Monday, 30 December 2019

My 2019 LOVED-IT List! Happy New Year, Friends!

First of all, a hearty congratulations to all the clever, hardworking authors, artists, actors, movie makers and all-round good-sorts who made it onto 2019 BEST-OF-LISTS. Ya-hoo-bee. You’re da best! I’ve made it onto a few lists, in my time. And it sure felt good.

Anyhoo. For those of you who were expectant, but didn’t make any Notable 2019 lists you may well be experiencing list-lethargy, list-overload, or just plain, painful listeroids. Fear not friends because I’ve prepared a-gift-for-you. My 2019 LOVED-it-list! Yes you lucky list-readers I’ve made a list of everything I have jolly well LOVED in 2019. My list is not too long. It’s not too controversial. It might be revealing. It might contain my favourite foundation and my favourite lube. It also might contain ideas and people. And suggestions.

Merry Listmas my friends! List yourselves up! List’s rejoice!

#1 Best Cocktail: Golden Geisha. Copied and adapted from Welly restaurant Dragon Fly. I don’t know how they made their’s and I am an amateur cocktail mixer-uperer. But for 2 thirsty patrons I pour:

90 ml Tequila
30 ml Lychee Liqueur
15 ml Monin Watermelon Syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
Over a tray of ice in my silver cocktail shaker, cover, and shake about like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Then pour the sweet, pink elixir into two tulip cups. And sip slowly like a James Bond martini. DF had a sexy orange sort of castor sugar rim on their glasses. Gawd knows how you make that? I have collected and dried rosehip buds from the banks of the Shotover River. These pink cherubs have the sweetest rose scent and shall be my festive garnish on NY eve or whenever I make these babies. Who knows, New Zealand. The sun may come out. (For a less potent, slushier blend mix all the above ingredients in a blender. Serve.)

#2 Best Comedy Cat: Gingerbread. Tom Sainsbury’s on-screen cat, Gingerbread is a goddam ginga legend. Tom has nailed this stroppy, scratchy, sweary, little strumpet of a cat character so well any cat owner can relate. I laugh out loud every time. Picture: rolling human eyes and pursed lips within a ginger tabby’s head and shoulders, combined with a totally on-cat script. These vids are my current daily pick-me-up. Among my faves are: ‘Gingerbread’s birthday’, ‘Gingerbread’s family brought home a puppy’ and ‘Gingerbread got his Xmas shopping done early.’ Check out the super talented Tom and Gingerbread. Prftt. Prftt. Meow. Chssssssssk.
Gingerbread

My dad was a cat-man and our first family feline was a Siamese cat named Fred. What a total prick. Fred and Gingerbread are honestly brothers from another mother. Fred scaled my five-year-old legs when cross and flicked his slimy wet tail over my knees when hungry (he sucked the end of his tail like a mother’s teat.) Hell, he was nasty. But blue-eyed and handsome. And we loved him like a cat.

#3 Best Live Performance: Limbo. Seen at the Spiegeltent at the Hawkes Bay Arts Festival, this international act is like a burlesque acrobatic show on steroids, with live backing band. Madonna saw it twice. It was ‘O’ for awesome. My jaw was on my lap the entire show. Especially when Instagram/ HeatherSwallows did her sword swallowing and her upsidedown fire-eating. The male dancers were top class too. The super, super energetic tap dancer. The mind-bending contortionist. OMG. Not a dad-bod in sight. I admired (I really mean lusted after) their oiled abs for a solid hour. And then there was the starlet who got winched up to the ceiling by her ponytail and spun around for ages and ages. How did her hair not rip out? It was a seductive feast for the senses. If you ever get the chance to see this group. They travel the world. Buy yourself a ticket. Or two. Their shows sell out quick.
Heather Holliday
And on the subject of the arts …

#4 Best Suggestion: Support you local ARTS!! Artists. Authors. Sculptors. Poets. Crafters. Moviemakers. Seek the company of those who you admire or who inspire you. Go to art gallery openings and visiting exhibitions. Attend readers and writers festivals. Buy books (btw an author receives 10% of RRP, sfa.) Watch movies that tickle your fancy immediately on the big screen, don’t wait till they’re on Netflix. Distributors work in mysterious ways, that release-weekend matters. Support local amateur theatre and musical productions. Go to gigs and concerts. Of new singers and old fave bands. Do the very thing that all humans do when we/they visit a new country. Seek culture. Seek our culture. I repeat. Support it.

ps. I know I never ever arrive in a new city and rush down to the houses of parliament, or the stock exchange. You’ll find me at the art galleries, the museums, gazing at a cathedral’s vaulted ceilings and lighting those skinny candles for the lost lives of loved ones. Smelling the history, then in the botanical gardens smelling the flowers.

And still on the subject of suggestions …

#5 Best Company: The company of women. Of course. Not in the carnal sense. Thank you. But girls! GIRLS! Grab a coffee with your girls. Make it a habit in the 2020s. Chose gf’s you don’t see a lot, or haven’t seen in so many yonks it’s almost embarrassing. But do it. Two hours later you’ll be still laughing and wishing you hadn’t parked in the 30min slot outside the Night ‘n Day thinking you’d be one hour max. Keeping in touch with our fem-friends is good for us. Especially since, as history tells us, and science, that we grilles live the longest. So the chances of us being single and living alone in our twilight years is sadly and unfortunately, reasonably sound.

#6Sex Best Love Lube: Let’s face it, life is better with lube. Love lube. During the Saharan times (which seem to come-a-plenty over a woman’s life.) Post-birth. While breastfeeding. Post-op. Post chemo. Post Menopause. Always have a stash handy. I’ve tried a few lubes over the years. Astroglide (novelty, dries out.) KY Jelly (industrial grade, gloop stength.) Some freaky Durex warming ones (akin to swiping Tiger Balm over ya vulva.) For the no fuss, super natural stick with Sylk Natural Personal Lubricant. "Nature's gift to women." It’s made from kiwifruit vine and grape seed extracts. And made in New Zealand. It’s like helping yourself and supporting the local horticulture industry all in one. Happy she-bang!

ps. Vegan sex accessories is a big market nowadays - organic latex condoms, glass dildos in the shape of vegetables, pleather whips & bridles. Not that that’s my jam. Well maybe the vegetables (these veg are so cute they’d double as coffee table ornaments!) My badass mate-ess Lucy Bramshawe, could well be tempted. Very tempted.
corn on the cob vibrator, vegantoys.co.uk 
#7 Best Makeup: Chanel Vitalumiére Satin Smoothing Fluid Makeup (SPF 15)as recommended by Sydney, femme fatale, Claire Prineas Morgan. The best thing since luminescent spheres became a thing. And the best thing for the over-fifty-face. It’s light-reflecting and colour correcting. I can’t begin to describe the joy I take in smearing this headily perfumed, super slide-y coverage over my broken cheek-and-nose-capilliaries each morning. As soon as they are camouflaged in a warm shade of Shell, 30, Intensity 1.5 we all chorus a happy chant. (I do set this in place with a very light illuminating powder.)

ps. The next time I’m lucky enough to be swanning my way through duty-free I’ll be purchasing Le Blanc de Chanel – Illuminating Base. As used by pro makeup artists. Just to close over a few pesky pores and give my Vitalumiére an extra glowy boost.

#8Ate Chocolate is always: Best. Just eat it! Eat it when you’re happy. Eat it when you’re sad. Eat it when you’re quite full but just want something sweet. Eat it for lunch if you feel like it. I often do. “A study in 1996 showed that chocolate caused the release of endorphins in the brains of American women, making them feel happy.” I’ll take that.

#9 Best advice: Get out of your comfort zone nek year. 2020. Let the new decade begin with schwing. I pooped two cherries this year. Sorry. Typo. I meant popped. Yes, by golly I did. I participated in my first open-mic-poetry evening. And my first Writer’s Festival. Let’s be honest, I was bogging-bricks (a charming Nga Taw girls boarding school term for being insanely nervous to the point of erratic beating heart within chest cavity and obvious tremble of hands on podium) prior to reading my two poems in front of New Zealand’s 2018 Prime Minister’s literary award winner Michael Harlow, and Central Otago man of letters Brian Turner, as well as my good friend and famous children’s writer, Kyle Mewburn and a large audience of male, country poets. However, the audience laughed (the f-bomb) guarantees that. And I received praise from a well-respected source. So. Yeah. It was worth it.

As was the inspo and camaraderie of chairing the hilarious and informative Emily Writes’s Rants In the Dark session at the inaugural Queenstown Writers Festival. Along with talking about my writing and my Lily Max trilogy publishing experience with Chris Fitzpatrick. Chris conducted her pre-reading of my books and blog so thoroughly she was able to mention that even though I look quite demure I have been known to don rubber gloves and clean my horse’s sheath. Penis. Sometimes. Geldings. Needs must.

Cheers to a wondrous 2020 for all! A new decade to which is clamouring much world-hope, I feel. Jane xo

Meanwhile, if you are lucky enough to be somewhere warm, cyclone-free with a sunlounger handy my final list entry is …

#10 Best Sun Lounger Read 2019: So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter. @hotpatooties Harper Collins UK. Dawn is a UK TV journalist/presenter, now fiction writer. (She’s married to groovy actor Chris O’Dowd, they have two children.) Her female characters are contemporary and complex. You will question their actions. Dogging. Mmmmm?? But you’ll also grow fond of them, honk for them and have plenty of lols on the way. DP is also on Patreon.

ps. Best Sun Lounger Read 2020: Wife After Wife by Olivia Hayfield, aka Sue Copsey, release date 14 January 2020. Hachette NZ. Little Brown UK. Penguin US. The World.
A wickedly entertaining and utterly absorbing modern take on the life and marriages of Henry VIII...if he were a twenty-first-century womanizing media mogul rather than the king of England.”

pps. Oliva-Sue is my gf. Buy her book!

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