Diana Vreeland wrote a column full of audacious advice for Harper’s Bazaar entitled ‘Why Don’t You..’
Her suggestions ranged from the vaguely practical ‘ rinse your blond child’s hair in dead champagne to keep its gold, as they do in France’ to the slightly less manageable ‘have a private staircase from your bedroom to the library with a needlework carpet with notes of music worked on each step – the whole spelling your favourite tune’ to the charmingly absurd ‘do your closet shelves in immaculate white organdy, pleated, with Lubin’s scented pink flannels wrapped around your things ‘. Actually I’d probably go for the organdy if I didn’t have to pleat it. Doesn’t everyone have an endless supply of scented pink flannels?
My random recommendations for enlivening the anxious days of the credit crunch are surely more grounded?
- Make a poker work sign for your desk saying ‘These Things Shall Pass’ and only contemplate it on bad days.
- Ladies, be independent of fashion, and wear a cashmere sweater on your head arranged anywhere between a turban and a wimple and fastened with a large piece of costume jewellery (a la Little Edie Beale)
- Gentlemen, whilst out shopping with your wife slip away and buy a bunch of flowers. When she’s at the hands of a particularly snooty shop assistant, tap her on the shoulder and thrust the bouquet into her hands with the words ‘I wonder if your husband would mind me giving you these?’ (One scented flower head in a screw-top jar will do if you’re short of cash)
- Only if you’re supple, practise tumbling and enter a party with a cartwheel followed by a double somersault. Check your underwear first.
- As a token of your affection, write your very best friend or lover a cheque for a million pounds/dollars (and pray he or she won’t try to cash it).
- Start starching and ironing your bed linen for the Five Star hotel feeling you can no longer afford. (Only real starch will do. A spray can will give you repetititve strain injury.)
- Buy yourself a silver-plated teapot and some bone china off e-bay and make your own tea ceremony. Take a tray to a sunny spot and sit there for at least half an hour.
- Buy a pair of sheepskin slippers and polish the parquet by skating around toThe Blue Danube.
- Save on product by giving your hair a final rinse with beer. (Lager won’t do) You won’t really smell like a brewery and your hair will bounce and shine.
- For silky milky skin exfoliate with a handful of wet porridge oats and hope somebody else will clean the shower tray afterwards.
- Finally, download Judy Garland’s Trolley Song and The Can Can to your i-player for days when the sun won’t shine.