Posted by: okathleen | December 18, 2008


Let’s talk about the day backwards.

I have just finished the nightly ritual of feeding the troops and attending to the domestic dullness that must be endured or we end up like the Bouvier Beales, living in crumbling chaos.

Before that, our Experimental Film lecture was scheduled to be a festive end of term look back. Mince pies and Yule Log was on the menu, and a screening of Grey Gardens (condemned home of the Bouvier Beales)  was lined up to entertain the attendees. Big Edie and Little Edie, the astonishing, festering stars of this Maysles film were perhaps not the ideal accompaniment to a savoury buffet, but not to worry, only three students turned up, with just one packet of Coop mince pies between us.

Backwards again to Plumbing Supplies in Stockport.

Oh joy.

What larks.

A discussion regarding aerators,  modulators and flow rates had me glazed over within seconds. I decided to go for the 38kW as opposed to the 30kW before I lost the will to live. This, of course was wrong. Phil the plumber says it’s overkill, and my running costs will go through the roof.

If I had a roof.

At one time I considered launching a Women Worker’s project…. Trades as Totty, where I would create an agency of female fitters and bodgers. What was I thinking. It might mean an honest reliable service (and it might not…), but all that talk of 2be4 and 3be2 and hips and joists and consumer units would bore the pink overalls off me before you could say ‘this is not going to be an easy job love’.

And backwards again to the weekly local flea market. Which this week I was determined not to miss for two reasons.

1, Last week I found, under an old gas mask and some branding irons, a fascinating photo album from the 1940’s which I hope to use as a prop for the film I am making experimentally. I didn’t buy it, and then regretted it.

2, Also last week I found, between a Samurai sword and a distinguished service medal, an ancient jade buckle, set in diamonds. I didn’t buy it, because it was £1200 more than the £10 I fold in my purse for emergencies, and £1200 buys acres of copper piping and two shower trays. But I just wanted to handle it again. It was utterly unique and so finely carved, not to mention very shiny. A glistening celadon dragon, Orient rising.

The market was busy. Ie, a dozen more punters than the usual two or three regulars to be found wandering aimlessly between the stalls. Luckily, these new clients were obviously not experts in the junk genre, like me, and the crumbling damp photograph album had not been discovered. I handed over more than I wanted to, but Hey, it’s Christmas… And the Chinese dragon stayed in its box, even though I could it hear it calling to me….

Back to now. The album is open on the kitchen table. Sibelius plays on the radio.

HMS Talents tells her story in tiny black and white curled up photographs.


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