29 April 2013

The First Blisters of Summer

I have apparently turned soft and tender over the winter months. Last Friday, the weather was so nice that I ditched socks & shoes for the first time this year, and donned a pair of sandals to walk downtown. Big mistake. Blisters began to bud before I'd made it to the end of the road and were in full, painful bloom by the time I hobbled home again. Perhaps feet hardened by years of four inch heels deal better with the winter-to-summer transition.

24 April 2013

Darwin's Shoulder Bag

Yesterday I witnessed a young man, walking a few paces in front of me, allow his shoulder bag to slip from his shoulder and crash to the pavement. This vision prompted a few idle thoughts. First, that young men (and older) now carry bags; just a few years ago, a bag was considered too effeminate an accessory for the male of the species. Only briefcases or other work-related reticules were acceptable.  Men now have stuff to carry around, too, and are not afraid to admit it, in the form of a sometimes rather trendy bag.  
Secondly, that over the decades (or perhaps centuries) women have evolved techniques of hanging onto their bags, be they shoulder bags, handbags, satchels, clutches or totes, despite their inferior upper body strength, and despite these methods sometimes involving actual body malfunction (along the lines of tennis elbow or repetitive strain disorder). 
Thirdly, evolution seems again to have missed a trick. I'm sure that some sort of bag-friendly anatomical element would have given added value to homo sapiens.

22 April 2013

Trophy Handbag

Perhaps the recent funeral of Margaret Thatcher had something to do with the above. The catalogue from which I borrowed these handbags couldn't rise to much in the way of fancy names- no 'Kelly' or 'Birkin' here. Instead, these come under such headings as 'Useful' or 'Capacious', with the odd 'Dainty' and 'Smart' thrown in. Those were the days.

17 April 2013

English Teeth

English teeth (from my Oxford English Dictionary): a set of hard bony enamel-coated structures in the jaws of vertebrates of English nationality, notable only for their very stained and irregular condition.

I have classic English teeth, ruined early by inadequate brushing, regular sweet-eating and pre-fluoride tap water, and dating from an era when orthodontics were considered an unnecessary extravagance. I fear I am beyond braces for the middle-aged, and comfort myself with the notion that the current popularity of vampires and zombies render my jaws positively trendy.

Braces for the Middle-Aged

Braces: not for the faint-hearted. That is to say, not for me.

9 April 2013

The First Fifty Wrinkles.

Idling through a cosmetics department the other day, I passed a group of salesgirls all sporting t-shirts with a logo that read something like, 'Wouldn't you like less wrinkles?'. I paused just long enough to snarl, 'Fewer! Wouldn't you like fewer wrinkles?' at one unfortunate before stamping on a free sample of her product and moving on. 
What have we got against wrinkles? A well-wrinkled face is as individual as a fingerprint.

 My first fifty wrinkles:

1-3. Love, problems of.
4. Finals at university.
5-8. Post-university return to living with parents.
9. Income, problems with and consequent job interviews.
10. Love, more problems of.
11. Search for a room of one's own.
12-16. Work, problems of.
17. Death of first cat.
18. Broken leg suffered in fall from chair, and subsequent recovery.
19. First wedding.
20-21. Birth of offspring one and two.
22. Love, more problems of, again.
23. Income, more problems with (entry into property market).
24. Ongoing inability to bake successful cakes.
25-35. Children-related concerns (health, toileting, schooling, social/academic/sporting/musical abilities thereof, adolescence, drugs and sex, driving lessons, exams and entry into higher education, etc etc).
36. Sudden death of mother.
37. Divorce.
38-42. Income, ongoing problems (consequence of 37.).
43. Mild mugging while on holiday, consequent loss and replacement of credit cards, passport, etc.
44. Cancer scare.
45. Aged father, problems with.
46. Unexpected falling-out with best friend.
47. Second cat dies.
48. Aged father, arranging for care of.
49. Minor kitchen fire.
50. Lodgers.

8 April 2013

Ice Age Women

I think I mentioned that I was planning to see an exhibition currently on show at the British Museum, 'Ice Age art: arrival of the modern mind'. I went round the (very wonderful) show this morning, making drawings in my sketchbook (some above), and uttering little groans at the fact that my drawings were so much less skilled than the items on display, mostly carved or engraved from/on bone or stone, using rather more primitive tools than my shop-bought pencil and smooth cartridge pad. There were in particular many delightful little figurines of women, most of them generously proportioned by today's standards, despite dating from a period when I would have expected over-eating to be a rare if not impossible achievement. Several were pregnant, and very large buttocks, hips, thighs and breasts were the norm. Perhaps something to dangle in front of the editors at Vogue et al.

2 April 2013

Spring Lip Gloss Shades for Plumper, Fuller Looking Lips.

I can't bring myself to feel charitable towards lip gloss.  I loathe the slug-like appearance they bring to any mouth, the slippery feel of one jellied lip against the other, the fly-paper attraction for any passing hair or crumb. Sorry. Just another personal foible. Two days of sunshine, and I'm already out in the garden scattering slug pellets.