Last May, when I was in the midst of making sweeping decisions about my future needs, maintaining my wardrobe was definitely not high on the list of priorities. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to preserve: snorkelling goggles (tick); walking gear including Leki poles, boots, socks, drybags and backpack (tick); swim wear (I even bought a brand new, expensive swimsuit before setting off again to India…) (tick); running and gym paraphernalia (tick); and just a handful of t-shirts, a couple of pairs of jeans (which still fitted) and a few skirts I was particularly fond of. What else does a girl need?
Glam rags never cluttered my wardrobe, and of the few I possessed all bar two were donated to the local charity shops. Strapless bras would be a thing of the past and totally pointless in my new world. And high heeled shoes? The dangers of the classroom and children swinging on chairs put paid to that a long time ago… Only flats for me these days! I sold the Russell & Bromley smart heels that were gathering dust in the cupboard; and the precious, glitzy, diamante-studded sandals I took to India, just in case? They lost in the competition for space in my suitcase on the way back to the UK, so are probably being put to good use somewhere on the dusty roads of Kerala. When would the opportunity to wear them present itself anyway, I surmised.. Had I not argued that if I was ever going to be so lucky again to wear glamorous clothes, I would probably be in a position to buy new ones…?
With the family Christmas decided upon weeks ahead, New Year’s Eve was yet another hurdle to be overcome. But I had been proactive and put out feelers with my ‘45nSingle’ friends in the Cheltenham area to see if anyone could be persuaded to host a pyjama party, or at least something with a sleepover at the end. Surely, I was not going to be the only one out on a limb… Although there is plenty of liberty with the 45-notion, the ‘single’ part of the deal is more strictly adhered to and surely there had to be other singletons in need of NYE entertainment! And yes, a few days after arriving back in the UK, the news on the grapevine sounded promising with a party in the offing, themed ‘Casino Royale’ with a dress code to match.
Wardrobe disaster, I thought!! The two black dresses that survived last year’s cull were kept for memory’s sake and were not exactly a perfect fit for the slimmer me, but I figured that with a strapless bra I could just about get away with wearing one of them. If only I had kept my strapless bra, because it is not exactly the thing you go and borrow as it needs to be the right size and shape… And shoes? Flats would have to do! Maybe not the desired look, but at least my feet would spend New Year’s Eve in comfort.
I pondered about my options for several days. Christmas intervened and took my mind of things, and in no time the year end was upon us. On my way to the party I ventured into Cheltenham, as planned, to at least buy a pair of sheer nearly-black tights and maybe pick up some not-so-flat black shoes to complement my evening outfit, and indeed, as suggested by my son’s girlfriend, to inspect the bra offerings in Primark. I will never again scoff at Primark, nor look down upon what can be found in the sales section of M&S… A perfectly fitting pair of heels for just a tenner in M&S? I had to double check it indeed meant for the pair, and not just £10 for each shoe. OK, so they were purple, not the more conventional black, but why care about tradition and aren’t rules meant to be broken? Who would notice anyway after a few glasses of bubbly?? And a bra for just £4.00?? It felt like I was on a winning streak… With the addition of a bit of foundation, blusher, eye-shadow and a squirt of Hugo Boss Nuit Pour Femme, I was ready to party into the new year.
And obviously, my lucky finds in the shops were just a sign of my fortunes to come. I cannot profess to be particularly adept at the art of lying with a straight face, nor dismiss the element of chance, but somehow our game of Texan ‘Hold ‘Em’ poker deservedly ended with all the chips in a big pile in front of me…
Maybe wearing a strapless bra and a pair of high heels more often, coupled with an Indian belief in the power of Karma could just be the ticket for me in 2016… Let’s bring it on!!!