Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anita Roddick RIP

Well, despite my promises it's been a while since I've had time to write anything here (a situation which will change again this week - so folks, let's get that 'traffic' flowing again!). In the meantime - just yesterday, actually - I heard some very sad news that moved me to pop in here and write my own little tribute.

Tony Wilson, Pavarotti and now, Anita Roddick. While all three have, in their own ways, offered me inspiration and moments of clarity, Anita's passing has shocked me most of all.

I was lucky enough to meet Anita when I worked for Women's Aid - a charity working to end violence against women, and support all those involved. The Body Shop worked in partnership with WA, raising funds and awareness, and Anita attended a launch to celebrate the start of the collaboration. From the moment she arrived at the hotel reception room hired for the purpose, she filled the building with energy, joy and sheer exuberance; she was funny, witty and wise, self-deprecating and bursting with ... well, life. "Did you know that The Body Shop has hit upon a formula to banish wrinkles before they even begin?", she said. I, of course, was desperate for a preview of such insider knowledge. "It's very controversial ...", she whispered, taking me over to one side; "And I'm not sure it'll work for you ...". I begged. I pleaded. Were we not all working for a charity, I'd have offered a bribe. Eventually, she shared the secret formula with me - now Anita is no longer with us, I guess I can share it here with you: "If you don't want wrinkles, don't smile. Don't laugh - not once, ever in your life. In fact, don't ever allow a single expression to cross your face. Voila - no wrinkles, ever; not a single one".

Of all her many attributes, Anita's face was one of the most stunning. In tribute to her, I vow never, ever to even attempt to put her wrinkle-free formula on the market.

God bless Anita Roddick - a true original, and a perfect example of a life well lived.