Baby, baby.

Scored these two gorgeous 1950’s Babychamp champagne glasses today!

Until I met my husband I was pretty cynical about love, so Valentines Day was more of an annual annoyance than special occasion.

I can’t lie and say I’m not a die hard romantic… because I am. I FUCKING AM! I LOVE ALL THE ROMANTIC CHEESE!! I just like to pretend I’m not, shh please don’t tell anyone.

 

We made plans for Valentines just to go out for a nice dinner, no gifts, I just wanted to be surprised! My husband is literally THE BEST. I’ve been pretty depressed for the past several months(thanks hormonal birth control!) and worrying my moodiness would ruin another special occasion I tried to keep it low key.

Last night at half seven a car picked me up to take me to my mystery destination; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. It was sweet because it was the first ‘fancy’ place we ever went for dinner after we got married, I appreciated the nostalgia.

Despite having said no gifts, he got me a present;

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Pearls from Tiffany&Co. he even had the clasp replaced, silver instead of gold because of my allergies. I had mentioned a few months earlier that I needed to get the vintage pearl necklace I owned fixed. It’d been sat in a drawer for several years broken, and tbh I don’t even know if they’re real pearls. He’s so thoughtful and such a good listener.

It wasn’t a TOTAL surprise because I had, completely by accident, discovered the receipt from Tiffany&Co. while cleaning a few days before. It didn’t say WHAT had been bought, so exactly what I was getting was still a mystery!

The day before Valentines I had rushed into the West End to find SOMETHING so as not to arrive empty handed. It wouldn’t quiet measure up to ANYTHING from Tiffany’s but I wanted to get him something! I had already cheated slightly and ordered PERFECT MATCH chocolate matches from Choc on Choc after I had seen them online, we have MATCHING MATCHSTICK tattoos and my inner romantic cheese fiend couldn’t resist…

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…but I wanted something else. He had mentioned needing another pair of sweatpants so I braved the Nike store and picked up a pair of Jordan sweatpants. Not satisfied with either of those I played my trump card; home made gifts! I made him a Valentine. I hadn’t made him one since BEFORE we were dating. Back in 2011 when we were only just starting a friendship I made him a card where I illustrated a anthropomorphised tree holding a bouquet of flowers and a heart shaped card that read ‘Single on Valentines? It could be worse! Be glad you’re not an ENT!’ …because the Ent-wives… you know? I told you I was a nerd. You were WARNED! I was going to follow that Valentine up with an ‘adult ENT-ertainment’ joke but drying a stripper Ent-wife pole dancing was way too complicated. After several failed attempts I went back to the drawing board and came up with this;

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… on theme.

Dinner was lovely, I drank too much wine and woke up with a hangover.

I hope you all had a lovely Valentines, Palentines, or Galentines. However you celebrate, or even if you don’t I hope you felt loved yesterday. Just incase you didn’t here’s a kiss from me from last night;

 

 

XOXO Gwendolyn

Goodbye Norma Jean

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Dress from The Seven Year Itch

The absolute high point of the Rome trip was discovering that there was an exhibition of over 300 artifacts including scripts and film props, photographs, costumes, and personal items related to Marilyn Monroe on display at the Palazzo degli Esami. I hadn’t found any mention of the show in my pre-travel searches and had spotted a poster when we first arrived in the city.

Obsessed is not the word to use when speaking about my relationship with Marilyn, in love would be a better word,  it’s not a romantic love, I can barely explain it, just deep down I know her. I know I know her.

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To scale copy of her hands in cement.

I have had two psychics and an clairvoyant acquaintance tell me, all on separate occasions and without previous knowledge or prompting, that I was her in a past life. I so want to believe this, and part of me really does. It’s the only way I can explain what I feel about her. Being a Libran though… the other side of me is still a total skeptic. This is my life though, I believe in magic and science and don’t believe them to be mutually exclusive. Our hands are the same though, same size and we both have the ‘double M’ on our palms.

I’ve seen a handful of Marilyn exhibitions, and have seen a few of her personal items on display in various collections and museums around the world, this however was by far the largest I had seen… also the most upsetting;

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From the get go I felt uncomfortable, the website for the exhibition chose a photo of Marilyn with her ex-husband Arthur Miller(who she married June 29, 1956, after converting to Judaism) who not only wrote about her in his diary saying he was ‘disappointed’ and ’embarrassed’ by her. Arthur Miller is shit, fight me. I rank him at the top of the list of her SHIT HUSBANDS just above Joe DiMaggio who was violently jealous(he broke her thumb one occasion and was known to be physically and verbally abusive), and tried to force her to end her career and be a ‘good Italian wife’, which failed obviously and they divorced. DiMaggio was painted as a saint; inside the exhibition one panel praised him for how loving he was and how he had organised her funeral… it didn’t mention he banned and forbade nearly anyone from coming, including Marilyn’s closest friends. It didn’t mention him as an abuser, it didn’t mention any of her partners flaws or failures.

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Dresses from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes/Prince and the Showgirl

I shouldn’t be surprised, the collection itself is owned by a man, and men can’t begin to understand the woman she was. She was complex; brilliant(almost entirely self taught having left school very young), a poet and writer, she was caring, she was political, she was a feminist, she was vibrant, but she was also sad, and trying to heal traumas that had left deeply wounded. Men were often her ‘saviours’, seeing themselves as knights in shining armour and her as a beautiful conquest or prize, not the supporters or carers or lovers she truly needed. To them she was Marilyn Monroe; the star and the sex bomb. A pretty little thing who’d risen to fame and stardom because of her looks and sex appeal. Not Marilyn Monroe, a woman, fierce and self made, a woman who had come from NOTHING, less than nothing, and over come so much and fought and worked so hard to be where she was. To them she was just the Bombshell Blonde…

 

 

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Prescription written the night before her death(murder).

There is a depth of beauty and a mystery to Marilyn that I can’t put into words. I feel I know so much about her because so much of her struggles and her feelings are like my own; unloved, abandoned, not fully understanding people, what motivates them, feeling like an alien or a caged bird.

I was holding back tears the entire time I was inside this exhibition, partly of joy, partly for sadness, and partly for rage.

Goodbye Norma Jean.