Little rays of sunshine

After a week at home with the flu (the real sort, the doctor said), we'd tried most things.

Home-made sage, lemon and honey drink. Saddle Club movies on repeat. Tissues, brandy, lavender, sympathy.

In transitioning back to normal functionality, there was only one thing for it. Glitter. I know, I know. Glitter seems like it is most at home on princess ponies or cabaret singers but I defy anyone to deny that their spirits are lifted by the sight of even a little bit of it.

What I was after to make me feel better was something totally sensible. Glitter shower gel. I could swathe my whole self in it and head back out into the world covered in little bits of light. At least that was the plan.

But it will come as no surprise to most people with non-flu-addled brains that glitter shower gel is in much shorter supply in Wanaka than haircuts, ski tunes and coffee.

So I had to make it myself. To make glitter shower gel you need hippy soap stuff, coconut oil, honey, glycerine, your uplifting scent of choice and, of course, glitter.

If you don't have the first five ingredients you can probably just use nasty chemical-filled shower gel. But you're still going to need glitter.

Glitter these days, as far as I can work out, comes from four main sources.

There's the natural mica stuff that's been around since Mrs Caveman wanted to put a bit of glamour on to her walls or Mr Mayan Templeman decided to offer something especially snazzy to the gods.

Then there's glass glitter, which I'm picking isn't the stuff my glitter eye shadow is made out of. Otherwise, just saying, ouch.

Glass glitter mostly comes from Germany, which proved a problem for the Allies in World War 2.

So a New Jersey cattle farmer, one Henry Rushmann, filed a patent to transform plastics into glitter, founding a company that is still in business today. Glitter, rather than weapons, every time.

That man had the right priorities.

Henry Rushmann for Foreign Secretary! Although all that glitters is not good.

The Glitterati, activists who took to showering anti-gay politicians with ''glitter-bombs'' in in the States, have been accused of terrorism, threatened with six-month jail terms and four-figure fines.

Worse, they've divided opinion on whether glitter trivialises important issues or just looks fabulous and makes a point at the same time.

Although our recent election wasn't sprinkled with fairy dust, we've had our own case here, when Germaine Greer got glitter-bombed liberally at a book signing in 2012.

She's not had a good run: arrested for swearing in the '70s and littered with sparkles 40 years later.

She must think we're one crazy little country.

Where to from there?

It's just as well the Queer Avengers owned up to the stunt: glitter is apparently super-traceable and so is often used by forensic experts to get clues on crime, and there would've been heaps of evidence twinkling around.

The fourth kind of glitter, by the way, is made by oven-roasting salt or sugar and food colouring.

Perhaps that's the sort that should be thrown over your nemeses to help them see another facet of the light.

Because you don't really want shards of plastic thrown anywhere near sensitive facial orifices.

That kind of thing could hurt almost as much as constant discrimination.

I don't think I'm drawn to glitter from a desire to shock or a lurking, latent flamboyance - although since I've never really had a Pink Phase or a proper rebellion, it's always possible that my obsession is the tip of a glittery iceberg.

As a child I was scared of glitter because of the Snow Queen, who turned a boy's heart to ice with a speck of something shiny.

That and clowns, who always looked sad under the glitz.

But now I am all grown up, I'm happy to use those mini fractured mirrors to reflect a little light into the corners of my life.

Either that or I'm inappropriately iridescent and still flu-delusional. You decide, while I put on my Dorothy shoes and take Sparklewings the unicorn out for a ride.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter