"Thank you all for being here. Some of you have travelled from
far...Australia, Italy Germany and Wales...no matter how far.. thank
you... and there are people right now in America Australia Italy
France Belgium South Africa New Zealand and here in the UK sharing
this moment with us.
I now want to share with you some thoughts about this Loving,
Courageous, feet firmly on the ground, Intelligent, Generous, Sexy,
British Broad I called the “Wench”
Frances wanted me to spell out her achievements...letters after her
name... Dip COT, Lic AC, PGDip JP... in 1975 she qualified as an
Occupational Therapist. In 84 as an Antenatal Teacher and later as an
advanced NCT Teacher. In 1990 she got her acupuncture licensate and 3
years ago a diploma in Public Service management...with an invitation
to do that as a Phd. Most recently...she got a certificate in Method
Acting, she was planning to take that further.
She served as a Justice of the Peace for the past 22 years
When looking through her recent diary of good memories she wrote right
at the beginning
And did you get what you wanted from this Life even so?
And what did you want ?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on this earth
. ...and I think she was loved, from when she was a child...and it is
obvious to me that if you are loved... especially as a child so you
love back... I used to say to her that she was easy to love ....
nearly all who contacted us have said how they loved her
So Now I want to tell you about the things she loved..
She loved being British...she loved that she was born and raised in
this green and pleasant land ...the country...the people, that had
invented the NHS and the WI.... the tolerant striving way they welcome
people to join in this idea that that they call Britain....recently
she was an Olympic games maker at Gatwick Airport, and I cant think of
a more joyous welcome than one received from her ....come and see and
join us...she came home after her first day asking me to translate a
range of welcoming sentences in 4 or 5 languages to make sure people
got the best welcome.
She loved that British preoccupation with fairness and was a JP ...not
because she was interested in justice as retribution but in fairness
She loved the books, the language, the words...& liked to say words
like serendipity and autumnal... and the occasional expletive.
But being British didn’t mean she wasn’t going to be interested in
other cultures...she trained as an acupuncturist...travelling with the
greatest of ease between scientific western ideas of medicine and
those of china born out of tradition ...and she couldn’t really
understand all my doubts and machinations about my Italian
identity....for her it was simple...just be it.. enjoy it...and one
night having imbibed an above average intake of whiskeys with our dear
friends Paul and Juliet in despair, she called me a pseudo Italian
On Remembrance Sunday she would sit herself to watch the event on TV
...no fuss...we could join in if we wanted ...it was a time she could
grieve the lost uncle she never met and reconnect with her mother’s
As a child in the Girl Guides she learnt the names of all British
birds and wild flowers and loved pointing them out
She Loved being a woman....she thought that penis envy was a simple
minded idea from a silly little Austrian....the uterus...now there’s
something to be envious about.
She loved that she could share the company of women in that intimate
way we men often seem to struggle with.
She liked to feed her friends and family...by planning and tasting, by
creating feasts...sometimes for over 70 people ... and having us sit
down to enjoy them.
She loved the making of clothes, feeling the cloth, the softness,
stroking it, the cut...she made her own wedding dress...and looked
stunning in it......she wasn’t high maintenance but she liked the
choices women had...and of course she liked shoes...she was the Imelda
Marcus of Ardingly
She loved to do what traditionally men do...and her beloved father had
taught her....she loved to drive, wanted to be a Rally car driver and
her favourite cars were British...a clapped out Morris Traveler and
She loved to feel the extent of her body, to feel stroked, the
coolness or the heat of water...she swam in every river lake and sea
in Australia when we visited two years ago...once ignoring a sign
warning of crocodiles sharks and sting rays...she was going in... and
in spite of all the shoes she loved walking barefoot...we recently had
an invitation to a tea party at Buckingham Palace...with all that lawn
no way was she going to miss the opportunity to walk barefoot....queen
or no queen.
...and as a woman she liked men... not only George Clooney but always
happy for a little flirt ...sometimes with my male friends...and
recently even the good looks of the consultant Oncologist was
something she remarked on.
And she loved being a woman because then she would be like her mum, a
woman she adored, a loving tough little woman who taught her that not
only love but also courage is something women do.
She loved finding herself ...forever seeking new meaning and ways of
expressing herself...and we go back to words...she loved the word
curious...stay doubting a little more, wonder about it.... think!
Recently she did an intense top London method acting course and had
been offered a place on an advanced course she wanted to attend.
She once thought she would want to be a Quaker as it fitted with her
free thinking mind and she also took an interest in Daoism and
Buddhism. She was she told me very happy.... fortunate... to have met
Marcus here today a few days before she died.
She loved People... working with people.... in her words : to maximise
their potential, be it family, friends, colleagues and service users
in all areas I’ve worked in: NCT, acupuncture, OT and seeing them move
forward without me
She loved meeting people...Italians, Greeks, Belgians, French and she
so wanted to speak with them in their language...she loved her Italian
family, understood Italian and on our Holidays we would sing O Sole
Mio as a family in the car with Pavarotti
She loved being an OT....now you should not mistake OT with
Occupational Therapists...OTs are something between a band of sisters
(with an occasional brother) and a Masonic Lodge....no secret hand
shake, but a shared language, a way of sharing of knowing what its
like to live in a relatively oppressed state. No matter how thoroughly
and better educated you might be you’re still under some Social Work
shadow...Frances’ answer to this dilemma of course was to marry a
social worker ...but I don’t know how much that helped. ...and she was
quite pleased when our eldest son then aged three was asked what does
your dad do, and he said a “So-called worker”
OT was something she had immense pride in and here she would get most
despairing if she felt anyone might let the side down... in her own
words - it was once said that I didnt suffer fools gladly, I’d like to
put that straight, what I cant suffer is people who should know better
and dont !
The Para Olympics brought together for her what is best in being
British and her pride in her profession... what Britain achieved was
nothing short of a miracle...the get up and walk Lazarus miracle ...a
truly made in Britain OT miracle...she was so excited at the closing
ceremony by the achievement, the celebration, the heroism, that she
stood up in our lounge for the national anthem at the closing
ceremony...I asked her what she was doing....Ive got to !! she said
She loved children because I think she understood...she knew how
wonderful it is to be loved as a child...and maybe in every child she
saw she wanted to remember that feeling...she would point new born
babies to me like they were another unique miracle.. She loved being
an NCT teacher and have our house fill with young women and their
bumps and the chap they tagged along...and that special moment when
the first child was born and was brought to pay a special visit.
She Loved me
Mostly, and above all else, Julian Adam and Petr, she loved you....
which she thought of as her greatest achievement, all else that Ive
said pales into insignificance.
She loved choosing your names like she was sculpting your identity.
She loved her bumps and before you were born loved to fall asleep in
her private embrace... she wanted to pass on that unconditional
feeling of being loved she had from her parents.
She loved your achievements, your successes, your diligence, and the
passion..... that feisty unwillingness to surrender that you got from
her. She loved your independence yet couldn’t wait to see you
again....and she loved to compete with you and to win.
She Loved your embrace , to feel held and hugged by any one or all of
you was her greatest joy, to have you snuggle in her lap and fall
asleep, to hold you in those very private and personal moments of
intense conversation...when I remember I was shood away, she could see
herself in you, she felt such pride in the legacy of the beliefs and
values she left in you...take everything away just leave me with my
boys...when she was told of the gravity of her illness her first words
were...what will I tell my boys?
But there were red lines...don’t cross them...she never smacked
them...you don’t hit children you love them unconditionally...but if
they had transgressed they dreaded the moment when she might deliver a
punch that Mohamed Ali would be proud of...that second of hesitation
before she would clearly say......Well.... I’m disappointed in you!
And just when she thought there was no love space left in her heart
for any other child, she was blessed with the birth of her niece Grace
Frances...a girl! A feisty, determined, intelligent and loving girl
just like her which made her feel even a little more fulfilled.
Frances kept little poems ...expressions she found...in her
diary...one from Dr Zeuss is in your order of services... I will now
close with another
Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain
Frances...... thank you for sharing your love and your life with me.
On behalf of my sons and myself thank you, and thank you for loving my wife.
Sunday, 15 July 2012
Not one for being engrossed in the conspiracies of the every day, or the serendipitous loveliness that pours from Hollywood, or the auspicious moments that seem to be dictated by ‘fate’ or some form or another of the pre-destined, I am however quietly charmed by the sequence of eventualities that happen after a slight twitch in decision making, that at the time bare no significance, but now seem to have caused a significantly larger shift into where I might have a pint, and say my name.
Currently stumbling through a potential career in architecture, or some form of, I’m pretending to be someone of some knowledge when it comes to knowing what I am doing with myself. In my current workplace there is an acute sense that everyone ‘knows’ what they are about, what they have done, and where they’re going, and with that comes a standard set of three questions that are engrained in the everyone when first meeting each other (perhaps, but if I didn’t say that then I couldn’t follow up with this rest of this).
1: What’s you name
2: Where did you study?
3: How come you have ended up in architecture?
The first question is already an issue for me. Now I know my name, I’ve been relatively confident with it for a number of years, and you’ll think you’ll know my name once you’ve heard it, but put pen to paper, or search it in the intranet, and you’ll be curious as to why an English fellow is either eastern European, or so dyslexic (of which I am) that he can’t spell his own name. Alas, in the pub, over a pint, Petr is fine…
The second of where I studied isn’t too problematic. Ravensbourne, relatively shy in the world of league tables, relatively not shy in its appearance.
It’s the third where I stumble, or have no credence to suggest that I am a person knowing what this [architecture] is about, or that I dreamt as a sprog to build the world, to be the architect of architects, to be a hero of the designed world, because I didn’t, so I can’t. Alas the question is asked, and as I search for reason, I go further back into the story to pin point just this one moment of why, and I’m left with when Ben Maidment said ‘no’, which meant that I’m in the pub, having a pint, saying my name, and explaining who the hell Ben Maidment is.
Ben is an old student who went to school with me, I don’t speak to him, wasn’t friends with him, and it would be of no consequence to him to learn of what I was doing now, and ten years ago in he was asked by the head of the year to go on a RAF work experience course. Oh, and he was tall. That’s Ben.
If Ben had said yes, then I wouldn’t have gone on RAFVEP, and I wouldn’t have been invited to join the air cadets. I wouldn’t have spent all my time going to camps like the good little cadet I was, forgetting the need to do college-y things.
Neither would have I become obsessed with the military, met the like minded people that your promised, been convinced that the only career for me was to fly some plans, come home for tea and medals, and pretend to know that I had the whole possibly killing someone thing sorted in my head. I wouldn’t have gone to Cranwell, failed the selection panel, been told to go travelling around Asia, do it, and go back to Cranwell only to fail again. I wouldn’t have known that Nasal Polyps really are irritating on both the day to day breathing sniffs and a danger to national security. I wouldn’t have cried my eyes out in the middle of the OASC with the panic that my career aspirations had reduced to nothing. I wouldn’t have had my family search for options. I wouldn’t have had my brother call his old tutor to arrange an interview that turned into a place at university. I wouldn’t have gone to Ravensbourne to study the same design course as he had. I wouldn’t have had the support structure that was the only way that I was going to do well. I wouldn’t have met the industry people that I needed to. I wouldn’t have been gifted job opportunities. I wouldn’t have gone to free range to show work, and I wouldn’t have been given an interview for my current job that resulted in me working there for a while to build up enough confidence to go out for a social drink to order a pint of Stella, sit opposite this person that I haven’t met before, say my name, and talk about who the hell Ben Maidment is.
But he said No. And I was the second choice.
So I had my pint, I said my name, and I get to pretend that I know what I’m doing.
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
“It is said to be penile, which can only mean that there are some odd-shaped penises out there”
As an extensibility covered topic already, in variety of different media, from the news, blogs, the radio, talk shows, documentaries, public enquires, field trips, reports, general gossip, post cards, instagram, facebook, newspapers, journals, talks, lectures, whispers, poster campaigns, adverts, websites, hate campaigns, support campaigns, books, letters, walking tours, and bus tours, general fan fare and telepathy, the story of the Shard is enough covered that it need not have another joe blogger writing about it, but tuff, today I’m joe, and here it is.
To hate this building, you’ll need to shout a good resounding ‘Fuck off’, clear cut, decisive, and with resolute confidence to rumble the foundations (pun entirely intended) of this spiky spike. A polite ‘go away’ will merely dissipate onto deaf ears, and your irritations of this supposed penile giant will be forever forgotten. Even a disparaging article in the telegraph illustrating a consortium of well scribed gripes with the site is splintered by a mid article graphic showing their very own online poll suggesting their readers are in overall support of the shardy tall glass thing. Reality is, it’s a new London love affair, and theres no way of fighting it.
The biggest crime however is that this thing not only can be seen for miles, but most ghastly of all, say the English Heritage, is that it can even be seen from Hampstead Heath, god forbid. Our friends from English Heritage up hold the already widely held idea that they’re stuffy grey humpty nostalgic mufflers that seem to constantly act ruffled at the very sight of anything with an air of 21st century. The world of English heritage is a world stuck 200 years ago. I do love a bit of nostalgia, but even better, is nostalgia riddled with a splattering of city fresh, something that chimes a brilliance of anything but the then.
With a healthy supply of bodies and comities keeping us in check, from the now unfortunately defunct CABE to national lobbyists, there’s a tiring incapacity for the policy makers to actually make any policy. Tea on they other hand they can make…Tea yes, policy no. Policy for the daring new is just a little beyond the tips of their fingers, beyond their whispers, instead it’s an open invitation for master Barrat to lay siege to the lovely and we’re left in a sort of modern day limbo, a step down from the stunning classical, three steps away from the elegant modern, and about twelve step down into architectural bollocks where Lewisham looks unpacked from an IKEA flat pack.
Whilst the Shard can arguably splinter a community of onlookers, from the haters and the admirers, to the political supporters, and the conservative poopers who wince over the numerous scout huts it could have easily have financed, it does stand as a glimmer of something brave. And that…that I like. But what of the folk that utter a consistent muttering of discontent, of those that put up with the constant hoo hah of gasps and gauping mouths, of silly plebs pointing in awe, and stuffy nosed pricks regurgitating endless anecdotes of it’s unfounded awesomeness, of it’s big leap forward to burst open the skies of the greater city of London, what of those that aren’t from the 18th century, that still despise the white glassed frontier into the south.
There is no doubt that the sheer scale of the build undermines the cosmopolitan feel of this ancient city. The city skyline has lived with a certain rhythm that has been delicately chaperoned over the years. It’s been nurtured, moulded, burnt to a crisp, and bounded back with a character that no other city has. It screams a certain prowess that is accentuated by its quiet obedience. It hums along to the day to day activities of its inhabitancy, and delivers secrets from one street to the next, it waits patiently for it’s next visitor….it is utterly diverse, and in being so, utterly London.
On the other hand, The Shard shouts…and this seems to be brilliantly un-London, but maybe, just maybe, we're in need of a good old shout.
This i fear, could go on for a while, so for snippets by people that know how to write, and are better informed than the whittled together shambles that is above, try the below.
Oh, and the top quote was from the Guardian too.
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Bruge is in a plentiful supply of alcoves, especially in the area of Astridpark. This according to Yuri (a fictional character of In Bruge fame) it’s a perfect place for the heinous crime of murder. But for Yuri, the big concern is over 'alcoves…or nooks and crannies?'
Whilst Yuri seems none too bothered about the unfortunate grizzly end for one individual that will be the result of his selling of armoury to a portly Irishman, his quest for a more appropriate term to accurately describe these architectural nuances seems to plaque his dialogue rather too much. It seems odd to me that a gentleman of this unique calliper, interested in facilitating hit men, gangsters, the all round not the loveliest of folk, would need a better descriptor to deliver his disturbing advice.
Alcoves tend to suggest a specific form, a recess in a room, a place for grannies books, a safe haven for dust, a unthreatened post from which to leave generic images of your glorious gap yar photos, framed in ‘authentic’ livery with hand painted ornament to reassure any viewer of the authenticity of it's Asian jungle far from the reaches of the manufactured (although stamped with 'made in india' on the underside), origin
The alcove is easily illustrated but rarely ventures beyond the living room. It’s type cast as an easily defined space fit for the purpose of sound storage. It however meets few benefits for Yuri, and neither does it have much skope for exploration in my ever tentative look into my supposed interest of the fabled all encompassing narrative architecture.
‘Nooks and Crannies’ seem to better reflect the construction of these archi-types that populate the Astridpark area and allow for the sinister story line conducted by Hollywood’s scribers to play out. But it’s unfortunate that the nook and crannies formula retain such a negative label, from general space waster and space planners’ nemesis, to the arch rival of the modernist machine ὰ habiter, and now top hitter for Yuri’s advice on delivering 6 feet under, it’s about as much loved as a wolf whistle.
I wonder what younger Yuri, a loved and opportunity rich, ambitious boy of the post war Belgium, state educated, tentative yet confident lad, explorative with charming naivety, a giddy thinker, a happy go lucky dreamer, what would he have made of the nooks and crannies. What would his memories be, what we he do with them, instead of his shadowed quirky self of late.
The nooks and crannies from an array of person’s anecdotes, plenty dull, but plenty not so dull, generate the very crux of the story and turn the inopportune moment, into a delicious melody of chance.Take Frodo and team for a prime reference. During his early foray into the unknown, He, Sam, Pippen, and Merry take quick refuge in the nook below the track, perhaps a little fortunate, but then it would have been a dam sight shorter story if they had no where to hide, the horse chap picks them up, kills the lot of them (ironically the absence of an alcove at this moment in time is the reason for their demise) takes the ring, and bobs your uncle, Middle Earth is destroyed. The nook saved them.
The nook and the cranny are the unspecified, un-regulated, un-loaded space for the strangest events to take place. Consistently overlooked as a blight to ‘space’ the good nook and cranny has potential in the private or public sector, from residential to office spaces or maybe rural farmland. They can offer little pieces of intimacy for that cheeky kiss. For the stashing of all things tea related. For your new ant farm. They can act as secret meeting areas, public meeting areas, devious meeting areas, chickens meeting areas….if you have chickens. They can be awkward, unusual, simple, bland, cosy, dark, damp, cold, frosty, full of ice, ants, cheese and crackers, or paint by numbers. They can lead to secret lairs, squat loos, or to nothing at all.
But I think the young gun Yuri would have just peed in them. After all, his national icon is Manneken Piss
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
I have been tasked with writing 10 points on survival.
This tasking came about during a brief discussion based on the recipient of a frivolous “you’re a spoon” accusation that was handed from one individual to another. This comment has no bearing on the following, and I am not clear on the exact conditions of said comment, but I can assure you, I have lost no sleep on it. But after interjecting into the said negative comment/gesture, a plea for mediocre help was issued.
This unfortunately was not a cry of help to fend of lions with laser shooting eyes, or to stop jungle fever induced diarrhoea, or to solve the mystery of Sherlock Holmes as he obviously plunged to his death in the last episode, but some how manages to waltz about merrily, or be it lurking behind a tree, after his doctor friend. I mean really, surely there should have been a dirty splatter of his innards permanently marking the floor that stopped his friend saving fall. On that note of people falling to their splattery death, In Bruges has similar circumstances of jumping to an inevitable death to save the hide of his friend dearest. However on this occasion there seems to be an indication of poor quality control in the craftsmanship of the metal pistol that is shattered upon impact, which is in contrary condition to owners skull which remains resiliently wholesome.
Shifting back from beating that bush into submission, the help orientated plea was to evidence a path of success during the last term of an undergraduate course. Even I’m bored of it before writing it… It could have been about surviving capture of a enraged gorilla that has masterminded the take over of Checkers, or how to undermine the privatisation of all European roundabouts so they all go clockwise in a bid for international consistency, or how to destroy the growing hedgehog empire that seems to plague our back garden. No, this is how to navigate those final bitter, burden heavy, social free, contorting, anguishing, unrelenting, mind screwing, challenging, stupefying, brutal…..lovely months.
Well the truth is, I don’t know. It’s a blur. Maybe not a blur. It’s a mixture of un-spectacular to the outsider, but unforgettable moments to the insider (me). They’re boring moments of getting three cups of coffee for three because you made a joke with the vender. It’s about staying an extra 23 minutes after kick out to finish the never used section. It’s about the night guard coming round the studio at 2 in the morning handing out peaches just to help everyone through the night. It’s the entirely forgettable moments…that somehow are stuck in my head. So here is the top ten tips to triumph.
1 – Have short nails
I can’t think of much worse than having a broken nail at 2:30 am, compounded when you haven’t got any nail clippers. You’re dealing with the impending doom of definite failure that all the effort your pouring into this piece of crap you're supposedly designing is going to fall on it’s arse. You are struck with the idea that you would have been better off being a chippy straight out of secondary school, that all the money that you would have made from working straight away would easily balance out the money you’re going to get after graduation. It’s made even worse because you know you’re not going to graduate, you’re going to be stuck with £27,000 worth of debt, a bitter taste, friends all moving onto better things, and you're going to be doing the same job you left when starting here. You're dealing with the reality that this is all for nothing, that life is too short and you’re a failure, you're dealing with the life crushing realities that you’re having a midlife crisis at the age of 23 and then your nail rips. You catch it on the zip of your bag and it slices ungainly towards the nerve endings in your fingers.
With the mental capacity of a coke influenced anarchistic teenager, you decide to deal with the problem immediately, and continue the rip down to remove offending splintered nail piece.
In the heat of the moment you have removed half your nail, you’re in agony as the pulsing nerve endings pulsate brilliantly in the face of your moronic compulsions. Whilst a plaster hides the immediate problem, your hand is rendered useless for the days to come. An irritable persona encases your every move, and you have lost the ability to work constructively.
It’s a disaster easily missed. Cut your nails.
It’s a disaster easily missed. Cut your nails.
2 - Don’t cut your nails
You haven’t got time to be wasting cutting your nails?! It doesn’t matter what dirt you have trapped under there, and long nails make for good pincers to tackle those multiplying spots that occur during the times of oily stress.
3 - Make love to the security guards
Don’t make love to the security guards. There should also be another point that says don’t do everything that you’re told, but that sounds far too serious and meaningful for the ill ramblings of an idiot.
In fact, get in bed with all the staff, it's just good sense. They’re the ones that make that place work, and they’re the ones that can cut the corners, get you to the front, take you to the front, put you at the front...get you a free biscuit, sometimes they even dunk it for you…and biscuits are good. Who doesn’t like biscuits? Because biscuits come with tea, and that’s my next point
4 – Make love to tea
Don’t just know about tea, read about tea, see about tea…you have to love tea. Love tea and drink it. There is nothing better than the sight of a steamy cuppa ready to be dunked, and then drunk. If there where ever to be a uni survival pack, it should include nothing else, not a tin of baked beans nor a condom - but a mug, a box of tea bags, Milk (I suspect UHT in case you buy this pack a couple of weeks before you go to uni), and a spoon.
Tea is better than watching kittens eat Rupert Murdoch, I know this hasn’t happened, and I wouldn’t want it in reality, but as this is a place of fiction, i am allowed to imagine it.
Tea is a friend that no friend could ever be. It’s warm and lovely, it doesn’t talk back, it helps you to make other friends, it acts a distraction from work, and helps as a fuel for you to tackle work. Anyone that mocks tea has no place to comment further, as they have lost the morale high ground, and should be extradited without trial, without question, without appeal, to Norwich.
5 – Have biscuits to hand
Have biscuits to hand, so you can dunk them in tea. To see how good tea is…drink it. To see how tea is relevant, read point 4.
6 – Hamas is relevant
Talking from a creative perspective, knowledge of just about everything still isn’t good enough to make lovely work. Talking from a non-creative perspective, knowledge of just about everything makes you Steven Fry, and I don’t want to be Steven Fry.
Knowing about just enough gets you just about known. Read up, because knowing a little about Hamas may come in handy when you least expect it.
7 – Quote the shit out of films
To do so, you need to watch films, to watch films, you need to take time out of work. To take time out of work, you need to have a break. To have a break, well according to Nestle, you need to have a Kit Kat, now apart from their less than reputable reputation for screwing over the third world, I couldn’t agree more with Nestle, because Kit Kats are great, unless you don’t hear, because it might sound like kick cats.
...I would start with Top Gun, it’s a great one for a sing a long, cheesy lines, and worse repeat film cuts.
8 – Stop reading this and get on with your work!
9 – Make sure you have a brother that is several years older than you are and that has done the exact same course as you, with the same tutors, in the same uni that knows what you’re getting into and can guide you through and support you in the harder times
This takes an uncongenial amount of preparation that I am as of yet, to comprehend. It involves hoping to have a bigger brother, which means wishing for something before you’re born, which as far as I know, isn’t possible. But then I thought Transformers 3 wasn’t possible, and they still made that.
10 – Love it
Not sure any of this helps, and for those that have for some reason continued to the end of this un-flowing array of disconnected dribble, read a decent blog for heavens sake.
Sunday, 18 March 2012
I have little to say in the culinary field. I am as far removed from the profession of cooking as might be attainable. I rely heavily on the package printed cooking methods, microwave settings, and a dial-a-pizza to satisfy an un-relenting rumbling belly that speaks beyond the control of my own conscience.
But it was a particular jiggle that bellowed from my midriff the started a sequence of events that changed the lives of very few, but did lead to a book not being opened and an answer never read…what do you call a piece of bread with jam on top?
Many of my educated and perhaps confused friends have called upon the well known identifier of bread based goods “the sandwich” to recognise this piece of food stuff. However I would like to point out to my honourable friends the food stuff known as “the sandwich” needs a mirrored piece of breaded stuff to run at parallel to the base item to be recognised as “sandwich”. This piece of food not yielding such characteristics means it lay a whole slice of breads worth away from being known as “sandwich”.
It was shuddering to know there is no house hold name for this item that I wish to consume. I have enjoyed the slice of bread topped with a variety of supporting players, be it butter and Nutella, mothers made marmalade, the long forgotten but still available “fluff”, marmite and in desperate times vegemite, or even slices of banana which was a carefully deliberate action considered on days devoid of your devotion. But how, in this most modern of ages, do we recognise this item. It is no good to call it “sandwich”, unless of course the bread with topping is folded in hand to create inners nestled softly between the bready goodness.
How dare we let ourselves live without name for the common, how dare we live in a world where what we consume has no identifier beyond a muffled description shouted from one lounge based individual to a serving counterpart in the kitchen. Why must I write to further identify the yet to be identified. It rocks me to the very corps of my laden heart that this most delectable and comforting piece of food has yet to be given a place within our food history. We speak the words of pizza, sausage roll, biscuits, crackers, Ryvita, Kellogg’s crunchy nut cornflakes, Sainsbury’s crunchy flakes, muesli, porridge, and orange squash. We speak them with such ease and fluidity, but beyond the life spans of these kitchen bound items, has lived the singular slice of bread topped with topping and be without name.
But it is no longer. I take you, us, the world and it’s greater existence into the new and greater. I take we all into the future, make our history, and forge new territories in the breaded world
Much like the common name Burrito, which exists as a singular surface wrapped to contain and hold its inners, the newly names has a dual characteristic, being a coined term named after and by its creator, but also to retain a rhythm to the already known burrito. I give you the Esposito
“Fancy a burrito” they may ask…
“nah….just give me an Esposito, don’t fancy a whole Burrito”
This ladies, gentleman, young people and old, confused and bemused, is the birth of the already born, the identity that no one has been after, cares about, or will use, I give you the this name to move us into a new world order.
Now please, for all things good and lovely, get your self a cup of tea, an Esposito, and think about doing something better with your time than reading the ill ramblings of a silly boy.
Sunday, 11 March 2012
How do you make a factory trip to Fritz Hansen sound exciting?! I don’t have any videos to show of the automated machines pressing, pumping, cutting, painting, and sanding their products. I have little memory of the ins and outs of the detail of their product. But most of all, I fear that the end reader wouldn’t be bothered for the most part to hear of a whistle stop tour around the Danish firms production facility.
Further more, the fun, jokes, laughs and giggles came about not far and few between, but from the result of the classic ‘had to be there moments’ that then dictated the resulting and unrelenting piss taking.
But never the less, given that it was an out of the ordinary adventure for a new kid in the designery world I’ll do my best to fill in the gabs of one boring anecdote to another with tales of mystery, wit, charm, and a dabble of ridiculousness (actually this never happens) all based on the concrete reality of the two day venture to Denmark…
…The story starts a couple of days before when the demons at work played host to one of the least accomplished, yet successful thefts of my time. Through pure ignorance and content, I (the target) ignorantly and foolishly positioned my phone in a pocket. The evil doers and subsequently and hopefully wholly guilt ridden players targeted my ignorance and called foul play, removing what I owned from previously mentioned ‘pocket’, and allowed my materialistic position to abandon I, it’s owner, and left for the sweaty palms of it’s ill minded and dirty victor of which now claimed ownership.
It left me £150 poorer (gold insurance isn’t as golden as I thought) and without a telephone, and more importantly at this stage an alarm clock. The trip to Copenhagen was due to start at 6:20 when a taxi would deliver me to Heathrow, however through shear fear of not naturally waking up, I attempted to stay conscious for the evening, resulting in 20 minute naps for 5 hours until the hand reached 6 o’clock and I could dress myself.
The missing phone caused further problems once at the airport. Excited about laying eyes upon the gleaming Terminal 5, and suffering swathes of disappointment as the grandeur of the port that I was so expecting seemed never to transpire. I searched for my compatriot travellers that, according to the flight info were waiting at gate A…..or B…., D,…or G. Now as helpful information goes, and given the size of the airport, this was ridiculous, so I paid due curtsey to the automated check-in, collected my flimsy ‘ticket’ and took to security.
After being confidently groped, patted, and shouted at for numerous ill doings in my etiquette whilst attempting to navigate the removal of belts, shoes, jackets, coins, pens, more coins, paper you don’t even need to remove, passport, ticket that you mistake as rubbish, wallet, phone, i-pod, and another coin, I eventually found my group upon the plane and unsurprisingly, and very, o so very thankfully we flew without crashing to Copenhagen.
Plane lands, passports checked, bladders duly emptied, bus found, ‘pimp’ section delineated (see picture), beer opened, beer drunk, Fritz Hansen promo speech delivered, British flag spotted, factory found, bus stopped, we entered the factory for our tour.
The Whistle Stop Tour:
I had previously written a rambling smoosh of nonsensical and ultimately dull anecdotal hopelessness that should be consumed by no good person. So I’ve refrained from describing anything more, will drop a couple of photos in…and leave it at that.
We were taken for dinner to a local foodie basement garnished with the stereotypical inhabitants of Denmark, reached the bottoms of a healthy volume of wine, and shown the door. We were then taken for drink to a local drinky basement garnished with the un-stereotypical inhabitants of Denmark, reached the bottom of an un-healthy volume of white Russians, whilst under the scrutiny of a fellow punter named Jans, offering games of tennis, rugby, and chess, whilst convincing us of his submarine selling business and in the process, looking indescribably silly. But I suppose who were we to barge into his local and claim superiority, so we indulged in his anecdotal prowess and licked up the ramblings of a drunk.
…so that’s one of the two days…mirror the events and you can build your own idea of the second day. I’ve wasted enough your time, and can only hope that this particular entry doesn’t leave a lasting impact and it can disband from your memory in due haste.
I’m off to waste the time of cat…
(the travelling peeps having a 'casual' sunday lunch on of course, Fritz Hansen product)