Sunday, 17 February 2013

Beautiful Burgundy Brogues

Sebago BroguesA couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win Sarenza's Pinterest competition. To enter you had to create a Pinterest board with items from the sale section of the website, and it's safe to say I got a little carried away! Pinners were told to get creative so I went with a snow/winter theme, as we'd just had lots of the white stuff in Manchester - it was quite literally a case of inspiration from above!

I went with the title 'Snow White and the Several Types of Serenza Shoes' and you can see my Pinterest board here.

I couldn't decide whether to buy two pairs of shoes or invest in one really good pair that I knew would last me. These Jeffrey Campbells were definitely out of the picture! I think Jeffrey Campbell shoes are just made to be looked at with awe and most definitely not worn. That person hates feet. Instead I decided to go for some trusty burgundy Sebago brogues, as I knew that I would get lots of wear out of them and they would fit in with my wardrobe quite easily.

The shoes took around five days to arrive which I thought was pretty speedy, but maybe I've just had bad experiences with other companies before? I was worried that they wouldn't fit as well and I'd have to exchange them for a different size, but luckily they were perfect! I usually have such trouble with sizes as I have big feet and flat arches, but that wasn't the case :)

They're really comfy and I love all the little details of the cutting of the leather and the print on the sole. I'm sure these will last a lot longer than my Office brogues, which are well on their way out. I have a habit of wearing a pair of shoes to death, so much so that I require an intervention and someone needs to physically put them in the bin for me! (RIP black Converse of '09). I think it's just because I have such trouble with shoes that when I find a pair that fit, I cling on to them for dear life.

But yes, these brogues are oh so pretty and I am now fully addicted to Pinterest and buying shoes online. Sorry if this post comes across as a massive brag, but I do like seeing what people win when they enter competitions, and these shoes are too lovely not to share. It was nice to take some photos outside for the first time this year as well! I've been massively loving the sunshine today.

Thanks Sarenza! *dances with pretty shoes on*

(I don't know whether to be proud or slightly ashamed that I've managed to write an entire post about one pair of shoes, but hey, it's in my blog title...)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Glen Hansard at RNCM

Going to see a live band on a Friday or Saturday night was the thing to do as a teenager in my town. It didn't matter if the band was terrible, or if they played the kind of thrash metal that makes your ears bleed (every kind), the slightly run down social club / live venue was the place to be. You might have even got a drink if you were lucky or if you knew the people on the door.

At 23, watching live music is somewhat of a more civilised affair. Once you've done the whole standing up for five hours to watch a headline act, a seated show is the holy grail. No bruised toes for me! (Curse you size 8s!) So you can imagine that I was quite happy to find out that the Glen Hansard gig that me and Courtney had tickets to last week was seated. Hurray!

I kind of stumbled across Glen Hansard after watching the film Once. We watched it together sometime last year when Netflix was still a bit rubbish and only had some very old or very obscure films. I fancied something a bit 'romcom-y', but not too 'smooshy' (clearly a master of the English language here) and Once seemed to fit the bill.

It's about an Irish busker and a Czech girl who randomly meet and start playing music together and kind of have a 'thing' ('romcom-y') but then things get left unsaid, or things just don't quite work out (not 'romcom-y' bit) and it's all just very honest and real and it has an amazing soundtrack! I think my favourite part is when the Girl is trailing a hoover down the main street as the Guy works in a hoover repair shop down the road. I think we looked Hansard up straight after watching it and found that he was doing a tour in 2013, so we bought tickets to see him play.

The performance was at the Royal Northern College of Music, which despite living with three music students for two years, I had never been to. It's definitely one of those buildings that has the whole slightly refurbished but still quite 50s look about it.

The Lost Brothers were the warm-up act, and I really enjoyed the folky/Americana/blues vibe going on, especially their rendition of Moon River that they performed as a tribute to Andy Williams who passed away last year.

Glen Hansard and his band shortly followed. I wasn't expecting him to have such a large ensemble, although he did perform quite a few songs with just him and his guitar, which was clearly well loved. As it was the last gig of the tour, there were a few added extras. The cellist took centre stage and sang a song, and the girl who helps with the merchandise was invited to sing on stage. The encore went one for another seven extra songs, including a crowd singalong, and then Glen and the band played out in the foyer, which I don't think the management were too happy about, but made the event extra special.

They played a couple of songs that I knew from the film, and a couple that I hadn't heard yet from some of his newer stuff, but I enjoyed the whole set. That guy really has an amazing voice, and it was clear to see the passion in every word and note that he sang. And he's Irish, what's not to love?

Definitely give this song a listen from the film, if you haven't already:

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