Archive for November, 2008

Polranny Pirates

November 19th, 2008 No comments

Our friends the Polranny Pirates (a group of artists, writers and academics with headquarters just along the road from us who are not to be confused with the Somali Pirates), have a great blog.

The Pirates run a non-profit organisation that provides cost-price temporary accommodation for writers, artists, musicians, academics and creative people in general.


Lush Life

November 18th, 2008 No comments

How to get through the winter- Part 1. Bathos and Creamy Candy Bar by Lush.

In one form or another, Lush has been an important part of my life. My very first mail order experiences ever, were with Cosmetics to Go. They were the type of company that a friend recommends by buying you a little something and you’re forever grateful for it. Fresh, handmade cosmetics, tested only on humans. Such unusual and imaginative products, the perfect place to buy gifts and a company with great ethics even 20 years ago. I was very upset when they ceased to exist and I was delighted when they rose from the ashes again as Lush – especially when I discovered the retail outlets (how anyone could even walk past one with that smell wafting out is beyond me). Now I’ve moved to the remote west coast of Ireland and I’m back to mail order.

Even so, if I’m lucky enough to find myself in a city with reach of a branch of Lush it’s one of the first places I want to head to. Just to stand in the middle of the shop and take a big sniff is such a pleasure. I’d know that smell anywhere. Blindfold me, lead me there and one whiff of that smell, I would know it was Lush immediately. It’s not like anything else I can think of, certainly not like any perfume hall I’ve ever ever encountered. It’s not the smell of luxury- that’s not what Lush means to me and certainly the products are not luxuriously packaged by any means. We all appreciate beautiful packaging and that luxurious, precious feeling that premium brands give us, but we females are not that predictable. Lush stands for something else that makes up one of the other dimensions of womanhood. I don’t always want to be a glamour-puss. Sometimes I just need to be a girl. To me, Lush means colour, life, energy, joy and love and youth. I feel like the products have been prepared by personal friends and in a way, they have. The customer service is fantastically friendly both in the stores and online.

Anyone who knows me or has looked at my Lifelist knows that my favourite smell is Parma Violet. My best friend Julie and I traveled around Northern Italy at the end of May 1994 and I became addicted (although I’ve always loved those little sweets!). The smell of violets reminds me of the warm sunshine, the food, wine, the fabulously fashionable people and cornfields filled with poppies that seemed to be everywhere in the countryside. This is why the violet scented bubble bar, Bathos is my favourite Lush product. You don’t generally see many violet scented products around in the shops and so I have to make the most of them when I find them. I just break it up under hot running water and am rewarded with lovely violet scented mauvey water with loads and loads of bubbles. Lying in it certainly chases away the winter for me. My skin feels warm and soft afterwards and slightly sunkissed (although obviously that’s only the psychological power of a great beauty product). My skin is delicately violet scented for the rest of the day and the bathroom smells fabulous.

I alternate Bathos with Creamy Candy Bar- another bubble bar- this time candy pink in colour It smells like an explosion in a sweet factory- if any smell will make you feel happy this would be it. To get through the winter I make sure that I always have enough of each product on hand so that I can use them at least once a week until the spring is due. (The popcorn that the products are packed in comes in useful as a treat for our chickens). This is what I did last year and the year before that and this year I know that however dark and stormy the winter gets, Bathos and Creamy Candy Bar will get me through. Just having them sitting in the bathroom is wonderful because just the smell of them is just so joyful. I have in the past been known to move them around the house just to enliven dreary rooms.

Today, I awoke feeling affected by the winter doom and gloom but a Bathos bath with a bucket of tea sorted me out. American Boy by Estelle helps too. After that, I know that spring can’t be too far away. In emergency situations- I find Copacabana by Barry Manilow can’t fail to make me smile- kitsch as it is. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it on a regular basis though. Who knows what the effects of long term usage could be?

Bath: Bathos by Lush
Drink: A nice big bucket of tea.
Listen to: Copacabana by Barry Manilow or American Boy by Estelle.
Read: Anything by Alexander Mcall Smith is sure to give a warm glow.