Que Sera Sera


If you're at all like me, this list of scents worn by famous people is a fun skim. Here are some highlights (no idea how true these are):

My grandmother’s name was Joy and she always had a large glass bottle of Joy on her vanity. My grandma bought a lot of Avon perfumes but I remember we gave her a White Shoulders gift set every Christmas. My unofficial godmother has worn Chanel No. 5 for as long as I can remember, and bought me a bottle when I was out of college. My mother wore L’Air du Temps and First by Van Cleef & Arpels when I was little, and wears Pleasures by Estée Lauder now. I used to swear by Philosophy Pure Grace, but I’m fickle with scents, even basic clean ones. I wore that one for years and now it reminds me of 2007. 2007 was great, but now I want to smell like something new.

At the moment I wear the perfume Nick bought me for Christmas. Neither of us can ever remember its name: I call it #4 Privet Drive and he calls it Hedgerow Porn, which turned into both of us referring to it as the Harry Potter Porn Perfume -- not something easy to ask for in a shop. It’s nice and light, but a bit more floral than I usually go for. Every time I go to Liberty, I ask for a sample of Blanche by Byredo. It smells like a very clean, calm rich lady. I will roll over and let you sell me that image, Byredo: a lady with mo money and no problems. However, a bottle costs £115, which even if I were an untroubled rich woman would still seem like a pretty frivolous purchase, especially when the samples last so long.

The other day we were walking through Selfridge’s and I stopped at the Jo Malone counter. Eventually Nick got bored with being bored and started sniffing around as well, and he picked up a bottle. “This one. I like this one, you should get this one.” I looked and it was the same one I bought on my first trip to England three years ago. So there’s £64 saved. Maybe I’ll be that problem-free rich lady sooner than I think, but I’ll still smell like 2007 to me.

Excuse me Egon, you said crossing the streams was 'bad'

Hughes' finest hour


SCENE: an H&M in Brixton. NICK and SARAH have ventured out to buy NICK some new shorts since his only pair is missing three buttons, one of which is the top button.

SARAH: Do you like this shirt?

NICK: Eh. The sleeves will make me look gay.

SARAH: Try it on.

NICK: [tries on shirt]

SARAH: Yeah, the sleeves make you look gay.

NICK: [removes shirt]

SARAH: Try on the jeans.

NICK: [tries on jeans]

NICK: What does “fitted waist” mean?

SARAH: Aren’t all waists sort of fitted?

NICK: Oh Christ, is the waist like this so the jeans definitely show your underpants?

SARAH: You could just pull your shirt down?

NICK: I think I’m too old to shop here.

SARAH: You’re not too old to shop here.

NICK: I’m 34. These clothes are for young people.

SARAH [surveying store]: These clothes are for slutty 1980s babysitters who get killed in the first part of the movie.

NICK [wearing black cargo shorts with his brown socks pulled up high]: Can I just wear these out of the store after we pay for them?

The Gentleman's Relish

damn, gina, originally uploaded by Sarah Brown.

I went to my first cricket match yesterday. I packed a book, a newspaper, my crossword puzzle book (and pen), a scarf, a hoodie, sunglasses and two sandwiches. I used everything but the book and crossword puzzles. The whole afternoon was very relaxed and fun. The air smelled sweet, the sun was out, there was lots of tea and cake. And if I may brag for a moment, Nick batted for an hour and a half because no one could get him out and ran up the score so they won the match. And on two hours of sleep, no less! Very boner city. If I were English, I’d say something here like PHWOAR but I’m American so I’ll just say Daaaaaamn, Gina.

The pitch was in Great Haseley, Oxfordshire. I love place names in England. Especially the addresses. Sometimes they don’t even have a number in them at all. Nick’s mom’s address is seriously like

Nick’s Mum
Last Milky Door Road
Pennyfarthing Way
Lower Duckling
Bumbleton Briar
Winston Churchill

Anyway, Great Haseley. Everything around it was all rolling greens and fields of rapeseed, and the village church looked like a castle and the village pub had a thatched roof. There was a windmill. It was aaaalllllll Englanded up. As we drove through the village on our way to the pitch, I may have cooed a bit over the church’s toweriness and Chris warned me, “Don’t you dare say quaint or I’ll have to hit you.” I told him, “I didn’t say quaint, I said cute. And I’m allowed to say cute… we ain’t got this shit from where I’m from, y’all! I’m from the land of the Dodge Durango!” But then later, in the pub garden, there was a sudden dogfight while we were drinking our beers so maybe it wasn’t that far from Oklahoma after all.

Toodle pip

Last night’s charity Cringe with Ctrl.Alt.Shift was great. Guests of note included Brett Anderson of Suede, Mathew Horne of Gavin & Stacey, Alexa Chung, Henry Holland, Eleanor Gecks of Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Irving Finkel, head curator of cuneiform inscriptions and Ancient Mesopotamian studies at the British Museum, and most importantly, readers Alice, Janine, Nick, Silvia, Melissa, Victoria, Nina, Tim, Helena, Ana, and Julia.

Tomorrow I go to my first cricket match! Nick’s cricket club, The Gentleman’s Relish, is having their first match of the season -- in Oxford, no less. I don’t think you can get more English than that unless you’re wearing tweed underwear. Sorry, knickers. I will be wearing my Yosemite Sam pair as always, and shoot my pistols excitedly into the air whenever they get a home run. I’ve been told I can bring a book and there's a break for sandwiches and cake, so this is my new favorite sport already.

I like England so much more in May than I did in February.

Dear Diary

Cringe is teaming up with youth charity Ctrl.Alt.Shift to produce a one time only event:

Ctrl.Alt.Shift & Cringe present DEAR DIARY: Secrets & Struggles from Kenya to the UK
Thursday, May 13, 7:30 – 11 pm
Hoxton Hall
130 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6SH
Admission: £10 (all proceeds go to Maji Na Ufanisi, working with young people from the slums of Nairobi)

Ctrl.Alt.Shift Dear Diary Event Invite

Also: a beautifully designed, limited edition journal with cover illustration by Alexa Chung as well as diary extracts from Anaïs Nin, Kurt Cobian, Sylvia Plath, Courtney Love, Daniel Johnston, Dan Eldon, Jodie Harsh and more available to buy for £18 at store.jotta.com

And: an exhibition looking at the diversity of diary keeping, including the diaries of unknowns from the 19th century to the present day from the collection of Irving Finkel, featuring audio, video and written diaries, including a library and comfy chair for in-gallery browsing at Gallery Seven, Super Superficial in Covent Garden from Tuesday May 11 until Sunday May 23rd.

I’m really excited about this, and happy that for once, Cringe is helping current teenagers, not just poking fun at former ones. (Not that there’s anything wrong with poking fun at former ones.) We’ll be back at The George and free as usual in June, but until then, book your ticket and come out for a great evening benefitting a great cause.

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