Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I accidentally bought a new hoodie last week. It was too expensive, but then, suddenly it was in the sale. Still too expensive, but I'd wanted it for ages, and my will was broken. I caved in and bought it. Incidentally it is now my favourite hoodie. In general I don't really like or wear the things, but this is 100% merino wool, which makes it ethical and super warm. It's also beautiful.

So, the only thing I feel guilty about is the price (which I shan't share with you). Now, I know that guilt is bad for you and that it can give you heart problems. I wouldn't want to die and make everyone sad, so I'm doing what I can to alleviate my guilt. I have (very responsibly) formulated a cunning plan. I think you'll like it, because you can probably implement it yourself and use it to justify all kinds of purchases.

Every time I wear the hoodie I shall make a note of the fact, until I have worn it as many times as it cost in pounds. That way, it only cost me £1 per wear, which sounds pretty cheap when you think of it that way. See? The perfection of the plan is in its simplicity.

Of course, I wouldn't want to stop there - I know when I'm onto a good idea after all. Also, I might not want to stop wearing it after... um... that many times. So, once I've got to that point I will start putting £1 in a jar (or rather, my savings account) for every further time I wear it. Later, when it's starting to look a bit sad, I can use the money to buy a new one!

Admit it. I'm a genius.

When can I be rich?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Last January my flatmates got me a beautiful calligraphy set for my birthday, along with a book for practising in and an instruction book. It's probably my mother's fault that I like calligraphy, but it's my flatmates' fault that I'm now a little more skilled at it.

Writing lecture notes in a range of hands with different nibs and inks is always fun. It also means you end up producing a set of notes that you don't hate looking at. Oh, and because it takes so freakin' long you've basically learned everything you've written down by the time you're done. I'm at a speed now where I can write notes in calligraphy during the lecture - provided it's not a lecture where the whole time is spent writing.

I've learned a range of hands - from the relatively basic and pretty such as French Ronde to the complex and and elegant (if somewhat illegible) Black Letter. I've wasted many a happy hour carefully pencilling out guide-lines until I get the hang of sizing letters with a new pen and carefully removing them afterwards so no one can tell. Adding squiggly, curly, dotty designs and colouring things in is also entertaining.

I am a kind and giving person, so I'd love it if my skills could help others. Up until now though, I haven't had the confidence in myself to share them. What if I offered and then it all went wrong? I should be mortified.

Imagine then my glee when Harry volunteered me for making posters for the uni's Red Cross group. Not just any posters either - these are for the world AIDs day call to action event. It's a band night. They just want fairly basic things, some slogans written on card. I've been practising, and I don't actually think it should give me any trouble. (Plus I get to use my poster pen, which is very exciting).

I'm just slightly unsure. Do I really want this to be the first public display of my work, as it were? After all, the slogans are... well, see for yourself.

  • "Wrap it before you tap it."
  • "No balloon? No party!"
  • "Listen to your granny, protect your fanny."
  • "Condomise then womanise... or sodomise."
  • "Protect your winkle before you sprinkle."
Somehow I don't think that a hand that is based upon the lettering commissioned by Emperor Trajan in Rome in around A.D.114 is quite appropriate. Maybe bubble letters? Perhaps graffiti-style text? No? Well, they're having none of it either.

I don't think I'll be signing them...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Get innocuous

Innocuous, adj, not harmful or offensive.

I'm not an enormous fan of LCD soundsystem; I consider most of their music to be a unique blend of whiny and dull. I do like the odd song, maybe two or three per album, and I seem to remember not hating get innocuous. However, I couldn't tell you how the song goes, I don't know what any of the other lyrics are, I can't hum the tune.

Maybe if I heard it I'd be able to say "oh yeah, I remember now." Maybe not, I wouldn't like to put money on it. I think perhaps Soulwax did a good remix of it.

Anyway. The phrase, not the song, not the idea, but the phrase itself has been stuck in my head for a good two weeks now. Every now and again the impulse the say it allowed occurs. Thus far I have resisted (in public). I'm told that getting words and phrases stuck in you head is not normal, but I'm disinclined to believe this. I feel fine.

Perhaps it's a sign. Not sure what for. Maybe I should obey it - I'm not sure I could currently claim to be either harmless or inoffensive, perhaps I ought to change my ways. On the other hand, if I do I'll be obeying the voices in my head. That probably is a problem.

Upside? I now have a good reason to avoid being harmless and inoffensive. Not that I needed an excuse, but I'm damned if I'm not going to use it now it's here.