Friday, November 22, 2013

Princess Diana and Other Obsessions

Doesn't Princess Diana look amazing here? Anyone seen that new movie about her starring Naomi Watts? (Sorry, am way over-posting this week, work deadline avoidance; I just finished arranging the fruitbowl into a pyramid and next I'll be folding the ends of the toilet paper into points). Princess Diana remains to this day my No. 1 Friend I Don't Know, fascinated by everything about her. And like our dog Teddy, you Could. Not. take a bad photo of her.

Princess Diana wearing Catherine Walker

The thing about Diana was that she disobeyed all the fashion police rules - she matched handbag to shoes, she curled her fringe-bangs, she wore blue eyeliner and pale pink lippy. And she wore shiny tights. And she always looked fantastic.

Oops just read Tina's review; the film is a lemon apparently, does not capture Diana's cunning and clever. One thing that annoys me about biopics is when the actor doesn't look anything like them. Naomi Watts is a great actress but looks nothing like Diana -  same with Michelle Williams playing Marilyn Monroe, the difference in looks and figure was really distracting.

I worked for years in Kensington High Street in London, just across the road from Diana's palace-apartment and we'd get sightings of her walking down the street in her Ralph Lauren cap. A photographer at work told me she would keep him updated on her whereabouts and whenever she exited a restaurant she would stand on the steps and do a couple of good poses because he or a colleague was out there. And actually he said that (unlike Tedford our dog) you could take a bad photo of Di, there were loads in the files, but early on newspapers realised that no one wanted to see a bad photo of her.

One day my editor had lunch with Diana and came back very excited about all her revelations (funny asides about Charles and Camilla apparently) but in the end none of it amounted to a headline. The woman may not have been school smart but she was a media genius; she called the shots.

Another day when I was eating at a restaurant round the corner (can't recall the name) I saw Di leaving the private room with Clive James. She stood in the middle of the room and smiled and looked around for a while. She was a dressed in a lemon yellow knit sweater and skirt that would have looked hideous on anyone else. She was even taller and slimmer that she appeared in photos with a much longer face and the most enormous blue eyes. She was the most light-shining stunning person I've ever seen (and I had covered a couple of things with top models.)

More obsessions this week:
Kombucha, a fermented liquid (you have to ignore the communities of floating plankton in it) made in Beverly Hills (!) My go-to in the morning. To my horror some of the flavours now have warnings that it contains alcohol. I found this out when recently when I send on one my kids into buy it and they weren't allowed to. Jeepers, no wonder I felt refreshed afterwards.

Kombucha: stocking up for those mornings you need it


Pican Fried chicken. Food-wise I'm extreme. It's either clear 'Pho with lashings of hot Sriracha sauce (which is nearing extinction apparently) or anything that would delight a truckdriver. On the fried food end of things, none better than the crispy yet softy chicken at an Oakland restaurant called Pican. You can pour truffle honey over it too, the sweet over meat sounds odd, but trust me on this one. My husband took me here the other night as a perk me up. Can a cocktail and fried stuff make me instantly happier, oh I am so much more complicated than that...but yeah, kind of.

Nostalgic photos of Oakland at Pican, via

Pican's fried chicken with the truffle honey, via

Goop: Clarins, Clarisonic and Brazilian hair products. I know what you're thinking: "What? All that and she still looks shite?"

Clarisonic buzzer and other bloppy stuff


Shiny tights: We went to watch the Warriors, (a basketball team) Wednesday night and I was totally transfixed by the cheerleaders' shiny tights, in an anthropological way. Tell you, those tights are very flattering.

"Warriors Girls" in their shiny tights

I'm not the first to notice the Middleton gels have been doing all they can to bring back the controversial shiny tights. (Here, here and FF's place) (please don't call them pantyhose, nails on a chalkboard)


Kate rocking her shiny tights, via

But who wore them best?

Which begs the question. What would Diana have done if she was still around when the Middleton beauts hit the scene?  Would Pippa's bum have sent her into overdrive? I would have given anything to see that...Diana posing on beaches and walking the landmines like nobody's business.


What are your obsessions this week?




38 comments:

  1. Like most gracious women, when it's time to let others shine they let them shine. I do believe Princess would have loved being Nana.

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  2. Never saw Diana in person, but did get to guard a bunch of her dresses when they were on display in Seattle. Hospital Guild thing, where we unobtrusively watched the dresses and they donated to our Children Hospital. "Tights" will never sound right to me - they are what children wear in dance class and the wooly things that women wear to keep legs warm. And on those days when you can't bear the thought of shaving your legs. But to each their own.
    I think Diana would have loved Kate, and with as beautiful a mother as Kate grew up with, sharing the limelight would come naturally.

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  3. haha supper avoidance at your sea
    Forgo the artful tp
    My, you are obsessed a bit
    She sure was a hit
    And now that you say it
    Not sure there was ever a bad picture even not lit

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  4. I'm with you, I'm also obsessed with anything Di. Something about her just fascinates me. I'm way impressed that you actually have seen her in person a few times. Lucky you. And like those monumental moments in life, I'll never forget exactly what I was doing when I found out she died. And I like shiny stockings too. They make legs look good.

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    1. Oh weird, not sure what happened to my avatar, I can't figure that out with Blogspot/Google. But it's me, Leslie Whitney! :)

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    2. How bizarre, my blog has poltegeists! The shiny tights have hit!

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  5. OK, I'll call them shiny tights and I want them to be OK for wearing by folks other than royal circles and cheerleaders. Most times I'm in too much of a hurry to make sure my legs are Nair commercial worthy and thus trousers it is.

    I too am impressed and a little envious you've seen Diana in person, and more than once. And agree I think she'd love Kate. She'd probably be protective of William during their courting days but once she realized how happy Kate could make him, she'd welcome Kate into her circle of light shining.

    Good to know we could really enjoy the yummies if we ever got together.

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  6. I guess in the US they call them 'hose, it's the panty part of it that makes me squirrrm.

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  7. Love all your procrastination posts this week Jody, and loving all the Diana spotting stories too.
    I'm not hugely fond of the shiny tights myself - they do remind me of razzle dazzle jazz costumes. But each to their own!
    Think it's so funny you've taken to drinking in the morning in stealth. No wonder you're feeling so good - hair of the dog and all - forget all the vitamins and minerals and other superfood things in there... xx

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    1. Heidi yes! Plus I'm getting all the anitoxisitoninationates when I drink the Gingerberry version! It's win win!

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  8. This is so weird, I just actioned a blog post a few sees ago about the Middletons and their shiny tights and everyone thought they were ok! I luffed the Di movie and cried because I knew how it ended. Naomi wore a fake nose. You are lucky to have seen her in real life. It's hard to explain her star wattage to the younger players. Kate doesn't have it- it was so rare. When I had dinner at Daphnes in London in May this year I thought of her. And miss her still.

    Am so adding you to my blog roll xx

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    1. Thanks for popping by FF! How brilliant! In the recesses of my mind I knew I'd seen the the shiny tights issue canvassed someone else besides Jezebel and DM's sidebar! (was searching BP's place for it) just now linked to you. Just discovered your blog recently - how that be if the entire town of Downunder reads you?

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  9. I miss Di. I saw her around town as well. I think that's partly the reason I can't get obsessed about Kate bc she just doesn't have that x factor or me. Di was far from perfect but was a pioneer of this media age. I do wish she were still alive and oddly I am more of a fan now than when she was alive...

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    1. Meant to say no x factor for me not or!

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    2. Gosh where you in London when that whole X-factor thing went on and on with that newsreader? About 17 years ago now. The best thing I've ever read about Diana was the novel written by Zadie Smith about Di faking her own death and going to live in a small town in the Mid_west. Captures that peculiar dicotomy that she faced; being so used to the attention but loathing it too, and the incredible loneliness. It's factually based on the autobiography of Tina Browns.' Di had a charisma I haven't seen in anyone else since, though Middletons sweet and have transformed the whole family into their best selves

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    3. Kate and Pippa spotting isn't quite the same for me I am afraid.

      Yes I was here - I was also here when Diana passed and the week of her funeral - I don't think I have ever experienced anything like it...Ironically I think in the end she strengthened the royal family in the long run even though that week was the Queen's nadir.

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  10. Lady Di - there will never be another like her :( X

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  11. I have no idea why she fascinates us all - but she does - and I have no care for the monarchy or middletons or whatever but I cried and cried when Diana died and I am still puzzled about that.....................my ma did shake her hand once and was amazed at how big her feet were!.......on the day of the Diana funeral I sat and watched the whole thing and could not quite get to grips with why the whole nation was mourning...but we were!....so strange.......

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  12. I love shiny tights, always thought they improved my legs! But I love the thought of that truffle honey fried chicken better!
    I haven't heard anything good about the Diana film and know hardly anyone who's interested in seeing it.

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    1. Jay - lucky for us they are not mutually exclusive!

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  13. I only saw her once and she was so stunning. I loved her too and by extension, I love and feel protective of William and Harry.

    The pics I have seen of Naomi are cringe-worthy, as is the acting apparently.

    Yes to shiny tights! Some fashionistas said we shouldn't but everyone's legs look better in them!

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  14. I read a book about Princess Diana about 7 or 8 years ago and it was one of the best books I've ever read. What an amazing person she was.

    On an unrelated note: Pican's fried chicken?? I think I'm in love...

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  15. Shiny tight, urgh. I did wear them circa 1995. Cannot say I pulled them off well, but yes, they were indeed very flattering.

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    1. Bet you did though! (Pull them off) I remember being very keen on the black opaque ones. Is opaque the not-see-through ones, they are the ones I mean

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  16. Equally obsessed with Diana. The Mercury News said the movie wasn't as bad as the Brits were saying and it actually was very entertaining. It's sadly not playing anywhere down here, just by you I think. When I told hubs I wanted to see it..he said, "But what if it's not good?" I replied., "It's about Diana." He- "Point."
    How lucky were you to work in Kensington during that time and see her in person? I bet she was beautiful. This picture in the pink dress is one of the best!

    I would love to go see anything about her…Still obsessed with her style, clothes and I guess Kate is rocking these shiny transparent tights. Like to know where you get these? All I can think of is the ones I wore to work in the 90s…
    Do you love Clarisonic? My dermo told me to cool it, so I haven't for a while. Will try the Brazilian stuff. Have you heard of Wenn shampoo/conditioner- it's all one? That's my new dream product. Was a gift and I can't live without it now.
    Too funny about the Kombacha! No wonder it's good. I need one to start the day!
    Happy weekend!
    xx

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    1. Kim - I've heard not to use every day but My dermy lady says use it as much as I like. As I'm an obsessive person I use about three times a day. When I start hitting bone I'll stop (sorry to put that piccy in our mind!)

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  17. I adore DIANA TOO!YOu actually got to see her!LUcky you……..
    The Clarisonic I tossed after my POLISH facial lady told me NO with her eyes!!The morning juice has alcohol??IT FIGURES………..GGEEEZ!!
    Get to work no more posts until you have finished YOUR REPORTING!Then tell us where to look so we can read it!

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  18. Thanks LC, needed that kick up bootay! Please tell me why your facial lady did not like it, vital info!

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  19. You've chosen a fabulous photo of Diana and I agree she always photographed so well. I still remember the sheer disbelief on hearing she had died.

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  20. I can't see a photo of Diana without thinking of her as the 7-year-old solely responsible for her little brother on a lonely train trip...

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  21. Well you have dealt with so much in this post my mind is busy. I like you feel I was Diana's friend I lived her style she would not have worn shiny tighs. I think kate middleton is such a pretty girl but I wish she would dress for her age she is young .

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  22. That shot of Diana is amazing--and so your colors :) It's funny when I was in Berlin last year I asked one of the girls in charge of the trip who lived in Berlin and London about the shiny tights thing. She said that girls in London were doing it but no one in Europe anywhere else was. But I find that whole thing fascinating too. Pican sounds amazing! Sorry I can't wrap my mind around much more than food this morning.

    xo Mary Jo

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  23. Another Diana fan here, so jealous you got to see her in person. I love the light blue sheath she wore, I think she had another in black, didn't she? Di's in the same club as Jackie for me, both women were so fascinating and their legacies continue to endure and inspire.

    I don't mind the shiny tights!

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  24. Lady Di. Loved your description of seeing her in the flesh. And I'm enjoying your procrastination posts!

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  25. Diana certainly was a piece of work but I agree with you that you couldn't take a bad photo of her. Stunning if slightly bonkers!

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  26. Where have I been? I have just devoured 3 of your posts-laughing and sheding a little tiny tear. I must comment here-I adored Diana too. We were almost exactly the same age, I was married a year after her and went through a divorce around the same time as her. In London I would haunt her favorite spots so how amazing that you worked right there-lucky lady. When we got word she died I stayed up all night watching the coverage. Stilll can't believe it. She was always gorgeous and really coming into her own in such a big way. Loved this story, you seeing her in person, and the shiny 'tights' have been on my mind recently too. Time for a comeback? Let me see pics of you!
    xx, Heather

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  27. I'm playing catch up, and got to this post first because I was Diana obsessed. What a fascinating post, Jody. Amazing that you got to see her. I'll be back soon to your others posts, but I've got hungry kids.

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