CARNIVAL

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Every year, on the Sunday and Monday of the August Bank Holiday Weekend, Notting Hill is transformed into a tropical paradise for two days. Revellers pour in from all over London to drink rum punch, eat jerk chicken, and dance their faces off. It's one of my favourite events of the year.


This year, we experienced a rare treat at carnival - sunshine!

The wonderful Amy and I started our day at a friend's party, and then worked our way up and around Portobello Road, stopping to pick up some drinks which almost certainly contained our five a day. Delicious and nutritious, and essential to counteract the baking heat (just so British - when there is finally a day of sunshine, we do like to whinge about the heat, don't we?).



Totally refreshed, and maybe suffering from sugar-rushes, we then continued hopping, skipping, and shaking around in search of my favourite sound-system, Gaz's Rockin' Blues, which I end up at every year, vowing to remember where it is for the next time...


Mission accomplished! Gaz's sets up every year outside 103 Talbot Road, and is definitely worth a visit if you enjoy a boogie-woogie to ska, jazz and New Orleans R&B. Gaz Mayall has been performing at Notting Hill Carnival for over 30 years, and I honestly have more and more fun every time I go. This year's theme is The Jungle Book, so we swung and shook overlooked by a menagerie of stuffed creatures. It really was ace.


When we were all danced out, we snuck off home to enjoy a cosy evening on the sofa, rewatching series one of Desperate Housewives and drinking Chocolat Charbonnel. Bliss. 

If my poor, tired feet will allow it, then I'll be heading back to carnival tomorrow for more rum, chicken, and dancing. Hope to catch you there.

Hope that you're enjoying the Bank Holiday!

Mona.

OUTFIT

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Howdy, Kids!

So, it's the bank holiday weekend (hurray!) and I'm in the best mood I've been in for a long time. Today is full of good news. Work is going well, my amazing flatmate from last year is coming to visit tonight, my family and dog are here, and tomorrow and Monday it's Notting Hill Carnival. See you there? 

The cherry on top of my happiness is that I was given some beautiful flowers today. My flat now smells like roses, and they were the perfect accessory for an outfit post, no? Let's start saying it with flowers more, it really does put a girl in the loveliest of moods.


Today I'm wearing a vintage Jonathan Saunders dress that I picked up a few weeks ago in an Octavia Foundation charity shop, paired with a sunflower garland that I bought last summer to support the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, my Vida Vida bag, and my trusty Urban Outfitters boots. All jewellery is from the wonderful Katrina Phillips, 99 Portobello Road, apart from my little Delilah Dust bracelet.


Thank you (once again) to Middle Brother, who is becoming my blog photographer of choice (as my tripod sadly seems to be MIA). I only have to pay him in carrot cake and cups of tea, which works well for everyone.


The pattern on the dress is, in my opinion, just so, so pretty, and I adore the swishy-ness of it. Swish, swish, swish.


If you're Carnival-bound and you see anything spectacular, then please tweet me @monablogs so that I don't miss out! However you spend your bank holiday weekend, I hope it's filled with friends, family, and fun. 

Dusting off my dancing shoes,

Mona.

LIFE GOES ON

Friday, 17 August 2012

Howdy Cool Cats,

So some sad news from Planet Mona - Tom and I broke up yesterday. This is obviously not very nice at all, and I know that you're a wonderfully kind and loyal bunch, but don't worry about me, kids. I'll be ok. I had a really wonderful time while it lasted, and I'm so glad I got to experience such wild and uncharacteristic happiness, even if it was only for a little while. 

I thought I'd be really miserable and mopey for quite some time. I was actually weirdly excited about it (it always looks a little bit fun in a ridiculously self-indulgent way in the movies). I only lasted about forty-five minutes before deciding to grow up, get out of bed, wash my face and stop self-pitying. Because life goes on, doesn't it? And it turns out that moping isn't actually very fun at all.

I'll tell you what is fun though...


... Rollercoasters.

In a heroic effort to keep my spirits up, my wonderful flatmate Eve and my family and friends decided that a day off work was in order, and a trip to Thorpe Park was just what the doctor called for.


How right they were. My little brother won us this sheep - he's called Hamish, and Eve and I are trying to decide whose room he gets to live in (the sheep, not the brother).

The day became wonderfully hot, leaving me seriously glad that I impulse-bought this little fan from Muji last week...


Hamish seemed quite glad of it too, to tell the truth.

All in all a wonderful day, filled with junk food, adrenaline rushes, and screeching with maniacal laughter (which is what I always seem to do on rides).

I wear: Necklace - Links of London; Playsuit - Urban Outfitters; Sandals - Topshop. Eve wears: Dress - Mango; Plimsoles - H&M

I feel very blessed to have such wonderfully caring people around me. I'm a lucky, lucky lady.

And I'm pretty sure I'll be okay.

I plan to be far less neglectful to the blog, now, too. The reason I've been somewhat absent is that I've been between homes, and have hence frequently found myself separated from my laptop (oh, the horrors!). But I should be totally settled in a couple of weeks, and blogging is shooting up my priority list once again.

Lots of love, and a happy weekend to you all.

Mona.

SUNDAY SHARE - UNDERDRESSED

Sunday, 5 August 2012

I make the same mistake every time. Every. Time. I don't know quite why I do it, but whenever I go and meet a particular group of friends somewhere, I always talk to one of the boys beforehand to ascertain what kind of a place I'm going to, and whether I need to put on my fancy-shmancy clothes and my big girl shoes (high heels). Which I do have, by the way. Two pairs.

Okay, they're wedges, but that still counts, surely?

This boy always tells me the same thing. 'It's a pub. No big deal, Mo. Come as you are.'

'Hurrah', I think. 'No need to get changed.' I can be my usual, slightly-rough-around-the-edges-but-hey-ho-it's-just-a-pub self.'

Last night was a classic example. I turned up, hopelessly late and hopelessly lost, to my friend Ella's birthday party, but no-one really minded, because (1) I'm always lost outside of the Circle Line, and (2) I was carrying an enormous box of fresh from the oven cupcakes for the occasion, which always seems to appease people. 

Upon arriving at the 'pub', I realised with sinking realisation that it was not actually a pub at all. Not even a little bit. Instead, it was one of those bar-restaurant-club affairs, where the cheapest drink that wasn't beer was £7 and girls in skyscraper stilettos bobbed on the dancefloor to Rihanna. Bodycon ahoy. You get the picture. 

*Image Source*
Well sorry Karl, usually I take your word as law and consider you to be an unchallengeable fountain of knowledge, but my dress last night was technically both little and black. However, the combination of the little sleeves, the flared skirt, the black ankle socks, the white slip-on shoes and the old head scarf, all of which was covered in icing sugar, left me feeling distinctly underdressed, and quite embarrassed. 

The bouncers (you always know it's not just a pub night when there are bouncers) looked at me very dubiously. I'm pretty sure they only let me in because they thought I was just delivering the cakes. 

Well, you know what they say. You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter. So I ran away to the loos, and tried to doll myself up as best I could. The tools at my disposal? A dark red lipstick, a comb, and my 'evening' perfume. Jo Malone, by the way. Blue Agava and Cacao. Sweet, playful, and dare I say it - I hesitate to use this word when talking about myself - a little bit sexy. It gets comments. Good comments. 'What is that amazing smell?', rather than 'Um, did you bathe in Impulse before you came out?'

It helped a little. Slightly back-combed hair with a scarf woven through, and wine coloured lips definitely made the whole think look like more of a 'look'. Not the right look for the location, but a look, all the same. The perfume certainly went a long way to making me feel better about the whole thing, too. So that's nice.

*Image Source*
This I totally agree with. Which is why I never go anywhere without one of my Jo's. Today I'm wearing English Pear and Freesia, blended with Grapefruit. Mmm. 

So the moral of the story is always have your comb, your lipstick, and you're perfume handy, so that you can make yourself look slightly more put together at a minute's notice.

Whoops, look at me go, not learning my lesson.

The actual moral of the story is just ask the girls where you're going, and if you need to put on your fancy-shmancy clothes and your big-girl shoes.

Sorry I don't have a picture of me looking really under-dressed and embarrassed, I wasn't very 'on it' with the camera last night. Too busy drowning my sorrows in £7.50 cocktails*, trying to negate the social awkwardness being so totally underdressed brings on in me, even though I should be used to it by now...

Next time, I'm putting on my fanciest wedges. And then we'll probably actually just go to the pub. 

Mona.

*Just kidding, kids - always drink responsibly

TALE

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hi Cool Cats,

Sorry it's been a while. I'll fill you in on the why and how, right now.

So, the big unanswered question - what went wrong with the boy?

In short, nothing. We had a wonderful time together, as previously stated I had so much fun, and learned so much about relationships, and about myself. If you take anything from this little tale, I'd like it to be that the boy is kind and good, and I have nothing bad to say about him.

The course of true love never did run smooth, though, did it? The boy went away, for three weeks. And during these three weeks (don't judge me too harshly - here goes) I met someone else. Someone who swept me off my feet.


This is him. He's called Tom. 

It's really sad and horrible that I met him while I was involved with someone else, and I really wish that it hadn't been the case. However, the boy was totally understanding when I told him about Tom. Although, as I've said before, things with the boy were comfortable, and fun, and easy, we both knew that I wasn't "the one" for him, or him for me. There are no hard feelings there. There's even a friendship.

And what about Tom, you may well ask? Is he "the one"?

Well, all I can do is keep my fingers crossed. Because I think he's pretty ace.

So that's where I've been hiding - caught up in the whirlwind of new romance. And having lots of breakfast in bed. 


I know that what happened wasn't fair, or good. But I tried to be as honest and kind as I could be about the whole situation. And I hope that you all don't judge me too much, because I'm genuinely the happiest I've ever been. 

I'm very nervous publishing this. But I promised you the story. So here we go.

Mona. 

P.S. Check back tomorrow for a giveaway! Co-incidence, not bribery, I promise.
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