Greetings from Aus: Jungle Prints Q

…… but by the time you read this I will have been back in Montevideo 24 hours, unpacked, re-packed a much smaller bag, and enjoyed 3 days in Buenos Aires watching the Davis Cup semi-finals in which the Argies wiped the clay court with our Aus team, who played dismally – that’s all that can be said about their effort. While it was no real joy watching our team get beaten, there were other sightseeing and cultural experiences to savour, and when I down load some of the textile snippets I picked up at yesterday’s San Telmo markets, I will begin showing them on the blog.

Today’s textile note therefore must relate to this photo taken a week ago in Australia, and brings to the forefront a style question that has been bothering me for a while. Apart from anything else you may note about my ‘style’, I must confess to being quite a Jungle Print fan…. and my current ‘holdings’ include this pictured jacket with jungle cat print in black on steel-grey background; I also have several scarves, head gear for most seasons, socks, a summer shirt/coverup; in our living room are several chairs upholstered in JP; I use a checkbook cover printed in JP, and have tweezers, scissors and toothbrush featuring JP’s on the handles; add a candle, some paper serviettes, quite a few under- and night-wear items, a range of gift wrapping papers and tissues, and probably several other things I just forget right now) Some of these have been deliberate choices, some the thoughtful gifts of others who know I like JP’s.

Showing perhaps my longest wearing and most often used JP item: the photo shows Yours Truly, poised above the state line NSW/QLD at Tweed Heads, where I was visiting a sister for a couple of days before leaving Aus to return to Uruguay. The jacket is black and grey jungle cat-printed polyester plush, lined with showerproof fabric; it crumples down into a double handful, and despite maybe 8 or 9 years’ wear shows almost no sign of wearing out. I must say it is the best US$29 worth I ever got from one of my fav. haunts, an outlet mall in northern Colorado near DD’s home.

Jungle Print style question: will they ever go out of fashion, or have they gone and I’ve just not noticed? (I hate to be too far behind the times – but the last time I looked in a fabric shop I noticed some there, and furniture stores have yardage or upholstered pieces in stock) After we enjoyed some wonderful antique shops yesterday and especially one carrying only art nouveau and art deco stuff – totally gorgeous – DH said to me “So when did AD go out of style?” Without actually knowing my history of design very well, I don’t know that it has ever ‘gone’, but think it has morphed into the clean lines of very modern design and imho, AD antiques go wonderfully with drop-dead modern. I am wondering if Jungle Prints in general will enjoy the same long run – I’m sure a neighbour of my mother’s about almost 5 decades ago had some kind of jungle or zebra print in her living room – she was a very chic, paris-influenced interior deorator, and lived in a house I always loved – which I now understand was a very high quality example of Art Deco architecture – which of course went way over the head of an 8 or 9 year-old Australian, but I always knew I just loved it. Perhaps it was partly her theatrical sense of decor, too….

What I am reading is currently “Letter From America” an anthology of some the best scripts from his very long running weekly radio progam in the US by the late Alastair Cooke, whose progams I often heard and always enjoyed. I am way behind with the Economist but my last but one is featuring a review of the current state of thinking and knowledge on global warming, and so far very interesting. After almost a month of peramublating with very little internet time or availability, and very little reading time, I am looking forward to re-establishment of a more normal routine.

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