This week, Tommy had slapped cheek syndrome. It didn't seem to bother him and meant I got to miss work and stay home, which I liked very much. I wish I could stay home every day and be a proper mum. Why spend time in pointless meetings when I could be at home making krispie cakes? How can I make myself less Reggie Perrin and more Barbara Good?
The I'm in a job that's destroying my soul link compendium:
Every Wednesday I have to spend two hours on a help desk, but for some reason my phone never rings. This period of enforced idleness has become the most fertile of the whole week with no end of interweb goodness unearthed. Today's haul:
Over the past few weeks I've had a lot more mail that usual (I like this) and some great suggestions for links I might like (I like this too). So here are a few good ones:
I've really enjoyed looking through all this stuff so do keep sending it in.
Another ace exhibition I saw in London was at the Design Museum. Every year the Conran Foundation gives a prominent designer £30,000 to buy materials for the permanent collection. This made me imagine lots of luxury items you can't afford and wouldn't know what to do with if you could. But no, Thomas Heatherwick, has spent his money wisely and chosen over 1,000 items: all innovative, good-looking, functional, and/or entertaining, like:
I came out laughing, and thinking what a giddy whirlwind of delight daily life would be if all everyday objects were designed with such care. It tied in nicely with an Eames House of cards on display upstairs in the 1950s design section which looked fresh as a daisy. It had pictures of Charles & Ray Eames' "good stuff"- "familiar and nostalgic objects from the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms". It all makes design seem a bit more accessible. Now I feel in good company finding delight in the everyday.
"That's rubbish". He did have a point, although I liked the rest of the show which was about hanging around in shops after closing time and seeing how long it took to get thrown out.
The last few days have been taken up with big wheels and modern art. The thing I liked best in London was Olafur Eliasson's Weather Project (left) at the Tate Modern. It was huge, beautiful, apocalyptic, and good fun, all at the same time. Everyone was standing about in awe, or lying on the floor making shapes that showed in the mirrored ceiling. It was great to see art on such a huge scale that people could be part of.
After that, my friend Cas and I went on the London Eye, which was also huge, awe-inspiring and good fun. Back home I've been on another big wheel because Glasgow is the City of LoveTM. Then, on to the Gallery of Modern Art because seeing cool parents with kids in London galleries made me think Tommy should get a bit more culture. So we went to the David Sherry Interremoteness exhibition. As everyone reverentially watched a film of two guys sitting on a sofa, a wee voice boomed out "That's rubbish". He did have a point, although I liked the rest of the show which was about hanging around in shops after closing time and seeing how long it took to get thrown out.
"I have feelings for you, but I thought I'd let this card do all the work because I haven't got the imagination or energy to let you know in my own words." - Happy Anti-Valentines Day from meish.org
Wha' happened? I've been to see A Mighty Wind which was good, although it seemed a little small in the cinema. Might be because they showed a trailer for Starsky & Hutch beforehand. It looked so great I wondered if I could just stay there until March and wait.
Today I've been to see Franz Ferdinand playing in Virgin. A little slice of acerbic pop was just what I needed to put some fire back in my belly. All the emails I've been sent lately have been a great diversion. It's been lovely to hear from you all. I like the nice comments and the new sites to look at, and the photos you've been sending. More please. I'm off to London at the end of the week for the first time in 4 years so if anyone can recommend something I might like let me know.
First and foremost though (with warm thanks to Tag): Release the Moomins!
I like the sound of Ken Garland after reading an interview with him in The Herald on Saturday. I'd seen his name in some beautifully designed 60s CND publications at work, but didn't know about the First Things First manifesto ("proposing a reversal of priorities in favour of the more useful and lasting forms of communication") and his work on the social and political aspects of design. I'd never really thought about any of this before so I'm enjoying reading through the Adbusters site which reworked First Things First in 2000 and finding out more about the various things he's done that seem totally different but all fascinating like:
This seems to be just scratching the surface so if anyone knows any more, do get in touch. I feel very educated already.
There are some great Moomins links on loobylu including Tove Jansson's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Oh my dear paws once more! Nice to see too that loobylu has been winning lots of Australian blog awards.
I also like Adam Greenfield's article in defence of Ikea. With a new house and a toddler in tow I don't know where I'd be without Ikea. As far as I can tell their stuff is inventive, attractive, functional and cheap which is just about all you need in a furniture store. So I don't understand people getting sniffy about it either. We just got Tommy a tiny egg chair that's one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Plus I'm addicted to lingonberry juice...
New likes. I meant to put up something about Ashley Havinden after seeing the exhibition at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh last month, but despite designing spectacular adverts for major British companies over a 50-year period I couldn't find many of them on the web. I'm still looking though. Also, some photos of pubs that took my fancy for all kind of reasons: signs, lettering, nice signwriting, the usual stuff.
January 2004 >>>
London - a film by Patrick Keiller.
This is one of my favourite films ever. It's not quite like anything else. No characters just a narrator and lots of fascinating bits of London. Entertaining and educational.
Advertising & the artist: Ashley Havinden by Richard Hollis et al.
Full of wonderful adverts from the 1930s-1960s. Stylish and fun.
Abram Games, graphic designer: maximum meaning, minimum means by Catherine Moriarty, June Rose & Naomi Games. Super-stylish classic design.
Mr Beck's underground map by Ken Garland.
History of the London tube map. Fascinating!