High Fashion & Haute Cuisine

When I got in last night there was a big package with my name on it. I always get excited when this happens, as I just love new things. However, when I opened the package it was a fashion book for Heidi. The 400th such book she has ordered this year. She needs them for her course, which I believe has something to do with fashion.

The reason I don’t know a lot about her course is because I never ask. If I had to name the one creative arena I am least interested in, it would probably be fashion. I’m not sure what it is about it that gets my hackles up, but it always has. Perhaps it’s the superficial drones who love it so. The people who, after the Oscars, discuss the dresses instead of the films. Surely people don’t think dresses are better than films do they?

I think of fashion as a decorative art, like ceramics, cabinet making or rug weaving. All worthy enough pursuits, but they are never capable of affecting me like music, literature, art or cinema. No way. It’s all just a bunch of shiny baubles in comparison.

Another problem I have is that I’ve never liked elaborate dress. Heidi’s books are full of over the top dresses with frills, whooshing lines, sweeping swooning capes of shimmering silk. It’s just too much.

I am embarrassed to admit this, but every week I read US, People & Star magazines (it’s part of my job). Scarlet Johansson is in every issue and every week she is wearing a hugely expensive dress by a hugely successful designer. Every week I think to myself how much better she looked in that jeans and T-shirt combo in Lost in Translation. The make-up and hairstyles detract from her natural beauty in every which way conceivable and the dresses make her look like a chicken in tin foil.

Is this just me? Why do I prefer women who dress casually? Perhaps I have a misogynistic streak in me that tries to de-feminize women for sub-conscious reasons that elude me. Or perhaps I am just jealous of what I can’t afford? I think about this a lot.

I recently watched The Devil Wears Prada, and was surprised that I enjoyed it so much. Even with my aversion to all things fashion. I was thoroughly chastened by Meryl Streep when she balled out Anne Hathaway for sneering at the fashion world. For 1 short hour I was on the side of the fashionistas. After the movie I soon forgot about it and I’ve now gone back to my old ways. Clothes are rubbish.

Heidi also gets to study paintings on her course; they have dresses in them you see. I get jealous when this happens, I don’t mind her getting smarter than me when it comes to fashion, but I can’t have her lording it over me with her art history knowledge. Worse still, she is taking a class in Chemistry in summer. I’d love to learn about chemistry. I’ll be green as grass when she tells me the chemical composition of my salad cream.

And speaking of salad cream, that gives me a nice little segue from high fashion to haute cuisine.

Our local Supermarket has started selling Pot Noodles. They even have my favorite flavor: indeterminate curry flavor. If you are American and you don’t know what one is, it is like a cup noodle only thicker and tastier.

In this city, where I can buy a unique radish, feta and beet sandwich on every corner, a plain old-fashioned Pot Noodle is a real find. I made myself a nice cup of tea, gave Billy a biscuit to keep him quiet, sat him on my knee and we tucked in. Almost the second we sat down Billy sneezed into my pot noodle. I grimaced and figured what the heck, at least it has something organic in it now.

I tried to give Billy a taste. He shook his head violently and knocked the spoon out of my hand. He’s a clever lad for doing this, but I shouted at him all the same. When I had finished he slapped me in the face.

As punishment I ejected him from my lap and banished him to the floor. He crept behind me and dunked his biscuit in my tea. He stuck his hand in the cup along with the biscuit. I yelled at him and he laughed back at me. He stuffed the entire soggy biscuit into his mouth along with his five wet fingers. Somehow he didn’t feel any pain and shows no scarring. I am going to have to give him dunking lessons.

Despite Billy’s antics my pot noodle was all I had anticipated. Well worth its rather steep $3.50 price tag. Once, when we were in England, I ate 2 Pot Noodles in a row. I think I was showing Heidi just how plebby I am capable of being. I get a perverse kind of pleasure from this. It was a very bad idea, as I ended up with a ferocious restless leg and an attack of the head jitters.

All the same, if you’re American and you’re looking for something new and tasty to try, these beauties are for you:

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Random Thoughts

Billy’s cured. He now goes to sleep on cue without a peep. He’s an odd fish and no mistake. I reckon a mouse bit his foot and gave him the heeby-jeebies for a while.

It just occurred to me for the first time in my life what heeby-jeebies might mean. I wonder if it is anti-semitic?

Once, when Billy had food all over his hands, I accidentally called him a “Dirty Arab.” My gran used to use the phrase as a term of endearment. I never thought to think what it meant until the day it popped out of my mouth. Luckily for me, when my gran said it all those years ago I didn’t know what an Arab was. Now I do, I have modified it to “Dirty Chicken”. No offense chickens.

I had a very odd dream the other night. I was cycling round Brooklyn, something I don’t do in my real life, and I saw some whimsical religious folk adorned in lilac nighties. They were humming an enchanting melody and I surrendered myself to it and joined them on a long walk. I’ve forgotten the rest, but I’m sure it had a fascinating ending. The sickly residue of the dream clung to me all morning. I wonder if I am due a religious awakening? Or a transvestitisation?

Last night I woke up at 3am with painful stomach cramps. I wasn’t properly awake and I was convinced the cramps were part of some video I had been editing in my dreams. I thought that if I purged my hard drive they would go away. In the end purging my bowels was the better solution. I think I had one too many chicken and mango chutney sandwiches for supper. And crisps.

My mum tells me I should eat lettuces and bananas before I go to bed and then I’ll get a good night’s sleep. Could you eat lettuces and bananas before going to bed? Can you think of anything less appealing?

That’s all.

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