Not a great day so here’s a picture. My new parkrun milestone badges were a late birthday present to myself.
Yeah, so that turned out to be a bit of a waste of time, given that I threw 90% of them out today.
When I was packing up the old house, I knew that I’d end up chucking quite a lot of stuff out to make things neater, but I didn’t expect that I’d end up being so ruthless with my clothes and accessories. The thing is, I’m just sick of the hoard. The hoard is everywhere, I’m currently spending my entire time sorting through it and tripping over piles of it and moving boxes of it about so that I can access more boxes of it, and it’s causing me a lot of anxiety and stress, especially on ‘sorting days’ like today when my hoarding nature means that I have to go through every single thing and devote mental energy to agonising for a few minutes about whether I should keep it.
And with jewellery and hair accessories it literally is EVERY SINGLE THING I’ve ever owned in my life, because you don’t outgrow necklaces and scrunchies the way you do clothes, so my collection genuinely dates back to when my parents first decided they needed to tie my hair back in 1987:
Yes, I still have those green tartan ribbons. Of course I do. They’re not being chucked out (they’re in an inaccessible part of the hoard right now, so I couldn’t even if I wanted to), because if it dates from the ’80s, it obviously stays. (What, you thought I’d been cured of ALL of my issues?)
Thankfully, I’m coming to the end of the ‘sorting days’ as far as my wardrobe is concerned, but next month, there will be the study. Oh dear god, the study. Boxes and boxes and boxes full of old correspondence, and schoolwork, and the first fumbling childhood steps in my lifelong fiction-writing habit, and the most painfully private diaries and poetry – all of which will need to be carefully scanned and then frantically shredded (and ideally burnt, but I’m not sure the atmosphere could cope). Mounds of receipts and paperwork and keepsakes, which will need to be sorted and filed. Piles of old broken electronics, and the manuals for the old broken electronics, and the twisted and tangled mess of connector cables for the old broken electronics. Artwork and other wall decorations that I don’t like any more but have been dragging with me through approximately five house moves. Cassette singles I bought in the early ’90s, which I won’t throw out, but will instead stare at wistfully for ages, marvelling at their glorious age and endurance, remembering a different century, wasting time when I’m supposed to be getting on with the hoard.
I know I’ll get to the end of it sometime. It just feels like such a mountain to climb. A literal mountain of stuff.
But I’m going to climb it, because there’s no other way through for me.
…well, at least until we have to leave Newcastle, if/when that ever happens.
The last week has been completely insane, with everything that could get complicated getting complicated. The snow just hasn’t let up all week, meaning that various workmen have had trouble getting to us and we’ve had to reorganise things. A particularly dopey delivery driver tried to deliver my new Pandora charm (a treat to myself for getting the move done) to the wrong address, meaning I had to go trekking out in the snow to try and find the tiny corner shop two miles away where UPS leave undelivered parcels.
Meanwhile, our phone, TV and internet, which was scheduled to be reconnected today, now can’t be, because the previous residents never bothered to inform their phone company that they were leaving the property, and so BT are having to do complicated legal stuff before they can get us connected (and didn’t bother to inform us of this prior to Geth calling them up today). As a result, we’re now having to buy a temporary internet hub for the house to last us for the 10 days it apparently could take for this to get sorted out.
In more positive news, the carpet cleaning guy was at least able to show up on Wednesday, so our upstairs carpets are now clean, and we’ll hopefully be able to get the walls painted next week with help from my dad and his knowledge of house paint. After that, I can get the furniture finalised in the upstairs bedrooms and finally start getting stuff unpacked. It will all be okay – I just need to stick to the steps of my plan.
Also, I really hope this snow disappears soon, preferably until next winter.
Another weekend, another vintage fair! Today I went to the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, for the fair put on by Britain Does Vintage, and added a few more pieces to my collection…
From left to right, the black material is a wool-blend bolero jacket, the silver floral material is a dress, and the shiny matching things are clip-on earrings. Very pleased with today’s haul!
There have been a few periods in my life where I’ve tried to fit in with the prevailing fashions of the day, but in all honesty, I’ve never really succeeded, and when I look at photos of myself during those periods, I always think I look uncomfortable and not quite right. The style of the ’80s has always felt ‘correct’ to me; it gives me a strong sense of ‘these are what clothes SHOULD look like’, and later fashions just look dowdy and unstylish to my eye. I’m not sure whether I just internalised it really strongly when I first came into the world, or whether I’ve just come to love that aesthetic by chance, but thirty years later it’s still what I’m drawn to, and I think I always will be.
So, my history of being an ’80s fashion throwback, then. I don’t think it counts as being a ‘throwback’ when you’re still in the actual ’80s, but that’s where it began, and clearly my toddlerhood was the best dressed era of my life:
I wore so many different (and AWESOME) outfits during this era. I guess most toddlers go through lots of different clothes, due to the whole rapid body growth thing, but looking at pictures it really seems like in my five short years spent in the ’80s I wore more clothes than in the rest of my life put together.
Shame they couldn’t all have grown with me. Especially the moon ‘n’ stars nightdress in the bottom right corner, my favourite nightdress of all time.
The ’90s, meanwhile, were probably my most difficult decade fashion-wise. Due to a combination of hand-me-downs from family friends, thick curly hair that utterly refused to be browbeaten into the poker-straight trend it was supposed to be following, and a stubborn fully-developed taste that meant I was already gravitating towards the styles of the ’80s, I spent the whole decade doing the awkward ‘dated by quite a few years, but not enough to be retro or vintage yet’ look:
Jeans, especially, I found so awkward – I was drawn to high-rise straight-leg styles, but as the decade went on, they became more low-rise and bootcut – that it put me off them for a long time, and nowadays I don’t own any blue jeans at all. When I reach my target weight, I’ll maybe give them another go.
The ’00s were better (not in general fashion terms – I think the trends of the ’00s were the absolute nadir of fashion in my lifetime so far – but for me personally in terms of style). My teen years, 1998-2004, coincided with the first big wave of ’80s nostalgia in pop culture (The Wedding Singer! The BBC’s I Love The ’80s series! The accompanying CD that I got for Christmas in 2001! Bergerac repeats on BBC2 every day while I was on school exam leave! Websites such as Like Totally ’80s starting up! ’00s indie bands aping ’80s indie bands…now I’m nostalgic for a period of nostalgia. I’ll stop there), and so it was then that I first became conscious that I loved the ’80s so much – that the music was better, the films and TV shows were better, the fashion was better. (I also had a brief flirtation with the early ’70s due to my love of glam rock. You can’t beat a pair of silver glitter platform boots.)
2003 was also the year I became goth. Goth is a wonderful subculture for ’80s throwbacks of a certain style, because the look has basically stayed the same since 1978, and all the clubs play lots of post-punk and synthpop. Utter bliss.
As such, my ’00s look can basically be divided into pre-2004 (Madonna-style fishnet gloves, jelly bracelets and plastic beads from Claire’s Accessories in every shade of primary and neon) and post-2004 (mainly goth, with occasional disastrous forays into mainstream contemporary fashion):
Which brings us to the ’10s. The less said about the first half of the decade, the better – I was uncomfortably overweight and spent most of it hiding away in leggings, baggy t-shirts and hoodies – but now that I’ve lost most of the weight, I’m starting to remember how to have fun with fashion again, hence my recent interest in cultivating a vintage ’80s wardrobe.
I know – from reading stuff by people who are into mid-century vintage – that as time goes on, ’80s vintage stuff won’t always be as readily available and affordable as it is at the moment. As such, I’m making the most of it, with the aim of being able to dress in clothes from my favourite decade for the rest of my life. I hope I’ll be lucky and long-lived enough to be eighty or ninety years out of date one day!
I went through my bracelet box this evening. I have several hundred bracelets that I never wear, largely due to a teenage addiction to Claire’s Accessories. SO MANY JELLY BRACELETS. I used to wear them with neon fishnet armwarmers and matching plastic beads, all of which I also still have. My taste in jewellery has always screamed ‘1980s’, though these days it’s a little less early Madonna and a little more OTT power bling. Maturity and all.
Anyway, I’ve organised them into vague colour groupings in the hope that they might actually get worn more often. We’ll see.