Sunday, October 31, 2010

A brief interlude

I can't sleep, too excited about my upcoming trip, so I'm listening to music on YouTube. You probably remember that one of my favourite movies is "International Velvet," and listening to the theme from the film always makes me happy. So I listened to it here:

And it suddenly occurred to me to see if the composer of this theme wrote any other music for films.

His name, it turns out, is Francis Lai, who knew? And he wrote this as well:

And this:

Fame is such a strange beast, I had never heard his name before. Why?

Monsieur Lai, you have a place in my heart,


Eleanor x

Can you ever go home?

Tomorrow morning Miss Commentbox and I shall be flying to Israel to celebrate the bar-mitzvah of my brother's son. It'll be a bit of a family reunion as well as a trip down memory lane. My father's Israeli, Mum's American, and I lived in Israel for six years from when I was two until I was eight. So those were formative years in my life, I started school there, learned to read and write and made my first friends and memories. I have very very beautiful memories of my childhood and the nostalgia I feel for those years is immense. I shall not be talking politics in my posts, both because it's so complicated and because I am so ambivalent, also because that's not what this trip is about for me.

To get started here is the song I was listening to way back then - it was a winning entry in the Israeli Children's Music Festival and was THE playground hit that year.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I never thought this day would come

I never thought the day would come that I'd post about my car. I just don't really notice cars, well I didn't until now. Here is my original "Noddy Car" - a Nissan Pulsar which we bought second hand in 1996. It has served me so very well, but lately the entire dashboard sort of came apart, the turn signal started clicking reallyreallyreally fast, and then just when I got used to it the clicking would be slllllooooowwwwwslllooowwwslllloooww, the lights on the radio stopped working so I couldn't see the buttons at night, and every time we took poor Noddy Car for a service we'd end up spending enough money to buy a new car.

It took me an entire year to agree to purchase a new car, I just had no interest in doing the research and then spending such a huge amount of money. But sometimes it's cheaper to buy a new car than to keep repairing a wreck (sniff, Noddy Car, I still love you). So behold my Honda CRV in Sparkle Grey. I ended up buying the one car I always swore I wouldn't - yep, the kind of car petite blond Eastern Suburbs housewives drive(those of you who live in Sydney, you know what I mean).

Please note that I'm posing in two different pairs of jeans. Yep, I also swore way back when that I would never wear jeans again. How the mighty have fallen.

What do I love most about my new car? Being so high up, the brakes really working, the bluetooth phone system (had to get a new phone for that, my circa 1995 phone wasn't making the grade. Powder blue plastic, if you're wondering), and the CD player. I have never had a CD player (I know it's all about plugging in your iPod, but I'm taking it one step at a time). So I grabbed a CD, which happened to be Jennifer Lopez, I had forgotten I had it, and blasted it as I drove around aimlessly for an hour.

This is the song on the JLo CD which I had forgotten about, oh how I loved this song in 2001. My favourite aerobics instructor at the local gym would play it and teach us a routine. "Get ready for the chorus ladies, and cha-cha-cha."

Oh, and I wore my Dior foundation and new lipstick, and I swear the combination of makeup and new car took a good ten years off my age.

Stay tuned, I'm off to attend my nephew's bar-mitzvah in Israel next week, and if all goes well I'll blog about it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eternal youth

Is beauty synonymous with youth?

I've been researching make-up for a project I'm working on at the moment, and it suddenly hit me that the cosmetics industry is geared towards a youth-obsessed marketplace. It's all about looking younger, minimizing wrinkles and age-spots, camouflaging the body's natural ageing process for as long as you can get away with it. How did I not notice this before? I've been living in blissful make-up free isolation apparently.

I suppose I can afford to be so surprised, I'm still in my early forties and I seem to have lucked out by inheriting my mother's wrinkle-free skin, so far anyway. But still, I feel personally offended at the way ad campaigns blatantly target women's biological realities and offer to fix them.

Can I ever be happy with the way I look, naturally, as I age? Or will I always have that nagging thought at the back of my mind that if I only try harder, find the right product, do more, research the options and spend the money...then, I might look more beautiful? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Then I read this article in Zoe Foster's wonderful blog (one of my favourite Aussie beauty writers, she's so funny and sweet and adorable and The main point of the article is not at all about the ageing process but one particular phrase really caught my attention:

"And kind of ageing, to be honest"

Blake Lively is 23 years old, and yet even SHE should stay away from colours and styles which make her look old?

Is it possible for a woman to wear lovely make-up which makes her look beautiful but also HER OWN AGE? I'd like to think that when I'm 80 I'll be able to put on lipstick which will suit me rather than one which will make me look younger. Or is that a physical and/ sociological impossibility?

And before I leave you can I just add one quick thing? I've noticed that make-up and beauty blogs are all written by women, about women, and for women. It's women commenting on famous women's make-up and then advising "ordinary" women what make-up is best. This industry has absolutely nothing to do with men. I don't think men notice what make-up women wear, but women do. Case in point, I took it as my professional duty to buy some new make-up, for research purposes you understand, and then experiment with it. Miss CB and I had great fun, and I even went so far as to apply foundation (a Dior sample tube which is exquisite and a perfect match to my skin tone and is therefore to be referred to from now on as the HG). But then I stood in front of Mr. CB and asked him if he could see anything different about my face...ummm.....not really (he said this hesitantly). To further prove my point, I had my eyebrows shaped today and I thought that the difference was remarkably enhancing, but Mr. CB was perplexed, he saw absolutely no difference in my eyebrows whatsoever (he said this hesitantly again).

HG is Holy Grail, it took me a while to realise that beauty bloggers who were referring to this were not writing about an actual product called "HG."