Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I kept diaries throughout my teenage years, locked them in a camphor-wood box, then promptly mislaid the key. Cleaning out my wardrobe the other day, I found the key, but thought no more of it. This morning, however, curiosity got the better of me, and opened it. The box is full of strange remnants - a dessicated daisy-chain, two cigars, notes passed in class, and of course, my six hand-written journals.

Years thirteen through sixteen were quite a yawn; I wrote infrequently, and only when I was angry, so the writing is a storm of swearing, maudlin self-pity, and dreadful poetry.

A third-form school trip went unappreciated;

Hayden was great from up above (Row 1), Ravel a piano trio in fatuous flatulence, and Schumann made my eyes go heavy and wobbly at the edges, and then, thank God, it was 5.05 but what bloody happens but they get an encore so on comes Bloody Beethoven Bloody piano trio Bloody Opus 11. SHIT.

The inevitable teenage angst, where, amusingly, I compare myself to a monkey;

I rearrange my bedroom incessantly. Not from any real need, of course, just to ward off the boredom. Reminds me of a zoo I saw in Crete, once. A bored, deranged monkey in a too-small cage, cleaning its tail with such ferocity the fur falls off and the creature starts knawing its own flesh.

At nineteen I left home, and continued writing for a few months. This was my last entry, which, for some reason, I think quite perfect;

London moves so fast, there is no time for thinking. Who cares, as long as you look good when you get there! You learn to yawn with your mouth closed. Tried coke. So what. It made my nose run. I can get that free with hay-fever, thanx very much.

I'll spare you the poetry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I am sure my readers have been entralled by the adventures of my ageless apple. No? Oh well. Here is an update, anyway. Six months on, it has developed a brown spot on its bottom. I don't think it is long for this world.

How tragic.


Speaking of shoes, I came across this quote by Imelda Marcos (who, apparently, owns in excess of 7,000 pairs of shoes).

It is terribly important to do certain things, such as wear overembroidered dresses. After all, the mass follows class. Class never follows mass." -- cited in Ang Katipunan, October 1980

If one needs but one piece of fashion advice, 'Class never follows mass' would be it. At any point, the latest fashion suits about three people, and everyone else looks a damn fool. Looking one's best has nothing to do with fashion at all, indeed, looking one's best has very little to do with (good Lord – am I really about to write the following words!) spending money. It is about grooming. If you do not pay attention to the details, you will look slightly crap no matter how slavishly you follow the latest trends.

The following, I believe, are the Greatest Sins Against Looking One’s Best (gentlemen, you may find this intolerably dull. Feel free to go read the sports news).

Ill-fitting underwear. Bras need replacing every six months. They stretch. Stretch is not good, unless you like your breasts flopping around like a sack of kittens. Get properly fitted so one's cleavage is sitting high and proud, not hovering around one's midriff. Equally, bras that are too small will create back-fat. This makes one look as if one has cleavage front and back.

Scruffy shoes. If scuffed and the heels worn down, bin them. These details do get noticed.

Cracked heels. Slip-on mules are lovely, and one of my favourite styles. However, it is astonishing how many women leave their cracked and dry heels on display. Yuck. Get a pedicure, or at least, maintain one’s feet with Eulactol.

Chipped nail-polish. A flawless manicure can be hard work to maintain. If you can’t stay chip-free, opt for no nailpolish at all.

Too-small clothes. If your clothes keep riding up, and require constant tugging to keep them in their place, they are too small. Face the truth – you are a size bigger than the label says. Rearranging one’s clothes every few seconds makes you look self-conscious and awkward, and no doubt makes you feel that way, too.

Friday, May 25, 2007


My wardrobe is always a frightful mess. While I am obsessively ordered and neat in all other aspects, my wardrobe is my one exception to this. I call it my "Room of Shame." I have a tendency to just open the door and throw everything in. Sometimes brute force is required to get the door open.

I decided to tidy it up, and now the room looks lovely. My shoes, previously divorced from their partners in disparate corners, are now reunited, in neat lines. Mr Smith walked in, just as I had finished. "I never knew you had so many shoes," he said. I counted. I only have forty-three pairs (not counting trainers, and the slip-on type of shoes that I wear around the house). I don't think that is a lot at all. I imagine most women have loads more.

I did an informal survey. The Baltic Bride claims only twenty pairs! (However, her husband was in ear-shot, so that may account for the modest number. She had told him a jacket she bought was only $1,500, but when he checked the credit-card bill, it was closer to $3,000, so I think her shoe count should be disregarded). Ms W loftily declared fifty pairs, although when I said that trainers and slip-on, jandal-type things don't count, she insisted they did (they don't).

So... how many pairs of shoes do you own?


Ms W is doing a course in psychology. I do despair for the state of our tertiary institutions, if they allow dim-wits such as herself through their doors. Anyway, she is driving everyone quite mad with her rudimentary grasp of the textbook. She has diagnosed us all with the most bizarre and rare afflictions (I hate to think which disorder she has randomly assigned to me. When asked who did I most admire, I said 'Attila the Hun,' and Ms W pursed her lips in an annoying, "I knew it" sort of way).

"He has Asperger's Syndrome," she said.
"Who?" I asked (I had stopped listening some time ago. For an aspiring psychologist, her skills of observation are astoundingly weak).
"My husband," she said, exasperated.
"Asperger’s Syndrome? Why on earth would you think that?"
"He has the classic symptoms... it's impossible to engage him in conversation. And he never looks at me when I talk to him. It's like talking to a wall. I get no response at all."
She leaned forward earnestly.
"I used to think he was just ignoring me."

I laughed all the way home.


I like the inorganic rubbish collections. They amuse me. One would never realise how many people wet their beds, until one sees the number of stained mattresses dumped on the city’s footpaths.

Graffiti on Lorne Street

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Simply the best fashion shoot I have seen in ages.

Viktor and Rolf dress. Rafe shoes and bag. YSL sunglasses. Stephen Dweck jewelry. Pucci scarf. Vertu Signature 18k white gold cell phone.


I went to Mt Eden yesterday (see! I am not really a snob. Some of my dearest friends come from the slums) and I have decided, having scrutinised some of the locals, that it must be quite marvellous being poor. There are so many responsibilities that do not concern them, like lifting one's feet as one walks, or keeping one's mouth shut while eating. How liberating it must be to shuffle along as crumbs and greasy pastry flakes fly freely from one's gaping mouth!

Friday, May 18, 2007


As waiters go, he is really quite terrible, yet, strangely, no one seems to notice this but me. Arriving at the venue, the POGs fall over themselves to greet him.
"Oh X! How are you!" they gush.
He responds with a studied expression of undiluted hatred.

"I don’t believe it!"
A portly grande dame whispered in a reverent tone, "X remembered us from thirty years ago!"
What I found more remarkable was that she remembered a waiter from thirty years ago. When dining out, I can’t even remember the waiter who may have served me thirty minutes ago.
"I said to him, 'X, I bet you don't remember us!' And he said, 'Oh yes, didn't your hair used to be longer?'"
"How astonishing," I said, genuinely amazed, for indeed it was astonishing that she would fall for such an obvious lie. Given that women invariably go for shorter styles as they get older, it was a safe assumption for X to make.
I couldn’t help but wonder why he was still a waiter after thirty years. It must take a lot of effort to be that consistently ordinary.

X swept past with a vicious scowl and a platter of canapés, too quickly for anyone to actually get any, then disappeared back into the kitchen.

At another event, X and I had enjoyed a heated discussion, with vigorous use of extremely vulgar language. I had thoughtfully pointed out that as he was quite drunk (having enjoyed vast amounts of the host’s alcohol), the least he could do was the job the host was paying him to do. Anyway, lots of shouting of rude words ensued, and his name became indelibly writ in my imaginary Book of Hate forever.

I saw him at a Ponsonby café, earlier this week, drinking coffee. I sat, a mere metre from him, studying his face. I recognise alcohol bloat when I see it; the spongy fatness of the habitual drinker. His eyes swept past me, with no glimmer of recognition. Perhaps he has no idea how awful he is. Perhaps he was really good at his job, once, and that is what everyone recalls, because he is tragic, now.

I concocted a delightfully flagitious plan. How hard it is to obtain Rohypnol? He needs to be taught a rather harsh lesson in manners.


I have been gone for over two weeks, and nary a word of concern from any of my dear readers! What utter bastards you all are.
Just as well I don’t care what you think, or I might be offended.

Anyway. Here are a few random thoughts.

The latest fashion trend – red, my favourite colour.

Forget about firm abs and perky breasts, fashionistas in the know will be flaunting their well-chiselled clavicles.

My dictionary word of the day is ‘flagitious:’ meaning grossly wicked; scandalous. I don’t know how to pronounce it, but it seems such an extraordinarily fabulous word, I really want to use it, and with my life, I am quite sure I will have an appropriate occasion to do so. Don’t be surprised if it starts turning up in blog posts with annoying regularity.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What's Hot

Are we heading for a Nouveau Grunge era? Just as the excesses of the ‘80s forced a youth rebellion in flannel shirts and depressive rock music, the embarrassingly effete conceits of latter years may be leading to a counter-culture embracing ‘back-to-basics.’ Is this the Death Knell for the City Swell?

Latest Trends

Bottled mineral water is out! Avoid this “déclassé, plastic-wrapped menace.” Tap water is in.

Goodbye to the Metrosexual; Hello Retrosexual! Throw away the moisturiser, lads. Give away your gym membership, and stop obsessing over the fat grams in your organic pesto. Being a rugged, beer-drinking, wood-chopping, macho man is in. “Take back your manhood,” cries Adam Rapoport, style editor at GQ magazine.

A one-fingered salute to the Health Taliban! Who else is tired of being told that everything we like is unhealthy, and should be banned? Let us eat fat! Chef and author, Anthony Bourdain, predicts “There is sort of a backlash among chefs and diners in major cities against fine dining. The food is more authentic, more rustic — and better.” He threatens that pork bellies, pig's cheeks, and offal will soon be coming to a menu near you.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Dear Ladies,

Perhaps it is human nature to want what you can’t afford (except in my case, where I have everything I want and loads more besides), however, this is God’s way of letting you know that you are not, and probably never will be, anyone who matters.

If you can’t afford to buy the $3000 handbag of your lower-class dreams, then don’t worry. These bags are quite vulgar anyway, and one shouldn’t aspire to look like a trampy starlet or Middle Eastern gold-digger.

Those tempted to buy a cheap replica, should think thrice. No matter how good a replica it is, there is one thing about it that will let everyone know it is not the real thing.


Here’s why. People who can afford the genuine item, generally do not:

Stand in the economy class check-in line
Wear jandals
Catch public transport
Live in South Auckland
Wear size 18 clothes
Congregate outside McDonald outlets.

Kind Regards,

Mrs Smith


Despite still having a horrendous cold (every time I blow my nose, I am reminded of the hallway scene from 'The Shining,' where the lift doors open, and… well just like that. But with snot), I went for a walk. The Twin Spectres of Cheese and Pastry haunt me (A typical European breakfast seems to embrace anything with fat and no nutritional content), so walk I must, despite the horror movie nose. Ignorance is bliss, so I haven’t weighed myself since my return. My clothes actually feel looser, but I am sure this is not possible, and that they are just playing a cruel trick on me.

It is raining, but, unusually, it’s not windy. Almost without exception, rain in Auckland is accompanied by a howling gale, the sort that makes umbrella use an exercise in futility. My Lulu Guinness umbrella wouldn’t last a minute, it’s designed for a genteel English shower, not the rude New Zealand hurricanes that defy attempts at style (about a month ago, one such storm blew a shoe off my foot – mid-step! – and I had to chase it down Williamson Ave in an entirely inelegant manner. This is probably why European women always look chic; they don’t have to cope with the kind of weather that rips shoes from feet, and makes one’s mascara run because they had to walk in the rain due to their umbrella being disembowelled).

Sorry. Obviously not well. Sentences very long, a whole paragraph about the weather, and I can’t be bothered changing any of it.

Anyway. I went for a walk.
“Good morning,” someone called out.
I look around. There are three people sitting on the verandah of a stylishly appointed villa. Two girls, and a wolf. Human body, with a large, wolf’s head. I don’t have my contacts in, but I squint a little, and look away, quickly. A wolf.
“Good morning,” I call back.
I hear laughter.

The new coat I bought in Rotterdam was much admired. In fact, someone was so in awe of it, they burned a cigarette hole in the back. Nothing says “you look great,” like an anonymous act of deliberate destruction.

Auckland is way too hard for me at the moment. I think I will stay in bed today.