Monday, February 29

today I played hookey from school

to attend a textiles masterclass, by the fabulous Faye McNulty who makes slinky devoré fabric interlaced with thermodynamic ink that glows when you get warm. She also made the massive batik sails for Yinke Shonibare's ship in a bottle that sailed across Trafalgar Square last year and  she makes wild runway creations for the fashion shows.

I have come away clutching recipes for acidic dyes and discharging dyes and instructions for how to burn through the threads of a fabric to reveal an underneath layer. Also I made some very pretty pink and green silk fancies

in cat news
If I leave the valise on it's side with the sections unzipped the cats can slide between the layers and hide while also peeping out to watch me knitting

Wednesday, February 24

Hell is other people

    The Divine Comedy - is a firey road trip where Dante and his friend Virgil  go to various places and look at bad naked people on fire. The Botticelli drawings depicting the story are currently on in the Courtauld Gallery and it's brilliant, the link doesn't show the best pictures which is why I've had to make my own version - I particularly like the one where bad priests have been plunged head down into boiling pits of pitch with their feet on fire - Dante has spotted one that he recognises and is trying to say hello.

I also enjoyed the image of soothsayers being punished for trying to look into the future - they've had their heads pulled off and put back on - backwards.

Mainly I've enjoyed how Dante deals with all the horror: at the beginning when it's really monstery and flaming he's clearly screaming like a girl but he soon gets used to it all - here he is in purgatory which is not as bad as hell, this is where people can atone for their sins, like this proud person who can't stand up properly because he's bent under the weight of lots of rocks - also the man is naked, there's nothing to help the chaffing so he's probably really uncomfortable, but there's Dante again trying to make chit chat.

[this blog looks better if you view the web version]

Tuesday, February 23

When I see this shop

I'm near the school and it's time to get off the bus

Friday, February 19

we have a testicle restaurant

in Stoke Newington, there are photographs of testicles and Tripadvisor reviews stuck in the window, this review is my favourite: 

Went with my husband as, despite having lived here for nearly 4 years, we'd never been and we wanted to try the famous testicles. Busy, buzzing atmosphere on arriving. Husband ordered lambs' testicles. I, being less brave, ordered the ribs. Told there would be a 30 minute wait for testicles so ordered humus with lamb.

Lunchtime talk

the venue had a big notice outside announcing the theme:


I was standing next to this notice preparing for ushing duties - the young man on the reception desk came over,  stood next to me, looked at the title and said

What's that going to be about then? 

I said that I expected there'd be quite a bit of discussion about Iceland and he looked surprised

Thursday, February 18

I bought some adult lady shoes

to go with the smart trousers that I can zip up but not sit down in

I made myself late for a meeting yesterday because I was looking for the perfect sock to go with the adult shoe and the smart trouser to attend a serious meeting today

I got home and rehearsed the outfit but decided that the look needed more practise in a less risky arena so I went to the meeting wearing 'normal me' clothes

and it went really well  

Wednesday, February 17

It's Reading Week

click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, February 16

I returned to London

with a valise which turns out to be perfectly cat-sized, the black cat has taken ownership - the tortoiseshell sits on my knitting waiting until the black one has to go off for a drink or food, then she nips in and tries to assert squatters rights until chased off in short shrift.

The cat thing is to distract me from remembering that I was in Bristol yesterday getting a tooth pulled - last time I had a tooth out it was a lady dentist who just reached in and clicked the molar as though it was a light fitting and I barely noticed. Yesterday it was like the man was uprooting a redwood. By the time the grinding and scraping stopped I had gone transparent with shock.

I'm surprisingly normal today, back in London I took the 211 to Chelsea. On the Kings Road I walked past a man wearing a huge blue macaw on each shoulder like a pair of mardi gras epaulettes. He was quite a small man and the parrot's heads towered above his. He was walking in a way that indicated he hadn't noticed the birds but quite hastily and with his head thrust forward and furtive as though he thought someone was following him

Sunday, February 14

pink breakfast

in honour of Valentine and in anticipation that I'd be spending today unromantically, I took myself out  yesterday to the most-expensive-cafe-in-the-world where I ordered as many pink things as were available on the menu

and several not-pink-but-tasty things

The Trousers of Despair

I brought some 'optimistic' trousers to London:

i) they are smart and will be good to wear if I get invited to a smart interview 

ii) they fit me too snugly, my aim has been to make that aspect less so

also,  the hems need taking up - today I set out needle, thread and the Trousers which now fit too snugly for sitting down

Saturday, February 13

My current neighbourhood

serves the most expensive breakfast in the world in a building site

cakes in the local market - freshly baked this year

Friday, February 12

I was ushing last night

Ben is one of my work colleagues, a slim man, height-wise he's in Tom Cruise's neighbourhood. Before our shift started I followed him upstairs to the staff kitchen noticing that his trousers were so tight that his bottom looked like two boiled eggs in a small hanky. Also his shirt was straining at the seams.

The staff kitchen had been recently used for a brainstorming team meeting - the white board was headed up with the title 'What am I going to achieve this Year?' - positive assertions were scribbled all  over the board, I focused on the section that read:

eat more healthily

make quality time with my family  

get more exercise

learn to make sushi 

smash global capitalism

While I was reading, Ben had been shaking together brown powder with a litre of water I watched him glug down the mixture and when his eyes had stopped watering he said

I'm on a Plan - I have to eat a meal every three hours, it's like ten chicken breasts a day and I'm finding it really hard to get that much inside me

The event was a talk called Why Has Everything Gone Wrong? - when it got underway, we closed the doors on the audience and sat in the foyer watching as someone filled the venue's Twitter feed with porn

Thursday, February 11

for breakfast

the cats share a pouch of what looks like shredded rubber suspended in gravy, the cats usually lick the gravy off the rubber, their tongues flicking the rubber pieces around the floor where they dry into sharp little shards    

this  morning Wheezy got to breakfast first and wolfed down both bowls without doing the licking  thing

within a minute she had regurgitated bits of rubber and gravy all over my computer cables

Wednesday, February 10

I went for lunch

at a vietnamese canteen near school, it's best known for dishes of steamed savoury buns, little dumplings and spring rolls   

two asian women bustled in and sat next to me - a very quiet one and a bright shiny one who was talking loudly ...  

this is so great that we didn't have to negotiate we both just knew to come here it's like we can read each other's minds ... my god i've just bought tickets to go back to hong kong  - five thousand pounds and that was cheap ... we've booked into the four seasons which is very nice but it'll be like a staycation because we're not planning to do anything ...

there was a bit of quiet as they looked at the menu then the quiet one spoke for the first time

do you want to share ....  

and was interrupted

of course i don't want to share i'm a very greedy person

Tuesday, February 9

the elephant in the room

might have to be made visible for a moment

I've been at school for a few months now and have barely mentioned it that is because I'm struggling with some aspects of the experience and have been waiting for understanding to descend from the heavens:

i) there are a lot of special words which sound like Real World Words but in School World they mean something different - also the meaning slides around depending on who's using these words (abduction, affordance, agency, alterity ...)

ii) anything I might wish to say should be validated by referring back to a select group of European gentlemen - this is an example of what they call Cultural Capital*

iii) I need to learn how to 'strongly assert my position' - I may need to get a sex change before I can be this certain about everything

iv) it's all about arguments and a lot of the time the things being argued about aren't very interesting

* on the upside my Nosey Parkering is sanctioned by this sort of education - forming part of my newly acquired Cultural Capital

a cashmere charity shop jumper

was too tight and being similar in colour to my own flesh, if I put it on, I looked like a raw furry sausage 


I unknitted it and dyed the yarn and yesterday I finished the reknitting

It's like wearing a warm boggy cloud

Saturday, February 6

me and Karl Lagerfeld

the day I met David Bowie's sort-of-landlady a man had taken my navy jacket leaving me with his black blazer*.  

[for the full story follow this link and if you're reading on a mobile device I think this blog works better if you can see the web version]

My reefer jacket was a good fit and was an everything jacket, it worked with my skirts and trousers and meant that while I'm in london I can survive with that jacket and the rest of my wardrobe in a small holdall.

The big black blazer makes me look as though I'm two little boys standing on each other's shoulders in their fathers coat - which isn't the look I'm going for.

I searched the charity shops to find a replacement and after a couple of days settled on a black-and-orange baseball jacket which is great for when I'm feeling a bit varsity but not when I'm concerned about mutton-and-lamb issues and certainly not if I'm trying to look like a grown-up.

Yesterday on my quotidien charity-shop trawl/quest for a neat navy jacket I came across a neat black coat, the sort of thing Karl Lagerfeld wears. I tried it on and looked just like a pale version of Karl Lagerfeld then I looked at the label and it said 'Karl Lagerfeld'

it's black and it doesn't go with my skirt, or any of my clothes except jeans and I'll have to go out and buy a different sort of jeans that work better with this coat but it's Karl Lagerfeld and I'm surprised by how nice it feels so I keep it on and pay for it at the same time as a lady buying a crochet pot holder - she made an impressed face and said


and I said

Karl Lagerfeld

* I asked the bus company to help trace the man and effect an exchange but that hasn't worked out

I took a melon

and, in expectation of an evening spent politely toying with a salad, I ate a hearty supper before setting out to the 'air supper' invitation.

Turns out that when my friend says 'it'll be nothing much' she means that she's baked a big dish of kedgeree.     one of my favourite things!!!

Friday, February 5

I've had a supper invitation

I said lovely can I bring something?

Sure but we don't normally eat in the evening unless someone's coming round so could you bring something that's practically non-existent - like fruit?

this happens most nights

click image to enlarge
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