ALEXANDRA SHULMAN'S NOTEBOOKJanuary 30, 2021
ALEXANDRA SHULMAN’S NOTEBOOK: Spare me from the oldies with the gift of the jab
Around here there’s only one topic of conversation – vaccines.
‘Where did you receive yours?’ ‘Lord’s cricket ground.’ ‘Oh, very posh! Mine was at the sports centre.’
‘Which did you get?’ ‘I scored the Pfizer’ – a proud reply from members of the Sixties generation still refusing to give up their hippie trail drug cred.
Thank heavens the one person in our house who qualifies for a jab – my partner David – got it on Thursday.
After weeks of watching others he knew who were at least a year younger than him get their shot, he was as excited as a five-year-old going back to school.
The whole business has sent everyone back to the playground, which was the last time that claiming greater age was regarded as a positive.
Thank heavens the one person in our house who qualifies for a jab – my partner David – got it on Thursday
The day after the momentous event, David claimed to feel ‘a bit flat’ after expending so much energy worrying.
Enough, I say! As someone still too young to be vaccinated, I have watched these goings-on with a certain detached amusement, but far more of a longing for them to be over.
Oh for the days when we talked about books, plays, holiday plans, other people’s break-ups. At this point, I’d even trade vaccine talk for a bit of Brexit chat.
But as I feared, early indications are that this first jab only moves the conversational dial along slightly – from when will I have mine to will it work?
And there’s still the subject of whether you got the ‘right’ one. David scored Oxford but would it have been better to hang on for the new Novavax jab?
And, of course, tips to share on how to hurry things along for contemporaries who are still unimmunised – their noses pressed against the window of the world of the lucky.
If I’m finding all this dull, imagine how mind-numbing it must be for the young, who are not only surrounded by vaccine obsession but are still a long way from receiving the jab themselves.
They may be less likely to get seriously ill from Covid, but until we know that vaccination prohibits transmission, they are going to be every bit as vulnerable to contagion from oldies celebrating their freedom as the oldies have been from them.
As one twentysomething said bitterly to me the other day: ‘We’ve spent a year staying in trying to protect you lot from getting ill, and now, as soon as you can, you’re planning to rush around all over the place. What about protecting us?’
They may have a point.
Friends who look great in fur coats
Can someone explain what this whole dog-dressing thing is about? It’s ridiculous!
Dogs are naturally dressed for the cold. They can bound around in nice fur coats without bothering the anti-fur brigade one jot.
Surely they don’t need to be togged up in outfits like one I spotted on a small terrier – a pillar-box red jump suit, trouser legs and all – who was sniffing around another that was in a faux Burberry checked waistcoat.
Perhaps all this dressing up is to compensate for their owners, kitted out as we all are in frumpy black padded jackets and woolly hats, being deprived of any opportunity to let their fashion mojo rip.
Amanda’s poetry is the height of fashion
And her style… Can we talk about that red Prada headband and canary-yellow coat, her jewelled braids and massive rings? She looked terrific. And a true original
Like many who saw 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, I was struck by her passion, poise and charisma.
While T. S. Eliot is unlikely to be quaking in his grave any time soon when it comes to judging her on words alone, when it came to her delivery, well, the performance was utterly compelling.
And her style… Can we talk about that red Prada headband and canary-yellow coat, her jewelled braids and massive rings? She looked terrific. And a true original.
So I was a bit sad when I heard the all-powerful IMG talent agency has scooped her up and will no doubt have her signed for lucrative fashion endorsements in no time at all.
It’s right that she should be making the most of her new-found fame (poetry is not exactly a money-spinner) but knowing that someone is being paid to wear a Gucci coat, or appear at a Dior fashion show, sure takes the edge off the kind of authenticity that was such a part of her appeal.
A Vogue cover is no doubt being negotiated as I type, but I’m not sure that Gorman’s predecessor, the civil rights activist Maya Angelou, who recited her poetry at the inaugurations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, would have had such a lasting and powerful legacy if she been sucked into the lucrative but fickle world of brand ambassadors.
Don’t tell anyone, but Carey is gorgeous!
We watched The Dig the other night, the film of John Preston’s book about the breathtaking archaeological finds at Sutton Hoo.
Taking place on the brink of the Second World War, it stars Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan and is hugely enjoyable.
I’d like to write about how attractive Mulligan appears in her portrayal of the remarkable landowner Edith Pretty, whose determination to excavate the burial mounds led to these discoveries, but I’m not supposed to.
After an American reviewer knocked her appearance in another new film, Mulligan has spoken out to argue that neither her, nor anyone’s looks, should be part of a discussion of their work. Just a hint though… she looks gorgeous.
Tottering Topshop’s still a magic name
Topshop is recognised worldwide and still has an amount of fashion fairy dust that can only benefit ASOS. (Stock image)
Some people are surprised that a successful online clothing business such as ASOS should want to buy Topshop.
The reason seems obvious to me – to stop anyone else having it.
Topshop is recognised worldwide and still has an amount of fashion fairy dust that can only benefit ASOS – presumably it would rather have it sprinkled around its camp than Boohoo’s.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Dubai!
If all those social-media celebs flooding Dubai find themselves in a quarantine hotel back here, what rich pickings for a TV company.
The real I’m A Celebrity (sort of) Get Me Out Of Here! would be fascinating.
The captives could keep themselves entertained by filming themselves and using their promotional skills to amuse us with the contents of the mini-bar. Imagine the tiny bikini wearing to put the rubbish outside their hotel room.
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