A Charmed Life


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love is need of love today

 “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill 

What keeps you smiling? People who use their platform to raise their vibration, does it for me every time And yet while I was moved by the speeches the following three gave at Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, I believe it is not just up to the famous to do something. As the times we live in become more and more precarious the onus of social responsibility sits on all of our shoulders more so than ever before. We all have a platform. Our voices matter. Don’t ever forget it!

Oscar2015

 Whatever you do today please remember to raise your vibration.

Sat Nam


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she’s all that

shesallthat.jpg

It’s my favourite time of year again. No not my birthday or Christmas or even time for a summer holiday… hmm actually it’s not even Madonna’s birthday so okay… it’s maybe my fourth or fifth favourite time of year…. regardless I’m très excited because it’s Oscar time. This year is rare year for me in that I haven’t seen nearly enough movies to have clear favourites but that hasn’t stopped me from indulging in a little Meryl.

Meryl Streep is a bit of a crush of mine. If she is in something it will pique my interest but I didn’t realise how much I liked her until the other night when I watched Kramer vs Kramer and Its Complicated back to back. There is a reason she is the most nominated actor in Academy Award history; whether it is a support role (Kramer…) or a so-so movie (It’s…) or the lead, she rocks it. I first noticed her acting chops in the miniseries Angels in America in which she played a few characters and I remember thinking how versatile she was and also how seamless the transitions were, which was no small feat – it was a complicated drama with interwoven stories about a serious subject matter. With Meryl you can tell it’s all about the work and of course it helps she is bloody good at her craft; but what endears her to me is that as good as she is she doesn’t seem to take herself seriously, you cannot not love a woman who upon receiving her last Oscar for The Iron Lady exclaimed ‘When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, “oh, no! Oh, come on why – her! Again!”’ Emily Blunt who has acted with her a few times, recently described Meryl as ‘a real broad – great fun’ and I believe it.

 “Why are women… so much more interesting to men than men are to women?” Virginia Woolf

On the subject of girl crushes, for as long as I can remember I’ve had them, can you blame me? This planet is filled with fascinating women and it is not only the domain of the male species to admire them. Along with Meryl I’m currently also crushing on the following ladies:

Sgt. Olivia Benson (character on Law & Order SVU). No I haven’t suddenly regained any respect for the folk in blue but I do hold a soft spot for Benson. Okay she’s not a real person but considering my disdain for police in general, Benson is my dream of what a truer copper should be like, played by the gorgeous Mariska Hargity, Benson is a totally badass cop when it comes to solving ‘sexually based offenses which are considered especially heinous’ which she couples with a gentle empathy, a duty of care for the victims of sex crimes, something real life law enforcement seem to lack.

Christiane Amanpour. My favourite all time tv show which I have written about before is Gilmore Girls. In the opening scene of the very last episode the main characters Lorelei and Rory meet Christiane Amanpour who Rory has long admired. The first time I saw this I was like ‘that’s me in Rory’s shoes,’ the way she acted when she met her hero… talking a mile a minute, gushing over Christiane’s accolades, thanking her for being her – exactly what I would do. Christiane Amanpour CBE in case you don’t know is a journalist, known for extensively reporting from the front lines of war for over 25 years, as well as interviewing many key figures on the global stage; her strength lies in her sincerity and search for the truth AND she’s not afraid to ask the hard questions. I’ve always fancied myself as a journalist, so I guess you could say Christiane is the person I wish I had the courage to be.

Gigi Hadid. I first caught glimpses of this cherub when she came on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as her mother Yolanda Foster is on it and in the last two years I have found myself following her on social media watching her rise (and rise) in the modeling world. That she is stunning is a given but it is the vibrancy of her youth a joie de vivre that she oozes that I am especially attracted to. Her sister Bella (also a model) is pretty easy on the eye too.

There are so many women I could write about, ones I know, ones I would like to know… so many women so little time… it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside to know that I live in a world surrounded by strong, capable, beautiful women. And speaking of strong, capable, beautiful – Julianne Moore for Best Actress¹ please.

Have a great week,

Sat Nam

¹for Still Alice a beautifully made, poignant movie about the early-onset of Alzheimer’s disease with believable performances by all the cast.


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we’ve all had one…

whostheboss.jpgLife has got a bit too serious for my liking lately so for a distraction I thought I would watch a movie on tele. A quick flick of channels gave me a choice either Transformers or Horrible Bosses, I opted for the latter because 1) I’ve had them and 2) I’ve been one and 3) it was on first.

The movie was nothing special; funny sometimes awful sometimes and it was nice to see Jennifer Aniston doing something different from her usual rom com fare. What the movie did leave me thinking about was the idea of a boss and what some interpret that to mean. In my opinion a half decent boss should be someone who – amongst other things – is able to leave their ego at the door, be a team player with just the right amount of empathy, someone who inspires and someone who knows what they are doing (or at least fakes it well). I think you are very fortunate if you have ventured through your working life with only this type of boss. For me, it’s been a mixed bag; some inspiring, some so-so and some who would definitely come under the banner of ‘Horrible Boss.’

I’ve had the Inadequate Boss who was my manager at the same time I was going through my ‘must impress’ phase which meant I became the office drudge while my boss took all the credit. I’ve had the Inappropriate Boss who would call me ‘missy’ (which I detest to this day), make sexist and racist jokes and fail to look me in my eyes when he spoke to me (his gaze always went further south if you get my drift). Then there was the Superiority Complex Boss who did not appreciate having to sit with us plebs as he felt his job title meant he belonged in a corner office. Nor did he partake in any kind of team bonding exercise. Drinks after work – forget it.

But my favourite and by favourite I mean worst Horrible Boss was the Psycho Boss – this person could have been a character straight out of the movie. Before I go on, first a visual, think Phil Mitchell; balding, thuggish, proper cockney accent – this guy had it all. Now a few of his psychotic antics:

Horrible deed number one – tried to turn my staff against me; under the guise of one on ones he would basically grill my team about me. One of the guys in my team actually said ‘you better watch your back, he’s out to get you.’ When pushed for more info I was told that he was asked if he ‘liked me as a manager’ and when the answer was for the affirmative he was asked again then he was asked the same question in different ways, in the end the team member feeling ambushed said ‘it feels like you are trying to put words in my mouth and I’m not going to lie for you’.

Horrible deed number two – deliberate sabotage; in a rare moment of ‘acting like a normal person’ my boss forwarded some emails to me on a new initiative the business wanted in place. He asked that I get up to speed before a presentation that was to take place the following day. So I did, I read through all the relevant information he had sent me, made some notes and then when the time came I went along to the presentation with him. While we were walking to the presentation we discussed the project and the impact to my team. All seemed quite standard. Imagine my surprise then when the presentation turned out to be about something totally different, something I had no knowledge of but he clearly did judging by the comments he made. Imagine then when I asked a question to the project lead – my own boss sabotaging me by pronouncing to the room ‘it’s in the information pack I sent you.’

Horrible deed number three – the pièce de résistance; when unable to find fault in my work to… well I never actually knew his motivation because at one point I did ask if his plan was to get rid of me but his smarmy reply didn’t confirm anything… so whether it was to get rid of me or put me in my place, he filed a disciplinary through HR due to the fact that I did not celebrate my birthday with my team. The letter stated that ‘it showed a lack of team spirit therefore was in direct conflict with one of the principles the company stood for.’ And yes I’m serious this happened for real I still have the HR letter to prove it. Even with my overactive imagination I could not make this stuff up. In my defense I have never worked on my birthday AND I did take my team out for lunch before I went away for my birthday AND the only reason I didn’t want to partake in cake was because I didn’t want this person to have anything to do with my birthday.

Nothing came from the disciplinary other than HR having to actually do some work for a change. My time with the Psycho Boss was a very short one, but it did have a toll, he seeped into my personal life via sleepless nights, paranoia and a bitterness which made me sarcastic. Looking back now I just think of him as a bully. The boy in school who was bullied or worse ignored who as an adult exacts revenge just because or maybe he was the bully who grew up and stayed a bully. I pity him as I do all my other horrible bosses, because their insecurities mean that they miss out on what should be an enriching experience. Now over to you, I know I’m not the only one who has experienced a Horrible Boss, I would love to hear your stories in comments.

Have a great week.

Sat Nam


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they don’t make them like they use to

Recently I spent time with a very old friend and while we talking and drinking our zillionth cup of tea, in the background the film How to Steal a Million(1966)▪ came on. I screamed out a big whop of joy and exclaimed ‘remember when we first saw this?’ She looked at me and replied ‘I’ve never this before.’ I opened my mouth to describe the the moment but then I realised my memory was muddled and I was referring to a mutual friend, so instead I was like ‘oh you have to watch this, it’s gorgeous.’ We watched it, she loved it.

Ask me what my favourite film is and I couldn’t pin down just one but the ones I adore seem to have been made before I was born, and all have an ‘opposites attract’ theme. Eternal romantic – that’s me. The rom-coms of today have nothing on these diamonds:

houseboat1.jpgHouseboat(1958) This family friendly film is about a widower who employs a runaway socialite to be a nanny for his children on his houseboat. It combines whatever it was that made Cary Grant well, Cary Grant (the personality, charisma, accent, presence) with the fire brand that is Sophia Loren, the chemistry they give off is electrifying. It is a fun film – the characters are fun, the story is fun, the songs fun, the setting of the houseboat fun – perfect for watching on a rainy afternoon.

barefootintheparkBarefoot in the Park(1967) This gorgeous film is about what happens immediately after the honeymoon if you are a free spirit and your new husband is a straight laced lawyer. Their differences becomes apparent when he declines an invitation to take off his shoes, to walk barefoot in the park (hence the film’s title). It’s lightweight, genuinely funny and the pairing of Jane Fonda and Robert Redford is pure magic and the supporting characters provide plenty of comedy.
Guesswho.jpgGuess Who’s Coming to Dinner(1967) I’ve had an ardent interest in the Civil Rights movement ever since fifth form History and that is why I was drawn to watch this film the first time, as it addresses the coupling of two people who happen to be of different race and the prejudice this brings up during 60s America. Even with this serious undertone, it is not a heavy film and there are plenty of comedic moments, but ultimately it really is just a film about love. The cast includes heavy weights Sidney Poitier (the ultimate class act) and real life couple Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. What makes this film outstanding is that at some point you realise, Katherine (Hepburn) and Spencer (Tracy) are not even acting  – they are relaying their true feelings for each other. (Spencer’s final speech about love for his character’s wife, tears me up every time).TheWayWeWere.jpgThe Way We Were(1973) More Robert Redford, this time playing carefree WASP Hubbel Gardiner and the incomparable Barbra Streisand as Katie Morosky, a politically active Jew. I wrote an essay about this film once and at 1000 words there was still more to be said, so to sum up this film in a few lines is nigh impossible so instead I shall steal from Carrie Bradshawº ‘The world is made up of two types of women; the simple girls and the Katie girls, I’m a Katie girl.’
Then there is that song ‘hmmm hmmm memories, light the corners of my mind, misty water coloured memories of the way we were…’

Whether it was the story lines, acting, chemistry of the couplings or the songs – one thing is clear they don’t make them like they used to but we are so fortunate that they made them in first place. Now over to you, let me know your favourite films of yesteryear in comments.

Sat Nam

▪(fun caper starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole)
ºcharacter from Sex and the City


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see – Last Vegas

LVI know l know I fancy myself a bit of a film critic lately, promise you it was not planned. It’s just with me flying all over the place I am seeing a lot of plane movies. The latest one being Last Vegas which I enjoyed for two reasons – my penchant for silver foxes and the forever friends factor.

Now I have already laid myself bare when it comes to admitting I have a thing for older men so give me a movie with four of them – how could I pass that up? The scene when Kevin Kline’s Sam gets pursued by a twenty something – I totally get; only if it was me I would be going for Michael Douglas’ Billy. Michael Douglas and I go back to Romancing the Stone days – he was hot then and he ain’t doing too badly now. He’s with Catherine isn’t he?

The second reason I loved this movie was the fact that these four friends are still connected after some sixty years of friendship. I loved the camaraderie and genuine love these guys had for each other. I can totally relate for, quite aside from the fact that when we get together our time is full of Las Vegas like antics: I have that connection with my girlfriends and I pray we still have that togetherness when we are in our twilight years. Pretty sure we could fit in a Vegas trip at some point too.

See Last Vegas: If you want to smile and watch something that is light and good fun go see this movie.  

Love


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yesterday once more

‘The decade that style forgot’ that’s what the 70s have been called but I disagree. As new movie American Hustle highlights the seventies were all about style, a distinctive style maybe but a style all the same. We live in a time in which fads are fleeting, but when you think back to days of yore there are some very distinct images they invoke; like for instance the ’20s conjures up a jazz age complete with flappers and gangsters. Same goes with the ’70s where you had fashion influenced from the likes of ABBA, Bruce Lee, Saturday Night Fever, Charlie’s Angels and The Sex Pistols and on and on it goes because it was such a colourful era.

I love 70s fashion, maybe that has something to do with it being the era I was born into whatever it is, if I am dressing up for a night out more often than not I will opt for a retro glam seventies inspired look. In fact whether we gals are conscious of it or not, we borrow from the seventies all the time – think one shoulder,halter necks, hot pants, jumpsuits, crop tops, platforms and curls. The only difference is that now we have more finesse for there no need for polyester and irons, these have been replaced with synthetic material that doesn’t itch and ceramic hair styling products. Its not all cringe worthy free though, to the males reading this the 70s don’t need to make a comeback in your wardrobes; platforms look way hotter on us girls and there is only one man that can rock a moustache and unless your name is Tom Selleck that ain’t you.

oh and American Hustle – great performances, well worth a watch.

Love


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not so little people

Last year whilst I was studying NLP*, using myself as an example I could see that many of my behaviours had been learned from when I was very little, for example even as young as three I knew who to ask if I wanted something – my aunt if I wanted to be read to, my dad for cuddles. It is believed by some psychologists that between the ages of three and eleven is an imprint period for a child. This means that childhood experiences between these ages are likely to have an impact on who that child becomes, how they feel, behave and represent the world to themselves in later life.

There is this movie I saw recently (another plane movie) that demonstrates this clearly. What Maisie Knew is about a custody battle seen through the eyes of six year old Maisie. In it the parents are neglectful selfish and shallow beings who think nothing of bouncing her back and forth like a pinball and because of this, we the viewer are witness to how this affects this precocious child – what she interprets, how she adapts her behaviours to suit others, how compliant she is, how she looks to others for the love and belonging she craves from her parents.

I have the privilege of seeing the children of my close friends grow and every time I am in the company of these children I am in awe not only because they fill my heart with pure love but because of the little people they have become. Their brains are sponges absorbing their environments. I have been known to get emotional over the first time I see my name written by their little hands, or see them put a sentence together with magnetic poetry or watch them take a wicket at cricket or simply thank me for coming over. Their interests, their mannerisms, their behaviours, their habits – well it’s a good whatmaisieknewjob I believe in miracles because children are a constant reminder that they exist.

See What Maisie Knew: Given the subject matter I was braced to feel emotional but because it is seen from Maisie’s point of view this is more a practical story. Kids have a way of keeping things simple, it is us adults who over complicate life. Having said that the movie still moves you. I found I wanted to punch the parents and take Maisie in my arms and give her all love and attention she deserved. Great performances by all, in particular by Julianne Moore and young Onata Aprile.

Love

*Neuro-Linguistic Programming


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one proud kiwi

I’m having a little bit of a kiwi moment right now, in the last week Helen Clark has been rumoured to be the forerunner to take over from Ban Ki-Moon as Secretary-General of the United Nations, Lorde won two Grammys and we bet India in the cricket. Rewind a few months back – a kiwi also won the Man Booker Prize (Eleanor Catton for the Luminaries), rewind a wee further back to when we passed legislation to make same sex marriage legal and by last count we still held the Holy Grail that being the Rugby World Cup. Okay we didn’t win the America’s Cup this time but we are still the nation that gave birth to the people behind ‘Top of the Lake’, ‘The Hobbit’ (the movies) and ‘Shrek’ as well as a wealth of talent that can be found all over Australian television and on a global stage.

Can I just say – for a small country in the arse end of nowhere – we certainly make ourselves known.

Love