Tuesday, March 14, 2006


How easy it was to forget, when one is living in a country where men increasingly address you as 'mate' and you're more likely to get a door slammed on you than held open.

What am I going on about? International Women's Day was on March 8th. Apparently in many countries it's a national holiday.

Ah, the mimosa...I feel an Italy nostalgia attack coming on...

There was mimosa everywhere that day, the symbol of I.W.D.

I have a very strong memory of guys on Vespas with the step through platform covered in mimosa, and those funny little 1960's vans you only see in Italy (or in the old Pink Panther films) with branches of it spilling out of the back. Men all over the city were carrying armfuls of the stuff and handing it out to girls and old ladies alike often accompanied by 'Congratulations!' Congratulations and yes, acknowledgement. For being a woman. What? It blew my mind and of course I'd never heard of it before. Because in the U.K, not a whisper, not a mention of it. 99% of the population don't even know such a day exists.

I'm not going to wax lyrical about chivalry or gallantry being extinct, packed away in a tatty Globetrotter suitcase along with Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and Frank Sinatra. Nor am I going to bang on about unequal pay. Or even the fact that I have lost count of the number of times I've helped another diminutive woman with a large suitcase up a flight of stairs on the underground, after watching dozens of men barge past her tutting at the obstruction she's causing. If it contained Cary, Gregory and Frank no wonder it was so heavy.

But really, how is it that actors like Hugh Grant can make a living out of portraying the archetypal English love interest? Where is this awkwardly charming, well educated, honest, honourable female appreciating chap? For that matter what happened to high tea, eh? And pocket watches?
Well chaps, seeing as you don't care about celebrating us we will celebrate ourselves. We will belatedly toast ourselves with mimosa's of the liquid variety. And God help the person behind the bar if it's a man.

***N.B the barman didn't know how to make a mimosa. I believe it is the simple addition of fruit juice to Champagne? But because he, the one who is paid to make cocktails didn't know, we found ourselves having trust issues. So, cursing his incompetence, and indeed the incompetence and untrustworthiness of men in general - because that's the kind of mood we were in today, we ordered margaritas instead. And they were good.


Anonymous said...


I'm anonymous and given your last post-- I've decided to log back in. So glad you opened the gates--


Bombay Beauty said...

I'm glad it's not just me. Throughout reading your post on IWD I was thinking only how wonderful it would be to celebrate women by passing out cocktails to them throughout the day. And this would not only be an act of selflessness, since men always imagine that when a woman is slightly tipsy something good is bound to happen. (Translation: good=jump into bed with the man plying her with drink.)

To celebrate all the women out there, woefully late, and to inspire the men:

2 oz orange juice
3oz Champagne (approx)

Pour orange juice into a collins glass over two ice cubes. Fill with chilled champagne, stir very gently, and serve.



Lola is Beauty said...

Thank you BB, I thought it was orange juice but I got confused as it's sometimes called bucks fizz isn't it? Rather unfortunate since the 80's pop group of the same name tarnished it. Mimosa sounds lovely, bucks fizz sounds super naff.
Must say I'd be more likely to accept a sprig of mimosa than a cocktail from a stranger, unless they were very respectable looking like you!

Anonymous said...

P.S. Wait *blinks in puzzlement* all british men aren't just like Hugh and Colin Firth?

What are you saying?!