30 March 2008
1. Google goes dark - Google users would have noticed that they "turned the lights out" on the Google.com homepage as a gesture to raise awareness of a worldwide energy conservation effort called Earth Hour. How many of you out there heard the message?
2. The Pregnant Man - when I first heard of this I was hoping that this was going to start a trend as I think men should have equal opportunities to experience the delights we women share (just jesting you serious people). However it wasn't that straightforward after all - find out how it happened as reported on the Huffington Post.
3. Want to work out what volume of traffic your favourite sites get (or your competition for that matter)? Just go to Trafficestimate. com and key in whatever site you want to know about. It's kind of interesting and scary at the same time. For example, I checked a few of the 'big blogger' sites. The volume Perez Hilton gets is just astounding. Um, this site doesn't rate a mention, apparently my relatives don't bring me that much traffic.........
4. I know that you want to know how to find an easy way to cut your ferret's toenails or how to put a condom on properly or how to hide a key effectively or even how to have a beer in the shower without it getting wet. Seriously, along with these must haves, there is a lot of great information on a site called Instructionals - the world's biggest DIY and How to show & tell site . The site is not the most sophisticated of designs, but there are some useful tips on here if you are willing to search for them.
5. Well the week doesn't go past without lots of political stories which we now just shrug our shoulders about. However, there was one simple line of text that caught my eye and left me speechless. Vice President Dick 'Haliburton' Cheney was asked about the Iraq war US military casualty numbers which are now 4,000. He said that these soldiers were volunteers and knew the risks. Therefore, without saying it, does he want us to believe these deaths are acceptable because these soldiers 'volunteered' and therefore understood the consequences? I see it a bit differently. They were not aware of the real risks were they, because they were deceived. They were conned into protecting their countries with a whole bunch of lies. Many of these soldiers from low socio economic areas were enticed to go to War with the promises of great things and a whole bunch of slick marketing. They get to go to war to eat McDonalds plus risk their lives. Just like home
Cheney sounds like just another Sociopath to me. Seriously. If we cannot believe the Governments paid to serve us what hope is there in the World? He is excusing these deaths in the same way that - a murderer may say his victim is to blame because everyone knows the dangers in going out alone at night, or a rapist who says that his victim asked for it, or the Internet fraudster who says that his victim shouldn't have been hanging around the Internet believing his lies, or the abusive spouse who claims that their partner is to blame because they shouldn't express their opinion. Or the big corporate players who lie to their shareholders then claim the stakeholders should have known better when the company collapses. Sophisticated Con Artists that's all a core band of our politicians are. Preying on vulnerable people. No consciences. They are no different, in this context then any other criminal but a whole lot more evil because of the sheer global impact of their crimes. And yet they will not be the ones paying for their crimes. End of rant.
6. To finish up on a more positive note here are some highlights from the Best of China Fashion Week. All our clothes seem to be made in China these days so its good to know what they are designing for themselves. Not sure I have the figure that can wear these clothes but they certainly are different from the Paris catwalks and lots of fun. Click here
29 March 2008
Tonight at 8 p.m., join millions of people around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund. Earth Hour was created by WWF in Sydney, Australia in 2007, and in one year has grown from an event in one city to a global movement.
In 2008, millions of people, businesses, governments and civic organizations in nearly 200 cities around the globe will turn out for Earth Hour. See http://www.earthhour.org/ for more information.
So what do you plan to do for an hour in the dark?
Read update here.
28 March 2008
Much has been written about the MacBook Air over the past few months; its pros, cons and everything in between.
I have been a lover of Apple Macs since the year dot. My very first computer, which would now be considered a dinosaur, was a Mac. I loved it so much I have never been able to part with it. There it sits. A museum piece by anyone’s standards.
But for all the wonderful cutting edge design innovations Apple has been championed for, I am beginning to think its definition of beauty is more about air brushing than the real thing. In fact, Steve Jobs, I would really like to have a word with you about your slick marketing strategies. Simply because they are going to come back and bite you big time.
You have quite purposely entered the Size Zero debate with gusto. Of course, you know what you're doing. Thinnovation strategies are being done to death, literally. Last August, you unveiled your 2-inch thick desktop, heralded by the slogan: "You can't be too thin. Or too powerful." That lasted all of two weeks before you pulled the offensive slogan off your website. And yet you’re still at it with the release of the MacBook Air. Then again, you know a winning marketing formula when you see one. You can’t be too rich or too thin, right?
You claim, with the release of this latest offering, to have changed conventional thinking by dropping lbs overnight and thereby creating a new standard in the process. You tell us that you've produced a product which is super slim, far slimmer than your nearest ‘slim rival' by using numerous size and weight shaving innovations. Apparently, everything has been considered and reconsidered with thinness in mind. Your product is nearly as thin as an index finger, it can slip into thin spaces and it’s been streamlined within an inch of its life. As light as air.
You are still talking about a computer aren't you?
So many innovations. In such a neat, tiny package. A THIN package. The THINNEST of all packages. We understand. Its THINNESS is a beautiful thing.
Brilliant marketing aimed at a target group who will soak it up. Just like the millions of young girls who are members of the online game Miss Bimbo. The parents of these young girls should be very, very afraid.
Why then Steve, do you have to perpetuate the ideal of thinness and the notion,'the thinner you are, the happier and more powerful you are.' Is the real message that ‘the physical appearance is more important than what is inside?' Is that all you are offering? Funny how the marketing of the ‘Air’ only points out its size as opposed its features. Cher, for example, supposedly had to lose a few ribs in order to get super thin. So what did you have to do Apple to achieve your new level of thinness?
You say that "seeing is believing," so I asked this question at my local Mac dealer. The MacBook Air processes more slowly than any other Mac. Its processor had to be shrunk by 60 percent in order to fit in the tiny frame, the rep told me. Of course, the screen is super bright and the design to die for. And it’s light to carry. What more could I want? It’s the perfect thin accessory. You cannot help but want to touch the perfection that it is.
”Are you per chance overestimating the importance of its thinness?”, I asked the dealer. “Its size is the only feature you can actually see, but that isn't the factor that makes a difference in performance is it? The most important features, when it comes to performance, are processor speed and memory. Correct?” "Why, yes", he said, "that's true."
In other words, contrary to Apple's assertion, you can indeed be "too thin." This laptop's skinniness comes at a high cost and slower processing. Don't judge a computer by its cover. Sure, if you want a chic piece of minimalist art at a high price, go right ahead. But I think beauty is more than skin deep. I want a computer which looks good and performs well. Oh and let’s not forget, one with a great personality too. When you do that for me Steve, and you are a bit more responsible in how you interact with your target market then I will gladly come back into the MacFold.
It's only a matter of time before the owners of the tiny virtual Miss Bimbos will be buying their charges a MacBook Air, the skinniest and coolest accessory of the moment. It only takes one bad apple......
26 March 2008
Yoo-hoo it's just me.....it's Your Mother...
I wanted to give you a preview of my cover on Vague Magazine which will be out later in the year. You like? My hair is a bit stiff looking and unfortunately the picture was taken after a rather long liquid lunch but I can't complain right? Can you see the resemblance to Madonna? It's uncanny (except she's had 'extra help', nudge, nudge wink, wink to look this good - she can't sue if I put it in tiny writing can she?).
This kind of exposure doesn't come around every day does it? I am just a bit confused because I thought the magazine was spelt Vogue not Vague. Ah well, there's hardly any difference between an 'a' and an 'o' anyway. I will save you a few dozen copies to pass out to your friends. Yes of course I will sign them.
I have also had a bit of a breakthrough and no, it wasn't with my therapist. I saw a video yesterday on You Tube that I have to share with you (see I told you I was better lying around surfing then lying around on a psychiatrist's couch). I finally realised how the the evil beast fleeced me for everything I had and how I didn't see it coming until he he put his hands around my neck and squeezed tight. Everyone said it was as obvious as hell what he was up to: everyone that is, except me. Watch this and I think you will understand.
Well, did you see the big hairy bear moon dancing or were you too busy concentrating on the passes? Well that was me, I was too busy focusing on what I thought were the agreed passes rather than seeing what he was doing right under my nose. Although come to think of it the regular growling was probably a dead giveaway.
This is another one of life's lessons sweetie. Watch out for people dressed up as moon walking bears, or come to think of it, just overly big hairy people that look like bears, because they will get you every time. It is indeed easy to miss something you are not looking for. Be alert as always but try not to be alarmed.
PS I was going to tell you about a site I came across which teaches you how to put condoms on correctly but I will save that until next time. Must run. XXX
The prize was a Hollywood Pack.
The magazine was a bit hazy on the actual contents of the pack as I recall. In my mind's eye I was thinking that perhaps it was a left over Oscars gift bag that Nicole or Naomi had donated to the magazine for a worthwhile cause.
I was dreaming of botox injections, a visit to a fat farm, a MacBook Air, diamond earrings, a date with George Clooney and even possibly a holiday in the Caribbean. Truth is, I had almost packed. I just knew I was going to win - I just knew that those 25 words were some of my best yet.
I did win. Sort of.
The package arrived today but it was not what I expected. Well, I guess I would have had to write 2500 words and donate a limb to a good cause to get the pack of my dreams.
I am not disappointed. Not really.
Perhaps Hollywood Glamour is not what I thought it was after all. Here it is in all its star studded glory.
You could say that the packaging is sweet and the contents interesting. It included, Hollywood fashion tape, Hollywood underarm pads (when deodorant is not enough), Hollywood clear bra straps, Hollywood fashion tape in various unique shapes and Hollywood hook ups (no, unfortunately it's not a little black book but a device to hide your bra straps).
Hollywood is hard work it seems. I looked at the Hollywood fashion tape and noted it's claim that it is Hollywood's clear double-stick 'Do Everything' apparel and body tape. Wow, sounds good heh?
And this is apparently what Nicole, Catherine, Cate and Naomi do with it.
1. Hide bra straps - wasn't that why strapless bras were invented? But then you are somehow meant to wear underarm pads for all the world to see even though your bra straps aren't meant to show?
2. Secure revealing necklines - now I have had a look at this flimsy tape and personally I believe I would need something like gaffer tape to keep any revealing necklines intact. Besides its strength, gaffer comes in fluorescent colours and is extremely versatile. Then again, why wear a revealing neckline if you don't wish to reveal?
3. Hold up strapless tops - well no chance in hell I would be wearing a strapless top I thought would fall down to start with. Sorry, but to do so with the aid of Hollywood tape is asking me to put too much trust in a flimsy bit of sticky tape. In fact, come to think of it I don't even wear strapless tops.
4. Fix hems - I can kind of see that this would be useful in an emergency. However, wouldn't it be just as quick to thread a needle and do some quick stitching then mess with double sided sticky tape?
5. Close wrap skirts - if I wanted a closed wrap skirt I would have bought a skirt with no openings, surely? Or is this in one of those situations that you bought a skirt and didn't realise it had no buttons or a seam or it suddenly occurred to you that you really don't have the legs to wear this outfit after all?
6. Keep scarves in place - like how? taped to your skin, your clothes?
7. Adhere body jewels - right, so I use this to adhere my precious (or more likely my not so precious) jewels to my body with double sided tape for what effect exactly? The jewels would have to be huge to hide the double sided tape behind them, so that counts me out.
8. Create costumes - mmm, I am imagining mummies being wrapped in white sticky tape, is that what they mean?
9. The best is always last. Anchor shoulder pads. Shoulder pads? Didn't they disappear in the 80s? Please someone tell me they are not making a return.
I do not want to appear ungrateful and, while the accessories are some of Hollywood's finest, I am not sure I have the time or the outfits to make full use of the products. However, all is not lost.
I told my daughter and she (of the revealing and strapless tops, who is always on the lookout for an exciting costume or two and who has lots of single earrings she could happily convert to body art), thought the pack was too good to be true.
It's on its way to her today. I will enter more 'middle aged appropriate contests' in future.
Then again, given this is only the second time I have ever won anything........I think I will keep some of that tape just as a memento....you never know when your hem may do the dirty on you, do you?
25 March 2008
Meet China’s very cute “virtual police” who patrol the Internet to combat online pornography and other "illicit activity".
China has 30,000 virtual police and state owned Internet service providers who carry out online censorship in a way we could not even imagine. Their job is far more extensive than just censoring pornography.
In China, you are not allowed to look up bird flu on Google, search for an HIV AIDS support network on Facebook, search for religion on Wikipedia or access YouTube. Even trying to find this information could get you into trouble. Can you imagine?
And China, it seems, is far from the only country in which controlling information and opinion in cyberspace is pervasive. Based in Paris, where it's known as Reporters sans Frontieres, Reporters without Borders lists those nations considered to be among the worst "Internet enemies": Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
Recent instances of online censorship in these countries include the total shutdown of the Internet in Burma during September's uprising to prevent dissidents from sending news to the outside world, Syria's block on Facebook in November and Iran's closure of 24 Internet cafes in December.
However, it is China that most often makes headlines for online censorship. The Chinese Government's latest attempt to control cyberspace was the January announcement that all video-sharing websites must have Government approval. Since February, only state-owned or controlled companies can gain a license to upload video content.
Because all ISPs in China are state-controlled and full identification must be shown at Internet cafes, those who try to look up blacklisted terms or websites can be identified. Access to those terms and sites fluctuate and the blacklist is not made public.
Since August last year there have been some cheerful little reminders about not looking at censored material: the cute animated "cybercops" shown above, trek across browsers every half hour. The official line is that it's to stop people looking at fraudulent or pornographic material but Amnesty International suggests "it's another reminder that the user is being monitored and they should be careful of all content they're looking at".
It is unlikely that the attention brought to Chinese censorship during August's Olympics will strike a fatal blow to the wall, as the government is expected to strategically relax Internet blocking in areas of Beijing frequented by foreign tourists and journalists during the games.
It surely is interesting.
24 March 2008
It's 10 years ago today since I had Lasik Eye Surgery. I cannot believe it was that long ago. It was the best thing I ever did for myself (and no, this is not an advertisement!).
I was short sighted (couldn't see in the distance) from my late teens and hated wearing glasses. I would wear them only when driving or watching TV and would resist wearing them as much as possible. I was always losing my glasses and would often have to replace them.
I then discovered contact lenses. Of course I couldn't just get a normal pair. I decided I would get a fluorescent green pair. I already have green eyes so I looked like some kind of alien. I did attract a lot of attention but for all the wrong reasons. I found people were drawn to staring at my eyes, wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I also found it difficult to wear them though - and they were too fiddly and a nightmare to find if you accidentally dropped them. I wonder how people like Paris Hilton, who was born with brown eyes, can constantly wear her blue contanct lenses.
I finally decided to get Lasik eye surgery done and have never looked back. It wasn't an easy decision because I fear any kind of 'cutting'. However, after months of indecision, I finally just did it.
Last week I went for my regular eye exam and my vision is still 20/20. When I got it done I had one eye done first then the other. The difference was immediate.
The whole process seems expensive but I know that over 10 years I would have spent a lot on prescription glasses and contact lenses anyway. It is just one less thing to worry about. They adjusted my vision somehow so that the older I got the less I would be affected by long sightedness.
Our eyes are precious and something we take for granted a lot of the time. So for anyone out there who is contemplating getting this done, from my experience, it has definitely been worth it. In fact, I would have been happy if I had one year or so 'glasses free', let alone 10 years.
23 March 2008
I know that Easter means different things to different people. Regardless, a lot of us indulge in chocolate Easter Eggs as part of the celebration.
Yesterday, I made Easter Eggs for the first time. I am not sure I am proud that I made chocolate eggs which probably have at least one million calories in every bite but I am proud that they turned out in one piece and I know what they are made of.
Now, I am a huge chocolate fan, but I must admit that this year I was turned off by the mass-produced eggs and the half a ton of packaging which accompanies each one. So, I thought I would put my money where my mouth is and have a go at making some myself. Yesterday, as I was knee deep in chocolate, I wasn't so sure that I had made the right decision. Today, I am pleased I did. Simply because it was a great deal of fun.
So here are a few to show you. I don't think I will be giving any Chocolatier a run for their money but I now intend to do a lot more in the future.
The first egg I made on the left has a solid chocolate base and is topped with marshmallow, nuts and decorated with a variety of chocolate flowers. The second one is a hollow egg decorated with a ribbon and icing flower and the third egg has a solid almond white chocolate base with a selection of white, milk and dark chocolate flowers.
I remember, as a child, getting Easter eggs made from icing that were very intricately decorated with a lot of love and attention by my mother. It's funny how you don't appreciate things sometimes until you are much older. Her lovely sweet delicacies were filled with chocolates and probably took us no time at all to consume. They are lovely memories to treasure though.
And, while I am on the subject of chocolate, if there are any serious chocolate lovers out there who are always looking for the best chocolate in the world, try the Tuscan based chocolatier, Ameidi. I really hope that I can fulfil my dream of visiting there one day. Read some more about Ameidi here.
Happy Easter holidays everyone.
22 March 2008
1. 2007 You Tube video awards for the following categories - funniest, creative, commentary, music, instructional, adorable, sports, short film, inspirational, politics, series, eyewitness. Check out the very clever nominees and winners.
2. This piece of research is VERY TIMELY for those who will be overindulging in chocolate tomorrow. Some scientists maintain you can be fat yet fit and healthy at the same time. In other words, jog and scoff chocolate at the same time.
3. Well last week's episode of South Park about Britney Spears certainly seemed to get people all anxious, but if you look carefully, they were not 'having a go' at Britney but more the vulchers who feed on celebrities. If you caught it, you saw Spears trying to get away from it all in the mountains near South Park when the boys had a run-in with her. Stan and Kyle got caught up in Britney’s celebrity and the never-ending feeding frenzy that follows her wherever she goes. In the end, a despairing Britney blasts her head off with a shotgun before being photographed to death. As the episode ended, we saw Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus becoming “the next big thing.” How ominous!!
4. On a more serious note, Obama got great applause for his speech which focused on the belief that "There is no Black America. There is no White America". I was therefore quite disturbed when I heard him on radio referring to his grandmother as a "typical white person" who fears black people. I think Obama has turned into his own SNL sketch.
5. Remember Paul McCartney's ex girlfriend from centuries ago, Jane Asher? Well, she has this very good website for all your cake decorating needs. I just love it. Check it out here.
6. Marc Jacobs has rolled out another ad featuring Victoria Beckham. I loved the first lot of ads but I am not sure about this one. I mean I have seen her in crazier clothes before but this one is a bit out there. What do you think - would it entice you to go out and buy something from Marc Jacobs?
7. Finally, you have got to love this adorable face (well I am hoping you do because this poor fella looks a bit like me when I wake up in the morning....before I apply the spacfilla)......
21 March 2008
She told me that she was telling her flat mate about my experiences of living in Los Angeles many years ago and that her flat mate had laughed so hard she had almost caused herself an injury. "That's nice, I said through gritted teeth, "glad I can make someone happy".
Surely there must be many other wonderful things she could have been telling her flat mate about me. Surely. I mean I know I've had interesting life experiences but...... some things are best left in the family vault. Right?
I told my daughter that she should stop living vicariously through my embarrassing moments and start creating a few more of her own. However, that's not going to happen because one, she is incredibly more sensible and astute than me and two, she is like the rest of us and would prefer to laugh at someone else's misadventures than share her own. I have thought about suing her but she's a lawyer so I don't hold much joy there either.
I am quite an open person so I don't really mind. However, some of my embarrassing moments I will never tell just because of their high humiliation factor. On the other hand, there were a couple of 'tame tales' that we were laughing about last night and that I can easily just put down to the inexperience of youth (I was young for a long, long time).
I lived in Los Angeles for some time after doing a theatrical makeup course. I had been there about three weeks and got up early one morning to walk along Hollywood Boulevard. I came to some traffic lights and, as there was no traffic, I just started walking across the road. All of a sudden I heard this voice over a loud speaker saying, "Lady, you are walking a red light."
I looked up and thought 'my moment' had come. I thought I had walked into the middle of a Hollywood movie (OK, those were the days I still had stars in my eyes and blinkers on obviously). I ran my fingers through my hair, adjusted my clothes, put on my best smile and just kept walking. When I got to the other side of the road, a car turned around and two men got out. Um, the only problem was that they weren't big shot movie producers but rather two heavily armed police officers.
In Australia, jay walking is not even such a big deal but it seemed in LA things were a little different. I seemingly had committed a big no no and the fact I kept walking across the road after they had yelled at me over the airwaves just made them angrier. I could hardly tell them I thought I was about to be 'discovered' could I? I really thought it must be a joke but I could see that Starsky and Hutch were deadly serious as they were talking about Traffic School and breaking the law.
The truth is, I have been known to mislead police officers (just twice in my life to anyone who is tut tutting out there) and this proved to be my first real attempt. I put on my best Britney Spears Miss Innocence voice (before she had even discovered it) and told them that I had just arrived from Australia and I had never seen one of those traffic light things ever in my life. I have to say their attitude did a 360 degrees turn. Suddenly I was seen as some poor hick from the colonies where kangaroos hopped down the streets and pedestrians played chicken with the oncoming traffic. They went to great lengths to show me how traffic lights worked and I went to great pains to keep a straight face. I then walked on, just a bit concerned as to how people could be lying on the streets, where drugs were being openly trafficked and yet somehow dodging traffic lights was a seemingly bigger issue. I did learn my lesson though and no matter where I have been in the world I have never even so much as jay walked ever again. I have found it far easier just to stuck to the really big crimes (I jest, I jest...).
This was only one of many stories I have of my time in LA. I think I will leave the one about how a travel agent I had just met, offered to take me to the Griffith Observatory to 'see the view'. Oh OK, I will just give you a snippet of the story - it kind of went something like this...... He made the offer of a tour of LA and I said, "sure, that would be great". How hospitable the locals were, I thought. Half way up to the Observatory, it suddenly occurred to me, in the pitch black dead of night, that I was with a perfect stranger and that perhaps this was not such a good idea. What came out of my mouth next, even embarrasses me.
I said, "Um, excuse me, you're not a murderer by any chance are you?" I am not sure what I expected him to reply, perhaps something like, "Oh sorry, I should have told you when I met you what I did for a hobby. Here let me give you my card, Murder By Design" or, "Why thank you for asking, I was just wondering, are you afraid of heights?" or " Was it the gun on the back seat that gave me away?"
I won't tell you what he did say but one day I might tell you the whole story....... let's just say that I am sure that guy has never forgotten the experience either....
Am I the only one with humiliating stories to tell and children who are willing to share them to everyone and anyone?
20 March 2008
For anyone out there, male or female, who thinks we haven’t 'evolved' in the last 100 years then the following excerpts should prove an eye opener. It’s like another world. Imagine what our great grandchildren will be saying about us one day.
Blanche offers the following advice to husbands regarding their 'general habits'. It’s a little humorous but we have to remember this was in the UK at a time when there were servants, when women did not work outside the home and the man was most definitely the master of the household. Who knows maybe it still reflects some households of today.
1.Don’t sit down for breakfast in your shirt sleeves in hot weather on the ground that only your wife is present. She is a woman like any other woman. The courtesies you give to womankind are her due, and she will appreciate them.
2.Don’t stoop if your work is desk work. Your wife wants to see you straight and broad chested.
3.Don’t keep all your best jokes for your men friends. Let your wife share them.
4.Don’t flourish a grimy handkerchief about because you have forgotten to take a clean one out of your box or your drawer. If your wife provides you with a reasonable stock, you might at least take the trouble to remember to use them.
5.Don’t look at things solely from a man’s point of view. Put yourself in your wife’s place and see how you would like some of the things she has to put up with.
6.Don’t sharpen pencils all over the house as you walk about. Try a hearth or a waste paper basket, or a newspaper. It does not improve either carpets or the servants temper to find scraps of pencil sharpenings all over the floors.
7.Don’t always refuse to go shopping with your wife. Of course it’s a nuisance, but sometimes she honestly wants your advice, and you ought to be pleased to give it.
8.Don’t be conceited about your good looks. It is more than probable that no-one but yourself is aware of them anyway. You are not responsible for them, and vanity in a man is ridiculous.
9.Don’t hang around the house all day if your occupation does not take you abroad. Spend regular hours in your study or den or go out and play golf, but don’t inflict your company on your wife during every minute of the day. She is fond of you but wants to be free sometimes. And she has business to do, if you haven’t.
10.Don’t delegate the carving to your wife. You should be ashamed if you can’t do a little thing like that. It is just laziness on your part. Besides a man ought to take the head of his own table.
In future posts I will give you Blanche’s advice for personal relations, jealousy, finances, household matters, recreation and holidays, dress, hobbies, food and children. It get’s funnier.
OK, ladies and gents, does any of Blanche’s advice to men in 1913 still apply in 2008? Maybe 3, 5 and 7?
What was meant to last 5 months has now lasted 5 years and resulted in the rather unpalatable and totally incomprehensible figures of:
nearly 4,000 military deaths USA, 175 deaths UK, 133 deaths other coalition
nearly 40,250 military wounded USA
nearly 150 self inflicted miliatary deaths USA
nearly 1,500 contractors killed
nearly 90,000 Iraqi civilian deaths
nearly 5,000,000 (35%) Iraqi children are orphans
nearly 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees
170 international journalists killed
4 soldiers missing or captured USA
5 post Iraq deaths caused by war injuries
For more details check out the statistics at icasualties.org
At a cost so far of $1.2 trillion ($7.1 billion a month -America), £16 billion (Britain) and countless many millions to the other coalition countries also involved. Done in order to find 0 weapons of mass destruction and 0 Iraq and Al Quaeda connections.
These number represent human beings. Think about those numbers. They will continue to grow and be replaced by others. Yet Bush says it was all necessary and the costs worthwhile. We have indeed paved the way to hell. Dear Mr President ........in the words of Pink, how do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
An Ahhhh Moment
Brad and Angelina are making the world a more attractive place one child at a time it seems......
They are reported to be having twins, a girl and a boy. This makes six children, three adopted and three from natural birth.
Regardless of what we may think about celebrities, Angelina has bought world attention to the plight of Iraqi refugees, who are very, very vulnerable people displaced in their own country because of the war.
It's all very well for us to now demand the withdrawal of troops and an end to the War but who cleans up the devastation and destruction left behind? It will not be a problem for the world leaders who made the decision to go to war. They will all, as soon as Bush leaves office in November, be sunning themselves in some far flung resort, patting themselves on the back for their gallant efforts and looking forward to their easy retirements. Other Government Administrations will have to come in and face the awful clean up job that will go on for many decades.
It's not about who is right or wrong anymore. It's been done. However, the wrong people are paying the price for others' mistakes. How do we cease the war just like that? How do we repair and rebuild communities and lives given the level of destruction? What are we doing to help the victims? The soldiers, the civilians, the orphans, the homeless?
Does anyone have any answers to the bloody mess that is?
19 March 2008
David Paterson, who succeeded Eliot Spitzer as governor of New York, has now come out and admitted his own history of extramarital relations. In this case, he and his wife Michelle admitted in a joint interview with the New York Daily News that they both were unfaithful over a two year period during a rocky patch in their 15 year marriage. But both denied the "sporadic rumour in Albany" that Paterson had fathered a love child. Gosh, why couldn't they have just have said they separated for a couple of years and reconciled? What is it, a badge of honour for politicians to 'come out' and confess all for fear of being 'outed'? Why don't we just hold an amnesty day where all politicians come forward and confess their sexual exploits to the media all in one go. A mass public confession.
This has been going on since the Kennedys, oh ok, probably since Lincoln for all I know. But at least in those days we didn't have it plastered over the media. Let's get some facts. How about we just assume that politicians are not really representative of the general population given their much greater narcissistic and, dare I say, sociopathic tendencies. It takes a certain type of person to get into these roles in the first place. We already know, that in Joe Public Land 60% of married men and 40% of married women have affairs. Yep, that's a well reported fact. Therefore, given the lifestyles that politicians have, and given their power base and narcissistic tendencies, it is highly likely that around 90% of them have affairs. Yes, you can quote me on this finely researched and statistically sound finding.
So politicians, I plead with you stop telling us about the bleeding obvious because you have either been found out or you are scared you are going to get found out. We already know on the Lilly Law of averages that you're all out there doing it for the good of the party, right? Building up social networks and all. Don't apologise to the public because we know you don't mean it anyway and we are not interested. Instead, focus on what you get paid to do and divulge your dirty secrets to the only people that matter, your families. And as for Rupert and his cohorts in the media, it's not like you can talk either. The lot of you are making yourselves look ridiculous and pathetic and you deserved to be mocked.
Personally I just want to bury my head in the sand and continue to read fairy tales of how life should be. I also hope that at least some of our politicians out there have the moral backbone and the common sense to keep their private lives behind closed doors where it belongs, far away from the maddening crowds.
Happy ever after...yes, that's what I want......except I bet that's what Silda thought too!
It got me thinking about just how creative some people are in naming their precious offspring. It's good to be unique and different and stand out from the crowd.....sometimes. I am not sure children always appreciate the choices we parents make on their behalf but hey that's the choice none of us gets to make. Besides, its amazing how the strangest names grow on you when little personalities shine through.
I was no different. When I was 17 I watched the Great Gatsby with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. There was a female character in it called Jordan Baker. I loved the name Jordan. So when I had a daughter, guess what she was called? It caused some confusion all those years ago although today its quite a common name for females. I remember when she was born my father was asked what her name was and he said, "Oh I can't quite remember, she's named after a river, it's Nile or something like that". He soon got the hang of it and called her Jordie from then on in. I am not sure he has ever called her by her full name.
I know my daughter has had many comments about her name over the years, more in the context of, "that's a boys name" or people assume she is a male as opposed a female when writing to her. I still love the name and I love and admire the independent, beautiful person she has become, all these years later.
Of course, on the whole, new parents are rather conservative in naming their children. The most popular boys names where I come from are Jack, Thomas and Oliver and the most popular girls names are Grace, Ruby, Olivia. Universally these names could be Guadalupe, Imani and Bridget. The popularity of names depends hugely on geographic, ethnic and religious demographics.
However, with all these Hollywood stars giving birth this year I have to say that even I think there have been some questionable baby name choices. Gwyneth's Apple is now a conservative choice it seems compared to some of the latest names
Story was actress Jenna Elfmann's choice for her baby boy. I bet there is a story waiting to be told how she came to name him this. Ever is the name of Milla Jovovich's new son. Never Ever? It's going to get confusing when actress Milla tells the child, "Ever, never do that again!"
Heaven Rain is Brooke Burke's newest daughter's name. She already has two daughters called Neriah and Sierra Sky so I guess she has already set the scene. Heaven is one lofty title to place on a child though. Then there is Alabama. The trend of naming babies after locations obviously appealed to actress Drea De Matteo. Soon we will see tiny New Yorks, Birminghams and Queenslands hitting the birth columns if the trend continues.
However, my favourite is Princess. Every little girl is their parents' little princess, we get that. However its kind of a nickname right? It's also a name for lots of white fluffy cats I know. Katie Price (aka Jordan) named her new daughter Princess. I guess it will be easier for her if she marries into royalty one day. Katie is an excellent businesswoman so she has probably read the Secret and is doing some long range planning. Don't get me started on Tiaamii, the baby's middle name.....that's a dessert or a natural disaster....right?
And finally, what about this one. A New Zealand couple called their baby Superman. The parents' first choice was 4Real (as in, "when we saw him on the ultrasound, we realized he was for real"), but government officials didn't go for it. The parents settled on Superman but insist they'll still refer to him as 4Real. Oh dear.
So do you have an unusual name or did you give your children an unusual name?
18 March 2008
Seems in Googleland in 2008 we have been doing a lot of searching for answers to a whole lot of questions.
Internationally, it appears we have more of an interest in London than we do New York. We think about Britney as much as we do God. In fact, Britney is way more important to us than the Iraq War (except for those in Iraq). Nonetheless, we still appear to value life over death.
We are focused on ageing as opposed to our youth. Equality rules between males and females with each being just as interested in the other. However, racism burns brighter on the radar than sexism. We are far more curious about Obama than we are Clinton although we are far more interested in celebrities than we are in politicians. We are more intrigued about Prince Harry than Prince William. We find George Bush more newsworthy than Queen Elizabeth. Then again Paris Hilton piques our interest far more than George Bush.
We prefer our homes to holidays or vacations. We prefer the beach to the mountains. We seek out humour not tragedy. We like Coca Cola more than Pepsi, beef more than fish, fruit more than vegetables, Pizza Hut more than McDonalds and salt more than pepper. We are more interested in football than golf and American Idol more than any other TV show. We love Ellen more than Oprah, Angelina more than Brad and Brad more than George Clooney. We like Barbies more than Bratz dolls, solutions for fat over thin, want to be happy rather than depressed and seek good over evil. We like dogs more than cats, babies more than pets, Perez Hilton more than the New York Times, the Huffington Post or ET.
And most of all, while we ferociously search for sex in whatever form is available (more than anything else it seems), we still think love is way more important than money.
That's Us. The Good. The Bad. The Indifferent.
Do you think it tells an accurate story?
17 March 2008
Australians love their seafood. Well I thought we did.
There is nothing better than a plump and juicy oyster or a pan fired King George whiting or a whole barramundi roasted on hot coals. Fish is healthy, fresh and tasty, right?
When I went to pick up some fish from the markets today I overheard someone talking about the GLOBAL FISH CRISIS. What global fish crisis? Have I been asleep? I haven't seen this in the popular press anywhere. Did I miss it between wars and political escapades?
Apparently, three quarters of the world's oceans are over-exploited by industrialized fishing; that is, over-fished or fished to within an inch of their life. Also, in another chilling indictment of our effect upon the planet, mercury from industrial run-off has entered the seafood chain. Fish don't excrete the mercury - when big fish eat little fish they absorb the mercury, and so on up the food chain - so the bigger the fish the more mercury they contain. Fish with high mercury levels include shark (flake), swordfish (broadbill), marlin, ray, gemfish, ling, catfish, orange roughy (sea perch) and southern blue fin tuna.
Ninety percent of big predatory fish - the Mercedes and BMWs of the deeps - are already lost. That's bluefin tuna, swordfish, marlin, sharks. Gone. Scientists have been trying to tell us this for a while now, but not many of us have been listening. I confess. I haven't been. Other folks in beanies and dreadlocks have been banging the drum, too, with hardly much more success.
The blue planet is one small, fragile vessel sailing about the galaxy. Most of what keeps us going is water. Seventy percent of our Earth's surface is water. Seven tenths of our own bodies are water. Our fates as individuals, as families and, as a species, are dependent on the state of those waters. In our bodies, in the sky we breathe, the rivers we drink, the seas that feed us. Our waters.
The fact is that over-fishing is not something we can entirely blame on someone else, some greedy corporations, lazy politician or fatcat bureaucrats. All those people are integral to the problem, of course, but central to it is our own appetite, our fads and our expectations.
Fishing fleets supply a market. Us. What we choose to buy in the fishmongers will dictate what they will order tomorrow from their suppliers. What we refuse to buy en masse they can't sell. And markets love an unwavering demand for their products.
So, if someone informs me, in good faith, with good information, that species like - say orange roughy or flake or bluefin tuna - are in desperate trouble worldwide, and I continue to buy them at the fishmongers, what does that say about me? It says that am I helping to sustain the demand and helping to legitimise the trade in threatened species. It means that I am placing my own appetite and whims above the well being of the world that sustains me.
I will only buy sustainable alternatives, whether at the fishmongers or at a restaurant. When groups of us - families, associations, caterers, and clubs - make these sorts of choices, we can make an impact on the market. And when we talk about these issues with our friends and colleagues we can grow the change.
Often, we don't always realise just how powerful our individual behaviour is. We are not powerless. That's an easy cop out. We have the gift of consciousness about lots of things in life. Don't feel weighed down by this responsibility - celebrate it! And don't forget to enjoy some sustainable fish while you are at it!
15 March 2008
1. I love Rick Mercer. Every so often he has a Photo Challenge where readers download a photo he posts and they turn it into something, um, special. Here is a photo he posted of Clinton and Obama and here are some people's creative efforts. In times like these you have got to laugh......as well as do the right thing...
2. I found the link to a video called Food Fight on the fabulous Roseanne Barr's website. It is very much in tune with my last post about Junk Food for our Minds. It is an abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict. Very, very clever.
3. This video is one you may have already come across. It is of Randy Pausch, a university Professor, reprising the 'last lecture' he gave to his students. His 'last lecture' has had millions of hits on YouTube. Randy has pancreatic cancer and in September 07 was told he had six months to live. I love his statement that you can't control the cards you're dealt, just how you play the hands! I checked Randy's blog today and, despite being in and out of hospital, he continues to have fun each and every day.
What would your last lecture be? It's an interesting thought.
Mine would be simply this. Tell the truth.
14 March 2008
That's brave I thought before my eyes quickly glanced at the next headline about whether 26 year old Britney had split from her latest paparazzi boyfriend or how 48 year old Spitzer's downfall was creating a music career upswing for the call girl involved. All of it disposable news. All replaced by some other headlines in a few hours time. None of it I am sad to say meant a great deal to me. I feel numb to any news reports as though I am somehow removed from it all.
Late last night I thought some more about that young girl laying her body over wounded soldiers to protect them from gun fire. She is 19. That is heroic indeed. Not long finished high school. I thought about what I was doing when I was 19. The worst part of my day may have been that a finger nail broke, I had to study for a college exam or I didn't have a thing to wear out. Life was pretty carefree. This soldier is younger than my daughter.
Why do we become immune to the bad stuff? I know I have. Why aren't we marching in the streets given we know there was no valid reason to go to war and the world was lied to? A US military study has just officially acknowledged for the first time yesterday that Saddam Hussein had no direct ties to al-Qaida, undercutting the Bush administration's central case for war with Iraq. Why do we accept thousands of human beings with beating hearts just like ours are being used as cannon fodder, five years on? Are we just so over it all that familiarity breeds contempt?
I also just saw an email from a soldier in Iraq (although the internet has just been cut off so things can't be good there at the moment...),who cannot believe the range of food on offer in the camps. This is a war where soldiers get to eat Burger King, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Many soldiers gain more than 15 pounds on a deployment apparently. They are also seeing soldiers return from Iraq with higher cholesterol, mostly due to their eating habits. This is aside from any emotional issues they may have to deal with. How awfully civilised and well planned for the long haul it all seems. Seems like we are caring for them in every way we can. It is surreal. If the bullets don't kill them the junk food may. How disposable life is.
We live, to a large extent cocooned within our own worlds where all the hard facts are obscured, outsourced, offshored, prettied up or hidden away and locked down. Think about it. We fight all our wars over the horizon. We even tow our prisoners or even our refugees offshore. We outsource the care of our aged, frail and mentally ill. We do death and bereavement at a distance. We dispose of our waste where it's out of sight and hopefully out of mind. Then we get told what those in power want us to hear. And we believe it because we don't feel we have any options.
Then, when the truth is staring us in the face, we choose to make comfortable abstractions about all these tough facts of life, so they never really touch us. Well it's not ok to be comfortable and to rewrite history to help us sleep better at night. As my friend says, if you bury your head in the sand all others will see is an arse. We need to feel uncomfortable about what is going on around us. We need to clean up the junk we see, hear and taste.
This 19 year old teenager has really given me food for thought. Perhaps we all need to be just that much braver. It reminds me of a song I used to like in the 80s, I was only 19 by Aussie band Redgum. It's about the Vietnam War. No winners, ever.
What were you doing when you were 19? What are you going to do now?
I came across these postcards while I was looking for some photographs. They belonged to my Grandmother and she collected them in the early 1920s. They were made in the US by Reithal A Newman Pubs, NY.
The cards are called The Proposal, The Wedding, The Honeymoon and the First Evening in their own Home.
I guess in time they issued more cards to round out the series, The Family, The Financial Problems, The Divorce, The Custody Dispute and....
No, only joking. They are really beautifully done and perhaps represent a bygone, hopelessly malignant era, when things were much simpler in some ways and where women never raised their heads, their voices and clung to their partners for dear life. No comments please dear male readers, I know what you are thinking....
I loved my grandmother and I loved listening to what her life was like as the oldest of 14 children. I was lucky to have spent a lot of time with her. She was a true friend. Funny enough she was not like the shy, retiring ladies on these cards. She worked hard, alongside her husband on a farm. My memories of her were of a happy woman who spent her days picking grapes, milking cows, feeding chickens, cleaning eggs and preparing beautiful and bountiful spreads for family and friends. She was a pioneer in many ways.
Sometimes in understanding where we come from we can better understand where we are now. I feel a great need to go back to basics again in my life. I wish my grandmother was still here. Looking at these cards makes me miss her all the more.
Be open to learn the lessons about life and love from your parents and grandparents because one day it will mean something when you least expect it. You don't get a second chance.
13 March 2008
I just knew I should write to you straight away to tell you what I know. I am sorry I missed telling you about the whole Hollywood mystery as you were growing up. What with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy I got a little preoccupied. You see, Hollywood is rather like the Bermuda Triangle. When you enter its twilight zone your wrinkles just disappear into thin air along with your personality, conscience, excess pounds and those pesky embarrassing family members that hang around the fringe.
It is a puzzle and an unsolved one at that. It's been the subject of many conspiracy theories over the years. The word on the streets is that there is something in the air that makes people look like they are permanently brushed. There is a name for it and it's called BS for short. I just can't remember what the letters stand for at the moment. I'm sure it will come to me.
There have also been many scientific studies undertaken on this 'Hollywood' phenomenon. All charged with the same brief; to try and determine once and for all why celebrities have perfect, line free faces and age 85% more slowly than the general population. The jury is still out. It's just not that cut and dried apparently and the truth is like finding a needle in a haystack it seems. However, there is one startling thing that we do know. Apparently, once these celebrities step outside of the twilight zone and move elsewhere in the world, they begin to resemble the rest of us (I know, I am a makeup artist after all).
And just to prove my point, one of the world's most famous, and dare I say bravest of the paparazzi armed forces, www.planethiltron.com, has frequently captured and exposed Hollywood stars caught wandering outside of their natural habitat. The Pap Supremo is currently in hiding in the caves of Alferansorium and, when you see his handiwork, you will understand why. Take a look, because reality ain't that pretty, after all.
See, just like regular folk. While I can appreciate it may shock you, I really hope that this clarifies things and reassures you somewhat. Perhaps instead of all this worrying about wrinkles, you should work hard, save your money and take a trip to Hollywood. Just so you too can see how this magic works.....
PS Ummmmm... one more thing. I know that every guy you meet you can't help but compare to Johnny Depp. I also know that up until now no one has quite measured up. I know it's a disappointment to really see him in his full glory, but I did tell you he is old enough to be your father. And who knows, now you know the tricks of the trade, it may improve not only your self esteem but your love life as well. Till next time.
Buster Martin is Britain's oldest employee at 101. Yes, 101. Buster works three days a week at a plumbing company.
He retired when he was 99. However, after two years, he got bored so he went back to work. He also trains for marathons in his spare time. He has already successfully run a half marathon in five hours 13 minutes and now plans on running in the London Marathon on April 13. He doesn't know if he is going to be able to complete it but he is going to try.
Buster, the father of 17 children, used to be a former Army physical training instructor so you can assume he has always been fairly fit. He aims to celebrate the race with a pint of beer and a cigarette.
"If I finish, I'll do what I always do and have a pint and a fag," he told the BBC. "People ask what is my secret but I haven't got one. They say fags and booze are bad for you -- but I'm still here, aren't I?"
Note: OK off you go, the secret is obviously easy ......... have lots of children, run every day for a very long way, keep working, never retire and a have a pint and a fag every now and then.....easy! Or in simplified form, have a Purpose in your life and Move it.....good on you Buster....
First, I suggest you get up close and personal with that little wrinkle and start to appreciate it for what it is. Because there is, over time, going to be way more coming your way. So it's best to be welcoming and friendly now.....just so you will better accept the wrinkle influx when it finally hits.
Now that I'm not young enough to know everything (those over 35 will get that), I will give you my hot tips on how to alleviate the arrival of nature's little creases for as long as you can.
1. Protect your skin from the sun and use a sunscreen whenever your outdoors - winter and summer.
2. Smile - make your wrinkles happy ones.
3. Keep your skin in tip top condition - well exfoliated, cleansed and hydrated.
4. Skin food - eat a diet rich in good fats and antioxidants.
5. Drink up - keep your skin hydrated from the inside.
Come back in fifteen years when you have lived a bit more and ask me about the other non surgical options that involve needles and magic.
Until then, chill, keep smiling and stay away from those magnified mirrors - they were invented by makeup houses to make us feel insecure......and them much richer.
11 March 2008
No, I didn't want him to resign exactly. Instead, I was willing his wife to drop her composure, push her pasty faced husband out of the way, grab the microphone and tell the world what she really thought of him.
While he was doing his best to be contrite for something he refused to confirm, (except we all know he was caught hiring expensive prostitutes in some illegal sex ring) his wife looked stoic, sad and in shock. Yet there she was, holding his hand and being supportive to the end.
Maybe she had already known about this for a while. This was, after all, a regular past time for Spitzer who evidently asked call girls to do things that 'were not safe'. My guess, from the look on her face, is that she did not know. Partners are often the last to know and the most easily fooled.
The issue is not that he was caught whooping it up with $4,000 a night prostitutes. It's the fact that this man, prided himself on his virtues and unyielding focus on corporate malfeasance. He made a lot of enemies in the process.
The federal investigation of the New York prostitution ring was triggered by Gov. Spitzer's suspicious money transfers, initially leading agents to believe he was hiding bribes. The suspicious financial activity was initially reported by a bank to the IRS which, under direction from the Justice Department, brought in the FBI's Public Corruption Squad. It was only months later that the IRS and the FBI determined that Spitzer wasn't hiding bribes but payments to a company called QAT, which prosecutors say is a prostitution operation operating under the name of the Emperors Club. An illegal sex ring.
Women in these situations should let their spouses face the music on their own. They don't need to give their husbands even a shred of credibility by standing strong, holding hands and parading before the press. Because, in doing so, they lose their own credibility. Gov. Spitzer wasn't thinking about his position, his wife or his children when he took the risks he took. Mrs Spitzer cannot win. You only have to look at message boards on the issue to see that people are either wondering, what is wrong with her that her husband has to look for it elsewhere, or, she deserves all she gets if she stays with him and doesn't kick his sorry ass to the side walk. The whole process just dumps more humiliation on his wife and daughters.
Gov. Spitzer was just lucky his wife didn't react in the same way as this well known Chinese journalist did. This you tube video shows her crashing a big Beijing Olympics press conference accusing her husband -- an even better-known Chinese broadcaster -- of having an affair. She dodges and weaves like a champion fighter, ducking and shaking off the security men who try to get her offstage. She still managed to say her piece in front of the world's press. However, her actions just forced the press to feel sorry for her husband. The next day's headlines spoke of her humiliating her stunned husband.
In a interview two years ago, Spitzer, then-attorney general, told ABC News he had some advice for people who break the law. "Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it's death. You're giving prosecutors all the evidence we need," he said. He should have also added, never keep bank records of purchases you don't want anyone to know about and never hire a prostitute who isn't deaf, dumb and blind. Did he really believe none of this would ever come out? Now, lets wait for the call girls to come forward with their intimate stories about their so called 'difficult' customer. I am sure the cheques are already in the mail. Along with his resignation.
I feel for you Mrs Spitzer I really do.
How many of us have to check our favourite blogs every day and pour over every detail before we feel comfortable that everything is alright with our world?
The UK Guardian just rated its 50 most powerful blogs in the world.
Do you agree? How many of these do you read? What is your No 1. favourite?
I read six of the 50 listed.
My No 1 favourite is the Huffington Post purely because of my current fascination with all things political. That will, I expect, change, and I will move on to other things. My No 2 favourite blog, which is not listed in the Guardian's list, is Roseanne Barr's blog (remember the Roseanne Show of the 90s?). Roseanne is irreverent, extremely sharp and very funny. Woe behold any politician who comes in her path. I love people who say it like it is and who are not constrained by what others may think. I also love people with strong opinions who are willing to listen and bend and reshape their views the more enlightened they become.
Blogs are powerful because they express the opinions of individuals who are not necessarily constrained by red tape, beuracracy, politics or cultural divides. They enable voices to be heard. There is freedom in that kind of power but an enormous responsibility too. Lets hope the big bloggers do not let the power go to their heads and become the antithesis of what they set out do in the first place. Keep it real bloggers.
10 March 2008
If you have been reading from the start of my blog (helllloooo Mum!) I have been aiming for more of a healthy balance in my life (yes, the wee cupcakes of yesterday are allowed every so often). My aim is to achieve that state of healthy utopia (that we all know exists right?) sometime between now and death. I am a realist and a long range planner. This way I can never be disappointed.
I am doing much better. I have reduced sugar, white flour, pastas and dairy in my diet. I have increased my intake of vegetables and water. I have been walking a lot and doing weights and I just thought I would try the gym again. I used to go six times a week once, but that's when I used to be intellectually challenged. I overcame that small disability and cured my exercise addiction. So well in fact, I then did NOTHING.
I have since accepted that living a happy and contented life is all about having a little bit of this and a little bit of that. So out the window went the all or nothing mantra that I favoured in the past. Now it's everything in moderation.
I enjoyed the gym. Gyms are no longer dominated by gorgeous model types wearing lycra gym wear. They are now well populated with normal people, in loose clothing with red sweat streaked faces, just trying to clear their weary consciences. Oh yes, I will be back for sure. I anticipate that will be about July when the muscles calm down and I can wear earrings again.
Until then, everything in moderation is definitely the answer to every question in life. One small bite and one big step at a time.
9 March 2008
However today, I thought I was skipping a generation and morphing into my grandmother Elizabeth.
The thought hit me as I decided to use these colourful cups and saucers for afternoon tea today. It's not often that I use cups and saucers. When I was a teenager, Elizabeth used to buy me tea cups and saucer sets for birthdays. While I was polite, I always secretly wished it was something way more exciting like make-up or jewellery.
It probably took me another 20 years or so to appreciate the humble tea cup and the whole notion of high teas. It all started when I had high tea at Raffles Hotel in Singapore. I decided I liked the decadent lifestyle and have introduced high teas on a regular basis since.
My grandmother is no longer with us but her afternoon teas and their sense of occasion still have a place in my memory and in my life. I feel pretty comfortable with that!