Hello young lovers! How’s every little thing? Me? Oh I’m just peachy. Except I decided to do a Heavy Eye on Saturday night and I’m still excavating that stuff off my face. The downside of having eyelash extension is you really want to be careful using anything oil-based, so now when I want to do a super smoky evening-look eye it turns into a three day removal process wherein I’m full on the first day, and the next day I’m sort of Saraghina from 8 1/2 and on the third day I’m totally channeling Anna Magnani in the Rose Tattoo (how fabulous was she? SO fabulous. More importantly how hot was Burt Lancaster?)
Anyhoodle, it’s Tuesday so it’s time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…
You’ll notice I’m a little Scot-centric this week as we are coming up on the celebration of Robert Burns’ birthday, January 25th. If you’ve never been to a Burns Night, you simply MUST. No Scottish blood required –although be prepared to be asked if you’ve got any Scottish in you and when you answer no, be asked “would you like to?”– There’s singing and poetry (usually) and bagpipes and haggis (always, although they usually have vegetarian haggis which is revolting and contrary to the ways of the Lord) and everyone has a big time with the Address to a Haggis, The Immortal Memory, The Toast to the Lassies and –my personal favorite– The Response to the Laddies.
Dress code varies, but please don’t just wear random plaid. Ladies: if you have a clan, wear a sash in your clan’s dress tartan. Gents: Bonnie Prince Charlies are ideal. But even if you don’t have a drop of the Northern blood, don’t worry just show up and have a ball.
Reading: Robert Burns, the Complete Works No house should be without.
Watching: Black Books. Surprisingly, since I’m the United Nations of failed relationships, I’ve never dated a misanthropic drunken Irish bookseller but if I did, I’d like to date this one. Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and that girl who played Dr Todd from Green Wing (Tamisin Grieg) had me laughing harder than that time my neighbor’s jack russell pulled out a “chew toy” labeled “Swedish Erotica”
Hearing: Lyrics of Gold: Songs of Robert Burns by Ed Miller. Ed Miller is a pink-faced fount of Scottish folk tunes and apparently a Really Big Deal as far as these things go, traveling all over the world to spread the Scottish word. I’ve known Ed socially for a few years now and while the man can’t iron a shirt to save his life (pull it together Ed!) his albums are still very much worth having.
Smelling: Serge Lutens Bois et Musc. An exceedingly lovely light cedar with just a hint of musk, Bois et Musc isn’t the big honking juice Christopher Sheldrake usually releases for Serge Lutens. It wears very close to the skin. Bois et Musc is one of the non-exports so as with all Lutens bell jars you’ll have to pick it up at Les Salons du Palais Royal Shisheido in Paris, although you can occasionally find one on the secondary market. Decants are available at The Perfumed Court and while I don’t love it as much as the coniferous incense bomb that is Filles en Aiguilles, I couldn’t say no when a bell jar graciously found its way into my personal collection.
Loving:Early Greek Philosophy ed. Jonathan Barnes. Drop a cherry in me and call me old fashioned, but I think to be a Cultured Woman of The World you’ve got to be up on your philosophers (pictured here: my Pre-Socratic Greek Boyfriend, Pythagoras) and Barnes’ edition of selected writings of the Early Greeks is totally accessible. I know I’m an old stick in the mud, but so much of what’s being written these days is just junk. There’s nothing wrong with an improving book, and getting back into the habit of thinking critically and logically. Now you kids put down those Pink Books and get offa my lawn!
Hating: The OTK Boot trend. Has anyone seen this employed in real life where it actually works and the woman doesn’t look like a hooker or a serious fashion victim? Because I haven’t. I want to, but I haven’t. Also, the women who can afford to drop $2000 on a pair of over the knee boots, at least in Austin, tend to be Women of a Certain Age and I am afraid OTK boots are a young woman’s game. As I said, I want to be wrong, but I’m not sure I am. If you’ve seen a tastefully executed OTK boot IN REAL LIFE on a non-model or celebrity personage, please submit photographic evidence. I’m dying to see it.
Wanting: Robert Burns stamps. Wah! Stupid American stamps with their stupid CROPS OF NORTH AMERICA which don’t even feature TOBACCO because it’s not like THAT crop was important to America or anything. Sir Walter Raleigh should slap the post office across the face for that. Why can’t we have awesome stamps like this? I’m not a philatelist (well, I tried it once in college, but I was drunk) but I shall not rest until I browbeat someone into sending me one of these wee beasties.
Buying: Tartan sash in your clan’s dress. If you know your clan’s tartan, why not buy a sash? They’re usually lightweight wool 10″ wide by 90″ long and serve beautifully as a long muffler-type scarf. Of course on Burns Nights or other times where you want your ancestral pride to show you can wear it in the traditional way but they’re awfully handy to have. Don’t know your tartan? Look it up here
I’m a MacDuff of the Fife line myself and sleep soundly at night knowing no matter how bad my press is, it’ll never be as bad as the clan matriarch, Queen Gruach or “Lady Macbeth” as the kids call her these days.