miniature sausage dogs
This is the face of an evil ham-pinching sausage dog.

I frequently self-flagellate, believing that I haven’t achieved everything I needed to have done. In fact I spend most of my time thinking I could have got more done if I had applied myself. It’s an extremely bad habit, given that when I bother to list what I’ve been up to at any given moment I usually find that it would have been hard to have fitted anything else in.

Today was a case in point. I started slowly – woke late, ate breakfast in bed and snuggled with the dogs. By midday I was ringing the doorbell at my sister’s flat, arms full of presents. I was there to help clear and organise her living and dining room, which were barely visible under too much STUFF, prior to her friends coming around for Sunday lunch.

I prepped the simple lunch for her (roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrots, panettone bread and butter pudding), and left for Hampstead village to look in the sales for anything summer-y for our Thailand trip.

Although retailers like to pay lip service to the idea that we are pan-seasonal these days, it remains that, should you require any kind of summer clothes in winter, you need to shop online. (in that respect I am particularly impressed with Monsoon and Accessorize’s Beach Shop, which has all manner of kaftans, bathing costumes, and hats available all year around.)

That being said I did manage to find two summer-ish dresses, a really great navy shirt dress, and a print frock, and a cotton shirt in Whistles, and a loose shirt to wear over a swimsuit in GAP. After which success, I drove down to Ayla’s house to drop off presents for her and the children.

Then I headed over to Heidi Klein in Westbourne Grove for a spray tan. Pre-tanning I was the colour of skimmed milk – white with a hint of blue. Mmmmm attractive.

I was not best pleased to arrive home to discover that the dogs had vomited Parma ham all over my hallway after Letty gazelled up onto the hall table and stole £10 worth that I had bought from the Italian deli on Parkway for my mother. So there was cleaning that up too. Little f*ckers.

miniature sausage dogs
(Another butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth expression from Lettice)

I had an hour at home to eat a late lunch, each mouthful watched over by the dogs, (on a hiding to nothing after the ham episode), before loading up the car again.

Dogs and final presents dropped off at my sister’s, I drove up the M1 to my father’s to drop off my car – there is snow forecast and three weeks is a long time to leave a little car on the road. He then gave me a lift to Milton Keynes, and I am now writing this on an express train to Euston. All my ducks are quacking nicely in a row!

I’ve spent the evening auditing every drawer, closet and shelf in the apartment, looking for things I have forgotten I owned and seeing if there is anything fit for purpose for Thailand.

It’s been quite successful so far, my missing eyeglasses turned up and I have found several pretty sarongs and a Zimmerman beach bag I’d forgotten I owned. (It’s so bloody long since I went anywhere near a beach.)

I still need lots of SPF50 suntan lotion, some kaftans and light dresses to wear in the evenings so horrifically, in the run up to Christmas, Regent Street is beckoning first thing…

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Wow – sounds frantic! If it helps any – You can buy fabulous beach and summer stuff here in Thailand – no need to go shopping before you travel. In fact, I recomend that you keep space in your luggage for a few purchases! Try Central World or Siam Paragorn when you arrive, and they have any number of fabulous local designers / quirky pieces / summer things available. Have a great trip.


Hey Lini! I’ve been lucky enough to trawl the shoppings malls of Bangkok before and I absolutely agree about how good they are, but this trip we are flying via Hong Kong, not Bangkok, and transfer to Phuket and then straight to Koh Racha Yoi, which is twelve nautical miles off Phuket with barely any shops!

We then move in quick succession to two more quite self-contained smart resorts, before the ten day backpacking and exploring section of the trip so, although as my father says- darling there ARE shops abroad, in this case I do need things before I leave! Happy Christmas! LLGxx


Hi Sasha,

I totally sympathise – this time last year I was packing frantically for a month-long trip to Colombia. It felt bizarre to be packing sun cream and beach dresses in cold, dark Blighty.

In case it’s any help, I picked up a silk print shirt dress yesterday on Marylebone High Street in Anthropologie’s sale that would be perfect for dinner on the beach. Annoyingly it’s not on their website but it’s in the Second Female range in store and I bet they’d have it in the Regent’s Street branch.

Good luck with it all – you will get it done! Don’t forget mosquito repellent!

Louise x


What about shopping at the airport after you go through passport control?


HAM POACHERS? Us? Surely you have us confused with the invisible gnome who comes out from under your bed and reeks havoc whenever you are out!


Dogs’ photos look like mug shots! I don’t know, they appear quite remorseful to me.
Have a wonderful trip.


Not to worry–even IF you don’t get everything done, you will get enough done so that you will get on that plane, and get to have a wonderful adventure. Also ( I can’t believe I am about to say this as I am a stylist) while on holiday, who cares what you have on as long as you cover your assets–you are supposed to have fun and relax. So…have a Happy Christmas and a fantastic holiday!!!


Your sausage dog is the cutest little puppy ever. Been contemplating between breeds of dogs, and sausage dog is on the top of my list– I am just worried about their backs, which apparently can become a problem?

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