22 June 2009

a charming man

Today my thoughts drifted as they so often do, to times gone by; I thought of my friend Martin. A style genius - a uniquely talented and generous person with such a refined, natural sense of proportion, colour, cut, time, anything he put his hands on really... I could go on and on. His influence on me was liberating, he gave me a sense of individuality and through his guidance I learnt to trust my own instinct. I was very privileged to have worked for him. An unbelievably accomplished and respected fashion designer based initially in London and subsequently in Brighton, he has now retreated to the picturesque Sussex countryside where he resides to this day with his beloved, beautiful Cocker Spaniel, Susan. Fashion is no longer his game (much to my eternal dissappointment). Instead his time is now taken up with another passion: vintage teddies, lions, tigers, elephants, donkeys and rabbits (Steiff fans will rejoice in his collection)... his website takes you on a sweet journey visiting various windows through which you can admire all these lovely characters (my own personal favourite is Deirdre the Duck, pictured above). A magical world, I urge you to visit it soon.

18 June 2009

youth on the other side

Why is it that I always know with absolute certainty that I would appreciate things (more) in my life 20 or so years after they have occured? My youth for example. I would really, truly, fully appreciate just how fabulous it is to be 22 today. I would make a MUCH better 22 year old NOW! I think I would have a better time now. Not back in blimmin' 1990! All this started with a tremendous slap in the face earlier this week when I realised that the heartmelting singer Paolo Nutini is 22 years old. Young enough to be my son, in fact. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem being in my forties (much) - it's just that I look incredulously at the vast number of young people around me. There's so many of them. I used to be them. There was a time when nobody was younger than me except babies and schoolchildren. Now 'suddenly' (ha!) pretty much 80% of the people surrounding me are younger than me. And they all look so confident, groovy and sussed (did I ever look like that?) with their entire lives ahead of them. I know, I should just wake up and smell the cigar smoke, but I don't want to. I'm kind of teetering on the edge, not quite ready to take the plunge into mature womanhood, grey hair and all (although I am warming to the idea, what with all the style forecasts pointing in that direction anyway...). I still hanker after those years of carelessness where wrinkle creams existed only in ads, not in my bathroom cabinet. What'll it take for me to get over it and just let go? A few more chromotherapy sessions would help. I'm not so much worried about being old(er), I'm more mourning my youth - I enjoy looking at young people but I also feel a teensy bit sorry for myself because whilst I was their age, I felt immortal and very, very empowered. These days I have a ticking noise in my ear, it's not very loud - in fact some days I can hardly hear it at all - but it's definitely there.
I sympathise with all the ladies that are in this age group - a bit like me teetering on the edge or well and truly over the edge but not able to come to terms with it or embrace that new part of womanhood. Most of my friends are so cool about it and just don't give a damn and that's how it should be. But there are a few that are anxious and feel under quite a bit of pressure to look a certain way. Studying the likes of Überfrau Helen Mirren above, it does become blatantly obvious to me that to be happy with the outside, you need to be happy on the inside. And now, in a final attempt to get things into perspective, please repeat after me: "There's no solution to ageing, because it's just not a problem".

The picture above of Helen Mirren is one of my all-time favourites and speaks for itself, I think.

13 June 2009

about a voice

For some time now I've been catching a song on the radio and each time I hear it my ears prick up in serious appreciation. I've been asking myself who on earth that voice could belong to so my mind went a wondering: it sounded so Willie-Nelson-like and there was a bit of the Neil Young about it too, so I kind of figured it was some weird, old, American country singer (LOVE those guys, by the way) and something in his pronunciation even indicated that he might not have all of his front teeth. Not an attractive image you'll agree, but even if my mystery singer turned out to be the ageing toothless wonder of my wild imagination I wouldn't care, because the voice got me right where it hurts and where it matters. A voice can do that. This morning whilst driving, I heard the song again and decided that this was the day I would solve the mystery. Found him. He's got all his teeth, he's younger than me (huff and puff), and he's just a bit gorgeous. But all that really doesn't matter a jot because it's the voice and the words that I fell in love with. Ooooh... the beginning of this song is just heartbreaking. Listen and tell me about it.... (a tip: listen without looking first - look only when listening a second time. Trust me, click on the link, close your eyes and just listen). Speaking of Willie Nelson, there's something pretty cool about the picture above, right?

07 June 2009

che bella!

I found this gorgeous looking beast sat quietly in a Locarnese backwater. How could you not fall in love with it? Too divine.

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