Archive for June, 2010

30 June, 2010

9 0 0 0

Lovely graphical musings on love, loss, destiny and the fabulous Miss Golightly.

Venn diagrams have never looked more charming.

More from here.

29 June, 2010


Aah, bless Google for letting me know that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry would have been 110 today.

Happy birthday, my dear Saint-Ex!

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27 June, 2010

Rainy Weekend

The steady pitter patter of rain on the roof, a little Nina Simone, a dash of Jacques Brel, some homemade apple and rhubarb crumble, and, of course, a cup of tea…

27 June, 2010

Jacques-Henri Lartigue

I have a poster of this image stashed away somewhere, amongst the floatsam and jetsam of my London life, still lying in boxes stacked neatly and hidden away in my current, temporary home… just waiting for the time they will be unearthed, revealed and settled for once and all.

It’s a beautiful photo of Renée Perle, a Romanian model during the 1930s and a muse of photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue.

Image from here.

23 June, 2010

Song o’the Week #25 or ‘Beaux’

By The Time It Gets Dark by Yo La Tengo.

I had a beau once. He was kind and gentle and liked to draw three dimensional mice, so real they looked as if they could jump off the page and so cute you wanted them to. He also liked to give me things which reminded both of us of our favourite songs. And it was only many years later that I realised how strong and very patient he was.

A few years later, I had another beau. He was mercurial in thought, intelligent, passionate, adventurous and whimsical. He wrote me poems, cooked me lavish, delicious meals, dragged me along on his madcap escapades and opened up new worlds of culture, life and living to me.

Both were very different people, but both were – oddly enough – mad Yo La Tengo fans.

And each time I hear the crazy, laidback, tender songs of the Hoboken, New Jersey trio, I think of them – my two beaux – fondly.

21 June, 2010


Real needfire – from which Midsmmer fires should be lit – can only be made by rubbing two pices of wood together… We were always fascinated that such a tiny flame could make the twilight seem deeper and so much more blue – we thought of that as the beginning of the magic; and it was tremendously important that the taper shouldn’t blow out as we came down the tower steps and crossed the mound… Once the fire is blazing the countryside fades into the dusk, so I took one last look round the quiet fields, sorry to let them go. Then I lit the twigs. They caught quickly – I love those early minutes of a fire, the crackles and snappings, the delicate flickers, the first sharp whiff of smoke. The logs were slow to catch so I lay with my head near the ground and blew. Suddenly the flames raced up the wigwam of branches and I saw the snowy moon trapped in a fiery cage. Then smoke swept over her as the logs caught at last. I scrambled up, and sat back watching them blaze high. All my thoughts seemed drawn into the fire – to be burning with it in the brightly lit circle of stones. The whole world seemed filled with hissing and crackling and roaring.

And then, far off in the forgotten dusk, someone called my name.

~Dodie Smith, I Capture The Castle (1949)

° ° °

The solstice doesn’t have quite the same history or importance in this part of the world (Lat 37°47’S Long 144°58’E). Here, the length of days do not noticeably wax or wane with the seasons and we’re more worried about a drought, rather than a harsh, interminable winter. Still, it’s nice to pause and mark the Winter Solstice and realise that the warmer weather will soon be here.

High Summer, 2003


21 June, 2010


Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
~Tom Robbins

Can someone pass the zebra over then?

20 June, 2010

That Haircut

One summer, during university, I cut my hair very, very short. I had just seen Godard’s À Bout De Souffle and I was inspired. And it was easy to manage, barely needed any shampoo or conditioner and I felt a hundred times lighter being freed from my thick, heavy hair.

One day, while I was straightening Loony Tunes t-shirts during a shift at what I can only describe as a horrifically awful gift store (a part-time job) I listened as a mother and her young son exchange words, and then money. Son wanted a t-shirt and Mum was going to buy one for him. “Go give the young gentleman the money,” she told him, giving him a note. He took it and then approached me, a little hesitantly.

I felt myself go a little red, but not as red as Mum when she realised that well – despite my short hair – I was very much female.

“Oh, sorry,” she said hurriedly.

I kept the haircut for awhile but eventually let it grow out. More for the fact that it needed constant, regular upkeep and the income from my casual university jobs didn’t stretch to that.

In any case, here are some images showcasing Ms Seberg’s immutable gamine cool and the haircut which inspired mine.

(The first four from here, the fourth from here and the last from here)

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20 June, 2010

Bookcovers 2009

AIGA has just announced the 50 Books/50 Covers selection for 2009.

Some of my favourites below.

16 June, 2010

Song o’the Week #24

Wait For Me by Anaïs Mitchell featuring Ben Knox Miller and Justin Vernon.

Her new album Hadestown is everything I want in music right now: bluesy, folksie,, operatic, ethereal and haunting. Soulful cellos.  Lackadaisical harmonicas.  Gongs.  Lush orchestral tunes.  And the enduringly tragic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.  Oh, and Death, Love, Faith and/or Doubt, the Underworld and the River Styx.  Set in the American South during the Depression.

Shades of Gershwin?  Possibly – if Gershwin played the guitar, wore a thick lush beard, plaid shirts and lace-up lumberjack boots.  If anything, Hadestown is closer to Tom Waits and William Burroughs’ The Black Rider.

A gorgeous, gorgeous album.