We live in a zoo.
David is always complaining that there are too many legs in our house.
We have five kids, four of our own and an extra chap who we are blessed to have living with us. We have two big dogs. BIG DOGS. Olympia, a distsy flat coat retriever exported from England, with a frightfully grand pedigree, her father belonged to Sting (yes, I know, we should have called her Roxaaaaanne) and Samson, who we found abandoned on a neighboring island, as a small puppy. There was a lady with gigantic watermelons (she was also selling some) standing in the shade of a palm tree. We asked her if the dog had an owner or needed rescuing, she said we could have him if we bought one of her water melons. So we did. As we drove off with our fluffy puppy we called out "Thank you for the dog" she replied "Dat ain't my dog"
We also have a very grumpy parrot, with a twisted beak, who has to travel to Nassau by boat once a month, at vast expense, so the vet can put him to sleep and shave his beak back (we have no vet on our island, or dentist, or pediatrician or dry cleaner or newsstand or ...........
And then we have Batman and Banger. The oldest and the youngest of menagerie, respectively.
So here's the strange bit about the glamorous world of modeling...its not at all glamorous. Not At All.
Well certainly not when you are reeeaaaallly old like me.
It normally involves lots of traveling, arriving late at night and jet lagged. You are up by 4 am, having a your hair mercifully pulled, curled or straightened, whilst someone else pins clothes tightly around your tummy, which you are sucking in for dear life so the client does not notice you've had four kids. Although its harder to suck in your thighs.
And then you're loaded into mini vans and driven to another destination, as dawn is just breaking, and even if you did have a moment to take in the scenery around you, all you actually do is eye the competition who are, inevitably younger, and have just been on a Sports Illustrated cover, dressed only in a thong.
So now you are really frightened.
And probably hungry.
And cold or very hot. Remember winter collections are shot in summer, and summer in winter, which is why on last weeks shoot I had toe warmers pressed against my nipples to try and make them behave beneath the flimsy silk shirt.
The day starts this early as we need to catch the light. A photographer spends their life trying to catch the light, then there is too much light, then we are loosing the light. Its very rare the light is just right. This means, as the model, you just stand there, blankly, waiting for the light. Waiting.
My blackberry is out of my reach, while we stand waiting for the light. Torture, for a Crackberry addict like me. I can see it is flashing. Has one of the kids been attacked by a shark? Has the SUGAR MILL burnt down? The possibilities are endless, if only I could have a teeny little glance at it whilst waiting for the light.....
"Lights up" The crew jump into action, the stylist fiddles with my hem, my hair is tussled one more time, the other model slips her arm around me and we lightly skip forward with our gleaming perfect teeth, best friends. Except my teeth are not so gleaming and a little bit of air brushing will have to happen. And possibly not just on my teeth.
"Light's down" We stop again. Now the creative director worries the watermelon colored coat is all wrong. The really important people now huddle in a corner discussing the coat, because it's a really important coat. We begin again. But I am no longer wearing the coat, MY watermelon coat is now on the Sports Illustrated girl. Best friend indeed.
After a few more hours of happy skipping, my toe-nipple warmer slips out, and as I bend down to retrieve it I hear a ripping sound......