Monday, 26 September 2011

Noodle-ham Adventures

We are awaiting a phonecall from the Turner Prize Commitee

After the surreal experience of Swindon last year, I have to report a disappointingly un-weird Unconvention. The extreme end of the Bookcrosser oddity spectrum was almost* non-existent, so weirdo-dodging was minimal and it was therefore safe to settle down to the main business of the weekend: rum. A lot of rum.

Friday night kicked off with what turned out to be a 4 hour literary pub-quiz. In a well meaning attempt at forcing social interactions amongst our little group of misfits, teams were allocated blindly. I shall take this opportunity to publicly apologise to my team for the rapid dwindling of my interest in question answering. After about round 4 of 10, having realised that we were definitely not going to win and so competitive streak dead (and a considerable about of rum consumed) I rather gave up attempting to remember the genealogy of Dostoyevsky characters, taking instead to making paper fortune tellers and giving them to friends on other teams. Sorry guys. Though, even if I'd been sober, I'd have been of little use.

Having lost spectacularly, we returned to the bar so I could continue the destruction of my liver undistracted. The Irish contingency were on fine form as always, along with a couple of Kiwi's and the not-too-weird Belgian (who does not like jazz. I checked). I am reliably informed that, finding my smuggled in booze supply depleted, I was very eloquent on the subject of 'Why Is All The Rum Gone?' (my flask must have had a leak in it) before retiring to bed.

Saturday Morning started with an exceptionally thoughtful coffee delivery to my hotel room (Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you) - between which and several pints of water I managed to re-hydrate my brain. Not being particularly interested in any of the author talks (not having read any of their books), I opted instead to go to Nottingham Castle, having not visited since childhood. It seems that on all previous trips I managed to miss the fact that Nottingham Castle is NOT a Castle. It's an art gallery on a site where a castle used to be, and a gatehouse. Disappointed at a lack of opportunity to play English K-niggits, I decided to do I tour of the underlying caves, which proved well worth it if just for learning one juvenile but genius fact: Nottingham used to be called Snottingham, named after Viking Lord Snot.
Bloody brilliant.

Back to the hotel to engage in some standard fare raffle-and-announmenting, but more importantly to work out how much walking would be involved in getting to the restaurant for dinner and thus make an informed shoe decision.

I made the mistake of joining the largest group for dinner, which meant that service was a bit slow, though the wait staff were friendly enough (in a slightly manic way) and happy to hand out kiddie colouring in sheets with crayons to bored children (Kiwi & I). We continued my paper folding theme by making origami cats. Then an origami garden for them to play in, complete with origami birds to eat and origami flowers to play with... and then we made the staff put our picture in the children's gallery (I snuck back later and moved all the children's pictures away from ours, they were very inferior). The other mistake I made at dinner was sitting with the whole of Team Wolf (from the game of BC Mnopoly I'm hosting at the mo), giving them ample time to crack 'jokes' about biased bonus pointing and to attempt to bribe me**. After dinner (and a quick photo call in the art gallery) we headed back to the hotel bar, where we completely failed to play any board games, so just continued drinking instead... opps.

Sunday morning dawned a little brighter and a lot earlier than I am used to, but I managed to make it to the release walk in a timely and vertical manner. However my cognitive skills were clearly somewhat lacking given that we came joint-second in the treasure hunt by one point - that point being lost due to my inability to count to eight.  Oh dear.

The walk ended in a pub, which apparently did nice local ales, though I was rather distracted by the Sunday Dinner offered with UNLIMITED Roast potatoes.
I am still there now, poor fools had no idea what would happen when tehy offered a Hurst an uncapped supplies of roasties...
Noodle xxx

*Almost, but not entirely. We still had the lady who, when her joke-slash-factoid fails to receive rapturous applause (due to being unfunny/irrelevant/not even vaguely interesting) repeats said joke-slash-factoid again, louder. And again, louder... (please note, it was not quiet on it's first airing). The advantage of this habit is that she is easy to spot and avoid.
**All attempts were successful - I am completely open to bribery - preferred forms are alcohol and gratuitous compliments

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Skinning the Cat

I'm a bad vegetarian.
I have to confess it - I wear leather. Sorry, but plastic shoes are horrible for your feet (plus usually unspeakably ugly), and I am weak willed in the face of a well-turned louis heel with pretty little silver buckles.
I decided a couple of years ago that if I was going to wear leather I should at least try to wear free range leather, so the moo cows can run around and eat daisys prior to being skinned by Kurt Geiger. Yet still the options in shoe gorgeousness are limited. So I took a short workshop in leather-craft, brought myself a big old hide* and fully intended to set off making my own.
Instead of actually doing anything though, I rolled up the hide, stored it and forgot it existed
I came back to it recently and found that at some point Curdle Cat had hidden inside, and (probably confused by the shiny smooth lack of grip) dug in her claws. Bugger.
So, these bookmarks serve two purpose - they get me back on the wagon with some practice of basic edging and rivet setting skills, and they provide employment for the damaged bits of skin which would otherwise be useless. 
I took inspiration from Paul Seville (whose work makes me drool. Utterly utterly delicious. He should make some shoes...) and just made holes where the scratches had been. So there is no rhyme or reason to the patterns, just the whim of a small tabby with sharp claws.
I'm off to eat some lentils as veggie penance (maybe I could force the same punishment on the cat?)
Noods x
(or Vekiki, if your a visiting bookcrosser)

*Those who know me well will observe that this leather is unsuitable for shoe making due to it's unfortunate colouration problem. It was intended for making a hat for boy - and still is, someday. But first I have to hit him round the head a few times in an attempt to make his skull less weird shaped.

Broken-Book Marks

The books used in the making of these bookmarks were already dead - many thanks to bookcrossers worldwide for donating ripped, waterlogged, partially burned and generally unreadable literature* for my crafting endeavours

Now for a confession - I don't use bookmarks, I fold down pages. Bad Noodle.
Actually, I don't feel guilty about it - if a book is particularly beautiful, or not mine, I will use an old receipt or somesuch to mark my place, but mostly, sod it. I don't put in such a crease that the page rips, and books these days are not the sacred priceless hand written objects they once were - my folding the corner the latest Dawkins diatribe does not threaten the continued existence of the text. The invention of the Gutenberg Press alleviates my requirement to use book marks. 
Plus, I like worn books - I always prefer second hand and only buy new when I can't source old  - dogears make a book that bit more homely, broken spines make your shelves look like somewhere to stay and ponder, and even the occasional mug-ring on the cover is a mark of happy memories..

Think of me what you will... but it means there are more of these broken-book marks to share because there's not point me keeping them for myself :)
(aka Vekiki - to any interloping bookcrossers)

*I am not referring to chick-lit; I mean physically unreadable, not mentally.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Fire Door

I opened the fire door
To four lips
(None of which were mine)
Tightened my belt around my hips
Where your hands were missing 
And stepped out into the cold
Collar high
Under the slate grey sky
The air was smoking and the streets were dry
And I wasn't joking when I said
Good Bye

Magazine quality men talking on the corner
French, no less 
Much less of them then us
So why do I feel like something's been rearranged? 
You know, taken out of context I must seem so strange
Killed a cockroach so big
It left a puddle of pus on the wall.

When you and I are lying in bed
You don't seem so tall.

I'm singing now 
Because my tear ducts are too tired
And my brain is disconnected 
But my heart is wired

I make such a good statistic
Someone should study me now  
Somebody's got to be interested in how I feel
Just 'cause I'm here
And I'm real 

Oh, how I miss
Substituting the conclusion to confrontation with a kiss
And oh how I miss
Walking up to the edge and jumping in
Like I could feel the future on your skin
I opened the fire door
To four lips
(None of which were mine)

I opened the fire door


I couldn't resist stealing this Ani DiFranco lyric to be taken out of context on a tote bag ;) 
It's made from recycled wool fabric, left over present-wrapping ribbon and -hem - 'vintage' buttons, so I reckon my favourite folksicle would approve. 
This is for Rachel - one of just three Ani fans I know (including me.) The other two are both Canadian. Coincidence? I think not - I suspect (hope) they are all over there getting fired up on angry lefty lyrics, ready to charge south and drown the Tea Party in maple syrup. Vive La Revolution!.
I'm off to bake pancakes for moping up afterwards
Noods x

PS. Why are you still reading? You should have buggered off to Youtube the song by now. Never mind - here. Enjoy :)