BLACK LEGGINGS ~ LOVE THEM OR LOATHE THEM?

Whoever invented them should be punched hard, on one side of their face, and smothered with kisses on the other. Has one item of clothing ever been so loved and hated in equal measures?

Loved, I would guess, mainly by women, hated, I can confidently say, mainly by men.  does my bum look big in this. H60

Every autumn, when bare leg days are behind us, I vow that when the chill does finally come to the air, and it’s time for chunky jumpers and warm jackets, I will NOT, most definitely NOT succumb to wearing that ‘capsule’ item of clothing found lurking in almost every woman’s wardrobe, BLACK LEGGINGS.  But every year, I always do, and I hate myself for it.

But aren’t they oh so easy to wear, so comfy, so cosy and best of all, so flipping cheap!  Perhaps therein lies the irony of it all.

Many girls pop on leggings these days, almost the same way they pop on their knickers, they wear them EVERY time they go out.  It’s only their tops and shoes, which change, depending on the destination.

Leggings have become the young Mum’s uniform of choice. Teamed with baggy T shirts and woolly socks for indoors. Baggy T shirts, a waterfall cardi and flip flops for a trip to the local shops. Baggy T shirt, jacket and Ugg boots for the school run, and if they are really pushing the boat out, hardly any T shirt at all, and SPARKLY leggings, with sky high shoes for clubbing.  Dress ‘em up, dress ‘em down. Anything goes.

Having said that, it’s quite a challenge dressing leggings ‘down’ any further than they already ultimately go.

But what about us more ‘mature’ ladies.   Have you said, Hello Sixty, bring it on, but I won’t be a slave to fashion. I can’t wear leggings at my age, they are far too unkind to my figure, it’s  not what it was.  Jeggings are the way forward for me!

Regardless of age, should we look on leggings, as our comfortable friends, or are they the work of the ‘does my arse, tummy, hips, thighs, and legs, look big in this’ fat fairy in a bad mood.

Do you wear them to Waitrose, or are they something you prefer just to wear in the privacy of your own home.

Men hate leggings, and that’s a fact.  I recall in the late 80’s when leggings first became popular, a ‘gentleman friend’ of mine once commented that the sight of me, in leggings, reminded him of Max Wall.

Max Wall H60I’m still wounded. He is not my friend anymore. Max Wall indeed.

But what is it about leggings that turn men off so much. I mean they are black, and they cover your legs, pretty much like stockings, but I guess that’s where the similarity ends.

Leggings clearly do not have the same appeal to men, as a silky 10 denier black lacy edged stocking.  But both are black, both cover the length of your legs, but I think they occupy the same space in a man’s head as tights, without the gusset.

SUCH a great word GUSSET. It’s worthy of a mention for no other reason.   Black stockings. H 60

Strange isn’t it that many things that men find sexy, are so bloody uncomfortable. Suspenders. Corsets. Stilettoes……you know it’s true.

 

How typical, that something as comfy as leggings, should be
such a turn off.

So tell us where you stand on the legging front.

Will you be wearing them loud and proud this winter, or could nothing persuade you to go there!

 

Photo’s courtesy of Flickr and Amazon.

STOP THE HYSTERIA OVER HISTORICAL GROPING!

 

This is not the first time I’ve written about historic cases of sexual assault, which really should be downgraded to…. inappropriate groping by men who should have know better.

I fully expect that there are some women who will totally disagree with my sentiments. But I was pleased to note the voice of reason in an article by Rachel Johnson in last week’s edition of the Mail on Sunday. Rachel Johnson. the good web guide.co.uk

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2780848/RACHEL-JOHNSON-Bad-luck-Charlotte-arresting-old-gropers-just-waste-time.html

Of course, it goes without saying, that rape is, was, and always shall be the most appalling of crimes and I can do no better than echo this statement made by Ms Johnson.

 When it comes to rape and paedophilia, there should be no statute of limitations on sins of the past. Go get ’em, dead or alive, I say.’   And well said her.

But really, how much more taxpayers money is going to be spent pursuing now ageing minor celebrities of yesteryear, for pinching a pretty girls bum or getting a bit too up close and personal with a pair of pert boobs.

How many more wandering hands of the 70’s and 80’s must be now sacrificed so that whoever feels they have been ‘assaulted’ can now get justice for their suffering and move on from whatever terrible thing that has blighted their life.

Have these incidents really been SO terrible, that they warrant ruining a man’s life, just for a thoughtless act of impropriety. Or, as Rachel Johnson advises in her previous column would possibly a swift kick in the balls and a sincere apology to any female he humiliated might be more of a fitting punishment.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2772320/RACHEL-JOHNSON-DLT-didn-t-need-trial-just-kick-hurts.html

Most of these men, now being hauled off for hours of questioning at police stations across the land, are in their mid-50’s to late 60’s they are around the same age as many of the readers of my blog Hello Sixty.   I don’t know about you, but I have enough trouble recalling where I was, and what I was doing LAST year, let alone 30-40 years ago, which is when many of these incidents allegedly occurred.

How the heck are they supposed to defend themselves against a perhaps bitter female, who simply wants to jump on the main chance Jimmy Savile bandwagon.

How ironic that his name was spelt Savile, with only one L, making him truly ‘vile’. That was indeed one cap that truly fitted!

Of course, it has be acknowledged that there are wildly differing degrees of severity within the ‘sexual assault’ crime. But the word ‘groping’ to me, does not constitute a sexual assault.

If ‘groping’ DOES indeed constitute a sexual assault, then, as a young, petite blonde, I was probably sexually assaulted more times than I care to recall throughout the late 60’s and 70’s, but strangely enough, I’ve got better things to do now than even think about it, and even if I could recall a single face, name, time, place, rather than let any incident ‘blight my life’, I simply slapped a hand, and often a face, and yelled a pretty short and sharp, GET LOST!

Do you agree, or disagree with my thoughts, or have you encountered the odd groper yourself?

 

Photo of Ms Johnson courtesy of TheGoodWebGuide.co.uk

 

SOD OFF INSOMNIA !

From the moment we are born, sleep comes high on the agenda of our life. As babies we are rocked and soothed into a sublime state of peacefulness with chubby tummies full of milky goodness.

As parents, we negotiate with tired, grumpy toddlers, recalcitrant children and moody teenagers, to get them into bed for a ‘good night’s sleep’, which we know will not only restore their good mood, it will, by association, restore our sanity into the bargain.

How ironic therefore, that once our offspring have flown the nest, and we could enjoy our own good night’s sleep, undisturbed by colicky babies, children with nightmares, and noisy teenagers, the insomnia fairy comes calling and like an unwelcome guest at a party, simply will not leave!

If you have trouble sleeping, no doubt you’ve had the same sage advice as me, to follow something called sleep hygiene. A nice warm bath, a milky drink, turn off your technology and get into the routine of winding down before you get into bed.  Follow the rules and you’ll sleep like a baby. Sleeping angel.

Except you probably won’t.

Are you like me, is this what happens next?   Your thoughts suddenly go into overdrive, then you get a quaintly called, ear worm that plays you a random song.  Yes, I’ve endured many a Godly hymn on a loop at a fairly ungodly hour!

Then it’s tossing and turning, plumping up the pillows, going to the loo, throwing covers off, doing some deep breathing, counting sheep or stars, and more than likely going to the loo again, just to be on the safe side.

Nothing works, how frustrating it all is.

The experts tell us to distract our minds. Get up, and go into another room. I wonder what you are supposed to do in ‘the other room’.

Remember the ‘ no technology, no screens’ mantra, which rules out watching Emmerdale on catch up, and attempting The Times crossword is probably best avoided too.

I head for the kitchen. Tea and toast is my preferred middle of the night distraction. I laugh in the face of the minuscular shot of caffeine from Yorkshires finest brew, the way I’m feeling it can’t make me feel any worse!  Toast.

The dog raises his head as the waft of my toast and peanut butter finds his nose, but he’s enjoying a lovely rabbity dream, and carries on snoozing.  Let sleeping dogs lie, and all that.

They say the longest hours are just before dawn, but for me, and some of you, I know the longest hours are ALL the hours you are not sleeping!

Around this point, I often wonder what is the most civilised time to emerge from the bedroom to start the day, and what will I do once I get up.  It’s too early to start hovering, and I’ve already had my breakfast, hours ago when the moon was still shining.

But on saying a cheery ‘Good Morning’ to your nearest and dearest, and commenting on your disturbed night, isn’t it so annoying when some bright spark says to you. ‘You just think you didn’t sleep, you probably weren’t awake for very long at all’

You mutter in a fairly forceful tone, ‘actually, I was awake all night’, but they never believe you.

Does the insomnia fairy rent a room in your house too?

WHITE DEE ~ SHE’S NOT SO WRONG!

It’s usually agreed that the two subjects never to raise at the dinner party table, are religion and politics and I for one can’t usually find the enthusiasm to discuss either, as I would probably be sent to the gallows, or find myself redirected down, instead of up when it comes to the heaven/hell bound afterlife lift.

However, I’m dipping my toe in the murky political waters, and offering up an observation about a couple of people who have made headline news for very different reasons over the last week or so.

There will be no flowery words, nor are my observations based on any indepth political knowledge.  It’s just the thoughts of little old me.

Brooks Newmark, ah yes, that name might ring a bell with you.  He is  the Conservative MP for a town very near to where I actually live and as such, I’m presuming, was elected to represent the members of his constituency, listen to their concerns, and act upon them to the greater good of all concerned.   Brooks Newmark. Daily Mail.

He was also the MP caught out in a journalist sting, when he took the questionable decision to allegedly expose himself on camera to who he thought was a young female admirer, whilst  wearing some natty paisley pyjama’s.

Never a wise selfie for a Politician really.

Accordingly Mr Newmark has resigned from his ministerial post as Minister for Civil Society, which is rather ironic as I don’t consider showing your dangly bits on a webcam, particularly ‘civil’ behaviour.  But hey we’ve all got a dark side I guess.

But regardless of all this, I feel in retrospect that to stand as an MP for the particular constituency which he still represents at the moment, was another of his questionable decisions..

What on earth was HE thinking?  Let’s just quickly look at his credentials.  Mr Newmark reportedly lives in a £15 million home in London, he has major connections with Lehman Brothers,  and counts amongst his friends the US Secretary of State  John Kerry.

Yes I can see that he has lots in common with his constituents in Braintree, one of the least affluent market towns in Essex, and where one of the highest number of single parent families reside, mostly in housing association properties, not to mention it’s extremely high rate of unemployment. So how can this  privileged man possibly identify with their problems and issues is truly beyond me.

In 2010, Brooks won the newly configured seat of Braintree, increasing his majority to 16,121. As part of the new Coalition Government, Brooks was appointed a Senior Government Whip with responsibility for the Department of Business and the Wales Office and later was given responsibility for the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister until September 2012. During this time, Brooks was a Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury. At the end of 2012, Brooks was elected to the Treasury Select Committee.

One wonders how much empathy he can genuinely show to Mr Average Constituent, at his ‘surgery’, and how do they actually relate and engage with him, during their allotted appointment.   How can he possibly understand the problems that must have regularly been brought to his blue door. I do appreciate that it’s horses for courses and the population of Braintree will gravitate towards which ever MP they have sworn allegiance to, but for the residents of Braintree, I fear his latest quote….. ‘I hope people will balance the good I’ve done for the community over the years, with a foolish thing I did one evening’…. , will fall on deaf ears.

No chance mate, I think you may well be joining the ranks of the unemployed sooner than you think.  The people of Braintree are an unforgiving lot, and I predict a surge for UKIP in next week’s by elections, and you’ll be out in the cold with nothing but your jim jams.

BUT, on a different note, despite her dubious qualifications, another person who probably COULD represent the aforementioned town much more effectively has also hit the headlines this week for a more positive reason and is non other than Deirdre Kelly, better known as ‘White Dee’, who, at first glance is a very in your face kind of woman, however, here is how she enlightened the Tory Party Conference, and in my view, by jove she’s not wrong.   White Dee telly mix.co.uk

First and foremost, she may switch from Labour to UKIP but says that Iain Duncan Smith is not doing his job properly…

Dee said that the Welfare and Pensions Secretary was “out of touch with the real world”.

“The more common you are the more in touch you are”…

Listen up Boris, Cameron and Clegg. “Just because you are a little bit common doesn’t mean that you are stupid and you wouldn’t be able to have a good input,” she said. “I think the more common you are the more in touch you are with real people, so yes [becoming an MP] would be something I would consider.”

David Cameron doesn’t need to worry about her competing for his job yet…

“[Running for parliament] is something I would think about, but obviously I wouldn’t object to starting at the bottom – I wouldn’t want to go straight in and have David Cameron’s job.

“I would think about it because I am interested in politics and I am interested in normal people and I am interested in the country.”

Job centres need to be less judgemental…

“I have experienced some not very nice job centres,” she said. “You do just go in, you sit down, you are looked down upon.

“They just need to understand that, just because you are on benefits does not mean that you are not a real person. Just because you are on benefits doesn’t mean that you are not physically looking for a job.”

Do you agree with some or all of her observations, or is she just a gobby cow who should get herself back to her Benefit Street and take her opinions with her!

~~

 Photo’s courtesy of the Daily Mail and Telemix

TINDER ~ MADE ME SEE RED!

Tinder Well for anyone who has missed it, TINDER is a phone app for, let’s call it, making a connection with someone based mainly on their looks and location!  Already a pretty shallow way of finding your one and only,  but hey, let’s not judge an phone app by it’s cover.  And after all as the strap line  on the Tinder website is ‘It’s how people meet’, it must be true!

The premise  is, that you sign up on your mobile phone, and Tinder uses images accessed from your Facebook page for your profile on the app.  This requires careful planning as many people  look like a dog………..

Once you have signed up, a selection of pictures appears on your screen with the option to swipe the picture away, either left or right, according to if you ‘like’ the picture of the person, or if you think they look like a mad person; and that’s being kind.

If you ‘like’ someone, and they ‘like’ you back, it’s called a match, and a text box opens for you to begin to communicate. It couldn’t be easier really. Of course a degree of cynicism has to be exercised. Why for example do a high percentage of the men on Tinder feel that the bathroom is a suitable backdrop for that all important profile picture, oh and there’s a wedding ring, and the same lovely lady in many a mans pictures.

But JUST  for the purpose of research, (of course), I dipped my twinkly toe into the red hot coals of Tinder and here is what happened!

Let’s call him ‘Jim’ clearly took a shine to my picture, and ‘Jim’ was the best out of a disappointingly bad bunch. But as I had clicked ‘like’ and he had clicked ‘like’, we were deemed to be a match and so the conversation begun.

Early one morning  ‘Jim’ said ‘Hi’, and a bit later on  I returned the favour. We got some pleasantries out of the way, our location ( I’m lazy, I already knew that 20 miles was way too far to go just for a coffee) and our relationship status, boxes ticked, and we both appeared to be (not) so young, free and single.  RESULT!

Then things took surprising turn, and not in a good way.   ‘Jim’ asked me what I did for a job.  Wedding Co-ordinator I told him, and that I was just off to work.  He replied saying that he would love to see some more pictures of me and was sitting in his basement at his computer,  imagining me going to my office in a short skirt and high heels.   WHAT!!??   My immediate thought was one that I often use in such circumstances….. Oh For F**K Sake!

Ever the realist, I burst his bubble straight away, telling him that happily it was an informal day at the office and I’d be in my comfy jeans and trainers.   He came straight back even more insistently asking for more photo’s, and implying that WHEN I sent them, he was sure  they would be very sexy and he couldn’t wait to see them.   REALLY?!

A few more messages filtered in during the  day, and I recall that it was not a particularly good day at the office, so later that evening, under the influence of a few tads of annoyance and a few glasses of Merlot, I fired back a ‘do one’ message to ‘Jim’ telling him in no uncertain terms that his messages were bordering on offensive, and he needed to rethink his Tinder strategy if he really was hoping for a LTR. (Long term Relationship in dating speak).

Fair play to ‘Jim’ he came straight back and suggested we start all over again from the beginning.   Errrrr……NO I don’t think so Jim.  DELETE!

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/23/tinder-shallowest-dating-app-ever

This online article gives a much more indepth over view of Tinder and over a few days, I too received other messages that might have been written by a 5 year old but were supposedly from fully grown men.

However, if you do find yourself a bit bored on a cold winter evening, and need some light entertainment, sign up, if only for the amusement value of stalking men in bathrooms.

Have you ever had a Tinder experience, good or bad ?

 

Logo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

 

 

FEELING TOO YOUNG TO BE OLD!

waitingI was at work when the lady rang me. I had actually been waiting for this call for about 8 years.   The waiting list had been very long, but at last it seemed I was at the top of the queue.

My ‘be careful what you wish for moment’ had apparently arrived

‘You sound very young dear’ the caller ventured, ‘is it going to be for your Mother?’  ‘Oh NO’ I said, ‘it’s for me, I’m definitely 60, my voice is just well preserved’ – probably due to the vast quantities of alcohol that had passed through my throat I thought.

She proceeded to tell me the details in a cheery tone, whilst I, slightly shocked, took notes and agreed to meet her colleague Kate, the next day.

I got home and my ‘much younger man’ had poured me a glass of wine and run a hot bath for me. I noticed that he was all scrubbed up and smelling sweet. Clearly he was in a bedroom frame of mind.  He asked about my day and, as he tried to tempt me with his nibbles and dips, I told him, this and that about work and family, selectively forgetting to mention my unexpected phone call.

I had to inwardly digest it myself first. I wasn’t ready to share just yet, especially not with him being 20 years younger than me.  If he’d been 60 too, I might have cracked open the champagne!  candlelight

Heading towards the candlelit bath, (he really had pushed the boat out), I shrugged off my biker jacket, and peeled off my thick tights and short skirt. I noticed my gel nails needed some ‘maintenance’, I thought I might have the new seasons gold or silver next time.

OMG, as younger people say, WTF shall I do.? Yes OK, so my body is over 60, my birth certificate doesn’t lie. But my brain feels like there’s been a huge mistake and I should be, I WANT to be, the better side of 40, I don’t want to qualify for a bus pass, or any other type of ‘mature peoples’ concessions.

I don’t think I’m ready for what’s been offered to me, the very word has such ‘old’ and settled connotations, I’m usually of no fixed abode, with no roots. For the last 10 years, I’ve been travelling light, backwards and forwards across Europe, my life’s possessions and the dog, jammed in the back of my estate car.

But I looked around my hastily rented, teeny tiny house, where the dog and I get in each other’s way. And now with ‘the much younger man’ in situ for a few more weeks, it was getting mighty crowded.

I need more space, that’s for sure, and the dog needs more than a back yard to explore. A block of flats blocks my view of the outside world, and the sun rarely shines on my parade!   All in all, yes, I really should ‘move on’, but really, I mean REALLY, it all has implications that I don’t even want to think about.

lipstickThe next morning, I dressed as usual in my skinnys from Next, Ugg boots and a Zara Parka, and I was rocking a red lippy look. Maybe I should have dressed more conservatively; something befitting my age.

Whilst I waited for Kate, I wandered up and down the road, trying to get a feel for it.  It was a bright breezy day, and good grief, there were many large pants and aprons flapping around on long washing lines held up with wooden poles.   Net curtains twitched and a lady with a shopping trolley walked past me and said ‘Hello DEAR’.

washing on the line.I had another OMG moment and nearly ran back to my car.

A fresh faced girl greeted me, she looked about 12. We walked up the path, she unlocked the door, and as we walked round the freshly painted, light and airy rooms she pointed out this and that, and gave me a running commentary on local shops, doctors and excitedly observed that the bus stops right outside the door.

There was a sitting room big enough for two, yes two sofa’s, I could have friends round, two bedrooms, or one could be a dining room, yippee, my friends could also eat with me now , a kitchen where I could swing several cats simultaneously, and loads of cupboard space to store all the gadgets I never use.

Outside, the winter sun was shining on the big, securely fenced garden, and at the bottom, I spotted horses trotting around in a field.

It was a world away from my quaintly called ‘quarter house’, which was more like an eighth of a house, and where visitors usually had to sit on the stairs, and could also view the state of my unmade bed if they needed a loo break, en suite was really, en bedroom!

Kate gave me a while to ‘think about it’ and considerately left me alone to wander round and ponder even more.  But really it was a done deal.

We filled in the paperwork, I’d have been silly not to, but oh how I laughed, as she handed me the keys, and with her tongue very firmly in her cheek she said to me, ‘I hope you will be very happy in your BUNGALOW

LAST CHANCE SALOON!

Last Chance Saloon!

 

It’s the last chance saloon!

It is funny isn’t it, how ‘some’ mature men, behave like stupid teenagers when it comes to women, and often not in a good, or gentlemanly way.

Take my acquaintance Philip for example, and yes, that is his real name.

I’ve known Phil for a goood few years. We once flirted with the idea of becoming a bit of an item, but for one reason and another I decided I’d rather stay in the friendship zone. Friends.

Our non relationship, had been more than tested many moons ago, as while I was working for him for a few weeks,  he was unable to accept that he wasn’t ever going to see me in my undies, so he took a sulk, and actually fired me from my job!

But after we’d retired to our separate corners for a year or so, we kissed and made up, and even though we’ve both moved around a lot over the years, we’ve always kept in touch and I’d given our friendship one more chance.

Fast forward to this year, when we’ve met up a few more times for a drink and a chat, exchanged a few texts and phone calls, and I’d say our friendship had grown a bit

Still no clothes have been removed in the conducting of this friendship, but we have genuinely had some good laughs along the way.

Now Philip has other lady ‘friends’ which I know exist, but he never mentions them. Preferring me to believe that he’s free and single, even if he is not young.

He’s a smart, good looking man, and  there’s no doubt that he is attractive for his age. He’s funny, and entertaining and probably a good catch for someone who is not me.

But Philip forgets that by the wonders of social media, I can see pictures of a mature blonde female, draped round his neck at a New Years Eve celebration, and on this particular occasion, the camera certainly didn’t lie!

I can also almost see her knickers as she is pictured rather unwisely ‘dancing’ on the floor with her legs apart.   It’s not a good look.

cruise shipAt the beginning of June andpreceding my recent holiday, Philip upped his game slightly and the phone calls were coming in on a daily basis. There was talk of me accompanying him on a cruise later this year. Separate cabins all the way

Philip likes cruises, a lot, but he usually goes alone.  Honestly, he told me. So it must be true.

Yes, just lately there had been a nice friendly feel to our nice friendly relationship.   But then what do you know, during a  last minute visit to him, the day before my holiday, Philip lost a really good friend, and so I guess he’ll carry on cruising, ‘alone’.

I wanted to return a small camera, and so one early evening, unannounced, I pulled into the pub car park where I knew I would find him.

Unbeknown to Phil in the garden of the pub, being all clued up,  I spotted his neck draping, knicker lady, chatting to some customers, but I wasn’t wanting to speak to her, so I just wandered into the pub, all smiles and called out a happy Hello!

Beer gardenThe look on his face was just priceless.  A mixture of horrified, terrified surprise!  He jumped up out of his leather look Chesterfield, grabbed my arm, quicker than quick, and marched me back towards the door muttering frantically,

‘Thanks for popping in, have a lovely holiday’ BYE !

Wine glassesHe couldn’t get me out of the door quick enough.   Whereas previously, he’d offer a glass of wine, maybe some nibbles, and be happy to chat for hours, this time, my feet almost didn’t touch the ground. I was in, and out in less than a minute.

I got back in the car and just shook my head in disbelief that ‘a friend’ could treat his friend, so badly.

The ironic part of all this, for me anyway, was, that he was blissfully unaware of the fact that I knew the reason for his disgracefully rude behaviour.

What the heck did he think I was going to do?  If his ‘lady friend’ should, by chance, have walked back into the pub, I would have read the signs, made polite excuses and left.   I’m still not sure what he was most scared of, me seeing her, or her seeing me!

It made not a scrap of difference to me. I am of the opinion that if you don’t want to have a relationship with a friend, who is a man, then you have to embrace and accept his choice of female companions

 

We WERE only friends after all.  Not anymore!   Bye Bye image.  image buddy

MEMORIES OF MY MUM

My first trip to the pictures with my Mum!

My first trip to the pictures with my Mum!

THINGS I REMEMBER ABOUT MY MUM

I was unlucky, in that my beloved Mum died when I was just 17, and of course in the passage of time, memories fade, but there are one or two things that I’ll always remember and when I hear, or see them again, reminds me just of her.

Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, my Mum was quite a fashionable woman. She was a well-respected director’s secretary, and her ‘uniform’ of choice was usually a shift dress with a coat to match set off with a sparkly brooch, or small row of pearls.

An evocative fragrance for me!

An evocative fragrance for me!

She flirted with perfumes, and was always looking for a kind of ‘signature’ smell, and she surely did find it when Estee Lauder launched YOUTH DEW.  My Mum was overjoyed, and from her very first bottle, she was hooked, you definitely smelt her gorgeousness, before you actually saw her, and when she left the room, her fragrance remained long after!

It’s not a fashionable perfume now of course, but when an elegant lady of advancing years passes me by wearing it I can easily identify it.

My Mum had a sister who lived hours away from us, in the north of England, but every few months, my auntie would travel down to London, and we’d all meet up at Lyons Corner House, then on for some shopping in Selfridges, and sometimes to see a film or a show.

 As a young girl in the 60’sI don’t recall that film censorship was so prevalent then as it is today.  I remember going to see Breakfast at Tiffany’s and even at that age, thinking that Audrey Hepburn was the most wonderful woman.

Moon River still brings back happy thoughts of sitting eating ice-creams served from a tray by a ‘waitress’ in the interval!

Just as today’s young women go to concerts to see  Michael Buble and Gary Barlow, my Mum’s ‘hero’ was a singer called Frank Ifield.  A handsome blonde man, who had the uncanny knack of bringing a kind of yodelling into his love songs!

I do still remember you!

I do still remember you!

My first live concert that I ever saw was at the once famous London Palladium, and I’m sure I saw I my Mum swooned as the handsome young man sang ‘I Remember You oooooo’!   When I hear it now on the radio, I smile at the thought of her being entranced as she watched him sing it on the big stage.

I really envy 60 year old daughters who still have their old Mum in their life. So many grumble and groan about the responsibility of looking after them, but I’d give my right arm to have to look after mine now.

What brings back happy memories of your beloved parents?

~~~~~~~~~~

SMOKE SIGNALS!

IMG_0100What can be more upsetting at your wedding than guests behaving badly?

I’m not really talking about a bout of fisticuffs on the dance floor, or any other type of aggressive behaviour. This is about being inconsiderate to your host, and showing appalling bad manners.

Working at a wedding venue, means that I’m lucky enough to be involved in 3 or 4 celebrations a week, taking care of the newlyweds and guests during the wedding breakfast, which is usually a three course meal, including speeches, and toasts to the happy couple.

There are normally 8 or so, beautifully decorated round tables, full of chattering friends and relatives whilst the bride, groom and close family oversee the room from a vantage point of the traditional long ‘top’ table. In the run up to the wedding, very often for months, sometimes years, the bride plans how the room will look, who will sit next to who, and she will choose centrepieces for the tables to compliment her colour scheme.

It’s hard to imagine the amount of thought, and often stress, that goes into ensuring everything looks just perfect for guests to enjoy.   IMG_0101 So once these same guests have been welcomed into this lovely setting, and wine is poured for them, and tasty food is put in front of them, why can’t grown men and women, survive two hours, without leaving the table, to go outside and smoke a cigarette?

It honestly has to be seen to be believed. At almost every wedding, people will scurry outside 3 or 4 times in the space of a couple of hours. As soon as they have finished eating each course, they are patting at their pockets, or delving into handbags, for the familiar outline of the cigarette packet, and rush outside to draw on a cigarette like a dying man draws on oxygen.

Just before the speeches there is often almost a complete exodus, which leaves the room looking like a sad café. But last week I saw something even more indicative of today’s lack of social skills and consummate bad manners.

We had a wedding where the bride was let’s just say a bit ‘difficult’ and ‘particular’ about her wedding day.  She had the air of a ‘diva’ about her, and everything had to be even more just so, than it usually is. During her wedding breakfast, the starters had been cleared away, and the smoking fraternity had made their first dash for a nicotine fix, huddled together in groups all around the gardens.

The waitresses began to serve the top table first, with their main course, of crispy beef wellington, with all the trimmings. Eight portions were placed in front of empty seats, and whilst gradually the other diners returned to enjoy their food, the eight chairs at the top table remained empty with cooling plates of food still untouched.

Yes, whilst her new husband and closest family still stood outside preferring the company and taste of their cigarettes, and despite her quest for perfection, the bride was left sitting completely alone, with her plate of food, at the top table she had decorated so beautifully, looking very forlorn and unhappy.

Manners Maketh Man……….and all that.

THE NOT SO CLEVER KIR ROYALE!

 

DSC_0326I’m lucky enough to work at a very lovely wedding venue, where, on arrival guests are served with a variety of welcome drinks. This might be something like Bucks Fizz, a lovely summery Pimm’s or very often a drink called Kir Royale.

Traditionally, Kir Royale is made from Crème de Cassis, which is a gorgeous rich dark syrup made from blackcurrants.  It is usually mixed with sparkling wine or champagne, and served in flutes.

Last week a collegue was trying to be helpful and laid out all the essential items for us to make our large serving jugs of Kir Royale. She also kindly poured the fruit syrup into the bottom of the jugs, ready for us to top it up with a chilled sparkling wine.

Corks were popped and the fizz was fizzing.  However, on this occasion something had gone very wrong.  Our usually lovely, pale pink cocktails, had a distinct look of Tizer about them and were in fact bright orange.

We scratched our heads and sniffed and sipped, until all was revealed.

GRENADINE was the culprit.  Our ‘helper’ had mistakenly used Grenadine instead of Crème de Cassis and we’d already made up several jugs of the stuff before we noticed.

Well, as you can imagine, being an alcoholic drink, it seemed a shame to pour it away, so we hastily found some empty bottles and decanted the strange looking potion, which we decided couldn’t be ‘that’ bad and to save any waste we would take it home and focus on the sparkling wine part of the drink rather than the Grenadine.

It was an any old port in a storm situation really. If it contains alcohol, it’ll be fine…..that kind of thinking.

Trust me, words cannot describe how horrible it was.   Such a disappointment!