Posts from May 2015

Pearls Of Wisdom

May 15, 2015

Perfect teeth unnerve me. Give me gaps, give me quirks –– give me teeth that tell a tale. One of my front teeth has a big chip in it from the time my brother shoved a boogie board in my mouth. Minus a few bumps and grooves, the rest of them are alright. But yes, I’d take Audrey Hepburn’s teeth over Halle Berry’s any day. Even crooked teeth can’t make that smile any less fabulous.

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Moo Moo Land

May 14, 2015

Last summer, very pregnant, I wore nothing but Mexican moo-moos in bubblegum pink, white and tangerine. This year, sans belly, I plan to do the same. Nothing suits summer more than loose, cotton dresses, sheer enough that they feel like a second skin. The ones over at Tavin, a company that reworks Victorian era pieces into charming gypsy frocks, are right up my boulevard. The LA boutique also carries gorgeous hand embroidered Baluch dresses from Afghanistan, as well as Vietnamese indigo dresses, skirts and scarves. Let the ice lolly temps begin.

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Piano, Piano

May 13, 2015

A great teacher has such contagious enthusiasm, that a child can’t help but catch it. This was not the case with my piano teacher, Eugenie Janice. She had short, manly nails, wore tweed skirts to the shin and got very cross when I hadn’t practiced my scales. Even the metronome was more animated than she was. Her hands were theatrical, I’ll grant her that. And when she played she’d contort them in the oddest ways. She tried to have me do the same, but it just felt awkward. By the time I stopped taking lessons, I could play quite well mind you. But I had zero interest. By then, I’d moved on to fencing. And I was wicked at that. Touché.

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Sun Worship

May 13, 2015

When we were teenagers, me and my friends used to lather ourselves in olive oil and sit on the tops of kaikia frying like saganaki in the blazing Mediterranean sun. It makes me cry a little bit when I think about what the sun, cigarettes and Retsina did to our skin. But we were young and fabulous, and didn’t care. These days, I hardly ever sit in the sun, and when I do, I’m covered in SPF and shaded by a parasol or a big floppy hat. As for the olive oil, I pour it on a kale salad. Now, someone please crack open the Retsina, this is all too responsible.

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A Dress

May 12, 2015

You know those people that you meet at a cocktail party, the ones that seem quite pleasant, who then laugh so hard that champagne shoots out of their nostrils? Well, that’s how I feel about a fabulous dress. I love it when people turn out to be sillier, funnier and more eccentric than I thought, and I love a dress that surprises me with imagination, humour or whimsy.

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Ruby Red

May 11, 2015

My grandmother had beautiful nails, long enough that they tapped the keys when she played the piano. For a long time she painted them red, but it’s a French manicure that I remember her wearing most. It didn’t matter what was happening in her life, her nails were always perfect. I refuse to get a French, but once in an eclipse, I’ll ask the manicurist to paint them ruby red. Because red nails make a girl feel dressed up, even when she’s wearing her pajamas.

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Mama Mia

May 8, 2015

“I’ve got eyes in the back of my head and I’m watching you with them kid,” is what my mother used to say, in an exaggerated southern accent, every time she caught me up to no good. Yesterday, I found Antimo scurrying through a bag of biscuits like a hungry mouse, and out came the words in my finest Louisiana drawl –– “Hey boy, I see you with them eyes in the back of my head.”  The apple does not fall far from the tree. At least, I hope it doesn’t. Happy Mother’s Day to my Mama, and all the wonderful mamas I know.

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Diamond In The Rough

May 8, 2015

When I was little, my father had a chauffeur and his name was Robert. He had thick wrinkles on his face to match a thick cockney accent and he wore diamonds on at least three of his fingers. He was a geezer. Most fridays, he’d pick up my brother and I from school and take us to Wormley Wheeler to buy a bag of penny sweets. Then we’d drive around London eating cola bottles in the backseat of a navy blue Merc while Robert told us stories about killing sharks with his bare hands and stuffing them into sandwiches for lunch. We’d end up at my dad’s office, or at the restaurant where we were meeting him for dinner. Maybe this sounds all sorts of wrong –– these two young kids driving around in a Merc with this wheeling, dealing, diamond-wearing driver from the East End –– but riding with Robert rates high in cool childhood adventures. I still think of him every time I see a shark. Come to think of it, he kind of looked like one.

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Say It With Flowers

May 7, 2015

Nigella Lawson says, “don’t bring flowers to a dinner party because then the hostess has to go and find a vase.” I see her point, it can be nuisance, especially if she’s saving a soufflé or filling 20-glasses with the cocktail of the hour. I usually plonk the blooms in a sink of water and tend to them once everyone has a drink in hand. Because, even if those ranunculus are getting in the way of my rhythm, who in the world isn’t made happier by the sight of fresh flowers?

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Neck And Neck

May 6, 2015

I’m not one to shy away from a maximalist approach of beads and baubles set against print on print, but sometimes the day calls for one punchy juxtaposition instead of a mishmash of many. Few things support a statement necklace better than a simple white t-shirt. Think of it as a clean canvas for an artist’s work. Because that’s what these are –– eye-popping works of art.

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