31 December 2009

29,000

29,000
29,000 hits since I started the site counter this April. It's been such a delight blogging, thanks everyone, for reading and commenting and being so encouraging since I started this blog on the 3rd of January this year (because I was inspired by P, and also to accompany Jac's blogging. Jac has since stopped, but I'm still going strong!).

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

Happy New Year!

30 December 2009

He Said She Said

"I'm Jewish. I don't work out. If God had wanted us to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor." - Joan Rivers

Finally

And then last night, I finally finished the tube of Bliss Body Butter. Between mother and me we squeezed out an extra big dollop and after slathering generously over shins and feet, I happily chucked the empty tube out. Why is it so satisfying to throw things into the rubbish chute (with some violence) and hear its thumping fall down 12 floors echoed back up? It's equally nice to unwrap new things to use. This are my new toiletries:
Soap - Molton Brown Moisture Rich Aloe and Palm Body Bar. Hefty (250g) and caramel brown, it smells wonderfully zesty(sandalwood and patchouli essential oils) and feels truly, luxuriantly moisturising (enriched with shea butter).
Body - Kenzo Amour Creme Corps Tres Parfum. The square tub is so pretty and the cream itself is a lovely puce pink; The fragrance is not overpowering and combines myrrh, rice and hibiscus. I don't actually think hibiscus has a fragrance but the word is pretty.
Hand - Jurlique Ciitrus Hand Cream. I like the idea of 'citrus' for hand creams it just feels (or smells) cleaner.

Mid Week Self Pic: New Year's Eve

Quite a stretch.
Put a cap on it.
They do it with mirrors.
White belt!
The suds!

The key!

29 December 2009

Are You A Hedonist?

he·don·ism (hdn-zm) n.
1. Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses.
2. Philosophy: The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good.
3. Psychology: The doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

28 December 2009

Margiela In Your Maison


Before stepping down from Maison Martin Margiela, the reclusive designer launched a collection of furniture and “white objects” for the home, like this embroidered calendar. You can't see the dates but, but who uses calenders anymore, anyway? - think of it as braille art.


Mr Margiela also designed the Suite Ile aux Oiseaux at Les Sources de Caudalie near Bordeaux.
The hotel and spa, opened 10 years ago by the winemaking family, tapped Maison Martin Margiela to design its signature suite. The freestanding cabana is perched on a pond in the château. For 650 euros a night and up (a special package includes “a gift signed by Maison Martin Margiela” — perhaps one of the Maison’s new wine-bottle lamps?), guests can retreat to the chambre Margiela between spa treatments. The décor is classic Margiela, with its white-on-white-on-gray playfullness: 12 white pillows are stitched to a white wall to form a headboard. The wallpaper is printed to look like the ghostly walls of a Haussman apartment.

Taking Out The Trash


First there was Victoria Beckham, now this... And that's how luxury lost its lustre.

5 Points To Get Happy

Just read this and it's something to we all know but we need to remind ourselves again, especially now that the new year is lurking right round the corner. Here are five things you can do immediately to get happy:

1. Do Something For Someone
It's better to give than to receive if you want to be happy. It does not have to be grand-gesture volunteering, but lending a hand to a neighbor, or setting your friends up can make you feel needed and connected.

2. Meditate
This is a simple technique to de-stress. While it is difficult to control the shifting thoughts in the busy "monkey's mind," simply sitting down for 10 mins each day, focusing on inhalations and exhalations can do wonders for your mental health. If your attention drifts from the in- and ex hales, gently bring the focus back to the breath.

3. Get Friendly
Spend quality time to connect with others, reach out and be friendly. Share your burdens, feel connected and call friends whom you have lost touch with.

4. Get Active
Working out benefits mood. You do not have to go an extreme regiment. Thirty minutes of moderately-paced walking three times a week will do just fine.

5. Change Your Way Of Thinking
Shifting how you think and behave is important. The context around you must also change. Friends may have a fixed idea of who you are and any deviations from this will be seen as odd and different. Many will cast doubt and may not be as supportive. Don't fret! Be committed and let them gradually realize the merits of the change. This is challenging because friends have investments in how you behave - you may be the resident prankster, the cynic or the bitch - and evolving into someone else may not serve their best interests.
(Source: Munster)

27 December 2009

26 December 2009

Eat Drink Man Woman


If you feel (even a bit) guilty about the volume of food and drinks you've inadvertantly inhaled over Christmas, here's your excuse:
According to the Archives of Dermatology Journal, older people who weigh more have less wrinkles (Duh. This is science?). It says that although excess fat may increase the skin's susceptibility to damage, it may help mask the appearance of wrinkles in old age.The study is based on the aging patterns of 65 pairs of twins. While being overweight made the volunteers initially look older, the pattern reversed after about the age of 54 (very relevant: most of you should be around this age right now); the heavier twins then began to look younger in the face than their slimmer counterparts.
How could this happen? (Asked Madonna and Nicole Kidman in unison.)
As we age, we naturally lose spongy collagen – which keeps our facial skin firm. Once the collagen begins to break down, thinner women often look gaunt in the face, while heavier ones camouflage the loss with fat – which gives their face a plumper, more youthful look.
But before you proceed on another round at life's buffet, keep in mind that experts say that a high sugar intake can speed up the collagen break-down process, making you look older, faster – no matter how much you weigh.

Done


Have you made your resolutions?





With Christmas over, it's time to think of the new year. Personally, I can't wait...

25 December 2009

Supermodel: The Originals



They don't make photos like these anymore; They don't make girls like these anymore...

He Said She Said

"The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper." - Aristotle (BC 384-322)

Weekend Reading List

I have tonnes of stuff to read as kind friends have been gifting me books for Christmas, but that's not what I'm reading now. All that will have to wait till later, as I need to clear (obsessively) the backlog of my reading. One week day (BG has the most leave/off days of anyone I know who is gainfully employed), I went to BG's and along with four Hugo shirts, he gave me a huge bag of magazines to read and share. He would otherwise have thrown them all away (imagine BG's carbon footprint - HUGE, I'm telling you), seeing as how he hates the growing stack collecting dust on his washing machine. Dust, and now cat hairs: BG keeps a stray kitten called Charlie in the dark, glassed in kitchen.
The Time magazines I zip through quickly and then leave on the marble side table for Father. Time really has lost any urgency, and seems irrelevant now (doesn't one get all this sort of reading online?), and reminds me of waiting - in lounges and planes. Its time has come, surely? The UK Vogues I also skimmed and gave away immediately. The Men's Health sits in the toilet, and seems full of useful diet tips and motivational exercise stories - the mainstay of this magazine are how-to-get-killer-abs features and every issue has a few. Washboard abs (how banal right?) are the Holy Grail for butch girls today; It's not about health, it's about looks, and there's something drag about this. Men's Health is the Allure for men. I also share this with Father, although neither of us are likely to have those abs in this lifetime. That leaves Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia: I really enjoy this well put-together magazine (I think I've said this before) and I find it very useful for my travel column. Once I comb through one, I put it outside on top of the shoe cupboard and wait for Uncle Rubbish to take it away.

Finished

Like the year, my hand cream is finished.
Every last drop of Caudalie's Creme Gourmande Mains et Ongles was squeezed from the tube last night, which is completely flattened and wonderfully gnarled: I do hate waste, and I do love the feeling of the finally exhausting something (so I can start on something new!). It was a great, nourishing cream, satisfyingly heavy going on, but quickly absorbed, immediately effective, and smelled wonderfully of oranges, not grapes, even though it's from Caudalie's Vinotherapie line. Or maybe grapes smell like oranges in France. I'm also done with the bottle of Rosengarten Rosenbluten Tagescreme (its companion, Rosenbluten Nachtcreme, continues to languish in the closet, barely used). I bought this because Air France lost my luggage when I went to Berlin in the Fall of 2007, and I had to buy stuff untill they sent my bag on from London, from a shop called Breathe in Rochstrabe. All this before AS met me the next day. The campy Yorkshire doorman (he chatted nineteen to the dozen) at the Hotel de Rome pointed me there in a taxi, in the rain. It rained and rained, and AS and I spent our days in adorable Art Nouveau museums and had coffee in organic coffeeshops in little streets, and then drinks in posh bars with crackling fireplaces, talking and talking. Berlin is relaxed, easy, masculine.
One day, as I was going down to the basement spa (in my bathrobe!) to get a massage, I met Ellen Von Unwerth waiting for the lift. She seemed shy and weathered and smiled at me kindly, like a maiden aunt with crooked teeth.

23 December 2009

I'd Fuck You

I'd fuck you because you are famous
I'd fuck you for your money
I'd fuck you to control you
I'd fuck you so someday I can have half of everything you own
I'd fuck you to fuck you over
I'd fuck you until I find someone better
And fuck you in secret
I'd fuck you because I can't remember if I'd already fucked you before
I'd fuck you out of boredom
I'd fuck you because I can't feel anything anyways
I'd fuck you to make the pain go away
I'd fuck you so I could feel something instead of nothing at all
I'd fuck you because you are beautiful
I'd fuck you because you are my nigger
I'd fuck you because I am your whore
I'd fuck you because you are a whore
I'd fuck you for fun
I'd fuck you because I can't
I'd fuck you so you will protect me
- Adam of London

On The Prowl: 8 Ways To Love

Newly single, my friend Munster has started dating (I use this word euphemistically) with a vengeance (this is an understatement). He has also started blogging. Here, an entry about the many guys on the net who are endlessly seeking... something or other. Munster surveys the field (from a very busy iphone) and concludes "one of them that you meet would fall into one of these constructions".
They are:

1. Just Give Me Sex
This group is functional and practical. Be ready for a litany of questions such as your preferred position, your likes, dislikes and preferences, organ length and girth, usage of chemical enhancements and if you have a place ready for the feats of pleasure.
In this group, (almost) everyone is in pursuit of the shared body ideal.

2. Chronic Singles
These folks have either faced a devastating breakup from their last relationship and/or they have remained single for some time and are unwilling or have no desire to be jolted from their routine, routine that has protected them from the travails of having to date, court, pursue and establish a relationship. Some have psychic scars that have trapped them in a rut, unable or unwilling to climb out.

3. Friendships Are Best
These are in relationships who are out to make friends and expand their social network. Many are happy to remain cyber-friends chatting on msn and texting, their spouses unaware of their need to form bridges out of their islands. There are also singles who privilege their work and do not want to complicate their already complex lives.

4. Friendships Are Best But I Want Sex
Some of these singles claim that they want to be friends but they also desire sex. Their motive for friendship is to have a romp in bed.

5. Monogamy Is Dead
Many already in relationships salvage their love by declaring that their relationship "open". They refuse to be trapped by the norms of monogamy, declaring that love is beyond the body, these guys venture into the bodies of others.

6. I Love U
Some form instantaneous connections and believing in "love at first sight", privileging love over the physical.

7. Let's Date
Everyone in this group would claim that they are no longer desire the body but value personality and character. These traditionalists believe in the proper stages of a courtship - first exchange pic, then msn, followed by handphone, maybe a cuppa or dinner, etc ...

8. Nothing
Lastly, some just do not know what they want, acting in a blase manner or in the other extreme, full of hyperactivity.

Source: http://munster-everythingtobehappyabout.blogspot.com/

Mid Week Self Pic


22 December 2009

Lanvin's Fab Ads


Lanvin men’s Spring 2010 campaign, shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, who are married, feature them as models as well. Alber Elbaz says: “To see him through the eyes of his wife and to see the love story between them — it’s a very emotional campaign.” Van Lamsweerde left all the fashion to her husband and appears nude, and in one image, her body painted in mottled swirls, like a phallic salami. She's definitely wearing the pants in this relationship. Top!

For Christmas: The Annunciation

The Annunciation, Leonardo da Vinci, 1475
Annunciation, Sandro Boticelli, 1489

Annunciation, Simone Martini, 1344
The Annunciation to the Virgin, Fra Angelico, 1446
Me, at Christmas, waiting for my very own angel Gabriel.
Of all Christian iconography, this is my favourite. I love the whole idea of the virgin conception (the holy virgin remained intact after Jesus's birth); the angel Gabriel fluttering in with parrot wings (his words, the seed); the virgin always reading. Sometimes, startled, the open book tumbles to the marble floor. I've always wanted to do a fashion shoot based on this tableau, someone quick do it!

20 December 2009

Gringe and Bear It

This just about sums up my feelings about Christmas... The (always) lovely LaToya Jackson filling out a polyester stocking.

Keeping and Chucking

Strangely invigorated after more than an hour of being pulled, thumped, pinched, ground, elbowed and beaten beaten to a pulp by a 23 year old Shenyang boy at my local Wan Yang (maybe he transferred all his angry energy to me?), I decided to start a spring clean exercise, one closet at a time. First, the lower left, two-shelf commode where I store my modest CD collection (yes, whoever heard of CDs anymore? I haven't played one since... six months ago?). Let's see what lurks there shall we?
1. Greasy almost full bottle of Clarins Eau Dynamisante Huile Satinee Body Oil. Missing cap. Oh, so this is where you've been hiding. And I thought BG had stolen it. What is it doing in my CD closet? (Shampoo and store in shoe closet, can mist over legs when I wear sandals.)
2. Nokia phone warranty booklet and instruction manual (Chuck. I haven't used the phone since 2006)
3. Ipod earphone sponge covers, not in a pair. One in black, one in orange. (Chuck. Both disintegrate when I tried to get it out of tiny plastic pocket.)
4. Nicholas Tse VCD (Chuck. Have not watched it ever; Lay Leng gave it to me in 2001.)
5. Two Breakfast at Tiffany's DVDs. Why do I have two? Mysteries never cease chez moi. (Keep one, give one to Blake, so he can give to horrid actress girlfriend.)
6. Audio book of Jane Austen's Persuasion (read by Geraldine McEwan). I bought this hurriedly from Borders ages ago, by mistake: I thought it said read by Ewan McGregor. (Give to Jacq)
7. 1999 verte Tiffany & Co calfskin diary, contains many gems. Sample: "Coconut Lagoon for curry lunch (what else?). Wonderful feeling of being amongst nice people. Boys playing football in a inner courtyard. Think saw Maggie Cheung in villa. Think architecture has something to do with it." I went to Kerala that year. (Can't possibly chuck this!)
8. Formula 17 VCD. (Chuck!)
9. Keeping Mum DVD: It's got my faves Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas - how can two such brilliant women end up in this slack movie? (Chuck!)
10. Tony Bennett CD The Art of Romance. (Chuck - someone must have given it to me - don't believe I've even ever played it. Do not like Tony Bennett.)
11. Can of OFF! half empty. (Chuck. Smells disgusting.)
12. Classical CD Poeme. (Can give to P)
13. Mad post-massage rubbish buy - Oriental Wisdom from the Mandarin Oriental Spa, 12 track CD. (Give to P)
14. Gwen Stefani CD Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Must have bought it in fit of trying to be hip and young. Never played. Disgusting waste of money, very unhip. (Give to B)
15. 'Lost' DVDs: Penelope and Innocence. (Watch when free, then recycle)
16. One Duchy Originals teabag (chamomile) in a CD book. (Use immediately)
There. Much better...

19 December 2009

18 December 2009

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen


"Dear sister,
You have doubtless been for some time in expectation of hearing from Hampshire, and perhaps wondered a little we were in our old age grown such bad reckoners, but so it was, for Cassy certainly expected to have been brought to bed a month ago; however, last night the time came, and without a great deal of warning, everything was soon happily over. We have now another girl, a present plaything for her sister Cassy, and a future companion." - George Austen on December 17, 1775, on the birth of Jane Austen

Weekend Reading List

Since I started freelancing, I have been going to the old office, and I've been taking home stacks of the weeklies 8 Days and i-Weekly. They certainly add cheer and gloss, and while I can't say I've been reading them religiously, I love looking at the pictures of celebs doing stupid things, or in period costumes looking very silly. Flip, flip, flip and then chuck. i-Weekly also comes with a lifestyle supplement (I only just discovered) which Mother finds useful: Lots of recipes, gardening tips, astrological readings. Alas, my Chinese really is limited.
Quite on a different note, I'm reading The Spell, the 1998 novel by Alan Hollinghurst, all over again. It's been such a while since he has come out with a book, and I really miss him. I have all his books, every last one of them read several times, dreamily: The lush, erotic The Swimming Pool Library (1988); The Folding Star, 1994; And one of my all-time faves, The Line of Beauty, 2004, for which he won the Booker Prize. Incidentally, Hollinghurst, like Mother, is a Gemini, born 26 May.

17 December 2009

Who's That Girl?

Fill 'er up!
This is allegedly Madonna in the Spring 2010 ad campaign for Dolce & Gabbana's Sicilian-inspired Spring 2010 collection. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, longtime fans of the (real) Madonna said: “To have Madonna in our campaign is a dream come true. She loved the collection and she is passionate and impressively knowledgeable about Italian cinema."
Steven Klein (why not Meisel? This shoot is a copy of stuff Meisel did decades ago!)captured the alleged 'Madonna' in New York last month in the Italian cinama-influenced shootwashing dishes, eating spaghetti; The real Madonna would never eat spaghetti, as you all know.

Wants

Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff—
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.

Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death—
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.

Philip Larkin [1922-1985]

Aunty Kate

Here's Kate in Paris with her LV bag. I must say she's not ageing very well, is she?

15 December 2009

Mid Week Self Pic




Concision





I grew up looking at Mats Gustafson’s fashion drawings, which have decorated the pages of top magazines since the late 1970s. By 1997, the artist began shifting his focus to the natural world, with pastel landscape studies. Mr Gustafson, a Swede, began drawing swans in the same minimalist style that had defined his work in the fashion industry. “I picked the most fashionable parts of nature,” Gustafson said. “The swan is very much the supermodel among birds, and they’re very elegant. I was still looking for beautiful lines, but just in the natural world. I wanted to reduce, simplify, and get to the essence of things,” Gustafson said of his stark, romantic works. I love, love, love the concision of his work.
It's the complete opposite of what fashion is now.