Friday, January 22, 2010

Team Steam

Last weekend, I went on a little day trip to Oxford with a couple of friends to see the Steampunk exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science. Now, I appear to have caught steampunk. I've developed an inexplicable desire to wear a corset and a leather top hat with goggles and to stick typewriter keys on my laptop keyboard. I am bidding on an antique Pince-Nez on ebay to wear around my neck. Help! If I don't find a way to curb this soon, I will end up with a full-scale metal working workshop.

It's made worse by the fact that the Oxford experience was preceded by a visit to the Bristol Old Vic to see the Kneehigh production of Hansel & Gretel, which was brilliant - if you're in Bristol, hurry, tomorrow's the last day. This was not like your average panto, for example, it included a giant contraption with candles burning ropes, blocks of wood swinging around, dislodging other bits of wood, which eventually crushed a mouse (which happened to have kept still the whole time...). And Bunnies.

I've found myself having to explain the concept of Steampunk quite a lot lately and although I think I have a pretty good feeling of what it encompasses now, I find it hard to explain. The video of the Oxford exhibition sums it up pretty well:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Things I have liked in 2009

There have been lots of amazing things that people I know have done this year and that I have mostly mentioned previously.

Other than those, some of my favourite things of the year were these:

Where the Wild Things Are

I was a bit worried I might have built it up to much after going to the exhibition in New York and hanging around outside the Premiere party at the MoMA, but it was a wonderful film. Particularly this song by Daniel Johnston (performed by Karen O and the Kids, as the rest of the soundtrack), Worried Shoes.

New York

Everything about it. I was particularly surprised that although it is of course a thoroughly modern city, it always has a touch of retro about it. I think it's partly the predominance of the "moderne" style. And as I suspected, every single person is creative, beautiful and fashionable. To quote the Bonfire of the Vanities: "...the irresistible destination of all those who insist on being where things are happening".


Just as I'm suckered in by the pretty packaging of Benefit cosmetics, I also belong to the target group for Moxie tampons. Luckily, the actual tampons are not retro (I imagine a retro tampon would be a rag tied on a bit of string or something equally unsavoury), just the tin and the wrapper with the bow on.


the cat that comes to visit

She loves me. I love her, but not her fleas and all the hair that she sheds.


The Flaming Lips

I finally fulfilled my ambition of seeing them live, got showered in confetti, Wayne Coyne did the hamsterball thing, they played Do You Realize - all boxes ticked.

Vintage Knitting patterns

I've only been buying them for the purposes of the advent calendar, but it may be time to start a real collection. The 1940's ones are just too beautiful.

The Cube

It's a wonderful place. Working at the bar at the Cube has actually tricked me into thinking that bartending is the best job ever. I do suspect this is not so in more commercial drinking establishments.

Regina Spektor

Well, I've talked about that.



I've been reading this neo-feminist news website for a couple of years now, and although the constant complaining about one-dimensional female characters on TV and narrow beauty ideals is starting to grate somewhat, they still make some interesting points, and have pictures of nice dresses.

There was of course much more to the year than this, but I'm now going to head off to the Arnolfini and play in the Craftivism exhibition. Happy 2010!