Saturday 29 October 2011

Instrument airing

These instruments form just ONE of the 'gamelans' that the Hothouse compound owns.
This the 'Salunding' given to Mark by his teacher in Bali. Most wonderful carved red, gold and green metallophones which give an extraordinary cross section of bell tones.
Another gamelan is in the garage . . . sadly, and sadder still, the really huge gamelan, which fills about the size of say, the floor space of the Café de Commerce in Limoux, is still housed in someone's grenier waiting for the moment that one of the French communes wake up and realise what an incredible teaching tool it is.
Mark can get a group of twenty children, adults, aged folks, anyone, to be able to play a gamelan piece together within two hours. The music school of Carcassonne have expressed interest. We'll see.
This film is of the medium-sized gamelan being rehearsed in the Théâtre Municipal of Carcassonne for part of a piece of music called . . . err, Contentless, or was it Endless? Oh, yes, I remember: 'Timeless'. I can't recall much about the actual performance other than I felt very cold, wanted to watch a re-run of Life on Mars and eat some custard.
The interlude bits by my husband were of course brilliant. If you want to see more, look at Youtube 'hothouse'.
And, if anyone has loads of money and fancies building their own gamelan pavillion with resident teacher, in their garden, let me know.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Papa's got a brand new bag.

What a great song, Mr Brown. I especially like Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's version: Mama's got a brand new bag by 'Bo Duddley'. I might try and load it up here.
This photo is of my bag - one of them. I have quite a few. Something that Mark cannot understand. Women and bags. Men and gadgets. However all my bags come from vide greniers (car boots) so I feel I am allowed to have a selection.
This one is from Alet-les-Bains V.G, thank you Caroline if you read this. My long-term favourite is a small tardis-like object from Oxfam in Ormskirk. Now about five years old it's still going strong despite the once cream suede now being dingy grey-brown. I also have a lot of old shoes; silly shoes with very high heels that I will probably never wear, but again . . . there is something about shoes, fetish objects.
Bags and shoes obviously occupy a large percentage of many a female's brain space. One only has to look in Vogue to see about thirty adverts with Kate moss draped over a large crocodile skin bag wearing very little other than . . . well, nothing really, except a lot of mascara. This is serious accessory madness however: bags anonymous. Bags to show you have more money than sense; shoes to be able to walk the tarmac from the taxi to the make-up hall in Harrods.
I looked up the ten most expensive bags in the world. The top one is . . . please sit down, if you are not already, or find a sick bag.
The Hermes Birking bag created by Japanese designer Ginza Tanaka at $1.9 million.
Well, it is made of platinum, and has over 2,000 diamonds on it.
Why? What possible use could it be; one would be mugged within twenty seconds of leaving the house, but I suppose you would have your matching diamond-incrusted body guard with you.
The world is a sick place indeed. By the way, the number 10 bag was a snip at £38,000, or a tad more if you wanted it made of chinchilla skin. Urrg, think I need to go and lie down for a bit and analyse why I need a bag at all, or at least why more than one.

Sunday 9 October 2011


Back after very odd two weeks in UK. Basically clearing out Mum's house, taking as much stuff as is allowed into the home and the rest to friends, Oxfam and the dump. Dreadful.
Good highlights though, seeing friends and family, swimming once in the sea and seeing films in large building called a cinema - must remember to do this from time to time.
Actually, one film I saw was so boring I'm not sure if I just fell asleep and imagined I had been in afore-mentioned edifice. It was called 'I don't know how she does it' hopefully to be renamed, I don't know how the script writer got away with it'. Had good actors in it too, like the father in Little Miss Sunshine, whoever he is. Must have been desperate for money?
I asked a couple after the film what they had thought. They said: "Err, nothing happened" Good comment; spot on, I thought.
I also got a tattoo! It's been a bit of a year for me, and I wanted to finish the last day of it with something a bit unusual . . .
On the last day I cleaned up the house, went to see Mum and set off back to base. Seven hour coach journey follwed by sleep in Stansted airport overnight. Awful. Had just got to sleep, then at 3.00 am the staff came and moved everyone through departures as we were rather cluttering up their nice shiny hall.
Had breakfast at 5.00 am and watched people queuing to buy duty-free perfume as soon as shops had opened their doors. What recession . . .
Then sat for another five hours, but did get a lot of writing done.
Back home. Wonderful, despite mess from the two men folk on their own for two weeks. Love them.