Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Andrew....whats in a name ?

Just watched a wonderful programme about the Medici with Andrew Graham Dixon, who has joined my list of unattractive yet strangely desirable men (the other is Andrew Marr). Perhaps it is their erudition and enthusiasm that is so appealing ? Can anyone enlighten me ? Does anyone else have that little voice in their head going "Why, why, why.............? Go look at someone pretty" ?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Another of Lifes Great Mysteries

Why does smoking a slim, elegant cigarette not make me slim and elegant ?
My ability to self delude is immense.........

Snowflakes and sparkle

I did promise that the next post it would be "sparkly" - does frost count ? - soooo pretty this morning and the idiot hound who hasn't met snow before thought it was the most wonderful thing. He spent 10 minutes leaping around the garden looking like a manic hairy croquet hoop..........oh, another good thing about the snow - it hides the fact he has turned the lawn into a re-enactment of the Somme (that includes trenches, destruction of all natural vegitation and booby traps but fortunately no gun emplacements)

Other sparkly things today include the delicate frosting of icing sugar all over the kitchen floor, I might have done some baking, but didn't; a trail of glitter up the cellar steps and along the hall, where the Christmas decoration box "leaked" and the glint in my eyes, the sign of a woman who has spent way too long looking at the Tiffany website. It is, after all, a truth universally acknowledged that any woman in need of a Christmas present will look at Tiffany ((Holly was right, you know she was) and my apologies to Miss Austen.)

I have also been trying to find Christmas presents online and struggling with the "I like it too, so I'll get one for me" attitude, which tends to make my bank manager quite twitchy, luckily I don't feel the need for a personalised Stig poster or a set of glass drawer handles, so fairly safe there, but the V&A website is a bit tasty (and very sparkly) go and see, if you don't know it. For the love of God stay away from Amazon though, I get RSI clicking on the foreign DVD pages,
"I don't understand the language, I've never heard of the director or the actors but the precis looks good - oh look its only.............(insert a price here) I'll get that, always good to try something new."
And there you have it, the inner monologue that leads to the Marshalsea.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Grim Reality

How often can one say "well, it is November......" ?, why do people insist on complaining about the weather for heavens sake ? I know this is something that proves we are British/English but I find myself increasingly intolerant of this lack of pragmatism, it does rain in November, and sometimes it is cold too, the grump into which I descend is most uncharitable and unnecessary , perhaps it's SAD ? On the upside, if it is cold and damp it is the perfect excuse to wear furry, fluffy, snuggly things, and having hair with a similar texture to a Shetland pony I can just shake off the most inclement of weather (the downside is my legs are of a similar length to said equine !)

Today I am struggling with Italian homework, and it's amazing how quickly the old excuses come rolling back...... "The printer broke", "Oh, was it for today ?" and so on - last term there was one glorious occasion where I could, legitimately, say "the dog ate my homework". Obviously a description of my family holiday was just too delicious to resist. Anyway, homework; to encourage us our tutor told us that Italian was much easier to learn than English, because English has 16 tenses ........... yes, but I know English ! I can even make a reasonable fist of French, courtesy 7 years with scary Mam'zelle, and have a nodding acquaintance with Latin which is very useful for vocab. Maybe the truth is that although I still have the ability to assimilate random facts (thank you, Lucy - loved the Turing thing) and delight in serendipitous google linking, I no longer have the application to process sequences of co-ordinated information.

As I said in the title - grim reality.

(Next post will be sparkly, twinkly and rapturous - I will eat chocolate first !)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

No, I didn't see Donald Sutherland

So, I returned home for a few days and then back to Italy. I loved feeling like a regular and seasoned traveller, and I dropped the fact, oh so nonchalantly, into as many conversations as possible.....but...... travel is all well and good if :-

a) it happens when expected

b) all your belongings arrive with you

c)your credit card isn't maxed out

d)you don't fly cheap with KLM

(this is a tale so dismal it does not need to be told, I am sure many of you have experienced some or all of the above)

on the upside it was Italy - did I mention that ?

Venice was ethereal, as ever, and even more flooded than usual, but tippy toes sufficed and wellies were not bought, Bellini, the artist and the drink, were given due reverence and the joy of wandering with no purpose revisited.

The true thrill of the weekend though was listening to a friend sing a Byrd Mass in St Marks on All Saints - not bad for an Anglican church choir - the "spinal shiver" was phenomenal, enhanced, perhaps, by the fact Comme des Garcons could have OD'd on in situ incense

Sad reality kicked in all too quickly on my return, the list of people in line for molten lead enemas is growing apace.......... was there ever a greater misnomer than "service industries" ?, and Lord knows, I am in a position to make that judgement, meeting the Great British Public at the sharp end on a daily basis....................

Monday, 10 November 2008

Shameful lack of posting....

Well, this is not the way to ensure a lucrative book deal. The lack of posting has been the result of tripping hither and yon, be-flusterment and the reacclimatisation to the Real World, none of which are really an adequate excuse, fortunately I am not inundated with readers, waiting on tenterhooks for my next sparkling missive.

I had a wonderful long weekend in Milan and in spite of it being patently obvious that even with all three credit cards at once I would be unable to buy anything, I got to stroke Prada bags - who'd have thought Goth could be sooooo chic - and totter in Alexander McQueen shoes - oh the joy !!

My Italian got some exercise too, it took some effort though to find out how to say "What is that called......?" in Italian without being told the name of whatever I was standing next to ! I did manage to but myself a pair of bright dark purple suede boots in the correct size without resorting to mime, so maybe something is sinking in. Gracia Enzo.....

We did go to see the "Last Supper", a concession to non-consumerism, and as I said last time, still a wax crayoning, actually, more like a pavement artist has been allowed to work in the vertical....... but still L de V did do it and that has to contribute a bit of a buzz.

More posting to follow, including the joys of KLM and alto adige in Venice - an excuse to buy more boots perhaps, even if wellingtons.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Note to self:
One day I will learn to write shorter sentences. Promise

Frenetic squeaking

Tomorrow I run away from all this, which means today is bedlam..... made worse by the fact I am going to be in Milan - home of the chic, slim and be-sunglassed maven. I have been hunting for a suitable bag to take (over the head, not over the arm) and so far I have edited it down to Laduree or Hobbs.
I have also been fighting hard with the desire to "get a little something new" here, when there is going to be so much to see in Milan and I suspect hideous temptation, although I will have to pluck up considerable reserves of courage to venture into these palaces of couture. It is not solely a retail lust fest as I have serious intentions of going back to the Brera, and already have my timed tickets for "The Last Supper
"..... last time I saw that I kept thinking of a rather soppy wax crayoning, so it will be interesting to see what the restoration has done for it.
Wish me luck, I'm off to bounce up and down on my suitcase, swearing horribly as I try to get it closed.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The inherited meme

I am uncertain of the courtesies of the blogosphere so I hope I am not treading on any toes here, the charming Lucy Fishwife semi-tagged me on a meme (pre-blog ownership) so I am going to do the deed !

6 Random things about me

I have a dangerous passion for shoes and chocolate. The best thing, even if I eat the chocolate, the shoes still fit

My bank manager does understand me......

Some years ago, whilst still an Art History undergraduate, I met Prince Phillip at a drinks party in Rome, (points for the subtlety of my name dropping ?) and, on learning what I was studying, he spent some considerable time discussing the finer points of Ancient Greek erotic art. He knew a great deal more than me.

I was a witch in a Birmingham rep production of Roald Dahls "Witches" - there are those who still loudly cry "typecasting !!"

One day I am going to run away to Italy

When all the other seven year old girls at school said they wanted to be nurses/teachers/mummies I caused some consternation by saying I wanted to be a bunny girl - hey I loved the costume.

Oooohh that was,me,me,me meeeee

I sully the virgin page.......

An explanation for the "quirky" photo - gifts from son after a trip to St Petersburg. I am still trying to work out why he felt this combination was appropriate, after all, Russia is full of vodka, and Faberge and icons and........... still one should never be ungrateful.
Perhaps the stole was an expression of my foxiness (hopefully not a comment on a slightly feral aroma) and the hat ? Well I do hats, and occasionally I have been known to fall into hissing megalomania, (although my urge for world domination is currently on hold)
Sadly, this leads me to conclude that in actual fact I have to present him with the "Well shopped award". I just wish he hadn't got me quite so accurately.