Monday, December 24, 2007

Green

Christmas is a time of year that must give the ecologically-sensitive veritable conniptions at the thought of its huge gift-wrapped carbon footprint. Writers of the 'Eco-centric' blog, Matthew and Natalie Cutler-Welsh, suggest the following for ‘Last minute prezzies that are good for the globe;’

For kids, what about swim lessons (concessions), an annual membership to Willowbank (a wild-life reserve) or a home-made voucher for ‘a special 1 on 1 outing of your choice’. Encourage your kids to 're-gift' some of their items to younger siblings or cuzzies.

I do not know much about children, but I do know that vouchers or promises of future outings will fail to impress on a spectacular, chin-quivering, watery-eyed level. For adults, they suggest a worm-farm, donations to Oxfam, or East Timorese coffee, all of which would also induce some chin-quivering of my own, and possibly screaming and threats of divorce over the worm-farm. It is daft ideas like this that puts me off the Green movement, and no doubt many others too.

Thus, for those who might wish to reduce their big carbon-bootprint to that of a diminutive stiletto, I thought I would suggest a few last-minute present ideas of my own.



Vintage 1940s/1950s Rolex watch:

I would love one of these (and have broadly hinted at such). One with a leather strap – it looks like something Katherine Hepburn would have worn.

Of course, not only would it be fabulously chic, it is essentially 'second-hand' so surely this would qualify as a 'green' gift (?). I have seen some available at Lord Ponsonby's antique shop on Ponsonby Road.








A sterling-silver Tiffany hip-flask

Typically a present for men, but I wouldn't say no to one of these myself. "What a smashing gift – but what of the environment?" I hear you cry. Well, the Tiffany and Co. Foundation of Environmental Conservation supports organizations dedicated to conservation of natural resources, responsible mining, etc. And much nicer than a bag of coffee.










Hand-made Hetty-Rose shoes

Lovely shoes, n'est-ce pas? And all made from recycled stuff, including vintage kimono fabric. Only problem – they do take several weeks to make, so unless you have a time-machine handy, probably not a good last minute idea.








YSL cocktail rings

Madly love cocktail rings at the moment, and these YSL ones are cheap as pommes frites. Don't know how 'green' they are, but they look organic.

However, if you want to support a local designer (buy local - and you reduce carbon point things), try the lovely designs at Kagi, available at a bunch of places.
Kagi uses real gemstones and crystals in the jewellery. It is believed that when worn against your skin, these gems and minerals will bring energy and balance to body and mind.

I have one of their peridot pieces, which promises, "This stone prevents you from being envious of others and allows you to focus on positive aspects of life. It teaches you that holding on to people, or the past is counterproductive." Not sure its working in any of those regards, but it certainly is gorgeous.



Designer cat bowl

New Zealand fashion designers Trelise Cooper, Cybele and Liz Mitchell have each designed a lovely bowl for the fashionable feline. Not only are they rather swish, the proceeds from these limited-edition bowls support local cat charities.

They are 'available for purchase from Animates and Jansens stores throughout the country.' I have bought two.







In any regard, no matter what Santa brings you, may you all have a wonderful Christmas. I shall be going away shortly after Christmas for a wee break, and shall return early January. That is, unless I get a worm-farm, in which case I will be blogging from prison after knocking Mr Smith over the head with a blunt object.

Keep safe and well.

XXX

Mrs Smith

P.S. Bloody hell! The photos are all mashing together. Hope I have fixed it, it looks fine on my screen now.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Insects

He had to have been a gigolo.

The heat of early summer brings those annoying foreign insects that land on you – you flick them away, but they lazily circle, and land again on the same spot. You hope they go away and bother someone else.

He was devastatingly good-looking (and knew it) - and would have been a lovely afternoon distraction if I wasn’t a married woman of the most virtuous calibre (Shut up. Yes I am). He had a mop of dark curly hair, and intense green eyes (actually, bit off a put-off – the colour verged on improbable and I suspect coloured contacts. If men are handsome, they should look accidentally so).

His English was probably very good, but with such a rich and colourful accent, he spoke too fast to be understood easily, and I did eventually lose my patience.

"I bet you have a beautiful smile," he crooned.
"I bet I do, too," I said.
"Oh," he played a sad face. "Will you not smile for me?"
"Not with a mouth full of food, I'm not," I replied, tersely. He persisted.
"And I bet you have beautiful eyes – but I cannot see them behind your sunglasses!"

With no response, and thwarted by my failure to reveal smile or eyes, he moved downwards.

"Your skin – so beautiful with the sun, the colour, so nice."
He touched my hand - wrong move. What a novice.
"Yes, quite. One gets rather tanned toiling on the farm."

He looked confused – he thought he'd hit gold, but gold isn't found in a farm-hand's knickers, no matter how they looked to the contrary.

We were both too young for this game – he too young to know that these lines were not novel territory, but had been well-trammelled for decades by hordes of hungry handsome Lotharios before him, and I was too young to be desperate and appreciative for the attention and silly compliments of a pretty man.

It only works on those whose age frightens them, and husband neglects them, which he too, soon realised, and he left me to find less-resistant smiles, eyes, and credit-cards elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa

Christmas, Auckland-style.



Santa has a cell-phone and a latte, and the thunder-storms and pouring rain have just rolled in.

By the way, the NZ Herald reports;

Auckland also came fifth-equal out of 215 cities on "quality of life", ahead of all Australian cities, and registered less traffic congestion than Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth.

Wellington came a stinky twelfth. Ha ha.

Festivities

Haven't I been dreadful! Dear readers neglected for so long… Tsk tsk. I shall give myself a sharp slap on my bottom, to teach myself a lesson in manners.

I have been so very busy lately – time soaked up with festive alcohol like a sodden bar-towel. The arrival of December has invariably lead to the obligatory rounds of Christmas sociability, where everyone, fuelled by unnatural amounts of champagne, feign fairly convincing displays of mutual affection and bonhomie.

Christmas is generally my favourite time of year – the specials on champagne makes one's eyes water with glee. However – it is so very hard on the waistline. Clothes which hung with comfortable ease a month ago are now straining at their zippers like over-stuffed sausage skins.

Have also been helping (?) Mrs D make up hampers for her husband's clients. I query the use of the word 'helping,' as my role is limited to murmuring "Why yes, that would be lovely" and finding her car-keys. She usually leaves corporate-gifty things to a company to do – but for some reason thought she/we would do it this time.

Personally, I think the most help a wife can be to her husband's career is to stay well clear of it, something Mrs D should heed. Having bought voluminous French wicker hampers the size of hot-air balloon baskets, then stocked them with champagne, she said gaily, "Now let’s go buy loads of yummy things to go in them!"

I pointed out that there was a budget assigned to us, and with the remaining funds, the loads of yummy things couldn't cost more than six dollars per hamper.
She froze. "Sixty dollars?"
"Six."
"Sixty?"
"Six."
"Oh."

There was a long silence, in which we both tried to think of ways in which three cubic metres of unfilled hampers could be made to look full without resorting to wads of screwed-up newspaper. I think Mr D will be using the usual company next year.

Other updates: I have decided to write a children's book! I tried a novel earlier this year, but used up all my ideas after one page. Thought a children's one might be easier – the print is bigger, for starters.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Maths

Today, Dear Readers, you have a special treat - a maths quiz courtesy of another Dear Reader, who I shall call 'Miss Maths';

Metro reports Gilda Kirkpatrick's husband is 43 years her senior.

But in another article they report she is 33 and he is 79.

Now, 79 less 33 is 46 years.

Question: Is Gilda K. shaving a few years off???

A tricky quiz, Miss Maths. Could it be that socialites age in dog-years - one year for every seven human-years? Hmmm.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hot

From my observations – these are things to have or do in the city.

Tiny cakes and sandwiches; The afternoon tea is back! Somehow more leisurely than lunch – at three o'clock the day is practically over anyway. Dust off the bone china.


Long Island Iced Tea: Have one at Mea Culpa – the emphasis on one. A local bar-fly claimed his record was six – which I thought far from impressive, but after two my head fell off and rolled around the floor, so now think any more than three of these a death-defying stunt.

Rolls Royce; The city is positively teeming with these stately machines. How delicious!

Orange tan; I'm passing on this one. Think I’d rather go the natural way and get melanomas.*

Shoes on the side of the motorway; How and why do so many solitary shoes end up on the side of the road? Do people drive with one foot out the window? Is hurling one’s heels from a moving vehicle a substitute for using indicators? I have no idea.

Is this Roadside Shoe Phenomenon is a New Zealand-wide thing? Has it gone global?

*I've never claimed to be a role-model to anyone.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pools

When I arrived, she answered the door wearing a bikini and a fur jacket. I thought it a brilliant look – like something from a '70s Helmut Newton Vogue shoot, but she had been crying, and her nose was quite red, which ruined the effect.

She had a drink in one hand, and from her effusive greeting, it was clearly not her first. She wasn’t happy – her husband wanted to go to the company Christmas 'do' alone – she had insisted on going, but he had hidden a change of clothes in his car, and not come back to get her.

We went and sat by her lap-pool.

This is my opportunity to say I HATE lap-pools. Yes – I know how very trendy (voice soused in disdain) they are but they look like miserable pools for people who can’t afford or lack sufficient room for a proper one. Don't tell me how much they cost – I don't care. They look cheap.

In my mind, a pool is for splashing about aimlessly in or basking next to – neither of which can be done satisfactorily in something designed for swimming straight lines.

Lap-pools stingily allow nothing but exercise, not relaxation or fun.


Stingy, tomfoolery-free zone

How could one have a cocktail-party around a lap-pool? Drunken tomfoolery, which full-size pools encourage, would be limited to no more than two guests at a time. I suppose one could draw up a roster, or insist that everyone lines up for their tomfoolery in an orderly fashion.

Infinity pools! Another pool type that annoys me. Amazing in the right location where the end of the pool overlooks ocean, which makes the pool look endless – hence the name INFINITY.


Infinity pool - good


Some don’t get the 'infinity' concept at all, and build one with a sordid view of a back lawn.


Infinity pool - fucking useless


In this case the only 'infinity' is the measure of their owners unmoderated doltness. Infinity pools MUST have an unimpeded view of an open body of water or it's NOT A FUCKING INFINITY POOL.

Roar moan wail. I have a hangover. A rant about pools. That is it for today.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where's Cricket?

Many is the time I wish the Smith cat would disappear, especially when he decides he wants his breakfast at three in the morning. I also suspect he has Munchausen’s Syndrome (causing self-harm to get attention), such as when he faked a cancerous lesion (ka ching at the local veterinarian to find out it was a scratch from a stick).

Nonetheless, he is much loved, and I would be distraught if he were to go missing. As you all no doubt know by now, Nicky Watson’s "chuwawa" Cricket has gone missing – last seen at Matarangi. Now – New Zealand is a very small country – it can't be that hard to find the wee fellow.

Everyone – go check your pockets, handbags, and under stray bits of dust. His mother wants him back desperately. Contact details are on 'Pets on the Net' if you have any information. Proper information, don’t be a nong and make something up.


Where's Cricket?

Capri pants! Who told Auckland women these were permissable to wear? Someone needs to own up, and get the sound thrashing they deserve. My walk along Ponsonby Road yesterday, in the glorious sunshine, was irrevocably ruined by these cropped affronts to the senses. I would no sooner recover from one pair, when another pair would stride stumpily into view. Beach – yes. Home – if you must. In the city – non! I get all the fashion mags, and I do not recall seeing these horrible things gracing models elegantly wasted limbs.

Remember the words of Trinny and Susannah – one’s legs only look as long as one’s trousers – and Auckland’s women are looking like extras from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Take them off at once, and put some proper clothing on.

Update: Au revoir, Cricket.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Traffic

As you know, I possess no degree of fondness for 'chain emails,' but received this in my in-box the other day, which I thought I would share. Apologies if everyone else simultaneously received in their in-boxes as well.


Rules for Going to Auckland

1. You must learn to pronounce the city name. It is "Ork - Lund ", not "JAFATOWN."

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Auckland has its own version of traffic rules... Hold on and pray. There is no such thing as a dangerous high speed chase in Auckland. We all drive like that.

3. All directions start with, "Go down the motorway"

4. The morning rush hour is from 6:00AM to 10:00AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00PM to 7:00PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

5. If you actually stop at an orange light, you will be rear-ended, abused and possibly shot. When you are the first one off the starting Line, count to five when the light turns green before going, to avoid getting into any cross-traffic's way.

6. K' Road can ONLY be pronounced by a native Ork-Lunder.

7. Construction on motorways & other main streets in peak traffic is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment.

8. If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.

9. All old ladies with coloured hair in a crappy car have total right-of-way.

10. The minimum acceptable speed on Motorway is 120 kph. Anything less is considered downright dangerous.

11. Never stare at the driver of the car with the bumper sticker that says, "Keep honking, I'm reloading." In fact, don't honk at anyone.

12. If you are in the fast lane, and only going 100 km in a 100 km zone, people are not waving when they go by.

13. The Auckland Harbour Bridge road is our daily version of Speedway. There are plans to rename it Western Springs Waikaraka Park Bridge.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gossip?

Are Gilda and Michael Boulgaris now frenemies? They seem to have removed each other from their respective Facebook pages, but, who knows. People come into your life for a reason, a season... or $35K pocket-money a month, whichever comes first.

Thought; Why is she now dubbed "Gilda K" in Le Media? Is a record deal in the making? Are her image-consultants re-branding her as a low-fat breakfast cereal? A tampon? You tell me.



On the same lines, one can't believe Metro thought Glucina's Sunday gossip round-up of Justin Timberlake’s Auckland presence was a winner – perhaps the Metro writers got a different edition of the newspaper than mine. My paper only had an entirely unthrilling account of how Mr Timberlake went through a McDonald's drive-through, and then someone spilt orange juice in the car. The obituaries were more titillating.

Glucina tried to get the McDonald’s security footage – bugger! To no avail. How my heart yearns to see Mr Timberlake's driver getting his change.

Glucina's sneaky snapper Norrie has a much more entertaining account of the "Where’s Timberlake?" mystery. To put it baldly – Norrie should be doing the writing as well as the snapping, and leave Glucina to hang around McDonald's drive-throughs, as she so clearly likes to do.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hurrah!

Found this test at lovely Lita's.

cash advance


How fab am I! Seems wagging all those English classes at school did me no harm.

And if you don't like my blog, it's because you are dumb.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gifts

Christmas, for many, is fraught with indecision – what to buy a loved one? If you are poor, I imagine the process is quite simple – a bucket of KFC and a packet of ciggies would probably suffice, but for those in a more genteel social category, the art of finding The Perfect Gift can be difficult to master.

Regarding a certain birthday present, commenter Whaleoil provides this sound advice;

The first is the Rule of Reciprocity. So if someone gives you an iPhone valued variously between $690 -$1100 depending on where you get it from then you need to spend at least that on their reciprocal present. That then leads to … (the) Rule of Escalation. If someone spends $690 on an iPhone for a present for you then you have to add at least 20% to up the ante.

How very mathematical and clever! I confess to counting on my fingers, so for those who are similarly numerically-disabled, here are my rules;

Good presents

Gift Rule #1; Buy something either very large, or very small. This sounds odd – but true. The best things in life are either very large, or very small. Mercedes – very large, diamond-encrusted thingys – very small, etc.

Bad presents

Flowers. Flowers are perfectly lovely for everyday, apologies, and Valentine’s Day, but otherwise should never be given unaccompanied by something with a bow on it (refer to Rule #1). “But why?” men cry, “Women like those flower things!” Here’s Gift Rule #2 – Anything that can be procured at a petrol-station does not make for a pleasing gift. It reeks of minmal effort.

Practical things. Gift Rule #3; Anything really useful makes a rotten present. Does the person really need it? Don’t buy it. A good gift should be entirely unnecessary - that's the definition of luxury.

Apparel and perfume. Actually, potentially really fabulous things to receive, but an area that is a veritable minefield of wrongness waiting to blow off the giver’s limbs. A dear friend once received lingerie for Christmas – size large. If a lady is large (the Dear Friend wasn’t, which made it worse), I don’t think being reminded of it before Christmas luncheon would be very nice.

And perfume is a very personal thing – not something to guess at. But if one insists on traversing this dangerous territory, make sure it is:
a. V. Expensive,
b. Has a pleasing name.

Perfume is a gift of intimacy, thus, getting a perfume called ‘Alien’ (Thierry Muglar) wouldn’t be at all flattering, but ‘J’adore’ (Dior) would be.

Relations

Bad news – the next invasion of relatives are on their way. They are not due until February, but due to the nature of the people coming, battle-plans are being drawn up now.

I think I will need to get my sofa reupholstered, and paint! I need paint! And am thinking of asking my cleaner to draft in every relative she has from the islands (probably thousands, knowing how these types like to pop the babies out) to start cleaning. A single mote of dust is enough to provoke Herr Relative's disdainful smirk. Am beginning to think it may be easier to just buy a new house.

Good lord – forget the house, I'll need to send the islanders out to give the entire city a polish up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stare-Bears

Bloody hell! Sitting around the house doing nothing is dull work! What do beneficiaries do all day? If it's what I'm (not) doing, no wonder they all look so angry. I am sick of watching movies, although, while watching one of the Deathwish movies I recorded on MySky, I have decided I want a set of vintage 1970s Gucci luggage (Charles Bronson’s girlfriend had a set). Have scoured the internet for hours for a picture, but to no avail. This handbag is the closest I can find to the look.


Not quite right. The set I want is canvas (un-monogrammed, natch).

Boredom also means smoking far too many cigarettes, which is bad, as the information sheet states that smoking inhibits the healing process. The sheet also has an omission – it says that after surgery one "should not smoke for nine consecutive." Nine consecutive what? I decided it meant nine minutes, so lit up as soon as I got home (at which the leaking begun, which probably served me right).

Wanted fruit on the weekend, so drove to a supermarket on the outskirts of Auckland, far from the prying eyes and gabby mouths of those I know and loathe. Thank goodness for the fashion of giant sunglasses! Personally, I hate the look, but had bought a pair from World anyway, as knew they would do the job of covering most of my leaky face. Proved difficult selecting produce with them on, though, so had to take them off.

Goodness, what a load of impolite stare-bears reside outside the confines of the civilised world. How people gaped in open interest! I am certain they thought I had a contagious skin disease, as they shunned any produce section I ventured near. I coughed into my hand a few times before touching the fruit, just to really scare them.

Have also informed Mr Smith that should I run into anyone I know, I shall have to tell them he beat me, because of course, the first rule of Surgery Club, is you never talk about Surgery Club.

Thought of the Day; One day, when mini surgery theatres are operating in all the malls across the Western World, wrinkles will be The Next Big Thing. The Fashionable Set will be having crows-feet implants. You read it here first.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Milestones

A week's worth of milestones – it is now a year and a day since I started this blog. I am surprised it is still going. Many is the day my beautifully manicured finger is poised over the "delete this blog?" button – but as yet I have not been caught out, although should you revisit this site one day to find I have gone, I am sure you can imagine why.

And another milestone; I visited a certain clinic this week. When it comes to these things, I have always thought "never say never," but now I say "never again." While it wasn't terribly painful, it was demoralising to say the least, and my face is leaking something most unpleasant. I realise now that no matter what you do, it is never going to be good enough.

Father Time is far too clever to be fooled by a bit of surgical jiggery-pokery. How long can women fake youth, before they no longer look 30-something, but just a really peculiar fifty-something?

The receptionist read my form. "Oh," she said brightly, "you're only a few years older than me!" Curses! I know that tone too well – it said, "Ha ha! I look waaaay younger than you, Grannie!" I know the tone, because I have used it myself on others. But she was right. Her face was as smooth and white and unlined as a freshly boiled egg. I spent the afternoon recovering, watching movies and scrutinising actresses crows-feet.

So. It was all rather depressing. I told Mr Smith I didn't think I would ever do this again, and he would just have to accept that I would one day turn into a wizened old crone. He said, "Never mind, you'll be my wizened old crone," by which I know he meant well, but I had hoped for something a bit more flattering.

Another thought; You know how some clothing shops put those vanity mirrors in their dressing rooms – that make you look extra thin? I think the clinic had one of those too, except a mean version. Bloody hell! What a sight! Perhaps they do it so ladies come rushing into theatre screaming "Forget the cost, give me one of everything."

Well. Fuck that.

Deviancy

Over at the NZBC, dear Mr Stratford ponders the concept of prostitute review sites;

"… one wonders why these guys don't just get girlfriends. At £300 an hour for two temporary "girlfriends", or £120 for one, wouldn’t it be cheaper? And, well, nicer?"

Nicer! What a dear, sweet man! I want to top him off with whipped cream and strawberries, and serve him up at my next luncheon. However, I should point out that 120 pounds ($NZ300 +) an hour really wouldn't get you much of a girlfriend. Try waving that pocket change around the viaduct, and a gentleman wouldn't get so much as a peck on the cheek.

To be quite practical about these things, if someone were to add up the amount of money spent on a girlfriend, and divide that by the number of oral visitations received, it would no doubt be fiscally far more sensible to pop up and see Crystal in the Egyptian Room every so often.

Which brings us to the next thought, the odd things people do in the name of sexual gratification. The English seem to be infamous for a few things, like an aversion to bathing, and more pertinently, spanky hanky-panky. The English love a good whipping, and, funnily enough, most of them deserve it, but is it just an English thing?

My thoughts are that sexual deviancy (for want of a better turn of phrase) is very much like the English language.
-It is practiced everywhere.
-It is taught to the highest standard at boarding schools.

To some, after years of ‘lights out’ in a room full of pubescent school-friends, a menage-a-quatre is verging on monogamy, and youthful memories are happily recalled over an expertly-wielded paddle. But what is deviant these days anyway? One is shocked by very little anymore. I saw a woman in Newmarket yesterday, wearing a silver sequin mini-dress (at ten in the morning! And with thighs like that!), which made me recoil in horror, but someone's giggled confessions about a (male) paramour’s predilection for parading in panties is a dull respite between courses.

One begins to wonder if the only true deviancy these days is "niceness." It certainly is unusual enough.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Coronary

Once upon a time, in a suburb not so very far away, lived a beautiful model. At least, she was beautiful, until the evil fairy godmothers Time and Chronic Bulimia waved their magic wands and made the beautiful model look a bit odd. Anyway, the (now not so) beautiful model lived in a white house, and every room and everything inside it was white too – all the walls, all the carpets, and all the furnishings, except for the occasional fur throw rug in a tastefully contrasting shade. The model so loved the colour white, she even dressed her children in it.

What a frightening house it was. Visitors were rather afraid to do anything in the house, lest a single drop of wine should accidentally mar the perfect house, which would make the model scream and turn into a wild-eyed monster armed with spray carpet-cleaner.

The End


It was some time ago I visited the model's house, but I thought of her while reading 'Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat,' by Naomi Moriyama. The author describes her mother's kitchen as being tiny – no bigger than the average Western wardrobe, with surfaces piled high with cooking utensils and ingredients. A garden with parsley and tomatoes grew outside the door. The refrigerator was too large to fit in the kitchen, and had to reside in the dining room.

It made me think about all the kitchens I have ever seen – the best and most stylish display no evidence of any cooking utensils or food preparation, the thought of a refrigerator being in the dining room is risible. The model's kitchen looked like a surgical operating theatre – and everyone would murmur how wonderful it looked, admiring the space and bare granite surfaces.

I can't help but think this says something about relationships with food. Is the kitchen still the 'heart of the household' it used to be? The cold, bare surfaces found in the fashionable home suggest major coronary disease if it is.

I bought a mortar and pestle on the weekend, and left it sitting on the bench. My small act of style rebellion, although I haven't quite worked out what to do with it yet.

P.S. Just noticed - this my 200th post! Hurrah!

Friday, November 09, 2007

I Spy With My Little Eye

Saw Michael Boulgaris in Ponsonby today. While it is lovely that he is growing a ‘tache for Movember, I do wish someone would wean him off the over-sized Gucci accessories - someone might mistake him for one of those homosexual types if he’s not careful.

Is leopard-print the new black?


The NY Times thinks so. Why not? All things trashy are now a la mode. We already have the ubiquity of the strippers Brazilian, suburban housewives pole-dancing... Next week, fashionistas everywhere change their names to Chynna or Shanahyah.

To my immense shame, I rather like the YSL gloves.

Are Russian Brides the new Filipino? Yes.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Movember

It's Movember, the one time of year that men can grow a moustache, and not look a fool.

Every year in New Zealand 2,656 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 600 die of the disease, making prostate cancer the second largest cause of male cancer deaths, after lung cancer.
Not only is prostate cancer not at all nice, a diminishing male population means less men to buy me presents and champagne, so even if you don't wish to grow a soup-strainer on the old visage, I do insist that all men go for yearly check-ups of their man-bits.

Seriously - my father has prostate cancer. The doctors are very optimistic that all will be well, as it was caught early.

Anyway, I don't much care to write about politicians, as I would rather write about people who really matter, but I do wonder about the mental fortitude of our Prime Minister;

In response to early Guy Fawkes celebrations,
Helen Clark said the noise of fireworks in her home suburb of Mt Eden was horrific on Saturday night.

"Last night in my suburb, I felt as if I was in downtown Kandahar [in Afghanistan]," she said.
Horrific! Kandahar! Oh my! Helen has rather let the (female) side down. Would a male leader react this way to the sound of traditional community festivities? Imagine if Winston Churchill had thus quailed at the high-spirits of rowdy morris dancers;

"The noise of the co-ordinated foot stomping was horrific. I felt as if I was in downtown Gallipoli," etc, and then called for all handkerchiefs and clogs to be banned.

Downtown Gallipoli

I suggest Ms Clark invest in some ear-plugs, or else have a lie-down and a large gin, and let someone less sensitive take the reins for a while.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pavlov

The demure Cactus Kate draws one’s attention to the naked pool-side frolics by New Zealand’s favourite scr...apper, Aja Rock. I am reminded of a certain lad-about-town, who had a fondness for dating strippers (well – why not?). However, he didn’t like taking them to clubs or bars.

"You can't take them anywhere," he would grumble, "without them wanting to take their clothes off."
His expectations, I think, were wholly unrealistic. Strippers, not dissimilar to Pavlov's dogs, are conditioned to perform under certain circumstances, such as when a (musical) stimulus is supplied.

One then should not be surprised by Miss Rock's public nudity. However, I'm more interested to know what happened when six men stripped down and jumped in the pool with her. Thinking again about prior-conditioning, you know, from a purely scientific perspective.

Burgers

The writer for Viva magazine in the NZ Herald thinks 'Handmade Burgers' in Kingsland makes Auckland's best burger - and says;

"Burger Fuel may have gone public and have far better coverage with its many outlets, but Handmade Burgers in Kingsland wins where it counts - in the tummy."
Apart from finding it annoying that an adult would use the word 'tummy,' I disagreed heartily for these reasons:

  1. I went there once about five (?) years ago, and was subjected to the most hideously awful cack ever to profess to be a burger. Dreadful! I never went back.

  2. Many restaurant reviewers don't know their anus from their mouth. I have been to quite a few restaurants on the 'best of Auckland' type lists, to be thoroughly underwhelmed. The Maple Room in Remuera? You have got to be fucking kidding me.

  3. I have always thought Burger Fuel entirely marvellous.

  4. As a founding shareholder in Burger Fuel, I may be a tad biased.

So, I thought I would try it again, and decide for myself.

Handmade Burgers, 455 New North Rd, Kingsland.
First of all, the name is stupid. Handmade Burgers? As opposed to the ones made by robots elsewhere?

Burger: The similarity of their menu to Burger Fuel cannot be dismissed as coincidence. The quirky names, the fillings, the aioli chips – rather deja vu. It was okay; the most I can say is that it was bland. No shortage of bloody lettuce. Mr Smith said his was "a bit dry."


No shortage of bloody lettuce.

Price: $9.50 (comparable burger at BF $8.90)
Service: The tiny shop was overflowing with dolts such as myself who read the Herald, but despite the crowds, the server maintained an impressively friendly disposition. A thousand thumbs-up to the chap.
Overall: NZers are consistently suspicious of success – they like something until it gets too popular, then bash it down in favour of an unknown underdog - a most unfortunate predilection. I can't help but think this is where the Viva preference stems from… because Handmade just isn't anywhere good enough to hold the award for 'Auckland's Best Burger.' I'm giving it to Burger Fuel. As in many things, bigger is better.
(P.S. Handmade's food hygiene certificate expired in August).

Friday, November 02, 2007

Junk. And Matthew Ridge.

Goodness! What a terrible mood everyone seems to be in – including myself. I got a telling off by a shop-assistant for not picking an item up earlier (bloody hell! It was paid for!), and I swore at my beauty therapist (the choice of words may not have been the best, but the sentiment was deserved), and Auckland drivers seem to be giving their horns a real work-out today. Is it a full moon?

Saw Naughty Norrie on Ponsonby Road armed with his camera, not that anyone of any interest was around, but photos of a strategically-placed Matthew Ridge at SPQR with a sour-faced blonde may be in the Sunday paper, I suppose.

Mrs L has picked up some terrible habits lately, one of which is thinking she is an American rapper.

"I really need to get on the treadmill more," she sighed, "I have far too much junk in my trunk."
I snorted convulsively.
"Junk in your trunk! Ha ha! What have you been smoking?"
She looked defensive.
"You may not keep up to date with these things, Mrs Smith, but I do. Bet you don't even know who Fergie is."
“What, the Duchess of… whatever. The dumpy redhead?” (I knew who she meant. I just felt like being annoying).
She rolled her eyes. "The singer with the Black-Eyed Susans."
I tittered, but she continued, unfazed.
"Anyway, you used 'fo'shizzle' for ages, Mrs Smith, no matter how irritating it became, which was almost immediately."
Well! "That’s hardly the same," I said, "I was being ironic."

We sighed heavily in unison. It was, without doubt, the silliest conversation any two human beings have ever engaged in, which is saying something, coming from me, but I was annoyed and my face was stamped with a scowl for at least another hour (Note to Self: Must ask surgeon about Botox).

AND it has started to rain, so all in all, not a good start to the weekend.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cool

For those who like a stylish home, floors and walls are carefully decorated, but when one thinks about it, the ceiling just hangs about doing nothing. So why not hang your plants from it?



Yes! Upside-down! The plants don't seem to object, and they "use up to 90% less water than a conventional planter," which may be of interest to those who care about such things (I don't water my plants at all, which is 100% less water, but the plants don't seem to appreciate this).

This 'Antipodes Planter' is created by New Zealand designer Patrick Morris, who is in the process of opening a new shop in Ponsonby (down the alleyway, next to Agnes Curran). When I called in, the designer's brother was still painting the place, but it will apparently be open for business some time this month.

I think these are pretty fab. Bonkers, but fab.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cloudy

I installed the little weather thingy on the sidebar (to the left) a few days ago, and ever since, it has insisted that our weather here in Auckland is 'partly cloudy.' This is rubbish, the sun is shining gloriously at this moment. Proof - a photo I took just minutes ago:



I am only pointing this out in case out-of-towners think we live in a city of perpetual gloom.

Halloween

Despite my reservations about celebrating Halloween in this country (for reasons I am sure my astute readers can imagine), I used to contribute towards making the occasion fun for the neighbourhood's children.

"I believe the children are our future, teach them well, and let them lead the way," so sang Whitney Houston, and it is true. Thus, it is never too early to teach the tiny ones that one is judged by what one wears, and so those with pleasing ensembles received my commendation and a handful of mini chocolate bars, and those who demonstrated little creativity or effort, got a stern look and a budget lollipop. This is the way of the world, and they should have thanked me for the lesson learned.

Rubbish Outfits (lollipops):
Princesses (snore)
Cheap, polyester things (Pooh. Pulling something off a shelf at the Warehouse does not count as effort. Imagine if I did that!)

Good Oufits (chocolate bars):
Unusual themes (one little fellow arrived at my door one year as a perfect replica of a WWI soldier. How splendid! I gave him four chocolate bars).
Home-made ones (a slightly lopsided Spongebob Squarepants made from papier mache – they got four also).

However – there has been a disturbing trend in latter years, which has meant I no longer participate in this event. Not all the children who crossed the Chez Smith threshold in search of treats were locals, and these interlopers are increasing in number every year.

How do I know they are not local? Firstly, they are sans costume – unless their attire is actually some very clever post-modernist statement on consumerist society, local children do not trick or treat in scruffy jeans and soiled tee-shirts. Secondly, the parents of local children do not wait in a rusting van in the street, nor do local children kick one's letter-box in lieu of thanks for their budget lollipop. And thirdly, they are entirely the wrong colour, which is an instant giveaway.

There should be some sort of rule about sticking to one's neighbourhood for such occasions. Or at the very least, they should know that you don't get the good things in life by kicking letter-boxes and wearing dirty clothes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bio-Oil

In the ceaseless (and I am sure - futile) search for magic elixir of youth, I am always prepared to try any new product – in case it is The One. Bio-Oil is extremely cheap ($20 for 60 mls), which is enough to rouse my suspicions, but one will try almost anything.


There is some blurb on the accompanying pamphlet about the oil’s similarity to duck oil, being a ‘dry’ oil, not an oily oil (snore!), but I didn’t really bother reading any more of that. If it staves off the wrinkles it could be made from sautéed ear wax for all I care.

The Good

Like most women, I imagine, there are days when one looks in the mirror, and feels great satisfaction with the divine reflection smiling back. Other days, one can wonder how a particularly horrible wildebeest managed to find its way into the bathroom, and realising it is indeed one's reflection is rather dispiriting. However – perhaps it is my imagination, but I do feel the horrible wilderbeest days are fewer since using Bio-Oil. My skin certainly feels nice, and I think the fine lines not as visible.

The Bad

The instructions warn that the product can stain sheets, which is a definite negative. I do not want my Egyptian cotton bedding thus marked, so the night-time position must be one of lying very prone and still on one’s back. Equally, should marital relations be desired, it would be best to apply the oil afterwards, as the aforementioned position is not particularly interesting for either party.

Weather

Forgive the lack of updates – I have been kept v. busy with a distraught friend. She found out her husband is/was having an affair, and apparently part of her break-down required updating me frequently on her current emotional climate. Last week – stormy, with frequent spells of swearing and crying. But I – a true fair-weather friend - was a bit bored with it all, as:


  1. They have only been married two years, so it’s not like the husband has any great sentimental value.

  2. He never got her to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, so if he leaves or stays, she’s not about to end up revoltingly poor, being forced to travel economy-class, and drink methode champenoise, or whatever it is that the revoltingly poor do.

  3. It seems a bit hypocritical, as she’s been having an affair herself for ages (although, officially, he’s just a "very good friend.").

  4. She thinks no one knows about her “Very Good Friend.” Pffft. Hitting the town with a small posse of gay-men friends is quite clever – who would notice another male joining the party? But not clever enough. The gay-men friends are admirable for their loyalty, but not their discretion.

  5. Appeased by the husband’s presentation of a $28K diamond ring, her outrage reduced from a ferocious cyclone to a chilly passive-aggressive breeze, which would seem to bring us back to point #1.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Colonic

We were having a late lunch at the viaduct, when a startling thought of huge significance struck me – why are almost all boats white? Really, why? I can't think of any sensible reason, which is hardly surprising, but some of my more practical-minded readers may know the answer.

Why?

No one present knew, nor thought it half as compelling a question as I did, and they went back to discussing weight-loss strategies over glasses of wine.

Of course, everyone, including myself, denied use of diet pills.

Someone swore by colonic irrigation.
"You lose kilos after one session! And afterwards, the food just flies out of you – twenty minutes after eating, out it comes again." (I don't think this sounds very healthy. Rather like bulimia, but out the other end. Bottom-Bulimia?).

Apparently eggs are not good – hanging around indefinitely in one's colon like clueless guests who don't know the party is over. I have some disbelief about this - I love eggs, and if what they say is true, I should have more eggs (non-vibra) in me than a battery-hen house. Anyway, it was a frightful topic, and was glad when it turned to things other than having hoses put up bottoms.

I got a taxi home, and I made some polite noises to the driver about Auckland traffic. He had his own theory about why the Queen Street upgrades were taking so long.

"The road-workers are all Maoris and Pacific Islanders, and they don’t want to work evenings."
"Well," I said, yawning,"I can’t imagine anyone would want to, given half a chance."
"No – they're lazy," he said firmly, "they don’t like to work at all."
"Erm," I said, noncommittally.
"And they like to drink!" he exclaimed.
"Hmm," I said, gazing fixedly out the window.

Who knew I had so much in common with the working-class? It's a sobering thought. Kind of.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fashion Awards

Isn't Petra Bagust just the most absolutely fabulous creature? Beauty on the inside too - she lends her position to a variety of charity work. I think she is clearly the deserving recipient of my award for the most stylish and beautiful woman in New Zealand.

Left - Petra Bagust

It’s hard to believe that she was once an unappealing virgin with giant eyebrows.

Such a cute couple – Dave and Sarah Gibson, as seen at a movie preview in Auckland.

Her outfit is as sweet as apple-pie, and I like how their ensembles coordinate, but not in the creepy way that American tourists favour so much.

Last place-getter in my award ceremony, is the Velvet Gypsy. Cross her palm with gold, and she'll tell you your fortune.



Amendment: Photographer Olivia Hemus told me off for using her photos of Petra. Apparently I had stolen her "intellectual property." Not wishing to leave her bereft of her intellect, I have deleted them. The one used now is courtesy of the obliging Norrie Montgomery.

Labour Day

Thus ends Labour Weekend – Aucklanders celebrated in the usual sort of way with dismal weather, and by sitting in their cars for hours on clogged motorways.

For those who don't know - the first Labour Day Holiday in New Zealand was celebrated in 1890. It is a celebration of a lazy lout called Samuel Duncan Parnell who, in 1840, was asked to build a shop in Petone.

"I must make this condition, Mr Hunter," he replied, "that on the job the hours shall be only eight for the day." "Ridiculous, preposterous," demurred Hunter. "There are twenty-four hours per day given us," Parnell insisted: "eight of these should be for work, eight for sleep, and the remaining eight for recreation and in which for men to do what little things they want to do for themselves."

Wikipedia credits Australia as being the first in the world to achieve an eight-hour working day in 1900, but this article must have been written by an Australian, as in 1890, New Zealand was already celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the eight-hour working day. I blame their penal-colony gene pool - Australians will try to steal anything that isn't nailed down.

Nonetheless, it seems an antiquated thing for us to be celebrating. I don't know of anyone who still works an eight-hour day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Homeless

As seen in the city. It was after six, so I guess the sign's owner had knocked off for the day.



I like how 'cat' has been crossed out, and replaced by 'kids.' Did the cat get better? Or are 'sick kids' a more effective euphemism for 'beer'?

If anyone works in the city, and they see the sign's owner, ask how his cat is. I want to know.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Say No To Norrie

Social-event snapper Norrie Montgomery has started his own website – filled with photographs taken at Auckland events, and a diary detailing stunning insights of product-launches and pay-phones.

(Note to Norrie, when you referred to Nicky Watson's ANUS horribilis, I think you intended to say Annus horribilis. However, I am not sure. Being one of the few people in Auckland who have not seen Ms Watson’s bum-hole, I am not able to confirm whether it was her year or her rear that was so dreadful).

The website is called 'The A-List.' Perhaps the 'A' stands for ANUS.

It does rather seem that the social butterflies are being replaced by a persistent swarm of flies. In any case, someone regularly snapped by the tiny tabloid tout is also displeased by the standards maintained. They write;

There is a secret Auckland society launching calling itself 'Say No To Norrie'.....members who accept that enough is enough. Members who urgently NEED to sign up to save themselves anymore embarrassment are:

Gilda Kirkpatrick, Nicky Watson, Ricardo Simich (who is known to throw his poor long suffering mother at the snapper), Aja Rock, Anna Jobz, Jacqui Ansin and did I mention Gilda? Dangerously close to total social annihilation Cameron Brewer, The World family trio and Hilary Timmins.

Do these people have absolutely nothing better to do than constantly inhabit this frighteningly sad world of dull par-tays every night? Could they not just pop their feet up in front of the telly for ONE night a week? As Tan-orexics are addicted to dangerous over-exposure to UV on solarium beds are these over-exposed fame hunters addicted to flashes going off in their faces?

The latest reason to say no, is of course he now works for the Herald On Sunday ... featuring in those pages is instant, swift and severe social suicide and symptoms include constant ridicule from your peers. Whatever you do DON'T get snapped with any of the aforementioned SSFA (Sunday Social Fame Addicted) members ... you will need to go into social rehab sooner than you think.

The A-List. Are you on it?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Legend?

The NZ Herald reports a story about how a consumer rights group has found that many popular lipstick brands contain dangerous amounts of lead.

This may have been somewhat alarming, except that just days earlier, I had received an email from a well-meaning, but (apparently) gullible friend:

This is truly good to know. Be sure to pass this info on. Your lipsticks might cause you health problem. Brands don't mean everything...Lead is a chemical which causes cancer.

The Brands which contain Lead are:
1. Christian Dior
2. LANCÔME
3. CLINIQUE
4. Y.S.L
5. ESTEE LAUDER
6. SHISEIDO
7. RED EARTH (Lip Gloss)
8. CHANEL (Lip Conditioner)
9. Market America-Motives lipstick

The higher the lead content, the greater the chance of causing Cancer. After doing a test on lipsticks, it was found that the Y.S.L. lipstick contained the most amount of lead. Watch out for those lipsticks which are supposed to stay longer. If your Lipstick stays longer, it is because of the
higher content of lead. Here is the test you can do yourself:

1. Put some lipstick on your hand,
2. Use a 24k-14k Gold ring to scratch on the lipstick.
3. If the lipstick color changes to black then you know the lipstick contains lead.

Please send this information to all your girl friends.


Poohs! I thought. I don't care if my lips atrophy and fall off, I shall not be parted from my YSL lipstick. In any case, I am absurdly cynical by nature – my first instinct is always disbelief, so with a few seconds of effort, found that the lead claims were somewhat of an urban legend, and the email had been whizzing malignantly around the world since about 2003.

But what of the current claims? Cancer research UK thinks it sounds like utter bunkum. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no doubt bored with testing lipstick everytime the hoax email springs back to life, states that "Similar past claims have not been confirmed," but in a sentence burdened with a heavy sigh, says that "it would look into claims from [the] advocacy group."

Is the internet making people more informed, or stupider? It's so hard to tell.

Incidentally, another friend sent me one of those chain-email thingys. You know the sort, I am sure... 'send this on to six people within the next ten minutes or something really horrid will happen to you' sort of thing. I hate these emails - of course I never forward them, except to my 'deleted items' folder, where they belong.

In future, any friend who sends me emails of such unsubstantiated rot will get a YSL lipstick for Christmas. I hope their lips fall off.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Egg

A certain Miss confided (if telling everyone over lunch can be thought of as confiding) that she often pops in a vibra-egg before heading out for the day.

At this point, I must interrupt myself and admit that I am not entirely au courant on the varieties of inanimate objects available to insert in one's orifices. However, from the subsequent details shared (Alas! If only it were possible to Janola one's brain) everyone present became experts in vibra-egg specifications. I tentatively Googled it later, and a website primly and unhelpfully described the item simply as "Most valuable treasure for women." Hence, I have started (I think wittily) referring to Mr Smith's wallet as my 'vibra-egg.' He is not amused.

Where was I? Oh yes. Thus, the Miss gaily spends many a day with her egg installed. The thought persisted that perhaps the egg was a present and unwelcome guest, and this rather put me off my creme brulee.

"Ugh," I murmured, "I'm sure it can't be good for one's bits to be in an eternal state of stimulation," but most of the ladies seemed rather impressed.

As I fear a sudden run of sales of vibra-eggs in Auckland, one fervently hopes their users pelvic-floor muscles are up to the job. The consequences otherwise don't bear thinking about.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Crisis

Please excuse me while I have a personal crisis. Again. I had a similar one this time last year.

With boring regularity, as soon as the winter season starts shuffling off, with the reminder of time passing, another year grinding to an unsatisfactory close, I start to think – what have I done? The answer is always 'very little,' and I give myself a stern talking to, about how it is time to do something with one's life, apart from the bare minimum.

The years of my life are not recalled by any grand moments or great achievements, but by where I went, and what I bought. I can think to myself, "Oh yes, 2003. I went to Mexico." To some that may sound quite good, and it is, but it is no great feat to travel. When I said I wanted to do something bold with my life, a friend suggested I go sky-diving. I said that, in theory anyway, a comatose person could be strapped to a parachute and pushed out of a plane, and my idea of 'bold' would have to be something beyond the capabilities of the unconscious. But what? There is a great burden to ambition without talent.

The smallness of one’s life seems a little claustrophobic at times, but I suspect I would feel like this no matter what I was doing.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Parsley

In between bouts of sunshine and hail yesterday, I noticed beds of parsley in Aotea Square.



Makes me think of my dear Grandfather, who used to grumble about Grandmother's ranks of roses, as he thought it not worth planting unless it could be eaten (I think living through a few world wars makes one funny in the head. Grandmother - I believe - made rose-petal jam one year to shut him up).

I find it a curious choice of plant for the inner-city, although the local homeless contingent will be pleased to have a ready supply of garnish to accompany their a la bin meals.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Advice

A dear reader and fellow blogger, G-Man, has emailed me with a problem. The full, unabridged letter is available on his site, so do go read it. Below is a brief synopsis:

G-Man goes to pub, and is introduced to a scantily-clad girl who likes pole-dancing and communicates only in nasal grunts and table-banging.

The aforementioned gentleman is then introduced to another girl. She seems nice, but knows nothing about rugby. She only wants to be friends. G-Man replies he doesn’t want to be friends. Nice-girl has since texted him forty-eight times in a desperate plea for coffee. Nice-girl has friend ring up and scream abuse.

Mr G-Man concludes, "What's up with that? What the hell is wrong with these people? How can I get them to just leave me alone?"

Dear G-Man,

What a tragic tale of woe!

Once upon a time, Mr Smith and I had been invited to a party that neither of us were especially inclined to attend. I fussed and bothered over how to politely disentangle ourselves from the obligation – worrying that the excuses I came up with were weak, or unbelievable. Then Mr Smith came home.

"I ran into Mr X today," he said (Mr X being the host of the party in question).
"Oh no," I cried, "Did he ask if we were going to the party?"
"Yes," replied Mr Smith.
"What did you tell him?"
"I said we didn’t want to go."
I gasped. "You didn't! What did he say?"
Mr Smith shrugged. "He said 'no worries,' and that was it."

I have always admired the directness of men's language – while women will couch their sentiments in a frenzy of obtuse ambiguities, men will say a cheery "fuck off!" and be done with it. Such a very efficient and tidy way of going about life. Unfortunately for men, this directness is not a language women generally appreciate or comprehend. While you, G-man, were very frank and honest to the women in question – they did not understand what you were saying.

Thus – the question remains – how to get clueless limpets to bugger off and leave a man to drink beer and watch rugby in peace? I would suggest the following:

1. Paint a dreary picture of your prospects. Say, "Could I borrow a couple of hundred? Dole-day isn’t until Wednesday, and I need to pay the board at my hostel… I'll pay it back when I get a job. Actually, can you make it five hundred? The lads and I are off to a strip-club tonight, and I haven’t had a lap-dance in ages."

2. Perhaps they see you as playing hard to get. Ring Nice-girl, and propose marriage. Tell her that she’s the girl of your dreams, and that your mother has booked the reception hall already, and needs her to come over next Wednesday to pick centre-pieces and napkin designs. This could back-fire, I suppose, but would be interesting to try.

3. You should so have asked the table-banger for her number. Without the ability to think or communicate in a human language, she would never bother you with questions such as "What are you thinking?" or pointless arguments about whether you think she is fat.

Hope I have been of some help,

Cheers,
Mrs Smith

Notes

Well, I am back. I left to have a respite from the bleak days of winter, and was satisfied that I left Auckland in a howling storm of thunder and lightning last Monday, and returned to the same yesterday. However, while I was away, the weather was apparently marvellous! Summer-like, I am told, and sufficient for dining outdoors at the viaduct. I am peeved. My sojourn was – given its purpose – an utter waste of time and money.

Also, my nose got a bit sun-burnt, and has turned a shade of brown that does not quite match the rest of my face. It is not a good look.

Voters on my poll seem to be, overall, on La Saunders' team. However, I shall declare both ladies joint-winners, in my gratitude for providing a bloody good laugh. More of the same, please.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Girlfight

Well! It appears Fashion Week ain't over 'til the fat lady sings (or throws a glass of wine).

The Eighties is definitely back in style! We have the clothes, the models, now Dynasty-style girlfights. Normally I wouldn’t approve of such unfettered hurly-burly, but given the high-profile nature of the participants, I have obviously missed out on a hot new trend. I fully expect fashionistas and society mavens to be throwing glasses of wine and punches at every opportunity from now on. The sign of a successful party will be the number of guests who go home with blackened eyes and bleeding noses. How utterly thrilling!

So kids, whose team jersey are you wearing?


I have turned off the restriction of one vote per person, so feel free to cheat and fight dirty.




I am off somewhere fabulous for the week. I'll be back next Monday, so occupy yourselves with the poll until then.

Harsh



My goodness! Now there are some interesting questions!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fashion Finale

Having spotted Chloe's fur sleeves, Kate cried, "Right on!" and with a few deft snips, she cut the sleeves off her mum’s old rabbit fur coat.

Left - Chloe, Right - Kate Sylvester

Has Eighties revivalism gone too far? We have the leggings, the shapeless silhouettes, the fluoro palette – now the models? Brigette Berger and Geeling Ng were wheeled out of the Withered Rose Home for Aged Models but should have been promptly wheeled back in again.

However, Lorraine Downes and Rachel Hunter still scrub up very nicely, although the curtain call came a bit too soon for La Hunter, who had to rush from the shower, in nothing but a towel and unshaved legs.

Scrub up nicely

I went to the public day on Friday, despite the shame of not having any leggings or satin circus tents to wear. I bought a Kagi cocktail ring at the designer garage sale – reduced from $480 to $95! Although, when I got home, I noticed that two of the pave diamantes had fallen out, which was mildly depressing.

I got to see a couple of current season fashion shows. The Lucie Boshier event was fun, although I was faint with altitude sickness, with my seat being 8,000 feet above sea level. There were familiar faces amongst the models, but with deep-vein thrombosis setting in, the only name I could recall was Amanda Peebles. My god, her breasts! Astonishing they were. I hope they are not couture, because I would like to get a pair just the same. There were a few technical difficulties with the music – but who cares about such things in Boshier-land! Here, women are beautiful sylphs in maximalist multi-hued polyester, with diamante-studded eye-lids and perky breasts, who look like they do nothing all day but eat cupcakes, have loads of sex, and bathe in champagne, possibly loads of sex while bathing in champagne. One of the models even stopped mid-way down the cat-walk to pash a handsome young man in the front-row.

Next up was Annah Stretton. Stretton-land is a more sober environment, populated by pale private-school girls as icy as the blue-grey palette. No cupcakes and sex here. In Stretton-land, the models are en-route to a polo-match in rosette-laden silks, where they would coolly fend off the Trust-Fund Charlie’s grabby hands, strangle him with their multitudinous ropes of pearls, and stow the body in the back of daddy’s Range Rover before going off to stamp in divots and pat the ponies. One of the girls, however, had an alarming gait, that made a few front-row people giggle. One wondered if she had a wooden leg, or a stone in her hoof. Another looked so thin and tired, one thought she should be promptly returned to the stable and given a big bucket of oats. I was close enough this time to confirm that yes! Models do get cellulite, although in a pretty, pleated organza kind of way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Deja Vu

Is plagiarism the new black?

To those of us (cough) who aren't on any guest lists to Fashion Wank, it doesn’t look like we are missing much. There is insufficient novelty to stave off the over-whelming sensation of deja vu.

Juliette Hogan's show started in reverse to the usual order, with all her models sent out together instead of at the curtain call. Innovative? Not so much. Marc Jacobs did the same thing for his Spring show.

Deborah Sweeney looks like she is channelling her inner Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, while her gold leggings/leather jerkin outfit looked like a cheap, shitty version of Balenciaga’s S/S 2007 offering.

I don't really need to point out which is which, do I?

Yvonne Bennetti – patent-leather trench coat? Seen it already with Lanvin, Valentino, and a host of others. Fringing? Prada. Stifled yawn.

Left - Lanvin, Right - Bennetti

There are many other outfits that have a distinct air of familiarity, but I can’t remember where I might have seen them.

Our local designers are coming across a bit like school-girls on a budget, who, thumbing through an old issue of Vogue, exclaim, “I could make that!” and whip out their mum's Bernina. While I am not saying NZ designers have been deliberately ripping off other’s ideas (actually, I guess I am), I think this is a bit embarrassing with regards to overseas buyers, who will also, surely, be suffering the same “Haven’t I seen this already?” malaise.

Additional Notes:
Everyone is doing leggings. And smocks.

Designer Salasi wins my prize for ugliest clothes ever.

Holy crap, is that a unitard?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Whoops!



Liar, liar, XL pants on fire!

Plagiarism may save time, Glucina, but it's awfully embarrassing when you are caught doing it.

Answers

Now for the answers to some of the questions received. Firstly, a few brief responses;

Evad – Yes, but don’t tell anyone.
Mark – A resounding slap for your impertinence.

Now for the more challenging queries:

I have one I have thought about from time to time but never asked anyone.
Butros Butros Ghali.
I mean, why? What was his mother thinking? Is he brother to Butros and Butros Butros Butros?
from Laughy Kate

Dear Laughy Kate,
I googled Mr BBG, and discovered that his grandfather was Butros Ghali, hence I imagine that a repetition of a name is the Egyptian version of 'Butros Junior.'

One hopes then, if this is true, that the Egyptians are imaginative with their name selection, as while eight English Kings called Henry can be readily distinguished by a Roman numeral (e.g., Henry VIII), the equivalent in this case would be Butros Butros Butros Butros Butros Butros Butros Butros Ghali.

Which is silly, but I would expect no less from shifty foreigners.

Dear Mrs Smith
Please tell me what answer to give when people ask "so, what will you be selling?" Not knowing is making me look decidedly unprofessional.
Chur,
Martha Craig
Babylicious

Dear Martha,
With a business name like ‘Babylicious’ you could try replying, "Baby-flavoured sandwiches." It may not be a very professional answer, but that’s what you get for asking me.

Kia ora, Smithy
Here is my question pour vous:
Legendary Hollywood slutpants Tallulah Bankhead once said, "It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time."
Substituting "blogs" for "diaries", do you find this is the case with respect to how often you update your blog?
Chur,
Robyn

Dear Robyn,
I kept a diary until I was nineteen, then didn’t resume jotting down my daily life until I started mon petite blog. Suffice it to say, by observing my own life, it appeared Miss Bankhead was right.

However, to further explore the Bankhead Equation (wherein Goodness correlates to frequency of diary/blog entries), I did some research, and found that in August, I wrote sixteen posts, while in the same month, Cactus Kate wrote fifty.

So I think that explodes that theory.

You didn't answer the question two posts below:
"I heard you like a cock sandwich?"
Well....?
from Seamonkey Madness

Dear Seamonkey Madness,
A good girl would say "no," a bad girl would say "yes." However, a wise girl would just evade answering.

Fog

The seasons are turning - and mornings are wreathed in fog. Fog is like a good foundation, it hides the unpleasant blotches and spots, and makes the city look soft and pretty. I couldn't resist it on the weekend, and ran out the door for an early walk.

What a different world the city is before everyone else gets up! Ponsonby Road was almost deserted, save for the delivery men, the dairies opening, and an unusual number of women wearing Juicy Couture trackies out walking small dogs. People called out hello to each other, and smiled at those they didn't know - it was like being a member of some strange club that closes down as soon as the late-risers start to get out of bed.

But try getting a coffee! It wasn't worth trying the Dida's deli - I had once called in at 6.55am, only to be sternly told that I "should come back in five minutes, when we open." Five minutes! Go fuck yourself. However, the 'One 2 One' Cafe (at - surprise! 121 Ponsonby Road) was open at 6.30, despite a sign saying 7am. Now that's service.

Random assortment of photos I took along the way;

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Questions

I shall now open the floor to questions. I may be able to provide sage advice on all sorts of life's pressing problems. Go on - email me (link on the left).

If I am so inclined, I will post my answers tomorrow. Or perhaps next week - I'm very busy and important, you know.

Anonymity is assured, if so desired.

Disclaimer: It seems a good idea right now, but the truth is, I am quite unreliable. Answers cannot be guaranteed. I may have gone off the idea by tomorrow.

Spiky Red Thing

The sculpture by the Nelson Street off-ramp doesn't do much for me. The yellow tips light up at night, which is slightly pretty, I suppose. It is meant to be a representation of a pohutukawa flower, but rather reminds me of a primary school art project involving pipe-cleaners.



Known locally as "The Spiky Red Thing," it even has it's own My Space page. Spiky Red Thing has 1952 friends! That's more than me, so it just goes to show that there is no accounting for poor taste.

Note: Spiky's friends include Rodney Hide, Aja Rock, and Robyn; shame on you all.

Text

Received an odd text yesterday evening. "I heard you like a cock sandwich," was the message. I didn’t recognise the number. "What?" I texted back, with no reply.

In a rage, I rang the number. A man answered. He sounded young, Polynesian.
"Why did you text me about a cock sandwich?" I demanded. "Who are you? Where did you get my number?"

He laughed. "I don’t know what you're talking about, lady," he said, sounding genuinely surprised, then hung up.

It’s very curious. For no particular reason, I suspect Mrs L is behind this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fashion

Tickets for Fashion Wank have gone out, and there has been much gnashing of porcelain crowns from those whose letter-boxes have remained resolutely empty. But not me. My teeth are au naturel. Also, I never expect invites to anything anymore – I have made far too many enemies to get invited to the good stuff, and have far too much pride to go anywhere that does stoop to invite me. "One gets what one deserves," as Mother would say, the frightful cow.

Mrs N was parading the contents of her goodie bag, and mentioned that she had an extra ticket. I perked up. Trelise has really picked up her game lately; no more lurid circus tents with mutton-leg sleeves – last season she made some things I would actually wear (and do). But no – she is taking her husband. This is quite unfair. His suits are shiny with age and he probably thinks Costume National is what the Maoris wear.

Still – one must be gracious. I understand room is limited, what with all the space the front-row will need for their walker-frames and colostomy bags.

Online, one can find out what one will be missing. Nom D is using loads of black (Quelle surprise!), and Deborah Sweeney is channelling ZZ Top (large ginger beards on all models, I assume).

Meanwhile, State of Grace has been stirred by Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ (bloodied eye-sockets are to be the Next Big Thing), and Karen Walker has been inspired by racing jockey attire and maternity wear – so expect lurid circus tents with capped sleeves.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sun

Yes - I saw blue skies yesterday!



My retinas were scorched, not by the blinding glare of the sun, but by the acres of porridgey flesh on display, as many Aucklanders hit the streets in t-shirts and (in most cases, inadvisably) shorts.

P.S. Advice to all - when consulting with one's doctor, have discovered it's not advisable to ask if he can prescribe an alternative to BZP. Perhaps also, should not have referred to Slimfast as one's "happy pills." I got a half-hour grilling, and a referral to a psychiatrist.

P.P.S. Anyone know if Ritalin is any good?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Funeral

I'm back. Forgive the unheralded departure; an elderly great-aunt did me the disservice of dying suddenly. This was annoying – I missed out on a really good shoe sale at Sybella.

Anyway, the Smiths thus shuffled forth from their various nooks, crannies, and snake pits for the funeral. I do not like funerals. One is expected to cry, and try hard as I might, the best I can do is make my eyes water a little, but the main reason I dislike them is the assemblage of the elderly. There, but for the grace of God, go my genes. There are an astonishing number of women of la famille in various stages of going bonkers. Really – I am not just being unkind. Fully-fledged, diagnosed dementia. Dementia is, I think, the cruellest thing.

One spinster aunt, having led a perfectly respectable and charming life (decades ago, she used to make babies christening gowns for Smith & Caughey’s), is now in a home, where she wears a stetson hat (not sure where that came from) and thinks other people’s closets are her toilet. Another seemed fine, and untouched by any mental malady, until one Christmas her nearest and dearest were surprised – to say the least! - when her carefully wrapped gifts contained certain items removed from her own body. I shan’t say anymore about that, but it was utterly disgusting.

Also went to a house auction that Mr and Ms W were keen on. A complete dump it was – probably one strong breeze away from falling over – and it got passed in at $1.6 million. Even I was surprised. Someone asked Ms W about the Baby Jesus (she is looking very large now), and she started talking in a loud voice about passing wind. Why do pregnant women always want to talk about such things? Several men within earshot moved away, so perhaps it was a clever technique to put off the other bidders, and not really a hideous lapse in propriety.

I see the rain has continued, unabated, in my absence. I am sick of it, and am going to go on holiday, somewhere nice and warm, free of deranged elderly (counts Parnell out!) and gaseous women. I just have to nag convince Mr Smith this is necessary.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Photos

A random assortment of photos I snapped around Auckland City this week...

Tanks on Queen Street.



No - Aucklanders haven't decided to deal to Mayor Hubbard for once and for all. I was told they were there for a parade. I had no idea what the parade was for, but said that sounded like fun, and how I would love to join in the occasion and drive the tank.

Someone informed me later the parade was 'Boobs on Bikes'. That explained why the men giggled like girls when I volunteered my services.

More Component artistry on Ponsonby Road.



The latest L&P campaign, which I thought very funny.



Can't believe it's still legal to make jokes about junk food, the dole, and mothers who can't be arsed cooking (child abuse!).

Mood

Mrs S has been a long-time, dear friend, but surely that will change, if her current mood does not.

Mrs S is never what one would call a 'laid-back' person, least of all when in her car. She is the sort who swears and shouts at other drivers – often lowering the window to do so - for (often imagined) traffic infringements, yet never seems to consider how her unvarying speed of 30 kms per hour might annoy others. She will barely crack 40 kms, even when on the motorway.

Her high-powered European car must quietly sob in its garage late at night, for the misery of a life half-lived.

Despite this, she is very good fun. But not yesterday. I began to think, one of us has gone quite mad, and I do so hope it's not me.

So. We were in the car, and I was navigating. I am quite good at this, I think. I do not shriek "turn left now" at the last possible moment. My instructions are generally quite unambiguous, like, "Come off the next motorway exit, turn left, then continue straight ahead." Mrs S dutifully came off the next motorway exit, turned left, then got into a left-turn only lane.

"Er, we are meant to go straight ahead here," I volunteered, wondering which part of "straight ahead" sounded like "turn left again."
Mrs S rolled her eyes.
"Oh," she said, in tones that intimated my incompetence was unquestionable, "bit of a communication break-down there." She rolled her eyes again.

And so it continued, with every word I uttered scrutinised and found lacking, yet the meaning entirely ignored.
Standing at a counter, I gazed at a collection of Clarins products.
"What are you thinking?" she hissed.
Even doing nothing was annoying to her.

I finally made it home. Mrs S came in briefly, said hello to Mr Smith, who grunted a cursory acknowledgement from his computer without looking up.
"What's Mrs S on?" he asked, after she had left.
I collapsed in a chair.
"The end of a sharpened stick, if she continues like that. She was an utter bitch all day."
"She's on something," he said.
"Well, she's on a diet, so probably diet pills of some sort."
"Hmmm." Mr Smith looked unconvinced.

She has porked up lately, so my money is on diet pills. However, if she continues in her current mood, being fat will be the least of her problems. I will push Mrs S into the path of an oncoming vehicle, and I will make sure it is one doing more than 30kms an hour.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Spring?

The sun showed its face long enough yesterday to make one think Spring might be on its way. I went to the Auckland Domain - one of my favourite places - to just sit and have a cup of coffee. It was really nice.







But then the clouds rolled back in, and it was rather cold and crappy again. I am not a fan of winter at all.