Tartan Blizzards and Golden Bunting

Well, hasn’t it been frosty in Durham!

I celebrated Burns’ Night  on the 25th January at a Formal wearing a retro 1940s style tartan dress, conquered my fear of haggis and ran barefoot in the snow… I felt like a real warrior after my sprint across a snowy meadow, I can tell you!

It has snowed a lot over the past week, and apart from that one crazy moment that I mentioned earlier, where I was at one with the snow, I have embraced the harsh weather by wearing lots of faux fur. My favourite furry hat that I bought about two years from Topshop had a revival, I last wore it in Clermont in early 2012 when it was -15 degrees! I also acquired a burgundy faux fur collar in the January sales for £6.00, which I was very excited about.

Talking about excitement, I also got a glittery package full of treats from Forever21 –  My favourite item was the necklace pictured below – which looks like a delicate string of black and gold bunting. I discovered Forever21, which is an american fashion chain, for the first time in Manchester in late 2012. Late one night in mid January, on an essay editing break, I made the discovery that they also ship to the UK. And that they do insanely cheap online deals. What started in Manchester as a flirtation with Forever 21, buying 2 pairs of earrings and a pair of wedge boots for under £30.00 went to the next level…*

*Here, I would like to add that thanks to 50% off 50%, the total amount of my online purchases was also under £30.00, for 4 pairs of earrings, a pussy bow blouse, 2 hair slides, a bow hairband, and 2 necklaces. Not bad!


(Ornate Earrings and Triangle Necklace, both Forever 21)

I love the Forever21 accessory range. When worn, I find that they get complimented a lot.  As I mentioned earlier, I managed to benefit from their 50% off 50% deal, and so got quite a few products very cheaply.  I find that, although cheap, the accessories look quite classy –  this combination of chic and low price range makes for ideal presents. Indeed, my mum will be getting some great earrings on her birthday in February!

Continuing along with my theme of being a sucker for accessories, I recently perused a local Durham hair and beauty shop, and was delighted to find a limited edition OPI James Bond topcoat – ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ – reduced from £30.00 to £7.25. The nail varnish is a clear topcoat with 18k gold flecks. It definitely adds a flash of “Look at me, I’m oh so sassy and GOLDEN” to any manicure. When it comes to OPI nail varnish, I can be a bit of a vulture, preying on the bottles of glitter and online reviews for a while before I swoop in and purchase one or two that I like. Reports that there will be a new collection featuring Mariah Carey and “Liquid Sand” textures may deter me for a while however…. watch this space.

I’m not just interested in retail therapy however. I have been hitting the books… I have twenty books out from the University Library, ranging from critiques on Bertolt Brecht and Georges Perec, Laclos and André Gide and have hit my maximum library book loan limit…. hmmm, best get reading then!


Huzzah for Duzza

Because who doesn’t love snow and lecturers who give you carambar on a frosty morning?
For any French speakers out there, I include the hilariously bad joke that I discovered on my carambar wrapper…

Quel acteur est une copie de lui-même?
George Cloné

Top notch entertainment from carambar, as always.


Onto the main theme of this post…. SNOW. For someone who comes from an Island with quite a mild climate, where it almost never snows, I am always amazed by snow. (If ever a centimetre was to fall on Guernsey, radio warnings would go out ordering everyone to stay off the PERILOUSLY ICY roads. If this occurred during term time, we would get the day off school. I still have fond memories of these snow days… but all the snow would thaw by the end of the day)

IN DURHAM THERE IS REAL SNOW. THEY DON’T KNOW PERILOUS CONDITIONS. However I am no snow leopard. I am not used to these climes. And often, I become Bambi on ice. I slip, I slide, even when I am wearing Doc Martens.

Around this time last year, when I was living in France, I had the opportunity to go skiing for a day for the almost unbelievably low price of ten euros. I had such a brilliant time; eating st nectaire (cheese) in the mountains, wearing bright aqua salopettes, and trying to avoid causing collisions on the button lift (or as it is delicately known in French…the tire-fesse) Being surrounded by snow and chalets was an incredible feeling and I really hope to ski some more one day. But until now, just the sight of snow will suffice… However… although it is very beautiful in Durham, I still miss the snowcapped volcanoes of Clermont, the crisp icy feeling of walking home on powdered pavements after a midnight tram ride…. and I also miss the stunning view across the Bodensee of the snow covered mountains on the Swiss/German border of Konstanz.

I digress, here are some pictures of a snowy northern city.

(In the first picture…. has our stag mascot been visited by his friend the Yeti? This made me smile at ten am in the morning… small things!)


The third picture down is the view from my window. Aren’t I lucky to have such a lovely fairytale view? (Maybe I am over exaggerating… it’s the snow that has gone to my head!)