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May Wish List

This month’s wish list clearly reflects just how many old black and white movies I’ve been watching lately… Hitchcock, Curtiz, Wilder and Huston, I’ve been locked well and truly in a film noir binge for several weeks now. That of course means that I’ve been spending far too much time day dreaming about my dream boudoir bedroom, complete with a glamorous peignoir to sweep about the room in, a la Gilda.

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1. Latte Design. Dream Big Art Print. £9.16. Available here. If I’m dreaming of hollywood glam boudoirs with luxury wardrobes, then I’m clearly dreaming big. I would have this centre stage in the middle of a wall of art, as the ultimate motivation.

2. Steve Madden. Cori Cut-Out Oxfords. £60. Available here. I always have a pair of brogues or oxfords in my wardrobe, wearing them until they’re tatty and torn. Never before have I seen cut-out oxfords, however… they’re beautiful! Not great for rainy English days, however. Great for my favourite summer past time of reading books in quiet Parisian cafes, quietly people watching over the page. Library chic.

3. Yang Li. Full Length Cotton & Silk Skirt. £1375. Available here. This dress is expensive, dramatic, and oh so glamorous. I’d style it with a cream silk camisole with the thinnest straps and a low cut back for Paris, a low backed fitted top for Milan, a plaid shirt tied at the waist into a crop top for New York, and with an oversized, fashionably torn slogan t-shirt for London. So versatile but daring.

(Update* See how I have styled this skirt for NYC, Milan, Paris and London here.)

4. Laura Mercier. Creme Brulee Honey Bath. $45. Available here. Everyone has their signature scents, and mine have for a long time now been honey and vanilla, from my hair potions, skin lotions and perfumes (but for the occasional spritz of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle thrown in there in all its floral glory on special occasions).  If it contains either of my beloved favourite two ingredients, I want it. I don’t know why, but I especially love the little honey dipper that comes with it. I’m a sucker for good packaging, I guess.

5. Stella McCartney Balcony Bra. £96 £67. Available here.

6. Stella McCartney Underwear. £52 £36. Available here.

I make it no secret that I adore beautiful lingerie, and cobalt blue is my ‘colour of the month’. Stella McCartney has never let me down, and so I of course adore this beautiful lace and silk blue lingerie set.  So pretty, so sexy.

7. Very Home. Wood Frame Etolies a Marrakech Diffuser. £53. Available here. Living on the very edge of a city, surrounded by fields and farms, it’s fair to say that things smell strange here, and so I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with covering those ‘country smells’ of pigs, cows and horses with a range of candles and diffusers. I can’t believe I went years before finally buying a diffuser set for myself – they are amazing! Their scent is stronger than a candle, you don’t have to worry about your house burning down if you fall asleep in front of the Eastenders omnibus (I caught a few minutes of it just last week, and I can tell you that it’s a very real threat!) and they don’t make that irritating little hissing puff sound that plug-in or battery powered air fresheners do either periodically or – worse – whenever you dare to move! Definitely my new favourite way to stop those wandering farm smells from invading my house.

8. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. £18. Available here. I’ve never actually tried gel eyeliner, but I have always heard good things about it, and I think that when I do finally get around to that make up bag purchase,  Bobbi Brown would be a good place to start. Has anyone tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

9. Fornasetti. Silenzio Candles. £109 each. Available here. Nevertheless, there will always be a place for candles in my heart home, and this (rather expensive) Fornasetti candle set would look amazing, side by side on a white coffee table.

10. Lush. Vanillary Gorilla Fragrance. Prices from £28. Available here. Some vanilla to go with my honey bath… stuff (what do I call it exactly? Bath cream? Bath gel? Bubble bath? We speak a language that for each word in the English dictionary, has 100+ alternate words that share the same meaning, and yet we refer to anything that we add to our bathwater as either bubble bath, or, if you’re a grown adult, ‘bath’? Where’s the sense?) I’ve long trusted Lush and their products, and I’ve often used their solid perfumes while travelling, especially Vanillary, a tried-and-trusted favourite that everyone always compliments.

11. Montegrappa. The Brain Gold Fountain Pen. £29,580. Available here. I had to include this one just for the ridiculous extravagance of it. Almost £30K for a fountain pen? I may be one of the only members of the Y generation who still puts pen to paper, but is it really such a spectacular design that it would be worth the kidneys, eggs, pints of blood and miles of hair that I would have to sell to be able to afford it? Doubtful.

12. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. £. Available here from 8th May. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since it was first announced, and I will be sure to snap it up from the nearest bookshop next week. I have long enjoyed reading the biographies and business advice books of various entrepreneurs, picking their brains, trying to understand how their businesses boomed as they have. Sophia Amoruso is yet another idol of mine, the founder of Nasty Gal, which began as a humble Ebay shop. I can’t wait to see what she has to say.

13. Eicholtz. Royal Master Sealight Lamp. £1539. Available here. Again, I’d blame my love of old Hollywood movies and, of course, photography, but if ever I spot an extravagant, industrial-style lamp such as this one, it stops me in my tracks. Yes, the price is a little steep (how many donated eggs would that cost? Two? Three?) but I love it.

14. Ted Baker Opulent Bloom Black Cabin Luggage. £199. Available here. My choice of luggage matters just as much to me as what I pack inside it, and I’ve lately seen a range of beautiful, floral Ted Baker suitcases lining shop windows, tempting me. One day I’ll succumb and replace the ultra light, red IT suitcase with something albeit chunkier and heavier, but so, so much more beautiful.

15. Heaven Tanudiredja. Baven for Death Princess Necklace. £869. Available here. I rarely wear jewellery, but when I do, I go big. I’m all about statement necklaces to bring together, and how great would this necklace look teamed with the Yang Li skirt and a white silk camisole? Or for a more casual day look, a simple yellow tea dress…

16. Kikkerland. Sharp Image Pencil Sharpener. $19.99. Available here. Of course, as a photographer, my eye will be drawn to a camera-shaped pencil sharpener, even though it has been done a thousand times before. Cute, quirky and so typical, I’m amazed that I haven’t found one in a Secret Santa stocking before!

17. Too Faced. Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Peony-Dusty Rose. £21. Available here. Last but now least, we have a liquified lipstick (or a thicker, gooier lipgloss, if you prefer). I’ve always been quite traditional about my lipsticks, but dried out, chapped lips caked in flakey clumps of colour have always been a problem for me, while lipgloss simply gets on my nerves, with its need for reapplication every five minutes, so perhaps it’s about time that I experiment with this go-between solution.

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The 3 L's

Old Hollywood Age Gaps….

It seems, for a woman in Hollywood, you have to have buckets of talent and gumption to push through the typical end-of-career age barrier. Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor. Rightly so, I think – age seems to be the only thing that may stop mediocre-but-good-looking actresses like… Kristen Stewart. Lindsay Lohan. Blah, blah, blah.

The same can’t be said for men. Maybe it’s because men tend to age better. Look at Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, James Stewart. They have a ‘best before’ date too, of course – look at Harrison Ford now days, a great actor who has lost his sexy older man appeal and is now days simply… an old man with an earring and a penchant for canal boat holidays. My point is, male actors can go on being the leading man in a movie romance for decades longer than a beautiful leading lady easily can.

Example? Sabrina.

I haven’t seen the 1995 version, but the good old 1954 original; Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden.

Not to give much away to those of you who have not seen it, it’s basically about a young girl (Hepburn), who falls in love with her father’s boss’s son (Holden). She goes away to Paris for two years, and returns as this gorgeous and sophisticated European woman, complete with an enviously beautiful Parisian couture wardrobe and trademark Hepburn pixie cut. Pretty quickly a slightly complex, plot-twist riddled love triangle forms between Hepburn, Holden and his brother, Bogart.

Simple enough. I love this movie, though it’s been a few years since I last found the chance to sit down and watch it. But there was one particular line that strikes me each time.

Spoken during a scene between Hepburn and Holden, in which they are discussing their first kiss, Hepburn points out that they have kissed once before – which Holden has long forgotten.

‘I was nine, and you had your arms around me because you were teaching me to skate backwards. Suddenly, you kissed me.’

Note, at the time of release, Hepburn was twenty-five years old, while Holden was thirty five, and as he plays a man thrice-married, how much younger could his character be? He definitely looks like a man in his thirties.

Which means, nine year old Sabrina was kissed by nineteen year old David. And then there’s older brother, Linus (Bogart). Older as in, there’s a twenty year age gap between big brother and little brother. That’s thirty years between Linus and Sabrina. Creepy, creepy.

The same can be said about so many old movies, though

Rear Window. 25 year old Grace Kelly alongside 46 year old James Stewart.

North by Northwest. 55 year old Cary Grant alongside 25 year old Eva Marie Saint.

High Society. 26 year old Grace Kelly alongside 53 year old Bing Crosby, 43 year old Frank Sinatra and 45 year old John Lund. If you haven’t seen the film, I won’t tell you which one she ends up with.

 I just find it bizarre. Yes, women want men – we don’t want boys who are still living with their mothers, rolling around in yesterday’s boxers and the latest notch in their bed post, hungover, perma-tanned and full of steroids – the only way they can realistically achieve those bubble muscles. But surely the other alternative isn’t just wrinkly old men with borderline pedophilic tastes in fresh-from-school young women?

Well, according to old Hollywood, that’s the choice.

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Not the best wardrobe for backpacking…

When it comes to fashion, I think the 1950s were the best time for travelling. How on earth they managed to so perfectly pack those huge Grace Kelly skirts without completely ruining them, I’ll never know… how they managed to find the space to pack anything other than those space-hogging petticoats and skirts, I have no idea. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve tried in the past to be ‘sensible’ in what I pack for my travels. Jeans were banned (in the summer, anyway), my love for big midi-skirts was ignored, and I’d stick to a boho, mix and match, Free People-esque capsule wardrobe; lightweight, fold-resistant fabrics that take up minimal suitcase space . You’re mocked if you’re a girl with a big suitcase (especially one like these), full of the latest trends, which is definitely flared or pencil midi skirts right now. People – guys especially – roll their eyes out if they catch you applying lippy, or straightening your hair (though that last ‘backpacking offence, I am entirely innocent of, despite the cowlicks). You’re supposed to wander around with a grubby backpack (been there) – something ‘serious‘ (aka, ugly), or if you’re fashion conscience, vintage and canvas, which therefore feels like a bag of bricks hanging from your shoulder blades (done that).

I prefer to step off every plane, train and bus like this:

Minus the pin-perfect curls. I really don’t care that certain people who I meet on my travels openly presume that I am a) rich b) spoilt c) a bimbo and/or d) ignorant to the reality of backpacking. I’m not about to climb mountains in a pair of stilettos! Especially as I can barely walk down a perfectly flat and even pavement in stilettos without falling flat on my face… needless to say, while stilettos are pretty to look at, I never take anything higher than kittens abroad.

Fashion and travel don’t always work well together, of course… take the second Sex and The City movie. There were some great outfits in that film – I love the Dior tshirt-and-big-skirt combo. But equally, sometimes it was like a car crash headfirst into the wardrobe department. For example:

Personally, I think people have become lazy when it comes to fashion when travelling. I get that when travelling, people don’t want to spend hours and hours getting ready each morning. It takes me half an hour. Bam.

I think this is an expansion on my RSS… my fashion style is definitely ‘settled and working in the big city’, while my passion is to keep on moving, moving, moving. I’m molding the two tough, into something that works well for me.

Now days, besides making sure that I have one or two practical outfits for things like rock climbing, long, long, long walks or anything else that can’t be done in ballet pumps and kitten heels, I pack whatever I want, and just keep my fingers crossed that it will all fall naturally into a perfect capsule wardrobe. I seem to repeat the same go-to fashion habits again and again when it comes to colours and patterns, so generally, my entire wardrobe works well together. I guess in a way, I’m not particularly imaginative.

Dior

Bottega Vetena

Rochas

Fashion week still fresh in my mind, I’ve been thinking about my packing wardrobe of the season… Yes, the skirts are staying, along with tuxedo jackets – buttoned and bra-less… or maybe a cute lace bustier…hmm…), big petticoats beneath midi-skirts, patterned pencil skirts and amazing shoes.

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Look One: BlazerPetticoatSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Two: BustierTrouser. Bag. Shoes. Belt. Necklace.

Look Three: Top. Skirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Four: TopSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Basically, I travel Audrey and Grace style.

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Oscars Behind the Scenes

After the fashion, I love seeing the BTS antics of the Oscars. Celebs and their camera phones never fail to amuse me, but mostly I’m just really drawn to candid photography.

Firstly, there’s the Oscar selfie that has been all over twitter, because of course, with Ellen Degeneres as host, the night was going to consist of about 75% Ellen antics. Such as group selfies, ordering pizza, and dressing as Glinda the good witch.

Best selfie ever? Ellen DeGeneres took a moment out from hosting duties to grab this selfie with some of her favourite celebrities

Making them jealous: Ireland will be the envy of her friends after being smooched by hunk Pharrell Williams

The really Wilde show: She seemed to have a great time posing up with Olivia and her fiance Jason Sudeikis

How is Olivia Wilde so beautiful as to look great even when awkwardly posing is such a shoulder-jerking, bump-squashing, heel-teetering way?

Starting Rumers: Willis made sure she gave her fans a thrill by posting this 'sneak peek' pic of her dress

Exit stage right: Emma Roberts and Joseph Gordon Levitt did not have far to run if they had a panic attack backstage

At least she won't get slated: Her Fashion Police star daughter Kelly would know better than to poke fun at Sharon Osbourne's outfit

I am in love with Sharon Osbourne’s Oscar outfit.

Heidi Klum

Kelly Osbourne

In the dark: Jamie Foxx stood backstage before presenting the Oscar for best original score

Speaking of teen idols: Zac Efron looked handsome as ever in his black suit as he waited to present backstage

Winner all around: Jennifer, Cate, Matthew and Daniel got together backstage

Photo bomb: Benedict Cumberbatch jumped high and pulled a face as U2 posed for a photo op on the red carpet ahead of their touching Oscars performance of Ordinary Love

I laughed way too much at Mr Cumberbatch’s photobomb, I must admit. So much, it hurts. Am I supposed to refer to it as a Cumberstitch? I don’t know, I’ve just noticed that it’s common when talking about Mr C to add literally any and every relevant word of the conversation to ‘Cumber’.

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March Wish List

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1. Valentino Blue Scarf. £250. Available here.

I’m a sucker for scarves. They are such a good way to add something special to even a basic white top and jeans – I rarely leave the house without a scarf tied to my handbag (new and cheap scarves only – I learnt the hard way that my knot tying skills are rubbish and therefore I’ve lost a few gorgeous vintage scarves over the years).

2. Regal Rose Blue & Pink lace crown. £17, on sale here.

This is the fashion photographer in me thinking away when I look at this crown – it’s not something that I would have either the wish or the confidence to wear out and about. Just look at how pretty it is? With it’s on-trend ombre pink-blue dye and the laser cut detail… shall we plan some shoots, model friends mine?

3. Stitch a Journey Map. £17. Available here.

I’ve seen this in various little boutiques here and there, with maps of various countries and I just think it’s so cute as a gift for a wanderlust-prone free spirit… but also with a preference to plan their route rather than simply wander around as I tend to. Are they two contradictory types of traveller? I don’t know.

4. George at Asda Aristocats Pyjamas. £13. Available here.

I’ve needed some pyjamas for travelling for ages… that sounds like I sleep naked when I travel. No, I’ve just spent years wearing either fleece winter pyjamas, or, when I’m dealing with 44C heat, a pair of old sports shorts and any old tank top. I want some nice pyjamas… Disney pyjamas. Personally, I’m not a fan of the official Disney line of pyjamas, but then I saw what Asda have done with my favourite childhood movies – Bambi and Aristocats. I love them!  They’re cute without basically looking like oversized kid’s nightwear. I need a pair!

5. Alice & Olivia Dress. £515. Available here.

If only I could afford to wear a completely different outfit everyday – the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV show springs to mind. Hmm… I think I’d need Mary Poppins’ bag to replace my suitcase too. Ah well, I can dream.

6. Fresh Honey Face Mask. $130. Available here.

Honestly, I couldn’t justify the $130 price tag on a face mask when I make my own honey face mask on a weekly basis, but I saw this in Sephora and I must say, the amazing scent alone almost convinced me that this would be better than my own au naturel recipe. It smells delicious; honey, vanilla and a strange sort of blend that reminds me of freshly cut grass. It’s basically a pot of my favourite feel-good scents, which also (I’ve been told) works wonders for moisturising dry skin. I’ve heard nothing but excellent reviews.

7. Statement ring. £23.25. Available here.

Would I ever wear this? Probably not. The few rings I ever owned were soon thrown away because I simply never wore them, but still… it’s so pretty. Isn’t that the point of a wish list? Admiring things that I know I will never own? Maybe I’ve missed the point. I just think – and maybe it’s just me – but rings seem to have become so much more interesting recently… suddenly it’s all about statement rings, weirdly stacked and chained together rings, knuckle rings, and three-in-one rings.

8. Kora Cosmetics by Miranda Kerr. £157. Available here.

Is this just a Celebrity-related hype that everyone is interested in purely because of Miranda Kerr’s involvement, or is it a genuinely excellent product? I don’t know, but I’m curious, I admit. As someone with sensitive skin, the word ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ always pricks up my ears and makes me pay attention, and looking at the ingredients page of Kora Organics website, it looks trustworthy enough and unlikely to bring my skin out in any of its usual fits of protest. But again… £157 for pre-made products or do I just stick to DIY?

9. Anywhere Travel Guide. $12.99. Available here.

It took me a few moments to quite understand what these are when I first stumbled across them. It’s a cute idea that I would put in the same category as Wreck this Journal; silly entertainment, but with no real purpose. Basically, this is a pack of 75 suggestion cards that say things like ‘ask the next person you meet where his favourite street is, and then go there’. The idea behind it is to inspire you, to shake up your life and drag you out of that rut that is routine.

10. Ted Baker Jewellery Travel Roll. £23.99. Available here.

I love the fabric pattern used for this Ted Baker jewellery roll. I love the florals, the watercolour feel, the pale blue belt clasp… I think this is something that every girl should pack in her suitcase, wherever she is jetting off to, and for however long.

11. Miu Miu Shoes. £440. Available here.

I feel like I have included these shoes somewhere in this blog before? Or perhaps I was going to but didn’t… nevertheless, I still love them. And that is all I have to say about that.

12. Globe Trotters Vanity Case. £630. Available here.

Completely unnecessary, but completely gorgeous.

13. Frozen on DVD. Available as of 31st March in the UK.

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Wanderer

Derbyshire Ramblings

It seems even my passport and post-uni freedom can’t rein in my ‘workaholic’ tendencies… apologies, I’ve been working really, really hard on something that hopefully I can share online in another week or so! Secrets, secrets, secrets 😉

So, my friend Fabby came to Derbyshire a few weeks ago, and, being the lovely friend that I am, I was host and tour guide. Of course everyone who knows that I gave her a tour of Derbyshire (which is basically anyone on my Facebook who actually pays attention to my Facebook page), is wondering… why would my lovely Mexican friend fly from Spain (where she has spent the past six months) to Derbyshire??

This is why…

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The Peak District.

No one can visit England, and not take a moment to see the Peak District… and the Lake District… and various parts of the South Coast… and Oxford… and Cambridge… I could go on… what I’m trying to say is, I can’t remember the last time I met someone who has ventured beyond London and maybe Manchester/Liverpool on their visit to England. That’s not including people who are studying in England or visiting family. Venture out, people!

This fairly-spontaneous visit was definitely proof that I literally have no idea where life will take me any more. We planned her stay within a fortnight, after deciding that she was coming to visit while in Seville after about ten minutes.  It started with a conversation about our mutual love for this:

which turned into a conversation about the locations featured in this:

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a P&P expert. After all…

*wink* apparently….

But anyway, my fashionable (?) geekiness means that I therefore know that Joe Wright’s version of P&P was filmed at Chatsworth and Stanage Edge (to name a few), both of which are in Derbyshire. And having read P&P, I also know that Matlock and Bakewell are mentioned and therefore had to be added to our must-see list too… basically, P&P is Fabby’s favourite film, we therefore instantly decided that she had to see Derbyshire. And so it all just arranged itself.

Bakewell

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My camera pretty much stayed in my bag while we explored Bakewell, except for one lovely (and not at all touristy) photo of me. Besides that, Fabby was very much the photographer that day, while I was very much the tour guide, introducing her to the wonders of Bakewell tarts (oh dear, that sounds horrendously suggestive – sorry Fabby! Haha!) and quaint English villages. Matlock was another stop that my camera did not see that day.

Chatsworth House

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And Here’s Fabby!

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This isn’t feigned child-like excitement for the sake of the camera, we really were both running around the grounds like little kids. I’ve been to Chatsworth 1000 times and I still always act this way when I go there, and so to combine my usual Chatsworth excitement with Fabby’s ‘oh my god I’m at Pemberley, a location from my all-time favourite film in a beautiful part of the world that I have never seen before’ excitement.. at that moment, I loved it there so much that had I won the lottery, despite my plans for Italy, I’d have snapped up one of the many little cottages in the 1000 acre grounds of Chatsworth in a heartbeat. Then again, hopefully if I were lucky enough to win the lottery, I could afford a house in rural Derbyshire and Italy… and Paris… and London… 😉

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So Fabby has now seen the setting of this:

this

and this:

and we saw this…

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(we especially loved the ‘Please do not Kiss’ sticker, though I think Fabby was somewhat disappointed)

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Stanage Edge

The next day we walked from Hathersage village to Stanage edge, the setting for this scene:

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It was insanely windy. Even though the wind was luckily blowing North-East, I still felt like it was suddenly about to turn South-West and therefore send me straight off the edge of the rocks as I posed for snaps, just for the fun of it. It really was sweep-you-off-your-feet-windy. The sort of wind that would thoroughly enjoy blowing unsuspecting visitors off Stanage Edge and onto the jagged rocks below.

Also, to everyone *cough* Dad *cough* who claims that you need hiking boots and those scary hiking trousers with zip-off legs (shudder) to go rambling around the peaks, I found, yet again, that skinny jeans and £3 Primark lace up tennis pumps do just nicely, thank you very much. I shall never give in!

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It’s been quite some time since I last explored Hathersage Moor, and I loved it so much, I returned a week or so later for a fashion shoot, the results of which are being published in Prototype magazine, and so I’ll be keeping to myself for now. However, I do have a lovely BTS picture of me on Hathersage moor.

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Beautiful.

P.S please do not put me down as one of those crazy ‘Janeite’ fans who read attempts to finish her uncompleted novels and Austen sequels and prequels like this:

and own a collection of gowns ready to attend balls and events like this:

*I mentioned balls ironically, but on searching for a mocking image, I found that such a thing actually exists!!!*

And will go to see films like this 1000 times and have long discussions at the end of their Jane Austen book club about how much they hope such a place will one day exist.

Worst of all, on googling for the above poster, I found this

What the…

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