Happy Halloween y'all. It's my favourite holiday. You can find out your Halloween name (I am Scary von Wart), read some ghastly Halloweenies, or get some tips on pumpkin carving. I'll be ready for those guysers tomorrow!
I've been in Edinburgh most of the week, which is working out well. Two extra hours each day to read on the train and Edinburgh is especially beautiful this time of year. It always makes me think of This is Edinburgh, my favourite of all the M. Sasek books. As a Glaswegian, that's hard for me to admit. My favourite Sasek picture ever is of a man being blown up Waverley Steps. As this is usually the first thing that happens in Auld Reekie after getting off the train, it knocked me out to find it a picture of it, especially such a nice one.
Also saw some nice posters for Advertising and the Artist: The Work and Collection of Ashley Havinden at the Dean Gallery, before heading down to Ocean Terminal, which is gearing up for the MTV Music Awards. This must surely have the best view of any shopping centre, and the Royal Yacht Britannia to boot, with the flags and the pipers and the hey hey hey...
I like Mo Kin, tiny xylophone prodigy that she is.
"We've gone on holiday by mistake". Got a last minute deal to Bulgaria, and while I was prepared for things being a little topsy-turvy (Bulgarians nod their heads for no and shake it for yes; lightswitches go up instead of down), I wasn't prepared for it being (a) cold, (b) closed, and I certainly wasn't prepared for the dead hotelier who was lying in state at the end of our corridor. Oh I can smile about it now but at the time it was serious...
The upshot of that was that I came back from holiday without any of my customary wim and wigour, and seriously wondered if I would ever like anything again. But then... I passed the telly when Alchemists of Sound was on, and everything perked up a bit. An hour of lovely people from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop making otherworldly noises and being extremely modest about it. Two particular highlights were Delia Derbyshire's Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO (there's a clip of this on the programme website) and a John Baker piece (Structures, I think) that accompanied some gorgeous documentary on modernist architecture. What lovely stuff. This BBC Radiophonic Music CD looks like a must have, even without the Dr. Who theme. The documentary was, with lovely voiceover by Oliver Postgate, courtesy of Victor Lewis-Smith's Associated Rediffusion company which used to look like this.
Apart from that, I like the Robert Stewart exhibition at Glasgow School of Art. Stewart was a contemporary of Lucienne Day's, and the exhibition was full of the most fabulous 1950s design for all kinds of things: textiles, ceramics, exhibition programmes, even a swimming pool on a cruise liner. The textiles will be at Goldsmith's College in that London in November, and there's a book too by Liz Arthur, Robert Stewart: design 1946-1995 which will be going on my Christmas list.
Finally, on this day in history: Make your own origami Concorde.
I like is going on holiday tomorrow so no more updates for a wee while.
And speaking of scary...someone at work was looking for Halloween food but Kitty Litter Cake? I ask you. And speaking of cakes, I was working on a cook book during the week and spent a good half hour debating the scone/crumpet/muffin conundrum. If you're ever stuck for something to talk about try setting that one off. It can run and run. I learnt lots of other things too, like it's Battenberg cake, but Battenburg lace and that you dredge with sugar, and you eat Simnel cake at Easter.
I've also been liking The War of the Worlds book covers timeline which is doing the rounds, and finally saw the B&S Step into my office, baby video which is magic. The Glasgow tower features in all its phallic glory and I'm sorry to confess that the sexiest thing in it (for me anyway) is that rather groovy office corridor full of frosted glass partitions. Woof!
Finally, if you are near a Fopp they've got 2001: filming the future by Piers Bizony for a fiver, and it's well worth it. I'm not bothered about the story, I just want to look at the pictures. I thought I liked it a lot until I saw this guy.
I've been away due to an urgent redecoration situation. Oh, and a holiday. Took some time off last weekend to go to Dumfries and Galloway, a fairly godforsaken part of Scotland notable only for Kirkcudbright, Wigtown: Scotland's book town and the Wicker Man trail. I spent Sunday on the hunt for the Wicker Man's legs. There really isn't anything else to do down there. After much searching we found them anyway, and touched the stumps for luck. I have to confess I found the whole thing really interesting and will be going back next time to look for The Green Man.
Otherwise, I'm enjoying the new Belle & Sebastian LP, Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Step into my office, baby is one of the funniest records I've heard for a long time, and also one of the most touching. I particularly like the line "I was burned out after Thatcher" (political song?), the comedy whoop whoop noises (reminiscent of The Who) and the only noticeable Trevor Horn moment (strings after Thatcher line -a little bit Frankie). It's great stuff. I'm now trying to see the video which was directed by Graham Linehan, but despite concerted efforts, can't get it to load.
September 2003 >>>