LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
31 December 2016
Oh. What You Said...

Instead of the usual review of the let’s-forget-2016, we could begin a new year
with sage quotes from some of those ever so important people who live to share
every vital, significant, moi-moi-moi thought they had last year - and a few that  
really were important.

One of our favourite ‘look-at-me-now’ celebrities, Gwynnie, inspiring or in this
case, admonishing the little people. “If you haven’t taken all of life’s incredible
knocks and disappointments and used them to become a fully integrated, self-
expressing person by the time you’re 40, then what can I tell you.” Oh dear. Not
a threat then?

No, she hasn’t stopped pontificating: “It used to be that I would talk about
something or write about it, and people would be like, ‘What the f**k is she
talking about? She’s a witch!’ And then later on it would sort of catch on…I’m
like, this is my role. I’m here to do this. A friend told me if you’re a trailblazer,
you’re the first one through and you get the cuts because you’re hacking the
path.” Someone save this woman from her solipsistic self – and us in the
process.

Wait. There’s even more – obviously: “To this day, Chris would take a bullet for
me, even though I’m not his wife. I honestly think Chris and I have contributed
something positive to the culture of divorce.” You have taken notes surely.
Although “take a bullet” may be a bit tricky if you don’t live in the US.

Another cringe alert: I just hate to do this, but sometimes you just have no self-
control. Embarrassing to even mention Kim (Kardashian of course) but surely
this is crucial information. KK tells all her desperate to know what she thinks (I
know): “Even though I’m an ass girl (hmmm – an ass of a girl?), Kayne always
says my boobs don’t get as much credit as they deserve.”

Kayne (oh must we?): “More people need to know that they’re not f***ing cool.
In today’s world, having money has allowed people who are extremely uncool to
think that they’re cool and carry it like that.” ‘nough said. But no mention of her
‘boobs’….

Taylor Swift shares: “I got it in my head that I couldn’t do a split, and I was really
upset about it. (No. Really!) and so I stretched every single day until I could do I
a split (quelle relief). Somehow I feel better knowing that I can.” Ah. Bless. Such
dedication. Come on – “ahhhhhh”. Is there a ‘Splits Award’?

Moving on from the totally vacuous, Carrie Fisher in regards to her former
husband, Bryan Lourd, who revealed he was bisexual before they split up:
“Turning people gay is kind of a superpower of mine. It’s not called upon a lot,
but when it is, I pick up my little pink phone, I put on my rainbow-coloured cape
and I’m there like a shot!” Oh it’s so – ‘what’s not to love?’ – isn’t it? A woman of
many talents. RIP.

I don’t think George Michael would have been quite so thrilled with former Top
Gear’s Richard Hammond’s assessment of ice cream. Ice cream. He doesn’t eat
ice cream because he’s heterosexual. As you do, or don’t. Best to inform all
those macho ice cream selling Italians (OK. Gelato. But you get the point). The
idiot, oops, Richard doesn’t like the universally loved treat as it had “something to
do with being straight”. Oh. Does that mean he is straight – or….?

The George Michael we all loved has been quoted as saying: “I’m not stupid
enough to think I can deal with another 10-15 years of years of major exposure.
I think that’s the ultimate tragedy of fame, people who are simply out of control,
who are lost. I’ve seen so many of them, I don’t want to be another cliché.”
Cliché? Never. RIP.

“Fame is fleeting, my numbers mean more to me than my name. If astronomers
are still using my data years from now, that’s my greatest compliment.” And who
said this? You will never have any idea because Vera Cooper Rubin, born 1928,
is not recognised outside the science community. She was a pioneering
astronomer whose insights led to evidence of dark matter – and more.
Impressed? Of course you are. She has just died at 88.

Nonetheless, those men who hand out the Nobel Prize ignored her momentous
accomplishments her entire career. They had plenty of time. Hmmm. Can’t
imagine why.

Saving the best for last. Wizzend Wilbur Ross, The Donald’s new (well, quite old
actually) trade chief has made it perfectly clear that the UK has been put back
on the naughty step, or back in the back of the queue.

89-year-old Wilbur announced: “Brexit represents a ‘God-given opportunity’ to
steal Britain’s cake and eat it.” But a Boris quote could be interjected: “My policy
on cake is pro having it and pro eating it.” Brexiteer Boris clearly didn’t hear
what Wilbur had to say.

With the ‘God-given opportunity’ Wilbur hopes the “inevitable relocations”: i.e.;
leaving the UK, will leave the UK vulnerable and weak. He is making leave
suggestions to other countries; let them eat cake.

You do realise billionaire Wilbur will be negotiating any trade deals between the
UK and the US. Exploiting Britain’s eventual rejection and isolation. Ah, that
‘special relationship’ of goodwill you thought we had. Ha. Never had, never will.
Nevertheless, PM Theresa has already begun to grovel shamelessly,
humiliatingly, appallingly to The Dumb One, I mean The Donald by taking his
irrational line on the illegal Israeli settlements. Back to those ‘poodle’ days….


Pass the Smell Test

If you thought the festive season was about smells and shopping you’d be right.
You didn’t even know that was possible did you? You thought the lovely smell of,
oh say, cinnamon was synonymous with Christmas, right? Wrong. Inhaling that
lovely spice will find you suddenly, impulsively acquiring jumpers, scarves and
special offers you surely didn’t actually want or need. Really. Think about it. How
many of those god-awful Christmas jumpers do you now have stuffed in your
wardrobe? See?

It’s called olfactive branding and do we have a chance? I doubt it. Not when
branding is involved. Camomile, basil and lavender combined will make you the
ruthless shopper you have always wanted to be. These smells will sharpen your
shopper’s mind, keeping you ready to pounce on those bargains that aren’t
really bargains at all, are they. Smell something fishy? Surely you know your
sense of smell is the only one that is directly hardwired to your brain. Thus, your
behaviour, mood, emotions, work performance are all affected. Getting worried?

Duped, tricked? Smelling a rat? You just know that you are coming to this
revelation late; retailers are already targeting your nose. Is there no relief from
manipulation? No. So, research on line and choose click and collect and you
could come up smelling of roses or at least be smell free.

So as we count down to 2017 with trepidation, knowing we will look back at 2016
as a walk in the park – OK, more a walk in the dark – when all that those forward-
thinkers decided without thinking to change the course of world history – clearly
not in a good way. Good luck, then; we’ll need it. It’s going to be an interminably
long year. Smelling salts at the ready?
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