A find for the BLOOD book: Catherine Opie, Self Portrait, 1993
How are Meredith’s new year resolutions going? I hear you all asking. And how is her big pile of work? Dear readers let me tell you all about it.
My resolution to go dancing more often has been going well. Gurlesque at Red Rattler was a highlight. Seeing my brother Dorian and his beautiful Laura dancing Rock n Roll last week was very gorgeous, and I’m wondering if Richard and I could do something like that (with lessons of course) without falling in a heap and squishing each other.
My resolution to dress up more in fancy dress, sparkles, OTT makeup, wigs and super-high heels is being realised to a small degree. However, I’ve just noticed that my big toes are beginning to do that pointing-inwards thing that you see on old ladies who have worn high heels all their lives, so I’m looking for lovely shoes that are flatish and I’m currently selling a library (a herd?) of size 36 high heels on ebay.
My resolution to stop having my hair dyed a dark colour is progressing nicely, thanks for asking. The hair has been blonded three times now, and I think if anyone saw me they’d describe me as blonde. I had plans for a pastel-pink block of colour at the front for my conference presentation in Canada, but my hairdresser Jennie wouldn’t let me do it. She’s so stern! As for my intention to go grey gracefully? That can wait a few more years.
I haven’t been back to yoga, instead I took out a gym membership. Most weeks I do Pilates and a couple of Body Pump classes, which consist of lifting weights and doing sit ups to music. It’s invigorating & I love leaving the office in the middle of the day and going down to the gym where I can watch 20 minutes of Dr Phil while I warm up on the treadmill. Most of the class instructors are women in their 50s and 60s, and they are fabulously fit and muscular which is very inspiring.
Ah yes, dear readers, I have been true to my promise and I have been buying better undies. I even went to Neiman Marcus when I was in Beverly Hills (Los Angeles, not Sydney) in March, and got some Spanx. It was the day after the Academy Awards, and the shop assistant told me that the range was severely depleted, as all those celebutantes at the Oscars had purchased madly against the horror of panty lines & wobbly bits. Anyway, getting into my Pants of Steel is a bit of an effort — heave em up, squeeze the flesh into them — but once they’re on they actually give me better posture — and eliminate muffin top, bravo.
On the tea front: my Morning Red and Lapsong Souchong from T-2 are wonderful pick-me-ups and keep me going all day long. I dipped a Dilmar tea bag the other day and the resultant stained water was a reminder that I should never again return to that land that lacks malty, smoky, strength-giving goodness.
Work, work, work, oh my goodness. I got the two grant applications in. The European one has had really fabulous reviews, but there’s no outcome yet. I won’t hear anything about the Australian one until August, I think.
I went to the States and Canada in March for two weeks. I interviewed some Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeons about ‘fly-ins’. These are people at the extreme rich end of the cosmetic surgery tourist spectrum: Moscow mafioso, Tokyo oligarchs, Argentinian media barons, I kid you not. When they need a little work they only have the best, and the best is on Rodeo Drive. So in they fly for their injections or their wee ops. Sadly I couldn’t interview any of those people, but I did manage to talk to their surgeons, who are a breed unto themselves: when you shake hands with them they fix you with a look and their eyes wander, ever so casually, across the skin of your face. In my case, registering the lack of Botox, just as I register their blepheroplasties and their shiny dermabrasions.
Then I went to Portland to stay with my lovely friend Annie Grgich, and I gathered material for the next Trunk book, BLOOD (see picture above).
In Vancouver, Canada, I presented at a conference that had been built around the edited anthology I made with Cress. The conference was very unusual because it was full of undergraduates — it was challenging to have talk in ways that were meaningful to them, and when I next organise a conference I’m planning to build in undergrad participation.
I have so much material to think about and can’t wait for my sabbatical in the second half of this year, when I’ll have time to write write write. I’ve also presented two papers in the last few weeks — one about handbags and one about spending a day in a Bangkok cosmetic surgery clinic — that I’ll put up on the blog this week.
That’s all for now, but bless all your cotton socks & thanks for reading, Meredith xx