Table For One
The most important time is the time you make for yourself.
Does the prospect of a day, or even an evening alone, give you the blues? It can certainly be daunting, and it is surprising how terrified many of us are of our own company. Unfortunately, in these current surreal and unprecedented times, for many of us, there is no choice. But we must all keep positive, and find ways of living life in a different way, at least for the time being.
So let’s be creative and design a special event. I call it a “Table for One”.
Plan your dinner table as carefully as if you were planning to entertain a lover, or a girl or boyfriend.
Even in the kitchen, set the table with a nice cloth, your good china and glassware, a small vase of flowers, and some candles. Lighting is very important to create the right ambiance. Turn off those overhead lights, and switch on low-level lamps. Think of the trouble stage designers take to light a set. Your room is the set, and you are on stage!
The menu should be short, and simply delicious (see some of my favourite recipes). And there is nothing more enticing than a glass or two of good quality wine to accompany your meal. Even better, how about half a bottle of bubbly as an aperitif?
Go and soak in an indulgent bath for twenty minutes. And, as you would if you were entertaining, you should dress up, or at least make some effort. Pick a pretty dress from your closet, or for a guy, a crisp fresh shirt or comfy stylish loungewear. What you wear will set the mood for the evening.
If you are a classical music lover, you will have chosen an evening when a good programme is to be broadcast. Or perhaps you are keen on politics. Pick an evening when there is to be an important debate on the radio. But don’t give yourself indigestion!
After dinner, leave the washing up till tomorrow. You will have plenty of spare time for that. Definitely no chores! Settle down on the sofa with an exciting new novel and some of your favourite music. Catch up on a recorded TV series, or perhaps read that book you have been promising yourself you would read when you have time. Proust “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu” comes to mind.
Whatever you choose, the evening must be enjoyable!
The alternative to your solo after-dinner entertainment is a “Virtual Party”, very fashionable at the moment. Get on FaceTime or Zoom with several of your chums. They are all at home!
But, beware of your image. FaceTime is unforgiving. It requires as much preparation as Norma Desmond for her close up in “Sunset Boulevard”. Everything on the screen is exaggerated!
Grooming is key. For women, light makeup. For men a smooth chin or a trimmed beard.
WAIST UP DRESSING
The art of looking good on top, while comfy, below.
As always, my advice is “less is more”. Simplicity is the name of the game.
Fling on a brilliant colour scarf to add instant pizzazz to your plain top, or go for a statement necklace or earrings – bling jewellery in moderation, over a colourful blouse.
Black and Navy are a little harsh. Think instead of pinks, blues and greens. Avoid jazzy prints.
I would always recommend guys to wear a crisp white shirt. But these are not normal times. A white shirt against a magnolia wall might wash you out. Now, maybe the time to discover pastel shirts, T-shirts, or sweaters.
Do not face the screen face on. Everything on the screen is exaggerated. You need to hold your head at a slight angle, and your chin up. Otherwise everything takes a downward direction!
Finally, the most attractive thing you can wear is a SMILE!
At the end of the evening, and after several drinks, you will be happy to go to bed and drop off. You will not have suffered the effects of loneliness or self-pity, and you will wake up the next day feeling refreshed and positive.
Have a nice evening!