Arrived at Annabel’s country house, or should I say estate -- having committed one of the world’s most egregious sins. I was, I admit, drinking from a single-use plastic water bottle I’d purchased after customs. And while I was still being introduced, the bottle made a large plastic crinkling noise—the crinkling noise heard round the world. Every head turned toward me—the girl who was single-handedly going to take down the planet. I waited for someone to shout check her bag for plastic straws but it didn’t happen. Now in full panic mode, I was grateful for the aluminum chlorohydrate in my deodorant. I might die of cancer, but I was going to die hydrated and smelling great.
With barely time to pop into a tub, cocktails were being served in a room filled with animal heads and skins and even a wildebeest rug. I said nothing. Mostly because, well, what does one say? And because surely there was some free pass for things procured prior to 1992. Like my water bottle. Okay, maybe not my water bottle, but you get the idea.
A plain woman with a disapproving face sauntered up to me before I had a chance to get my first gulp of champagne. “How long have you known Annabel?” she snapped. To which I replied, “Since the golden age of aerosol hairspray.” (Jeez, it was a joke!) She wasn’t sure. She didn’t laugh. And three agonising minutes later she was gone but right then I decided we can never be like them, those shrew-faced harpy green police—devoid of humour AND reason. This was going to be a long night! And yes dear reader, I know I have to get to the beauty blog but all of this I have to share.
I’m pretty sure it was no coincidence that I was seated next to Trevor – just starting to grey, totally gorgeous and totally fun. But better than that—his job: he sells rain-forest wood. I thought he was joking or that the joke was on me (Miss BPA) but it really IS his job. Fascinating actually, I’m sure in some way necessary and TOTALLY UN-PC. Freedom at last! Obviously we could (and soon would) talk about ANYTHING. It was kind of like being naked—well you know—the foreplay to being naked.
Soon enough things got trop chaude between us and we realised we needed to rejoin the dinner party, boring as it was, so we decided to count the number of times someone guilted, or expressed guilt, over anything remotely climate-related. Absolute torture. Like counting hats in church and they seemed to want only to find more ways to torment themselves. I wanted to say, you know there’s Catholicism or Judaism for that… but I didn’t, because I’d had quite a lot of wine, and I was already in the plastic doghouse.
But making the guilt comparison got me to thinking: what if? (No I know it’s not even an if) but if we get married in churches and baptise our babies whether or not we believe in an afterlife, then why not take the safe route with the climate? You know, only show up for Palm Sunday and take on a 10 percent commitment to live like it just might happen? I’m not talking about going all Vanessa Branson and living on an island with no cars, no plastic, and with everyone having to drink peaty water from sustainable jugs, I just mean let’s approach this logically.
Stress, ladies, is our biggest beauty concern, and what brings us stress? People forcing their unfounded and illogical demands on us and calling us “deniers” if we don’t comply. So rather than fight, I’m embracing the peace that comes from living in harmony with the disharmony they create. And I’m going to look gorgeous doing it.
So here it is. First and foremost: water. We must have water, when we want it and as much as we want. That’s not negotiable. So if you find yourself arriving at the house of a newly minted green-nik, remember to tear the label off your bottle before you arrive (which suggests you’ve used it more than once) and immediately ask: where can I fill this up? Now you’re part of the solution. Oh, and try to recycle the label—there’s your 10 percent.
Day Two: exfoliation. Pop into your hostess’s kitchen and ask for a potato. Peel just the skin leaving most of the white and place strips on your face for 10-15 minutes or until it gets tingly. Word will get back to your hostess and your response will be, “I can’t see the need for unnecessary products when nature gives us such gifts”. I caught Trevor’s eye when I said this and yes he stifled a laugh. And then complimented me on my dewy skin. I don’t know if one of Annabel’s seven gardeners composted the rest of the potato but I’m just assuming they did. And that they walk to work and use ladybugs as pesticide.