The Seasonal Concerns

I adore summer; ‘tis my favourite season of the year (most would agree as our fair isle gets flooded with more light* than usual) As the light increases my pallid skin starts to crawl slightly. I’m not built for this weather. I was created in a Gollum style mode; meant for damp and darkness. I tan EVER so slightly (after 6 months!) and the required effort often doesn’t feel worth it. I freckle in the heat of a log fire, the sun catalyses this process waaay too much. From a distance, I may look tanned; up close, the freckle feast is revealed.  I am also not a porcelain-skinned beauty. My paleness unfortunately equates to sickliness. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked recently if I am, “feeling 100%?” Please do not extol the virtues of fake tan to me. I have tried and failed with many brands. I refuse, point blank to remove all clothing and be sprayed like a Cuprinol-ed fence by someone I probably babysat for 15 years ago! Instead, I mask my pallor with bright clothing and prints. Unfortunately some days I may leave the house looking like a Magic Eye construction, but this confusion on the retina seems to work for me.

A second thing that summer brings is a proliferation of hair growth. I have fine, light hair but Jesús Cristo does the sunlight speed up growth. I wax my underarms and legs but summer regrowth occurs approximately 3 days later! Regrowth for me brings with it a beautiful heat rash and ingrowing bewilderment. I saw someone questioning on Twitter why anyone would wear opaque tights or leggings in June? My excuse – I am averting the eye from my wax nightmare! Garance Doré offered a very honest post that included her appreciation of laser hair removal. I would LOVE to offer this gift to my underarms but I still cannot justify the expense (I think each leg would cost £2000  too – I am quite tall!)

To balance out this post, I must convince you that I do love summer in some way!

1. I adore eating outside. Even if it is just a sandwich in the garden, the meal seems infinitely more tasty and exciting al fresco.

2. The beach makes me smile. A winter beach conjures up morose images of melancholic days; the summer beach, makes me smile even from a distance. The waft of saline air must release huge amounts of serotonin in my little brain; as I find my cheeks hurt through all the happiness.

3. I love the freckles. I secretly moan about them but they make me, well, me! I once played join the dots with them and made an awesome giraffe on my arm.

4. BIKES. I love my bike and the summer means he gets a good airing. I do have a bike obsession though. I am going to purchase a beach cruiser from my cousin but have spent several hours redesigning this beauty from Urban Outfitters. Bikes appeal to me a lot more than shoes. Luckily their price curbs my ownership to one pair!

If you have any advice to ease my very trivial summer woes, I would greatly appreciate it. Is there a light self-tanner that doesn’t make you vomit? A hair removal idea that has worked for you? I am sitting with my pad and pen ready to make summer that little bit better.

(*light does not always equal sunshine!)
Beach hut image from Paul Mannix on Flickr. Illustration (left) Garance Doré

Variation on a Theme

I am having a crise du blog. It is hard to put this one into words but over the last few weeks I feel I have lost my blog “mojo” (I despise that “m” word but is the only thing that adequately describes my lack of lustre towards blogging.) It started slowly, with emails asking for blog statistics and comment numbers as proof of my worth in the blogosphere. It escalated when I was asked to remove collages for infringement of copyright. Vagabondia then seemed to sum up all my thoughts, concerns and fears in this perfect, succinct post. I too do not rely on my blog as a source of income. I am and have always remained true to my personal set of blog morals; I post things I personally find interesting and accept no freebies on the promise of a gushing post. The numbers, the statistics – yes, they massage my ego but I never began the blog for that reason.

I feel as if the last few weeks have provided essential research. I have scoured the Internet looking at the many types of blog on offer. My eyes have been opened. The Internet is saturated with blogs! Some are so similar, I wonder what it is that makes them stand out or be considered unique in any way? I put myself in the place of a publicist and started to look at the number of comments and what they had to say about the blog. The quality of the comment, not the number, revealed A LOT to me. Those with intelligent readership, elicited insightful comments that paralleled the quality of the post itself and were just as enjoyable to read. Those whose posts represented a bit of filler “fluff” to me, presented equally mundane comments, albeit in a greater number. When all bloggers attend the same occasions, how can you make your version events stand out? (See an example of GREAT alternative posting here by Isabelle O’Carroll!) I also decided being a publicist doling out tickets for Fashion Week must be a minefield! The criteria upon which they base allocation must plague their souls (I personally would go with my quality theory!) Unfortunately, my research compounded my fears; with so many great blogs out there, providing such great, regular content, where did mine fit in?

So today, I bite the bullet. I am writing and have a host of other things to tell you about lined up. I shall leave my Outsider post below sans collage, as a reminder of my mini-crisis! So here goes…

P.S. The novelty journal pictured above is available from Maiden – a great ironic gift for any blogger!

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