Saturday, September 30, 2006

Not all that's Gold

One minute they've had a row & they're on the rocks but today they look very much an item if you look at his hand on her leg. I love the way the papers make so much of so little; the show was boring, they were late, & I've had rows in situations like that, with someone I still love. It's baloney to try and read a picture so deeply, even when the paps are a constant presence. & now there is speculation that Jemima's brother, charasmatic eco-warrior, is emulating his daddy's well known talents with the ladies. I'm afraid the high society speculation is in the mind of The Daily Mail; high society either knows or isn't interested. Apparently he forgot to tell his wife how many meetings he was having with a Rothschild about a poker game... & we think they have it all? Oh & that deeply unflattering photo of Alice above, I think the media may have an agenda, so I managed to find this tiny little one which shows her in a slightly better light.

Friday, September 29, 2006

AIA Los Angeles 2006 People's Choice

A friend of mine works for an architectural practice LA who have just been nominated for an award. Once upon a time, he lived in London, just around the corner from me & we bonded over suppers & a love of buildingd. He told me he was working on this funny wheel thing, which I didn't really believe in until the Millenium Wheel started to float down the Thames. Not only did it seem an odd thing to be doing, but there were many funding hiccups along the way. Now I am so proud that it is so many people's favourite London icon. It was lovely when he showed my parents around the studio, & how the whole thing worked, which they understood but I didn't at all.

On his behalf I would like to tell you that CUT has been nominated as a finalist in the 2006 AIA Los Angeles Restaurant Design Awards! As a finalist, everyone is also invited to vote for their favorite restaurant design in the AIA LA’s People Choice Awards…get your votes in! Thank you!

Hamster's Progress

I don't want to be a pessimist, but I have seen first hand the effects of head injuries and Richard Hammond has a long way to go. His reovery has been amazing, but at long as he survived, this bit was almost the easy bit. The road to recovery will be much slower and more frustrating now & he is at risk of personality changes. I wish him luck, the brain is an amazing organ & we don't really understand how it works fully yet. This from the BBC:

The rapid recovery of Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond after his high-speed car crash has amazed the public and medical experts. Only nine days after his 300mph jet-powered car crashed during filming, Mr Hammond is walking and talking and off emergency care. But his progress over the next six months is likely to be much slower and the outcomes less clear, say doctors.

Neurosurgeon Stuart Ross, who looked after Mr Hammond at Leeds General Infirmary in the days following his accident, said rest could help Mr Hammond recover from his "brain injury" within months. But he said: "There comes a period now which is unfortunately slow and is difficult to get through."

Dr John Freeland, consultant neurosurgeon from the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, said it was too early too tell what the long-term future would hold. The nature of Mr Hammond's brain injuries thankfully mean that functions such as speech, movement and breathing were unaffected, said Dr Freeland. The frontal lobe is critical for more subtle functions, like personality and ability to make judgements.

Dr Freeland said he had seen patients with similar brain injuries recover from comas with very little lasting damage. But he said he had seen others with lasting changes. He said the focus of Mr Hammond's treatment over the next six months would be rehabilitation - making sure his balance is back and he is able to do learned everyday activities that people tend to take for granted, such as doing up buttons.

He said doctors would also be monitoring Mr Hammonds cognitive and emotional state. "Character and personality changes are fairly pervasive with motor vehicle accidents," he said, but added that the brain was changeable or "plastic" and repaired itself over time to varying extents.

"Much of the wiring of the frontal lobes occurs in puberty. Some of the hardware systems are maturing through to our 20s. The software - developing our self-awareness and how to fit into the social fabric - is very gradual, over decades. "Recovery from these injuries does continue, but it takes time," he said.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bang her Up

& throw away the key. How many more maids does she have to assault before her anger is managed for her & she has to take responsibility for acting like a spoilt brat? It isn't as if she is getting mad about anything life threatening; a pair of jeans or the wrong food, tis the life of a pampered princess & she gets away with it because she makes people money.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Feeling the Love

While never a fan per se, I was really rooting for Courtney when I switched on More4 tonight because her anguish has been public and palable to watch. She was great, a bit mad, but with talent.
Courtney was clean but struggling, with Carrie Fisher's support. Does Carrie just mentor everyone in Hollywood? It isn't the first time I've seen her on TV this week talking about mental health. Her house is fab. She has a red phone box on her porch and all these other wooden things in her garden. Magical & original. I was a bit worried that Frances Bean would just be getting anything she wants, after a stint in the care system & her mum on crack, spoilt is probably not what she needs to avoid being f***ed up. Lot of love in that house though.
She's been a bit of a mess, but I hope she stays out of trouble and the music sounded really good. Anway, watch out for the re-run; More4 don't have enough programmes not to fill the schedule with repeats. Oh, & there's a book, with some really lovely pictures in, as well as some very private stuff. I hope she doesn't feel over exposed when all this self revelation is out there for us.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sugar Mummies

What a cultural week; 2 plays in one week. Last weekend I went to see Tanika Gupta's brilliant 'Sugar Mummies, but forgot to post the post. It's about sex tourism in Jamaica & very funny but not light. Young jamaican men attempt to seduce women of a certain age with the line; 'We are real men. In Jamaica, real men like the cat, not the kitten. And real men like real women. Mature and intelligent and beautiful women like you.'.
The Royal Court is a hub of great new writing, I will never forget seeing the amazing Miranda Richardson in Etta Jenks for only £5 on a Monday night. Such events are such a treat and a reminder that big cities don't always have to be expensive if you're alert! This drama not only looks at the older women who are sleeping with young black men, it also focuses on the realities of the island. It is very clever for such a funny production to also show us some biting realities of the islanders' lives & a myriad of relationships which are far from simplistic. We explore a life touched by HIV, the relationships between tourists and the islanders, & the economic relationships between 1st & 3rd world.
Linda Bellingham was fabulous, as expected, and brave for showing for spending her time on stage in a swimsuit exhibiting a body I couldn't imagine it playing on Broadway somehow... Marcel McCalla was more surprisingly good, perhaps because his role in Footballers' Wives was so 2D despite its complexities.
Birmingham Rep is a great theatre, I just would have liked it to be easier to order a snack than it was, but the late night curry after the show was my pleasure!
Lest I might ever forget, reason 1 zillion & 4 for hating the Daily Mail. They think Marie Osmand has let herself go, unlike Madonna, but I think Madge looks strained with the effort of remaining taut. She blames it on the men who like her carved out, and if left to her own devices would be zaftig (yiddish for pleasantly plump). She needs to get some more matzo balls down her & ignore the boys!

BTW, that bob was a wig, thank goodness, but made of human hair. I don't like to think of where it came from or why; does the hair trade have ethics?

The Inventor of the London Bible

More wimmin, no apologies but probably will write about something else next. I do apologise for lifting this post, almost in its entirety, from the excellent Woman's Hour. You can listen again to the item and hear how a lorry driver berated Phyllis when he went down a cul de sac & couldn't get out! I wonder if people love Paris par Arrondisement as much as Londers love the A-Z. Of course, if you live there, you don't get it out on the street; no cred in that at all.
Did you know that the A-Z was invented by a woman? Back in 1935, Phyllis Pearsall was invited to an evening party in Belgravia but try as she might, she couldn't find the location. It did give her the idea to design a street map for London. Working from her bed-sit near Victoria Station, she woke at 5am every day to trek the 23,000 streets of capital. In all, she walked an incredible 3,000 miles. The result was the first A-Z of London, published in 1936. To commemorate the centenary of Phyllis Pearsall's birth, Jenni talks to her niece, Mary West, and to her biographer, Sarah Hartley, to find out more about her remarkable life and legacy.
Mrs P's Journey: The remarkable story of the woman who created the A-Z Map by Sarah Hartley, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002 - ISBN: 0-85039-243-8

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Rolling Stone ...

Apparently, Kate Moss is more in demand than ever, & I can't dispute that. She is everywhere; all those fashion houses that rushed to ditch her, have re-embraced her. Quite how she has been rehabilitated probably has much to do with how ubiquitous cocaine is in the fashion industry, as raking in the readies. It was only the weedy public who needed to be protected from the prevelance of class A pharmacuticals. Of course, as Phillip Green has sussed, she sells stuff. Not only that but she sells her own style and is successful as a model despite not wearing designer clothing 24/7. I can't argue with how great she looks, how versatile she is, or how her silence maintains her mystery. At 34, I am hoping this is her last ditch effort to fill her pension fund because otherwise I am feeling the over-exposure keenly. I heard that she is also punishing those who dropped her by doubling her rates for them, good for her, their need is greater and I'm all for a bit of assertiveness. Next season, I am hoping the profits have been made, that there will be a next best thing, and we will be seeing a whole lot less of Ms Moss & I don't mean in an Agent Provocateur way. I think it would be best if she could waft around, for years to come, in the manner of Catherine Deneuve. Also remaining mostly silent s'il vous plaît.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Cadaver Catwalk

This is Stella Tennant, a model of asristocratic hauteur, who I think I prefer with her clothes on; here she looks like a cadaver. I have long maintained that models are those who can look healthy whilst being unhealthy, & there are a lot of unhealthy ways to stay this slender, although some models are naturally this thin. I am alarmed to hear Liz Jones has existed on 800 calories a day for the last 20 years. It reminds me of Julia Robert's line in Notting Hill when she says she's been starving for 20 years, which I suspect it is supposed echo.
One model is dead and the whole industry needs to take responsiblity from high fashion to high street to agents. The pressure to stay thin is enormous in every sphere, actresses hire personal trainers and dehydrate themselves to appear as they do on screen, unless they are sensible and British like Emma! We should all be rebelling against those red circles on the cover of Heat Magazine et al; "The problem with the press is that no one's a winner: thin women are disgusting and so are fat women..." (Erin O'Connor).
When did size become the arbiter of anything? Oh & there is good thin & bad thin; the latter represented by Nicole Ritchie. I am aiming to be the thinking man's crumpet, but am realistic to know I would never get a date in competitive NYC, depressingly I don't think anyone would be interested in my brain, or at least to find out what was in there before they wrote me off. I know women in NY are probably making just the same judgements about men, it just is a bit bleak that relationships can become less about sharing our humanity, and more about the reflected glory of whatever assests we choose to value.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The History Boys

I've just been to see this tonight, at The Royal Theatre in Nottingham. I was actually crying during the curtain call, not buckets you understand, but I was incredibly moved by the brilliant performances. Click on the photo for links to the tour dates in the UK, I gather it is on Broadway too, where it has done quite well with a Tony. The cast you get in the USA is quite the best; & the original London crew; don't miss it! There was a discussion with the cast afterwards, which was a real treat, particularly because I knew nothing about it so was just lucky it was on my night. One person in the audience had an impossibly intellectual question but they managed it well & I managed to get my bit in too; I suspect they will remember me as the girl in the front who had too much to say! Oh I love it when The National Theatre comes on tour to the regions.

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Une Blonde D'un Age Certain

Here are a lot of recent photos of Madonna looking great, yeah younger than she is, but cool, stylish & fashion forward. I'm not an all out fan but I think she has really paved the way for une femme d'un age certain & I like her wardrobe. I also didn't want to be bitchy here really, but after a certain age, going blonder really does a girl no favours. However edgy you think you are/want to be; it emphasises the lines & (quite frankly) does a mutton dressed as lamb thing even to the material girl.

I bet Rocco cried when he saw it. Mind you, maybe not, what other child do you know that would keep that hat on? I know he's a fireman or policeman, & in the sun too! He is absolutely the cutest kid though and, while some say Lourdes is mini-mummy, he is definitely mini-Guy. Maybe Guy just has a baby face?!

Anway, enough trivial celebrity nonsense for one day. Had a long chat about Victoria Beckham with a friend yesterday so am all starred-out, back to Israel/the demonisation of young people very soon & must have a cup of tea & do some work now.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Naked Ladies

Today I saw this & am completely shattered after a day in big London town & the long drive home. Met up with 2 friends made in Italy this summer, now how often do holiday friendships survive the grey skies, but we're going to do it again. Had a lovely barge trip with one of them on Saturday, home for far too much wine in the evening, and down to the metropolis to meet the other the next day. Spent most of the day attempting to rehydrate myself which I am not sure has been entirely effective. I may write something more interesting tomorrow, & even delete this, but off to bed now! X

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Sunny September

Today I was here on a sunny September day. Drinking coffee in the courtyard turned into lunch and a stroll around the Capability Brown gardens & lakes. I can't be an advertising campaign, but it is beautiful so shall share this map. & if you want to stay overnight, all the rooms are different, but one of them looks like this. Not very exciting for you to read, if you are not nodding off with boredom yet! A friend of mine was negotiating room rates for her MD, & asked if I was free; she could skive why her boss was in Spain on a jolly & I decided work could wait because I was ticked off with the snotty letter I recieved from the University this morning. If I ever actually get out there to work, as a social worker, it will be a minor miracle. I got an inkling as I passed through a picture perfect village en route, but I had no idea I was going to arrive somewhere so beautiful, such a treat to have absolute bliss to fortify me for a busy weekend.


Not so Funny

“I am determined to clear my name but cannot comment further on the allegations due to legal proceedings” Chris Langham.
The comedy actor Chris Langham pledged to clear his name yesterday after being charged with nine alleged sex offences against a teenage girl. I hope he can. Although he was charged with 15 counts of making indecent images of children four months ago, I held out for it all being a big mistake in the manner of Pete Townsend. Mr Langham may be an award-winning writer and peformer, but it has taken almost all of his three decades in the business to achieve his success as a household name, & he has often been behind the scenes writing for some of the most brilliant comedies. Yesterday he answered bail at a police station in Kent and was charged with 8 counts of indecent assault and one other alledged sexual offence. A source with knowledge of the case said that all 9 counts related to the same alleged victim, a teenage girl under the age of 16. Mr Langham announced yesterday he was withdrawing from all BBC projects until the conclusion of the criminal case. He has 2 children with his 2nd wife and 3 from his 1st marriage. I could apologise for the serious tone of this post, but I did say this blog would be whatever was in my head on any given day! Child abuse is a serious subject and I am just saddened by the possible involvement of one of my favourite funny men. Maybe he was having an affair with the babysitter and her mother objected.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I'm banging that plastic surgery drum again, cos Christie Brinkley looks sooo surprised that I won't be going to her plastic surgeon. The only person, who admits to having work done, who still looks like themselves is Cindy Crawford. That probably owes more to her genes and her lifestyle than her plastic surgeon, although I believe his range of products is very good. & Meg Ryan is starting to look like a chipmunk, I don't need her to retain her ingénue fluffy pertness, do you? All that pressure to look good, better than is ever realistic, not to mention the starvation and dehydration that goes into revealing hardly any flesh on screen. We won't know what real women look like soon, future archaeologists will look appalled at the mutilation of beautiful faces and our society will be divided between those who can afford the maintenace and those who cannot. Therein lies the rub, with a growing underclass, western society condones the extravagances of vanity while not addressing the causes of poverty. Isn't that, along with the whoreship (not mispelt) of celebrity, just a little beyond palatable.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Meet the Bloggers

I am a complete R4 addict, and now you can listen to yourselves in meet the bloggers. I think anyone who can listen on their PC can listen again from this link, but USA rights/access might differ. It is a whimsical programme and, once you've discovered R4 you will never be the same again; it is how I know everything I know!


Monday, September 11, 2006


when you first left me
i was wanting more
but you were fucking that girl next door
what’d you do that for

when you first left me
i didn’t know what to say
i'd never been on my own that way
just sat by myself all day

i was so lost back then
but with a little help from my friends
i found the light in the tunnel at the end

now you’re calling me up on the phone
so you can have a little whine and a moan
and it’s only because you’re feeling alone

at first when I see you cry
yea it makes me smile
yea it makes me smile
at worst I feel bad for awhile
but then I just smile
i go ahead and smile

whenever you see me
you say that you want me back
and I tell you it don’t mean jack
no it don’t mean jack

i couldn’t stop laughing
no I jus couldn’t help myself
see you messed up my mental health
i was quite unwell

i was so lost back then
but with a little help from my friends
i found the light in the tunnel at the end

now you’re calling me up on the phone
so you can have a little whine and a moan
and it’s only because you’re feeling alone

at first when I see you cry
yea it makes me smile
yea it makes me smile
at worst I feel bad for awhile
but then I jus smile
i go ahead and smile

I love Lily Allen & she still blogs!


I lied

Today I am hungover to the point of hardly being able to function, let alone muster the simplest thought about anything to do with young people or hoodies. Got to try and get through the fog to write something on my report thing for school. Got to get it done & get over the guilt of wasting so much time today because I over indulged so much last night. I've been sleeping off the headache, taking the nurofen that you're not supposed to apparently, because the pain denotes dehydration & I do need to re-hydrate.
A day in bed would be luxury for some, it should be for me, if only the Jewish gene hadn't brought the guilt gene along with it for company. In that vein, I will pass on this joke which is funnier knowing it is jewish, nothing kosher about the cock? There is an old joke about a golfer, Harry, who hits into the rough and, in rescuing his ball, fishes out a displaced genie, who gratefully grants him a wish.
"I'd like peace in the Middle East," says Harry, handing the genie a map.
The genie studies it, sighs and says: "Five thousand years ... it's impossible ... no one, not even the Lord, can ever hope to achieve it. Have you a second wish?"
"Well," admits Harry, "my wife, Pearl, has a horror of oral sex. Any way you could change her mind?"
The genie scratches his head, looks at Harry for a long while and says: "Just hand me that map of the Middle East again, will you?"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Pure Pastoral Pleasure

Tomorrow I am going to write about demonising young people, so get your ASBO heads straight, today I was mostly mixing with lovely young people who play tennis. It was one of those days of perfect pre-autumn sunshine in England; pure pastoral pleasure, and possibly our last chance to get the BBQ out. Even though my tennis club isn't posh (otherwise I wouldn't have joined) it is white, middle class & privileged so our the parents' expectations wouldn't touch on ASBO's. Any thoughts on hoodies, whether we have a youth culture which is out of control, needs taming, requires Tony (Blair)’s wish to intervene pre-birth with the SS (social services) as an accomplice? Plus, shouldn't our Tone's concerns include his own son; Euan Blair, who threw up in Leicester Square & Jack Straw's son buying cannabis?
Meanwhile, having spent today watching tennis, but mostly eating, tomorrow will be spent on a canal trying to energetically opening lock gates on our stretch of the Grand Union Canal…after lunch… BTW is it too desperate to thank you for visiting, & for comments? I don't want to sound like Sally Fields at the Oscars, & I am sure bloggers assured of their own popularity are more blasé, but it is just lovely when people chime in. I want to go to their blog immediately to say thank you, but I feel silly, so will wait for a comment to surface at another moment. Just know that you are appreciated & I hope you get warm fuzzies from that! I am now left wondering what the audience means to me, I thought I was happy to vanish into the ether, but clearly not because I prefer a response. Perhaps it is just that I prefer to engage, which I always do, so I’m happy with that & think I may have worked that thought out then. My personality type (Myers Briggs) thinks as she speaks, which you may have noticed from reading this paragraph.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Displacement Activity

So my kitchen floor got cleaned... mind eased & today I got up and did some work. I didn't do enough, I didn't get down to it soon enough, but I think I've decided what I am going to write about, if not how. Academic writing is fine once you are really into it, but I've let my head get really out of it and now can only do fluff. You know what though, there is usually a social scientist who will have a theory to support anything I think of; is there any such thing as an original thought anyway? & I shall just hunt for the right one, I have one in the back of my mind, if I can only figure out how to apply it. It's a social work MA BTW, I gave up my well paid job to go into public service, & I am hopeless at applying the theory to practice. After all, when I whisk that child into the care system (otherwise known as state neglect) is anyone going to ask me if I am practicising systems theory. I really wish I was doing it better, it would be so reassuring to all around me if I could quote chapter & verse to support my work, about to go on my next placement, I hope to find a nice maternal type to take me under her wing and make all the mud clear!