Hello Goodbye

Before I left the UK, I sent an old friend an email. I no longer had their number, they'd moved out of the address I had, and I couldn't reach them on social media. I wasn't even sure they used this account any more, but I reached out anyway - across the dark void of both space and time - to let them know I was leaving. To let them know I wouldn't be back. To say some sort of goodbye, although goodbyes were said long ago. I didn't expect a reply, and the darkness didn't answer with one. But somewhere, somehow, I knew they had received my message. 

They say when you meet the 'one' for you, you know. I think that's true with many decisions in our lives - some little, some monumental; that courses set into action will irreversibly change your life forever. Sometimes, these are happy moments, like knowing you're with the right person; sometimes they are tinged with guilt and sadness, like closing a door on a chapter you will not revisit again. These are 'sliding door' moments - that if something, however big or small, had or had not happened, your life would be very different. 

Although I know, just know, that leaving the UK was the right decision, the knowledge is not an easy burden. I left behind a life that was filled with people and memories, with events and stages that have shaped me as a person and made me who I am, in exchange for one that, although familiar, is entirely new. I grew up here. I remember so many little details. Yet I have been entirely absent for 12 years. I have missed all my friends from those years grow up. I missed their trials and tribulations, their first kisses, their boyfriends, their parents' divorces - and although when I see them again it's like we were never apart, it's wholly surreal. Like I was in a coma and woke up 2 months ago. I have no idea of Australian politics (don't ask me who the last Prime Minister was), or any big news stories. I have a very bad sense of geography (I thought Canberra was North of Sydney until I looked on a map). I say 'football' instead of 'soccer', and 'rugby' instead of 'football', which although sounds quaint in my conditioned English accent, is fundamentally wrong here. I didn't know what 'Goon' was (cheap wine in a bag, what everyone got drunk on as teenagers), or 'schoolies' (Australia's equivalent to Spring Break), and I still cringe whenever anyone calls flip-flops 'thongs'. But despite me feeling like I might as well have lived on the moon for a decade, I know I'm happy. Like, deep down, fundamentally happy. Yet I feel more guilt for being happy than when I wasn't in the UK. Why?

A weekly Skype date with my parents is scheduled every Sunday. Technology has made the world so small that I still sit with them at home through a window spanning thousands of miles, talking to them like I would in person. Since I've been away, my mother has mourned my absence by unpacking my childhood belongings, which haven't seen the light of day for more than a decade. She's put teddy bears on my bed, carefully unpacked books into a new bookshelf, and slowly turned my room into her own kind of shrine. Although this behaviour is not new - when I left for university she turned my pinboard into an organised photographic chronology of my life, and hung portraits of me on the wall - it still makes me feel guilty. I feel my happiness has come at a cost - to them - and it pains me. Although technology makes it so easy for us to communicate, the distance can still be felt, and the distance is great. I don't know how to say I'm not coming back. At least not for good, and not for a long while. We avoid the subject of permanence every time we talk. And while I think we both know the truth, uttering it would break a spell that we have all weaved; that I will return, that I belong there, with them.

It's strange to realise how a life that seemed so all-encompassing, so saturated with people and memories, can so easy be forgotten. Events that haunted me for years have all but evaporated in the space of a few months. Yet I still think back to that rainy night I left the UK, when the weather echoed my emotions, and the email I sent to my old friend. The email that detailed my leaving date, and time, and asked for one last goodbye. It never came. They never came. And although I am several thousand miles away, and living an entirely different life, I am still waiting for it. Perhaps one day it will come, and through a window of a screen I will say a hello that will really mean goodbye. 


Tune Tape Tuesdays #43

As some of you might be aware, the great Sleeping Beauty baddie Maleficent's biopic is out today. So to celebrate, I've put together a wickedly addictive collection of tunes for you to jam along to. I promise this isn't an excuse for being three days late on delivering the goods…ahem. As usual, Top Tracks are as follows:

Top Tracks

1. Once Upon A Dream - Lana Del Rey. That's right, Miss Del Rey's talents have once again been employed on a big blockbuster soundtrack. And, to be fair, I couldn't think of a better person to cover the Sleeping Beauty theme tune of Once Upon A Dream than Lana. She puts in just enough brooding sexiness to turn what was once a popular music box melody into a dark and haunting ballad. Nice work.
2. Deckchairs on the Moon - Bipolar Sunshine. I've covered a few of Bipolar Sunshine's tracks before (Drowning Butterflies and Rivers), but this new tune is by far my favourite. With vocals that continue to impress, this song will have you on track for Summer (or a rather mild Winter, in my case). Lie back and soak it up.
3. Say You'll Be There (Daniele di Martino Remix) - Mø.  seems to lend himself to being remixed. First, I covered Yen Sleep's remix of his track, Maiden, then MS MR's rework of Pilgrim. Now he's back with his version of the Spice Girls' 90's classic, Say You'll Be There. Guaranteed to change your view on the song forever.

Belle x

Wish List Mondays #46

Whether you're Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, or Fran Drescher in The Nanny, there's no denying that separates are big this season. For those of you unfamiliar with Fran, The Nanny was one of my most treasured 90's TV shows, and centred around a loud-mouthed New Yorker with a passion for [bad] fashion who becomes an accidental nanny to an Upper-East Side family. Unfortunately I don't think it made the leap onto British TV screens, so it had been about 12 years since I last watched an episode. Thankfully Australian television is still 12 years behind the rest of the world and still plays it on daytime. Yet, what once seemed like the most ridiculous two-pieces, are now not looking so bad, thanks to the recent resurgence in popularity of everything 90's. Take a look…

Although there's no denying how much I love Fran, I decided to go for more, shall we say, 'demure' separates for this week's Wish List. Think Audrey Hepburn 1950's Riviera chic. And as an outfit is only as good as the accessories you wear it with, I've suggested some stuff to pair it with. It's just like playing with Barbie.

1. iPad Mini in Silver, Apple Store, from $479. Up the creek without an iPad, here.
2. 'Highbury' White Heeled Sandals, ASOS, $82. White Hot, here.
3. Rapture Cat Eye Acetate Sunglasses by Le Specs, Net-a-Porter, $57. Specs Appeal, here.
4. Speckled Backpack by Hype, ASOS, $49. Don't believe it, here.
5. Marilu Woven Clutch by Sophie Anderson, Matches Fashion, $224. Dream-Woven, here.
6. Broderie Anglaise Shirt by Christopher Kane, Net-a-Porter, $877. Citizen Kane, here.
7. Arizona White Flat Sandals by Birkenstock, ASOS, $98. Raising Arizona, here
8. White & Gold Aztec Bangle by House of Harlow, The Iconic, $69. Go out with a bangle, here.
9. Reversible Crochet-Knit Headband by Missoni, Net-a-Porter, $99. Flip Reverse It, here.
10. Broderie Anglaise Skirt by Christopher Kane, Net-a-Porter, $806. Broderie before Hosiery, here
11. Medium Jet Set Centre-Stripe Travel Tote, Michael Kors, USD$298. Jet Set Go, here.
12. White Block Heel Cleated Sole Sandals by River Island, The Iconic, $110. Sole Sisters, here.
13. Olive Taupe Suede Woven Wedges, Office, £36. Don't be Suede, here.
14. England's Glory Imperial Matchbox Clutch by Anya Hindmarch, Matches Fashion, $2,181. Little Matchbox Girl, here.
15. Lady Ibiza Toquilla Straw Sunhat by Sensi Studio, Net-a-Porter, $231. Last Straw, here.

If after all that, you're still hankering for a piece of Fran's closet, I got something you might like. What can I say, I'm a people pleaser.
1. a) Jacket in Floral Print and Embellishment, ASOS, $118.
b) Shorts in Floral Print and Embellishment, ASOS, $78. 
Buy both here.
2. a) Petite Blue Leaf Print Woven Tshirt by Girls on Film, ASOS, $47. Buy it here.
b) Petite Blue Leaf Print Skort by Girls on Film, ASOS, $39. Buy it here.
3. a) Geo Cropped Boxy Shirt by Warehouse, ASOS, $69. Buy it here.
b) Geo Soft Shorts by Warehouse, ASOS, $63. Buy them here.
4. a) Cherub Mesh Sweatshirt by The Laden Showroom x Salle de la Lune, ASOS, $108.
b) Cherub Skater Skirt by The Laden Showroom x Salle de la Lune, ASOS, $108. 
Buy both here.
5. a) Striped Jumper with Contrast Band, ASOS, $47. 
b) Skirt in Striped Knit with Contrast Band, ASOS, $59. 
Buy both here.
6. a) Diamond Print Sweatshirt by The Laden Showroom x Salle de la Lune, ASOS, $108.
b) Diamond Print Skater Skirt by The Laden Showroom x Salle de la Lune, ASOS, $108. 
Buy both here.

Until next time, Fashion Friends.

Belle x


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