Sunday, 30 August 2009

Ruby watch

I can be a magpie to pretty glimmering, yet different things. And this Victorian working watch. is just one I've stumbled over today upon the Laurelle Antique & Fine Jewellery website. Its difference is most overtly cast through the watch's unusual face, first in a diamond set within an oval just under an inch in diameter, embedded with an bed of Paste stones - their nature alike to diamonds.


There is something truly gorgeous and different about this jewel. Something makes it shine through its vintage manner yet its design, would not make sit out of place today. It would be a gift of love through the six ruby stones upon the strap, the colour of passion and vibrancy.

And at £245 it's pretty much a good treasure to find and one certainly to keep. I want!

The Vanishing Luck

What is luck? Are some people just generally born lucky? Is luck about karma or just a reflection of our personality?

As definitions state, luck lies on the dichotomy of good or bad each occurring beyond our control by accident or chance when no certainty is guaranteed. Luck as a lack of control comes to define the place of our birth, with circumstantial factors causing accidents and lastly luck which we only realise in hindsight - the ignorance luck.

On the other hand luck as an essence of being is something which can be heightened, from Roman worship of Goddess Fortuna to voodoo, spells, prayer or superstitions of the four leaf clover to rabbits feet continuing through to wearing your lucky/pulling knickers, lucky socks to your lucky number all to keep bad luck at bay - its associations to good luck psychologists state being based around magical healing.

Good luck is often considered a placebo state, one narrated within people considering their self lucky - they are often positive, relaxed and optimistic. To believe in good luck is to create the self fulfilling prophecy of gaining greater luck in the long term. Yet life to me, especially this year has been a year of bad luck. But is this just a reflection on my pessimistic state of mind, of being more tense, somewhat more panicky and it is assumed therefore missing opportunities? Do I naturally dwell more closely on bad things at the expense of positives? Or am I just unlucky in luck?

This year has been a bit of a nightmare, I'm finishing my MA and trying to find a job in the current climate of economic crisis, which for the last five months of job hunting has only resulted in three interviews. I've been messed around and hurt by two guys, both parents have been close to loosing their jobs, one gran now has days left to live, another diagnosed with Parkinson's, my great uncle died and sadly his wife, my great aunt isn't baring up too well herself.

But am I over dwelling on the negative when I have been able to study for an MA, even though it ended bad I managed to meet a guy that spent money on me and we did have some good times, I managed to get three interviews when some people didn't even get that far and hopefully I might just have a job and a PhD on the way. I have my health and I have my parents and great friends.

Maybe this is because I don't have any lucky knickers, I've never bothered about which pen I complete exams in, I don't have a lucky colour or number. Maybe this is where I'm going wrong? Or is this assertion to have lucky processions just making up for a lack of personal self belief? If you feel confident, surely you don't need luck? Yet I'm not confident in myself - is that why I always feel so unlucky?

Apparently through changing your outlook you can change and alter your lucky potential. Maybe this is a self experiment I should be willing to try for the sake of finishing 2009 on a high. According to Professor Wiseman (via the BBC) increasing your luck can occur through;
  • Listening to the instincts of your gut - apparently its often right (but do you listen to your head or your heart?!?!)
  • Be open, positive and willing to try new experiences through breaking everyday routines and fixed ways of doing things
  • Always remember the positive of each day
  • Try and obtain the self-fulfilling prophecy by imagining your lucky outcome before something important.
So is luck something that we make or something we're subjected too? Although I feel I'm often up against the bad luck of the drawer, I guess luck is something we all have some control over.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Seaside Posters

Having spent the day at the North Yorkshire Coast it made me remember Pre War LNER (what was the London North-Eastern Railway) posters advertising and aiming to attract the British tourist to their seaside resorts. Before the use of massive photography, although impressionitic and simplistic in their styles, they are eye catching and bright. These colour posters, with those featured below circulating around Filey, are an art in their own right attracting and creating a mystical, dream like landscape of the Yorkshire coast. The beaches are vast and expansive, clean and bright they are filled with sunlight and adventure. Faces of young families playing, seeking and discovering at Filey Bigg's rock pools, to showcasing relaxing people happy and carefree in a era of uncertainty using the modernist styles of their era.

1923-1947 "Filey for the Family" poster

1923-1947 "Filey for the Family" poster by Michael Folay

1925 "Filey for the Family" poster by Reginald Higgins

1931 "Filey for the Family" poster by Margaret Horder

1935 "Filey for the Family" poster by an unknown artist

A life on the rails

Central Station, Newcastle Valentine's Series 1907 - the hanging clock in this postcard still hangs over the concourse

The last week has seen me spending going on fourteen hours waiting or travelling upon the historic preserve of Britain - its railway system one often narrated as either slow, packed and delayed. A system apparently reaching full capacity. As a British invention with its origins in 1804 and Richard Trevithick's locomotive hauling iron and men, to the Rocket and the Flying Scotsman, as a nation our industrious nature and cities were created and built around the railways.

Being one of the few people of my age who doesn't or can't drive, since moving to University four years ago, trains have become my key mode of getting home, getting to University, seeing friends and at the moment going for interviews. On the fun side however, watching and journeying upon the trains gives me, (a slightly nosey person at heart - my excuse as a sociologists) the perfect chance and opportunity to do some first hand ethnographic study - otherwise known as good old fashioned moment of people watching.

I was stuck (and perhaps bored) enough to write all my observations and thoughts down, from the informed "signalling problems" between Derby and Leicester in the East Midlands which made us somehow miss the station and then reverse backwards into Derby for 15 minutes - how that worked or even occurred I'll never know. Informed over the crackly intercom, a knowing glum acknowledgement of the delights of the rail system seemed to pass through and between unfamiliar strangers, their only connection being in the same carriage going to the same station. This first journey of the week is one where I left my railcard at home and had to re-shell out on tickets - don't get me started on ticket prices or I'll never stop typing.

Suited and booted business men, most of which on their return from it seems a working day in London, always seem to spend most of their journey asleep or messing and sighing at their failed workings of their qwerty phones. While shouting their business deals over the phone they battle to be heard against the shouts of eager children playing upon their Nintendo Wii's their loosing-patience mothers trying to keep them seated and quiet as the food and drink trolley wobbles its way between out reaching feet along the narrow, bag covered aisle.

Another of the so called pleasures of rail travelling is the time spent in the waiting rooms. Unfortunately never having the money enough to wait in the First Class Lounge, my time has always been spent in the either overly cold or overly warm waiting rooms - temperature difference also always echoed within the coffee. Before this it always seems funny to watch the caning necks of travellers trying to comprehend the neon yellow lettering of the Departures board, their looks confused as if all the destinations were written in another language. Moreover competitions seem to occur between who can get the most into their hand luggage, who has the most annoying suitcase which can run over the most feet and which carriage can fill up its luggage rack the quickest - the latter most often the one I'm in.

The historicity of the railway system is most important perhaps within the North East. Newcastle itself was the site of the first working tram lines with the worlds primary rail track running between Darlington and Stockton. Compared to all three train stations (York, Sheffield and Leicester) that I'd used this week - it is Newcastle which seems to be bursting with the life, the most noise and the most activities. At the others people just wait, just watch and look glum at the passing trains. Maybe because it was a Friday afternoon, its a bank holiday weekend and Newcastle is the party city of the UK, yesterday afternoon Newcastle seemed to be attracting all the drunken male hordes. Waiting for my train back I was met with hordes of drunk Scottish Geordie impersonating men, some dressed as women some wearing ginger wigs. Their impersonations only to be met with disapproving Geordie stares and shaking heads.

While the British transport system does have its faults (yet I have to say none of my trains where even late), and most often costs the earth, its the best excuse for a good old nosey of watching the emotions of life - of meeting and leaving people and places behind, of new beginnings and the ending of stories, of the passing of time and of being together.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

English Summer Flowers

This summer I started practising and messing around with my camera and flowers, it was a bee on a flower that started it and got me hooked till the bee decieded to settle long enough to capture it. Now I just enjoy photographing normal flowers in normal gardens and any butterfly or bee which may flutter by. I wouldn't even proclaim I know anything about gardening yet alone about flowers. I don't have a fancy camera either - just a basic Kodak one but it does the job and I enjoy the imaginative creativity it allows alongside using Picasa. But for once my blog offers me a place to keep and showcase them somewhere differently then facebook.

So these just capture the colours and glamour of my garden at home on a hazy summers afternoon.



Monday, 24 August 2009

Rebecca

It only feels right to give mark and note in crediting the book that most possibly turned me into the book worm I am today, one which remains one of my top favourite reads.

In 2003 the BBC launched its Big Read - a nation wide celebration of the UK's all time favourite book. While The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien was rated number 1, the Gothic and somewhat romantic novel Rebecca originally published in 1938 by the English author Daphne du Maurier, was ranked 14th.

My Penguin edition (see left), its bright orange spine projected it clearly from the shelf of the bookcase, its back is even held together with sticky tape, the smell of aged and brown turning pages escapes. The haunting pink face, while half cast in shadow, its mouth and lips are down turned, its eyes covered and drawn over by the bare branched tree creeping over the front cover of this 1962 edition. Its been in my parents bookcase as far as I can ever remember that things called books existed. Yet it took its TV ranking to draw me into actually picking Rebecca out from the shelf and reading it.

The haunting tones of the books is not only limited to the cover, the first line is the most marked and hooking opening sentence I've never come across - "Last night I dreamt I went to Mauderley again". Through the unnamed female protagonist's narrative, we come to learn of her life and transition from companion to becoming the second wife of the troubled and tortured Maxim de Winter, a man haunted by the lingering painful memory of Rebecca - his first wife who died under mysterious circumstances. Troubled at every turn the second Mrs de Winter is reminded of her inadequacy of failing to rise to the experiences, understanding and standard set by her predecessor, most of all by the upturned housekeeper, Mrs Danvers.

While it is not my place to suggest or even hint at the story or the outcome of the plot it is one, most especially an ending which remains haunting in my mind.

Regarded as Daphne du Maurier's masterpiece, and in turn like many of her novels was projected onto the big screen by the hand of Alfred Hitchcock, prior to which Rebecca became a theatrical success opening in London Queen's Theatre in 1940 staring Celia Johnson (Brief Encounters). An amazing director in his own right Hitchcock worked and directed two of du Maurier's stories - Rebecca and The Birds (taken from a collection of short stories). Winning an Academy Award in 1940, Hitchcock's adaptation starred the domineering and dark Laurence Oliver as Maxim alongside Joan Fontaine as his second wife. Its a film I personally adore most particularly through its darkness, the dramatic mystery and intrigue bringing the book to life.

Not only has the novel impacted upon my own life, pulling me deeper into the darkest depths of being addicted to reading, but its imprint has been felt worldwide. Even being credited as a potential German code book during World War II. Yet after a raid upon the German HQ in Cairo the book and the code remained unused.

This book remains six years on in my collection, alongside many other Daphne du Maurier books, most often collected from second hand book shops with their 1960s/1970s covers. Their colours and their fonts still calling, beckoning me to read them just as Rebecca did.

The rest of the 100 most popular books from the 2003 Big Read can be found here.

Selected du Maurier booklist; I'll Never be Young Again (1932), Jamica Inn (1936), Rebecca (1938), Frenchman's Creek (1941), Hungry Hill (1943), The Kings General (1946), My Cousin Rachel (1951), Mary Anne (1954), The Scapegoat (1947), The Birds and Other Stories (1963), The House on the Strand (1969)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Old School Hollywood

Advert for the Palace Cinema in Slough 1930

The boy meets girl, they teasingly fall in love with one another, some invertible misunderstanding occurs, boy and girl finally get together after upset and tears, with the film ending in their engagement or on the verge of their marriage. This could only happen in a Hollywood musical. Although overtly simplistic in my gernalisation, this plot generally captures the story of a traditional musical film with music and narratives intertwining with song and dance.

Developing from the success of Hollywood theatre, the first short musical films were produced in the 1920s including The Jazz Singer (1927) and continuing into the 1930s with 42nd Street (1933) . These films and its stars grew in fame during the original credit crunch of the 1930s - that of the Great Depression. During this era these films became the light hearted and fun seeking pleasurable place to escape reality into a happy sing along.

This success of the film and its stars would not have been possible without RKO films, most particularly with the all singing, and all dancing Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire during the 1930s. Hollywood would see the rising fortunes of Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews to name but a few. And this success of the musical was to continue well into the 1960s with the production of West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), and The Sound of Music (1965). But these films hit the box office during the same period of creative and imaginative directors and films. Finally the glamour of all singing and all dancing began to finally fade, its backdrops, its genre and its stars falling into history.

And to be honest, at the end of the 1960s is were my passion for the musical ends. Although more recently since the continuing success of Grease (1978) the musical as a film goes in and out of fashion. A small revival of musicals has occurred through the production of Moulin Rogue (2001), Chicago (2002) and Hairspray (1988) and most particularly Mamma Mia (2007) now credited as being the biggest selling DVD in British history. This suggesting therefore that the success and long-standing reputation of the musical still lingers in popularity. However, this "modern" films are ones I personally put aside over their forefathers.

It would be misguided to suggest that I know why and how I became interested in old films - to blame Fred and Ginger would be on the right path. Yet to explain further and then I come to a standstill. Gone With the Wind was a film I always grew up around - although its colour and length made it a rarity in its time, it is one which drew me into the possibilities of the film. Most of the time I feel like I have to defend my love of old movies, as if its wrong, I'm abnormal or merely rather confused to prefer older films to the more high-tec, effect filled contemporary movies, don't get me wrong there are some modern films I love, but I prefer and believe i'm more suited to the movie of a long ago era.

But they are all in black and white, I hear you cry. Yes they are, yet that adds to the enjoyment, yes it is a shame you can't see the vivid colours of the dresses, the suits and the backdrops, but with a little creative imagination and you more then half way there with picturing and creating your own version of the film. And that is half the beauty of the older films - they let you play and use your imagination - something we seem to use so little of within the get everything now kinda society we inhabit. These films let you become and play and active part in defining how you interpret the scene being performed before you.

Moreover the turn over of golden era films is more then impressive in itself. Take for example Gene Tierney, who in 1941 featured within five films. This is a turnover that is far from matched within contemporary publications. With musicals having lively, emotional and dramatic scores by George and Ira Gershwin or Rogers and Hammerstein they expand their narratives and plots far into the musical atmosphere, rather then weighing down their plots with contemporary, "bands" and songs. These songs linger today, and are more recognisable then we give credit for. Lines of songs such as "there may be trouble ahead" ... "they all laughed at Christopher Columbus" ... "and all that jazz" are all embedded and developed from musicals. Musicals that we as a society probably don't give enough credit to.

Old films have become my passion, but this is not limited merely to musical films. My obsession has it most frequently referred to by myself welcomes any old film, their simplicity, their true and deep narratives are embedded with a passion and a honest storyline. They are not showcased or down trodden in special effects or actors who are mainly two dimensional in their abilities.

Mind you I write this knowing and openly admitting to never watching Singing in the Rain. That does need to change.

Gene Tierney

"The woman with the Mona Lisa smile who left us haunting images of her presence on screen forever remembered as 'the face in the misty light.'" Neil Doyle


With my obsession and passion for old films, I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon not only a semi decent old film on Film 4 this Sunday afternoon, but that the female holding the staring role was an actress who's name I'd somehow failed to have come across before. Her penetrating stare and wavy deep brown curls jumped from the blackness of the screen , enchanting me into the movie. Watching Laura - an American noir film released in 1944 is plotted around the hunt for the murderer of Laura Hunt - a highly glamorous and beautiful advertising executive, I was welcomed into the dark allure and the glamour of the face of Gene Tierney.

Hereby starting an afternoon in search of drawing out any possible information regarding his starlet. Born in New York into a privileged family, Gene Tierney (1920-1991) was told by Ukrainian Director Anatole Litvak, to become an actress after a visit to the Warner Brothers Studios at the age of seventeen. Nevertheless due to her parents dissatisfaction at her projected contracted studio wage, Tierney instead became a society D├ębutante. It was only after growing tried of high society that she chose to start her acting career against her fathers wishes.

Ranted 71st in Premiere Magazine's 100 Sexiest Movie Stars of All Time, Tierney began her career with a run of Broadway shows starting with 1938's What a Life! Signing with 20th Century Fox in 1940, Tierney made her movie debut in the western The Return of Frank James. With numerous leading roles under her silk stockings, the noir film Laura became her most famous leading role. Moreover, like Betty Grable she became a famous pin up girl during World War II for the American army.

While appearing in 37 films, her personal life came to overshadow her talents, her life many believe became the narrative within Agatha Christie's thriller The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side. Married twice, after contracting Rubella from a fan during her pregnancy, her first daughter was born prematurely with severe mental and physical disabilities. It this is event which is rumoured to have triggered Tierney's bipolar disease, which during the 1953 filming of The Left Hand of God with Humphrey Bogart, Tierney was forced to face her problems. Admitted for severe treatment, she was subjected to 27 shock treatments - a procedure she spoke out radically against, blaming it for her significant memory loss.

While many critise her persona for her aloof and cold acting mannerisms, her unspoken, unknown problems calls through her eyes, they are dark, enchanting yet dangerous, although her often stares at us so directly they are glazed and hidden. A troubled and tortured mind this radiates through into her brooding melancholy roles heightening them through her personalised troubled life.

"Life is a little like a message in a bottle, to be carried by the winds and the tides." Gene Tierney

Selected Filmography: The Return of Frank James (1940), Tobacco Road (1941), Bella Starr (1941), Sundown (1941), The Shanghi Gesture (1941), China Girl (1942), Laura (1944), Dragonwyck (1946), The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947), That Wonderful Urge (1948), Whirlpool (1949), Night and City (1950), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), Black Widow (1954), The Left Hand of God (1955), See Imbd for more films.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Who should look after the elderly?

When the health of an elderly member of the close family starts to go down hill - who should take the greatest responsibility in making sure they are looked after and provided with the dignity they deserve?

When an elderly person has a deteriorating, life changing or terminal illness is it up to the family, the state, the council or health professions to provide the most viable and effective health and care? And with contemporary British society only getting older, this will only be the consequence of an increasing life expectancy especially with more then six million of the population aged over 80. Therefore who to provide and who to care will be a decision so many more of us will have to face.

This decision of one currently facing myself and my family. My gran has a terminal illness - she has cancer and she refuses to have treatment - a decision I respect. On Monday there is to be a meeting involving all sides of the story from Doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, social services, my mother, my uncle and most importantly my gran. This meeting is to decide the "best" manner in which to proceed with regards to just where my gran is to go after leaving hospital.

To return to her home was a decision she originally intended to make - a place where she wants to return. Yet it is a home which would require radical changing to be safe and stable for her to manage and live within. She would need a carer, yet the NHS/social services fail to provide this service during the evening. To move back home would occur at a major risk, she wouldn't be able to leave the house without at carer and constantly be wired up to the Lifeline service.

Or a nursing home - a place constantly perceived with ailing old people. Sadly, it seems to be a waiting room for death. Yet in the light and the circumstances a place which might be the most effective and "safe" location.

While in an ideal situation surely the children of the person would take some of the responsibilities. But to what extent? Should they become the live in carer, even to the point where it effects their own health? Is it more of the responsibility of a daughter then a son?

The problem is that is all goes back to the feminine traits and occupations of care and provision. Don't get me wrong - we should all care for our families even China makes it law, but why should it be the only responsibility of the daughter. Or is it just my family that is slightly screwed into my mother doing all the work my uncle doing nothing and rarely visiting his mother in hospital? Yes a parent provides, protects and teaches during a child's upbringing, yes they provide love and care but to what extent do they want their own children to give up their own life to provide the comfort and ease in their final months? Is it up to the children to totally change their own life? To build a granny flat? Spend their savings? Just how far do you go?

Apparently to not do so or to not do anything, to not give up and become a carer is therefore showing so very overtly that you don't care. I'm only saying this because it's the battle I feel my mum is currently facing. I know she loves her mum, and it's all to easy to say she should leave her job to care if they suggest she is okay to go home. It's just all so very confused.

Moreover the ease of saying be a carer isn't as easy as it sounds. Yes I respect those that do, its just i'm living in a family which is battling with the current economy to keep afloat at the best of times is never easy, nor is it with the looming and pending death of a relative. Or maybe i'm just making up excuses? Should a person be forced to give up their job to care? How extreme should it go? Yes morally care should be provided, but life especially in contemporary society is never that easy.

But how are the elderly meant to be able to afford the £400 a week care homes? This in itself brings forth new arguments regarding whether, or more likely whom should pay - the children, the person or the tax player? It may be more financially able for middle and upper class families, but what of the working class? Yet the NHS was set up to help the ill, not the elderly. This is were it all seems to go a little hazy. Information and advice is being thrown from one department to the next with no on really knowing the best outcome. A hospital won't throw you out if your unfit and incapable, but to where will they throw you? With limited social care for the elderly able what is the right move?

I guess its all about judging morals. I know we should look after the elderly but what if its just not a viable choice to make? It doesn't just write you off as a bad person because you can't care, its not because you don't want to, but its because in the long run its not in the best interests of everyone.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Wolf Whistling


Sleazy, immature, objectifying, sexist, confidence boosting a "typically two-note whistle made as an often unsolicited expression of sexual attention" (answers.com). These are all terms the world of google search can throw at you when trawling through the mass number of pages I researched for this little blog article.

So I've started to wonder if a simple wolf whistle objectifies the female body into a piece of meat? Or does the act of a strange man giving a women a whistle, make her feel sexy and give a confidence boost?

I don't know how I came to thinking about writing a blog about it, yet I spent most of the day catching the passing glance of male drivers on the way to my interview. There was nothing overtly different in the way I was being. Okay I was looking "smart" but not overtly sexy. (not in my eyes anyway). Walking with confidence yes but that was mainly due to wearing my gorgeous red shoes. I'll be honest I've only being wolf whistled a few times in my life - most often when I was wearing something a little skimpy, or short.

To me when in the infrequent times it has occurred it makes me feel weird, like its more of them taking the piss out of me rather then its because I'm "sexy".

Firstly when I started to think about this, I always viewed it on the side of a woman. How does it make her feel when a random stranger wolf whistles at her while she's happily walking along a street during a summers day? Does it objectify her into a sexual being? Is it belittling? Or is it just something to, and can be easily ignored? Plus its made me wonder what women working within the construction industry actually think about this. Would they feel the need, or the empowerment able to wolf whistle at a guy.

But what about the men that actually undertake the act? Does it make them less of a gentleman and merely immature for doing so when they nudge and wink at their fellow workers only to result in yet more eyes skirting over the female body. Yes they are probably high up on scaffolding but what has happened to the art of actually talking to a women if you like her or just saying a hello rather then a whistle? Is it now assumed that to wolf whistle you'll get the girl and something that men are just naturally tuned to do when they see a sexy women?

Nevertheless, they are stating that the "art" if you want to call it that is dying due to the social upheaval created by the credit crisis, or newspaper the Daily Express would like to claim. Call it what you will but its definitely not an art.

Friday, 14 August 2009

A shell of memories

In the past four weeks I've been dealing with the silence from THE vanishing act. I will admit I haven't posted much about it, or even about him on here. Sometimes - I really think He isn't worth mentioning.

Four weeks on and my world still feels crazy. I have become an insomniac - this is coming from a girl who loved sleep and could sleep for hours. Yet its now something that has bypassed my daily needs. He still finds a way into my thoughts, little things, going to a museum that I know he'd of enjoyed, seeing somewhere were we went together, something about his football club on the news. And while currently packing my life into boxes and carrier bags for home, today I happened to stumble upon a plain little shell that He gave me on our first dates to the coast.

So this got me thinking - just what are you meant to do with the things a guy (or girl) gives you after you've broken up? They might be simple things - tickets of places you both went together, presents, little gifts, just things that make a memory. I came in my last relationship to acquire perfumes, shells and Luella purse to name but some. Not being materialistic in my origins, to be given purses on your second date did make an impression - yet now its an impression which makes me consider and assume, that what he was doing was buying me into bed.

Do you, or are you meant to throw them all away? Do you hide them? Or keep these things as a reminder of what you did have? Of what you had before everything went wrong.

Of course whether you keep them will be somewhat dependent on why the relationship ended. But can you remove the personal attachments? The memories from an object? Seeing an object, a ticket a present can return your mind back to a point in the past, of feelings, emotions, joys or loss. The sense of loss may perhaps be held in the constant sight of this object. Normally a perfume bottle would be fine - one is even Channel (wooooo) but because of the memories of him giving me it, I see the bottle - and I see him.

I started thinking about throwing them all away (OK maybe not the Channel) but it seems a waste. But then I don't want the constant reminders (I'm a contradiction remember!!). The guy before him - well he gave me one of his personalised swim team shirt, I loved it, I slept in it - it smelt of him and made him feel closer to me. Yet when he too pulled a fast one, the shirt and all the other stuff from him all went in the bin. Now months on from that relationship ending - I really wish I hadn't, I don't really know why, I just think I miss just having it because of the good memories that came with it. The relationship might have ended bad, but the memories were good.

So four weeks on - maybe it is too soon to decide what to do with the things. Maybe seven months later the attachments of him, of the ending, of his stupidity might have vanished (just like him). Until then Channel is my perfume of choice.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Glamour of Betty

Pin up girl to the American GI's during World War II - her pin up body adorning the sides of American jets, the iconic beauty of this Hollywood actress is lost in contemporary films. Noted and credited for her legs - insured by her film studio for the sum of $1,000,000, she began as a Chorus Girl and went on to grace such films as Follow the Fleet (1936) and Gay Divorcee (1934) alongside Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Her deal in 1940 saw the highlights of her career - Down Argentina Way (1940), Pin Up Girl (1944) and Dolly Sisters (1945).

Betty Grable offers us a glimpse into a forgotten Hollywood and it's films, her appeal may not be as known or as overt in sexuality as Marilyn Monroe, nor her film as breathtakingly rich in dance and singing as Ginger Rogers. While this may be so, she has a aura of a naturalised glamour and "femininity". Her photographic appeal captures her in time, capturing her often staring and gazing deep into us through the camera lens - she stares at us completing and happily as she did in her era and still looks and drawing us in. Her playful charm, lustful and elegant gaze draws us deeply into an era that may have long been forgotten.

Through her dancing and singing, her perfected talent is through her talents and hidden appeal behind Hollywood's overt stars. So much so her influence draws my addiction to inking her as a Pin Up girl on my skin - just when this twenty something finds the money.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The ink'd personality


I have ink. I'm a girl and I have ink. So what you might care to ask? But so many people I have come across pass judgements over a girl, a twenty something contemporary young lady apparently degrading her body by going under the ink'ers needle. I'm too tired of people questioning why, of second strange glances over the size or design. And I know why it occurs - on the face of it I appear a "nice" girl - quiet to some extent, a bit of a geek at times, but nice, friendly, me. Possibly not the typical "inked" person.

I love ink and I always have. Since I was a young teenager it's always something I've always wanted to do. I love art, and ink is my chosen way of expression. I've always seen tattooing as one of the most expressive mediums of presenting yourself to the world (I'm not saying you should do it for the world however). Your body is your site, its your free performative skin that you have for the rest of your life and it changes as you do. Its the thing that you can use most effectively in moulding yourself and presenting yourself to those you address everyday. Everyone has skin, and every one's skin is pretty much the same. So why not make your skin different?

But why am I judge because I do have ink? Don't I care that I'll have it for the rest of my life? (no) What on earth will it look like when I'm old and in my 70s?! (who cares?!) Haven't I thought what guys will think about it when they strip me of my clothing and low and behold they see my ink on my shoulders and back (I want a guy to love me for it).

I have an impulsive nature to do things when I want to do them. I do things now because I want to have and do them now - not because of how things might be when I'm 70, and if a guy doesn't like me for having ink - then I don't wanna be with that guy. And to be thinking what my dragonfly ink will look like in 50 odd years is beside the point - if I never live that long.

My ink has always been the way of letting things go. With a history of self harming - the thrill and the buzz of going under the tattooists expert needle is a thrill I can never die of. Nor one I don't believe I could ever replace. It's the same thrill, well sometimes more then what I get from sex. Ink is my thrill. The tingle, the art, the medium and the painful pleasure is my addiction. It is my expression of me - of things that sit well inside me as well as they do outside.

Ink should be seen as an art, however it's morphed and hidden under many a dozen tacky ink that people choose - personal judgements, a lack of artistic flare of merely a regretful choice of ink may be the downfall to the performance of this art form. More so, surely the judgements of others regarding myself as a person, as a young lady should not be merely formed on me having being ink. Me and my ink may be linked quite tightly together - I designed them. They are my ink. They are therefore me. But society, well some elements still question the art of the ink as being associated with thuggery, deviance and crime. As if to be inked your a criminal or a deviant.

Admire the art of my ink upon my body yes - but don't categorise me for personal choice of self expression.