The rain is lashing down outside, and I am snuggled up under the blankets with a lovely hot cup of tea, thanking the stars for wireless internet and laptops. I waved goodbye to my friend this morning as she caught her bus back to Cambridge (rather her than me -- the damn thing takes THREE AND A HALF HOURS, including the thirty minutes it apparently takes to change drivers in Bedford. Oh, and the hour it seems to take to drive around Milton Keynes' interminable roundabouts). Now, I'm relaxing at home for a while before braving the weather once more to strike out into town and go for a late lunch at The Royal Oak on St Gile's: a cosy pub which serves up an excellent Sunday roast.
Meanwhile, I have been amusing myself by perusing Etsy from beneath the comforting warmth of my duvet. In order to drive away the air of gloom which is threatening to pervade my room thanks to the menacing gusts of wind driving the rain onto my window, I've been considering a few of the bits and pieces that might cheer up a cold, rainy day such as this.
Although I'm not sure how well it would cope in the wet, I really like this unusual coat from Little Houses Clothing. I adore the huge collar with its lace trim, and it looks lovely and warm, as well as being pretty. And even the name is apt considering my period of study:
Shakespeare's Sister Coat, $395
I've also fallen in love with these cute cashmere leg warmers (no, I never thought I'd be writing those words either, but these are special) from Adventures of Jessica Rose. The colours are stunning, and with the little bows at the top, I think they'd look great peeping out above a pair of long boots too:
Cashmere Legwarmers in Lavender and Raisin, $85
Before venturing outside, I think I might want to slather on some protective lip balm to counteract the vicious weather November has brought, and this delicious offering from the lovely Marie Antoinette's Patisserie Collection at Vintage Bella might be just the ticket:
Pink Cake Lip Balm, $3
A little pampering of the rest of me with this Lap of Luxury Soap (ah yes, always a phrase I like to hear -- and not just with soap at the end of it) from the wonderful range at Seattle Sundries wouldn't go amiss either:
Lap of Luxury Soap, $9.50
I must admit, however, that on a day like this, part of me is quite happy just to stay indoors, curled up with a hot drink, a few biscuits, and a good book (I'm happy to report that so far, Stone's Fall is definitely meeting the demands of that last category!). But that's no reason not to look stylish, as the 'loungerie' (love it!) offered by plumprettysugar makes clear, with stay-at-home wear bright enough to cheer up the most dismal day:
Kimono Style Robe, $124
And if I were always to drink tea out of cups as lovely as this one from House of Harriet, I would be a happy girl indeed. Combining cats and tea, the entire Amsterdam Cats colletion can hardly fail to charm me:
Amsterdam Cats Big Hand-painted Mug, $60
For now, however, I will return to my current cup (which is itself rather pretty, even if it doesn't have a cat on it), and get a few more chapters in before I have to get up and pull out my umbrella. Although, as I've been writing, I could kid myself that the sun has started to peer through the clouds, and although the wind is still buffeting the walls, it's not howling quite so loudly as before. But I think I'll pack my umbrella anyway, just in case.
Sir W too bewails the weather upon occasion, although, as this excerpt from his 1600 essay 'Of Fame' makes clear, his concerns are rather more lofty than any I might have about the rain spoiling my clothes...:
'History hath added to my naturall desire of louing fame: I was there set afire with conuersing with braue spirits. I like deeds well, but they were not within my reache, and so I sought to buy what my stock would reach to: though I cannot clime so well as Caesar, yet I shoulde thinke my selfe happy if I could but get vp his Stile. But he was a Romane borne, and borne vnder a climate of more wit: we are so colde, and so dull, that we thinke of nothing beyond the compasse of our inheritance, iust like the Swissers we will lose no ground; leaue vs in durt, and finde vs in durt. The Graecians and the Romanes were Monarches of the world, not by sitting still, and keeping themselues warme, but Industry and Aduenture were the wings that made them fly high. We will aduenture vpon noting except it be on a surfit, and sixe pence at Tables'.