Much Ado About Nothing

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

I don’t do resolutions as they are a set-up for failure. Here are this year’s guidelines, however:

  1. No using the interweb in the lunch hour
  2. Finish short stories started last year and sub them
  3. Start posting more on design etc rather than waffle about cats, shoes and miscellany, although:
    • Shoes are allowed if it’s about the design of them
    • The same goes for handbags

I did fulfil a long cherished shoe dream this weekend, by getting a pair of heels from L. K. Bennett. Ever since I started to wear shoes again, after years in combat or biker boots, I wanted a pair of L K Bennett shoes. I finally have a pair! Lilac suede with brown leather edging and toe caps, round toes and 2″ dark brown wood heels (narrow but not stiletto). For special events only but I adore them.

My other sale purchase was a pair of contrasting brown leather shoes from Accessorize, with a 1/2″ Victorian heel, round toes and a strap across the foot. I look suspciously like I’m about to dance a foxtrot in them, especially when worn with socks, but they were an emergency buy due to the zip in a boot buggering up. That was embarassing, in part because it happened whilst in the front row of the Novello.

We went, after much pitiful “Can we, huh? Huh? Pleeeeease?” pleading from me, to see the RSC’s production of Much Ado About Nothing in its London run. This was based on the fact a) it had Tamsin Grieg as Beatrice, b) it was set in pre-revolutionay Cuba and c) it is my favourite Shakespearian play and the only one I quote from extensively. As always, the allegedly comic scenes involving Dogberry suffer when played to a modern crowd, but the remainder of the production sizzled.

There were readings of lines which hadn’t occured to me (noteably Don Pedro’s proposal to Beatrice which was played straight by him without her realising). There was exquisite comic timing both verbally, including an ad-lib when someone in the front row got in the way of Benedict, and physically. The relocation worked very well, turning Balthasar into a female Blues singer in a bar who spoke her lines with a patois accent, and making Don John a guerilla fighter at the end. Even Hero and Claudio, the rather wet romantics who contrast with the merrily warring Beatrice and Benedict, came over as plausible and sweet. The whole was painfully funny and moving.

The run ends on the 6th of January and if you can get tickets (we got front row returns by major luck), I recommend it thoroughly.


Monday, 9 October 2006

I had three hours to kill in London yesterday. I may have killed them buying some new converse and an Ollie & Nic bag. The rather lovely Clara is my first ‘designer’ handbag. I’m blaming pash for pointing me towards pretty and affordable designers.

Summer shoes

Monday, 31 July 2006

new shoesI got these today, since I’m off to two festivals within zones 1 & 2 (the free fruitstock in Regent’s Park and the rather less free Get Loaded in the Park in Clapham). Years of working outdoors makes me nervous about wearing flimsy shoes at festivals, but converse all-stars get all sweaty. So these cheap things are a compromise. Which rub my heels, but that can be fixed with tape.

London is way too sweaty at the moment, hence the need for new footwear. We were at a party at Cubana in Lower Marsh on Saturday night, very rapidly decamping to the street outside. At almost 1am, the humidity was still hugging us close, pricking at the skin and making you dream of cool rain. No such luck.

I’ve also discovered something rather smart. There are many ways to get from Devon to London. The megabus and megatrain are the cheapest but longest and least flexible. The 21 quid apex on the Waterloo train is good if you can get it, and Waterloo is rather handy if working in Westminster/Lambeth. But right now I’m going for the Paddington line – more expensive but barely over 2 hours and I’m going to Norf London anyway. And I just discovered that not only are two superadvancethingy singles cheaper than one saver return, but that you can – if lucky – get two first class singles for less than a standard saver return. More space, less children, getting into Paddington at the front of the train…

Too much Doctor Zhivago

Friday, 16 December 2005

Too much Doctor Zhivago
Originally uploaded by Mags.

Back in 2002 or so, I created Faction Paradox’s Cousin Octavia of the Eleven Day Empire, who led an army of ghosts against the Thirteen Day Republic – a splinter faction with a heavy Tsarist/Revolutionary Russia image. Imagine permenant white nights, Imperial palaces with mirrors reflecting themselves, snow under a blood-red sky and lots of business with sabres, mad monks and storming of gates.

Yesterday, I got a new pair of cod-Victorian boots from Clarks, the home of sensible shoes. Except these are calf-length lace up boots with a 2″ heel i.e. not that sensible. As you can see, worn under my old winter coat – the one with the wide astrakhan collar and the cinched in waist – it all goes a bit Cossacky which was a deliberate choice last night. And it only just struck me this afternoon that it is also more than a little Thirteen Day Republicany. Is is a bad sign when you accidentally dress like one of your characters?

these shoes! they fit perfectly!

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

I love my consnew shoes!
lovely new moss green and pink low top all star converse.

These babies join the existing gang
A concise history of my cons 1998-2005

Just why are cons the design classic beloved by both freaks and geeks? I saw my first real pair in about 1980, and bought my first pair (neon yellow hi tops) in the mid-80s. When you open the box, there they are, snuggled together and emitting a smell of new rubber. They promise kicking around for hours with nowt to do but scuff up the white trim. Worn with a suit they say “yeah, I may work now, but I’m not giving in just yet”, worn with old jeans and a scruffy tee they say “yeah? what?”. For what is technically a sports shoe, what it never says is ‘sports’. I love knowing I can just order a 39 and know they will fit. I love the fact every pair I own has worn out in exactly the same spots because the design never changes. I love the fact the ‘all star’ tab on the back gives you something to aim at when kicking them off still laced up. I love my cons.

And did I mention the new Doctor wears a pair? Oh, I did…

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