29 January 2010

Waiting for Rainbows

I was held captive by the Washing Machine Man. Or rather what the Washing Machine Man said. You must be both IN and AWAKE for the next few washes. To make sure it doesn't EXPLODE.

So I stayed in and listened to the whirr of the circulating colours (which will all end up pink. Fact) and the rain outside.

I woke to the rain this morning. And I had dreamt that my usually suited and scarved attic-dwelling friend was wearing a lacquered anorak. Coincidence? I think not.

Also, merely days after leaving the creepy kitten umbrella at an Islington Public House that had both chandeliers and disco balls. That kitten had it coming, wearing its lime green jumper and staring, staring at me with its cat's eyes that followed mine incessantly through all weather, whether it was pouring cats and dogs or not.

This is all a sign I should sail to Cherbourg. In an upturned umbrella, across the Channel. To a technicolour sixties world of pastels and brights, co-ordinated wallpaper, carnival apocalypse, fake snow, helmet hair, 'maybe the happiness is making me sad', and where Catherine Deneuve et al sing everything, including ps and qs, Francois et Francoise and postmen have cameos of Bonjour ou Au Revoir.

And umbrellas reign supreme among practical yet pretty accessories. It's a hard life running an umbrella boutique. Poverty can strike if precipitation does not. So I shall sail to Cherbourg, wear a mini-dress, marry a jewellery salesman with a 'tache, have another man's baby, backcomb my beehived hair, and buy many an umbrella. All in french melody. Jolie. And in harmony with washing machine whirring.

23 January 2010

A dash of silly

Back to usual FRIPPERY. Declared with triumphant fanfare arm-movement. 'Frrrrippperryy!'

Because being Romantic and Square is Hip and Aware.


It should be in a conservatory,
you in a white frock with a red rose in your hand...
and a violin playing in the distance,

and I should be making violent love to you behind a palm tree.

[ Laughing ]
Poor darling. Never mind.

Because that is how Maxim de Winter thinks best to propose.

22 January 2010

You know me less constant

On the bus.
A long day. Left before the sun rose, before the commuter train had passed, staring at scrawled numbers and papercuts and Romantic Theatre handouts throughout the daylight hours, then a final recycle run later...I hop...
Onto the bus.
It's dark, I'm dog-tired, dead-eyed, bus-fugged and glazed. Looking forward to a night of spoken-word, songs, basements, booze and bunting...
Sylvia Plath starts to speak.
She's all iPod poems and plumbs, mixing Massachusetts with a housewife drawl.
In the glass in front of my seat I see myself. My outline is clearly defined, the colours are mostly there, all details visible. But a blank where my eyes should be. Well, not a blank, but a smudgy space of grey wool. Some man's jumper beyond the glass. Where my eyes should be.
As Parliament Hill Fields begins, as I head toward Kentish Town, I gaze into the wool. Unspooled? No, woven.
New Year. Loss of a child. Older only child lives still. All seems prevalent, relevant. As I gaze into the wool.
It is New Year. No longer a child... I'm older, and living. Living in capital letters. In bold, printed, not-grown-up-or-joined-up handwriting, so the child is not forgotten.
Indigo nimbus, cellophane balloon. Nonsense words of colours, mists. I want the balloon to pop. The grey to turn to indigo. The wool to be unspooled. So I can see my eyes.

14 January 2010

Are you sitting comfortably?

Stories, in my opinion, should mostly include coloured trumpets, sausages in heat, musings on Thursdays, and the fact that Chaucer's father was a vintner.

And they should have a character named the Yam Man, who offers people yams on the bus and advises passengers against selling their pretty necklaces.

And they should be peppered with anecdotes, like knocking small children over in the street with the Norton Anthology of Shakespeare, then placing them back on their feet with one deft movement.

And they should have a fairly lengthy Bible passage wedged in, preferably from the Book of Revelations as this links to Middle English texts and lists jewels.

And they should be based on true stories of criminality, describing fumbling with locks in a wordy way, rife with innuendo.

And they should be accompanied by beer and cushions and obstacle courses of crossed legs and trendy people from Peckham and cellists wearing floral dresses and choirs who bide their time.

And they should be read from a fairy-lit pedestal, megaphoned to all, spreading mega-fun.

This way, bedtime stories can only lead to better dreams...

8 January 2010

Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud

We are going to make an album. A Concept Album of Ambiance.

To make this album, we are going to record both sounds and noises. Yes, both Sounds and Noises. It is a radical new movement.

The track list will be as follows:

Crackling Fire
Passing Night Trains
Breath of a Sleeping Person
The Sea
The Motorway
Birdsong (though not woodpigeon)

And the bonus track, approximately fifteen minutes after the last listed recording, will be Caterwauling. Literally a wailing cat. It will shock.

We will travel around the country wearing headphones and carrying all our electrical equipment. We shall be mostly silent as we go about recording these elemental Sounds and Noises. And of course a documentary crew will be following us. The creation of such an album is perfect documentary material. Intrepid artistes on location. The cameras will capture our patience and perseverance as we quietly climb trees to birds' nests, waiting for them to sing. They will watch us as we daringly loiter on the edge of a busy motorway for seven hours, meticulously sorting the Land Rovers from the Lamborghinis. They will film us scorching our fingers and heating our cheeks as we successfully pick up the subtle and fluid flickers of a flaming log fire.

And they will gaze on with morbid fascination as one of us prods a stray cat in the street, whilst the other bravely holds the mic up to its snarling features.

All in the name of Art.

This will be most high-brow and make us Indie STARS. And, on the back of this and as a side project, I shall start up a band called the Carotene Receptors and write songs about organic growth, vegetarianism and lasers.

4 January 2010


So, what are your Plans With a Capital P, and how do they fit into The Grand Scheme of Things???

Watchwords of the moment. Plans. Intentions. Aspirations. Yada yada yada...

When speaking of The Grand Scheme of Things, one must use expansive, expressive arm movements that signify the great scope of the skies and beyond. It's best to look up.

Characters travel all the way from Posterity to help populate the as yet unfounded Future, adding their blueprints to the plans that will make the settlement stable and help with the perpetual conundrum of the roof. Will it fly off? Will it fall, bringing the walls down with it? Architecture in a nutshell. Though a nutshell that can contain all Life. All your Life yet to be built.

Why can I not travel to New Zealand (the land of my forefathers), track down the tribe that honoured my Grandfather with a handmade shroud on his death due to his kindness and sexual prowess, have them make me their princess, be carried around on a thrown until bidding farewell in order to pursue an apprenticeship in clockmaking, learn my trade whilst wearing tiny gold spectacles, then set up shop in New York?

Because this is a Plan for another person.

Mine lies in the hand that comes from the cloud. Hovering above the garden, offering, cradling, elevating the five-beamed star. Five routes I could take as I get lost in London? Don't dwell; it will all be Ace.