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Thursday 29 November 2018

What I've Been Wearing Lately

Lists.  They're a moving goal post eh?  
What is there about them that as fast as you complete your tasks, the bigger the list grows, infinitely.

My To Do By Mid-November started with 20 tasks, a nice round number nearly typed up on a crisp white sheet.  
It's now nearly December and I'm still working on it - the number has grown to 26, many have hand-scribbled addendums and the sheet is crumpled and coffee-stained.  And I've only managed 4 of 11 of the To Do By End-November.   
Oh what the heck, I'm off to see Bohemian Rhapsody this evening, to-do list slippage be damned !!

That intro is my way of making you feel a little better if you too are already underperforming in your Christmas Countdown challenges.  And if you are, I suggest you take yourself away to the cinema for a few hours too!

So as I continue to wade through my ever-growing to-do list, I leave you with some day to day outfits worn when the leggings and t shirt uniform is torn off.

What I'm finding is that by posting everyday outfits rather than, err, more thought-through outfits, I'm achieving one of my blog goals, that being to smarten up my everyday appearance.  So whilst I plough through my to-do list and have little time (or inclination) for stand-alone outfit posts, I hope you are happy with this approach.  Um, are you?  I'd love to hear from you.

Anyhoo.  My first outfit is a celebration of #slowfashion.

My old ca. 2002 suede skirt.

My Y2K leather cap - I did warn you you'd be seeing a lot of it!

Blue plaid shirt and black jeans.

Black T and UV cardi, charitied scarf.

Soft orange twinset and leoprint.

Cosy cardi, #woolovers  summer sale.

More plaid.
And two observations from these pics.

1.  I've hardly been out of my old Pikolinos boots.  They're 15yrs+ old but I've fallen back in love with them this winter, so comfy for my daily constitutions and for generally mooching about in.

2.  I've also be mainly wearing black jeans.  And mostly M&S skinnies.  I bought M&S super skinnies in a smaller size when I lost a bit of weight and they are my go-to-most-days jeans because, well, they're pretty much the only jeans that truly fit me.  Plus they are just what I want from jeans - no leg wrinkling and thin fabric, so no feeling of claustrophobia.  And for that very reason they wash a dream and in a trice are dry and ready to report back for duty.  What is there not to like about #mandsjeans eh?!

And I'm seeing my clear favourite pieces this season are a suede skirt, a leather cap, black skinnies and Pikolinos boots.

What are your current go-tos?

A la perchoine,

Monday 26 November 2018


Palace House, once the gatehouse of the medieval Beaulieu Abbey, has been the Montagu family home since 1538.
In an idyllic New Forest setting, overlooking the picturesque Beaulieu River millpond, Palace House was remodeled and extended during the 1800s and is now a fine example of a Victorian country house. Inside, its ecclesiastical heritage sets the grand gothic tone for a home bristling with character and adorned with family trees.
Palace House was used as one of the primary locations in The Honourable Rebel, a feature film based on Elizabeth Montagu's life. The Dining Hall and Drawing Room are just two of the rooms you may
recognise in this fascinating true story of Edward 3rd Baron Montagu.

I copied the above from the website of 


It is rather clumsily copied, I'll give you that, but it's the intro you need for this post and there you go, that's me, clumsily techno.

The Accidental Phone-ist

And whilst we're talking clumsy, the reason I didn't post these shots earlier is because on my return, I dropped my phone down the toilet.  As one does.  There ensued a long period whilst my phone rested in a bag of rice before eventually I had to leave it to close for business with dignity, get a new superduper replacement and retrieve the pics from iCloud.   It's never a quick story with me eh?!

It was the second of my phone's to meet this accidental fate this year.  
I'm rather like this with tyre flatties too!

So, during my recent trip to Southampton I visited Beaulieu.  And what a pleasant surprise it was.  We decided to focus on the main house, the abbey, the monorail and a couple of the smaller museums, leaving the very large motor museum for another day.

Palace House

The arbor is tranquil.

This house and I are clearly MFEO!

I've said it before but as a tourist I make a good bag lady!

Bag lady status confirmed.  I call this look relaxed-messy!


The kitchen wouldn't look out of place in today's home.

Bag Lady to Lady Mary!  Here with the butler and housekeeper. ๐Ÿ˜Š

When asking permission to post their photo on the blog, I mentioned how some American readers are bowled over by Downton.  The housekeeper immediately whisked me away upstairs, telling me that the house had a strong connection to the U.S.  She showed me this portrait of the Earl of Southampton, a previous owner of the house.  He  travelled to America in the Elizabethan era and "discovered" The Hamptons, which are named after him!

And this is "his" study, obviously furnished a little differently today.

The dining table was laid out with an autumn setting.

The cook is planning what feast to put in m'lord's dining table.

Whilst the maid busies herself pressing m'lady's pantaloons!

The entertainment centre.

The  cute inner courtyard dressed for autumn.

Yes, this was one stately home that I could imagine Lady Mary actually living in!

The Monorail

I really enjoyed this little trip, travelling through the tree canopies of the estate.  I oohed and ahhed like a little child, but sadly after fact this shot leaving the station my phone battery closed for business!

The Abbey

Traditional harvest decoration.

And a sign of the times.

This was a great day out, with plenty to do, see and learn about and there was a happy, friendly vibe to the place right from the chirpy chappie on the ticket desk.   If you find yourself in the Southampton area, then Beaulieu is well worth a visit.

Find out more about the house, museums and attractions by following this link

A la perchoine, 
Lady Mary.

Saturday 24 November 2018

What I've Been Wearing Lately

Hello peeps!  You ok?  If you're in the U.S. then I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Over here,  all should be relatively quiet but I just don't know where my time is going.   Whilst The Photographer was away I got stuck in with the domestics, some serious cleaning and re-organising before the Christmas decs go up.  I've still got lots on my list before I can say I'm truly happy with my efforts.  But I love change, so I'll keep ploughing on.  
  How about you?  Are you taking the opportunity to make changes before the festivities truly kick in?

I also set up a Christmas Action List a few weeks ago, my Christmas Countdown,  and that always gives me some mental relief, some respite, seeing on paper just what needs to be done and when seems to be a huge stress-reliever.
Eating our way through the freezer is another pre-Christmas tradition necessity, making freezer space for all the goodies.

Does all this sounds like pretty much what you've been up to too?

But it hasn't been all hard graft as Chez Pout.  The fun stuff has been varied, with lunches, a pre-birthday brunch (with presents!), 


  During lunch with a friend on my birthday I heard the news that I would be sharing by day with a new arrival, a second great niece!  Then I had a super birthday supper with the family which included a  surprise music recital ...

... And a birthday cake with sparklers (AND I got to take some home!)
 All so wonderful!

TP returned this week so we had a nice meal out as a joint post-birthday treat.  Plus we saw a Star Is Born!   Wow!!  Bradley and, er,  Lady are totally convincing in their characters.  Have you seen it?

Anyway, all this is leading to an apology for being a tad lax with style posts this past week or two.  So by way  of apology, I leave you with a round up of my day to day outfits that have got me out of the house and off to the supermarket, for that seems to have made up  most of my out of house activity of late.  The rest of the time I've been wearing leggings and a baggy tee shirt, ideal for crawling in cupboards or climbing on step ladders but not  post-worthy eh?!

You'll be seeing a lot of this leather cap,  bought in NZ in the Y2K.
This AW I've fallen in love with it all over again.

Cosy jumper.

A leoprint knit tunic.

A Zara frock coat.

My black leather skirt, v. old.

A leoprint jersey skirt, v. new.

Cocoon cardi with old denim shirt.

Attempting the blazer and denim look.

More cosy jumperage.

Old denim shirt again.jumpers

If even one of you dear readers finds even one snippet of inspo in this lot, then my photograph malarkey will not have been in vain!

A la perchoine,

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Finding Mary #3 - Food For Thought

As I've already said, I think a dramatic shift in attitude pulls us through significant changes.  It gives us the wherewithal to know instinctively what needs to be done and the positivity to keep at it.   So what I'm eating these days to lose weight seems almost insignificant by comparison to my change in attitude.

That said, I'd like to share briefly today some of the new eating habits to which I've quickly adapted and which work for me.
Grab yourself a cuppa a thermos flask because I lied about the "briefly" part!

I'm not on a diet.

That's important, I'm not on a diet - I'm taking a new and easy, kind and sustainable approach to eating.

My eating plan has evolved, gently.
Evolved to suit me, my lifestyle, my way of doing things.

This works for me, it may not be suitable for you - you know what I'm going to say eh?  Seek medical advice when making any change to your eating or exercise routine!

Reduce fuel without feeling deprived.

I reduce the quantity and type of food I eat, conscious that good stuff is fuelling my body, like self-burnng  protein.  Simple.
Simple is sustainable, so I aim for an average calorie intake over time rather a draconian daily number.

I've settled on 200-ish cals per meal as being the magic number for me.  By keeping my meals to around 200-300 cals on most days, I have calories left over for Coffee Mate in my coffee, maybe an extra piece of fruit, a bedtime water Ovaltine, and still keep within a average of around 1000 cals daily.
1000 cals may be considered too low a daily intake, but it gives me wriggle room for more relaxed days when I have meals out with free choice from the menu, or maybe beans on toast if I want comfort food.  

My unscientific "ish" approach to calorie counting and the more relaxed days when I consume more than 1000 cals together work to average out to a number suitable for my height, weight, age, lifestyle etc.

Like this, I even have room in the budget for a 25cl bottle of Sancerre at the weekend if I fancy it!

That plan has evolved and works for me.  I don't feel I'm depriving myself but simply averaging out at the relatively low number of calories that my slow metabolism needs to lose weight.

Light touch, easy, flexible, sustainable.

Breaking this down through to the bite-sizes 200 cal number makes my life easier, it's fixed in my head.
I'm relaxed about each day's consumption of fuel because I know the numbers all pan out over time.

Importantly, my doctor is happy with this approach.

Keeping it Light Touch makes my approach sustainable.

Start the day with good intentions, taking one meal at a time.

With a few exceptions, I start day with a shake.
Fruity.  Fortified.  (More on this in another post).

This little blender beauty has been my life saver these past few months.  If you haven't got one, I seriously suggest you click on this link now and pop one in your basket!

 Starting well means if I'm a bit naughtier during the day then at least I've kept one meal within my 200 cal limit.  And each frugal meal is a credit ringing up in my weight-loss account!

I take things one meal at a time.

Be kind to yourself, don't put a ban on things you enjoy, just eat them less and in lesser amounts.

I eat what I want, and compensate before or after when I know I will be consuming or have consumed too many calories. Small tweaks.  
Sometimes I use meal replacement foods for convenience or when I want to be more exact with my calorie intake on these holier compensation days.

And it's small-plate magic that carries me through on days I want something less than holy.

I keep things flexible.  Relaxed.   Light Touch.
A little of what you fancy does you good.

Know your ball-park calories

I call them ball-park because I don't weigh or measure.  Nothing terrible happens if the 250 cals I think I'm eating is actually 350 !!!
I keep it Light Touch.

I take photos of plates that I've added up the  calories on - I then need to do this just once (you DO know I'm lazy, don't you?!!)

Create a store of no-thinking  go-to meals.

I have mostly been eating tea-plate sized meals, hovering just around the 200 cal mark.  Tuna, prawn, chicken, eggs - protein.  Vegatables.

Make life easy. Take photos of the everyday meals you enjoy!
Here are some examples of pretty instant go-to meals which check in at under 300 cals.

A slice of black bread scraped with butter, a slice of Havarti, a tomato, a little chopped red onion.   In touch with my Danish roots!

I love nursery food fish fingers!  So I have them when I really fancy them.  Here are four served rather unattratively but yummily and with a pile of veg and a dollop of salad cream (a third of the calories of mayo).

So, in order to eat well and low cal, carbs have to stop being the norm.
Do I miss my daily bread?  No.
Do I miss my daily potatoes?  No.
It's all about establishing new norms, new habits,  but I do have bread or potatoes when I really crave them - no deprivation, remember.

I haven't walked away from my eating plan after eating restaurant chips or the odd profiterole - I just relax, I haven't ruined everything!

Let her eat Birthday Cake!

Instead, I remember that my more frugal days compensate for when I want to eat in a more relaxed, off-duty way.  It's all about balance, averages.  Light Touch.

An eating plan of less carbs, more protein has evolved.

I didn't plan it that way, it just panned out like that.  But there will be days when I want something slightly stodgier.  For example, if I want to eat to stodgier salad, I keep the stodge small and savour the taste of each stodgy mouthful.

I eat what I want, but the portions don't need to be big.  Here, the naughtier end of the salad spectrum (pasta, cheese with a little mayo)  is kept to smaller sizes, served with prawns and egg and on a tea plate.

A little of what you fancy does no harm!

And that's some of the nitty-gritty you asked for, folks!
Is anything here of any help?
 There's no magic involved, no rocket science, just a relaxed way of eating differently.  And being easy on myself. 

Make It Easy On Yourself

A la perchoine,

Eating out. Fortified meals. Movement. Mindlessness.
Losing my obsession with the scales!