also found at: flickr · ILM · last.fm · NEP · popular · rocktimists · shaggy blog stories
shared items · singles jukebox · tumblr · twitter · village blog · you're not the only one
My freelance writing can now be found at mikeatkinson.wordpress.com.
Recently: VV Brown, Alabama 3, Just Jack, Phantom Band, Frankmusik, Twilight Sad, Slaid Cleaves, Alesha Dixon, Bellowhead, The Unthanks, Dizzee Rascal.
On Thursday September 17th, I danced on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Click here to watch, and here to listen.
Friday, July 02, 2004
Tufts and chuffs.
K and I have been experimenting with new hairdos. (At our age! I know!)
First of all, K decided to grow his hair over his collar, in a sort of fanned-and-feathered arrangement which he refers to as his "tufts". I think this was originally inspired by a TV advert featuring the racing driver Jenson Button, looking spruce, dapper and tufted, with "K's type" practically written all over him. A simple case of wanting to resemble the person you fancy, basically. It's a common enough occurrence.
However. To carry off the "tufted" look properly, you do need a certain hair type. Thin and wispy, like freshly spun gossamer in the early morning light. Not thick and clumpy, like pampas grass in some dreary suburban front garden.
And there's the rub. After careful, elaborate zhooshing, K's tufts tend to remain intact for perhaps twenty minutes at best - before degrading back to their natural, clump-like state. Worst of all, they have a habit of curling up at the sides - so that when viewed from the front, the effect is worryingly reminiscent of Heidi.
It's not an attractive look. Particularly when, like me, you have a bit of a Thing about shaved hair round the back of the neck anyway. But, apparently, it's trendy. Which, apparently, makes everything perfectly OK.
(Particularly when, unlike me, you have a bit of a Thing about men with longer hair anyway. Current case in point: Stuart from Big Brother 5, the object of much prolonged drooling on a near-nightly basis.)
"At least my haircut isn't stuck in the Eighties", he sniped, quoting our mutual hairdresser verbatim.
That did it. For my next appointment, I requested one of those pre-cut "consulations", of the sort which we habitually skip because, yes, I have had exactly the same haircut since 1989, and a very nice haircut it is too, thank you for asking, and it has always served me very well, actually actually I think you'll find, and I could produce many glowing testimonials to that effect, and, you know what, I don't recall ever receiving any complaints.
"I'd like to grow it a bit on top", I explained.
"Because," I continued, swivelling my chair round to look my hairdresser straight in the eyes, "I'd hate to be stuck in the 1980s."
"Oh... he told you?" As a gratifyingly sheepish look passed over my hairdresser's face, I basked in my brief moment of triumph.
Since then, my new 'do has been coming along nicely. Indeed, every time I wash it, it seems to fall in an excitingly different way. (Today, for example, it has formed a pleasingly severe side parting; think Franz Ferdinand meets the 1940s.) And, well, what do you know? Simply everyone has been paying it compliments.
"Such an improvement".
"A whole new you."
"The best it has ever looked."
Meaning that, in reality, no-one really thought that much of my late-80s "classic" cut in the first place? Well, why didn't you say? After all, I'm not getting any younger...
Which just leaves the vexed question of K and his godawful pigtailed clumps.
Readers: I've tried everything. Sweet, logical reason. Gentle, patient hints. Detailed technical arguments. Scorn, mockery, exasperated ridicule. The "mutton dressed as lamb" line. Public humiliation. Outright hostility. Pantomimed revulsion.
Nothing gets through to him. When he wants to be, my beloved can be a contrary, stubborn bleeder. Enjoying - no, relishing - the challenge.
Or maybe just biding his time. Playing his favourite kind of game. The long game. Me, I've never been much of a tactician. K, on the other hand, can be a master of the art.
A week or so ago, sitting up late in front of the telly with a glass of wine too many, I inadvisedly lit up. (Sometimes, I get it into my head that I'll be able to slip the odd fag or two past him, without attracting any comment. Fat chance. I never learn.)
"Tell you what", he began, in what I should have spotted as dangerously dulcet tones. "I'll cut you a deal."
"What sort of deal?" I enquired, calmly chuffing away.
"I'll go and get my tufts hacked off... but when I do... you'll have to stop smoking."
I didn't hesistate for a second. Yes! Victory! The tufts are gone!
Only too late - fatally too late - did I fully appreciate the brilliance of this tactical masterstroke. God, he's good. It's on occasions like these that I am afforded a small insight into just what makes my boyfriend such a business whizz.
These days, I'm chuffing on borrowed time. As we fly to Peru two weeks tomorrow, K is delaying his pre-holiday haircut for as long as he can. As far as I'm concerned, he can take all the time he likes.
In fact... you know what? Maybe I've been a bit too hasty with my judgement. Maybe those tufts aren't so bad after all. Yes, I'm sure I could learn to live with them.
See also... Naked Blog: Independence Day.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Indeed we do.
At dave's request, the We Listen chart has been re-instated on the sidebar, in between We Read and We Serialise. As in times of yore, I'll try and keep it updated every couple of weeks or so.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Immortalised in doodle.
Well, colour me chuffed...
Well, ain't that just DANDY?
And now, comments are down. Hence the agonisingly slow page load times.
Just call me Calam, why don't you...
Update: The comments system is now back again... and thank goodness for that.
So what mortal peril is going to be thrown at me next, then? Huh? Huh?
Come on, Internet. Do your worst. I can take it. No, really, I can. You should know what I'm made of by now. Because no matter what you do to me, I'll only convert my misfortune into yet another attention-seeking marketing stunt. What doesn't destroy me, and all that.
When life deals you lemons... make lemonade.
Sorry: lemon HYPHEN aid.
Oh, for a spotless mind.
An odd coincidence.
On Monday evening, while wandering round the Contemporary Art Museum in Barcelona, I stumbled across a screening of Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin - arriving just in time to catch the climactic closing minutes.
This morning, Buni e-mails to ask whether I'm interested in attending a free screening of the same film. In Trafalgar Square, of all places. With a brand new score, composed and performed by the Pet Shop Boys, of all people. Accompanied by the 26 piece Dresdner Sinfoniker, no less. With art direction by the brilliant Simon McBurney of Théâtre de la Complicité, if you please.
All I need now is a memory-wipe of the ending, of course. Where's Tom Wilkinson when you need him?
From my international postbag.
Over in Budapest, Doctor Pockless said:
It's a very nice hyphen. I always tripped over the double dd any way. With the aid of this hyphen I shall now articulate each d in all its splendour. In fact, I think you should tell your readers that it is an entirely new name, differentiated from your previous incarnation by a sharp intake of breath between words.Over in Khartoum, my darling sister said:
Now that you have a hyphen does this make you a virgin diva?
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
...and we're back. AGAIN.
Welcome back to what will henceforth be (hopefully) a stable, uninterrupted service, here at troubled HYPHEN diva dot com. Now with added hyphen. Which I can't help think it should have had all along.
(The RSS feed is here, by the way.)
Warmest thanks to Sasha for inviting me to squat at her place for the past week; I have enjoyed it immensely. If you didn't manage to track me down at Sashinka, then the guest posts start here, and continue upwards. These include:
Right then - it's back to trawling through the site for broken links, and other similarly enthralling chores. (Although actually, after all the recent excitements, I'm finding the comparative banality of site maintenance strangely soothing.)
Don't you go forgetting that hyphen, now!