Blog archive June 2003
daniel sent me some pics from his trip to london.
unbelievably, the little round logo says 'self portrait'. what you're seeing is two posters on a billboard through our reflections in the tube carriage window.
here we are on the seafront at brighton.
one by me using my usual cliches, having noticed the cosmic alignment of the tea mugs. daniel reached across when i was fiddling with the camera so i made him do it again. we'd just had fish & chips.
in the pub taking a shot of daniel's cigarette [which might be on here tomorrow when i get the prints back]
"don't let him smoke!" shouted sniff. "the hemulen aunt says all smokers get shaky paws, yellow nose and bald tail." "i'm not so sure," said moominmamma. "he's smoked all his life, and he's neither shaky, yellow or bald. all nice things are good for you." and she lit moomimpappa's pipe for him...
you simply can't write such things in a children's book nowadays :)
'now i had nothing to call my own. i knew nothing, but believed a lot. i did nothing by habit. i was extremely happy."
[the exploits of moominpappa]
found 'the exploits of moominpappa' and 'moominvalley in november', newly republished, in selfridges yesterday. had to have them. i read all the moomin books as a child, kept a couple into adulthood, and then rediscovered them on a different level. the early books are just children's tales, amusing enough. but over twenty years jansson's cast of characters became vehicles for psychologically subtle storytelling and dry humour of an entirely adult kind. i was repelled by her later books when i was young. scandinavian gloom, chapter titles like 'fog' and 'rain' while once-playful characters gazed at the sea, exchanged bleak misunderstandings, found inner liberations. now of course i love those very stories. there is a *lot* of snufkin in me.
incidentally, 'finn family moomintroll'...this was the first one published in english, out of chronological order to my childhood confusion. that's not what it's called in finnish, as far as i can tell. but back in 1950 somebody thought it could best be introduced to the british public by reference to that great children's classic, 'swiss family robinson'. and now, what has become of 'swiss family robinson', once thought to be up there with alice and pooh? i had a copy given me as a child c. 1970, when lip-service was still paid to its classic status. i read it, but only once. and the book named in imitation has taken the place of the one-time 'classic'.
daniel miller is here in london until tuesday, so i have to blog for two. tonight he's staying with miriam's friend leia [!] in eltham cos our sofabed is otherwise occupied. after that he'll be here. thought i'd drag him to brighton on saturday - show him more of england. brighton seems sufficiently complex and interesting - and close. [just stopped listening to the polyphonic spree cd which i found lying around. it lasted to half way through the second track. either i'm not in the mood or it's unbearable]
actually got up and went to church this morning, because it was the grand reopening of the lavishly restored st. mary's ealing with guest star the bishop of london. the church looks marvellous, clean and light with rich victorian colour and detail reinstated. the pews have ben replaced by a stone floor with moveable benches - so we can now clear the floor eg for a labyrinth. there's a lot more space everywhere as dingy clutter has been removed from annexes and side chapels, and there's an elaborate new lighting system which we'll have to get to grips with. not that we have to hide the parts of the building we're not using in darkness any more. it's enough to tempt us to do grace in daylight.
last night's grace was about the trinity, with guest artist paul hobbs talking us through his trinity paintings. with large paintings and projections of paintings on all four sides of the room it would have made a good prayer chapel if we could have left them up. plenty of people came, despite the other attractions of a hot summer's evening. all the cafe food was trinitarian - either triangular, or in threes. it's strange how few foods are triangular. we had toblerone, nachos, dairylea cheese triangles. pretzels because they have three loops. jelly babies because there are three persons [although in many colours].
i wrote a trinity prayer to start the service. it seemed to find favour, so here it is for all to see:
three is the magic number
calling us out of individualism
insisting on relationship
i to you
we to another
trinity seeding networks
until all the cosmos joins in
one to create
one to save
one to sustain
one to author
one to fight
one to enliven
one to conceive
one to die
one to resurrect
one to plan
one to act
one to explain
trinity expose our self-reliance
trinity break open our exclusivity
trinity seed our joining tonight
i couldn't resist the de la soul quote.
i felt odd about doing the father/son/holy spirit thing, because to me the trinity is a construct - a way of conceptualising god that may not reflect anything inherent in the godhead. but the one thing i can grasp is relatedness.
i feel embarrassed to say it, but i'm actually enjoying work atm. designing new moveable screens for office meeting areas, in funky colours of perspex. will appear in third place at some time.
just blogging howies ethical/environmentally friendly skate/bmx oriented clothing company. daniel you might find this useful.
check out the new liquid church images. and see what my daily commute looks like. there'll be more liquid church pics as soon as i get the words right for the other pics i've got.
was up till 3am last night watching trash tv. this happens when i tire of the computer at 11pm and switch on the tv for a 'few minutes' to wind down before bed. and then channel-hop into the small hours until something finally makes me switch off. so what's the fascination? apart from the obvious car-crash fascination of bad tv? well, it's *old* tv, banished from prime time which is always about the present. so it's a trip through bygone periods of fashion and design. take last night. item one: 'the killer bees', british horror, 1966. starts with a pop show in a tv studio - beat groups! reel to reel tape recorders! monstrous primitive tv cameras! then it relocates to a 'remote island'. so we see what a village pub interior was like in 66. we see an office in whitehall - 60s office technology [ie none]. and so on. item two: lawyers in LA in the 80s. she looks like margaret thatcher - the collarless suit, the big blonde hair. great aerial shots of the freeways - so beautiful from a helicopter. item three: 'fanny hill', 1973 film of the 18th century erotic novel, british. in spite of the 18th c. setting everyone has 70s hairstyles. there's a load of full frontal nudity, male and female - but few of these actors would be allowed to take their clothes off in a movie nowadays. people didn't work out then, and the times were sexist enough to imagine that only women had to be attractive naked. not a pretty sight.
and then there's buffy, final episode series 6 - underwhelming for an end-of-series, but still more loveable and humane than anything else on tv in the small hours.
spent this afternoon at greenbelt's 30th birthday garden party at lambeth palace, residence of the archbishop of canterbury. the weather was great, there were a few hundred gb persons of past and present eras, including alt worship friends from across the country. the archbishop addressed the crowd, there were cakes and champagne - all very nice. photos next week [damn i must get a digital]. i have a bit of a dehydration headache caused by sun and champagne.
yes it's taken all this time to get those photos scanned in. the way my life is now, things that take a day take several weeks, things that take a week [like the rebuild of smallfire.org] take several months.
bought a couple of cool t-shirts yesterday: