31.07.12

Beside the date in the header, should be the time [02:22], too.

The truth is, I had a godawful day at the office yesterday and now I can’t sleep for thinking of it.

28.07.12

Two cups of tea, one coffee, idly flick(r)ing through my photographs… and this one which is months old.

I’ve just now noticed the sign in the window – do you see it? -ONE WAY JESUS. That’s the problem really, isn’t it? Life’s just not that neat, it’s not always one way. More often than not, it’s many ways, this, that, the other. And all at the same time. One way doesn’t work. No matter how much you may want it to…

27.07.12

Besides a new left ankle, what are my options? It hurts when I exercise. It hurts when I walk. It’s stiff, and yet not stable (I roll it on a weekly basis). It has not been the same since last November’s accident. Dread to think what it will be like when I’m an old lady. I spend too much time pondering about this ankle; the other body parts are getting jealous.

25.07.12

Wake to a white-out.

Watch the fog roll out.

Wish the dark thoughts could dissolve just as easily.

Why do you do this to me every year, S.A.D.? I’ve had more than my fair share.

23.07.12

The universe decided that things would be orange today.

 I thought I would do the less to luxe thing via the 10 Bells Large Classic Shoulder Bag (a cheap and cheerful way to brighten things up), and the Hermes les Capucines scarf (which is a few years old, I don’t think it’s in the stores any longer)…

En route to the office, I stopped off at the newsagent and grabbed the ‘latest’ Monocle (June 2012 issue, which is not the latest if you live in the Northern hemisphere, but being in Australia, unless you choose to pay for the Air Express copy, this is the latest)…

Then when I got to the office, my Shopbop order arrived and the receipt was in the usual orange envelope…

By now I gave in to the orange, and pulled out my Rhodia pencil to scribble with for the rest of the day.

22.07.12

My mind’s eye keeps returning to the scene at the Boom Boom Room, on top of The Standard Hotel in New York City’s Meatpacking District – now more than six weeks old. We’d arrived at 7 or 8pm and the place was heaving. Unfurling around the red lighting centrepiece: band in full swing; punters who weren’t eating, drinking or admiring the view were taking photos of themselves against the floor-to-ceiling windows through which the lights of the city glittered in its full 360-degree glory; pipecleaner-shaped waitresses in flimsy yet curiously unflattering dresses flitted.

A place like this is made for people-watching, and I was watching on person in particular. Sitting at the curved bar, seemingly oblivious to the band and the buzz around her was… – “Ohmigod, it’s Iris Apfel!” I shouted into my friend’s ear. “Who?” was the reply. “Iris, Iris Apfel!” I proceeded to try to explain just who Ms Apfel was.

There she was, just metres away from me – her distinctive round ‘Eyebobs‘ spectacles the giveaway. Iris also had on a hat and a veil and an amazing high-collared outfit which she rearranged around her neck from time to time, between sips of her cocktail. (At least I think it was a cocktail – in truth, I wasn’t paying any attention to what the lady was drinking. Nor can I provide details about necklaces or other accessories because I was too star-struck, but being Iris Apfel, I’m sure she was decked out in something suitably chunky, bold and bright.)

I know this is old [news], and it’s not even interesting; the fact that I’m still reminiscing about the fact that I didn’t go up to Iris Apfel and ask if I could have my photograph taken with her. Because I was too shy. Because I specialise in admiring from afar.

Now as I come to the end of my daily-five-minutes-of-thinking-about-Iris-Apfel, I’m reminded that it’s Sunday – a day away from the office – so there’s no need to go back to black. Hot pink or orange or animal print, perhaps. I wonder if anywhere in Sydney sells Eyebobs.

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Post-script: It’s more about fashion and style. It really more like being confident about who you are, and just doing it. That’s my reason for loving Iris so much, I guess.

21.07.12

For someone who wears flats more than heels these days (after the metatarsal break last year), I still seem to have a lot of heels. Finally got around to transferring them into the plastic boxes I bought three weeks ago. I feel so organised now. Even put aside three four pairs (almost new) for the charity bin so that means, I’ve now got more room in the closet… Not that I need more shoes. Just sayin’.

20.07.12

Red. It makes me all manner of self-conscious. Hence the face shot. Why not feel the full force of the discomfort? Yeah. Red was for a celebration…

Tonight, a dinner to celebrate my cousin-in-law becoming an Australian citizen at a nice enough place in Paddington. As we were wrapping things up, a hum-dinger.

Male (as he threw an item of clothing at Female, and then proceeded to stomp down the stairs): “You’re a F###IN’ MOLE! SUCK MY D###!”

Female: “But Mick–!”

Male (coming back up the stairs to deliver the line): “Get away from me, B####!” (Erhm… None of us felt brave enough to point out at this juncture that he was the one who had come back… so shouldn’t he have been the one to heed the “get away” demand?)

I suppose you couldn’t really get more Aussie than that. Well, maybe you could. He could’ve thrown a meat pie instead of a jacket.

(And yes, in case you had noticed, I am indeed wearing the top.)

19.07.12

It’s wrong, oh so, to wish one’s time away. To say: I cannot wait until it’s the weekend. Why isn’t it the weekend yet? Is it the weekend yet? (Answer: No. Sigh.)

I know this. Tough not to do so this week, though. Really. Tough.

And I’m not just wishing for the weekend, I’m wishing for summer.

Don’t judge me too harshly. This child of the tropics just wasn’t designed for winter.

18.07.12

How pristine do my trainers look here? It’s because the photo was taken in mid-May when I had literally just bought them (aren’t the stickers a dead giveaway?). They so don’t look like that any more.

Favourite treadmill tunes this week include but are not restricted to: For My Woman (Easybeats cover) by Dappled Cities; How Do You Do by Hot Chip; Pistol Whipped by Marilyn Manson; Space and Time by Sparkadia; The Honeymoon Is Over by The Cruel Sea; Sunday Night by Last Dinosaurs; Betty Baby by Lanie LaneSeen No Right by Deep Sea ArcadeRun With The Wind by Dappled Cities

And I’ll be the first to admit that it’s kind of a strange mix of tunes. I’m still trying to get over my simultaneous DappledCities/DeepSeaArcade/LastDinosaurs Isimplycan’tgetenoughofyou obsession. It’s not really working, but I’m not bothered.

17.07.12

Seriously. So beautiful. I keep looking at these photos and thinking, “Visual seduction, tick.” And, I might add, my tastebuds were won over, too.

From the genuis Alessandro Pavoni of Ormeggio at the Spit. A delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

 Southern calamari, macadamia, tapioca, salmon roe

Venison battuta, toasted nuts, radish, pickled apple

Salsify, Jerusalem artichoke, Pecorino sauce, pinenuts, Manjimup truffles

So… I totally broke my rule of only one pic per post.  Because it was a seven-course degustation; I think it was seven – I sort of lost count. (Yes, I was tempted to post more photos, but This Is Not A Food Blog.)

I suffered for it terribly the next day. Sunday night was not restful, and I felt very unwell on Monday. Too rich for me. I think my digestive system is going backwards the more I go forwards in age.

16.07.12

I know that I could just as easily substitute this for a tub of Vaseline but I always* have a tube of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream amongst my lotions and potions – and never Vaseline. (Yes, I know it’s petroleum jelly.)

The manicurist did a nice paint-job the other day, but she was a touch heavy-handed with the clippers as evidenced by the reddened cuticle area of my little finger… which sent me straight to the Eight Hour Cream.

On related note, everyone seems to be doing Shellac manicures these days. Am I old fashioned not to have tried it yet? I’ve read the promo gumpf which states the product doesn’t damage the nail but I’m still wary.

* Honestly, I did try not to repurchase the stuff earlier this year – it was amazing, finally running out of the Eight Hour Cream after about five, or was it more like ten, years (seriously, it lasts and lasts and lasts)-, but after reading War Paint: Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth Arden: Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry, I wasn’t able to resist. Oddly, I’ve never tried any Helena Rubinstein products – nor do/did I feel the urge to do so, even after reading the book.

15.07.12

This year, a bit of upheaval in my/our group of friends. We’re not spending time together like we used to do. A combination of things: someone got married a few months ago (and the marriage is already on the rocks); we’re all working too hard and not partying; a couple of us had a bust-up (can ‘irreconcilable differences’ apply to friendship?). I won’t go on…

Sometimes, I find myself admiring the art magic’d by my friend, T. -it hangs in my living room-, and I am reminded that we all grow up, priorities change, and sometimes we don’t see our old friends for years. But the memories make things OK somehow. I also remember that there was a time when things weren’t so awesome between us, T. and I, but we righted things, and so now I’m hopeful that our little group will sort itself out, too, in time.

For some, reminiscing is accompanied by wistfulness, sadness; for others, it makes us smile, ever so faintly. (T., I’m smiling because I’m remembering a fun-filled, vodka-soaked, night in Melbourne years ago… Do you remember it? I can’t decide if it’s amusement or gratitude but it’s enough.)

14.07.12

I was in bed by 10pm last night. So different from the summer months where I sometimes crawl into bed at 4 or 5am.

What a treat to wake up bright-eyed and clear-headed on a Saturday morning!

I went for a stroll around the city earlier. For some reason, I always seem to gravitate toward Angel Place and this art installation called ‘Forgotten Songs‘.

13.07.12

The sexiest thing about the Monteverde Invincia Color Fusion is the stealth black nib. I think I’m in love. And the colour isn’t just white – it’s Skyhawk White. Need I say more?

Where obscured/illegible, text in full:

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” 
― A.A. Milne

11.07.12

I was at online shopping the other day, four items in my cart. Four times, my card was declined.

I called up the bank. The person I spoke with couldn’t explain why the card had been knocked back. And before I could say “But is it OK now?” she said, “I’ve cancelled your card and ordered you a new one.”

You what?

I’m one of those people who hates cash; I’d pay for my soy latte with a card if I could. When can we start using our mobile phones to pay as you go already?

The lady on the phone said, “It will take four to seven days for your new card to be delivered.”

You what??!

“I can’t believe you’re sending me into the weekend without my card,” I blurted in semi-disbelief. “You know it’s almost the weekend, don’t you?”

I guess I must’ve sounded vexed because she said, “I tell you what, I’ll arrange for it to be delivered overnight. Will that help?”

Hell yes!

“Yes, please.”

The card didn’t arrive before the weekend. Of course.

Why do people say what they’ll do and then not do it? The lady at the bank completely ballsed up the old “under-promise and over-deliver” thing. How hard is it, really?

… I’ve just realised that it was four items and four attempts. That’s too many fours for my liking, frankly. I know it doesn’t make sense. I don’t expect you to understand. Just let me be.

10.07.12

Do we like trees? Yes, we (I) do. Even when they’re not wearing any leaves.

I’ve been bad lately. I only worked out once (!) last week, and not all that enthusiastically either. The alarm went off on three consecutive mornings – twice I slept through, once studiously ignored, it.

The trees have lost their leaves, and me, my mojo, it would seem.

Any suggestions for mojo recovery, therefore, appreciated…

09.07.12

A simple shift dress, mid-thigh-length, in heavy jersey, worn only the second time since its purchase last year.

I think it says more about me than it does about the garment, frankly.

I love this dress, I’ve realised, so I’ve resolved to wear it often while it is winter.

08.07.12

Some people appear in your life like rainbows.

In your otherwise dreary existence, they inject a bit of colour and interest, challenging the hum-drum.

And for whatever reason, their presence is always fleeting. But greatly enjoyed.

06.07.12

I was all set to post my daily missive yesterday after work, but when I got home I found myself seething about something, more accurately, someone – and I just knew that I couldn’t give good blog.

This morning, I don’t feel any better except for the fact that it’s Friday – thank whatEVER! – but I just have to get through today without allowing myself to rise up in anger against this person.

He’s a partner, but no one at the office wants to work with him. So he’s kind of planted himself in our team… which would be fine, except that the reasons why none of my colleagues want to work with him still apply when he’s lurking in our midst: he’s got no people skills, no idea.

I won’t go into the details except to say that yesterday I came very close to doing what I heard (I was on the other side of the office) a colleague do a few months ago, which was march into his office, close the door, and launch into a expletive-littered tirade in which he told this partner exactly what he thought of him. Because he just frustrates [you] so much, and pushes and pushes… and pushes – until you feel like the only way you could get your point across is to pick up a ream of paper and belt him across the head with it. Or shout.

No. I won’t shout. But I have been stroking reams of paper rather more enthusiastically than looks healthy or normal.

04.07.12

Winter’s favourites this year:

NARS Cruising lipstick – I love this for day and night (I know, how boring am I?). It looks a lot more nude on, although it somehow appears more colour-saturated in the photo (which I didn’t photoshop, I might add);

La Roche Posay Anthelios 45 – even though it’s winter, I slap this on in the mornings and I am ready to face the sunshine through the clouds. It is likely I will still be using this stuff in the summer, unless I move up to 60;

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps – an oldie but a goody, it does what it’s supposed to do, doesn’t it?;

Urban Decay Naked 2 eyeshadow palette – how is it possible to LOVE all the colours in one palette? It is, believe me;

Esteée Lauder Sumptuous mascara – I’m still trying to decide if this is better than Double Wear. Different brushes for different occasions, I guess.

And gloves. I can’t exist in the cold without gloves. I refer you now to the timeworn expression: cold hands, warm heart. So there.

03.07.12

So… confession time. On two counts.

First confession: since moving house in late-April, I’ve been struggling with reading. Now that I’m living within walking distance of the office, there’s no longer the opportunity to read on the bus. And then it took about six weeks to get the internet at home sorted – unbelievable, I know! – meaning that every time I turned on the iPad to read, I got that annoying message: “It has been x weeks since you’ve backed up this device. Please do the necessary blah blah blah. Otherwise your iPad will explode the next time you switch it on. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” (OK, maybe not. But I think you get the gist.)

Seriously. It just turned me off the reading thing. Nor could I be bothered to go back to tree-books. About three weeks ago, I did pick up an old paperback, Brass by Helen Walsh, which I loved when I first read, and still love as I discovered this time around. But that was it. It’s quite incredible to think that I’ve hardly been reading for all this time.

Last weekend, I decided the only way to get back to it was to go for something easy, frivolous and outrageous. Guess which title I picked? (Does my facial expression give you any hints?)

Second confession: THIS…!! (Please don’t judge me.)

If you have read it, what did you think of it? Did you find it titillating, cringeworthy or funny? Or all three?