Oh my Achilles tendon

Ouch! It appears I’m not cut out for this retail malarkey as too many stairs combined with long hours standing and, if I’m honest, perhaps a little too much running (I blame the Nike GPS iphone app which challenges me to run faster) has resulted in a strained Achilles tendon and it’s not the most fun I’ve ever had.

Luckily I’ve had a couple of days to rest it and have had my foot sitting in the washing up bowl with ice and water and yes, I’d much rather be in Monaco (who wouldn’t?) but I’m sure this is practically the same thing!

Swimming in the Med…

I limped over to Islington today to a dismal trade show for the UK greeting card industry. It made me think of the it’s a gem greeting cards I did in 2001, now highly sought after collector’s items which, compared to what I saw today, might be worth resurrecting although I may have learned my lesson there.

While in Islington I popped into the shop of a friend (Bags of Moss) for a chat and a quick catch up and then I limped off pathetically to farewell drinks at Agnes b wearing an orthopedic support sock with ballet flats, just one sock, mind you, to complete the look.

The rest of the week (tendon-permitting) I’ll be back in the trenches before heading off to Exeter on Saturday to celebrate 60 fabulous years of the Queen and 40 fabulous years of Andy! Hurray!

Va va voom… or not!

Today I bought a new dress.

I know, I know, I’m weak but I’d had it on hold for a month and it’s summer, and it’s red! Va va voom!

When I tried it on, it fitted perfectly and despite hardly ever wearing red, there was something about it which just worked.

It’s a dress I’ve had before as Agnes tends to recycle shapes in different fabrics so I own the same dress in grey flannel, navy polka dots and a fantastic black and white square pattern from 2009 which is familiar to many. Obsessed? Just a little. So of course, this summer’s Vitti dress had my name all over it.

The problem is I seem to have lost a bit of weight. I’ve been running in Regent’s Park, running up and down thousands of stairs and walking to work. It wouldn’t normally be a concern, in fact I’d be pleased but when I tried the size 38 on a month later, there wasn’t much va va voom at all, just a saggy, baggy red dress. Very unsexy and not exactly the look I’m going for.

So I squeezed myself into the 36. At first glance it fitted like a glove. Va va voom again! I paid for it and skipped home through the park. Actually I staggered home as it’s been a hell of a few days and I could barely walk but that’s another story.

I ate dinner and tried my lovely new dress on… only to discover that eating dinner had put me over the edge and the dress suddenly felt too tight. I tend to think that eating is a somewhat essential activity along with breathing and sitting so now I have a dilemma. Keep the size 36 and never eat again, or… be slightly more realistic.

I think I’m going to have to return the size 36, get the 38 (which is the last one in the entire company and in the universe) and have it tailored. What a massive inconvenience but I’m a pathetic slave to style and I know it has to be right.

And so hopefully it will be a case of va va voom and then, watch out!

Ooh, la la. It’s Louboutin!

It’s been a glorious week in London. Sunny and hot and it seems spring or perhaps even summer has finally arrived. 

And so, wearing my favourite Agnes b dress (perhaps it’s still love after all as I’m terribly faithful) Thursday morning saw me heading off to see the Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum.

Display at the Design Musem 
I’m not one of those women who has a lot of shoes (Imelda) but I do confess to having the right shoes.

I’ve never bought a pair of Louboutins because they don’t seem to fit me properly. I do have a pair of Manolo Blahniks but really I’m a Prada girl and I have several pairs which are currently resting in LA and a few trusty pairs of boots here in London. Louboutin, with his signature red soles, are some of the best however and while they’re not for me, I can still appreciate.


Louboutin is a sculptor, an artist and while I either couldn’t or wouldn’t wear the majority of the shoes, his creations are fabulous.

I was particularly taken with his Fetish collection (not to wear of course, I’m a Yorkshire woman after all!) Kinky doesn’t even begin to describe it as these shoes are definitely not made for walking…

Good luck walking in these… hopping perhaps? 
Too much information!
Which occasion? Not entirely sure.
Enough said.

Hello Sunshine

Today I took my tights off in the park. Watch out London!
It was 23 degrees and balmy and I spent lunchtime lying in the sun half asleep… glorious.

An Agnes b skirt, big surprise,
and I have no idea who that woman is…

As I write this I’m sitting on my balcony, it’s 8pm, I’m drinking an entire bottle of cold Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, I mean a glass of course, I’ve made an interesting yet somehow delicious salad using the entire contents of the fridge and I’m waiting for my sister to show up. I suspect I’m a little tipsy but it’s warm, it’s dusk and all is well.

And tomorrow it’s supposed to be 27 degrees, now that’s seriously tropical!

Phase One Relocation… Part B

I am now officially launching Phase One Relocation… Part B. I’m into the second half of the six months I initially planned to see how I felt about leaving the US and the time has come to focus on my career. My work has always been a huge part of my life, I love it and I’m missing the motivation, the inspiration and the sense of accomplishment I get from something I’m incredibly passionate about.

The first three months here have shown me that life can be more balanced and happy. I have spent the past few years working incredibly hard in Los Angeles, my life became very one sided and while it’s great to make a lot of money, there’s a lot more to life. Allowing myself time to adjust to a new life has been good and I now feel ready to focus on my design career.

My first deadline is the end of August. I have flights booked to the US, returning to the UK as luck would have it, on my birthday to coincide with the official launch of Phase Two Relocation whatever that is (being me, there are several phases but I’m making them up as I go). While my plan is to return to LA for two weeks to tie up the loose ends, I also need to be sure that I have things sorted financially and professionally here.

Thunderbirds are go.

Ladies who lunch

Sunday afternoon, a welcome day off and I met my friend for lunch. Having received several recommendations, we headed to Lemonia on Regent’s Park Road (lemonia.co.uk) for a late Sunday lunch and a long overdue catch up.

Lemonia is a very popular Greek restaurant which was packed by the time we sat down at 2:30pm. We shared a selection of small plates, delicious Greek starters followed by the obligatory baklava and Greek coffee. Over a bottle of wine, we caught up and shared stories about relationships, dating and other relevant girly topics.

There’s always an opportunity to laugh even in the darkest hour and we managed that so the afternoon went well and we parted at Chalk Farm station having resolved to meet again in the very near future.

And now finally I have time for the dreaded lurgy but am feeling good so despite having pencilled it in, perhaps not needed after all…

Oh my aching feet

And so, after a great deal of work, Agnes b Marylebone reopened yesterday. The shop looked fabulous and it seemed as if the whole of Marylebone turned out to enjoy champagne, afternoon tea and a 20% discount.

The shop is spread over three floors. From women’s wear on the top to the stock room in the basement there are about fifty stairs. I think I may have run up and down at least five thousand steps yesterday which is, of course, great news for my figure (no danger of gaining weight while this lasts) but is seriously hard work and exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover it.

My day started at noon, the last customers left around 8:30pm, barely able to stand we started on the champagne and I finally made it home around midnight. A celebration indeed as the shop made over £16,000 and everyone was delighted so well done Aggie b but after quite a few glasses of bubbles and a couple of colleagues falling by the wayside, it was definitely time to head home.

A twelve hour day in retail is a hard day indeed. I’m used to long hours in design but that involves a lot of sitting and is a very different thing. I’m looking forward to a day off, lunch with a friend and even perhaps, a day of not wearing anything Agnes b…

Is the love affair finally over?

Off to the Opera

What a contrast, from a day of insanity at Aggie b as the countdown is on for Saturday’s big opening of the newly refitted store (and we’ve been working like maniacs) to La Boheme at the Royal Opera House. 

I’ve managed to fight off the dreaded lurgy so far (I’ve pencilled in being ill on Sunday if necessary although I do have lunch plans so that might not work) and while I’m fairly knackered, it would have been such a shame to be too tired to go. After all, I’m in London, it’s the Royal Opera House and tickets are sold out until December so why not? 

I almost didn’t make it as I left Agnes b at 6pm, walked briskly home through Regent’s Park, had the world’s quickest but most necessary shower, literally threw on a dress, slapped on some makeup and jumped on the tube to Leicester Square. Dashed up Long Acre to Covent Garden (wearing flats luckily), into the box office, picked up my ticket and then went up and up and up and up to the very top of the opera house. 

All I can say is, if you suffer from vertigo, you wouldn’t enjoy the experience. Luckily I don’t and so the view was pretty good. 

I made it with seconds to spare as the lights went down and La Boheme began. I sank into my red plush seat and breathed a sigh of relief. It was warm, dark and romantic. The voices, the music enveloped me and I relaxed. My eyes might have closed, just for a moment before the second intermission but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. 

It was a lovely performance, beautiful sets and while I couldn’t quite make out the facial expressions (or really anything in detail), the music, the singing, the opera was superb. It’s not the cheeriest of endings to be honest but going to the Royal Opera House was fabulous and definitely an experience to be repeated.

An Ominous Tickle

There’s something not quite right. An ominous tickle in the back of my throat, a congested head, a bit achy and a general feeling of lethargy. I think I might be coming down with something and that is definitely not on my list of things to do this week!

Of course it didn’t help that I spent several hours up a ladder yesterday on Marylebone High Street getting progressively colder and then several more hours organising stock in the cold, damp basement. It was a bath and an early night last night. What a glamourous life I lead!

It’s massively inconvenient though as I have a ticket to the opera this evening and after another busy day at Aggie B, I hope I’m feeling up to going. It’s La Boheme at the Royal Opera House. It’s completely sold out and I managed to get one ticket up in the nosebleeds. The stage will be practically invisible but still, it’s a ticket.

I’m dosing myself with Vitamin C and just about anything else I can find this morning before heading out. 

I’m not going down without a fight!

Part Deux

So here we go. Part Deux with Blue Corduroy jacket but first things first, a new pseudonym. I think it’s going to have to be Letad. My sister will forever call Letad, Letad and it’s actually because of her that this has happened, so the name has stuck and we like it.

And so to the details. The second date or what I’m calling Part Deux went spectacularly well. Perhaps even better than Part One and that lasted for seven hours! We met at Pearl, a lovely restaurant in Holborn (www.pearl-restaurant.com). We ate some interesting food, langoustine (always a favourite) and a good amount of cheese. We talked about pretty much everything, we laughed a lot (although I’m working on the puns) and it was a lovely afternoon even with a surprise hail storm.

I’m feeling quite excited about this and at the risk of being overly optimistic, I think this is something special. Yes, very out of character for me to admit that, let alone post it on the internet so there you go. I’m throwing caution to the wind and am following my heart.

The afternoon ended with a prolonged farewell at King’s Cross. Hard to say goodbye and yet, I feel strangely comfortable about where things are going. Too much too soon? I hope not.