Betsan, from Caemarthan, at the Hay Festival on Saturday.
The event is so fabulous: picture the energy and buzz of a great music festival, but with people of all ages co-existing in peaceful harmony. It's positively Utopian. The town itself is totally charming: the Used Book Capital of the World. But then, outside the village, is a new, virtual village that springs up, for a brief time each year, complete with floral gardens to rival the Chelsea flower show. Smack in the middle of a farmer's field. And then, inside tents, instead of catwalk shows, you get these amazing talks with the best writers and personalities of our time. Ranging in price from free, to up to £8, tops.
It's a Woodstock of the mind. Glastonbury, only more quiet. With a touch of fashion week thrown in.
Last year, it seemed, everyone wore black. This year, it was all girly florals, and/or peachy pinks and reds.
Have you ever felt like you've worn the wrong thing to an event? I, too, had planned to wear something really sweet and floral. Instead, in a moment of style insanity, I paired a big baggy masculine top - my Zara breton top which was so 'right' in recent weeks - with big baggy masculine H&M nude shorts (which look great with something more fitted on top).
Baggy top + baggy bottom + stick legs = Total Glamour Don't.
Where did it all go so wrong for me, stylistically?
It all started out so nicely. Mr. Dot woke me @ 6:30 Saturday morning, to leave London @ 8:30 to arrive @ noon @ his parents' house in the countryside, lunch with his dad at a lovely pub nearby while his mum went to a wedding, then go to events @ the Hay Festival starting @ 2:30.
Knowing we were only gone one night, I figured I'd post, shower, throw a few things in the bag, and off we'd go. But, due to bad time management I left my self 20 minutes to shower, with five minutes to dress and pack.
Panicked, I threw everything in a bag, and as we drove away, realised I'd packed three pair of short shorts, about 17 pair of underwear, four flowery dresses, but no tights, leggings, or trousers. Luckily the weather was gorgeous: a bit too hot at times, and later, some welcome summery pre-storm clouds that never actually turned to rain.
It's rare that I let my outfit 'ruin' my day, and this weekend was so absolutely, magically perfect in every way, (lunch with his father was divine: what is better than local English asparagus, in spring, in a country pub?) that it only made a small dent in my being able to be 'present'. Because, in the end, that's all that really matters: being happy, here, now, with whatever conditions life throws at you. It was good for me, actually, to feel so unstylish: I became invisible. It allowed me to 'street stalk' to my heart's content, and appreciate the different ways that other women got it so right.
I've been trying to think of another time I can remember getting it so horribly wrong. Have you had that experience? The closest I can come to the feeling was Bridget Jones when she wore that Playboy bunny costume to her parents' friends' party. Altho, frankly, it wasn't really that bad. And besides, come Sunday, I was back in my favourite floral dress, feeling at one with the world.