24 June 2013

101 Piece Nail Kit

Appearing in the 'nostalgia' category: I cannot remember why I cut this out from the January 20, '87 Examiner, although there is another irresistible advert on the reverse, offering 'capless stretch wigs that feel light and cool as your own hair' for $9.95 each. I find it hard to believe I was anticipating eventually being in the market for either Glamour Nails or a natural look, 100% modacrylic hairpiece, any style. Of course, there is still hope that I will one day be mature enough to become embarrassed by my 'short, scraggly, cracked nails', that worry about 'breaking, splitting, and slow growth' will emerge uppermost in my consciousness, and that I will finally send off for 40 deluxe, natural-contour nails I can finally be proud of. And when that day arrives, I can only hope that the Old Village Shop is still in business . 

18 June 2013


I'm flagging up mud because the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is shortly to take place at Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset. Those who have attended in previous years know that, despite its name, the festival is really all about the therapeutic benefits of all-over mud. It's also one of the few weeks in the calendar when wet weather comes into its own. Worthy Farm is a working dairy farm for most of the year, and the input of the output of the cows makes the local soil an especially rich source of nutrients, possibly including minerals and vitamins such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and A, B, and E, etc. Smearing oneself liberally with this mud, intentionally or as a by-product of other activities, may provide a variety of surprising and/or beneficial effects, such as cleansing, exfoliating, smoothing, softening and even toning the epidermis, refining and nourishing skin texture, obscuring if not improving the complexion, removing toxins from the body, and even relieving joint and muscle pain.
Other well-known venues for mud include Cartagena in Spain, Zorritos in Peru, and Calistoya in California, but none are so much fun as Glastonbury. Earplugs and rubber boots are recommended, though not essential..

16 June 2013

A Good Nose

A quick note further to a recent previous post on noses. This photo- not mine, as I missed that particular party, but by Getty images (as used in the Times Magazine, 15.06.13)- perfectly demonstrates the contrast between the 'cute' nose, as demonstrated on the right by Ms Emma Watson, and the significant nose of Ms Sofia Coppola on the left. Ms Coppola, of course, has a lot more going on for her than what's visible in the above shot, but her nose is what makes her face. It's not a button! It has authority and character. It's as interesting as the rest of her.

11 June 2013


I could do with a little exposure, in every sense of the word. Not that I'll be suffering from any excess of UV rays this summer, if the weather remains as grisly as it has been today. Forgive me if I repost this picture (first shown last June), to remind us all how delicious a really deep tan can be..

7 June 2013

Nose Job

The nose comes in for little praise. A 'nose job' is one of the most common procedures in cosmetic surgery, and do we want them bigger? We do not. Oscar Wilde said, 'There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose'- a characteristically outrageous line, especially given the size and individuality of his own proboscis.  Of course, it's okay for a man to have a big nose, as it enhances and is even indicative of his masculinity, the size of the one protuberance being suggestive of the other. But on women, small, cute and kink-free seems to be desirable.
 It's a risky business, though. Not only does the nose do an invaluable job of allowing us to breathe, smell and taste, it's often the most distinctive feature of the face. A cariacature often starts with the nose and goes on from there. So you might find you miss it when it's gone. And as the rest of your face (and everything else) ages, creases and shrivels, your nose stays remarkably buoyant and wrinkle-free.
It's also mildly interesting that, given its facial prominence, the nose features in so many English phrases:
                'as plain as the nose on your face'
                'pay through the nose'
                'keep one's nose to the grindstone'
                'turn up your nose at'
                'win by a nose'
                'thumb one's nose at'
                'keep your nose clean'
                'get up someone's nose'
                'put a person's nose out of joint'
                'lead by the nose'
                'stick your nose into someone's business'  
                'look no further than one's nose'
and, finally: 'cut off your nose to spite your face'. So easily done..

3 June 2013

Sheep May Safely Graze

Tweed: A rough-surfaced woollen cloth, usually of mixed flecked colours, originally produced in Scotland. (O.E.D.)

I think of tweed as the official material of the U.K., if there is such a thing. Purists might consider it more properly Scottish or Irish, but it has been worn by enough English princes, dukes, academics and fictional detectives to make it a national treasure.  Expressive, in fact, of elements of the British character ('Tweedy: characteristic of the country gentry, heartily informal'- from my O.E.D. again.). It's not difficult to see why; I'm looking at the 'why' out of my window as I write. It's raining, it's chilly, the sky is one, long, miserable stretch of grey cloud. A little bit of nice, cosy, weather-resistant tweed just fills the bill, so beautifully reflective of the heaths and hills of rural Britain that sheep would look right at home on my shoulders.