I walk the spiders’s jailhouse...

"I walk the straight lines. I walk through the summer nights. I walk the silver rope of dreams. I walk through dawns of dawns. There’s not a lot that isn’t dying. I see people parading in front of each other like insects in a killing jar, watching each other die. I walk the straight lines throught the Christ machines. Through the eyes of throwaway people. Through the wards and the shores and the cracks in the skulls of the sidewalks. Through love’s howling vacancy. I am the freedom soil. I dig my own grave. I resurrect myself every night. I am all things to myself. I walk the straight lines. I walk the spiders’s jailhouse. I walk the think line, the thin line, the white line and all the line in between. I wish I could trade in my eyes." - Henry Rollins

R.I.P. - Louise Bourgeois - December 25, 1911 - May 31, 2010


"Freedom is not free. Someone has to the pay the price." - Ray Baumbach

Some people...let's call them the fortunate few...the lucky ones...the pains in the collective ass...win every contest they enter. The rest of us...the "marks"...enter contest after contest and get nothing more than writer's cramp and a sense of depression.

Thus far in my life I have won two things. The first...a bottle of whiskey...at a church bazaar...when I was in my pre-teens (those Scottish churches have very lax licensing laws)...which was donated to my mother's liquor cabinet. And the second, six shirts from 80's-90's label Workers for Freedom...the grand prize at a Fashion Cares benefit. When the six black and white shirts arrived I was thrilled...until I realized that their stark severity and boxy, yet voluminous, fit made me look like a nun on a bender. Yet I was unable to give them up. They were, with the exception of that bottle of Scotch from my youth, my only "win".

So they sat...in (in random order) my closet...a suitcase...a storage locker...another closet...a friend's basement...and several more suitcases...turning slightly yellower than they were in their prime...and gaining the added allure of a faint, yet omnipresent, hint of moth balls...

The other day, for whatever reason, I decided enough was enough...there is emotional baggage...and the literal baggage that you lug around with you for the majority of your life (too guilt ridden to throw it away). The dragon emblazoned buttons and W.F.F. tags have been kept...for some future project...and old time's sake...but the shirts are never to be seen again.




"There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea, and I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates." - James Russell Lowell


Travel broadens the mind...or so they say. It also exposes you (when you venture into the darkest recesses of an otherwise perfectly bland and generic hotel) to the kind of themed seafaring bar that would not be amiss in the Pirates of the Caribbean...complete, I might add, with Sinatra songs at 9 o'clock in the morning...and a busload of senior citizens for the mid-week lunch special. A watering hole made all the more curious by the fact that it is nowhere near the sea...




"Do not expect the world to look bright, if you habitually wear gray-brown glasses." - Charles W. Eliot

Twin fixations now that the sun (and attendant heat) have finally arrived...air conditioning...and expensive sunglasses. The latest to catch my (squinting) eyes are these rather snazzy leather accented twist on the classic aviator from Chloé.



Irrational things...and an unlikely payoff...

"Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion." - Scott Adams

And nothing...is more irrational...than dismissing a brand of jeans (in this case, Gap) simply because they are 'Oprah approved'. Yet that's what I did...until desperation...an ever-widening hole in the crotch of my favorite jeans...and the combination of a $24.99 sale price and $10 gift card...caused me to order a pair of their Easy Straight Patch jeans.

They're soft as the proverbial baby's derriere...fit perfectly...and, while paler than I generally prefer, are the ideal worn-over-numerous-summers-at-the-beach shade.

I'm not going to say that I've got over my irrational dislike of the cult of "O", but I am willing to accept some of the benefits...


"Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat...

...energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks" - Warren Buffett

A new addition to my ever-expanding to do list of DIY ideas...and a new way to get my fix of sweet, sweet, stripe love...this sequin striped tee from J Crew. "Why not just buy the darned thing?" you ask. Put quite simply, it's the neckline...wide boat necks and bad posture being a disastrous combination...but similarly shiny stripes...affixed to a crew neck...would be much more down my waterway...



"Only the shallow know themselves." - Oscar Wilde

Dear Diary,

Quick personal question...nothing to do with halitosis or other "things that only your best friend will tell you"...just wondering, on a scale of 1 to 5, how shallow it would be to buy a bottle of Balenciaga's Paris Eau De Parfum purely on account of the bottle design?

Not that the scent itself is anything to turn up one's nose at (so to speak)...a dense, wooded violet...too dark and heavy for summer...yet intriguing for the colder months. I'd definitely wear it and, in the words of the accompanying advertising blurb, leave a "unique trail"...yet it's the bottle that I dream of...resting in a haze of restrained decadence upon my dressing room table.

All of which leaves me pondering the words of Oscar Wilde...


“The goodness of the true pun is in direct ratio to its intolerability" - Edgar Allan Poe

As you now by now, I love a pun...the further something falls into the ghastly, murky, depths of pun-dom...visual or verbal...the happier I am. So, really, how could I resist this speaker? I'm sorry...I truly am...but I have to do this..."It's da bomb!"Photobucket


"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple,...

...With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me, And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves, And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter" - Jenny Joseph

There are types...the "good" girl who's constantly attracted to "bad" boys...the "sweet tooth" who can't pass a candy store without getting a fix...and, in my case, the "person who recognizes that they are not really a sandal wearer but doesn't seem to be able to look away". The latest pair to catch my eye...and start a whole new round of mental debate about whether these could be the ones that would turn me into a fully-fledged sandal wearer (stones, grit, and everything else that would work its way in there and cause discomfort be damned!)...are these leather and denim beauties from Gap's Design Editions. Strangely, I find something very alluring about the hodge podge of styles...they're like a bizarre cooking recipe...a dash of espadrille...a pinch of ballet shoe...a soupçon of the French Riviera...and a drop of Celine-like restraint.

They shouldn't work...but they do...




"Whoever has a tail of straw should not get close to the fire" - unknown


To me, this straw hat with built-in sunglasses is very 1960's-female-spy-Monica-Vitti-as-Modesty-Blaise. Something that, of course, forces me to ask myself the age old question that one faces when attracted to something because of the associations it brings to mind...while it may be...am I?


"But he smells like Ranch dressing..."

Or...how to waste a perfectly good Saturday...

The Angry Birds iPhone app...


And a young, drunk, Oliver Reed playing a young, drunk, psychopath in Hammer House of Horror's Paranoiac (alongside Janette Scott who, as those of you who are Rocky Horror Picture Show fans will know, fought a "Triffid that spits poison and kills")...


"Isn't elegance forgetting what one is wearing?" - Yves Saint Laurent

One man's 'elegant' is another man's 'frump'...the words that, unfortunately, kept swimming round in my head as I looked at the images of Creatures of Comfort's washed silk, full, below-the-knee skirt. Perhaps the 'f' word is too harsh...stirred by memories of similarly shaped skirts lurking in the depths of my adolescent memories...but the 'e' word doesn't feel quite right (and is CoC's word, not mine).

Perhaps it's just a mental block on my part...how would you rate this skirt...'e'...'f'...or some other letter?


"Color television! Bah, I won't believe it until I see it in black and white." - Samuel Goldwyn

You know what they say..." a skull a day keeps the doctor away"...what?...it should be an apple?...well, if you say so...though, personally, I get much more of a zip in my step when faced with a beautifully crafted cranium rather than a Granny Smith. Which means that this black onyx, white jade, and yellow gold number...featuring what I can only describe as 'love seat' skulls...puts double the bounce in my stride. A feeling which is, sadly, quickly lost when I look at the price tag...



"We still get around cities the way the Greeks did 5,000 years ago; they put on sandals, we put on sneakers." - Dean Kamen

After altogether too much to-ing and fro-ing I think I have finally laid the "Great Sneaker Quest of 2010" to rest. At this point I feel like a cross between Jason (taking a break from gadding about with the Argonauts to do a little shoe shopping)...and Goldilocks (altogether too picky and a bit of a pain in the neck)...having veered from my trusty Converse (still beloved but something that I need a break from)...to leather sneakers...and all manner of styles in between.

The "winner"...medium gray tennis shoes from Bensimon (aka the French girl's Converse)...less of a complete change...more of a side-step across borders...whose old school, retro charm feels like it will work well with the majority of my warm weather clothes.

At this rate I'll have figured out my summer wardrobe sometime around the year 2031...



"Eddie Fisher married to Elizabeth Taylor is like me trying to wash the Empire State Building with a bar of soap" - Don Rickles

So much of what falls under the banner of "beauty products" is so price-y that when you find something that falls into the bargain category...smells divine...and generally makes your getting-up-and-facing-the-world experience a little bit better...you want to shout about it from the roof tops. Oh, that's just me? Alright, at the very least you want to share the information...

So it is with the French Lemon Verbena Triple Milled Soap from Trader Joe's...my usual haunt for things to go inside the body, i.e. European cheeses and bottles of Chianti, rather than on its exterior. For a mere $3.99 you get a super-sized bar of soap...which creates copious amounts of sudsy lather when confronted with water...and leaves both you and the bathroom enveloped in a miasma of 'vacationing in the South of France Verbena'. Bliss.Photobucket


"Law of inflation: whatever goes up will go up some more" - unknown

You can tell how many years have passed since you bought a specific item (even if, like me, you are disturbingly bad with dates...anniversaries...or any form of calendar-based remembrance) when something that, at the time, struck you as expensive and caused pangs of purchase guilt is transformed into a "bargain" when measured against its modern brethren.

Case in point, my over-sized Prada sunglasses...bought, after much angst-ridden soul searching (and checking of funding) probably longer ago than I think...worn incessantly ever since...much beloved...


...and pretty much fixed in my mind as "the most expensive sunglasses that I would lust over". Fast forward to the present...and these tortoiseshell beauties from Paris-based model-turned-designer Emmanuelle Khanh...


Yours...though definitely not mine...for the low, low price of five hundred and ten dollars. At what point, I have to ask, did sunglasses become so expensive?


"If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?" - Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Chore day...and I'm rather hoping that I'm not the only person to feel a sense of calm serenity when I'm buffing away at the polish on my boots...



Against Idleness And Mischief...and the bee

"How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skilfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do." - Isaac Watts

If the bee is industrious surely the beekeeper deserves a little credit for assisting the process...someone in days gone by obviously thought so when they awarded this medal (for services to the bee presumably...though, as the text is in Dutch, that's pure supposition).


"...the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification." - the Bible

The pull of the "free gift with purchase" is a truly terrifying thing...when items that you normally wouldn't touch with the proverbial barge pole are suddenly elevated to the top of your shopping list. To be fair, in this instance the f.g.w.p. to celebrate Tatty Devine's 10 year anniversary is actually something that I'd buy and use...book bag addict that I am...not that a complimentary £5 bag balances out the purchase of a pricey bit of perspex and international shipping charges...though it would ease the sting a little...Photobucket


“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Back at the beginning of the year when I bought a light grey, sleeveless, heavy linen dress from French designer VDC I didn't quite realize how much wear I would get out of it...and that the only negative associated with its simple beauty would be that it necessitated a much better posture than I usually present to the world.

In anticipation of summer I turned, once again, to VDC...and decided upon this dark grey lightweight linen number.


In keeping with the dress' simplicity...and my lack of vigor (and will to live) once the thermometer advances past a certain point...I'm leaning towards wearing it in variations on the themes below...

Summertime, and the living is easyFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Bruised, but not brokenFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore


"I've actually gone to the zoo and had monkeys shout to me from their cages, "I'm in here when you're walking around like that?"" - Robin Williams

I've been wanting to try some pinhole photography for a while now but, thanks to my inherent laziness, have neglected to take the steps necessary to build the camera. A much easier option...to play around with the pinhole setting on my digital camera...and record a few animals sleeping, eating, and showing a general lack of vigor which makes me feel at home...






"When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police...

But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns." - Jack Handey

Though I say it myself, and shouldn't, I'd been doing rather well...restraining my impulses and stemming the semi-constant flow of posts featuring skulls and skull related ephemera...but the voodoo meets Victorian image from Oak's website pushed me off the wagon...


The "things to look out for" list has now been amended to include some large wooden skulls...to be worn around neck or waist.


"A woman is like a tea bag,you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." - unknown

It's hard to believe that we are currently hurtling towards summer...what with the cold, dank temperatures the last few days...and the monsoon like deluge currently throwing itself against my windows. Time to hunker down with a cup of tea and a good book...except that I discovered that the vintage paperback that I bought over the weekend is missing pages one through thirty-four (my mystery story now has an additional mystery...I know that a crime has been committed, I need to figure out not only "who done it" but "what they done")...and I see no way of getting my hands on some Prada tea bags in the next ten minutes...


I know, I know...they're another hideous waste of money courtesy of Miuccia...but that doesn't stop me thinking how decorative they'd be sitting in the kitchen...or how nice it would be to sample the flavors of Infusion de Tubereuse or Infusion de Vetiver...



"Parodies and caricatures are the most penetrating of criticisms." - Aldous Huxley

According to NY Magazine the waiting list for Hermes' Birkin bags is a thing of the past...I suppose I'd be slightly more enthusiastic about this news if I had the $7,000 or so needed to buy one. As it is I'm saving my enthusiasm for Slow and Steady Wins the Race's denim "inspired by Birkin" bag. All the necessary elements in a simplified form...



"The dark-veiled silhouette that solitary form patrolling without visible strain or vainglory a demented dreamland of fearful potential"-Kathryn Hulme

Drinks coasters usually fall into the frat party category (cardboard, humorous, or giving off a faint whiff of drinking games)...or the too-nice-to-risk-getting-wet-or-sticky camp. These wooden silhouette coasters, on the other hand, manage to combine the practical, traditional, and beautiful in equal measure...



"You can't get a quart into a pint pot." - English idiom

You also cannot fit a 15" laptop into a 13" laptop sleeve...a rather basic fact that failed to permeate my subconscious until I was casting loving (and rather nerdy) glances at my new MacBook Pro. Somewhat belatedly I realized that I had absolutely no way to protect it as I carried it hither (and potentially even thither).

The solution...after a rather dispiriting search through a rather large selection of unexcitingly bland options...this faux leather, striped cotton lined, version from incase...one of a series curated by art magazine Arkitip...by Paris based graffiti artist/club owner/subject of many of the images on Purple blog/and general man-about-town André.



The accompanying video (because nowadays there's always a video) is pure French cool...black and white...featuring a passage from Le Paysan de Paris and an original arrangement of Serge Gainsbourg’s “L’alcool”.


"A man is about thirty-eight before he stockpiles enough socks to be able to get one matching pair" - Merrily Harpur

Just when you thought you had heard of...been sent cards for...or bought themed candy to celebrate...every nonsensical holiday that could possibly exist...you discover that May 9th is (wait for it) Lost Sock Memorial Day. I can only imagine that it's just a matter of time before "stain that won't come out no matter how much bleach I use" and "I swear, this shrank in the wash" days are added to the calendar.

Be that as it may, in celebration of this...um...'special' day...I'm including the following plea from a member of The Pigeon Club of New York City...and a question..."why is it always the good socks that go missing?"...no one ever seems to lose the sock-with-a-massive-hole-in-it-that-they're-too-lazy-to-throw-away...



"The lunatic is all idée fixe..."

"The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars." - Foucault’s Pendulum

I think it's safe to say that this is the year I embrace the wrinkle...my hands have been metaphorically thrown in the air...cries of "ironing be damned!" have spewed out of my mouth...and, as a result, I'm buying linen like a woman on a mission.

The latest...a linen tee...something that I've long admired on sites selling Isabel Marant but have been unable to convince myself was worth the money. This particular (fiscally responsible) version is from Zara...a metallic green-y silver-ish color...like a mermaid in camouflage...and bedecked with wrinkles in the time it took to carry home.




"He sees the world in black-and-white. That allows him to drink and fight; it makes life alive for him. - Ray Stevenson

Sometimes all you need to make you happy is a long walk...the sun...an art gallery...and a grainy black and white setting on your camera...






"The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once again I am drooling over Joseph...this time the Fall/Winter 2010 collection...crisp, adult, yet completely feminine. And the sort of clothes that, given the right budget, you could wear day in and day out and never tire of...


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