I am nestled into my desk chair on the top floor of St. Anne's gatehouse, a simple and mildly unattractive stone building in the midst of Oxford's beautiful campus. I am torn between liking and detesting my room - the faded green carpet is scrungy, and the curtains have a print evocative of someone's hunting trip sleeping bag from the 70s. But there is a huge window that opens up with a wooden window seat tucked into the corner that I love, love, love. I have put pictures from Vogue and GQ and napkins from patisseries and maps and a shot of my mother and her friends at Dover in 1982, in addition to throwing magazines and my polka dot scarf over the window seat. So it is much, much more homey.
On a separate but related note, may I say that I cannot over emphasize the value of large scarves, both pashminas and thin cotton or silk ones the size of a flat sheet (seriously) for travelling?
The uses are as follows, among others:
1) Scarf around neck
2)Headcovering in the event of rain/ wind/ a need for modesty
4) Emergency skirt, shirt, or dress once you learn to wrap them
5) chair covering, wall covering, bed covering or curtain in a hideous hotel room or dormitory
6) Tied up corners to form a tote bag
7) blanket or covering for trains and planes
And I am sure I could think of more, but these are just the ones I have used on this trip.
Style note: I am not sure yet what the youth-hostel-traveller-chic look is, as I spent the last four days experimenting with it, but I do know that it involves a certain amount of dampness and wrinkles in clothing, in addition to layers and layers of garments.