Photograph Me Like One Of Your French Girls

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Every morning I walk past a pet shop selling dog tweed coats. A dog’s tuxedo in American urban speak is referring to something hip or cool, or incredibly pointless and over the top. Some dogs have better outfits than some people, including me, I don’t own a Barbour jackets while my neighbor’s spaniel must have at least couple. Those lucky pooches in their dashing tweeds relishing their dog days in Hampstead Heath… Let’s move on to people. In my research about everything in hope to come up with the next great middle-class guardian article, dog tweed jackets progressed into men tweed jackets. Being vaguely familiar with London’s elite crowd, I alway held a certain stigma against Chelsea boys and their country houses, as a writer (and a single woman), I must keep an open mind, so I gave boys a second chance. In my research, I discovered an entire catalogue of young, wealthy and successfull young men – in tweed.

I alway held a certain stigma against Chelsea boys and their country houses, as a writer (and a single woman), I must keep an open mind, so I gave boys a second chance.

The online magazine’s journal entry read ’12 Men’ (in tweed). Each of the entries tells a story of culture savvy young gentlemen wearing a garment made of elusive cloth as an alternative to the City dress code. According to the writer, City dress code is a sign of frankly declining standards within the narrow brief leading to consensual disarray, [while] the purveyors of art are allowed to express themselves within a greater, more exciting gamut’. The disarray of so called City decadent culture is no match to the mix of Japanese cotton and merino yarn used in the fine attire of those elusive creative types of high society. They are men in their late 20s, early 30s championing the field of art dealers, artists and entrepreneurs. I held on to my objectivity until I came across the profile post of a guy whom I went on a date with a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of an acquaintance who genuinely believed we were made for each other.

Suddenly I felt like a definition of disarray, as sophisticated as a table cloth from Primark.

Suddenly I felt like a definition of disarray, as sophisticated as a table cloth from Primark. There he was – the full technicolour Mr. Dashing Tweed and his full blown contempt. I skipped the article and went straight for the selfie 2.0 (a video) taken by himself exclusively about himself, exclusively for himself. Weirdly enough there was nothing weird about it. Years of professional training by the best photography mentor in Florence, Mr. Dashing Tweed was a textbook definition of affluence and cultural opulence only presumably appreciated by the best of us. Well traveled, well spoken, well dressed, well mannered – every working class women’s wet dream. Sentence after sentence of this mediocre written testament of personal success, evading few real life details, life story which would bore a tabloid reader to death. But I had my own story.

I learned that you can actually reveal your drunk side without having a single drink.

At the beginning of our first spontaneous ‘let’s-get-it-over-with’ date I learned that Mr. Dashing Tweed carried multiple shades of tweed. My investigative side was working hard to find any dirt on his picture perfect resume, but I hit the dead end. There was no way I could complete this blog post without sounding class envy. I didn’t envy, I was rather curious why this man was still single. To my relief, in the course of our 3 hour date in the pub, I learned that you can actually reveal your drunk side without having a single drink. He didn’t drink. In fact, he doesn’t drink, smoke or does drugs. He photographs precious stones and fine jewellery, restores vintage cars, and wait for this, is a self-proclaimed vagina whisperer. He had me at the vagina.

While I was getting to know him, one large glass of rose couldn’t get me drunk enough to piece this epic story together. Screw vintage cars and bling – the man makes women come as a hobby. I must have had hit some universal jackpot. This is how the conversation went:

*talking about some superficial relationships and commitment issues*

MDT: *out of nowhere* Have you had a guy making you come during sex?

Me *Mrs. Red Face* Yeah, like once or twice….WHY DO YOU ASK?

MTD *genuinely surprised* : Really?! How did it happen?

Me: *about to pass out but still intrigued by the subject*: Erm…. Oral…..I guess… ?!

Did I just say oral sex on the first date? Where is this going? Is he suggesting something? IS HE?!

MRD: I’ve been with girls who never came in their lives and they only ever came with me.

He wasn’t kidding, and I wasn’t hallucinating. Mr. Dashing Tweed actually has a list of referees to testify on his behalf. He makes women come, and all of it is due to his genuine interest in female anatomy and general biology, also his ability to listen and make women relaxed in his presence. I tried to shake his confidence by suggesting that these (proverbial) women could be lying, but again science strikes back – Mr. Dashing Tweed knows when women come. Now, I have to give credit to this guy, despite his over self confidence and expertise in his field, he already answered three of the sphinx’s riddles: he knows WHERE clitoris is, HOW it works, and WHEN woman comes. He is well ahead of most of my dates. Women would agree that men, generally, don’t approach the subject with the same level of forensic accuracy. It’s women who usually read tomes of books on how to please your man.

He already answered three of the sphinx’s riddles: he knows WHERE clitoris is, HOW it works, and WHEN woman comes.

Mr. Dashing Tweed agreed although he couldn’t take the subject of the intercourse to the existential discussion. It was still a dirty talk, but he made it sound as if he was offering the best cup of tea of my life. The more I think about it, the more he deserves to brag about it, like speaking a foreign language or play a musical instrument. As intrigued as I was at the time, I wasn’t entirely convinced I should jump the shark and straight into bed with a clit whisperer. Mr. Dashing Tweed had something else up his Barbour sleeve. Turns out he was also a nude photographer. Pause for reaction. All his fascination with Man Ray’esque play of light didn’t stop at fine bling, he also liked to play with female curves, in an arty way of course.

Damn right it is an art. The mystique of a female body baffled men for ages. Putting them in corsets, high heels, bras and pantyhose, only for a sole purpose – to undress them. Mr. Dashing Tweed skipping the middle man as in seduction and courting, offers, presumably, what every woman wants – to get naked in front of the camera. This must be a hard sell as lots of women get naked in front of a man without the promise of a nude Instagram picture. Taking clothes off for art is more daunting. Why is it so? No brainer, especially when some of the most famous women in the world are now cautionary revenge tales. As liberated as would like to think of myself, I had to draw the line. Finding the shot of your bare arse somewhere on the internet does not sound liberating to me.

The offer was there, and it stood out like a sore thumb pointing at my mundane existence that I have been experiencing lately. In fact, I was craving something or someone out of line to remind myself there is more to life than the daily commute to work,  good manners, and a pension plan. The more I thought about the proposal, the more unsure I was. No way any of this spelled relationship, but it may as well be something I could tell my grandchildren perhaps? Maybe not. I kept it to myself of course. The night carried on, and I was feeling the weight of his advances. The more he spoke about nude photography, the more I drank in vain hope he would write me off as a wasted gutter woman, but ironically, it only gave him more reason to drag me to his studio around the corner. 

The storm was forecasted that night, and I had to make my move before I heard another ground breaking revelation from Mr. Dashing Tweed. By the time I walked through the door, the storm was in full swing, somewhat ominous. I haven’t slept very well that night, mostly because I was having nightmares about this date. Mr. Dashing Tweed followed up with one more message asking if I want to come down and pose for him on Thursday. There wasn’t really a decision to be made but told him I had to think about it anyway. A couple of weeks went by until I heard from him again and we met on a random Tuesday. Although he wasn’t my cup of tea, I still felt I need to give him another shot to redeem himself.

I was already familiar with his inability of maintaining a casual conversation for too long, perhaps it was the nerves, perhaps he is just too eccentric, may be just an arsehole.

Over the course of 40 minutes of our conversation, Mr. Dashing Tweed didn’t hold his breath making a small talk. I was already familiar with his inability of maintaining a casual conversation for too long, perhaps it was the nerves, perhaps he is just too eccentric, may be just an arsehole. The suggestion of visiting his studio came up one more time, and I took up on it. Driven by sheer curiosity and imposed ignorance I followed him into his basement photography studio. I must admit there was a small sigh of relief on my part it didn’t resemble a torture chamber.

It was filled with photography paraphernalia, it smelled of incense and looked like he spent a lot of time in there doing whatever he was doing. However, the topic of nude photography didn’t come up until then. I realised that the clearer I made myself about the offer the less likely he will spend another 10minutes trying to persuade me. I announced that nude photography just wasn’t for me, providing my reasons without trying to get him to understand them. There was a distinct annoyance in his voice as he was suggesting I should be more adventurous and live a little. My eyes rolled to the back of my skull, but I didn’t feel the need to disagree. Although I should have said that owning a camera doesn’t make you Man Ray and owning a professional studio doesn’t make you a professional. Neither the refusing to bare my arse in front of him make me a prude.

Owning a camera doesn’t make you Man Ray and owning a professional studio doesn’t make you a professional.

There was also something else. There was a huge gap between us, not only in terms of background and social status but also in the perception of actual reality.  Mr. Dashing Tweed inhibited a parallel universe which he carefully crafted for himself. In his universe, the women were gorgeous and naked, where he was rich and famous, where his status would grant him a right to act like an imbecile without ever being accused of it. He didn’t try to seduce me, even the attempt to kiss me was devoid of any affection. How can somebody with so many resources be so unimaginative? It didn’t bother me at all. All I tried to understand was how my friend who set us up thought we were ‘made for each other.’

I got two lessons out of this. One – no amount of luxurious Japanese cotton blend tweeds can give you class, no amount of education give you common sense and certainly no amount of pleased vaginas will bring you love. The other was never allow your friends to fix you up.

 

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Photograph Me Like One Of Your French Girls

When In Doubt, Go French Alps

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Mountains is a pilgrimage destination for depressed, lost and bored. The silent whisper of the God’s most powerful incarnations is calling us from the distance, we need to get really high to hear it better, in a literal sense. I wasn’t depressed, but I was bored and thirsty for change. I was standing on the doorstep of the adulthood thinking Is this it? Now what? The city was deafening, there was less and less air left to breathe therefore I decided to leave the comfort of mild British winter and travel to the formidable climate of French Alps. Physical exhaustion, elements and the comfort of friendly bar in the presence of the familiar face is a combination resistant to any depression. There is no time to overanalyze, ponder or wallow, only time to act. Go down the slope, go up the slope and embrace raw and untamed power of nature.

The birthday weekend in Chamonix was definitely a change from the usual birthday destination Paris and to my surprise, it opened a new era of adventure which restored the justice to being an early  January child. It may not be BBQ in the park, but what BBQ can compare to a glass of gluhwein on the top of Mont Blanc, figuratively speaking. I was wrong thinking that a 4 day trip to the ski resort can only result in a moderate amount of fun and holiday romance is only possible in the backdrop fiery sunsets and bikinis, it’s just as likely to happen in the backdrop of snowstorms and thermal undergarments.

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Chamonix is reminiscent of an international summer camp abroad. You may want to meet new people but language barrier reduces the experience to making out in the local night club. I did that 15 years ago in Italy, yet today not much has changed, I was still making out in the corner of the club with a guy who hardly spoke any english. And yet, before I turned 30, I was anticipating a visit from the elusive lady called Maturity, which despite my best hopes, remained a no show. Today, I hear, growing up is becoming notoriously unfashionable amongst millennial crowd, and while I am still not entirely sure what generational label I was prescribed, I’ll just chose what suits me the best – do whatever fuck I want.

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The crowd in Chamonix is close to the crowd of Marbella, predominantly english yet not overwhelmingly embarrassing. Stag do’s, company’s all-lads debauched ski trips, fathers and sons bonding holiday, and what do you know, British Army. Women however, were in the minority which wasn’t completely bad news for me, although towards the end of the trip I was practicing my biblical eye-roll every time a middle aged bolding John tried to find out where is the best place to hang out or asking where my accent was from. There were also the likes of married Eliots who shamelessly paraded his wedding band while trying to give me a neck massage, Martins from Morrisons who’s  young age was his only excuse, unfortunately not great enough to overcompensate his lack of the game skills (if any), there were young British soldiers Gilberts who just turned 20 and already wanted to marry me.

 Chamonix is an easy place to lose your sense of age. In Chamonix age becomes an illusion, both in philosophical and practical terms. I felt it especially strong when I was taking my first ever ski lesson next to a string of 5 year olds who were kicking my ass while I struggled to keep my skis in parallel. Children make everything look so easy. Was it the smell of burning log, mountain air,  chalet style huts or sheepskins, but being in the mountains makes you feel alive on so many levels. Playfulness definitely presides in the air along with memory of long gone days when climate warming was still a science fiction and our Christmases were white. Nothing is off limits in Chamonix as long as you stay warm and open minded. The friendliness of locals and optimism of seasonaires makes you feel home away from home. If I arrived feeling a little bit off piste, I left Chamonix feeling on top.

When In Doubt, Go French Alps

The Time When Election Fever Hijacked My Brain

As the election fever has subsided and the majority of raging lunatics went back to their luxurious dens to perfect their master plans, the rest of the country is left with the aftertaste accentuated with drizzle of panic and pre-apocalyptic anticipation. I would like to proudly declare – I have nothing to do with it. Mainly for being a EU citizen – I couldn’t . So imagine after getting all worked up after my last episode of political street shaming, I was informed by my fellow non uk resident of London, that despite all my hard earned and donated tax money, I still have no word in deciding whether I am getting kicked out or not. Caught up with the agenda, thank you very much. Without much hesitation I happily proceeded with my life and marched to a patisserie for a cup of cappuccino and the best darn ÂŁ3 slice of apple tart I had in my life.

Acknowledging that right now I am having a much better time than Ed Milliband, I faced an ultimate question – am I a hypocrite? Just few weeks ago I sworn not to ever speak of politics in public, today I am literally restraining myself from posting a political meme on social media and adding some sort of clever pun to display my political erudition – ultimately failing miserably at both as only a month ago I couldn’t give two fingers about who’s promising what. Promising is the operative word here. Probably I am, or perhaps I enjoy a small politics chat – it’s harmless and I’m taking part in something worthwhile – group whining. Despair bring people together, we love finding a common ground to bitch about things we hate, it inspires our creativity and makes us feel like for once, we really mean it.

While I am safe here for another five years, I can proceed with my normal life of being politically ignorant, and this time no cute guy will make me question my integrity as a law abiding resident on London town. Having said that, why did I assume having any knowledge or interest in politics is ever sexy?

Women in power are honestly having a bad rep, especially if you live in United States. While Michelle Obama is perfectly fine performing yoga moves on national television, Hillary Clinton is being dissed for her choices in fashion. I’m not even touching on Sara Palin although it’s asking for it. Back to the continent, remember that infamous scandal which broke out when notorious David Cameron has suggested his “dear” female MP to “calm down”? Except for that little hiccup, UK could be seen as rather utilitarian in their views, having in mind that the country has been under a watchful eye of the Queen for centuries. Iron Lady name alone tells a lot about the woman in power. And of course, Angela Merkel could be seen as a dark horse of the European union, however it didn’t stop her being photoshopped out of the picture for JE SUIS Charlie march. Clearly, having a political opinion doesn’t always guarantee you respect, however it could sort of land you a compliment – depends which way you look at it.

Allegedly, this is what has been said about this young lady:

‘You’re too pretty to be interested in politics and should be in Girls Aloud’: What Labour councillor Karen Danczuk says Harriet Harman told her. It’s not shocking men can say that, it’s shocking these men sit in the parliament.

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Evidently, here’s what Aussie lonely boys find attractive in their fist ladies.

WOMEN’S INTERESTS THAT ARE MOST ATTRACTIVE TO MEN

  1. Personal growth
  2. Health/exercise
  3. Food
  4. Family
  5. Dancing
  6. Art
  7. Photography
  8. Friends
  9. Outdoor interests
  10. Work/career

You won’t find any politics there. Although it’s debatable. We could imply that Personal Growth stands for spending all morning reading political section in the newspaper, although, on the second thought, it would be pretty darn difficult to mindfully shift the conversation from Conservatives to conserving fruit. Let’s just get over the fact that being a political erudite will not get you laid in Australia.

Wait a second! This can’t be right.

As I was digging deeper for evidence to support my, fist of all, politically incorrect assumption, verging on gigantic false and probably insulting generalization, I opened either the pandora box or found the holy grail, can’t quite decide.  Apparently, women being less interested in politics than men, is a thing on the Internet and men are generally bothered by this. According to writer for Huffington post, quote:

This will not do, ladies. Politics is important, no matter your gender. You need to do better.

Well thanks there mate for pointing that out, perhaps now I know why I am still single. I should feel profoundly ashamed for not paying enough attention to politics. This tsk-tsk moment was a deja vu, all over again. Thankfully, this time I did not have to stand through the 5 seconds of theatrical eye rolling. Cheers to that. All of a sudden I had a burning desire to hear what Russell Brand has to say about this, probably lots, a lot more than that one time when he was married to Katy Perry, and even the time when he felt the need to tell press she was bad in bed. But who cares now anyway. Elections are over. I can now go back to my simple life of simple pleasures. Let the men now do what men do best….

Drama and cynicism aside, let’s just agree that all of us have different goals and ambitions in life. Historically and evolutionary it happened that men are more drawn to power and politics, while women are more drawn to beauty and family. You can disagree with me. I do not support political apathy, especially when your future and the future of your children depends on who is getting elected, but in the recent history, track record hasn’t been especially satisfying. Over the course of the past month I learned that casting a vote is important, however in my position, my vote is irrelevant. Plus, who needs a debate when public have pretty much made up their minds about either of the parties?

11238972_2189073994473112_2344641224166704452_n Have a great weekend x

The Time When Election Fever Hijacked My Brain