Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You say Olay, I say Ole

Olay held its inaugural SA Iconic Women Awards in Midrand last night which was jam-packed with celebs. Interestingly enough, many of those who won were either not present or had not sent a representative. Khanyi Dhlomo/Dlomo of Destiny mag was one of the few winners to be present.

The venue, the Villa Toscana Wedding Village, was hard to find and even though I asked some traffic cops at the McDonald's down the road for directions I was none the wiser. Maybe it was their pronunciation of "Gallagher" as "Gullaga". There were some howlers at the do too ... Linda Makhanya, the ultra-skinny, white jacketed fashion editor of Blaque magazine pronounced Edith Venter, winner of the Media Personality of the Year, as "Edit", Olga Osminskina of Olay dazzled us with her Polish pronunciations (which were admittedly cute - I want to learn to speak like Olga), Ryk Neethling managed to stuff up his auto cue so badly that we completely lost interest in what he was saying (he should really never speak), Emmanuel Castis also got finalists' names in the corporate social investment cat-UGGORY badly wrong and Ciko Thomas's name kept on being pronounced as "Psycho". Surely they could have had a rehearsal or made sure that their presenters were up to the job? I know journalists get rapped over the knuckles if they don't get names right, that's why there is a little thing called Google, so this applies even more to presenters and pronunciation. It just made the sponsors look bad. On the other hand "mistress of ceremonies" Joanne Strauss was brilliant, poised and Hollywood star glamorous. They should clone her.

The event was billed as a major red carpet do and the cameras were everywhere. I was looking forward to dessert after all the announcements but was put off by the bright-ass spotlight shining right behind me where Koula was interviewing some of the finalists.

Bravo to Lucilla Booyzens for winning the Fashion category. All her hard work has paid off in recognition of what she has contributed to the fashion scene. David Tlale (sans sunglasses for once) was the presenter in this cat-UGGORY and started off the announcement with "Unfortunately..". A neighbour murmered: "Unfortunately, David Tlale is not the winner". The big-headed Tlale did pay tribute to the woman who gave him his first big break at SA Fashion Week.

The winners in the various cat-UGGORIES were:
Dr Precious Moloi, Top Businesswoman of the Year (beating out Maria Ramos who was rated 9th most influential woman in the world in Fortune magazine!). Presented by Isaac Moroeng.
Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon, Top Entrepreneur. Presented by Ciko Thomas.
Lucilla Booyzens, Fashion. Presented by David Tlale.
Chriselda Kananda, Corporate Social Investment. Presented by Emmanuel Castis.
Penny Heyns, Sport. Badly presented by Ryk Neethling.
Pabi Moloi, Woman of Tomorrow. Presented by Sean Press of LEAF
Elizabeth O'Leary, Science and Technology. Presented by Peter Blantanis
Khanyi Dhlomo, Arts, Media and Entertainment. Presented by Craig Urbani
Edith Venter, Media Personality. Presented by Linda Makhanya
Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented by Olga Osminskina

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10 reasons to love men

1. Men Know Stuff. It is possible to have absolutely fascinating conversations with men because each and every one of them has studied a particular subject since birth and is a world expert on it. Whether it's pizza franchises or the internal workings of a Ferrari, men can wax lyrical on the subject for hours and never bore you. They are not competing with you or trying to put you down while talking upon this subject - they are just grateful to have an interested listener. This is unlike women who mostly talk about other people (which means you, when you are not in the room), shoes and handbags, or even worse babies. For a woman that likes to enagage in conversation or has an inquiring mind a man's conversation is not only preferable but downright irresistible.

2. Men Don't Care. But in a good way ... they don't care if you are wearing the latest fashion (unless they are French or Italian), had your hair cut last week or last year, if your lefgs were shaved this morning or what labels you have on. They don't know what the latest fashion is, so why should they care? They like women first thing in the morning, without make-up - and preferably without clothes. They don't like all the trappings of so-called femininity and all that work that goes into making one look fabulous. They like to look at other women who have put in all the work but they basically like women because they are women. It's just the way they are wired.

3. Men Are Not Bitchy. This does need to be qualified because some men are much bitchier than women could ever be! I went to a co-ed school and learnt this the hard way. But as a rule, what you see is what you get. Men are incredibly straightforward about what they like and what they want. Women tend to look you up and down surreptitiously most of the time, or slip in snide comments which are under the radar-bitchy or a backhanded compliment. You never know when that knife is going to land up in your back. Of course, the male bitches do exactly the same (even when they are straight) but they tend to be much more in your face about it.

4. Men Are Appreciative. They eat things cold out of the fridge sometimes. Something that you have cooked for them. Which they don't warm up. They really don't mind. They like it when you do things for them.

5. Men Don't Bear Grudges. Again, this does need to be qualified, as there are some ex-boyfriend, Sicilian mafia bosses out there who never forget. But men can get on each other's nerves, have the most terrible fight, beat the bejasus out of each other and then it's all over. They don't keep on bringing stuff up years later and niggling away about what so-and-so did to them in Grade Four or the way that your mother looks at them sometimes so they just know she hates their guts. Fisticuffs sort out everything for men. Weird, huh?

6. What You See Is What You Get. Women can generally read men like a book, we know when they are bringing out the heavy charm artillery, and exactly what they want. This is an endearing quality in men. Otherwise they would all be Ted Bundy. They speak their minds and get to the point. There is no sub-text.

7. They Are Different. They are the opposite of what you are. Which is their greatest attribute. Do they have any idea what a turn-on this is?

8. Men are Not La-Di-Dah. They don't do tea parties with pretty doilies or care about what the wedding invitations look like. They care about the basics, about the essence of life's important things. They couldn't care bollocks about who wears what and who was there or even if they were there. They cut to the chase.

9. They are the Protectors. This is not the same as being nurturing although sometimes it can be. Somewhere deep, deep down inside a really good man the caveman genes are alive and well and all he wants is his females safe inside the cave with him, club in hand, at the door. If that is not an option he will open doors, fix stuffaround the house, carry heavy things for you and glare at other men who pay you attention, or threaten to burn your former place of employment down. This can be a little trying sometimes but we have to wear a look of admiration at all times.

10. Men Have Unconditional Love. It's hard for a self-hating female to get her head around but sometimes a man just loves you, warts and all. If you are very lucky he will do this for the next 50 to 60 years that he spends with you, regardless of sickness, abject poverty, middle through to old age, and your own impossible personality which no one else likes. This must make him one of God's greatest creations.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Twingo, Clio, Megane and Scenic - no it's not the Beetles!

Two Renault ranges were launched at Summer Place last night - the new Renault Megane and Scenic. When I first got to the venue it was like being at the Car of the Year, more testosterone than you could shake a stick at. Funnily enough, not all the boys worked in the motor trade, some were in shipping and other industries. Someone has to get the Renaults out here; after all that's why they cost so much to fix, they're all made in France! Speaking of which some of the waiters (rather hunky, I might add) were peddling their snacks with a lavish French accent. Sushi or biltong, I wondered? The latter has become extremely fashionable on event menus, strange for a food that was reserved for big rugby games in front of the telly. It may still have that status in places like Australia, where the South African diaspora is so strong.

The fashionable and somewhat more silly started arriving a little later in the evening. I was told by event organiser Farah Fortune that the premiere of Fame was being held as well as a Dark and Lovely do. But the Renault bash had a few Dark and Lovelies of its own. MD Xavier Diquet looked awfully young in his little black shirt to be running Renault in South Africa ... what is the answer to his eternal faunlike youth?

Xavier was being interviewed by a terribly silly girl from some even more silly TV station, perhaps a made-up one. I always thought that someone would land up in the pool at Summer Place, even if it was just by default, and she was just the one I would have picked. The plaform that had been built to accommodate the increasing throng made it difficult to negotiate one's way around one's fellow drinkers so a big splash was imminent.

Joburgers are always the first to discover an alternative bar and my friend Emma from the Sowetan made a beeline for it, along with myself as a nogschlepper. The bar boasted not only flirtatious mixologists but we found all our friends there too, including Gabby Alberoni and Irwan from Carbon d'Afreeque, who make such fab furniture from recycled billboards. We admired the couches behind us but didn't know which way to sit on them. I obviously lack the coolth to know these things.

The cars were tucked away at the back waiting to make their appearance after the AV presentation, and when the silly girl had finally disappeared from the screen. When they did cruise round the back of the swimming pool side four "ballerinas" dressed like the Black Swans from Swan Lake started doing a rock-a-tutu number which was obviously aimed at the testosterone quota. I never saw ballerinas shake their booty like that before.

I wanted to stay longer, I really did, but my bones were aching and I had the shivers. Could it be the dreaded swine flu? I thought it best to hop off home before I felt worse and the skies opened for the Highveld thunderstorm which was threatening to break the drought with great violence.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What happens at Patrizio's birthday stays at Patrizio's birthday!

Patrizio and Axene, who will be his supporting act at Carnival City this weekend

Italian singer Patrizio Buanne has visited South Africa several times and was featured at the Night of the Stars concert at The Dome a few years back where I first met him. He is performing at Carnival City next weekend and has a devoted following of female (and male, by default) fans in this country. Some of whom attended his 31st birthday party put on by Mike Fuller of Gallo Record Company at Fairlawns on Sunday. No one as famous as himself, of course, but the media table boasted Nadia Neophytou of 702, publicist Claire Clark and film critic Tat Wolfen. This was of course the "naughty table" and many a scurrilous tale was told by the journos who cheered loudly every time one of their own arrived or left. The champers flowed in honour of the birthday boy, naturally.

Patrizio, or Patrizio-Fabrizio as he was dubbed by us noisy oysters, came down from his room for lunch and to cut his cake after many of the guests arrived late. The highway was to blame for this as the three lanes had been cut down to one and everyone crawled for hours. Patrizio was unfazed by African time and sang a few popular numbers after Gallo's latest find, 16-year-old Axene had sung him Happy Birthday. "What happens at Patrizio's birthday stays at Patrizio's birthday, eh?" he winked with a heavy Italian accent. He added that now he knew what JFK felt like when Marilyn Monroe sung HIM Happy Birthday, Mr President.

The portrait of Patrizio on the cake was described as being "tougher than an iguana's foreskin"

The cake was adorned with a picture of Patrizio and the South African flag which in itself was hard to devour. One guest described it as tasting
"as tough as an iguana's foreskin".

Patrizio discovered a fellow birthday guest having a decorous lunch on the terrace overlooking the neo-colonial spring gardens. The pink clad grandmother was celebrating her 90th birthday and despite protests that she did not dance any more he serenaded her in true Latin fashion and gave her a proprietary twirl or two. She beamed from ear to ear, especially when he addressed her in her native tongue of German, then went back to lunch and presents. Patrizio prides himself on his talent with languages and speaks six of them.

Patrizio was being adored by his biggest fan club, a group of 3 girls from Cape Town who had been flown up by Gallo especially for the occasion. Who knows he might find his long sought after bride in South Africa, as many have done before him?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Champagnistas rejoice

I know there probably isn't a word as "champagnista" in Collins or the OED but as Humpty Dumpty said "When I make a word do a lot of work like that I always pay it extra". So champagnista it is, and there were plenty of those at the Champagne Tasting at the Hyatt Regency last night. Cape Wine Master and champagnista of note Heidi Duminy, who has started up her own company HeidiVine, explained the various Moets to us. Moet is the most mispronounced word in the champagnista's dictionary, she said, as the founder was a Dutchman and pronounced the T. So it'isn't Mo-AY after all, but MO-ET (but pronounced the French way, just to confuse everybody.

Hyatt GM Yann Gillet does all these wonderful functions at the hotel and his culinary team had produced some deicious nibbles to go with each vintage. Sushi and lobster morsels for the Brut, parma and melon slices for the Grand Vintage and macaroons in hues of lemon, raspberry and chocolate for the Nectar.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Barbie fever bites at SA Fashion Week

Twenty-five year old Capetonian Marize Malan is on the verge of national recognition after scooping the ELLE New Talent Awards 2009

My week didn't start off so well ... when I arrived the organisers told me that they only had tickets for me for the next day instead of for the shows which I had wanted to see (Elle New Talent and the 50 Years of Barbie show). Which was weird because I could distinctly remember emailing the shows I wanted to go to. They were full, I was told, and I would have to wait on standby. I went home instead to my dressing gown and a nice plate of pasta. After five fashion weeks this year one gets a little weary. I did miss Marlize Malan's designs, however ...

What Marlize produced ...

Then I got a call ... it was a big mix up and they had had my tickets in my hand when we were talking. So I got dressed again and drove back. Lucilla Booyzens managed to squeeze me into the tail end of the Black Coffee show where 3 Sudanese girls with names which sounded like like Nok and Grrr were among the models. Jacques of Black Coffee had made them look like tribal masks with beaded headdresses and phosphorescent lipstick. You couldn't see their eyes which was scary. The other models wore beekeepers' veils in bright colours. Don't know how they negotiated their way down the ramp!

Black Coffee's techno beekeeping veils .. they put on another mini fashion show at the 10th birthday of Bamboo Centre in Melville last weekend

I managed to squeeze in an exclusive interview after the 50 Years of Barbie show with Michele Reid of Blue Horizon Licensing who handles two divisions of Mattal in South Africa, the toys and a range of clothing and toys for kids. Barbie is as big as ever, she told me, and now has a following of not just 8-year-olds but a resurgence of interest at around 18 or 19. Move over, Bratz doll!

Barbie is a fashion icon and it makes sense that New York Fashion Week would celebrate 50 years of Barbiedom on the catwalk. It was the turn of SA Fashion Week and the show drew a huge crowd. There will be a repeat performance next year, Michele told me, promising big things on the Barbie front. And Ken turns 50 next year. Fancy that, a 50-year-old, grey-haired Ken? When we remember him as so young and handsome!

My favourite take on the Barbie theme was the Barbie hair skirt from Guillotine and Malcolm Kluk's living doll princess dresses.

Princess Barbie ... Malcolm Kluk's take on the Barbie theme

Some of the designers missed the whole point - David Tlale's Barbie was, as usual, all about David Tlale!

The Tlale Barbie

A Stone Cherrie Barbie could have worked on the whole 50s theme with their trademark little gloves. After Barbie was all about accessories, wasn't she? From that plastic blonde hair that felt like nylon, to the heart-shaped pink sunglasses and the little plastic shoes that you could buy in packets from the CNA when I was growing up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dion looks into his fashion crystal ball

Trend anyalist Dion Chang is called upon many a time to forecast what the future holds and Hyde Park Shopping asked him to tell them about the Spring/Summer Trends 2009/10 at a party held in the centre, drawing on labels from the stores. This is what we can expect to see around in the smarter parts of town from Cape Town to Joburg ...

Going bush - the Hyde Park way

Rewind – The Bush

A rugged pioneer look harks back to early settlers. The look of the fabrics – toughened authentic denims and casual shirting, worn-in and a little distressed. Colours speak their surroundings: dusty, washed, worn and faded inspired by the trek through harsh arid landscapes. Rusted iron, dry grass and bush greens combine well with authentic and vintage denims. Indigenous art inspires the print direction, with stories reinvented into modern graphics. Clashing cultures form the smorgasbord from which to pick and choose. Worn-in leathers are used to create accessories, and the look is revamped with a range of sporty footwear in bold colours.

The safari dress never looked so good

Play – The Farm

This trend focuses in sustainability as a way of life, the environment and living in harmony with fellow man. It's all about the farm, so we see foliage, florals and animals in the motifs. Keywords include bespoke, craft, handmade and organic. Looks are very practical so we see utility pockets coming through in jackets, shirts and shorts. Dungarees, playsuits and pinafores mark a decidedly offbeat femininity for the girls. Accessories are garden related: gumboots, garden hats, handmade jewellery and recycled bags and trinkets. A palette of green, from fresh, earthy and organic, to boiled and dyed. Neutrals and whites with sharp berry accents lighten and brighten the mood.

Just throw on a kaftan ...

Pause – The Karoo

Nomads are the inspiration. The soft, loose jersey knits are wrapped and layered around the body, but not constrictive. Fabrics are functional and dressing is tonal with a contrast of high-sheen in polished cottons. Draping, gathering, folding and tying are key details to this look and we are seeing all manners of middle-eastern style pants coming through here. Motifs and patterns are arabic and desert inspired and he head becomes a key focus, bound, wrapped, and hooded in patterned scarves. Desert trekking inspires the palette: colours that work in lightweight fabrics and loose jersey layers, rich neutrals such as teak and mahogany give gravity to the mood, which can be lightened by a white-on white effect and shots of paprika and sky blue.

Time to break out the Afro-print dress

Fast-Forward – The North Coast

Moving forward, this mood is optimistic, an exotic riot of colour, print and clashing cultures found on an Indian road trip. Themes include collecting and borrowing: kaftans paired with bermuda shorts and sundresses with bikini tops. Prints and patterns are Indian and Kashmiri inspired with a few vintage gems thrown in. Colours are vivid, offset by chalk whites. Bright flashes take on a semi-fluorescent tone which are sun-bleached and set against a tropical, fruity backdrop. Fabrics are breezy, like voiles and chiffon. Twills and canvas form the basis of this casual wear look, with madras checks and faded stripes for the gents. Accessories include all the high summer staples like beach hats and sunglasses, with printed scarves and beach bags and some ethnic jewellery thrown in the mix.

And what are the boys up to?

Looks like they're wearing little Panama hats!

The 35th Nederburg Auction pictures

Tammy Fortuin, Michele McLean and Minki van der Westhuizen

Georgio Meletiou from Sun International

Tariro Masiyiti (Nederburg winemaker) and Natasha Williams

Anthony Hamilton-Russell and his wife Olive

Richard Ramasele

Not everyone goes for the wine auction, of course, there is also a little fashion ...

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Spero Villioti Couture show

The MC was Eleni Giokos from CNBC, dressed in a golden tiered ballgown by Spero Villioti.

Some beautiful images from the Spero Villioti Couture show held in aid of CHOC/Lyceum Club at Vodaworld last week. Spero's students showed their work first with stunning evening gowns. Then followed a celebration of absolute femininity ... Spero is renowned for his love of women as women in beautiful fabrics. The girls looked like roses opening in full glory and one dress with a full skirt and covered in a pattern of red roses echoed Spero's wife Vanessa's frock. She obviously inspires him with her blonde prettiness.

And the back details were as gorgeous as ever, for women who know how to make an exit as well as an entrance. Little bows on the shoulders and rows of tiny buttons ...

Jeauval did the hair in Josephine Baker-style marcelled waves with a big bun at the back and David John's makeup perfectly complemented it.

The golden dress with Josephine Baker hair and make up

The accessories were from favourite shop Ruby In The Dust, which has a sister shop in London called Lucy in the Sky. The models were handpicked for the personality that each brought to the dress she wore so that it was a perfect match to her. One girl even looked like Charlize Theron

... was it Charlize?

and we all loved Greek model Soula whose smouldering Mediterranean looks and cheeky attitude were perfect for the outfits she wore. There was a lot of bolder styles, including a full length gold dress and long gowns that would not have been out of place in 60s Cuba.

The 20s twist was everywhere from the music to the jewelled bandeau that Spero's bride wore.

The showstopper bridal gown

This was not for the faint-hearted, these were showstopper gowns for the red carpet. Now all South Africa needs is an occasion to wear the dresses ... what about the SA Style Awards?


have u caught the hat bug?

Edith Schwart (nee Venter) and her husband Johnny in two Kobus Dippenaar numbers. Don't think Coco would have approved!

Hats haven't been part of mainstream fashion since Jean Shrimpton arrived at Ascot without one in the 1960s (very shocking in those days). Why on earth? The right hat frames your face, creates mystery and makes even the plainest Jane look glamorous. Shoes and bags were the accessories of the Noughties but hats have made a huge comeback as THE accessory to complement an outfit into 2010. Buying a hat is a style investment just like it was in grandma's day. Doesn't matter if it's a cowboy hat, a beret, a fascinator or a Helluva Number the right hat is out there looking for its rightful owner to "plak" it on her or his head!

London girls have always known about the power of the hat (even if they wear some insanely meringuey stuff) but milliners like Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy have turned hats into an art form. Marc Jacobs and Luella turned heads at London Fashion Week this year and France's St├ęphane Jacquet has revived the iconic French beret (for the bobos!) while Gallic chapeaux are smaller brimmed than before. Hats dominated the catwalks at Mercedes Benz's Fashion Week in New York from slouchy caps to little Edwardian numbers clearly influenced by Audrey Tatou's wardrobe in Coco Avant Chanel.

Hats can be sexy as fashion forward celebs like Penelope Cruz proves and you don't have to be over 40 to wear them - although they do look quite fantastic on an older woman.

A hat doesn't have to be a hat per se ... it can be a headdress or some sort of flattering head covering too!

So who are OUR local hatboxes and where can YOU get a wonderful piece of headgear?

Some of the ladies about town who are complete hatboxes include Carolyn Steyn who always wears a fabulous hat to functions, Jennifer Su who collects hats, some of which are pretty whacky, Tselane Tambo who always wore her mother Adelaide's collection to great effect, Peta Eggierth-Symes who owns a shop that sells hats (that helps!)

I spotted some great hats at the recent Spero Villioti couture show that reminded me of the kind of hats that the Italians make, almost like decadent desserts (without the meringue). Check out the picture below...

Another great hat day was the BHP BILLITON race day where the hats were auctioned off for charity. Didn't quite know what to make of Kobus's Dippenaar's numbers though, don't think Coco would have approved. After Edith Schwartz (no longer Venter) had auctioned hers off her husband Johnny popped a big rose number on his head, so hats are for the boys too it seems.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The BMW polo pix - at last

Dave Pohl and family

Isabella de Villiers and Porteus Xandau

SA captain Selby Williamson

Best dressed couple Trevor Ormerod and Carolyn Steyn

Ryan Botha of Moroko Swallows with his fiancee Natasha

Thulane Radebe making like a nightclub owner/pimp!

US exchange student Chris Catt with Mphini Khumalo of Niemcor Africa and friend

Photographer IRENE ATHANASIAS was at hand to take these pix for me at the recent BMW International Polo match at Inanda

We'll have what she's having

Lucky Yvonne Chaka, she was handed a brand new Mont Blanc watch by Emmual Human and his team from Vendome Distributors at the Mont Blanc/Unicef function in Sandton last night. She was thrilled and handed over her old watch to her son Thembi. Some guests went shopping as free watches were not exactly falling out of the sky. Sandy Ngema and her lovely new fiance bought her some earrings, so Christmas came early this year. Strictly Come Dancing's Salome Sechaba came along as Timothy Moloi's date and was enjoying Jacques Lagesse's smoochy tunes. "This feels like a foxtrot,"' she sighed, doing the steps. Then she changed her mind. "Actually, it's a mix between that and a Teazers move,"she laughed.

Sandy was loving her chocolate pudding and said it was the culinary version of Jacques's singing. She loved it so much that every girl around her broke down and said: "I'll have what she's having". The same would have applied to Yvonne's watch.

Jacques was so good that I suggested that he bring out a CD. He just needed an agent, so I pointed him in the direction of "Daddy K", Danny's business savvy father. He would make sure that Jacques would give old Michael Buble a run for his money!

Interesting faces in the crowd, we were greeted by Edith Venter's old business partner and his new assistant Karen Machlachan. I guess when she took the litle black book with her quite a few of the guests's names were in it!

Thuli Sithole was with her boyfriend of some three years, Prince Dlamini. I kind of picked up that they would be the next happy couple at Edith's birthday party earlier this year, and so it proved. I don't know if marrying Prince will make Thuli a princess but she certainly seems to feel like one.

Best frock of the evening belonged to a girl from Destiny mag whose boyfriend bought it for her at Zara in Paris. It had great little pleats and a plaid pattern and she wore it of course with killer heels and hair scraped into a modelly chignon.

Sharron McPherson of Wedi International and her husband Mark, who were monopolised by 2 girls from Investec, told us of their erstwhile resturant Rhthyms and of the malevolent chef ghost who inhabited it. Apparently he set off the alarm at 5am and put worms in the black pepper. He killed himself over a woman (poor fool) and then turned nasty in the afterlife apparently. It's all very well to scoff but anyone who's ever been faced with bad ghostly vibes presumably knows what they were talking about.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

spring smells at Jo Malone

I was invited to try out the Jo Malone range at their shop in Hyde Park, a lovely thing to do for spring. The whole shop smells incredibly delicious and doesn't give you a headache, unlike many other fragrances on the market. My consultant did a personal smell test with me, with a chart. She told me that acidic skins like mine held fragrances better and longer. We lingered over the pomegranate noir then decided to go with the jasmine and mint. After a hot towel (mmm, my favourite) my arms were smeared with Agava and Cacao shea butter which smells just like chocolate, and which she "moussed up"in a little cup. And I always thought Cacoa was something you put in cocktails to make them blue. Then she sprayed each arm with a different fragrance, one for day and one for night. A quick spritz over the hair and I was set to go, feeling like a new woman. It's true, women don't give themselves little treats. We feel too guilty, looking after every one else, and our society makes us feel bad to be so self-indulgent. This is not a woman-friendly society, after all. Hearing how our men talk about women makes me feel physically ill sometimes. There is so much visible violence, contempt towards and hatred of the beings who brought them into the world I wonder where it came from, and what we did to deserve it?

A litle indulgence with wonderfully sophisticated, evolved and sensual fragrances helped me cope and feel more happy with my femininity and humanity. I walked out feeling like a million dollars and promptly bumped into Princess Zenani Dlamini Mandela who was shopping for her brood of children and grandchildren at McCullach & Bothwell. "Smell me!"I demanded, rushing over. She was visibly amused, but duly sniffed each arm, saying she preferred the jasmine.

Join the anti-roadWORKS rage movement

Joburg traffic has never been so nightmarish. Our drivers have never been the most courteous or responsible but we had some of the best roads in the country which allowed us to go where we needed, unless there was rush hour traffic. At the moment you literally take your life in your hands going onto any of the highways, which I need to to go to all these functions and meet all the interesting people that I do, and it takes forever to go anywhere. I ventured onto the N3 South yesterday, the first day of spring so everyone was out and about, and found that at the exit there were three men waving a little yellow flag with a cross in the middle of it (signifying .. what?). They gestured that I could not enter the exit, but then allowed everyone else to go through. When I finally managed to get onto the highway I found that my lane came to an abrupt halt so I had to funnel into the lane on the right. That was OK, as I had anticipated it, but then suddenly without any warning or road sign that right hand lane also ended and I had nowhere to go. On the right was an enormous truck whizzing past at terrifying speed and on the left, well, about one centimetre. The amount of road accidents the roadworks must be causing can only be imagined and I see it every day.
It's great they are working on the roads for 2010 but do they have to do it when we are ON the roads? Here are some of the things which I have found over past weeks which should not be happening.

1. Incredibly bright lights in the eyes of motorists at night while the roadworks are going on, which completely blind oncoming traffic.
2. Road surfaces which are uneven so that your vehicle swerves when you drive on it (ie the resurfacing has only been done on one side of the lane so the tyres are not on a balanced, equal surface).
3. Left or right hand lanes which abruptly end without warning and with nowhere to escape.
4. Road markings such as lane lines which are not visible so that motorists get oonfused and nearly collide into one another.
5. Lanes which are way too narrow for large vehicles to navigate without encroaching on other lanes.
6. Construction vehicles, such as the one I observed recently just before the 14th Ave turnoff on the concrete highway, which decided to do a "taxi move". It moved without warning from the left hand lane to the right hand lane and then stopped, indicated right (in the fast lane) and turned into the construction area while everyone behind it slammed on brakes.

Add to all the digging up, redirecting and total chaos of the roads the amount of drunken, abusive and irresponsible drivers in unroadworthy vehicles and you can see my point. People don't slow down or respect the potential danger but go faster and terrify the wits out of you.

There are so many more examples of irresponsible road management I could go on all day. All this has induced in me what I call RoadWORKS rage and I want to boycott the highways of Johannesburg and Pretoria for good from now on. Come on and join the movement. I don't see why we have to pay for any of it either!