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Try hard every day

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It’s cold. Love that though. Don’t know how to dress for summer unless it’s in a kaftan (my knees ceased to be my shorts-wearing ally somewhere around the time of the 1991 Café Neon dancing injury) and, bizarrely, flowy floral robes don’t go down well in Corporate Australia.

Had a weekend in Berry with the famiglia and was daylight-robbed by some shonk peddling this overpriced jar of snake-oil juice: am embarrassed to say I paid $8 for it, and realised too late. Fark.

hunters

Wheeled out the old Hunters. See how grubby they look? I know, makes me seem like a bona-fide bumpkin. However, the grub is the result of them sitting day and night on our front verandah and attracting the particulate matter from car exhausts that whiz past our house which is on a busy street. Fake it til you make it.

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The male Junior Cost Centre (JCC) tooled his new RC vehicle around the Berry grounds. His clashing prints made me vomit a little bit in the back of my throat, but I took some deep breaths and a sip of $8 snake oil and survived until he changed.

As mentioned on the Facebooks, have been indulging in some insta-grat type self-treating. Look at these puppies! They are flats, though, which triggers a note to self: get working on shedding those last 10kg or patenting an optical illusion that makes calves and ankles look like two elegant exclamation marks rather than cankles. Flatties tend to flatter the bird-like.

Had a facial with Nerida, the best beauty expert ever. She put a youth-inducing mask on my moosh, then peeled it off. Voilà.

Triv mask

Looks like I’ve been captured mid-horror at seeing yet another ladybum clad in digi-print exercise pants at cocktail hour.

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La’m continuing to be sh*tted on a regular basis by meaningless inspo. Here’s Kikki K’s latest effort. I mean, srsly, why don’t they just go with “Get dressed before you leave the house”, “Wax”, “Use your manners” and “Personal hygiene is good”?

bricks 1

Am having Palazzo Trivialista’s maquillage fixed up. The old girl’s showing signs of wear and tear (to be frank, who isn’t?) and she deserves some love. She’s been repointed, and her landing strip (stop it! I mean her tessellated tiles!) is about to be redone. Then she’ll have her trimmings painted, eyebrows feather-bladed, choppers bleached and she’ll ready to face the world for another 100 years.

dacks

Suggested these dacks to Signor Seriousimo, to no avail. He put them in the same sartorial basket marked ‘FAIL’ as the CR denim joggers. That man! He’s taken to wearing a tweed flat cap to bed “because my head gets cold”. I fear we are but a whisker from an argyle-patterned mohair man-cardi.

He could take some style tips from this man:

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Can’t stop revisiting this pic of DBow. Keep having to remind myself it was taken in the week or two before he died, when he knew exactly what he was facing down. A good reminder to suck the marrow, live every day as if it’s your last, tell the Grim Reaper (channeling “Rake“), “Go on, go on, off you f*ck.”

Holy inspo Batgirl, sounds like it’s time for me to get a job at Kikki K. Who are you and what have you done with La Triv?!?

Ciao.

Watching, reading, gobbling, injecting…

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Loadsa small stuff.  Here’s what La’s been…

LT1

Wondering…whether it was zits or mouth ulcers to which I religiously applied apple cider vinegar when I was a teen. Such are the nostalgic thoughts that scroll through one’s brain while shopping at Harris Farm.

LT6

Gobbling…this ‘cheese course’ at Sepia with Seriousimo. The ‘pear’ was pear sorbet fashioned into a fruit-like shape. Inside was gooey, stinky, amazing fromage, all nestled atop a bed of cloud-like grated gruyère. Schwowsers. Seriousimo normally boycotts cheese but even he hooked in and made inappropriate noises. I hate sharing, as you know.

LT7

Getting the sh*ts with…stupid, meaningless ‘inspo’ quotes plastered from here to kingdom come. I mean, come on, what does this cr*p even mean? And what the fark is a ‘planner dashboard kit’? That’s such a weasel-ish, fusion, would-be compound noun that I don’t know how to even begin imagining what it’s a moniker for.

I prefer this ‘note to self’ found recently in the female Junior Cost Centre’s (JCC’s) room:

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No doubt the world would be a better place if we all vowed to live (‘with intention’?) by the words of old Gondi.

LT5

Visiting…the Art Gallery of NSW with Sarah Terrific-Home and old LaLa from Bne. We rounded it out with a lunch — as is our wont. Loved the guerilla textiles at the entrance, and was pleased to see a painting by Bne artist Michael Zavros paying homage to Triv’s beloved Mary Katrantzou ‘Dorchester’ blouse. Clock the resemblance:

LaLa tells me Zavros’s picture is a reflection on vanity — a buff-making bench press in the midst of a grand room in that old palace of self-love, Versailles. There’s something in that for all of us. (For me, it reinforces my long-held belief that exercise is best avoided, even if it means you fit better into your Mary Katrantzou clothes.)

LT9

Enjoying…the moustachio montage at one of my favourite cafs, Illi Hill. Those earnest, flat-capped chaps really know their way around a dirty great black juicy fried mushroom.

LT2

Buying…“triffids”, as Seriousimo calls them, for the palazzo. Generally, he hates nature, unless it’s trees that have been turned into wood panels to line a study, or cow butts that have been tanned to form a Chesterfield sofa on which he can perch his derrière.

LT13

His current pet peeve is La’s “emu butts”, or Bamileke JuJu head-dresses (for the wall) from Cameroon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that man has No Idea. I have him on a behaviour-management plan: every time he calls them “emu’s butts” (they’re chicken feathers, FFS!) I buy a new one. He’s piping down.

LT8

Puncturing…la skin in the interests of general health. Or rather, Steve Shin at Yang-Ji in Stanmore is piercing the Triv peau. Spied this ‘yodel gown’ in his rooms. Lost in translation..? Thought I was back in old Switzy for a minute.

LT3

Devouring…this amazing memoir by Sydney writer Tim Elliott. I don’t know Tim, but I Facebook-stalk him and so far that’s working out quite well. A brilliant story, one of the most affecting books I’ve read in a long, long time. Get on it people — mental illness is a f*cking big deal, as we all know, and this book captures the sadness as well as the humour, black as it may be.

Lots more to come – ciao x

Wandering around Wanders

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Readers from Moldova to Sierra Leone know Triv likes a bit of fash. What’s less well known – and, to be fronk, is also a bit of a dirty secret – is that I’m also a died-in-la-wool Furniture Wanker.

Thus the pilgrimage to here:

 Yes – an enormous, dedicated Moooi emporium two minutes from our wee Amster house! Couldn’t believe the proximity. 

A primer: Moooi is the brainchild of the brilliant Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. The rest you can google. 

 Think this is my fave Moooi of all time: the crochet seat. This thing could take the weight of a small car, or even a Triv after two weeks of holiday gobbling. La sister-in-law, a London-based starchitect who’s worked wonders with Wanders, had a prototype of one of these years ago. I am very fond of her but despite this I had to suppress my desire to whack her unconscious with it and nick it. 

 Need to get home and start invoicing so I can save up and buy this Dutch still life rug. Will need a new palazzo though. Bugger, double the saving then. 

 Here are a couple of the little crochet tables in action. Marcel likes a bit of granny chic. 

 This pic fails to do justice to this credenza, which clocks in somewhere in the region of EUR4,560,000. Worth it but. 

My friend Timpa has a not-insignificantly sized version of Wanders’s famous Heracleum light in his boudoir, so this is for him:

 Heracleum by the metre! Amazeballs. 

 The perfectly-hued piece for Holland. 

 Such a beautiful showroom. 

 One of the things I think is so clever about old Marcel is how he retains his clever Dutchness, and often references Dutch ceramics and Delft blues in his bits and bobs. 

Wit, wit as far as the eye can see:

 To wit: a cute-as-a-button armchair, with proper (clean, unused [I asked]) stockings draped over the arm! Might not make any sense whatsoever, but it amused me. 

 If you happen to bump into Marcey, please don’t tell him La’ve a fake Skygarden over the dining table at Palazzo Trivialista. I’m saving up until I have Moooi than enough for the real thing…

The Dam of Amstel

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The famiglia caravan arrived here yesterday, having said goodbye to the senior Seriousimos in London.

 This is our wee Amster house. Seriousimo hates it because he only “does” hotels. Bad luck. Who books wins. 

 La was feeling higgledy-piggledy as an inadequately-underpinned canal house this morning pre-coffee. Eventually found this bean palace:

 …but then was in a really bad one when I realised it didn’t open til 9. Grouchy traveling lady. 

 Not sure I’ll be getting the locks groomed here anytime soon. Imagine the exchange. Me: “Straight blow dry, thanks, with a bit of height at the crown, then could you please whizz through with the GHDs for some beachy waves?” Stylist: “Who cares.”

 Seriousimo was even more zipped up than usual against the chilly Lowlands breezes. He likes to channel haute-Gestapo fashion when he’s back in old Europa. I’m constantly trying to get him to move with the fashion times. “Pants have changed, you need to change too!” La bellowed at him recently as I thrust a pair of Country Road denim ‘joggers’ at him (elasto waist, elasto ankles). They were returned. 
 This men’s fash emporium might be just the go for him. Suitable. (Read: BORING.)

Had some amazing pintxos at Oliva last night – holy mother of gods they were delicious. Why has the pintxos tradition not taken off at home? Time to move. 

  
Because carny-built contraptions exist to scare the bejeezers out of me the world over, I somehow let the wee lady loin fruit talk me onto the giant swing that zsjoozsjles (made up my own Dutch word) you 60 metres above Amsterdam in Dam Square. Holy shitballs, it was bowel-voidingly frightening. This is how close we came, on a major angle, to the Ferris Beuller wheel:
 As the girl hollered for joy like a puppy in a convertible I made bargains with the deity about being a kinder, more selfless person, and promised to visit the old people’s home and sign up to replace flowers at the local church if s/he got me down safely. 

Rewarded myself with these:  Poffertjes. And didn’t share one. Will start holding up my end of the celestial bargain to be a nicer person tomorrow. 

  Srsly, that was me up there.

  
  Was beyond excited to see an Amsterdam house hook being used.

  And almost wept with sadness that I don’t live in this beautiful city where I could by my beloved parrot tulips for less than $20. 

Off to ride bikes in the Vondelpark, dressed – as is my wont – for summer on this sub 10-degree day, and sporting utterly inappropriate footwear. 

Vaarwel
 

Note to my 44-year-old self

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Dear Younger Triv

Now that I’m 45 (so grown up!) and you’re still only 44, I’ve decided it’s time to share some hard-won wisdom on a few topics. I hope these insights help you avoid some of my mistakes, and rewrite our shared history for the better. 

I know you have the chance for a slightly spontaneous snow trip soon. So first up, I’m writing to let you know that, after many such trips, I’m calling bull-scheisser on the whole family-skiing-holidays-are-awesome myth, and urging you to reconsider future snow plans. 

Here’s why. 

 Every morning, you’ll need to squish your loin fruits’ tootsies into these rented torture machines, while Seriousimo, who’s the one who grew up on skis, takes work calls in your hotel room. (Or, as he reframes it, “pays for the blinking holiday”.)

At some point, due to oxygen deprivation at altitude, too many Kirs Royale the night before and four types of processed meat at breakfast, you’ll kick one of the aforementioned rented torture machines across the room in frustration after bending to attach it to a child’s foot. You will then look like a total tool in front of your loin fruits. And it won’t even be 9am. 

  
While you’re frozen with fear on the side of an alp, with your feet attached to two long fibreglass sticks, a man looking suspiciously like this one will holler at you with Teutonic zeal that you need to “LOSE YOUR FEAR!” You will weep like an abandoned baby, and no-one will give even the vaguest of sh*ts. You will mentally self-flagellate over the fact that you first donned skis in 1999 yet most of the time can still be found ascending a teeny gradient on a magic carpet, surrounded by four-year-olds. You’ll now regret the moment you adopted a ‘growth mindset’ and hooked up with the man in red. Back to the carpet for you, loser.

  You will spend AU$8.00 on this. And you will spend it again, and again, and again, like you’re trapped in some wallet-clearing, environment-killing, Groundhog Day nightmare. Which, basically, you are. 

  
You will have to wear deeply unattractive footwear.  

Even though you lived in the northern hemisphere for more than a decade and have visited cold climes countless times since, your long-held belief that only people who grow up in alpine environs know how to dress for the cold will be reaffirmed. You will continue to (not) layer up like someone who grew up in a sunny coastal suburb, with the frostbite spots to prove it. The Russian oligarch bride brigade will look down their rhinoplastied schnozzes at your lack of après style. Even your boy loin fruit, who could hardly look bad in a paper bag, will resemble an impoverished Romany urchin dressed in a Stasi’s cast-off coat.

 

You’ll wonder anew at what hotels wash their sheets in as your dermatitis flares up like a field of commemorative poppies in the Tower of London moat.

  
You’ll wonder, too, at the wisdom of booking the ‘gallery-style’ hotel room. All four of you in one room, and only one bathroom in that room, will prove to be less than ideal as Seriousimo toils through the night, and the familial bladders do their usual trick of needing to be relieved simultaneously.  Please, Younger Triv, avoid this EPIC BOOKING FAIL. 

 
You’ll allow your valuable loin fruits (let’s face it, with both of them at private schools now, the sunk costs are significant) to ski down mountains in conditions such as these. You’ll pine for the good old days of paying for them to ride on carny-built death traps at the Royal Easter Show, and promise to kiss that tatt-covered, leather-skinned man with the fag dangling from his gob manning the Mega Drop next time you see him in sideshow alley.

  You will be forced by the man in red to go on one of these. Beware: they are scarier than the seventh circle of hell, than Jason’s rotten corpse rising from the lake, than Vader unmasked, Freddie Kruger ungloved. Don’t lose your conviction that you will meet your mortal end in one of two ways: either driving north at 4pm on the M1 between Sydney and Gosford, or in a chairlift. Stuff the growth mindset. 

  
And yet. At times you will be felled not by your lack of facility with skis, but by utterly humbling and improbable natural beauty. By the smiles on the faces of your loin fruits as they emerge triumphant from the fog, at the bottom of a hill they’ve descended, a feat that 20 minutes ago they thought was impossible.

  
  

  

 
You’ll marvel at the  Matterhorn, the grande dame of geology, presiding over the clomping, messy, shoving, schussing sea of human chaos, unchanging and unbowed. She’ll be here long after you’ve drained your final flute of Kir

  
And you’ll realise that no family holiday’s perfect, but there are worse places in the world to sit and think and write and wonder. 

And then you’ll get hit in the face with a snowball.

Oh, alright. Go on. Book the trip. 

Triv X 

Hooray for Hollywood

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‘Triv = techmeister’ is not a phrase you’ll see ever often. That said, the bloggy widget thingies tell me we now have lots of new visitors to this, the virtual home of La Trivialista. In the famous words of Alan Cumming in ‘Cabaret’, “Wilkommen, bienveue, welcome!”

We’re getting back to our small-stuff roots, now we’ve dealt with sick loin fruits, breast cancer and family violence. Onto Oscars! (Monday morning, Facebook page, sometime around 10/11am).

rock

Doesn’t old Rock-y look handsome? Love the pose. Wish Ricky Gervais was hosting though. Or Tina and Amy.

In the interests of full disclosure, before the real-time Oscars blog over on Fbook Monday morning, you should know that:

I DO NOT trust Bradley Cooper — that man is fishy. I feel about him the way my Nana used to feel about Camilla Parker Bowles, just after the royal wedding in ’81. And she turned out to be right.

I will VOMIT if Keithy grabs Nic’s arse on the red carpet again — get a room, lovebirds.

We WILL poke fun at John Travolta, should he appear, and especially if we looks extra waxy.

We will applaud people who make brave fashion choices — while having a giggle at what they wear. Case in point:

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We will emote about how much we miss The Swan:

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And mourn the rise of The Stylists, who make everyone look like identikit ladybots:

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actress Jennifer Garner attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

And we will try not to drink too much champagne before midday, as that makes it too hard to pillage cut-and-paste some media outlet’s photo feed and type comprehensible sentences simultaneously.

It’s no fun, though, if no-one weighs on — so see you on Fbook.

x

Shame

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This morning, I twitched with rage as I lay under my German machine.  I despise nothing more than a bully. Always have, always will.  And I’d just read a story that made me want to punch someone. But, see, that’s never the answer. Here’s why.

A friend of a friend of mine died in January this year. I’ll call her Michelle. She was a mother of three, living overseas with her husband.  He is a corporate man, wears a good suit. Let’s call him Suit. He’s liked by his clients, has a firm handshake. He also had a firm hand when it came to hitting Michelle across the side of the head.

I will assume, from the job Suit does and the outfit for whom he works, that his clients like his persuasive manner and his charm. So, I guess, did Michelle in the early days. And his powers of persuasion would have worked a treat when it came to making her feel like a worthless speck of dust on his shoe.

Like I said, though, she’s gone now. She took her own life. She did this even though she had finally summoned the courage to leave Suit. But getting away wasn’t enough: he was still in her head, an earwig telling her she was a bad mother, a useless person, a nothing. He’s a professional persuader. And we all know the bad stuff is easier to believe than the good.

The good stuff was there too: Michelle was bolstered by an army of tiger-women working hard to offset the damage done by Suit. They tried to give her courage to leave, bravery to believe she was worth more, that her kids deserved better. But it wasn’t enough. She had asked Suit for years to take her home, back to Australia, back to her family. He’d refused.

On the day she died, his employer flew her family back to Australia. Her final act meant her children would grow up near her family, but without her.

Suit is getting on with his life. He is working in his respected job, walking about the big Australian city, shoulders back, a man people seek out for advice. A man people listen to.

What a shame Michelle listened to him. And what a shame more people don’t know what he did.

I’m mercifully lacking in first-hand experience of family violence. My father is loving and kind. My husband and brothers are marshmallows. My male friends are good men. But like the old adage that if you’re in London you’re never more than ten feet from a rat, violent men are not far away: insidious b*stards, vile cowards, exacting an unimaginable price from the women and children in their lives. Modelling behaviour young boys might adopt and young girls might come to think of as all they deserve.

For more eloquent words on family violence than mine, look here and here and here. But I will say this: we need to raise good men, brave men who define strength not as control and brawn, but as integrity and compassion. We need to surround ourselves with these men, and raise girls who do too. Girls who see the signs early and know they deserve better. And if they walk away from the Suits of this world, we must throw our arms around them and keep them safe.

Today is White Ribbon Day, and it’s also the anniversary of the day Michelle married her abuser.  I hope today the caged bear of his conscience rouses itself and puts a stink of remorse on his breath, and a stone of guilt in his shoe. He’s not the only bad guy around, but he’s the bad guy I’m mad at today.

Look out.

*Apologies to Triv readers who miss the days of sweating the small stuff. Swear we’ll perspire it together again soon, once we’ve nailed cancer and family violence.