Beautiful clear Spring colours. Sigh. Bougainvillea. Hibiscus. Other little climby things with names that I don’t know. They remind me of a shoot I did with Madalina a couple of weeks ago that I can’t show you properly yet. They make me think of other shoots that I will do using these strong pinks in combination with knocked back, faded peach and, maybe, some silver.
Bikinis are tricky things aren’t they?
Naked in public, essentially, is what we’re looking at here. So what you’re after is something that will give you the confidence to carry that off without giving attention to the voice in your head that tells you you are in a nightmare where you’ve lost all your clothes. A bit like the one when you’re about to step on stage but you don’t know your lines. Or you’re trying to run but the pavement is made of sticky toffee.
So when you find that one, the one that makes you feel that everything is alright. Maybe even a little bit better than alright. That jumping around and actual swimming and, like, a real life good time would be possible in this garment, then hold on to it.
Tell it that you love and treat it right. Never let it go. It is, indeed, a true and fine friend.
Now stop your worrying and get in the pool.
Bikini by Melissa Odabash
I am not, I feel I should make clear right from the beginning, pro gun.
I do not think that guns are things that people should have in their houses. I do not think that Oscar Pistorius would have done so much damage (allegedly) if he had only had shouting and throwing things at his disposal. I do think that the idea of arming teachers so that they can protect themselves against potential crazed gunmen in schools is the most ridiculous idea on the planet. Once we start legislating for the loony minority we’ve all lost the plot.
But, this aside, I found myself this morning, staring down the barrel of a rifle and learning to line up my sights on a paper target with tiny numbers on. This, you understand, in the pursuit of happiness. It’s a bit cloudy at the hotel today so a group of us had gathered for a lesson and a little bit of friendly competition with some weapons. As you do. Now really, these are just air rifles but still, it’s quite an intimidating thing to be holding.
Good, says the instructor, come down a bit and to the right. He’s obviously assuming I have some sort of control over what I’m doing.
Four shots and the card comes back, 29 points puts me in second place and look, I went through the same whole twice. Consistency! Hmmmm, what’s that stirring inside me? Aha, competitive spirit, hello my old friend.
It is the second round and the target is much, much smaller. My temporary excitement about being in second place has long been blown out of the water by much higher scores but still, I’m keen for my next go. Five targets on the square, the instructor calls “Top right” as the one to aim for. Top right? That’s minute. Two shots.
Bang. I’m getting used to the kick back, leaning in more with my shoulder. I am, as they say, “styling it out” rather nicely I feel.
Bang. Bullseye. I’m not even joking. “Professional” says the instructor, his voice heavy with Spanish accent and big brotherish teasing.
Yeah baby, that’s me, fashion sniper. Where do I get me one of these?
Well, I’d actually set it aside for a while. My head had been turned by other shiny things, I’m extremely shallow like that, and I hadn’t been using it recently. But, having only thrown a couple of things into my wash kit in the way of make up and finding this among the things, I decided to give it another go.
It turns out to be a total holiday hero.
The reason is this, the downside of using powder kohl in general is that it can have a bit of ‘fall down’ under the eyes when you apply it which, if you’re doing it on a normal, in the city worky-type face is a bit annoying as you’ve probably just undone some of your good efforts that you then have to sort out and redo. But on a holiday-y, slightly sun kissed and otherwise entirely bare face, it’s no big thing. Just wipe a bit of Crealine under each eye after application and away you go with your smidge of smudgey smokey oh this? I just slept in my mascara after a night out with those surfers attitude.
Incidentally, (and obviously) the best way to wear it if you are not on holiday is to, (drumroll please) put it on first, before anything else. Then clean up before you proceed. I didn’t say it was rocket science, but it is very satisfying once you get these things figured out.
Oh, and lastly, this photo is taken from an extremely ancient shoot I did on Miami beach.
Today has been fun. Today has involved driving an open topped white Saab slightly inappropriately (stay right! stay right!) around a small warm island and laughing a lot. Today was my kind of day.
One of the places we visited was César Manrique’s cactus garden. I am a longtime admirer of Manrique, I love his sense of scale and drama. I do love me some drama. His use of natural light in his home, later made into a Foundation to showcase his work and art collection, is incredible. He made a James Bond lair in a rock and theres just no arguing with that type of genius.
His cactus garden, created in an old quarry, has terraced sides, like an amphitheatre. Inside the amphitheatre, cacti gladiators, the badasses of the plant world, battle with each other for status while bonkers playful elements like that face waterfall up there, show that really, he was just a guy who liked to have fun.
I bet he would have liked my Saab. Now, I’m on the left, right?
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Oh Julie, you are, as always, so right.
There is a short list of things that I decided many years ago were essential, whatever the holiday destination. From work trip to country weekend to beach, there are a couple of things that I always find I need, or rather, that I feel a bit panicky without. These things, since you ask so nicely, are as follows: some kind of massive pashmina, (this is in fact my comfort blanket, airline pillow, extra jumper and cuddly toy all rolled into one). (Although I actually quite object to wearing one in the evening as it makes me feel slightly like I’m in too flimsy an outfit at a wedding. In Surrey.) Lavender oil, (to make my pillow smell like home) (I’ve gone a bit pillow-centric here, but bear with me) a gallon of moisturiser and a pair of jeans (or, if you’re feeling fashion today, a jean). You can travel in them, they knock the edge off your oh I’m not sure now new holiday top and if your beach based Easter break that was supposed to get you away from the biting, trying to hurt you cold in England, turns out to be not that warm either they will keep you cosy while you saunter casually up to the bar and order yourself a another medicinal whiskey.
How then, what with these strict rules and everything, did it come to pass that I ended up in the Canaries with no jeans? Error.
But in every mistake lies an opportunity and all that and this, I felt, was just the time to indulge the white jean fetish that has been gently growing inside me for about four years. (I am not one of life’s fast learners).
The issue I have with white jeans is that they also look a little bit Euro Sloan. Or, when worn in combination with any cashmere item, a little bit Yummy Mummy. I do not pass judgement on these looks and yet, they are not the ones I aspire to. Despite this, my yearning for a pair was growing as they would, I fancied, turn me into a cool French girl in a band a la Charlotte Gainsbourg. Now that is a look I can aspire to. Please.
Well, as with so many questions, Zara was the answer. I’m in the middle of nowhere currently and the shopping opportunities are few but if I know anything I know that there’s always a Zara. So quick shopping trip done and white jeans in hand, or rather, on slightly goose pimply legs and I’m gonna tell you what I’ve learned.
Number one, go up a size. White jeans should not be skin tight. This, from a girl who lives in skinninest skinnies.
Number two, roll them up a bit. Simples, but makes all the difference.
Number three, know that you do indeed now look a little bit Euro-sloany and a little bit Yummy Mummyish and not at all really like you edit French Vogue, but stop caring. Just stop.
Walk your warm legs to the bar and get the whiskies in.
Apologies. I have entirely absented myself, in a Jeffrey Bernard is unwell type fashion, from this site for a whole week. I have, in the words of Withnail, gone on holiday by mistake.
I don’t mean I didn’t know I was going on holiday. I wasn’t kidnapped and bundled into a van with only a large tube of Ambre Solaire for company. I packed a bag, got on a plane, used coins that felt like not real money to pay for a car that felt like an Inception style reflection to get to a hotel, I knew I was coming. I know I’m here. What I wasn’t expecting was the drama of, are you ready? NO WIFI. Nothing doing. They said there was wifi, it’s not a retreat for over internetted types or anything like that (good lord, no) it’s just that it doesn’t work. So that’s no Twitter, no FB, no wiki, for goodness sake. Reception told me it was ‘my device’ but judging by the amount of guests disgruntledly wandering the corridors muttering about passwords, there’s a heck of a lot of people trying to use my device. Anyway, doesn’t matter does it? We’re here now.
So, there now follows a series of short posts, postcards, if you like, that I have written (entirely without fact checking) but not posted this week.
Well, it’s tricky trying to find the right stamp, isn’t it?