Sunday, 21 September 2014

This could be some kind of feminist rant

'Miss World' finalists 1969

I absolutely adored Miss World when I was a kid, back in the days when it was a whole night's family viewing. It was one of the most watched programmes in Britain, broadcast into our 1960s/70s brown and mustard living rooms via the BBC before it was deemed too outdated and politically incorrect to show as mainstream entertainment. I loved the array of young women representing exotic countries I'd often never heard of, with their varied hairstyles and their imaginative national costumes. I had no concept of what “36-24-36” meant, no thought as to whether or not a contestant's breasts or legs made her more attractive or more likely to win (nor perhaps to my Dad's embarrassment at seeing curvy 20-year-olds in swimwear strutting their stuff on screen while his wife and daughters ooh'd and aah'd over their personal favourites. Pan's People on ToTP probably made his cheeks redden a little too.) I just loved their pretty faces and outfits, and to my naïve pre-teen self it was equivalent to an exciting, glamorous, gorgeous parade of beautiful dolls.

Like most young girls I'm sure, I wanted to be like one when I grew up. I longed for a mass of shiny, jet black hair and wished I had an olive complexion...well that was never going to happen... but it was an innocent enough ideal. Then I got used to the fact that I was just the way I was: pale-skinned and fair-haired and, as adolescence foisted its preoccupations with image upon me, I found that experiments with blue eyeshadow, Stablonde and an under-wired bra could at least temporarily enhance the features I was born with.

So now it's all changing. You don't have to stick with what you're born with, do you? You can get it all sorted. Lips and breasts appear to be the most popular things to transform, and you can do it while you're still young, while you're still growing as a person, with pure, fresh skin and a healthy, fully-functioning body.  You can pick your new anatomy as if from a menu: those tits and those lips and how about that buttock augmentation while you're at it. Wow, what a great idea. What a great fucking idea.

I feel myself getting agitated and saddened even just writing this. I'm trying to articulate why the increasing desire for unnecessary cosmetic surgery troubles me as much as it does, and I feel this wave going through me, a jumble of thoughts and words jostling to be expressed, not just from some inner feminist angle, but as a compassionate human being. There are so many layers and strands to it that I must try and be eloquent and understanding if I'm going to say anything, but at the same time it makes me feel some kind of desperation. I felt that the other day when I was directed to a story in the news about a model called Victoria Wild. She has spent £30,000 on plastic surgery to make herself look like a 'sex doll'.  You can read the article and see her pictures here - or just do an image search on her name.  I think you'll find her new look shocking.

Mr SDS says to me, “Why are you worrying about it? Why even think about it? If people are stupid enough to do that to themselves, that's their problem, not yours...” and I know that basically of course he's right – but I suppose it's the bigger picture here that disturbs me, not just the more extreme individual examples of Victoria and a few other young women like her.

The bigger picture brings up so many questions that I struggle to find comfortable answers to. For a start I wonder how this exaggerated look could ever be perceived by anyone as being some kind of zenith for female sexual attractiveness. Then I question the increasing normalisation of cosmetic 'enhancements' and the fact that they are so readily available. And then I consider the underlying motivation – that any young woman can still be led to believe her only value in society is as a sexual object, to the point that she would resort to such lengths to reach such a disproportionately placed goal.

Insecurity is a word that gets liberally banded about when the subject comes up and I don't doubt its presence. I'm sure all women have at some point in their lives felt insecure about their appearance (and no doubt a number of men too). As a teenager it seems that one of the most important things in life is one's sexual attractiveness; that's fair enough, we all know what hormones do. Fair enough too is the naïve assumption at that age that our all-important shagability rating might be based on the most obvious physical attributes. I understand the relevance and desire for beauty – we can't help that some aspects of physicality are more appealing to us than others, and most of us would probably rather be better-looking than we are, it's how we're wired.  But, as well as the infinite variations in personal taste, part of the process of maturity is the understanding that appearance isn't the be-all and end-all. If your inability to grasp that, or your insecurity, or if the pressure on you from society is such that you volunteer to have parts of your body cut open, that you'd undergo potentially life-threatening anaesthetic, risk post-operative infection and/or be injected with toxins, then surely those issues should be psychologically addressed, not physically indulged?  (Please note, although I'm sure you already realise, I'm not talking about the need to rectify genuine deformities or disfigurement.)

The woman mentioned above says that, since her plastic surgery, “she has never been happier”. Prior to this she apparently had an inferiority complex.  Her comment obliges me to feel it's not my place therefore to try and contest that or to prevent her from finding a solution. How mean-spirited it would be of me not to want her to be happy in whatever she opts to do. It's her body, her choice, her life, and not mine.  And thus, there's a general expectation that the response of a tolerant, open-minded person must be to support this and not to judge. We're proud of our liberated society and the fact that women in particular, oppressed in so many ways throughout history, can do as we please with our bodies and make our own decisions, whatever they may be and however opposite they may be to another's.  But does that really include this strange obsession for mutilation?  I don't see this as liberated, not properly, healthily liberated - it's too skewed.  How often do you also hear a woman say "I did it for myself, not for anyone else!" . And I do believe that she believes that.... although, when you put it in context, it often boils down to the same thing - it's the hope of endorsement that boosts the ego, the confidence that comes from meeting expectations.   So, cosmetic surgeons continue to advertise their service as just that – a service, to help you feel better about yourself, to be what you've always wanted to be, to be in control. To be sexier - preferably in a way that focuses on ridiculously stereotypical ideals. Although I know it's an extreme example, it doesn't seem too many steps away from helping an anorexic to lose weight because they believe they'll only feel good about themselves when they're thinner.

Of course I know it's also about making money from people's insecurities... which makes it even more desperate.  But at what point did we as a society allow the sinister 'quick fix' of surgery to replace the option of counselling, advice, acceptance? And when did the unnatural become seen as desirable? To compliment a woman on her fake breasts is surely no more meaningful than telling someone with a wig that they have lovely hair.

Oh, I'm exhausting myself... I should be more detached, I know. It's not hurting me personally, nor anyone I know.  I think I'm just feeling it for womankind...   We got so far - I don't want us to fuck it up.

Besides, don't we all know, deep down, that the sexiest part of us all is our mind?

Friday, 19 September 2014

David Bowie and the Spiders from Malaysia

A really crap Photoshop job

You know I love spiders – please bear with me here – I know not everyone does. Seems I've had more than the usual number of close encounters lately; is this telling me something? But what? Yesterday I found the biggest one ever and it seemed particularly, spectacularly, legful. I swear I counted nine. And I counted them twice. But by the time I'd come back with my camera it had, of course, literally legged it. I also found a huge, lifeless one at the bottom of the birdbath this morning, fished it out and left it on a leaf to dry in the sun hoping that it might somehow survive. Five, five, hours later it was up and running about - you have to be patient bringing spiders back from the dead*. Federica (or her successor) is back in residence too.

Anyway, please forgive me the arachnid indulgence; I really just wanted to mention David Bowie. I just found out, whilst researching the possibility of nine-legged beasties (I know) that there is a davidbowie spider. It's large, yellow-haired and endangered.  Say what you like.  When it was newly discovered in Malaysia in 2009 it was named after him to raise awareness of threatened species. There's a neilyoungi too!  Whoever next?

Three posts in four days, what's going on?


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Go, Gogo Penguin, go!

Inspiration comes from the most unexpected places sometimes.  Here is Gogo Penguin and her little sidekick Mammal Hands.  With thanks to The Swede at Unthought Of Though Somehow for his post here (where you can hear the real bands).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Help the aged

I was at the dentists yesterday, waiting to check in at Reception. The customer in front of me had to fill in some forms and the Receptionist was carefully explaining what she had to do. In a very high voice, one of those voices which contains a pre-recorded smile, she slowly spelled it out: “Now, you need to read this through, yes? - do you have your glasses? - ok, and then you need to write your name in this box here, you see this box at the bottom here, yes? And then you take it with you and give it to ...” etc, etc. and of course I wasn't surprised to see that the person she was speaking to as if they were four years old was more like 80. I shivered, not at the prospect of opening wide and dribbling in front of my lovely Iranian dentist, but at a possible future I – and you, my dear friends! – may face. Being talked to like a baby. Oh no!

The old lady, who seemed perfectly compos mentis, duly toddled off with her form and the Receptionist cast an aww-bless type of glance in my direction. I know she was well-meaning, patient and kind, and I'm sure the same traits will apply to the mere whippersnappers upgrading my new remote-controlled Google hip joints in the years to come, years that are not quite as far away as I'd like. I realise the world will no doubt seem faster and madder and even more confusing but I still don't think that, assuming I'm in sound mind, I'll want to be spoken to in a manner which insinuates that the best things in mine might be playdough and piggy-back rides.  On the other hand, perhaps that's best? Perhaps you just have to act it up a bit, swallow what pride you have (left), leave your hearing aid at home deliberately and let everyone treat you like a toddler on Calpol. Then go home and have the last laugh...?  I don't know.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


It really did sound as if he was having sex in our bathroom.

Keith The Carpet Fitter was in there on his knees with a bucket of latex. There was a lot of grunting and some shockingly loud sighs and groans. I felt quite embarrassed at his oral exertions; I had to keep stopping my mind going to places that I knew it really didn't want to go to, a bit like when you see Robin Trower make his facial contortions... you know what I'm saying.  There was a final, triumphant “Yesss!” as he crawled backwards out of the bathroom, then one more deep grunt as he stood up, before beckoning me to show off his handiwork which was (well of course) the levelling screed he'd just laid on the concrete floor.  I was quite relieved.

Mind you, when it comes to making involuntary noises, it could just as easily have been me using one of these.

Have you ever tried one?  Oh god, I recommend it.  It's best when someone else uses it on you, but still pretty damned amazing if you do it to yourself. Your skin will tingle in ways you didn't know were possible, your eyes glaze over in ecstasy and you may well find yourself begging for more more more you filthy whore. You may also make a noise like Keith and pull a face like Robin so it's probably best not to whip it out of your handbag or manbag and have a quickie with it in Tescos.  Although... if everybody did that it would certainly make shopping for spaghetti hoops a very different experience.  Who'd have thought your head could be so erogenous?

This is pretty sexy too

Monday, 8 September 2014


Her name is Jane.

She is eleven - a year or two older than me and, it seems, about two feet taller. The tallest girl in the school. Dark haired, a ponytail secured by pink plastic bobbles that make me think of bubblegum, or sometimes swept back off her forehead and kept in place with an Alice band. She always seemed nice. She taught my friends and me how to do handstands and we all like her.

It's nearing the end of dinner-time and Ruth and I have been playing with a skipping rope by the willow trees behind the classroom. Ruth has gone inside to the toilet and now Mrs Rumbelow, the dinner lady, has come out and rung the big brass bell, summoning everyone back. I'm pulling my cardigan on and gathering up the skipping rope while the other children head to the classrooms when Jane appears in front of me. She starts pushing me. I think she's just playing - joking - but when I look up at her face her eyes are black.  My trust evaporates.  She's smiling, but it isn't a kind smile, it's cruel.

Now my back is against the slim trunk of the willow tree; I feel small, weak. It's as if she has grown even taller. She grabs the skipping rope and starts tying it around the tree, and around me. I feel it cut into my thighs as she pulls it tight. Wraps it round one time, wraps it round again, and then again.  My eyes search the playground but nobody is there. Nobody to help me. My mind is flooding. All I can think, all I can feel, is hurt and confusion and fear. The rope hurts. And I am confused by Jane, Jane from Mrs Barker's class, Jane with the dark hair, tall nice Jane, doing this to me, for no reason. I've never felt endangered before.  I plead.  She taunts me, ridicules me.  I wonder if I am going to die. Jane is going to tie me to the tree and kill me.

She carries on pulling at the rope, contemplating knots, tight knots. My hands are trapped behind my back. I wriggle.

She is definitely going to kill me.

So I kick her. It's a huge gamble. I've never kicked anyone. Never hit, punched, thumped or struck anyone. I know it might make it worse; then again, how much worse?  So.... scared out of my wits, I kick her as hard as I can. Really, really, really hard. I strike the most powerful, violent blow to her bare bony shin that I possibly can. She flinches. Stops. Visibly shocked, she seems to shrink.  She drops the rope, turns around and runs... runs away, leaving me to wiggle out of the rope, free myself and race, panting, back to the classroom.

I'm trembling.  I feel amazing.

At school the next day she doesn't say a word. Neither do I.  Nobody ever knew.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

September is yellow

Being wished "a good weekend" doesn't usually cause me to raise an eyebrow but last week it surprised me when I read it in an email, because it seemed an odd thing to say on a Tuesday.  Then I received another message signing off the same way and thought I should check the calendar.  It was better exercise than a facial workout when my raised eyebrow was quickly followed by my dropped jaw as I suddenly realised it was (of course) Friday.  It had been Friday all day as far as I was, well, unaware.  Tuesday had long gone and I hadn't even noticed.

The days of the week just blur into one for me most of the time.  For many weekends of the year I'll be working but often I'll get some freedom on a random weekday; there's no pattern.  As Mr SDS is in a similar situation, we're all over the place.  The routines I grew up with, the ones I'd once thought were programmed into me forever, are now as meaningless as a footprint in melted snow.

It's true, the weekend sometimes still has a different 'feel' to it, probably due to other people's activities, but it's not like it used to be.  I rarely get 'that Friday feeling' (although it can be artificially induced with an Indian takeaway and a bottle of wine) but then neither do I suffer the Monday morning blues.  I do quite miss experiencing a kind of communal weekly mood, though.

The days of the week seemed even more defined in the era of my childhood when we knew that Saturday was for shopping, nothing was open on a Sunday, people ate fish on a Friday and Monday was 'wash day'. I'm not even sure if my mum did do the washing every Monday, but thinking about it still evokes a romanticised memory of linen pegged out on the line on a cool but sunny morning in the school holidays.

Perhaps that's why Monday is always a crisp, starchy white in my head:  Monday

At least it's not blue.  Saturday and Sunday are yellow.  For some reason, Wednesday is green.  Every day of the week is a colour as is every month of the year; January is mauve and September is yellow.  They follow the pattern of their leading letters (S is always yellow).  Reading up on it I find that this mild form of synaesthesia is not uncommon, and I'm sure if we were to analyse what is in our heads when we think of certain things there could be many which link to our senses... even if the idea of it doesn't actually make much sense. 

Anyway.  Is it too early to wish you a good (yellow) weekend?

Update:  Reading the Wiki article (link above) about colour/letter synaesthesia I was pleasantly surprised to see that several commonalities have been recorded - I never knew this before.  Yellow is frequently attributed to S apparently, and others that I perceive do appear to be the most common such as A being red (absolutely!) and O being white or black (white in my case).  I've never spoken to anyone about this who experiences it too but there must be many!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Girl Crush Sunday #3

Ehren Dorsey
 "I enjoy pushing the boundaries of how people define femininity or masculinity"

Sweetly beautiful, striking and utterly unsuperficial, she refused to grow her hair on the suggestion of those who believed she should conform to 'normal' model looks.

Sunday, 24 August 2014


So, after a slow and elaborate mating ritual which involves pressing their moist bodies close up together, rocking to and fro rhythmically and touching tentacles before mutual penetration with a long, hard 'love dart', this is what you get...

It's not that I have giant hands

The tiniest, teeniest, exquisitely perfect, miniature baby snails.

I'm in love.

The hollyhocks and honeysuckle in the garden thrive whilst my snails turn their attention to leaf litter and weeds (ground elder in this case), so they can stay here. Which is what they'll probably do anyway, seeing as garden snails are now known to have strong homing instincts.

Saturday, 2 August 2014


The harvest means noise and tractors trundling past and fragments of cereal dust blowing in through our open windows but I like it. I don't know if it's a brand new one, but the local farmer's got his combine harvester out this weekend and I'm quite comforted by its constant drone as he works methodically in the fields behind my house.

It was droning away in the background this morning while I was in the garden and something caught my eye: a small leggy creature trying unsuccessfully to get itself out of the bird bath. I scooped it up on a leaf and gently placed it on the rocky edge whereupon it scuttled around in a drunkenly haphazard fashion before ending up back in the water to flounder once more. I rescued it again and placed it further away this time; a closer look revealed it to be a Harvestman.  Maybe it was a Harvestman with suicidal tendencies.

I came indoors to cool down and switched on my computer; I've been meaning to look at some more images by the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich as mentioned in a recent post. On Tuesday I'd been discussing him with a lovely friend to whom I was talking about my trip to Tate Modern and (being the creator of some brilliant and notable record sleeve art himself) he told me about how Malevich's work had been an influence on Barney Bubbles. Those of us of certain musical tastes and vintage will be very familiar with Barney Bubbles' output; I think he designed over 90 record sleeves. Lots has been written and spoken about him so I won't go on here.  However, I must admit that until that conversation I didn't actually know much about his background myself and I hadn't appreciated his artistic influences. Now, on bringing to mind the record cover art I know best (mostly those Stiff label releases), I can more easily identify Malevich as a source of inspiration.

The Damned: Music For Pleasure

Malevich, suprematist composition

Ian Dury & the Blockheads: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

Malevich, dynamic suprematism

So anyway I was looking at more Malevich art and smiled to myself when I saw this: 'Taking In The Harvest'...

...which seemed simply appropriate for today. And then I thought I'd have a rummage through some of the less familiar Barney Bubbles record sleeve designs and up came the Edgar Broughton Band's 'Oora' - which so happens to be on the Harvest label...

Must just be that time of year!

(Combine harvester picture attribution: Hinrich)

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Painter and Poster

Time is tight at the moment so in case I disappear for a while, here are some pictures to look at!

I picked up a great exhibition book at Marcus Campbell Books in London yesterday: 'Le Peintre & L'Affiche - de Lautrec à Warhol', and for only £2!  There are loads of great images of posters by painters in it, like these...

Franz von Stuck
Internationale Hygiene Ausstellung

This is from 1890, yet looks so contemporary somehow
Edouard Vuillard
Cyclistes prenez Bécane

Gorgeous typography
Marie Vassilieff
2me Bal de l'Aide Amicale Aux Artistes

For Erik!
Joan Miro
Aidez l'Espagne

I'd love to illustrate like Toulouse-Lautrec, with
his perfect use of flat colour and economical lines
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Reine de joie

El Lissitzky
Russische Ausstellung

Augusto Giacometti

Andy Warhol
RCA Colour Scanner Advertisement

Friday, 25 July 2014

For the love of art

I've only been to Tate Modern three times.  The first time was just a few years after it opened, and I went with a friend I hadn't seen for over a decade. We'd arranged a rendezvous on a hot, sunny Spring afternoon on the Millennium Bridge, where we were relieved to find we recognised each other without difficulty in spite of the years that had passed.  I got sunburnt whilst supping a pint outside at a nearby pub.

The last time was just a couple of years ago, where I went with the same friend. We'd arranged a rendezvous on a wet, windy Spring afternoon on the Millennium Bridge - recognition no longer a concern, peering from under my umbrella as the heavens opened. We queued up in the dark to see Damien Hirst's blingy 'For The Love Of God' skull and visited every floor.

And the occasion in between was on my own - on a windy, sunny Autumm morning, after an overnight stay in London following a publisher's party (and should that sound like I live some kind of high-flying high life, it's the only one I've ever been to!)  I was tired and a little worse for wear, but still the visit confirmed my undying love for Max Ernst's 'Forest and Dove'.

So tomorrow it'll be my fourth time... with lovely pals I haven't seen for a few years... there's an exhibition of Matisse Cut Outs and I'd like to see the Malevich show... I'll wear suncream and take an umbrella... and I'll blow a kiss to the Millennium Bridge, to 'Forest and Dove', and to old friends.

Have a good weekend!

Kazimir Malevich: Self Portrait 1912

Monday, 21 July 2014

2 B or not 2 B

'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever' wrote John Keats, and so did my dear old Nan, in neat fountain pen handwriting across the page in my little autograph book.  It was a pocket sized volume with embossed lettering on its cover and each page was a different colour.   Although mostly scrawled in by my eight-year-old school chums it did boast a salutation from a proper famous person - well, he was in my eyes - H E Todd, author of the 'Bobby Brewster' books. He'd visited my school and read us some of his stories, many of which I already knew from featuring on 'Jackanory' in around 1970.   I adored Bobby Brewster and his ability to telephone his tummy when he was hungry (or something like that - I seem to remember he could translate its gurgles and rumbles into requests for sardine sandwiches, but I might be wrong).

Another signature which seemed important at the time was that of the woman from the Puffin Club who had been at the one and only members' event I ever went to, a Summer fancy dress party in Hatfield Broad Oak to which I wore a rather hot home-made caterpillar costume. I mean 'hot' in the temperature sense, of course...  All I gathered about her was that she was called Jane, so if she ever went on to scale great literary heights, or to feature on a special Puffin Club edition of 'Family Fortunes' (unlikely, I know) I'd be none the wiser.

'Sniffup Spotera'

My favourite autograph, however, was from someone closer to home. With a twinkle in her eye my Mum wrote this on a pastel blue page above her name:

YY 4 Me

She'd learned it when she was a schoolgirl, back in the 1930s or '40s, and when she carefully scribed it in my little book I loved it so much I never forgot it.   Our familiarity with text-speak makes it quicker to decipher now than when I first saw it, but back then it looked like a curiously puzzling riddle.  Once solved, it seemed a perfect mix of ingenious and yet simultaneously simple humour.  Too wise, indeed.

In an era when it's commonplace to bemoan the increasing use of economical spellings and linguistic short-cuts it'd be easy to assume that they're a recent thing and a threat to our language, but I don't think so.  In 1867 a poem by Charles C Bombaugh was published (labelled as 'emblematic poetry' and thought of as very clever); here's one of its verses:

He says he loves U 2 X S
U R virtuous and Y's
In X L N C U X L
All others in his i's

Then, of course, there was Slade...

Mama Weer All Crazee Now

... and did somebody mention Prince?

I love the way language can be so many things: playful, pliable and adaptable, as well as beautiful.  And a thing of beauty is a joy for ever, innit.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Rock lobster

After including the lobster card in the previous post I decided to do a bit of research. It turns out that the lobster pictured was, as the caption said: 'the most famous of all the shellfish'. He was adopted at the age of three months by the recently widowed Mrs Jeffers who emigrated from Maine to the small seaside town of Mudeford in the UK in 1979. She and her worldly goods travelled over by ship specifically so that she could take Simeon (as she called him) with her; in fact a specially adapted lobster pot was suspended from the ship's deck for the duration of the journey so that her pet crustacean could enjoy the homely pleasures of the Atlantic waters en route.

On settling down in their new surroundings in England, Mrs Jeffers and her lobster became enthusiastic members of the local Bridge Club and Simeon gained some notoriety after being taught to play 'Bourrée' on a miniature descant recorder. He was even featured performing this to an enraptured Sue Lawley on BBC 'Nationwide' some time in 1981 but sadly no footage of this exists.

However, his story doesn't have a happy ending. Mrs Jeffers started a relationship with a local electrician who by all accounts was a bit of a cad. Jealous of the obvious affection between Simeon and his owner, he said he was going out to get a fish'n'chip supper one evening and whilst Mrs J was bringing in the washing he surreptitiously placed Simeon in a Tesco bag and took him with him to 'Oh My Cod' where witnesses say he was greeted very warmly.  Simeon was never seen again and we can only assume the terrible thing that must have happened to him that fateful night.

But of course you can't believe everything you read on the web (not even on this blog).  I mean, it is with some incredulity that I read about the 19th century French poet Gérard de Nerval who apparently had a pet lobster called Thibault that he took out on a leash to walk on the Parisian streets. This is, unsurprisingly, a little better known than the tale above and you can read more about it here

Apparently you can keep lobsters as pets if you have them in an aquarium and they're quite easy to please in spite of their grumpy demeanour, eating a variety of foods and generally loafing about all day.  A piece of lobster trivia: they can amputate their own claws, legs and antennae if need be to get out of a dangerous situation, and grow them back. Kind of makes the idea of playing a miniature descant recorder a little less ridiculous.

Ridiculous or not, depending on your taste, is Salvador Dali's Lobster Telephone (aka Aphrodisiac Telephone) which he created in 1936.   Lobsters and telephones were sexually symbolic in Dali's work.  I know you already know what it looks like but, go on, have another peek...

Back in the groovy early '70s my mum's favourite piece of furniture was a 'lobster pot' stool made out of wicker. It looked like this:

As I'm sure you can imagine it went very well with the macramé wall hangings in our house.  I loved that stool.

I can't have a lobster pot stool or a lobster aquarium or a lobster telephone but I would happily indulge my lobster love with this dress:

This was created a few years ago by the label The Rodnik Band which has wonderful pop art inspirations and I must admit I'm rather taken with it.  I'd be more likely to wear it than this other outfit of theirs – although I applaud the 'presence' of  'pubic hair' and I'd be curious to see the reactions it could provoke. Especially if accessorised with a lobster on a leash....

(Well, of course!)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Picture postcards

I just can't resist the simple lure of a postcard. On every trip to a museum or gallery (or whatever) I end up in the gift shop where I can at least leave with something small and affordable: a perfect pocket-sized picture to keep, not just as a memento of the visit but as something in its own right.

This is also why I was on my knees for half an hour in Oxfam the other day, having discovered two large boxes on the floor crammed absolutely full with old postcards. Just like going through a stack of records or a rack of clothes in a second-hand shop, you know you have to go tirelessly through every one, to flick past the majority of more predictable donations so as not to miss something a little more interesting tucked away in their midst...

Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward
'Elegance, Charm and Deadly Danger'

'The Maine Lobster is the most famous of all the shell fish'

Piccadilly Circus, 1960

The Woods at Pontarddulais (Frith's Series)

Linocut of 'The Blue Plough, Saffron Walden' by Edward Bawden

'Cenoceras' from The British Museum

'Study of a Cat' by F Ernest Jackson from the Royal Academy
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