On Lush Bath Bombs

Lush smells great, is full of young, friendly customer servants, and is totes cruelty-free as well as environmentally conscious. What’s not to like? Their bath bombs, that’s what.

The point of a bath: relaxing, scented, relaxing, bubbly, relaxing, warm, relaxing.

The point of a bath for Lush: special effects.

Lush bath bombs sizzle and release a rainbow of colours and smell nice. It’s all fun and I might even overlook the obvious lack of bubbles (although I’d much prefer bubbles, because it’s a bath) if it weren’t for one thing: Lush bath bombs are chock-full of colouring agents and glitter. When you step out of the bathtub, you’re colouring-agent-and-glitter infested and need to shower far more thoroughly than after a fragrant bubble bath. Worse, your bathtub is now colouring-agent-and-glitter infested.

You know what I do not find relaxing? Scrubbing the bathtub. You know what I have to do after using a Lush bath bomb? Scrub the bathtub.


 Mayu Riesling

On legware

As we know, women are to wear stockings or tights to a formal do. Said legware is to match one’s skin tone and be whispery sheer so that it gives the illusion of bare legs.

Let us assume you manage to locate a pair that actually does match your skin tone in its whispery sheerness. You must now try and put them on and wear them for several hours without running the tiniest tear.

Things that can tear your illusion include but are certainly not limited to:

  • taking the pair out of their box
  • rolling the pair out to their full length
  • gathering the leg of the stocking to the toe
  • slipping your toes into the stocking
  • pulling the stocking up
  • adjusting the up-pulled stocking
  • having feet covered in skin instead of porcelain
  • having hand covered in skin instead of porcelain
  • having toenails
  • having fingernails
  • walking without shoes
  • wearing shoes
  • any and all jewellery within a two-feet radius

and of course

  • coming into contact with a cat at any point of the stocking handling and wearing process


Running even the tiniest tear would ruin the illusion of bare legs and be all in all scandalous and embarrassing, so you must always purchase at least one spare pair to keep in your purse, along with silk gloves, a pumice stone, and foot lotion.

You know what also look remarkably like bare legs? Actual bare legs. Just saying.

(True Colours Brut cava. I like the concept, I like the bottle, I like the wine.)

On Change underwear

Not changing underwear – I have no gripes about that – but Change underwear. As in the brand name.

Now that we have that sorted out, let’s take a sip of Steininger Riesling (my very lasting love, it appears) and gripe. Firstly. Change. Your vanity sizing. Stop.

Change have this thing where if you are, say, a 80C (about 80cm below-boob, average-ishly boobed), you’d use a 70E Change bra. The reasoning is that the band should be very snug when you buy the bra, and as the band size goes down, cup size, of course, needs to increase. And right they are. They are! But because bra sizes are one of those sensible sizing systems that depend on something real – your actual measurements – how about you simply produce the bra in “70E” and slap a 80C label on it, because that’s the generally agreed upon size of the person who should be buying it. It would make much more sense. Plus, it’s nothing short of ridiculous that I, who am not particularly boobilicous, own E and F cup bras. Seriously, my VLSO snorted when I told him. Snorted, Change.

Ditto for your knickers size chart, Change. My Change knickers are 2-3 sizes smaller than in any other brand. Oh the vanity.

But, back to bras – and this is a big gripe. Change bras are fantastically noisy. The underwires creak, squeak, screech, and grind as I move. It might be related to the super-snug sizing: the poor thing is groaning under pressure. Whatever the reason, you have to get that shit under control, Change. While I’m not bothered about someone seeing a bra strap, they should definitely not need to hear my underwear.

On Bond, part deux

I’m having Kahurangi Estate riesling, and essentially feel I might as well be drinking lime juice. Puckery, this wine is. The good news is that while lime juice is virgin, this riesling has alcohol, so that’s a good thing.

Why do I go and see Bond movies? Why? The last time I saw one, I griped about it; I finally saw Spectre, and I shall now gripe about it, too.

That Bond-aged-Bond-girl Bellucci thing?! What a let down! Monica Bellucci is freaking gorgeous, and her role in the film was entirely pointless. There was zero reason for her character to be in it really, and the whole thing with Bond talking to her for 30 seconds at the funeral and then proceeding to have sex with her because, you know, she was there, was creepy. She was in mourning! She feared for her life! Fairly certain you were taking advantage of her fragile state of mind, Bond!! *eyes Bond with suspicion*

Anywho, in a minute Bond of course fell madly in lust with a skinny blonde a quarter of his age and saved the world. For when things go haywire, even Bond might fuck women his own age: normalcy can return when he has a young ‘un on his arm. Fairly certain it was all a big metaphor.

Not too keen on the theme song either.


On the new and improved Bassett’s winegums

Fuel: disappointment

So. Bassett’s have improved their winegums by changing the recipe. I realise this happened quite a while ago, but I (will admit that I) typically only buy Bassett’s when travelling, and then get an absolute boatload of them at the duty free shop and overdose seriously. This is only because they can be hard to find locally.

Bassett’s winegums have been the only fruit sweets I’ve ever cared for. I think fruit sweets are boring. If they’re sour, they’re ok; if they’re Bassett’s winegums, they’re freaking amazing. ALAS, NO MORE.

Bassett’s winegums used to be a bit tart (throat tickled ever so slightly) and quite tough. In other words, they were winey and gummy, as you would expect as per their name. With the new recipe, they are no longer neither winey nor gummy. They are straightforward sweet fruit jelly sweets. They may make new, enthusiastic friends, but I no longer have any use for them whatsoever. Goodbye old friend. I’ll miss you. Also eff you, Bassett’s.

On gardening

Gardening makes no sense. It’s entirely based on the idea that whatever grows naturally and profusely is a weed and whatever does not want to stay alive regardless of what you try to do is something you want in your garden.

One of the reasons why a plant does not want to stay alive in your garden is, apparently, distance from its fellow plants. Flower seed packets will tell you how far apart the plants should be planted: for example, leave 10 cm between plants in a row; 20 cm between rows. Because a plant will be more likely to tolerate a pal next to it rather than behind or in front of it, as you well know.

On the cover of the seed packet, you will also be treated to a beautiful picture of a fully-grown plant in full bloom. Typically this will also be a close-up of the pretty flowers, with the boring leaves carefully cropped out. Lovely. Only this does not help one bit when I’m trying to figure out which one of the seedlings sprouting from the ground are the ones I planted, and which are the dreaded weeds. Because honestly, as seedlings all plants look more or less the same. As young plants they do look different, but will anyone tell you what kind of a young plant you should be looking for if you’ve planted, say, sweet alyssum plants? Will they ‘eck. I now have four different kinds of plants growing in the area where I scattered sweet alyssum seeds. And, because nature is pretty clever, all four plants are now beginning to produce small, dainty flowers in bunches. But they’re all slightly different. I will have no way of telling which are the sweet alyssums until they’re all in full bloom.

Gardening sucks, really. Gardeners suck more, because they obviously have no idea of the kind of help non-gardeners need in their gardening pursuits. Grr.

In honour of all this green talk, my drink of choice is a light vinho verde, Casal Garcia. I think I will now top my glass and go and stare at my plants.

On exercise, extroverts, and big words

I love big words an’ I cannot lie

I adore huge concepts and just cannot prevaricate!


This weekend I met sportsy person, who did not believe me when I told her I do not enjoy exercising. She said smugly “oh so that’s what you’ve decided to convince yourself to believe”. Erm. Yes, at ripe ole middle age I cannot possible know something like this about myself: it’s just a silly little notion I’ve decided to adopt to make my life more difficult. I asked if it would be acceptable for me to argue that everyone who does not love doing research is working under a false notion they’ve brainwashed themselves to believe – she said she had nothing to say to that.


‘tis no wonder, my dear.


Anyway, after sportsy person’s sportsy husband had pointed out that the audience at scientific conferences might find my papers more interesting if I had a fit arse, he also said something interesting: that when he’s done with his 20K run he always feels great that he’s done it and that he was able to actually do what he wanted. No mention of a mystic euphoria, just a recognition that he’d accomplished something he’d decided to do.


That, I can relate to. WELL, a revelation. I wonder if you saw this study? It essentially says that extroverted people like big, expressive words: they gravitate towards great instead of good; gorgeous instead of pretty, humongous instead of big. Introverts are the exact opposite. They seem to feel like they need to save the really big words for something actually big, you know, like the birth of their first born. That, for an introvert (statistically speaking) might be an awesome experience; for an extravert, their lunch was awesome because they got an extra bit of chicken. It’s not that our subjective experiences necessarily differ: it’s just that extraverts use bigger words to describe everything. (Again, statistically speaking and keeping in mind that in the real world you only meet individuals.)


Maybe part of the reason I simply cannot get sportsy people (and they cannot get me) is just the language they (and I) use? Are unbearably sporty people in fact more likely to be extroverts than introverts? (Hmm.) I come back from a jog (yes people, I exercise. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to do it.) and never, ever have I experienced anything I would call euphoria. If I’d stop to think about – which I don’t, since I prefer not to think about exercise – I would certainly find it agreeable that I, once again, engaged in exercise, which I’ve realised I need to do. If I was so inclined, I could pat myself in the back. I have, in fact, patted myself in the back a few times when I was trying to establish a jogging routine (it took three months, for those wondering) and tried every single thing I thought might be helpful. But I’m not a particularly pat-myself-in-the-back or value-sporty-accomplishments type of person to begin with, so the feelings are really more those of what I would call relief. But what if I was framing them from an enthusiastic, sportsy position? I might just frame them as happiness, joy, accomplishment – I might.


If you are a sportsy person and are now getting excited, calm your tits. This does not mean that I feel like I should change my views or adopt an enthusiastic position. It would be useless and false, given how much I fucking hate exercising. The only thing it has going for it is that it’s healthy and good for you, and that’s a rational reason, not an emotional one. I’m not going to delude myself: if it was entirely ok for me to never lift a finger, I would never lift a finger. But I do find it encouraging that the people larking on about the wonderfulness of exercise might be doing so from a point of view of general excitableness – that they might be talking about something pretty achievable after all. You bloody did it. You knew you had to exercise in order to have a nice life and not get out of breath when you climb the stairs to the second floor and you bloody did it! Yay you!


See: that kind of measured cheerfulness I can get aboard with. Briefly. I can briefly go: well, yes, good on me! Then, let’s stop. Save the super-excitement for those who can stomach it.


(Max Mann Riesling – citrus and green apples. Apples are good for you.)

So what IS my excuse?

Soo, a bunch of fitness females have taken to posting pictures of their six-packs and tight buttocks with the accusatory caption “What’s your excuse?” superimposed on them (and some of them have even made little humans, all by themselves, and added them to the picture, because it makes these women even more remarkable! Squee!). Because, as you know, absolutely everyone in the world is actually dying to have abs like that and the thing stopping them is the fact that they are lazy, fat gits who make up excuses. (I’m also almost equally amused by those people who call this “fat shaming” –as if the only alternative to this is being horribly overweight. Oy.)


Dear fit darlings, I’m not sure how to put this politely so I’m going to be blunt (it’s not as if you are the embodiment of tact either). I would not want to look like you. I’m sorry, but to me the whole sculpted, defined muscle thing makes people look like balloon animals. I understand it’s the result of hard work and discipline and goes with the territory if you’re seriously into sports and fitness, and I totally respect that. But, for Pete’s sake, even you have to understand that you’re taking it to the extreme and that it is entirely possible to be fit and healthy without looking like a balloon animal. You’re effectively trying to make people feel guilty for not being you. I have absolutely no idea in which alternative reality this would be considered inspirational.


Let’s make this simple. We’re all different and we all make choices based on what interests us and what is important to us. Our choices become our actions and decisions regarding where we invest our time and energy. As surprising as it might seem to these fitness fanatics, evaluating the state of my arse in the mirror on a daily basis does not even make my Top 100 list of Things To Care About In This Life. There are books to read, rants to write, cats to rescue, cakes to bake: all this and a myriad of other things are more interesting to me than the general appearance of my arse, or indeed, abdomen.


It’s not an excuse. It’s a choice. Now go and be happy with your choice, your muscles and fitness and remarkable self-discipline, and quit being a judgmental, condescending ass.


If you’ll excuse me, I shall now go and produce a picture of a smug woman holding a PhD certificate with the text “What’s your excuse?” superimposed on it, and see how that goes down.

Movie musings of the gripey sort

Long time, no gripe! Enjoying a glass of Villa Maria sauvignon blanc and feeling a gripe coming on.


Saw Skyfall. Thought it illustrated three problems plaguing films these days perfectly. Script writers, take note.


1) What’s with the plots of Twist with a Twist, With a Twist on the Second Twist Added, with a Bit of a Twist at the End? It is tiresome to have endless “But wait! That’s not it at all!” moments.


2) You can apparently explain away every single oddity and impossibility and thing that makes no sense in the story by saying You See He Hacked a Computer. Oh you see the computer predicted – a year ago! – what a person would do in these circumstances today by using a Really Nifty Algorithm! Oh you see the computer was used to blow stuff up in a place where no one can go! Oh you see he hacked a computer and reprogrammed the laws of physics!


3) Thou Shalt Not Make a Film That Runs for Longer than 120 Minutes. Never, ever, ever. By 120 minutes the viewer’s butt is numb and s/he needs the loo. If you cannot tell your story in less than two hours, write another one.


The wallpaper overlords

(Energy provided by mere natural bile. Having a dry January following a very wet Christmas holiday in Cuba, plus suffering from the mother of all flus so don’t feel like having wine anyway(!).)


TLSO and I are redecorating the upstairs half bath (=TLSO does all the work and I look at pictures of pretty half baths online for inspiration). We have one guiding principle: all rooms upstairs shall be warmly coloured. This, naturally, includes the half bath that is currently stripped to the bone. Off we went, hopeful, to hardware stores in our area to look for a lovely sturdy wallpaper for the half bath. In warm colours. Warm red, gold and bronze tones, warm browns and beiges, all possible.


We could not find a single one. Not one warm-toned wallpaper. The dozens upon dozens of wallpapers we saw in several shops were all cool: minty greens, pale blues, rose-coloured reds, pinks, bluish purples, purply browns and cool beiges. All cold colours. Every last one. Which begs the question: who makes the decisions regarding wallpaper fashion? Why is it that we simply cannot buy warm-coloured wallpaper at this time (we certainly could a year and a half ago when we were redecorating the upstairs bedroom)? I doubt it’s the chain store buyers as coldness abounded regardless of the store or the chain that the store belonged to. Surely buyers do not hold bi-annual meetings where they all decide, en mass, what will be made available? One would think that not having the same exact stuff as all your competitors would be a good thing.


I rather suspect there is some sort of wallpaper designers’ guild – much like designers in the fashion industry, you know – who have wallpaper shows somewhere nice, like Nice, for each season and who make random decisions along the lines of ”No one shall have warmly coloured rooms in the Spring of ’13! No one! Bwahahaha!”. I can see them now, showcasing their cold designs on the walls surrounding the runway, sipping champagne, laughing demonically and loving the power they have over regular folks’ half baths.


The bastards.