The Colouring Set.

Today I was in the grocery store, worried about money and keeping the cost of my purchases as low as possible. (As usual). To help with this, I try and do my big grocery hauls at Checkers. Since moving flat in January, I’ve been walking to the Checkers around the corner from my flat. This store, despite being stationed in a rather nice area, is bordering a taxi rank, and hence is generally frequented by folk who earn very, very little.

As I was pushing my little trolley (which was relatively full of fresh foods and veg) around the store like a bat outta hell, I began frantically glancing down the isles hunting for “the one with the JC Le Roux” (a birthday gift for a friend). In doing this, I intermittently looked up – and my eyes locked on to a sweet-looking elderly lady. She was black, probably in her early 60’s, and holding a colouring in set (clear packet with some crayons, pencils, a book and a sharpener of sorts). She was standing dead still, and her trolley had only a few items in it. Something compelled me to take a quick look; in it were the real basics – sanitary pads, some soap, some tinned food, one of the cheaper loaves of bread.

Image

As she held the colouring set up in her hands (which looked somewhat like the do-hicky above), looking at it thoughtfully (nowhere near the stationary isle I might add), I would have LIKED to believe that she was looking at the set to see if it had her granddaughter’s favourite shade of pink inside. And that her trolley was only barely lined because that was all she needed that day. I would have LIKED to believe that everybody else’s trolley in the store was also only half as full as my trolley (which was not very full, but by no means empty) because they, too, only needed a few items that day.

However, the reality of the situation was that the lady holding the cheap (rather crappy) colouring set in her hands, with her sparse looking trolley, was probably trying to decide if she could afford the “luxury” item. This was not sanitary pads, or food, or soap. This was crayons and pencils. This was unnecessary. Her eyes looked sad. And unsure.

All of this happened in a matter of moments. I put my head down again and continued pushing my trolley toward my coveted bottle of JC Le Roux – although in a little less haste this time.

The situation reminded me of a situation about ten years back. I had been siting in our car, waiting for my mother while she ran into the grocery store. This was a Checkers as well, funnily enough. And this particular Checkers was also frequented by folk earning very, very little. As my mother got back into the car, she turned and said to me:“The old lady in front of me had to put her bar of Sunlight soap back was she was paying – she couldn’t afford it”. My mom (in true characteristic form) had then leaned over and paid for the bar of Sunlight soap. “No one should have to go without soap”, she said matter-of-factly.

Image

And that was that.

I don’t know much about economics. Hell, I don’t even know how to manage my own personal finances. But I do know two things: I know that 1) communism in its purest form – doesn’t work. Never really has, and probably never really will. And I know that 2) situations like the ones I’ve described above will become far less common place when we stop trying to put and end to poverty, and we start to consider putting an end to extreme wealth.

There. I said it. Gasp.

But let’s think about it. With stats like 1% of the worlds population possessing 99% of the worlds financial wealth (or something along those lines), wouldn’t it be so much easier to focus on that 1% in order to tackle the problem? Like, oh, I dunno, 99 times easier? Maybe?

The point that I was getting too (I’m verbose, deal with it), is that I’m really, really impressed with Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx, and the youngest self made female billionaire on the Forbes list. Apparently she’s recently joined the Gates Foundation’s Giving Pledge – a philanthropic movement initiated by Buffet and Gates, which encourages the worlds richest folk to give away half of their money – to charity. 

Image

 While these folk will still be left with more money than you or I could probably count (even if you ARE good at economics), I have to say I’m genuinely moved by the idea’s they are publicly promoting.

Image

After all, as somebody (else, in spandex) once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”.

Angry birds. And fish. And turtles.

So, uh, Winter is on its way. Finally. Not that I mean to dampen the mood (no pun intended – I’m just naturally brilliant), but I’ll be quite glad to be done with having freshly applied make-up pouring down my face by noon.

Image

Because this really is nobodies best look.

But I do love Winter. I mean – not so much when I’m outside in Winter (in the rain, and wind, and general yuckiness), but, like, when I’m inside, under a blanket, in booties and sweatpants and a nice fluffy jumper of sorts. Preferably with a hot cup of something impossibly bad for my blood sugar levels (and waistline) in hand.

And marshmallows. Definitely some of those too. (Maybe not quite like this, but you get the picture).

Image

And one of the reasons I love Winter so much is all the fun clothing that appears on racks and shelves across the nation. Fun clothing like gumboots with polkadots, and big fat coats that make you feel way more fancy-pants than you really are, and… really really weird beanies?!

Yeah. Those too.

Last season saw those pilot style, fluffy ear covering beanie things cause quite a stir in mainstream fashion circles (if main streams even circle? I think that that would be considered a lake? But not the point). But this year, I duno, call it global warming or whatever, but I feel like things maaaaaay have spun a little out of control in the beanie department.

Like… I should totally not be nearly as excited about this item as what I am.

Image

I mean, let’s imagine me running out of the rain and into the store wearing this bad boy.

OR. Let’s say, rocking up at the Cosmo office sporting this sic get-up:

Image

This one looks like somebody took the idea of that stupid “brain sucker” trick a biiiiiiiit to far.

But still, it’s kinda rad?! I’m torn.

And then there is this one. Now this one sparks conflict within my ambivalent soul. Would I have the guts to wear this? Probably not. Would I buy one anyway just to wear around the house to maintain a certain level of awesomeness? Abso-freaking-lutely. (Pity all the coolest stuff is ALWAYS for kids. Dammit).

Image

Oh, and this one too! This one is GREAT:

Image

And then?! Then I could buy one for the man, and he could look almost as legendary as I would! Maybe something a little like this… perhaps. (Wouldn’t want to be up-staged though – so it would be a weighty decision, nothing to be taken too lightly).

Image

But, if worst came to worst, I could always pull out the big guns and shoot for this look:

Image

And I’d TOTALLY be safe. Like. I’d shine. I doubt people would be able to cast their eyes away from the magnificence with which I’d be adorned. And also – imagine how warm this baby must keep a person?! Doesn’t, like, 80% of your body heat (or something like that) escape through your head?! Yeah. This is entirely, legitimately practical. Nobody can argue with that.

Yeah, practical fashion. I like that.

Winning.

So with the “beanie department” trends for 2013 perfectly adequately covered, here’s to a wonderfully warm, cozy, and possibly slightly crazy Winter.

WTF is right.

So, while living it up in a queue at the pumping local after hours pharmacy last night (compliments of some impossibly sketchy abdominal pain), I noticed this. For the first time ever. And developed a serious case of the giggles.

(Which did not help the current abdominal situation. But did help my mood).

photo-59

Because I too often wonder WTF happens between Tuesday and Saturday.

So I took a photo. As one does.

In the hopes that even if your body feels like it’s about to explode / implode / give up / seek revenge for what you did to it on Saturday night / all of the above – this will temporarily impress upon you a little case of the giggles.

Because, as they say, laughter often really is the best medicine.

Anti-Valentines WHAT?

So, I know I’m like, technically, suuuuper busy, and I posted a blog just like, just yesterday (or three days ago – whatever), and that I have a MILE long list of paid work that I really ought to be doing right now… BUT! This little gem just popped into my inbox, and, in the name of selflessness (or procrastination – either works) I simply had to share.

Image

Anti-Valentines Day WHAT? Specials?! Man – corporates are capitalising on EVERYTHING these days! You can’t even boycott Valentines Day anymore! Shame on us. Really.

I could leave it at that. But that just wouldn’t be fair.

It only got better.

Image

Because if you are already feeling miserable and bitter, why not inflict on your sensitive regions the pain of a thousand rubber bands slapping your skin all at once? Yeah, that ought to cheer you right up.

And then there’s this one. This one I might actually consider – just to send a nice clear message to the man when he is erring on the side of contempt.

Image

I feel compelled to draw your attention to the “No heart” symbol on the bottom right of this offer. Just in case you miss-understood the fury-laden undertone of this particular kitchen utensil.

Also…

Image

Incase all else fails – there’s always old faithful. Because why should you have to break both the bank, and, potentially, numerous bones in your body after tripping over your own feet post 6 bottles of wine?

I’d like to make a note at this point, that my incredible boyfriend wished me first thing this morning. On national TV.

My gift to him? Business cards.

Apparently Groupon aren’t the only ones suffering from a bit of a *romance fail* this V day.

So I’ll take this chance, on this impossibly famous platform (yeah, my entirely mediocre, slightly off blog – with all of 3 followers or something) to return the adorable gesture and say Happy Valentines Day Grant Hinds.You rock.

Also, darling, on Groupon, there’s this really cool knife set…

Yeah, I’ll take one-sie.

Ridiculous romper-suits or one hit onesies? Think NOT, my friends.

Image

Best you believe it. These nostalgic garments of awesomeness are back. Back with a vengeance. And also, with higher price tags. (No, I’m not just referring to your reputation). 

Adult sized onesies are hitting shelves near you as we.. well, as I write.

True story.

Image

Bigger and better than ever, with more fabric, more fluff, and if we are lucky, possibly even some animal themed print and ears. It’s like wearing a blanket, that doesn’t continually fall off when you move. Which is, like, basically, heaven.

Image

Shotgun the tiger suit.

Pair that with a fireplace and some hot chocolate and  watch winter become the new summer.

Image

Sign me up. (Because this is how you look in a onesie – *duh*).

Rumour has it, these statements of zero inhibition will also be taking the leap into main stream, day time, street fashion. There. I said it.

(Go ahead, google it – I know you want too).

Albeit tighter and less the ears (we hope?), but brace yourselves. It’s coming.

Image

(Hopefully not this tight though – or – um – as… confusing).

And I’ll just come out and say it. I’m pretty amped. Just think, it’s like pants, a top, and jumper all in one – that matches! No more exhausting decisions re wardrobe compilation, and early morning scurries to the laundry basket, to see if you really did what you suspect you did with the only warm top that matches your chosen bottoms for the day.

I say, bring it.

Here’s to Winter 2013.

Image

What WERE they thinking?

I’ve been told I shouldn’t rant so much.

So, in the name of personal growth, I recently took a moment to reflect on the issue.  And I realized: it’s not my complaining that is the problem. The problem, in fact, lies in flawed concepts, and their acquaintance with my vocal nature.

And then I became curious. Am I the only one who feels strongly about life’s little absurdities?

Eh?

So I figured I’d jot down a quick list of some of these seemingly “normal” yet strangly ridiculous concepts. Feel free to share your thoughts on the matter (if you agree with me… If you don’t, then zip-it smartypants).

Ok so. The offenders in question (to name a few):

Barney. The purple talking dinosaur. Because what’s frightening about a life size, english speaking, purple and green dinosaur living at your local pre-school? Also. For someone who is a dinosaur (literally), the guy is seriously developmentally stunted. Or seriously creepy.

Noisy kids toys. Because who doesn’t love the sound of a screaming 2 year old bashing on an electric drum set. All. Day. Long. #Thetruthbehindpostpartum

And you find yourself pulling this attractive face.

Over the counter gun sales. And ammunition available online. Do I even need to elaborate?

Now let’s imagine Hitler was in the habit of online shopping…

Sky scrapers. I’m not sure if you have ever played Jenga, but…

Pots with heat conducting metal handles. When I use a pot, I generally need it to heat up. But not the handle. Just the bottom and the sides. Because ideally, I’d like to cook whatever is inside. NOT MY HAND. 

Because this is not my best look.

White sofas. Because white is the obvious colour choice for a frequently used item that is never going to fit into your washing machine. Ever.

And make no mistake; this WILL happen.

Hum V’s. Unless you are driving in LA, you are not going to war when you pull out of your driveway.

And God speed if you do drive in LA. Or if you cut Gotye off.

Universal remotes. In theory – great. In practice – you now have to wait for the person who knows how it works to get home before you can watch TV.

Resulting in this.

And, on occasion, this.

And eventually, this.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Taylor Swift: An Inconvenient Truth

Yes. I’ll happily admit it. I’m pushing 26, and I’m an unashamed Swifty (Noun: Taylor Swift fan).

You just did this. Didn’t you.

But chatting with a few friends this past weekend, I realised that many people are under the wrong impression with regard to Miss Swift and her music. The popular songstress, it seems, is commonly mistaken for “just another Disney product”.

Which is probably why I get this. A lot.

I feel that, as an accidental yet devout fan (for reasons to follow), it is partly my responsibility to set the record straight (ahem… so to speak).

Firstly, and most importantly, she has a kitteh named Meredith. Who is awesome. This makes Miss Swift awesome. And my logic is flawless – so don’t even go there.

Can’t. Help. But. Melt.

And with the important stuff out out the way, I can move on to further justification for my previously expressed opinion.

I happen to quite like the catchy, commercial stuff that plays on the radio.

I know, I know. Bare with me.

Not all of it, mind you. But the super catchy stuff, with relatively clean lyrics and upbeat tempo. (Yes. I’m that person. Deal with it).

I’m also particularly partial to the grammatically correct stuff. I find shady men yelling at me through my speakers to “get all up in here” linguistically offensive. Come on. Really? What do you mean, shady man? Are you asking me to climb the walls in this venue? Is that what you are trying to communicate? 

Baffles me. Every time.

Back in 2009, I heard this catchy tune about Romeo and Juliette on the radio. This was a tune I quite enjoyed (enough to provoke an involuntarily head bop and a hearty attempt to sing along to lyrics I clearly don’t know). Months later I headed overseas for Christmas, and my mother sent with me  a small, square-ish, flat item, fiercely wrapped in sparkly festive paper. Inside was a copy of Miss Swifts latest CD. (It travelled better than a salad bowl).

And honestly, I’m about as pumped about salad as this guy.

Come Christmas day, I enthusiastically freed the CD case from its layers of sparkly wrapping, and slotted it in to my old-school macbook CD drive (Apple – note sponsorship opportunity here… #justsaying)

Also. An 11inch air would fit so perfectly into my handbag. Apple PR. Just incase you were wondering.

Turns out, I liked every track on the CD. So I bought her other albums.

And enjoyed them too. A lot, in fact.

Album #3. A little disappointed it didn’t come with the dress though. Wont lie.

So, then I did what every gen X kid who enjoys an artist to the point of shamelessly belting out angry ballads whilst flying down German highway’s in their rental car would do:

My passengers just could not get enough.

Even Lulu loved our car rides. She won’t admit to it though. But I know that she did.

I googled her.

And what I discovered left me in awe. And overwhelmed with respect.

(And maybe even a little bit jealous).

And I was like: “I must know more.”

Turns out that Miss Swift, from Philadelphia, wanted to someday “broke stocks” like her dad, when she was younger. Thankfully that phase was short lived, and by second grade she had decided her calling was to become: a country singer.

And people went like this.

For those who aren’t familiar with American culture or geography, this is about as weird as an englishman pursuing a career in boeremusik. Or gangster rap. (The hardcore, slightly frightening kind).

Like this. But not.

Swifty soon realised that singing was not enough to get noticed in the industry. Perhaps a teeny – tiny bit of an over-achiever, she proceeded to learn six different musical instruments. Including the 12 string guitar. And the banjo.

Oy.

After years of incessant nagging, the young lass also convinced her family to move. To a different state. To be amidst all the country music action, down in Tennessee (you know, as your run-of-the-mill 12 year old does).

Note: Her parents were somewhat befuddled as to who this person was, and where on earth she came from. 

T Swizzle then started working as a part time songwriter for a local record label after school hours. (This chic makes me feel like I’ve failed at life – I’ll just say that right now). Eventually the label signed the singer / songwriter / musician (…go figure). But due to logistics, she would be unable to release any music with them until she turned 18.

Which, when you’re 14, is, like, you know… forever away.

And also. Taylor didn’t particularly enjoy school. For obvious reasons.

Seems Miss Swift isn’t much for patience. She left the well established record label, and signed with a small, independent, start up record label. As their first artist.

As one does.

But I guess when you are this talented, you can do that.

Together, the Miss Swift and her recording team sat on the studio floor into the early hours of the morning casing and labelling their first single on their release date. And the young lass, in a genius strategic and equally sneaky menouver, decided to title her first single to hit public radio: Tim McGraw.

And just like that, the attention of every single country music fan, ever, (ever) was instantaneously captured. And focused. On Taylor Swift.

(And in a pre-Twitter era – now that’s impressive game play).

And well, as they say… the rest is history.

Best part? Not only does the girl write, sing and play all her own stuff, but she is ballsy enough to bare all (ok, most) in her embarrassingly honest lyrics.

And I’m not the only one who thinks this is cool.

Yeah. You read that right.

Yup. Miss Swift writes about personal experience. From personal experience. In an awkwardly personal fashion (you get the picture here). Which really only makes her material that much more, shall we say… interesting.

Oh, and judging by her interviews – it seems the girl has a pretty decent sense of humor as well. 

Go on. Smirk. You know you want to. 

Kudos to you, T Swizzle.

And after all the preceding images, I figured we could feature one cliche’d pretty photo of the poor girl.

So the next time you ask me about my taste in music, and then proceed to sigh, and mumble thinly disguised insults under your breath about “that Disney rubbish” in an all-knowing fashion… I’ll just send you this link.

And a small, flat, square-ish item, smothered in sparkly wrapping.

Oh yeah. And glitter.

Lots of glitter.