Posted by: okathleen | December 2, 2008

Get ready for the launch

Today I begin a new Weblog which will map my progress at Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Watch this space, when it’s up and running I’ll link it to this page.








 Today also, from now on I will use images conjured by my own fair hand. I shall upload just as soon as I find the cable. I am reluctant to buy a replacement because the minute I do, I will find the old one on the back seat, on Eli’s desk, in one of many redundant handbags… Kathleenella’s Law – what cannot be found is only hiding until a replacement is bought.



What a start to the week. Serves me right for thinking one roast duck breast in a far flung pub meant all was right with the world.



 How I am going to get my head down and focus is beginning to concern me. December arrived on Monday and with it blizzards from the North. Bitter chill it was; thick whirls of frosted ice covered my car, and the inside of the bedroom windows, as the heating gave up the ghost… And as the country ground to a halt so did the building work. A plumber named Dean was a no-show. This was terrribly disappointing for several reasons:

1 He was cheap and sounded as if he knew what he was doing.

2 He could start immediately.

3 It means I am still an appalling judge of character.

So at 8.30am instead of sitting down with a pot of tea, a sharpened pencil and Roger’s Fry and Scruton, I was:

1 Ringing round looking for Dean.

2 Trying not to lose it with a rather smug Architect who had warned me against using Dean.

3 Searching for alternatives.

At 8.38am my phone rang and I was surprised to see it was me old mucker Charles, this was even more alarming than the plumber not turning up as:

1 My son doesn’t know how to dial out on his phone.

2 My son doesn’t surface until after midday (BST).

3 My son only rings in cases of dire emergencies ie; cash droughts.

Well it was lovely to hear from him, I miss him very much. The house is silent and still without him. He called to say he needed a dinner suit for his Faculty Christmas Ball.

Faculty Ball? Humph, it wasn’t like that in my day, says I.

Oh, hold on, this is my day, and Christmas Ball in our Faculty is something you might hang on a tree – if there was one. Not sure Christmas is on the agenda. What agenda? Sorry, back to Christmas Balls, OK, so when do you need a suit by, my picaresque progeny?

Tomorrow night mum.

Oh, right, hold on then while I drop everything, rush off with some plastic, buy you suit, shoes, shirt, wash shirt, alter trousers, find bow tie, and get it parcelled up and UPSed down to you. No problem.

And then I woke up. What really happened was, I gave the naughty boy directions to Oxfam on Marylebone High Street where in my old life I wandered past every day and wondered open mouthed at the concoctions in their window, which usually consisted of some sort of Cruella De Ville fur coat and Irish Guards Ceremonial uniform. Now I think it displays mainly leaflets about Goatgifts. However, off Charles trotted, and phoned back to say he had bought an Ooh La La Pierre Cardin dinner suit,  a perfect fit and no discernible stains. Result.


If only finding a plumber was so easy.

The saga of the central heating had to be put on hold when I suddenly remembered a 10.30 dental appointment. At 10.35 I was horizontal in the chair staring up at tropical fish on a flat screen tv, wishing I hadn’t had so much pasta with my onions the night before and pondering a nasal hair issue. His not mine. He is a beautiful dentist and knows it. Rather Italian, maybe Roman to look at, with balanced brow/nose/chin – permatanned and of course milk white teeth. A rather high-pitched voice lets him down a little in the same vein as Becks, but when he doesn’t speak he’s an Adonis, if a narcissistic one. Sad, I know, but I’m allowed to window shop, and anyway, lying there reeking of garlic, dribbling from the numbed side of my mouth shouldn’t present any threat to absolutely anyone.

Tick tick tock tick tick tock.

Time on the kitchen clock whirs round as the pile of books on the table towers ominously, shouting Read Me, Read Me, or we’re all doomed. I begin.

Susan Pearce on Interpreting Objects puts paid to the idea that my recent jaunts to charity haunts are not about collecting, but about hoarding. Yes or No? Mmmm, I am collecting, but what does it all have in common to make it a collection and not  a hoard?

Eli, don’t answer that.

You are from the Continent and don’t realise the potential and splendour of the objets before you. The short answer – and I need to dive more into Fry to develop, is that this is about form. Not colour or image, but texture and shape.

And even more it’s about recollection. Madeleines in the form of cake stands, and bread knives and china shepherdesses. Recollecting what though?

It’s all starting to make sense. Eric was right, Open Sesame, forty thieves are about to be slain.



  1. Kathleen, there is absolutely nothing worse than a central heating issue at this time of year, I hate it when it is warmer outside the house than inside, but what have you done about it? Have you got cover for your CH? Don’t forget who I work for!
    If you want any help with it then let me know asap!

  2. Oh and 1 more thing…as there is only you and I that seem to be using this place, we might as well share resources!?
    Check out this link if you are still interested in reading about autoethnography…its a good read!

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