Monday, February 16, 2015

One lives in hope!

Shopping Cartoon 3115: All I'm saying is we've been to five different stores and they can't all be one-stop shopping!

Up betimes.  Sun shining, tea almost drunk and ready to indulge my true passion of shopping.  Albeit, leavened with the simulacrum of culture.  I am waiting for Irene to come and collect her now framed paintings and then we are going to sally off to the wilds of Cornellá to find out if the stories of a cultural cinema are actually true.
            We have been regaled with stories of concerts, opera and ballet, all to be had in extreme comfort and partial, indeed palatial, exclusivity in the middle of a shopping centre.  I will delay approbation until the reality has shown itself to be something worthy of commendation.
            Lightly reading through the last two paragraphs I can’t help feeling that the vocabulary used is needlessly pretentious.  Obviously this is a function of my early rising when the bullshit filters are not yet fully functioning.  Normal service will be resumed when time has exerted its pull towards sense!

What I should be doing is settling down and getting the TMA finished, or at least started.  Most of the reading has been done, it is just a matter of getting all the ideas together into some coherent argument and putting them all down on the electronic paper and sending it off.
            Although the assignment covers a long (in picture terms) period of time the actual writing is quite bitty.  We have to respond to two pieces of theoretical writing and write a discursive essay linking our thoughts to three specified artists.  This means that there is a fairly clear focus and direction and gives us the opportunity to limit what we can say from the morass (and I use the word advisedly) of writing and artistic production that litters the period about which we are supposed to be concerned.
            I would much rather be continuing my research for the project that we finish the course with, but that is simmering along in a semi-satisfactory way and that will have to do for now.  There is a real chance that everything will work out really well – and if it doesn’t I have formulated a Plan B which will work with the stuff that I have gathered so far.  So, I consider myself relatively academically safe.

As part of Toni’s new blog ( I have dug out a ‘real’ camera for us to use to photograph the food.  Amazingly I was able to find the battery charger for my Canon G9 and so this Old Faithful has been pressed into service.  I know that I can use my iPhone, but one doesn’t get the sense of achievement in the taking of a photograph with a phone that one does with a proper camera with a viewfinder.  I have always got on well with the G9 and, although I have a more sophisticated and newer Canon, I always feel drawn to the G9.
            Finding an SD card was also an opportunity to indulge in memory as I flicked through the images that were on the card I chose.  Some of those go back to The Worst School in the World and pictures of the Carnival.  These pictures show that the SD card has been moved around a bit as some of the more ‘artistic’ shots were obviously taken on another camera which offers in-camera alteration of images – and eats up battery as it makes them.  And I have recently re-discovered the camera that does this too.  Though I cannot remember the last time that I used the machine for anything.

Talking of excess: I am bringing some sense of order to the (what is the collective noun for watches?  A time of watches?  A tick?  A passing?) quite surprising number of watches that I have amassed.  I have recently purchased a 12-watch display case.  And am considering buying another.  Which tells you something!
            Very few of these watching are actually working, and replacing the batteries is all of them is dauntingly expensive as well as potentially frustrating as I find out that each one of them takes a different and potentially more exotic battery than the last and there is a limit to the amount of footfall I want to experience just to see hands moving slowly in a case.
            If I am truthful, there are relatively few watches that I actually wear.  Though that doesn’t mean that I will not buy further watches in the future.  Usefulness has never been a prerequisite in my purchasing plans!
            At the moment I am wearing my Casio ‘Edifice’ which does all the usual things is charged by movement and the sun and is radio controlled from some station in Britain or Germany and changes to the absolutely accurate time at some ungodly hour in the morning.  I have never actually witness this alteration and I am assured that it happens.  It is a chunky watch, but satisfyingly chunky rather than too large.  It is one of these hybrid types of watch with analogue and digital details.  I like it, and it is a good watch to use in conjunction with my Pebble and my Kenneth Cole.  The former has the best watch face for my needs that I have every come across: a retro flip clock look which gives you information in large format.  The latter is a more elegant skeleton watch, with the actual watch being a circle in the centre and spokes radiating from the hour marks with the band between the watch and the outer case being transparent.  I liked it as soon as I saw it.  And that, of course, was merely a heartbeat away from buying.
            Given the watches I now possess, there has to be something really special (or vulgar!) about any possible addition to the collection.  I am always drawn to watches in shops, so there is always a real possibility of my finding something to irritate Toni with!

Irene is now late, but I am beginning to wonder if she said 10.30 rather than 10.  Doesn’t make much difference and it has given me the opportunity to write.
            My notebook is filling up and I am beginning to worry about the fact that there are unwritten poems.  On the other hand I am also pleased that some of those unwritten poems are for my next but one book!  ‘Flesh Can Be Bright’ is filling up nicely and I am confident about my bits.  I still worry about the translations and the drawings, but this week I am going to start getting in touch with my collaborators and find out what, if anything, has been done!

The shopping was not, I have to admit, a total success.  The membership cards for the cultural films were not available until the place opened in the afternoon – and we were disinclined to wait.  The tea shop, no, yet another tea shop failed to provide me with the Earl Grey roja that I crave.  The Internet calls.  The purchase of a sofa bed for Irene from IKEA was also a fraught affair.  The purchase, with attendant waiting was accomplished but the cost of delivery and construction was a staggering €188!  A €79 delivery charge and a whopping €109 for the construction of a sofa bed that we had thought was included in the price.  I would like to know how IKEA sleeps at night with such a totally unreasonable charge.
            At least I was able to give Irene back her watch which had had the screws filed so they didn’t protrude and snag in clothes any more.  A much more reasonable cost of €5 from El Corte Inglés in the centre of Barcelona!  And we had an excellent lunch with Toni able to add another restaurant to his rapidly growing blog at with a selection of photographs of virtually everything we saw and ate.  Excellent value

Tomorrow Opera and Norma.  Tunes galore!
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