Dec 9, 2012

The Glamour. Rearview Mirrors.

I think it's pretty safe to say that whatever glamour I may have been clinging onto with this pregnancy has now well and truly left the building.

My fancy bits and pieces have been packed into their dust bags or boxes and stashed away.

Or hung up out of harm's way.  I've set things up so that while they may be out of reach for a while, at least I can still look fondly at my things and take a moment to smile over the happy memories of the faces and places each piece holds in my life.

Bump - 37w4d.
These days, I'm all about comfort. I've taken to borrowing Mr SSG's spare T shirts and polos and squeezing into my pre pregnancy running bottoms to go for my morning walks.  My footwear of choice are Birkenstocks.  Tying the laces on my trainers is right up there with DIY pedicures in the impossible stakes at the moment.

There's been an awful  lot of dining from the freezer going on at SSG Manor.

Pork and chive dumplings are my current yum cha of choice.  And they have to be eaten steamed with a dish of ketchup.  I can't seem to last a day without a hit of Mr Heinz at the moment.

But there's no need for the pity party just yet because I've been getting my daily dose of Vitamin Glamour via the wonders of print media.  I've just finished reading Alana Stewart's memoir, 'Rearview Mirror' which I found so powerful I just had to discuss it in today's blog post.  Not only has Alana lead a life touched with considerable amounts of glamour, she's also a very eloquent writer.  At the risk of sounding like an autobiography snob, I was shocked at just how self analytical Alana was in 'Rearview Mirror' and that the most profound parts of the book weren't the Big Names or iconic photographs that graced its pages but rather Alana's hard earned words of wisdom, self acceptance and inspiration.
I'll be honest with you and confess that before reading her memoir, I didn't know much about Alana except that she was once Mrs Rod Stewart and is the mother of two Stewart children, Kimberley and Sean as well as the mother of Ashley, her son with ex husband George Hamilton.
I wasn't that surprised that she was a successful model and actress in her own right outside of her two marriages to very famous men.
And that her circle of friends includes all sorts of equally famous and glamorous people like Elton John and the late Farrah Fawcett.  Or even that she was  part of the chic Studio 54 crowd that included Bianca Jagger.


What did surprise me about Alana's story was her readiness to share all the painful mistakes she has made in her life and the way the consequences of these actions impacted on her loved ones.  By her own admission, Alana had a troubled childhood with a distant mother who was battling her own mental health issues with a number of prescription drugs.  The beacons of light in that difficult time in small town Texas were her beloved grandmother and a well meaning but alcoholic step father.  The complete absence of any relationship with her birth father affected every adult romantic relationship Alana had.

The uncertainty and shame she felt about many things including her mother's problems as well as the family's humble financial circumstances left Alana with the burning desire to get away from her small home town and start afresh in New York City.  A number of fateful meetings with influential fashion designers and model managers saw Alana's star rise.  She was fortunate to not be that interested in the drug scene but alcohol and bulimia became her constant friends in some very tough situations.  She realised this early but didn't have the emotional tools to change this until after she'd seen the breakdown of both her marriages.

With the benefit of hindsight and years of therapy, Alana writes about her life with both humour and insight.  She takes responsibility for her own actions and the part she played in the break down of her marriages and tragically, in the troubles her own children faced with substance abuse.  She also realises that her constant focus on what was wrong in her life over the years prevented her from seeing all the good that she had at the same time.  She learns also that a great deal of happiness and inner peace can come not from self analysis but simply getting out there and doing good things for other people.

'Rearview Mirror' is probably the only celebrity memoir in which I've actually been moved to use the quotation function on my Kindle.

These are a few of my favourite quotes:

'Gratitude is an attitude, it's an energy that attracts more of itself. The more you're grateful for, the more good you bring into your life.'

'The healing process seemed endless.  Sometimes I felt resentful. Why didn't other people have to go through this?  Why could some people just continue to live their superficial lives in a fool's paradise?  In any case, I was on the path, and I had no choice but to continue on.'

'I realised that I was only counting love if it came from a relationship with a man.  I wasn't placing enough importance on the love I already had in my life - from my children and friends.  I had a lot of love in my life, and perhaps I needed to appreciate that love more instead of constantly searching for it somewhere else.'

Have you read a celebrity memoir that surprised you by giving you food for thought?


  1. What a beautiful review SSG - you have a gift. Suzx

  2. Vanisha Mishra-VakaotiDecember 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    I haven't that thorough a review on a blog in a very long time. It was certainly refreshing! Yum cha is my favorite way to spend Saturdays! I like the steamed dumplings but the fried foods are just as 'good' :) I also just wanted to leave you the link to the photo you commented on Instagram - the photo was linked to a post about looking after designer shoes, Looking forward to reading more of your posts :)

  3. You're so organised on your glamour accessories. :) Actually I think that you are organised all round. So good to read your blog.


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