Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wherein there is talking on the tube

"I've got a present for you" Arsenal Fan says as we sit opposite each other on a Northern Line train.

"How exciting" I respond as he begins to go through the contents of his bag.

And then pulls out a copy of The Metro.


(It should be noted this isn't my standard response to being offered a battered copy of a free newspaper - I have some standards - but I have an inkling as to what might exactly be in this particular copy)

"It's somewhere around the middle" Arsenal Fan offers.

I flick to the middle and then - I see what my present is.

Namely: Harry McFly without his top on.

(Yes, I know. Small pleasures and all that please)


(And let the record state: I'm not really into that whole 'look at me without my top on thing' given my prediliction for arty, pub-beats-gym boys. But even I am not immune to Harry McFly's chest it would seem).

"Look" I say folding the paper over so that Purple, who is seated next to Arsenal Fan, can see Topless Harry McFly. I do so in the sort of generous manner which means everyone else on that side of the tube gets to see the photo too. What can I say? I am a nice person.



I turn the paper back to face me. "This is a great present".

The woman sitting next to me starts to giggle. "That is great" she says "Look at him!"

Only she doesn't need to say this because we are all already looking at him. It turns out that you can file Topless Harry McFly in Free Paper along with Freak Weather and The End of Days as situations which make it okay to talk to strangers on the tube.

"I think this might have made my day."

"Mine too!"

"He has to win after this"

"Harry to win!"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I am mainly listening to:

Every so often Breakfast Club Boy pushes some music my way which won't result in my having earache for the following three days. Thurston Moore's album came with some disdainful commentary on my taste in such matters but, apparently, "if you're a man and you decide you must sing about your feelings and make an album with an acoustic guitar then this is as good as it's ever going to be". Given my love for the BoyWithGuitar genre I was, naturally, loudly irrate about such damning-with-faint-praise. But Demolished Thoughts is gorgeous and 'Benediction' especially so.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A brief return to the spires

"And that sweet city with her dreaming spires
She needs not June for her heightening."

Oh, yes, Oxford. You still have it.

Monday, December 05, 2011

dressSTORY: The Tartan One

The blog post I wrote about hoarding made me think harder about stories and histories and all the ones that go unrecorded and disappear. Combine this with my urge to catalogue and the fact I'm wanting to have some running threads on here to help me back into this 'being a good blogger' lark and dressSTORY was born. The deal is - for each dress I own I will catalogue it with a story/history/something creative involving words. I'd love to know the history of some of my dresses before they got to me - and maybe, though it may never be this, these stories might pass on with my dresses.

The Tartan One
The Facts: 1980's M&S.
Purchased: £10 from Armstrongs in Edinburgh during August 2011

It was 48 hours before the end of my Edinburgh Fringe, I'd been existing on somewhere between four and six hours sleep a night for the past month, the rain was torrential, I was full of the impotent rage of the morning after a first falling out, my brogues had developed a hole, and I had two hours to appease myself with a dress for the following night's party.

And then I found this dress nestled in the midst of oversized 1980's kitsch. First thought: would it be too horribly cliche to comemorate my month in Edinburgh by buying a tartan dress? Answer: Probably but I suspected I was about to do it anyway. And then when I tried it on and it pretty much fit (as ever with 1980's vintage it's slightly too broad of back and long of arms, but nothing that some clever placing and artfully rolled up sleves doesn't disguise) I knew I wasn't leaving it, even though I knew it most definitely was not a dress for a slighty very sweaty drunken goodbye party. But that's probably in its favour rather than against.

So excited was I with this dress I promptly wore it the next day (okay, yes, I do normally wash vintage first but, hey, it was Edinburgh Fringe and I was excited to have something to wear that I hadn't worn seven times already in the past month. Hopefully I didn't smell too badly of old lady.). As I was walking through the meadows a Chugger caught my eye:

"You're from Scotland, right?"


"Oddly - no."

I can't say this dress has led to further confusion over my nationality but it is destined to forever be a reminder of the damp feet, sore throat, full heart of Edinburgh in August 2011.