10 December 2007


Ok, Question (as our American friends tend to say, causing a hush as everyone pricks up their ears in anticipation of the seriousness that will inevitably follow). Ok, Question...

Is red lipstick, especially at this time of year, a glamourous and celebratory statement of charming self expression? Or is it just a little too 'Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree... for me'?

Also, is it sophisticatedly bohemian or, frankly, a tad slovenly to leave smeared red lipstick marks on the edge of a glass, slowly hardening and staining just like the dark wine dregs?

Is it too much? Or is anything less not enough? Or is it too much in a good way?

Exquisite and flawless or garish and clown-like?

Such are the dilemmas of the season. There is a fine line between style and tack.

Anyhow, I shall take inspiration from such screen sirens as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, flash and brash with scarlet smackers. One of Santa's reindeer is named Vixen after all.

3 December 2007

And So It Begins...

Floating within a sea of seminars, lectures, pub trips, work avoidance and Sex and the City watching, it's miraculous if I know the hour, let alone day or date. So, lo and behold, on realising it was December 1st I was knocked for six.

Without the bickering and hoo-ha that accompanies every December evening, heralding the doling out of story and sweets from the lovingly created home-made Advent Calendar, I knew not how to cope with the onset of the merry month. In a civilised manner, one supposes.

Or, indeed, with the greatest concoction known to man (or, more likely than not, woman). Mulled wine is quite simply the most delicious, comforting, Christmassy thing. Ever. Even Sainsbury's own brand. And especially at a student halls party, prison cell walls bedecked with mistletoe, baubles, and splattered orange pulp from the steaming pan.

Warm, spicy, alcoholic. The Holy Grail is said to be a cup. I could understand all the fracas and tintamar surrounding this cup of contention if what it contained was the divine brew of the sweetly mulled grape.

Following this celebratory start to frolicking festivities, Christmas is coming thick and fast. A family roast dinner, complete with evergreen foliage and red berry table adornment, a bag of marrons glacees (brought back by B from Rome no less) consumed after midnight, a diary filling up with jolly occasions. And that is just the beginning. It all starts again when I hit Hexham baby.