Ah Tuesday, or as I like to call it, Monday-and-a-Half, here you are again, let’s jump right in with both perfectly-shod feet and find out What Miss Plumcake is…
Reading: Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Straight out and without qualifications the best contemporary novel I’ve ever read. Usually when I read a so-called great contemporary novel, I’m less than impressed because I think “eh, I can write as well as this shmuck.” It’s not that I’m the best ink-slinger on the block, but it amazes me what gets passed off as great writing these days. With Life of Pi? I was in a slump for a week because I’ll NEVER write anything so beautiful. The plot? Piscine Molitor Patel, a young Indian boy is stranded 227 days in a lifeboat alone with a Bengal tiger. Part adventure, part character study, part spiritual exploration and part magical realism, it’s completely brilliant. Read it now.
Watching: RuPaul’s Drag U. Okay, I’m not actually watching this now, but a few weeks ago when I had access to a television but before I discovered an entire channel devoted to Proper Football I watched a few hours of a marathon of this show. Now we all know I love Miss Ru –who doesn’t do the show in drag– but what I love more is the premise: women learning how to embrace their femininity through the art of drag. Because honestly, makeovers should be fun. They shouldn’t be about feeling bad about “flaws” or fitting into some humorless mold. I spent many formative years with drag queens as mentors (THE HELL YOU SAY!) and I’m a better broad for it.
Hearing: Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. I have a really inappropriate story about this piece and a scorching hot Dutch cellist who was one of my better Very Bad Ideas that I’m not going to tell you because I’m pretty sure my little brother reads this blog and I don’t want to traumatize him. Still, even if you don’t have a story that puts the damn in Amsterdam this is an incredible piece, especially if you love Gregorian chants and a good contemporary organ. Lord knows I do.
Smelling: Un Lys by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens. Un Lys means “A lily” and that’s exactly what you get. I can’t remember whether Andre bought it for me or if I plucked it myself but I’m always surprised by this perfume and have been wearing it layered with some dirtier juices (Cumming, Bulgari Black) recently. It’s hard to find a lily that’s pure but not cloying and for my money this is tied with Lys Méditerranée as Best Lily Ever. It’s one of the few fragrances that I’ve had someone follow me down the street to smell. Available at Barney’s or Lucky Scent or get a decant at The Perfumed Court.
Loving: Any Soldier. We all know I’m a sucker, right? Right. So when someone very special to mine heart (who is still going to get a kick in the head for pulling this on me, and don’t think I won’t do it, kiddo) volunteered me to make cookies for pretty much the ENTIRE 10th Mountain Division (okay ten people), currently stationed in Afghanistan I couldn’t really say no. I said a lot of other things, most of which aren’t suitable for print –I mean that’s a LOT of cookies– but not no. Regardless of how you feel about the war, I invite you to consider sending a soldier a little love.
Hating: Aromatics Elixir. WHY? WHY are people STILL WEARING THIS? It’s so hissy and vile. In the history of my life I have only met ONE person who doesn’t wear this but still likes it. And also, is it a RULE that you need to douse yourself with it? It smells like Burt Reynolds’ chest wig deodorizer. Urgh.
Wanting: Juniper Boots from Duo. Where were these calf-fit boots last year when I thought I would DIE if I couldn’t find a pair of jumping boots to fit my fatted calves? I bought a pair of proper riding boots that juuuust about do the trick, but I wish I’d waited and picked these up instead. They’re not cheap but I don’t even want to tell you how much custom-fit riding boots normally cost. Treat yourself. I promise, your legs will go out of fashion before these boots do.
Buying: Pre-owned Hermés scarves from Portero Luxury. It’s been a while since I’ve treated myself to a new foulard, but after giving an impromptu scarf-tying class the other night for a lady who was at a loss as to how to wear a beautiful scarf once belonging to the unforgettable Molly Ivins I’ve got the bug again. My favorite? This Hemisphaerium Coeli Boreale constellation scarf in a buttery coral. At Portero I can get a like-new scarf for well under retail and not have to worry about its authenticity.