A 30 something rock chick?

This Saturday I turn cough34cough, a fact I’m not so much ashamed of as frustrated with. Getting older is pretty much the only thing you can guarantee on in life but how you carry yourself as you get older seems to become more of a conscious decision, the overwhelming opinion being that you need to grow old gracefully. Now if you were to ask me after a few drinks what I thought about this, I’d say it’s bollocks and you can be whoever you want to be at any age but in the cold hard light of sobriety I know that I wouldn’t do half the stuff now I did in my twenties and one of those things being how I dressed.

The Ranty Girl

Me at Uni (I still have the Punky Fish top)

Now when I was in my twenties I was a full on, New Rock wearing, rock chick with a wardrobe of PVC corsets, studded belts and ripped jeans. Pretty much everything I owned was black. But this look softened as I reached my late twenties and by 30 I was fully embracing vintage (the only problem, so was everyone else). But then 31 hit and thought I had to start dressing like a grown up and that’s when I found myself wandering into Next. Now don’t get me wrong Next is fine for work stuff and jeans but I was starting to buy casual clothes.

I was becoming………sensible and I’m really not sensible.

I then got pregnant (see evidence of not being sensible right there) which meant dressing up like a glorified tent for nine months and post baby, well it all went to shit. I don’t think I bought anything from the high street for a year. I pretty much felt excluded from most shops having written myself off as a frumpy mummy who couldn’t buy anything nice anymore because I was too old or it was going to end up covered in sick/snot/food/milk. I had pretty much resigned myself to a life in comfortable jeans and sensible tops. Now you metropolitan types probably won’t get this as in cities of tens or even hundreds of thousands it’s easy bit to stand out but in a small town anyone different stands out like a sore thumb. Especially when you live in city where you high street’s needed editions are Jack Wills and Joules (dullsville hello).

Anyway,I hope you can appreciate the depths of despair I had sunk to with my wardrobe of safe mummy clothes. So when I found myself in Topshop the other week I was as shocked as you probably are right now reading this. Now I’ll admit I felt really bloody old as most of the assistants looked like they probably hadn’t been born when I finished high school but I was feeling reckless. I haven’t been in Topshop for years so can you imagine my surprise when I actually found some clothes I liked, I know me the woman whose last purchase was a pair of elasticated waist maternity jeans. And you know what I actually bought a top and a skirt! I KNOW!!

The Ranty Girl

Looking good even if I do say so myself

So (rolls up sleeves) I’m going back to the High Street to put together my birthday wish list and you trendy, twenty something youngsters can step aside because I have a pushchair and I’m not afraid to use it.

The Rock Chick turned Rock Hen

Image 1 of ASOS ASTRONOMY Studded Leather Ankle BootsOh hi there sexy Studded boots ASOS

Gem Detachable Collar Dress

Love the vintage feel of this dress detachable collar dress  from Oasis

Crushed velvet skirt from Topshop this is so nineties and reminds me of my teenage years. love it!

I don’t know if I would be brave enough to wear Topshop playsuit this but I think it’s amazing and would look great with the studded boots dontcha think. (I want this so bad)

Amber Lace Sleeve Dress

OK I know I would not have an occasion to wear this Oasis dress but I want it, it’s like goth meets eighties power dressing. What’s not to adore?

Lace High Neck Top

For a more sensible option there is this lace high-neck top also from Oasis

Image 1 of ASOS Midi Skirt with Stitch Waist Detail 

Black mid-length skirt ASOS I’ve been seeing these mid-length skirts for a while and I really like them and for £28 you can guarantee this will be in my wardrobe before long

This black drop waisted dress from Warehouse has more than a touch of 1920s flapper about it 

How could I not have this sequin embellished horse jumper from French Connection, it has a horse in sequins on it for heavens sake!

Image 1 of TRANSPARENT PRINTED BLOUSE from Zara

Ripped jeans and roses from Zara, hell yeah

i

It’s black and has zips, need I say more?

But if I have to grow-up

I love Oasis dresses because they fit smaller ladies really well and they are just very chic and I’m not at all chic but sometimes I like to pretend

Lila Embellished Neck Dress

We have been watching Atlantis on BBC and I love the blue worn by the royals and this dress is almost the perfect shade

Fit and Flare Knit Dress

You just know this red dress is going to fit and flatter right? Right. Plus how amazingly perfect housewifey will I look on Christmas day in this little number

Poppie Dress

Ok the colours on this dress really wouldn’t work for me but do I look like a care? erm no (If you could see my face this would work so much better).

You will have noticed that there’s nothing from River Island because, well, I have no desire to look like Rihanna.

Random Fridays

This is a round up post that isn’t a round up post. It’s random

– Why do people say ‘it goes without saying’ and then say that thing that goes without saying?

– Do you ever wonder what you might have looked like in the eighties? I did.

The Ranty Girl

– Lots of people on Twitter moaning about missing Glastonbury but if you want to recreate the festival feeling, don’t sleep or wash for four days and start peeing in your garden.

– I have started to describe this blog to people who don’t know about it as a catalogue of reasons to drink wine, so on that note would like you to get together and drink wine with me and talk about blogging and stuff? Like in real life and shit in Birmingham, I promise no karaoke just booze and networking.

– Should I do a vlog rant so you can see how weird my voice gets when I get all ranty?

– Oh and lastly how freaking cute is this dress from My Vintage, it has minis and buttons and a Peter Pan collar, what’s not to love.

The Ranty Girl vintage dress

The Shopping Myth

Girls love shopping, we love to spend our free time happily skipping around the shops, trying on swishy dresses, swinging around our bags of beautiful things and laughing with our friends as we strut down the high street.  Yeah right, if we lived an advert for tampons. I have no idea where this idea about the carefree woman shopper came from but it’s all lies.

image sources pretty woman, sex and the city

We are all familiar with the shopping scene from Pretty Woman and her happy face as she kicks ass on Rodeo Drive, but in reality if we had a billionaire offering to buy us a wardrobe full of clothes you just know there wouldn’t be one thing, not one damn thing, you would like.

Shopping in real life is a largely  frustrating experience, exacerbated by retailers inability to size consistently, a lack of funds, friends who are thinner than you, males who act as if they are being subjected to some sort of torture because they can’t sit down every five minutes and children who don’t seem to realise you have to replace the snot encrusted clothes they ruin every now and again. And would it be too much to ask for shops to actually buy curtains that pull all the way across the changing room and don’t even get me started on those communal monstrosities, do I look like freaking hippy?

Shops are too hot, too cramped and littered with hazards. Random displays of shoes and handbags, clothes on the floor and other people’s shopping make me feel like I’m on Wipeout. And the worst, the absolute bollocking worst thing, piles of folded clothes, what are hangars just too uncool these days. What the crap am I meant to do with this pile of clothes you expect me to sort through and not actually move at the same time. Don’t think I can’t see you giving me the evil eye, as if to say ‘if you dare mess up that pile I will cut you’. Hangars, for the sanity of everyone the solution is hangars.

No wonder most people are resorting to online shopping these days, who needs to deal with actual people.

My shopping trips usually end up with me throwing a strop because clothes rarely fit me. I’m only 5’1″ and this makes shopping for trousers pretty much impossible, petites look like ankle swingers but regular lengths make me look like my mother is dressing me for the next three years of school. Dresses aren’t much better, having a larger chest means that my life is in search of a dress that doesn’t show my bra when I lift up my arms.  I end up standing at the entrances of dressing rooms asking my husband if I could get away with the dress if I didn’t lift my upper arms, he tells me its fine if I want to look like penguin. Yeah hun that was exactly the look I was going for. I still end up buying the stupid dress in the hope that it will magically change in the bag on the way home and then get pissed off when I get home and it still doesn’t fit.

Ladies can we please be honest and admit that shopping actually a huge pain in the ass we cannot find a pair of trouser to fit.

Service please?

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a piece about how bad the British are at customer service and how this is further damaging attempts made to recover the economy. Now this might seem a slightly sensationalist opinion but how many of you would now rather make purchases online so you don’t have to deal with rude shop assistants, bank clerks or ironically named ‘customer service’ staff’?

Image source

We recently had to find a piece of correspondence as proof of address, but we realised we didn’t actually have anything as we now do almost everything online, because heaven forbid I should have to speak to an actual person. In a time where businesses should be pulling out all the stops to get us to part with our ever decreasing disposable income, I feel like I’m just a burden to a member of staff who would rather be doing anything else except helping me. I have lost count of the number of times I have been into a shop and had to wait by the till for more than five minutes to be served as the staff are too busy unpacking stock or chatting to actually make the transaction that actually pays their bloody wages. I’ve even seen staff spot people looking for assistance a dart out the back door so they don’t actually have to help. Get out here you lazy git and help me!

With unemployment at record levels these people really need to be pulling their fingers out because if they don’t want to do their jobs there are literally hundreds of others who do. I spent most of my early years in jobs that centered around customer service, waitressing, shop assistant, barmaid etc and no they aren’t the most glamourous of jobs the basic remit for all of them was ‘smile, be polite and don’t steal from the till’ hardly rocket science. So why as a nation do we suck at customer service?

I think some of it stems from the British reserve, we aren’t very good at boundaries and tend not to like people ‘getting in our faces’ so we find it hard to balance good customer service with being too over the top and personal. I worked for a sports chain years ago (honestly me and sports do not go, I had the interview and they asked me if I had trainers and tracksuit bottoms, he might as well have asked me if I had genital herpes the look of disgust I gave him but I got the job anyway) and they had a very American philosophy about customer service which was ‘sell, sell, sell but don’t make it look like you’re selling’. We had to talk to every customer who came through the shop door and try to get them to part with their cash by any means possible. I was crap, I’m not a salesperson and I cannot get people to buy things they don’t want but I was polite and I smiled and if anyone asked me for help I would always do my best, even if it meant running up and down two flights of stairs five times to get them the right trainers. The company has subsequently gone under as the management could not be persuaded away from their overly aggressive sales techniques, that we British just seem so awkward at. You could see us coming a mile off, the slightly desperate smile, the over rehearsed questions, the stalkerish behaviour; it was embarrassing and we looked like knobs.

This however is no excuse for the rudeness that seems to have permeated the UK service industry. This lackadaisical attitude that turning up is enough is not going to help the beleaguered economy.  A recent house viewing lead us to ask for an evening viewing to which the estate agents replied ‘we don’t do evening viewings’ we then told them that we really like the property but we wouldn’t put in a offer unless we could see it in the evening.  The agent flat out refused and they lost a potential sale and the house is still on the market. Ummm hello, you are charging these people several grand to sell their house and you can’t even be bothered to do a viewing half an hour later than usual, you absolute wanker. I want to go and put a note through the door of the house and advise them to change agents as they are shit.

What winds me up the most is people openly whinging  about customers, I hear it all the time. No wonder people are going online, they are hardly made to feel valued by the places they frequent. Openly moaning about customers and their unrealistic expectations will only drive them to other vendors who will reach those expectations while you sit there wondering why your business is failing. Yes people are a pain in the arse but if your livelihood depends on them you are gonna have to suck it up and adapt to changing market place where people have less money, are less likely to part with it and are going to expect more for what they pay out. Or get a job where you can be mean to people and get paid for it, Daily Mail journalist maybe?

If you want people to tear themselves away from the internet you need to make it worth the while of them getting off their arse, now you ain’t likely do this on price so good customer service is what you are left with. It’s easier for big companies who have online retail facilities and don’t have to rely on foot fall so the small businesses have to up their customer service game. Too be fair smaller companies do often do more to make you feel welcome as it’s their business but just make sure that Saturday person you hire has at least a modicum of the passion you have and doesn’t balls up your business by looking at every customer like they are a leper. If I go into a shop where things cost more I do expect the service to match the price tags. My Dad recently bought a TV and although he could have got it cheaper at a large chain store he decided to pay a bit more and buy it from a local independent retailer, why? Purely because they offered a better customer service package, huzzah! See it works.

I don’t want much – a smile, a hello maybe, even an icebreaker about the weather, a dressing room that doesn’t make me feel like a criminal and someone at the till ready to take my money when I have decided what I want. Easy.

Just having a moan

A little collection of crap that has had me wearing my ranty pants recently.

Junk food: I was on the train a few weeks ago where I was in the company of the most lovely family. The Mum was showing off her new bag which she loudly announced was Cath Kidson fake, not ‘in the style of’ it was a fake, which pissed me off. They were on their way to the big city, a trip out of the provinces and the most exciting thing about this trip was the visit they were going to pay to McDonalds. Oh yes this was ‘treat’. A treat? WTF? How low do your aspirations have to be that feeding you kids food overloaded with fat, salt and sugar, prepared by someone who catering training runs to ‘this is where you turn the fryer on’ is considered a treat? Feeding your kids McDonalds  should be a punishment, the box it comes in has more nutritional value, when they call it junk food the clue is in the title. But if we insist on lower our children’s expectations should we be surprised when they come out with shite like this……………..

@kurtcobain: So most people with a brain between their ears and are over the age of 14 know that Justin Beiber is a twat and that his fans are even bigger twats and stuff like this only go to show this to be true http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-worst-justin-bieber-fan-tweet-in-the-history-o?sub=1621954_366370 How some silly little girl can draw a comparison between the hormone fueled tweens who have nothing better to do with their time than tweet about some flash in the pan singer, to someone who wrote a seminal album and changed the face of the music industry in the early 1990s completely baffles me. Although I have to say nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see a posthumous twitter account set up for Mr Cobain which surpasses the following of Beiber within a few days just so show this little twat how delusional she really is.

An expensive clothes horse: So you hire an assistant, she’s really pretty, really well dressed, has great hair and makes fabulous tea but had no administration skills what so ever, what do you do? Well sense would tell you to sack her as she isn’t doing the job you pay her to do. So can someone please explain to me the point of Cheryl Cole?

Why I will never be a Cosmo-girl

I’m not one for fashion and lifestyle mags as they only ever me feel shit about myself and no it’s not the airbrushed images of the models or the perfectly preened celebrities, it’s the sheer fact that I feel a constant disappointment to the editor. I’m simply not cool enough to measure up to woman these magazines want me to be. I hardly ever where make-up, I’m lucky if I have more than a minute to spend ‘styling’ my hair on a daily basis and I don’t spend half my months wages on new clothes. The women who reads these magazines must glide through life with at least four more hours in the day, several grand more in the bank and a heck of a lot more cool points than I have.

I was checking my twitter feed yesterday and I came across a Cosmopolitan article on the dos and don’ts of bumping into you ex, now as this recently happened to me I thought I’d check how I measured up on the cool Cosmo-girl o’meter.

Let’s do the quiz

1) don’t get pissed – check, although this is pretty much of given with me in my current condition.

2) keep it short and sweet – errrr what now?  You actually expect me to speak to them? Umm no, let me tell you how you how it really goes. You avoid eye contact at all costs, eye contact might actually mean you have to recognise their existence. Only talk to them if you ABSOLUTELY have to (they are in your way and there’s a fire is an acceptable situation in which to address them with a curt ‘get out of my f’ing way’). Let’s face it there’s no getting away from the fact that this person has seen you naked. I’m not talking medical exam naked or how your mum has seen you naked. I’m talking legs in the air, embarrassing camera phone pictures, first thing in the morning and your make-up has taken a tour of your face and your hair has gone cavewoman NAKED. Short and sweet has now become awkward silence, nice. Yup I’m handling this like a champ.

3) don’t bring up the past – this is a mute point see above

4) Look amazing – I currently look like a beach ball burglar, with crazy pregnancy hair and swollen hands and feet.

Sorry Cosmo I have once again let you down I think I’ll have to move to Take a Break, yes it takes that level of freak and weirdo to make me look together.

Call the fashion police

We often have dress down days at work but I object to this idea and the last one we had I wore a fifties style swing dress and full petticoat as I don’t think dressing ‘down’ isn’t fun at all. So the other days when I was walking behind a pair of tracksuit clad ‘chavs’ talking as if JD sports was the locus of their universe I felt my blood pressure rising.

Do these people actually own mirrors? How can you think a manky pair of trainers and some skeevy tracksuit bottoms makes you look good? It’s like your taking fashion inspiration from the kid at school who had an ‘accident’ and had to dress from the PE lost property bin. These people can’t even seem to dress themselves properly with their tracksuit bottoms barely pulled up over their legs and baseball caps balanced precariously on their slicked down heads.

Sports wear should only be worn for sports, the clues in the bleeding title (or maybe cleaning and decorating). I long for the days when people actually dressed up to be seen in public rather than looking like you have just rolled around on the floor and seeing what’s dirty enough to stick.