living in the uk

Is It Only Tuesday?

You know what I abhor? The phrase "one of them". I was told Saturday that all foreigners should leave Scotland and when the speaker learned I was foreign, he qualified his words with a "but you're not one of them" excuse. If I had a penny for every time I have heard people use that phrase, I'd be knitting cashmere sweaters. It's a lousy, cheap way of trying to seem less xenophobic and more inclusive, but the phrase only makes the speaker appear more racist and exclusive. Anyway. Sorry for that mini-rant. It has been a long week even if it is only Tuesday. My head is pounding and I still haven't had dinner (because cake does not count). Let's go for some delightful links.

+ Viktor & Rolf's Barbican Exhibition. Side-by-side comparisons of runway models and quite creepy dolls. Interestingly, it took longer to recreate V&R's clothes in doll-size than it took to create the original runway look. + Interesting Bookcases and Bookcase Designs. I used to know someone who lived in a 17thC Copenhagen townhouse and who'd use the rafters as her bookshelves. It was awesome. I really like the children's bookcase-bedroom, actually. Wonder if it would be possible to recreate that in an adult size? + The Word Clock. What it says on the tin. + Czech uranium glass buttons. Uranium?! I came across these listings on eBay and I still don't know what to make of them. + I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes but this shark attack cupcake mountain is fantastic.

Finally, Charles Bernstein on the current global crisis:

Let there be no mistake: the fundamentals of our poetry are sound. The problem is not poetry but poems. The crisis has been precipitated by the escalation of poetry debt—poems that circulate in the market at an economic loss due to their difficulty, incompetence, or irrelevance. Illiquid poetry assets are choking off the flow of imagination that is so vital to our literature.

Do You Taunt Me On Purpose Or Do You Just Roll Like That?

Parcelforce, the bane of my British existence. 2005: Box with my collection of Alasdair Gray First Editions goes missing. Parcelforce either forgot to attempt delivery or to leave a collection card. Boyfriend bravely battles his way to a remote depot, doing excellent postal kung-fu and leaves with my precious books in his arms.

2006: Christmas presents go missing, Parcelforce insists they've been delivered when I phone them for the fifth time (the other times the presents didn't exist on their system), December 29 our downstairs neighbour comes home from holiday to discover that our presents had been left with her for no apparent reason. No card or notices, of course.

2007: Another overseas "surprise" present goes missing. Parcelforce claims incorrect address when confronted with tracking number. Another delivery attempt obviously not attempted. We have to paid for extra special delivery - and our correct address is printed in big, black letters on the top of the box. We are not amused. Especially not me who may have given Parcelforce the URL of the Danish postal service, just for kicks.

2008: Where is my red alpaca-silk yarn, you freaky Parcelforce people?

Stay tuned.