21 July 2010

..that Ithaca

They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.

Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.




from 'the art of poetry' by Jorge Luis Borges

19 July 2010

olive

let me introduce you to one of my pride and joys...my beautiful Olivetti typewriter. I saw her in the window of a charity shop some 7 or 8 years ago going cheap as chips and in mint condition.
Every now and then I use her to type a special poem or a small note to a friend.I love the grooves the letters leave on the thin paper. Here she is...








xo

Idaho / cattle call

Lummo and I went to see Henry IV part 1 at the Globe this week. It was fantastic and has changed my mind about ignoring the histories...I'm definitely going to try and read some now.
I was super excited to recognise much of the dialogue between Prince Hal / Falstaff and his men because of how it was used (erm...appropriated!) in My own private Idaho.

This video makes me want to tuck Mike into bed and bring him a cuppa...poor little lost boy. I always feel sad when I see beautiful River's face now.


salt & water










salt collecting in Peru & swimming elephant @ National Geographic.
I think I have a thing for belly shots of animals...just a different view!

sonnets on a Sunday

sonnet 28
My letters! all dead paper, mute and white!
And yet they seem alive and quivering
Against my tremulous hands which loose the string
And let them drop down on my knee to-night.
This said,—he wished to have me in his sight
Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring
To come and touch my hand . . . a simple thing,
Yet I wept for it!—this, . . . the paper's light . . .
Said, Dear, I love thee; and I sank and quailed
As if God's future thundered on my past.
This said, I am thine—and so its ink has paled
With Iying at my heart that beat too fast.
And this . . . O Love, thy words have ill availed
If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!




sonnet 36
When we met first and loved, I did not build
Upon the event with marble. Could it mean
To last, a love set pendulous between
Sorrow and sorrow? Nay, I rather thrilled,
Distrusting every light that seemed to gild
The onward path, and feared to overlean
A finger even. And, though I have grown serene
And strong since then, I think that God has willed
A still renewable fear . . . O love, O troth . . .
Lest these enclasped hands should never hold,
This mutual kiss drop down between us both
As an unowned thing, once the lips being cold.
And Love, be false! if he, to keep one oath,
Must lose one joy, by his life's star foretold.


 
sonnet 30
I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How
Refer the cause?—Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad? The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's Amen.
Beloved, dost thou love? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes? Will that light come again,
As now these tears come—falling hot and real?



 
 
gah! I love the last line in sonnet 34;
'no child's foot could run fast as this blood'
 
...sigh. Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Juliette laughing

I saw 'Dan in real life' this weekend...dunno how I feel about it. The extended family was so wholesomely annoying and the plot very predictable but my lord, it was worth watching it because of Juliette Binoche. She spends 80% of the film laughing, or trying to control her laughter...so thanks Steve Carrell, for making La Binoche laugh so beautifully much.

xo

I can't be near you, the light just radiates...

I can't believe I've been humming Malibu to myself for 12 years...twelve!  Do you remember this phase? Courtney's ethereal wood-nymph wardrobe with little diamontes in her hair? Loving the flaming palm trees and the white-blue light/saturated colours of the video...and of course, the stunning and mesmerising Melissa Auf der Maur. It's got a damn good melody too, don't it? The last line is my favourite. 







and this, of course this!  unplugged...even though Courtney is frequently a hot mess in interviews, I still have a soft spot for her as 'live through this' was on high rotation during my teens. There is a part of me that will always think fondly of her as a damaged and outspoken broken doll with guts and gall to spare, and doesn't she look the part here?

my analyst warned me, but you were so beautiful I got another analyst....

Manhattan is one of my favourite Woody Allen films...I would pick this over Annie Hall any day; after all, it's got rats with bongos, brown water and the idea of committing interstellar perversion. Yes sir! 


it's people like this that turned me off of art years ago...now I just laugh at them.



again I know haughty people like this; the start of this scene is great too..."somewhere Nabokov is smiling"



this part gets me thinking...why is life worth living?  hmm...


I love when Tracy and Isaac are riding through Central Park and he says to her;

"You know what you are? You're God's answer to Job, y'know? You would have ended all argument between them. I mean, He would have pointed to you and said, y'know, "I do a lot of terrible things, but I can still make one of these." You know? And then Job would have said, "Eh. Yeah, well, you win."

gets me every time...he's not trying to be big, or romantic, he's actually almost full of glee, like he just can't help himself, he just realised it about her at that moment. Such a sweet scene with a beautiful background, it wouldn't have been the same if it were in colour, would it? 



more marvellous Manhattan quotes here

18 July 2010

architectural detectives...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down in a lecture theatre crammed full of similarly excited people at the V&A and having Terunobu Fujimori talk to us for over an hour about his work, his inspirations, and being an 'architectural detective'. He was so funny and cheeky and it is absolutely astounding that he had his first design comission as an architect at the ripe old age of 45!

He spoke about how he and a bunch of friends came together over their mutual love for finding absurd things whilst walking and so formed the 'Roadside Observation Society', documenting the things they came across.
Here are a few examples he showed us;



he referred to this as 'the most exciting slide in the world'




apparently this house is only balanced at high-tide, he said everything is
tilted and a pen would roll off the table, but once you come out for a few moments
it's as though the house is perfectly normal and it's the world that is uneven.




 this is a hospital in Tokyo; his amusement came mainly from
the fact that they put a handrailing on the roof, for safety....


Will post more about him in the future, along with my notes from the hilarious and entertaining lecture. Right now my mind is brimming with all the fantastical designs and organic materials of his buildings, and seeing everything in relation to the dimensions of a 90cmx180cm Tatami mat! 


scaredy-cat

here are the things that rush around in my mind lately;


-I'm scared of going back to Sydney and regressing into that uber-awkward unconfident girl
-I'm worried that I won't be able to find a job, a vaguely interesting job that makes me want to get up every day
-I'm afraid of feeling confined and stuck in a country far away from Europe, and never getting out again
-I'm concerned that people won't accept the way I have changed, and will treat me as though I'm still the same version they knew of me years ago, without seeing all the new aspects about me.
-I'm anxious about my personal relationships with everyone in my life, I put a lot of energy in to it but investing in people involves a considerate amount of risk doesn't it? Often I feel disallusioned and react badly at being taken for granted
-I am ambivalent about Sydney as a city, I've written many times about how I feel she was never very nice to me even though I tried my hardest to get along with her.  Funny isn't it? London, the big scary city has been more generous to me than my own hometown!  I hope she's nicer the second time around.
-I know there will soon come a time where I feel very low, and lost and depressed at leaving my life here in London, I am not looking forward to the mourning period and I know it's going to take a while to readjust.
-I am tired of feeling restless and just want to be at peace somewhere, in a city, for a good stretch of time
-I hope I don't turn into someone who harps on about how great London is, and how crappy Australia is, I aspire to see the best in my situation instead of moaning and regretting.

-I am super excited to get to play with my dogs every day and eat amazing food, and not be poor! And to be back in my room, with all my nice things. haha.
-I can't wait to go to sleep without the thunderous roar of traffic outside my window, and sirens...oh my lord, the sirens! enough!
-I would like to see more of my own country, I'm always embarassed when I meet travellers who have seen more of Australia than I have, it's always the way though isn't it?


Let's see how it goes then....

Dogfight

Have you seen this film?  It's an odd little thing. River is in fine form as a cocky marine who is intrigued by Lili Taylor's earnest and hearfelt expression and dreams. I enjoy it for many reasons; it's set in San Francisco just before the war in Vietnam. I love Lili's character Rose, I was heartbroken and outraged at the premise of the marines pooling their money and winning a cash-prize for the ugliest date. The music is fantastic and not the most obvious of folk songs you would normally expect to hear, they briefly stop by City Lights too which is always great. I would give anything to have been around SanFran during the heyday of the Beats.




 
It's also interesting because of people's attitude toward Vietnam and seeing how Ed (River) deals with returning to a very different SanFran a changed man, and people's reaction to him being a marine (ranging from quiet respect to arrogant criticism "how many babies did you kill?").
I knew someone who fought in the Vietnam war and over the course of 3 or 4 years he quietly told me some stories of his experience, killing people and retrieving the bodies of friends whilst being shot at, of how he was treated upon his return. I don't know why he told me, his family were amazed and said he never talks about it, never brings it up.  Perhaps it's easier to confess to someone who isn't as close to you as your own family.

It was shocking and horrible to hear firsthand stories from someone I knew as a very different person now decades later with a family. I was surprised to hear how he was treated by people when he came back and it's great that this was hinted at in the film too. Of course, no one likes the idea of war. I was always uncomforable and confused looking at war monuments inscribed with 'our glorious dead' as though there is anything glorious about fighting and killing.

I guess it was the exposure to this Vietnam veteran and watching some films about the people that go to war that changed the perception for me from war being this 'thing' to war having the most darkest and traumatic human face.
I still don't agree with it, but now I understand a bit more about the mentality of the people who fight in them, well...at least the ones who were too young and had no choice because they were conscripted and everyone was going.

I don't know how you get over something like that and some people never do. I am amazed when I meet people now who voluntarily sign up to the armed services, I love asking them questions about their motivation and why and what they hope to achieve from their experience. I try my best not to pass judgement on them and I think my complete fascination makes them comfortable with being honest with me.

How about you? Is there anyone you know who has war stories? It's amazing speaking to people who lived through very different times than me, like living time-capsules. It was amazing speaking to Palestinians about their experiences and day-to-day life in the occupied territories, it was a priveledge sitting down with them and walking through the streets, seeing a lot of it for myself. I only had a week there but it still haunts me and I can't stop thinking about it.

13 July 2010

losing it

Decades before Christian Bale lost his shit and gave us the infamous 'Bale-out' I would like to remind you of the man that did it best, and it never gets old. Still amazes me every time I watch it and see his manic face furiously screaming about...erm, food?  Klaus Kinski loses his shit in the middle of the jungle.




I love Herzog's voice-over...like David Attenborough narrating a documentary about some rare wild animal.

catscan

on the subject of scanning....this makes me miss having cats. their soft little paws, the way they jump up and perch on things in the most inconvenient way..but somehow they always look a bit magical and so perfectly poised and cool.

I am not advocating scanning your cats...but you know, these pics make me laugh.






sammidge

so lately when I'm at work and I've got a quiet moment (well it is summer and all the undergrads are on holidays) I have taken to scrolling through this website and dreaming about what to have for lunch.




I love this idea, and some of them look like little monster faces floating in space. The fillings and descriptions leave me so hungry, I would be happy with any of them (hold the onions!)

and so I present to you, my current favourite website;   scanwiches.com

A & C: hold that ghost!

this was such a spooky house, I still get all shivery watching it and have to curl my legs underneath me on the couch...also a great performance from the Andrews Sisters.

I think I've only seen about a dozen of the many many films they made...can you imagine?   They really don't have many clips at all on youtube aside from the well known ones...sigh.

dream house


A bit excited this week because on Friday I'm going to the V&A to see the 'Architects build small spaces' exhibition and hear Terunobu Fujimori talk about his amazing works (remember he built my most favourite tree house/tea house in Japan, perched on the top of two tree trunks?).
I am so excited in the nerdiest way, I can't even begin to tell you! Will try and take lots of photos of the various structures and fingers crossed the light stays around long enough for me to duck over to the Serpentine and check out Jean Nouvel's summer pavillion.


This a screen-shot Luke took while we were skyping. I am showing him the drawing for my dream house. Yes, impressive isn't it? Well, that's why I'll leave the architecture stuff to Luke...makes sense my dream boy should design my dream house, no?





Here is something he made a while back, which promptly left me devastated when he sold it. Thanks to my crestfallen reaction he has promised that he will make me my very own, even better version. Can.not.wait!




 
Did I tell you my other plans for another dream house?

Last summer when I visited my father's village in Hellas for the first time my Thia (his little sister) took me to the top of the village to show me my dad's plot of land. It is literally in the most amazing spot, high on the hill looking down onto the village with a direct view of Mt. Olympus.
At the moment it's covered in olive trees (which my family uses to make their own olive oil, which tastes like a dream) and behind it is a little forest. So yeah, my dream is to build a little house right there, and it will be amazing. I've already told my dad that it is my plot of land much to his pride and amusement (hey! I'm the firstborn, it's mine!).
But trust me, it's going to be so lovely. Here's what the land looks like;



I'm heading back to the village in 10 days and I will take more photos, of the view especially! Oh I don't want to get rid of those olive trees at all though. So lovely.

rejection

maybe one of the best letters even written, not in the least for the inclusion of the phrase 'piss-midget'.


Bernard Black...you know you are one of my heroes.

citizen of the world?

So I'm going home...back to Oz! I officially have 17 days of working life left at the library. I am also looking forward to 18 glorious sun-soaked days in Hellas in between but will be so sad that I won't get to duck over to the motherland twice a year. That country does strange things to me, every time I come back from a holiday there something about myself, or what I want is illuminated and so brightly crystal-clear. I don't get that from anything or anyplace else. I'm going to miss the proximity to Hellas, a big gaping hole in my heart.

NOT looking forward to packing my life up and squeezing my belongings into boxes and sending them off to the great unknown hoping they reach Sydney in one piece, or saying goodbye to my friends and the city that I have had such a lovely tempestuous passionate love-affair with for the last three years.

But time to go home for now, for a little; recharge my batteries and start version 2.0 of a life in Sydney. It was different when I visited in April, or I was different. It looked smaller, or I felt taller walking down the street. In many ways I feel like such a Londoner at heart and am reluctant to let that go...but maybe a part of me will always be a Londoner? I hope so.  And I want to come back soon and start version 2.0 of a life in London.

Gosh it will be lovely though to just be around my family and my dogs and my awesome friends again. A bit dubious about the job situation but hey, I will have a safe and wonderful roof over my head in my childhood home and mama's awesome Greek cooking in my belly as I take on the job market on my return.

Could be worse.

6 July 2010

give me something I can use!

This is in honour of my wonderful friend Mel, our tastes in most things tv/film/pop-culture related are pretty similar...except for this; she hates this movie, and I kinda love her for it (I love the film, love the book, love Ondaatje and until a couple of years ago, loved Ralph Fiennes)

Here's to ya' Melly! You are in very good company!

xo


Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean...on the cover of a magazine.

these two need no introduction...


i have never wanted to be a typewriter, or a cat
so much in my whole life...sigh.



....or a cigarette, or a rollieflex


A & C : the naughty nineties

Have I told you how much I adore these two?
When I was little there would almost always be one of their movies playing on a Sunday afternoon on the telly. I'm going to post a clip from my favourite of their films every so often as I come across them.  Let's start with the film that made me so desperately, madly, obsessed with being on an old-fashioned Mississippi showboat shall we? No point in putting the 'who's on first?' clip on here, you all know it but here's another brilliant scene that deserves the spotlight.


glamour-puss

I've slowly grown my fringe out for the last 18 months..so now the layers are below my chin and I'm going to see how long I can possibly get my hair before it looks ridiculous and/or is too difficult to keep looking vaguely healthy.
There are girls, awful temptress girls like Zooey and Alison with their (cute and rock n' roll, respectively) bangs that make me want to snip it all off like I do every year. But then, I think back to those glamourous ladies in the golden age and I see sleek modern interpretations of long layers; suddenly I don't feel so bad.

Take it away ladies...though I'll be damned if my hair will ever look as shiny and polished as yours.



Veronica & Sienna




Sandra & Rita


xo

4 July 2010

wipe out! and wrap yourself around me

sad but true...blissed out first-flush of love is an all out dance spectacular to a Hall & Oates song, wouldn't have it any other way really!

girl crush: Babs & Judy

you know, it just makes my heart burst with joy seeing two iconic women that I adore so much collaborating in such a fun and effortless way...enjoy, and just try not to grin like a maniac. I can't help myself!

the stars have lost their glitter...

just came back from a most loverly Saturday afternoon spent walking around Hampstead Heath, pitching down a spot for a picnic fuelled by cold cold Rosé vino and fromage with my friend Martine and having Rufus Wainwright provide the live background music to our conversation...bliss!  I can't believe he did this song, I'm so glad he did, even though it was far more upbeat and faster than I am used to...I still humoured the people around me with my dramatic 'on-my-knees-hands-outstretched-looking-distraught' version of it. What can I say? I was chanelling Judy and I've had lots of practice!




I can't believe I live in a city where I can actually walk home from a great day out. Hampstead to Archway in under an hour..humming Rufus to myself in the balmy summer evening. These are the days that I live for. London...you are my true love and I am grateful for you.

1 July 2010

draped crusader

some Grecian inspired dresses draped to perfection
...gush, double and triple gush!



Halston Heritage Plissé double-layer silk dress






3.1 Phillip Lim dress with laser-cut zcallops   /   Alberta Ferretti Grecian jersey dress


Erotokritos...look at that neck detail!



and perhaps my most favourite;





more amazing Erotokritos...it's a cape! it's a dress!
it's...de-lovely, sigh.


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