30 January 2008

A splash of colour, a flash of culture

In keeping with the previous theme, I have been donning my little red riding hood in recent weeks. Except it is more like my little red, three-quarter-length sleeved, shawl-collared, woolen, vintage coat. With brooch and jaunty scarf. One has to move with the times, doncha know.

Anyhow, there is nothing quite like sauntering or, indeed, moseying about the streets of London in my striking sartorial cocoon, matching the double-decker buses and telephone boxes in A Very British Manner. Tightly belted at the waist, hands plunged in pockets, I am ready to take on any wolf that should happen upon me in the metropolis.

It is a coat made for those impromptu and oh-so cultural outings. Mooching in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery on a Sunday for example. Glorifying at the gold-flecked embellishments adorning Virgin upon sweet-faced Virgin, Christ upon crucified Christ. Staring agog at the transporting, beautiful, characterful visions that I sometimes fall into within my subconscious. Me defeating the devil, a la St Michael. Me flying with the beautifully dressed angels...

And so must the coat takes me from the Sainsbury Wing to Sainsbury's. But in style.

Glorifying at the lurid chocolate bar wrappers covering biscuit upon crunchy biscuit, caramel finger upon chewy caramel finger. Staring agog as I wait in the megalosaurian queue and try to politely ignore the overly friendly or sinisterly silent staff. This commercial institution holds almost as many wonders as the mystically blue-toned wing of the gallery. Two long custard doughnuts, dusted with icing sugar and bursting with glistening yellow goo, for £1.09 (Why that 9p? Why such an awkward figure? So as to use up all those pesky coppers of course. The genius of these doughnuts knows no bounds) are just one of the gems bejewelling the harsh-lighted cavern.

Gallery to keep my mind intelligent, alert and open in order to be prepared for wily wolf attacks. Supermarket to fill my basket with sustaining goodies to take to 'Granny' (or myself, or poverty stricken students of my acquaintance). Little Red Woolen Coat. That's me.

22 January 2008

Dashed Hopes

Frances Hodgeson Burnett may have been wrong. It is possible that not all girls are actually princesses.

This has come as a short, sharp shock, especially to one who's favourite Disney is Sleeping Beauty, has been classically trained in the art of the curtsey, and is in possession of a tiara.

But I break this sad news after the discovery of something horrible beyond measure: I was sitting on a pea throughout a whole dinner without realising.

Princesses are supposed to be able to detect peas through mountains of mattresses. Yet this one was actually affixed to my derriere and I was none the wiser. I bow my head in shame; I am obviously without the credentials to be a true princess. I lack the necessary qualifications. And have a pea stained ass.

So it's back to the land of peasants and plebs I go, working my weary way out of the fairytale. I may have to consider being a bloodthirsty warrior or woodland sprite instead.

14 January 2008

Literary Links

On hearing that well-known nightclub venue 'Tiger Tiger' being mentioned on the peripheries of my aural awareness, a dialogue began between a well-read, philosophical chap and myself. He mused that there should be William Blake themed cocktails available at such a nightclub. Naturally, thought I. But what would these drinks consist of?

After applying my mind, I have come up with one or two ideas. Squid ink (of the sought sometimes used in posh spaghetti) could be used as a mixer, signifying all the ink spilt on Blake's poetry and beautiful drawings and pictures. Another ingredient would have to be communion wine, representing the heavily religious aspects and overtones of all his works. It may not taste particularly delicious, but it would be intellectually nourishing.

It was then said (and I would like to stress that this remark was not made by me. Heavily stress) that Rudyard Kipling themed drinks would contain the blood of natives and have to be drunk from a rhino horn, or hollowed out talon of some sort.

This then lead me to other literary links along this line of thought. For instance, Tolstoy is apparently 'fat' in Russian (information courtesy of The Guardian) which takes a little away from the romanticiam of the figure, I find. Also, something that I retained when reading Rousseau's Confessions was that he was keen to see the Gentlemen of Spoon. These were a group of Catholic noblemen who in 1527 swore to eat the people of Geneva 'with a spoon' (a little like the Sheriff of Nottingham's suggestion in regards to the practical matters of eating Robin Hood's heart) and wore spoons round their necks to remind them of this oath. I think this is brilliant. Apart from the cannibalism of course.

Although not in keeping with the theme, another thing that I was captured by in that particular text was that a woman of Rousseau's acquaintance, Madame de Vercellis, broke wind when on her death bed, then pronounced 'Good, a woman who can fart is not dead'. These were her final words. Rousseau commented that she died like a philosopher.

3 January 2008

Heard the one about Herod?

You may be forgiven for thinking that I had been abducted by aliens in recent weeks due to lack of postage on the old blog. In actuality, I narrowly missed such a fate. It so happens that a certain motor-savvy friend of mine has an amazing automobile (which goes by the name of Pablo incidentally) in possession of properties associated with alien life forms. It has, no word of a lie, windscreen wipers that sound exactly like Daleks.

When the rain falls it is like a Dalek attack. Much more exciting than any Christmas edition of Dr Who. Even though they managed to blag an appearance from Kylie this year.

So, after avoiding being 'exterminated' in my near death experience with aliens and wild driving in the Northumberland countryside, I thought I should kick off this new year we have stumbled into on the blogosphere. Make it official like.

I shall start this year, however, with a glance to the past. The dim and distant past. A past so far back in history that the word 'blog' would no doubt have met with a chorus of 'Bless you!' if uttered in public. Picture the scene...

A nativity play narrated by adults, with a troupe of adorable children miming the traditional tale. Heart warming and comforting, with bevvies of rosy-cheeked angels and shepherds with stuffed sheep and tea-towels on their heads. Then, behold! A figure of terror. A figure of impressive gravitas. A figure of creative ingenuity in regards to make-up application. My six-year-old mother as Herod.

I love that she is playing, of all the characters that populate the sacred and holy story of Christ's birth, the murderous baddie. One of the cruelest figures in history in fact. And, on all accounts, with great aplomb. Apparently nobody realised it was dear little carrot-top Christine. She could have been a star! We could be living the high life in Hollywood right now. Instead, of course, she took to all the make-up and costume and organisation and creativity of it all. Dash that controlling community spirit of hers! If only she had a more selfish prima donna streak. Fame and fortune would have surely beckoned.

Stories of the past are often fabulously entertaining in retrospect (even from a renowned less-than-sparkling teller of tedious anecdotes) and no doubt, when looking back on the year that is currently laid out before us, there will be many a funny fable to reminisce over. As well as embarrassing hairstyles, outfits and pictures documenting all our monumental mistakes. Bring it on I say.