Well, did I fail or did I succeed?

At the start of this bizarre project, I said you would have to be the judge and that remains so.

I was going to wear the same dress, a gorgeous, soft, and pretty Merino wool frock for 100 days on the trot. That was the plan. That was not what happened.

So what did happen?

I wore The Frock for way less than I intend but learned way more than I anticipated.

I regard that as a victory.

66 days out of 100. I’m good with that.

You’d think that under a…

The period since my last entry for Project Frock (that was Chapter 2) has been a tale of two halves. Two very starkly contrasted halves, I should say.

As is so often the way, things started seemingly rather well and then suddenly life, comprehensively, blew up. Not total destruction (she says, hopefully) but right now it does feel like that.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, The Frock.

Well, we were getting on rather well actually, at the start of this last period.

I began to think of The Frock and I being in an arranged marriage. All the…

Today is Day 14 of this peculiar project.

Today is also the first of my dispatches from the frock front. A possibly crazy plan to see what happens to my moral perspective and my sanity if I wear the same dress for four whole months.

Welcome. I hope you stay the course with me. Actually, I hope I stay the course.

I decided not to call it a ‘challenge’ — sounded a bit too gimmicky. Maybe it is, but that’s not how I’m approaching it. There are 100 days in total. Consecutive days, I might add. …

Chapter 2

This soft bit of blue woolen fabric that I wear for nearly all my waking hours is starting to mess with my head. A bit.

It can make me think about things that maybe I don’t want to think about. Recently, I get less say in the convoluted thoughts knocking around in my head … the dress has seamlessly (see the clever pun?) taken on the role of my PA and decides what’s in my (small) Brain Diary for any given day. Do I possess The Frock or does it possess me?

On the one hand, The Frock…

Four Feet Under is my book (published on August 23rd, 2018) a powerful series of first hand accounts from London’s homeless. They chronicle their lives and open up their hearts. It really is an extraordinary book. You can buy it in any bookshop and also here, on Amazon, http://bit.ly/GET-YOUR-COPY-NOW

… and I really did have to be told. More than once.

I’m not a natural-born baker but if I were my cakes would probably be over the top. Too many coloured icing decorations, hundreds of sprinkles and plastic shapes and candles — even if it wasn’t anyone’s birthday.

My spoken language is a bit like my cakes might be, but possibly not so pretty.

I use profanities quite a lot with the exception of one particular word that for some (no doubt bourgeois) reason I just cannot say. Partly because my dad was an American soldier, so cussing was…

I haven’t written about earthquakes in a long time …

And this is a good thing.

They have pretty much stopped (although a few months ago we had a biggy and the wardrobe shuffled across the bedroom floor).

I don’t want to write about what is happening here anymore.

It makes me sad, angry and defeated. Nothing has happened to make things better. A few crappy pre-fabs went up a while ago but they had huge problems — no electricity, loos that had not been installed and so on: leaving the people who were meant to be living in them…

Most of you know (because apart from these awful earthquakes I don’t talk about much else) I’ve recently finished writing my book, FOUR FEET UNDER …


and it is now with the wonderful publishers at Unbound. Those of you loyal followers who don’t know, well … I’m here to tell you and badger you for support.

Unbound is a crowdfunding platform for writers (some super famous, like Stephen Fry and others, well … rather less so!). It is NOT vanity publishing. Their ideology is to get books out there, into the book shops and Amazon, that people want to…

I’m not sure this is even a proper blog entry …

… but I needed to explain why there was a bit of silence from my end.

I was indeed gloomy and low in my last essay, as quite a few of you noted in your messages to me. I remain so. Nothing much has advanced and I need to work out what to do. Should I fight? Should I sit back and see what plays out? Should I find (as Steve suggests) some middle ground to occupy? I have — as yet — no answer, no idea.

I want…

I am struggling. Physically and mentally.

My head feels like a tiny room that is just too crowded. I can’t move or even breathe properly. I don’t know what direction I am moving in, here among the rubble of buildings, fallen trees all the despondent people (as well as the people with that kind of manic optimism that is usually one step away from total breakdown).

I have taken some steps forward — I no longer sleep in boots and I shower regularly. But also some backwards. I danced to Barry White on the radio. On my own. I don’t…

| Land of the Forgotten Earthquakes

Little House on the Prairie

That’s what I imagined, as Steve and I were in the Comune signing up for a Casa di Legno (little wooden house). Anyone who is now homeless must register their need for a temporary home. (If you live in L’Aquila, a town smashed less than a decade ago by an earthquake, ‘temporary’ is a little laughable as people are still not back in their houses - doesn’t give anyone now much confidence at all, to be honest).

But, I am trying to be positive.

Hanging baskets full of geraniums swinging in the gentle breeze, me…

Tamsen Courtenay

Photographer & Writer. Creating images of beautiful, hidden stories for gentle people who want to make their walls smile stonelensphotography.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store