Is anyone else drowning in freaking start of term admin? I’m not sure what is worse, the cavernous boredom and ennui of the summer holidays or the two-places-at-once mind-bend of term-time. And also can I just say, I hate school holidays, all of them. Officially.
My children are too old to be taken to a playground or to a museum and they’re too young to arrange to hang out at their friends’ houses (and anyway, all those lockdowns also seem to have killed their interest in playdates). My children don’t actually seem to want to be on a holiday. At least not with us, or each other. Or maybe with us, but not each other and certainly not doing the same thing. I don’t know what to do about it. I need to get us all a shared activity, stat. But what? Sailing? Come on, that’s the kind of thing that really looks like it will lose you a finger. Listen: is there such a thing as a posh Center Parcs? Or is just normal Center Parcs okay and I’m being a snob. Tell me.
Anyway what I suppose I’m trying to say is that I haven’t got much for you. I can’t find anything I want to read – I’m 90% likely to abandon the new Paula Hawkins book, A Slow Fire Burning, because although I have nothing but huge respect for Paula Hawkins, pretty much every character in this book has a dead spouse/child/dog/sibling in their backstory and as this is fiction and you’re just making it all up anyway, can’t you think of more interesting trauma than that? Sorry, I don’t mean that as a diss. It’s actually very readable and this is me usually not being able to stand genre fiction.
What else? If you are into solid shampoo, I was sent a load of samples by the company Foamie, which are very good. They come with a little cotton tag on them to remind you what is soap and what is shampoo, and you can buy a travelling box for them with a removable drip-tray inside to stop the soap from sticking like superglue to the inside. Check them out here, or purchase from Amazon, if you’re still doing that. (I am, no judgment here.)
I was also sent a lot of product by Honest Beauty, which is the cosmetics company started by the actress Jessica Alba. I wasn’t madly impressed by any of it – the lipglosses are too scented and you can really feel them there and at my age and situation my actual skincare needs to be hospital-grade and costs a grand a year, it’s not for fun. BUT I do very very much like the Magic Beauty Balm stick, which acts as a highlighter and also a very good lip balm/gloss thing, available at Cult Beauty. I’m also a bit suspicious of anything that describes itself as “honest”, like “Honest John’s used cars” or whatever, but Jessica Alba is American and so probably doesn’t understand that kind of cynicism. Or understands it and chooses to ignore it.
Last of all, Miller Harris really kindly sent me a sample of their new fragrance Oud Eclat, which is fucking out of this world. Sort of woody and sugary and leathery and very exciting. Hannah Betts once described Lucia Van Der Post describing a scent as rectal and, yes, yes, we all had a good laugh about how disgusting that sounds but… do you know what I mean? Sit with it for a moment. This is quite rectal. Keen readers will know that I am already a big fan of the Miller Harris Lumière Dorée scent. Oud Eclat doesn’t seem to be available online yet but keep an eye out for it, or if you’re in town and are passing a Miller Harris concession, have a spritz and see what you think. OUD ECLAT it’s called. Write it down.