Today is a double helping and as I'm feeling a little frolicsome let's not play it straight (no pun intended); instead, shall we put a little twist on it?
I don't even know her name. But, in keeping with recent conversations on here and on other blogs about the beauty and infinite mystique of old photos, I want to offer a place to
'Secretary at West German Radio Station, Cologne'
as photographed by August Sander in 1931. Her androgyny is striking. To my mind there's a resemblance to Brett Anderson, which is probably why she caught my eye. There's more to this photo than shades of Suede, though... something in her expression and the pose, the loosely held cigarette, the dress, the haircut and of course the knowledge that we have no more knowledge than this. I could hang a name on her: Helga, or Claudia, Uta or Gertrud...? No, not Gertrud. Maybe Dagmar? Her voice, surely, is deep and smoky, typically Teutonic. I can smell the cigarette mixed with the faint scent of her fragrance – something like jasmine, dabbed on her neck from a small, dark violet bottle. She is intelligent, artistic, ambitious and self-reliant. Loves fashion, owns a large dog. GSOH. Dirty laugh. She was perhaps none of those things, but the illusion is mine, and yours, to create.
Whenever I casually flick through the TV channels with a vacant mind whilst drinking a cup of tea, I always seem to stumble upon an episode of 'The Chase'. And, suddenly, I find myself yearning to see you – you, only you, dear 'Frosty Knickers'. I don't want to see the other 'Chasers', I want to see the mischievous look in your eyes and the way you force your mouth to turn down at the corners to maintain your steely superiority even though I can tell that you secretly long to smile, to laugh, to say something kind. Perhaps you might say something kind to me if I were to blush at the question, "In what sport does Fanny Chmelar compete for Germany?"
Oh, dear 'Governess', there is something oddly compelling about your schoolmistress demeanour combined with the impressively vast extent of your knowledge that makes me want to stay tuned in to this cheap quiz show forever. Will you be my 'Girl Crush Sunday'? Just for a laugh... that is, if I can make you do so, simply to hear you betray the tight bonds of your public persona with your Mancunian chuckle. I may not share your intellect but I know the Latin name for a wren, the capital of Slovakia and now, thanks to 'The Chase' I know that Fanny Chmelar is an alpine skier. We could have dinner together - do you like Thai? - and discuss the merits of the photography of August Sander...