Jun 19, 2010

Reflecting On the Week That Was Clad In Faux Fur and Faux Pearls At 0534.

I woke up this morning and remembered Carrie's scene in SATC1 where she was alone on NYE trying to write as she wore her pyjamas and pearls before crossing the New York City to see Miranda for Chinese takeaway. For the mid-winter journey, Carrie chose  full length fur and glittery heard ware.  Women in suburban Sydney recreate the look by pairing their flannel Sussan pyjamas with faux fur from Target, faux pearls from Cotton On and a faux fedora from Sportsgirl - Soul Princess, the hat was for you.

Oh no - I look more like Ali G with bad hair from coming home from work at 2345 last night when I started at 0800.  Forgive me for 24 hour time.  If this were hand written, there would be arrows pointing in all directions, triangles and x's all over the page.  I remember back to my first year at university where our biochemistry professor drew lots of arrows and symbols all over the chalkboard and said, emphatically, "this is not what medicine is about, the arrows hide what you cannot explain, it is shorthand for nothing".  At least I think that's what he said.  Then I think a consultant or two mentioned it.  It is true, that's why I put lots of words around the arrows these days and it seems to work.

Squint your eyes and look at the photo through the cracks of light between your hands in front of your face - there is a little Carrie in me after all.  I'm up at the crack of dawn in winter, valiantly fighting a cold (I'm winning).  Not tired enough to go back to bed and definitely in no shape to go on the Saturday morning 'long' (I will not embarrass myself by saying how short 'long' is and how long I take to do it) run.

With a hot cup of tea, the last 2 WA gingernuts in the packet and a trail of Vicks Vaporub in my wake, it was time to settle down and write.  Thankfully, not about Carrie's world because while I enjoy reading about and observing 'the New York City' life, I cannot pretend that my life experience in any way lends itself to good raw material for writing of this nature.

Instead, I'm going to write a 'serious' post about the news I've heard this week.  Again, I lack deep knowledge of it but as a citizen of this planet, I should have some awareness of current affairs and the intent is not to entertain - except perhaps when I get it all terribly wrong.  So, apologies in advance, to those well informed of what I'm talking about.  Please comment to correct me.

It's been a long week for so many people around the world.  BP faced some hard questions in Washington and lost $20 billion in the process as those living in the Gulf Of Mexico (the 'little people') face uncertainty and financial ruin.  Ethnic tensions saw 400000 Uzbeks flee their homes in Kyrgyzstan (they had no choice, there was nothing left to stay for).  For many Somalians life is easier pirating or being incarcerated in Dutch prisons than it is to try and survive in their own country.

I wanted to get back to the CEO matter because well, it's not been a great week for them either.  6 hours in front of Congress for Tony Hayward.  And then my beloved (in the purely platonic fascinated sense of the word, see SSG + Terry Durack + Kerry O'Brien for context) Mark McInnes - he of the miraculous turn around in product quality at David Jones  has parted ways with the houndstooth in less than elegant circumstances.

BBC radio had an interesting interview with the life coach of some of the FTSE 100 CEOs.  Try googling 'life coach FTSE' - it's a lucrative position.  Anyway.  I found the interview fascinating.  I've always had this Hollywood (AFR lifestyle Friday supplement - we call it The Fin if we are in the industry apparently and yes Mark McInnes is on the homepage along with T&Co yellow diamonds) view of CEOs lives.  Being in charge of multiple companies, flying around the world, thinking and living in several time zones, having a personal assistant to do everything, having a personal jet/chef/trainer/anything.  Of course no one gets paid millions to do nothing but still, how hard can the job be when you're given so much in return?  Found the answer just writing that question.  Excellent analytical thought, SSG.

Apparently this particular life coach does a lot of work on building emotional robustness in his clients.  He had noticed several recurring patterns in the lives of his clients.  Many had character building experiences in childhood that forced them to fend for themselves and 'fix' their own problems.  This drive propelled them so success.  However, to survive, the  mind goes into a mode where limited emotions are felt and the ability to 'cope' with failure is not fully developed.

I then realized that the huge salaries are paid for not only turning in huge profits but one does when it all goes wrong.  In some ways it could be compensation for the rather limited quality of life that goes with the job.  I am not here to defend anyone but the interview did shed a different light  on some long held misconceptions in my  mind.

On another level, the accusations levelled at the BP CEO made me think hard about myself.  It is so easy to blame others and accuse them of negligence, cutting corners and being careless.  Yet, we are all capable of making the same quick decisions to get an outcome.  If nothing else, situations like this should make us all vigilant in how we conduct ourselves in our own professions.  Easier said than done, I know.

In Australia, 2 young soldiers were officially farewelled after they died in the line of duty in Afghanistan.  Coincidentally, an Afghan refugee won a competition to have a surfing lesson and a chat with Tony Abbott.  I remember listening to firstly the eulogy delivered by one officer's father and also the interview with the Afghan gentleman.  Both men spoke of their greatest and proudest moments being when they held their newborn children for the first time.  I guess it doesn't matter which side of a war or catastrophe you are on, the arrival of a child brings hope and love.  Children have such power to evoke change in the adults around them.

So why do people continue to abuse them?  I find it painful to listen to stories about child abuse and can barely bring myself to type the words child and pornography consecutively.  Austrian police have just released news of one of the largest busts in Europe with over 1 million images found in the possession of a 53 year old Austrian man.  His apartment was filled with hard drives and DVDs ... and a woman with two young children.

Which then caused me to reflect upon the work of Project Prevention  which is an organization that pays for the people with drug dependency to have permanent sterilization or contraception so that they do not bring a child into this world that will be subjected to a life of abuse and despair.  The rights and wrongs of this idea are beyond the scope of this blog post but it is food for thought.

Aung San Suu Kyi turned 65 yesterday, in her 21st year of house arrest.  Radio interviews with her supporters, again from listening to the BBC, tell of her humanity and compassion for her captors as well as her immense will and determination to stay informed and true to her cause.  I imagine that she has no internet access but she does listen to the world news for at least 6 hours a day.  I listened for 2 hours on Thursday and well, I can't seem to stop writing about the world.

On a lighter note, it may be time to wrap up this post.

This was what I had for dinner at work.  It was excellent banana bread and I have a theory that anything in a zip  lock back is instantly 'snacky' and more tasty - even if they are raw snap peas.

On Tuesday night, I decided to use my Pomegranate molasses and I made this recipe - Grilled Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses.  I bought the molasses at Gimeh on my Food Safari earlier this year.

Chicken is marinated in olive oil, honey, red wine vinegar and smoked paprika.

Roast your chicken and some potatoes if you wish.

Serve the chicken drizzled with the pomegranate molasses.  The molasses have a taste that is hard to define.  It is sour yet sweet.  Because it's Sydney and therefore multicultural - this Turkish based recipe is being eaten with bok choy.

Been a heavy post and a departure from what I usually write about.  It was just the mood I was in this morning.

Rest assured, the lightweight will return.  Rather soon, as it turns out.  I am leaving my cold behind and heading to Mecca Cosmetica today for the Beauty Icons event.  Will report back.

Take care and enjoy your Saturday.  I know I will, because I have the day off.  But first, I've got to hang out the laundry in my fake fur, pearls and fedora.


  1. Good Morning SSG. I wonder if it is just as crisp there now as it is down here?

    Thank you very much for your update on worldwide affairs. Life has been so busy this week that I have hardly caught any of the news at all. It is good to take a moment and consider the world news and what is happening to those outside of my inner circle.

    Although I did see a snippet of the grilling of the BP CEO, with various pissed off politians firing off stern words at him. Speeches of many many words which had obviously been carefully crafted with much time and no doubt advisors behind the scenes. Anyway, I wondered what the point of sitting him there and chastising was. Surely, given that the crisis is still present, it is a time for action not talking.

    The news of the soldiers was also terribly sad. I hope all Australians paused to consider the sacrifice made by these young men and their families. The ultimate sacrifice. So sad.

    But enough of the seriousness, I noticed that you have tagged this blog 'fabulous blogs' and I agree. I really enjoyed this one. Have a lovely morning.

    Emma :)

  2. Hi Emma
    Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Heh heh, I use the tag 'fabulous blogs' when I link back to blogs I read and love.

    Take care and glad you liked the post.

    Stay warm!

    SSG xxx

  3. Well that was a fabulous way to drink my Saturday morning green tea. Thanks SSG! You've been very informative and sassy as always. Love it.

  4. I read the award winning novel "SOLD" about young Indian girls sold into prostitution and it opened my eyes.....our students are so much better informed than I was at their age. I think there are some terrible people in the world and the lowest of the low are the sexual preditors that prey on young children.

  5. It was such a big week in current affairs. I genuinely feel sorry for the BP CEO. He knows he's in the poo - you don't need a Congressional inquiry to keep yelling at him for him to know that. American politicians are so focused on pointing the finger and apportioning blame rather than trying to come up with a serious solution to the problem. I tell you, if women ran the world, it would look a hell of a lot different.

    Love the faux faux. Looks fab on a cold winter's evening! I loved that scene too - and I am a huge fan of PJs with a little bit of glamour! Keep up the good work!

  6. What a hilarious entry re the faux fur and faux pearls!
    Although my David Jones shares have increased in value of late, interesting these same shares are funding a certain CEO's current jetsetting! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


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