Friday, July 22, 2016

Fabulous Friday! OOTDs, New Glasses, and New Friends!!

I don't imagine you've been waiting with bated breath to find out which pair of frames I chose for my new glasses, but if you don't follow me on Instagram, you won't have seen the photo which reveals my choice.

I'll give you a clue. . . the colour of the frames goes very well with my recent tendency to wear blue, as in these OOTD photos from the weekend (yes, once again I'm taking advantage of a hotel mirror whose lighting is so much better than what we have in our temporary quarters).

 By now, of course, you've guessed that the frames I chose were the ones behind Door #3 in this tantalising post from last week. Yes, they're more conservative than the others, but the shape still has elements of the newer trends without my worrying that it will date too quickly -- at the cost of my prescription, that's a very important consideration -- and I absolutely love the colour.

One of the first to see these new frames IRL is the Absolutely Fabulous Melanie, of the Absolutely Fabulous Blog, Bag and a Beret. Melanie generously thought of me, a new Vancouver resident looking for friends in the city, and was Absolutely Fabulous enough to invite me to go to a movie last night with her and a friend. . . . Have you guessed which movie we might have seen?

Yes, and it was Absolutely Fabulous! To be honest, I didn't laugh anywhere near as much as the row of younger women beside me (this theatre does assigned seating, and by the time I purchased mine, online before the show, the ones near M were already sold). Seriously, I'd hesitate to sit on any of those theatre seats until they'd had a chance to dry out because I'm betting some laughed until they, well, you know, challenged their bladder beyond capacity.  I've never seen an episode of the TV series, but I suspect that the movie would be even funnier if you knew all their characters, recognised some of the in-jokes. Never mind, there was plenty to chuckle at, and spotting all the fashion-world celebrities appearing as themselves was fun as well (not knowing that world terribly well, I know I missed a few, but Jean-Paul Gaultier walking the beach with a metal detector? That was pretty cute.

Just as entertaining, of course,  was checking out the Absolutely Fabulous outfits of the audience in the lobby before and after the show. I'm hoping Melanie posts on this, although there wasn't much opportunity to take photos afterward. I managed to snap this quick Selfie with our celebrated Fashion Blogger and Sometime Model who was, of course, attired Absolutely Fabulously. (In case you're curious, my garb was comparatively conservative, chosen from what's available in my very curated, temporary-digs wardrobe: I wore a long black v-neck sweater over a gold silk-satin maxi skirt with Angelina Jolie slits -- the thigh-high slits on both sides of the front-centre panel give it a worrisome tendency to disappear between my legs with the slightest encouragement from the wind. My walk across the bridge to the show and back home again may have had enough Wardrobe Malfunction to warrant its own marquee title. . . .

Melanie and I are planning for a longer visit soon,  and today I'm hanging out again with another new Vancouver friend I met through social media. So the friends-in-transition project is ongoing and rewarding and I'm ever so grateful to the blogging community, to the technology which makes it all possible, and to the open generosity of those who are willing to make room for new acquaintances in the middle (and late-middle, in my case) of our lives.  More on that soon -- I want that conversation to continue, and thoughts are slowly becoming words which are slowly getting written. . . .a post before too long.

Another conversation I want to prolong is that around communication technologies, particularly as they're used in families, with a focus on how they're changing and have changed our interactions, whether in terms of access; or frequency, or timing and rhythm of use; or content. There is already much to mull about, much to nod our heads in recognition or raise our eyebrows in surprise at differences, over at my most recent post, and I'm hoping more of you might find time this weekend to chime in.

For now, I will leave you with this photo of Melanie and I and my new glasses. If you don't yet know her blog, I can assure you that it's a thoroughly entertaining, Absolutely Fabulous source of inspiration, as well as being an instant mood-lifter.
I mean, look at those smiles -- are we having fun or what?! May your weekend bring you at least some of this happiness!

(Afterthought, as I attempt to round off to a fine finish here. May I ask you all a question? How useful do any of you find those questions we bloggers generally try to end with? You know the ones I mean, the kind designed to invite your input, the kind to prompt your comments. . . Sometimes they feel a bit too directive, a bit too forced, maybe even a lot too formulaic. . . I'm often tempted to abandon them. And yet I value, beyond what you will ever know, the feedback that happens here, and if those questions help build conversations as rich as the ones I've hosted lately, then I will keep trying to dream them up.  Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. Otherwise, just respond as pleases you (as long as you're playing nice!). . . .

53 comments:

  1. I think that the question at the end of blog does invite others to participate. The writer is facilitating rather than directing the conversation. Readers are free to comment or not. As a blogger, I like to know if I have caused a reader to consider
    an idea or to wonder about something. Shared experiences or a different way
    of looking at things....that is what communication is about.

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  2. Hi Frances, I love your new glasses! Of the three that you showed, those were my favourites. I"m still looking, but I am honing in on a couple of frames in a local store. It's a big decision.

    I for one like the question at the end of the post, although I'm afraid I haven't been participating much as of late - I'll go look at that last post again, and the one on friendship perhaps.

    I'm going to see Ab Fab next week with a friend, really looking forward to it. I'm very familiar with the show so I know I'm going to enjoy it.

    I recognize Melanie - I've seen her on Greetje's blog, No Fear of Fashion. She looks like a lot of fun!

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    1. Thanks, Patricia! and good luck finding your next pair of glasses.
      I guessed you'd be familiar with the show, as an ex-pat. . . I suspect you'll get more out of it than I did -- let me know how you like it.

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  3. I noticed your new fantastic glasses right away, and your gorgeous outfit. I shall be posting a photo - we heard the traffic stopping on the bridge on your walk home. Hahaha!! It's those gams of yours!

    So fun to meet-up with you and happy that you came despite not knowing the series. Thank you for the shout-out.

    Questions at the end, good question. I often put them and wonder too, but I think for people who don't know where to start a comment it could simplify matters. And if people ignore them, I'm fine with that too.

    Again, LOVED your outfit, proof that you don't need to dress outrageously to be absolutely fabulous.

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    1. It was a fun evening, and I'm so glad you invited me. I'm looking forward to getting together again soon!

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  4. As I posted on your Instagram photo, love the frames! The color is outstanding.

    I feel as though it's become a form of internet politeness (?) cordiality (?) geniality (?) to post a question that invites responses. Sort of like inviting a friend across your threshold, even if you know they'd feel free to enter without it.

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    1. I think you're right -- although the question can feel formulaic to me, posing it, I think it eases readers into the conversation. Those who've joined in before and feel comfortable at the party already know they can ignore the question and address other relevant topics, I hope.

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  5. And how Absolutely Fabulous that you were able to meet Melanie!

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  6. I am learning blog etiquette. In a thoughtful post, a question at closing is quite inviting.
    Love the #3 blue frame, your beautiful curls, and relaxed style.
    Thank you for your reply (two posts back) about my Seattle son's wedding in 2017 and my impending art adventure with A.Watts.
    Time is swiftly passing in my 60's...grandchildren are sprouting, more doors are opening for expression/creativity, and appreciation of life's experiences continues to grow and mature. Love reading the similar paths in your blog.
    Charlene H.

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    1. Thanks, Charlene. It does seem to me a fast-moving decade, doesn't it -- who'd have thought?! ;-)

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  7. Glad you enjoyed Ab Fab, Mater. Don't know that there ever was much of a plot to the series other than setting up those gargoyles of characters and seeing what happened. It - the series and the film - were deceptively cleverly written, to my mind. Not one to see over and over perhaps but an enjoyable romp all the same. And yes, the cameos were indeed absolutely fabulous.

    As to questions at the end of a blog entry, I like them. They do indeed invite the reader to contribute in a 'Now that's enough about me, tell me about you' way, as has been remarked. They open the conversation up to the floor.

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  8. Love your new glasses, a resounding thumbs up. As for Absolutely Fabulous?? It had its moments and the celebrity spotting was fun but most of the best bits had featured in the trailer beforehand and the movie didn't really live up to the hype. I know we differ in our taste in films and that's fine. I always think your questions come from your teaching background and sometimes sound like setting an assignment. Hope that doesn't sound like criticism. It amuses me maybe because I can identify with where you're coming from. It probably appeals to a lot of readers and gets them commenting. So glad you're finding new friends and activities. Mary

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    1. Thanks for the thumbs-up, Mary. As for AbFab and critical honesty. well, let's just say that my comments on it would hardly allow anyone to extrapolate on my taste in films, although you may have gathered that elsewhere.
      As for the comment re the questions being connected with my teaching background, I I'm not at all offended, mainly because the questions are so far from my teaching style. When teaching, I was generally able to begin with my students' responses to a text and gradually move toward points I wanted to make, changing those, perhaps, along the way as influenced by the interplay of ideas in the room. With the blog, it's much tougher, because I'm the "talking head" I never wanted to be in my teaching. The questions -- which I've picked up as a technique from watching blogging practice across the 'net over the past ten or fifteen years -- are my way of trying to facilitate discussion.

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    2. Yes my comment on our differing opinions of films is based on previous posts where you have mentioned films you have enjoyed. Facilitating discussion and encouraging participation of students were what I had in mind. While I totally understand why you use the questions in your blog, they do put me in mind of assignment setting and you did ask. Have a good weekend Mary

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    3. I absolutely did ask, Mary, and I'm glad you feel comfortable answering honestly here. It would be a boring world if we all agreed, right? I hope your weekend is a good one also.

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  9. I like the questions and the chance to participate. The best blogs are like that and don't just show you stuff then move off. RE glasses. Blue is good and, in my opinion, it looks good with grey hair. Now I am going (steadily) greyer, I have to re-think my natural colour choices. Lots of grey and white and silver, plus blue, goes well I find. Otherwise we might look like Whistler's mother. I have been observing women in France, Spain and Britain recently and must say that they tend to do the ageing thing rather better than we do, and the summer thing too. Our tendency to pop on a brightly flowered sundress and sad flip flops does little to enhance the season. But that could be just me, not playing nice.

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    1. Thanks Annie! I had my greying hair top of mind in choosing frames -- my hair was so much warmer-toned a year ago, and the cool grey is bound to make a big difference. . .
      So when you say "they" and "we" -- you're contrasting the French and the Spanish with you Brits, right? The former certainly get much more chance to practice their hot-weather attire, right?

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    2. Yes indeed. Sitting on the beach, in a cafe or just noodling quietly as I went, it seemed to me that French and Spanish women have much more certainty about their presence. We inadvertently found ourselves amidst a huge Spanish wedding crowd and the women (and men, it must be said) looked astounding. Absolutely no self-consciousness. Even walking on the beach they seemed happily at home, no matter how old. Plus: very few tattoos. Or poorly bleached hair. Perhaps it is because there is a European tendency to live outside - weather, probably - and a greater sense of being part of a visible crowd. Brits: we tend to be more insular. I am certain weather is part of this. I must consult with my daughter and see what the young people think about this.

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    3. Agreeing with nohatnogloves about the presence of French and Spanish women compared to us Brits. I think of the mother of my daughter's French exchange parter, who always, but always, looks effortlessly elegant in summery linen shift dresses (while also being an extremely nice and kind person), and beside whom I feel a vast, clumping teenager.

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  10. Love your frames,my favourites!
    Love questions,too, and I appreciate bloggers who answer them-so thank you very much!
    Because it is about communication,no?
    And it is AbFab meeting friends from blogosphere IRL-you two seem to have great time and look great,too
    I would like to see the movie when I come back to Zagreb (this time from
    Adriatic)
    Have a nice weekend
    Dottoressa

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  11. I have noticed that blue is definitely one of the best colours for grey heads. The striking blue frames definitely say that you are an edgy grey head. I've noticed that out of style glasses bring an outfit down. I hate that my prescription is so expensive and our extended medical only pays $200. If one needs progressives and the thinner lenses, glasses can cost more than $1000. Anyway, yours look great!

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    1. Oh, I do love the idea of being an edgy grey-head. Thanks for that!
      (Mine were considerably more than $1000 -- horrid! but I try to think of the CPW. . . )

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  12. That top outfit is AWESOME! Love those pants and the glasses look terrific. I'm going to see the Ab Fab movie with my friends soon - I NEVER go to the movies so this is an indicator of how much I love those ladies. Last movie I saw in-theater was probably 5 years ago.

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    1. Oh, thank you for saying that. I know it's not for everyone, those proportions, and probably I "shouldn't" wear those pants with my short waist, sturdy short figure, but I just fell for the jeans. What struck me about the outfit, looking at it in the mirror and in the photo, is how 70s it is in a 2016 way that makes me happy. . . The Birks wouldn't have been white in my 70s, and I wouldn't have been wearing a long cashmere cardi (ha! on my meagre 70s $?) or a Hermes scarf (double ha! on the $!) -- but that scarf is printed with trippy 70s colours and lots of hearts and paisley. . . .
      Let me know what you think of the AbFab. Honestly, in parts I wondered if I completely lacked a sense of film humour -- without an allegiance to the series, much of it was just over my head, while the rest of the theatre seemed to be in stitches.
      I know what you mean about in-theatre movies, but now we're only a 15-minute walk from two different multiplexes and the change of venue from Netflix-on-the-couch is sometimes welcome.

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  13. Sometimes I like to try to respond to the questions, and other times I feel compelled to say something else...like today...

    I love those pants with the Birks...they make me happy every time you show them. A fresh proportion is like a tonic for the eyes.

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    1. Oh, I responded to the question as well! Ha!

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    2. Ha indeed! Gotcha!
      Thanks for saying that about the pants-with-Birks. See my response to K above. . .

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  14. I don't pose questions all that often - I sort of let the post itself dictate if I do or not. But I like it when I do it, and I am always very happy to read replies. I think as long as the question doesn't feel coercive or dictatorial - which yours don't - then it's a good gesture that shows you are communicating and not just speechifying.

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    1. I notice that you mix up your practice and it works well. I see that it's coming to feel "de rigueur" to me, and that makes me feel a bit awkward, so I thought I'd check in. . . . thanks for your thoughtful response.

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  15. Great pictures - and I've already told you how much I liked your Sunday OOTD.
    Meeting bloggers, starting out on new friendships - aren't we lucky? There are people out there who would never, ever think of stretching themselves that far. What they miss out on! I have just sent off an email to a cousin that I 'met' on her blog. The strangest thing, but it has opened up the way to a friendship that will, I am sure, endure. I love that picture and your smiles.
    The Question. Well, I like a question because I like a conversation. A post can certainly bring on a discussion, but a question invites conversation.

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    1. Yes you have, thanks! ;-)
      We are really lucky -- it's an extension of those early penpal communications that we could never have imagined four or five decades ago, and I love the way it indulges my need to reach out and explore.
      Nice distinction: discussion vis-à-vis conversation. I will ponder this. . .


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  16. Great choice of spectacle frames, they suit you very well. I really like both your outfits in this post Frances, particularly the first one, the colours are great, and the style is relaxed but very well put together and perfectly accessorised by the scarf. I have not seen the Ab Fab film. I only ever enjoyed the tv series moderately well, it always promised to be funnier than it was, though I do like watching Joanna Lumley, she is a good actress, and I love her voice. I think I would smile, rather than laugh my way through, the film. Re questions at the end of blog posts; I ask a question occasionally at the end of my blog posts occasionally, but not always. I like the questions at the end of your posts, it makes you sound (as I have no doubt you are in person) interested, enquiring, listening, curious about the world. It is a little trademark of yours and a very nice one X

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    1. Thanks Penny. And thanks for letting me know I might not be the only one whose sense of humour isn't completely aligned with the show. I smiled, chuckled a few times, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the women in my row . . . I also appreciate your comments about the questions at the end, both the way you use them and the way I do.

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  17. I like the questions; they make the blog less of a diary but more of a conversation.

    Your frames look great; the blue is very up to date.

    It sounds as if you had a great time with Melanie. I do look at her blog and love her brave fashion choices and inventive use of colour. I am a huge AbFab fan and hope to see it soon. I am sure there are many in-jokes, many about Patsy.

    I am veering off in this comment to say I am sad at heart at the moment. I know you will be posting more on friendships in the next few weeks, so here’s some food for thought. In the last two weeks, I have had two friendships changed irrevocably. In the first instance, an old childhood friend has lost me as a friend. She’s somewhat notorious at the moment, but I won’t give any identifying details here. I had no idea as I had hidden her Facebook feed for years, but when I looked at it, her sad progression from curiosity to paranoia was all too apparent. The other, in the context of criticizing a group of people implied something so nasty about a family member of mine that I had to call her out. To her credit, she apologized for my hurt and took her post down; however, she made it clear that she stood by her belief with a hasty “with the exception of my relative” thrown in. There were some awkward private messages and a final “agree to disagree” from her. From now on I can’t “unknow what I know” to be her opinion which will forever put a barrier between us. I will not be able to speak completely openly with her again, and it makes me sad. I love the posts about finding new friends, of which you and I are an example, I think. Perhaps you might also explore how you feel about the friendships that fall away or lessen? That might be too fraught a topic though!

    It is interesting that both of the problems with my friends came about because of their embracing conspiracy theories. These are paranoid times! Brenda

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    1. Just spotted this as I'm rushing off to a pedicure appointment (oh, life is so tough!), Brenda, and wanted to extend sympathy and to agree that this might be a worthwhile topic to explore, if a touchy one. I suspect that by "a certain age" there are very few of us who haven't experienced this kind of hurt, and I'd be curious to hear the many ways that we handle it. Also interesting to think about how the politics and/or the times inflect our relationships. Back soon, with better toenails, to think/write about this. xo

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  18. Love the outfits and the new frames Frances. I am not super happy with my last frame choice but will live with them till my next prescription. I go to Costco for mine which saves hundreds of dollars and then get $200 from extended health to supplement the price.

    I am totally unfamiliar with the TV show that movie is based on so likely I would be like you, missing most of the punch lines. That being said, I was an avid movie goer for many years, then my marriage ended and a later movie buddy dropped away and the movie going ended. I have been a few times this year with friends and do love the change from Netflix- the big screen, the audience, the popcorn...

    How wonderful that you are making new friends and starting new routines in your new Vancouver life. I have gone through a time when my closest friends have moved away or life changes have altered relationships and for the first time since my teen years I have felt kind of adrift and am spending lots of time alone. It gives me a total appreciation of how fortunate I have been throughout my life to be surrounded by good friends. I am really enjoying the new and developing friendships this past year, including reconnecting with you after more than 30 years. Life is so interesting with the different stages we move through!! Jenn B

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    1. Jenn, the TV show apparently ran for quite a few years in Britain and has a large and devoted following. . .
      Sorry to hear to feeling a bit at odds, friendship-wise, at the moment, and impressed that you use the perspective to see your overall luck. With that attitude I expect you'll regroup soon -- sounds as if you're already developing friendships that work in your new situation. And I'm still hoping we'll finally meet up again IRL. xo

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  19. Love those new glasses. Still smiling at the image of your skirt disappearing between your legs at the "slightest encouragement from the wind."
    Surprisingly I think I'll probably give the Ab Fab movie a miss. I've watched the show many times, although not always all the way through an episode. I love the characters, and the idea of the characters, but the over-the-top-ness of it can wear on me pretty quick. I still chortle at the scene in the TV series when Patsy had minor surgery and tried to order room service "darling" in the hospital... but not sure I could hang on for two hours or even ninety minutes.
    Gad... that makes me sound like a stick in the mud....which I'm not... usually.
    As for questions at the end of a blog post...like Sue/Une Femme I think they are more of an invitation as opposed to an assignment. Perhaps giving readers a place to start. I use them most of the time... but not always. Sometimes they just spoil a really good ending:)

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    1. Thanks Sue. I had to chuckle at my disappearing skirt as well, even as I tried discreetly to clutch it in place. . .
      Honestly, I can see why you'd give the movie a miss -- I suspect the material is much better suited to shorter duration, and perhaps also to the possibility of taking a kitchen or checking-my-texts break. I felt exactly the sentiment you expressed beginning "Gad . . . " I felt humourless compared to those around me, and I'm not, usually. . . .I'm going to see if I can track down the scene you describe and I'll like to check out a few of the TV episodes to see what I was missing.

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  20. I think it is wonderful that you ask questions and our opinions. It makes me think about different subjects and it let's me hear other people's views. It is like we are all having a wonderful conversation. Not forced at all.

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    1. Thanks, RH. I do feel as if we're chatting, wish I could serve up some tea! ;-)

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  21. Those frames are so incredibly excellent! I'm really glad to hear that a blog friend reached out to you and invited you out for some fun.
    I have had the same debate with myself about questions at the end of posts. I do think they tend to invite conversation in ways that just ending the post without them does not. Yet, I sometimes feel like mine are a bit contrived and forced. I especially feel this way now after coming back to blogging after such a long break. These past few months it's been a challenge to find my blogging voice again.

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    1. Thanks! Isn't it great when we get to meet up with our fellow bloggers IRL? Still remembering that lunch from -- what? 3, 4, 5 years ago -- when you and I and our guys got to meet. . .
      The questions. Yep, like you, I feel mine are contrived at times, but I have to say from the other side of the screen that yours work. And given all you have going on, I think your blogging voice is ringing out increasingly clearly. With the Spanish accent now, right?!

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  22. Oh,my comment is lost :-),maybe because of mobile phone or I can't find it!
    Like the questions because I like conversation and thank you for answers,I appreciate it very much
    Like the frames,-they were my favourites- and the outfits
    It is AbFab when friendships from blogosphere continue IRL!
    You both look great
    When I would be in Z. again,(this time from Adriatic) I plan to see AbFab
    Dottoressa

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    1. So sorry you lost the comment -- appreciate that you took time to write it again.
      I'm really hoping we will have a Fabulous meeting ourselves before too long. Probably not this fall as our trip is looking a bit complicated, but next year, I hope. Are you at the seashore right now? Lovely! Enjoy!

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    2. Thank you! I am indeed and it is beautiful-although there are too many people on the beach,but I swimm early in the morning and after 6 p.m so this is a good choice
      Yes,I was afraid so when I've read
      Your moving schedule for September
      But am looking forward our Fabulous meeting -this year or next one! No Kate Moss included :-)
      D.

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  23. Love your glasses Frances. I know how tricky this expensive purchase can be. After 16 years post laser eye surgery, I must wear glasses again. I bought a pair at Costco in November at a very reasonable price, only to be told by my daughter that they were old lady glasses. Needless to say, I felt self conscious everyday since. I found a lovely blue pair of prescription sunglasses, once again at Costco. While being fitted, I mentioned I was not happy with my everyday glasses. The technician helped me find a more stylish pair(blue frames to match my graying hair), and refunded the cost of my originals! Wow! Kudos to Costco.
    I just returned from a quick visit to the lower mainland and managed to book in a couple of lunches with female friends. It was lovely to catch up with them and share some personal concerns regarding family members. Knowing each other for over 30 years helps with understanding our back stories. As I commented previously, I don't anticipate developing such closeness with friends I am trying to cultivate in my new town. But, I remain open to possibilities as long as I remain true to myself.

    I appreciate further exploration of this topic. As well, I pay particular attention to comments and suggestions regarding communicating with our adult children. Sometimes, I wonder what the new norms are surrounding this ever changing landscape.

    Keep writing Frances. I look forward to reading your thoughtful à propos words. MaryB

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    1. You had 16 years without glasses? Must be hard to give that up again.
      And wow, yes, kudos to Costco! That's really impressive. And now we're both in the club of blue-frame-wearing, greying women . . .
      I'll be curious to see what you report as you settle into your new town. Those longtime friends are very special, of course, but new ones sometimes let us explore new parts of ourselves. . . .
      Thanks for commenting and for the kind words Mary.

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    2. Love the glasses! In response to your post, I realize that I rarely end in questions. Is this a flaw? perhaps. Your's always seem so natural, but I'm not always inclined to answer the question you post, and I somehow surmise that is ok.

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  24. That was so lovely to have that invitation from a fellow blogger. I suspect I would have found the outfits of the audience more riveting than the film - as a Brit I am rather overdosed on AbFab from TV, so will give the film a miss in favour of the new Star Trek (admitting that Chris Pine is rather restful to look at).
    It is such fun to meet up in real life (bloggers, not Chris Pine, tho that wouldn't go amiss). I have only met @marob23 and Christine from Writing from Scotland (tho it's not really 'only' because they are enriching people to know), but am thinking of facilitating a larger meet up of Scottish bloggers and IGers.
    Your questions? Love them - even if I don't always answer them, I love the discussions and detours they spark off.
    The Glasses - they really suit you.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I'm really hoping that we will be able to meet up within the next couple of years. Yours and @marob23's IG feeds convince me that I would love travelling through your geographies and it's not such a big hop from places we already go to regularly. . . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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