Thursday, July 20, 2006

IMG_0644While supposedly being taught to dance (don't ask and don't laugh), I become somewhat distracted (and just a little dispirited due to not quite having enough cossack genes). Firstly comes a little compare and contrast, starring Alizée, who some of you may already know (don't think I don't notice those song-playing-as-posted things)

English versus Français.

In one it's Europop, in the other it's absolute rubbish. What is it about foreign tongues which instantly neuters the offensiveness?

But while peruse more works of the world's favourite Corsican, I discovered her Japanese works. First an advertisement for something which wasn't what I thought it was (and can you guess what that was) which has a distinctly Japanese style, and then I found something with a hint of Banzai, only I can't figure out where the joke is. But more importantly, neither can Mademoiselle Jacotey. The only thing I can make sense of is that the programme is sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, which gets us back to what I thought she was advertising earlier. Well, if Elise wasn't already the name of a car, it would be something fairly absorbent (and I don't mean a jelly baby).

And then I see something like this little thing and I wonder why I even try. It's the same sort of feeling as when you discover that no one can know everything. Although I think he missed Saturday Night.

Disturbingly, I probably have attempted most of those (ignoring the only-in-America ones), even if I remain more familiar with the first minute of dancing styles than any others (spot the Scout/sailing club/village hall/wedding disco influence. It's odd how time renders the once shocking safe).

I might just stick with this. At least I know how to dance to that.

Hmm, if only I had a DVD of Saturday Night Fever I'd be saved all this awkwardness. Anyway, I'm off to enhance my moves, as apparently "ghetto is good", so I'm going to go and pimp my crib[bage board].

No, I don't actually know how to play, but I think I once swallowed one of the pegs from my grandparents' set. Look, it was chewy, in an unjoked lolly stick way, ok? I don't know how to play bridge either, which gets me to last night's avoid-talking-to-SG film: Gosford Park. It gets better with each viewing. There's a heck of a lot of details, so the first viewing is like being there; one comes away with a vague knowledge of some things, but not entirely sure what went on.

I am a little concerned that people recommended it to me on that grounds that I would like it. Was it the arch comments, the brazen rudeness, the slights or the subtle digs that were supposed to appeal to me? Or was it the potential in jokes (A bungling Inspector Thom[p]son? Oh come on, that's as obvious as Dogberry. So why Dexter for the competent constable? From the right or from the Morse?), or perhaps the country houseyness?

I think it probably is the cruel that was supposed to appeal. And of course, it does. You know that little bitchfest I mentioned last time? It only confirms that you can take the Anyhoo out of the Tweeton, but you can't the take the Tweeton out of the Anyhoo. But to counteract that the film also reminded of one definition of charming (through incessantly failing to be so): to not cause or allow the embarrassment of any person. So now I'm going to have to endeavour with that. At least until I get bored with it.

And is life meant to imitate art? The joys of fiendishly hot weather (which wasn't actually all that hot. It was hot, but not painfully so, but I always pick "too warm" in those meaningless surveys) mean that last night I wide awake at one a.m. and bored to sobs.

Ok, maybe not sobs, but pretty bored.

Oh excellent! Casting my gaze down to the lesser mortals playing football on a Croydon of paving slabs beneath my window, one man has sought to combine two so far separate fashion trends. One for hockey girl socks, another for three-quarter length trousers (in tasteful, slightly too shiny, navy sportswear fabric complete with yellow side stripes). Imagine he was going for the Outkast look, but given a JDSports twist. So not only does he have horizontal and vertical stripes at war, but they're firing volleys over the no-mans-land of his upper calves, although strangely the half-inch of flesh on one side is twinned with about 3 on the other. Them gonna be some mighty fine tan lines (and I thought sailing gear could be cruel when it comes to the gaps).

I told you ribbed white socks would be making a comeback. Let's hope that was its last hurrah.

And I'm aware that was unnecessary mean, but I'm wearing shorts which have been earning me frowns, so I've just about had it with being judged and not judging. The frowns come probably because of the dual insults I inflict on the world by exposing my scarcely tanned legs, and including my knees in the exposure. And the shorts are that faded teal that only people with big hair, sunburnt faces and Crew clothing can quite get away with. And yes, I have compounded the sin by combining the shorts with deck shoes, but that's only because I'd run out of clean socks. I am aware that in London terms that's as rational as wearing wellies, but I'm not the only one thus bedecked.

So not only do I wear unfashionable shorts with unfashionable legs but I walk in unfashionable shoes too. But I don't like flip flops (just look at the colour of people's feet at the end of a day in flip flops in London. Oh, and that whole wellies-in-London thing... I think flip flops count too. They're not exactly designed for running on escalators are they? Nice plaster where they rub inside your big toe too. I'm sure that's a good look. It's very, er, Usher). And I'm self conscious in cut-off plus-fours (there's no point in only the showing the extremely thin part of my legs, rather than including the merely unsettlingly thin. One advantage of legs being where they are is that I only see them foreshortened, thus saving me from certain suicide), and anything which ends actually on the knee bugs the hell out of me.

And since when has surfwear been citywear? There's stupid amount of men wandering round in boardshorts. I know they spent sixty quid on them and thus want their money's worth, but surely wearing swimming trunks on the Northern Line is not the way. What are they going to do, water-ski behind a PLA barge? I only know the price as I saw a pair I liked and then wondered whether that was really worth it to have three foot of nylon dangling shimmeringly from my arse. But then I also managed to find some much shorter and for only around £300. Think fifties Bond as done by Dolce and Gabanna. I didn't buy them as I suspect not even they could protect against the hazards of swimming in the English sea (and I'm not referring to stray jet skis). Actually, I wonder if anyone would dare try to swim in them as they did look as if designed to survive the rigours of a fashion shoot, rather than those of half-hearted dive. Anyway, you could probably get the same look by buying a pair of cycling shorts, hoiking them up a bit more and trimming off the excess.

Argh, I've just visualised a Liz Hurley dress swimming trunks crossover. Not nice. And probably somewhat chaffing.

But thinking back to Tweeton reminded me that Friday evening wasn't the nothingness I'd previously described, as somehow I'd forgotten being languid on t'Heath (well, it's north of here), having spent the evening before lying erect in Regent's Park (warm sun, cold wind, nipples taking aim at any threatening cloud). Actually sunbathing in the evening does have something curiously attractive about it. Perhaps it's the inefficient futility. Perhaps it's the low guilt tanning (just enough to not look like one needs to go in for 25 minutes on gas mark 7, yet enough to considerably nuke any spots into submission, and not enough to cause hmm-that's-saggy and since-when-did-that-crease* inducing sunburn [ok, so probably any UV does damage, but I look on it as either I age or I stay with the adolescent body, including the spots. Case solved. Anyway, the only never-tanned skin I have has stretch marks and so isn't the best basal case. Besides, if I try to do pale and interesting I end up colourful, textured and interesting for the wrong reasons]).

* There's one line in the top of my knees. It's like a little sadistic half smile every time I straighten them. I've never noticed it before. But then I still get surprised to discover my legs have hair. Perhaps having a residual self image stuck at 6 isn't a good thing. Although, and this is to the frowners, at least my shorts now aren't as short as they were then. Obviously more innocent times, before the ozone holes, paedophile hysteria, and the criminalisation of public indecency (and the rights of children to sue their parents for emotional damage).

But lying in the long grass interrupted only by the gentle sounds of Frisbee and far off bongs* is quite nice. The gentle sounds of Frisbee are, by the way, for the nearby English couple "Sorry... Sorry darling... Sorry... Mind out. Sorry..." and for the nearer Australian couple "Shit... Oh shit... Jeez... Shit... Strewth... Shit... Shit... Ow. Shit. Oh shit. I broke a nail... Shit... Shit... [thwadunk]. Shit...". Thwadunk is the sound a Frisbee makes as it enters the grass closing rapidly towards my head, before veering into the ground.

* Typo. That should read bongos, but as both were involved I'll leave it to add a hint of babbling.

And I can see how adders do it. A surprising number of people literally stumbled upon me sprawled in the long grass. Eventually I mongoosed up and realised I was apparently in the middle of an avenue of scarcely visible heads, knees and feet, and so unless I raised a marker, my little space would appear empty. So I rolled over and toyed with my toes along the opposing instep, and pondered why a-framed lower legs are so common, until I realised kneecaps are bloody cumbersome things which don't fold away neatly, and end up taking the weight of the leg and trying to move under it. Anyone would think we weren't designed to lie on lawns reading.

So I lingered, failing to read any of the stuff I carried with me, listening to a neighbouring conversation, trying to ignore the utter familiarity of it (affluent students discussing cats, cars and companions) while trying not to laugh when they do (oh, they'll think it was grasshopper anyway), watching the life in the grass, including a huge harvestman, a baby grasshopper and belatedly a lot of red ants (which hadn't noticed me yet so I lay on pretending they weren't there), while wondering if next door have finished off the Pimms and premade Pimms mix (they'd very quickly run out of lemonade; poor show) and how soon they were going to attempt Pimms diluted with wine, as suggested earlier. Unfortunately they were called to dinner so I never got to hear how successful that would have been. Shortly afterwards the sun set beyond the verdure, so I packed and stood up, back into the sun, and rutched through the grass home, over the hill, where I discovered that the warehouse in Bow was still going, judging by the wreaths layering the sky (er, so that's where that not-quite-a-barbecue smell came from earlier). But Pimms on the Heath does sound very tempting. Now all I need to do is entice some other people (and check whether alcohol's banned so then I can pretend I didn't and ignore the ban).

Oh, and somewhere along the line I introduced SG to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which I'd managed to partially forget, which made it all the better. The analogy of living within an area controlled by people who purportedly know what's best has only just occurred to me. I wonder if she's twigged yet. But then she's been livid with the BBC's China series for showing her what she's never been told; that all China is not like Shanghai, and not like the clean, affluent parts at that. Maybe getting the mental health lesson isn't that important right now.

But what became of most of the actors in it? Devito and Nicholson we know, but who is and where is Billy now? Or could casters not see beyond the character?

[Woah. Apparently he was Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings].

Anyway, once again the sun has set, so it's got hotter (feels hotter, as now everything is the same temperature the wind has died) and so I'd better turn off the computer, which has been making frantic noises while pumping out heat, and joining the building's electrics on their go-slow (resistance may be futile, but when it impedes my internet connection, it's damn annoying).


PS. Does anyone know what might be causing my stereo to come on at random times with no alarm set. I assume it's picking up some interference which trips it into action, but have no idea what. Fortunately I'm too absent minded to become paranoid by electrics which have life of their own (ooh, do you think I should go up to the roof to check for cute Batteries Not Included style life? I've always wanted one. And I do have a lamp which looks like a plastic statue of one, but that wasn't intentional).

Oh, and it's not being caused by me sitting on the remote, as I'm not sitting on it, and it needs new batteries. And that wasn't at all pre-emptive.

If the remote needs batteries, that could be it. Also, you may be inadvertently getting infra red light refracted/reflected from the sun (possibly via something that is moving and hence creates the pulses needed for the remote signal). If you don't use the remote, try covering over the IR sensor on the hifi with something very opaque.

Proper email to follow within the next couple of days.
Nice plaster where they rub inside your big toe too. I'm sure that's a good look. It's very, er, Usher

Usher? I think you mean Nelly.

And boardshorts (with flip-flops optional) is a good look I think. That is if you don't have skinny legs (hence why I never wear them). Damn people with calves.

Oh and that thing I said about Rugby players, I take it all back.
MQ: I don't think my stereo is clever enough to bleat for help. And the sun theory sort of runs aground as it happens at night as well. But other than that...

Az: Yes, I meant Nelly the Usher, who is the cousin of Nelly the Elephant, both of whom are distantly related to Nelly the Furtado as well.

Boardshorts good: on a board. Seen traipsing through Thames Water's roadworks: not so good.

And as I'm tempted to make a joke about dairy farmers (yes, it was something you said), I'd better stop.
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