Posted by: okathleen | December 11, 2008


Scrolling back, rewinding, it all seems rather trite, if not dull.  I have become distracted and that won’t do at all.

Focus and think.


1. Meet with Eric the Red and draw up, write down a plan. Chronologically. Project.

2. Meet with Clive the Geordie and discuss: blog, referencing, Indy Study Question??

Does there need to be a question? This is an independent study. Does a study have to present a question?

3. Library. Goffman, Mead and Experimental Film.

Perspectives and truth. Subjectivity, not fact. What is a fact?

“The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
and, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.”

Negotiation and relativity, not objective, not rational.

He sees an image. A blink. She sees an image, blinks.

He hears tears and moans. She longs for seagulls and swifts.

He smells the deathly earth. She the scent of salt and soap and scarred sugar.

He walks away, apart and adrift, his fingers fettered with hers.

She walks with, and grasps his hand and grins.

She sits in Sainsburys, or should that be Sainsbury’s? Whatever. On one side an old sage with a vintage watch crouches over the Telegraph Crossword. His hand shakes as his pen delivers answers to some very clever clues. ‘Regrets the ways of the French’…

She turns and watches as a mother with new baby, or should that be new mother with baby, clears a course through abandoned shopping trolleys and discarded trays swimming with cold mocha. The baby, not exactly bonny, is placed in its seat on the brown, stained banquette. The mother pauses and clears the table of detritus before slumping and sighing into her seat.

She turns back to the old fellow in his checked sports jacket. His hair is thick and charcoal grey, it parts on either side of his ear  revealing tufts of curling fronds, emerging like a snail from its shell. Similar, more delicate fronds compete with ruby red veins on the back of his hands. His writing intrigues her. It places him. It’s not Grammar School, not Jesuit, not English.

She purses her lips. The baby has started to fidget. It grimaces and frowns then opens its mouth, but before it is allowed to make a sound, the mother plops a large crumb of raspberry and chocolate muffin accurately into the yawning void. The child furls and unfurls its fingers and sucks on the morsel as the mother prepares for the next offensive.

She takes a sip of her skinny latte with an extra shot and scoops some froth with a tarnished spoon. Her rose plum nail varnish is chipped and she frowns as she scrutinises the damage.

She’s tempted to pick at it, as if it was an overripe scar, but feels the old man watching her, and instead adjusts the sleeves of her camel coat two sizes too big. The baby in its seat is restless and ready for a fight. The man in the checked sports jacket puts on his spectacles, blows his nose with a clean creased handkerchief and heads for the doors.

She gathers her shopping, the bread, the bacon, the milk, the bleach, the half price lemon tart and puts the spoon back on the saucer, and the lot back on the tray. With a half smile half apology to the new mother with the new baby she heaves herself up and limps towards the exit. It’s raining. Her umbrella is in the cupboard under the stairs.

On December 17th in Amsterdam A Sale Of Property From Royal and Noble Families. Hmm, what makes them for noble?

First lot of interest Number 11, a set of 10 linen damask tablecloths bearing the initials of King Otto I of Bavaria, estimate 500 – 800 Euros.. but King Otto was never allowed to rule owing to mental incompetence… read mad as a fish.

Second lot of interest Lot 59, set of photographs portraying European nobility, including one of Duchess Elizabeth of Bavaria, signed ‘a sweet scratch – your snow leopard’, and looking alarmingly like Hugh Lawrie.


Third lot, number 87, a snip at 20,000 – 25,000 Euros, an oustanding suite of



That’s stag’s teeth, diamonds and garnets to you and me. It’ll never catch on. One just has to think of Prancer, Dancer, Rudolph et al… but if it made them noble, could I contemplate telling the time by Reindeer?

And finally, lot 343, an extensive German dinner service, carrying the coat of arms of the Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt family:


And this is the crux. Noble, armorial splendour. Buy into it, have it made. Once upon a time, many moons ago, I had a fleeting tryst with a chap who had bought into it. One evening, in fact the last evening I ever saw him, he invited me for coffee at his neo Georgian executive lump, and with a flourish produced two espressos in cream coffee cans. On the side of the cup was his coat of arms, which he had designed himself with the help of his marketing department. He opened kitchen cupboard doors to reveal a collection similar to the service above. Impressive? Noble? Naming of parts, naming of the object, his perspective, a mark, a sign of nobility, blue blood for the masses, and the chattering classes, and the social climbers, I think I might leave a bid….


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