Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Me & City Lights

Me & City Lights
Originally uploaded by middleagedteacher
While we're on the topic of Outfits, I'm in top-to-toe 'Buffalo Exchange' Berkeley from the 50% Off Rack. Items that aren't sold within a month of going on display are sent there. I found myself being inextricably drawn to the 50% Off Rack. I hope it's not a Metaphor for My Life or Anything.
I can't understand why this perfectly nice tartan skirt & retro shirt made from the purest nylon didn't sell in an instant.
But maybe you can.
I'm standing outside the famous 'City Lights' Bookstore in SanFrancisco. It's the home of Beat Writers like I suppose Jack Kerouac. I can barely spell his name let alone understand any of his writing.
But the shop is kind of interesting.

Now We Are Old, We Need to Dress Up, Not Dress Down

Freshly back from our Epic Roadtrip where we absolutely did not act or feel anything like 'Thelma & Louise', we visited the giant Salvation Army Depot in Thousand Oaks.
This place must house the World's Largest Collection of Orphaned 'Sag Harbour' clothes, with a special emphasis on Heavily Shoulder-Padded Blazers.
Fortunately, we managed to steer clear of them in favour of more streamlined ensembles as Marge is convinced that the only way that I am going to be able to 'Move Forward' in my life is by wearing Figure-Hugging Garments. I agree.
Here she is modelling a Slightly Soiled but wearable Genuine Suede Jacket. I tried hard to convince her that jackets look wonderful on her & that now that we are Old, we need to Dress Up Not Down.
She may, or may not, take my advice.
But Goody, Goody, I got to take the Jacket home. It's going to be part of my new attempt at Embracing Frenchness. You know, like Jane Birkin or Catherine Deneuve.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Always the Optimist

Once we arrived in Berkeley, I was desperate to find a thrift store to feed my Obsession. Things are going to be Soo Good when I can finally give everything up & become a Zen Master. And then I won't have to be constantly thrifting, or drinking coffee or photographing my outfits.
In the meantime, we finally found 'Buffalo Exchange' which was in the Tatts 'n Piercings part of town. I'm not sure if Old Buffalo actually qualifies as a genuine 'Thrift Shop' because it was kind of all spruced up & didn't quite have the feel that a shop that is selling a whole lot of Orphaned clothes usually has. Also, it was a bit pricey.
But perhaps I'm too much of a purist.
Here I am trying on a smart little dress with military style buttons & detailing. Sadly, I couldn't get the buttons up. Always the optimist.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Which Nobel Laureates Could We Be?

We arrive at our destination. 
Oh, I want to say right here, right now that I'm having trouble with My Tenses. Which is probably what you'd expect from An Anxious Person. 
As a travel writer, does one write in the Past or the Present Tense, I wonder? If I was a Zen Buddhist or maybe Eckhardt Tolle or Oprah, I'd say there's no such thing as the past. There's Only Now.
So I won't worry about it. I'll just stick to Present Tense. Until I get stuck in the past.
Anyway, back to Our Destination. We've arrived. And I bet you can't guess what it is or where it is? Goody Goody.
So, I'll just have to walk you through it. 

 We crawl like Snails along the 101. Which was just as well because I was reading a v. small & unsatisfactory map. We could see tantalizing bits of San Francisco in the distance - something we imagined to be the Golden Gate Bridge but it was far off & surrounded by more fog, which is one of the Themes of this Roadtrip. We also saw that Pointed Building that you see in photos of San Francisco.
But I Go on too Much.
Let me Cut to the Chase. Look at the photo below. Does that give any clues to our destination?
Perhaps Not.

 So, let me tell you.
We are in Berkeley. At the University. Actually staying inside the University of California at The Berkeley Club. I am instantly transported back to The Sixties. Student activism. Student Protests. Dustin Hoffman & Katherine Ross in 'The Graduate' which was a Major Film of my Adolescence. I sooo totally wanted to look like Katherine Ross which was out of the question. Her character, Elaine went to Berkeley where Dustin Hoffman followed her & stalked her. I was desperate to be stalked by Dustin Hoffman back then. Now I think that he's a Scenery Chewer. 

That's one of the things that I love about America. Everything reminds me of a Song or a Movie.

We are thrilled with ourselves & perhaps a little smug. We have a Suite which we imagine has been occupied by many many Nobel Laureates over the years since the Berkeley Club was built in 1902. Apparently, once you get the Nobel Prize, you get a Permanent Parking Spot inside the University designated in Red Paint. What a marvellous incentive to achieve at The Highest Level!
The suite was generously restored by the couple in the photo above the fireplace, below. Thank you, O Beneficent Philanthropists!  The only thing that jarred for us  was the rather awful painting that you can see in the last photo,  just above where Marge is lolling. 

But look at me wearing my newly-thrifted  from 'Goodwill'  'Isaac Mizrahi for Target' sweater. Once again, my boobs have drifted down to my waist. Must stop wearing stupid sports bras. 
I'm with Kat, Marge's step-daughter who is my Second Favourite Girl in the World next to my own daughter, Billie-Mae.
That's why we're here. We're visiting Kat. Whether she likes it or Not.

Oh, I must mention where I got the first two pictures from, in case you're wondering. Marge found a 'Blue & Gold Berkeley 1905 Yearbook' amongst the shelves in The Suite. I was sooo tempted to quietly put it in my bag.  But since I'm now a Non-Practising Buddhist, I resisted temptation.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Absolutely Not Room 101

More on & on we drove on & off the 101. I've always loved the 101's Name. Reminds me of that Feared Room in 'Nineteen Eighty Four', Room 101. The room that you never get out of alive.
Not that I haven't ever not gotten out of the 101 alive. At least I think I always have. 
Perhaps I'm Dead & I Don't Know It. And this is Life After Death.

I haven't told you our destination. 
We may, or may not be going to San Francisco. 
At this point, we're tantalizingly close. I look to the billboards for guidance.  
'Point of Your Summer'. Yes, that's a good one. Coming from the Southern Hemisphere, I am not officially in Summer. The supposedly hot weather I am experiencing is merely a hiatus. And as I've already said, ever since I sat in that Arctic Theatre watching 'Harry Potter' last week, I have been Chilled to the Bone. Plus Marge insists on having the air conditioner in the car turned up full blast with a fearful wind blowing. I say nothing because I'm Grateful to be driven around. 

And then I see a whole lot fish reminding me that I'm going back to school. Yes, v. soon. But I've still got more of the 101 to see. 

Occasionally we take a detour even if we don't want to. Like the Blog, the trip seems to have a mind of it's own.
Interestingly, every time we got off the 101, it was Large Vegetables. 
I'm sure the World of Garlic is fascinating & complex. But we didn't stop to find out.
We drove on in search of some Golden Arches. 
Pourquoi, you may ask? 
Since I can't have a latte from 'Zinc', I adapt. I have a Non-Fat Iced Latte with two servings of Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup & loads of ice. Both 'Starbucks' & 'McDonalds' serve this. I'm sure the massive amounts of chemicals from the syrup are coursing around my veins causing mayhem, but what the hell. Why not live a little?

We see a pair of Golden Arches in the distance & immediately take a right. We find ourselves in Castroville, the Artichoke Capital of the World. At first I thought the sign said 'Gastroville', which sounded unappealing. And then we spied this Large Artichoke, which looked unappealing. For a mere three bucks we could have a whole mess of Deep Fried Artichokes.
No thanks, we'll take McDonalds.
Sadly, the Golden Arches in the distance were a Mirage. That's what the 101 does to you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Goody Goody Goodwill

We were driving along a long street just outside the environs of Toy Cannery Row when amazingly I spied a rather large 'Goodwill'. 
I could hardly contain my excitement. Marge groaned. 
Marge is v. kind. And she genuinely can't bear to deprive me of any little pleasures that I may have left in life. So, she made the Hybrid take a right &  found a Pleasant Parking spot right nearby.
I skipped down the hill just like Gene Kelly when he sang 'Singin' in the Rain', which I loathe, by the way.
 I knew that 'Goodwill' was going to be nothing like my local thrift shop, 'Bednobs & Broomsticks', just like I know that the lattes I have in California are nothing like the lattes from 'Zinc', my local cafe.
OMG, this blog entry has a twee Suck Up Sally personality all of it's own. Next it'll be Thanking the Universe for Having Me. Which perhaps isn't such a bad idea.

There are certain cast-iron rules about the contents of thrift shops which are universal with a some small regional differences. A Californian Regional Difference is that there always has to be a few items designed for people shaped like refrigerators with the label, 'Sag Harbour'. In fact, 'Sag Harbour's' influence is becoming so invasive that I even saw one at 'Bednobs' a few months ago. 
 Another slight rule is that if the garment is a 'Designer Label', nine times out of time, it will be 'For Target'. So it was no surprise to me when I picked up a cute little lilac sweater with 'Isaac Mizrahi' on it, it had to be, 'For Target'. But I was thrilled & thanked the Universe as I was paying.
Marge was desperate to get back on the 101, so we had to leave.
I have never read so many maps in my life or more desperately sought signs that said '101 North' or '101 South'.
 Now I can read both Maps & Signs, perhaps My Life will improve.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toy Cannery Row

We keep driving. 
We arrive at Monterey. I know absolutely nothing about it except of course I've heard of the Jazz Festival. And then there's the song by Eric Burdon, 'Down in Monterey', which I suppose is about the Jazz Festival.
 So I didn't know what to expect. Which I'm sure is The Best Way to Be when travelling, or perhaps in Life generally. If someone said that Monterey was the Home of the World's Largest Stilton Cheese, it would have come as no surprise to me.

It was almost, but Not Quite a Surprise to me that it was on the coast. 
We drive along until we get to Cannery Row. I would rather call it Toy Cannery Row. Banners with quotes from the famous novel, 'Cannery Row' by John Steinbeck are hanging off every orifice just to remind us what this place is about & why it's famous, in case we've forgotten, or  didn't know in the first place, which I didn't. 
The rivers of Silverfish have dried up. But the buildings remain. We didn't bother to go in, but I'm sure if we did, they'd be a lot of lattes & perhaps tasteful beach accoutrements available to purchase.
Just outside of the 'rumbles  & groans & screams & rattles' I cleverly spy a 'Goodwill'.
But that's a whole other blog entry.

Then we take a quick look at Monterey Beach.
Here it is.

Not Aligned with Golf

As you can perhaps guess from the photos, We've Moved On. At least physically.
 Marge & I left Big Sur & drove along Highway 1 ,finding ourselves & the car stopping at a Gate House containing men dressed like the Park Ranger in 'Yogi Bear'. They were there to take $9.25 from us so we could enter the exclusive Golf Enclave, Pebble Beach. 
We both Hate Golf. We are Not Aligned with It. 
So that might explain why we had such a Crap Time there. But it was only a couple of hours. First, we wanted to eat something but spent ages driving up long winding roads full of Enormous Homes that probably contained Rich Old People quietly rotting. 
Did Pebble Beach have adequate medical facilities for The Elderly, we wondered? 
Finally, we found a restaurant overlooking what appeared to be The Last Hole. By that stage we were starving but I was desperately trying not to eat because there weren't any Mexican Choices on the menu. I settled for a lousy bruschetta.
Then Marge's phone died. When she tried to re-charge it by plugging it into the wall of the Wells Fargo Bank near The Last Hole, the bank's Official Nasty Woman  said Absolutely NOT. I was waiting in the car listening to a car alarm go off nearby. Even though it was noisy, I was glad that I chose not to go into the bank with her. 
By now we realised that it was definitely time to leave.
But it was like we had descended into some Labyrinthine Golf Rabbit Hole & couldn't get out. On & On we drove through even more winding roads with Enormous Houses. It was then that I suddenly discovered how Environmentally Concerned I could be.
 'Imagine the energy bills of these joints', I sneered. 
'And, there's probably only one & a half people living in each one of them', Marge added.
Finally, we found the Exit & Smugly drove off in the Hybrid.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Only Eat Mexican in California

As I've mentioned, when in California , I make a point of eating Mexican as much as I can as I never usually eat it. For good reason. Sydney is not known for it's Mexican Cuisine.
Here I am at 'La Salsa' at The Promenade at Thousand Oaks. I was starving & they forgot my order. So I was forced to shovel in all the little side bits.
Please note my Homemade in California necklace. I bought some jewel making stuff with me just in case I had a Spare Moment. Strangely, I had a number of them. So I strung together some white beads that I just bought at the Bottomless Pitt, 'Forever 21' for about three bucks & a little Japanese Noh Mask or whatever it is that I bought a year ago at Narita Airport in Japan.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not Kim Novak in Big Sur

Marge & I are now in Big Sur. We're  on Highway 1 driving alongside supposedly spectacular scenery which is almost impossible to see because there's this Creepy Fog. I hope it's Not a Metaphor for Something Nasty.

Last time I took this road was in 1983 with my then boyfriend, Warwick. That time I didn't see anything either because it was Night. We were in a helluva hurry to get to San Simeon to visit Hearst's Castle which I was totally fixated on at the time so I wasn't too fussed about missing out. 
But this time I really wanted to see it. I got quite a shock when we arrived at The River Inn & saw postcards of Spectacular Views  of artfully placed salt & pepper coloured rocks amidst swirling seas & Meaningful Sunsets. Here I am in the 'Heartbeat of Big Sur' shop making friends with Bath Products & Dolls.
Apart from the Creepy fog, it's also Cold. In fact, ever since I sat in an Arctic Movie Theatre watching 'Harry Potter' a couple of days ago where I actually felt that I'd moved into Hogwarts during a blizzard , I've been cold. Marge's car says it's 64 degrees which, in my dim memory of Fahrenheit tells me it's late Autumn, or Fall, since I'm in America. In fact, as I sit here in the darkened River Inn motel room in a light singlet & footless tights, I'm Slightly Shivering.

In honour of the cold, Marge is wearing a woolen hat that she later purchased from the Craft Shop next to The River Inn. She is also holding a biography of a local artist that she actually bought & finished  as it was rather Slender Reading.

Since I was a child, when the picture above of Kim Novak in her Big Sur Living Room was featured in a magazine , I've had a whole fantasy about Big Sur. There was another photo of Kim sitting up in a bubble bath in her bathroom which jutted out into the sea.
 I was transformed.
I immediately convinced myself that in fact, I looked v. like Kim, as well as my other idol, Hayley Mills & would one day live in Big Sur, or it's Australian equivalent.
Oddly enough, that never happened. And to tell the truth, I'm Quite Glad.  After visiting the place this time I realised that maybe the view out of Kim's windows for much of the year was Pure Fog.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

While at The Thousand Oaks Mall, I spent rather a long time at 'Forever 21'. 
What a Stupid Name. I personally loathed being 21 & the thought of being stuck there 'Forever' is chilling. 
Anyway, it should be called 'Forever 14 & a Half' because most of the clothes are really only fit to be worn by what used to be called, 'Teenyboppers'. Of course, that didn't stop me buying two v. v. cheap clothes items from the 'Sale' rack.
But for me the Main Game with 'F 21' are The Jewels & Accessories. 
Just look at the cute Toy Prada that I paid $4.99 for. I like to think it's a Dead Ringer for The Real Thing that I think retails for $1600. 

When Bad Conversations Happen to Good Talkers

Marge dumped me at Thousand Oaks Mall & drove off in her new Toyota Hybrid.
I was thrilled. Three whole hours to eat a Taco Salad from La Salsa in the Food Court, visit 'Anthropologie', 'Forever21' &  finish off with a  Sad Latte from The Coffee Bean. 
It took forever to eat the Taco Salad.
 On & on I chomped through a Forest of Shredded Lettuce interlaced with Pinto Beans. As I chomped, I read the LA Times Health Supplement on Aging. According to the newspaper, there's nothing we can do about aging except accelerate it. We can't actually slow it down. The Usual Suspects were trotted out, you know - Atkins, Pritikin, Adele Davis et al, who all said that they were going to live forever & then disappointingly  died at the Usual Time. A frail little old man who advocated Calorie Restriction karked it at age 79 from Lou Gehrig's Disease.
 Apparently, mice & now monkeys do v. nicely on a Reduced Calorie Diet. They have fewer age-related ailments & look young, but no one knows if they are Happier.
This is a perfect segue into an encounter I had at the Baggage Carousel at The Tom Bradley Terminal in or is it, 'at'  LAX? Every time I have to enter this terminal I Fear the Worst. And it never disappoints.
I get off a thirteen hour flight. Get through Customs OK even though I couldn't work out where to put my thumb on the Fingerprint Machine. 
Then the Magic Begins. I stand at Baggage Carousel No. 1. next to a late-middleaged woman from Oregon who has been in Australia visiting her daughter. She starts talking to me effusively. She just loves Australian Accents. I turn it on for her. 
Time passes. People are anxious because their bags aren't showing up including mine & the woman from Oregon. There is an announcement. The bags from Sydney are now available from Carousel No.3. We race over to it & find bags from Alaska.
 Another announcement. The bags are now available from Carousel No. 5. Bags from Frankfurt. A further announcement. The bags are now available from Carousel No. 1. People start cheering & applauding. I wonder if the Men with Sniffer Dogs who are circling us will produce Taser Guns & begin shooting.
Whilst all this was going on, the Woman from Oregon was talking to me non-stop about the importance of eating raw foods. I kid you not. She'd had a mastectomy & had refused all medication. 'Just pack it with ice', she told the Doctors before she checked herself out of the hospital & skipped home.
All I could do was watch the baggage carousel go around & around without my bag on it. 
And just when I'd almost given up hope & reconciled myself to the idea that all the Summer Wardrobe that I'd thrifted at 'Bednobs & Broomsticks' was probably lost to me forever, it suddenly appeared.
By this stage, Oregon Woman was on to Parasites.  
'I had a tapeworm the size of a Veloseraptor inside of me, but through eating raw foods, it's gone', she said.
'That's great! Bye' I replied as I wheeled myself off & almost out into the LA Street.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Higher State of Being

Look closely at the cozy couple in the centre of the photo above. You may, or may not call at least one of them a Celebrity. 
It all depends on your definition which we won't go into right now.

If a Celebrity crosses my path, I go into High Alert, as if I've seen a lesser version of God &  desperately have to make contact on order to move up to a Higher State of Being. 
Yesterday, I had such an experience. I was lunching al fresco in Malibu with Marge, her teenage son Eddie & her brother David. We were eating Mexican which is all I eat when in California. 
Suddenly, I saw this couple coming towards us. I  went white, sat bolt upright, got v. serious & quietly exclaimed, 'OMG, there's Rachel Zoe. And her sidekick husband!!!'
Of course, no one knew who I was talking about.  Maybe Marge did. 
You probably don't know who she is either. So I'll tell you. Rachel's a Stylist to the Stars but I can't remember who she's styled. Anyone you can think of that's showed up to The Oscars looking like a Giant Stick Insect is bound to have been one of Rachel's clients. She's also got her v. own Reality TV show, The Rachel Zoe Project that I featured here last December.
Anyway, I was desperate to get a photo of  Me & Rachel. I know, it's really hypocritical considering what I just said about Stick Insects, but I'm Nothing if not Inconsistent, particularly where Celebrities are concerned.
As we helplessly watched Rach & Hubby drift out of sight, Marge suggested we follow them. But by the time I could get out of my seat, they were far ahead of us. 
So, we had to run.
Marge is miles taller than me & alot more robust. While she was athletically running along gripping my camera in true Paparrazzi style, I was pathetically limping behind.
'Just take a picture of them from behind. That'll be enough' I urged Marge.
'Nonsense. Do want to be a Complete Milquetoast for the rest of your life?' she inquired.
'Look, they're going into that shop. Let's follow them'.
I meekly followed, frantically mentally rehearsing how I was going to handle it when Rachel said 'NO'.
Inside the shop, Rachel & Handbag Hubby were gathered around The Bra Section. I lurked guiltily at the front door while Marge barged right over to them.

'Would you be offended if my friend had her photo taken with you?' Marge asked.
'Would you be offended with what I'm wearing right now?' Rachel humbly replied.
Maybe she didn't say those exact words. Neither of us can now remember. But something along those lines.

Whatever Rachel actually said, she was v. gracious, down to earth & cheerful. So was hubby, who seemed used to standing on the sideline out of the way. 
Hope I'm not sounding like I'm now trying to crawl up her arse, Heaven forbid.

I've spent ages staring at the photos. Sadly, I haven't been transported to another State of Being as a result. 
Maybe I should Aim Higher.

Reading Los Angeles

Let's pretend that I'm a Travel Writer.
Los Angeles is an ever-changing Landscape of Huge Signs. Every time I come, I can't wait for Marge to drive me around so I can read them & gauge my mood. 
It's a bit like reading tea leaves, I guess.
Yesterday's reading started out a Little Creepily. Marge bumped me & her brother David off on Wilshire in Brentwood where we caught the Bus that just  appears out of nowhere down to LA County Museum. As I looked out the window, all I could see were ominous signs featuring a dead-like creepy child that said 'Orphan'.  
Quelle Horreur, I thought, or I would have thought if I thought in French. 
Is this a warning , I wondered. And where do you put the question mark in a sentence like that, I also wondered. Perhaps here? Or here?
'Orphan' is one of those words that stand out like Dogs Balls to me. And now I'm wondering about where to put the apostrophe in Dogs. Perhaps at the end of it. 
 Being adopted has given me carte blanche to go Pear-Shaped every time I hear a word that remotely connects to Abandonment. And 'Orphan' spells Abandonment in Big Letters. One of my favourite anecdotes about an Old Hollywood Star concerns Clifton Webb, a clearly gay actor who reached his peak perhaps in the late forties in such Fine Films as 'Laura'  & 'Cheaper by the Dozen'. Perhaps you have never heard of him, so you just have to take my word for it that he was  Fairly-Big  inasmuch as an Slightly Effete Pansy could be back then. Or maybe even now.
Anyway, Clifton was devoted to his Elderly Mother. They lived in Hollywood together & were famous for hosting Legendary Lunches every sunday that all the rich & famous attended. 
Of course Clifton's Mother eventually died & the lunches stopped. It was inevitable. He felt utterly abandoned & never got over it even though Mum was ancient & he was sixty-two. 
From that time, Clifton became known as The World's Oldest Orphan.
I certainly don't want to be like that. 
But then later, Marge picked us up from the Museum & we went driving along Fairfax towards Sunset. I suddenly came across the 'This is My Town'  sign & my mood immediately changed. 
Of course, LA is my town. I'm at home. Kind of.

By the time I came across the 'Do You Grunt?' sign, I was positively kicking back.

And when I discovered 'Hooray', I was euphoric.

Monday, July 6, 2009

So Much to Tell, but Not the Strength to Tell It

Have got soooo much to tell, but not the Strength to Tell It.
First, ever since I finished school for the term, which was last Thursday, I've been sick with Toy Swine Flu. It's been Utterly Revolting. Lying in bed like some Old Rotting Dowager whose servants have deserted her. Being forced to eat a huge plate of out-of-date spaghetti with absolutely no sauce on it. Finding a hard-as-a-rock block of Rogue Parmesan that had been hiding in the fridge & cutting it into slivers & mixing it into the pasta. Being amazed when the cheese didn't melt. 
At the same time , my daughter was regaling me by phone with Tales from Her Tasty Kitchen. Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Cocoanut Milk. 'Little Ears' Pasta with Field Mushrooms. Pan-fried Haloumi with lemon & chili. 

Anyway, I am Slightly Better today & I hope I'll be Even More Better tomorrow because I'm flying off tomorrow night to Los Angeles to spend time with MBF Marge & her family in Thousand Oaks, California. It's my possibly 24th visit. 
Ask me anything that you want to know about 'ol Thousand Oaks, & I'll tell you. It's in the Conejo Valley, which means Rabbit or maybe Hare. I believe that the place is absolutely brimming with celebrities, although I've never seen any. Marge once sat in a doctor's waiting room with Mickey Rooney. I like to imagine that Lisa Marie Presley who I have a Slight Fascination with, lives close by. 'Hopalong Cassidy', which was one of my favourite shows when I was a kid, was filmed in the hills of Thousand Oaks. So was 'Zorro'. Oh, and of course, 'Mash'. Some of the streets were named after television shows of the early sixties. Marge once lived in 'Big Sky Drive', which was the name of a show that my parents regularly watched. Thousand Oaks is about twelve miles inland from Malibu. 
For the past few weeks, I've been frantically collecting summer clothes from 'Bednobs & Broomsticks'. I've got Quite a Stash. So, most days I'll be posting Northern Hemisphere Clothes on my flickr & blog.  Hope you can wait.

Before I go, perhaps you're wondering why I posted a pic of Queen Victoria. You may have thought that she perfectly went with my Toy Swine Flu Moan. You'd be wrong.
Last week when I was visiting my friend Maud Lone Star at a quaint inner-west suburb, I found Queen V hanging over the Court House. I couldn't believe the synchronicity. Only that day, I'd been examining  the sad lines on the side of my mouth which I believe are technically called, 'Marionette Lines'. Or maybe 'Naso-Labial Folds'. But they should be called 'Sad Clown Lines'. Anyway, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Queen V. Note the way that the Cruel Sculptor has etched them into her face. Not to mention the Jowls & Double chin. No wonder the poor woman went into mourning for the last fifty years of her life.