Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. Marlene Dietrich

Marlene - Just for the cheekbones, dahling.

My favourite Marlene quotes:

I am not a myth.

I am at heart a gentleman.

If there is a supreme being, he's crazy.

When I arrived at the Naval Base this morning, I heard music emanating from the Victory (which is gargantuan!!! I mean, it's proper massive), and after staring gormlessly about for a moment, I realised it was coming from a Royal Marines band on Victory's top deck. I wish I could start every morning like this: the crisp, cold air, shades of a blue sky on the horizon and an old fashioned marching band. I stood outside the Museum for ten minutes until they stopped playing (I might have been freaking them out with my appreciative swaying and goonish expression of delight). It was the best start to the day I've had in ages - well, since I last remembered to buy pain au chocolat and a gargantuan coffee on my way into the Ministry anyway.

I leave the Royal Navy next week, onto pastures new. Well, back to the Heights actually, as technically, I haven't landed a new gig yet, but never mind. My creative writing will soar and I intend to start off with incorporating a creative tour of the city to find the best spots for budding writers to hang and out and pen their inspirations.

I don't always work so well from home, I find, and although it will mean going back to basics with a notepad and pen, at least until I get an Apple Mac of my very own, I'm looking forward to it. The Chasing Freedom project (compulsory plug to follow) has often been a little stressful, and has certainly been a learning curve for me, in terms of professional development in my research and writing, but it has really boosted my confidence and introduced me to some great people, and, I hope some new friends. I will be sorry to go.

One thing I won't miss however, was an experience I had today that yielded a whole new fear, and of the strangest thing. Regular readers may remember that I have, on more than one occasion, mocked G's fear of dry docks and the hulls of ships, and today I received my karmic return. I'm afraid of figureheads. Look at this.

It's not that scary is it? But it is. Quite apart from the fact that so many of them feature women with their baps out, which strikes me as a gendered phenomena - I've yet to see one of a man exposing his wiener. I was sent to do some detective work for Chasing Freedom today in the Victory Gallery, which is home to our new exhibition. In order to install Chasing Freedom, it has been necessary to close the second floor of the Victory Gallery, which in addition to the area where our exhibition will live for a year, is also home to the Figurehead Gallery, which is where I was sent. Alone.

Now it could be, that when the Figurehead Gallery is full of people, that I would find it a less scary experience, but I doubt it. You see, the thing with figureheads is they're really quite big. Look at this one for a sense of size.

They are genuinely large, and they are actually a little grotesque in the flesh (well, wood, really), and to HSP's like me, very, very scary. It's like the fear I have of that dinosaur model in Cumberland House (I'm still frightened of that - I'm 30 years old and terrorised by an inanimate model of a creature that's been extinct for millions of years), and don't even get me started on the Natural History Museum in London. When faced with something very large (put the obvious jokes aside, please- I was going to say gags, but it will only feed the innuendo), I get a bit scared.

When you come to see Chasing Freedom - and I know you all will come to see Chasing Freedom, because I know where you live and I have a web cam trained on the exhibition to monitor visitors - take a walk around the Figurehead Gallery and tell me what you think. Please, before I get paranoid about my latest irrational fear.

Glenn's Favourite Words of the Day
Jumentous - Smelling of horse urine

Aeolist - A pompous windy bore who pretends to have inspiration

Borborygmus - The rumbling sound of gas passing through the intestine

And his personal favourite:

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian - pertaining to extremely long words

Don't say we never teach you anything here at The Daily.

Same Jeans - The View


G said...

Well figureheads are rather imposing. And doesn't it seem strange that in days of sail, although it was thought to be unlucky to have a woman on board it was fine to have a mermaid, goddess or stately woman guide the ship through troubled waters. Or perhaps that just depicts life?

Sarah said...

Brilliant, G!