Time to Let Go of the Rope?

Shoe Save 85 of 105

There have been a lot of changes around here recently and still more are to come.

One thing that I have completely accepted now is that my decision to leave the law is finally final.

You never wanted to be a lawyer in the first place” my husband told me this week “it’s only taken you 20 years of being miserable pretty much all of the time that you were a lawyer for you to realise this“.

Sometimes I think that I stuck out the practice of law so long because it seemed like something that I could be really good at if I tried just a wee bit harder. The practice of law is not unlike the practice of yoga though –  forcing things just leads to trauma. There are other lawyers out there who love what they do. For me and for many others who don’t love it but think of it as a good solid career choice, we are essentially trying to fit ourselves into the wrong size shoe.

You can stretch a shoe that is a size too small and you can put insoles inside a pair of  shoes a size too big. The shoe will never look right though.

Shoe Save 86 0f 105

In all the upheaval and uncertainty of the last few months I did relent recently and put in an application to work in a law firm. I was relieved when the application was unsuccessful. I have to have faith that I will find something to do that will support my aim to teach yoga and have a part time  job that will help pay my bills.

So with all that said, it really is time now to change the name of this blog – Law and Shoes is not appropriate any longer.

Best new suggestion wins first dibs on any shoes that don’t make it through the Shoe Challenge (one pair at least is on the list so far).

Shoe Save 87 of 105

Sunday Shoe Save Summary

Shoe Save 85   Ankle Strap Stilettos – Brand forgotten at the time of writing and actual shoes has been placed in the photographed but not yet blogged about cupboard. I lie. I can’t actually find them.

Shoe Save 86   Gianmarco Lorenzi Sequinned Beaded Stiletto Mules (close up photo  here)

Shoe Save 87   Andrea & Joen Sandals last blogged about here and two years later nearly worn to death (very comfy)

 

Why I suck at getting to Interviews

It has already been established that I wear the wrong things to interviews.

This week I have added to my crap interviewee repertoire by being really quite shite at getting to the interviews in the first place.

If an employee turned up to an interview with you 7 minutes late, you wouldn’t be impressed would you? You would think that this was a poor indication of my general state of time keeping and attitudes wouldn’t you?

Of course you would and so would I.

Question:      Why is it that I managed to be 7 minutes late to 2 interviews this week?

Answer:         A tuna sandwich, a dress and Google Maps.

The Minx started at pre-school last week. Actually the Minx started at two pre-schools last week. One pre-school is 4 minutes walk away. The other pre-school is 50 minutes walk away. I had to take pre-school places that I could get where I could get them so that I could guarantee flexibility for attending job interviews and actually working at jobs.

Having two separate pre-schools involves getting my head round two separate routines. 4 Minutes Walk Away Preschool has a door entry code, a particular space for children’s bags, the requirement that kids bring their own sheets, a bucket for morning tea, a bucket for water bottles, two spaces in the fridge for lunch and afternoon tea. “We suggest” say the directors “that you bring sandwich bags clearly marked with your child’s name”.  The reckless use of sandwich bags (unless these are paper) offends my recycling sensibilities.

The 50 Minutes Walk Away Pre-School has a Fruit Bucket and an Morning Tea Bucket and a Water Bottle Bucket and an Everything Else Goes in the Fridge Rule.  It’s all too confusing. Confusing to the extent that on the day that I had two interviews I completely forgot to bring my daughter’s lunch sandwich to 4 Minutes Away Pre-School. It was sitting in some zip-lock bag or other in the fridge and my brain did not recognise where it belonged.

I dropped the Minx off and then headed home to get the sandwich (in bag) and then trotted back round to the 4 Minutes Walk Away Pre-School again and from there trotted back to my house. By this time I was sweating and anxisous and thought it wise to get myself under the shower.

The chap who I was going to see owns a gym. He is Scottish, ex-Army, calls you ‘mate’ a lot in a growly way and had told me at great length why he’d just sacked a useless person who had, among other things. been late to classes. Growly man had also made it clear that he didn’t want me to take a trial class, he just wanted to get a look at me. In the fitness industry just wanting to look at you is a euphemism for saying I want to know if my clients will pay to get an arse/legs/pair of arms like yours. Sad but true.

So with this in mind, I choose a body con dress with high heels.

Dress by Wish| Opaques by Pretty Polly via UK Tights| Black| Black D'Orsay Pumps by Bertie

After I had chosen the dress and put it on, I wondered whether I should just change back into a corporate outfit. That moment of doubt cost me an express train to the city.

I turned up 7 minutes late and I heard the Growly Man barking at someone in the gym. This meant that I’d stuffed it – his unspoken message was clear:

“You are late for a meeting with me and my time is money.”

The first thing that he said to me was: “You’re seven minutes late“. It was also the fifth, seventh, eleventh and last thing that he said to me in the interview. It didn’t surprise me when he wrote to me later in the day thanked me for my time and wished me luck in my job search.

Having kids means that quite often you will be late for things, forget things, turn up to important things with food in your hair. In other words, it is probably just as well I was late because it saved me working for someone who was bound to get monumentally pissed off with me sooner or later.

But armed with the lateness stress of the earlier interview I decided that for Interview Number 2 of the day I would pitch a wee bit more towards the conservative heel height:

The heel height was perfect. The train was bang on time. I had it all in the bag until I tried to find the cafe where I supposed to meet the interviewer. Google Maps inventor, if you can hear me I HATE YOUR GUTS!  Ever tried putting an address into Google Maps only to be lead around and around an industrial estate for half an hour?? That was me last Monday.

By the time that I go to the interviewers I was dripping copious amounts of sweat into my eyes and had to take my glasses off. I had to keep them off for most of the interview and just hope that I was looking in the general direction of the interviewer’s eyes.

Soft, light cooling dress by Witchery. Cooling unless you run round Darling Harbour.

For interview 3 of the week I undertook considerably  more research into finding my way to the interview by 3.30 pm. This research consisted of trying to find where Darling Quarter was on Google Maps. According to Google Maps, this was well within walking distance of Town Hall Station. Well, it would have been if Google Maps hadn’t directed me ten minutes south of my actual destination.

I was seven minutes late again.

The next day I decided that I was going to wear two pairs of shoes to the interview – one pair to walk in:

and another pair to wear to the interview.

It was all going quite well until I got to the train station and then I discovered that the inclement weather had delayed all trains by – 7 minutes. The rain was being chucked all over the South Side of Sydney like buckets to swish away vomit at a Scottish football match.

Prada Cut Out Mules

I decided to get a taxi.

Stay tuned to find out if I got any of the jobs that I interviewed for…


Interview Shoe Saves

Shoe Save 81 – Bertie Black Kid D’Orsay High Heeled Pumps. Dress Wish.

Shoe Save 82 – Filipo Raphael Low Heeled Black Court Shoes

Shoe Save 83 – Heavenly Daze Ostrich Skin Stilettos

Shoe Save 84 – Prada Cut Out Mules

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 17

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 24

More of the same but entirely different

Harry Potter Lego Train Set - a test for even the most dedicated optimist

One of the things that disappoints and hurts my heart most in life is encountering unethical people.

What do I mean by unethical?

Unethical people who use what they have and say what they have to get what they want. In the online world these people make themselves immediately apparent to me. The written word gives away so much more because the words that a writer chooses reflect his or her soul. A black soul resides in unkind words.

In the face to face world of living breathing human beings it is easy to be distracted. Words combined with beautiful smiles combined with tears can occasionally throw me off course as to someone’s true intentions. There are people who have caused so  much destruction in my life that if I ever see them in the flesh I will excuse myself go to the bathroom, urinate in a cup, come back and dump the contents over their beautiful heads.

Alan Pinkus Wedges

Someone told me this week that being Scottish I come from a cynical race of people. I disagree entirely -despite the fact that 70% of the time people prove to be self serving, self satisfied and barely evolved from tantrum throwing toddlers I still love and expect the best from them.

Why do I continue to want to believe the best despite experience so often proving otherwise?

Mainly I continue to write and engage and meet new people and fall in love with their souls and their minds is because I do believe that most of people are capable of reaching a state of self-understanding and development that transcends the id.

Optimism or ….?

Shoe Save Statistics as per usual

Shoe Save 80 – Alan Pinkus Wedge Sandals

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 19

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 25

 

A Little Cock-A-Leekie goes a long way: Burns Supper 2012

Since I am a nationalistic exhibitionist I rose to the challenge when asked to record the traditional Burns Night Address to A Haggis yesterday.

If you ever find yourself in need of an incomprehensible Scottish accent saying odd things click here. Yes indeed, that voice is mine. From thence forward please believe that I AM SCOTTISH. Folk are often surprised by this when they meet me.

They are also usually surprised by how short I am without my high heels on. So am I funnily enough.

Bottle Green Gianmarco Lorenzi Stilettos

Yesterday was Burns Day and Burns Day became Burns Night. When I say Burns I mean the Famous Scottish Poet. I rather prefer the poetry of Edwin Morgan who was Scottish but not effusively or obviously linguistically so. Scottishness is something that I tended to hold at length in the past but have embraced more readily since moving to Australia. Scottishness is also something that you forget how to achieve unless you regularly meet other Scottish people.

Picking up the haggis was therefore an re-education in Scottishness.

We buy our haggis from a Scottish butcher in Sydney.

Prior to our last official Burns Supper we were extremely organised. We kept the Scottish butcher happy by printing off and filling out his order form and faxing it back to him.  This year, John just rocked up on Tuesday afternoon on his way back from work.

What’s your name?” the Scottish butcher asked when John requested a haggis over the counter.

John” said John in a Glasgow accent which is, conveniently enough, his own accent.

Stilettos by Gianmarco Lorenzi | Gold Lurex Seamed Stockings by Cervin via stockingshq.com

John” said the Scottish butcher in solemn tones “you did not phone me and therefore I have no haggis for you just now. If you call me in the morning tomorrow first thing at 7.30 am, I shall see what I can do“.

The Scottish butcher makes the best haggis we have ever tasted either here or in Scotland. It is like warm, crunchy pate. After a fretful night, John gets up to go to work at 5.30 am, phones  the Scottish butcher at 7.30 am.

At 10.30 am he sent me a text to confirm that the haggis had landed. A relief because it is rather difficult to have a Burns Night without haggis.

Haggis

We missed the beautiful tablet that Miss Kellie aka @katsbud made for last year’s Burns Supper. The other key elements of the Burns Night menu were in evidence as follows:

First Course:     Cock a Leekie Soup (with Prunes, without rice)

Main Course:    Haggis, Tatties and Neeps

Dessert:              Raspberry Crowdie

Drinkie Poos:    Glen Moray

It was all rather nice but I won’t go into details here because I have promised Eat Drink Stagger a Burns Post-Mortem aka Guest Blog post. Stay tuned.

Meantime you can have a listen to our Burns Night Soundtrack over at that groovy Grooveshark place.  The Shoe Save details appear below. Apologies for the fuzzy iPhone photography – the Noisy Boy was in bed as soon as we got home so and an alternative photographer with a new iPhone was temporarily appointed ;).

After the Celebration: Silk Blouse - Zac Posen for Target| Belt: Target| Tartan Skirt by Lilli Gaufrette| Stockings by Cervin| Stilettos - Gianmarco Lorenze

Shoe Save Struggle (ongoing)

Shoe Save 79 – Dark Green Gianmarco Lorenzi Stilettos

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 20

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 26

Have you ever tried haggis? What did you think of it?

Slap My Funnel Percy – We’re Going Dancing with Chickens

Dress by Tokito | Architectural Heels by Prada (circa 1998?) | Gun on Loan

The holiday season is a great time to bond with your children and answer really important questions like:

Daddy, why is the Yellow Wiggle’s face different?”

The answer was:

Well the old yellow Wiggle was unwell and had to leave and bring a new Yellow Wiggle in. Then 5 years later the old Wiggle decided he wanted to come back again so the new Yellow Wiggle was shafted

We didn’t go into the ‘look there’s a flying pig wearing fetish gear flying past‘ aka ‘the Blue Wiggle suffers from depression despite being insanely wealthy‘  red herring thrown onto the barbie by the Australian media every time the Yellow Wiggle is replaced.  The Noisy Boy seemed happy enough with the above explanation.

Much harder is dealing with the collective excitement of two over tired small people the day after being up until 11 pm on Burns Night. A collective excitement raised over the promise of seeing our friends’ chickens on Australia Day

When will we be going to dance with the chickens” asked the Minx at 6.30 am, 7.00 am, 8.00 am and in half an hour increments until we left at 12.30 pm.

Small people are really not great at delaying gratification. So now when we receive the 6.30 am enquiry:

What are we doing today?”

My husband and I reply:

Cleaning the house“.

Anything else has to be an improvement.

Shoe Save Progress (or lack thereof)

Shoe Save 78 – Prada Architectural Heels

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 25

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 19

What did you do for Australia Day?

The Boy’s Choices

Mummy?” the Noisy Boy enquires.

Yes, what is it dear?” I reply.

Why do the roofs smell so bad on this street?

My Photographer, Stylist & Aromatherapist

My son has always had an oversensitivity to noise, bad smells and visually ugly things. When he was a baby he would vibrate with happiness in my arms when a bus or motorbike growled past us. He can smell something rotting three streets away. “Mummy, something has died somewhere” he mutters darkly.

He is getting to the age where his conversations are deeply profound fuelled no doubt by his obsession with war movies.

His visual sense is and always has been keen. “Mum” he will tell me, sweeping an arm theatrically from my face to my feet “I like what you are doing here‘.

So it’s not surprising that for quite some time now he has been the official Law and Shoes blog photographer. My husband doesn’t get a look in.

He suggested this pose and the flower in my hair. “That’s it Mummy, you look pretty! Smile!!

Urban Sole Rivet Stiletto Sandals - Shoe Save 75

The boy was very, very keen on these Amanda Starr stilettos.

 

Amanda Starr White Polka Dot Stilettos - Shoe Save 76

So am I –  I have the leopard print Amanda Starrs, the plasticine flower Amanda Starrs and the Amanda Starr Purple Boots. I am a bona fide Huge Amanda Starr Fan.  So although I wondered when I saw these on eBay what on earth I would wear them with, I found the faith and let my son decide for me.

Green Silk Sundress & Amanda Star Cream Polka Dot Stilettos (both via eBay)

He has a good eye.  “I love these shoes Mummy” he tells me frequently. Who can resist such enthusiasm?

And the choice from the Minx?

Urban Sole Black Stilettos - Shoe Save 77

Mummy, it’s time to walk to pre-school. Here are your shoes“.

It’s a 50 minute walk. I can suffer for my children though.

Shoe Save Stuff

Shoe Save 75  – Urban Soul Stiletto Sandals

Shoe Save 76 – Amanda Starr Polka Dot Stilettos

Shoe Save 77 – Urban Sole Black Stilettos

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 25

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 28

Do you remember an outfit/pair of shoes/accessories that your mum wore that made you happy?

In stark black and white

Olivia Morris - Cream Linen Hessian & Black Patent Leather Peep Toe Mules

The overuse of paper by credit card companies and government departments upsets me. Somehow bald mass mailed bad news is worse then personalised bad news.

A while ago I opted to receive online only correspondence from Centrelink. For those of you who are not from these parts, the closest equivalent to Centrelink in the UK used to be the DHSS and is now the DWP. If there is a US equivalent I have no idea. Dealing with government departments is unpleasant – Googleing government departments is not dissimilar to picking scabs.

Black/Cream Dress (Tokito) and Peep Toe Pumps Olivia Morris for TopShop (both via eBay)

This morning I opened a Centrelink letter and immediately went into shock.  The letter said essentially that I owed the Australian Government $8,500.00.

Good news this was not and so I telephoned Centrelink immediately.

You do know what this is about, don’t you?” Rachel on the other end of the phone said in an ominous tone.

Yes” I said.

No” I said.

I am in shock” I said “how can I owe you so much money?”

You’ve not lodged your tax return for 2009 to 2010” Rachel said sternly.

At that point I burst loudly into tears. I couldn’t help it because I had lodged my tax return – 3 months ago. Turns out that the ATO hasn’t processed it yet.

You’ll have to stop crying now” Rachel told me a little less sternly “I can’t understand a word you are saying“.

Have you ever had that feeling where you are teetering on the edge between sanity and volcanic madness? That was the point I was at speaking to Rachel today.

And then miraculously things started to change for the better.

Watch this space.

Meantime I have been comforting myself wearing – black and white.

Elle Effe Spectator/Jazz Pumps

And on the Shoe Save Stats – Sally Ann Soames… or something

Shoe Save 75 – Olivia Morris for Top Shop – Hessian and Patent Leather Peep Toe Mules.

Shoe Save 76 – Elle Effe Penguin Brogues last worn here 

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 29

Number of Shoe Save Days: 26

 

Why I suck at dressing for interviews

Sergio Rossi Brass Ring Sandals

Last week I had a meeting for a Sekrit Project.

It was a hot and sunny day.  In acknowledgment of this I wore sandals and a silk maxi dress. Silk maxi dresses are like the clothing equivalent of standing naked in a summer breeze.

I kicked my sandals off to protect the beautiful wooden floor and enjoyed the swish of fabric around my bare legs.

Silk Maxi Dress - Peter Alexander via eBay

From about that point forward I found out that I had managed to talk myself into an interview for an admin/marketing job locally. Interview attire was accordingly necessary.

I suck at interview attire in almost the same degree as I suck at dressing for Sydney summer weather. My view was to look cool, calm, linen-y and collected. The cool, calm collected bit was thwarted quite early on as both my husband and daughter nudzhed me into leaving the house 15 minutes before I was ready. 15 minutes that I needed to find matching stockings, unripped of the length that would not flash the welt as soon as I crossed my legs.

Yes I could wear tights but tights involve sweaty crotches. I don’t do barelegged interviews ever. Those nuns taught me well. Then there was the little matter of the Shoes.

These days a professional shoe is a classic pointy toe stiletto. Just as well really because I happen to have more than a few pairs of stilettos still to save.

Silk Blouse - Blue Juice | Cream Linen Skirt - Emanuel Ungaro | Metal Heel Gianmarco Lorenzi Stilettos - all items via eBay

Hard to say how good an impression the heels made – a couple of the women in the place I was interviewed glared at them. Oh well, you live and learn with Lorenzis.

Gianmarco Lorenzi Metal Heel Snakeskin Stiletto Pumps

Today – another interview. It seemed wise to surf on the side of conservatism. The Ladylike Pumps were the obvious choice. Stinking hot weather dictated a light, summery, knee length office dress.

Roberto Vianni Navy Suede Peep Toe Pumps | Silk wrap dress via eBay

Until I reached the end of our street I was quite happy with my footwear and outfit ensemble. At about the moment in time where it would make me late for the interview to double back a gust of warm summer wind lifted up the edges of the wrap dress and insouciantly flapped them around my ears.

Lucky I was wearing tights.

Getting to the interview was tricky. The office was in the middle of an industrial estate at the end of a residential street. Google Maps decided that I could find my destination from Princes Highway (ten minutes away) and left me to my own devices clutching my phone in one hand and the errant edges of my dress in the other.

The interview went well when I got there. It is always pleasurable to sit down after a wrap dress walking malfunction.

On the way out the lady who interviewed me looked down at my heels and said:

Roberto Vianni - Suede Peep Toe Pumps in Navy

I hope that you brought a pair of walking shoes with you!”

Oh but these are my sensible walking shoes” I blurted out.  When I saw her face I realised once more that:

I SUCK AT INTERVIEW DRESSING.

Shoe Save Stats

Shoe Save 72  – Sergio Rossi Sandals

Shoe Save 73 –   Gianmarco Lorenzi Metal Heel Snake Skin Stilettos

Shoe Save 74 –  Roberto Vianni Navy Suede Platform Pumps

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 28

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 31

Care to share your worst job interview dressing faux pas?

Sometimes a surprising sunset –

– inspires you to drop everything, run outside and mutter ‘wow‘ under your breath like a curmudgeonly pilgrim reaching dry land and espying an orange tree heavy with fruit.

It’s not often that the natural world grabs you by the throat and screams:

“Look at me, aren’t I FABULOUS?

Sydney Sunset

So I did.

And the kids did. Somewhere in the middle I ran into the house and grabbed the first pair of heels that I could find to save.

As you do.

How on earth would I decide which pair to save if our house was burning? I suppose I should give a certain amount of random thought to this problem. Probably the turquoise and black patent leather Lorenzis?

But I grabbed the fluffy marabou mules. Such a practical heel and yet such a whimsical ridiculously camp flutter about them.

Black Marabou Mules

In the desperate bid to save shoes I am happy that I am going for part time job interviews this week – I can save at least a pair of pumps per office visit.

There aren’t many places that I could get away with marabou mules these days other than wandering casually outside to stare at the sky.

Vital Statistics

Dress: Biba

Shoe Save 71 of 105: Marabou Mules by British Home Stores

Half Naked Minx from UpstageYourAccessories.com

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 29

Number of Pairs of Shoes Left to Save: 34

For more fabulous sunsets follow @fridley on Twitter’s Sky Burn Addiction

Skyburn - Image Copyright James Fridley twitter.com/fridley

Or Victoria Hughes

Sydney Sunset 10 January 2012 - Copyright Victoria Hughes aka @ESLSydney

@ESLSydney

A breath of air?

Sticky. Hot. Humid.

Usually by this time of year one or other of us in this house would have caught sight of our  ghost.

The summer after the Minx was born, I blamed  the continual sightings of shadowy figures staring round the doors at me in half afternoon, half evening light on sleep deprivation. The hairs raising on the back of my neck were harder to explain away, particularly in the sultry humid heat of a Sydney summer.

My husband took the view that we had a visitor.

Two years ago a person who had a huge influence on my husband died. My husband believes that this person visited us to get one last look at this wondrous pot.

Stoneware Pot by Alex Leckie, Potter (circa 1980)

The last time that I wore these heels it was in memory of that person. Someone that my husband loved and admires very much. The ridiculously talented and aggressively vibrant ceramic art tour de  force known as Alex Leckie.

Every so often someone from Alex’s past finds our  glimpse of him through this blog. Not so long ago, for example, I met Dillon Kesur. Dillon visited Greece for a fleeting visit that turned into a food odyssey. He  has an artistic flair for food that rivals Alex’s abilities with clay.

Maybe one of these days someone will write the biography of a man who lived life hard and created the most exquisitely beautiful ceramic art while he did so. Maybe Dillon’s Greek taverna inspired recipes and this photo might feature therein.

Dillon Kesur, Jimmy Macgregor and Alex Leckie in Greece

In memoriam, I wore the hole-y sandals again and have taken a photo of a pot that we inherited from Alex. The pot features a  potassium dichromate glaze. Potassium dichromate is one of the most lethal chemicals on the planet. Alex asked my husband when he was working at the Glasgow School of Art to buy 25 kilos of the stuff.

If you dumped that 25 kilos of potassium dichromate into an adjacent reservoir you could have fatally poisoned half the population of Glasgow, my husband tells me. Alex wisely smuggled it to Greece in his camper van instead.

The pot is an extra piece that Alex made for an exhibition that he held in Glasgow in the early eighties. He gave the pot to Thomas Scott, the clay technician in the Ceramics Department at the time. Thomas (Tommy) was a veteran of World War II and a survivor of the Normandy Landings depicted in Saving Private Ryan. Tommy never wanted to talk about that landing or the war. I’ve never wanted to watch Saving Private Ryan.

Instead, on a hot sultry summer’s night without much breeze I find myself sitting on the front step, snaffling any cool air that I can and remembering.

Esino by Trickers International Sandals

These sandals were last worn here. I’m not sure they’ll last another year but photos will live on.

Important Shoe Saving Facts

Shoe Save 70 of 105 – Esino by Trickers International Sandals

Number of Days Left in Which to Save Shoes: 32

Number of Shoes Left to Save: 35

Aaaargh!