Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gadjo Dilo's Pecadillos #6

As my mother used to say at this time of year: Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonders where the birdies is! Our neighbour, the retired cobbler, a delightful eccentric and spender of all his wife’s housekeeping money on books giving him the Latin name for every single denizen of the animal kingdom, will know precisely. Springtime is also of course when a chap’s thoughts turn to meditation upon the opposite number, so it’s time for another appreciation of womankind. Strange as it may sound this predilection of mine is utterly genuine, though I think it's quite a harmless one, but then I would wouldn't I.

HEADSCARVES

I had this postcard on my wall for several years when I lived in Denmark. I was deciding, gradually, that the {expletive deleted} bint with whom I was in love perhaps wasn’t going to be my life partner after all and that I should seek a different type. I imagined this postcard lady as a peasant, perhaps East European, but she didn't have to be, she could have been South American, or have been any woman brought up under the tyranny of a totalitarian regime, perhaps Natasha or Joely Richardson*, and had met it with clear-eyed stoicism, sweat, great cheekbones and an ever-present scarlet headscarf.

Former British PM Jim Callaghan said (rightly) that Coronation Street's Elsie Tanner was "the sexiest thing on television", but it was largely co-star Hilda Ogden who took on the headscarf-wearing duties. Clearly it was felt Elsie was already attractive enough for your average British man but that Hilda needed a little boost. Hair curlers were also added and the rest is history, with men all over the country rushing home from pubs in order to catch a glimpse of her before hurriedly bundling the wife up the stairs. Despite their best efforts the producers could never generate the same enthusuasm for Ena Sharples' hairnet.

Isadora Duncan was famously killed by a headscarf: it caught in the wheels of the car in which she was riding and strangled her. Vanessa Redgrave (again) played her in the film and what great job she did. As far as I'm concerned this function of headscarves only adds to their femme fatale allure.

Pentecostal women in Romania wear headscarves which look very pretty and set off nicely the glory of their hair - perhaps negating the point of wearing them, but that's beside the point - especially if you're like Homer Simpson and nurture an attraction you barely understand towards ladies such as pious neighbour Maude Flanders.

Everybody loves Mrs Dilo's aunt Florica :-)


* Joke. I greatly admire Vanessa Redgrave, who has provided a couple of my most transcendent moments in the theatre.

29 comments:

Nikos said...

Is Aunt Florica cooking some nice dumplings?

Gaw said...

Now you mention it, headscarves are incredibly sexy, aren't they? I've always thought this lady in Dr Zhivago was the outstanding example of transcendent beauty and now I realise her headwear played a part. Rita Tushingham looks good in one there too.

worm said...

headscarves - the female cravat?

Lulu LaBonne said...

*Rushing out to get headscarves*

but first need to know what sort of beer Aunt Florica is brewing

Scarlet Blue said...

I bet this lady will do it for you Gadj. And she's loaded.
Sx

inkspot said...

Your Redgrave remark wasn't a joke Gadj you know. Not for me anyway.

If Isidora Duncan hadn't died so unusually would we remember her? I mean, what else is she famous for?

Eryl Shields said...

I have a whole box of headscarves somewhere, I must search it out and see if I have the cheekbones to go with them.

Aunt Florica looks adorable, and I'm rather taken with her biscuit tin.

zmkc said...

The dangers of head scarves:
http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/family-sees-mum-strangled-by-headscarf-in-freak-gokart-accident/1798112.aspx

Gadjo Dilo said...

Nikos, she could be, mate, she could be!

Gaw, is that Julie Christie? She was a dish, wasn't she. I don't understand the power that this item of apparel has over me, but I've decided just to enjoy it and not analyse it too much.

Worm, or cravat - the male headscarf!

Lulu, it won't be beer she's brewing. I reckon Nikos was on the money with the dumplings - I'll get her to save some for you.

Scarley, phwoarwwww!!! I bet she uses curlers too.

Inky, I have to tread to carefully where politics is concerned, mainly 'cos I don't know much about it. But I do admire Ms Redgrave's talents enormously. Isadora Duncan is supposedly the Godmother of Modern Dance, but I reckon it often looked like the sort of thing that had been going on in psychiastric hospitals since time immemorial.

Eryl, get 'em out if the box, duckie, get 'em out of the box! She is indeed totally adorable. I hadn't noticed the biscuit tin.

zmkc, ouch, poor woman (and her family).

No Good Boyo said...

Maude Flanders had a couple of outstanding assets, as Homer noted on at least one occasion. She's nothing compared to the simmering pot of erotic promise that is Mrs Krabappel.

worm said...

by the way gadjo - talking of old dancey things - have you seen josephine baker's banana dance? :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmw5eGh888Y

Gadjo Dilo said...

Boyo, ah, Mrs Krabappel, now we're talking. Though Mrs Crabtree off of South Park also had her moments, as I recall.

worm, classy entertainment - makes me want to go out and buy some bananas!! (By the way, have seen my banana dance? Hang on, I'll just switch the webcam on...)

Brit said...

I'd go with Mrs Krabappel, but I'd be thinking of Marge.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I hadn't thought of headscarfs that way, but then I hadn't seen the lady in the postcard before.

I think it's mean that Aunt Florica's made to do the laundry in such small bowls.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Brit, Marge is indeed a lotta woman. I think this may call for a post on the Top Ten Cartoon Cuties!

Kev, I'm glad that you like her too :-) True, but Mrs Dilo remembers aunt Florica (and every other woman in the village) washing clothes by banging them on rocks by the river, so the bowls actually represent progress.

Pat said...

As a teenager in the forties I wore a headscarf as a turban - without the curlers.
Scarlet's photo is interesting -I've always thought HM could wear a head scarf with brio.
So tragic the loss of Natasha Richardson.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Pat, you were a turban in the 40s? Were you working as a spy in Istanbul? Aye, her death hadn't hadn't actualy registered with me - what a pity, and with two teenage kids as well.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I tried to get in touch with Liam Neeson to offer him comfort on my ample bosom but they wouldn't put me through.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Daph, you could do a lot worse than Liam Neeson. I particularly liked him in one of his earliest screen roles in "Lamb". Poor chap. We all need an ample bosom from time to time.

Camilla Jessop said...

Before you get too smutty, AmpleBosom is a very fine internet retailer of garments for the top bottoms of the fuller figured lady. They save the feelings of those of us who hate shopping where our purchases can be sniggered at by spotty youths.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Camilla, darl, last time we were in your neck o' the woods we went into AmpleBosom and snapped up a load of remaindered items there. Thrifty to the last, Mrs Dilo got to work on her sewing machine and turned them all into underwear for me.

No Good Boyo said...

Both the Griffin women off Family Guy do things to me. That's the dream, anyway.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Boyo, oh yes, Lois Griffin is the Real Thing, and if she can tolerate her slob of a husband then even people like us are in with a shot.

婷妏 said...

什麼樣的學習計畫並不重要,重要的是你是什麼樣的人。......................................................

Susan said...

No one's mentioned Brigitte Bardot...
And, if you're looking for one (a head scarf) we've plenty of beautiful silk examples at ShopCurious. Expecting a rush of orders!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Susan, I know this heresy but Bardot never really did it for me. Expect the orders sooner than you think - I think 婷妏 has already placed one!

The Jules said...

So, when your other half says Auntie Flo has come to visit, she really means it . . ?

Headscarves don't really do it for me.

I prefer ladies wearing socks.

Just socks . . .

Gadjo Dilo said...

The Jules! Ah yes, the IT Crowd sketch, a classic, and I hadn't thought of that. Socks, absolutely - worn in her ears so she can't hear the ridiculous things one says when one is on the job...

AdMeyer said...

Now look at that! I hardly remember having made that postcard, yet here it is. It was made for promoting my painting (not headscarves)(apparently I almost kicked off a fashion trend). This painting I made when I lived in Copenhagen was more thought of as a russian version of little red riding hat, having WOLF! in russian letters written next to the girl. You can see it here in my Shop. If you like, you could attach the link to the picture.
Best wishes
Christian