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Away from it all - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Away from it all
Went home for the weekend to escape from Cambridge-related stress, which was mostly successful. Ate lots, didn't drink any coffee, didn't get up till midday on Saturday or Sunday, and talked a lot.

Also shopped a lot -- managed to talk my dad into going to the HMV sale in Nottingham instead of doing the gardening (as you can imagine, I really had to twist his arm on that one...) and he and I ended up spending over £150 on CDs between us. And he paid for the lot. "Which was nice." :-)

The complete list, if you care:


  • Bob Dylan - "The Times They Are A'Changin'" (I didn't actually buy this, my dad bought it but realised when we got home that he already had it, so gave me the duplicate)

  • They Might Be Giants - "Dial-a-Song: 20 Years of They Might Be Giants"

  • Suede - "Sci-Fi Lullabies"

  • Morrissey - "Suedehead: The Best of Morrissey"

  • Ramones - "It's Alive"

  • The Chemical Brothers - "Exit Planet Dust"

  • Various - "The Alternative Album"

  • Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - "Safe as Milk"

  • Thea Gilmore - "Avalanche"

  • Thea Gilmore - "Burning Dorothy"

  • R.E.M. - "Singles Collected"

  • Kirsty MacColl - "Tropical Brainstorm"

  • Beastie Boys - "Licensed to Ill"

  • Juliet Turner - "Burn the Black Suit"



hoiho, that means I can send you my old copy of "Burn the Black Suit"; and k425, do you want to look after offsite backups of the two Thea Gilmore albums, when I get round to making them? :-)

Despite wandering round Nottingham for ages I failed to find a new pair of black combat trousers to replace my falling-apart pair. What I want is very simple: a pair of full-length black trousers with both ordinary pockets and "cargo pockets". Ideally they wouldn't be too heavy, and they'd be quite plain; but really I'm not that fussy. However, the shops only seemed to stock three-quarter-length hipster trousers, mostly with the ankles all ruched up with a drawstring, and mostly with oceans of trailing belts and buckles and ties and zips. Now, I'm actually reasonably happy with my figure at the moment, but the fact remains that I am not (and have never been) a flat-bellied 17-year-old; as such, I really don't think hipsters will suit me. Furthermore, in the absence of comfortable hipster knickers, I don't think I want to advertise M&S or Sloggi quite so blatantly.

Gave up in the end and bought a pair of khaki combats for a fiver; also tried on a pair of black jeans with zip-pockets but their size "12" was three inches short of meeting around my waist. Given that the size 12 smart black skirt (with one cargo pocket) that I bought later was verging on being too big for me, and the size 12 combats that I did buy were a very comfortable fit, I think this only proves that clothes sizes are a bit arbitrary really.

While at home I sorted through lots more of my stuff. I didn't actually throw much out this time, although usually the more infrequently I go home, the easier it becomes to throw things away; I realise that if I barely even remember things, let alone miss them, then I probably don't really need them. This time, though, I brought more stuff back than I threw away -- mostly craft stuff, stationery, socks, and all my old photos.

Looking through the photos was interesting -- I was amazed to see how easily I remembered the names of people I hadn't seen for nearly 10 years. Also unsurprised to see how dreadful I looked in some of the photos ... but surprised to find that I actually looked okay in some of the others.

Seeing photos of the girl I loved for years at school aroused no emotions in me, except that I felt vaguely startled to find a photo with her face cut out -- I'd forgotten that I ever carried a photo of her in a locket. Now my memory has been prodded I remember the locket, though not cutting out the photo; I remember being ridiculously superstitious about the locket, to the extent that I refused to remove it for a Games lesson. I also remember now that I found the locket the other month -- it's rather too large and a little on the tacky side -- and I suppose I must have opened it then, but I'd forgotten it was her picture inside it.

There's probably some poetic point to be made here -- about how distance from emotion changes our perception, and how trivia persists in our memory when things that seemed earth-shatteringly important at the time are long forgotten -- but Larkin has probably already made it.

Current Mood: smaller and clearer
Now playing: Morrissey & Siouxsie Sioux: "Interlude"

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Comments
From: x_mass Date: October 5th, 2003 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
apparently the actual size of the garment increases in direct relation to its price. Hence if you paid a thousand pounds for the garment - the label would say size 6 conversly if your buying from soemwhere cheap you'll bge lucky to get a 14 to fit you
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2003 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
TEH INTERWEB is a kind of last resort -- for one thing, I don't want to pay for postage on something I should be able to buy from a shop; and I don't really want to buy clothes online anyway, because I'd prefer to be able to try them on first. Particularly given how variable dress-sizes seem to be! (Yeah, I know you can probably return stuff if it doesn't fit, but how much faff is that?)

And you'd think men's trousers would be easier, too, because they just have waist measurements, and an inch is an inch, right? (No, really, honey, it is, no matter what he tells you.) But, anyway, I tried on a pair of men's combat trousers which claimed to be a 29" waist, and I swear there were about 4 inches of excess waist. And no way do I have a 25-inch waist. So clearly the sizes in men's clothes are big hairy lies as well. (I could understand this kind of creative sizing if trousers had crotch measurements. "What size does sir take? Large, XXL, XXXL, or OH MY GOD?")

Anyway, it's all just penis envy, really, this wanting to wear trousers thing. I mean, I know we wore trousers in the war, but that was different, and now we should go back to knitting and having babies. Not that I'd mind that, anyway, apart from the knitting, because I can't really knit unless somebody else casts on and off for me, which is sort of missing the point, although I think it's quite symbolic in an obvious clumsy symbolism kind of way. But the babies, see, is quite a different kettle of fish. Not that you'd let your babies anywhere near a kettle. Or fish. Let your babies near fish, that is, because isn't there something in fish that makes them deformed, the babies I mean, if you eat it, the fish I mean, when you're pregnant, so it's probably still dangerous when you ... I think I'm rambling now.
imc From: imc Date: October 6th, 2003 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Hang on - what's so difficult about casting on and off? Casting on in particular is just like normal knitting except that you leave the old stitch on the needle and slip the new one on too.

When I was small I invented a brilliant new method of casting on which involved winding the wool around the needle enough times and then just knitting the coils as if they were proper stitches. (Memory does not recall how successful it was.)

I'm not aware of anything in fish that makes babies deformed. I'm pretty sure we didn't stop eating haddock when smallclanger was on the way (or perhaps that just means we are EVIL BABY MUTILATORS).
k425 From: k425 Date: October 6th, 2003 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not aware of anything in fish that makes babies deformed.

Mercury, iirc. See warnings about tuna, marlin, etc. It gets concentrated up the predator ladder (I can't remember the proper name for that).
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: October 7th, 2003 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
He does kind of know that, I promise. We ate quite a lot of white fish but I tried to stick to 2 portions a week of tuna.
k425 From: k425 Date: October 8th, 2003 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)
He probably wasn't thinking about it in terms of "deformity" which is understandable.

I haven't had tuna for ages. Perhaps I'll treat myself to a tin this weekend. Or a sandwich for lunch today.
k425 From: k425 Date: October 6th, 2003 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
1. Yes, I'd love to hear more Thea G!

2. I promise I'll teach you to cast on and cast off when I next see you.

3. Men's trousers - shorter legs, longer bodies. So when I try on men's trousers the waist doesn't do up because it's trying to do up around my hips which tend to be a bit larger, usually, than my waist.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: October 7th, 2003 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Now all I can see in my mind is a sign reading "Knit your own babies".
j4 From: j4 Date: October 6th, 2003 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
TEH INTERWEB is a kind of last resort -- for one thing, I don't want to pay for postage on something I should be able to buy from a shop; and I don't really want to buy clothes online anyway, because I'd prefer to be able to try them on first. Particularly given how variable dress-sizes seem to be! (Yeah, I know you can probably return stuff if it doesn't fit, but how much faff is that?)

And you'd think men's trousers would be easier, too, because they just have waist measurements, and an inch is an inch, right? (No, really, honey, it is, no matter what he tells you.) But, anyway, I tried on a pair of men's combat trousers which claimed to be a 29" waist, and I swear there were about 4 inches of excess waist. And no way do I have a 25-inch waist. So clearly the sizes in men's clothes are big hairy lies as well. (I could understand this kind of creative sizing if trousers had crotch measurements. "What size does sir take? Large, XXL, XXXL, or OH MY GOD?")

Anyway, it's all just penis envy, really, this wanting to wear trousers thing. I mean, I know we wore trousers in the war, but that was different, and now we should go back to knitting and having babies. Not that I'd mind that, anyway, apart from the knitting, because I can't really knit unless somebody else casts on and off for me, which is sort of missing the point, although I think it's quite symbolic in an obvious clumsy symbolism kind of way. But the babies, see, is quite a different kettle of fish. Not that you'd let your babies anywhere near a kettle. Or fish. Let your babies near fish, that is, because isn't there something in fish that makes them deformed, the babies I mean, if you eat it, the fish I mean, when you're pregnant, so it's probably still dangerous when you ... I think I'm rambling now.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 6th, 2003 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
TEH INTERWEB is a kind of last resort -- for one thing, I don't want to pay for postage on something I should be able to buy from a shop; and I don't really want to buy clothes online anyway, because I'd prefer to be able to try them on first. Particularly given how variable dress-sizes seem to be! (Yeah, I know you can probably return stuff if it doesn't fit, but how much faff is that?)

And you'd think men's trousers would be easier, too, because they just have waist measurements, and an inch is an inch, right? (No, really, honey, it is, no matter what he tells you.) But, anyway, I tried on a pair of men's combat trousers which claimed to be a 29" waist, and I swear there were about 4 inches of excess waist. And no way do I have a 25-inch waist. So clearly the sizes in men's clothes are big hairy lies as well. (I could understand this kind of creative sizing if trousers had crotch measurements. "What size does sir take? Large, XXL, XXXL, or OH MY GOD?")

Anyway, it's all just penis envy, really, this wanting to wear trousers thing. I mean, I know we wore trousers in the war, but that was different, and now we should go back to knitting and having babies. Not that I'd mind that, anyway, apart from the knitting, because I can't really knit unless somebody else casts on and off for me, which is sort of missing the point, although I think it's quite symbolic in an obvious clumsy symbolism kind of way. But the babies, see, is quite a different kettle of fish. Not that you'd let your babies anywhere near a kettle. Or fish. Let your babies near fish, that is, because isn't there something in fish that makes them deformed, the babies I mean, if you eat it, the fish I mean, when you're pregnant, so it's probably still dangerous when you ... I think I'm rambling now.
meirion From: meirion Date: October 5th, 2003 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
i bought a rather nice pair of black combats at topman a couple of weeks back. i don't buy trousers from women's shops any more as they tend to have one or more extremely uncomfortable property about them, as well as making me feel fat.

-m-
acronym From: acronym Date: October 6th, 2003 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
You missed out my favourite of his works on that theme...

- A
addedentry From: addedentry Date: October 6th, 2003 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Only two typos in that one. Is it some feeble attempt to avoid copyright suits, do you think?
imc From: imc Date: October 6th, 2003 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
"Secentless"? "Since your past and gone"?

(Perhaps ironically I notice that plagiarist.com has the same errors, though lots of other sites don't so I am assuming they aren't Larkin's own.)
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: October 7th, 2003 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice black combat trousis: Wallis in Debenhams, in the sale now. Admittedly I saw them (today) in the wrong city but you may find some near you.
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