Boots of joy!

Long Tall Sally Jocasta boots, £90

Long Tall Sally Jocasta boots, £90, sizes 7 to 13

Morning! In great news, I’ve bought some absolutely banging new boots. I feel like I’ve found the Holy Grail, or the mysterious cities of gold. What a time to be alive.

I’ve mentioned the travails of buying proper long boots before. Well. By “mentioned” I mean “monologued at length until everyone has wished I’d just die, or move somewhere where boots are not a going concern.” My list of requirements is along the lines of Liam Neeson skills in Taken: they are very specific, and quite frightening.  Continue reading

School shoes for tall girls: size 9 to 13s that are fabulous, not punishingly awful

 A while ago I did a scientific experiment (asked Twitter) if the season you’re born in is your favourite. Born in November, I adore autumn: how can you not love that tangy, bonfire flavour that fills the air for months. And how can you not find that glorious explosion of golds and reds to be the very best of colours? Dulwich Park in October – my God, just go! (I turn into shit Instagram captions just thinking about #autumn #bliss so please just punch me in the face and let’s have done.)

Unsurprisingly, my scientific experiment turned out to be nonsense, but lots of people agreed with me that autumn rules, partly due to the delight of “new school” syndrome. There’s something delightful about getting everything in a row, and probably forking out a ton on stationery just because this was hardwired into you at eight.

One of the reasons I started blogging again was a pre-autumnal restlessness, but the thing that clinched it was a lovely message on my About Me page from  a woman named Lara Roberts (hello Lara!).

On behalf of my 11 year old maypole, who is now 5ft 10 and shoe size 9, thank you so much. I can now hopefully find some school shoes for her when she starts year 7. I know you mentioned being described as being large we really hate it when people say ‘by she is big’, my daughter has started to reply ‘I’m not big I’m tall’.

I mean, brilliant! Bloody well done, daughter of Lara. Language is so important when you’re growing up, in how you describe yourself, how you develop your identity, and how you show yourself to the world. #autumn #autumnalbliss #killmenow But also, annoying as it is, having a quick response to something some dimmock has shouted at you in the street is so much better than weakly smiling,  or losing your temper completely. Anyway.

Not being able to easily find clothes or shoes that fit well is a nuisance when you’re in your thirties, but it’s mortifying when you’re a teenager (or before – I had size nine feet by the time I was 10). I’ll never forget the joy I felt when I could finally move from hideous lace-ups to slip-ons that were a dead ringer for the massively expensive Kickers the rest of my class were wearing. So this post is all about back to school shoes, and where to find them – however old you are.

Continue reading

Tall Girl Treat: boyfriend jackets, blazers of joy and Sky News

SOME NEWS! I was on TV news for the first time last week, and I’ve been very casual about it and in no way written it into people’s birthday cards. I had a smart byline, and was about two foot taller than the incredibly glamorous presenter, Dharshini David. Given we were talking about Amazon’s acquisition of Top Gear, this was amazingly apt. I have never felt more like a giant Jeremy Clarkson

I cannot overstate how cool the whole thing was. There is such a different set of skills involved in broadcasting compared to digital, and it was completely fascinating to see. When it looks as though I am being earnest and academic and pushing my glasses up my nose, that is in fact nervous sweat causing them to slide down. Sexy telly fact for you right there. Continue reading

The Saga of Cat Brown 8: Vet Noir

Expression 32: Baleful

Expression 32: Baleful

To truly illustrate how much Ambridge loathes going to the vet, I need to go back a few months to when she stopped eating.

To be clear, Ambridge does not wish to stop eating. She is what one pet website politely terms “food-focused”, to the extent that I had to replace her automatic cat feeder with the feline equivalent of Fort Knox, sourced by H when she mastered how to burgle and eat its predecessor’s contents in five minutes flat. Continue reading

Happy New Year, may 2015 be joyful and catful

The best sign I saw in New York

The best sign I saw in New York

2014 has been a very, very long year. 365 days. Many, many hours. Some quantity of minutes that I do not possess the mathematical ability or interest to calculate and oh my God, maths, I’ve already bored myself.

I find looking back on a whole year a bit of an impossibility, like trying to fit an entire packet of digestives in your mouth without taking the wrapping off first. Continue reading

World Mental Health Day

I went into journalism wanting to be Laura Barton. I loved her writing in the Guardian, I still do. At university in Durham, my friends and I would always turn to her stuff first. On Mondays, we’d sit in Riverside Cafe and pore over the (then massive – oh how things change!) jobs section in Media Guardian and plot our move from the north of England to Fleet Street.

My reason for wanting to be a journalist was that I wanted to entertain people. I had a lovely vision of having a column somewhere, which luckily didn’t happen, because when I was in my early 20s I used even more adjectives than I do now. The one thing I didn’t particularly want to do was to use my life as the basis for features. Again, how things change. Continue reading

Favourites from EGX: A Light In Chorus, Lumino City, How To Be A Tree & Bertram Fiddle

A Light In Chorus

A Light In Chorus

Yesterday, H and I spent six glorious hours trawling EGX, the video games expo in Earls Court which runs til Sunday. SUCH joy. The cosplay! The Streetpassing! The hunt for new games we’d heard of,  and new things to fall in love with and throw our pounds at in the near future.

Towards the end I was hungering for new Street Fighter so wasn’t wild about visiting Rezzed, the indie zone, but blimey it’s grown since I last went a couple of years ago. And double blimey – this year’s had some of the most beautiful and entrancing games I’ve seen since playing Okami, that gorgeous watercolour RPG reboot. All the ones I tried were works in progress, and these ones were my favourites. Continue reading

Tall Girl Treat: TTYA x Long Tall Sally (and new shoes!)

I’ve managed to keep two secrets of late – three, actually, but one is so secret it is not actually allowed to exist. Let us never speak of this again.

First in the successfully-kept and disclosable section, H’s birthday present. I kept schtum about that for two months and by God it nearly killed me. Second, this collaboration between Taller Than Your Average and Long Tall Sally which I wanted to tell you about last week, but was asked to keep schtum til today – handy, because that’s when it actually goes on sale. Continue reading

Vermouth masterclass at Mele e Pere: a ridiculous London bargain

White and red vermouths, handmade in Mele e Pere, and a really fearsomely disgusting hyper-dark vermouth which I am not adult enough to enjoy

White and red vermouths, handmade in Mele e Pere, and a really fearsomely disgusting hyper-dark vermouth which I am not adult enough to enjoy

With Elizabeth locked away in her flat until she’s finished the first draft of The Book (I know I’m biased, but bloody hell it is SO GOOD), we put a date in the diary weeks ago for a catch up.

“Erm, do you fancy a vermouth tasting?” she said. I assured her that I am on board with pretty much anything that is suffixed by the word “tasting” and we duly booked, and headed off to the vermouth bar in the basement of Mele e Pere, an Italian restaurant on Brewer Street just across the road from the Glasshouse pub.

Now, let’s have a quick pause for you to sign up, because I haven’t encountered this sort of ridiculously good value in London in aeons. Mele e Pele’s vermouth masterclass is £15. FIFTEEN POUNDS. For reasons that will soon become apparent, this isn’t so much a steal as a giveaway by an incredibly courteous saint. Continue reading