Friday, December 27, 2013

After All, It's Only a Movie.

I've totally struggled over the title of this Holiday Blog Post, & for good reason. I can't think of a suitably pithy, succinct yet witty way of saying that viewing of old movies over Xmas can really make you feel bad.
Not that I'm spending all my time lying on the couch glued to the rather mean little TV set that's in the corner of the quintessential beach house that I'm staying in with Maeflower & Tacitus in Macmasters Beach.
Far from it.
I've spent hours refining my quintessential beach outfit to ensure the least amount of skin is showing, although I did uncharacteristically wear a bikini top that I purchased in a last minute buying frenzy on Xmas Eve which fell off when I was dumped by a wave. Thankfully no one noticed.

I've fallen over on a bush track in the magnificent Bouddi National Park that is at our doorstep & spent an entire day limping.

I've overtaxed my calf muscles from too strenuously soft-sand trudging along the beach.

I've eaten foods I don't normally allow myself to eat like Meat Pies from a cake shop.

I drank flavoured latte-like hot drinks thinking that they actually contained caffeine only to wonder why after nearly 24 hours without coffee I was starting to feel like I was invaded by Aliens.

I was so engrossed with talking to my BFF Marge on the phone while flicking through my iPad that I didn't notice when Maeflower accidentally sliced the top off her finger whilst making dinner. I didn't even notice when she calmly asked while I was still on the phone if she could borrow a hair tie which I only much later realised she used as a tourniquet to stop the prolific bleeding.

But in spite of all this activity, I have managed to get in some old movies.
Sadly, the traditional Xmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" wasn't shown on the one lousy TV channel available in the beach house. "Jaws" was shown instead.
Hard as it is to believe, I had never actually seen "Jaws". How could I have avoided such a juggernaut for all these years, I wondered.
The answer is simple: the sight of the actor Robert Shaw being devoured limb by limb by a giant blow up plastic shark. For most of my life there would have been absolutely no way I could have viewed that spectacle. I saw it as a mark of maturity, but perhaps more the hardening of my emotional arteries that I sat gripped to the set on Xmas Nite watching the shark relish every tasty morsel. No wonder poor Robert died not that long after the making of the film at the young age of 51.
I was also amazed that I had never heard the classic line, "we're gonna need a bigger boat" which I'm told is up there with all the other iconic movie lines like "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy nite" & "How the hell do I know why there were Nazis? I don't even know how the can opener works" & "Mr deMille, I'm ready for my close up" which are all lines that seems to have summed up my life & possibly yours at various points.

Last nite we couldn't stomach another episode of the reality show, Highway Patrol which features clips of Angry Loners whose faces are pixelated whilst they are giving the finger to police officers after they've been pulled over for such offences as broken tail lights.
So we watched Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" which I found inside my Laptop. We marvelled at James Stewart's beautifully creased neck which was proudly on show every time there was a close up of him kissing Kim Novak, who was 25 years younger than him. Apparently, according to trivia that Maeflower read out, Hitchcock was so enraged by how old poor old Jimmy looked, he never used him again, which is kind of a shame.
But I thought the funniest bit of trivia was when Kim asked Hitch for some kind of motivation for her character & he airily replied with something like, "don't bother yourself with that stuff, after all, it's only a movie", which kind of sums up my life right now.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Shortened, Irreverent Xmas

Seasons Greetings!
But does anyone say that anymore? It sounds so Xmas Card 1958, doesn't it?
And I know that some people loathe the Neutrally Inclusive, "Happy Holidays" as it has been seen as the battle cry for the supposed War on Xmas.

Note that I'm using the shortened, irreverent spelling of Xmas. That's because, Right now I'd love to be on the front lines of that war. I've had a gut load of festive cars with reindeer antlers, & full car parks in Malls, & Jamie Oliver's Xmas Special where I swear he makes Roast Turkey with All the Trimmings Tacos, & not soft shell tacos either. And don't start me on those Xmas songs in Malls again. Every time I hear Bing Crosby crooning "White Xmas" all I can think about is how he used to bash his kids.

From what I just said, you'd think I'm about to spend an Angry Loners Xmas, where I'll roll out of bed on Xmas morn & wander out into the street full of happy families where I aimlessly wander around searching for an open cafe so I can get a Lonely Latte. And then back inside my apartment to unwrap a single serve Woolworths Plum Pudding that I desultorily munch on whilst settling down to watch a "Will & Grace" marathon.

Nothing of the sort. I've got a family beach holiday at McMasters Beach on the Central Coast to attend, loads of new, second hand & re-gifted presents to give, festive food to cook & eat & hopefully a few laughs at not too many people's expense to be had. And of course, the Queen's Xmas Message to watch.
I'm all set, although I hope I'm not being too smug about it.

Here's some photos which hopefully capture the essence of a Della Xmas:

Photo1: Sydney at Xmas. There are no penguins nor snow. Or snowmen. They would immediately melt. In fact, I don't believe that Sydney has ever snowed except perhaps in the Ice Age. It certainly hasn't snowed in my lifetime. Instead, There are native blossoms in full bloom & cake shops full of tempting treats & little dinky old inner city cottages ablaze with tinsel & sullen bedraggled youths weighed down with foam reindeer hats at every street corner.

Photo 2: Xmas decorations hanging from non-reindeer antlers. Behold the little gaggle of ornamental frocks & tutus garnished with pearls & coral that festoon my entrance foyer.
Sadly, I don't think any of my guests to date have noticed it. Perhaps I need Xmas lights & maybe a sign.

Photo 3: Chanel gifts to give & to get. I totally love my collection of Chanel shopping bags that were left over from buying Maeflower the 2:55 quilted handbag.

Photo 4: Sequinned Party Clothes. Here I am all dressed up looking like I'm about to go to a big Xmas Shindig. Sadly, I was only going to the local pizza restaurant with three friends.
But we had a good time. I'm wearing a freshly thrifted sequinned top from Bednobs that still had the price tag that I was thrilled to see was in Euros on it. And you can see that I'm wearing what was called on the label, Lounge Pants, but a friend described as Aladdin Pants. I could spend a whole blog entry on how, after thirty five years, I've just rediscovered wearing pants. But I'll save that for another time.

Photo 5: my favourite Xmas song, Xmas is All Around sung by Bill Nighy in the almost best but certainly the cheesiest Xmas film of all time, Love Actually. This year I began listening to it about two weeks before I sighted the first sign of Xmas which was a display of single serve plum puddings at Woolworths which are exactly the ones that I imagined I might be eating at Xmas if I was an Angry Loner.
Do yourself a favour & watch & listen to Bill on YouTube. He is Elderly Sex Appeal on a Stick.

Photo 6: Xmas Cats. This year I found an adorable festive pet hat & matching bow tie at GoLow & immediately put it in the post to send to Maeflower's cat Millefleur in Canberra. She kindly sent me this slightly awkward photo of him as apparently cats don't like wearing hats. In case you were wondering, Millefleur is on the left & I've placed an adorable photo I found on the internet next to it to show what is possible for Festive Cats.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Literary Tea Towel

It is Day 3 of my Long Summer Holidays & already I feel that they are slipping by far too quickly.
Where has the time gone? I ask myself.
Today I spent four hours in Broadway Shopping Centre with my great friend Trixie who has just freshly returned from a long jaunt mainly in England. We ate lunch at Nandos & guzzled Diet Cokes with gay abandon while I opened loads of fab gifts that she had thoughtfully collected for me in the course of her travels. Like a souvenir tea towel from the Dickens Museum which was an original illustration from Oliver Twist with the caption, "Please Sir, I want some more."
I defy anyone to come up with a better idea for a tea towel than that immortal scene, which incidentally sums up my life & maybe yours as well.
Unless of course you wheel in Shakespeare, a genius whose every word would do any tea towel proud. I wouldn't even mind one of his v short stage directions on a tea towel. Like "Enter Banquo dressed for riding".
But I think the quintessential Shakespearean line that he clearly wrote with a tea towel in mind is the "Double double toil & trouble" chant from the witches in Macbeth. It clearly reflects the mood felt by many when washing & drying dishes.

Oh dear, this was supposed to be a blog about Holidays & the festive season & how stupid it's been for hundreds of years that we in Australia decorate our homes at Xmas with fake snow & penguins & have songs like "let it snow! let it snow! let it snow! " blare out of sound systems at shopping centres when it's Summer..not a treatise on The Literary Tea Towel.
This is yet another clear example of how this blog has a mind of its own & I am merely the humble scribe who types.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Liberation That Having No Plans Can Create

It is Monday morning & I am sitting at my desk in the staff room slightly sweating even though I am not wearing synthetics. In fact, I'm wearing a silk Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress that gapes a little at the front. Outside I can hear a teacher in a v grave voice tell a class of hangdog girls that he is v disappointed in them. A colleague in an adjoining desk who is frantically trying to record marks remarks that there are some voices that are so irritating that you just can't block them out. I wearily agree.
Welcome to the end of the year.

Our school year finishes on Friday & as usual I'm thinking, Not a Moment too Soon. If we went on much longer, someone might lose an eye.
Many weeks of holidays await me & as I ponder this thought, I'm inwardly quivering with anticipation.
You may be wondering, what are her plans? Will she go skiing in Gstaad or maybe Aspen this time? Perhaps a leisurely jaunt through some Arcadian Wine Country? A recuperative stay in a clinic? A course of Botox?
Sadly, none of these.

Apart from a fab beach holiday over Christmas with Maeflower & Tacitus, I have no plans.
Nothing. And may I say , what a liberating thought. The possibilities are endless:

I might create artworks.

Frolic in the sea but only venture to waist height in order to avoid rips & sharks.

Sit in caf├ęs & sip lattes instead of getting takeaways & rushing out.

Buy an onion slicer.

Add to my list of Signature Dishes.

Go to "Bednobs" my favourite op shop every single day instead of just twice a week.

Make a Xmas wreath from fake flowers.

Actually read a book. In fact, I have a book that I bought months ago called "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson that I saw was on someone's top ten books of this year. How Zeitgeisty of me.

Go to the gym to attend my favourite class, Body Balance, which is a clever mixture of yoga, Pilates & tai chi. Usually I only make it once or at a stretch, twice a week. In anticipation, I've already bought a whole slew of footless tights from Cotton On which are far chicer & cheaper than Luluwhatsit or LornaMaryJane, not that I'm promoting a brand, heaven forbid, I'm just stating an opinion.

In the meantime, I'm still at school. But it's not all bad. As you might see if you stick around to see the photos below.

Photo 1. I was given a wonderful gift of a Kate Spade pencil case which really made me reflect on how much I like to get gifts particularly if they have a designer label attached.

Photo2. I've been wearing freshly thrifted dresses that remind me of macaron colours.

Photo 3. I confiscated a Hermes bracelet from a student whose mother didn't know she'd borrowed it. I wore it for the whole lesson & didn't want to give it back.

Photo 4. I coveted the riotous Ginger & Smart shoes (another unintentional plug for a brand) that my Ex-Student Teacher wore to school.

Photo5. I loved layering necklaces that looked like old piano keys.

Photo 6. I enjoyed practising empathy.

Phot 7. I occasionally dressed like Mother of the Bride at work.