So the sales have started. I have had in my possession a card-holders preview voucher for the Liberty sale for over two weeks now. It sits in my wallet unused, staring at me forlornly as I fish around for the final 2p coin I need to add to the pile of shrapnel that is paying for my dinner.
In the past week, more that ten sales invites have popped into my inbox. They taunt me with their bright colours and pretty pictures. They talk to me. And they are mean. They say "har de har har, we've come to prod your financial bruises with the sharp stick of discounted fashion things that you have wanted for ages and could actually afford in the sales if you had been paid and weren't a financial failure." (What they lack in brevity they make up for in maliciousness.)
And I haven't even begun to talk about the magazine and newspaper features about what to buy now to take you through autumn, or the best 20 dresses in the sales, or how to get the best sales bargain, or the myriad of other repetative and uninventive sales features that inevitably pop up both in print and online around now. I just can't. It's too painful.
On the plus side being poor has inspired a proper return to some of my more resourceful ways. I'm cooking more and taking packed lunches to work every single day, which is healthy. And even on my tiny budget I can still work on my never ending wardrobe evolution project.
I came back from the car boot sale with a brilliant pair of bright pink Topshop heels with a t-bar strap and a dove grey, buttery soft suede Nicole Farhi coat. On my way back, walking along the main road in Queen's Park with B, we spotted a piece of paper pinned on to a tree advertising a vintage sale in someone's hallway. Of course we had to go, and B, as is so often the way, knew the girl who was selling the clothes who allowed me to take away a black 1940's hat with the promise of paying her when I get paid. I have now given B an old display cabinet my mum was getting rid of and she will pay for the hat. I like this swapping of things, it feels useful.
I am also in the first stages of making a full skirt using some of the beautiful peachy-pink raw silk that I brought back from India and a 1950's pattern I bought off ebay aeons ago. I have cut all the pieces and retrieved my battered old sewing machine, a 16th birthday present, from my mum's house. Now I just need to draw the sewing guides onto the fabric (if I don't it will end up a very wonky skirt). But there are ten panels, a waistband and four tab pieces to do and I have hit a bit of a motivation wall. Hopefully this won't end up as just another project that ends up languishing in a corner reminding me that I never finish things...