Friday, 18 November 2016

Hairy Tales

Ever since I had a "friend divorce" who also happened to be my business partner a decade ago, I have been on the constant prowl for a steady hairdresser.

Like most of you, I would just have a automatic standing booking every 4 weeks with Stephen Andrew Jones if he was even just a two hour flight away just to to get a haircut / color / blowdry and find out which of you are natural blondes / are greying / are actually really nice or bitchy.

But alas my former hairdresser was introduced by this former friend so she got custody of "Sara" 
( not her real name ).

I miss Sara.
She was the best type of hairdresser.
She spoke fluent English and I never had to explain using a translation app which, mind you, they didn't have in those days.
She was Australian and furthermore, a Victorian which is my Australian home state so we had cultural notes that overlapped.

She was a no nonsense Aussie girl who was frank which was much appreciated in terms of 
Should I chop my hair off ?
Nah - won't suit you.

She had a great sense of humour but she had emotional intelligence so knew when to chat and knew when I just needed to hear the hairdryer whizzing around my ears.

I had a standard cut that she just knew to do that when I went for my first post divorce haircut, I didn't know what to ask for.

These two pictures of my blow dried straightened hair is when I went to my local hairdresser that isn't even Italian - they are a Neapolitan establishment. 

Their English is just as pronounced as when they speak Italian.
This is what I got when I asked for bouncy with volume and curls at the end.
This explains my defeated look.
I have been in England too long to complain so instead I smiled and said - Si, me piace, grazie.

Then I went home complained to my husband and what-sapped my friends with wtf emojis.

So now I do what must really annoy hairdressers...
I show them pictures of my hairgoals from Pinterest.
Ok - so can you make my hair like Giselle's?
Cheers luv - you've got 45 minutes because I am running late.

Definitely not Giselle, but the following time I needed a blowdry, 
I showed them pictures which don't need google translate and they put more curl in my hair.

Thank you Pinterest.

Now you are thinking, hang on Naomi, you do live in London.
London!!

Let me explain.

London does indeed attract a great pool of talent an ambitious people.

However, hairdressers are split into several categories.
They want to do fashion editorials for magazines or 
they want to set up their own proper retail boutique.

So once most of them are successful, they tend to go back to their country of origin with their London street cred or they go into the suburbs or other cities where it is cheaper to rent a shop on the high street.

Indeed, even my "Sara" returned to Melbourne a few years ago so I wouldn't have had her in any case.

When I was in Korea, I thought I would use my time there to experience real life scenarios rather than going to the restaurants and living just the best bits of any city.

Going to a hairdresser was one of them.

My Korean is okay but it is a colloquial version not one of proper education as I was never schooled in it.  So I lack the nuance that I might mistakenly think I have in English.

I wanted bangs / a fringe.

So I showed the hairdresser various photos.


He looked gingerly at the selection I showed him.


"But you have neither proper Asian hair nor Western hair so your hair won't fall the exact same way.
We must find a solution." he said.

I thought he was taking the piss.

I was like, are you kidding me? 
It's not a UN resolution that needs a back up plan.
It's just bangs dude.

But of course that was just in my head and I did a polite Asian nod that you see in those let's compare cultures segments on TV.

But the issue really came in when I said I wanted not only bangs but in combination with a side sweep.

He vetoed it.

Outright.

I told him that is what I wanted and showed him a pic of a recent haircut that did what I wanted it to.

He said that it looked lopsided and and heavy.

I insisted I am a civilian and it only matters if I am comfortable and I don't need to look good for camera.

He insisted he has a reputation and if people ask where I got my haircut that he would be judged.

I said I don't live in Seoul and I wouldn't tell anyone.

He says his reputation is important and he has his code.
Needless to say I won't be revisiting his salon.

You would think that brunette hair is easy to color but actually I find it surprisingly hard to get the brown I like.

While this is beautiful, for my it is too stripey.
This is a bit dull and flat.

The next two pics are too red.


I like a mix between the bottom two.
Rich chocolately brown with a warm hue.
But how do you say that in Neapolitan?
I have booked an appointment in two weeks.
Wish me luck.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Autumnal squirrel chases, Jeremiah Goodman at the Yellow Room, and Xmas windows at Fortnums

This is one of my go to pics when I get stressed.
I know they are the US elections which only allows citizen of the USA to vote but everyone in the world gets affected. 
The rest of the world just looks on helplessly wishing we could vote - not just this recent election but I wanted to vote since 1992 when Ross Perot clinched the deal for the other Clinton.

I will listen to any political leaning no matter what they are but not to vote is what bewilders me.
Whether you are happy or sad at the result, it is a tense time for all.

Those eyes.
Millie is of drinking and voting age now but still looks at me wondering what the hell I am doing.



I didn't let the 
post Saatchi advertising,
 Naomi Klein only in spirit but we do nothing,
 but think we are all so clever marketing 
put me off my delicious Franco Manca pizza 
that finally opened near my house.



I have so many pictures of leaves and yet not one captures the real beauty.

I think Millie's favourite season is autumn too as she loves chasing the squirrels.



There is a carpet store on Piccadilly called Essie that I can never pass by without admiring their carpets.
They always have such beautiful pieces.
One day...

I know there are many who prefer Kings Road but I will leave that for the Sloane Rangers.
I am firmly a Mayfair Marcher.
Hatchard's bookstore is one of my favourite bookstores.

Plus it is next to Fortnum's.
Sorry about the pics but this is the holiday window.

No pictures of the inside because I am hoping they aren't finished yet because it was a bit sparse on the sparkle.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Peter Hone Collection at Christie's

I wasn't going to do anything today.

I was so busy lately fighting off the ends of jet lag but also a blasted cold but I couldn't handle wasting another day at home not even able to finish a proper episode of Black Mirror on Netflix.

Builders on a health and safety break - 
it's such a London sidewalk vignette.


I decided I would go to Christie's in South Kensington and see the various previews that were on display at the moment.

After nearly a month in Korea, I missed my auction previews.


The windows were dressed up more than usual and trying to evoke someone whipping up a lemon pasta in a rustic continental European kitchen of loose cabinetry.


I am itching for a gigantic yet beautiful paperweight such as this Italian ebonised one.


There was lots of good items for a certain ilk of house or mood.



I was surprised at the estimate of these 
mirrored frames of botanical prints and 
they weren't much more expensive than those they sell at Oka.


But then many don't have the patience to save up a little and then wait around for the right prints to come up which is a shame.


I adored this table of intricate marquetry.


These japanned side tables piqued my fancy as well.


My Pinterest compatriots know what I am like about a folding screen.


This was no exception.
Exquisite.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Random Ramblings

I missed blogging.  
I wanted to write a cohesive post but editing all my back up posts was overwhelming.   Alas, I could only come up with this post as I have jet lag again and my body is in shock from the cold after getting used to sunny weather for nearly a month in Korea.


My family worry about me when I start taking pictures of what is mundane to them.

Take this hand dryer / infrared steriliser for instance.


I think my out of town hick ways embarrass them sometimes.
I hope this catches on in London.


In the spirit of trying to get into shape but have fun while at it, I tried aerial yoga which works your body in a different way than any other exercise.  I did have fun learning new muscle memories but don't think I will keep it up in London.

Globalisation does indeed make jet lag the main reminder that you aren't in the proverbial Kansas anymore and yet there are those little touches that make you realise that you are in a different place.


Prada bags are being sold on TV which I found odd but then I was reminded of Net a Porter so I must be more open minded.

Autumn in Korea and most of East Asia is absolutely glorious.

But the cosmos flower fields of Korea are synonymous with fall.


We went to a park that was the former city dump of my youth - there were signs saying to be careful because of all the fumes due to the garbage underneath.





My family gave me a proper tutorial in making the national dish of kimchi.

There are so many different types but we went through a simple recipe of radish kimchi.
Koreans are so healthy and manage to keep trim considering how much they eat and I am sure kimchi is part of the reason.

It wa great catching up with old school friends.
Any Seoulite who were and are expats will tell you how central the Hyatt hotel is to them. 


The airport in Seoul was voted one of the best in the world and the shopping rivalled any world class shopping centre.

I saw these traditional brass dinnerware with lids to keep rice and soup warm.

I would have bought this monkey print based on a calligraphy painting but it wasn't for sale.


I am planning to do a Korean beauty post as I learned a few more tips this trip.

I bought so many sheet masks because in Korea the latest motto is one day/one sheet mask.


I just adore tagging along with anyone who is looking for a flat.


Never gets boring.


It is like art and science and math coming to life.


I nearly froze to death but it was such an emotional reunion seeing these two doggies the other day.


I really do hope to catch up on blogging as I didn't end up posting as much as I would have liked.

Did you see instagram is now doing a Facebook and I got an email the other day suggesting that I should follow my brother's former flatmate from a decade ago, my builder I fired more than a decade ago, a friend of a friend who I find incredibly boring, and the mother of one of my husband's god children.

For that reason, I have put my Instagram account on private. But is it all a futile exercise?

I am going to be a spoil sport and not engage in any Halloween activities but look forward to all of yours x