Tag Archives: summer

Turning Japanese…..(more specifically: Uniqlo, Muji and noodles)

Now I have to be honest here, I’m not what you would call ‘minimalist’, I have a lot of ‘stuff’ (my friends despair and I am regularly forced to declutter), but I do have a love for many things Japanese. Namely, as the title suggests, Uniqlo, Muji and soba noodles. So I thought I’d write about them together. As things are meant to come in threes. Aren’t they? I know Uniqlo and Muji are well-known high street brands but I just feel they are SO underrated and deserve some love. First up I must rave about Uniqlo clothing: the jeans, cashmere and lightweight down jackets and gilets are incredible value and are all machine washable. And did you know that you can have jeans and trousers taken up for free in a matter of hours. That’s no slouch when my local dry cleaners charge around a tenner. Their cashmere is often mentioned in other more fashionable blogs than this one and their featherlight down gilets are perfect for layering under a leather or denim jacket when there’s a bit of a chill in the air. The latest thing that has accidentally fallen in my basket are these ankle-length white denim jeans with zips for a mere £34.90. Perfect for updating the summer wardrobe for not very much.

White Uniqlo ankle zip jeans

White Uniqlo ankle zip jeans

Find them here

As I was having my new carpets fitted earlier this week I decided that I would have to up my tidiness as they would be moving all the furniture around and everything was strewn everywhere. The solution? Muji. Purveyor of the best containers for make up, toiletries and jewellery. All at bargain prices.

Muji storage, acrylic five-drawer box

Muji storage, acrylic five-drawer box

This little beauty is perfect for all my dressing table odds and sods with the added bonus of being able to see it all. I love noodles, they have a knack of being both comforting and healthy, well I think so anyway, (some soba noodles are gluten-free being made from buckwheat, but do check the packaging as some brands do contact some wheat). What could be more soothing after the excesses of the long Easter weekend (what you mean you didn’t stuff your face with roast lamb and chocolate? Liars) than this divine recipe, from Cookie and Kate for soba noodles with a sesame and ginger dressing, with cucumber and spring  which I found courtesy of @foodgoblin1 on Twitter…..healthy, delicious and you can have the leftovers, if there are any, for lunch the next day! Here’s my attempt at it…..and there were no leftovers….

Soba Noodles with cucumber, sesame, ginger and chilli

Soba Noodles with cucumber, sesame, ginger and chilli


Here comes the sun…

It’s amazing isn’t it?  As soon as the sun’s out we all feel brighter.  Happier.  Like anything is possible.  Well almost anything.  Even a trip to the gym (okay, even if you just think about it) seems more appealing when the sun is shining.

It is a sure indication that summer is here when the pink wine comes out.  Never mind that it 2.30pm.  On a Wednesday. It’s sunny for chrissake, it’s summer and that means PINK wine.  I should hasten to add this is an urge I do not take up (unless it’s at least 6pm on a Friday).

People can while away a Saturday or Sunday afternoon enjoying a cold beer in a pub garden and for once don’t feel guilty that they should be putting up shelves or doing some other worthwhile, and let’s face it,  boring, activity (probably window cleaning and dusting, because the sunshine doesn’t half show what a slut you are),  they are enjoying the sunshine.  And who knows how long this fleeting summer may last.  That’s the thinking anyway and I’ll go along with that.

Unfortunately there are downsides to British summer weather.

Well for a start, it’s never as warm as you think it is.  Is it?  Getting my post this morning I was gleefully (and optimistically) attired in shorts, flip flops and vest but had to retreat inside for a woolly jumper because, well, it was a bit nippy.  This is fine for popping a couple of hundred yards to the local shop or whatever, but I’m sorry, as general outdoor wear, looks a little bit silly.

Mind you, the students here seem quite happy to sashay around in shorts, flip flops and a woolly hat in the pissing rain.  I’m not entirely sure whether this because they are a) students or b) in Cornwall or c) this is an ‘arts’ university.

We all know, that the sandals and socks combo only shouts ‘german’ or ‘fashion student’, depending on age, sex and moustaches (or any of the above – I would hate to generalise here or be sexist, facial hair is no respecter of age or gender – trust me I know).

The other conundrum is when it is genuinely lovely, summery and hot.  Some people think this is a licence to wear absolutely nothing at all – this is particularly true in parts of London, especially where there are parks.   I beseech you, please put some clothes on, we are not in Malaga, or Ibiza or even Bournemouth.

It’s London, it is not a beach.  Get it?

This is marginally less irksome when lying down i.e. sunbathing, but downright offensive on the eye when getting your weekly shop in your local supermarket.  I do not want to see acres (and yes, I mean acres) of pale, pallid, pasty flesh spilling out of flimsy tops and, dare I say it, bikinis.  Nor thunderous thighs rubbing together, and sweating, just a little bit.  And the same goes for blokes too – no fat, hairy bellies propped on the checkout thanks. And you can all put away your tattoos.  Please?

There are, of course, the peacocks, both male and female, who can get away with a  little, judicious clothing.  Those whose prayers have been answered.  For this is the time when those trips to the gym at 6.30am (in the pissing rain natch) have all been worth it, and they can show us all just how buff they really are.

You are no better.  You are just blatantly showing off.  What do you want – a medal?

Anyway I’m getting the home waxing kit out, so I can head down to the beach without scaring the locals.  This is the other bane about the hot weather as all girls know, but that is another blog entirely.