30 May 2013
For those of you too lazy to join the dots yourself. A rather tentative, imprecise line is preferable to the mechanical version above. As ageing progresses, virtually any dot can be joined to any other dot to form a fine overall grid; no amount of heavy makeup will help at this point. Desmond Morris concludes his very brief thoughts on wrinkles and the female thus: 'A more perfect medical solution remains to be found.'
27 May 2013
'The female forehead that becomes lined... is a telltale sign that its owner is no longer young. It also suggests an over-anxious personality. (!) "Old and nervous" is not what an image-conscious female wishes to transmit, and so she has to take some kind of action to repair the damage, or at least to conceal it. Heavy make-up can help, but it can only go so far.' A quote from Desmond Morris's book 'The Naked Woman: A Study of the Female Body', which does what it says on the tin, from a zoological point of view (although I wonder to which other species he might recommend the use of heavy make-up). For those of you not yet fortunate enough to have developed these 'telltale' signs of experience and maturity, I have provided (above) a join-the-dot version of the progress of the wrinkle. Just print out and put pencil to paper to create your own exciting vision of the future.
22 May 2013
My son came home over the Easter break and brought along a female friend. They took bargain flights and carried little in the way of luggage. We went out somewhere together one evening; my son's friend was, as ever, carefully groomed. As we walked, she turned to me and confessed that she had forgotten to pack her makeup bag, and had raided my cosmetics in order to 'do' her face. My son turned and studied her for a moment. 'Of course!' he said, 'I thought you looked like my mother.'
16 May 2013
As summer approaches in the northern hemisphere- well, I can stop right there. No need to angst about the state of my legs, because summer has not happened here in the UK for the past several years. The odd warm day, perhaps. A little sunshine to fool me into looking out my sunglasses. But do I wash & mothball my sweaters until October? No I do not. Can I idle for weeks wearing nothing but shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops? Hah!
Despite the dismally unseasonable weather, the odd little article on 'preparing for the sun' has started to creep into the Sunday papers. Which reminds me that I am a true Anglo Saxon; my legs are sausages,100% pork both in content and proportion, and no amount of 'preparation' will bring on the sun.
I'm afraid that the above is a classic case of a picture that does not really work. I drew it this way and that way, I tried a variety of different sausages (including inauthentic continental varieties), and still could not get it to come right. It has appeared only because nothing else is to hand.
10 May 2013
Fat fat fat- it's everywhere at the moment. It's a moral issue, or a feminist issue, or a cultural issue. Or it's about aesthetics or health or fashion or the consumer society, or self-esteem or self-loathing or self-pity or self-control. Take your pick. Actually, my pick today is a New York Times article by Dimitia Smith, 'Demonizing Fat in the War on Weight' (May 1, 2004), which I came across on Google. I rate the interesting little details in this article over weighty argument. Thin wasn't always the chic size to be. Apparently Louis XIV padded his body to look more imposing, living as he did in an age when plumpness was associated with affluence, aristocracy, and good health. Conversely, 'The People Against the Fat' was a rallying cry of the French Revolution, which led to the the guillotine becoming a rather drastic method of weight loss.
Another nice morsel: "The first popular modern dieting book, 'Letter on Corpulence Addressed to the Public', written by William Banting, an undertaker, appeared in 1863. Banting wrote that when he was fat he was regarded as a useless parasite. He went on a diet and lost 35 pounds. 'I can honestly assert that I feel restored in health, bodily and mentally', he wrote." Plus ca change. He could have been writing today.
2 May 2013
1 May 2013
Oh, wait, did I get that wrong? Of course, it should have read, 'A house is a machine for living in', a quote from the Swiss architect Le Corbusier ('Vers Une Architecture', 1923). But he probably didn't live out of his handbag, the way some of us do. My current bag is big enough to house everything but the toaster, and it does. Le Corbusier apparently also wrote, 'The
home handbag should be the treasure chest of living' (not sure where that one comes from), which also suits- look, look, here's the earring I lost last year! But where oh where are my car keys?