Private audience with Diana…

Can’t believe it’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow.
That means lots of scary fireworks for Mr. B.
Also it is a reminder that the deadline for my first menswear collection is fast approaching.
So I de-cluttered  my table, brought out the knitwear I was working on pre-Xmas and got down to business…

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Finishing off a sleeve.
While I was busy stitching away, I decided to watch “Diana Vreeland – the eye has to travel“…

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Don’t you just love her? Especially her wise cracking, I really really adore it.
The remarks like “I am as practical as Bloomingdale!” or “I adore that pink! It’s the navy blue of India”, I wish if I can come up with such a witty & charming reply.
I read her autobiography “D.V” about a decade ago.
I can’t remember what made me pick up the book at Foyles on Charling Cross Road.
However, I remember how gripping her gruff yet affectionate tone was, narrating her extraordinary life in such a nonchalant manner.

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In her interview, she recited –
“Style is everything, George.
You have to get up in the morning and get down the stairs.
It’s a way of life. Without it, you are nobody.”

I agree with you, Diana.
And I wish if I were there in the 50s when you were editing Harper’s Bazaar.

Then, it was almost 5:30pm when Hubbie emerged from the bedroom with Mr.B in arm.
By the way, he is so much better than he used to be. Apart from occasional coughing, he is almost his usual self.

For dinner, we decided to order pizza. I was rather excited because I hadn’t had pizza for almost a half-year.

Ta-Dah! I am rubbing my hands with glee…

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Mine was “Milano” – Tomato sauce, mixed Roast Vegetables, Chicken, Jalapenos & Mozzarella…

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Mmmm… Yummy…
Would Diana disapprove of me stuffing my mouth on a couch?
It’s not really stylish, is it? I am not even bothered to remove the pizza from the box.
It is definitely not chic, that is for sure. Sorry, Diana…

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Fashionable escape (in my mind)…

Ouch! My mouth hurts. My lips are cracking and sore.
It feels like they don’t belong to me at all. When they are rubbed together, it gives me a
strange sensation, like having two sheets of sandpaper between my mouth.
I also have a couple of mouth ulcers as well. So every time I use Listerine, it stings like hell too. Oh, bu**er…
However, apart from this very unappealing oral condition, the rest of my cold seems to be improving all the times. I may be well enough to go out for lunch or tea & cake this afternoon. Provided Hubbie, who still chokes with a torrent of coughs time to time, is up for it, that is…

While I was in self-imposed exile in bed with a box of Kleenex Balsam, I bought a few books wirelessly in order to distract my miserable self.
One was a biography of a legendary editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Carmel Snow, “A Dash of Daring” by Penelope Rowlands…

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I just wanted to read something luxurious, feminine and light-hearted.
Even though fashion is a serious business in itself, it is not as heavy or serious as history or politics, is it?

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By the way, how those fashionable jet setters used to operate in Pre-war era!
it was so impossibly glamorous. Endless champagne, dancing, Dior, Chanel, Lanvin, Balenciaga… Just reading the life of Ms.Snow made me feel like living in the world of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It was so intoxicating.

Another one was “Encyclopaedia of the Exquisite” by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins…

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This charming book is a collection of essays regarding history of anything and everything lovely and opulent. Like how champagne was accidentally created or how a boudoir developed in the 18th century…etc
Those sweet anecdotes were especially a soothing read when my head was tortured with a sinus pressure.

And the last of my impulse buy was “Grace”, an auto-biography by Grace Coddington, the creative director of American Vogue…

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She was the most likeable character in that film, “the September Issue”.

 

With her frizzy red mane and her black Birkenstock sandals, she looked the least “Vogue set” and it was refreshing and endearing.
I imagined somewhere like American Vogue, a citadel of high fashion, was populated by those lofty chosen few who were impeccably groomed and sporting an effortless chic 24/7.
However, despite being an ex-model, Grace was unexpectedly make-up free, natural and just normal.
And it made me like her very much.

 

So when I found her book in Kindle, I had to buy it with one-click.

At the moment, my teeth are firmly stuck in Carmel Snow’s book.
However, I have had a little nibble at the other two books too. And they are delicious! All sorts of heart-fluttering bits and pieces are in there, which will definitely help to make any gloomy day a little lighter.
Mmmm… I can hardly wait…

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Mr. B at work

I am so disappointed in me finally succumbing to this unpleasant cold.
It feels like someone is tightening my head with a vice. I also hate this dreadful shiver which I feel right after every sneeze.
Oh, it’s so boring to be ill while everyone else is bargain hunting! I am sure that all items worthwhile have long gone from the shelves in West End. Damn…

Anyway, Mr.B was one happy chap yesterday…

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‘What is this?’
He quizzically looked up, twinkling at me.
That’s a mini size chew for you. It’s your Xmas pressie, matey!

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He was sniffing at it first and got down to business in no time…

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How is it goin’, kid?
‘Can’t you see I am rather busy right now?’

Sorry, I shall leave you alone…

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Here comes the Christmas Day…

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas. And I am relieved that it is over.
Finally, the cold which was latching on me for days conquered me, thanks to the cats and the extremely cold dining room.
Now, I can’t help sneezing like a volcano erupting every now and then. Oh my, it hurts
my nose like hell and sends my head spinning with an aftershock…

Anyway, we drove to Hubbie’s brother’s for Christmas lunch yesterday…

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We wouldn’t dare mentioning it to the rest of the clan, especially to his dad, but we were reluctant participants of this annual ritual. Still, we went along with this Xmas business like every year with a stoicism of martyr in order to preserve a family unity.
However, as soon as we bid our farewell at the door and shut ourselves in the car, our postmortem commenced and it went like this.
Hubbie groaned with disbelief, shaking his head, “Why? Why another torch?!” And I joined in, “And chopping board in the shape of a cricket bat?!” Our complaint crescendoed as we headed back to Central London.

Adding salt to injury, this time we were given a porcelain bull-dog which served as a piggy bank…

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We went speechless momentarily when the box was opened. Then, Hubbie recovered his composure and thanked his broadly grinning dad. ‘Oh why? What the point?’ I repeated my question in my head while hastily pulling up corners of my mouth for a smile.
We both agreed that his dad was the one who loved this family tradition and would want to carry on as it always had been since Hubbie & his brother were very young.
We appreciate his kindness that he wants to buy gifts for us. However, we are all grown up now and can buy whatever we want /need by ourselves. We want him to grow up or at least to realize that we are grown-up. What will happen to all those unwanted presents? The next trip they have will be to our local charity shop.
We really want him to keep the money instead.

After watching the Queen’s Christmas broadcast on BBC, we moved on to a dining room.
The starter was smoked salmon with  crème fraîche and capers…

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The salmon was thick and succulent. And it was nicely presented as well.
My sister-in-law was a very competent cook. Lucky me.

Then, here came the roast turkey with all the trimming…

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Unfortunately, I was not a massive fan of turkey.
I always find turkey just too dry and too “birdie” in a wrong way.
Still, I cleaned the plate none the less.

Then, the plates were taken away and pots of fresh coffee and a huge box of chocolates were brought out. Mmmmm…

Sam the black Labrador cozying up to Hubbie..

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He was so excited about a house full of guests. His tail was wagging nonstop. As the result, more than a few glasses and cups were knocked off from the coffee table. Oh, Sam!

After watching Dr.Who Christmas Special, it was our time to head home…

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I was so relieved to leave because by then, my nose was completely blocked and very runny.
Do you know why? I apologise to all cat lovers but I am very allergic to cats. And they had two cats which were loitering around me all the time. So, together with my existing head cold and my allergic reaction, I was in such a state by the time we headed home. Honey, hand me another tissue double QUICK!!
At Home, disgruntled Hubbie solemnly declared that we would go away next Christmas. And I nodded vigorously in agreement.
However, I am very much doubtful if it will ever come true. I imagine, we, especially Hubbie, he won’t have the heart to tell his dad that we won’t be joining the family get together. I bet we will end up going through this family pantomime again and again in foreseeable future, you know.
Alas…

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Christmas Eve…

Oh dear, I can hear Hubbie coughing in the bedroom…
A poor chap! He is so unwell. It’s hard for me to see him so wretched.
I am not that well either, to be honest. Something nasty is latching on in my system. My nose is semi-blocked and my throat is just uncomfortable. You know the feeling, don’t you? It’s an ominous sign that something bad is developing. I am still fending it off with my steely determination though. I will have to drive to my brother-in-law’s tomorrow morning. I AM NOT GIVING IN!!

Anyway, our Christmas Eve kicked off in a subdued manner.
We promised to our local greasy spoon that we would come on 24th. So we honoured our pledge…

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The caf looked rather deserted.
The establishment would be hiving with office workers during normal working days. However, it was awash in tranquility today.
Voila, my cheese omelette with salad. They told me that those eggs were the last ones they had.
Lucky me!

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After zigzagging brown sauce like I would do normally, I had a palm-slap to the forehead moment. ‘I could have scrawled “Xmas” instead, couldn’t I? Dame!’. Oh well, my hunger got the better of me.

One of the prerogatives of being sick is any whim he/she has will be met with an upmost care and urgency. Hubbie wanted to have a bowl of panetone with hot custard. So I did my best to answer his plea…

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I even sprinkled a few sultanas to make him happier.
Now, he is tucked in bed with a mug of milky tea. Please get better soon, PLEEEEEAAASSSSEE!

By the way, a postman brought me another Christmas gift this morning (^-^)
I bought Dr.Alkaitis‘s Organic Universal Mask and a tube of Ilia‘s lip conditioner…

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I have been using Dr.Alkaitis for almost a month and so far so good.
Therefore, I decided to treat myself with his nourishing mask. Mmmm… I shall try this evening, shan’t I?

And a Ilia’s tinted lip conditioner, I’ve already own one in a darker shade, Shell Shock…

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Ta-Dah! The new addition is their “Dizzy”.
On the colour swatch, it appeared more like a vibrant tangerine sort of shade. However, it is pale apricot in reality. And I like it!
I love my Shell Shock when I am more properly made up. But for running local errands, this paler sister, Dizzy, is good enough for me…

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