Friday, December 30, 2011

Xmas Cards I May or May Not Have Sent

As Far as Possible, Dear Reader, Holiday Greetings. 
I hope you didn't feel too guilty about stuffing yourself with Seasonal Treats or too resentful if you didn't. I don't think I'm painting an overly rosy picture of my Internal World if I tell you that I seemed to avoid both of those feelings over the Holiday Season. It's just the rest of the year that I've got to work on.
Today's blog entry is aiming to be about Xmas/Holiday Cards that I May or May Not have sent. Of course I use the word 'aiming' because I'm always fighting a constant battle with The Blog Itself who, as regular readers know, has a Mind of It's Own.
Anyway, let's push on.
Look above at Card #1. I made this card for my Boss, The Head of English & I did actually give it to her. She totally loved it in a way that I've never seen her love anything else that I've done before (like mark 68 Year 12 Essays on King Lear over a weekend) You see, Head of E has been planning to own a cat for some time, so I thought I would find an appropriate picture of one & include some of my all time favourite Cat Names.
I thoughtshe'd love Kafka. Or perhaps Shazbot. But no, she liked Jack the Cat who didn't even feature on the card.
 Xmas Card #2: I made this card for the  the Deputy Headmistress who dresses v. stylishly from a wardrobe largely purchased from Netaporter. I do hope that she didn't think I was being Too Forward or perhaps Over-Familiar because I did actually give it to her.
I totally agree with with Uber Style Elf, Simon Doonan (Barney's Creative Director & author. Do look him up) who says that we should all wear our best outfits everyday & not leave them in the wardrobe to rot. That's what I try to do although sometimes it doesn't look like it.
I seem to remember that Iris Apfel that V. Elderly Style Guru who always looks to me like a Fabulously Dressed Preying Mantis but in a good way said something similar recently. I think it caused an outcry because she said that most people looked really dreadful & needed to make an effort. In fact, here's what she said on Huffpost, "Now when I walk down Fifth Avenue in the summertime I just want to throw up. It seems that the fatter and uglier people are, the fewer clothes they wear. " 
I personally would not say such a thing but you can see that I'm not above quoting it.

Xmas Card #3: Here's a card that I was busting to send to that Special Someone but sadly  didn't.

Drat. Sometimes I dislike Blogger Intensely. Try as I might, It won't let me type between the Chanel Card & the Le Tour Card. So I'm just going to have to press on regardless. I hope you'll stay with me & not give up.....
Not a Xmas Card #4: This is a cover of a book I discovered in the bookshop about Chanel. So it's not Officially a Xmas Card, although I could definitely turn it into one but it's a bit late now. Perhaps next year.
Anyway, I loved the cover because it uncannily looked like a Quilted Chanel Bag. And I just had to covertly photograph it using my favourite iPhone app, Hipstermatic. Luckily, the shop assistant didn't catch me & dress me down in front of everybody in the shop which would have  included Paul Keating, our ex-Prime Minister who had just dropped in to check on the sales of his latest book.
Xmas Card #5: Reclaim La Tour. I gave this card to my daughter, Maeflower. Regular readers will know that I have a Special Affinity with the Eiffel Tower even though I haven't been to Paris since 1974. But I guess that half the world may feel a special affinity with it right now because its everywhere.
Haven't you noticed?
I don't honestly think that it is possible to go into a Gift Shop anywhere in the World & not find  dainty little Eiffel Tower Earrings or Eiffel Toaster Racks or  Decorative Eiffel Clothes Pegs.
Anyway, my special connection with Eiffel is that Maeflower bought a giant one for me from the top of the tower when she visited Paris on a School Excursion when she was in Year 10. She lugged it all over Europe & proudly presented it to me when she arrived home. Sadly, I no longer have it for reasons that are too painful to tell.
(I wonder if it is really La Tour & not Le Tour? I do hope its feminine & not masculine, but I guess a tower looks more like a Man than a Woman, doesn't it?)

Xmas Card #6: There's a Hundred Thousand Angels By Your Side. I made this card using an old German Xmas Card I had lying around. And I gave it to a v. religious person. And I got the title from a song they play during my Body Balance Class at the gym.
I do hope that there's loads of Angels at Your Side this Holiday Season & Always.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

As Much as Possible, Happy Holidays

 Hello & Welcome to a V. Quick Holiday Show & Tell. 
Here above is my Holiday Card to you. I hope you like it. I have unwittingly used Advent Colours as I must be unconsciously plugged into the Catholic Liturgical Calendar. All these years working at a Catholic School is finally paying off in Undreamed of Ways!
I'd totally love it if you found a way of passing this card on to your friends & loved ones. I'm sure you have many of those. At this time of the year people love to talk about how they hate Xmas & how everyone behaves weirdly & fights with everyone & then they moan about how commercial it is or how meaningless it is because they're not religious & it's too hot to eat turkey or they're allergic to shellfish  & they've always hated plum pudding & anyway they're on a diet.
I personally Adore Plum Pudding. In fact, as I type, I have a homemade one stylishly wrapped in a smart designer tea towel sitting in the fridge made for me by my friend, The Ex-School Nurse. I will not be serving it at any of my Xmas Celebrations because I plan to eat the whole thing myself over a number of weeks.

 Of course the School is now shut for the Holidays. And not a moment too soon. All year, I have valiantly attempted to behave like the Now Deceased Queen Mother (my Behavioural Role Model)  at school which means  sucking it up & waving & smiling at everyone when I really wanted to smack many many people across the face with a Wet Flounder. Sadly, the pressure of doing this day after day starts to build up.
Luckily, I had an Escape Valve, or whatever it is that allows you to let off steam & show your true emotions in a Safe Way. It was a simple Twelve Days of Xmas Staff Decorating Contest which I embraced with gusto. Because I rarely, if ever win anything (although I did win a $25 David Jones gift voucher at the Staff Xmas Luncheon) I didn't win the contest. I am not blaming this on the fact that a v. Elderly Nun judged it.
Nay..... who could ever compete with the Perpetually High-Fiving & Whooping Sporting Department who turned their staff room into Santa's Workshop complete with a log fire projected onto the wall from someone's computer?
I, of course, sensibly used my absolute Favourite Action Figure Dolls - Action Men who always look Festive whatever the occasion.

 One thing I've never told you is that since childhood, I've always wanted to be able to do the splits. Sadly, even as an eight year old I couldn't. That was one of many disappointments that were to follow.
Like not being able to water ski the first & only time that I tried.
Or hula hoop.
Or sing like Dusty Springfield or Barbra Streisand. At least I have a nose a bit like her.

 Here I am celebrating my new Holiday Decorations featuring Poitsettias, chilis, blue sparkly Xmas leaves & some Plastic bananas & grapes. Everything, just like me is, Holding Together by a Mere Thread.
But at least we're still standing.

 And here's some of my Sunday Nite Regular Dinner Guests. Carlotta is taking the photo. We're all pretending to laugh. You'd never know.
AJ is channelling Emanuelle Alt (French Vogue) & I'm trying to brighten up my thrifted Wayne Cooper black lace dress with huge shocking pink earrings. Hunter & Tyler look their usual Uber Wonderful Selves.

 I found an old Xmas Card sent to me by Jackie O lying around at home. I'm going to re-send it to Peter, from my favourite Potts Point cafe, Zinc as he so loves Jackie.

Lastly, I couldn't help but show you one of my Fairly New Pastimes - photographing pages from books in bookshops with my iPhone using  the More Lomo app. I do love the thrill of capturing the picture whilst  the sales assistant is not looking. This page is taken from a fab book which is in every book shop at the moment.  It features Meaningful Quotes from The Wizard of Oz.
You could live your life according to that book & I'm sure many people do. There are probably thousands of Wizard of Oz Self-Help Groups dotted across the Globe in many strange & unlikely places. Like perhaps near Scott's Hut in  Antartica.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Curse of Man Made Fibres

Memory Lapses or Am I Just Making Up My Life As I Go Along?
I've spent the last week trying to remember if this is the second or third Market Stall that The Ex-School Nurse & me have had this year. It certainly feels like the third.
Anyway, here we are at the beginning of the day. The car is packed full of our clothes & it's v. early in the morning. Note that we are both Unintentionally Thematically Dressed in shades of black & white except I've just realised that I'm also wearing shades of red. Ex-SN is wearing a beautiful silk dress she had made in Vietnam & a Mother of Pearl Dinosaur Designs necklace.
I'm wearing Top-to-Toe Synthetics which is one of the reasons that  My Clothes aren't that attractive to Potential Buyers. But More about that later.
Atlas Ears
.I'm also wearing enormous black Chandelier Earrings  I recently purchased for $5 at 'Lovisa' in Bondi Westfield. Even though it looks like my Lobes are carrying a Large Load, seriously, I didn't even realise I was wearing them except when I moved my head suddenly & they smacked me in the side of the face. Luckily, no bruising occurred.

The Ex-SN is uncannily lucky with parking spots so of course we got an all day parking spot almost directly outside the Rozelle Markets. Every time I am in the car with her, it's like The Parting of  The Red Sea - a car spot always spontaneously opens up, only Moses or Charlton Heston isn't there to oversee the proceedings. Ex-SN does it all herself.
I digress.
Feeding Frenzy
As soon as we schlepped our wares to our designated spot in the Market Grounds, we were invaded by hoards of permanent stall holders, above, desperate to rifle through our bags, pluck out a few choice items, pay a v. modest price for them & them re-sell them at five times the price. You'd think that this would annoy us but it doesn't. We enjoy the attention & don't care a fig who buys our stuff.

This lovely lady is wearing a hand painted dress that a friend made for her. She's holding up one of my Man Made Fibre Tops in the hope that it might fit her as that shade of blue is her favourite colour. Sadly, even though I totally willed it to, it didn't fit her. I was crushed.

I spent large chunks of the day channelling my New Hero, Bill Cunningham & taking photos of people who I thought looked interesting. I just loved the Dusty Pink Sequinned dress worn above by that Beautiful Person.

And I loved the way this young woman (I dare not use the term, 'Lady' because the Advanced Style blogger got heavily chastised by another blog for calling his subjects, Ladies) is wearing her Chanel Bag......

....and and I also loved how this Young Woman, above (is it too limiting or discriminating to call her a Baby or perhaps, dare I say, a 'Toddler'?) is wearing her jewels. BTW, this is the only age group that can get away with wearing Crocs.

But my total favourite look of the whole day was worn by Liv, above who just took my breath away with her unusual combination of flowers & colours & jewels & big smile.

Here she is again, above, with her mother carrying An Important Message over her shoulder.

Another Mother & Daughter combination wearing complementary shades of green. Honestly, Joan & Christina Crawford couldn't have done it better.

I was v. impressed with people's Sun Hygiene. I have a difficulty in wearing hats as I'm convinced they make my Slightly Hooked Nose look more prominent.  Perhaps I should carry a Stylish Parasol like the Fab One, above.

I gushed all over this Person. I loved the Red Camellia sandals & the hat. I wanted to rip the sandals off her feet & put them on my own. But I just took her photo instead.
BTW, have I told you that since I seriously started wearing Other People's Shoes in a range of sizes, that not only have I been bothered by Corns but also it appears that my feet have grown by at least a size? What a phenomenon, although I have been Reliably Informed that as we age our Noses, Ears & Feet grow.

Even though many people were brightly dressed to celebrate an Uncharacteristically Sunny Late Spring Day, I noticed Truckloads of Black, like this Person, above. I  loved her Pared-Down Minimalist Look accessorized only with the Magnificent Plait. And I was tempted to spell 'Pared- down' as 'Peared-Down' but resisted the urge. Such Control in the face of Such Temptation.

I've saved the Best Dressed to last. This wonderfully clad Pomeranian, below who calmly sat on a table while her owner set up her Plant Stall, stole the show. No wonder the word Dog is God Spelled Backwards. 
By about 3pm, the thunderstorm that had been predicted for lunchtime began with a large fanfare of falling leaves. We took this as our cue to pack up. Ex-SN had her usual Bumper Day. I was Less Successful owing to my Man Made Fibre Handicap. But you see, I must wear Synthetics because I lack the Necessary Ironing Skills.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dyspeptic Comfort Zones

 Good Morning, although it probably isn't morning when you read this. But it is for me.
Writing in the morning is soo Out of My Comfort Zone as I usually write in a frenzy at nite while desperately trying to beat the clock before My Official Bedtime arrives.
And..... I'm not really sure if I do actually have a Comfort Zone at all...... but that's a whole other story.
As it's the morning, I am in the School Hall sitting amongst a  large gaggle of senior students who are supposedly studying for an assessment task that they will complete later today.
A student just came up to me & asked me to tell her the meaning of 'Dyspeptic'. I obliged. She thanked me profusely & went back to her desk. It occurred to me that 'Dyspeptic' totally describes my mood today.
I now realise what is happening. Della wants me to write about Comfort Zones & Dyspepsia.
But I don't. Instead, I want to write about how I'm having yet another Clothing Market Stall with my friend The Ex-School Nurse on Sunday at Rozelle Markets & how I'm ruthlessly throwing out Semi-Cherished Items such as this Vintage Handbag, shown Above & Below.
There's Two Things that I want you to note about the pictures:
1. I have photographed them using the More Lomo app on my iPhone. This week I saw some photos using this app featured in an old issue of Yen Magazine that I retrieved out of my building's Recycling Bin.
I wonder what the correct name is for someone who almost falls in Head First into large Garbage Bins whilst desperately searching for discarded magazines? A Bin Diver, perhaps?  Slightly lame.
Of course I just checked with The Oracle, Wikipedia. It's called Dumpster Diving. Whilst I do like the repetition of the 'D' sound, it's not really correct because I don't believe we use the term 'dumpster' where I come from.  We call it a 'Skip'. God knows why. Anyway, I wasn't actually diving into a dumpster. It was one of those green garbage bins that  go to just below my bustline & I'm not technically a dwarf. If the bin was a dress, it would be an Empire Line.
I must move on before I Drown in my own Detail.
1(a) I must say that I ever so slightly recommend the More Lomo app. I loved the effect that it created with these photos, particularly as I took them v. quickly without much thought. You'd never know.
BTW, don't bother reading all the comments that disgruntled users have posted about More Lomo. They're just having a whinge.
2. Look closely at the Gold Gucciesque clasp on the handbag. I can't tell you how much time I've spent gazing at Gucci Logos on Google Images. At this stage, I have abandoned any slight tinge of hope  that the bag is a vintage Gucci.
Yes, I have Offically Let this One Go, although I don't want to be like that family who sold the lost Da Vinci painting for 45 pounds at Sotheby's in 1958 & now that  it's had six years of v. detailed cleaning & restoration is authenticated as a genuine Leonardo. And priceless.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Me & Bill

Hello & Welcome to Me & My Classroom Copying Bill Cunningham New York.
The above statement probably won't make much sense to you if you haven't at least heard of 
Bill Cunningham New York, the documentary.  Then again, much of what I say may not make much sense to you, but you may at least Skim Read it anyway. Of course it always makes Perfect Sense to Me which, after all is all that matters.
Spotting a Psychopath.
Ooooo..... I hope I'm not sounding too much like a Narcissist or perhaps, dare I say, a Psychopath.
Last nite, over a splendid Birthday Dinner at 'Zinc' for AJ, Lady Di, a local friend, told us a chilling story of her now Ex-boss, who behaved so much like a psychopath  in the workplace that she was fired & escorted off the premises. While Lady D was describing The Psychopath's  behaviour, I was mentally ticking off all the characteristics we had in common:
1. considered herself an artist/photographer;
2. Had strict rules for life like always rub blockout on your cleaveage & eat broccoli;
3. Fancied herself as a singer.
4. Reminded people of Bette Midler.
5. Had an office that was adorned with Photographic Portraits of herself, sometimes in multiples as if Andy Warhol himself had taken them.
Sadly, I share a number of those characteristics but I'm not going to tell you which ones, except to say  that someone told me recently that Bette Midler would be far more suited to playing me in My Biopic than Meryl Streep.
Anyway, back to Bill Cunningham's Documentary. I totally loved it & I'm sure you would too.
In a Nutshell:
Bill is v. old. He lives in NYC.
As a young man, he made hats. And then he was drafted & was sent to Korea.
He has never had a romance.
He totally loves fashion but doesn't wear it himself. Instead, he wears a kind of French Smock which makes him look like an Aged Warehouseman.
He takes photos of people wearing interesting outfits mainly on the streets of NYC. They are published in his regular page in the NY Times.
He is not interested in celebrities which is such a Huge Relief because I'm not really interested in what they wear myself even though I slavishly watch 'Fashion Police every week.
I'm now realising that there is far too much more to say about Bill Cunningham so the whole Nutshell Thing is a disaster. Just go watch it yourself. You can download it off  iTunes I think.
Of course, as soon as I got home, I feverishly began making my own version of  Bill's Movie Poster. Perhaps this makes me a Narcissist.
Anyway, its dangerously close to my Official Bedtime & I must hop into a steaming bath liberally sprinkled with Epsom Salts which is my Panacea for Every Ache & Pain & God knows I've got a few because I went to Boot Camp this afternoon & skipped a little too rigorously. Oh, if only there was Epsom Salts for the Soul.........

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There's Nothing Fascinating About Fascinators

 Apparently last nite was Halloween. I thought that it was last friday. Clearly, no one Tricked or Treated or even Grunted around my neck o'er the woods.
The photo, above taken by Maeflower, was the closest I came to Halloween if you don't count the five or so houses I drove past in my car sporting windows dripping with Enormous Fake Cobwebs that only a spider the size of a rottweiler could build.
In case you're wondering what the photo is of, I'll now tell you:
They're a Little Gaggle of Witches Fingers Cookies baked by M.Flower in honour of Halloween. I wonder what the correct Collective Noun is for them?
A Wand of Witches Fingers, perhaps? But maybe it's fairies who wield wands & not witches. I'm not sure.
A Cauldron of Witches Fingers? That's more like it.
Sadly, I didn't get to taste them, just to look at them via iPhone, so I can't tell you what they were made of. AJ, Maeflower's Godmother thought that they were broad beans filled with jam. What a Lame Guess. My money is on Marzipan with an almond as a fingernail.

 OK, so we're done with Halloween.
Next up is the Melbourne Cup. That was  today. I remembered this morning as I was trotting down the hill to school when I gazed in the window of 'Booty', the local shoe shop & I saw the Toy Horses. Of course, I immediately felt Inappropriately Dressed because I wasn't wearing a Fascinator or some hideous Floral & Feathered Headpiece which would accentuate my resemblance to a parrot.
But perhaps you're From Outta Town & are not familiar with The Melbourne Cup. Every time I go to LA I'm constantly asked by any number of sales assistants & waiters if I'm from 'Outta Town'. How do they guess?
Anyway, if you don't know, The Melbourne Cup is a boring Annual Horse Race that the whole of Australia supposedly stops for at 3pm on the first Tuesday of every November. I certainly don't stop for it. In fact, today at precisely 3pm I was ordering two takeaway lattes from 'Zinc'.
Even though it's in Melbourne, Sydney likes to pretend that they're part of The Melbourne Cup too. Women all  wear Fascinators. Work places have Sweeps. And there's Big Boozy Lunches that go into the Nite.

This, above, is what I did today instead of attending a Big Boozy Lunch. It was much more fun. Note, I'm wearing a thrifted Real Diane Von Furstenberg silk wrap dress that sadly has a 'Made in China' tag on it, which Slightly Cheapens it for me.  The big gold chain that could be mistaken for something a large Boxer Dog might wear came from a Toy Mark Jacobs handbag. The scarf is a Toy Hermes. But I'm Real.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shamelessly Copying a Design Blog

Bonjour & Welcome to My Friend, The Ex-School Nurses' Home. 
Yes, this blog entry is my attempt to shamelessly copy what is known as a 'Sneak Peak'  from one of my favourite blogs, Design Sponge.
I rarely, if ever mention Other Blogs. It's as if I'm Alone in my Own Special Section of the Bloggosphere, although I would prefer to call it The Bloggoverse. OMG, I just coined yet another term, although I can't actually remember what the other ones are.
Note to Self: From now on, You must, repeat, MUST keep Strict Records of any new terms You coin.
Bloggoverse sounds soo much more poetic than bloggosphere, don't you think? And of course, I'm The Abandoned Princess of The Bloggoverse, a Middleaged Rapunzel-like creature trapped in a doorless tower with hair that sadly isn't quite long enough to be used as a ladder for the Middleaged Handsome Prince to climb up & rescue her. So, she's stuck writing Blog Entries for ever.
Speaking of Towers, look above at the Gigantic Tower of Bangles cleverly made from an  Old Leg of a Chair that Ex-SN has assembled.

This display adorns the Long Hallway of her home. And most of the adornments are by Dinosaur Designs,  my Almost Favourite Jewellry Brand even though it doesn't quite go with the Toy Chanel Flight Attendant Look I've been sporting lately that I'm slightly frightened  makes me look too much like Someone's Mother even though I am Someone's Mother. And proud of it. But I still think of myself an an Ingenue.
 I digress. It's that Damn Blog Della. I tell you, it's always had a  mind of it's own. Clearly, it wants to talk about My Adventures With Aging when I want to conduct a tour of Ex-SN's home.
But I win. Because I'm Real & Della isn't. Perhaps.
Back to Decorating. I just love that little coloured 30's dish on the side. It's those little touches that count.

A close up of all the Jewels. When I saw them  silently glistening in all their Organic Flintstones Splendour, I wanted to quietly load them into my Toy Jimmy Choo Knapsack & take them home. But I resisted the urge knowing that if I did, our friendship would be over. And I need all the friends I can get.

I just loved the pair of vibrant Still Lives, above, painted by a young artist friend. Has it ever occurred to you what a strange coupling 'Still Lives' is? OMG, my head is suddenly swimming with Layers of Meaning! It's probably due to the fact that it's friday evening & I've been hard at it all day with 'Educating Rita' & Oxymorons & Hyperbole & Split Infinitives & I'm busting to get back to yet another rerun of a Poirot Mystery which I've got on 'Live Pause.'

I do love the little drinks tray with the blend of decanters, silver cocktail shaker & the 'Bombay Sapphire' gin right smack in the middle where it belongs. OMG, I totally long for a Gin & Tonic with ice & a slice of lime in it right now. But I'll resist the urge because: 1. It's dangerously close to my Official Bedtime.
                                                                 2. I've just rifled through my Drinks Trolley & I appear to be out
                                                                     of Gin & I'm certainly not going out in the street to buy a bottle
                                                                     at this hour particularly as I'm wearing my Toy Uggs.
                                                                3.  I am a bit of a Wowser. I'll swill San Pellegrino instead.

I was thrilled to find this wonderful Chanel box, below, artfully placed next to a mirror in the bedroom.
You know, if I was ever to get a tattoo which I wouldn't even though a Tattoo Parlour is conveniently located four doors down from my apartment building, I'd get a  'Double C' Chanel logo the size of a twenty cent coin just above the inside of my wrist.
Today while I was trawling through Google Images looking for an authentic Gucci heart shaped crest to compare it to the one on the Toy Gucci Bag I picked up from 'BednobsEtc' on my way home from school, I saw a photo of a young man who had a Gucci pattern lightly tattooed across his entire face which made him look a little like a Human Chess Board. That's taking Luxury Branding to a whole new level.

I've saved the best picture till last, below. It's again another gaggle of 'Still Lives' that work beautifully together. Note the bottom left hand painting which also has some collage elements, is my favourite.
Talking of Favourites, I must leave you with a v. short list of my Favourite Things this week:
- Isaac Mizrahi, the fashion designer said that no one looks any good after Cosmetic Surgery. I'm not sure if he's right. After all, think of Joan Rivers. But it was reassuring to hear it anyway;
- My New Fascinating Woman of Style is Jenna Lyons, the head of J.Crew who is all over the style news this week because she left her husband for a woman. Big whoop. But at least all the coverage of it allowed me to peek at her style which I adore. I now want to wear many more sequins just like Jenna so I can effortlessly combine Nite & Day.
- today was International Teacher's Day. They put on a Big Fat Lunch for us in the Boarder's Dining Room. I ate five different types of dessert & almost an entire vat of cream. And then the President of the P&F got up & thanked us all for caring So Selflessly for their daughters.
- Saw The Devil Wears Prada again. I so loved Meryl Street as Miranda Priestly. Today, over The World Teacher's Day luncheon, I announced to my colleagues that Meryl is the actor most suited to playing Me in The Movie of My Life. Everyone rolled their eyes but didn't bother batting an eyelid when The Duchess suddenly announced that Susan Sarandon should play her in her movie.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Unknowingly Imbibing a Truth Serum

 Beyond the Self
OMG where to start? I've left it that little bit too long & am all Sixes & Sevens about what to say & how to say it.
I know, I'll start at Beyond the Self because that's what written on that Big Building behind Maeflower which happens to be the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Of course it doesn't look anything like a place where all the pictures of the Most Important People in Australia's History are housed. No, it looks like a Storage Facility. You know, one of those places with long corridors with little locked up windowless chambers on either side where people dump & then occasionally visit all their Obsolete Possessions like Clothes Dryers until they summon up the nerve to actually throw them out.
I know all about Storage Facilities. Mr. Ex-Middleaged (remember him?) loved them. It was a way for him to unconsciously  dump all his Unwanted Emotions. 
At one stage, we rented three large rooms in a Storage Facility which cost a staggering $500 a month.Think of all the botox I could have had for that amount.
But I digress. What on earth got into me, I wonder?
M.Flower & me didn't bother venturing into 'Beyond the Self' at the National Portrait Gallery for reasons that I'm sure are obvious. But, at the risk of asking yet another Rhetorical Question, what on earth could it mean? Is there anything beyond the self? Perhaps I should ask a Buddhist.

Here's Maeflower again Cooking in Canberra with Flour. There are many wonderful things you can make with Flour. The Humble Eggplant, for example can be magically transformed  into The Exotic Eggplant Parmigiana  simply by a liberal dousing of flour. And, of course other ingredients which I won't go into now.

 I've just discovered that 'Woman of the Year' with Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy is on. In fact I'm watching it at the moment on mute. But I'm being terribly distracted by Kate's outfits which are totally chic & tailored & kind of paired down which is a welcome relief from looking at recent concert photos of a rather beefy Christina Aguilera wearing No Neck & all Goldilocks on Fashion Police. But that's a whole other story.
  That's the trouble. Lately I've been far too busy watching Million Dollar Decorators & Fashion Police & The Rachel Zoe Project, & Oh, & the wonderful new series of Doc Martin where he has an adorable little newborn baby, to be blogging. And then  of course, there's SuperControlFreakintheKitchen, Donna Hay's, 'Fast Fresh & Simple' show which I totally recommend even if you're Not Australian.
What a  a Deplorable Admission.   I'm too busy watching TV to blog. And I seem to have no problem about Shamelessly Admitting it. Perhaps I need to not only consult a Buddhist but increase my visits to The Therapist from two to three times a week.
OH, but before I drown in a Steaming Pool of Self-Loathing, look at the photo of M.Flower walking along a concrete catwalk with blue water on either side.
She's walking inside a truly wonderful exhibit by American James Turrell. Oh, do click on the link that I soo laboriously organised for you to click on to. It will be totally worth it. I promise.  This was the best sculpture I've ever seen in my Whole Life. It's at the National Gallery in Canberra & is one of his 'Skyscapes'. If you are American, I'm sure there's a Turrell Somewhere Near You. Perhaps in an old disused crater, or in the desert or in Seattle or in San Francisco. I'm sure Darla, you've seen that one.

 Here's Mae gazing up at Something. The other people are more interested in what's in their camera which no doubt is what Mae is gazing at.

No visit to the Gallery is complete without Lunch at the cafe & then a visit to The Gift Shop. We both feel that it's a reward for doing The Hard Yards trawling through all the exhibits.
Note that I'm holding up an Unnaturally Large piece of beetroot which was far too large to fit into my mouth at once & since they didn't provide a knife, I had to nibble at it on the fork like I was a Hungry Mouse attacking a piece of cheese.

 Back in Sydney, I visited The Old Haunts, namely BednobsEtc, my favourite op shop in the whole world. I have a favourite sculpture & a favourite Op shop. Oh, & a favourite food. Corn Chips.
In the photo, I'm trying on a pair of Totally Real Prada Strappy Shoes with Towering Inferno Heels that I later bought for twelve bucks. I'll alert you when I eventually summon up the courage to venture out of the house in them.

 While we are gazing at my feet, I must show you a Fab Gift that my friend, The Ex-School Nurse gave me. Yes, Chanel  Cammelia Flip Flops. Oooo, I'm in Heaven. Sadly, it's not really hot enough to wear them yet. In fact, as I type, I'm still wearing my Toy Ugg Boots even though they are starting to feel a Little Sticky.
Not sure about the Blue Toe Polish, though. Someone whose taste I almost trust saw them & muttered something about Pole Dancers, but perhaps I misheard them.

 As well as receiving the Chanel Flipity Flops, Ex-SN also gave me a magificent Toy Chanel Bag in Real Leather which I haven't had off my arm since I got it. Early last week I took it to Lulu's for dinner where we lined it up next to her Real One. I wonder if you can pick the Real One?
 I also received another gift this week from my friend, Maud Darkstar. I will show it next time. It combines my Favourite  Le Tour Eiffel with My Favourite Obsession, cutting out. I wonder if you can guess what it is?

Lastly, here's me back at school posing like I've just won a Gold Medal at the Middleaged Olympics. I'm clutching my Real Hermes Scarf that I've oft mentioned  I bought for 17 pounds in 1974 when I worked at 'Harrods' in London. It's never been Dry Cleaned. Why  did I mention that? It's a bit like the watching TV admission. Perhaps I've unknowingly taken a truth serum.