Fashion or soft porn?

Vogue Paris June/July 2011

Operation SBAM is underway. As the weather seems to be staying sunny, I’ve become secure in the knowledge that summer clothes will actually be useful. So I thought it a good idea to do some research (no point being an unfashionable non-minger).

Vogue Paris June/July 2011

I picked up a copy of the ultimate style bible: Vogue Paris. It seemed even more appropriate as it had a section on Greece, and being Vogue, what to wear in Greece – and I’m heading off there soon.

I wasn’t sure about the red dress as I can’t actually make much out from this photo. Not sure I’m really into pleasuring myself on an old discarded mattress (doesn’t Vogue Paris know about fleas and bedbugs?), so I flicked through for more fashion information.

Vogue Paris June/July 2011

Well, I guess there is a red theme. Ok, I can go on that. Perhaps I could stretch to a stop watch. But the Borat-come-Baywatch swimsuit: an absolute no go.

(The perfect skin and physical shape: let’s just not go there!).

Vogue Paris June/July 2011

For day wear, it seems I don’t need to bother about t-shirts, nor a bra..nor underwear? High waisted shorts that don’t do up? Well, I’m sure I won’t have a problem finding some of those! Phew – something I can be ‘on trend’ in.

But really, Greece is all about swimming. What am I going to wear in the water? Does Vogue Paris have any other suggestions? It seems they do.

Vogue Paris June/July 2011

Ummm..perhaps if I looked like that naked, I would think this the best trend ever – it’s probably the cheapest ever promoted by Vogue, anywhere in the world. But I don’t. Ok, so I give up on buying new swimming attire. I’m going to get my old one piece out and perhaps the ‘retro’, aka granny pants, bikini.

Next to swimming is: boats. What do I wear when I’m sailing on my Greek holiday?

Vogue Paris June/July 2011

WFT?! Are people in Greece just naked all the time? Is this what happens when your country has an economic crisis: people can’t afford clothes and then beautiful nudists flock there to pole dance on the water ?

(I hope they wash that sail frequently).

But no, hang on a second. It seems Vogue Paris is reaching out an olive branch to those of use who want a bit more coverage than a boat’s mast provides.

Vogue Paris June/July 2011

Yay! I think I could even make these myself from some random supermarket elastic and the old sheet I have waiting to be torn up for dusting rags.

Think I’ll go without the wedgie though.

 

All photos from Vogue Paris June/July 2011.

 

 

Tales from the gym

This man is a true sportsman: preparing for an Ironman* race

Big Mama does not like the gym, “People are always watching you there.” I disagree, in the hope that she’ll go and get fit.

“They’re not watching you,” I counter, “They are looking in the mirror at themselves.”

That is sort of true. People are looking at themselves, but there are plenty of people checking others out. I’m one of them. I find people watching absolutely fascinating. I love seeing how different people move, what sort of workout they are doing, how they interact, what they wear. Egyptian gyms had women in full makeup, hair perfectly coiffed, pumped up men on steriods, as well as the ‘normal’ worker-outers.

France is a whole other ball game. First, I have only been in one gym, so I have no idea how it compares, but there seem to be an incredible amount of people who are insanely attractive. Ok. Mainly men. They’re kind of model good looking… Then there are the middle aged women with bodies of a 22 year old, only more flexible. They often sport some kind of lycra ensemble, sometimes even from around the time they were 20 years old, and they still look great in it.

Then there are the legs; perfectly smooth. So many of them. And they don’t belong to just the women. It seems that it is fashionable for middle aged men, and some a little younger, usually at a ‘normal’ level of fitness, to shave their legs. You know, it’s what pro swimmers and cyclists do to make them faster. For cyclists, it’s also to make injuries from falls easier to heal – to stop hairs getting caught in healing wounds.

I wasn’t aware that those cumbersome stationary bikes could be so dangerous!

*An Ironman is swimming 3.8 km, then cycling 180 km and then running a marathon 42.2 km run

Whooosh

The night before last I showed Mr S that I have this site back up and the months of me moaning about it are over. I thought he would be happy – it seems that anything that reduces moans from my mouth makes him happy. Instead of the expected response (“Oh, that’s great!” or something along those lines), he asked, “Is that you?”.

The picture he was looking at, if you’re a little late to the party, was this.

I laughed, a semi-giggle, thinking gosh, he thinks that’s me, that’s nice, while saying, “No,” [insert giggle] “that’s Madonna, not me”.

“Yeah, of course that’s not you! I know that! I meant did you take the header picture?”

…..

….

….can you hear the wind disappearing from my sails?

I'm so excited! (Wooah, wooah!)

Yippee

And I just can’t hide it! Wooah, Wooah!

I am in a state of pure childlike excitement at the moment. The sort that sends eight year old girls jumping around the house screaming and waving their arms around!

A little while ago I mentioned that I would absolutely love to be suspended from a helicopter and flown around. I wasn’t joking: if anyone has a helicopter and the equipment, my email is on the About page.

This summer we are lucky enough to be heading BC direction so I started to look for somewhere to go ziplining. If you’ve never heard of it, think of it like a GIANT flying fox that goes through forests, between cliffs and through canyons. Sometimes they are part of into tree-top adventure courses so in between flying higher than the trees, you have to cross rope bridges 70ft/30m up etc.

I was pretty thrilled by the thought of whizzing through the trees until I stumbled across King Swing! Here’s an excerpt:

“Strapped into an “ultra cool” paragliding harness, designed for the intense forces that this incredible ride generates, our bridge crew will clip you securely into a cable that extends up and above the sandstone canyon cliffs. The cables tighten as you are cinched up like a slingshot, pulling you ever closer to the 150 foot abyss.

“You launch in seconds and drop like a meteor entering the atmosphere! Start your scream with a near free-fall towards the river. The swing catches you and the thrill of speed up to 140 km/hr and “feel it to your core” G-Force, stick with you as you scream past the canyon walls on the rocket ride of a lifetime!” (WildPlay Element Park)

I’m not sure just how I’m going to contain myself for the next three months.

Oh, and did I mention, I’m scared of heights and of not having stable flooring beneath my feet!

MBC's Noor – a ray of light

It took me a couple of days of watching Noor to figure out what was going on, not only in plot but with the actors’ mouths.

Noor is a new TV show in Arabic on one of the free satellite stations originating from Dubai. This particular station, MBC4, usually shows English language programs: Rachel Ray, Oprah and Dr Phil are staples – we’re not exactly talking high brow entertainment!

Nevertheless, and perhaps because of this, I like this show. Of course, it could also be because it is extremely odd to watch Arabic being spoken by so many people with blue, green and light eyes. The Arabic is Lebanese, the people beautiful and the landscapes stunning. After a few days of assuming it was filmed in Lebanon by actors mouthing strange words, I have just figured out it is a Turkish TV series dubbed!

The real reason for my new addiction though? The leading man has one of my favourite, and seldom heard names: Mohanad (yes, that’s an N in the middle) and I’m not sure I could ever get bored of hearing it.

And they speak slowly enough, with enough pauses, for me to actually understand!

NB I have stopped comments to this post. I have absolutely no contact with MBC nor the makers of Noor in Turkish or Arabic. I merely wrote a personal account. Please pass any comments you my have about the programme onto the channel directly.

You know you've been in Cairo a long time when (31-40):

1. You don’t worry if someone overtakes you on the inside lane.

2. You have no qualms about overtaking on the inside lane.

3. You only buy summer shoes that are dust proof or can be easily cleaned.

4. You have no qualms about walking around streets in the West with the same numeric value of relevant currency as you do here, until you notice the shop assistant’s eyebrows raising when she sees $1000 in your wallet when you pay for a coffee.

5.
You know that when you go to the movies for the 6pm showing you don’t need to turn up before 7pm as that’s when the trailers start.

6. Having watched too much MBC, you dream about Jeremy Paxman.

7. You notice how expensive everything is getting.

8. You start forgetting which words are spelled with a ‘B’ and which with a ‘P’.

9. You notice how crude lyrics to Western popular music are, especially in comparison to those of Arabic pop.

10. Amr Diab starts being sexy.

Prophet's birthday in Egypt

Click for a larger view.

These little dolls appear once a year for the Prophet’s birthday. Apparently the tradition started in the more populous areas of town where sweet makers would make dolls out of sweets for girls and horses for boys. China’s cheap imports have changed that, but it is still nice to see the colours on display. Sweets are still involved – apparently they go under the skirts!

The relationship between Amy Winehouse's hair and Cairo water

There is an unwritten law that water cuts only occur at the worst moments. In Jordan it would happen without fail every time I returned from the desert, covered in a pale orange dust. Sometimes it would just not be on when I returned and other times it would let me get in the shower, half lather up and then just stop.

In Egypt it is usually on the hottest days. Now, that doesn’t just mean the stickiest days of Summer, but the warmest days for that season. And always, always, always, it is when you need it least to happen.

Like yesterday.

And today.

In fairness they haven’t been total stoppages for the most part, but there has not been more than a dribble from the showers.

This morning, I heard a definite gush of water as Mr S turned on the shower with pressure to rival any power shower (we don’t have one) and relaxed happy to know I could get a decent clean today, not just a spit and a lick.

I took my time, ready to enjoy the feeling of getting clean that incrementally increases the dirtier you are. I prepared my clothes, got my favourite creams and brushed, brushed, brushed away, at my hair turning the curls bushier-looking than ever before and stepped into the shower.

Tsssssssssss.

A mere dribble from the shower and definitely not enough to penetrate the hedge on my head.

And so it is that today, my modest crop of hair has turned into a beehive to beat Amy’s any day (or night) of the week.

You know you've been in Cairo a long time when (21-30):

21. When asked, “Do you know the way to X?” you answer yes and point in the first direction your hand finds.

22. You can’t remember the last time you used a credit card to pay for something in a shop.

23. You take your three year old, your five year old and your seven year old to see the midnight showing of Kill Bill 2.

24. You go to the movies in order to sit and chat with your friend for an hour and a half.

25. You can’t watch a movie without an interval.

26. You can’t find a wallet big enough to carry the wads of cash you now have in your bag.

27. You refer to any hair colour other than pitch black as blonde.

28. You routinely answer no when asked if you have any change at the shop.

29. You know that the shop actually has change, even though they’re asking for yours.

30. You do not consider linen trousers or skirts for the summer – you’ve experienced too many unsightly wet patches on the behind after sitting down.

You know you've been in Cairo a long time when (21-30):

21. When asked, “Do you know the way to X?” you answer yes and point in the first direction your hand finds.

22. You can’t remember the last time you used a credit card to pay for something in a shop.

23. You take your three year old, your five year old and your seven year old to see the midnight showing of Kill Bill 2.

24. You go to the movies in order to sit and chat with your friend for an hour and a half.

25. You can’t watch a movie without an interval.

26. You can’t find a wallet big enough to carry the wads of cash you now have in your bag.

27. You refer to any hair colour other than pitch black as blonde.

28. You routinely answer no when asked if you have any change at the shop.

29. You know that the shop actually has change, even though they’re asking for yours.

30. You do not think linen trousers or skirts are clothes for the summer – you know it just results in unsightly wet patches on the behind after sitting down.