Friday, 29 April 2011

Nearly found a contender...

The trials of shopping.

Look, it looks good from the front... but then...



hello bra!



Shame, it is a nice print. (Hello bra, again.)

,

Back to the drawing board. Going to Brighton tomorrow. They have shops there too, right?

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bored

I don't know why I bore you with this. I keep a journal of sorts & should confine it there, but thoughts become clearer when you write them in Blogger, for some reason. I guess when you try and explain things to other people really you're clarifying them to yourself.

I could go out tonight, was invited to the working men's club (more fun than it sounds, it's in Bethnal Green and they do all sorts) but too tired, too old & past it.

I'm not contented to be alone anymore, but going out & meeting people seems a chore. Really what I want, deep in our hearts what we all want, is not to be in love, to be over all that heart-racing, can't eat/can't sleep/thinking about them all the time stage, through all that and at the comfortable relaxed irritable god-he-drives-me-crazy-when-he-clears-his-throat-like-that stage, where you can just stay home and bore & irritate each other in comfort, and not feel guilty for never going out on a Friday night anymore. In other words, what we aspire to is still bored but not lonely & bored.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

bar mitzvah

Something bad happens to English people when they have to dress up. (I'm purposely not mentioning the horrorshow that is on Friday, but I'm sure there'll be some rare sights on offer.)

I include myself in this. I love clothes (if not fashion) and never get anxious about looking right, but when it comes to dressing up for a formal occasion my brain locks up and the whole thing gets too much. Spaniards look cool and classy when they dress up. They just up the ante a little bit and glide smoothly from every day into formal wear. But us poor English women go mad. We tend to look like we've been forced into drag at gunpoint and made to wear mental foliage on our heads too. Look at Ascot, or any wedding you've ever been to. Everybody just looks dead uncomfortable. You just know we'd rather be in our jeans & cardis, covered in cat hair.

All which is to say, I have to venture into what is known as Occasion Wear soon. Number 1 Nephew is having a bar mitzvah (absolutely his choice, I think he liked the idea of a big party and fuss rather than any serious religious leanings.)

I can't find a dress. This summer is all about the maxi (I refuse to go as Demis Roussos to my nephew's bar mitzvah) or is short-short (don't have the legs for it) or is CRAZY EXPENSIVE. £150 is clearly the new £50. Even so I nearly bought this one - I love it, and it's not too saucy that it will offend the rabbi - but it's still too short for me. Curse my baby elephant's legs.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A man who gets women

So I'm reading In Praise of Older Women (why was I attracted to this book, I wonder?)

I found it in the WH Smith's in Stratford, which has suddenly started stocking Penguin reissues of books that are desirable and interesting that you might actually want to read, not just the Dan Browns, the chick lits and the celebrity chefs. I don't know whose idea this was, it's very good but also ruinous.

This was written by Stephen Vizinczey in the sixties, he's one of those sickening foreigners (Hungarian) who picked up English in his 30s and then started writing prose better than any of us natives will ever master.

Some found it scandalous when it came out;
"I have thrown my copy into the wastebasket and I hope Mr Vinzinczey will be murdered before he has a chance to write another book..." said one reviewer. Don't mince your words, tell us what you really think. But I find this baffling, because it's not rude, it's not graphic, it's not porn, it's barely even erotica.

He writes about sex but so openly, and in the context of relationships. Though he starts off a typical desperate young boy, wanting to shag anything that moves, he still learns something from every encounter with a woman. (His central argument is that people nowadays worship youth, but that girls are cruel to boys, and their youth and inexperience make them hard to love, whereas older women are more easy-going and confident in themselves and so make better lovers.) He seems to really, genuinely like women. He gets them. It's one of those books that you keep wanting to quote from, but I'll confine myself to this one - it may not sound so revolutionary now, but he was writing this in the mid sixties...

"... this enthusiasm had a great deal to do with my later luck with women. And although I hope this memoir will be instructive, I have to confess that it won't make women more attracted to you than you are to them. If deep down you hate them, if you dream of humiliating them, if you enjoy ordering them around, then you are likely to be paid back in kind. They will want and love you just as much as you want and love them - and praise be to their generosity."

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Time Capsule

First my computer broke then my iPod broke, but then I found this magic software & it rescued all my old mp3s.

In celebration I will be posting the Vintage Slaminsky Mixtapes here. Whether you like it or not.

They were made in 2006, then swallowed by Switchpod when it went down,and I haven't listened to them since. It's like opening a time capsule.

First up; Mix Tape Number 1, with Thom Yorke & PJ remixed with Miss Kitten, The Knife, the Raveonettes, etc etc. Enjoy.

(Talking of time capsule, going away made me think of what it's like to live abroad again, and how very very tempting it is to just fuck off when you are, well, fucked off.

I find myself on the British Council website, looking at jobs in Barcelona. Before I wasn't qualified, now I am. Hmmm...

Quick, talk me out of it, I know it's a blind alley really.)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

First visit to Africa

This is Chefchaouen. There is something in doing no research about a place whatsoever,as walking around, discovering this little town that we'd never heard of was magical. This is the open air bathhouse/washeteria/swimming pool.

It was very exciting. Bear with me...

I have no interesting stories to tell. (Just spent 8 days not thinking about work, or life, or the internet, just going COR! WOW! BEAUTIFUL! and getting on and off buses. And avoiding Moroccan toilets as much as possible.)

Merely these observations...

Many English people abroad are annoying, loud and embarrassing. And often a little bit racist.

I can't barter to save my life. I am a rubbish Jew. (One stallholder kindly offered me tips on how to negotiate, whilst I was trying to negotiate, feeling sorry for me. The shame.)

Still managed to shop though (I mean, c'mon.) Bought jewellery, fabric made from cactus silk, leather, amber, and argan oil. Argan oil is poohed out by goats or something, and is supposed to be some super detoxing anti-ageing magical potion. Have applied under the eyes to see if it magically disappears one's wrinkles. So far I can report back it just makes you look a bit oily under the eyes.

If your religion bans you from painting people or animals, the art of the country will be set back for years to come. The abstract art (tiles & so forth) was amazing and accomplished. The modern paintings featuring people were horrendous.

I loved the polyglot nature of the place. I don't know how they hold Arabic, Berber, Spanish and French in their heads all at the same time. High school French came back to me a bit. And Spanish. Lots of people didn't bother, instead using the time-honoured Brits abroad method of speaking in English LOUDLY to communicate with the natives.

Anyway, here are some more pictures. Sorry. At least I spared you from photos of the goats' heads and the camel's head hanging up in the souk in Fez.
cactus hanging up to dry

Djemaa el Fna square all lit up at night. A frotteur's paradise.
Majorelle Gardens in Marrakesh, owned by Yves St Laurent. Pure gorgeousness.
Yves St Laurent sexy poster.
This man sat in a dark cave all day, stoking the fire to keep the water for the hammam hot.
At the weavers in Fez. Fez is brilliant.
This local guide (on the right) liked me. He said I was his little poppy flower.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Morocco

graffitti by Slaminsky
graffitti, a photo by Slaminsky on Flickr.

I'm back (despite best efforts of Royal Air Maroc.) I love Morocco. More photos here. More coming...

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Ungrateful

Tomorrow I'm off to Morrocco. As I booked it a year ago (by accident) I'm not so into the idea now. I'd like to stay in bed for a week instead.

Laters.



PS we are having a print sale at the Daiwa Foundation for the Japan Tsunami Appeal. There'll also be an auction website where you can view prints but I don't have details yet.

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation invites you to a fundraising event in support of The British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal

East London Printmakers

Print Sale for Japan

Thursday, 14 April, 5-7pm (No booking is necessary)

immediately following Roland Kelt's 4pm lecture, Pop Culture from a Multipolar Japan




The artist of East London Printmakers, an independent artist-run printmaking studio, work in techniques mush as hand made stencils, silkscreen, fabric printing, woodcut, etching and photographic processes. The work is a diverse mix of traditional and contemporary art. Recent exhibitions include group shows at the City Hall, the V&A Museum of Childhood and the Freud museum, as well as touring shows abroad.

The 200 members include people from over 17 countries, many with an interest in Japanese arts and culture, and several who have visited or lived in Japan. The funds they collect by selling their art works will all go to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. The Price range is £10-£300.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Shameless

It's my old quest for good TV. This is what I'm watching after State of Play (first two series, stopped after that. For me what drove the story was Fiona, and her dilemma - should she stay or should she go? After she'd gone it kind of lost the point and turned into a regular soap. Don't like soaps, because they never end. Stories should have an ending. Also I missed James McEvoy.)

There are lots of things about this country that I don't like at the moment, but at least we have some bloody good actors to be proud of (and writers, hat tip to Paul Abbott.) Just saw the first episode of series 2 where shiftless, irresponsible Frank watches his hated father keel over with a heart attack, and all the bitterness & pain comes pouring out. Seeing as he's been a fairly clown-like character up until that moment it's really moving. May I direct you here to watch David Threlfall in action.

Monday, 4 April 2011

They let me out

A rare two days out of school in King's Cross for the rep's course.

Great to spend time talking with adults for a change, it made me realise just how much I need to change jobs, much as I love the kids. They give us lovely food and proper coffee. It takes little to keep us happy. And at least 5 good-looking men, which is not bad for a room full of teachers. (Not to denigrate my profession but most of them are women. Specifically, mostly knackered looking middle aged women. I fit right in.)

One of them I clock straight away over the other side of the room, he has slightly spiky hair, nice arms, a mischievous face. He catches me looking. His eyes crinkle when he smiles, it's very engaging. He asks me if I'm coming to the pub when we finish on Friday. We bond over sneaking outside to smoke. I don't know if I'm flirting, I've forgotten how, but I like talking to him.

It was ridiculous but I felt somehow relieved. It came as a relief to find I could still fancy someone else. It was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, 1 April 2011

On addiction

Everybody laughs at my phone. It's as if I pull one of these out of my bag.

It works. It serves its purpose. I should probably update it.

I am scared to get a smartphone though, then my internet addiction will be complete. There will be no escape. I'll turn into one of those tedious people who pulls their phone out at the dinner table and starts checking their Twitter or their email.

If I was to get a smartphone though, which one should I get? (Not getting an iPhone because of the Chinese suicide factories though.)