Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Things I want #7654

In Christmas, fashion, shopping on November 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I’m really organised this Christmas. I’ve already bought most of my gifts and really only have The Boy left to buy for, which I find really difficult – largely as he generally wants vintage Star Wars memorabilia in perfect condition – which, I might add, he then leaves, untouched, in a dark box so it can’t be damaged by sunlight. How very dull.

Similarly, I am a nightmare to buy for (see previous posts on the birthday of identical thoughtful gifts!) because I like so many things, but invariably buy them for myself before the big day. At Christmas that’s acceptable, right? After all, I have so many parties and nights out planned that all of the shoes and bags, dresses, shrugs and earrings that I covet from mid-November would come in jolly useful before Christmas…

Take later this month. On November 29th, a fabulous new jewellery client of mine, called LaLa Rocks will be launching. I’ve already earmarked these gorgeous blue velvet shoes and clutch for it – and I plan to wangle an armful of matching bracelets for the big event. But then I saw these sparkly beauties at Dune and spied a matching clutch (there’s a theme to my coveting, isn’t there?) and thought – well, how much more Christmassy can you get? From being the hostess with the mostest on Christmas Day to teaming with jeans and a fauz fur jacket to meet my friends for cocktails, I’d wear them to death, so I need those before too…

So they don’t help with the compilation of my Christmas List because I know I’ll end up splashing out beforehand.I think gifts have to have that element to them where it’s something you’ve admired for a while, but haven’t been able to justify spoling yourself with – something that to be fair, I do too much of anyway. It’s difficult, but not impossible…


For example, I’ve seen this cute coin purse from Tiffany, which would probably see the end of me flinging my   change into the depths of the Bag Of Doom never to be seen again, and this ultra-sparkly cocktail ring by Thomas Sabo which, again, is something I’ll admire and desire but can’t justify buying for myself – though it would be a beautiful match for my Chanel Paradoxal nail polish…

That said, since I’ve been so sensible with my Christmas requests from my parents – namely asking for new lighting for the in-progress lounge, maybe such sparkle wouldn’t be frowned on. Now, where’s my fountain pen? Dear Father Christmas, I have been ever so good this year…





The strangely therapeutic art of stripping

In decorating, home, shopping on November 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

I’ve discovered a rather unexpected new way to tone up and release stress – stripping.

To clarify, there’s not a sequinned G string in sight, just a bucket of hot water, a sponge, a stepladder and a scraper, and a load of walls just waiting to be attacked. Yes, the great renovation plan of 2011 has begun, and the clock is ticking.

Having never had to strip wallpaper before; I’ve only ever come across smooth plastered walls; I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the task ahead, but I found the whole thing very therapeutic – watching the reams of paper come away from the wall, removing the remnants of lining paper and – best bit ever – the feeling of satisfaction when great swathes of paper came away from the staircase reaching right up to the ceiling that I hadn’t a hope of reaching.

Quite apart from the opportunity to either bawl my lungs out singing along to my music or simply use the time to think about things that are festering anxiously in my mind, I also lost several pounds over the course of three days – clearly all that reaching,balancing,  heaving and pulling was as good as any Body Pump class. Right now, the sitting room looks ugly, and is so cold without its dado rail and coating of nasty 70s paper, but it already seems so much bigger.

Work In Progress

In the next couple of weeks, the walls will be re-plastered, our flooring will be ripped up to be replaced with rich deep brown elm, and our nasty fire will be removed, to be replaced with this…

We’re at loggerheads at present over new iron balustrades and radiators, but I’m just waiting for the chance to splash out on all of the rugs, cushions, candles and finishing touches that will make the show-house a home.

In the meantime, Project Bedroom is so far going to plan; the chandelier is waiting to be hung, the sumptuous duvet, throw, cushions and candles are all in place, and I’m just waiting for the right weekend to paint the feature wall a deep damson shade. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide I love that too.

In terms of toning up, it’s proving a winner, Karate Kid style. It’s not so much ‘wax on, wax off’ and ‘paint the fence’ as ‘wipe on, yank off’ and ‘paint the wall’. Not that I’ll be winning any trophies soon…

You is kind, you is smart, you is important

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

A couple of weeks back I read Kathryn Stockett’s massively successful novel The Help and thought it was one of the most fantastic books I’ve ever read – shocking, heart-breaking, heart-warming in parts and also so distressing and frustrating in parts that it made me bubble up with fury at people’s ignorance and cruelty. The knowledge that while we’ve advanced so far, and yet not at all, in the decades since the book was set, doesn’t make for comfortable reading.

The book tells the opposite side of Gone With The Wind, and is touching, yet utterly disgraceful – it’s been a while since anything brought so many emotions out in me.

The accounts of brutality against black people made me wince with horror, as much as the disgusting disregard these unpleasant, stupid women had for their own children. Rather than being grateful that those children had a loving, caring mother figure while they minced about playing bridge, they ostracised and intimidated the very women they owed the most to. The parts of the book where Aibileen repeatedly tells the small girl in her care Mae Mobley ‘You is kind, you is smart, you is important,’ so that the child grew up knowing that, despite her mother’s lack of attention, were so touching … The novel has that rare power to make you sit back and think about the state of the world, human behaviour and what it would take to bring harmony.

A week later I went to see the movie and for once, absolutely loved itv – it was every bit as powerful as the book, and while it left out some of the more brutal elements of the novel, it brought home the vile, oppressive environment that these women, who genuinely loved the children in their care, had to endure.

Emma Stone was wonderful as the privileged white woman who wanted to reveal the truth, Skeeter, while the brave cast of actresses who portrayed the heartless, ignorant bitches played their parts equally well – particularly Bryce Dallas Howard who bravely took on the part of the utterly despicable Miss Hilly. However, it was the performances from Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minnie that stood out, bringing home the dreadful reality of their existence working for rich mistresses and earning no thanks, respect or even minimum wage.

Apparently, Stockett’s daring debut novel was rejected by 60 agents before Susan Ramer agreed to represent her. Thank God she did.