A Room of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf was so right. Everyone deserves a space of their own, be it mental or physical. I had both this weekend. The house was empty and for the first time that I can remember this year, I was free of the writing commitments that usually keep guilt fluttering at the edges of my weekend existence. A whole 48 hours to do with as I liked! Oh, the utter luxury.

So what did I do?

Saturday morning

A spot of zipper insertion in my jim jams with the radio on for company and a skinny latte by my side. Bliss, unending bliss until a quick look at the clock made me realise I was running late for…

Saturday lunchtime

Street Dance class at the gym! This is my favourite exercise hour of the week. Picture one of the backing dancers you see on The X Factor. Now imagine that they’ve forgotten all the steps and gained three stone in weight. I look ridiculous; I’m also having the time of my life. Well, apart from when the teacher makes us do cartwheels as part of the warm up. Cartwheels? Cartwheels! Every time I want to say to him, ‘I am a 41-year-old woman. Do I LOOK like I can do a cartwheel?’ But I always try my ungainly best, because my mother taught me to do as I’m told. How that man keeps the sniggering out of his face I will never know.

My bus journey around London involved a spot of knitting. Whoever wins the Sensational Snood Sweetener, it’s worth knowing that your new item has seen Islington, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Goldhawk Road. Oh, and the number 56 bus route!

Saturday afternoon

A visit to Goldhawk Road where I bought various fabrics of gorgeosity, including my first ever metre of silk organza to use as a pressing cloth and for those moments where a seam may need stabilizing. So light. So ethereal. Sooo strong.

Silk. £3 a metre. Just saying.


I plan to sew, sew, sew the Gertie Bombshell Dress. I have found the perfect sewing soundtrack. Like, it’s ridiculous. Like, you have to download this from iTunes immediately. Sarah Blasko‘s Cinema Songs.

Five tracks only, interpreting songs from great films. It’s just Sarah and a piano. Her voice is a touch of heaven. The recording allows you to hear the piano key strikes rolling around the body of the piano like cigar smoke rolling around a mouth. I defy you to listen to the Sound of Music’s ‘Something Good’ without tears pricking your eyes. This song gains so much depth the moment it’s NOT sung by a nun! In my imagination, this version is being sung by a tired nightclub singer at the end of a shift, as she’s being largely ignored by the last few ragtaggle customers in the bar. Invest this song with a genuinely messy life and emotional scars, and – wow – does it speak. I honestly can’t listen to it without blubbing. Dangerous, when tears threaten to stain the handpicked zipper you’re working on.

Happy Sundays, everyone! I hope you’ve found your room, too…

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26 Responses to A Room of One’s Own

  1. Stevie says:

    That sounds utterly blissful! I go to body combat and I am always amazed at the straight face of the instructor! I hope your bombshell dress is going ok! I was meant to wear mine to a wedding yesterday. However its still in Muslin stages due to my weightloss and uhhhum womanly assets… Drafting and muslining are my least favorite bits!
    Have a lovely sunday

  2. Marie says:

    Bliss is an understatement, I’m jealous! Good luck with the bombshell construction today!

  3. Jane says:

    That sounds like a description of my perfect weekend (apart from the cartwheels..) Enjoy every second of it. Hhmm, I’m meeting a friend on the Goldhawk Road tomorrow, just because it’s a convenient halfway point you understand, nothing to do with fabric shopping. Now, which shop was the silk organza from? (she says nonchalantly)! x

    • The silk in the photo is from Classic Textiles. The silk organza I bought from a shop whose name I can’t remember! It’s on the same side of the road as the tube station, up towards the bar where we all went for a drink. Their prices were far and away the best for silk organza.

  4. Tilly says:

    Ahh… bliss! One question is bothering me though – do you have a skinny latte-making machine or did you pop out to Starbucks in your pyjamas? Or does skinny latte just mean coffee plus milk? I don’t really understand coffee that’s not black coffee. Just put Sarah Blasko on my spotify playlist… Enjoy your Sunday too! xx

    • Here’s the thing: Ian bought us a coffee machine. I thought it was ludicrously expensive and unnecessary but I’ve been made to eat me words. I love it and it’s had a dreadful impact on my
      Latte addiction which is now through the roof – hence semi skimmed milk. It’s a Krups machine if anyone is thinking of investing.

  5. MrsC says:

    Apart from a wee moment there when I thought you were inserting a zip into your jimjams, it sounds like a blissful weekend indeed. I love the way that you live life all the way to the edges, not wasting the crusts even 🙂

  6. Alessa says:

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I so want to go to London and raid Goldhawk Road soon! I may have the chance in February… But: cartwheels! I’ve never had a dance instructor ask for cartwheels as a warming up, how fun! I may need to find a streetdance class…

  7. Gaylene says:

    Sounds like total bliss – even the cartwheels! Looking forward to seeing your Bombshell soon!

  8. Amy says:

    No room for me! Endlessly followed by the children – your weekend sounds divine. Thanks for the music tip – going to look her up right now.

  9. Morning! Well afternoon but I’m still in bed because ..erm..it’s so snug right, so where would be better to continue the endless sewing up of the cardigan! One sleeve to go….
    So London has 2 knitting bus ladies! yay. We should get a club going where you just take interesting bus routes and knit. I’m joking…..with that slight feeling of “hey that might actually be fun especially if the route ended at a cocktail bar”
    Coffee machines; a boy thing. My brother has made his way through about 5 ….and has a bean grinder now as well! Sure they’d grow their own beans if we had the climate..

  10. Felicity from Down Under says:

    That sounds like a wonderful weekend. Hope you were able to make wonderful progress with your bombshell.

  11. reader says:

    Sounds like a great time. You look very young for your age (so do I; no one ever gets tired of hearing it.).

    Will check out the Blasko. Thanks.

  12. superheidi says:

    That pretty silk for that price might be another good reason to visit London. 🙂

  13. Michelle says:

    As- lovely weekend! And Sarah Blasko is wonderful isn’t she? I haven’t got that album yet, but will for sure.

    Now get back to your zipper!

  14. Roobeedoo says:

    Ah bliss! Cartwheels sounds a bit scary though. It’s not Sequinpark Gym you go to is it? That would be too too spooky! Though that male instructor makes me think of the insane hi-NRG class at the swimming pool in Leyton… I never tried knitting on the 8am number 56, but I had my “own seat” upstairs two rows back on the right behind the stairs, next to Mr S, who was a charming gentleman!
    Nostalgia on a Sunday afternoon?! And I haven’t even been drinking! 😉
    Happy sewing!

  15. Portia says:

    Sigh…sounds like mi kinda day…minus the cartwheels….!

  16. tamsin says:

    Sounds lovely. Great w/e here complete with visitors, too much food and community walk to promote the need for a cycle route between our local town and the local train station. No time to sew though! 🙁

  17. ooobop! says:

    Oh Karen you do have me in stitches sometimes! The street dance class sounds a hoot! I’m with you on the space front… I got a couple of me time hours this morning while Mr Ooobop took the children round to a friends to watch the rugby. I fixed my daughter’s Roman blinds, cleaned the bathroom all shiny and made a fabric rose and was as happy as Larry. ‘Little things….’ and all that!

  18. Shelly says:

    Ahh…how do you cope? Sounds like a fab weekend. Enjoy your guilt free time…and the latte’s

  19. Clara says:

    What a lovely weekend! In complete contrast to mine as i’ve just come back from a weekend in Portugal with 26 others and feel horrendous! Checking out Sarah Blasko on YouTube right now, amazing! xxx

  20. Elisalex says:

    I bought that exact same printed silk just weeks ago!! Couldn’t let a bargain like that pass me by! And I have the perfect pattern for it, just waiting to get a bunch of Xmas stuff out of the way so I can sew selfishly again!

  21. Josephine says:

    Love the silk. I’m a huge Sarah Blasko fan, partly for her beautiful music, partly for her amazing wardrobe. Her clothes are mostly vintage/recycled and she doesn’t follow the “dress code” of the usual pop singer. A really great role model for women who encoruages them to be happy and confident in the way they dress and feel.

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