May 30, 2010


"I hung up, went through the gate, down the ramp, walked about from here to Ventura to get to Trace Eleven and climbed aboard a coach that was already full of the drifting cigarette smoke that is so kind to your throat and nearly always leaves you with one good lung. I filled and lit a pipe and added to the general frowst."

Playback, Raymond Chandler.

Frowst (noun) British Informal.
a hot and stale atmosphere; stuffiness; stifling warmth in a room.

Now to incorporate frowst into everyday conversation.

May 26, 2010

Malmö Record #2

Yes, I bought another Fleetwood Mac album. From the same store, this time en route to the beer supermarket for a few Red Stripes (James Bond's favourite beer when in Jamaica). Being a marvellous spring day, the old codgers running the joint were relaxing outside on chairs I think they were trying to sell. In the record crates there was still an abundance of Elton John, Rod Stewart and Supertramp, but they also seemed to have come into the possession of the entire back catalogues of Toto and REO Speedwagon. Was sorely tempted by some Roy Orbison and Elvis compilations, and the same Best of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music as at Rocky's, but all were too scratched for my liking.
I had a small tête-à-tête with owners, who, after establishing I was from New Zealand, regaled me with tales about an American band who couldn't get any studio time to record and then decided to move to New Zealand and became a country act, naturally, the name escapes me. It was one of those "someone and the something else's". There was also some talk of a Swedish glass artist who was apparently glazing and blowing down Nelson way.
Perhaps my next record purchase will be something completely out of left early Fleetwood Mac. Or Albatross.



Songs sung by Roy Orbison about dreams.

May 25, 2010


The discovery of Hercule Poirot's fake moustaches reminded me of this hidden clue regarding the death of Paul McCartney.
c'mon, HE SO DIED.

Curtains! Adieu to ze little grey cells

Yesterday I read the final Poirot novel by Agatha Christie, Curtain: Poirot's Last Case. Written in the forties, the Queen of Crime stowed the manuscript away for thirty years in a bank vault, to be released as she, like Poirot, was about to kick the bucket.
As part of my three goals I wanted to achieve in my lifetime, reading Christie's oeuvre was one, along with learning how to lip read and to buy a one way ticket somewhere in the world.
So far I have successfully completed one of these.
Having been reading the works of Agatha Christie on and off since I was twelve, it was getting to the point where I could no longer remember which ones I had read and which I had not (part of the enjoyment is the familiarity of all the plotlines, the repetitive dialogue and the archetypal characters, all cardboard cut outs off each other). The English Upper-class are all so painfully alike.
Christie was my favourite novelist, even though members of my family scorned me for reading them, for it could hardly be called 'high literature'. Until my mother put me on to Ngaio Marsh, I would rarely issue any other author out of the library, except if there was a Christie drought and I didn't have a choice.
That is what happened yesterday, and Curtain was the only tome left to be read. I had been holding out on this one as I knew Poirot met his demise in the end, and I wasn't sure I would want to read any more once I knew he was dead. So it was a sad farewell to an inevitable end, that I knew was coming and had been putting off for many years.
At least his hair and moustaches we black and immaculate until the end, even if it was a wig and a fake moustache.

May 19, 2010

His & Hers

So you don't confuse your commemorative Royal Wedding mugs.

Late Night at the Circus

Last night whilst idly watching tv I stumbled across a documentary about sculptor Alexander Calder. Though never been particularly interested in his work, watching his fragile mobiles tremble and glide as silently as a kite high in the sky was mesmerising, and his sculpted wire 3d 'portraits' created a similar feeling as to peeking from behind a closed door whilst trying not to step on a creeking floorboard - as though you were at the point of being discovered, as the floating heads slowly revolve around.
Perhaps what made this documentary so fascinating was because it was in French with Swedish subtitles, and my inability to comprehend the dialogue made the visuals all the more captivating.
His early performance piece "Cirque Calder" created a similar feeling to watching Fischli & Weiss' "The Way Things Go". Cirque Calder was performed in France during the 20's & 30's to avant-garde Parisians tired of having to be so serious and obscure all the time.
The 1961 film version of Le Cirque de Calder by Carlos Vilardebó can be viewed at UBUWEB, and is strongly advised.

May 17, 2010


The mysterious vegetable root/tuber Jerusalem Artichoke. Roasted with rosemary and thyme and served with Thai green chicken curry. I had never heard of it before Kris made the wild claim it was his favourite vegetable and that cook it we must. I was initially averse to trying them, due to a longstanding distrust of yams and an indifferent attitude towards kumara, but perhaps my palette has matured and deliciousness ensued. Jerusalem artichokes have that ugly on the outside, sweet on the inside appearance and would probably do well at internet dating but not so well on the speed dating circuit.

"which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men."
Food critic John Goodyer of Gerard's Herbal, on the Jerusalem Artichoke, 1621.

May 15, 2010

I'll be the one with the red carnation in my buttonhole

A while ago I stumbled across 'The Considered Ensemble', and it made a pleasant change from the deluge of style images and 'fashion blogs' that will visually swamp you given the slightest opportunity. I think the ability to describe with words is slowly fading to black in such a snap happy digital photography world. Descriptive writing is like telling a story to someone without feeling the need to say 'Oh, I guess you had to be there' at the end of it. I thought I would try my hand at this, for being in Sweden I feel like I am beginning to be caught in a slipstream, with an inability to write naturally or explain myself verbosely in English, as if my efforts to learn another language are drowning the one I already know. The English words not on heavy rotation are starting to transform into memories resting on the tip of my tongue.

Recently whenever I have washed my hair, I have taken to french plaiting it whilst wet and letting it dry throughout the day. When I undo them my naturally thick and rather unruly hair becomes a bundle of slightly frizzy, crimped waves, emphasizing the length, the ends having finally achieved a march down below my shoulders. With my overgrown fringe now obscuring my eyes, I pin it back on either side with tortise-shell slides. Realising that all my hair accessories are tortise shell, at the moment my hair is folded and pinned at the nape of my neck with a large tortise-shell barrette.
I am wearing a longsleeved floral-lace top, bought at the North Shore Save Mart while still in high school. I'm not sure if the Save Mart even still exists. I find it funny that I bought this top way back then and now with its cream, lace and scalloped edges, is rubbing shoulders with the apparel 'in-crowd'. I wear it over the top of my deceased nana's petticoat, for that lace on lace effect.
The top is tucked into a high waisted full vertical striped skirt, falling just on the knee and grazing the lace from the petticoat peeping out beneath. The skirt is a needle cord corduroy and the muted tones of the three alternating grey stripes offsets the cream lace accordingly. This was bought Search and Destroy (I can never for the life of me remember the new name) just before I left for Sweden.
Black stockings and ballet flats with a twist of brogue in them complete the ensemble for now, as I haven't decided what coat to wear. Outside a grey palette reflects the three shades of my skirt and with this rather bleak outlook I look forward to heading to På Besök soon for Don't Die On My Doorstep and a classy beer.

May 10, 2010


Proposed tote bag design for A Smile and A Ribbon's fleeting tour of North America.

May 9, 2010

Loud & Clear

Man-made crater with built-in speakers and sound system, for warm summer nights, bbqs and music by the sea. On a bleak windy day however, the effect is rather eerie, melancholy and unsettling. In an epic sort of way.

A delightful bit of instant mythology

Rolling Stone review from October 18, 1969, by T.M Christian.

To view text click to enlarge.
Due to the first column and paragraph one of column two being blurred, I have transcribed them below:

"They began months ago, the rumours of an event that at first seemed hardly believable but which in the end was accepted as all but inevitable. After all, with 'Garage Jam', Super Sessions', 'The Live Adventures of...', Blind Faith, Joe Cocker's LP, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 'Jammed Together' and 'Fathers & Sons', it had to happen. Set for release later this month, the 'Masked Marauders' two-record set may evoke an agonizing 'tip-of-the-tongue', lobe-of-the-ear recognition in some, or cries of 'No, no! It can't be true!' in others. But Yes, yes it is - a treasured, oft-xeroxed sheet of credits (which, for obvious contractual reasons, will not be reproduced on the album), and the unmistakable vocals make it clear that this is indeed John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan, backed by George Harrison and a drummer as yet unnamed - "THE MASKED MARAUDERS".
Produced by Al Kooper, the the album was recorded with the impeccable secrecy in a very small town near the site of the original Hudson Bay Colony in Canada. Cut in late April, only three days were required to complete the sessions, though mixing and editing involved months of serious consultations on both sides of the Atlantic. Word has it that the cover art was intended as a "send-up" of Blind Faith, but none of the principals were willing to comment on the situation."

Available on Deity Records.

May 8, 2010

Bond on Bond

A drawing of five Bonds back to back. Found on the Facebook page 'Museum of Poor Art'.
Illustrated artwork not attributed to, titled or dated in source.

May 5, 2010

art books

unknown installation of books in an unknown gallery by an unknown artist.

Wild Citroens

If I ever get a car I would ideally like a Citroen DS. In the 1967 film Le Samourai, Alain Delon has a set of keys allowing him to thieve any Citroen DS that crossed his path. Sleek yet angular, Roland Barthes stated in an essay about the car that it looked as if it had "fallen from the sky". They look like the type of car made for an adventure, one where I could then be photographed at picnic table with my citroen lounging in the background, like the photo of my mother above. My uncle used to have a Citroen DS, and I always felt a sense of amazement when the hydraulics would slowly raise the rear of the car, and the back seat I would be sitting on. Citroens must run in the family.

May 4, 2010

May 3, 2010

Animal beats animal print


Toucan dress. Excellent for camouflage, somehow just looking at this brings the word 'incognito' to the tip of my tongue.

May 2, 2010


Grace Jones as May Day in 'A View To A Kill (1984). Bond song by Duran Duran.

The start of May seems to be a pretty big deal over here.


May 1st is celebrated at På Besök, Malmö with a night of Bruce Springsteen songs.