Eiffel Tower fashion

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Looking through a scrapbook today, I was reminded of this fantastic photograph. Erwin Blumenfeld, a Vogue photographer, took this gravity-defying shot of his model hanging from the Eiffel Tower. It's amazing.

7 songs of spring-summer

Friday, July 18, 2008

My blog tends to live in its own little world, so I'm pleasantly surprised when linked by another blog. Boz recently challenged me to a meme.

I like the word meme - it's all about me(me), and also the French for same (même), so finding our similarities.

The task is: "List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs."

So. Click to hear a muxtape of these seven songs, and read on.

Infernal - Self Control
A cover of the Laura Brannigan song, but with added europop-ness. I've just finished my PhD thesis. When I was studying, I listened to this lots. Firstly, the song themes are similar to my research... what people think of themselves and others when out drinking and socialising. And secondly, I was able to bop along to it in my library seat.

Kylie Minogue - Your Disco Needs You
For the past few weeks, my office has become obsessed with this - we play it whenever we need excitement or a little motivation. I recently found out it was written with Robbie Williams, and there are versions where Kylie does 'the French bit' in German and Spanish. I've included the German one here, for novelty.

Ani Lorak - Shady Lady
My absolute favourite from this year's Eurovision - I listen, and I strut. A little camp, very strong, very diva - and the most enthralling performance. It's just a shame it didn't win! I've included the Russian version.

Bodies without Organs - Last flight to San Francisco
My favourite song from their last album. I love a song with a placename in it, and any song that evokes travel wins with me.

Hannes Schöner - Nun sag schon adieu
I'm soon going to start learning German, so I've been listening to German songs to get used to the language. This song comes from a German eurovision preselection in the 80s... and led to one of those moments when my boyfriend recognises a song from his childhood that I'm thoroughly enjoying.

Katri Helena - Äiti kuin äidinäiti
When I first listened to this, I thought "what the heck is Katri Helena doing in the second verse? What's that noise?" I asked a Finish friend, and happily now I know. But - what do you think? Answers in comments please. Ones that tickle me will win some prize or other.

An Pierle - Il Est Cinq Heures Paris S'Eveille
A vintage chanson given a modern touch - I love the energy of this. I play this when I need to think of life and be inspired. I listen to this and think that living in a city is a fantastic stimulating rollercoaster ride.

Now I'll pick some folk to meme. So: Chig, ItinerantLondoner, Karinski & GayPop, Poplicious! and Fabtastic!

Home Sweet Home installation

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I've been creating a home - at Home Sweet Home, part of the London Festival of Architecture. Home Sweet Home is a large city plan on the floor. Those taking part are given plots, houses and a blank canvas structure. Houses are created with paints, glitter, pipe cleaners, stickers, feathers and lots more.

Mainly, it's great fun, and touches on issues of housing, what makes a home, what works in cities, how cities work, democracy and community.

Our house was number 47, and we recreated a little bit of Austria in London, and then invited the neighbours around for delicious Austrian cakes.

Home Sweet Home: the planHome Sweet Home: keyHome Sweet Home: Our homeHome Sweet Home: NoticeboardHome Sweet Home: Boats

London's 1908 Olympics walking tour

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've been on a walking tour around west London, taking in the sites and stories of London's 1908 Olympics. Held in a stadium at White City, which was demolished in the 80s (the BBC are on the site now), memories of the Olympics remain, such as this mural and this street.

Mural on 1908 Olympics in underpass

Dorando Close

The street is named after Italian Dorando Pietri who finished the marathon first, but didn't win. Starting at Windsor Castle, the marathon wound through north and west London. Princess Mary at Windsor Castle asked that it start at the east wing - 'so the children could watch'. Meanwhile, Queen Alexandra requested that the finish line be in front of White City's Royal Box.

Both actions added several hundred yards to the race.

By the end, Pietri (also a Soho ice-cream seller) was in first place. Entering the stadium, he ran the wrong way and collapsed. Two officials - being sporting British chaps - helped him to the finish line. And he was disqualified! But, next day, Queen Alexandria presented him with a special silver cup, and he's now immortalised.

See here & here for more Olympic tales. Or go on this tour - there's another in August.

Finishing line of the White City Stadium

Place Quote: USA's cinema landscapes

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Place Quote: USA & trains

It's all cargo - people, containers, pig iron - but there ain't no profit in people... Who's going to use the trains? Just old guys like us with no particular place to go and all the time in the world to go to it, and a few holiday-makers. It's a crying shame when you think of the history of the railroads. Hell, railroads made this country. Railroads forged a way east and west. Opened up the whole damn landmass. Now they just let the weeds grow if a route isn't profitable. People died in their hundreds, in their thousands, making the railroads, blasting their way through the mountains. They don't care.

  • Jenny Diski, Stranger on a Train, p. 162-163

Well, I never - aussie bum

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Posters advertising ubergay underwear brand AussieBum have begun appearing all over my local London areas, Kennington and Vauxhall (2 particularly gay London areas).

Underwear ads are nothing new - Freddie Ljungberg on a poster, David Beckham's crotch on the side of a bus, and that eye-popping Dolce & Gabbana chap.

But this one caught my eye - oh my, he's got his bum out. Goodness.

AussieBum ad at bus stop, Kennington

Country name chooser

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Look to the right, and you'll see a country name picker, a new acediscovery feature. Click the button and a country name is chosen for you.

This will undoubtedly provide hours of fun.

  • Don't know who to support in World Cup 2010 qualifying? Click!
  • Unsure where to go on your next holiday? Click!
  • Playing a 'where in the world' style game and stuck for inspiration? Click!
  • Want to move away and start a new life? Click!
So I'm now supporting Qatar, off to Brazil on holidays (woohoo), have Chad written on a post-it stuck to my head, and will be emigrating to Macedonia. What did I say? Hours of fun!