"I don't want a new outfit, I want a fucking wardrobe!"...

Fine dining at IKEA

...says my wife. This is the second time in less than seven days that I've been to IKEA and the third time in a month. I tell her this is proof, if proof is needed that I really love her. "Isn't the wardrobe for you as well?" I hear you ask, gentle reader. It is in the sense that my clothes will no doubt be in it (if it ever comes back into stock) but it isn't for me in that I would just as happily live out of a carrier bag/suitcase/pig sty.

Today was the turn of the Lakeside branch having been to Edmonton ("It's fucking murders there," as my ex-brother-in-law might have said) twice previously. This was simply because the internet led my wife to believe it was in stock there whereas Edmonton had sold out. This is no doubt because the wardrobe she'd like to score is the only one that might possibly have come from Heal's (but only on a dark night with your eyes half-shut). Anyway, as you already guessed it was out-of-stock despite the computer's belief that there were three stacked up in the shelves-and-pallet-hell just before checkout. Yol was pretty upset and the three stacking cardboard boxes, hand towel and shower-curtain didn't really begin to make up for it. I suggested a hot dog and after that (and a small fries and drink) she cheered up a bit. It was in the car as we were leaving the IKEA carpark that I suggested she might like to buy a new outfit at the nearby Lakeside shopping centre. Mr IKEA, she really really wants that wardrobe. Please help.


Hackney to Clapham and back again: Mark McGowan

Hackney to Clapham and back again

This is Mark McGowan, performance artist. At the show in Clapham we went to you could fight him in the guise of Ken Livingston. This is what it says on his website:

STREETFIGHTER (an opportunity to fight Ken Livingstone)
In an extraordinary art exhibition, controversial artist Mark McGowan is to proposition members of the public to boxing matches in the street. Clad in boxing attire, boots, shorts and gloves, McGowan will also be wearing a box on his head with a picture of the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

McGowan says, " i will be out at 10am outside the GLA building near Tower Bridge next Thursday looking for people to fight me (Ken) and arrange up to 10, one minute fights, which will take place outside the Clapham Art Gallery, as part of an art exhibition on Thursday 18th May 2006. You can prebook by calling 07956084780 or contact the gallery. I know lots of people are upset with Ken and his policies but i am here to defend Ken i think he is a great Mayor and there are too many people disrespecting him. Ken is not only the Mayor of London but a true fighter in every sense of the word, so if there is any black cab drivers, congestion charge critics etc, that fancy there chances, i am Ken and i am ready."

Maria gave him a good kicking. I thought he was OK, mostly because he's funny and he admits most performance art is rubbish.


Paperworld: Peter Liversidge

Paperworld: Peter Liversidge

Opens tomorrow. I hung (some of) it. It looks really good. This is a guy called Peter Liversidge who does things with brands and branded objects. These are all made in paper. Needless to say none of them work.


Bruce Sterling at Space Studios, Hackney

Bruce Sterling at Space Studios

The witty erudite clever insightful acerbic (and in this picture bored-looking) Bruce Sterling gave a talk at Space studios. It was all about arphid and was really really good (look elsewhere if you need more detail) but the most fantastic bit is that the good folks at Space took him to The Dolphin on Mare Street for a beer afterwards. As my wife says 'The Dolphin is the kind of place where men fall off their bar stools and women look at them with eyes full of pity knowing they'll be going home with them.' (Naturally it's my favourite pub in Hackney).


Feminism: Ed Ruscha


There's a great linear art chronology (I guess all chronologies are linear?!) in Tate Modern. Actually, it's not great, it's shit. What I mean is that it *LOOKS* great and is all done in art student handwriting and for some reason I get excited even just seeing the name of artists I like written down. My favourites here are Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler and (of course) Ed Ruscha.


My book...

My bookMy book which once cost, oh £20 or so, is now freely available via Amazon resellers for as little as £2.99. On the upside you can pay as much as £61.19 for it if you prefer. Personally I don't mind which you buy as I don't get a cut and also the "royalties" such as they were dried up years ago.


Josef Albers: Tate Modern

The Albers and Moholy-Nagy show at Tate Modern is quite simply the best show I've seen this year. This is probably because in its own understated way you get the sense of the overarching influence of the European modernism on not only 20th century art but also design in all its fields. Plus the work by Albers and Moholy-Nagy is awesome. On the downside my wife decided she'd like a set of the Josef Albers nesting tables (reissued and available via Vitra or, handily enough, the Tate shop) which I figured I could afford with a few months overtime. But no, it's worse than that. She wants me to make her a set. On the upside the modern ones for sale look over-machined and ugly while mine will definitely have a certain 'home-spun' charm (if they ever get done - I did get a book on carpentry out of the library today though).


Millwall: say "Hello" to your new deputy chief executive, Heather Rabbatts...

More Heather's Leaving Do

My old boss is now the deputy chief executive at Millwall FC. Boringly this is all the talk on the second floor at Channel4's Horseferry Road HQ.


"Regrets, I've had a few..."

Heather's leaving do

The boss (of the boss of my boss), Capo di Tutti Capi I suppose, finally had her final leaving do on the rooftop terrace at the Century Club on London's fashionable Shaftesbury Avenue between the steak houses, theatres and chinese herbal medicine joints. This is her making her final farewell address. I've always liked Heather - whenever there's a departmental do she lets her hair down and gets as lashed as the next person. It was a fun event and we didn't let the fact that the rooftop terrace is enclosed in a cheap looking tent and stinks of the sewer put us off.

Don't make the mistake I did. This one isn't the Century Club we went to - that one's in Century City and looks quite 'classy'. We went to this one. Interestingly, most of the positive comments about London's own Century Club on this review site, are a) anonymous and b) incredibly flattering about the owner:
"Very nice food and friendly receptionist! Good looking owner!
Rating: 5/5
by: Anonymous, 23 November 2004"

I wonder...