Monthly Archives: October 2010

Comfy blankets for grown ups aka pashminas

Sorry I’ve been so absent. I’ve been really busy with real life. In my professional life there has been many exhibitions to see (Canaletto at the National Gallery and Shadow Catchers at the V&A are two really worth seeing) and shops to visit, ‘n’ stuff.

Just to whet your appetites these are the things I’ll be covering in the next few weeks in no particular order. This will also make me write about them…

Edible Christmas gifts: chilli jam, panforte, chocolate pave and amaretti.

The iPad. Yes yes I know it’s been covered in so many places, but I promised I’d do an entry for those still wavering.

How to make a Christmas wreaths, bath bombs (bath bombs are going to be our present/cards this year) and snow globes with the children or just with yourself.

The Nihola trike.

The best pens for every day.

The best diary in the world.

My special Christmas gift round up.

Good creams to give you a bit of omph for party season.

On my The Sour Side blog I’ll be looking at the new essences from Bakery Bits, bagels and pizza.

So now that I’ve chained myself to that itinerary, let’s begin with today’s entry which is about pashminas.

Look, I don’t care that pashminas aren’t fashionable. I never wore them when they were.  Here is me spouting on about them in the New Statesman.

Since then, I’ve added to my collection. Each of my girls has one – full size, pure cashmere. I ordered the one for my youngest before she was born and it’s been brilliant. The baby can’t of course fully appreciate what she has, but I use her pashmina when I get up in the night to feed her and it sits on her lap in the pram, or car seat.  The older one uses hers when we’re travelling, as a blanket, or puts it over her head for dressing up.  She treats it with real respect. But then my children aren’t brats and have been brought up to understand and respect a bit of luxe.

I have various pashminas in one or two ply, which I use every day in winter – as a big comforting scarf, or as a shawl in the office when I’m hunched, writer-like, over my Olivetti type writer (the latter a lie, of course, I use a Mac). At price per wear, they work out really well.

I get all mine from My Pashmina. And before you ask, and before you wonder, I’ve always paid full price for them and never got any sort of discount (not that that would ever influence what I thought, and therefore what I wrote). They are very good quality and the price is reasonable. You can also get scarves – the littlest size scarf is great for children and I was lucky to get one in the sale for my eldest (otherwise they’re nearly £25). But for pashminas, I urge you to go for the full size shawl in pure cashmere (£65.45 postage included) – not the silk/cashmere hybrid. The two ply is great for winter, the one ply makes for a lighter shawl/scarf but it’s not as warm by any means.

Chipmunk boots

I love these little boots. I buy them every year for my eldest (the youngest is too small to fit into even the smallest size). They are the perfect boot for walking and mucking about; they’re well made and fantastic value: £21-£23 depending on where you buy them.  Easy for even the smallest children to put on (although the smallest size they come in is a four) and with a sturdy sole. Ostensibly they’re made for little children who ride ponies (mine don’t), but obviously that doesn’t stop you wearing them even if you aren’t that way inclined.

Anyway, I found them quite by accident a few years ago in our local country shop; of which we have several around these here parts. Last year we got purple, this year we got brown.

Unless you live near me you’ll probably need to get them from the internet: I found this site that sells them in every size (4-12) and colour (black, navy, purple, fuchsia) they seem to come in. I’ve never used this site, so on your own head be it.

My daughter wore hers straight out of the shop. As we got into the car I said to her “darling you can wear them when we go to the country” to which she very sensibly and correctly replied “Mummy WE live in the country.”