"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Friday, 30 September 2011

jenny and the art of cosmetic shopping

Gill gets a specially emailed invite every year to the Clarins sale - RSVP, bring your invite, no handbags, cash only.  Last Saturday she went along and they did not ask for her invite and they sent her another email saying that the sale had been extended for 3 more days.  So being the good friend she is, she sent me off with her invite on Monday with no handbag and quite a bit of cash.  What a pleasure.  I spent about an hour there checking on which combinations were the best value.  I ended up buying cleaners and toners, an exfoliating toner, tinted moisturisers, day cream combinations with free sample night creams, eye gels, serums.  They also had about 7 huge boxes of foundations and about 30 different colours in each box.  This was difficult - ultra-firming, perfect touch, light reflecting, extra coverage, long lasting, matte, ultra matte.  I mean really.  They don't make things easy and especially when you have to open up each box to see the colour.  I could not really decide and ended up with every kind in a similar colour (yes Mom and Dalene, I have some for you).  Also bought the boys some beauty products with SPF's.  What a morning but scary how much money you can spend, even when things are really cheap.

Now I have a problem.  Bearing in mind that I usually use Lux soap and Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter on my face at night and Lux soap (always white for those of you who are horrified) and Nivea Soft during the day.  I now have to head to the shops to buy cotton wool so I can use my fancy toners but worst of all it takes me about 10 extra minutes to get into bed at night.  Michael, as only Michael can, let out a "Hells Bells woman how many different tubes are you using on one face?".  10 extra minutes at night and a whole lot longer in the morning because I have all these fancy foundations and I am not sure which one is best, so I use them all (lighter one around the eyes, ultra matte on the nose, extra firming around mouth and wrinkles). It is hard work.

Cleanser and Toner - R100 for both
(but it did not come with cotton wool)

 New arrangement on the dressing table
Extra firming - Anti Rides Lift-Ferme

So if you see me and are amazed at the clarity and matte look of my perfectly polished, light reflecting and exfoliated skin, just give me a knowing wink.  I am not one to draw attention to myself!!!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

silly little me

i sometimes think about
the silly things i used to think and do when i was young
i remember way back to when i was small enough to
have piggy backs and asking my dad if the
freckles on his back were there because he
ate too many post toasties
he loved to eat post toasties with sliced banana
and the freckles on his shoulders were as big as a post toastie
(with no banana)
woman and man holding little girl on shoulders kissing on...
and then i remember at aged about 5 or 6
thinking that the songs
on the radio were people in the radio, behind the speakers
singing and speaking to you and i did not
understand where they went to when you switched them off
(we had one of those huge cabinet type "music centres" - i think
ours, like the one below had a space for a "booze cabinet" in it - vintage stuff)
i remember every time that "red rubber ball" song
came on i ran to my bedroom to fetch my ball and 
i held it in front of the radio and bounced
it on the kitchen table
when the line
"the morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball"
i would sing it loudly
while holding the ball next to my cheek
convinced that the singers could see my actions
(and ask me to join their band)

(just looked it up - sung by quite a few artists including the seekers
and cilla black, but this is the version i remember
the cyrkle - 1966 - sorry 7 years old - could i have been so
silly at 7??  probably)

i remember dalene and i walking to sunday school with the money for
the collection plate in my purse
dalene and i would have a plan and split the collection money,
half we would hide in a fire hydrant on the main road
near the sorrento cafe
we would split the other half and put it in the collection plate
then, after church, if the money was not taken by someone poor and needy
while we were at church
(it hardly ever was, it was too well hidden)
we would take that as an omen to mean that we could
buy ourselves some liquorice shoelaces,
we would eat them on the way home and be caught out
by our mother because our mouths were black

i remember our favourite game when we were
about 10 and 12
it was called "stewies" (students)
dalene was sylvia (my mom's glamorous friend)
and I was geraldine (a second cousin from Zimbabwe who lived
with my granny over the road who was really a student at uct)
we seriously loved those names
and we would sit in my mother's little grey simca and pretend
we were driving off to the beach or to varsity and
talk the biggest lot of nonsense to each other

(i promise you, this could have been our car - only dark grey)

i remember around the same age taking a whole months worth of pocket money
to a family outfitter shop in mowbray and buying
ourselves each a bra
(we told the lady it was for our twin cousins)
blue and white gingham checks with a daisy in the middle
Highland Fling

(not really but you get the idea)

another time we spent our pocket money at the pet shop
in mowbray
and bought ourselves the cutest ducks
17 and a half cents each
we put them in the bath but when my granddad heard
them quacking in the morning we had to
take them back to the pet shop
(we got our money back as well)

quack quacks for cheap cheap

main road rosebank, the cinerama and savoy cafe (sorrento cafe was on the
 next corner where kentucky is now)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

the week that is all but over

As I have said before it seems like yesterday was Sunday evening and now tomorrow is Thursday.  Sunday night, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Thursday.

However this week, although it has been busy has been documented.  So some pictures and explanations to share.

It started on Monday with Janey bringing her granddaughter to office to meet us all

Hello Carly - 3 months old and very cute

Shoes for Amy
Amy has her outfit planned and sorted for the wedding.  She has been looking for shoes.  While out at lunchtime yesterday (Tuesday - OMW there is a Tuesday!!) I came across these and had to buy them for her.  She had specific requirements - had to be a wedge, had to be fairly high and had to be "taupe" to go with the slightly greenish dress she is wearing.  Very chuffed that she liked them and she visited briefly last night and paraded around with them on like she walked in shoes like that everyday of her life.
Garden in September
Have been sorting out stuff in the garden every evening this week.  Such a pity that the weather was not great 2 weeks ago when the Clivia and the Pride of Madeira (above) was at it's best.  Usually Clivia are at their best in October but mine are already past their best.  But the weather has been great which makes for getting busy in the garden in the evening a total pleasure.
These are my favourite.  They last for ages (I can't even remember when I planted them) and they have that delicate look which goes so well with the lavender.
Cape May
First time I have flowers on the Cape May in 4 years.  They must have heard me saying that they were on their last warning.  FIFO (flower or ....).  I do speak sternly to them at times.
White lavender
I bought 4 bushes at a market last year and they have just done nothing.  Suddenly they have doubled in size and are sporting white blooms (the lady did not lie about the colour, I was beginning to doubt her).  I love Spring!!
Jenny's supper
Woolies have their steak on special.  An absolutely delicious supper on Tuesday night (it has a night too).  I went for the healthy option without Chippies chips (I have decided that life is too short to fry your own chips (and clean the pot)).   How pretty is the salad?  Pick n Pay - Sweet Summer Leaves and Michael  had the chips option.  (Gareth and Nic, you were invited!!)
Michael's plate

This is Robyn-Leigh (Janey's daughter)
I have to write a whole post on this story next week.  In a nutshell, she is Janey's estranged daughter who came to our offices this morning to see her mother.  It is a long and sad story so I have to get all my facts straight but she is the most delightful 17 year old who is about to write matric.  Remember I have introduced you to Janey before.
Mother and Daughter
Mid-week break - A picnic for lunch at Kirstenbosch today
When Nic was little we had a playgroup.  4 moms, 4 children once a week for tea (we were so boring in those days - OK suppose it was in the morning and wine would not have been the right thing to do) which developed into a playgroup where we each had a day to have all 4 children.  We are still great friends and see each other regularly.  However it is not that easy to get the children together.  Donne, Judy's daughter is in Cape Town at the moment, Judy has been on long leave from teaching and is about to return, so we had to organise lunch before she returned.   Nic had a break in lectures and joined us and it was so wonderful to catch up in the beautiful surroundings.  Ginny produced an awesome spread (which she always does), a gourmet angel fish salad, breads and pate (Sorry I only remembered I had my camera later on or I would have shown you the food).  She also produced an "experiment" of a cake.  Orange and chocolate marbled which was delicious.
Donne, Ginny, Nic and Judy
We missed Philip (Ginny's son), Nikki and Jeffrey.  Next time.  Thanks Ginny.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

cover girl deluxe and who gets my idols vote?

She really is the singer of the moment and I still have not tired of  "Chasing Pavements" and "Someone Like You" even after playing them plentz times over the last couple of months.  All in the lyrics, I say.  She has a wonderful way of putting her amazing words to song.

I was planning a post on "10 things you did not know about me", but as I am a bit of an open book person and I don't keep secrets very well, I was finding it pretty hard to think of 10 things that none of you knew about me.  I have got one or two but that would probably get me censored by my sons!!!  One of the things I thought of was my addiction to Idols - American, English or even our own South African show.  What you probably did not know is that I voted about 1000 times for Heinz Winkler and now I am using Michael's phone (he has more money on his phone than he can ever use) to sms my votes for Dave.  Did any of you see his performance of "Vincent" on Sunday night?  Awesome.  He also did "Streets of Philadelphia" very well.  He, I confess, was not my first choice.  I had been rooting for Mark all season but now that Dave has shown his true colours and stopped the chest banging and jumping, I am his biggest fan.  Thank goodness the little round one was voted off and I can't wait for the final contest between Dave and Mark on Sunday.  

I digress.  Back to Adele.  Suddenly she is on the cover of every magazine and in the latest Fair Lady (weakened and bought it again for the first time in ages) there is a lovely article on her.  Confession - and I bought the Fair Lady Bridal issue (only because we are getting full on into wedding mode - 7 weeks to brother's wedding - exciting times).  She sounds like a lovely, spunky lady and I hope success does not spoil her.  The kind of girl I would love to have a girls boozy lunch with and hear all her stories and, in particular, all about this dude who ditched her, married someone else and whether she did indeed "turn up out of the blue uninvited" - I love her style.  I also was hoping that she was not turning up uninvited to his wedding.  But maybe she did.  She could do things like that.  The dude must be kicking himself for what he has missed out on.
I like her more and more

You’d know how the time flies.
Only yesterday was the time of our lives.

We were born and raised in a summery haze.
Bound by the surprise of our glory days.

Here is another article I found online (sorry forgot where) if any of you are wanting to know the truth about those eyelashes:-

Changing the subject totally, which beauty products do you swear by?
Because I wear a lot of make-up when I’m working I like to use skin food by Weleda because I feel really replenished when I do. My skin feels back to life and not caked in foundation. I’m also obsessed with lip balms and I use loads of different makes. I’ve got about ten on the go at one time. I love Chanel make-up, and perfume wise I wear Christian Dior’s Hypnotic Poison.

And you also love false eyelashes from the looks of things?

Oh yes, I love Shu Uemura and MAC eyelashes. I like to look like a drag queen. I’ve never had those eyelash extensions you can get though. My mum has them and she wakes up in the morning looking like she’s hungover because they’re all bent! I can’t maintain my eyelashes myself so I need someone to do them for me and false ones work on me. Shakira looks amazing with her big eyelashes and no other make-up, but I don’t think I could get away with that look. I like false lashes and plenty of eye make up.
Who are your beauty icons?
I think Fearne Cotton always looks really beautiful and really fresh and like she hasn’t make much of an effort. She looks like she’s just rolled out of bed looking that amazing. I can’t do that – I need a lot of prep – but she’s naturally lovely. Halle Berry always looks pretty nice too, and Queen Latifa has got the most amazing skin ever. She actually looks better without make-up than with it.

Tonight on Top Billing (yes, I watch that too, when I remember) there was a bit on 85 year old Tony Bennett.  Wow, he can still sing and I am off to buy his new Duets II CD.  He sings with Michael Buble, kd lang (how does she get away with small letters?), John Mayer, Norah Jones, and Amy Winehouse (and others).  They had a snippet of Tony and Amy singing together and it is just so sad to have been around to witness her self-destruction.  And how sad that the CD is being released and she is not here.  Frank Sinatra's Duets CD's are up there with my favourites so I can't wait to listen to this new one from Mr Bennett.

And I can't wait for Sunday - it is going to be great to watch and enjoy both artists and to be able to vote on their performances on the night.

Monday, 26 September 2011

a fortnight of movies

I don't see a movie for ages and then suddenly two in two weeks (proper movies in the movie house with popcorn).  The first one was Crazy, Stupid, Love with Steve Carell whose perfect 40-something life suddenly starts falling apart.  His wife and childhood sweetheart is having an affair and wants a divorce.  Ryan Gosling becomes his wing man, gives him a make-over and starts training him to get back into the "market".   Both male leads are great.  It has some very funny moments and a couple of surprises.  Good fun and Ryan Gosling very easy on the eye (both with and without clothing).
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
The second one, Friends with Benefits.  Starring Justin Timberlake (did not know that he acted and was surprised that he can indeed act and did not sing (only mouthed the words to a song)) and Mila Kunis (the other dancer in Black Swan).   She must be the most beautiful girl around at the moment and delightful to watch.  Some are lucky to indeed "have it all" - amazing eyes, hair, mouth, body, acting ability and the best thing of all (I thought), the most sexy voice imaginable.  What a lovely movie made doubley lovely to me because it was filmed in New York.  Some amazing scenes at Grand Central Station and in Central Park.  I need to go back (sorry I have said that before and will probably say it again).  I want to go back!!
Friends with Benefits Poster
Then there have been some not-too-shabby re-runs on  DSTV at the moment.  "He's Just Not That Into You" was on the other night.  I hadn't seen it when on circuit but had seen the book by Greg Behrendt.  The movie had quite a starring line-up but was much the "same old, same old" but also entertaining and light, not too much to think about with a simple message where the title had said it all.
Some good quotes from the movie:-

Every man you have ever dated who has said he doesn't want to get married or doesn't believe in marriage, or has "issues" with marriage, will ... rest assured ... someday be married.  It just will never be with you.

No matter how powerful and real your feelings may be for someone, if that person cannot fully and honestly return them and therefore actively love you back, these feelings mean nothing.

And I love this one.  The word "friend" has popped up quite often around our dinner table of late (you know who you are, both of you!!):-

Beware of the word "friend".  It can often be used by men or the women that love them to excuse the most unfriendly behavior.  Personally, when I'm picking friends, I like the ones who don't make me cry myself to sleep. I don't want to be "sort of dating" someone.  I don't want to be "kinda hanging out" with someone.  I don't want to spend a lot of energy suppressing my feelings so I appear uninvolved.  I want to be involved.  I want to be sleeping with someone I know I'll see again because they've already demonstrated to me that they're trustworthy and honorable -- and into me.

Then last night I went down the Eat, Pray, Love road again.
Now, I love Julia Roberts like most of us do and (confession time) I have not read the Elizabeth Gilbert book.  I saw the movie when it first came on circuit and did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would.  Last night I watched it again with Michael (who had not seen it and who loves Julia Roberts much more than most of us do) and I enjoyed it even less.  Besides Javier Bardem (worth travelling the world to find) and the travel destinations it is a very selfish and self absorbed movie.  Nic sent me an email a while back headed "Eat, Pray, Love, Vomit" and these are a few extracts from the email (sorry not sure where it came from):-

"Furthermore, Liz learns basically nothing from her journey. Two hours in, and she's still the same selfish and immature person she was to begin with, save for the most ham-fisted attempt at showing character growth I've ever seen. Liz uses all the rich, white friends she makes along the way to help buy a house in Bali for a divorcee from an abusive relationship and her daughter Tu-ti. Also, in Italian "Tutti" means "Everyone," SO IT WAS LIKE SHE WAS HELPING EVERYONE, YOU GUYS. This actually happens. In fact, Liz doesn't show any change until the last ninety seconds where she decides "Oh, maybe it's okay to be happy" and boats off into the sunset. This is the conclusion we are given. And everyone else is happy too, including her ex, or something."

I was under the impression that I was in the minority who did not enjoy the movie but on looking at other reviews on the internet, I am not alone.  There are some absolutely, brilliantly scathing reviews:-

Brilliant one by Ann McElhinney and then to quote Tony of Tony of all Media:-

"Old big mouth then moves on from Italy to Bali and India (where she pets an elephant, fresh!); we see our heroine, in a dizzying montage, variously discovering herself by eating a pizza, happily getting too fat for her jeans, clinking glasses of red wine with friends, meditating, gazing, crying, sulking, shuddering, beaming, laughing, attending an Indian wedding and getting hit on by Javier Bardem. In other words, "Eat Pray Love" makes "Sex and the City 2" look like something dreamt up by Simone de Beauvoir. And of course, single women will grab their friends and flock to it opening weekend instead of, oh we dunno, hitting a soup kitchen or animal shelter or nursing home, rolling up their sleeves and really making a difference and finding some purpose in life, rather than pissing away two hours on Julia Roberts's Club Med vacation approach to spiritual enlightenment. Movies like this must make Gloria Steinem and Deepak Chopra wonder why they even bothered. RELATED: For those of you who just can't get enough of old big mouth, AdRants is reporting she's inked a $20 million deal to be the face of Lancome. (Eat Pray Moisturize?)"

A little bit too heavy and harsh and perhaps it is not good to get too critical.  It was only a movie after all and like Shirley, Liz did find her Costas (and a much improved one).

Tom Conti Picture

Oh my word, look what he used to look like before Penelope got hold of him:-

Cannot be?

Friday, 23 September 2011

braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and chevrolet

With all the buzz at the moment about our "Heritage Day" public holiday tomorrow (not fair when public holidays fall on a Saturday) and about "National Braai Day" got me thinking of SA in earlier days.  It also got me thinking of products from the past.  Some googling and I found these.  How many do you remember?

Remember Charlie's Angels and how we all wanted hair like Farrah Fawcett?  

Farrah Fawcett shampoo by Faberge

Farrah Fawcett - Beauty Flashback: Farrah Shampoo

and if we wanted teeth like hers we could try:-

The one I could not find was "Vote".  Do you remember "Vote" toothpaste?  So silly that you can remember the silly jingles from the past and not more important things - the jingle went "Aren't you glad you use Vote, don't you wish everybody did? Aren't. You. Glad. You. Use. Vote"

I remember Ipana toothpaste and Ponds Cold Cream from school holidays.  Dalene and I used to be shipped off to my aunt in Camps Bay to spend time with her and our three younger cousins because my mum had to work.  

Let's not forget about our faces:-

My aunt still uses Ponds Cold Cream.  You do not get it in SA anymore - all other kinds of fancier types of Ponds but not the old fashioned Cold Cream.  She can buy it in the UK and just as I ask for Baby Bottom Butter, she asks for Cold Cream.  Aunty Veronica has the most amazing skin.

On the topic of skin care what about Violet Kuny?  My granny used to use her face creams and I remember the advertisements with a picture of this older lady.  Google did not reveal much except that she died in Durban in 1992 at the age of 85.

Listen to this advert first:-

It was 1963 and I was probably just starting to enjoy Rice Crispies and Post Toasties:-

Sweet advert.

(isn't this what DF Malan Airport used to look like?)

I really wish I could find the television advert.  John (my ex-husband and the boys dad) used to dabble in some modelling to earn extra bucks while at UCT.  He was nicknamed "Mr Applemist" as he was in that advert in all the magazines and newspaper, smiling and holding up a glass of fresh apple juice.  Applemist was, I think, one of the first fresh juices on the market.  He was also in the television advert for Chevrolet which had a whole bunch of guys (in speedos) and girls on Camps Bay beach playing rugby and then posing in front of the car.  "They go together in the good old RSA, braaivlei, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet".

Ford Capri?  It was the fanciest car ever.  A friend at junior school's dad had one. Such fun to have a 2 door car to climb into.  The closest car to a sports car and it was red as well.  Wish I could post a picture of what her Dad looked like.  The real 80's metrosexual male - long blow-dried hair, droopy moustache, leather jacket.

A cup of tea, anyone?


Have a great Heritage Day - dops, tjops and lots of rugby.  My weekend?  Matt is starting for Griquas tonight against the Sharks (and it is on tv!!!).  Got Sydney, the gardener tomorrow - will be watching him like he is a hawk!!!  

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

the power of the metaphor and the fun in mixing it

We learn from our children.  Matthew is a master of playing word games but just as we sometimes call him "Jude" (the Obscure) you do sometimes have to marvel in the way his mind works.  It started when he was pretty young - he would make up words like "coinsequence" and when you corrected him, he had the ability to make you wonder what he was getting at because he clearly knew the meaning of both "coincidence" and "consequence"  and just preferred the sound of "coinsequence".  So he has one word that he uses for two meaning.  He is also a master at the Target word game in the Argus.  He does however, not mess around.  No looking for the small words to build the big one.  He glances at it for a couple seconds and 8 times out of 10 comes up with the big word immediately.

I was reading some old notes the other day.  Sometimes you do keep things for a reason.  This was a print out of some really funny mixed metaphors and they reminded me of Matt.   But I will come back to those in a bit.

Quickly, for those who want a brief lesson for the day on metaphors (this is not from me but from about.com) and really I am not doing the teacher kind of thing, it is just that I like to have my memory refreshed from time to time, so I hope you do too.  So here goes:-

"Metaphors are comparisons between two dissimilar things. The use of a metaphors is a way to describe something. Authors use them to make their writing more interesting or entertaining, sometimes easier to understand. 

Similes are a specific type of metaphor that use the words "as" or "like" to make a comparison; a simple metaphor states that something is something else. 

For example,"Bob ran like the wind" This is a simile. 

Because the sentence compares Bob's running ability to the wind it is a metaphor. Because it makes the comparison using the word "like," it is a simile. 

"Bob is a purebred racehorse."
"Life is a journey."
"Time is a thief."

These are all metaphors (but not similes), as they say that each thing is something that, quite obviously, it is not (and does not make the comparison using the words like or as.) 

All metaphors consist of two parts: the vehicle and the tenor. The vehicle is the figurative expression, that is the concept, idea, or thing that is being used to make the comparison. The tenor is the idea that is illustrated or illuminated by the vehicle. 

For instance: in the sentence "Life is a journey," journey is the vehicle, and Life is the tenor. 

Beyond the simple metaphor and similes, there are actually many different types or expressions of metaphors."

Therein ends your lesson for today.

So back to the mixed metaphors.  Here are some pearlers:-

Thank you, from my bottom and my heart
It’s not rocket surgery
It’s a recipe waiting to happen
Sometimes you shoot your foot off to spite your face
If it can’t be done today, don’t wait until tomorrow.
Monday morning the fan is going to hit the roof.
We’re having this meeting to make sure all our ducks are on the same page
You don’t want to put all your legs under one blanket
We’re treading on thin water here

Then a little poem for the day:-

I'm caught between the Devil and a hard place
Between the fire and the deep blue sea
Between a rock and the frying pan
What a terrible place to be.

I kicked two birds with one bucket
Bit more bullets than I could chew
I burnt my bridges at both ends
That's a pretty dumb thing to do.

And now I've got a snowball's chance in a handcart
I hope you'll let me explain
I'm standing on the precipice
Of a runaway train.

Now I'm hoist by my own line and sinker
Since I opened up a whole bag of cats
I put my nose out of joint on the grindstone
I don't know why I did that.

I took a bull by the china shop
I won't do that again
Now I'm standing on the precipice
Of a runaway train.

And a cartoon:-

So that is it from me for today.