It's going to be hideously hot today, so I thought, 'Why not wrangle myself into the sun-dress that comes with this month's CLEO?'. Apparently there are seven ways you can wear it. I went for the Grecian style, though I'm sure I've not got it entirely right. The dress requires a strapless bra, if you're not 14, and said bra does a peek-a-boo act under my arm. It's also tricky to match footwear to these colours (I went with silver sandals) – where's a stylist when you need one? Fashion blogger I am not. Thank the Lord I am not under Oscars red-carpet scrutiny. The dress, designed by Roxy, brings me delight because it's of the same grey marle and baby pink colour combination of one of my favourite childhood outfits (a matching tracksuit top and pants). Nostalgia always wins.
In my quest to be less snobbish, more grateful for the little things, and to find more 'joy in the Lord', less in material stuff, I took comfort in this passage from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, which I've been dipping in and out of between a pile of other reading material. Mrs. March is giving her girls one of many lessons...
"Once upon a time there were four girls, who had enough to eat and drink and war, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents, who loved them dearly, and yet they were not contented. These girls were anxious to be good, and made many excellent resolutions, but they did not keep them very well, and were constantly saying, 'If only we had this,' or 'If only we could do that,' quite forgetting how much they already had, and how many pleasant things they could actually do. So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said, 'When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.'
Being sensible girls, they decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were. One discovered that money couldn't keep shame and sorrow out of rich people's houses; another that though she was poor, she was a great deal happier with her youth, health and good spirits, than a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn't enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to go begging for it; and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behaviour. So they agreed to stop complaining, to enjoy the blessings already possesses, and try to deserve them, lest they should be taken away entirely, instead of increased; and I believe they were never disappointed, or sorry that they took the old woman's advice."
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies." (David speaking in Psalm 103:2-4). Too right, David.
Girl With a Satchel