Saturday, 25 September 2010


Our original trip was postponed in May due to BA strikes and the volcanic ash. We spent a September weekend there instead. We walked through the city looking at the Gaudi buildings, popping into art galleries (Picasso, Dali, Miro and Tapies). We ate tapas and ice-creams. We visited the Mies Van Der Rohe pavillion building and sat in the park for some sunshine relief. Nice sisterly trip.

I wasn't sure whether I loved the Gaudi or not - its so over exposed and we see so many images of it that it wasn't as suprising as I was expecting. Its been there for a long time however, and it has to be seen in context of when it was built. At the time it must have been really different (architect friend discussed with me at ceramics class on Thursday). Parts of it are stunning.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Aunty Bettys

Out with ceramics class for the first class of the term - back to the regular haunt (pizza place off Blackstock Road with awnings for sitting outside).

Can't remember why but I was relaying a description of my Aunty Betty (actually not an aunty, a second cousin but its a snappier title aunty - anything for a good story) - a farmers wife who always wore stilletto shoes clattering around the farmyard, a yellow twinset and black conicle bra (large pointy tits) and could butter a whole loaf of sliced white in 20 seconds while making sandwiches for the farmhands.

Two other people (out of 6) had aunty bettys, which seems quite a high proportion.

One of these alternative Aunty Bettys lived over a petrol station, ate jujubes, spent a lot of time longingly looking at the picture of her husband who died from a war-related illness having been gassed in the trenches. She caught something from kissing her budgie and died.

The other alternative Aunty Betty would sit cross legged on the floor peeling potatoes. She believed that the kitchen table was the real repository of the adventures of the household. Her architect niece designed a house for her in which the kitchen had to be exactly the same as it was in the previous house so said kitchen table could be exactly as it had always been.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ladies who lunch

Australian ladies lunching. One is on the phone. "Matthew has to wear glasses all the time, in class as well....can you make sure he is going that....yah....thanks."
Comes off the phone. Yes, she says to her companion, we took him to the opticians this week - he has something progressive, he won't go blind, but its from wearing hard contact lenses. Its impacted on his cornea - its shaped like this [I refrain from looking round to see the shape]. Have you ever had botox?
Yes I love it - I'm getting some more for my birthday.
Where did you have it done? [I assumed she meant which clinic, her friend thought differently]
I get it here, here, here, here and here. Its great.
When did you last have it done?
About a year ago so there is nothing in there now...
But it looks great!
Thankfully they pick up their stuff and leave us in peace with our lunches. I'd like to say flounce off to the shops but I had my back to them and couldn't tell.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Tamara Drewe

This was a very funny film - I laughed out loud. Perfectly drawn bored rural teenagers up to no good (I only have the reports from two rural teenage friends to go by but they seem to get up to a lot more mischief than I ever did living in the city - sex in fields, sniffing inappropriate substances, stealing stuff, climbing over fences to get into festivals) - perfect angst - all those hormones surging through the pubescent bodies - in LOVE with pop idols. The idea of a writers retreat (nightmare - certain it is like this - lots of talk about my work, self obsessed and idolising those already published). Keeps true to the feel of the Posy Simmonds strip it came from.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Ally Pally

Bus drives over the hill and passes in front of the palace. The changing London skyline looms out of the mist - new tower at elephant and castle with it's weird horn shape and satellite dishes, the city with it's ever growing height and docklands. Wonder how long before these three areas join up into a manhattanesque horizon. St Pauls finally overshadowed. Off the bus the air always smells of damp under growth. The garden centre is empty now that the autumn is arriving.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


mcdonalds in Bruce Grove has their new orange and olive green design with a huge plate glass window. Three youths sit in the bucket leatherette chairs inside the window. One of them is picking his nose.

Saturday, 4 September 2010


So the month has turned and we slide into the autumn  months. Not ready for it yet. Blooms are reaching their ends. Plants are leggy with dying flowers. The earlier crushed ferms have put out some new shoots since the rains hit and the grass is green once again. A tomato plant has grown out of an air hole of the compost bin but I don't think it will have enough time to actually make tomatoes. Red onions have been harvested and plaited up. Ongoing battle with the squirrel to keep the bulbs from last year in the pot he likes to dig up.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Walking the dog

Its a sunny morning on the way to work, turning into Choumert Road there are two people with buggies walking towards me on the pathway. First is a man with his daughter. He is talking to her, pointing stuff out. The second is a grandma with the rainhood over the buggy. As I pass I realise that the granny actually has two yorkshire terriers in her buggy - its a specially designed dog buggy by the look of it. Doesn't it sort of defeat the purpose of walking the dog if they are riding?