Pamper Yourself…


This is a blog about pampering. Really. I think it is deep. Not that ingrown hair that needs tweezing and plucking but the sheer fact that it is in our feminine bones to preen. Even way back, women were sitting around in Roman spa’s using crocodile dung as face packs. And some women in the 18th Century glued false eyebrows to their faces which were made from mouse fur.

When I was in my twenties one of my fondest memories are of preening, simple unadulterated pampering. I am not as self-nurturing as I would like to be by nature, it is something I have to force myself to do. When I was in my twenties a friend and I would go to a spa and pamper ourselves for the whole day, we thought nothing of it then, we had time. My friend would smoke roll ups we would chat for hours sitting in a London spa until we went pruney. (I learnt something really nerdy about going pruney, see link below.) Spell check is telling me ‘pruney’ does not exist. I hope you can accept the fact that I make words up. Pruney is one of them.

When I was about 14 we had a lodger called Tony, he was an Italian photography lecturer at the same college where my Dad worked, an enigma for a 14 year old. Every six weeks or so I would notice strong smell of horses around the house that would lead me curiously to the downstairs bathroom, in which it looked like there had been a violent attack. The door would be ajar and he would be singing and plastering his hair and seemingly the whole bathroom with Henna. He would then put a plastic bag on his head and head towards the small dirty air vent fan in the kitchen window. If it was late he would always have a whisky or two.

I have a plastic bag and henna on my head right now and I am thinking of Tony the lodger. He was good at pampering himself.

Not so long ago I took some time out from my everyday life of running around with the kids, cooking, cleaning, working etcetera and I went to go and stay with a friend, on my own. She was running around being a Mum, balancing her kid’s needs, making food, juggling her really busy work life as well. She went upstairs and ran me a bath and she laid out a whole array of things for me to pamper myself with. In all her busyness I was touched at how she stopped and gave me the space to have an indulgent moment.

So when she next comes to me, I shall lay out things for her so that she can pamper herself and just take that sacred time out. And oh, I will not be laying out henna, mouse fur or crocodile dung for her but I will make sure she gets the time to go pruney.

Ok time to take the bag off my head…


The Lovely Book for Wonderfu Women will be coming out on the 7th of May and is available from Amazon

Get a Kid to Draw a Picture of You.


kids picture of me copy


I have to own up to the fact that when I asked my son to draw a picture of me for The Lovely Book, it was so dreadful, not his drawing but his portrayal of me that I was too vain to put it in the book. I looked like a devil possessed. In that moment I was in a bad mood it has to be said so he got it right. And the worse thing was he was really looking at me and studying my every line and crease. So maybe I was wrong to not put that one in…


So on a cheerier, day I asked him to do another pic and he did this one. Look at my stomach?! But it is fair, it is how I look to him, and yes my stomach does stick out a bit. But my hands are not that big. I don’t think.  But he sees them as big and I am using them all the time so maybe in his life they are big.


And my girls made me look like an animal lover with bags under my eyes and a suspicious sideways questioning look.


The magical beauty of kids is that they tell the truth even when it is not asked for.


Look at my hair!


The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women published by Pinter and Martin comes out on the 7th of May 2014 and can be found by following this link.

Learn Something New…

Learn something copy


An Italian friend of mine the other day told me she would like to learn English, as she said ‘Her English was really dirty’ I paused and asked her if she was sure she meant ‘dirty’? She said she didn’t know. I told her that ‘dirty’ wasn’t quite the right word. Unless she was trying to tell me something else in front of her child and husband. I think not. I am learning Italian, admittedly I know quite a lot already but actually it is one of those things where I thought I was really good. In fact when you live in Italy, as I do, you realise there is so much to learn and I am not that good. Sometimes my brain hurts. Sometimes I say things that don’t make sense, in Italian, I know it and the person I am talking to knows it.


So I bustle on, like the taxi driver who does the ‘knowledge’ in London, I am in Italy am expanding my knowledge of Italian and the part of my brain that could have been shrinking I hope is growing.   Things I want to learn. One song on the guitar. At least 5 songs on the Ukelele. To play a concertina. Enough to run away with a gypsy troupe and sound passable. To play the piano. Other than chopsticks. Who wants to listen to chopsticks, I mean really….


I also realise that in my head I am saying that I will learn the Ukelele when I buy one, and that I need to buy a really good one, and that takes time…oooh. I have been saying this for years, we have a guitar, I can learn that. I have just busted myself for procrastinating.   So it seems, I would like to learn how to play some music. So would my Dad, who is 72. They say learning new things keeps your brain active, helps you live a healthier longer life. So, what are you going to learn? And would you like to join me in making a band when I am 70…?


The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women by Lehla Eldridge is available from May 7th 2014