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Self-portrait with hot water bottle cover



Today Violet decided she would dress me, so she fished around the back of the wardrobe where we store all the unnecessary items until she found my Wallace Rose dress from the late nineties. She also found a giant fake fur coat, which I declined to wear. I was a bit worried that this dress was dated, but I figured the nineties were back in style and this was a genuine article. It’d probably cost me a lot of money – I bought it before I had kids, when I had a half-decent job, and I’d spend my Saturday afternoons sifting about the shops. I liked Wallace Rose – it was vintage chic before vintage was a big thing.

I’m holding onto a hot water bottle cover that my mother knitted me. She felt she had to because she made one for my sister, and she worries that we’ll get jealous of each other. My badge was designed by artist John Reynolds and I bought it at a naval museum one afternoon in Devonport. At my feet is a giant pile of weeds – I did the gardening in these clothes because I can never be bothered getting changed into gardening gear and the soil was just damp enough to release the weeds and not wet enough to cake me in mud. I filled up our green bin that will be collected next week, and I marvelled at how we have 2 compost heaps and a worm bin and a giant pile of sticks and leaves and still it’s not enough to contain all the green that keeps on growing harbouring snails that keep on slithering. As I gardened one of the neighbourhood free range bunnies lippity-lippitied over to me, re-dug the dirt and looked a bit disdainful that I’d pulled out all his puha.

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