I promised days ago to write about some of the websites, shops and blogs that people have got in touch to tell me about. That’s just the way of things. My chemotherapy has finished but I still get very tired, forgetful and overwhelmed. I do what I can each day and the rest gets shelved. Maybe you are having the same experience. Don’t give yourself a hard time. If we do our best every day then every day will be as good as it can be.
But I am glad to be getting around to it now. Many of these small businesses have been started by people who have themselves had cancer and found that they couldn’t get hold of the clothes, hats, wigs or beauty products that they wanted. So I think it is terrific to support them in their efforts.
Emilienne couldn’t get on with wigs at all and found that her scarves kept slipping off her head. So she started Bold Beanies. She makes simple cotton beanies in a range of bright prints and plain colours. I can imagine a Bold Beanie working very well as an under hat on a cold day like today. One could wear the cotton beanie beneath a woollen hat, then take the heavier hat off so as not to get too hot indoors. This would also be the perfect yoga hat. One can have the beanie customised with a slogan or logo. CHEMO CHIC would be the obvious one. Or how about I'M BALD UNDERNEATH THIS BEANIE?
Emma & Pickles is a hat business created by Emma Way and, I presume, her dog Mr Pickles. Annoyingly it goes under the web address chemochic.co.uk. I’m not sure if Mr Pickles designs the hats or tests them our or just chews them up. In any case, he is doing an excellent job because the hats are lovely. Being a bit of a drama queen, I particularly like the ‘Grace’ in bright ruby crushed velvet. Emma has also written a very sensible and straightforward page about wellbeing during chemotherapy.
Another Emma, Emma Howarth, wrote to me about her clothing line Me & Em. Emma’s mum went through chemo some years back. Their strap line is ‘Comfortable Luxury’ and I can see why. I can imagine lounging around in the chemo daycare unit in her stretchy palazzo pants and a hoody, munching nonchalantly on a chocolate éclair. She also has some gorgeous cashmeres. I love the ‘polo trapeze dress’ and the cashmere ‘scarf cardigan.’ Add a pair of fur-lined boots and one would be pretty much set to see out the next ice age.
I received another parcel from my mum. It is plastered all over with stamps from a series called ‘Australian Legends’. The stamps feature the faces of prominent Australian actors. To call them ‘legends’ might be pushing it a bit. One could hardly say that Nicole Kidman falls into the same category as, say, the story of Uluru. Nevertheless, they are a successful bunch. As well as Nicole, there is Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett. Inexplicably, Russell Crowe features on two different stamps. Mel Gibson seems not to have made the cut. I gather that he is Scottish anyway.
Inside are two bottles of skin cream. One is labelled ‘Scalp Cream’ and claims to soothe irritated scalps, eyebrows, ears or noses. The other is labelled ‘MSM Soothing Cream’, which claims to help reduce inflammation. The bottles are adorned with photographs of cows’ faces. It seems that after a reader wrote from Texas to suggest that I try Bag Balm, my mum became totally enthused by the idea of bovine beauty products. She searched the internet for an Aussie equivalent and discovered Moo Goo, the company behind these products. I will be sure to try them and let you know if Moo Goo turns out to be the best thing since Eve Lom or Crême de la Mer.