New hair…and ticking things off

The to-do list is large at the moment, mostly due to Christmas preparations!  I did get the chance to get out today though, as I had a hair appointment.  Nice to have it done in time for the Christmas holidays.

My usual Thursday tomorrow, and then we’re into a busy weekend!

OOTD 12th December 2018
OOTD: still loving this mustard outfit even in the winter. Dress Primark (2018), tights Primark (2017), trainers Nike (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Spandau Ballet – True
Girls Aloud – Something Kinda Ooh
New Order – Temptation
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
Duran Duran – Girls On Film
Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
Bucks Fizz – My Camera Never Lies
Anne-Marie – Don’t Leave Me Alone
Ava Max – Sweet But Psycho

A boardgaming Tuesday

Early post today ’cause we’ve got guests round for boardgaming this evening.

It’s been another good, productive day – I had some work to do for a client during the morning, and then I got all the housework done in the afternoon.  I’ve just about managed to reverse the NaNo housework neglect now!

Another day to get stuff done tomorrow, and then we’re into a hectic long weekend again.

OOTD 11th December 2018
OOTD: love these comfy dresses! Dress Fink Modell (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), belt H&M (2017), tights Primark (2017), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Little Mix and Nicki Minaj – Woman Like Me
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
Traditional – The Holly And The Ivy
Redfoo – Party Train
Lana Del Rey – Video Games
Geraldine McQueen – Once Upon A Christmas Song
They Might Be Giants – Particle Man
Ozzy Osbourne and Kelly Osbourne – Changes
Spandau Ballet – True

More Christmas decorating

I got the last of the decorations up today (apart from something I have to make…which I will only be doing if I have time, and that is unlikely).  I also got a lot of admin done and a lot of stuff watched on the digibox.  Gotta keep that digibox clear for recording Christmas TV.

It’s nice now that I’m settling into December and have more time to get stuff ticked off my to-do list before Christmas.  Looking forward to another productive day tomorrow.

OOTD 10th December 2018
OOTD: feeling recovered enough to set up my proper camera again! T-shirt Cyberdog (originally early 2000s, thrifted from Geth 2014), belt H&M (2017), tights Primark (2017), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Coldplay – Christmas Lights
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – Shallow
Pepsi & Shirlie – Heartache
Traditional – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
New Order – Temptation

Christmas is finally up

I finally got the decorations up today.  Only eight days later than I usually do it!

Christmas tree
It gives off a comforting glow.

I’ve got one last room to do, but that can wait till tomorrow.

OOTD 9th December 2018
OOTD: very nearly recovered from cold! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie unknown brand (2009), t-shirt Gildan for Stranger Things (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Robbie Williams – Dream A Little Dream
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
Duran Duran – White Lines
Hardy Caprio and One Acen – Best Life
Spandau Ballet – True
Wings – Mull Of Kintyre
Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill

A lazy Saturday!

I didn’t get round to putting up the Christmas decorations today.  The one remaining vestige of my cold is an irritating and painful stitch in my side that won’t go away, so I had a day on the sofa with books and Christmas cookery shows in the background.  It was really, really nice just to chill out.

Back to the to-do list tomorrow!

OOTD 8th December 2018
OOTD: it’s another still-looking-a-bit-ill selfie in an ’80s jumper. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Faber (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), jeans Vivid (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love
Gary Numan – Cars
John Williams – Harry Potter Main Theme

A recovery Friday

I didn’t have to leave the house today, for the first time in over a week!  As a result, my cold symptoms are noticeably decreasing.  I’m still looking forward to a quiet weekend indoors though, catching up with all the admin and other stuff I’ve not had time for over the last few mad weeks.

Might even have time to put the Christmas decorations up tomorrow!  A full week later than usual, but never mind.

OOTD 7th December 2018
OOTD: still not a hundred percent, but looking a bit less deathlike. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ariana Grande – Santa Tell Me
Duran Duran – Notorious
Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love*
The Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

*RIP Pete Shelley.  What a musical legacy!

Stuff I like about my parents’ house #6: seventy years’ worth of Christmas tree decorations

On Wednesday, as I mentioned, I was up in Edinburgh decorating Mum and Dad’s house for Christmas.  My favourite part of doing Christmas decorations is always the tree, and Mum and Dad’s tree is extra especially awesome because the decorations are so old.  I love old things!

Christmas tree 2018
Seventy years in the making.

It is beyond argument that I get my hoarding tendencies from Dad’s side of the family.  Mum actually chucks things out.  Thankfully for this post, Christmas tree decorations are an exception, and so we have an entire family collection going back to the 1940s.  This means that, barring unforeseen circumstances, when I’m in my sixties I will own an entire century’s worth of Christmas tree decorations!  I feel slightly giddy at the prospect.

Let’s go through some of the collection!


These pretty baubles with the indents were on Granny and Grandad MacLeod’s tree for Mum’s first Christmas in 1949.  We have three of them.  We did have four, but I ate one in 1986.  I will tell you the fantastic story of this tasty, tasty bauble another time!


Our tree topper is a bride doll called Myra, which Mum received as a fourth birthday present in 1953.  Her bouquet is a cake decoration, her veil is a handkerchief, and her hair is a bit of Granny MacLeod’s old hairnet!  She’s not looking too shabby considering her age.

Most of the decorated glass baubles on the tree date from Mum’s childhood in the 1950s.  The decoration on them is really gorgeous and intricate in a way that’s not really done anymore, and there are some really interesting shapes.


These two large baubles were bought by Granny MacLeod when Mum was a teenager.  I always hang them on the top branches ’cause they balance out the sparser bit of the tree nicely.


These silver and red glitterball baubles were a later addition to Granny MacLeod’s collection.

These cellophane baubles were bought by Dad when he moved into his first flat in Edinburgh in 1978.  Most of them are a bit worse for wear, because when we had our cat, José, I used to put them at the bottom of the tree so he’d have ornaments to rip down that weren’t the precious mid-century glass baubles.  Cats and Christmas trees aren’t the greatest of mixtures.


We’ve had these cloth octagons with angels on since probably the early ’80s, since I don’t remember a Christmas without them.  They’re not much to look at, but they’re perfumed, and the perfume is absolutely DIVINE – it’s the ultimate smell of Christmas for me, really primal, as it’s been a scent associated with our Christmas tree since I was born.  Dad doesn’t like them, so I always put them round the back of the tree where I know I can go have a sniff whenever I like!

This wooden teddy bear was a gift from Sheila and Jim next door for my first Christmas in 1985.

Every year in the late ’80s, my Cooke grandparents, Grandad and Anne, would bring a homemade decoration each for me and my brother Malcolm, either knitted or embroidered by Anne.  I always still put these on the ‘correct’ side of the tree – we each had a side of the tree that was our own when we were little!

Mum’s friend Judy sent this gorgeous metal decoration in 1989.


We’ve had a bit of a Canadian theme going with our tree decorations since long before we acquired my Canadian sister-in-law Steff.  This teddy bear decoration was one we bought on a trip to New Brunswick in 1994.  It was the first time any of us had ever seen an all-year-round Christmas shop, so we had to go in and buy a decoration!

My step-auntie Elaine gave us this pretty delicate gold ornament from Turkey some time in the ’90s.  There’s also a rectangular one in the same material with a heart pattern.

This globe bauble – another nice big bauble for near the top of the tree – was a gift from Grandad and Anne.  I can’t remember exactly where in the world it came from though!

I bought this glitterball bauble in Jenners in Princes Street in 1999 for the small artificial tree in my bedroom, which was all silver that year for the Y2K theme.  One of the many endearing things about the 20th century was that silver = the future.  When I think of 1999, I just remember all my makeup being silver and plum and ice blue, and every piece of clothing I bought that year being shiny and metallic and in similarly cool colours.


Our family friend Billy brought us this souvenir from the Empire State Building in the early ’00s.

We have oodles of these felt things – they were an advent calendar gift from Mum’s friend Elisabet in 2006.  There were so many that Mum gave some to me for my own tree and so I’ll be putting them up in Newcastle this weekend!

I bought this ‘gift’ for José in the late ’00s.  It didn’t have catnip in it, so he wasn’t that interested.  There’s also a ‘Special Dad’ one for Dad that matches it!

We have quite a lot of wooden ornaments from more recent times.  This one was bought by Mum and Dad in the Munich Christmas market in 2009.


Continuing with the Canadian theme, Geth brought this maple leaf back from Toronto in 2010.

Geth and I brought this Guinness bauble back from a trip to Dublin in 2012.  It has its own fancy box!  It’s another one that I hang at the top of the tree.

Mum and Dad bought this pretty wooden snowman ornament in Liverpool in 2014.

Also in 2014, Anne gave Steff this owl ornament (Steff likes owls).  Steff keeps it in Edinburgh as her ‘Edinburgh owl’.

In 2017, Dad, who has really got into Scandi stuff in the last few years, bought this ‘tomten’ in Sweden – apparently it’s a traditional Christmas decoration there.

Also in 2017, Steff’s parents Mike and Antoniette gave us a couple of silver decorations, including this pretty treble clef.

There are so many more, but this is a good selection of highlights!  If the family acquires any more during Christmas 2018, I’ll make sure to tell you about them.

Some time to breathe (raggedly) and a non-OOTD catchup!

Back to a normal(ish) Thursday today.  I made it to Slimming World, even if I was half-dozing through group, and then my Pilates class got cancelled ’cause my instructor is also ill, so I’ve been able to have a nice quiet afternoon – and finally had the chance to read through my entire 120,000-word NaNo novel.  Looking forward to getting stuck into the editing over the next couple of months!

I’ve got a totally quiet weekend coming up, so hopefully I’ll finally have the chance to get over my cold properly.

I did want to get caught up with my OOTDs for the last few days, but honestly, I’ve just been wearing my ’80s jumper collection with jeans and leggings because I feel so rotten and need comforting jumpers on, and have been taking ill-looking selfies that nobody needs to see.  OOTD pictures to return when I start feeling better!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Queen – We Are The Champions
Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
Ozzy Osbourne and Kelly Osbourne – Changes
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
Dean Lewis – Be Alright

Flying Wednesday post

Only just got back to Newcastle – again – after spending the day in Edinburgh doing Mum and Dad’s Christmas decorations.  Knackered now, so just a quick post tonight!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
Teardrop Explodes – Reward
Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
Ed Sheeran – Perfect
Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
Heaven 17 – Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry
Adele – Someone Like You
Jax Jones, Mabel and Rich The Kid – Ring Ring
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
The Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of