Mirror Magazine
1st October 2000
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We are very happy with the response we've been getting for our 'Clothes Line', but sometimes there is just not enough room to hang all the items we get during the week. So if you don't see yours this week look out for it in the coming weeks. And meanwhile, please keep writing in about all those annoying, intriguing or uplifting experiences or ideas in not more than 350 words.

A smile costs nothing!

How much would it cost you to give a nice friendly smile? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Not even a cent. Then why is it hard for people to smile at their fellow human beings? A smile to you may seem worthless, but to some it's worth more than a million rupees. When you smile it may be just another smile to you, but to the person who receives it, it could be much more. You could have just brightened up that person's day. You can get tremendous pleasure out of smiling with a person. It is the kind of happiness that money cannot buy. For some people I know smiling is like torture. I presume they consider smiling costs a fortune. I sympathize with them for they will never be able to enjoy the pleasure you get out of a simple smile. A smile brings you closer to mankind. A smile can make you forget your troubles and look ahead with hope. You can give happiness to others and lift your own spirits up as well. So why not try it? It costs nothing but to the receiver it means a great deal. 

Umesha Dissanayake 

Never ending story

Love ! It's that one thing we all desire and the thing which we all dread because of the pain and suffering that comes with it! It might it be a teenager or a person in his mid twenties we are all longing to love someone or to be loved. But kicking this off is a tough job. Well that's where the flirting comes out. Every one I know loves doing it but when it comes to that special person it's a bit more complicated! Sometimes the guy gives out the signal, sometimes the girl, so then it's time to take the next step smile,talk or wink and if it works out, both of them connect. 

But most of the time the girls play hard to get. That's when the guys feel like they are left all alone in a deserted island! Hence for us we will have to wait for another ship to come and rescue us or gather our sorry selves and dive in for a better catch.


Whose fault is it, anyway?

All of us girls seem to have weight problems these days. Everyone is dieting and exercising and lamenting over extra pounds. When you see a fat person you would not dare say she'a fat because it's mean and rude and insensitive. I agree completely. When an overweight person complains about the way she looks, all polite, nice people instantly tell her she is being absurd and make her feel better. Very sweet, because there are people (though very few) who give overweight girls a tough time.

What fascinates me though, is how while being overweight is a problem, it's ridiculous to consider being skinny a problem. Every time you meet a thin person you make it a point to tell her just how badly she needs to put on and how skinny she looks, with that terrified look completed with the head shake. No, but that of course is not rude. It won't upset her because only fat people get offended. The skinny ones deserve to be called 'scally wag', 'broomstick' and 'toothpick'. The overweight people are the first to tell them that they are anorexic (we forget our problems when another is in trouble). How amusing to think that it is actually very hard, almost impossible for some people to put on weight. It must be their fault.


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Confessions of a love-letter writer

By Norm de Plume
I've written over 50 letters during the last few years of my school life, love letters that is. 'Some romantic,' you may think. Did I mention that they were to at least 20 different girls? Hold on, I'm no philanderer either, I was merely the 'official' love letter writer at school.

Unless there was such a person at your school too, you are probably going through strong emotions of shock and outrage right now. But if you think of it, it is quite reasonable. If you lack the words to tell your beloved how you feel about her, why not use the services of someone who is (ahem!) more skilful at penning those soft words and phrases? Mind you, if you think that this is just 'typical guy behaviour/thinking', perish the thought. During my retirement (i.e once I left school) I met a couple of girls who had been in the same profession, so it works both ways.

Being the official love letter writer had many advantages to it. For one, it meant that I found out the latest on the love scene before anyone else. 

Usually, I shared this information - being the good samaritan I am. Of course there was the occasional hush-hush relationship, which I dutifully kept under wraps. But whoever said that knowledge is power certainly knew what he was talking about. Not that it was all smooth sailing. For instance, take the time when two letters got mixed up. It was a bit of a rushed affair, since the messenger was getting late for his tuition class (where he met the recipient). Anyway, due to his constant whinings, I mixed up the letters and the envelopes. 

Needless to say, the next day all hell broke loose. Apart from the minor fact that two relationships bit the dust, I came quite close to having my bone structure rearranged by my 'clients'. Quite unfair, especially as they weren't even nearby to correct my mistake. For the budding letter-writer out there, be warned ! , the job is not without its dangers.

Still with the hopeful writers out there - variety may be the spice of life, but in this profession it is absolutely essential. Love letters are supposed to be private, a secret between writer, sender and receiver. But some of the more generous recipients are known to share. So somebody just might get wise to the favourite phrase you used once too often, and things might get rather messy. It happened to me once, for one girl got wise to my style. Thankfully her 'friend' was able to convince her that guys in love tend to think alike.

Language issues too posed problems. My specialty was writing in English, and there was a Sinhalese specialist too. But sometimes the guys felt that a letter in the 'Kaduwa' would be far more impressive. However, a letter in English was absolutely essential if the object of affection studied at one of the 'posh' schools - I'm sure you understand why. Anyway, the net result was that occasionally I had to write in English for guys who are more familiar with their native tongue. Okay, but where's the problem? The problem arises when they actually MEET. The girl happily prattles on in English, but the guy gets lost somewhere after her fifth syllable. Whenever I foresaw such a case, I used to advise my 'client' to look interested and interject several 'hmm's 'ah's and 'really's into the conversation. But this clever ruse was usually discovered sooner rather than later. Pity.

Some guys actually used to contribute to their letters, and came up with rather nice Sinhala phrases at times. Unfortunately, once translated, they didn't sound too poetic. Being a professional, I didn't like to spoil my creations, and usually suggested an alternative. But those with absolutely no poetry in their souls insisted on direct translations. Well, it's their letter after all.

Not only did the whole thing provide great entertainment, it was definitely a learning experience for me as well. By the time I retired, my figures indicated that the average teenage relationship lasted approximately 2.35 letters, or between three to four months, whichever comes first.

It feels good to come out into the open with these things - and my thanks to my 'clients' who allowed me to publish my experiences. But if you're the idealistic sort, don't be too disillusioned - you can still find the real thing out there.

Feet Feat

Basic care will get you far

Neglect your health and it shows on your face. Neglect your feet and it shows on your face too. Sadly, one of the most useful parts of the human anatomy is also one of the least cared for. 

Feet too can attract as much attention as pretty hands. 

Feet are covered for most of the year, so the appeal of smooth, pampered feet is often forgotten. Open sandals or the barefoot look on the beach can reveal a lifetime of neglect. It is never too late to start looking after your feet. 

As feet grow, they keep changing their shape and proportion. 

Fashions can be a big help or hindrance to healthy foot development. Very narrow shoes and shoes with big heels are extremely harmful. Flat shoes with a wide toe section are better, provided there is sufficient support on the instep. 

Sometimes people get fungus growth attacking the feet. The fungus can be contracted in places where warm, moist conditions lower skin resistance. All this needs medical treatment as the infection also tends to spread if not detected at an early stage. 

Basic foot care involves foot cleaning, trimming toe nails and application of some cream according to the weather. 

After an exceptionally tiring day, paddle your feet in cold, salted water. Dry your feet after bathing, particularly between the toes. 

While buying your shoes wear the shoes and walk up and down in the shop several times before deciding if they fit properly and are comfortable. 

You should be careful to never poke at corns or hard skin with a razor, nail file or other unsterilised instruments. 

Tickle your feet

Striking a cord 

While discussing where babies come from with Miss Eight, she said: 'My belly button came from the eucalyptus cord'. I think she meant umbilical cord.

Piercing eyes

Upon seeing her aunt wear contact lenses for the first time, Miss Three excitedly exclaimed: 'Aunty, Hilary, you've had your eyes pierced!

A plum of a job

Wondering when the plumber would show up, Master Four announced: 'I hope it's soon and he brings some plums with him, I just love plums"

Exercise for the feet 

Exercise 1 

Strengthen ankles: Sit on a stool or the edge of a bed. Raise your legs and bend your knees, clasping your hands round your knees for support. Now rotate your feet first outwards and then inwards. Repeat this action for a few minutes.

Exercise 2

Strengthen toes and arches: In a standing position throw a light cloth like a handkerchief in the air and keep it there by kicking with alternate feet. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 3

Strengthen arches and balls of feet: Sit on a stool or on the edge of a bed. Place a cylinder can like a hair spray on the floor. Put your right foot on the can and roll it backwards and forwards from the tips of the toes to the heel. Then use your left foot. Repeat five times with each foot.

Exercise 4

Strengthen toes and ankles: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your back straight. Clasp your right foot with your right hand and the left foot with your left hand. Then raise left and right foot alternately in a scissor-like movement. To be repeated ten times.

Exercise 5

Strengthen feet and ankles (also increase circulation): You should stand at one end of the room. Take four paces on tip-toe, four on your heels, four on the inside of your feet, four on the outside. Relax for a second then walk backwards in the same fashion. Repeat five times.

Exercise 6

Relaxes feet and legs when tired: Lie on your back with your legs up against the wall. Try to form a right angle with your legs and your body. Stay until you are comfortable and feel refreshed.


Good feet are essential to natural beauty. At the same time if the nails are cracked and the feet look dry the looks become dull. 

Well-groomed toe nails and smooth healthy feet make for an attractive appearance. 

Follow this step-by-step pedicure and in less than half an hour your feet will be worthy of display. Remember before you begin to get all equipment together.

You will need: paper tissues, cotton wool balls, nail clippers, emery boards, orange sticks, nail varnish, varnish remover and massage cream. 

Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable position on a chair or on the edge of the bath mat, with your foot placed firmly on a stool in front of you. Male readers can give themselves a pedicure too. Now follow each step carefully.

To start with, you have to soak your feet in a wash basin with some lukewarm water. In it add a little shampoo or a liquid soap. 

Keep your feet for 5 to 10 minutes in that soapy water. Wipe your feet with a towel then scrub them with a pumice stone. Put your feet once again in the wash basin so that the hard skin is removed. Now we can trim the nails easily, because they have become soft.

Now we go stepwise

1. Nail Trimming: We should always keep the nails short. Long toe nails may look good but often cause problems for the feet. To keep them short we should have a pair of nail clippers and clip our nails straight across.

2. Nail Filing: We should always file the nails in the same direction. To file the nails we should use the fine-grained side of an emery board. This emery board helps make the edges smooth.

3. Hard Skin Filing: The emery board again and with its rough grained side make the rough skin smooth.

4. Foot Massage: Rub a generous amount of vitamin or massage cream all over the foot in smooth strokes away from the toes, on top and underneath. Wipe off any surplus with a tissue.

5. Cuticle Massage: Place cream on each toe nail and work it into the cuticles with an orange stick, easing the skin away from the nails.

6. Polish-Base Coat: Place a small piece of cotton wool in between each toe to separate them. Then apply base coat starting with the big toe.

7. Polish-Top Coat: Apply nail polish in three distinct strokes, working from the base of the nail up and outwards. Re-apply after 10 minutes.

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