This is how well my half marathon training is going

These are things I’ve done this week:

  • Discovered where my nearest Hobbycraft store is.
  • Played about with beads and pins and polystyrene balls.
  • Watched Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Bought a new bike.
  • Bought a superior bike lock.
  • Learnt how to play Werewolves.
  • Picked a new housemate.
  • Become the owner of a pair of skinny jeans that don’t have an elasticated waistband.
  • Made a bake-off inspired cardamom, coffee and pistachio swiss roll with my friends.
  • Learnt that it’s cardamom and not cardamon.
  • Crocheted a lot.
  • Discovered that blush wine is a thing.
  • Learnt that I like blush wine.

 

These are the things I haven’t done this week:

  • Gone for a run.

5 things I’ve learnt from not buying new clothes

  1. Mostly, we shop because we can and not because we need to. It’s easy to go out and buy something new when you feel as though you don’t have anything to wear. But also, it’s been quite easy for me to put something together from what I already own. After a “but I have nothing to wear!” meltdown, it takes about two minutes of looking through my wardrobe to find something that I do have to wear. I’ve learnt to stop and think like a rational person, trust my style (rather than faddy fashions) and that throwing money at a problem is not always the best way to solve it.
  2. It’s easy to hide behind new clothes. The times that I’ve broken or seriously considered breaking my no new clothes resolution is because I’ve had a date or a job interview i.e. an occasion where I’ve been trying to impress somebody. Obviously people do judge on appearances, but real confidence comes from your self-esteem and not from a hot new outfit. Within a few days it will become an old outfit, and then you’ll have to buy another to get a new boost. Having to show up in old clothes has been good for building a new kind of confidence.
  3. It’s easy to fix things. Without the option of replacing them I’ve adjusted clothes that didn’t fit anymore, sewn up holes and basically done all the mending that’s been on my to do list for years. It wasn’t as difficult or take as long as I thought it would. It’s quite empowering to realise you don’t have to pay someone else to do this, or pay to replace something. Consumerism is a choice.
  4. Less is more. Weirdly, not buying new clothes has led to me giving more stuff away. It’s as though not constantly adding to my wardrobe has given me the space I needed to evaluate it properly. Instead of solving my lack of inspiration by buying something new, I’ve had to answer the question “why don’t I want to wear this?” Slowly, I’m getting rid of the things I’m not excited about wearing and feeling as though I have more to wear and not less (I guess because I now just see all the good stuff).
  5. You can convince yourself you need anything. But most of the time we just don’t. Not buying new clothes hasn’t been an inconvenience at all. I’ve managed to find myself outfits every occasion that’s come up. Not shopping for new outfits has saved me time, money and headspace – instead of worrying what I need to shop for I know I don’t do that and make do with what I have. There might be something I do need eventually, but having to make do with what I have has made me realise that I could probably keep making do indefinitely. Which is actually a little bit surprising.

Some things to do in London

1. Drink chai latte in a trendy cafe in Shoreditch. Worry that enjoying this makes you a hipster. Get told that dating a boy with a sleeve of video game tattoos means you’re already there.

2. Think you can walk across the city in the same way you can if you want to get to the other side of Oxford. Walk for an hour, get no closer to where you want to go. Get on a tube anyway.

View from the flat, and some of the vehicles that stopped me sleeping.

View from the flat, and some of the vehicles that stopped me sleeping.

3. Be kept awake all night by the sound of traffic. Seriously, do people never stop going places round here? It’s 3am: stop driving.

This mirrors my own thoughts about food.

This mirrors my own thoughts about food.

4. Visit the Vikings: life and legend at the British Museum. Lose concentration and start thinking about lunch. Discover that people have been doing this forever. (This point sells the exhibition short. It’s actually really good: you should go. If you want a better write up, read the thoughts of the person I saw it with).

Harriet takes a break from taking photographs to be in one.

Harriet takes a break from taking photographs to be in one.

5. Be tourists by walking for hours taking pictures of the outside of everything, but not paying to go inside. Only go into the National Gallery to use the toilet.

Apparently this means wife cake (hurrah for Cantonese speaking boyfriends).

Apparently this means wife cake (hurrah for Cantonese speaking boyfriends).

6. Go to Chinatown and eat the funniest sounding pastry you can find.

7. Get on the bus back to Oxford because there is no place like home.