We’re getting there. Slowly but surely things are getting sorted and it feels like finally this is home, this is where we live. Although of course the sorting, jeepers, there is so much to go through to sort, to do. The whole process makes me think that we need less. Always less.
There has been a lot on the internet recently about less, from ths excellent New York Times article Living with Less to Sui writing about clearning out her wardrobe and an old post by Peonies about living with only 33 items in your wardrobe (including accessories!) Each time I have read something along these lines I have thought about the concept and liked it, yet never actually done anything about it. Until this move.
Somehow this move came at the right time in my life. We sorted, we started sorting about a month before the actual move and have kept on going until now. So far we have taken 11 bags of clothes to the clothes recycling bin, 3 boxes of stuff to a charity shop, sold a lot of furniture in DC and not replaced it all here. Thrown away an awful lot of stuff. Sorted, resorted and shredded a lot of paperwork and just generally begun to get stuff in order. It is quite astonishing how much two people can acquire and what you really actually need.
To be honest it has been a delight having our kitchen stuff back and I am so enjoying my cookbooks, pans and other kitchen gadgets. Cooking is one of life’s pleasures. But it has also been so good to have finally got to a point where my wardrobe doesn’t overwhelm and sadden me. I can see what I have (or don’t have). I am wearing the stuff I do have, each piece of it, no matter how ‘special’ that piece may be and I am looking forward to buying less but better when a piece of it finally dies.
Moving away from this relentless consumerism has felt refreshing, we have everything we need and I no longer need to buy. Instead we can save, we can spend on holidays, meals, experiences.
I am hoping that this whole long experience of moving and sorting and sorting and sorting will be turning point. That somehow I will manage to keep on this track, to avoid the relentless acquistion culture shoved in our faces all the time. To keep our house freer of clutter. To get that kick out of getting rid as I have found myself getting. We’ll see but for now I am enjoying the small amounts of serenity this is bringing.
I went shopping a little while ago and was reminded how sometimes shopping can be such a crushing experience. The kind where you walk out of the shop and want to cry because the mirrors and lighting are so damn unflattering and nothing fits. Not one item.
I was trying to get trousers, I need new ones for work and my old ones are well old. Easy right, black trousers, a wardrobe work staple. Oh no. Not if you’re looking for trousers which are long enough. I’m 5’11″ (or just under) so I need longer trousers, surprising that. I also know a lot of women who are similar height to me and they all have longer legs too.
So why do retailers not stock trousers in a longer length? Or even worse not even offer it as an option. I’m going to call out Banana Republic here, who do have longer length but don’t carry it in their stores?! So you can’t try it on you have to pay for shipping and hope for the best.
It’s not just the length though, it’s the curve. Cate wrote a great post about finding jeans which fit, because there are options for different shapes. If a jeans retailer can do it, why can’t other retailers?! On Wednesday I could get things to do up, but then they crunckled and scrunched in places one doesn’t want crunckling and scrunching.
So here’s my plea: Can you please make trousers in different lengths and shapes, because women are different lengths and shapes, then I might just have a little more luck actually finding things which fit…
*I did actually find some trousers, in J Crew which although these weren’t a longer length will do as long as I only wear flat shoes… And I might be coming round to the lure of J Crew, poor wallet.
I bought a dress online the other day, an expensive dress, a beautiful dress. I had been dreaming about it since December, going back to the website, looking at it, seeing they had my size, seeing it *still* there. Thinking maybe when I get a job. Maybe when J’s feeling really generous. Maybe when…
It was for a wedding we’re going to in May, a wedding of two wonderful friends which I am so excited about.
But then I got the dress. It was beautiful, a nicer colour than the pictures, the fabric felt good and it looked like it should fit. Which it did, mostly. Oddly enough the worst fitting bit was the bottom hem, where the dress was so tight that to sit down you had to hitch it right up and pray your legs didn’t drop off from lack of circulation. Then there was the craftsmanship, the lining was longer than the outer of the dress so poked out a little at the bottom. A couple of other things were not quite as I imagined.
I liked it though, J liked it, some wonderful honest friends told me they liked it and I know I could have convinced myself. But for what it cost I shouldn’t have needed convincing. I should have been delighted as soon as it went on, twirling with glee and I wasn’t.
I think I might go back to shop shopping for a while, where I can feel and try and twirl and then buy…
One of Washington DC’s hidden gems is the fish market they have down in SW. J had read about it somewhere and we first went off to explore on Thanksgiving. It was late afternoon, dark and cold but it was still open and full to overflowing of fresh seafood and fish.
I managed to get back to it last week, deciding that we needed a little more fish to eat I took myself down there, in the daytime and with a camera this time. It is quite the place, there are about 5 or 6 different fronts, seeling cooked crabs, clams and shrimp, or fresh fish and seafood. Most things you want are there, except langoustines, I confused the chap asking for those.
At lunch time people drive down and get a bag full of these little crabs, covered in Old Bay and steamed to perfection.
You can even get croakers (I have no idea what Croakers are but…)
And while we’re talking about crabs, are these not beautiful. They look so forlorn.
So if you ever find yourself in Washington DC I would highly recommend a trip to the Market. If only to see the lovely crabs and to experience a side of the city many people who live there have never seen.
The fish market can be found at 1100 Maine Avenue, Southwest, Washington D.C., it can be reached by foot or car. The nearest Metro is L’Enfant Plaza.
I recently found a lovely lovely shop near to where I live, it’s called Tabletop DC. Full of things which you want to buy for yourself and as gifts. They have great kids toys, perfect for my nieces and nephews. Grown up delights for the home and some lovely jewellery. Below a little selection of some of the pieces which caught my eye.
By the way, this is not a sponsored post, I just loved this little place and I thought I really should share about it!