It had felt like ages since I had last seen Shalisa and Sammi (how had it only been a couple of weeks!?) so we felt it was about time we met up again for some fun in Reading. I needed to do some fabric research and it was really useful to have my friends there for some second opinions. It was also an excuse for us to gossip and eat cake!
The weather forecast just would not make up its mind, which resulted in me having to put together a outfit with dark colours at the last minute. I find rain water stains are just the worst thing ever to get out of light coloured clothing. Although after going to all this trouble, it was dry and sunny for almost all the time we were outside. Typical! So the outfit I had planned will have to wait. I made do with this outfit using my Classic Frame Bodyline skirt. At least it meant I finally got to wear my red Haruhi Clover hat, which is the least worn of my HC hat collection. Considering what a fluster I was in, I look surprisingly composed here! I was having a bit of a panic because I thought I had lost my favourite Estee Lauder lipstick (which is a good match for the colours in this skirt) and I was struggling to decide if I liked the outfit better with the black or red clip pinned to my blouse. In the end, I went with the red clip, and my lipstick eventually turned up! I know it sounds silly, but it is not very often I find a lipstick colour which I really love!
We braved a trip to Fabric Land first, which sadly proved to be uninspiring. Shalisa and Sammi did give me some helpful advice on a project I am working on. I am not sure this project is going to amount to anything, but if it does then I would really like to do my best and create something that not only looks cute, but is also sturdy and reliable. At the moment I can't really say much else about what I have planned, but if it is a success then I hope to share it on here. After leaving the shop empty handed, we decided to go to Nandos (Cheeky Nandos! Proper banter!) as it looked quiet inside. Usually if it is quiet, that is a sign that the staff are not going to be too overworked and therefore in theory, the food is better. So many times, I have gone past a Nandos, only for it to be completely packed! But we got lucky this time, and the food was perfect. I went for mango and lime chicken thighs with peri fries. The peri fries reminded me a bit of the spicy chips I usually get in the Mitre. We haven't been to Oxford or the Mitre in such a long time, but sadly there isn't really a great deal to do in the town centre and Reading generally has a better 'vibe'. I feel more comfortable wearing lolita in Reading compared to Oxford, and people generally tend to leave you alone. We did however have one slightly creepy old guy who hovered nearby when we took photos.
None of us were particularly fussed about going shopping, so we went to our new favourite patch of grass by the riverside for photos. We usually spot dragonflies flying about in this area, and it was really fun trying to follow them and get a good picture. This little guy above has been named Gary (I felt they looked like a Gary). Gary was maybe not as colourful as the blue dragonfly we saw flying around (I couldn't get a picture of that one, but Shalisa did) but I think Gary looks like a very cheerful dragonfly. We locked eyes for a little while, and I feel we developed a connection. I would like to think Gary and I are friends now. Sadly we didn't see the beautiful black dragonfly, which has the most gorgeous fluttery wings, who we have seen a few times . One day I shall befriend the goth dragonfly, but I will never forget Gary.
After waiting around for the sun to go in by the roses, we gave up and ended up taking pictures on a slope. Sammi wore some casual chocolate goodness. I feel this outfit sums up Sammi's wardrobe quite well.
Shalisa wore her Bodyline skirt, which is such a pretty shade that almost always photographs purple. I just had to use this photo, as I love Shalisa's cheeky smile here!
I kind of had a bit of a nostalgia moment, and asked the other 2 if they would mind doing an old-school shoe shot. I have really missed doing these! They remind me of the shoe shots you used to get in egl meet up reports. The lolita livejournal community may be dying, but it will always be a part of my heart. We decided against doing the star pose with our hands, as I was the only one wearing any rings anyway.
Afterwards we went to the Outlook (no surprises there) where I was very pleased to see they now stock one of my favourite ciders. I have a thing for passionfruit, and this Rekorderlig cider is oneof the best. My favourite is the passionfruit Old Mout, but that one is not as common, especially in pubs. This cider was so cool and refreshing, especially considering it had gotten surprisingly hot in the sunshine. We definitely got inside at the right time though, as the heavy rain started not long after we got inside. We watched on as the river showed signs that it was about to flood and the ducks took cover. There is something very peaceful about sitting inside and watching the rain. I only wish we could have opened the windows a little, as I love the smell of rain. I would love to find a decent perfume which captures this scent. If you know of any, then please comment and let me know!
I decided to break with tradition and get the Oreo cheesecake instead of the chocolate fudge cake. As you can see, it is very pleasing on the eye. I love how there is an Oreo print on the side of the cake, where it had been cut. It was a really tasty cheesecake but truth be told, it was a bit cloying. When I got to the end I had to leave a bit, as it got a bit too sickly. Still, I did better than Shalisa, who had the most dire looking sundae ever. I didn't even want to photograph it, because it looked too tragic. The moral of the story is, always get the fudge cake in the Outlook. Well, unless you are feeling a bit greedy and want the cheesecake. I don't regret my choice! This really made me wish I was in the Mitre though, as their Eton Mess sundae is exactly what I was craving that day.
Having had a good catch up, we eventually left and said our goodbyes. It had stopped raining, so I never did get the chance to test my macaron umbrella from my last Taobao order. Although in some ways, that is actually a good thing. I now have a couple of dresses in my wardrobe which I have not had the chance to wear yet, so fingers crossed I will get to wear one of those next time. And luckily, with Shalisa's birthday coming up, I don't have long to wait! I am really looking forward to seeing my friends again soon.