Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Posh sez: Do as I say not as I do

Apparently Victoria Beckham has stated that she won't use size zero models for her denim line, as she doesn't want to give the impression that she supports the super skinny trend. Continue reading.

I suppose this is a good thing in principle, but we all know that the reason a lot of people spend the ungodly sum her jeans cost is to aspire to VB's look, which is emaciated chic. Still, at least her PR people have advised her this is a good move she's aware of the impact that the celebrity and fashion world have in terms of setting the bar for what body shapes are acceptable, and is taking positive steps to rectify this issue.

Victoria, we commend you. Go and treat yourself to celery stick girlfriend - you've earned it.

Photo: Previously credited

Tightening my belt

I'd love to say the title refers to my weight loss, but although I have lost some weight, it's not really in belt tightening territory yet.

When we were kids my dad, who was self employed, would tell us from time to time that we needed to 'tighten our belts,' meaning it was a slow work period and we had to be careful with our spending. Well, following our wedding(s) last year, and a holiday in Australia, we had a belt tightening kind of January. Actually, I'm amazed at how little I spent this month (tax bill aside), and it's kind of a good feeling knowing that when I need to curtail my spending I can, and it's not actually that painful. Also, having recently cleaned out my cupboards, it makes me realise that if I am just a bit better at organising them, I'll find that I have plenty of cool things to wear. It's amazing how many clothes I never wear simply because they are hidden under a dozen other things on a hanger, or shoved into the corner of a drawer in the spare room.

I imagine this house buying business will mean a few more months of belt tightening, but again, it's not something I mind that much. Not drinking does help, as Diet Cokes are decidedly cheaper than wine or beer, though admittedly not nearly as much fun.

Angelina Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died this week after losing her seven year battle against cancer. She was 56. A bunch of eejits over on Dlisted (in the comments section, not the authors) were voicing their opinions about the state of the relationship between the two women. 'They were very close,' 'They weren't on speaking terms,' 'Angelina should have put her career on hold while here mother was so sick,' 'That's why she looked so serious at the Golden Globes,' etc etc. And these are some of the more polite comments - you don't want to know what some of the other wildly inappropriate/unrelated ones were like.

Who can know or even begin to imagine what her relationship with her mother was like, and what she must be going through after her death? It's one of those things about the blogosphere that I dislike - this ability that everybody and their dog has to comment on every aspect of people's personal lives. There's a time to have a laugh about narcissistic foibles, and then there's a time to shut the f*ck up, and let people be.

Life comes at you fast

This is the new K-Fed commercial for Nationwide, entitled, 'Life comes at you fast.' I like the fact that the guy can laugh at himself, though I'm sure he got well compensated for his efforts. If you can't see the clip, click here.

Mere mortals after all

These are recent photos of Eva Longoria and Heidi Klum without makeup. Strangely, they make me feel kind of at peace with the world.

Curves are cool


I went to meet some friends at Home House tonight, or rather, last night (as it's half past midnight), and there was a throng of paparazzi outside. I think they were hosting the London fashion awards inside, ahead of London fashion week - but don't qoute me.

I had to thread my way through to get to the door, and a couple of them took my picture. I never thought I'd say this, but I found it very invasive. I mean, I'm a nobody to them, but just in case, they took my photo. As far as I'm concerned, celebrities sign up to all that stuff - it goes with the job, but they had no right to take my picture without asking me - especially on a bad hair day! They probably rubbed their hands together and thought, 'Hmm, this one, whoever she is, will make a good shot for the 'What were they thinking???!!!' pages.

I was genuinely worried about going out tonight, as it was my first night out with friends - friends with whom I usually happily knock back two or three bottles of wine - without drinking. I'm not sure exactly what I was worried about - perhaps that I might not have as much fun or more so, be as much fun if I was sober? Well, I'm glad I braved it, because I had a great evening. I remember all the conversations I had, didn't behave like a lush, didn't smoke, and have no hangover to dread tomorrow. On the minus side to all this wholesome Pollyanna shyte - I'm wide awake thanks to four Diet Cokes today. You know what they say about switching one crutch for another.

I watched the first episode in the seventh series of America's Next Top Model this evening (taped). Tyra Banks has gained weight - I don't mean this as a criticism, it's simply a (well-known) observation. And if this year's awards ceremonies have taught us anything, it's that curves are back and very in right now. Just look at the gorgeous Jennifer Hudson (Dream Girls) at the Golden Globes, and America Fererra (Ugly Betty) at the Sags. These women rocked the red carpet, and showed that you can look every bit as beautiful and glamorous with a bit of meat on your bones, and in fact even better in those dresses because you have something to fill them out with.

I don't think Tyra has quite adjusted to her new body shape, because in this series of ANTM, she is sporting huge hair. I mean huge - like drag queen huge. The result is that her tiny face is swamped, and she looks dumpy instead of curvy and sexy. I think she's hiding behind all that hair, but it does her no favours. I think she should lose the weave - or at least get it cut into a fashionable shag, and work those curves instead of trying to hide them.

Photo: America Fererra c/o Perez

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The sin of impatience

Look how little Harry Potter has grown up! This is Daniel Radcliffe in the London stage production of Equus. More pics on Dlisted.

I haven't posted for a while because I've actually been busy working - yep, it's true. I was inspired to work even harder after I wrote out one of the biggest cheques of my life and handed it over to the tax man. Bloody tax. I don't have a problem with the idea of it - I mean, it goes towards necessary things like healthcare, schooling, new roads, and Cherie Blair's hairdresser. What pisses me off about tax are things like stamp duty - which is what you pay when you buy a house. Yes, because buying a house in London these days is so inexpensive that you don't mind a whopping 5% on top of that to hand over to the tax man for no good reason at all. And then there's inheritance tax. Yes, it makes perfect sense to pay tax your entire life on every cent that you touch, and then let the government take another cut off of what's left at the end of it. Bastards.

As for my own tax bill, it wasn't actually that bad in the greater scheme of things - it's just that as I'm self-employed I don't get taxed each month, and I should have put money away as though I was in provision for my bill at the end of the tax year. That way it wouldn't feel quite so bad. Anyway, lessons learnt and all that.

The house hunting continues in earnest, and I can only say thank god Robert is level-headed. I love and want to buy every house we see, and then the next day we see something that's even better suited to our needs and I'm like, phew, thank god we waited. It's called the sin of impatience, coupled with an overly-romantasized view of things. Matters are not helped by the fact that there aren't a lot of houses on the market at the moment, and it's a competitive playing field, so even if you make an offer, chances are that someone else can come along and top it.

But one has to stay relaxed and focused and not let these things influence your decision. My friend Lowri, who is a home-owner herself, suggests getting a house that is less than perfect in a good location. She reckons you can always fix it up to your needs and tastes over time, but you can't fix a bad neighbourhood as easily. Good point.

And in the news, apparently Jade Goody has checked into rehab. Rehab is the bandaid for the celebrity here in London. Get nicked for driving too fast? Go into rehab. Old nudey shots of you come out in the press? Go into rehab. Become the nation's hate figure because you are an ignorant bully and your career is going down the toilet as a result? Go into rehab.

Going into rehab shows that you are not only sorry for what you have done, but that you are genuinely committed to generating as much pity from the public as possible. And in a country that loves to knock people down as much as it loves to pick them up, this is a very effective PR move. The more returns to rehab, the more interviews with magazines, the more you get back into the public eye. It's a win-win situation. Those PR gurus certainly know what they're doing.

Photo c/o Dlisted.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Houseshare urgently needed

My very good and close friend Jeff urgently need to find a place to move into, like now, as the house he has been renting has been sold. Aside from being terrifically good company - intelligent, funny, talented etc, he's a very laid-back, yet conscientious person. Jeff is an artist (copywriter, designer, art director), he smokes, and has a dog.

He wants to live in London and is ideally looking to move into a house-share (with garden) with a person/people who like dogs. His ceiling is around £500 per month. If you or someone you know can help, please contact me asap.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

When I grow up I want to be

Sometimes you can be almost 32-years-old, and you watch a movie, and you're like: ' I want to be that person when I grow up.' And if you're honest with yourself, you'll realise that the chances of that happening are pretty slim. For me, most days, it's Linda Hamilton from Terminator II - the inspiration for the new banner.

I really really want to be her. Not so much the whole aggressive, paranoid, convinced that the world is going to be imminently destroyed by the machines part. Nor for that matter, how she escapes from a mental asylum by injecting a syringe full of cleaning fluid into the neck of an orderly. Rather it's more to do with her single minded determination - I mean, that body for one thing is amazing. That's a lot of pull-ups on the conveniently placed bar in your asylum quarters. Then there's the whole stockpile of weapons in Mexico - that must have taken her some time to put together.

Also, in the film, she's a smoker, a woman of few words, and can beat the crap out of just about anyone. I admire these qualities, mostly because I am none of these things. Most recently I have quit the fags in the hopes that I won't suffer massive withdrawal when I really have to stop, i.e. if and when I get pregnant, and I'll be honest, sometimes I really miss it. It's not so much that I enjoy smoking, as I like the idea of it. I have also always and still do talk too much, and I can't beat the crap out of anyone.

Tonight we watched High Fidelity, which (name drop time) my sister Mags was first assistant editor on, and which I'm very proud of. It's one of my all-time favourite films. Lisa Bonet is just so damn cool in it, cool and bohemian. There's just no way a hygiene-obsessed person such as myself could have dreads, nor for that matter, live a proper bohemian lifestyle. Somehow, I just don't see Lisa Bonet with Flash Wipes in her bathroom, just in case the Flash spray doesn't do a proper job and you need to do touch-ups. She's also incredibly beautiful, and age has only made her more so.

Then there's Angelica Houston, who is the woman I want to be now and when I get older. Naturally all of this is based on pure projection on my part. She radiates intelligence, sex appeal, and regalness, and looks like she's got that inner power thing going. She also
appears comfortable in her skin, and I imagine she doesn't give a shit about whether or not she does 200 pull-ups a day, having the occasional cigarette, or if other people approve of her. Funny that.

Photo: Bill Murray and Anjelica Huston in the incomparable Steve Zissou and the life aquatic c/o yahoo movies.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Is your betty ready?

I used to work with a woman who told me she coloured her hair 'down there' because her boyfriend of seven years had no idea she wasn't a real blonde. And yes, they lived together and were intimately involved. And no, he wasn't blind or suffering from any kind of eyesight impairment. I wanted to say he must be some kind of eejit not to know after seven years, but my mother taught me better than that.

I thought she was nuts, I mean, who the hell wants to go and put harsh peroxidey-type stuff down there, unless of course it's absolutely life-savingly necessary? Not me, that's for sure.

Well, for all those ladies who would like their collars and cuffs to match, and have suffered a chemical burn or two as a result, your prayers have been answered. A company called 'Betty' have come up with a hair dye which is specifically for 'the hair down there.' Colours include Auburn, Black, Blonde, Brown, and Fun (which is pink).

Apparently it's quite safe and easy to use. Check it out here.

Tip via Holy Moly!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Victoria Beckham's blog



"Vision in red"

Let it not be said that my blog doesn't offer a public service. Friends, family, and fellow countrymen, I offer you something that will change your life. Yes sirree, it's none other than Victoria Beckham's official website - with a photo blog comprising various pictures of her from her mobile phone. I'm not sure who the poor bastard is that has to take all the pictures of her getting onto her private jet, getting off of her private jet, sitting in her private jet, making calls on her private jet, but I feel sorry for him/her.

It's a bit slow, but that could be because they announced it on the radio tonight and it's had hundreds of hits. Also the links on the bottom tend to work better than those on the left.

Check it out - go forth and be enriched.

Photo's c/o VB's blog.

Infamous

Wow, wow, wow! I treated myself to 'Infamous' this afternoon, and left the cinema completely awestruck.

It's hard to discuss this film without drawing comparisons with the equally superb 'Capote', starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. I enjoyed that one thoroughly, but left feeling a bit cheated because although it had the same name as the biography by Gerald Clarke, it essentially only focused on the 'In Cold Blood' period in Capote's life.

'Infamous' is similarly about the same period, however they did present a much broader picture of Capote's life, somewhat helped in a cheeky way via George Plimtonesque anecdotes from the various people who knew him. I'm not sure if these 'to camera' scenes work, but I suppose it was a way of relaying information about his character and life, that would have taken a lot longer than two hours if it had been done, say, via flashbacks.

A lot of the publicity for this film featured 'The Swans', Capote's inner circle of beautiful wealthy society friends like Babe Paley (Sigourney Weaver), Slim Keith (Hope Davis), Marella Agnelli (Isabella Rossellini) and Diana Vreeland (Juliet Stevenson). Despite the big names who play them, the swans are by no means what is so special about this film. Though they do add a bit of gloss and glamour, and act to reveal the gossipy, bitchy, name-dropping side of Capote.

The real stars are Toby Jones who doesn't just do a good rendition of Capote, but IS Capote, Sandra Bullock as the much less glamorous Pulitzer-winning authoress and best friend Nelle Harper Lee, and Daniel Craig as Perry Smith, one of the murderers.

Sandra Bullock was a real surprise, because I thought she was a bit of a Julia Roberts - you know the kind of funny, attractive, goofy actress that plays slight and safe variations of herself. But in the case of Bullock I think she just needed the right gritty role to come along, and in this film she is just amazing. Then there's Daniel Craig - I was mesmerized by his portrayal of the enigmatic and tortured soul that was Perry Smith. And the chemistry between him and Toby Jones was electric.

The supporting cast are equally commendable, with a wonderfully nuanced and sympathetic portrayel of Alvin Dewey by Jeff Daniels, and a sharp, amusing Diana Vreeland is played brilliantly by Juliet Stevenson.

I read Capote's biography, 'Capote' by Gerald Clarke, last year, and I think this film captures that period in his life very well. If you are a fan, I highly recommend this book, as the author conducted hours of interviews over the years, not only with people who knew him intimately, but with Capote himself. As for the film - go and see it.

Photo c/o imdb.com

Fat Men Can't Hunt

Last night we watched the first programme in a four-part series called 'Fat Men Can't Hunt.' The premise?

Fat Men Can't Hunt is a four-part series that follows a group of eight men and women to see if they can live among the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia. The men will have to join hunts, spending days at a time foraging for food. Meanwhile the women will have to stay in the camp, living their lives according to the strict social rules that govern local women.

Isolated in one of the world's harshest environments, will our brave volunteers adapt to their new lifestyle or end up begging to be airlifted to the nearest kebab shop?

In the first episode we are introduced to members of the group - a bunch of people who are seriously obese. None of them are that way because of weird hormonal issues, it''s all down to self-confessed gluttony and inactivity.

I don't like the title of the show, but I suspect it comes directly from the San, who are fairly direct, not to mention wiry people. They were measuring the San in comparison with the English crowd, and they are around 7 stone (45 kilos), and have 10 percent body fat. Some members of the English group had a body fat percentage as high as 45%.

It's interesting to see the formation of group dynamics already, and there's one member I've put my money on going home early. She holds the group back by bitching, moaning and being difficult, stopped helping in an activity because she broke a nail, starts fights with other people (enjoys the blame game), and sits out of activities saying she feels sick. In the case of the latter, the camp medic deemed it a slight case of dehydration. Her laziness has not escaped the the elder of the San tribe, and reckons (in his beautiful clicks and whistles) that's he's going to work her ass hard.

I reckon a lot of these people are going to benefit enormously from the experiment, if only to gain a greater appreciation and respect for food. Either that or they will go home and be so happy to see food that they don't have to stab, swat, or shell, and they'll overindulge and pick up all the weight they lost in a few weeks.

There's a lot of hunting with bows and arrows, skinning and gutting of animals, gathering of sour-tasting berries and nuts, and walks which take miles and miles. These people really are having to live the hard life in the middle of nowhere with the San people, and it's fascinating viewing. Definitely worth watching.

Check it out on BBC Three.

Photo c/o bbc.co.uk

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Enough is enough

Heather Mills McCartney's sister, Fiona Mills, has spoken out about the hate campaign against her sister on Heather's official website. Check it out here.

Last week rumours were circulating that Paul had offered Heather a settlement which included 60+ million pounds, and houses in London and Beverly Hills. Speculation was rife that he wanted to settle so that claims of his alleged abuse against her would not have to be aired in the courts. But according to Fiona Mills, these rumours are rubbish, and nothing has been offered as yet.

I'm kind of split down the middle in my feelings about them. I don't think she's an angel, by no means, and her past, or rather the way she paints her past, seems very dodgy. But at the same time, she's still doing some great work campaigning against the fur trade and the cruelty of animals, and equally doing some commendable work on the landmine/prosthetic limb front.

Once she married him, she could have easily sat on her backside and shopped, or put her name on the arse of a pair of jeans, but she chose to continue her cause work. Should she get half his fortune - I don't think so. I reckon a house to live in and money to raise their little girl would be good. At least that is what I would ask for were I in her position.

As for Paul, well, I personally don't find it so hard to believe that the guy could be controlling and possibly have problems with drink and drugs. His an ex Beatle for gods sakes - why does it take such a leap of imagination to consider he may have substance abuse and/or control issues?

Either way - I imagine this business will get a lot nastier before it gets better. If I was her, once the divorce is over, I'd take my money and settle in a warm distant place, far away from the paps and Stella McCartney.

Photo c/o Dlisted

Passports and e numbers

I went along to the passport office today to get a new one with my married name in. I booked the same day or Premium service, which means you call and make an appointment, and then go along and provide your paperwork and get to collect your new passport four hours later.

As I walked into the passport office in Victoria I was descended on by three security people who asked me to state my business. Hmm, let me think - a passport perhaps? I mean, we are in the passport office aren't we?

After joining the security queue (complete with metal detector - the exact same setup they have at airport security), I got a number and waited.

Eventually I got attended to by a thick-set young woman who had large gold signet rings on both hands, big loop earrings, dog tags around her neck, and was wearing a Mickey Mouse jumper. The sign on her cubicle said 'In Training.' I worried that a trainee might get my details wrong and I'd land up with a birth date implying I was a geriatric, or a misspelled name on my passport. Fortunately my fears were misplaced, and I collected a perfectly good passport this afternoon. The photo of me is somewhat soft focused, even though the ones I provided where sharp. I think their scanners are crap - I could be any blond woman of an indeterminate age.

That passport photo is a bit of a stress in itself. Knowing you're going to be stuck with it for a good 10 years, and that your children will look at it and judge what sort of a person you were when it was taken, you want it to make the correct impression. In my old South African one I was wearing a leather jacket and a lot of red lipstick. I looked like some sort of gang member floozy. In my first British passport, I look just like our friend Veronica and nothing like myself, thanks again to the crappy scanning method they do. This latest one is a fairly straightforward shot. I've got minimal makeup on, and my hair is neatly combed but in a style I think will age well, and won't result in our children pointing and doubling over with laughter.

I'd been in such a rush to get out of the house this morning that I didn't have a chance to eat breakfast. Then Robert and I went to see a house during lunch, so by the time I got the tube back it was 3pm and I was starving. As I came out the tube the first thing I saw was a McDonalds. The last time I ate a McDonalds or Burger King for that matter, was when I had an employer, which was around 2004.

I avoid this kind of food as a rule because it tends to give me huge indigestion, it stinks on my breath and hands (despite brushing and washing them), and it's fattening. I love burgers, and I do eat them, but in places that tend to make their patties out of real beef and not wood chips, ground hoof, or whatever the hell it is fast food places put in there.

Anyway, all this self-righteous shyte is fine and well when you're not ravenous. I looked up at the large welcoming restaurant emitting it's collection of mysterious meaty smells, and briefly toyed with the idea of making something at home. I visualised myself running out of energy while cooking and passing out at the base of our oven - Sylvia Plath style. I decided it wiser to risk the e numbers.

I ordered the biggest juiciest-looking burger on the menu - a double quarter pounder with cheese. The picture looked gorgeous - a big double-pattied burger with melted cheese oozing from between the layers, with plump tomato slices, pickles, and lettuce. Unsurprisingly, my burger didn't look anything like this. There was a tiny sliver of cheese between two greyish looking patties, and a small smear of tomato sauce. The thin slice of tomato looked as though it had been farmed in a famine area, and there was no lettuce at all.

I ate half of it and got a stomach cramp, which was my body's way of punishing me for punishing it with such toxic shyte. The diet coke in the 'meal deal' I opted for was sweeter than any full-fat coke I've had, and the chips tasted of diesel fuel. Still, despite my teeth melting from the sugar, my hands and breath smelling like something that has been dead under a house for a long time, and the onset of severe indigestion, I'm no longer hungry.

The ugly side of internet dating

I've been there and done that when it comes to Internet dating. In fact, it's how I met my now lovely husband Roberto. However in order to find your prince/princess, it does mean you effectively have to go on quite a few blind dates, and that's a lot of dinners, drinks, or cups of coffee.

Whenever I was taken out I offered to pay half the bill, or get in a round of drinks. The drinks thing was sometimes accepted, getting half of dinner never was. Occasionally I was taken out to some expensive restaurants, and sometimes it landed up being the only date for various reasons. However, none of these people ever called or emailed me after the fact demanding that I reimburse them for my half of the meal.

Not so for Darren Sherman. I came across this (true) story via Robert, via Nixta, that made my skin crawl.

In a nutshell this guy, Darren Sherman, takes a girl out for dinner. The bill comes, she offers to pay half, he refuses. For some reason, after the date the guy jumps the gun and decides she doesn't like him, so he starts to barrage her with emails and voicemails demanding her share of the bill back (the one he refused to accept on the night of the date) - approx $50. He goes so far as to threaten to tell her boss and take her to court. I kid you not.

Ironically she thought the date went OK, but failing having the opportunity to get back to him before the stalker shit started, she quickly changed her mind. Personally I think it was an act of god she got to see that side of him before a second date.

The whole thing stinks of sour grapes and the guy clearly has huge issues - namely ones of feeling (and acting) like a victim.

Click here to check it out. It's a funny and scary read, and it's worth listening to the audio clips too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Welcome to America

This, erm, masterpiece is the latest addition to Madame Tussauds in New York commemorating the Beckham's move to the USA. I know what Posh would say about the honour, "Dammit David, they made me look fat!"

Photo c/o Hollywood Rag

A shark tale

You've heard the expression 'in the belly of the beast,' well this nearly became a reality for an Australian diver when a 10-foot shark grabbed him by the head, crushing his face mask and breaking his nose. According to a witness, Eric Nerhus (41) "... was actually bitten by the head down — the shark swallowed his head." Not happy with just his head, the shark went in for another bite, getting his teeth around Nerhus's torso. Amazingly he escaped (and has survived the attack) by poking the shark in the eye, which promoted it to let go and swim away. Continue reading.

Photo c/o
animalport.com

Ivanka Trump and her two breast friends


I'm all for doing what you feel you need to do to boost your confidence, sex life, chances of staring in a porno, so it pains me to say this, but I think Ivanka Trump got carried away when discussing how many cc's she wanted in those mamas. They look way out of proportion with the rest of her body, and not even in a bizarre sexually attractive mangaesque way the likes that Pamela Anderson carries off. She's a nice looking girl, but those boobs just look wrong.

Photos c/o Hollywood Rag

It's love

In case you didn't know who the emaciated woman in this picture is, because those sunglasses do such a good job of disguising her, it's Posh at the Chanel show in Paris with the equally emaciated Karl Lagerfield. I never understand why celebs wear sunglasses to fashion shows - how the hell are you supposed to see what's going on? But I can understand how these two toothpicks found each other in this crazy mixed up world. It must be so good to have someone to share three peas with and tisk tisk over all the fat undisciplined size six bastards out there.

Here in London we're freezing our bollocks off. Apparently temperatures will dip as low as minus seven this week - so think twice before you plan a spot of shopping on Oxford street. Even Illona, our Polish cleaner, who is perpetually hot and complaining about the heating in our flat, is feeling the freeze and reluctantly admitted that it was somewhat chilly out.

The Oscar nominations have been named - click here for a full list. I used to really be on the up and up when it came to film, but I'm embarrassed to say there are loads on the list that I haven't seen. I definitely want to go and see 'The Pursuit of Happyness' and 'Babel', though I suspect the latter will be fraught viewing.

I've got a new blog to plug, and if you like Poker, then you've love this. It's called Steaming Donk and it's all about a woman's addiction to online poker. She says, "On the grounds that I'm never going to get any better at the game, I'm just focusing my attentions on losing less instead." Worth checking out.

Photo c/o Hollywood Rag

How to eat Sushi

Due to popular demand, here's the Sushi video again. And remember: "Taisho always have a secret personal history. You should never ask about this."

If you can't see the clip, click here.

Original tip thanks to Blair.

"Joan Collins is a bitch"

hahaha - this is one of the funniest clips I've seen in a long time. It's what happens when you bring out Hollwood's old timers who don't give a shit about being political, and just tell it like it is.

If you can't see the clip, click here.

Tip via Dlisted.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Has Perez lost his touch?

In a recent post, Perez Hilton (pictured with Paris), had a nasty little go at Britney Spears. Historically he's not a big fan and takes the piss frequently, and with Britters unfortunate dress sense and tendency to go pantless, it's not difficult. But this recent one went a bit too far I thought.

It started with
"Britney is such a stupid bitch! We've gone from hardcore fans to fucking hating this whore. She has no redeeming qualities!" Continue reading.
So you'd think Britney had gone and done something really stupid or offensive, but it turns out she went to a burger place wearing a disguise and then refused to sign an autograph for a 15-year-old fan. Yep, that's pretty much it.

To make matters worse, the post was accompanied by vintage Britney crotch shots - completely and utterly unrelated to the story.

I don't know, was it a slow news day?

I posted the following comment as a response to the post:

Perez, I love your site, it's often a source of celeb news for my own site. I also like to laugh at the foibles of over-paid narcissistic celebs as much as the next person.

But honestly, is the fact that someone who is chronically hounded by the press wanting to go to a restaurant in (ok, an admittedly lame) disguise, and choosing to be left alone really a reason to hate her and call her a whore and a stupid bitch?

Also, posting up (old) snatch shots that have nothing to do with the post in question strikes me as a weak attempt to try and support your premise for hating her, and simply bad journalism.

Come on, you're better than this!

I think all that pink hair dye has gone to his head.

Monday morning yada

On what occasion do you lie?
"First, let me disarm that loaded question. I know how easy it is for one to stay well within moral, ethical, and legal bounds through the skillful use of words - and to thereby spin, sidestep, circumvent, or bend a truth completely out of shape. To that extent, we are all liars on numerous occasions." Sidney Poitier being interviewed by Vanity Fair magazine. February 2007
Another shitty weathered Monday. However this winter the days have a tendency to clear up and by afternoon are gorgeous sunny blue-skied ones. Perfect for a brisk walk to Starbucks, or through Holland Park, barring days with the gale force winds that is. Has anyone been to Holland Park? I suspect most Londoners have, except Robert and I till recently that is.

Wow, it's a beautiful place, and we discovered the Japanese-themed Kyoto garden. If you want to reenact a Samurai sword fight, go eat a sandwhich and reflect, or take some photos with a Japanese feel, I'd highly recommend it. One of the beauties of London is that you can live here your whole life, and still keep discovering new and strange places that feel like a different world.

I've been really slack with my movie going lately, and there are loads of films I want to see this year, including, 'Notes on a scandal' with Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. I read the book a couple of Christmas's ago - disturbing, yet thoroughly compelling. Then there's the (second) Capote flick - 'Infamous' which I'd like to catch too. I'm drawn by the fact that it covers not just the 'In Cold Blood' trial, but a bit more about Capote's life and his relationship with The Swans.

I've stopped drinking until my birthday party because all this New Years catching up business is playing havoc with my weight. The next thing I want to do is get back into the gym, and try and do a half an hour of cardio three times a week, and perhaps take in a class. I've just become so inactive, and am feeling the ill effects as a result.

Robert and I have slowly started looking for a house, and by slowly I mean there's no big rush. We want to find the right place - and more so a place that we can live in for the next 20 years or so and raise a family in. I have a friend who moves into places, redecorates them, and then moves onto the next challenge in a year or two. They make good money out of it, but it doesn't appeal to me in the least. I find the whole house moving business extremely stressful, and I imagine it's incredibly disruptive if you have children. I understand that sometimes this isn't a choice, but given the choice, I quite like the idea of setting down roots in one place.

Our house hunting at this stage involves visiting areas we are interested in, and walking around checking out amenities, schools, if there is a local Starbucks - that sort of vital stuff. The trick, as all our friends are fond of warning us, is to make sure you view a good variety of properties before falling in love with any specific one, which is easier said than done. It's funny how the mind works - and as soon as you see a place you're visualising how you'd do it up, where to put the cat flap, and where the children will put their dirty shoes when they come in the house.

Ultimately though, I think any place you look at is going to need something doing to it at some point to customise it to your needs - and that's also something to take into account when budgeting. People's tastes are also varied, and there's inevitably the occasional avocado bathroom or ye-oldy-cottage wallpaper that will need changing. In fact, unless you are getting a house that has recently been re-done or is being sold by developers, chances are the kitchen and bathrooms will need re-doing at some point, or at least that's our experience of the places we have viewed so far.

On a closing note, I am totally addicted to online backgammon, and specifically playing other online players. Follow the link, wait a minute as the promotional screen does go off of it's on accord, and then click on the 'join any open game' link. Great fun, no money involved (gambling terrifies me), and especially good if your husband refuses to play with you.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Big Brother Eviction - Breaking News

OK, so I was in Habitat when this story broke, so it's not exactly hot off the press, but I enjoy the illusion of having my finger on the blogosphere pulse.

Thanks to a phone call from Louise, I found out there will be no crowd allowed at the BB eviction tonight, and the whole thing will be conducted in front of a (no doubt controlled) studio audience.

You just know they are terrified of a lynch mob going after Jade's bulling ass.

According to Yahoo:
Jade has apologised to Shilpa, insisting she is not a racist and said she regrets any offence that she has caused. But the south Londoner, who is favourite to get the boot, is facing fresh controversy after branding her rival "Shilpa Poppadom" and will apparently be taken to a safe house by police when kicked out. Continue reading.
Having looked at the clips on YouTube, and read some of the transcripts, it feels to me that Jade has got most of the heat for what is going on in there, when some of the worst stuff has been uttered by Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd. Don't get my wrong, Jade's said her fair bit and been a bitch along with the rest of them, but she is by no means the only one. I only hope those other two get their share of the backlash when they get voted out.

I really can't believe what an eejit Jade is. Apparently her perfume has been pulled from two stores, and who knows what else is going to happen to her career as a result of her appalling behaviour. And for what?

Who looks this good at 66?


Raquel Welch of course. OK, so she's probably had some (a lot) of work or botox or something, but whoever did it is going to get a lot of business off the back of this. She doesn't have that massively pinched and pulled look that Joan Rivers does. Nice, very nice.

See more pics of Raquel working her stuff at the MAC Cosmetics benefit c/o Dlisted.

Photos c/o Dlisted

She's got it, yeah baby she's got it

The health experts are always making those dire predictions about how Victoria Beckham won't make it to 50 if she keeps on starving her body etc. I reckon she'll still be working it the only way she knows how.

Picture c/o Dlisted

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What every little girl wants for Christmas

According to The Sun:

SHOCKED six-year-old Leah Lowland checked out a mystery bulge on her Incredible Hulk doll — and uncovered a giant green WILLY. Curious Leah noticed a lump after winning the monster, catchphrase “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” at a seaside fair. And when she peeled off the green comic-book character’s ripped purple shorts, she found the two-inch manhood beneath them. Horrified Leah immediately ran to mum Kim and reported the find. And last night Kim called for a ban on the saucy toy. She said: “A hulk with a bulk like this just shouldn’t be allowed. “Considering the doll is only 12-inches tall it’s amazing how big his willy is. “And it’s definitely not an extra piece of material left on by mistake.” Continue reading.

What I'd like to know is why this kid's going around 'peeling off' Hulk's shorts in the first place? Disturbing.

Thanks to the lovely Roberto for the tip.

Photo c/o The Sun

New Banner

I decided a new year warranted some well-used procrastination time in Photoshop and created a new banner. I plan on changing that every so often and think the next face you'll see up there will be Salvador Dahli, or a fried egg contemplating the Armageddon on a bicycle seat.

Robert hates it, I like it, so what do you think? Please vote now.

Do you like the new banner?
Yes
No
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Jackiey versus Shilpa


I haven't watched Celeb Big Brother this year, but thought I'd go and take a look and see what everyone is talking about. Here's a clip of the night Jade's mum, Jackiey, was evicted. Shilpa tries to be the bigger person but is clearly dealing with an idiot.

If you can't see the clip above, click here.

Warning: Diet Talk

God I hate muesli. It tastes like something you use to fill walls in with. And what's worse, I dislike raisins and tend to remove them, which means the muesli isn't even sweet - it's just, well, nasty.

Anyway, all this healthy eating stuff is paying off, and this morning I was able to get my size 8 Oasis jeans on, and they fit. If you call looking like a badly stuffed sausage with bits and pieces spilling over the sides fitting. Anyway, I got those babies on, in a fashion, and I'd very much like to be slipping them on comfortably again, without inducing a hernia.

Although it sounds small, an 8 (UK) isn't a particularly small size for someone of my height - I'm about 5.05 feet or 1,54 meters. Anyway, it's not (or at least it shouldn't be) about dress size, but I just really liked it when my body was leaner - it felt healthy, and I had more energy. Also, when I carry extra weight, my lower back suffers a lot - something I'm not particularly looking forward to during pregnancy.

Having lost the weight, and then gained most of it back, I now know exactly what the culprits are: Alcohol, bread, chips (french fries), potatoes, sugar, and no exercise. We were also eating three meals a day on holiday, and swigging back the beers, and I'm not ashamed to say I loved every moment of it.

Now, however, it's back to reality, and I don't fancy having to go clothes shopping for bigger sizes again. This is in fact one of the biggest incentives for me to slim down, considering it's January and I'm broke thanks to my tax bill. God, bloody tax. There I was thinking I'd fill in the self assessment thing online, and the computer would switch into audio mode of someone laughing hysterically. I thought I earned so little that they'd want to give me money back rather than take it. Oh how very foolish of me.

Sophie and Mark do it again

Photos from Sophie & Mark's UK wedding party now up.

Fed-Up - The New Britney Spears song


Here's the new Britney Spears song, entitled 'Fed-Up.' No prizes for guessing who the song's about. I have only one problem, and it's with one of the lyrics: 'Taking pictures of me I don't care, catch me driving in my underwear...' Sorry, what underwear???

Song's not bad.

If you can't see the clip, click here.

PS: This obviously isn't the real video - but it will be interesting to see it when it does come out. And I wonder if she'll feature a K-Fed lookalike?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Jade is no longer a goody

Jo O'Meara, Jade Goody and Danielle Lloyd

These three 'ladies' *cough cough* are the ones responsible for making Shilpa Shetty's life a misery in the Big Brother house - which has now resulted in 25 000 complaints. News of public outrage over Shetty's treatment, which viewers feel has been racist and bullying, has even reached Tony Blair, and caused protests in India! Continue reading.
Yes, you can see how these three are in a position to call Shetty 'a dog' - being the stunning beauties they are and all.

It's kind of surprising behaviour coming from Jade, being no stranger to discrimination and all. At one point during her original (non celebrity) Big Brother stint, producers considered arranging a massive security operation for when she exited the house. The reason? A hate campaign based on what appeared to be little more than some deeming her unattractive (lots of pig jokes), overweight, oh yes, and incredibly stupid/intellectually challenged. The last one was unfortunately true - but certainly no basis for such an absurdly negative public reaction to the girl.

I remember emails going around at work about how dumb she was, and quite a few people stepped in to defend her saying it was a form of discrimination, and not everyone had access to a decent education in this country etc.

To her credit, she managed to change the public's opinion of her, and those security measures landed up not being necessary. Instead she came out of the house and was received as the public's darling. She's since forged a fairly successful reality/celeb-docu TV career for herself, and remains one of the only BB housemates to achieve that level of ongoing fame and public interest.

I'd come to really like Jade, enjoying her show 'Jade's PA', and found her to be a genuine sort of person, and in her own way a good little business woman - or at the very least, smart enough to surround herself with people that were. But all this business had really put me off her - she sounds incredibly unpleasant, and I think a lot of that clueless business she has going is a convenient act.

What's going on in the house right now is a very good microcosm example of how problems arise in society: Get a group of ignorant, intolerant, and insecure people together and you very quickly have an 'us versus them' dynamic. Petty on a micro scale, and lethal when you see how this sort of troglodyte thinking can lead to religious wars and racial cleansing on a big one.

Fresh meat


Yesterday afternoon I popped into The Ginger Pig (organic butchers) to pick up a couple of steaks. There was a woman with her little girl (no older than 4), and this kid was so excited about the leg of lamb her mother was buying, it was astounding, and somewhat disturbing. I don't think I have ever seen a child get that excited in a butcher shop. She yelled, "Oh mum, mum, we're having lamb for dinner! I LOVE lamb! Yay!" At that age my parents were lucky to get me to eat full stop, let alone gush over a big hunk of dead sheep.

Her mother replied (in an equally loud excited American accent), "Now Milly, because you got to choose dinner, you must help mummy cook it." Two which Milly enthusiastically replied, "Oh yes, Mum, oh yes - I'd LOVE to help you cook!" Good grief.

And in the news, UK-based glamour model, Keeley Hazell, obtained an injunction preventing any further publication or promotion of her sex tape that's making the internet rounds.

According to an upset Keeley:
“We had been in an on-off relationship for a year and at the time, I really loved this guy and trusted him. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would betray me in this way. Now I don’t know who I can trust. I never had any intention of it being seen. I haven’t even seen it myself and have no intention of doing so. We had taken a video camera on holiday with us to Tenerife last summer. We were both feeling relaxed after a couple of drinks and it just happened. I have turned down offers to do Playboy covers because there were certain things I simply didn’t want others to see. Now I feel I have no dignity left. In future I know I will have to be more careful who I fall in love with.”
Continue reading.

What people need to realise is that their is a universal law at play here: If you film yourself having sex, it will get into the public domain. Even if you trust the man or trio of bisexual amputee prostitutes you are with implicitly, chances are a black bird will fly into your house, remove the tape from your recorder with it's beak, and accidentally drop it over the smoker-filled parking lot of the the News Of The World offices.

Or, an evil megalomaniac (are their any non-evil megalomaniacs these days?) will create a giant magnet to take over the world, and your tape will get sucked out of your recorder, through your window, and across space in the magnet's powerful magna-rays. En route it will accidentally become unstuck and drop into the smoker-filled parking lot of the News Of The World offices. This shit happens all the time, I tell you.

Photo: c/o wwttd

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Get thee a bra!

There comes a point in a woman's life when she looks at her breasts, and (should) vow that those mama's are no longer leaving the house without some serious industrial-strength supportage. Clearly that day is yet to happen in Teri Hatcher's house. Also, and this is meant seriously, has anyone noticed how ageing all this starvation business is? Hatcher looks haggard.

Pictures of that Olsen twin are also going around, and the girl looks 20-something going on 70. Similarly, Saint Angelina is looking more and more like one of the needy people she goes around the world helping. I'm a huge fan of hers, and next to Aishwarya Rai think she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, but even I have to say she's looking bird-like these days - not attractive.

It's one thing being fashionably slim, and quite another when you push things to the point that your body starts to age because it's so deprived.

Photo c/o thesuperficial

Big Bollocks

This year's Wannabe Celebrity Big Brother has got a staggering 2000 complaints from viewers via Ofcom. The reason? Bullying and racism - with none other than Jade Goody at the forefront. Why doesn't it surprise me that if someone was going to be a bully it would be her? Continue reading here.

Apparently Jade's mother, Jackiey, (also in on the act before her eviction) referred to actress Shilpa Shetty (who is the alleged victim of the abuse) as 'The Indian,' and refused to even try and pronounce her name. The latter could be perceived as an example of racial intolerance, were it not so clearly one of extreme stupidity. Honestly, how hard is it to pronounce Shilpa Shetty? Isn't it great that we elevate such enlightened people into the public eye, and let them spread their wisdom to the masses?

What does surprise me is that 2000 people actually watch this crap. I mean, aside from Jade and her family, I have no idea who any of the people in there are. Were they being ironic when they called it Celebrity Big Brother?

Check out the official BB website here - stimulating, stimulating stuff, I warn you.

Update:
I just checked out the BB website, and I also know Dirk Benedict.

Monday, January 15, 2007

rathergood Kittens doing Independent Woman

I forgot just how good this was. Click here to view.

Ze babies

A French mate of mine told me she doesn't like people telling her that they are trying to get pregnant because, "It makes me sink of zem having ze sex," said with a disgusted look on her face. I agree, it's kind of nasty thinking of your friends in that way. I however have a duty to report things on here, and can hand on my heart say: We are not having ze sex. Or rather, we are not having ze sex to make ze babies. Not yet anyway.

No no, that's for a bit later on this year, and I very much doubt I'll be posting about it a la Jools Oliver. I think that sort of thing requires you to roll your sleeves up and do it, rather than waste valuable time writing about doing it.

In the mean time I can report that I'm trying to get all healthy in preparation, which is a bit like trying to imagine what your body might need to run the London marathon, having never done it before. I've been taking folic acid for the last three months (apparently three months before trying to conceive is a good idea), plus a whole lot of other vitamins, all conveniently contained in a tablet called Pregnacare. Great if you are lazy like me and can't be asked to take loads of different ones.

My mother assures me I had Rubella shots as a child (another important thing apparently), and I'm trying to eat good wholesome foods. Also, when the times comes to start trying for ze baby (apologies for that graphic image - especially to my sisters-in-law), I'm going to cut out booze completely. There's far too many risks associated with drinking in that first trimester, and yet ironically many women do simply because they have no idea they are pregnant, thanks to irregular periods.

Oh and there's the exercise thing. God, I was so hoping they'd say something like: 'Whatever you do - do not exercise. This is bad bad bad. You should be doing very little activity other than drinking a lot of hot chocolate and eating Pringles while re-reading the entire Lemony Snickets series.' But no, the kill-joy pregnancy websites say it's a good idea to get fit, because you're going to need the stamina to carry the extra load, and push that little one out.

Anyway, Louise asked me if I will post when I first find out I am pregnant, and the answer is no. I think it's probably a good idea to only let people know once you are safely past the first three months, and then pray to god you carry full term in a similarly safe way. I thought I might keep an off-line diary from the day we find out and then post that retrospectively - to make it cohesive.

Once we are safely past the three month mark, I'd very much like to keep an occasional, yet honest account of the process on here, so that people can know just what a hellish and foolish thing it is to do. Seriously though, I think I may lose some readers during this time, but it's a risk I am willing to take. Those who are brave/weird enough to keep reading may well learn a thing or two - like how it's a very bad idea. And perhaps my male readers may appreciate the extent of what they are asking of their partners when they want to start a family of their own.

I believe my friend Katy, who is a journalist, did the same thing, only she kept her pregnancy diary in the local paper she was writing for. I'd love to get copies of that, as I believe it was no holds barred, and definitely not for the squeamish.

All of this, I should add (knocking firmly on wood) is assuming we can have children - which one is never guaranteed of. We can only hope, and failing that, I imagine there will be a visit or two to the Battersea Dogs Home to adopt children of a different variety.

Aishwarya Rai to wed







Aishwarya Rai has been dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world, and for good reason. I was looking for a picture of her to accompany this post and had a hard time choosing. I'm thinking she must be an alien, because there's just no way a human being can be this aesthetically perfect. Naturally I'm jealous - but what can you do? She so wishes she had my, um, well, I don't know, there must be something.

Anyway, the real reason I'm posting about her, is that she is getting married to fellow Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan. They just announced their engagement, which means the hotness that is Aishwarya will soon be off the market. I imagine it's a sad day for a lot of men out there.

Photos c/o:

World Freehand Circle Drawing Champion


This is pretty cool in a geeky kind of way.

Games games games

Because it's Monday, and you'd probably prefer to sit and eat at your desk than go out in this miserable weather, here are some awesomely good games to keep you busy in your lunch hour.

My personal favourite: Backgammon
Choose the 'play computer opponent option'. Oh, and you might want to click on the 'mute' button by the annoying woman at the top.

There's also table tennis, tenpin bowling, golf, pinball and much much more.

The games are courtesy of Nabisco World - and they are trying to sell biscuits, so they tend to be preceded by a small ad. Also, I've noticed they work in Microsoft Explorer and not in Firefox.

A big thanks to the lovely Louise for the tip.

The lady and the lion

I suspect most of you have seen this already, as had I, but I only just discovered the story behind the photo.

Turns out this woman is Ana Julia Torres, a Columbian nurse turned animal savior, and her furry friend is Jupiter, a lion she rescued from a circus six years ago. Poor thing was all malnourished and ill-treated when she found him, and now it seems the two have formed a special bond.

Torres looks after more than 800 animals she has saved from one dire situation or another. Her shelter is not open to the public however because she doesn't believe in displaying animals. Continue reading.

Check out the now famous hug on youtube.

Photo c/o yahoo.com

Friday, January 12, 2007

Phwoar!

Oh boy, this is classic. Apparently Heff's three blonde girlfriends want Posh to do a photoshoot with them. I'm not sure what they had in mind - perhaps a pole dancing theme with Posh as the pole? Source

Too much stuff

I hate the January sales. Basically it's the big shops having their last laugh after financially ruining you over the festive season. I'm sure that like me, people just love going into a store and seeing that the handbag they bought their sister for £150 is now 'ONLY £34!' "Gee, what a bargain, how foolish I was to spend what I did back at Christmas. Ho ho bloody ho."

I find it somewhat sick to have the sales on when just about everyone is broke. It's like wagging a bottle of water in front of a dehydrated desert dwellers face, and then pouring it into the sand while issuing a hearty evil laugh. Pointless, completely pointless. And cruel. And then we wonder why there's such a massive problem with credit card debt and overdrafts in this country.

Personally I veto the January sales. For me it's a time to use up all the bath stuff I got given for Christmas, so I can lie there feeling detoxed and virtuous, and make plans to get out, wolf down some muesli, and go to the gym. Most times I just about make it to the muesli, after pouring another drink that is.

Without getting all Scrooge on the subject, I'm increasingly finding Christmas a very wasteful enterprise, especially for adults. I like a present at Christmas, I'd be a liar if I said I didn't. Also, I genuinely like buying gifts too. It's just that (a) I never quite know what to get people (b) Never quite know how much I should spend - not wanting to appear either extravagant or miserly by virtue of what they might have gotten me (c) Never know what to request for myself when asked.

Back in the days when stuff was hard to come by, and we didn't have this culture of the disposable income, it was a genuine opportunity to give people things they needed, and it was kept simple. These days most of us don't really need anything that we can't buy for ourselves, discounting the house in Holland Park, driver, and miracle weight-loss pill that is.

Friends of mine received not one but three hampers this year, two of which were chocolate - something they don't eat. I was going to recommend they donate one of them to a worthy cause, namely me, but then remembered I'm trying to 'get healthy'.

There are ways and means of keeping things festive yet sensible. Some institute a maximum spend or one-present limit, which keeps the whole craziness in check. David Sedaris, one of my favourite authors, says his family draw names out of a hat and each person is allocated to buy one other family member a gift. Another good idea, unless of course you get stuck with the one person who has shit taste or is tight with a dollar. It can happen, and I think in his case his father was the guilty party.

A lot of people are increasingly using Christmas to donate to charities and asking their friends and family to do so instead of buying them gifts, which I think is a great idea. This is a genuine opportunity to give something that is much needed, and which doesn't involve soap on a rope or a radio fashioned like an orange.

Of course children are the exception to the extravagance rule, because you can never control what the relatives do - despite countless pleas not to go overboard. Two years ago I went back to South Africa for Christmas. My nephew had all of his disposable income present-bearing relatives around that year, and at one point he was so overwhelmed with the sheer volume of goodies he ran out of the room and vomited. True story. This year my sister avoided the soiled bathroom floor incident by putting a load of stuff away to be gradually introduced over the coming months.

Leaving on a jet plane

I'm so sad I'm already on my second box of Kleenex, and it's not even 8am. David and Posh Beckham are off to America. According to numerous sources, he has been signed by the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team for what is estimated to be a multi-million dollar deal. That means Posh's dream has come true and the family are moving to LA.

Oh my god, how are we going to cope without our weekly fix of pictures of her coming out of The Ivy after consuming an entire asparagus spear? Will OK! magazine still run their monthly byline assuring us that Posh and Beck's love is stronger than ever? Who will we turn to to know what shade of anorexia is hot and trendy this season? And what will happen to the hair extension trade? I'm definitely seeing some massive economic and related fallout for the UK, and it terrifies me.

My prediction (and remember you heard it here first) is that VB will employ the services of stylist to the emaciated, Rachel Zoe, upon touchdown. It's so going to happen.

Photo: c/o thesuperficial

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Idle hands and all that

My grandmother was fond of saying "Idle hands are the devil's workshop," and as a kid I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. How could hands be a workshop - the sort of place my dad hung out in to avoid my mother?

Eventually, when I was old enough to understand the phrase a bit better, it scared the crap out of me. Did it mean that if I sat still long enough my hands would start practicing the dark arts of their own accord? Would I become a satanist simply because I was lazy and hid in my room instead of drying the dishes? I just wasn't sure I had enough black clothing in my cupboard to carry it off. And where in god's name would I acquire black lipstick?

Nowadays I appreciate the subtler meaning of the phrase, and agree that if you have too much time on your hands, it can lead you to all sorts of trouble. Really busy people seldom get involved in petty miscommunications, simply because they have little enough time to get through the day, let alone read between the imagined lines. Also, they rarely sit around contemplating such foolishness as starting a garden or getting a dog. Or worse - cleaning out the kitchen cupboards.

The beginning of the year can be a slow and scary time for a freelancer. There I was staring down at my hands worrying that I was only that much away from creating voodoo dolls, or whatever it is that satanists do to pass the time these days, and I got two emails about work. One is a large creative project I'm really exited about getting stuck into, and the other is a response to a part-time volunteer job I applied for last year. Now I'm having to juggle things and see if I can do both - that's if I get the volunteer job that is, pending an interview next week.

The idea of an interview, even for a volunteer position, scares the hell out of me, mainly because I am so bad at them. Pathological honesty and flippancy are not good at the best of times, and can be fatal in an interview situation. I don't like giving a false impression and then surprising people later, but I suppose there's a difference between projecting yourself in an honest yet positive light, and sitting there effectively listing why you're a bad idea as though you were peforming a comedic sketch.

I hate the whole, "So tell us about yourself" question. It's so vague. Where do you start? "Well, in 1975 my mother gave birth to me and I had a big head ... then in 1983 I was in the school play ...I applied to be in the girl scouts ... he broke up with me and it hurt like hell ... I bought my first leather jacket ... hated my linguistics course ...got paranoid when I smoked that joint ... learnt to live with my stretch marks ..." etc.

I suppose it's best to be upbeat and list things that could tie into the sort of person you'd be like to work with. You know, the usual things people say, and what they really mean:
"I have a great sense of humour" (read: I have no sense of humour.)
"I'm flexible and easy-going" (read: I'm an anal bastard and don't you dare use my stapler or touch anything on my desk. Ever.)
"I like to read" (the Metro.)
"I'm hardworking" (read: I have a fondness for the phrase - 'It's not in my job description')
"I'm a team player" (read: I have problems with authority and think I know better than everyone else, so just let me get on with it).

Yes, I'm really looking forward to it. In fact, my hands are positively itching with the excitement of it all.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Smooth Operator

In my bid to get healthy this year (lets not go into the half pack of Korean Marlboro Lights and bottle of champagne from the other night), I've decided to follow a sort of Gillian McKeith/Patrick Holford way of eating.

Unlike an aunt of mine who can eat a box of mango's in a single sitting, I'm not really big on the mass fruit and even veg consumption. But McKeith bangs on about smoothies, which looks like a good way of getting a variety of fruit in without resembling a monkey.

I decided to make one for breakfast this morning, using our regular food blender - the kind you bought back in the 80's to crush ice and make Pina Coladas.

Ingredients:
1 x mango
A handful of regular-sized strawberries (approx 5-8)
2 medium-sized bananas
Approx 100ml of fresh orange juice (to make it less thick)

All of this was just my own recipe and it landed up being exactly a pint of smoothie, and the taste is pretty damn good if I say so myself. I think the trick is to buy your fruit from a vendor, so you can check that it's ripe, or get the perfectly ripe range from places like M&S or Waitrose. Also, use bananas that you normally wouldn't buy because they look a bit beaten up - these are nice and soft, and won't give the smoothie a bitter taste.

I think it's a good way to start the day because it's not particularly heavy on the stomach, and provides your body with a vitamin and fibre-filled kick start. And later, when you have your 5th coffee and second Twix, you won't feel quite so guilty.