Christmas Deux

Yol: I feel really sick after that mince pie.
Me: How was it?
Yol: Delicious.

'All the books...'

'All the books in all the world don’t make me a better man than you': Thomas Jefferson.

Well, I got loads of books for Christmas so there goes the little hope for self-improvement I had left. Time to start thinking about possible new year's resolutions.


Only two drinking days to Christmas left...

...and that pretty much says it all. I like the fact that although there's only tonight and tomorrow I've managed to fit two more 'let's meet for a drink' drinks in before Turkey Day.

For my art...

Jesus, stop me if you've seen these before. Talk about overkill but I didn't have pictures of the new work to supply so these got dragged out again. Anyway, I'd figured out what happens next (which is the tough thing for anyone) and just needed a few more packs of cards to work with. Pretty much the same thing I'd used already but the pack of cards I had previously came from a tourist souvenir shop in Bayswater about 15 years ago. This is pretty standard 70s soft-core Playboy type stuff I figured, I'll be able to pick it up anywhere around town. Anyway, the Soho Bookshop, Lovejoys on Charing Cross Road and Harmony (I guess the name relates back to the days of shops selling "Marital Aids") all have nudie playing cards. Sadly they're all themed and called things like 'Cum Sluts'; 'Teenage Cum Sluts' and 'Shaven Teenage Cum Sluts' (and these are just the ones of men) and not really what I was after at all. I don't suppose people go down to the basement of Lovejoys and ask for something 'a little bit milder and less hardcore'.
Personally, I blame the internet for ruining pornography.



sunday morning in Hackney, East London

...I look out the window and I thank god I live in Hackney. Admittedly this is a rare occurence and depends on the alignment of the sun shining on a clear day across some place of architectural interest.

One of the things I hate about Hackney is the lack of the collective sense that public space belongs to everyone. At one extreme it manifests itself in a feeling of insecurity in public spaces which lots of people seem to associate with the area, and at the other, people chucking their rubbish all over the street or letting their dogs dump in the middle of the pavement where kids walk.

As I get older it upsets me more and more to see these feckless thickos throwing their sweetie wrappers on the ground while they wait for the bus when there's a rubbish bin next to them. What is it with these people? Were they born stupid? There was a particularly nasty guy at the 25 bus stop outside Whitechapel tube station on Monday. He had a piercing through one eyebrow and he was eating a Twix (all the chocolate off first) before chucking the wrapper on the floor.

I remember another time on the bus to Shoreditch from town, a young trendy looking woman was eating a chicken supper out of a cardboard box on the bus. When she finished she put it on the empty seat next to her. When a middle-aged guy got on the bus and went to sit there he asked her if it was hers and she said 'No' and gave him a filthy look. He just picked it up and put it on the floor.

Anyway, I should start photographing these people and posting them on Flickr in a dirty bastard group.


Sunday in East London: Fosterart

Sunday in East London
Originally uploaded by Catfunt.
The show I was in has just finised and I went along on the last day to see the work. It looks great and they did a very nice job of hanging the work.

I'll be in another show in January at Transition.


For this Chinese boy...

...Christmas is just all too much. You go a whole year without going in phony pubs once and then you find yourself on consecutive days in 1) An All Bar One, 2) An O'Neils 3) A gastropub in Waterloo where they serve brandy in a miniature water tumbler. Charity shops are full of nice brandy glasses - what is their problem? Anyway, I've been giving out lots of drunken Christmas hugs to people I barely know in these places which is my small contribution to the season of goodwill and all that. Tonight Shoreditch. Please feel free to stop me and ask for a hug if it'll help get you through the next couple weeks.


machismo: the show

I've been 'designing' the invite for the Machismo show that starts in January and also marks the launch of Garageland.

The thing I do like about my design solutions is that they're centred on my software incompetence and hence the bulk of my effort is put into the pre-computer phase as the actual execution will always be pretty simple. So I did spend a large chunk of the day thinking about what led to this.


'"Jeff Wall-esque?" Did you really say that?'

So the other thing that I really liked at the Chelsea School of Art gig was the fact that it was payback time for the students in their assessments of their tutors' work. I was looking at this (admittedly bland) piece by one of the Foundation tutors, and there were three young rockin' art students who looked like they could've lived in my street (but they weren't poor enough) and one turned to the other and said 'It's very Jeff Wall-esque, isn't it?'

(NB: Er, like, no - it's nothing like Jeff Wall, underpants boy.)


No Idea

I've no idea what this band is called or even if they have a name. But they were playing at Chelsea School of Art at a tutors' show that I went to. I think it's the foundation course tutors and included work by John Clayman who I've shown with at Transition.

One of the many highlights of the evening (besides seeing my friends, natch) was the array of "individualistic" art student fashions: a mish mash of Hennes, Primark and charity shops - I think I counted at least three men wearing tea cosies on their heads.


David Lammy comes to visit

The second day of the workshop at Spurs with another group of very very nice ESOL students. But wait a minute, who's that who's dropped in? It's culture supremo David Lammy who's also i) MP for Tottenham and ii) a Spurs season ticket holder. He was a lot funnier than his Turner Prize speech that I watched on telly last night.


White Hart Lane: The Showers in the Visitors' Changing Room

I spent half the day "teaching" (it's a very progressive laissez-faire form of teaching that most educational professionals wouldn't recognise) a website building workshop at White Hart Lane, "home of the world's famous Tottenham Hotspurs" (as the announcer used to say) to a very lovely crowd of teenagers and their ESOL teachers. Anyway, Dave, one of the learning support centre managers showed us around afterwards. These are the showers in the visitors' changing rooms. Dave has a nice schtick and says something like "these are the showers the away team use, so David Beckham, Thierry Henry would have used them." For a brief moment you feel their presence in the (shower) room. Dave tells me the home team ones are much much nicer. Look at Flickr for some pictures of the pitch.


Jim and Greg's Party: the cab office

I'd just like to say to everyone I spoke to at Jim and Greg's Party last night: I'm really sorry. Things started out really well but then me and Yol decided to have a few drinks at home before we went to Jim and Greg's. Then we got the bus over there and having not had a drink for 30 minutes had a few to catch up.

Anyway, it's Christmas and this is what people do at Christmas. On another note we went to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang tonight and it was excellent. I now love Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer. It's so much better than the terribly overrated The Constant Gardener which we also saw this week.


Thorn Light Bulb Packaging

This is my favourite piece of design at the moment and here is a very bad scan of it flattened out. Interestingly it looked much better as a 3D object - it's quite fussy flattened with the repetition of the bulb and the "Thorn" on every side of the box. Available from fashionable Broadway Market, £1 from the hardware shop.


The Heath Quartet: Purcell Room

Went to see the excellent Heath Quartet at the South Bank with my friend Steve. There's something I like about the empty stage.

Anyway, they played a piece by Volans (2nd Dance from White Man Sleeps); Hans Abrahamsom's St Qt No 2; Janacek's Intimate Letters and after the interval Beethoven String Quartet No 2, Razumovsky. It was fantastic and we sat in the middle of the front row and it was free as it was part of the Martin Musical Scholarship. Did I say it was brilliant?