Freckles Rock! Shirley Valentine, wabi-sabi, @limmster and yes a cycling analogy…

Where does a blog post come from? Sometimes it’s something burning that I have to say or sometimes simply from a snippet of conversation or tweet.

This post falls into the latter category where I agreed with Limmster that Freckles Rock which got me to thinking…

There’s an cosmetics advert on the TV at the moment that shows 2 eggs; a freckly egg and a beautifully smooth ‘flawless’ egg; with the basis of the ad being that if you use the cream in question that it will turn your freckly skin beautifully freckle-free!

At the end of seeing the ad I’d say, I prefer the freckly egg.

The cosmetics industry has a lot to answer for, lying and pressuring girls into thinking that freckles are imperfections. There are 2,410,000 results on a Google search for ‘how to hide freckles’. Girls, don’t hide your freckles. Be proud of your freckles. Freckles Rock!

Even as we age, each wrinkle and crease is forced into being ironed out by miracle creams or botox, remember Shirley Valentine:

Shirley: “You kissed my stretch marks!”

Costas: “Don’t try to hide these lines . . . They prove that you have survived.”

I hear the cynics saying that he just said that to get Shirley into bed but hey the sentiment is true.

The Japanese have a name for seeking the beauty in this way Wabi-Sabi: wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. For a great (and more detailed explanation of wabi-sabi CLICK HERE.

So where am I going with this? With the Celtic Tiger well and truly dead (thank god) we have time to reflect upon our relationship with consumer goods, do we need the most sparkly new thing or can we reuse or up-cycle something that is older that has more intrinsic beauty. Does our architecture need to be as smooth and pristine as a model’s skin or can we create something more beautiful using recycled buildings or materials?

OK, you’ve done well getting this far, let’s conclude with a cycling analogy. A while back I bought a new carbon-fibre bike from Dolan-Bikes and yes it is truly beautiful (and fast):


My Dolan Bike

But compare it to my bike from the 80’s, the bike that has history (and miles) and many a story to tell of the races that it’s been in, the places that it’s traveled to and the crashes it’s been involved in. There are chips and rust spots, the paint is flaking in places but it has wabi-sabi. A timeless beauty from the single man that hand-built the frame; to the Italian components lovingly designed and manufactured, to me rebuilding the bike and then the love and joy of being able to ride it again. Even the proportions, angles and geometry have a classical elegance to them. This is wabi-sabi:

Ken Bird bike

My Ken Bird bike.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love my Dolan but I have an equal love for the bike that has the blemishes.

So let us embrace life, freckles included!

Limmster is a fellow blogger and also long-listed for the Blog Awards Ireland, her blog is at and highly recommended (lovely photos & comment)

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