The Girl in the Red Coat

Archive for July 2010

I did it!

Posted on: July 28, 2010


My exam grades were released yesterday – I passed the Graduate Diploma in Law with a commendation grade (and only 3 measly points away from a distinction!)!

Here’s to the rest of an amazing summer and next year’s studies – I hope you’ll continue reading ♥


So…I had a first date on Friday night which went wonderfully well but I don’t want to jinx it by saying anything else apart from that I’m seeing him again this week and have been smiling like a soppy teenager all weekend. (Please keep your fingers crossed!)

So instead of rambling, I’d like to share something which I read a while ago and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to post and well, after Friday night, it seemed apt right about now! (Also because I am 800 different kinds of excited about the new series of Mad Men, which I believe is due to air in the UK in Autumn?)

A Letter to Men by Christina Hendricks –

We love your body. If we’re in love with you, we love your body. Your potbelly, everything. Even if you’re insecure about something, we love your body. You feel like you’re not this or that? We love your body. We embrace everything. Because it’s you.

Speaking of your body, you don’t understand the power of your own smell. Any woman who is currently with a man is with him partly because she loves the way he smells. And if we haven’t smelled you for a day or two and then we suddenly are within inches of you, we swoon. We get light-headed. It’s intoxicating. It’s heady.

We remember forever what you say about the bodies of other women. When you mention in passing that a certain woman is attractive — could be someone in the office, a woman on the
street, a celebrity, any woman in the world, really — your comment goes into a steel box and it stays there forever. We will file the comment under “Women He Finds Attractive.” It’s not about
whether or not we approve of the comment. It’s about learning what you think is sexy and how we might be able to convey it. It’s about keeping our man by knowing what he likes.

We also remember everything you say about our bodies, be it good or bad. Doesn’t matter if it’s a compliment. Could be just a comment. Those things you say are stored away in the steel
box, and we remember these things verbatim. We remember what you were wearing and the street corner you were standing on when you said it.

Never complain about our friends — even if we do. No matter how many times we say a friend of ours is driving us crazy, you are not to pile on. Not because it offends us. But because it adds to the weight that we carry around about her.

Remember what we like. When I first started dating my husband, I had this weird fascination with the circus and clowns and old carnival things and sideshow freaks and all that. About a month after we started dating, he bought me this amazing black-and-white photo book on the circus in the 1930s, and I started sobbing. Which freaked him out. I thought, Oh, my God, I mentioned this three or four weeks ago and talked about it briefly, but he was really listening to me. And he actually went out and researched and found this thing for me. It was amazing.

We want you to order Scotch. It’s the most impressive drink order. It’s classic. It’s sexy. Such a rich color. The glass, the smell. It’s not watered down with fruit juice. It’s Scotch. And you ordered it.

Stand up, open a door, offer a jacket. We talk about it with our friends after you do it. We say, “Can you believe he stood up when I approached the table?” It makes us feel important. And it makes you important because we talk about it.

No shorts that go below the knee. The ones almost like capri pants, the ones that hover somewhere between the kneecap and the calf? Enough with those shorts. They are the most embarrassing pants in the world. They should never be worn. No woman likes those.

Also, no tank tops. In public at least. A tank top is underwear. You’re walking around in your underwear. Too much.

No man should be on Facebook. It’s an invasion of everyone’s privacy. I really cannot stand it.

You don’t know this, but when we come back from a date, we feel awkward about that transition from our cute outfit into sexy lingerie. We don’t know how to do this gracefully. It’s embarrassing. We have to find a way to slip into another room, put on the outfit as if it all happened very easily, and then come out and it’s: Look at me! Look at the sexy thing I’ve done! For you, it’s the blink of an eye. It’s all very embarrassing. Just so you know.

Panties is a wonderful word. When did you stop saying “panties”? It’s sexy. It’s girlie. It’s naughty. Say it more.

About ogling: The men who look, they really look. It doesn’t insult us. It doesn’t faze us, really. It’s just — well, it’s a little infantile. Which is ironic, isn’t it? The men who constantly stare at our breasts are never the men we’re attracted to.

There are better words than beautiful. Radiant, for instance. It’s an underused word. It’s a very special word. “You are radiant.” Also, enchanting, smoldering, intoxicating, charming, fetching.

Marriage changes very little. The only things that will get a married man laid that won’t get a single man laid are adultery and whores. Intelligence and humor (and your smell) are what get you laid. That’s what got you laid when you were single. That’s what gets you laid when you’re married. Everything still works in marriage: especially intelligence and humor. Because the sexiest thing is to know you.

Do you agree? Would you add anything to this list/take something away?

Are you as excited as I am about the new series of Mad Men?!


Have a lovely week! ♥


Hever Castle

Posted on: July 20, 2010

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I spent a blissful day on Sunday wandering around the gorgeous Hever Castle in Kent – the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. After a chilly start,  the sun shone gloriously all day. There was an extra special reason for this trip – one of my best friends will be getting married at Hever this time next year and she wanted to show me the place in (hopefully) similar weather.

The castle itself is quite small and almost a mix of Tudor-style interspersed with 1920s-style rooms, from when Hever was bought and lived in by the Astor family. I loved it though and pictured myself in Tudor dress sitting in one of the window seats with a book or some embroidery, gazing out onto the moat and lawns below. In fact, I only recently read ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ so had no problem at all revisiting the scenes set at Hever and picturing them through Anne’s eyes…not in too much detail though, that’s one historical figure I would rather not be!

The gardens are stunning – the usual elaborately-kept lawns and shaped trees and hedges, along with little ‘secret’ gardens filled with beautifully-scented roses, statues of mythical figures and fish-filled ponds. There were also two mazes – one traditional maze and the other a water maze. The water maze was particularly fun because, while you were trying to get to the fort in the centre, some of the paths you crossed were booby-trapped and fired water up at you if you stepped on them. I was going round with my friends, a little ahead of them, when a young boy stepped out into my path. I knew that the step ahead was rigged in a certain place and was hoping not to get caught by it but, having a younger brother and a whole horde of younger male cousins, I knew exactly what this kid was planning to do and he knew I knew too. He grinned, I leapt, he stamped down on the square and yep, water flew all the way up my back. Little boys eh! Well, we both had a good laugh about it and the sunny weather dried me off quickly so no harm done!

I’ll stop talking now and show you some more pictures. There was some kind of event going on that day as well so there were people dressed in Tudor outfits wandering around, dancing, jousting and practising archery in the grounds. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever this side of the world!

Okies, I think I’m going to make some coffee now to ward off the mid-morning sleepiness – we were evacuated from our house late last night because of a suspicious vehicle in the adjoining street. Thankfully it was a false alarm (or at least the problem was solved quite speedily – they didn’t tell us either way), the night was warm and we didn’t have to wait around for too long. It certainly brought the neighbours together though, the good-old ‘Blitz Spirit’ is still alive and well in London town!


Posted on: July 17, 2010

So I’ve mostly been working on applications over the last few days (never fun but hopefully they’ll be worth it in the end!) but this weekend is full of fun to make up for days spent in front of the computer trying to think of innovative ways to answer questions to appeal to these firms, who no doubt will have to work their way through hundreds (even thousands) of similar answers…

Today I went for Mexican food (tequila, chicken enchilada and churros, oh my!) and saw Inception in the BFI Imax. Are you planning to see this movie? If not, why not?! Go and book tickets now! Seriously. I don’t want to say much about it because I truly think that you should go and watch it knowing as little as possible beforehand. I’d only watched the trailer and that left me feeling a little confused but also so keen to see it and I was not disappointed.

A complicated but enjoyably-complicated plot, an outstanding cast, gorgeous visuals – I think it’s the best film I’ve seen in a long time. I’d like to go again please! And if you need a little more convincing, I present the rather delicious Joseph Gordon Levitt who is part of the aforementioned outstanding cast…


See, I told you you’d want to see it ♥

Tomorrow, I’m going here:

{Hever Castle}

Speaking of which, I’d better make sure my camera battery’s charged and ready…I have an early start to get over to my friend’s for 9 for the long drive ahead…

Before I sign off, I thought I’d share some cute images that I’ve loved over the last few days, images which have made me want to take out my sketchpad and paints. Perhaps when these applications are finished…



Have a lovely weekend!


I suppose I should clarify, this isn’t a specifically musically Monday post, this is predominantly a catch-up of the musicality of the last few days.

So the last few days have included…

an evening picnic and dancing in one of London’s gorgeous parks to some fantastic Motown hits…

{photos by me}

being serenaded by the incredibly stylish Jersey Boys…


Alas not personally serenaded but it’s so easy to just forget the hundreds of other people in the audience and believe for a few hours that they’re singing directly to you ♥

It’s such a fantastic show – the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their journey to fame, with lots of their classic hits (and you’ll recognise more than you may think!) including Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and my favourite – Beggin’.

My only criticism of the show – I wish they’d sung a medley of their main hits again at the end of the show because by that time most of the audience were up on their feet and ready to keep dancing! I shouldn’t complain though, they were singing for pretty much the entire show! I wholeheartedly recommend it and am already trying to plan when I can see it again…

afternoon tea in the elegant St James’ Restaurant at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly…


There are few things more quintessentially English than going for afternoon tea and that’s what I decided to do with some of my closest friends to celebrate getting through my course this year, and it really was a wonderfully special treat! I’d advise you to arrive hungry – there are lots of teas to choose from (I had the Piccadilly blend and the Chai) along with sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and three different types of jam, and so many cakes.

It truly was the perfect Sunday afternoon – excellent company, conversation and laughter, in an elegant restaurant from where you can look out over bustling Piccadilly below whilst enjoying an almost never-ending supply of delcious treats.

and if all of the above wasn’t enough, gorgeous summer fireworks.

{photos by me}

I hope you’re all having lovely summers so far too!

Hi to anybody who’s found this blog via 20sb and without further ado, it’s time for a 10 Things Tuesday moment…

1. Old friends


Particularly the joy of long conversations with old friends who you haven’t spoken to in a little while but can pick up with exactly where you left off and it feels like you’re laughing the entire time.

(I was catching up with an old friend on the phone last night – good times 🙂 September will be 20 years of friendship, wows!)

2. Growing your own fruit and veggies

These are some of the things we’re growing in our garden at the moment.

Clockwise from the top left; courgettes, blueberries, beans, grapes.

Not pictured – spinach, strawberries, various herbs and tomatoes.

I can’t wait to taste them when they’re fully grown!

3. 30 Rock


I only recently started watching this show but I absolutely adore it already…and see way too much of myself in Liz Lemon, well in the moments when she says or does something excruciatingly embarrassing.

4. Sun-kissed freckles



I used to absolutely loathe my freckles and raided every old wives’ tale there is to try to find out how to get rid of them. Thankfully, the lemon juice didn’t work because now I think they’re kinda cute! Yay freckles!

5. Novels you can’t put down


6. Long fringes


Although mine is a little too long at the moment…

7. Organisation for the nation

Maybe it’s the Virgo in me but I absolutely adore organising things, be it in list form, notebooks, folders…just take a look at my post on finally finishing my summer exams to see my course summarised into notecard form.

I love Moleskine notebooks and I currently have one of their yearly planners but at the moment, I have an old-fashioned filofax at the very top of my wishlist. I have a couple of potential options that I’m deciding between and until then, I shall continue to salivate over the potential uses for the extra pockets, notepaper and planners that are included…Yum!


8. Heroes from Jane Austen’s novels

I included Mr Tilney twice because he’s my favourite of all Austen’s heroes. Why, you ask? Because he appreciates a good novel and has a real understanding of muslin. What more could a girl want?

9. Wise words



10. Treehouses

You can actually stay in one of these fabulous treehouses here. My inner child that was denied a treehouse is crying out for a visit…


What’s on your List o’ Loves this Tuesday?

I think it is important to see the person first and the clothes afterwards – Grace Kelly

This seems like an odd sentiment to come from someone who is remembered above all as such an icon of style, but having seen some of the most gorgeous and well-known items from her wardrobe today I can truly echo this statement.

The Victoria and Albert Museum are currently hosting this exhibition, featuring dresses from around the time of Grace Kelly’s Hollywood career, through to her meeting and moving out to Monaco to marry Prince Rainier and also some of the haute couture gowns of her later years. Plus! Some of her hats, shoes, glasses (I didn’t realise she wore glasses but she had some gorgeous pairs!) and jewellery. Oh to be able to play dress-up in some of those gowns…although I don’t know how feasible it would be – I think I’d have to lose about half my waist. The glasses though, no problems there! (.^_^)v

As soon I went into the exhibition and saw some of the dresses she wore in the 50s, I think my jaw dropped and I literally gasped. As much as I love Victorian and Edwardian-style dresses, I think the 50s are truly my fashion era. The nipped in waists, the full skirts, the patterns and ribbons…my heart skips a beat whenever I spot something similar in a shop nowadays! So as gorgeous as some of the later dresses in Grace Kelly’s collection were, it was the early collection that I loved the most, but what really surprised me about most of the exhibition was how simple the gowns were, with nothing overly fancy. (Apparently she saved that for her elaborate hairstyles at events later in her life – she had to ride to one ball sitting on the floor of a van because her headpiece was too tall for a car.) So yes, she truly embodied the notion that you should wear your clothes and not the other way round.

There were also a few of the costumes, along with clips, from some of her movies – High Society and Rear Window among others. I love Bing Crosby so definitely want to watch High Society at some point in the future and have already seen Rear Window but may have to dig out the DVD for a re-watching…ooh I think this is calling out for a Grace Kelly evening! The dress on the right was in the exhibition and I remember thinking it was stunning when watching the movie. Apparently, this dress was worn to signify the fact that the relationship between James Stewart’s character and Grace Kelly’s was cemented at this stage and so she could simply wear an ordinary understated dress as opposed to the more enticing dresses she was wearing before. Oh, if only this was still an understated, easily accessible, day-to-day style of dress!

I really recommend this exhibition but do book in advance – the V & A are running timed entries so it doesn’t get too crowded and you may not be able to get tickets on the day. The pictures (among others!) and more information about the exhibition can be found by following the link here.


Welcome to the blogging adventures of a 20-something London girl with a love of travelling, music and laughing with friends. Feel free to join me on my adventures! (.^_^)v

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