Monday, January 26, 2009

I'VE BEEN...



...Wearing this silver feather brooch. It was my mum's, or possibly it was my granny's - anyway I dug it out and have been playing how many ways: on the neck of a thin white t-shirt, on the end of a long silver chain or two, as a hair accessory, possibly even as a ring, though it's the size of my finger - haven't worked that one out yet.

...Like everyone, falling in love.

...Catching the last day of the Andy Warhol exhibition Other Voices, Other Rooms. Even with a free ticket and the promise of Diana Vreeland footage I only managed to drag myself along to the Hayward Gallery at the last minute, where it was mobbed with queues of other lazy last minute people. I can see how the whole reality TV/blogging/myspace/facebook/etc thing is relevant to him and like, really, TERRIBLY IMPORTANT, but as one critic noted, "He may have been right about everybody being famous one day for 15 minutes, but what he did not factor into his equation was the amount of time needed by the rest of us to watch everybody being famous for 15 minutes." It was lovely to see and hear La Vreeland - red cigarette holder aloft for emphasis - in full voice; "Mahhvelous, yeeeesss" - the full, high quality version of the interview you can see here in really bad (almost unwatchable) quality. There was also some footage of Tina Chow and Sonia Rykiel that I noticed, but it was all so overwhelming (well, actually also underwhelming) I flitted from one video to the next, not really taking much in, and not really feeling drawn in because not much was happening of interest. Talking of drawn - in the bizarrely hung first room, where some of the exhibits were hung 25 feet high on the wall, I noticed a series of what I thought must be Andy Warhol's childhood figurative pencil drawings. Until I reached it and saw that they were from 1963. I don't want to be too rude, but it all suddenly made sense, the delving into so many other mediums that weren't reliant upon him being able to draw. So that begs the question: does it matter? To me, yes. And since we bloggers are in the business of recording and documenting the daily minutiae of our lives it made me want to tread more thoughtfully there as well.

...Being a bookworm. I'm going to do a reading list this year; I've almost finished Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One's Own (prompted by the discovery that not one of my English friends has read any Woolf, yet friends from other countries rave about her), re-read The House of Mirth, started Something Wholesale and The Bell Jar (one of those books I'd always avoided for being depressive, but now I can't believe I've lived so long without it.)

...Going on a sentimental journey. I visited the former houses of my grandparents on both sides (who are all no longer with us), due to an overwhelming desire to connect with my roots. It may have been triggered by the news that the house I grew up in (that my dad sold two years ago) has been extended on all sides, the big tree in the front garden cut down and garden paved over, and the whole house generally "Dallas-ified" - as tends to happen in the London suburb I escaped from. Why it should be upsetting when it has nothing to do with you anymore I don't know; people are pretty much entitled to do what they want with the homes they own. But I can't describe the relief when I saw my granny's lovely Arts & Crafts house still intact - not a UPVC window or out of proportion extension in sight.

18 comments:

Blue said...

love House of Mirth--- definitely my fave Wharton novel.

and that feather brooch? so lovely!

~bp

Bombay Beauty said...

I can understand... I avoid revisiting the house I grew up in -- I hear it's being looked after terribly.

A reading list is a good idea, to which I might add a viewing list via my Netflix. The problem really is that no matter how quality the viewing is, one shouldn't over do it, as I have tended to lately...

BB

Anonymous said...

lovely feather brooch...many possibilities to play with...
and you remind me that i need to read some edith wharton..since i really enjoyed scorsese' "age of innocence"....

nancy

Iheartfashion said...

Great book list. Must read House of Mirth.

tigermilk said...

family history is lovely. i want to go on a journey like that soon.

Anonymous said...

That brooch is simply exquisite.
And I admit I never read Sylvia Plath as well, pretty much for the same reason you avoided it so far.
Talking of houses, one day I'll send you pictures of my grandparents houses: one does not exist any more, the other one was badly restored... crimes against humanity, that's what I think...
xxx
Mia

Lola Is Beauty said...

House of Mirth is really worth reading - more than once even.

That makes me feel better to know it's not only me that feels a tie to bricks and mortar.

And Mia - I was so surprised by The Bell Jar - it's funny/witty/humorous (though it does recount a breakdown and suicide attempt) - reminds me of Catcher in the Rye a little and made me want to read more Plath. After I finished it I listened to an interview with her on YouTube and she was so bright/humorous/witty - not words history chooses to associate with her.

Anonymous said...

I'm in love with your delicate silver feather brooch! Lucky you!

I totally missed out on the Warhol exhibition at the Hayward. I have a particularly bad habit of leaving exhibitions til the last minute. Must see Hussein Chayalan at the Design Museum before I forget about that, too! xx

Erica said...

Like your lovely feather, I have some brooches but can never bear to make holes in my clothes...

Do you have a secret, a trick?

I love seeing your book list...

Lola Is Beauty said...

Anon - I do exactly the same and then I always remember the day after they finish!

Erica - The only trick I have is to stop them falling off, which involves more holes - put a safety pin across the pin to hold it in place and always pin with the hinge part above, the clasp below. The holes they make are negligible - you can sort of rub them out - on cotton or wool. Wouldn't pin it on silk though...

Wana said...

its so preety!
to think it has been for generations??.. love!

Erica said...

This is joy at the end of the sentimental journey:

"But I can't describe the relief when I saw my granny's lovely Arts & Crafts house still intact..."

Agnes Deer said...

Wow you've been having most fruitful times! :) Good for you!

http://agnesdear.blogspot.com

T-Shirt and Tails said...

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Love your blog. Would you be interested in exchanging blog links?

My blog is called T-shirt and Tails and offers an insight in to the worlds of fashion, style and beauty.

Check it out: www.t-shirtandtails.blogspot.com

xxx

Lola Is Beauty said...

I will certainly check it out - thanks x

coquette said...

Oh, House of Mirth is great -- so much there about image and Lily Bart just can't make herself a commodity -- and you love her for that, but then. Oh gosh, I love that one.

Just finished To the Lighthouse, well, re-read it. Amazing. Very interesting that your English friends don't read Woolf! My senior english class in high school read A Room of One's Own. And I must have had Mrs. Dalloway assigned for a handful of classes in college. Hope you are well, dear.

Lola Is Beauty said...

Hello Missus - I cried for Lily Bart the first time I read it - I felt for her so much as if she was a real person I knew!

And yes, it's very strange - we are forcefed plenty of Shakespeare here but no Woolf! Quite bizarre. A lot of my current reading is to catch up on stuff everyone else read at school and I didn't (just read To Kill A Mockingbird - everyone did that at school - except me!)

Lola Is Beauty said...

I just read that back - I mean: I felt for her as if I knew her and she was a real person.

(See, you can tell I been schooled no good.)