Wednesday 31 July 2013

Onesie hatred

A PVC catsuit?  Fine. If I could slice a sliver (or maybe a wedge) of extraneous flab from my thighs I’d happily sport one – a nice shiny black one - for doing the food shopping at Tesco’s.  Not sure where I’d keep my purse but I guess I could stuff some notes down my modest cleavage, to be saucily unzipped at the checkout.  

I can imagine the scene now.  “Do you need help packing your bags?” the assistant asks sneeringly,  eyeing me up and down in my sleek all-in-one as she points her scanner pertinently at the Quorn chicken fillets on the conveyer belt, nestled between a bottle of baby oil and a cheeky little Merlot. 

“These are no faux meat micro-protein, I’ll have you know!” comes my retort, for mine are, of course, as natural as organic Honeydew melons, even if not of the same proportions.  Then I flick my lethal Clubcard out from my palm like a switchblade and, as if by magic, the wheels on my trolley align themselves and the assistant manages a smile.

And all because I’m wearing a fantasy PVC catsuit.  It  appears to have given me unhinged super powers and yet it’s only a figment of my imagination.  This is where I get to my point (but I hope you didn't mind the diversion).  I just wish I could say that the strange phenomenon that is popularly known as 'The Onesie' was only a figment too.  If only it didn't actually exist.  This is not like a catsuit or a wetsuit.  Apart from the fact that it looks like it should never be worn by anyone other than a baby, even the name sounds like baby-talk.  I’m mouthing it now with my face contorted into an exaggerated doe-eyed pout: Onesie.  Ooh! Ickle-wickle-fluffy-bunny onezhie!  

So, what the fuck are onesies all about?  Why are they catching on?  Please promise me you aren’t wearing one, you never have worn one and you never ever will.  If you need any more convincing, particularly if you are a man, please read this. (I urge you to read it anyway - it's just brilliant. I am loving The Daily Mash!)

Saturday 27 July 2013

The very hungry caterpillars

Poor Mr SDS.  I don’t know how to contain my excitement sometimes but I have to tell someone, and inevitably it’s him.  I run into the house, eyes gleaming, and exclaim:

“I’ve just seen two slugs mating!”
“A massive hornet flew right past me and I felt it brush against my arm!”
“I was sitting on the bench and a cockchafer landed on my knee!”
“I found a sexton beetle in the compost bin!”
“I actually saw a spider take a shit just now!  Really!”


There’s not a lot he can say, I know, because he doesn’t share my level of enthusiasm for creepy, crawly, slimy or flying, multi-legged, freaky-looking minibeasts and some of the weird and wonderful things that they do.

Here’s the latest.

Hundreds of newly-hatched ermine moth (I think) caterpillars that have created a web-like silk structure on some nettles in the garden and are now eating their way through the leaves: a stripey, writhing, wriggling, suspended, living mass.  I was fascinated and mesmerised by these tiny lifeforms that I noticed today, plus the fact that I’ve never seen so many caterpillars in one place.  I just wish I had someone to share it with who’d be even a fraction as interested in it as I am. 

So I put it on my blog.  Poor you.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Personal ads from Frendz 1972

Doesn't really need me to add anything.  It was 1972, after all.


(Although, I am quite interested to know if Vicky ever found her astral traveller.)

Saturday 20 July 2013

Good fortune

This morning, whilst rummaging around in the box where I put things that I don’t know where to keep anywhere else (necklaces I don’t wear but might one day, a promo postcard from a gig, that spare keyring, etc.)  I found a dog-eared scrap of notepaper with unfamiliar writing on it.  I’d kept it for about twenty years, tucked away in a ‘secret’ compartment and never looked at, until now. 

It took me back.  We were on holiday in a well-known English seaside town and it had rained every single fucking day.  I think we spent most of our hard-earned dosh that week on hot meals, trips to the cinema, coin pusher and candy grabber games.  Souvenirs from that trip included an emergency umbrella, a purse full of coppers and an extra half a stone in weight.  By Thursday we’d run out of decent things to keep us entertained so the Fortune Teller advertising his services in the small arcade away from the seafront was an attractive diversion from the rock-grey skies and the nauseating combination of smells from Dickie’s Donuts and Fanny’s Fish Inn.

The Fortune Teller was not as I’d imagined.  He was like a friend’s Dad – straightforward, ordinary looking and friendly in a slightly distant kinda way.  His service was like a Three-For-One supermarket deal; zodiac, palm-reading and tarot cards all in one package - I think there might even have been a sprinkle of numerology and a mention of the Chinese horoscope too.  He didn't go quite so far as to include rumpology which is just as well because I'm not in the habit of showing my bum to strange men.  Not usually, anyway.

So, without any hint of mystery or supernatural powers, he told me what was apparently in store for me in a very prosaic manner whilst his assistant, a young girl, jotted notes down for me to take away and reflect on later – and that’s the scrap of paper I’m looking at now.

I’m wondering:  do fortunes have a Sell-By, or even a Use-By, date?  Should all the things he forecast for me have occurred already, or could they still happen in another twenty years’ time?  The notes are like prompts so I’m thinking back to where my life has been in those two interim decades and, oddly, some of it's looking rather accurate.  There are some specific initials, places and predictions which weren’t relevant at the time but which have been since.   The initials get me more than the rest because they’re not common ones, so that’s a bit spooky.  I realise the other things could probably happen to most people: suggestions of travel and buying property, etc., so maybe they’re a pretty good bet for many folks, although one or two specifics in there seem strangely apt, if you want to believe that kind of thing.  And, yeah, I admit it: in a simple childlike desire to embrace some magical mystery, I do want to!

 (An edited highlight!) 

I remember his final words too - he said I was 'meant' to live by the sea.   In spite of some dreams and half-baked plans to do just that for our own reasons several years ago, we never quite achieved it.  Oh well, maybe one day – if the Use-By date hasn’t expired just yet.  I’ll put the scrap of paper away for another twenty years and see what happens.

Tony Jackson & The Vibrations: 'Fortune Teller' (1965)
Love it.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Not suitable for arachnophobes

Spending a disproportionate number of hours cooped up while working in my converted shed studio is taking its toll on me.  My complexion is pale, my body permanently locked in a seated position, my memory of the last time I left the house for anything resembling a social life now distant.  It’s a wonder I haven’t completely lost the power of speech and reverted to grunts.  “Cup of tea?” calls Mr SDS from the kitchen window.  A grunt accompanied by a thumbs up signifies my positive response.  By evening I’ve drunk twenty cups of tea too many and all I want to do is vegetate with Big Brother.

But that isn’t what I intended to write about tonight (in spite of the brilliant Dexter and Gina twist ;-) ).   It’s just that my lack of physical contact with a variety of homosapiens may explain why I’ve developed a rather worrying degree of affection for the one living creature who shares my studio space with me.


Federica the tegenaria duellica (house spider)

Now, please bear with me -  I’m going to talk about a spider, and she is quite a big one.  I won’t pretend that I’d be ok with her crawling up my leg, or that I wouldn’t be freaked out if she suddenly turned up in my shoe.  But Federica seems to be a creature of habit. She’s been with me for some time now (several months) and so far there haven’t been any surprises.  She has a fine mesh web under my desk, about a foot from where I sit, which then stretches round and up towards the adjacent window.  By day she stays in the corner under the desk, and at approximately 5pm every afternoon she comes out to the window area.  She has a little look around, doesn’t do much, just checking to see if there have been any home delivery bluebottles I guess.  It seems we’re both quite content in each other’s company, although any sudden movements from me sending her scuttling back to her corner – which really is the natural order of things, isn’t it, not the other way around…?

Because I see her every day and actually spend more waking time in her company at the moment than I do any other sentient being, I’ve become really fond of her.  I worry that she’s not going to get enough to eat so I keep the windows open.  The desk could do with a tidy up but I’m leaving things so as not to disturb her.  I realised today that, quite perversely, I’m going to miss her when she’s gone. 

I’m also going to be worrying in case she finds a convenient shoe to hide in.

But let’s hope she doesn’t and we can continue to spend our days peacefully, side by side, all Summer.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Sheet music

I love the graphics on these two pieces of sheet music, picked up from a second-hand bookshop in Cornwall some years ago - one of those places where you get sore knees from looking through boxes on the floor, a cricked neck from trying to see what's on the unfeasibly high top shelves, then come out covered in dust, sneezing and coughing and with that damp smell still lingering in your nostrils for the next week.  But it's worth it.

This one's from 1922:

And this is dated 1938:

I adore the typography, the shapes, the flat colours.  Must get them framed.
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