Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's All About You

Hello Hello Hello!
Not only am I back from California, but I'm back from Christmas all Shiny like Tinsel.

In memory of Christmas, I've just consumed a sizable portion of v. moist Christmas Pudding that has been sitting in the fridge since I served it on Christmas Eve. I sensibly ate it with Low fat yoghurt which was a slightly jarring experience even though I did my best to pretend that it was Brandy Custard.
Don't think for a moment that I cooked the pudding myself. Absolutely Not. All that fuss & bother making it months in advance & wrapping it up in some dirty rag & then boiling the Living Daylights out of it for hours & hours. It's Sooo Dickensian.
I'm Far More Moderne. I bought it at The Supermarket & popped it in the microwave. Honestly, if you were blindfolded you wouldn't have known. Trust me.

Scroll back to the First Photo. I took it whilst I was being driven along Hollywood Blvd by my friend Marge. When I go to LA I like to take pictures of billboards from the car. It's a Huge Challenge, rather like scoring a parking space in 'Westfield' on the first day of the After-Christmas Sales.
Perhaps you may think I'm being a trifle fanciful, but I do think that the billboards in LA speak to me personally. And 'It's All About You' is one of my all time favourite sayings. Except that I say, 'It's ALWAYS All About Me'.

And talking About Me, here's all the stuff that I had to pack into my suitcase to take home.
Let me walk you through it. At the front are wrapped gifts for Marge's friends & family that I Slightly Resentfully took home. Never mind that some of them were for me & Maeflower.
I must now resort to a Numbered Point:
2. Four round Xmas Decoration Globes from 'Cost Plus';
3. A Xmas Card featuring a fifties Mum & kids around the Tree opening their gifts with the caption, 'Now wasn't the best time to tell the kids that they were Jewish'.
4. A book by Maira Kalman, 'The Pursuit of Happiness' which I'm slightly sour I didn't write.
5. A 'Pottery Barn' bag
6. A H&M Bag.
7. A 'Barnes & Noble' Bag.
8. A lighter in the shape of a lobster.
9. I'd better stop now. It's getting a Little Tedious.

Here's Marge wearing her vintage Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress with a vintage bracelet I gave her some years ago & a bird necklace she purchased with me at 'Forever 21' which I like to call 'Eternal 21'. I, of course bought one too. We don't mind having the same stuff. It never looks the same on us anyway. I look like a Smurf next to her.

And talking of Smurfs, here I am in the Salvation Army Depot in Thousand Oaks sitting on a v. interesting & lush looking velvet chair that Marge actually bought & has now safely installed in her front parlour.
I am excitedly wearing a genuine 'Dorothee Bis' pure wool dress that I had purchased the previous day at the Thousand Oaks Hospice Thrift Shop, a shop that I had been told that there was never anything worth buying in it. So, imagine my Utter Glee when I found this item at an astonishing 60% off ,which made it $1.60.
You may notice that I'm smugly dangling a 'Coach' handbag in my fingers. Never a particular fan of 'Coach', I casually picked it up & began a thorough inspection to see if it could possibly Be Real. My hopes were raised when I discovered a little pouch inside containing a set of rosary beads. Surely a practitioner of the Rosary wouldn't use a Fake, I mused?
Anyway, I've convinced myself that the bag is Real. While standing in line at the checkout, an enthusiastic shopper loudly asked me how much it was. I said 50% off $15. She said that she saw one in Ventura that day for $70. I suppressed the urge to clap my hands together in glee.
Later, I rushed off to the 'Coach' shop in the Thousand Oaks Mall & purchased a little 'Coach' dangly thingy. I'm not sure what their Technical Name is. A Handbag Charm? Anyway, whatever it is, it's Adorable.

Not Technically in Paris.
Marge is showing off some more of our purchases from 'Forever 21'. This one is a pendant with the Eiffel Tower on it. Everywhere I go, I see Eiffel Towers even though I'm Not Technically in Paris. Is it a sign?
I'm now toying with the idea of taking French lessons at the Alliance Francaise.
Note how I'm not wearing any make up. And I'm wearing a daggy grey top. Talk about Fearless.

I loved this window display at a shop in Malibu. I do soo love polar bears although I do believe that they will eat you if they're hungry enough.

Fluro Pink Like a Highlighter Pen.
Finally, I'm shopping at Olvera Street in downtown LA. I go there every year. Always to the same shop. And basically buy the same stuff. We're done in half an hour.
But that's not why I'm showing you the picture. Look look at the sweater. I bought it the previous day. It was $10. Because of the price, I convinced myself that it was Shocking Pink, like you know, Shaparelli Pink. Sadly, when I got it home I realised that it was more 'Fluro Pink', you know, like a Highlighter Pen. I wore it anyway.
Thankyou, ReaderRita for making those fab suggestions for places to go to in LA. Sadly, I was leaving that day. But manyana.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Never Booking in Advance

You'll be relieved to hear that I read in the LA Times that Bing Crosby is making a comeback. Up until now he's only ever been wheeled out at Christmas Time. Now it looks like we're going to be hearing from him all the year around.
The first film my mother took me to see was 'High Society'. Bing was in it. It must have been 1955. I must have been two. How ridiculous. Fancy taking a two year old on their first ever movie outing to watch a whole lot of grown ups in party clothes swill martinis & fight with each other.
Not that Disney's 'Snow White' was much better. Boring whiny Victim Snow White never has a Costume Change for the entire length of the film. Oh maybe when she's in the Glass Coffin.
But that's a whole other story.
We're talking about Christmas. Look at Me & Marge above in the frontyard of her son's girlfriend's house. It had totally been transformed into the North Pole complete with Polar Bears. You can see from the expression on my face that I was stunned. Marge is kindly petting the bears.
Here's a window display from The Gold Bug, a shop in Pasadena we visited. The Giant King Rodent was a real Conversation Piece. I was not moved to want to purchase it, although I'm sure there are many people who are just aching to own one. I felt the same way about the stuffed goats in the window display below.
But there were many other wonderful & amazing things there. I do recommend a visit.

Back to More Historic Houses. It's my last full day here in LA & as I type, Marge is scouring her computer for other Historic Houses for us to visit. She found one, The Foster House in Ventura, but it sadly burned down in August.
We thought about going to 'Lotusland' in Montecito, but of course you have to book in advance, something we rarely, if ever do.
I wonder what my life would have been like if I had Always Booked in Advance?

This is me impersonating Crazy Paving outside the entrance of Historic Adamson House in Malibu. Oh, that's another thing about us visiting these joints. They're always closed when we go so we have to peer in from outside. This place was supposed to be open, but because it was Litely Sprinkling, the Docents/Tour Guides had shut up shop. We didn't let that bother us. In fact, Marge, who is far braver than me, boldly strode into an Off Limits Area, the Poolhouse, which is where the original owner of the House, Merrit Adamson blew his brains out after becoming depressed because he lost his athleticism at aged 60. This happened in 1949.

I have absolutely oodles to tell you about this place. But perhaps you'd be bored. But I'll tell you a little anyway, because it's My Blog & I can Blog What I Want.
Look look at me impersonating the huge door. I am standing on 'Malibu Potteries' Tiles which are all over it . In fact, Adamson House is known as The Taj Mahal of Tiles.
The place was decked out for Xmas like you wouldn't believe, although not as much as The North Pole House I mentioned earlier. You could go on Nite Tours to see all the decorations lit up, but of course we didn't Book in Advance so we missed out.
I'm wearing a Wool Blazer that Marge bought at the huge 'Salvation Army' Depot in Thousand Oaks. Sadly, it doesn't fit her, but it appears to fit me.

Here's Marge impersonating a Cool Christmas Wreath. Apparently, Mrs Rindge, the mother of the original owner, stuck v. elaborate wreaths on this door. Nowadays, Strict Council Regulations prevent anything being stuck on front doors obviously for Important Safety Reasons. Note that the wreath is hanging from the door frame. That must make it hard for visitors to enter via the front door which was a problem that we fortunately didn't have to deal with.

Food has been Rather a Challenge during my visit. And also lattes. But I have set that all aside & just gone with the flow. I've happily swilled 'Starbucks' Gingerbread Lattes & even eaten Carbs after 5. Here I am proudly showing off my carb intake at a diner in Pasadena that has been proudly serving the same hamburger since 1947. Note my necklace that I bought v. cheaply at 'Anthropologie'. Also note the wearing of sweatbands. What a wonderful way of combining Style with Exercise Clothing.
It is now totally freezing. It has rained constantly for two days. It kept me awake last nite. I have just eaten a 'Trader Joe's' 'Kozy Shack' Chocolate Pudding containing a mere 60 calories even though it's only 9.30 am.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Breezy Travelog with Christmas Lights

It's friday morning in Los Angeles, but the Real Time for Me is actually 4.36am on Saturday morning. That is what the time is in Sydney. So it feels Slightly Fraudulent that I'm waking up & it's only friday. But I can live with Fraudulence. After all, I've lived with it for most of my life.
Oooo.... I must get rid of that Nasty Tone. It simply won't do. This is supposed to be a Breezy Travel Log with Christmas Lights, not a dreary visit down Resentment Lane.
Perhaps a series of Elegant Numbered Points will lighten me up:
1. Everywhere I go I'm surrounded by Xmas Lights. It's like a Major Xmas Pageant in everyone's frontyard. Where do they get the energy & also the storage to make these huge displays, I wonder?
I particularly liked the American Flag I noticed in a house in Santa Monica.

2. Marge & Me went to the wonderful Skirball Center (NOT the way I would normally spell CentRE) on Sepulveda to see Kathleen Turner in 'The Graduate'. That's one of the things that I really love about LA. The Names. La Cienaga, Sepulveda, The 101, The 405, Ventura, Marina del Rey, Venice. I could go on & on. But I won't because I've got to rush because we're going off to The Thousand Oaks Mall to Macy's.
Note I'm wearing a gigantic Toy Gold Necklace that I got before I left at 'Bednobs' I'm wearing it with yet another of 97 year old Aileen's shirts & a little Fairy Skirt which is perfect for a 57 year old woman to wear. Always Nothing if Not Age Appropriate.

3. Here I am quickly shovelling down a Chicken Caesar Wrap at intermission. I totally Loved loved loved the play even though I've seen the film many times, the first being in 1968 straight after I finished an important end-of-year exam called The School Certificate. Back then, I was soo disappointed I didn't look like Katherine Ross who played Elaine, but try as I might, I just couldn't grow long straight black hair or develop a forehead like hers which I thought was brimming with Beauty. My forehead at the time was Brimming with Blackheads. But that's a whole other story.
After watching Kathleen Turner playing Mrs Robinson so Magisterially, I am now desperate to play the role myself, particularly if I was just reading it into microphones which is how they did it. There were no distracting stage directions or props, although there was a v. clever person on the side who made all the sound effects like the clinking of ice in their glasses right on cue. I could never do that job because I'd go to pieces with the worry of it all.

4. Here's Marge eating her Chicken Caesar Wrap at intermission. She looks model like in a v. lovely long shirt.
5. I was dragged along to The Sierra Canyon School where Marge's son, Edmond attends for a talk on How to Sit for the SAT's. I was desperate to attend because I thought that maybe celebrities, like Alec Baldwin or the Kardashian's might be in the Parental Audience. Sadly, they weren't. Instead, there were a whole lot of Concerned Parents.
I was dressed up in my newly thrifted from 'Bednobsetc', Country Road mainly wool double breasted jacket with a large plastic red mouth pin.

6. Here's a back view of me you don't often see. I don't either. I was shocked.
I'm hopping down some stepping stones at The Gamble House in Pasadena. Note I'm wearing grey, a colour I've recently embraced, even though I used to think that it was the colour of fear. I totally love the horizontal striped leggings which are not shown off to their best advantage in this photo, but I'm sure you get the drift. Who said that Horizontal Stripes were Bad?

7. Marge in a Reflective Mood at The Coffee Bean in Malibu. Please note her v. old little pin of a painting of a lady's face. It is a Real Corker.

8. Here's what happens when you don't really believe the temperatures on the stove. This mess started out as four individual Stuffed Apples. But, under the intense heat, they disintegrated. I am now desperate to make the Perfect Stuffed Apples.
9. I just couldn't help but photograph this numberplate while I was on the 405. We were crawling along at a Snail's Pace & Marge saw it.
I'm not sure why we have to LOL, but why not?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Love the Present

Hello & Welcome to a Californian Christmas.
I'm sitting here bristling with excitement because:
1. I'm drinking a can of Hansen's Zero Calories Black Cherry Premium Soda with No No No preservatives, No sodium & all natural flavours. I'm in No Calorie Heaven. I wonder if I can get it in Sydney?
2. I've just come off the freeway where my friend Marge & Me spent most of the afternoon. In between, we visited Pasadena where Marge drove while I took photos of huge Arts & Crafts style houses & wondered what kind of people lived in them. I was totally thrilled to visit the historic Gamble House which was used as Dr. Emmet Brown's home in the 'Back to the Future' series which is one of my all time favourite Triquels.
3. Then we went to H&M. It was like falling into a Black Hole. Honestly, I never thought we would manage to claw our way out of it. We made a number of v. cheap purchases which I will reveal to you in the Fullness of Time.
Now Scroll Back to the Top Photo. It will be Totally Worth It.
Look look look above at the top photo. It's a house owned by an Anonymous Family called The Beckers in Simi Valley in Ca. I was taken there as a Special Treat. Apparently, every Major Holiday, The Beckers go to town Hyper-decorating their modest suburban home so that a whole lot of Free-Loaders like me can trawl over their front yard, ending up at the front door marvelling at the Spectacle. I imagine that the whole family are holed up inside the house seething with resentment at this massive invasion of their privacy & perhaps quietly yelling at each other so that their visitors don't hear. Just imagine, though, if you could hear them. I would soo love it. Polar Bears, Penguins, hot air balloons (yes, there's a v. small one hovering over the house) & Santa all to the tune of a Family Squabble Soundtrack.
But I'm sure The Beckers are absolutely not like that. I'm sure they are generous & kind-hearted. And wanting to give a little Holiday Magic to the World.

Purchasing Jewellry on Sale Sends Us into a Deep Meditative State.
Look at Marge. As she holds the v. cheap Sale Item up to her Throat Chakra, she is transformed. I am the Mere Recorder of her Altered State, a role I graciously accept.
This happened last Saturday nite at 'Anthropologie' at Santa Monica. What a trip.

The Anti-Christmas Elf.
Outside 'The Coffee Bean' at Malibu. This is one of my v. favourite places in LA. It holds Special Meaning for me because it is v. near to where I had my photo taken last year with Rachel Zoe, the Red Carpet Stylist & reality TV star. It's also where a lot of celebrities are photographed clutching takeaway coffee containers & looking Disassociatedly Dishevelled. Imagine Joan Crawford doing that.
I, of course am dressed up in a whole lotta black & gold chains & pearls. Rather like an Anti-Christmas Elf who could be selling Real Estate on the side.

When I go to Los Angeles, I always look for signs. It's rather hard not to, actually. I particularly loved this one which is currently plastered all over 'Banana Republic's windows. It's soo unselfconsciously spiritual.

Here's my stash of jewels that I brought with me in a plastic 'David Jones' bag. Such an economical traveller.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cats

Christmas Cats
Originally uploaded by middleagedteacher
Season's Greetings, dear Friends, or Perhaps Friend.
Here is a Christmas Card from Me to You. Sadly, I wasn't able to incorporate Hannukah in the card. Somehow, 'Hannukah & Christmas Cats' doesn't really work. Or perhaps I should have just mentioned 'Holidays' instead of Christmas. But 'Holiday Cats' just doesn't do it either. It lacks that special 'Double C' ring to it that 'Christmas Cats' has.
And you might also wonder what a large gaggle of wooden Balinese cats has got to do with Christmas or Holidays?
Absolutely nothing, except that they look kind of festive.
Please feel free to send this card on to your friends & family if you can be bothered. Just know that its an Original Della Street Dreaming Photograph.
OH, I'm in Los Angeles. That's probably why I mentioned Hannukah. Must hop into the shower because I'm going out soon. Shortly, I will be thrown out of my friend Marge's moving Hybrid Car on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard & Third Street in Santa Monica so that I can go shopping while she works. Hopefully, I'll find "Hennessey & Ingalls' Art & Architecture Bookstore where I might find some hidden treasure.
Can't wait.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


It's saturday nite & I'm feeling a Tad Smug & almost Self-Satisfied, although I have a rather persistent craving for perhaps something sweet like some dark chocolate or better still, a large bowl of vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate sauce & nuts on the top. Or maybe a baked custard or a Bread & Butter Pudding. Or even one lousy little 'Red Tulip' After Dinner Mint. How v. seventies of me!
Stop this now, Blog. It is torture for me & v. boring for My Readers. You see, I'm just a Ventriloquist's Doll, mindlessly typing what Della wants, not what I want.
And do you know what I just did?
That's right. I cracked. Upon the typing of the words, 'Red Tulip' After Dinner Mint, I raced out to the kitchen & scoured the cupboard for some. I just had this vague trace memory that there might be a Rogue Box of them, way past their use-by date of course, lurking behind all the old half-empty fish oil containers that were generously left behind by Mr. Ex-Middleaged.
Sadly, I couldn't find any .
But then I opened the freezer & found one dainty little tub of 'WeightWatchers' Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding. I clapped my hands together with joy, even though there was a stern warning on the silver foil lid that it, 'May contain traces of tree nuts'. Now there's a worry that I hadn't previously thought of.
Anyway, I uncharacteristically cast caution to the wind & spent an agonising minute next to the microwave mentally wrestling with the idea of eating the pudding with full-fat ice cream. In fact, I actually went so far as to almost take the ice cream out of the freezer.
And then I put it back.
God, I feel even more Smug & Self-Satisfied now. I cleverly managed to find a way to Have My Pudding & Eat It Too.
But Victory Over Food wasn't the original reason why I was feeling Smug.
No. It's because today The Ex-School Nurse & her friend Chrissie & Me went Xmas Shopping & I'm nearly done. And it's literally weeks before Xmas. Never in my entire life has this happened before. I've always left everything to the last minute. Perhaps I'm getting better at doing everything. Maybe all those years of obsessively repeating 'Everything is coming Easily & Effortlessly to Me' to myself is Finally Paying Off.

Spoiler Alert!!! If you think you might get a gift from me this Xmas, Don't, I repeat, DON'T read this next bit.
Chrissie knew of a fab 80% off massive warehouse sale of FAmous Brand Name Cosmetics & Perfumes that had been on for two days & was finishing up this afternoon. She'd been there the day before & marvelled at all the Mercedes & BMWs that were queuing up outside the warehouse. Wealth always can sniff out a bargain.
My whole body started tingling the moment the friendly security guard handed me a large plastic sack at the door which I promptly filled with Wrinkle Fillers for my more Mature Gift Recipients, 'Prada' Male Perfume that the assistant assured me was v. similar to Tom Ford Male Perfume that Tyler loves, but sadly they didn't have, lots of lovely smelling things for Maeflower & Azzaro Shaving Kits for Other Young Males. I bought some 'Clarins' perfume which I've covered myself in but I can't smell anything except the remains of the 'WeightWatchers' Pudding.
Must must must hop into bed. But before I go, here's some Numbered Points:
1. Am now on holidays. Our last day was yesterday. I celebrated with my colleagues at the Tilbury Hotel in Woolloomooloo where I drank a Mojito cocktail & followed it up with a vodka, Lime & tonic & followed that up with another one, but fortunately decided to stop after perhaps five mouthfuls because I knew that I'd follow that last one up with throwing up.
2. I go to California on monday.
3. I've bought at 'BednobsETc' an entirely new winter wardrobe especially for the two week trip.
4. I hope I run into Rachel Zoe & hubby Rodger again at the strip mall at Malibu.
5. Not looking forward to not having Potts Point lattes. Instead I will force myself to have non-fat iced coffees at 'Starbucks'.
6. Looking forward to eating almost entirely Mexican food from various outlets like 'La Salsa'.

Oh, in the photo I was Xmas Shopping earlier in the week at 'Macleay on Manning' in Potts Point. Sadly, nothing there was 80% off which would have been an absolute godsend because I bought Trixie a 'Limoges' coffee mug in a delightful green colour. She totally deserves it.
Note my v. elaborate 'Fifty Coins in the Fountain' mess of necklaces wore with a glomesh snake that I adore. What would Joan say, I wonder?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If Middleagedteacher Was Featured in 'Fashion Police'

It is more than Perilously Close to my Official Bedtime. In fact I'm teetering over the side of it.
So, I'll make this quick. I will type Like the Wind. I will throw spelling, punctuation, syntax & grammar to the wind. ......../?!`

My New Default Dinner
It's always good to have a Default Dinner up your sleeve, I find. It stops you from having to think v. hard about what to eat when you can't think of anything.
Some nites I just know that its Skinless Salmon Nite. Or Lamb Forequarter Chop Nite . Or Vegetable Frittata Nite.
But when I'm unable to tell what kind of a nite it is, I just make my Default Dinner. It saves loads of time & agonising indecision at the supermarket which almost always leads to Dinner Ennui.
Let me walk you through the contents of my Latest Default Dinner. I'm sure you'll find your mouth watering v. soon.
1. par-boiled & then roasted-to-a-crisp chopped potatoes. Rock salt & olive oil. Perhaps some sprigs of Rosemary for Remembrance.
2. fried low-fat Haloumi Cheese strips. Haloumi tastes slightly like rubber but in a good way.
3. Tinned Cannelini beans. Or chick peas. Or butter beans. As long as they look slightly white. Kidney beans remind me of Real Kidneys.
4. Half an avocado mashed with some low-fat yoghurt, lemon & two stalks of spring onions, finely chopped.
5. Sliced Cos Lettuce.
6. Other salad vegetables.
7. Chopped red paw paw. I know now it has another fancier name, but I can't remember what it is. Anyway, its kind of dark orange with smallish black seeds in the middle. I am one of the Silent Minority who really like putting fruit in Savoury Dishes. Many people eschew it.
8. A Mountain of Salt because I'm daring my Arteries to Harden.

It is now after 10.30 pm & I've just wasted all this time banging on about dinner & not mentioning a word about Me n' Joan Rivers n' Fashion Police.
It's not my fault. It's the Stupid Blog's Fault. It casts an Enchantment over me & I become its Willing Puppet. I must, must be stronger. I will be stronger.

So, I'm obsessed with 'Fashion Police'. Every week Joan Rivers & her panel of 'experts' walks us through the previous Week on the Red Carpet. Sometimes, they say really nice things, like how 'Be-uuu-ti-ful' Courtney Love looked & how come she, 'got it soo right for a change', but mostly they say nasty things like Beyonce's legs look like they've morphed into Sausage Skins in those tight Plastic Leather pants. Or Anne Hathaway looks like one of Santa's Helpers at a Department Store who lines up all the kids to sit on Santa's knee. Even though she's wearing a Chanel Babydoll dress with a big bow. Or that Charlize Theron looked like Big Bird in that yellow feathery gown.
Why is it that when I say it, it doesn't sound funny? But let me assure you, when Joan says it, its funny. Perhaps that's the difference between Joan & Me.
Anyway, on last nite's show, Joan said that Poor Anna Wintour looked like a Librarian that was telling everyone to be quiet in that Lanvin dress with the cardie over it. You can see me in it above. I was wearing it as well in a Parallel Universe. I thought I looked pretty damned good in it too.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Slightly Neglected Art of the Lunch Box

Like most of you, I'm fond of eating.
And just to prove it, here is a picture of me eating my Mid-Morning Snack this week.
Let me briefly walk you through it.
Inspired by a group of Year 10 girls who I have dubbed, 'The Green Tea Luncheon Club', I am now officially bringing my own food to school each day. Every week, when I am on what we call in the Teaching Trade, 'Yard Duty', I watch with great interest what emerges from these girls lunch boxes:
1. Green teabags of course. They each pay 50 cents for hot water from the Tuck Shop.
2. Hard boiled eggs, of which only The Whites are carefully chopped up & eaten.
3. Avocados, mashed on the spot.
3. Tomatoes chopped on the spot.
4. Cardboard Ryvita Biscuits.
5. Small cans of tuna.
Honestly, it's a Banquet every day at recess for these girls.
And so it is for me, too.
The most exciting part about my new regime was buying the Lunch Boxes. I bought them at 'Hot Dollar', my almost, but not quite favourite two dollar shop. They're Japanese & they stack on top of each other & they're microwaveable. I've always wanted them. In fact there are many things from Japan that I've always wanted:
1. An ornate Wedding Kimono
2. An entire wardrobe designed by Rei Kawawhatever of 'Commes des Garcons'
3. A Sushi Chef on call
4. A spacious apartment in Tokyo.

Anyway, back to the photo. In case you were wondering, I'm eating chopped carrot served with hommus. Most days, I try to include Another Vegetable as well, as I'm fearful of ingesting too much Keratin & turning yellow. Apparently, you don't have to eat many carrots at all before the yellow begins to set in.

Jewelry Alert.
Note I'm wearing Two Fun Things:
1. Mah Jong tiles as a bracelet. At least I think they're called 'Tiles'. I have never played Mah Jong & will probably Never play it because I am Bad At Games. The only card game I know & remember is appropriately called 'Grab'. And I used to play Pontoon as a young adolescent only because I fancied the boy who played it with me. Story of my life. But that's a whole other story.
2. Large Red Lipped Brooch. What an absolute corker! I bought it the other day, NOT from 'Diva', where I usually buy all my jewels, but at a new shop called 'Lovisa' in Westfield.
Have you noticed that there are lots of cheap jewel shops everywhere now? I'm sure its not just a Sydney Thing.
And they say that Minimalism is about to make a comeback. I pray that it isn't so. I couldn't take it. What would I do? Walk around looking like a Nun in Civvies?
And what would all these cheap jewelry shops do? And what would happen to to all the cheap jewels? Landfill perhaps?
My hands are sweating already, & it hasn't even happened yet.

A Fantastic Christmas Gift Idea If You Like Napoleon.
Trixie Drew, my friend & colleague, has a great Eye. So, when she spied this wonderful Black Wax Candle of Napoleon with a Giant Wick in his hat in a nifty gift store in Bowral, she couldn't resist it.
It's made by the wonderful French Candlemakers, 'Cire Trudon'. I've mentioned them before. They've been making scented candles since Louis the Whatever in such tantalisingly named flavours such as 'The Floors at Versailles' & 'Carmelite Monastery Walls', my two particular favourits. I swear I'm not making that up. And this isn't a paid advertisement. As if anyone would pay for my endorsement.
In case you were wondering, I have artfully placed a small figurine of 'Grommit' of 'Wallace & Grommit' fame in 'Ol Nap's arms. I couldn't resist it.
Don't you think he looks Decidedly Paternal?

Emergency Remedial Thrifting.
Here I am this afternoon in 'BednobsEtc' doing some Emergency Remedial Thrifting straight after I got off the bus from our Annual Speech Day & Prizegiving. Sadly, I had to wear my academic gown for most of the day which makes me & everyone else look like A Human Bat. To compensate, I just had to buy something, but definitely NOT the handmade Eighties Moth Eaten & Slightly Rusty Appliqued Purple Ensemble with Matching Belt I'm holding.
Instead, I sensibly bought a black ruffled shirt that I will be taking to California with me when I leave on December 6. In fact, over the past few weeks, I have been slowly amassing a whole new Entirely Black/ Navy Winter Wardrobe especially for my two week Trip Back to Winter.
I can't wait. There's nothing quite like a Southern Californian Winter.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Upstairs Downstairs

Helen Mirren's Doppelganger.
You may or may not be wondering what I'm still doing at the Rozelle Market.
It's rather cumbersome to explain & I'm sure you're not that interested.
I know that I'm certainly not that interested in telling you.
I'm far more interested in getting back to watching one of my favourite films of all time, 'Gosford Park' which I've paused for the moment.
I hope you've seen it. If you haven't, you shouldn't be reading this blog.
That's perhaps a trifle harsh. I take it back. But seriously, if you haven't seen it, or haven't seen it in yonks, do yourself a favour & watch it.

1. It's directed by Robert Altman which means that everybody talks over each other. Kind of what people do In Real Life, whatever that is.
2. Poor Robert is dead which is a damn shame because I would have liked him to do a sequel - 'Gosford Park 2: The Revenge of Downstairs'.
3. It has my Ideal Cast - Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Eileen Atkins, Stephen Fry, Alan Bates, Richard E (or is it 'F'?) Grant & Dumbledore to name just my particular favourites. The only sour note is that Judy Dench is not in it.
4. I totally remind myself of Maggie, Judy & particularly Helen.
5. It's set in my Absolute Dream Time & location - a large country house full of nasty plummy voiced guests & poor downtrodden servants in 1930s England. No prizes for guessing what group I would most identify with.

Sudoku Dressing.
Here I am with The Ex-School Nurse.
I've really gone Out on a Limb with the Pattern Mixing which is one of my Favourite Pastimes besides having my eyebrows waxed. I'm absolutely convinced that it keeps my brain active, rather like doing a crossword puzzle or perhaps, Sudoku.
Of course, my great fear is that I look like a Tarot Card Reader or a Circus Performer. Not that there's anything wrong with looking like either.
The Ex-SN is wearing an absolutely scrumptuous 'Dinosaur Designs' necklace which is sadly partly obscured by that ungainly lampshade which I hope nobody bought. Drat.

One of the main reasons why I do so like to go to the market is to take photos of Other Outfits.
I loved the look of this Latter Day Mary Poppins Shopper. Her outfit reminds me of two trends that I've noticed lately : 1. The Preponderance of Polka Dots. 2. The long dress.
Although I think this lady looks great, I personally wouldn't wear a long dress. But perhaps if it was a Designer Label that I managed to purchase v. reasonably at 'Bednobs Etc' I might be persuaded. But it would have to be an 'A' list Designer.

I desperately wanted to buy this Man with His Insides Showing on the Outside as I could identify with it. I often feel like my insides are showing.
And I'm getting mightily sick of typing in bold when I didn't ask for it.

But I didn't buy it. Xmas is coming & I want to buy some nice gifts for my daughter Maeflower, who totally deserves a little pampering. And I'm not just saying that to suck up to her. Plus I'm going to California in two weeks tomorrow. And the Australian Dollar has parity with the US Dollar. And I need Dental Work done unless I'm keen to look like something out of 'Hansel & Gretal'.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Gravitas That Fakes Never Have

Bonjour Mes Amigos
Come on a quick Pictorial Journey with me & The Ex-School Nurse! You won't be disappointed. Or bored. But perhaps a little Sad that you weren't with us.
It was yesterday morning at around 7 am when we loaded up Nursey's Four Wheel Drive & headed for Rozelle Markets where we had High Hopes of selling all our Unwanted Items of Clothing. And look at how much of it we had. If only I could get rid of all my Unwanted Emotions so easily. Actually, It wasn't v. easy for me to get rid of the clothes either. But more on that later.
Eyebrow Appreciation.
Look look look at me above with my Freshly Waxed & Shaped & Dyed Eyebrows that scream 'Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee'. Actually not her. More, 'Look at me, I'm Janet Leigh'.
I've just been teaching 'Psycho' to my Year 9 class & all I can look at & admire is Janet's majestically arched eyebrows. My eyes can't keep away from them even during the Shower Scene.
The Strict Eyebrow Regime.
Every four weeks I go to 'The Waxing Diva's' in Bondi Westfield .
And every time I go, it gets More Painful as Roe, the Eyebrow Diva finds more Rogue Hairs on my face to Wax. Eventually, I imagine that my entire face will be waxed.
How will I withstand the pain?

What the Hell? Why, O why am I talking about eyebrows when I'm supposed to be walking you through My Market Stall Pictures?
You know, this is the problem with Della. I'm mentioned this before. But its high time that I mention it again: The Blog has a mind of its own. It wants to run the show. It wants to set the agenda. But you know what? I'm in charge. Not Della.
So its back to Market.

Persistent Polka Dots.
Don't you think that the term, 'Polka Dot' is an Absolute Crack Up? I've never thought of it before. I'm suddenly thinking of neat rows of Happy Peasants on the Village Green with the Matterhorn in the background, madly polkaing to the accompaniment of a a Piano Accordion.
Perhaps it was the earliness of the hour, but when I got up on sunday morning, I was suddenly impelled to pay homage to the Humble Polka Dot. And I'm not sorry. I totally loved wearing this ensemble which was made entirely from Man Made fabrics . Luckily, I don't sweat much.

Arm Candy Rules.
I'm still totally obsessed with loading up my arm with Elacticised Bracelets that mostly feature pearls & diamantes & little cubes that spell L-O-V-E. Usually, I wind them all around each other to form an Interesting Arm Sculpture that often cuts off the circulation. But I couldn't do that at the market as I needed to use my arm.
Not that I don't have to use it on Normal Days.

Here's The Ex-School Nurse looking radiantly unruffled as she unpacks the Unwanted Clothes even though a small pack of vultures are surrounding her.
I must say that it was slightly stressful unpacking everything & throwing it on the trestle tables that are so generously provided by the Market.
(a) My table groaned under the weight of The Unwanted.
(b) I'm sure My Table was too much of a challenge for Most People.
(c) There's always at least One Item that everybody is drawn to & has to pick up & inspect.
And then they put it down. This time, the lucky Unwanted Item was a patterned slightly bubble shirt. After its Fiftieth Rejection, I started to feel quite sorry for it.
(d) Sales were generally slow throughout the day. Which was absolutely NOT what I imagined would happen.
(E) At the end of the day, I had to stuff most of it back into the bags & schlep it back into The Ex-SN's car.
(f) After an exhaustive Post Mortem, I decided that my Presentation & Marketing Strategy Needs to Change.
(g) I had a great time. The Ex-SN gave me a Louis V. satchel that had been kicking around her house for yonks & she thought she must sell. I am totally convinced that it is The Real Deal because it has a Certain Gravitas that Fakes never have. Plus, I have convinced myself that the stitching is a kind of a mustardy colour, which I am told is a Total Giveaway in identifying a real one. Plus Plus, I bought from her a fab pair of Patent Loafers that will be perfect for me when I briefly resume Winter when I go to California in three weeks.

Here's a few Hat People that generously allowed me to photograph them.
I asked one lady who looked a little like a more grotesque version of Eddie in 'Absolutely Fabulous' if I could photograph her . She was head to toe designer-logos: Huge Dior sunglasses, LV silver logo dangly earrings, TWO LV shoulder bags & Dolce & Gabbana jeans. She must have been in her sixties. Not that I'm criticising because that's exactly where I'm heading.
I went up to her & smiled & asked if I could take her photo.
'Why?' she asked.
'Oh, for my blog', I replied.
'What's a blog?'
'You, know, The Internet'.
She kind of begrudgingly agreed & I scampered back to the stall to grab my camera.
Sadly, when I came back she said that she had decided against it because the Sour Woman in the next stall had informed her that I could be 'making money' out of her.
'No problem', I said.

I do love the contrast between the Frank Sinatriness of the hat with the Hippy Peasantness of the cheesecloth blouse.
That's twice in this entry that I've mentioned Peasants.

I'm sure there's an interesting contrast or a juxtaposition going on in the photo above, but I just can't find it at the moment. It must be time for Bed.

This lady, looked an absolute knockout.

So did this one.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Life as an Absessed Tooth

Dear Amigos
It is such a shame that I have a v. strict policy of 'Never Explain Never Defend' because if I didn't, I would begin this post by explaining to you why I haven't posted for what seems like an Age.
Instead, I will just simply say that I have an Absessed Tooth.
I suppose you guessed already because of the pictures which I took myself.
They show all the various Shades of Me as an Absessed Tooth.
In the first photo above, I am imitating a knarled tree in order to distract myself from the Pain.
It didn't work.

The Dawning Realisation.
In the next photo, above, I have seriously moved into Ennui as the realisation has just dawned on me that I Will Have to Go to the Dentist.
Luckily, the dentist, 'Dayman Dental' is conveniently located right next door to my apartment building. Sadly, he is v. expensive. But then everyone tells me that ALL dentists are expensive.
And I absolutely can't put this off. Half of my face has Slightly Ballooned, accentuating my Naso-Labial Folds and making me prone to dribbling.
Libina, my Nasty Colleague says that I look like I have Bell's Palsy.
But none of my students noticed.

An Overdeveloped Gag Reflex.
Here I am above, after I've returned from 'Dayman Dental'.
I'm feeling dazed & slightly embarressed because My Gag Reflex went into overdrive when the dentist tried to shove something in my mouth when he was x-raying it. I just couldn't help it. But the dentist looked utterly disgusted.
Another thing to feel ashamed about.

Lightly Dribbling.
I went to the dentist.
He put me on Double Doses of Anti-biotics.
I'm still slightly swollen & lightly dribbling.
Tomorrow I go back to have the Rogue Tooth extracted.
I hope the dentist plays Michael Buble on his Dental Sound System during the procedure. I know Buble sounds like he's reading from the Phone Book when he's singing a Love Song, but I think that he's the Perfect Accompaniment for a Tooth Extraction. I only hope I can hear over all the drilling.

Oh, even though Pain Prevented me from catching Joan Rivers' 'Fashion Police' this week, I've still got Absolutely Oodles to tell you. And its all worth telling. I promise.
But not now. I have to finish watching a documentary about 'The Importance of Being Earnest' & then take an aspirin & then fall into bed.
But one of the things I will preview is about my Clothing Stall with The Ex-School Nurse that's coming up this sunday at The Rozelle Markets. Please come & visit us if you live nearby. We are going to be conveniently situated close by to a tree slap bang in the middle of the market. I already have some pictures to post as we went to the market last weekend to pay for the stall.
Just like Dr. Frankenfurter, I'm 'trembling with Anti-ci-PATION.'