means I put it off for as long as possible. (Same thing in 2014 means that I still need to renew my driving licence.) Teflon Man makes noises about actually going on holiday this year, so I have new photos taken. They are awful. And now adorn both my passport and my driving licence. I buy more face cream.


The UK takes to the polling stations to vote in the general elections. Well, some of it does. The party I vote for don’t get anywhere.

Teflon Man frets about potentially losing his job.


The UK sees an unprecedented heatwave…


…The heatwave lasts until the day before the schools break up for the summer holiday. It then rains solidly for 6 weeks.

Teflon Man turns 50. He celebrates somewhere abroad. Without me.

I write a witty post about body issues by coming up with a nursery rhyme for the 21st century. It ticks many of the boxes
favoured by Freshly Pressed selectors. It fails to get Freshly Pressed. Oh wait, that was last year.


The roof is still on-going. As a result there is no holiday. Again.


School term starts. There is an unprecedented heatwave.


Indy starts her final year at university. There is a last-minute panic about where she’s going to live. She spends her deposit on new clothes and nail varnish. She ‘borrows’ her deposit from Teflon Man and forgets to pay it back. Teflon Man nags me about it. Incessantly.


The roof finally gets fixed. The oven stops working the day after Black Friday.


The month is the taken up juggling work with Christmas-related events. I spend too much money and eat too much food.

The kitchen roof starts to leak again.

New Year’s Eve is a bust.

Now, some might call me a pessimist. I’d prefer it if I’m wrong and by this time next year little to none of it has come true and instead the house is completely fixed, Teflon Man is given a promotion (which handily sees him travelling a lot) and we win the lottery.

I guess only time will tell, but that’s part of the fun, right? And worst comes to the worst I have some fodder for my blog. (Someone reassure me that perfection is just dull!) and in the meantime, I wish you a happy, prosperous and blog-inspiring year!