When you’re in the depths of rural Shropshire, you take your new friends where you can find them. Meet my mates, the Shire horses! I didn’t have to explain about Me Made June because they couldn’t have cared less.
Many of you have asked how I am pitching myself when I approach perfect strangers to be photographed with me. Do I mention Me Made June? How do they react? Yes, each time I have painstakingly explained that I am taking part in a challenge to wear a self-made item a day in June. (The one exception has been with the Easy Jet air stewards, where I was so overcome with excitement that I could barely get a coherent sentence out.) I point out said item, say lots of us are taking photos of ourselves but that I want to make things a bit different and be photographed with strangers. I usually let people know why I want to be photographed with them – fabulous hair, favourite stall holder etc – and see if they’ll say yes. I’ve had one gentle decline so far. Interestingly, people aren’t that bothered about my makes. (Although, conversely, whoever is behind the camera usually takes great pains to include all of the me-made item in the frame.)
I do try to judge who I approach quite carefully – no one clearly in a rush, hassled with small children, or shouting into a phone as they stride along in their power suits.
Yes, I have been handing over my camera or iphone to perfect strangers, with no ill event. Each and every photo has been accompanied by much laughter and smiling. I love imagining my readers laughing along. Basically, this is one huge love-in that happens to have some self-made clothes at the heart of it. Not bad, eh? I am on a one-woman mission to prove that a) most people are generally good-hearted and b) London is a fantastically diverse city. So diverse and accommodating that a mad woman like myself can run amok!
Come to me, my pretties. It’s MMJ!
Today I am wearing Simplicity 2599. It’s a cotton polyester mix, which makes it perfect for packing on a weekend away as it doesn’t crease. I’ve made about four of these tops – it’s a good basic shell, with frilly options!
All of this horse action is quite out-of-character for me – childhood horse riding lessons scarred me for life. But I’m staying with friends who won’t tolerate silly Londoner urbanite nervous nonsense. I was going to make new horse friends, whether I liked it or not. (Let’s not dwell on the fact that one of the friends I was staying with – one of my oldest friends! – misheard the title of my blog and thought it was called ‘Did You Nick That?’ What does this say about me?)
Here’s one little Welsh pony called Bramble who I really liked:
Bramble giving me the love
Bramble was a badly neglected pony, rescued by my friends. She has a missing eye, bless her, and the kind nature that reminds you why animals are better than people. She snuffled into my hand and gave me lots of calming love.
Meet her companion, Katy:
As you can see from my stretched smile and rigid stance, I’m less relaxed here. Katy’s lovely, but much bigger than Bramble. What is it that I struggle with? The height. The strength. Hooves kicking the stable door, just before a horse breaks for freedom and trammels me beneath her! Yeah, I need a bit more time around these animals before I turn into Seamstress Doolittle. Any tips for relaxing around horses?
That’s it for Sunday! Back to London this afternoon. What will I wear tomorrow? More importantly, who will I meet?