Monday, February 26

The weather was just mad today

I woke to thick blobs of snow rushing at the bedroom window, ten minutes later the sun was out, blue sky, dry pavements. I dressed and walked for 40 minutes down the road during which time I experienced two arctic-blizzard-blazing-sun bi-polar weather cycles

In other news

I'm listening to Portrait of the Artist  as a Young Man read by Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes - it's the ideal accompaniment to a big wallow in a hot bath

Sunday, February 25

The bus stop was by a hairdressing salon

in the front part there were two lime green sofas, in the window a beautifully typographed hairdressing menu offered 'Japanese Straightening' in two varieties along with other, more exotic elaborations.

I was transfixed by a beautiful Japanese woman  reading a magazine, the blonde sections in her black Japanese-straight hair were tucked behind her ears creating yellow triangles, then I noticed the man behind the counter, massive like a Sumo wrestler. Green-haired, his ear lobes had the sort of piercing that makes a really big hole and held what looked like the spooney parts of soup spoons.  Edward Lear popped into my mind at this point, which is why I have illustrated this story with the Dong and his luminous nose

I've had loads of culture this month

the latest was a visit to the Southbank to see the revamped Hayward Gallery and a massive exhibition of Andreas Gursky's massive photographs. Before seeing the exhibition I went to hear Ralph Rugoff, the Hayward's Director discuss the photographer's themes, framing is a recurring theme, he photographs humans and their stuff contained in a series of boxes within boxes; buildings, cars, offices, rooms ... they all have windows - frames through which we can look at the stuff and at each other.

After the talk I went to look at the photographs, on the way to them I took this one - eat your heart out Gursky!

I'm staying in London this month, visiting culture, taking part in an arts residency and continuing my anthropological research on the Thames Foreshore*

There's socialising to do here too. Last night at supper my friends were loudly denouncing Phantom Thread, a movie I'd thoroughly enjoyed, it's about a very British sort of weirdness, revealed in a way that only a foreigner can manage - according to my friends the only thing good about it were the flowers - an element that I had failed to notice.

* The Thames foreshore is the term for the beaches that appear when the Thames is at low tide - lots of people go there, they do beachcombing, walk their dogs, look at remains of boats and Saxon fishtraps - it's a temporary seaside place

Sunday, February 11

Walking down Kingsland Road last week

I heard a man's voice hiss

move your dirty body out of the way  

I was going at quite a clip anyway, it was a broad pavement and he actually couldn't walk any faster than me so we were going along side by side.  I wasn't sure I'd heard correctly so I said


He looked sideways at me and scowled and managed to walk a little ahead of me so I could get the best view of his stained and unpleasant sweat pants.

He was around 30, a lot bigger than me and clearly an Angry Man so, although in theory I'm all for calling people out and standing my ground etc. I figured that this might not end well for me - it was becoming a stand-off - so after walking beside him for just a couple more minutes I crossed the road and we paralleled each other for the next mile until he turned off.

How to defend oneself?

The painter Rose Wylie depicts HRH Elizazabeth First disguised as a piece of furniture to keep attackers at bay. 

On my way back from the Rose Wylie show I visited the Wallace Collection. I recalled hearing a captivating interview with Tobias Capwell the mueum's Curator of Armour and a man with his own collection of custom-made armour - he does a lot of jousting, I remember his comment that one doesn't 'wear' armour, one 'operates' it - it becomes a prosthetic device, I found this intriguing so I went for a closer look.

I found this piece of Lady Armour - also handy for the after-fight Fetish Ball
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