Small Object of Desire #45 – The Most Astounding Fact

Thanks to my friend Rento for putting me on to this. What I enjoy most about it is the sheer poetry in his description. 

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked in an interview with TIME magazine, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer. 


Small Object of Desire #44 – Ratatouille

Simply because I love this film and these are top class pictures.

Some of the best films I’ve seen in recent years are animations. 

What do you mean you haven’t seen it? Get thee to a LoveFilm, Netflix, Blockbuster…hold on…Blockbuster? Is it still going? It was caught snoozing? Hoist by its own petard? The mighty Goliath had a great big fall?

I digress. 

Get thee to your favourite streaming website and watch Ratatouille now!

Small Object of Desire #43 – Keep Fit

Taken from my kitchen window, overlooking the rooftops of Farringdon and Clerkenwell. 

At first I thought this was a man until I got the binoculars out and discovered it’s a long, not-an-ounce-of-curve-or-fat-on-her whip of a girl who trains out there on her roof terrace at around 11am come rain or shine. This is no namby pamby keep fit routine. Is she training for the Tour de France? Can’t be, no women allowed there. Is she an olympian? I’ve seen a man at those French windows a few times. Are they married? How nice to have a roof terrace in the middle of town with enough space to exercise. They can’t be short of a bob or two. Where did they go on holiday last time? Does she wear perfume? Maybe that’s all frippery to her. She probably doesn’t wear heels, too tall. He’s American and she’s German, native Londoners can’t afford to buy property round these parts…. 

And so it goes. A character in a story is born out of a single happenstance and extended musing. That’s what writers do. 

Small Object of Desire #42 – Nomenclature (1)

Not sure how this new preoccupation rose to the surface. 

I have been taken over lately by the urge to document the words and typographical quirks organisations, shops and businesses use to ident themselves. It coincides with a decision to take my camera everywhere I go. 

I suppose it’s not hard to guess at this subconscious (sometimes not so) curiosity about how words come to be in the first place and how they are used to try to make a concept stand out from the crowd. I’m a writer after all and I swear, in another life I would have been some kind of etymologist or at the very least, a lexicographer. 

This lot of grab shots was taken on the Clerkenwell Road walking towards Old Street. Very design heavy round these parts. I’m not drawing any far-reaching conclusions from them right now, only going with the knee-jerk questions that occurred to me when I came upon them. 

1. BULO – They are Belgian. They make office furniture and furnishings for the home too. What’s your “office” space like? Until last week, mine was sitting up in a tiny room on a single bed. It was hard to love it when the posture I had to maintain put a crick in my back but I made the best of what I had. Now, thankfully, it’s carte blanche to come and go as I please in a friend’s swanky creative hub in oh-so-cool Hoxton. My focus and creativity have increased by bounds. I’m loving this new office. 

2. Fondle + Squeeze – “Architectural Resource”. Not the kind of rounded, soft, velvety things you think of when you think of fondling and squeezing. Yeah, the juxtaposition of unlikely notions caught my eye. Must check out the gallery sometime to see what good it makes of its name. My feeling is that they definitely want to trip you up but in a good way. Maybe the clue is in that word “Materials”. 
3. Monsoon Fusion – When did Monsoon, purveyor of ladies garments that whiff ever so slightly of mumsiness, become Monsoon Fusion? Ever since it realised that its garments whiffed ever so slightly of mumsiness, one might surmise. The tension created by the words monsoon and fusion rubbing together doesn’t sit well with me. Monsoon suggests chaos or sultriness. Fusion just makes me think of metals melding together or something else suitably scientific. I suspect this new name was dreamt up by a think tank consultant who’d been itching to inflict it on some client foolish enough to go with it. Nice moola for 5 minutes work if you can get it. Monsoon Fusion, Monsoon Fusion, Monsoon Fusion. It just doesn’t scan. Worse, it reeks of trying too hard to be “forward thinking” and “directional.” Fail!
4. Tag: – Don’t forget the colon! No surprise to hear this one immediately made me think of graffiti. Followed by an overwhelming urge to find out what happens in the building. I crossed the street and discovered that below street level, there were people sitting at banks and banks of computers. I wanted to take a photo of them but the well brought up young lady in me refrained as it would have seemed like I was gawping at the animals in the zoo to them. Turns out it’s a design and production company with offices in major cities all over the world. Who knew?

Small Object of Desire #41 – Snoop Dogg’s Smokable Songbook

Strictly for those who want their literary shizzle with a side order of smoky nizzle. 

You gotta love someone who’s so consistently flagrant about his – how shall I put this – extracurricular activities.

He’s come out with a song book – Rolling Words (I like how you did that, Snoop!) that not only contains the lyrics to his songs but once you’ve rapped along to them, you can tear out the pages and roll yourself a fat one!

After you’ve had a big ole toke on that and the munchies attack, you’ll need a cookbook you can eat. Of course. 

Small Object of Desire #40 – Movie Glasses

Or the Moverio BT-100 as Epson are calling it.

How can we have lived without these for so long? A world first, we are told. 

Glasses through which you can watch movies as if you were looking at an 80 inch display from 5 metres away. And more: you can look at websites and other stuff through them too. 

Apparently, “the future is here!” I thought Epson made printers and ink cartridges?

And below, Google attempts to take it all the way with its augmented reality glasses. 

Why does life have to be augmented? It’s kaleidoscopic enough as it is!

Small Object of Desire #39 – Sizzle!

Neil Diamond and Shirley Bassey singing Play Me, circa 1974. In a quite unintentionally funny way. 

If they were playing the part of a so-engrossed-in-each-other-the-world-can-go-hang couple just for the cameras then what a pair of fine performers they were.

The way Shirley is looking at Neil…as if she can’t wait to lick him from head to toe as soon as is (in)decently possible. And that kiss at the end! I’m convinced if I were to look up the meaning of ‘get a room’ online right now, there would be a definition somewhere with their names attached to it. Their performance is what the word ‘torrid’ was coined for. 

I never knew Neil Diamond was so handsome back in the day. And is he really wearing red leather pants?