Saturday, 11 June 2011
'In Limbo' is possibly the best way to describe how I'm feeling right now. I'm torn between revising for the rapidly dwindling number of exams I have left, or just shunning my exercise books and writing. On top of this quandary, I have been struck down with general un-wellness (alongside a sore throat and ear ache - there's a side ordering of tinnitus).
However, these photos represent for me what was a perfect two nights of camping last weekend. To celebrate a family friend's birthday, we stuffed the car (to the point we were worried it would roll backwards if on a steep slope) with a tent, sleeping bags, far too much food and anything else needed for braving the outdoors, before driving to a campsite in the Welsh hills. Oh, and somewhere among the guy ropes and toothbrushes, there nestled a rather lovely green, floral dress. And some heels. The Scouts' motto "Be prepared" can have a multitude of interpretations...
The simple pleasures of pitching a tent next to a mumbling river, meeting new people and wandering along forest-framed footpaths are unbeatable. As is scrambling over rocks to read the Guardian Weekend in the middle of the racing water. Oh and playing in the sea with my brother and his new found friends - by that I mean I was the 'shark' that they all wanted to splash and squeal at. We took part in every camping cliche that could be mustered - singing Beatles' songs around the campfire, toasting marshmallows on sharpened twigs and plunging into the ice-lolly cold river. I can think of worse ways to wake oneself up.
The added no mobile phone signal starts to make this post sound like the stories you read in a Sunday supplement travel section; where the writer 'reconnected' with the bucolic force of nature and realised that actually twitter/ facebook/ emails aren't that important, and should be replaced with gardening and willow plaiting. My daily bond with the outdoors is still as strong as ever (hard not to be, as I am writing this while looking out at fields and trees), but there was something magical about just being in and appreciating such a lush, green environment. So, green is the word of the day - as it has figured both in this outfit, and in my thoughts.
The colour green can be seen to symbolise many different things. After watching Atonement for the 57th time last night, I was reminded of a quote about that green silk dress worn by Keira Knightley, about which the designer Jacqueline Durran claimed that the particular shade had been chosen to represent temptation. It could also be seen as an embodiment of Briony's envy, or as the Guardian suggested, a "leitmotif" repeated throughout the film. Although I'm sure a whole essay could be written on the various merits and motives of that swoon-worthy bias cut dress (the psychology of clothes - utterly fascinating); what I'm talking about specifically is the power of colour.
As well as the above attributes, green can symbolise jealousy and evil - making it a ripe choice for the Witch in the 'Wizard of Oz'. However, it is also a shade that can stand for qualities such as environmental, natural, wild and cyclical - just think of the 'Green Man' within british folklore. All these conflicting messages associated with just one element of the colour spectrum!
However, the same can be said of all the colours we are surrounded by. Red can be danger, confidence or symbolic of the 'vamp'. Black can remind one of the epitome of elegance - Audrey Hepburn in her rollneck jumper and capri pants - or represent morbidity and death. White can be either purity and chastity, or it can exemplify minimalism. It's all so dependent on context.
In this instance, the colour of the dress is just one of the many shades of green that inked in my idyllic weekend - just another simple pleasure.
Down to the details. The vintage dress was a birthday present, as were the gorgeous Office shoes (from ebay I am told). The little basket bag was picked up in a charity shop, along with the leather belt. The necklace belonged to my great-grandma.