Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Prince

"What's the good in living if you don't try a few things?"

Charles M. Schulz

Maybe it’s the copious cups of tea I have already consumed but I'm thinking, men who cut their own shapes, send me in a flurry. Jack White for one. I always thought of him as Johnny Depp’s less good-looking brother. Now I do dig Johnny’s talents beyond the obscene good looks but he probably doesn’t really exist. Ooohh, I feel better already. I like the way ‘rock star celebrities’ can make the outmoded look so nippy. Like when during an interview, Johnny crossing his legs, revealed his socked toes sticking out atop his torn boots. Ah bless! Not to forget Jack’s unmistakable mix of second skin, two-tone trousers or 50’s style Texan oil baron suits topped with a mass of mangled black hair. It takes all sorts!

So these, two angels of ethos have given me some confidence in stepping into the unknown. Taking a leap of faith. Climbing the tree and looking out from the top.

I like men’s clothing. Not so much wearing them but browsing them while out shopping. It’s interesting to see how far you can push men’s style without actively infringing on one’s integrity. While growing up through the grunge years of the 90’s, I would be known to break into my Dad’s wardrobe taking stripey tops and torn thermals on music festival outings. The craic was good, the mud was sticky and I looked a mess! Thankfully, my style has somewhat improved, however, I still harp after creating the ‘perfect’ men’s wardrobe. Meanwhile, Sibling London are doing they damn best at taking Men’s Knitwear to extreme and beautiful heights. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Oblique Strategies anyone?

Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.

Radio rocks! For us radiophiles at least, this little invention has not been fossilized just yet. I find nothing more satisfying than spending a good working day, at the knitting with a large mug of tea and some Radio play in the background. Just this week, I learned about the allusive Oblique Strategy Cards. Now, I put it down to my birth era….I had never heard of Oblique Strategy Cards before until I fell upon a great presentation, on Radio 4 by Simon Armitage (whose voice would soothe you to sleep), discussing the origin and validity of these curiosities. The peculiar cards apparently have shaped how music was made. They helped in the creation of great poems. They were partly responsible for the birth of earnest literary characters. What are they? I scrambled to Google seeking the answers.

“Oblique Strategies (subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas) is a deck of 7 by 9 centimetres (2.8 in × 3.5 in) printed cards in a black container box, created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt  and first published in 1975. Each card offers an aphorism intended to help artists (particularly musicians) break creative blocks  by encouraging lateral thinking.”

I look sympathetically at my well worn ‘yes, no’ maybe’ die and check out where I can buy this deck. It all sounds so underground. Even the box looks sexy. There are limited editions, special artwork, gimme, gimme, gimme….it’s like Needful Things.

To be continued....


Not sure this is what Eno/ Schmidt were hoping for when developing their concept. Never mind, it was the cards at play. 

Sunday, 9 June 2013 if?

Laugh all you want and cry all you want and whistle at pretty men in the street and to hell with anybody who thinks you're a damned fool!
How many knitters would admit to spending the best part of their lives, struggling through a complex patterned, over-sized sweater for the ‘One I loved’ that another may well be wearing now? It is literally, wearing your heart on your sleeve. Don’t worry. We have all drank too deep at the foundation of emotional depth and despair and lived through the hangover. God knows, my knits may be well worn around the block.  Speaking of hangovers, the sun is shining bright in Ireland, so officially it’s okay to drink during the day. All is well with the world again. Brace yourselfs; these mutterings are a crude attempt at correlating early evening boozing for something meaningful.

I have fallen in love...again. Okay, he is a bit older, a bit of an 80’s icon, a mecca for women of the literary world and he is fictional. Rupert Campbell-Black, literally fell out of my sisters book shelf (upper wardrobe space, hopelessly overfilled with bags, rubbish and some old books), onto my head. I had been watching Jilly Cooper on the Saturday Night Show with Brendan and thought, she seemed a bit of fun. And god knows, I am in need of a bit of fun. As usual, I am a good two decades behind everyone else. I remember two of the elders squealing about Riders/ Raiders/ Ropey Lovers or whatever it was called back then. I thought it looked all a bit grown up and stuffy, like reading Naomi Wolf’s ‘Vagina’: a hopeful, adult approach to my womanhood and spiritual view on my nether regions. In reality, it turns out to be a good head romp in the summer shade. I am ever hopeful.

It comes to light, I had something in common with those girls, I grew up, with after all and they never much appreciated my knits either. Sorry, excuse me, but its time for a glass of wine and some, erm, reading.