Saturday, 13 May 2017

Botanical Gardens

Hello, it's me. I was wondering if anybody was still kicking about this part of the internet, now that the dust has settled and my URL expired because I didn't update it promptly, digital native that I am. Still, having experienced a little bit of aching nostalgia about outfit posting and fashion blogging on my Instagram recently, I've realised there are at least three of you who are still interested in the various shenanigans of the life of Belpo, and three is more than enough for me, frankly. If anything, too many. I've sort of been in an odd purgatory recently between wanting to peacock at an Olympic gold standard on social media and living a hermit existence away from the various online stresses. Maybe it's because the world seems to have reached a new level of bizarre and wearing nice outfits doesn't feel like enough. Maybe it's because my compulsive oversharing has all but ruined any possibility of mystique. But existential online crises aside, sometimes a pair of magical trousers and a lush green garden come together for a perfect blogging marriage...botanical 11
There have been some extremely important pairs of trousers in my life. There were the Wrong Trousers on Wallace and Gromit, an VHS (remember those?) I played to death as a child. Then there were the secondary school uniform trousers, which I always claimed were just not tight enough compared to my female counterparts, who had far cooler versions. There was my first pair of skinny jeans, in the height of the emo era, which were grey and far too baggy to constitute a real pair of skinnies. And then there were the actual skinny jeans, the tube pants from American Apparel, which were so figure hugging that they probably caused me lifelong damage and eventually ripped at the butt. And then, and then, there were these. If you had told me, five years ago, that I would be wearing yellow crop flares I would have laughed in your face, which would have been pretty rude. But over the last few years I have gotten over my fear of any trousers that aren't sprayed to my ankles and started to embrace more daring and masculine shapes. And it's been a necessary journey indeed, because these trousers are sunshine and light, and although they're more difficult to style they are instantly eye catching.
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I donned these trousers for a trip down to the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Oxford, because for some reason I'm really into plants at the moment. I wonder if this phase will last as long as my Olsen Twins, Bratz Dolls and Horses phases. I used to run a mile when my parents would try and make me take any interest in nature or learn the name of a flower, but living in a city I think you start to appreciate the natural world and its processes a little bit more. Much like the trousers, I would have scoffed at the idea of taking anything but a purely aesthetic interest in gardens and plants many years ago, but more recently, I could genuinely see myself hugging a tree. What is life if not about change and growth?
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Jacket - Secondhand
Trousers - Topshop
Shirt - H&M
Shoes - Primark
Bag - Black Cat Cafe
Sunglasses - Unif

I also need to mention this amazing jacket, my one clothing purchase from New York. For some reason I don't seem to get along with American clothing, I rarely ever seem to find anything out there that really suits me. But I picked up this gem in a junk shop in North Brooklyn for just $5, and it is fast becoming my Spring/Summer staple jacket - it goes with everything! Anywaaays, I hope you enjoy these photos of me swanning around, at one with nature...
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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Earn Your Stripes

Seeing as you're probably all snuggled up in a nice sensible jumper or under a cosy blanket reading this, or pressed up against a space heater like I currently am, you're probably wondering - why the hell are you not wearing a coat? Well, never let it be said that I don't suffer for style, and really I feel that this t-shirt is worth suffering for. Cast your minds back over a month and a half ago, where in a warehouse in East London a large amount of pastel-adorned youths and some of their enthusiastic parents fought tooth and nail to secure fluffy coats and pastel printed t-shirts with self depreciating slogans from Lazy Oaf's archives. I had decided to attend with this dream top in mind, but sadly I left with just a crop top and a couple of snapbacks (this was my first proper sample sale and I'd neglected the divine rule of GETTING THERE VERY EARLY). I'd fallen in love with this top a while ago after seeing it on my beautiful pal Pavneet, who owns a Lazy Oaf filled wardrobe to die for. I love wearing stripes and the mixture of the colours, the stripes, the adorable little frog chilling out on the front, really it was all too much for me. Eventually I found it on my trusty friend Depop and lo and behold it was mine, all mine!lazy oaf oxford 1
Top - Lazy Oaf via Depop
Bag - Skinnydip
Shoes - Primark

These photographs were taken on a colourful houses hunt in Oxford, which although a beautiful city is not known for being particularly colourful. Fortunately mum (my wonderful photographer) and I found the perfect combination of colours that fit almost exactly with my top, how about that! I paired it with this Skinnydip rainbow bag, which was again an item I immediately coveted after seeing it on actual unicorn and all round nice gal Lucie, and it actually turned up in the Black Friday sales much to my joy! People often called me rainbow related nicknames so I thought it was time to honour that with my bag choice.
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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The World is Abundant and Love is Manifold

I suppose it gets to the point where you have to stop apologising for not posting on your blog and just accept it is occasionally a place where you can just dump photos and a share a few sporadic thoughts. I hate to neglect my own little piece of the internet, but I guess life really has gotten in the way. Happily enough I'm writing more than ever at my current internship, and for the first time being actually paid for it - which feels like a small stepping stone but nonetheless an exciting one. And you know, I'm feeling pretty good about it, I'm grateful, but after this year I've felt a little tired, to say the least. London really has this way of sucking you in and leaving you drained, despite all the excitement it brings and my neverending awe of the city. So with that in mind it was wonderful to pay a visit after Christmas to somewhere I've wanted to visit since forever, The Scottish Highlands. And being in such a majestic, isolated environment of overwhelming natural beauty, like the kind you always expected to see painted in children's stories and never in real life, well, it got me thunkin. I'd arrived there feeling slightly overwhelmed by life and it was incredible to just be far away from everything, and see past your worries and just experience the world, just still and as it is.
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Where am I going with this? Am I about to tell you to live laugh love and take an extremely expensive trip around the world to find yourself? Nah, I guess my point, the revelation that I had, was that the world feels like a seething land mass of filth at the moment, what with all the injustice and prejudice and bad vibes maaaan, to the point that we forget that the world is absolutely all we have and it's both beautiful and scary, comforting and intimidating. And there's so much of it that we can barely take 5 minutes out of our day and our own jumbled heads to properly enjoy. It sort of took me back to *strokes metaphorical philosphical beard and puts on oversized glasses* learning about the sublime at university, this type of beauty that is overwhelming, boundless, unbelievably stunning in a terrifying way, which is not only looks to try for me but also the perfect description for this place.

The Isle of Skye particularly just has this exceptional landscape of mountains and sea that stretch so far that you honestly feel like you're at the edge of the world, even though it was grey, wet and windy, hell I think that just all added to the effect really. I never thought I'd be able to cry at a landscape, and being fortunate enough to witness and experience the world's indescribable and overwhelming beauty, but goddammit I was close. Really it means, literally, the world to look past your internal struggles and see that the trees and mountains and mist and rocks and beautiful walks with good people and adorable dogs have all been gifted to you. I guess I didn't come to this conclusion all alone, after reading (should I say bawling my mascara off) this piece of writing assumedly from actual angel Sufjan himself, I realised that a lot of the love I denied myself was all around me, and could be found in the most unexpected of places.
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And you know, not just landscapes. Having gone to stay with Katy and Eilis, it's safe to say that some people are just pure, generous, loving and kind enough to make you discard your cynicism about people. You could not find more giving, beautiful and hilarious people, trust me. I was fortunate enough to spend more time with them alongside two of my greatest friends in the world, Emily and Lucy, a friendship that has seen us travel everywhere from Arizona to Dublin to Northern Scotland right back to sitting on Emily's kitchen floor at 3am eating pasta and cheese. Whizzing past Scottish Highland landscapes in the car eating strawberries and singing along to Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Christine and The Queens was the stuff of the aspirational teen novel I should probably be writing. A proper Scottish hogmanay, jumping out of a moving car to get a photograph with a highland cow (might be a slight exaggeration), cuddles with Katy's adorable dog Bruce, grapefruit gin - these are all gifts that I suspect I might not deserve, but that I was lucky enough to experience here anyway.
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I hope you enjoyed looking at some pictures and reading some thoughts this time around, and hopefully there'll be many more in 2017, but let's be honest, don't hold out. Just on my own spiritual journey ya know.

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