December 2005

Seasonal&Self30 Dec 2005 09:00 pm

Sad Lucy We only have one more full day of 2005.

Guess what? I don’t like New Year’s Eve either!

I can tell you’re amazed.

Still, it’s nice to start afresh psychologically in January, much as I loathe the dark, dank month in every other way. And making resolutions is fun of sorts, even if they don’t last past 10am on 1 January.

This year, my resolutions include podcasting (working on it, kittens, working on it!) and finishing some of the other creative projects I’ve started.

What are yours?

And do these earrings win Classiest Jewellery* of 2005? (available from here, in all seriousness)

* Jewelry, if you’re from over the water

I vote yes.

Pop culture&Seasonal&Self27 Dec 2005 11:52 pm

Keanu in snow I’ve just been watching Constantine, so here’s a picture of Winter Keanu. As you can see from the snap, he’s helping to dig the snow off the M20, which is good of him.

Yes, I’m in a silly mood. Sorry.

Nails are looking good though.

Watched all 6 Nathan Barleys in a row late last night and squealed with recognition all the way through. It really is a good time for me to be living out of London. You know, I went out with someone just like Nathan. For a whole year. Arghhh. (I am now cured.)

How’s your Saturnalia been? And are you back at work soon or on holiday until the New Year? Yes you, I mean you. You, my dear. Mm?

British politics&Seasonal&Self26 Dec 2005 10:55 am

Fra Angelico - St Lawrence Giving Alms (c. 1450) So did you have a good Christmas Day? Are you ready for Boxing Day?

Americans always ask “What is this Boxing Day thing? Huh, limey? What does it MEAN?”

Traditionally, it was the day when the masters / rich gave the servants / poor their seasonal gifts / money. In the huge homes of the wealthy, Boxing Day would be the day when the servants of all the extended families present were allowed to gather together to eat and drink and celebrate Christmas. Obviously they would’ve been on duty throughout Christmas Day itself, bringing succulent treats to their pampered employers.

Many women in my mother’s family (from maternal great-grandmother backwards) were in domestic service. I am therefore going to have the laziest day I can possibly manage, in dedication to those women and their back-breaking toil. I think they’d be proud that a female descendant of theirs could afford to be idle so much of the time, and with such silky soft never-done-a-proper-day’s-work-in-her-life hands.

Let us drink a toast to the dismantling of the British class system!

(which is scheduled for the day after muscat grapes are harvested in the Sahara)

I may write more here during Boxing Day, but… y’know, only if I can be bothered. First, I’m going to paint my nails a glossy crimson and watch The Philadelphia Story. It’s what Great-Granny would’ve wanted.

Audience participation&Pop culture&Seasonal&Self24 Dec 2005 06:55 pm

Here’s something to while away those long Saturnalia minutes between carb fixes. I’ve shamelessly stolen the link from Mark of Fear & Loafing in England, who is a TS Eliot / Ted Bundy / Samuel L Jackson hybrid.

What am I on about? This. It’s MyHeritage, a site which offers photo facial recognition (still in beta) that can tell you which celebrities you most resemble, based on physical genetic similarities. You upload a photo of yourself and the software compares the attributes of your face to the celebrities in its database. Then it tells you who you look like, on a percentage basis.

I’m loving it, because it’s just told me I look like a whole host of gorgeous women, none of whom I particularly resemble. Actually there are a couple in there who are broadly along the right lines, in the loosest sense, but the others…?! I’ll gleefully take the compliment, but blimey. Let’s just say none of us are long-lost twins. If you know me in real life, judge for yourself, and try not to choke on your mulled wine. Here we go.

Gwyneth sobs
Gwyneth didn’t take the news well

Foxy is:

72% Beyonce Knowles
72% Halle Berry
71% Preity Zinta
71% Drew Barrymore
70% Vivien Leigh
70% Asia Argento
69% Britney Spears
68% Hillary Clinton
68% Daniel Cohn Bendit (who?)
68% Gwyneth Paltrow

Funnily enough, I have never in my life been compared to any of them. (Perhaps because I look nothing like them.) Ah well. I’m obviously too bootylicious for ya babe. I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.

Who do you look like?

Beyonce roars
“I look like goddamn WHO?! Is this some kind of JOKE? Get outta my way!”

Seasonal&Self22 Dec 2005 10:01 pm

Angel with trumpet My oh my, I’ve been a busy old fox. Please accept my apologies if it looks like I’ve been neglecting you lately. It’s not personal. I still love you. No really, I do.

But I am planning to blog Saturnalia. Not every single gift opened and cracker pulled, just one or two prose interludes over the holiday season. So see you then if you’re around. If you’re stranded in a family home without net access, this may prove problematic. But you’ll probably need frequent net breaks if your family’s anything like, say, Alecya’s. Escapees and sanity-seekers are welcome here any time. Make yourselves at home.

Highlights of Foxy’s festive frolics so far:

1 – I received a brilliant home made card today from a Real Life friend, featuring a picture of Luke Haines in its design. Thanks F, you creative thing.

2 – A ‘3 for the price of 2’ offer on a gift that I planned to buy for 3 different people. Bonanza!

3 – The prospect of some empty diary days in the near future… phew.

Hope you’re well, that you enjoyed the winter solstice (a bit late, sorry Spins), and that you’re having a pleasant party season so far. Tinsel-trimmed hugs all round.

Anti-consumerism&Seasonal18 Dec 2005 11:01 pm

A team of subversive Santas invaded London’s busiest shopping area (Oxford Street) on Saturday – click here for story.

Bad Santas

Santas against Shopping

Photos from London Rising Tide

I bet their antics didn’t make the slightest difference to those insane enough to brave the crowds, and I bet not one shopper opted to buy less on this particular day because of the protest. And of course they were thrown out of every shop they went into. But the fact they did it anyway gave me a bit of seasonal cheer. Ho ho ho.

Seasonal&Self17 Dec 2005 04:58 pm

Saturnalia twig tree This is my Saturnalia tree.

It’s not very photogenic. You can’t really see the lights here, but it looks pretty in real life.

It changes colour softly: purple, blue, green, pink, white. It doesn’t flash, it just gently twinkles as each colour blends into the next.

Saturnalia twig tree again It has the icy sparseness of a bare winter tree, in a deciduous rather than evergreen style. It’s a postmodern nod towards the semiotics of the Christmas tree, without all the trimmings. It’s a knowing glance at tradition with the aesthetics of late 20th-century minimalism.

It’s a load of fake silver twigs with fibre optics inside, basically.

Still, I like it.

Europe&Human rights&Writing16 Dec 2005 10:23 am

Today, a brilliant writer called Orhan Pamuk goes on trial in Turkey.

Orhan PamukHis novels include the astonishing My Name Is Red, Istanbul and The Black Book. He is undoubtedly the most internationally renowned living Turkish novelist.

Pamuk was prosecuted by the Turkish authorities because he mentioned in a media interview the slaughter of Armenians and Kurds by his own country.

According to Turkey, these deaths were not genocide and Pamuk has committed a crime by suggesting they were. The crime is classified in Turkish law as “insulting the country”.

Pamuk repeated his claims in October when collecting a German peace prize. His trial date was already in the court timetable by then. That “let them see” strategy drew European attention to the case and now an intense media scrutiny has fallen on Turkey and its attitude towards human rights.

The political background to this case is significant. Turkey wants desperately to join the European Union. Many sections of the existing EU feel it should not join. Some commentators think this unwelcoming behaviour is plain old anti-Islamic prejudice. Some blame Turkey’s poor human rights record for the chilly reception. It’s probably a combination of both.

Europeans are notoriously disapproving of what could be seen to be heavy-handed draconian tactics. So Orhan Pamuk’s trial in Turkey may well have a strong effect on European public opinion. The authorities may decide to be lenient to reduce resistance to the bigger economic prize of EU membership. Or they may decide to make a high profile example of him. It’s impossible to say. But it will have long lasting political implications, whichever way the judgment goes.

Outside the framework of social context, this is the story of one artist’s right to free speech. Those of us who support that cause will be with him all the way. Orhan Pamuk, stick to your guns. Turkey, think carefully. We will be watching.

UPDATE: The trial has just been suspended for the time being, minutes after starting. Turkey is buying time to find a way out of this PR disaster, perhaps…

Anti-consumerism&Pop culture&Seasonal&Self14 Dec 2005 02:30 pm

Saturnalia by Antoine-Fran├žois Callet Before December slouches on any further, I feel duty-bound to tell you something.

I don’t enjoy the Christmas/New Year season much. It’d be fair – if somewhat understated – to say that I am looking forward to February.

In the circumstances, please don’t be perturbed if you are unable to detect festive joy in these pages, or if I turn into a royal pain in the booty. Similarly, don’t take it personally if my comments on your blogs lose their bounce and become distinctly lacklustre. I’m not asking for sympathy or suggestions, just patience. My melancholy will pass, as all things do.

Of course, I shall quite understand if you choose not to visit me again until February. The blog may well be a bit of a downer, if you’re in full tinsel-and-baubles mode.

Secondly, as I don’t celebrate the festival as the birth of Jesus, I have decided to revert to calling it Saturnalia from now on.

It probably won’t make me love Overdraftmas any more than I do now, but let’s give it a go.

Tangential Foxy anecdote: Saturnalia is also the name of an ill-fated club night I almost put on in Shoreditch a few winters ago. It all fell apart when a friend – who was waaaaay more experienced as a club promoter – booked his event for another local club on the same night, including all the bands I had naively made only verbal agreements with. Ho ho ho.

(NB: this is not the source of my yuletide misery; I bear no grudge. The friend in question is now plying his wily trade in New York, and I’m most proud.)

Er… I was just about to concoct an excruciatingly laboured joke about myrrh-der on the dancefloor, but let’s leave it there, shall we?

Anti-consumerism&Seasonal12 Dec 2005 12:05 pm

Buy Nothing Christmas - click for link

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