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La favourite thing on this holiday is breakfast.

Specifically, breakfast at Colbert. 

In my eyes, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King can’t put a foot wrong when it comes to old-school, mahogany-trimmed, straight-backed-waiter dining. From the Wolseley, where La once went elbow-to-elbow with poor old AA Gill, to the Delaunay, where we dine with AB and Marty over pink bubbles, I love these blokes and their posh nosh shops. 

This isn’t a trip where we’ve ‘done’ much. Seriousimo’s health has seen better days, so he’s rested up and spent time with his folks and fronkly, 2016 plum-tuckered us out. So there’s been much languishing on squishy sofas. Public preconceptions of my commitment to shopping far outstrip the boring reality: I’m not actually a fan. Having stuck my noggin into Selfridges briefly, all I did was perve at the Célines and order a quick tonging of the hairs at Hersheson’s drop-in blow-dry bar. 

What I want to do is this: sit quietly with a morning rag (enjoying the vast array of choice) and a flaky pastry, and see old friends.

Here at 50-52 Sloane Square, my view this minute is right down the barrel of Sloane Square. The Royal Court, where I used to partake of five-quid theatre nights, is to the left of me; David Mellor, where I bought my first sharp knife as a consenting, sterling-earning adult, is to the right. 

And inside here, jostling with the new memories I’m making of this place are other older ones, from when this was Oriel, and VI and I lived merrily beyond our means, sipping Soave and gin and writing bouncy cheques with our guarantee cards (remember them?) while making eyes at eligibles. Her beauty and vivacity often meant I sucked up her sloppy seconds, but – cripes – we were happy.

Oriel’s where my old buddy Cod – one of the procession of thoroughly new and exotic creatures Londra served up to a 22-year-old fresh off the cheapest one-way flight from Brisbane – described a man to me as having “a splodgy World War Two bottom”, a description that simultaneously summed up his humour, powers of observation and facility for language. 

And just now, as I’m wading happily in  the shallow rockpool of my memories, I’m grabbed by a much-missed old friend who’s just arrived at Colbert, one who fled the Wide Brown Land years ago for the comforts of Cheltenham. What are the chances? 

We’re meeting here tomorrow at 9, for a flaky pastry. 

Thanks, 50-52.


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Took Black Céline to visit her chums at Selfridges: a rainbow of leathery gorgeousness.

The saleslady optimistically tried to get La to buy Black Céline and Blue Céline a red-trimmed sister. 

Although the rouge piping almost made La weep, it wasn’t gonna happen. 2017 is set to be a year of economic uncertainty, fronkly, and not the time to be supporting a family of pouting, selfie-obsessed Céline triplets. 

So far the Dumb Clothes pick of the trip is this bowy-sleeved lolly pink jacket. Thoughts? Mine was that I should have deployed the male JCC to do one of his fash-floor vomiting specials nearby.

Wandered through my favourite tube station, Westminster. It’s such a Death Star-esque, Bladerunnerish dystopian nightmare. 

Enjoyed the annual Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with best friend Furrgler. Miss that crazy bird. We’ve been Ferrising since we attached to each other like iron filings and a magnet in our first week of uni approximately 657 years ago. Our first Ferris saw us feast on my special guacamole (secret ingredient: bacon) at La Famiglia Trivialista’s homestead in the Bane of Bris, aged 17. We’ve come a long way in taste and budget. 

We partook of sticky. Who could resist when offered with such style? I swear old Brett Graham has a looks policy when hiring waiters. Every single one was DIVINE, but barely older than an embryo.

One of the Ledbury yummies was this slightly nipplish nibble. Festive and saucy all at once. 

Spotted this in someone’s front room while walking around the rented ‘hood. Can you see? A couple of Oscars and a BAFTA! Would kill to know who lives there. Obv no shrinking violet – the hardware’s clearly displayed for all passersby to see. No Emma Thompson “I keep mine in the loo” humility on Trevor Place. 

Love peeking into London lives. 

Dodgy not

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It’s been this kind of weather in Londra. 

Amazingly, no rain. Also none of that misty greyness hovering just above one’s head like a levitating fascinator. 

As this is like a second home for the Trivialista-Seriousimos, we don’t often do the touristy bits. But while Seriousimo rested, we popped by Buckinghome Palazzo to join the throngs from Ye Olde Europa who might soon not be quite so welcome here post-Brexit. Everyone with form knows Elizabeth Regina’s at Sandringham at Chrissy, rather than here. But still they wonder about it, aloud, in a rainbow collection of languages. 

Have my old Bane of Bris buddy Shallot and her famiglia coming for lunch, so popped into La Fromagerie to fondle some formaggios. Decided against the Umbrian white truffles, for now. That’s about three Célines per kilo. 

Divine wrapping. Love the pride. Oh gods – ‘pride’ – that’s made me think of dear departed Georgios Michaelos. Bugger, I might cry again. 

La wandered down Pimlico Road, early. Spotted a Banksy. Had a coffee at Daylesford. That place is such a wanky triumph of packaging over content. Love that a family that made its money from heavy machinery is now all preachy about crunchy-granola-save-the-earth-organic-or-die practices. *Spot the grumpy jetlagged Antipodean*. And their coffee was bitter. 

Visited my old haunt, the site of my first job in Londra in 1994. (That’s if you don’t count my couple of months with @Blackmorelife writing ad copy for ‘seccie’ jobs. “Pop the corks – we have champagne opportunities for you!” was a high point of our oeuvre.) The old Grand Met (now Diageo) HQ in St James’s Square. This was where La worked for one of Prince Charles’s charities, and got to meet that great farmer with the sausage-like fingers and crazy blue eyes a few times. 

What a welcome to Londra that was. More than 20 years on, the pull still pulls. Gods how I love it here. 


Dead slow 

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Ah, Londra.

As Big Ben tolled “jet lag coming!”, we rode our trusty Coventry-built black steed toward a Christmas bird cooked by La Mamma Seriousimo. 

Began morning the loss of old Georgios. That was a Yuletide sucker punch, non? 

George was my special guy since all that time ago when he looked longingly into my eyes – MINE, not yours – from the big screen at the Gosford Blue Light Disco and reassured me that “it’s cold out there, but it’s warm in bed…”. I barely knew then that bed was for anything other than sleep and reading Sweet Valley High by torchlight under my doona. But I knew things would be sweet in bed with Georgios. How right I was! 

When La first moved to Londra in my K-mart ‘coat’ (wafer-thin; looked like it had been bequeathed to me by an unemployed Durham miner) and leather Reeboks in 1993, the title of my memoir was to be Finding George Michael. My residence was only to be considered a success if I clapped eyes – and hopefully claws – on him. I managed it, once, on Hampstead High Street, years after it had ceased to feel so important; years after it felt like Londra had become my town as much as Georgios’s. Wish I could bump into him now. 

The male Junior Cost Centre (JCC) took some photos of the tourist nutbags lining up for the Harrods sale. Cray-town SW1. 

Then me and the JCCs ined up too, suddenly deciding it wasn’t that harebrained of an idea after all. 

Thought about purchasing Seriousimo this charming Beretta tie, adorned with bullet casings. I shit you not. 

Fondled what is still my favourite doorknob of all time at Chloe. It’s an equine nod to the house’s former creative genius, Stella. 

Retreated to the relative calm of Harvey Nicks Fifth Floor Café, an old family favourite. We shared jolly memories of the time we’d just deplaned from Sydney and the male JCC kept telling us he felt really sick and we kept telling him he was just jetlagged. Then we descended one floor and he vomited all over the Preen and Marc Jacobs. Ah, good times. 

“Why don’t we say ‘5mph?'”

“Nah…it’s gotta be slower than that, guv. It’s gotta be…”

“…dead slow.”

“Yeah, dead slow.”

Here’s to 2016, the year that’s been slow and full of death. Let’s mount it on Stella’s bronze steed in less than a week and whip it off into the…who gives a shit where it goes, frankly. As long as it goes. 

Wotcha, guv.

Dumb Clothes

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La’ve got the sh*ts. (“What’s new?”, you ask.) Today, my sh*ts are with Dumb Clothes. Hate ’em.

Case in point:  the ‘cold shoulder’ (CS) trend.

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Yup: cashmere, draping, long sleeves and BARE SHOULDERS. I love you Scanlan, but did you outsource your thinking to that well-known rocket scientist, Melania Trump? That’s $500 worth of stupid right there. Can someone ploise explain this trend to moi? Am I missing something? (Something aside from shoulder-coverings?)

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Even CR’s winter collection hopped on the CS bandwagon. Apparently winter CS clothes are not only Dumb, they’re rust-coloured as well.

And then there’s Milly, with a cold shoulder thing so drastic it’s almost a cold bosom thing:

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I mean, srsly?!? You would have to have the side-boob of a goldfish to pull this off. Oh — but hang on, if that were the case, what would hold it up? As FC would say, Christ on a ship! Jesus on a bike! My head’s spinning, and my teeth are chattering so hard they might fall out.

Here’s another example of Dumb Clothes: the ‘pointless addition’.

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This asymmetrical, slack-strapped booby-squisher-slash-WTF is a perfect example. Does it prevent lung disease? Is it to audition as an extra in a Blade Runner remake? Is it one-tenth of Rey’s next Star Wars outfit? Bassike describes it as a ‘stretch rib strap detail top’. La describes it as a heap of steaming horsecrap, an embarrassment to the baby elastanes that gave up their infant lives to make it.

Not to pick on Bassike, but — oh frock it, let’s keep picking on Bassike.

I give you: the back-to-front, chopped-shoulder windcheater.

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Was so ready to hook into the ridiculousness of this look until…until…a memory…

Years ago, La had a tri-striped cardi from Cherry Lane. Bloody loved that cardi. Chunky horizontal slashes of navy, red and bone, with big, shiny navy buttons; it was style incarnate for Brisbane in 1988. It was also, however, BRISBANE — a place where even the flimsiest of cardis is, in the well-worn words of La Mamma Trivialista, as usless as tits on a bull.

An invitation to an 18th in the city where I grew up arrived, and I decided I’d wow the hicks with my big-city sophistication (even Joh-era Brisbane was The Big Smoke compared to…Gosford). Looking for inspiration in all the wrong places, I made the call to draw it from here:


I wore my Cherry Lane cardi backwards, in November, to a boy’s 18th birthday party, in Gosford.

Holy hell, the sh*t that rained down on me that night…*shudders*. Brings to mind Winston Smith’s terror at being trapped in Room 101 with the rats at the end of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Like I said, I hate Dumb Clothes.


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Channelling La Wintour today, with a couple of stacked sparkleneckpieces.

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If only I had her job, friendship with Baz and CM, forehand and daily blowdries.

Speaking of polished façades and shiny surfaces, am continuing la quest to spruce up the old girl’s (aka Palazzo Trivialista’s) make up.

Her tessellateds are being redone by the indomitable Frank, tiler to the fine wallahs of the inner-west, but I need to decide on a ‘riser treatment’.

Riser treatment

*Note: stunt stairs in use; not the Palazzo’s landing strip (STOP IT!)

No, it’s not a potion to help you spring out of bed, it’s what you do to the in-betweeny bits on your stairs.

Tossing up between these two:

Found them at the venerable Chippendale Restorations, where I occasionally go to fondle heritage artefacts. Always overwhelmed by the acres of doors and windows.


Was slightly alarmed by these instruments of torture:


But fondled them nonetheless.


Whinged on Facebook about my dire blowdry on Sunday. Visited a petting zoo in the afternoon and was, oddly, transfixed by this exotic chook. Couldn’t understand why until I realised it was like looking in a mirror. Obv some mad hairdryer-wielding man had slathered her weeny head in mousse and ‘fro-ed her up, too. See the downward droop of her little beak? She’s Not Happy Jan. And I get it.

Or maybe la beak is downcast at the parlous state of Australian political affairs. The level of discourse is high — NOT. Those trumped-up high school debaters and their backroom boys and girls calling each other “bed wetters“? That’s an insult to developmentally-average three-year-olds. All of them oozing smug self-righteousness as they label each other “mendacious“? (Embarrassed to say I had to google that one, but LOVE it and will deploy it daily.) PaulinefarkingHanson smeared all over my telly, again? I thought that fake-ranga nightmare faded around the same time as the bootleg jean. This go-round the numb-nut’s calling for a “Royal Commission into Islam”. What the fark??? Cripes, I’d rather have a screenful of Cersei Lannister stumping for the High Sparrow (before she fried him alive).


Srsly need to get La Mamma Seriousimo onto those Lithuanian passports. It’s all so sane, La’m sure, in the hallowed political hallways of Vilnius. And I bet they have killer heritage tiles.

Ciao x


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Devo about Brexit. Srsly, what’s the world coming to?

Seriousimo and I have long laid plans to retire to Ye Olde Europa. The maroon passports were supposed to make that a cinch. Our recent visit to Dutchieland reinforced the need for self-care now to ensure arthritic knees will be able to push pedals over cobbles come the end of our working lives.

However, Brexit’s shoved a stick in the spokes of that plan. Action needs to be taken to avoid toppling gracelessly over the handlebars of life.

Cue this:

Lith 1

Yup. Needs must people, needs must.

Seriousimo and I are making plans to hark back to his Lithuanian heritage and seek citizenship of Lietuvos Respublika, or the Republic of Lithuania, from the loins of which sprang Seriousimo’s beloved Mamma Seriousimo.

Thanks to Lithuania’s membership of the EU and European rights of residence, no ignorant English racists will be getting between a 60-year-old Triv and my daily serve of poffertjes in Dam Square, nor will they stop me sinking my face into a wheel of vacherin in my Parisien bolthole while bathing in champagne.

However — it’s about the fashion. Yikes! La’m not sure where Céline would fit into this sartorial picture.

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Here’s Seriousimo and I in a few years time, taking a turn about the village folk fair dance floor:

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At least the national costume of his forebears features a hat to keep his noggin warm. The brim at the back may present challenges when he goes to wear it to bed, though.

lith 4And here we are exchanging a loving look after a fortifying meal of cepelinai and a bracing mountain stroll. Clock Seriousimo’s footwear — love the nod to gladiatoral lacing.

Seriousimo could call on his old piccolo-playing skills to serenade La in the village square, after I’ve fetched a pail of water and he’s been shopping for some new burlap dacks:

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How will the Junior Cost Centres (JCCs) fare in the garb of their ancestral homeland?

lith 10Great! No jeggings and hoodies here, my friends!  The little lady loin fruit will love the accessorisation opportunities presented by headdresses, and the wee bloke will get right into the multicoloured waist sashes and floral hat corsages.

Oops, making fun of people from other countries makes me sound like a Brexiteer. Which, clearly, La’m NOT.

Sh*t. Time for another plan B..?