The second day of my Switzerland trip was just as action-packed as the first. Alan and I evacuated our beds mega-early, because we love to make every second count where my niece and nephew are concerned. It's important to me to be part of their everyday routine as far as I can and I adore doing my niece's hair (which she always wants the same as mine) before walking them both to school.
Once they were safely ensconced in daycare and kindergarten, Alan and I had a free period while my bro and sis-in-law were working. We took ourselves off for a walk by the Rhine, which is conveniently situated a mere 10 mins walk from Casa Bro. It was particularly sweltering day, but as always, I chose modesty over comfort and made sure 80% of my person was disguised from public view.
The top I'm wearing was recently picked up from the Open Door charity shop for a bargain-tastic six pounds. Unfortunately, it had suffered more than a few creases from being in my luggage and I couldn't be bothered ironing it, so I hope you'll forgive my tardiness in this instance. Although, in the spirit of keeping things real, I never bother ironing things at home either, so why the hell would I iron them on holiday?? Ironing is one of many chores I swerve on the reg and I would encourage you all to follow suit. I think it's fine to look a bit of a scruff, even when you're a fashion blogger and so far, nothing bad has happened as a result of being a lazy sod. I may avoid reading the comments on this blog though, just to be on the safe side.
I love a bit of leopard print and was delighted to pick up these animalistic Primark trews for £1.99 from the Barnardo's chazza. I feel I can completely get away with not having ironed these either, the print is so busy it's difficult to tell where the creases end and the pattern begins. My ever-observant niece did pick up on an interesting and pertinent anomaly however. She was staring at the bottoms of the trews for ages before she asked, "Auntie Laura, why do your trousers have zips on the ankles?" Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather! I though this was a brilliant question and one that I didn't have a ready answer to. I answered "Because it's fashionable", only to receive a predictable "Why?" I settled on "Because it's easier to get them off if you unzip them" which was completely untrue but it calmed things down. I'm now thinking of writing to Primark to ask why they put zips on the ankles of these trousers. They serve no useful function whatsoever and although I didn't question it when I bought them, I'm now extremely confused as to how and why they are 'fashion'!
My plan for the 'shoot' that day was to have loads of pics on the little boat in the photos above. There wasn't anyone else waiting to board so I thought I'd have a free reign to get snap happy. Unfortunately however, seconds after getting on, an ENTIRE wedding party got on too! I'm talking bride, groom, bridesmaids, tons of guests and a photographer! The whole shebang filled the entire boat and immediately commandeered the vessel for their own photographic needs. I really wanted to get a pic for you, but it seemed a little rude to intrude on their special day, so I was forced to haul ass to other locations instead. Luckily, Basel is rammed with picturesque backdrops. It's an Instagrammer's and blogger's wet dream in fact, so henceforth and forthwith, I bid you to follow me to my next vantage point.
Before I startedblogging, I always thought doorways were just for going through. NOT SO! With the light coming through them from behind, they are the perfect posing framework. Get your photographer, in my case, Alan, to stand low down and shoot upwards for that perfect arty and whimsical portrait.
The only pitfall to using doorways as part of your mise-en-scene, is that other people may feel the doorway is simply for going through and not understand it is part of your theatrical presentation. They may get annoyed and gripey at having to wait until you've got your shot. It's important to be mindful to the needs of other doorway users and remember doorways are there for everyone to enjoy. One way I deal with this is to practice posing at home, so that when I reach a doorway, or other public thoroughfare, I can throw out around twenty or so shapes relatively quickly and not take up an excessive amount of time being a bloody nuisance.
As I was sweating cobs and my neck was starting to catch fire through my factor 50, Alan and I decided to take a stroll around one of our fav gaffs in Basel, the Munster. If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll recognise it from when I was here last October. It's still just as peng as ever. I'm wearing my sunglasses indoors because I forgot to take them off, I'm not a hipster whopper, honest. But it does give me a prime opportunity to talk about them. The main point I need to convey is that they were ONE POUND from Primark!!! If you saw my first Swiss blog last week, you'll know I've got them in pink too and I'll shortly be going back to get them in every other colour imaginable. They're not the best at shielding one's eyes from the glare of the sun, but they're better than not wearing any sunglasses if you get my drift. I'd give them 5/10 for sun protection but a strong 10/10 for being badass face furniture.
As well as the majestic architecture of Basel Munster, can we also take a second to reflect on my majestic trainers?
These ultra-convincing Vans dupes only cost a mere £8 from Primark and I cannot sing their praises enough! Not only did they withstand lots of tramping around Basel in the sweaty heat, they also performed beautifully the day after when we went up Mount Titlis and encountered actual real snow at the top. I'll talk about that more in my next blog, but they came out of the entire holiday virtually unscathed. They are ridiculously comfortable, like a hug for the foot and I simply cannot recommend them highly enough.
They are even good for doing ballet in, should the urge strike. I've always dreamt of taking to the stage and sometimes the urge to perform overwhelms me. Even if I am in a very serious and sensible cathedral. Also, I do get quite bored of standing still in these fashion pics and see no reason why I can't combine dance and style. I honestly think there's potential to perform these fashion blogs on the West End one day. What do you reckon? I can totally see 'Avenue Primark Q' being a big hit, or what about 'Sweet Charity Shop'?
Luckily there wasn't anyone around needing to interfere with my mise-en-scene inside the Munster, so I took full advantage of it's numerous doorways. Thank God the Munster had the presence of mind to co-ordinate itself with my outfit!
After a quick atmospheric scowl on a plinth under a window, I was ready to venture out into the raging volcanic heat. Alan and I were due to collect my niece from kindergarten at lunch and we had a full afternoon of going to the park ahead of us so needed to make tracks. We were also excited for a full evening of babysitting both my niece and nephew while my bro and sis-in-law headed out to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
One of the things I love about being an Auntie is you can get on the climbing frames without anyone thinking you're a weirdo. I always love getting down and dirty, revisiting my youth and all that. Except I've noticed that since I became middle-aged, the old body isn't what it used to be. My niece was scrambling around like a little monkey on this contraption but my bones had had enough after hauling myself a foot off the ground. I was forced to get down and act my age, not my shoe size.
We had a perfect afternoon in the park, only slightly marred by having to resolve a paddling pool dispute involving my niece being battered with an inflatable swan. Turns out, I'm great at dealing with young German whipper-snappers who're using air-based flotation devices as weapons. Looking fierce and yelling 'NEIN!' is a great deterrent if anyone finds themselves in a similar predicament at some point.
After the park we headed back to Casa bro and after waving him and my sis-in-law off for their meal, we set about getting the kids to bed. It promised to be a lovely, heartwarming time of baths, stories and cuddles, all done and dusted by around 9pm.
However, it turns out that little ones can be quite crafty when they get a new babysitter. Even if one of them can't actually talk yet. Hence, it got to 10.30pm and neither of them were asleep, both bedrooms had been trashed and Pooh Bear had taken an unexpected bath. I may have scored massive Auntie points for arranging secret ice-creams and extra playtime, but I suck big time at enforcing any sort of discipline. It only ended when my bro came back. Just like magic, both kids were in bed and the lights were off within seconds.
Luckily we were all able to see the funny side, but Pooh Bear needed an Aperol Spritz before he could recover his composure.