Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Age-Old Question

This isn’t just a list. Read on. I have a point

1. My godfather grew up in Chile.


2. I have an Indian hand-made candle holder on my desk depicting a lotus on a turtle’s back.P1010349image

3. At the age of ten, when all the other girls in my class wanted to be Rachel from S Club 7, I wanted to be a psychiatrist.

4. My first word was ‘moon’.


5. My electric guitar is called Seyton and would probably appeal to this guy:


It occurred to me today how we weave our self-perception. These statements are all correct, and all relatively distinct to me, but only two of them are what I have cashed as things which are me. They are part of ‘what makes up Fiona’, whereas the other three, though true, are basically facts.

In other words, if you took those two things away I feel it would change me fundamentally. The other three are linked to my life, my preferences, maybe even the image others use to build me… but for me they’re basically just facts.

There are countless distinct facts about all of us, but we wither subconsciously or consciously highlight some and overlook others perhaps to bring us closer to who we want to be.

As a parallel comparison, we are all at some times in our life giddy, insecure, pensive, principled or generous. But while one person might pick out pensive and generous, another might think of herself as giddy and principled, or another as pensive and insecure.

This isn’t a very well structured argument but I hope you can see where I’m going with it. Yes we are all individual, but we mould ourselves. I think that’s fascinating and exciting.

It makes me wonder… where is the line between self-affirmation, and self-denial?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

“Viti” is Icelandic for Lighthouse

I’ve always had a dream of living in a lighthouse. And even though the red-and-white New England ones are pretty as a picture book, Iceland’s saffron towers are also very impressive and somehow manage to balance being stern, hardened, functional structures while retaining that national playful silliness. Which is typically Icelandic; if you have to live in a freezing, remote, cold tower – why not make it yellow?

This poem is about that, and inspired very much by Keri Hulme’s ‘The Bone People’. Sorry it’s in French.

Suis le phare! (Les vagues le battent.)
Il brûle pour moi! (Les vagues me battent.)
La gardienne du phare, c'est moi.
Je suis la tour du phare, le phare tournant -
C’est mon donjon!

Mais maintenant

Sans souci les vagues, elles battent
La falaise, la craie; les vagues attaquent
La paix, mais sans considération,
Tranquillement. Et puis
Il ne reste que son et bruit.

(Donc, est-ce qu'elles me battront aussi?)

Oui, elles battent la paix, et mon pays dedans, 
Et le sol dans le pays, et la poussière et le sang
et les cendres des flammes, et les os de mes gens --
Mais les vagues, elles s'avancent sans cette connaissance.

Sans hâte, sans haine, elles cherchent mes haleines.
Je disparait dans la tour, mon dos tournant et mes os protégeant.
Pas loin jusqu'au point que ma voix s'éteint.
Mais la flamme dans le phare
Et mon âme dans la tour
Nous restent sans souci.
Parce que dans le phare
Je suis.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


I don’t share Delightfully Tacky’s love of 1970s interior design, but I’ve always thought I have a 70s face. Also, I gel very well with the ‘natural’ 70s idea… bare makeup, comfortable clothes, simple hair, and so on.
That is why Topshop’s new collections, Swedish Summer and Snake Valley, are so bittersweet for me. On the one hand, they’re quite intriguing to me… I don’t like everything (I’m not a fan of crotchet, calf-length anything or ruffles), but the warm, bright colours and longer length trousers and dresses are attractive nonetheless.
BUT I HAVE NO INCOME. And I have a self-imposed £30 a month spending limit as i don’t want to deplete my diminished savings all too rapidly, so it won’t stretch to much.
I guess it’s time to hunt Reading’s disappointing charity shops.
I don’t even have a sewing machine so it’s not like I can make something myself.
Well it is what it is. I’ll just look instead.
I do love the girl’s ombre hair though so maybe I’ll try that out.

Monday, 7 February 2011

The Grand Old Teatime Ceremony

Forget Greg.

Or, actually, don’t. I would still love that job to work out, but after 9 e-mails and seven days of no correspondence at all I’ve almost given up hope. (But it still continues to be my dream job.)

In the meantime, however, I’ve landed myself a certified real and proper job interview at Whittard, which would also be a great place to work. It’s a relatively old (est. 1886) chain of shops selling tea, coffee, hot chocolate, chinaware and other accessories for those who love to indulge in the Great British afternoon tea ceremony. Going in there is a feast for all the senses: beautiful and varied designs, from pretty florals (not my thing) to simple hand-painted designs in primary colours (my thing) for the eyes and fingers; tea samples for the mouth, and leaf tea to smell; and lots of tea and coffee sets, as well as nifty shiny gadgets.

Now, I don’t consider myself English at all but I have certainly adopted the culture as it pertains to tea. I love it when I find the time and state of mind to properly brew a pot of tea, with matching cup, saucer, milk jug and teapot, and of course the ubiquitous slice of homemade cake. And then, because I’ve recently gone off books a bit (I know, shoot me down), I will plug my mp3 player into the amplifier and set it on shuffle. Vashti Bunyan goes well with a delicate Earl Grey, whereas a breakfast blend is better with something more upbeat.

Enough of weird synaesthesia,; here is my wishlist from the Whittard website.

Click the images and explore by yourself!


This took me four hours to make. BED TIME NOW.

xxx F