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Get Ready With Me - It is that time of year again when the nights are drawing in, the clocks are to be turned back and WINDRUSH attendees will get an extra hour on the dance floor. Social media among my girly group is at fever pitch as we try to pick up any hints as to what each other might be wearing. Unfortunately, my girlfriends are all “old hands” at this and no one is giving the game away.

Best laid plans aside and despite 10 months’ notice and with life, work and other commitments getting in the way means that once again everything has come down to the wire. So as at Friday 20th October, 7 days to go and counting, I have no dress or shoes to wear and what was a "forthcoming event" is hurtling towards me like a high speed Crossrail train and suddenly an “imminent event”.

Wet N Wild Blue had me by Hello Palette

MAKEUP: Wet N Wild Blue had me by Hello Palette

As this was a special event I did return to my old faithful "Milk of Magnesia" as my Primer. I know, I know it leaves that starchy white residue on your T-Zone not to mention the white flecks that no amount of foundation will cover. As to the starchy residue that is fine your foundation will cover this, just be sure to let it dry and/or look at YouTube videos if unsure. The flecks I removed with a tooth brush. I then applied face powder let that soak in and provide a further barrier to oil seeping through, then applied my foundation as usual after completing my eyes. Transition Shade = Eyelid shade on the Right. Crease Shade = Crease shade on the Right. Outer V shade = Crease shade on the left. Lid Shade = Silver (spray flat shader brush for impact) 3/4 of the lid from inner tear duct to meet dark blue outer v shade. Ensure you place the silver directly on the inner tear duct and carry it along only a third under the lower lash line. Lower lash line shade is the crease shade on the left place it from where the silver begins right out to the corner of the eye to connect to the upper lid eye shadow.

Dress - I cannot find anything on-line from ASOS or Very that outshines anything I already have in my wardrobe. Not holding out much hope I troll the widely overlooked Fifty Plus website (who have now merged with JD Williams) and struck gold, or diamonds depending upon which way you look at it. I anxiously place my order for next day delivery.

Joanna Hope Bead Trim Swing Dress

I ordered size 26 hoping that sizing up would not mean that unsightly gap under the arms. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it on and my heart leapt with joy.

Do I start with the comfortable jersey lining that glides over my voluptuous folds without clinging, or the comfort factor that means you forget about the dress the moment you put it on? Did I mention the elegant chiffon that drapes over it creating such fluidity of movement when I walk that any woman is compelled to believe that all eyes will be on her as she glides across the floor. For those of us experiencing hot flushes or simply want to leave your Spanx at home and wear your most comfortable pair of dressy knickers, then this is the dress is for you. I wish I had not gone to the trouble of buying a new M&S bra as I felt my chest was so “lifted” that sometimes looking down it created a small fold in that area and would not lay flat. It was really a case of “better the bra that you know”.

The diamanté embellishment delineating the neckline was the true understated beauty of this dress.

Heavenly Soles Diamante Sandals Wide EEE Fit – The biggest surprise and post-DVT

Heavenly Soles Diamante Sandals Wide EEE Fit

I knew I was onto a winner the moment I slipped my swollen right foot into the EEE Strappy Silver Sandals. The padding under the sole of my foot took the comfort level to a whole new level. I ordered size 9 EEE fit (always over compensating for my swollen right foot). I didn't need to, as the size 8 EEE would have been a perfect fit as these sophisticated twinkling Sandals are true to size.


I sourced diamanté stud earrings, expandable bracelet and glitter ball handbag from my own collection, which proved the perfect accessories to my Navy Joanna Hope Swing Dress and Heavenly Soles Diamanté Sandals.


Thanks to YouTuber ForTheLoveOfUpDos "Protective Style* The Updo of All Updos my hairstyle was truly the Jewel in my crown. I had initially thought that reviving my lace front wig by brushing it, put into bendy rollers, dip into boiling hot water and then left to cool would suffice. Then having sourced such an elegant dress and sandals doubts began to creep in. I wanted something different, chic and refined. I turned on the laptop, clicked on YouTube app and typed in “Hair Updo’s”. Well YouTuber ForTheLoveOfUpDos ticked every box and I knew that allowing enough time and with a little patience I could manage to pull it off.

Unable to see the back, I shuffle across the landing to ask my youngest her opinion. Well step aside new dress, sandals and makeup for my hair. My question was greeted with trills of “oh mum you look so good” and “mum you look lovely” and validated my suspicion that enough bobby pins had been used and that everything was in place. Then came the accolades from my second eldest who cannot walk past a mirror without taking a selfie or “#I am feeling myself” "mum I think that's the best I have ever seen your hair"; Then my neighbour popping to the shops whilst we were waiting for our Uber exclaimed "You look absolutely stunning". The flattering remarks throughout the evening at the ball and last but not least the messages from my subscribers and followers that I was unable to read until 3:00am Sunday morning once I had taken the dogs out and just before I fell asleep all validated my choice of hairstyle. YouTuber ForTheLoveOfUpDos – I thank you and thank you for responding to the photos I sent to you.

Holiday Inn Coram Street London

Just beyond the sliding doors and warmth of the foyer our path to the ball room is peppered with chrome freestanding signs showing us the way. At the door of the suite a waitress steps forward offering to take our coats while another offers us a glass of fruit punch. The professional photographer with Team Inspiration backdrop is our first port of call. Confident our look is on point we seize this opportunity to smile, pose, twist and turn for the photographer before consuming a gourmet three coarse meal, the elasticity in our undergarment throws in the towel and the evidence is captured on camera for all the world to see. Not a good look.

Windrush 2017 at Holiday Inn Coram Street London

As the heavy oak doors to the hall opened we stopped in my tracks drinking in the uncompromising attention to detail so evident in the elegant simplicity of the classic black and white themed table setting. The light from the centre pieces were reflected in the glassware on a backdrop of stark white linen. We could not fail to be impressed by the genius, passion, commitment and the time spent in bringing the detailed historical cards of our heroes and heroins to us so many years into the future. As luck would have it we had the privilege of being seated at the Walker table, the heroine I had the pleasure of researching and wrote about in my black monthly blog.

CONCLUSION: It is the sunny brisk afternoon after the night before and if my knees weren't covered in Volteral they could tell you a story or two. I danced all night in my sparkling sandals and unlike Cinderella skipped home to my front door in the early hours wearing both of them. The wisdom of my choice was affirmed when my youngest Daughter trilled "where did you get those sexy shoes from?" At a mere £38 all I can say is that comfort, style and fit like this is priceless. I know to some it may be a petty thing but for me to be able to go out in my shoes, dance all night in them with my unpredictable right foot and come home in them without oohing, aaaahing or wincing as I take those final steps to my front door, is unheard of for me.

DJ's you did us proud and the test is in the dancing. I have a sore throat from singing along to the golden oldies. New memories were created and through the DJ's and their selection we relived some old ones too. I can't count the times my girlfriends and I gave each other that "oh my word do you remember this tune" look and the mortified expression on our children's faces as we jumped up with our hands in the air shouting a less than dignified "rewind" or "pull-up". Lolololol. All that dipping, whining, skanking and singing along to songs of the past is probably why today my knees feel as if I done two hours on the treadmill. But it was worth it.

That being said when bashment was played dinner Jackets were unceremoniously strewn across the back of chairs and the women forgot their bodies were adorned with elegant evening dresses. My girlfriends and I sat tall and proud staring at mirror images of our younger selves as the young and fit got on down. What was even more nostalgic was that our daughters, would often proclaim this is “old people music”, were the very same young ladies sitting with their faces illuminated by the light of their phones, singing every word to every track from their childhood. Songs that were so often played as we bathed them, plaited their hair, cooked or cleaned.

I pray that I am at Windrush 6 (2018) to witness Team Inspiration bring to our attention those silent heroes who have had and continue to have a deafening impact on our community. On a night when more young people than ever attended, it was with pride that I watched the younger generation make respectful gaps in the queue to the buffet so that our silent heroes can be served before them, or take orders from those less able to go up and bringing the buffet to the table of their elders.

To my current day silent heroin Julie Cameron (Team Inspiration) or Jules as she is lovingly known to us I say, I hope one day you will tell me your secret to dressing elegantly, wearing those high heels, walking up and down taking care of us all ensuring our needs are met, breaking out into dance mode every so often, while smiling through it all!

New Years Eve 2017 Midnight Affair Masquerade Ball – here we come. X


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