meeting famous people

West End Girl

Not everyone can say that they've had their knitting-in-progress cooed over by a BAFTA winner and OBE recipient but now I can. My mother's quite excited. Yesterday David and I went out for dinner to celebrate my two years in Scotland. On our way to the restaurant we stumbled across 'Polish Taste' - a little Polish deli here in the West End. David suggested we could take a look as we were running a bit early and I am very grateful that he did. I found all the things I hadn't managed to find anywhere during my first two years in Glasgow: affordable buttermilk and live yeast! They also had some very, very delicious sourdough bread. Wooh. I never thought of Danish food as being very 'Baltic cuisine' but, according to manager Joanna Korzeniowski, I was not the first Dane to be ridiculously pleased about buttermilk.

And, finally, Lost in Fiction is opening down the street soon. The shop front is all pretty and mysterious. I'm rather excited about its Ffordian/Nextian name. Ooh!

Life's A Cabaret, Old Chum

Some time ago my partner, David, bought us tickets for the one-year anniversary of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School - a burlesque-meets-art school monthly event. David and a pirate had attended a previous Dr. Sketchy's and loved it.

What happened? A lot, I tell you. I sang along to Cole Porter songs and my partner produced this:

Some of you might know that in my former life as a quasi-academic, I worked and published on Alasdair Gray, the writer and the writer-artist. Who would have thought I'd end up sitting next to him at a burlesque-meets-art school event? Or that David would think it funny to draw Ally Gray and have him sign the drawing? It beats my signed first edition hands down, damn him.

Another boon was that the founder of Dr. Sketchy, the very lovely Molly Crabapple (NSWF, possibly) was present as well. I've long nourished a minor internet crush on her and her illustrations. Sigh. And we absolutely loved Kitten on the Keys (quite NSFW) and David drew yet another fabulous portrait. I'd post it but it'd completely ruin his ego.

Mmm.. I'll be humming Cole Porter songs in my sleep, methinks.


Misquoting Shakespeare is always amusing and frequently apt: "Vanity, thy name is Karie Bookish".

This evening we were invited to the opening of World Press Photo 08 exhibition at The Scottish Parliament. My partner wore a suit and I opted for a little black dress. Sadly I also opted to wear high heels for the first time in three years. If they could speak, my feet would be screaming right now. I'm now limping on my heels and I'm also wobbly. But I looked really good, so there.

And the photos were very good and interesting, of course. I tried to find an online representation of the one photo that really stood out in my eyes: a Kenyan warlord who is depicted in his office with two bodyguards. The photograph is very sparse as is the office, but the guy has a few, selected trappings: two mobile phones, a pair of sunglasses and he is wearing a Stetson. All coolly calculated to give him an air of Western machismo. The guy looks like Hollywood is telling him he is supposed to look. Taking the context into consideration, the photo is absolutely chilling.

Neapolitan Shawl

For various reasons I have been unable to post a photo of my first major foray into knitting in fifteen years. This is the stole shawl that spawned an obsession, dear readers.

I have known E. for many years and she is one of my closest friends. She turned forty in February and I was unable to celebrate the big FOUR-OH with her. I found some yarn. I started knitting. I finished. I loved it.

It is very fitting that I'd be knitting a Neapolitan coloured shawl for someone who has insisted on trying out various desserts on me before serving them for the rest of her friends: "So, Karie, do you prefer the lemon meringue pie or the chocolate bread pudding? Or maybe the frozen Cointreau mousse?" At least my gift won't wreak havoc on her waistline.

In related news, I like the look of Twist Collective, I saw a designer in person the other day and opted out of saying hello and I have bought my own weight in thin 2-ply wool. I'm also still sunburnt.