I find more and more excuses not to go into Santa Monica in the Summer – this year seems to be worse than ever, with throngs of people to rival Venice, Italy, traffic that snarls at snail’s pace and fellow drivers ready to knife any rivals for a parking spot. As far as I am concerned, I can wait to go to Santa Monica until next October.
The eagle has landed. The eagle being my mother who, at nearly 80, still crosses the Atlantic on her own and is immune to jet lag. Having her here for the next three months means Italian tv blaring at all hours; a constant chit-chat as she goes about keeping busy around the house; the silver finally cleaned and lot of cooking. I am hoping I inherited her wind-up bunny energy. Here are a few things that made me happy this week.
I am ridiculously shameless when it comes to my birthday. I think it’s because, until I was an adult, my birthdays were low-key affairs: school was out, I was typically in the countryside, most of my friends away on their own adventures. I am still making up for it by stretching the proceedings as long as I can. Last year, I hosted a potluck of just girls. It was so much fun I am repeating it this year, with a slightly different mix of women – July is still the time when many take time off. Very often, women I know, women I meet briefly and women who will never join my circle are a big source of inspiration, comfort and motivation. Here are some who came to mind just this week.
I have this long-standing habit of leafing through fashion magazines or catalogues and asking myself, on every page, “Out of the selection on these two pages, what would I buy?”. It’s a tad compulsive habit at this point, probably because I have been doing it for so long, but it’s a cheap and engaging way of spending twenty minutes.
I read, aghast, in an interview with Elle MacPherson, that the supermodel once nicknamed The Body, will not dream of wearing a bikini anymore, now that she has reached 50. Elle MacPherson? The same Elle MacPherson who still looks glorious and gloriously unretouched? I was taken aback and, for a long moment, I wondered whether it was time I re-thought my bikini policy.
The thought occurred to me yesterday that I don’t spend enough time around young people, at least not that segment of youth between 20 and 30. Not that I can think of any reasons why I should: an effort to stay relevant? The thought occurred as I found myself catering the wedding of a young couple, at a beautiful house by the ocean in Malibu, in an unusual sweltering heat, the sort of heat that hits Southern California only a handful of days a year, when the breeze goes into hiding and, if you are trapped in a chef’s coat, standing under a palm tree, preparing appetizers, you risk going mad from dehydration and sunstroke.