29 May 2009

Bank Holiday

Ahh, the wondrous images conjured by South Wimbledon Tube Station... So evocative of a bygone era. Very 1940's. War glamour - red lipstick, silk stockings, the clatter of heels, curled and coiffed hair, the promise of a soldier in uniform offering a light for a long, ever-so-white cigarette. The setting for many a period film, for many a fantasy.

Then I rock up with two cohorts. Carrying various items of crockery.
A prettily dressed leggy lady, lumbered with a huge hiking backpack strapped to her intrepid explorer frame. A smart-shirted young man in desperate need of a toothbrush, and armed with a ladle (brilliant defence against tube muggers - bop, bop, bop on the head).
And I. In my pyjamas. Tucked sexily into socks. Socks which don't even belong to me. Sporting yesterday's make up, a floral scarf at my throat, and all topped off with a slightly sickly smile at the situation.

The large chap across from us - eyes closed, huge shiny purple origami bird in his hat, with a rune-decorated staff with a crystal attached to the top in one hand, two silver balls which he fondled contentedly in the other - no doubt thought we could easily be recruited into his cult, being, as we were, tube-travellers of a certain ilk. An ilk of eccentricity.

Thankfully we escaped his clutches, clattering crockery as we minded the gap. Then home for a shower, teeth clean and a change into silk stockings and fresh coat of lipstick, ready to await a 1940's war hero.

23 May 2009

Anorak Afficianado

A good spy never gets caught.

Yet I will be forever caught up in Harriet the Spy. And unashamedly so. She well and truly captured my imagination and entrapped my fancy with her net of alluring espionage.

She is my ultimate heroine (and I realise this seems to change on an almost daily basis, but Harriet has remained a stalwart in the enduring coolness department - she also has nostalgia on her side) and I want to be her.

She is, first and foremost, a spy. And a writer, an observer, a wit, a freethinker. But, and this is the crucial point, she is a child. The best aspect of all.
I love, love, love the Harriet the Spy film. I love the amazing garden Golly takes Harriet, Sport and Janey to, with its junk sculptures and clouds of soapy bubbles. I love the umbrellas that Harriet and Golly are holding when sitting out in the rain just before Golly's tearjerking departure - large and red for Golly, small and flowery for Harriet. I love the boy with the purple socks. I love the dancing vegetables in the winter pageant (Harriet is an onion), complete with the silver centrepiece of a solo gravy boat ballet. I love Harriet's fashion - her iconic yellow anorak, all the block primary colours she wears, the stripes of her t-shirts and the bright red of her trousers, that her denim warrents the epithet 'funky', and how she is an inspiration for Tomboy Chic - I want access to her wardrobe. I love how Harriet, Sport and Janey roll around like maniacs on the steps outside their school, laughing and shrieking like hyenas with unrestrained mirth. I love how Harriet has a tomato (to-may-toe) sandwich every single day, squelching the tomato and mayonnaise between white bread each morning (to the extent that I went through a phase of doing the exact same thing back in the day - slurpy and delicious!).
I love how childhood is presented. I love that they are real children: curious, creative, confused, cruel and capable of friendship beyond any adult comprehension.

I love that the three friends draw felt-tip tattoos on the bottom of their bare feet and print them on each other's soles. I love this so much that I am getting a tattoo on my foot to mark my 21st birthday - still a child at heart! A child like Harriet.

17 May 2009


This week I have been mostly...

Questioning: 'Who is Alex Chen? Who is Alex Chen?'

9 May 2009

Dream a little dream of me...

Twas the night before Chaucer, when all through the flat, inner psyches were stirring. And weird ones at that...

Dreams are a funny old business. Ominous, foreseeing, inward eyes of DESTINY.
Or just the crazed ravings of over-active imaginations and the result of too much cheese/sugar/weetos before bed.

C had dreamed that if F wrote about a particular tale in the exam (one which muses on dreams in fact - oh, the bitter irony!) then she would fail. Along with all of us. Basically, it would be a code red situation if F mentioned proud cocks, the wily fox, or any priests associated with nuns. C decided to withhold this dream from F until after the exam. Thankfully F did not wax lyrical about the tale of doom, so are skins were saved!

All the more disturbing, however, was G's dream. We, according to the cogs concealed within his fine cranium of concern, were all in the exam hall, about to get down to business, when a sniper entered and started shooting everyone. Dramatic. I, alas, was first to go, having been used as a human shield by C. (A very foolish choice of human shield I must say, not being the most substantial of students. The long frame of F would have proved a much better method of defence. Not because she's broad or anything...) Anyway, G survived. He would, it being his dream and all.

So bloodshed, carnage and, ultimately, death were foretold. No wonder G looked a bit peaky first thing.

What grieved me the most, however, was the fact that G only attended F's funeral in the dream. We know where his true loyalties lie... He said it wasn't up to much though. Mine would have been an absolute p-a-r-t-a-y, so his loss.

And anyway, this comes from the chap who once had an almost sex dream with Charlotte Bronte. She was about to take off her dress but G was like, 'No. Charlotte. Don't.'