29 May 2011



Dear Sophisticated Ladies

I advise you to move to somewhere you will not be observed because I am about to make a confession; one of a most intimate nature that you may share but not want to share! I am in love, a little, from a respectful distance with Madame Lagarde. Close your eyes and slowly repeat Lagarde, let the syllables roll around your mouth and enjoy the moment. The French Finance Minister is tipped for the head of the International Monetary Fund and she would be perfectly fabulous, in my humble opinion.

 There can be little more sensually alluring than a powerful woman who oozes sophistication and utter control. They say fellow finance ministers view her with a combination of fear and fantasy. To quote one blog that has been syndicated from the Ghanian Herald to the Luxe Chronicles, Madame Lagarde addressed a pre conference dinner wearing a suit that said business and shoes that said cocktail time!

 Amazonian physical presence comes automatically when one is 6 foot tall in ones stocking feet; add a pair on medium heels and Bellasconi must need a discrete (telescopic) stool to make eye contact. Assuming Madame Lagarde would feel the need to have an intimate a deux conversation with this Italian gentleman. Before I continue let me share another image of Madame Lagarde. Could natural dove gray hair ever look more striking? Ahh..

 On a recent visit to the retail mecca that is John Lewis I used Auntie’s birthday money to facilitate the purchase of a Stills jersey dress in pink; I would describe it as more of a raspberry myself. Pink sounds harsh somehow; uncouth and common. I plan to team this number with the 4 inch platforms of which I have previously spoken. With my added height advantage I will be seeking shorter persons to tower over and be photographed with. Why? Because it amuses me of course! So to witness this (bad) behaviour do pop me an email to book a place at the Salon on 27 June!

Note to self must find out how tall our guest is to enable me to prepare accordingly.By preparation I mean practising walking short as opposed to walking tall. For unintended humiliation of a guest would be unforgivable! I somehow doubt this would bother Catrin Finch as she quite is self assured, grounded as powerful both personally and professionally.


On the subject of John Lewis I blame them for taking the edge off my (birthday) shopping jaunt. I had planned a coffee, an egg mayonnaise on mixed grain triangular roll type bread and a Toffee Apple Muffin. Well those particular muffins are last season’s menu and have been replaced by other combinations that appealed so little I can’t recall them.


I purchased a fruit tart instead; underwhelmed does not go anywhere near my response. Perhaps in part because I was suckered into a deal of the day egg and tomato bloomer and coffee for £4.25. I don’t know why this appealed, well it didn’t actually. I was taken advantage of in a vulnerable state!


May be some of you will understand how important it is for ones plans to be delivered in reality; precisely as you had imagined as this kind of behaviour is not something one indulges in on a daily basis. And why may I ask is the JL car park full on a Monday at 2pm?  I was forced into the circular drive of death in St Davids 2 and this is seldom a good sign!


Cardiff City Centre must be full of people like the ladies behind me in the Cafe. A mother and daughter making the final purchases for the child’s wedding. The conversation involves the florist who asked (by email), if the wedding was still on. The daughter had only made an enquiry and had booked someone else.


I was not enamoured of the way the daughter was describing this florist; the woman had a cruel arrogance which is NOT attractive. Perhaps business is tight for the florist, is the soon to be wed woman not aware there is a global recession? Nasty poisonous tendencies might play with your hubby in waiting but a degree of humanity is much more attractive generally. Certainly behaviour one would ever associate with the divine Madame Lagarde!


Thank you to the person from my past who pointed out that Paperchase do have a shop in the new SD2 shopping centre. I was a little disappointed by the display items at the front of the shop but as I ventured further in I found the array of paper goods and stationery that makes me drool. I happily spent just under £50 on yet more notebooks and associated items!

 A close friend’s husband has just had a hip replacement and she was describing the visitors to one of the other patients. Apparently the whole extended family had visited this Asian gentleman; Asian was not the term she used.  She and I have had a conversation about the use of language before; she knows I would prefer she didn’t speak this way. She continues to use the expressions she grew up with and I collude by turning a deaf ear on these occasions.

 We have these conversations in our post swim naked shower state. Already vulnerable I attempt to avert my eyes from her plump cellulite free thighs. How does she do it? Mine on the other hand are scarred with lightening flash slivers of cellulite amongst the orange peel textured dimpled dumplings. Not an attractive sight I can assure you!

 But being ladies we keep these delights covered and for our eyes only; unfortunately not a convention universally shared.  Parking I am annoyed that a Brake’s Catering lorry is unloading in the disabled bay. The delivery man is wearing a fluorescent waistcoat over his shirt and uniform trousers. As he climbs into the van he waistcoat parts and his shirt lifts to reveal his bulbous belly.  The experience is shocking in so many ways but the latter (belly revealing) means I don’t deal with the former (illegal parking)!


This week I have fallen out with kitten Bella as her biting behaviour has got out of hand. When leaving a meeting with a client my colleague commented that she (Bella) had been at my legs again. I didn’t know what she meant until I looked at the back of my trouser legs to see blood spatters on my camel linen encased calves! Mortified doesn’t get near to my embarrassment.

The following day I confess to resorting to shutting her in the bathroom as I was going to a meeting wearing an expensive outfit which I quite wanted to avoid bleeding on! When going to a meeting I anticipate could be challenging I plan the casing within which I will place myself. I simply did not have time to rethink my shell covering and I closed my ears to her mournful miaows.

I thought we had made some progress on the biting front but Arabella appears to have a short memory! I have been studiously remembering to put the toilet seat down for fear of her falling in. Today I omitted to perform this final act as I left the house in a hurry with my mind on my lunch date. Is it just me or does everyone when faced with a extra 20 minutes suddenly think it eminently sensible to embark on a task that in reality takes at least 40 minutes (with a fair wind and everything going to plan)? Well that was the position I found myself in and yes I was suddenly at least 20 minutes late picking up my friend!

 So I have just scooped up twinkle toes and wrapped her shivering little body in a towel. Having cuddled her dry she bounced off as if nothing had happened and I went to see what mayhem had been created as she leapt out of the toilet! By this time I am sweeping up cat litter and she has decided the brush needs attacking!

 Before I discretely remind you of the June Salon I must talk jumpsuits. After a recent meeting I was chatting with a couple of people who had been around the table with me and I had to ask. ‘Forgive me for asking but is that a jumpsuit you’re wearing?’ I was suddenly transported back to the 1980s and the jumpsuit my mother had made me.

 It was indeed a jumpsuit and with a stylish wide belt the ensemble was perfect under a jacket. I confess I am working a lot with dancers and choreographers at the moment and they have rather more toned sculpted bodies to dress than I ever did.

 And where do you think the conversation went next? There is only one way of course and that is the nightmare of going to the loo. For those of us with Baroness Finlay i.e. rueing the ever growing distance between the days when we could run for a bus and now the time it takes to disrobe in the cubicle is something that would be factored into the decision on whether to purchase such an outfit. For me the jumpsuit days as strictly in my parents photo album!


So darling there are places patiently waiting to be booked for the June 27 Salon with Catrin Finch. Now I am hosting alone I will be selecting guests to have dinner with Catrin and I so perhaps you have a friend who has a birthday coming up and would love to be treated thus? For those of you who have signed up already perhaps you have a friend you would like to introduce to the curious delights of Victorious Endeavours?

 On this Bank Holiday weekend I trust this finds you having found something suitably soothing to share with the people who are important in your lives. Or in pursuit of a distraction that takes you to a time or a place that makes you smile. Or just a little breathing space perhaps

 In sophistication having enjoyed and indulgent leisurely lunch with a wonderful friend who wickedly led me into the path of a delicious slice of chocolate tart for which I am most grateful!

 And just incase you’ve forgotten!



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Filed under Musings of a Contemporary Spinster, Sophisticated Salons

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