31 July 2009

On this, the anniversary day of (oh, so sweet*) sixteen years of the Kirklings becoming a tripartite coterie, I have been mostly resembling Jesus of Nazareth moonlighting as a clown. A look that is perfect, I have discovered, for constructing castles from candy, wrapping records in lagoon-coloured cellophane, and celebrating adolescent dottiness.

Tomorrow I think I shall channel a slumbering Victorian maidservant given experimental license with the ragbag of a seventies art student who is nostalgic for the Summer of Love.

I find days are given more focus if one has personalities to play with and costumes to dress in.

*Sweet in the way that teenage boys use the term? As in, 'Wanna come play Fifa mindlessly for thirteen hours solid, only breaking in order to piss on the loo seat and eat a packet of Tesco Value Jaffa cakes?' 'Yeah, sweet man.'
Or, 'Dude, that is one sah-wEEEEt-ah piece o' ass, hot damn!'
It is possible that sixteen years ago the word may have connoted something infinitely more innocent and cherubic. Those days are gone.

22 July 2009

My Summer of Buzz

If ever you have an afternoon to dispense of, venture up to Parsley's study, commandeer the white leather executive chair, settle yourself amongst the random computer parts and techno memorabilia, and look endlessly through old photos on the family PC. Years and years of highs, lows, and abominable haircuts, all saved in a handful of metaphysical files.

And I have come to the conclusion that I was a Prime Bore. All pictures of me in the second stint of my adolescence are of my forehead. And a pimply forehead at that. Due to my nose being in a book, or newspaper, or instruction leaflets on 'How to be a Morose and Tedious Teenager'. Jeez, dull as dishwater. With the odd snap or scowl thrown in.

Sofas and sleeping bags are snuggly, but there comes a time when one must break out of these comfortable cocoons.

So this summer - my Summer of Buzz - I have been doing the butterfly jive.

I rave to techno Greek/Jewish folk music in tents, clad in wellies, with my mother. I wear stripy orange 'clown pants' (much to the chagrin of too cool Dopey-Doobie). I get tattoos from tea-drinking wiggas, who have posters of masturbating naked ladies on their bedroom walls. I spontaneously make banana bread pudding, with extra spice. I hoy wellington boots over my head. I sit in the rain in yellow and pink culottes, twirling a kitsch kitten umbrella. I watch Wayne Sleep overact in fishnets and leather pants at the Kit Kat Club, and fantasise about living my life as a Cabaret, old chum. I paint my nails green like Sally Bowles. I drink Amaretto Sours, made with ice crushed by frying pans. I dab glitter on my face and wear flowers in my hair.

And, as is often the case, art imitates life. To wit, this year's Mercury Music Prize nominees. A large proportion of which are girls who PERFORM. Huge, dramatic alter-egos. Glitter, glam, wings, wigs, feathers, other-worldly words, synthesised and distorted delirium. Who will win? The ONLY way to decide is a glitter face-off.

This picture illustrates my point beautifully. A solid foundation of books. (Which should be by no means disregarded.) But the paper lantern lights that adorn the heavens are just crying out to be swung from. Wild revellers and those with their heads in the clouds can drape themselves around the orbs, and flick them on and off, on and off, to create a firefly party atmosphere. A party that you have to invite yourself to. I'm jiving til the small hours this summer.

15 July 2009

I make no apologies for the morbid content of this post. I feel that the following request should be documented in print. Or at least on this frugally-read blog.

Let us not beat around the bush (and why would anyone ever beat around a bush - what does this even achieve? - so let's just not do it). Basically, I want a hologram headstone.

Not right now, obviously. That would be weird. But when I'm dead and surveying all humanity with a wry smile upon my face and a knowing glint in my vacant eye.

Being the modest girl I am, I don't require the likes of extravagant angel adornments or legions of cherubs bedecking my final resting place. A simple headstone will suffice. As long as it bears a hologram of myself. That is all I ask. A perpetually winking, grinning hologram of a youthful Anna, doing big thumbs up and pointing 'Wassup? Check me out!' hand gestures. This will cheer mourners and give an air of cheesy kitsch which, in my experience, is never inappropriate.

Hologram headstones make an appearance in the film Serenity. I won't mention who for as I wouldn't want to spoil the 'plot', but let's just say that I'm not sure I shall ever forgive that ginger-bearded genius, Joss Whedon, for killing off a certain character. (Jeez, talk about o-bitch-uary.) Anyway, the amazing hologram headstone that marks where they lie is the least that they deserve. I, like the killed-off sci-fi star, am a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar...
And watch me wink in my jazzy hologram image for all eternity.

8 July 2009


Remember the days of peeling satsumas in the school canteen? Trying to do it in one continuous piece, usually ending up with something resembling a bright orange elephant. Two large ears and long trunk. Or, for those less innocent in nature, balls and cock (oh, how we sniggered, heady on our own ingenuity, however crude). Then throwing it over our left shoulders, filling the air with the strong citrus smell forever associated with Middle School lunches, and it would form the initial of the one destined to love you and be loved...

From satsumas to Spancels. Named after the rope with which domestic animals were hobbled, the Spancel is an old Arthurian folkloric notion. Though it is more of a piseog* than a great magic. It is a tape of human skin, cut from the silhouette of a dead man. Begun at the right shoulder, a sharp knife cuts down the outside of the right arm, round the outer edge of each finger as if along the seams of a glove, and up the inside of the arm to the arm-pit. It then continues to cut down the side of the body, down the leg and up to the crutch, and so on. It cuts until the circuit of the corpse's outline is completed. A long ribbon is thus formed. A slightly more gruesome satsuma peel, as it were.
Find the man you love. Throw the Spancel over his head whilst he sleeps, and tie it in a bow. If he wakes as you perform this act he'll be dead within the year. If, however, he sleeps throughout the whole operation then he is bound to fall in love with you. Simple as that. And they say that the course of true love never runs smooth... It runs as smoothly as a knife through dead man's flesh actually.

If you don't fancy making your own Spancel, there are apparently several in the secret coffers of the Old Ones. Though these are, of course, secret. So good luck finding them. And good luck finding the man you love too. Lets hope he's a heavy sleeper.

*the old Irish for superstition. And my new favourite word.

2 July 2009

Chocolate Smiles

I recently read a fascinating study of social philanthropy - a brilliantly observed feat of reportage of young girls growing up in the colourful, greedy, pleasure-driven western world. I recommend it to any budding student of sociology. And, indeed, to any female who experienced a British childhood in the past couple of decades. And, especially, to those who enjoy a bit of food porn. Cake porn in particular.

This 'study' is Sleepovers by Jacqueline Wilson.

Of course there are the usual 'issues' (a severely disabled older sister in this case) and the token blonde bitch, but these are by the by. The real interest lies in the descriptions of the girls' birthday parties.

They come up with their own themes - picnic party, swimming party, daisy party for Daisy etc - and, most importantly, their own fun, e-number laden party spreads. This is what any child's birthday party is all about anyway. Pool-shaped cakes with blue icing and marzipan figures, three-tiered affairs with each tier being a different flavour, white and yellow Victoria sponge, cut to look like a daisy...

This book has everything: realistically portrayed friendship troubles, girly silliness, a lovely Daddy who sorts out problems, true justice being served, the most amazing literary character ever in the cuddly Bella who is a wee bit dim, completely harmless, obsessed with chocolate and eats ALL the time, lashings of nostalgia for those halcyon party days, and cake. Lots and lots of cake.

So it came to pass that, in honour of my 21st birthday at home, I requested a Candy Castle Cake. The cake of my childhood. The King (or should that be Queen?) of cakes. The cake that my mother shall be eternally remembered for, a legacy she should be proud of. A solid sponge sandwich, coated thickly with butter-icing, topped with ice-cream cone turrets (also smothered in artery-clogging sugar paste) and studded all over with brightly coloured sweets. Chocolate MUST be included somewhere. Or everywhere. And ta da! A feast fit for a Princess. Albeit a diabetes-destined Princess...

And no, it is not an ancient-Greek phallic cake (which they DID make, back in the day) - those are turrets. Delicious TURRETS.

My party would blow all those Sleepover shindigs out the water.

Though it may have trouble competing with this...
I know of a girl soon to turn 21. She is thinking of celebrating this milestone at Ikea. A magical place of flatpack furniture, simple Swedish interior design, the mysterious and wondrous jungle of the basement, platefuls of fries, meatballs with that curious cranberry sauce and, best and most party-appealing of all, infinite lingonberry juice re-fills!
Party bags will naturally include those pencils they have dotted around everywhere that one nicks as a kid, and a Dime bar.
A wild way to mark a birthday. Not even good old Jackie could have come up with something quite so awesome.
The cake will probably be a Candy Kitchen, rather than Castle!