Sunday, 24 July 2011

A good heart is hard to find

What can you do when such a grim weekend presents itself? My remedy has been chips, ice cream, curry and therapeutically crying my face off at the final Harry Potter film.

And also making a list of all the blog posts I've meaning to write over the last couple of months and not getting round to.

And then posting one of them. This one.

It's starting now.

Here it is.


No, do that later. This won't take long.

It's just this: a heart drawn on a window pane by some previous inhabitant of a B&B room in Yorkshire.

As signs go, it can't be seen until the new occupants of the room decide to make a cup of tea, and then it silently reveals itself – a simple masterpiece rendered in invisible finger ink on a steam and glass canvas. One pair of lovers – Heathcliff and Cathy in cagoules, coming in from the wild blast of the moors outside, rosy-cheeked and never-more-alive, peeling off their layers, popping on the kettle – feeling compelled to share a message of uncontainable desire with those who followed in their footsteps.

I, however, was sharing the room with my mum so the romance was pretty much wasted on me.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Where Do You Think You Are Sitting, Mr Hitler?

Despite the fact that it's short of a very distinctive moustache, I still think there's something unpleasant about the 'occupied' icon on this automated seat-selection device at the cinema.

I don't care for the way he's gradually taking control of all the seats.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Show time

I hope you'll understand that I cannot let the festival of the Lambeth Country Show – south London's premier faux-rural pageant, which took place last weekend – pass without some kind of post mortem. Long-term readers, of which there are at least three, will recall that during this annual weekend, I have met with both Triumph and Disaster. I couldn't really say that I treated those two imposters just the same. If I'm honest, I wasn't all that jazzed about the latter but, despite this, my enthusiasm for the show remains neon-bright.

With that in mind, perhaps you can guess how excited I was to have been swanning around the 2011 LCS wearing this:

Me. Performing. At the Lambeth Country Show.

I know what you're thinking. But no, it wasn't the renowned Miss Jones reggae sound system that I was bringing to Brockwell Park. Not while I'm still working so hard to pay for the speakers we blew out last year. And neither was I headlining the main arena with my dog display team who, I'm sad to say, were not performance-ready in time for this year's show. Lola the bichon frise remains reluctant to climb into the cannon.

No, it was as a proud member of my local choir. And I think that in the photograph below,
taken just minutes before we went on stage, you can sense the sheer anticipation of the frenzied crowd (that's the stage – or 'home', as I call it – on the left-hand side of the picture).

Please note the rain dripping from the roof of the tent in which I am taking shelter. IT IS PRACTICALLY GLASTONBURY.

All I can say about the experience is that I now know a little about how Beyoncé feels when she is psyching herself up for a major gig. I, of course, like to take a more modest, back-row approach to performance than Beyoncé who, between you and me, is kind of a show-off. Maybe let someone else have a turn every now and then, B? Not everyone is here to listen to YOU SING.

Anyway, that's enough showbiz, let's talk about the art, as Elaine Paige often says to me on the way into our life-drawing class.

In this blog, which is now over three years old, I do seek to avoid covering the same ground – with little success – so I don't want to probe too deeply into the politics of the vegetable modelling competition, but let me simply say that this poodle (unplaced) was robbed.

Or perhaps it is not a poodle, but a cauli. A collie. A cauli. Ahahahahahahha.

Still, I think we can all agree that 'The Royal Vegging' was a deserved winner of the first-place rosette.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

In which I remember that I used to write a blog

Hello. How have you been? You look good. Have you been working out?

It's been a while. We're all busy people. You know how it is.

But I'm still here,
the gloves are still here, and I have definitely not abandoned the place, as someone abandoned this Barbie motorhome, just around the corner from my house.

Barbie is exactly the kind of doll who would get in her Barbie motorhome for a drive with some of the cool boys from the wrong side of town, then crash it into a wall and stroll away on her long, biologically impossible legs, leaving someone (her dad, I imagine) to pick up the pieces. And pay for them. And where's Ken in all this? Working all hours at Topdoll, just to get the money to buy Barbie some stupid necklace which she'll get bored of in about a week. God, Barbie is such a bitch.

Anyway, through the medium of poor iPhone cameraship, I can bring you the edited highlights of exactly what you have missed during my three weeks - three weeks! - of non-posting. You can tell things have turned to rust somewhat, Miss Jones-wise, by the fact that I had half my stupid finger over the lens in the picture above.

So in the last three weeks, I have been mostly:

1) Raging against the ill-punctuated.

Shame on you, TCM channel caption writers, you fool's.

Also at fault: the makers of novelty item "The Surprising Leg", found at a rainy faux-country fete.

I think you will agree with the packaging designers that yes, most certainly, it '"look's so real".

I feel there is a certain pragmatic flatness about the name, however. I have had a brainstorm with myself, vis-a-vis a blue-sky name for the product. I am suggesting 'Legs and Woah!' It is at once a hilarious play on the Top Of The Pops dancers of the late 70s, the period when, presumably, this hilarious novelty was conceived, and also suggests the expression of surprise emitted by the prankee on finding the incredibly lifelike demi-limb/limbs protruding from a closed filing cabinet, wardrobe or similar.

2) To quote the defunt we're-so-much-more-than-a-boy-band Busted, Sleeping with the lights on

That's because this dancing eyeless mask of Robbie Williams haunts my dreams after I spent two and a half hours standing behind it at a recent Take That concert.

3. What else? Well, looking for signs, as usual. The omens were particularly good ahead of the recent Marbury/Miss W (as was) nuptials. Nuptials is a ludicrous word, much beloved of magazines attempting to avoid the repetition of the word wedding by substituting it for a word never actually used by real people in the real world. I am not a real person, I'm a carefully constructed fictional character, so it's OK. See also 'locks' and 'tresses' for hair. And 'don' and 'sport' for 'wear'.

Anyway. The signs:

First, a heart-shaped crisp in my bag of Walkers on my train journey to Wedding Town.

Secondly, a double yolk in my B&B-breakfast poached eggs on the Big Day. Look at the two yolks of Marbury and Miss W, joined together in the albumen of eternity.

I don't know what it says about me that I then ate them both.

Anyway, it's nice to be back.