If you have to go to work before breakfast, have breakfast first

I love this piece of nutty circular wisdom. Don’t know who said it, but I wish I had. It makes me smile every time I think about it because while it means nothing of any consequence, I sort of get the paradox. Basically life’s a contradiction and that’s all there is to it. That probably makes me about as original as a member of a boy band but hey, we can’t all be Proust!

Trump l’oeil!

Well, the seemingly impossible has happened! THIS MAN is now the leader of the western world!

It seems ironic his name alone opens up so many negative word associations. I would like to think I’ve coined a new one — the Trump l’oeil art form. The better known trompe l’oeil is defined as something that misleads or deceives the eye or senses — an illusion. My version is just a little bit more specific referring to one particular person who misleads or deceives the eye. Sounds like our boy right? The master illusionist who conceals a lack of substance with a now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t swirling mass of contradictions and a sickening spewage of self-indulgent and petulant Tweets from the  top of Trump Tower.

But wait there’s more! To trump this, we are invited to ignore the vitriolic verbiage and look into his heart to discern his truth. More illusion! Sad, as the man himself is so fond of saying. Impossible actually — it has yet to be shown that he has a heart.

Like some egocentric imperial conqueror of ancient times, he’s triumphantly flattened everything in his path on his way to the White House with a breath-taking display of bamboozlement —  Trump l’oeil – and tawdry trumpery.

Like many others, I’m trying not to fixate on the likely ramifications for us all in this brave new Trumpverse. But it’s almost impossible to have read his ‘One America’ inauguration transcript (couldn’t bear to watch the mouth speaking it) and not make some comment. I used the word ‘trumpery’ earlier intentionally and with malice aforethought and I’ll leave you the Mirriam Webster definition of this much underused little sucker for you to ponder:

Trumpery (adj)

  • Worthless nonsense
  • Trivial or useless articles i.e a wagon loaded with household trumpery (Washington Irvine).

Trumpery derives from the Middle English trompery and ultimately from the Middle French tromper, meaning “to deceive.” (You can see the meaning of this root reflected in the French phrase trompe-l’oeil-literally, “deceives the eye”-which in English refers to a style of painting with photographically realistic detail.) Trumpery first appeared in English in the mid-15th century with the meanings “deceit or fraud” (a sense that is now obsolete) and “worthless nonsense.” Less than 100 years later, it was being applied to material objects of little or no value. The verb phrase trump up means “to concoct with the intent to deceive,” but there is most likely no etymological connection between this phrase and trumpery.

What more can one say?  In his speech Trump said, “God will protect us.” Hopefully God (or any benevolent higher beings) will indeed protect us … from Trump!

Never succumb to beige!

On the off chance that anyone ever asks me my views on life, my advice would start with ‘never succumb to beige’.

I have been tempted, I can tell you. On more than one occasion to be absolutely honest. It’s so fashionable (although beige has sort of morphed into that  ubiquitous mushroom colour so beloved of interior designistas). I’ve even owned some beige stuff — a jacket, a throw (which I actually did love), maybe event a couple of pairs of shoes over the years. And why not? After all, beige is the darling of Taste. The hero of Conservative. It has its place for sure. But why would you choose  beige when there’s so much vibrant colour to be had? It’s just so … well … tastefully boring!

The whole idea of not succumbing to beige has  become a personal metaphor for always being who you are, despite the pressure to conform to all manner of often uncomfortable societal norms . To thine own self be true I say, even if thy true self is more bling than Ming. Quite apart from anything else, imagine the epitaph it would make, ‘she never succumbed to beige!’

Pondering the meaning of beige set of a bit of a navel gazing moment while I figured out what else I would offer up to this hypothetical seeker of Frankie’s advice. So here it is, the sum total of my wisdom to date supported by a number of spectacular prat falls, a lot of sticking plaster and a naturally sunny outlook:

  • The world really is your oyster
  • If you’ve got lemons, make lemonade — then get innovative
  • Always have at least one foot off the ground
  • Money may not buy happiness, but it surely does help in our material world
  • Unless you’re an ostrich, don’t behave like one
  • You really are what you eat and drink
  • Love is all you need … once you’ve taken care of the tangible assets
  • It’s probable the geeks actually will inherit the earth
  • The road to Hell most definitely is paved with good intentions
  • Eat, drink and be merry … because it’s fun
  • If you can’t put up, shut up. In other words, put your money where your mouth is
  • The answer’s much more likely to be blowing in the wind than that at the bottom of a bottle
  • Rose tinted glasses have their place
  • Stay in tune with your inner Barbie, you’ll need her as you age
  • Sometimes say never
  • Doing as you would be done by is better than sleeping pills
  • Anyone who doesn’t know what happiness is has never seen a puppy
  • Sorry doesn’t always make it right … but it helps
  • Don’t climb every mountain — choose strategically
  • There’ll be blue birds over the white cliffs of Dover — if you can visualise well enough
  • Love IS the sweetest thing
  • If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it
  • Shit Creek is not a terminus!

If you take all these on board, I’m sure your life will soon be as perfect as mine J