The Mitfords, never was there a family of such wide ranging and extreme politics. Nazi, communist, fascist, aristocrat. If it was a question of collecting then Farve
(the posher you are the less possible it is to settle for simple Mum and Dad epithets) should have simply high-fived each other - they had them all! However when that includes a daughter so in love with Hitler she will put a gun to her head (all of a sudden this light weekly feature just got somewhat heavy) estrangement will probably ensue.
Just what is it about a Mitford Girl that had Bright Young People such as Evelyn Waugh and Brian Howard simply raving to one another about these too, too divine beings? It is worth noting the Mitfords would not be the Mitfords had it not been for their grandparents. This is not simply a case of genealogy but libraries and pluck. While the Mitford's father, David, claimed only to have read White Fang the Mitford's paternal grandfather Bertie (pronounced Barty) wrote extensively about Japan and had a huge library collection. The Mitford's maternal grandfather was the illegitimate widower Thomas Bowles MP, founder of Vanity Fair and The Lady who dressed all his children in genuine sailor suits and navigated his family through storms on his yacht. That's not a crappy metaphor.
Tomorrow it will be 39 years since the most famous Mitford, Nancy, died. So with that as our tenuous link we press on with our Friday 5 Mitford siblings.
The massive, massive coughing fit
During interviews you might stress your hunger for responsibility, this is no doubt true. It is not, however, insinuating that by the end of the week you hope to be speaking on behalf of the CEO at a gruelling press conference with little briefing. That’s not the intended meaning of classic covering letter phrases such as “I am not afraid to take the initiative” or “the higher the pressure, the harder I work”.
I am confident that anyone who writes those words down are sincere, the add on sentence “within reason” one hopes is implied. The point of entering companies or organisations at junior positions is to hone the skills required to not just cope but do the job well. That said a huge challenge can prove a person’s mettle.
Lock up your 30-somethings. Beyond Barricade Photography
If you are still indulging your habit of scrolling the sidebar of shame on the DM website you will grudgingly admit you know A) who Caroline Flack is and B) that she and someone called Harry Styles was spotted canoodling. Why was this newsworthy? Because Flack is a relatively unknown presenter and Styles is in a band with direction? (HA HA that’s a terrible joke, if you’re au fait with pop culture). Because celebrity canoodling always is newsworthy and must be documented? No, it was newsworthy because EW EW EW Caroline Flack is a wizened 32 years old and New Direction band member Styles was but a nubile 17.
Being a 17 year old pop singer, not just a singer but a member of a boy band, Styles appeals to that most dedicated of fan, the teenage girl. A 21st century teenage girl at that, with social media at her chipped Barry M varnished fingertips.
Barbie! Quit enjoying your twinkle!
Social media marketing is still so young that clangers such as Femfresh’s recent Facebook disaster are bound to be in abundance over the next few years. The desire to ‘go viral’ (or ‘fungal’ as Fascinating Aida would say, which seems accurate) has caused many bands, companies and brands that should know better to wildly misjudge their audience and receive less than fragrant responses.
For those what missed it here is the text of the offending Femfresh radio advert:
“Mini, twinkle, hoo haa, fancy, yoni, lady garden…
Did you know that regular shower gels and soaps if used on your privates, could strip it of its natural defences causing dryness and irritation?
With its pH-balance formula specially developed for intimate skin, femfresh is one of the kindest ways to care for your fancy va jay jay, kitty, nooni, la la, froo froo! What ever you call it make sure you love it. Femfresh. Expert care for down there.”
Whether or not you’re interested in fashion, regardless of how much you hate or love shopping, everybody has done this at least once in their life. I think you know what I’m building up to. Allow me to paint a picture – you’re shopping, you idly flip through the racks and there it is. That item. That piece of clothing you know will change your life. This, this is the cloth that will finally allow you to realise your potential. This is soooooo you. It’s daring, it’s dynamic, it’s flattering. From now on, everything's going to be different.
Then you get it home. You hang it up (or it goes on the floordrobe – I don’t know how you live) and you never wear it again. Sometimes you look at it with scorn usually reserved for ex partners. I can’t believe I ever even liked you. Then there are wistful moments. We can make this work! Tonight’s the night I wear you! My friends, you are never going to wear this. Yet you cannot quite bring yourself to part with it. Or show it to anybody. This is a languishing wardrobe item…
Few countries can boast that their most famous driver is a woman. But Alzbeta Junkova, born in what was then Moravia, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is that Eastern European nation’s most famous pilot, although most know her as Elizabeth Junek.
Junek was born in 1900, daughter of a blacksmith and one of eight children, of whom only four lived to adulthood. All of the surviving children were destined to spend their lives working in banks. But a life behind the cashier’s desk was not the one young Elizabeth had dreamt of. Obsessed with travel, she learned English and German – among others – in the hopes that her language skills would take her overseas.
Pants. Of the knicker variety. According to the Daily Mail big pants (sorry, ‘Bridget Jones pants’ [can we stop with that now? It was 16 years ago]) are on the up in sales and thongs have fallen down a marketing crack. Which I think means everybody apart from Peter Stringfellow realised we were exchanging money for self-induced wedgies. Pants. Germaine Greer doesn’t wear them, Mary Beard recently tweeted in response to Giles Coren’s article in The Times that she has never been briefed.
“Mary Beard Currently Professor of Classics at her alma mater and a very successful television presenter of famously scatty appearance, Beard’s finest hour came in the long, hot summer of 1976 when, while out punting on the Cam, she stripped to her knickers for a series of saucy poses bent over a punt pole. Fellow students at the all-girls college Newnham thought the shots were “a bit slaggy”, but the boys awarded her the coveted Rear of the Year prize any way. (Note: The gong was later withdrawn amid allegations that none of the boys had ever seen any other female bottoms. Also note: Beard became a feminist around this time.)”
People constantly ask me the same question. They say Squeamish Kate, how can we be more like you? Come summer I am asked this all the more. Last year Squeamish Louise wrote about dressing for summer when you are a heavyset person. This year I am writing about dressing for summer when you are usually a little bit of a wilting flower in the sun and wish to get a little crafty. As others sweat and burn in the beam of Mr Sun I stay cool and unsullied by UV rays. My trick is not staying inside all day until night falls. I always keep a tube of Soltan factor 50 in my bag alongside something else that can be scrunched and screwed up into a ball until the time comes. Ladies and gentlemen I bring you The Beach Cape.
I like rules; I can be a bit of a stickler for them. This is perhaps the result of attending a very strict primary school, then moving 200 miles south and attending a far more lax one. The school which insisted on following rules was a happier environment. Rules are in place usually to prevent chaos and accidents that might result in amputation happening. I can get behind that. If there seems to be reason behind the rule I truly don’t mind being told what to do. Apart from not being allowed to stand where I want at gigs because I’m a fire risk. Dude, I happen to be flammable, if there’s a fire I won’t be wasting my time blocking things.
There is one set of rules I have never followed and that is The Rules
. I had a friend who owned a copy of The Rules
and, at 14, followed them right down to the number of times the phone had to be left to ring (thrice). Of course as teenagers this was a little bit of a game, no-one should be looking for their life-partner before they’ve sprouted their full complement of armpit hair. The UK is not a country that dates as a rule (hah) and teenage dates tend to involve hanging around the town centre pretending not to know each other, only talking to the friend (me, always always me)you brought along. I had little use for my friend’s copy of The Rules
due to nobody, besides her, calling my phone in the first place, let alone to arrange such rendezvous outside Boots.
Time travel is a favourite subject here at Squeamish Bikini, one of our resident contributors is quite the Doctor Who expert, another fancies herself a history buff and the rest of us just think it could be a bit of a wheeze. But what would we actually do with time travel? Could you be happy just as a time travel tourist? Or would you smuggle a sports almanac to your younger self, Biff style in Back to the Future
? Or go back in time and wow the people of the 1840s with your song writing skills
courtesy of Lennon and McCartney? Maybe we wouldn’t be calling the vacuum a Hoover but a… Grundy (or whatever your surname is). ‘Get the Grundy out, there’s dust everywhere!’ We might find ourselves suddenly saying, thanks to your cleaning product based time travel. So here is our Friday 5 question, if you could go back in time what would you take credit for? Come on, it can’t be worse than stepping on a bug at the dawn of time.