Sunday, January 21, 2007

Great Chieftain of the Puddn' Race

Work drinks Friday and then missed a dance but met randomly with knots of friends normally only seen at Festivals. Odd to see them in the dark of London. It was the type of evening that finishes at The Dublin Castle. We finished at The Dublin Castle. I walked over hill and under dell and got home at 5am. I think it's what one calls a bender!

Burn's night party yesterday. Haggis, whisky, and far from maddening neighbours in London. A chocolate fountain featured heavily, and I know you won't believe this; but melted chocolate goes really well on raw broccoli. It's called Chocky-Brocky. The Awful Poo Lady wouldn't agree!

I'm reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and today on Storypeople I saw this. I've been reflective during my two 3 hour journeys to and from the coast for haggis. I have had time to stop and stare. I even took some pictures of what I was staring at. I miss my own computer. It's fast and its big and it's black and it's mine. I miss being able to come in and relax. But I've been missing that for a long long time. I miss having a place to be, a place to hide, a place to stay, a place to just.... be myself. A door to shut. I miss my old flat in Alperton. I was alone there, with the odd maroon bathroom suite that showed the tiniest splash, and the "Terrific Turquoise"(tm) kitchen. But I wasn't happy then either. I'm happier now than I was then, less confused, more analytical, more...Grown Up.

I wonder if I'll ever settle, or always be like Holden Caulfield, forever clutching at straws in low life bars with velvet joke seating, or wandering through the sewer like Richard-Richard-Mayhew-Dick from Neverwhere. In and out of jobs, easily bored, easily hated, easily drunk and easily fooled. I wonder who am I? Do I have a spark of intelligence, or is it just idiocy to big myself up, am I flattering myself, in, what is after all, a web log here on the net for everyone to read. Nobodies reading about nobodies. Sure, I can read and write, but I've hardly made a super success of my life. Do I stand out from the crowd because I'm different or because I'm a fool?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The search for the perfect lip balm

I thought today I'd blog about some minutiae I've been obsessing about. Really, really little things that irritate me. Like, having dry lips. I find petroleum products and cheap lip balms don't work on me. I also can't bear that freezing stinging sensation of menthol and peppermint in lip balm. EVERY lip balm I have tried seems to have some type of mint oil in it. It feels like I've put my lips in a freezer !! Plus, I hate sticking my fingers in the stuff. I don't want it on my fingers. I want it on my lips.

Here's a list of some the lip balm attempts I've had lately. Just in case theres anything about lip balm you'd always wanted to know but been afraid to ask. Unlikely, yes, but I have to write this down somewhere.... because next winter when the Lip Balm Fairy (like the odd sock fairy, but greasier) has stolen every single lip balm in the house and I'm haplessly searching the shops for another, I'll know which one to get. There's even a lip balm addicts forum and general rant-a-thon here.

1. Vaseline in a little tin. £1. Makes fingers greasy. Not emollient enough for me.

2. Urban Decay "Lube in a Tube; Miami (pink)". £5 ebay.Great name, pretty colour, moisturising and glam at the same time. Shame it's mostly petrolatum with eight tablespoons of freeze-o-lip peppermint. Ow. Will give it away to a Young Person.

3. Burt's Bees Lip Tint (Rhubarb) £4 ebay. Great colour, all natural, very emollient, stays on for ages. Shame about the peppermint oil. If I wanted to stick my lips in liquid nitrogen, I would have done it by now. Interesting rosemary leaf aftertaste. Gave it to a friend who is veggie.

4. Clinique "impossibly glossy" lip colour. £11. Salesman told me it was moisturising. It is, and it's a beautiful colour, the "french peppermint" in the ingredients list doesn't sting or freeze, but alas, my hair sticks to it. Not attractive. Still, its a good piece of makeup if my hair's up... but to be honest my lips remain flaky if I use it on it's own. Face it, it's makeup.

5. "Lip Rescue" tea tree. £2.50. Yuk, yuk, yuk. Whatever posessed me to buy the Tea Tree one? Have you ever tasted Tea Tree oil? No? It has a medicinal taste reminiscent of TCP. AND it has peppermint oil in it, but not as deep freeze as the others. Very long lasting emollient though. Impressive. But tastes YUK.

6. FLP Aloe Vera lip balm. gift. The one I used almost all of and then lost last year. Excellent and lasts all day. Doesn't taste of anything imparticular. Just found it, with free delivery, here.

7. Clinique Glosswear for lips. £10. The only cosmetic stuff for lips I've ever come across that actually moisturises. Amazing, long lasting but a little sticky, and quite glittery, which is not ideal for everyone.

8. Collection 2000 Plastique lip gloss. £2.39. Yes, yes, I know, its a "gloss". But it was cheap. And it has no peppermint and it moisturises and it tastes of cherries. But my hair sticks to it. And it needs re-applying every half hour. Nice colours, though.

9. Nivea "Velvet Rose"£2.30ish. Nice colour, bizarre dry feel and fake rose taste. Weird. Not moisturising enough for me.

10. TEN???!!! I can't believe I've tried more than ten lip balms in my life. It's only grease for lips. What is so complicated???

10. Neutrogena lip balm £3. Excellent but I became allergic to it on the second stick. What a shame its perfumed.

11. "Unpetroleum" lip balm, jojoba, £3 from Fresh n Wild only, it would seem. Excellent. long lasting and flavourless, very moisturising. Used a whole one, have been unable to find another one though. Have scoured the web. Still can't find. ARG!

12. Superdrug gloss n care (or some similar name) £1.29. Funny little tube of greasy gloop that is quite good but tastes of vaseline. Icky.

13. Nivea Lip Care Repair. £2.75ish. Fabulous, but again, having gone through 2 sticks, I'm now allergic. Its must be the SPF stuff I think.

And finally!!! The ones I'm about to try, having scoured the net for the ingredients in advance, to check that 1. they have no petrolatum, 2. they have no "parfum" 3. they have no peppermint or menthol or tea tree yukkiness 4. They come in a stick, not a tin 5. They are less than £5 each THEY ARE:
Burt's bees honey lip balm. Beeswax base, honey flavour.
Badger lip balm stick. Beeswax base, unscented.
Vegan Lip Balm. Hemp based (of course, what else?)
Alba Botanica Lip Balm. Coconut based. Could be good. Who knows?
Lip Smackers. Still trying to find out the ingredients. From America. They even do Dr.Pepper flavour!

Right that's the end. I'm off to have my lips.... surgically replaced or something.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Angel or Devil?

oooooooooo. mmmmmmmmmm. smmmmmmmmeeee.
I just bought a new perfume in the sales. Its snuggly-vanilla-dusty-sexy in a kind of Francine-from-"Strangers in Paradise" baby powder scented way. It's called Ange ou Demon, by Givenchy, (I'm SUCH a consumer!!) and the advertising describes it thus;
"The top notes are fresh with essence of white thyme, mandarin orange from Calabria and essence of saffron. The middle note mixes maxillaria orchid, lily and ylang ylang, while the base note is made of tonka bean, vanilla, rosewood and oak wood absolute"
Which is a dead posh way of saying; it smells gorgeous!!!
I've been searching for something to replace my old tarty red "Hypnotic Poison" as my Expensive Once a Year perfume of choice... something thats guaranteed to please me at birthdays, always easy to find etc, you know the thing. Hypnotic reminds me of bad old times and i'm hoping to find new Good Times with this one. I hope the price of the thing comes down soon though!! Its more expensive than printer ink.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Project Pashmina

Here is Drak's bath turtle regarding a sofa-full of pashminas with iron-on diamante on them. I made them for the girls at Ells and Farrier for being so brilliant. One for each, in their favourite colours. Ells and Farrier being a shop where I used to work, about a year ago. Since I left, the girls have given out my business cards for me like they're going out of fashion, and secured me most of my income. Thing is, the Pashminas are Christmas presents. Thing is, I just finished them today!!!!

I thought "Yeah, this'll be cool, handmade pressies, grab 11 viscose pashminas from Berwick St, I'll just whip them out of their packets and iron the matching diamante onto the edges. Except, coming from the wholesalers, once out of wrappings, they stank. Of Old Warehouse and stale smoke, Old Incense and Old... well, Old Spice I expect!!! Literally. I washed them and hung them up and patiently dried them and folded them, then realised that pashmina shawls are about 2 metres wide.... no way could I afford that much diamante. Then I ran out of time.

Xmas suddenly happened, was over before I could say "diamante", then I realised, round at Drak's place, no iron...... and no ironing board. Feeling that perhaps that Project Pashmina had got a little out of hand, I bought the nescessary equipment, (thankyou Argos for a £4 iron!!!) sprinkled diamante into the corners of each (looks lovely) and now, finally, after a completely unexpected day off, they are Finished!! nearly 24 square metres of fabric in all, 11 scarves, and each with a sparkly glittery corner. Aw. Almost makes Christmas worth it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

new year, new, er, blog

Onwards and upwards. Two steps forward, one step back. One key frame at a time (Thanks Stray for that analogy; genius) Having my cake, eating it, and having another one in the oven just in time. Wearing smart clothes and feeling good about it. Choosing grey and liking it. The big C-word; Change.

Seeing as 19th November was my last post and since then I've had 3 jobs, lost one, done more days on Portobello Market than I thought I was up to, made the worlds supply of dangly sparkly earrings, gained friends, lost friends, had massive arguments, temporarily moved out, temporarily moved in, been tormented by the boyfriends neighbours, wished everyone Happy New Year and Happy Christmas by text message but not in that order, failed to give out most of my carefully wrapped presents and now I'm about to temporarily move again......

I thought I'd better update.

This year I'll be making more jewellery just for me and just because it's nice. It will feature in a new page on my website, and lots of the old pages will bite the dust.

This year I will say "no" more often. No to small jobs that take whole days to organise pay for and collect and profit me £5. No to going out on a weeknight. No to "special favours" that profit me nothing, not even money, but only eat time in the way that only "special favours" eat time.

This year I will find a lovely shared house or flat with a clean kitchen somewhere North-ish Finsbury Park kind of area, and stay there at least three years.

This year I will have a brilliant job in which I hope to learn a lot at the same time as helping people a lot because apart from choosing the right bead and the right colours and the right outfit, ultimately that's what I'm good at.

Circumstances permitting, I might have pink hair again. But it seems... expensive and unlikely to forward my career unless my career really does turn out to be Portobello market-based!!

I'll have to wait and see.