Oscars, books, family and more

I am recovering from a rather bad bout of the flu. I caught it during the last two days of my trip to Bangalore to meet the fam-bam. I still managed to enjoy my time at home. Ate too much and lazed way too much.

It was lovely spending time with the mother and grandparents; and the uncle and his fiancee were in town as well. The siblings came down from Madras and we regressed into being kids. There were times of tension– too many of us in too small a space and we eventually did start to get on each other’s nerves. But, overall, a good trip. Now that I am back, I miss the grandparents the most, sad to see them grow old. The grandfather looks rather shrunken and he burnt his hand making tea while I was there. He is still chatty and funny and coming up with brilliant new business ideas, so that is something to be thankful for. The grandmother was running herself ragged cooking and working, but wouldn’t allow anyone to help. I am really grateful to be able to spend time with them. I have learnt that we can never get enough time with the people we love and never learn everything there is to them. And I am a person who likes to know everything!

I seem to have passed the flu to my family. My parting gift to them. I am generous like that. Mine is nearly done with, just have a hacking cough that sounds worse than it is. The upside to being ill was I couldn’t sleep and was awake at the crack of dawn to watch the Oscars live. The red carpet outfits were rather meh, nothing stood out in a good way. The dresses were either a snooze, too embellished or accessorised terribly (I am talking to you Scarlett Johansson). Neil Patrick Harris’s hosting skills was bordering on boring, thought the whole John Travolta -Idina Menzel bit was rather funny. Also, the Oscars as usual played it safe and it was easy to predict the winners. However, it was nice to see that ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ took home some awards.

I am meant to be working on a story (another story, not the one I mentioned in my previous post). Too many quotes and information to go through. So instead, I am listening to the soundtrack of ‘We Bought a Zoo’, Cameron Crowe movies have the best music. I also love the soundtrack for ‘Almost Famous’. I just finished re-reading ‘Wolf Hall’ while I was in Bangalore and I am now moving on to  ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ for the second time. Watching the TV series made me want to read the books again. I am reminded how brilliant Hilary Mantel is, the writing is superb and she manages to bring the characters to life so deftly.

Wow, this is quite a long post and I shall leave it at this. Rather abrupt I know, but I am hungry and think will go see what leftovers in the fridge I can turn into my lunch.

A week in fashion

So we have three-hour power cuts here, luckily they tell you the timing in advance so you can be prepared. For the past week, to keep me company during the afternoon power cut, I have made sure my laptop was fully charged and that I had something to watch. And for some reason I have been watching fashion documentaries. Now, I have always liked fashion, flipping through Vogue, watching The Rachel Zoe project– it interests me. But, watching three documentaries in three days had me immersed in fashion. And surprisingly, I was not bored, I am actually inspired and I want more.

I started with this: The September Issue

This is a 2009 documentary that follows American Vogue putting together their September issue, this issue is always the biggest and fattest of the year. While it mainly concentrates on Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of the magazine and one of the most powerful people in fashion which becomes fairly evident while watching the documentary. We also meet various designers, photographers and Vogue employees throughout. Anna is cool and plays her cards close to her chest, but you do see her lighten up around her daughter. Grace Coddington on the other hand is brilliant, creative and an artist– the shoots she styles and visualises are masterpieces. But, at the end of the day Vogue is a business and Anna a businesswoman and in charge. Though it was fun to see the friction between the two.

The next documentary I watched was this:

Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel

 
The original editor-in-chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland was A CHARACTER. Loud, creative, infectious, original and full of quotable quotes– watching her it was hard to separate reality from fiction. She lived through exciting times, she made Vogue what it is and she was passionate about work. She was never afraid to think big and let her imagination run riot. Diana was a force to reckon with and learning more about her was thoroughly inspiring.

The last, but not least, was this documenatary:

Valentino: The Last Emperor

 
While the first two concentrated on fashion publications and the editors, this one was about a designer. A one-of-a-kind genius who lives life king-sized, Valentino Garavani, is known for his romantic, feminine designs and the eponymous Valentino Red. Along with his partner Giancarlo Giammetti, they built a fashion power house. We see them going about their day-to-day activities, with Valentino being the artist that he is and Giancarlo handling everything else. They are also gearing up to celebrate 45 years of Valentino, while their company is slowly being bought over. It is an honest look at their business and lifestyle. But, what I could not get over were the dresses– ethereal, romantic and glamorous, each a piece of art that has been painstakingly designed and stitched. Never have I felt more firmly that creating elegant, timeless, well-stitched clothes is an art! Trends will come and go, but an haute couture piece designed by the likes of Valentino crosses time, space, countries and people and anybody would recognise the value, workmanship and skill that went into making it.

Updates

Hello, hello. It has been a while. Recently I had a bit of a health scare, they found a cyst on my spleen and surgery was a possibility. But, thankfully they did a bunch of tests and due to the small size of the cyst that came to naught and for the time being they are just going to monitor it. Thank god! 

I am very proud of myself because for the past ten days I have worked out every single day. This is my new addiction, Fitness Blender. You can choose workouts based on length of time, levels and which part of the body you want to work on. You have the option of Cardio, Pilates, HIIT and strength training among others. I enjoy trying out workouts and mixing it up, that way I don’t get bored. On other days I do yoga or go for a walk, I even did a couple of days of level 2 of the 30 Day Shred. It takes quite a bit of pushing  myself to do my workouts but I see results, not weight- loss wise, but I do feel stronger and can workout longer.

My new guilty pleasure is watching the Bravo channel reality shows. The Real Housewives of Miami, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The  Real Housewives of Miami and The Rachel Zoe Project. Oh god, I just can’t help myself. They are so over the top, decadent, idiotic and mental and it is just too much fun to watch. I especially enjoy the fashion and plethora of designer shoes and bags.

However, to balance out the ridiculous tv shows I watch, I have been reading a lot of interesting and well-written books. Especially, a bunch of memoirs. Will save that for a later post.

I have learnt that often I have an opinion on things without having enough information on the subject. I have an opinion, just to have an opinion. And, I can be stubborn and condescending while putting my thoughts across. I need to stop doing that, because I could end up hurting people. As they say, acceptance is the first step towards recovery. So, I am going to be careful about that from now on. 

I am glad the weekend is here. Haven’t seen much of C lately, he has been terribly busy with work, sometimes coming home as late as 11 pm. So, tonight he should hopefully be back at the reasonable hour of 8 pm (fingers crossed) and we are going to eat some Chinese food and relax. Have a great weekend!

 

The September issue

The September issue

I look forward to the September issue of Vogue. It is usually thicker than the regular issues, filled with even more glossy pages of beautiful clothes, shoes and bags. Sadly, this cover is a disappointment. The crown looks awkward and overpowers Deepika Padukone’s face. Also, that pose does nothing for her. Waiting to get my hands on the magazine to see if the other images from her photo shoot are any better.