Sunday, April 4, 2010


A low-key easter sunday, hence no capitals. We did eat chocolate, watch a particularly crappy Jonathan Creek show, had daffodils, candles and a painted egg, the only one that survived from days when I used to do that with the kids. Daughter has gone north to meet the boyf's family and son is now somewhere between Jodhpur and Bombay (we call it Mumbai, but they don't, is what he tells me) and I was glad to hear his voice yesterday because the last time I'd spoken to him he said he was in the desert, and what happened in the match between Arsenal and Barcelona? It was a draw, I said, where will you be sleeping? On the sand, he said, on a rug, I've got low battery, bye. I like to hear the voices of my children, thank god for mobile phones and Skype.

A friend came over to have walk on the forest with me. We'd gone but a short distance when we spotted an orange and white cat sitting on the branch of an oak tree, looking at us. It's the Cheshire Cat, said my friend, look it's grinning at us. Miaow, said the cat, miaaaaooow. It got up, ran the length of the branch and back again. It's got itself stuck up the tree, I said. Friend climbed up a little way trying to reach it but the cat was too high up. We walked to the rushing stream, turning back when it began to rain and saw that the cat was still there, stuck and singing out for help. Back at Signs Cottage we pulled Mr. S from newspaper heaven to bring a ladder in the car, he was not best pleased, (cat's are intelligent, it will find its way down) but did the job, got cat by the scruff of the neck and down it came, singing. Off it went, and I hope it found its way home, but in the right kind of story it would have turned into a handsome prince or princess and given us three wishes.

Perhaps it is because I have been spending too much time at IKEA (all day friday - Good Friday - looking for sofa, 'struth!) , that I woke today remembering Dennis O'Driscoll's poem Missing God and how I tore it out of the newspaper when I first read it during Advent in 2002 and kept it in my bedside locker for years. Can you miss something you never had in the first place? Probably, and maybe particularly.


Cusp said...

Yes, funny old Easter here too: easter egg hunt with too many children and too much mess with rain and too few doors to use to get in and out of house with builders. Had more than enough by the end. Oh well, at least there was chocolate for comfort and a roaring fire.

IKEA at Easter....surely not why Jesus died on the cross !!!!:
He is Risen and went forth and queued and queued and queued. And he sayeth to the Lord 'Do you have meatballs on the menu and does the Kura bed come in blue ????'

Not quite right is it ?

Oh well...............

Fire Bird said...

My Easter involved singing heartily songs from many sacred traditions, in none of which I believe, but whose prompting of people around the world to song I am eternally grateful for. I don't know if I miss God. I'm just(sometimes)glad the idea of him/it is so archetypal and that I am free to take what I like and leave the rest. Not at all glad about fundamentalist acting out...

Reading the Signs said...

Actually, Cusp, he ordereth salmon with dill sauce and then doesn't like it because it too, well, fishy. And he asketh not about Kura because that for kids.

Is anything ever right?

FB, your Easter sounds cool - give me singing over shopping any day. I believe all those songs - while I'm singing them.

Cusp said...

He jolly well does ask about Kura beds because you know He watch over all 'ikkle children and wants to know they are happy and content in their beds whilst the angels watch over them. Everyone know that. He also ask about Billy bookcases and those little wooden drawery thingees in which to keep lost souls until he can put them back where they belong. It true about asking for fish...especially on a Friday cos everyone know that Jesus am RC ? Int that right ??? (I think you're right about the dill sauce too ...I imagine that Jesus likes his food quite plain --- not keen on too much sauce or salt). Thankfully of course he can 'move among us' so he don't have to queue (I get that bit wrong...mea culpa). He just swan right up to checkout and offer his card.

Reading the Signs said...

Right. He just ask me to tell you that he never even hear of Billy bookcases till now and, having looked them up, has to admit they look pretty cool, as these things go.

What particularly stumps him at the mo (admittedly on my account) is how to get rest of furniture and kitchen stuff for flat when money mostly spent. Actually he a bit bored with thinking about it so has gone elsewhere for a bit - probly to sing songs with Fire Bird or sit by your roaring fire.

While I'm left to look at Gum Tree. Is that fair?

Cusp said...

I fink He might point you in the direction of Freecycle what has many a good freebie. He and His Dad are all for charidy and good fings like that, innit ?

You..(you, not Him, cos he know evryfin and is allseein' and you don't and can't if you see wot I mean)) You would be amazed wot is offered on Freecycle.

We haf just got rid of a load of stuff to Freecycle so some lucky bu**ers (sorry for blasfeem) has got a pine table and four chairs and anuvver has got 19 paving slabs gratis. On the other hand we have had a very expensive rabbit hutch and run (retailing at £75) off of there and we have a got a bed frame 'n all and a telly for the daughter.

So hasten thee to thy local Freecycle He say (and me too). You'd be amazed at wot you can get and its all recyclin, innit, so you save His/our plannit.

Good eh ???...if the readies have run owt anyway.

Reading the Signs said...

I like this idea, Cusp - but if Jesus wants me to Freecycle, why is it so damnably hard to log in? I have been trying for best part of two hours and either it doesn't want to recognise me or it says it's busy and to come back later. Perhaps I am being "tested" to see if I am worthy.

Other prob - I myself have nothing to actually offer right now other than some mouldy books.

Cusp said...

Well TBH methinks there might be a prob. with the servers at Freecycle ATM because one of our friends was trying to get rid an aforemetioned Kura bed and couldn't log in either but no doubt it'll all come right soon (it's usually reliable) so unless there's a desperate need to get what you need within a day or two it may still be a good idea.

You don't need to have anything to offer to 'play the game' and you can ask for stuff specifically too. Some people just ask and never offer. You'd be amazed at what they ask for too. That's how we got rid of our paving stones --- they were our patio prior to building work and s.o. just popped up on FC asking for some.

Have another go soon.

Anna MR said...

Just so you both know (for Jesus He know already, innit) - Kura is Finnish for the water found in muddy puddles.

Be wary of making you chillun sleep in beds of Kura, is all I'm saying.

Otherwise, mwah to our hostess and mwah to Cuspilein, too

x x

Reading the Signs said...

You see what the Finn say here, Cusp? Someone's having us on, aren't they, expecting chillun to sleep in muddy puddles? As Jesus presumably know. You might have thrown the cat among the pidgeons here, Anna, but don't worry. We needed to know this and I rely on you to keep on keeping me informed - about everything, really.

In freecycle spirit I went to look at the local dump yesterday. There was a double bed frame, wooden, with I hate my mum and dad etched into it. Other stuff too, all nice - if you had the energy to do it up a little.

Cusp said...

Well there we are Signsie....proof that AnnaMr is a spy after all, for she know everyfink ...even about those shifty Swedes trying to sell the poor dumb Englander a muddy puddle for a bed: the very thought of it !!!

I think that Jesus must have been having a day off (he can do that you know...he's allowed every 4th w/e off and has over provided by Gabriel) when they (IKEA) slipped that one through cos everyone know that He want all chillen to sleep safely in their bed and not in a wet bed. That is why He created night-time snuggie and pampers. Right ???

Anyroadup, getting to the buziness about dumps (no NOT IKEA) : there really is no need for you to go touting round the local skips for it is all out there for you, clean and tidy in virtual land. All you have to do is keep a keen eye out for wot u want and then send an eelymaily and say

'Please can I have that....table, sink, cat, cactus, petri dish....' or whatever it is you're after for the new flat.

Good luck and cheers(!) to that Finnish spy lurking behind the rubber plant in the corner.

(I don't personally think she NEEDS to dip the trilby over one eye, do you ? Rather cliched though not in poor taste)

tpe said...

That’s outright art, Signs, the wooden bed frame with the words “I hate my mum and dad” etched into it. Why fix it up? Just stick that on the polished floor of an art gallery and you’ve got yourself an installation (and a high probability of future access to the pregnant wallet of Charles Saatchi, I would guess). It works on so many (dark and angsty) levels that I’m quite in love with the piece already. Well done.

"Can you miss something you never had in the first place?" Yes. Although technically, I suppose, it may be more of a "longing" than a "missing". The poem you linked to reminded me (a bit) of God's Funeral by Thomas Hardy. I can't say it does much for me, really, but a couple of verses stand out:

So, toward our myth's oblivion,
Darkling, and languid-lipped, we creep and grope
Sadlier than those who wept in Babylon,
Whose Zion was a still abiding hope.

How sweet it was in years far hied
To start the wheels of day with trustful prayer,
To lie down liegely at the eventide
And feel a blest assurance he was there.

Anyway, whilst writing about this particular poem (in The Portable Atheist), Christopher Hitchens said: "for many people, as atheists are duly bound to recognise, the loss of faith is experienced not so much as a liberation as a bereavement." That seems fair, doesn't it? And so going back to your question, I think it also seems fair to imagine (or simply accept) that for many people (atheists or otherwise) the permanent absence of faith may be felt just as keenly as the sudden loss of it.

Logically speaking, of course, what I’ve just said is lamentable drivel, but it feels true to me (and that’s usually enough).

And on closer reading, of course, I’ve just realised that you answered your own question perfectly well enough. You should have stopped me sooner, Signs, before I had a chance to make an utter fool of myself. Just what sort of a friend are you, exactly?

I was going to say something devilishly charming about the cat and then play attractively awhile with your guests, but now I won’t. Can’t.

Deflated regards etc….


Reading the Signs said...

he heeee heh! TPE, as I live and breathe, you fell into my devilish trap. Will reveal all later - GTGN as picking up smokefriend from stn - lol.

But just to say, I am master, if not mistress, of disingenuity. Yes? Of course yes.

Reading the Signs said...

oh, and Cusp darling, I am going to be relying on you henceforth for everything - at this particular moment it's curtain rails for bay windows. ok?

Cusp said...

Curtain rails ??? Curtain bl**dy rails ?? Who do you think I am ? Laurence Lampsocket-Beano or whatever his name his

Oooh ..........not sure about that. Think it might be down to the nearest place of worship for you and back down on your knees for that sort of stuff

You could always try 'vintage' darling. Get down to the nearest Oxfam and see if they have any brass rails or you could go sort of retro-peasant chic; sisal string and brass rings; or then there's post-modern irony chic --- wire cable and polos.

I really should get back to interior design, shouldn't I ? So many, many ideas and concepts and SOOOO little time.

Must dash (air kiss...)

Have to get up to Harvey Nicks and then Kelly (Hoppen) wants to consult me on some drapery for her new concept: interior arbours with burka tent --- sort of East meets West/ Outside/ Inside fusion.

Ciao !

Reading the Signs said...

Dang and blast, Cuspo, I've already bought the wretched curtains at IKEA (don't even know if I like the buggers, but had to get something), at least they have iron-on hems - and the existing rails are those bastarding metal things with ancient hooks that don't run or do anything useful. And yes, please do come back to interior design, come and sort everything out for me - I'll pay you with buckwheat and banana muffins and homity pies.

TPE - McTeepster, have you twigged it yet - about my disingenuousness, I mean? For if you look here you will see the evidence that I so cunningly by-passed, pretending that I was not and have never been a Believer. But I am, and was, and ever shall be, ahem. Still practising, only in the sense that I am crap at it. But in this desecrated, fallen world we are all missing Him, one way or another, especially in the IKEA cafeteria on a Good Friday. Although Cuspie here do actually have a point, and I can quite see that He may have been right beside me in the queue, ordering the meatballs for all I know - it would be in keeping with what one knows about Him, after all - ever one for the common people, even those who shop on holy days. Especially those, probably. Hardy was a proper old atheist, what? I never saw that poem before. Somebody once said to me, though, and it stuck with me: Jesus was the first atheist. Blessed assurance bedamned. There is something I miss, though - so all is not lost.

You're quite right, that bed frame is a fully realised art installation. Could I live with it, though? Mr. Signs and I often have this discussion about art (particularly the stuff that is on our walls) - if it's art is it decorative, and vice versa. I think the local dump may actually be just the right place for such an installation - on the other hand I miss out on making a potential fortune.

You can tell me what you were going to say about the cat now.

tpe said...

I see.

You are clearly as mad as a fish with a bonnet. Plus, you’re nicked. You think you can pin Jeepers to a cross (he was only tiny) and then turn round and say “but I’m a fan”? No way, Signs, you’re going down for a very long time. Take her away. (Mel Gibson will thank me for your much-needed, richly merited, long overdue incarceration.)

Hello. Well, that’s nice for you. (This is my new, significantly reduced and much-improved response to any professions of faith. It may appear glib, but the sentiment expressed is sincere.)

Do you like the new, non-argumentative me? I’ve matured greatly these past twenty or so hours. In the old days (yesterday), I would have tried to fight you to the death. No more.

I’m not even going to express any outrage or hurt that you feel our art installation is best placed in a dump. I’m simply going to etch those words on my own bed frame and submit it to some achingly hip gallery. I can see the reviews already: “Stark, taut, minimalist, sexually fraught.....this latest installation from TPE serves as a bitingly poignant reminder of everything, ever. That he will make astonishing money from this seems certain. Let’s just hope he stays true to his uplifting community spirit and remembers to share it with his weak-minded, undeserving collaborator, RTS. In fact, let’s just hope he doesn’t....

Ach, art reviews. They can be so cruel. You’ll be like the guy who didn’t sign The Beatles, Signs – enough to test the strongest faith, I should say.



Reading the Signs said...

And you are as mad as a fish with a bicycle, TPE. Look, I wasn't personally responsible for pinning Jeepers to anything, and don't go holding it against me because I'm a four-be-two. It was the Romans that done it.

Very nice, the new non-argumentative you. But nothing nice about being thrown to the lions, as I'm sure I must have been in a previous incarnation (I forgot to mention I'm a heretic - got done for that too). Thankfully this incarnation hasn't thrown up too many challenges, at least not the kind that end with getting eaten or burned at the stake.

If you do go ahead with this installation, I will come in person to the achingly hip gallery, plonk myself on the bed and pretend to be a corpse. That should do the trick. But if anyone asks about it (after the awards, at the champagne reception) I will say that the original is at the dump - on the Edge. Heh!


Cusp said...

What I want to know is whether Mr nicey-nicey non-argumentative TPE is going to also fashion a quilt with the names of all his old lovers upon it to put on said bed and will he strew (??) packets of condoms hither and yon around said bed ?

What you really need TPE is a post-post-post modernist explanation of your work with all sorts of refernces to Barthes and Derrida and Lacan with a bit of Marxism thrown in. Either that or a whopping great price tag with a red dot in the corner and maybe a little portrait of St Damien or Our Lady Tracey hung above the bed.

Then you could also allude to your co-laborator by having a huge No Entry sign lying under the duvet.

Wotdyafink ??

Reading the Signs said...

She's absolutely right, TPE - we do need the post-post-post modernist explanation of your work with all sorts of refernces to Barthes and Derrida and Lacan with a bit of Marxism thrown in, and actually I think I must insist on it (I have the right, it's partly my installation after all).

Re the quilt and condoms idea - I see that Charles Saatchi bought Tracy's bed for £150,000 and put it in his house. So it's a thought, isn't it?

tpe said...

Signs. Cusp.

Signs, you are clearly as mad as a fish with a bonnet, a bicycle and a tiny wee silver purse filled with cat pee. (You need help, frankly.)

But NO! It was the Jews wot did dingle-dangle Jeeps from the Christmas plank, not the Pope or the Queen. I saw it on Youtube. And Mel Gibson's film blew the truth clean out of the water, anyways – a truth, Signs, that you lot (Jews!) had been trying to suppress for literally decades. It’s all there on Youtube. And it’s not just careless nutjobs saying these things, either. No, these people deploy ominous musical soundtracks to back up their claims – a technique favoured by all the top historians, as you’ll surely know.

Ah, sectarian banter. What better way to spend a Sunday? I do suddenly wonder about the authenticity of my own Jewishness, however. You’ll remember, of course, that you conferred (honorary) Jewish status on me some time back. The thing that’s bothering me now, though, is: can an out-of-practice Christian really confer Jewish status on an out-of-shape agnostic? How does that work, exactly? I think you may have tricked me. Again.

Cusp, hello, have you had some lovely sunshine today? It's been properly hot in Ireland.

Well, you’ll never believe it, but only yesterday I finished reading a book called Quilts 1700-2010 (Hidden Histories, Untold Stories). I know, I know, this seems like a lie, but it’s not.

You know when you read something that you think is going to be utterly, soul-destroyingly boring and then it turns out to be magic and interesting and the lovely feeling this generates? Well, that’s what happened to me with the quilt book. Unbelievable. It’s just not the sort of thing I would ever dream of reading. Really fantastic, though. Other people’s passions – however bizarre they may seem – are often the best things to read about. Anyway, I just thought I’d tell you that, as it seemed like a happy coincidence that you should mention quilts. (Anna MR may back me up if things get nasty, as I briefly mentioned this book to her the other day.)

So yes, of course, armed with my new knowledge I think a quilt would make a terrific addition to the installation. To stitch the names of all of those people lucky enough to have sampled a mauling at my tigerish hands, though, may cause problems. It's a question of scale, Cusp, and I should hate to see the quilt dwarf the bed entirely.

There is also the question of alcohol and the fact that this tends to dull the exactitude with which (formerly) rampaging Lotharios may recall the names of their (delighted, eternally grateful) conquests. It would be more a series of impressions, really, flashbacks - chains, a handful of hair, bleach, arrows, screams.....I don't know. It runs the risk of becoming a bit of a Bayeux Tapestry of Lust and Thrust, and I'm just not so sure I'm that good at stitching yet, Cuspoid.

Signs - you know how a lot of people say stuff like "but anyone could do that" when they're talking about Tracy Emin's bed, say? Well, I once heard her say, in response to this charge, something along the lines of "but they didn't, I did." It's a bit hard to argue with that really, isn't it?

Still, just let me deal with the press when we go viral, okay? Don't worry, you're in safe hands. (And don't be troubling your pretty wee head about the money side of things, either. I'll take care of it.)

Award-winning regards etc....


Cusp said...

Well hello there TPE. Yes thank you it has been a lovely sunny day here in old Blightie.

Quilts Eh??? Methinks there must be somefink telepafick goin' on m'dear. It's all too spooky to be coincidence, wouldn't you say ? Or maybe it's just two artistic souls speaking to each other through the ether.

HOWEVER, I am a tad disconcerted by your boasts about the size of your potential quilt! You know what they say about men with big quilts...something along the lines of men who have very large sports cars often having........well you get my gist (compensation 'n all that jazz).

Honestly TPE I thought you was a gentleman and here you are, on the Sabbath as well, talking about lust and thrust and tigersih maulings. Dear oh dear.

I remember when Sundays were kept nicely for the parlour and no washing on the line and no gardening either. On no, it was all best clothes, shiny shoes and 'Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam'...never mind tigersih maulings.

I think it's about time you stoppped swigging back those little blue pills with the IrnBru and re-accomodated the graphite in your writing implement.

Now, back to matters creative. If you let me do the talking (after all I HAVE been to art school)I could do all the viral marketing you like and we three could make a bomb !!! (Of course I'll be wnatimng my 70% commission)

Howsabout we meet up for a chat over meat balls in dill sauce with gravlaks for luncheon in IKEA ?

Bagsy you buy the drinks TPE.

(* P.S. Signsie, Can I be an hon. jew too please ? I used to love dropping into Blooms for bakeries and lochen pudding, honest injun )

Cusp said...

P.P.S. I think we've frightend off everyone else on this post. It's just us three nutters talking to ourselves. Ooohhhh it's like the Secret Seven...well Three...or Four..anyway

Reading the Signs said...

oh for goodnessake, Schlomo McTPE, you were the one that kept insisting on your Jewishness - so as to get on the free holiday to Israel, remember? You argued most persuasively. And then Anna leapt in insisting that she was too because of having had soup in a bowl that said "feed the Jew in you". So basically it seems that we're all Jewish (you too, Cusp, we run an inclusive ship here) - and I have it on good authority that Mel Gibson is too. Not to mention Jeepers Himself, and therefore, by extension, the Pope and the Queen and anyone who partaketh of communion bread and wine because, you know -

And - you are as mad as a fish with a bonnet, a bicycle, a tiny wee silver purse filled with cat pee and a pair of old boots filled with dog poo.

Cusp, I think you might just have handed him carte blanche to brag most dreadfully about all his sexual conquests, and quite frankly we may never hear the end of it. In any case, I think notches on the bedpost is more of a Lothario thing. But this might not sit well with "I hate my mum and dad".

Actually, TPE, Tracy is wrong. Some of us have done things like her bed scene - done it better and worse, with proper dog-ends floating in last night's beer dregs - but we don't all go showing off about it. Which is possibly where I've gone wrong in life.

Gefilte regards mit lokshen and matzo balls etc...

Reading the Signs said...

Cuspilein, are you psychic? For here we were at the same time - ish, and thinking along the very same lines. Definitely merits are celebratory bash at IKEA - the meatballs will be on me, literally, as I won't be eating them.

Reading the Signs said...

p.s. if anyone else is looking in here thinking that this thread has degenerated into unspeakable gibberish, I would just like to assure you that we are all artists and intellectuals here - yes, of the highest calibre. And that this is Performance Art in the making (there was once talk of film rights, and a Blogoslavian musical, based on RTS comment threads, TPE will back me up on this). So just - you know - watch it.

Reading the Signs said...

- and why isn't anyone saying anything about the provocative post-modern ironical youtube thing I put up?

Cusp said...

I've only just had time to pop out from our Wee Salon to view that wonderful piece of 80s (??) kitsch...though I can see that the Black & White Minstrels appearing in the middle of a Fred Astaire number could have given many people the willies. Anyway, more power to you for trying to divert attention away from this maelstrom of madness.

I do hope TPE doesn't see my rather dominant handling of his boasting as encouragement.

What do you mean there WAS talk of film rights ? WAS ?? WAS ??

I'M in talks right now...laptop in one hand and red phone in the other. They say if you'll agree to Dame Judy playing your good self in the bed scene with the dog ends in beer then it's a 'done-deal'...but only if Dame J can specify which side of the bed she sleeps on (her GOOD side) and only if the dog ends are Sobranie Cocktais. She doesn't want to cheapen herself by association with Kensitas or Guards or No. 6...even if it is more cinema verite. Oh and she wants to play it Jewish too and kind of mittel Europe, so what's not to like ?

(BTW, apparently she has a suggestion that it may be good if 'your' lover in the scene is a baostful pseudo Irishman who always has a pencil behind his ear and a notebook at the ready and looks slightly consumptive and Keats-ish)

What thinks you ??

Thanks everso for allowing me to be Jewish too. It really is good if you. Fridays will never be the same again.

tpe said...

Good grief. I seem to have had my reputation utterly ransacked overnight. I am being mocked, surely? Well. I. Never.

Cuspini, mocker-in-chief, hello. Good, I’m glad you had nice weather. It makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I’m actually prepared to believe that summer may finally be on the way. (It’s another glorious day today, incidentally, a day when the ungodly feel God.)

Anyway, yes, it was a terrifically spooky coincidence, the quilt thing. But would two artistic souls really talk about quilts as they spoke to each other through the ether? It’s like when those psychic medium people say they’re talking to the dead and the dead seem to be preoccupied with shatteringly mundane family trivia. Why do these deads never tell us about death itself and the obliterating wonders of the afterlife, say, rather than banging on about Jeanie’s sore back or someone called Micky or Mike or is it Malcolm? I think we need to raise our sights, you know, and stop these telepathic quilt-whispers.

Now you won’t know this, of course, but I went to a Steiner school. I think it seems excitingly apt that a former Steiner boy should compensate for his profound sexual inadequacies by boasting about the size of his (beautifully crafted) hand-made quilt. It’s just as obvious as a balding middle-manager buying a flashy red sports car and zoom-zooming round town with the roof down. In Steiner circles, though, the competitive men don’t ask each other “what are you driving these days, Dave?” No, we ask: “what are you knitting these days, Tarquin?” This is how we slyly test each other and see how far we’ve come in life. And so the quilt thing is really nothing more than an extension (fnarr) of this manly jostling. You got me bang to rights. Quilty as charged. (Oh. I just made myself laugh. Good heavens.)

You went to Art School? Where? Why? Did you take drugs? I’m thinking you must have. Signs takes loads of drugs, you know? I worry for her. But here we all are: a poet, an artist and a Red Hot Love Machine. What were the chances?

(Damn. I must continue my response down below, as Blogger only allows 4,096 characters per answer. Strange, but true.)

tpe said...

Continued from above........

Signs, hello again, I hope you’re having a lovely day. The Pope is Jewish? But.....okay. Hmm. It’s not just my astonishing new maturity that stops me arguing against this, I actually think you may have a point – in a very, very roundabout way and only if one momentarily allows for the possibility of transubstantiation. Nicely done, poet. (Crikey. Do you think we should tell him?)

That’s true, I suppose, about Tracy. I think the belittlers were meaning to say that her bed was hardly even art, though, as they could have done it – and may very well already have done so, as you suggest - themselves (a dangerous argument to begin with). In this light, then, her response may be seen as more crushing (and true): she made it into art and they (we) didn’t.

(Hang on, no. If I’m in a car crash and require a blood transfusion and it transpires that my donor was Muslim, does this then make me (partially) Muslim? Or, if the donor was German, am I now (partially) German, too? I think the Pope may still be a Catholic, you know. Wait – but then there’s the bread. Okay, he’s Jewish. For now.)

But this may raise the question, of course, similar in nature to those circular debates you seem to have with Mr Signs, about just when, exactly, something becomes art. If it’s any consolation, this household is occasionally torn asunder as we attack this exasperatingly slippery question with fury. And by “we”, of course, I mean me and my head – although sometimes, if she’s here, Charlotte joins in. I’m no longer sure where, how or even why such a line is (or must ever be) drawn. It entirely defeats me.

I have an abiding suspicion, though, of those people who seem hellbent on insisting on such classification(s). Such insistence often seems to be accompanied by a nasty sneering and/or palpable sense of intellectual insecurity – an insecurity which may manifest itself in the excessive use of jargon.

Anyway, for me, it usually always comes back down to a variation of the question “who are you, exactly, to tell me what I may or may not consider as art?” Or, conversely, “who am I, exactly, to tell you what you may or may not consider as art?” Like I say, it does my head in. Fix it, Signs, make it better, make the pain go away.

Thoughtfully boastful regards to both of you etc.....


PS. Why would a fish have boots, Signs? That's just crazy talk. You do know that these people don't actually have any feet? You messed up.

Cusp said...

There you are TPE ;O)

I nip off to rustle up a spot of lunch for myself and Child 1, come back and voila ! ..another missive from the Emerald Isle.

Weather not so good here today ;O( Is He trying to tell me something??

I'm rather sad to think you may be casting nasturtiums on the notion that we two creative souls might be able to speak telepathically; even if it is about quilts. I'm sure it must be a more enriching conversation than talking about Jeanie's sore back.

Well, well, well ...another Steinerese. Who would have thunk it ? You won't know this but I have had my own Steiner dabblings (Signs know for she know everfink) so you see we are destined to be simpatico: you with your writing and me with my art school background and our mutual love of quilts.

No I didn't take drugs. Many people thought I WAS abusing such stuff heavily when they looked at my work but it just comes to me naturally like that. What a gift.

See you haven't mentioned my extensive talks about the film rights. Don't you want in? Surely you do --- if only for the chance to meet Dame J. on the red carpet at the premiere. Or is Helen Mirren more likely to float your boat ? I could see if hse's available.

As for art, well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, n'est ce pas ?

Even a fish in boots could be beautiful to him/herself or another boot-loving fish

Anna MR said...

Hmmmmmmm. As a somebody else, I feel I need to start joining in round about now, with a bit more than a muddy puddle to contribute to the proceedings here.

Hello, Poet, hello, Artiste, hello, Red Hot Love Machine. You are all delightful and frightfully clever, artsy and hot. I'm a bit out of my league here, clearly, but here goes for nothing, anyway....

First of all, I will vouch my good name to back up the boastings of TPE. He was indeed reading the Book of Quilts he mentions, when he claims to have been reading it. So the basis for this most uncanny psychic event to baffle science as we know it is truly factual. And yes, a Jew has fed the Jew in me, and that surely makes me a Jew too, and hence what I have to say about the Pope's Jewishness carries extra clout (and an amount of self-protection, too). For, if I may suggest our course of action for the immediate future regarding this matter, right now is deffo not the time to tell the Pope - or indeed anyone about His (un?)Holiness being of the chosen people. Allow me to explain. It may have grabbed your attention, too, that the Catholic in question is currently being demanded by some very eminent and clever people, to be prosecuted for the very, very unpleasant crimes committed by his subordinates, of which crimes he has been aware and which he has actively tried to sweep under the carpet. Also, in another piece of differently-unpleasant-flavoured news, I happened to note that some other Catholic person (an archbishop, something) was suggesting that this whole mess (priests fiddling with kids, the Pope preferring to keep the reputation of the church intact rather than expel those guilty in disgust) didn't actually take place, that it was a Jewish conspiracy. Now this reminds me of a particularly unpleasant period in history, these words put together, and I would absolutely hate it if it got public that the Pope is Jewish, you know, because it would, possibly, allow the Catholic Church a neat way out of the mess - crucify the offending Jew, the state of Vatican remains intact, sullied only by the fact that a Jew managed to infiltrate its highest seat, and so on. You see what I mean? For now, I believe, we stay schtum about the matter, transsubstantiation or no.

As for art. Hmm again. I'm wondering whether I should tell this definition of art I have been given in a real-life situation...okay, I've started so I'll finish. Many years ago, when my children were still small, a couple of friends came over to our house. Rather mortifyingly for me, while they were over, it was discovered that on the wall of my toilet, a little boy whose finger had gone through the paper had drawn a suspiciously-coloured X (quite possibly with no artistic inclination whatsoever, merely to clean his digit) (I have been saving this story, actually, for the unlikely event that they'll ever either get married or graduate, giving me the opportunity to humiliate them in public with a speech. My speech will also include that time when one of them ate cat poo in the garden, believing it to be licorice, and the other time when one had his foreskin stuck between the zip of his jeans, making him wish very much that he was a Jew. Mothers are dangerous people, do please be warned). Anyway, yes, the sorry state of my toilet wall had me highly mortified. Luckily, my friends were clearly artists at heart, as they merely said "someone else, you know, would put a frame around that and then it would be art". So, at least according to some, the definition of art is that it has a frame around it. Now we only need to define "frame" and the elusive concept of art should be in a bag.

I've a feeling I'm exceeding the magical, mysterious 4,096 limit, too. Let's see. We'll deal with it when we get there....

Anna MR said...

So yes, then onto the more specific art question of The Bed and The Quilt. And whether to gallery or to exhibit at the dump ("site-specific", I believe the term is). My suggestion is this:

A set of black-and-white photographs is taken of the bed in situ. These can be blown up to be the size of a gallery wall, and possibly coloured with hyper-realistic colours here and there (perhaps through a green filter, or similar). This series will form the first exhibit at the Bedrospective (no, okay, that was terrible. Sorry). The second room will house The Quilt. I see this in in a very high-ceilinged gallery, so that the quilt with all the names hangs from many, many metres above the viewer, dwarfing the awed observer with its magnificence, settling onto the gallery floor in luscious folds, hiding and exposing the names of the Chosen and Lucky quite arbitrarily (like life is arbitrary, right, and luck, too, no?). I don't think TPE needs to worry about whether his stiching is good enough for this Bayeux Tapestry of Lust and Thrust - he creates the design, and we can get some poorly-paid people from a peanut country to do the actual stitching. In fact, we can make it a "work in progress", and have a tiny Russian granma (in appropriate costume) and a similar-sized oriental girl-child (aged perhaps between six and ten) stitching more names, quietly, as the gallery visitors look on in religious wonder. And the third room will house The Bed - and I do see the room as TPE describes it - big, white-walled, otherwise bare, polished wooden floor, the bed placed statementesque in the middle. We can, of course, have a copy of the bed made and left at the dump, with a webcam film real-life cast upon a screen either in the same room or another, the forest creatures' and dump-dwellers' activities and interactions with The Bed Copy documented as they happen.

I think we have a winning formula. Now it's just time to lay back and wait for the Saatchi guy to see the sheer enormity of what's going on over here.

In the meantime, I remain,

Yours truly, all three of you

x x x

Cusp said...

Well Miss Finn you have truly excelled in the way you have taken on our project. Sometimes all it takes is an objective eye to really see the true potential of creative endeavour.

What I suggest is that you carry on with plans for the site-specific installation and gallery stuff and get in touch directly with Chas S. Love the idea of sending off quilt design and materials to peanut country (as you put it so quaintly) but might I suggest a certain twist (or sting !) in this idea. Instead of using peasant people why don't we ask some lowly nuns ? Do you see where I'm heading, dear ?: nuns>> R.C. >> the jewish connection etc. And then we could see if they could maybe entwine locks of their hair with the other threads they are using.

Meanwhile I could be pursuing the film angle since I'm already more than 50% there. Dame J and I are on twittering terms and hope to meet very soon in the Wimpy in Ipswich for a kind of 'burger and business' lunch.

Of course we cannot go ahead with any of this without hearing back from Signs and TPE. Not sure where they've gone off to. No doubt TPE is correct in his assertion that Signs is drugged up to the eyeballs again, propped up against a tree in her forest and huumming merry tunes to herself as she sees pretty colours in the leaves above. TPE is probably watching the gee gees on telly and eating a pastie.

Does also occur to me that with your dramatic, thespian leanings you might want a part in the film. We could either have you listed as '..and Special Guest Star' or 'also starring..'

Just a thought. I'll leave it with you.

Reading the Signs said...

Dahlings! - absolutely fat-ee-gay after a day of walking swimming, Shrinking (it's not easy being a lady of leezhure dammit), so not in a fit state to throw in my pearls of insight, wit and eruditery just now. But lovely to see y'all here and listen to the hum of y'all's voices, what with Icey-maiden's reappearance and all.

TPE - can I just say that I don't feel entirely happy about you backing down from the Red Hot Love Machine persona - reconstructed Grauniad male has its place, but wolfish cad and bounder will always catch the eye of the discerning chick and will work better in our Blogoslavian drama. A thought.

L8rs, allig8rs. (now where are those drugs?)

Anna MR said...

Cusptastic - yes, yes, yes. Nuns. Of course. In fact, we'll have naked nuns (dressed only in wimple and crucifix necklace and Bride of Christ ring on wedding finger) stitching the names in, as you suggest, strands of their own hair. Oh, it just keeps on getting better.

I'm thinking about the listing thing, yes. Something like "With...Anna MR" or "With Special Appearance from...". I don't like "Also Starring" so much. It seems to suggest that I'm somehow not quite as big a star as Judy. And that's hardly right or fair.

Signstastic? After a day like that, gurl, you need the drugs. Go to it, go to it. Quick.

TPEtastic? Hasten here, I have provided you with naked nuns.

x x x

Anna MR said...

No, wait. I have it now. "With Anna Herself".



Reading the Signs said...

Just emerging from purple haze to say, concerning the dastardly doings of the four-by-twos, have a look at this - I couldn't have put it better myself.

Laila tov, dahlings

Cusp said...

See Signsie, I just KNEW you'd just been on blogger recently and should hasten to mine own laptop and respond. It IS all telepafik 'n that, innit ? Never mind what old Doubting Thomas say.

Glad you've managed to rouse yourself from your drug addled haze. Now stop talking to that unicorn (you're not QUITE back yet, are you dear?) and listen up.

I hope you've been reading the latest conversation between The Spy and myself because we've sorted out her listing for the film and I'm about to sort out the naked nuns(as in arrange their appearance and fee). Think we should go for naughty naked nuns myself and what think you about me trying to get in touch with Fenella Fielding as Mother Superior ? Too camp ? kitsch ? She does a lovely wimple and as for the nudity we could always employ a swathe of gauze -- she is in her 70s after all.

Now, I was rather afraid to open your link (as the Irishman said to the Nun) but now I have I'm glad because it reinforces my feeling that somewhere in this extravaganza we should have a Pope -- not The Pope, you understand (he'd be far too expensive) -- but a Papal figure or presence in a confession booth.

Once you've had your 6th expresso and Gitane see if you can haul your way to the keyboard and respond will you dahling ?

MWA !!!

Reading the Signs said...

ok, folks, so first things first: we can all agree that the pope is banned from Jewclub and should on no account be made to get wind of this, or anything. But we might give the queen a chance. Not sure about her husband though. But this is just by the bye.

Now look here, Anna - Cusp, there are too many nuns in all this for my liking. But if we have to have them (and I like all the nakedness, don't get me wrong) then I would really want them to have blacked-up faces as per the vid I put up - just the faces, mind, not the rest of the body. And I'd also like to see them got up with big, Fagin-style hook noses. You get the picture, yes? It's got to be so post postmodern that there simply aren't enough posts to encompass it. The site-specific idea is brilliant, but you know I favour the whole thing being centred in the dump, with dump-dwellers roped in as part of the whole exhibition. This will enrage much of the Edge-dwelling community, but that's as should be. We want to make waves. And, more importantly, I want to be famous, and reckon this is my best chance of having a stab at it. Plus I will be taking drugs as per so would need to actually be crashing on the bed as and when necessary.

If there has to be a pope-figure in this, then TPE must obviously be him (also with blackface), and as for the rest - we should all play ourselves, extreme versions of. Er - and I don't mind starring in this, so it could say with Anna MR, Cusp and TPE, starring RTS - if that seems agreeable to the rest of you?

Mwa? Mwah!!!

Cusp said...

Well, all that is all well and good but what about Fenella ?????

BTW....LOVE the blacked-up nuns idea...genius dahling, but what say you that they also have massive rosaries i.e. so heavy that they walk with a stoop: it could symbolise the wealth of the RC church and also sort of link with archetypal Fagin posture ?

Of course TPE should play Pope (though do you think we should consider a cod-piece ? ...just to cover his 'embarassment') Ditto to site i.e. dump amd dump dwellers.

Not so sure re. billing in final production. I KNOW you are hell bent on fame and, since I believe you are within the radar (geographically) of Katie Price/Jordan, no doubt it would be easp-peasy to nip over there and get tutorial re. world domination but in the end, you know, you are supposed to be among FRIENDS and there is the little matter of loyalty so I really think that we should share the billing i.e. we are all starring but with (I suppose) you at the top of the list. After all it is your blog and you did start all this and I REALLY don't want to get into a sort of Crawford/Davis feud before the bloody picture is even made.

BTW...if we are all 'starring' where would that leave Dame J and, maybe, Fenella ? 'with special guest star' mayhap ?

Cusp said...


Given the last link you posted, this isn't anything to do with you is it ?

tpe said...

Signs. Cusp. Finlander.

Oh. My. God.

I have no idea whatsoever about anything any of you are going on about at all. What on earth happened to the haunting simplicity of my original vision? Naked, blacked-up nuns and Pope’s with.....well, never mind. I’ll just have to row back and try to remember where I was...........let’s see.

Right. I’m trying to think if I could have possibly known beforehand about this Steinery connection of yours, Cusp – my memory is a disaster zone, I’m afraid. I’ll need to ask Signs; she’ll know if I knew.

What are your credentials, Mrs? Are we talking teaching? Or maybe you attended one of these schools as a child? Or maybe Child 1 goes to such a school? Or maybe you have simply looked into the philosophy behind these schools and thought “for the love of Mary, these people are properly whacked and not a little sinister with it – and where do they get off acting all superior to the rest of us”? Oh, how the mind boggles.

What else were you saying? Okay, yes, you didn’t take drugs in Art School? But that’s utterly impo.....oh, I see. Right. Aha. Got you. Shh. Mum’s the word. A nod’s as good as a wink, Cuspadelic. Crack cocaine, was it? Messy business. ‘Splains a lot, though. Poor wee thing, are you still using? Must be. Oh dear oh dear, what a terribly sad story. You’re so very brave to share this, you know? You’ll be an inspiration to many a boggle-eyed drug-licker. Well done, Cusp, we’re all proud of you. Oh me oh my, crack cocaine – who would have thunk it? *Sigh*

So, to recap: you love quilts, you’re a bit Steinery and you’re Jewish, too. It’s like looking at myself in the mirror, for sure - and that’s a bountifully pleasurable sight, let me tell you. You know what? If it wasn’t for the old crack cocaine thing, Cuspolini, you’d make a pretty tidy bit of skirt for someone. I don’t suppose you like cricket, do you?

(Continued below......give me ten minutes.)

tpe said...

Signs – I was just saying to Cusp there how brave she’d been to come out and admit to her addiction so publicly. I was reading between the lines, it’s true, but this is what makes me so phenomenally successful with women: I actually listen to what they’re trying to say. You lot seem to love that kind of thing.

How are you doing today? Still knackered from yesterday? I liked the thing about the Pope you linked to, by the way. Nicely written and funny (although not so funny, really, if you think about it). I just can’t make head nor tail of your Youtube thing, however. It’s like I’m entering a world I simply don’t understand. It leaves me confused. (No, I mean really confused. Almost anxious.)

Bless you, of course, for suggesting that I give full expression to the Red Hot Love Machine side of my (flawless) character, but you may be labouring under a slight misapprehension.

In the unholy trinity of “poet, artist and Red Hot Love Machine”, you see – and please forgive this immodesty – I rather saw myself as the artist. I know I’m new to the art game and that this is my first installation/film/musical/borderline porn show type of thing, but I sort of felt I deserved the accolade.

That I am a RHLM, of course, should go without saying – all the evidence certainly seems to point to that fact (witness the unfolding magnificence of the seamlessly epic Bayeux Tapestry of Lust and Thrust) – it’s just that on this particular occasion, Signs, I was flying under a different banner. Did I trick you? Did I trick all the women? (This is why men are paid more, you know? We actually deserve it.)

(Continued below......give me ten minutes. Or, you know, don't.)

tpe said...

Anna MR, hello. Your (original) artistic vision was exemplary. I especially liked the idea of a very, very poorly paid grandmother and little girl stitching diligently, silently, no breaks for a cup of tea-ily. God, how I hope their fingers bleed (for the art, you understand). Can they be Russian? I’d like that.

Right so, but this harrowingly grim vision of yours caused terrible excitements, dark, toxic excitements – the kind of wrong-joy excitement that gets people arrested, anyway. So that was absolutely super. Thanks.

You seem a bit cross with the Pope. Are you a bit cross with the Pope? I’m a bit cross with the Pope. I’m a bit cross with the whole Catholic church, in fact. Are you? You may have noticed today that the Vatican just put something up on their website; guidelines for what to do in the event of a child abuse complaint (against a member of the clergy). Those people working within the Catholic church have been instructed that in the event of such a complaint they must now inform the police – as opposed to keeping it secret.

Forgive me, but I think it’s a legitimate concern to question the moral fibre of the kind of people who actually need to be told to do such a thing. It’s very hard not to go off on wild vitriolic bender, a means of satisyfing the absolute rage felt against these wicked, wicked men and those people who would shield them, placing the reputation of their church above.....well, everything. But we’re civilised people here, so let’s not.

Where was I? Yes, naked nuns. You are giving me naked nuns? I have naked nuns, thanks. I’m in Oireland, for pity’s sake, everyone’s a nun here. Even me. (I’m a pretty good nun, actually.) To see them as all being naked requires some special imaginations, admittedly, but I’m a terrfically imaginitive man-legend, as you’ll be gaspingly aware, so no worries there.

I have a terrible feeling that I’ve written far, far too much. I blame everyone but me (there was a lot to take in). I think I should probably be quiet now, Anna MR, and allow you – allow everyone, really – to marvel at my rare gifts in silence.

It’s always special to run into you, lovely Anna.

Warm, friendly, happy regards to all three of you,


Reading the Signs said...

hot on your heels, TPE, so watch it. But if you are not the Red Hot Love Machine, then who is? Surely not moi - is it?

Well, blimey. I need to think about this, I really do.

tpe said...

I leave it to others to divvy up the remaining titles between themselves. As an artist, Signs, I float above such earthly concerns – as you can imagine.

Hello. I’ve just received an email in which some very lovely things were said. Not about me, vexingly enough, but about you. What do you say to that? I agreed with everything that was said – which is even more baffling. Don’t waste your time asking for the identity of this mysterious well-wisher nor about the things they actually said – such betrayals of trust are impossible to countenance – just bask awhile in the knowledge that people talk favourably behind your back. That’s got to feel nice, surely?

Mildly envious regards etc.....


Reading the Signs said...

what - someone is saying nice things behind my back? Well that is lovely, to be sure, but how can you think I won't ask who and what? Come on, TPE, just whisper it to me.

It could be a rather good trend to start though, couldn't it? The opposite to malicious back-biting - spreading complimentary loveliness about people behind their backs. Apropos of which, there is talk of you also, de temps en temps - just saying.

Cusp said...

TPE I think you are doing an bit of supposi' here. I never said I had any dabblings with crack. The simple fact is that I am so cracked myself that,looking at my work, people thought I was on crack.

Of course, everyone is a nun in Oireland (lucky you) but are they blacked up to the neck and are they carrying heavy rosaries ? They're not are they ? Be honest...and that's what makes that notion special. I'm sure it will pull in the punters.

And what's this about people saying nice things about Signs to you behind her back ? Why aren't they saying nice things about ME I should like to know.

And STILL nobody has told me what we are to do about Dame J and Fenella. Dame J is now threatening to pull out of the Ipswich lunch date and poor Fenella, at 71, has been on hold for 23 hours now and is very fat-i-gay. We should be looking after these National Treasure, not taking them for granted.

A very petulant Cusp

Reading the Signs said...

sorry to but in here, and I shouldn't really spill the beans, but I can reveal that someone has been doing this very thing, Cuspinella - behind your back, and I'm not at liberty to say where, when and to whom.

But TPE, you can still tell me, I'm a poet and therefore not subject to rules and such that apply to everyone else, ok?

Cusp, I met FF when I was 10 - at a wedding reception. She had big, I mean biiiig false eyelashes. And that's about all I remember concerning her.

Cusp said...

Yes FF has always used huge false eye lashes and always set them outside her natural eye outline --- looks great from a distance and weird cl.-up.

I have a rellie who shared a dressing room with her in the '50s when Revue was all the rage and I could tell you a few stories !!! Lovely person though if a little eccentric but what's not to like about eccentricity ?

Are you saying in a roundabout way that we shouldn't use FF because of the vast eyelash bill we may incur. I hear that Dame J is very frugal with her eyelashes.

tpe said...

No can do, Signs. Not now, not ever. Can you imagine? Just the one breach of trust and the whole thing comes crashing down. It just can’t be done.

People need to know that my inbox is a place where they can relax and take their clothes off, with an utmost privacy ensured. Hunted, haunted celebrities hang out in my inbox, you know? Oh yes. I don’t mean that I write to these people, simply that they’re there, milling around, sharing their to-die-for celebrity secrets in the absolute safety of my inbox. It can be quite annoying, actually, if I’m trying to get a bit of work done – but what’s a guy to do? I’ve tried shouting over to them: “hey, Slebs, d’you want to pipe down already? Some of us are trying to get some work done. Jeez....”

Maybe it’s their money or their fame or a heightened sense of entitlement, Signs – I don’t know - but they just keep wittering on, barely pausing to hear me out. The politicians are the worst.

Isn’t this just simply the most charming “no” you’ve ever had?

Cusper the Petulant Ghost, we meet again. During your first paragraph, alas, the reception was a bit poor (internet gremlins, no doubt) and so I’m not sure I got everything you said. This is what I heard:

“TPE I think you I.....said I had.......dabblings with crack. The simple fact is I am so cracked....(indecipherable interlude)...... I was on crack...."

I admire you, you know? It’s not easy to come out with that stuff. And since you’re being so searingly honest and raw, I should probably tell you what first alerted me to your (clearly out of control) problem: your demand for a 70% commission.

Who, I asked myself as I stroked my beard – I quickly grew a beard specially, just so that I had something uncontroversial to stroke as I asked myself the question (men can do this) – but a crack-crazed junkie with a voracious habit to feed would dare to attempt such a brazen, desperate act of daylight robbery? I didn’t have you pegged as a stockbroker, Cusp, and so the rest was fairly simple.

Just you stay strong, okay? You’re amongst friends.

Well, we certainly all wear the habit here in Oireland. As nuns, of course, we’d be crazy not to. Shopkeepers, train drivers, doctors, the gardai, bank managers, sports teams.....? Nuns, the lot of them. I used to find it disconcerting at first, but not anymore. It’s quite nice, really, when everyone is dressed the same; sort of makes you feel part of something.

We do all carry heavy rosaries, Cusp, so you’re wrong about that, but you’re correct to say that we’re not all blacked-up. There are moves afoot to change this, of course – a referendum has been called for early next year – but I concede your point that blacked-up nuns may still be sufficiently novel to draw in the punters. Don’t say I’m not good to you.

Multiple regards all over the place etc...


Reading the Signs said...

hey, you know what? I have just had an email that is saying lovely things about all of us. This is of course very nice - and gratifying to know that our little salon is finding its place in the world, making it a better and brighter place. As long as everyone knows that I'm the Star. Sorry, but that notion just lodged itself in my head and now I can't get rid of it.

The WVLs are saying senedemp, which I think must refer to the art installation - seen at the dump.

Cusp said...

Go on then.....spill....spill.

Where's a copy of this appreciative missive eh ?

STAR billing ?: well, I suppose it's only fair as it is your blog after all and we've just piggybacked your post.

Mind you I want a decent Winnebago when we do the film and good lighting. Dump or no dump, a professional always makes sure that the face is well lit.

Oh, and I think We Four should insist on personal chefs and trainers (you, in particular should insist on the latter: you have to maintain the swimming prowess -- just thinking of your welfare dahling).

Dame J and FF can have their meals brought to them as they're Equity and the riff-raff ( nuns, 'Pope', peasants etc.) can eat in the canteen with the sparks and chippies and any other of the crew.

Oh and I want a car to collect and take me home. A large one; very large. With whitewalls and a jazzy horn that plays 'I Will Survive' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Think that's all.

O.K. ?

Reading the Signs said...

Yes of course, to everything, even "I Will Survive" (shouldn't that be appearing in the Cusp catalogue of Awful But Unforgettables?)

But what I came here to say is that I saw the bedframe/art installation again today at the dump. You would have thought that after all the noise we made down here (and we have been observed, make no mistake about that) people would have been falling over themselves, running to stake their claim on it. The maitre de dump was there with cronies, playing cards and barely registered me coming in with my three full bags of books. I could have walked off with the bedframe and no-one would have noticed. But it looks right at home where it is.

tpe said...

They lack vision, Signs. That's always the problem with other people, they just lack vision. The inspired artist cannot be expected to satisfy a dull man (or the maitre de dump), as Blake or somebody similar once said. We need to rise above their (baffling) indifference and console ourselves with the comforting thought of our own very marked superiorities. That's what I'm going to be telling myself, anyway, and I suggest you do something similar. It sort of helps.

Reading the Signs said...

- and you know what, TPE, time was when you could get locked up for having vision. Still can, so we the elite have to whisper to each other, for can you imagine what maitre de dump would say if I pointed out the artistic attributes of the frame. Well firstly he would be pissed off, as he was the other day, because I interrupted his card game, and secondly he would think I was off my trolley. And then if I came in with Cusp and Anna with a blacked-up face in the altogether (apart from the wimple around our faces) my guess is that he would call the authorities. Life among the philistines, TPE - I suppose we just get used to it.

It's good to talk with one's peers.

Cusp said...

EXCUSE ME if I interrupt this merry banter but I'm not being relegated to some bl**dy bit part.

What do you mean:
'if I came in with Cusp and Anna with a blacked-up face in the altogether (apart from the wimple around our faces)' ????

Is there some inference here that I should play the part of a lowly nun in this 'piece de dump' ?

I should Coco !!!

I want something to get my teeth into; something that will reflect my artistic stature and rigour and I dare say Anna would say the same (though of course, at the mo, she can neither see these missives, nor hear our cries for all communication to her is obliterated by some dreadful Nordic spew from up some wretched volcano round her way)

Now, you two, you listen to me. I already stated the sort of part I want, the billing and the accomodation and transport I require. Without any of these in my contract and without adherence to my usual riders *, I'm afraid I shall have to pull out from this production.

It's up to you but it'll be your loss if I go (and what's that whisper I can hear in a vaguely Irish accent about Prima Donnas). If you're not careful TPE I'll make sure everyone thinks you really are jewish (from the neck, or slightly further, down ---- if you get my drift ) I was always very good with a paring knife, so be warned.

Thank you and good night !

* Riders:
1)All dressing room and amke-up areas to be decorated in Farrow and Ball's 'Callas in Springtime'
2)Endless supply of 1928 Krug
3) All floors carpeted in periwinkle blue
4) one half dozen persian cats to adorn said areas with own personal staff to groom, toilet and pet
5) 1962 Ford Zephyr in black with violet, velvet seats and full sound system (this to keep you on your toes -- try finding one !), whitewall tyres and headlining depicting a head and shoulders shot of Diana Dors looking to her left.
6) connecting door to Dame J's suite so that we might amuse ourselves with merry thespian banter and wit.
7) silver bowls containing Maltesers, Monster Munch, sweet shrimps and Curlywurlies to be avaialble and replenished at all times
8) a chaise longue in magenta, button back leather, with nubian person holding large feathered fan (in viridian green) to waft at times of stress and ennui

tpe said...

Your demands seem reasonable, Cusp, and firmly earthed in the realms of a practical reality. If Signs doesn’t supply everything you ask for I’d be very, very surprised. There’s been a bit of a rush on the “Callas in Springtime” range, though – you see the power of your celebrity endorsement? - so you may have to settle for Farrow & Ball’s Eco Exterior Primer and Undercoat. Apart from that, I see no problems.

But what’s this? “If you're not careful TPE I'll make sure everyone thinks you really are Jewish….” You make this sound like a bad thing, as if such a notion might offend. A contrario, Cuspolini, I should feel honoured to be thought of as Jewish. Pack a spade, knock yourself out.

Health & Safety, Signs, that’s what he’d get you for; that pitiless, most wretched and artless maitre de dump. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that they – The Authorities - don’t like nudity at the municipal dump. It’s almost impossible not to fall foul of some joyless health & safety bylaw whilst trying to dispose of bottles and batteries in a state of elegant undress. And there’s no going before the beak and pleading dump-specific performance art, either - it just doesn’t wash. Philistines, the lot of them, and just not the sort of people we artists should mix with.

And yet here you are, to all intents and purposes, destroying books. Why do you hate books, Signs? That’s not trebly sofistercated of you.

Clever, manly regards to both etc.....


Reading the Signs said...

No - what - hang on there just a moment. Blimey. Last things first:

TPE this is a dump where people come and get second hand stuff for a pittance, and sometimes for free. The bed frame is waiting with all sorts of other bits of furniture, old records, kitchen appliances (and now my books) for someone to come and buy/take away. There are recycling bins too, but my books weren't headed there. Sometimes people leave fridges and washing machines. It's a strange in-between kind of place and Maitre d' is a strange in-between kind of a person - not exactly ill-disposed, but not well-disposed either. I have a feeling he might enjoy getting someone for health and safety, just for the hell of it. He has been there forever. Actually, I think he belongs with 'our' installation. He might even have been responsible for the immortal words scratched on the bed frame.

Cusp, what are you on about? As far as I'm concerned, I thought we were all supposed to be blacked up nuns with nothing on. I wasn't particularly keen on the idea, but you know me - a good sport - so I went along with the idea (where is Anna? She needs to take the rap for some of this).

But hey, you're talking my language with Farrow and Ball, for I've just Farrow and Balled an entire flat (not personally, you understand) and can confirm what TPE says - they are clean out of Callas in Springtime, but you can have Hiroshima and Volcanic Ash instead as this comes at a knock-down price. No problem with the Maltesers and Curlywurlies but sweet shrimps can't be got for love nor money round these parts, believe me I've tried.

Re the Jewish thing: people on the Edge kept coming up to me when Son was younger and learning cello. He was a musical So and So and the peeps did keep on about how this was a very Jewish thing, us being so artistic, and you know. And then they waited for me to look pleased because of the compliment, but I just looked like I usually look - vaguely baffled with one eye cocked on the green man running into oblivion above the exit sign.

Reading the Signs said...

um - but I still think I should have the starring role because, well, it was me that first saw the objet d'art, and I just feel, I don't know - Chosen. I suppose I always knew I was star-studded material.

Cusp said...

Firstly dear Signs, of course y ou should have the starring role: that was never in dispute. You are the originator of this piece. However, it was my understanding (and Anna is to blame for this so where is she ?)that the 'parts' of the nuns were to be 'played' by real nuns instead of the peasants and little people previously suggested. After all we do, surely, want to be surrounded by humble people who embrace humility in our prescence

No, dear, the nuns can be doing those smaller parts themselves. It is We, We Four, who should be having the more elevtaed roles with Dame J and FF (though you still haven't said yeh or neh to poor FF who is just sat sitting there, waiting by the phone in her little Chelsea flatlet hoping beyond hope that you might grant her this last opportunity to really show what she's made of i.e. a lttle more than Review and 'Do you mind if I smoke ?' in that frightful Horror Carry On film) filling in with suitably lovely smaller cameo roles.

Now, TPE, about the paint in my rooms/suite.

I'm afraid your alternatives are far from acceptable. Never in my life have I been known to spend any time at all in a room painted in undercoat or exterior daubings. No, if I cannot have the 'Callas' paint then the only alternative if F&B's 'Cartland's Gossamer Kiss'. It's very, very exclusive (like moi) and very expensive. In fact I had only suggested the Callas because I didn't want to appear pretentious, but if there is no Callas then Cartland it has to be. It is after all an 'homage' to Dame Barbara and everything she was and I aspire to be. Did I tell you that I recently got a shitz tzu ? and that I eat and moisturise with nothing but Suffolk honey ? Leaves me all dewy and creatively aroused.

Oh yes, that other business re. making sure everyone thought you were of the Jewish persuasion -- just my little joke really and of course it's not a bad thing to be thought Jewish. After all we're all Jewish here now, aren't we ? It was just that I rather felt you were being a little spiteful and I couldn't help but extend my own claws. Still, I could oblige if you'd liek me too. After all, if you're in the steam room with the lads it might be rather nice to be able to prove your persuasion (if you know hat I mean -- religious rather than any other way !!)

As I said before, I'm very good with a paring knife and I do have a St John's badge for First Aid and a certificate in 'Wound Handling, Tourniquet and administering of rectal valium should there be any seepage or undue distress after the procedure.

Just a thought: do have a ponder, dear.

Well must rush. Scripts to learn, calls to make, honey to apply and must let puppy out for a tinkle.

Caio! Mwah !!! x

Reading the Signs said...

Sorry, Cuspie, but there was never any chance of FF having a role in this artistic venture because (and I mean this in a completely non-sexist, non-ageist kind of a way), she is well past it and I was never much into her anyway. To be honest. (It has recently come to me that if one puts "to be honest" at the end of something, one can say just about anything and it's all, somehow, justified.)

And not meaning to be in any way controversial here, but it is a matter of historical fact that it is often a very, very bad thing to be thought Jewish, or even of the Jewish persuasion. Which is presumably why we keep being told we're so artistic and intellectual - to make up for the badness of it. Or something.

ok, I'm off to make latkes, lokshen and gedempte carrot balls now. Except that those are all Ashkenazy things and I, as any fule can see from my profile pic, am from the Sephardic line. Actually I think I'll get fish and chips. Feeling a bit, you know. Rough today.

Cusp said...

Well to be honest I think it's a pity that you feel FF is 'well past it' but there you are: it's your show, darling. I shall have to break the news to Fenella very gently. The last time she cried really badly there was so much dilute mascara around they had to call in professional cleaners to mop up and then the poor soul was taking on any work offered to try and foot the bill.

Yes I know it's often a bad thing to be thought jewish but, honestly, with this artistic temperament, my love of anything from Blooms and my childhood devotion to Alma Cogan and Larry Adler how could I claim to be anything else but ? It's true that I went to Sunday School, was confirmed and have cruifixes all over the house but in my heart I know I must be jewish -- bad or not. That's just me and I'm proud of it.

Sorry you're feeling lousy today. Why schlepp out for fish n chips when there are matzos in the larder and I've just made this huge vat of chicken soup ? Come round and try some and then afterwards I'll give you some of Dame Barbara's famous honey cake: cures all ills dear.

Actually, I hear tell it is to be endorsed by a strange little fellow: some doctor called Weazle or Weseel or Wesley or someting.
He might be a Methodist with that name. Then again he could be jewish.

tpe said...

Signs. Cusp.

So this might be classed as more of a market than a dump, Signs? Civilised. At the main Clonakilty dump/recycling plant – my former local – there was a big sign saying “Strictly No Scavenging”. I know this sign was aimed more at gypsies and Romanians or some such – and ha ha ha about that, of course – but decent, middle-class, attractive arty types could get caught in this culturally bankrupt crossfire, too. Awful. Such a waste of waste.

Yes, I can picture your maitre de dump scrawling those words on the bedframe. Without wishing to be coarse, naturally, but I wonder if he sobbingly.....let’s see, trying to think of a nice way to put this.......disfigures himself (morally and sexually) whilst chanting these words over and over again? Or maybe he picks up demented visitors to the dump and makes them say these words as he....well, as he goes about his business, thus slaking his fell desires and/or at least scratching the itch of those tempestuously pent-up and excitedly angry confusions. I hope you’re not eating as you contemplate the inside of my head, Signs. (It’s all in the name of art, though, so don’t worry, we can get away with lots.)

Anyway, just ask the dump guy if any or all of the above is true. What’s the worst that could happen? Bye then, Signs.

So, on I went. I think I never saw
Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve....

Cusp. Hello. How are you doing? Whilst I nod appreciatively towards your seemingly endless desire to inflict bodily violence upon me with a knife – exciting stuff, J’ai vraiment l’impression d’avoir pris la pilule bleu - I cannot, of course, respond in kind. I went to Finishing School, alas, and so fall elegantly shy of the rough-edged machismo necessary to make similar sorts of threats in return. (I’m thinking terrible thoughts, though, if that’s any consolation?)

Far more pressing, however: you aspire to Barbara Cartlandism? She wore pink. She’s dead. That’s it, Cusp, I’m clean out of Barbara. This wretched ignorance of all things BC leaves me thinking that you either long to wear pink or be dead. Hardy aspirations, for sure, although one of them seems a teensy bit inconsiderate.

I once had a pink t-shirt. I sometimes wore it beneath a (Starsky and Hutch-ish, I felt) yellow jacket. I share these grave images, young Cuspara, only so that you might avoid falling into a similar trap. It’s never too late to stop thinking about wearing pink. It can only lead to bad things. I got out in the nick of time.

Signs wears a (crinkly) purple shellsuit, you know? This is where pinkness may lead. Don’t ever say I didn’t warn you. Bye then, Cusp.

Bye then, both.

Cusp said...

Ah...just as it went all quiet Mr Periodical rouses and stokes the embers.

Well darling , I'm afraid that's all this is for me now...embers. For one, nobody has agreed to my demands,.... I mean 'stated wishes' and for two no-one with whom I might work disses Dame B....ever.

Pink is a very beautiful colour and one that suits moi; though anyone with any taste would know never to wear it with yellow. I believe Mr Blobby was yellow and pink and that says it all really. The only example I can think of where yellow and pink 'work' is in the Warhol cow wallpaper which adorns my bidet room: original of course...Andy sent it over specially.

Finally, I now have other plans you see. There are some people in this world who recognise star talent when they see it and so I am about to feature in a new 'vehicle for stardom': namely the re-remake of Crossroads with moi in the Noelle Gordon role swathed in rapturous pink (i.e more than a nod and a wink to my inspiration). They have promised the Callas paint and I am to have my own suite with freshly cut peonies everyday and nubian slave to wash my feet with rose water after every how could I refuse

I know this must be a blow to you but I could put in a good word for you with Dame Judy if you like. Alternatively I believe there was a role in the first and original series of 'XRds' for a very small and rather irritating yet humble Scottish sous chef. I see no reason why, with a little persuasion from me and a whisper in the right shell-likes, such a role could not be reconstituted for you but with an Irish twist. Or maybe you could be the new Bennie. Do you suit a wollen bobble hat, can you hold a spanner convincingly and can you do the Brum accent, 'Miss Diane '? It's very quaint I hear tell -- teh brum accent ...not Miss Diane (I believe Joanie C may be taking that role: poor dear must try anything now her glory days In Dynasty are over)

Anyway, Caio baby and good luck with it all. Must dash....scripts, facials, honey, trip to know..the usual humdrum stuff

tpe said...

Farewell then, Cusp. It would be lovely to ask you to reconsider, but I can’t quite bring myself to want to. Irreconcilable artistic differences aside, however, I’m bound by convention (like the PM writing a letter to some errant minister who has been forced to resign after being caught on Hampstead Heath comparing man-gadgets with a touring group of underage Venezuelan footballers) to wish you well in your future career and to say what a valued member of the team you’ve been and how very sorry I am that these “misunderstandings” have forced you to step down.

All lies, of course, but I’m a stickler for the conventional in these matters. This defection – this betrayal – of yours, however, needn’t be a bad thing for The Collective (or The Pair, as some snide elements in the press have already started to call us – how we laughed). All the great movements (Communism, Take That etc etc) suffer from these splinters at some point, you see, and the acrimonious sniping with which you and I may now freely engage will surely also keep the broadsheets happy. If we can manipulate Peter Andre into this artistic stramash, then we may get the tabloids interested, too. How hard can it be? All things considered, I’d say we were ahead of the curve.

And by “we”, sadly, I don’t - can’t - include you. It would be a stretch, perhaps, to say that I worried about these things, but I do greedily imagine that you may just have taken the door marked “5th Beatle”.

You may have to resign yourself to both Thingyism and The Slightly Mis-Remembered Name Syndrome. Pedestrians will nudge each other, saying: “isn’t that Thingy....what’s her name? Ach. You know, Thingy, the one who left The Collective and tried her hand at what’s it called in somehwere or other? Wow. She’s aged. Crisp! Oh, that was going to annoy me. Yes, Crisp from The Collective, I remember now. She’s got to be spitting mad, no?”

It’s going to hurt, Crisp, especially when you overhear these same citizens as they clock me getting out of my flying car ten years hence: “Isn’t that Lord TPE of Strathkelvin, patron of the arts, inventive genius, the guy who started out with that hauntingly simple bed installation and made millions – now billions – and then bought Greece and hasn’t stopped having sex ever since? Wow. He looks even richer than he does on TV. Oh, and look, he’s kept his little pet monkey, RTS. Throw her a peanut, Dave, poor thing looks famished.”

And if you think that’s bad, then imagine the scene in twenty years time: “Isn’t that His Imperial Excellence, His Most Royal and Sacred Majesty, Emperor of The Federation of Planets, Lord TPE of Strathkelvin and Surrounding Galaxies? The guy who started out.......”

You know the rest.

And as I’m swept into the stadium (for sex and money) by adoring citizens, I’ll notice a strange old woman in pink, selling pencils from a cup.

“Excuse me,” I’ll say, with a nod in your direction, “but aren’t you Barbabra Cartland? Good grief, I thought you were dead! I once knew someone who was a great fan of yours, you know? What was her name again, Signs?

“I believe it was “Clasp”, Your Excellency. I’m ever so hungry...”

“Clasp! That’s it. Yes, a real fan. She would have been thrilled to have met you.”

Look, I’m not saying that these things are all cast-iron certainties to happen, okay, just that the wheels are in motion, Clasp, and you’ve only yourself to blame. As a former friend and ally, I feel it’s only right to warn you of what may lie ahead. This is necessarily my last act of kindness towards you, of course, which is why I didn’t buy a pencil in twenty years time.

Concerned regards, dipped in (artistic) acid etc....


(I don’t know what a Birmingham accent sounds like – if this is what you mean by “Brum”? Just as soon as one emerges, I close down, shut my ears, look away, hum - which is why I remain ignorant to this day of what my brother-in-law actually does for a living.)


Cusp said...

In your dreams, Tiger !

TS said...

Reading the Signs said...

Nothing wrong with pink. But Barbara Cartland was a transvestite, lets just be clear about this. She looked like Danny La Rue, or he looked like her, but the thing is: I am absolutely convinced that BC was a man. I have nothing against Ladyboys as such - they come to Brighton every year, and a good time is had by all.

I don't know who I'm addressing here: hi Cusp, shalom TPE.

TPE? I am not a pet monkey, and you jolly well know it. I am a scheming Devilwoman who has plans up her sleeve that you know not of, but Maitre de Dump and I have been talking and come to a mutually agreeable arrangement. So do not be counting your chickens, let alone your millions and billions.

The Word Verification Leprechauns clearly know what is going on here. I'm glad someone does!

Scuse me while I go and have a look at Gordon Brown making a complete pillock of himself.


Reading the Signs said...

TPE? ok, I just missed Gordon, and anyway he apologised so it's all been boringly resolved.

But I have just worked out what TS stands for. Honestly!

Cusp? Look at the effect you are having on him!

tpe said...

Hello, Signs. How are you feeling about today?

I had to check the news to see what you were talking about. I feel sorry for Gordon Brown, however much he may disappoint (and offend). He's just not the sort of person his advisers have tried to turn him into. I'm not sure he should ever be let near a member of the public, really, even during an election campaign. Especially during an election campaign. It made me feel really depressed to think that he'd gone back to spend forty minutes with the woman he'd (privately) insulted, in order to apologise. What an absolute waste of his time.

And all of it, of course, the whole shabby sequence of events, was driven by the media - hungry to make "a story" from (really, when you think about it) nothing much at all. Does it ever make you feel sick, this hysterical circus? It's very hard to feel sorry for politicians, they give us no reason, it's true, but sometimes, just sometimes.......

(Gordon Brown was excruciating, though, I'm not trying to say that he wasn't.)

You have come to a "mutually agreeable arrangement" with the maitre de dump? That figures. I had a feeling, you know, when I exclusively revealed on these pages the extent of the dump man's (potential) immoralities, that a few unsavoury types might track him down and come to their own mutually agreeable arrangements. That you find yourself in such company, Signs, must surely be cause for concern - if not any terrible sense of surprise.

I've just been up reading your recent blog posts. That was a very personal-feeling thing you wrote about your sister. It has about it the ache of confession and yet the quality of more hopeful prayer.

Well done, Signs.

Environmentally-friendly regards,


Reading the Signs said...

I appreciate that reflection, TPE - thank you. About the sister piece, I mean.

Re the Maitre d' and I - look, the important thing in this scenario is me, not him, and my (albeit hastily assembled) persona as a film-noirish kind of femme fatale, which I am rather enjoying so just watch it. Maitre d' is no more than a useful - er - I was going to say tool, but that doesn't sound quite right. No, scrub that out. He's just in the right place at the right time and, like everyone else in this increasingly attractive little fantasy of mine, completely in thrall to my charisma.

Poor Gordon - what can I say? I can forgive him for being a grumpy old pillock and sounding just like an Alan Partridge spoof. There is, and has always been, a problem in the looks department. His looks, I mean, not mine, obviously. Call me shallow, but I do keep coming up against this.

Now if it were TS, I'd be feeling differently.

Cusp said...

Ah, yes, Signs, dear one. MUST aplogise for letting you know about withdrawing from the project in such a beastly way. Should have been more careful and taken my lead in things etiquette from Dame B.

No matter what you or anyone else says she was a goddess and was and remains one of my most important influences.

Pink is a lovely colour and bathes my whole visage in a rosy glow. You may think she was man but I know different. I saw her pugs. They spoke to me. (You did know that BC could talk to the animals didn't you?..and so can I) and they assured me that all was as it should be in the lady garden. Oh, she had lovely the grounds I mean.

Anyway, I'm off to pastures new...Noelle is calling from afar and I must answer her call.

Have you thought about, mayhap, joining our merry band ? I'm sure you'd make a lovely receptionist. You'd look delightful front of house in a nice Coco two piece...such a change from purple shell I always think.


C x

tpe said...

It’s a bloodbath. This is what happens when artistic types fall out, Clasp. We lay vituperative waste to one another. Oh, it’s the best.

You’re bashing Signs and I’m bashing you - and Signs is hiding (from the media glare) in Brighton. And then you’re bashing me and I’m bashing Signs – or I’m about to, for making false accusations against me – and Signs may very well come out swinging for your throat. In these moments, former comrade, we know what it means to be alive. I’ve rarely felt so vindicated or, indeed, vindictive. A triumph.

Good luck with utterly destroying or collaborating with Signs, of course, but I worry for your mental health if you feel you can survive without me in the fiercely competitive world of Contact Art. It's tiger eats tiger out there.

Where the hammer? Where the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors, Clasp?

I'm just saying.

Signs, go back a bit and stop right there. When did I ever say that you were a “pet monkey”? Before making such claims, I suggest you look at the facts. I imagine that the following (excerpt) must be the source of your wild and violent fury:

“Oh, and look, he’s kept his little pet monkey, RTS. Throw her a peanut, Dave, poor thing looks famished.”

Do you notice anything about those words? Look, I’m sorry to point out the blindingly obvious, okay, but I never actually speaked them things. I should somehow have control over what random bystanders may or may not be saying about you – about us - in ten years time? Are you seriously suggesting this? Unbelievable. I’m not a miracle worker, Signs, merely the burdened messenger.

And by the way, I was as shocked as anyone to see how favourably they seemed to compare me to you - and was made to feel particularly uncomfortable (embarrassed, actually) by how astonishingly well I seem to be doing in that particular future. But how’s this my fault? Get a grip, poet, you’re clearly losing the plot.

What else? Yes, don’t worry, I modestly averted my gaze when you referred to Der Unmoralisch Meister von die Dumplichplatz von Dunkelheit as being “a very useful tool”. I think most halfway decent and sensitive people will have done something similar (Clasp just kept on staring, sadly). This was more Freudian fall than mere slip, I posit, and we must surely fear for your moral wellbeing.

In other news…..

Are you all geared up for the election? Do you know which party you’ll vote for? I know what you mean about the way Gordon Brown looks. It shouldn’t be important – it isn’t important – but it is. Personally speaking, I find him quite an attractive man in a strange sort of (brooding) way, but this is spoiled when he does that thing with his mouth. (Talking, I mean, but also those little lurches his jaw makes at the end of nearly every sentence. Not his fault – I think it’s the result of his accident, not sure – but mildly off-putting, nevertheless. He should also never smile. I don’t like the value placed on smiling – I’m not one for needless smiling, never really seeing the point – and I wish to God he would have the strength to resist those ghastly advisers.)

Will you stay up all night watching? I will.

Ruefully dismissive regards to both etc....


Cusp said...

Well Tiger, Thanks for the poem but it'll make no difference. You cannot sway me, dear. It is a dog eat dog world in The Arts. Tis true --- we may all call each other 'Darling' but there's a stiletto in every handbag ('n I ain't talking shoes).

I take no pleasure in leaving Signs' project but when the muse calls she calls and in this case she is called Noelle. I am now mid-production. Indeed I am channelling Noelle and we are one.

I'm surprised to see you find Gordie attractive...even in a brooding way. I didn't know that you were ' so ' .....but it takes all sorts to make a world and I shall not hold it against you (doubt if he would either,dear, since he's a married man). The only way I can see 'it' happening is if you could promise he'd have another term in office by the end of the week. Then I imagine (thoug I'd rather not) Gordie would surely do anything you desired.

Must away....I'm due for another shot of botox in the forehead and the pug needs his dindins.

Dissmissive regards to you too.

Ciao ..mwah !

(Had to delete my last comment...realised when I read through that Noelle had kept on interrupting my flow and butting in with all sorts of requests and questions about former chums' health and well being. She was trying to type through me, bloody cheek. I might be her channel but I will not be her slave. Honestly ,dear, it's so hard to be clair-voyant and in touch with the higher realms. Sometimes I'm not sure if it's me or them speaking when the bu**ers keeping trying to sort out their own agendas through moi.

'Shut up Noelle...for God's sake....I'm trying to have a conversation'

See...there she goes again and if it's not her it's Dame's so hard to be so gifted. Some see it as a calling, some a gift and I sometimes see it as a bloddy nuisance. All I ever wanted was to be a star, help the world and be paid loads of money. And now Dame B's trying to make herself 'heard' by making honey drip from my tear ducts. Talk about taking liberties ! I don't want to set up another Knock-like shrine in Walsham le Willows)

tpe said...

Well, I was a bit surprised when I said it, actually - the thing about Gordon Brown being strangely attractive - but I stopped for a moment, gave it some thought, and realised that yes, in fact, he does have a certain something about him.

I mean, he's not exactly going to stop traffic - well, he is going to stop traffic, in fact, unless he ploughs substantial funds into the transport system of Great Britain and maintains this infrastructure to a degree of polished efficiency in the moths (moths? Months, surely) and years to come (which will require further monies in a time of substantial economic turmoil, young Cuspini, so I just don't know) - but I'm more inclined to warm to his craggy, darkened demeanour, as opposed to those rather more predictable looks of his younger, perkier competitors.

I'm not saying I'd necessarily want him murmuring love threats (and/or economic forecasts) as he licked his way up my legs, of course - I think the glass eye might freak me out - but, well, you know.

Who are you going to vote for? Why? (I know, I know, we're never meant to ask these things of each other because it causes fights, apparently - but I just told you about my very particular Gordon dramas, so I sort of feel you owe me.)

You channel? (That sounds like such a strange question, doesn’t it? I'm not sure I've ever asked someone that question before. Is channel even a verb? Oh, I know - maybe I'm a bit dim and I've met you on the internet and this is our first date and you're waiting for me outside a pub in Basingstoke and your name's actually Chanelle but this is how I pronounce it as I try to act boyish and all confidently forthright in an ill-fitting suit in the rain. Hmm. I think I should probably step out from these brackets, actually, and get on with the other stuff.)


Yes, that could be a problem when you’re writing to people, I can see that – the channeling, I mean. You do it well, though, and by no means give the impression that you’re struggling with severe mental health issues. One of the first things I said to Signs, in fact, as we met (in Basingstoke, curiously enough) to talk behind your back(s), was: “she seems sane, utterly in control of her own head, a steadying addition to The Collective, this Cusp”. Signs, who didn’t turn up for the meeting, has yet to offer an opinion, but I took her silence to mean that she hadn’t turned up for the meeting, and left. (Not immediately, you understand – I had a few other things I had wanted to say to her – but in good order.)

It’s a happy state of affairs, surely, that you happen to channel your idols? You could be channeling a low level clerk from Deutsche Bank (*hate* when that happens) and wittering on about the deleterious effects of current fiscal policy, so you should count yourself lucky, I feel. I take your channeling in my stride, however, as all writers must channel in their way. In fact, I commend you for it.

If it wasn’t for the pink issue, come to think of it, we’d probably get on okay. Oh, and the art stuff. And the name-calling, I suppose. And the threats. Apart from that, we’re sweet.

Definitely set up a Knock-like shrine In Walsham le Willows. Definitely. I’d visit. (Ach, sorry, it’s hard to break the cycle of threat/counter threat.)

Rigidly tense regards, through a seemingly friendly smile that never quite reaches the eyes (and so fails to mask the underlying artistic acrimony and fierce competitiveness and snide mutual sneerings) etc……

TPE (your Tiger of Perfect Enmities)

(We should gang up on Signs and finish her off, you know - we'd make a terrific team.)

Signs. Hello.

Reading the Signs said...

Noelle - Tiger - listen you pair of rascals, I'm watching you both, so don't think I'm not. I'm just up to my eyeballs in Matters Arising (from Life, I mean, and that includes trips to dentist and doing the shopping, look I can't be glamorous all the time, ok?) but I will be back later to give you my reflections of life, the universe and the bollocks - and Gordon.

Cusp said...

Ooooh Tiger,

'You are awful but I like you...'

Dick Enmity...circa 1968

BTW. I've never been to Basingstoke and have no intention of going either. In any case, you'll have to make up your mind, even in these permissive times:

Do you want Gordon licking your legs (what a truly ghastly, ghastly image -- especially at lunch time. You nearly put me off my oysters) or do you want to be hanging about with the likes of Chanelle in Basingstoke ? Which side of the road are you driving on, dear ? Not sure I want to think about you in a tight suit, especially in the rain.

Oh and purlease don't take liberties with my extensive supernatural powers by way of name-calling. Never in my wildest dreams would I consider being named after an old french designer who desperately needed her eyebrows rethreaded and even if I did there is no way in God's heaven that I would spell it incorrectly. Ye you'll be wanting to rename me something truly common like Toyah or Bailey or Shannice.

I have no intention of entering into some back-stabbing complicity with you I'm afraid. Signs and moi may have had our differences about the project but when push comes to shove we're still the bestest of friends and will always support each other in our individual ventures.

Got to go ....caller on the other line if you get my drift ;O)

Ciao !

Cusp said...

Darling, please don't mention Gordon and bollocks in the same sentence. It's giving me nightmares and I simply cannot attend to the muse, her rantings from the Celestial Plain and learning all these scripts whilst having yet another course of lipo on the old tum tum (too much honey !)

Mwah ! x

tpe said...

Ill-fitting, Shannice, not tight. It’s only in your own head that you imagine this suit clinging tightly (and damply) to my disastrously well-proportioned frame. I think this says more about you than it does about me. No?

And I nearly put you off your oysters? Nearly? Hmm. In the final analysis, then, you were able to continue eating oysters as you imagined Gordon Brown licking his way up my legs. That’s disgusting, Clasp. You didn’t think to push the oysters aside until you rid yourself of this thought? Stunning. Each to their own, obviously, but crikey.

(Election update: Nigel Farage (UKIP) has fallen out of the sky. His plane crashed, apparently – one of these election planes that trail banners behind them – and he’s been taken to hospital. Minor facial injuries only, thank goodness, but what a horrible thing to have happened. The pilot seems to be okay, too. So hurrahs all round.)

I’m very sorry to say that you forced a a flicker of a smile from me with your Dick Enmity hallucinations. An agreeable play on words, Toyah, not half bad. Ah, but they don’t make shows like that, anymore. (I imagine Signs will have been a fan, she likes that sort of thing. I see you as being a Noel’s House Party sort of a woman, with a bit of Ant and Dec thrown in when you need something more challenging. Wait. Does Noel’s House Party still exist? No, I don’t think it does, actually. Damn. Well, you used to watch it, anyway.)

Have you voted?

(Oh. Nigel Farage has been taken to another hospital. Chest pains. And he may or may not be slipping in and out of consciousness. Everything seems a bit unclear.)

It’s a big day for democracy, Bailey, and you must drag yourself down to the polling booth. Don’t worry, you don’t have to write anything. Just mark an X in the box. There should be ushers on hand to help the women, so relax.

Signs – take your time. We’re doing fine down here. It’s true, of course, that we’ve all just fallen out quite dramatically, but I’m hoping the make up art will be electric. (We should gang up on Cusp and finish her off, you know – we’d make a terrific team. Just so long as you leave the finances, art and talking to me.)

Did the dentist hurt you?

Witheringly disinterested regards to both etc....


Reading the Signs said...

Cuspie - Noelle - a sistahly word in your shell-like about Mr. sweetheart Tiger here , and how funny you should come at him with the "you are awful ..." because I myself have found myself doing this, spooky - but what was I saying? Well now I've forgotten - whose fault is that? Not mine.

GTGN - haven't made supper yet and it's stuffed courgettes with tortelloni and sprouting broccoli - don't tell me life is too short.

p.s. you'll get a hint of which way I'm voting from my recent youtube post. And I'm doing the tactical thing. Mwah, dahlings.

Reading the Signs said...

I just had a horrible glimpse of Joan Crawford looking particularly, face-liftedly cadaverous on some sleb election drinky poos bash on a barge on the Thames. And then I thought: actually, Noelle should be at a do like this, and so should TPE in his incarnation as wheeler dealing art entrepreneur. I mean, they were all there - Martin Amis and, er, well well the names escape me but take my word for it. You should have put in an appearance and I'm just a little bit disappointed in you both.

Bring back Screaming Lord Sutch and the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Reading the Signs said...

I meant Collins, not Crawford. Almost hallucinating with fatigue here.

tpe said...

Interesting use of the word “almost”.

I’m still going strong, Signs. It’s Labour 98 v Conservatives 96 at the moment and nobody really knows what to make of it. I can’t stand the cutaways to Andrew Neill and his procession of oddball guests. What are they doing there? It’s awful. And Joan Collins shouldn’t speak. In fact, she probably shouldn’t even be. She was a great idea once.

Do you find it excruciating when impersonators do their impersonations during the course of a normal conversation – as opposed to in front of an audience in a comedy club, say? It makes me parched with unease. I don’t think these things should be encouraged.

You voted Liberal? The Liberal vote seems to have collapsed, Signs. I’m not saying the two things are linked, of course, but they are.

I should have been on that boat with the slebs. Clasp, less so.

Democratically distributed regards,


Cusp said...

...and who are you to say which boat I'm allowed to board Tiger ? (BTW it's Cusp not Clasp....I'm VERY particular about what I clasp to my person and the way you've been going, of late, it's highly unlikely to be you.)

Oh I'm getting so waspish aren't I ? It's the money, stardom and Noelle's witterings all getting to me.

Actually Sister Signs I did see Joan Crawford on that boat. She was standing just behind La Collins....but then you two lesser mortals couldn't have known that as you're not blessed with my gifts, are you ?

If you'd only asked I could have told you yesterday or even last week which way the election would go. It looks like it might be down to the sweet smooth skinned Boy David as long as he can get Old Nick to put a hand in his (David's) spare pocket....

Wonder which is a more pleasant image ? The Boy David with one of his pockets filled with a Clegg hand or Gordie licking his way up Tiger's leg ? Not much in it really : both revolting !

Ah well, must away. Joan C. (as in Collins) wants to know my opinion on her latest wig --- she just sent pics over by courier. Personally I think it time she accepted the grey and went for a kind of 'Grey Power a la Veronica Lake' style...except the fringe should be over the whole face.

Miao miao xxxxx (lashings of kisses to you both mwah !)

P.S. any mileage in another installation at the dump with David and Nick (and Gordie) in some bizarre tableau ?

tpe said...

There you are, Clasp, how charming to see you again, I'm sure. It's been too short.

Look. I think most sensible election observers will see that you were the one who ate oysters (everyone knows this is sex food) as you considered Gordon and his floppy tongue lolling with a fiscally imprudent lust up the inside of my thighs - not me, not Signs, not anyone else - so don't be trying to over compensate with a manufactured venom to hide your dismaying arousals.

Scalding flesh and thigh dribbles aside, however, it's been an intriguing election, hasn't it? I voted Labour in the end - in my head, I mean, as I didn't actually cast a vote from Ireland (it would seem a bit greedy or something) - and still don't quite know why. I've never voted Labour before, so this was a surprise. It feels like a wasted vote now, though. *Sigh*

Signs will have voted for the BNP (she's fierce) if she was able to cast a vote - she's practically German, unfortunately, and so may not have been eligible - and you probably voted for UKIP. A tiring day for democracy, all round.

The prospect of a Conservative-Liberal alliance quite appeals to me, though, and I think it might be worth a shot. I'm not sure why it should be considered a bad thing for these people (politicians) to be forced towards the calmer shores of compromise. We don't want it to end up like Italy, of course, but it won't - because we're British. (Except for Signs.)

Nick and Dave are almost indistinguishable. It's not just that they look kind of similar, but they've also both emerged from a background of vaunting privilege and entitlement. (I think Nick Clegg may have once been a Conservative, in fact, although I would need to check my head for details.) But two posh boys running the country? What's not to like?

I think it would be terrific to see everyone naked - the three candidates, I mean - and I'm sure Signs would agree (if she were around to do so). We must drag them to the dump, Clasp, and make them do sexy boy-tricks and woof.

Try to keep your lunch down, okay?

Wafer-thin regards etc....


Reading the Signs said...

TPE, you know perfectly well that a nice Jewish girl like me would rather pledge herself to a bacon sandwich than ever even look in the direction of a BNP let alone vote for one. I remember in my counselling course we had to practice (pretend) having a client from hell, the kind we would never want to have anything to do with, and I got a BNP fanatic. I was bloody marvellous, even though I say it myself, took in the whole human situation, didn't let it affect my professional whatsits. I should have been a politician. I'd have taken Cusp on as one of my "aides", her connections would have been useful - and you too, even though you do say such awful things, but a loose cannon is almost de rigeur.

Cusp, I'm going to leave his rather more flamboyant fantasies for you to deal with, as it really seems to be a thing between you and him and I wouldn't want to confuse or spoil things. I'll just - you know - watch.

Oh, and btw, this comment thread is creeping perilously close to the one hundred mark. Last time this happened I got an award. This has set up a bit of an expectation. Just saying.

Reading the Signs said...

Actually, Cusp, just between you and me: TPE is a bit like Petruchio from Taming of the Shrew, isn't he? If he heard me say this he would become quite impossibly inflated so lets not make too big a thing of it, for isn't Petruchio supposed to be quite a female swoon-merchant? But actually I have always held the thought that he is mostly completely off his trolley and that Katharina ultimately gave into him either because the situation might otherwise have become untenable, or she became adept at dissembling. Of course, Katharina was off her trolley too, it has to be said, in fairness.

The other characters, though, were just boring, weren't they?

tpe said...

Signs, thank goodness you got here first. I had been about to compare Clasp and myself to Charlene and Scott from Neighbours. Ah, Charlene with her cuddly plain looks, a little bit feisty, prone to temper tantrums and boyish dungarees, trying ever so hard to come to terms with her love-heart feelings for Scott. And Scott, of course, all handsome there. You raised the tone just in the nick of time.

And such a perfectly aimed jibe in both our directions. Clasp will be reeling, quite taken aback, sadly, whereas I’m simply delighted to be known as Petruchio (honest to God, it feels like destiny).

Such is my excitement, I’ve had to race to the internet and get some of the lines from Katherine’s - but you lie, in faith, for she is call’d plain Kate? - from Kate’s final (and comprehensive) surrender.

This’ll be Clasp (all of you, in fact) by the end of it.....

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, 

Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance commits his body 

To painful labour both by sea and land…

Oh yes we do. Back off.

…..And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks, and true obedience -

Too little payment for so great a debt…..

Beautifully, beautifully put. And so true.

I am asham'd that women are so simple 
To offer war where they should kneel for peace….

I shall faint, surely.

Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth, 

Unapt to toil and trouble in the world…..


Come, come, you forward and unable worms!
…And place your hands below your husband's foot;

In token of which duty, if he please, 

My hand is ready, may it do him ease.

Truth to tell, Signs, I may very well have just done a sex-mistake in my trousers. I know, I know, this is hardly Shakespearean of me, but give a man a break.

Ach. I may just have lowered the tone again, sorry. But listen, I don’t care which version of Petruchio you have me down as – the cruel boastful monster incapable of love, or the cruel boastful monster both capable of and showing his love (the confusion ought to give me an air of mystery) – I’m just happy to have run into this delightful comparison on such a cold and faithless Friday. Thank you, Signs, that was properly funny.

Disgraceful regards etc….

TPE (The Petruchio Enigma, obviously)

Cusp said...

Darlings, these comments are becoming decidely spooky: one of you is having 'sex-mistakes' (you'll go blind Tiger!) and the other is turning out to be a voyeur.

Deary me...Dame B must be spinning in her pink grave. To think that by keeping company with two scoundrels like you, I've laid poor Dame B and Noelle open to a world of filth and degredation.

I think I was wise to side-step the original project and go to Crossroads....that's CROSSROADS Tiger, not bloody Neighbours...that antipodean drivel...and then you have me down as a Charlene look-alike.. Cuddly ! , Per-lain !!!.

I'll have you know I can still knock the likes of Jerry Hall into a cocked hat and never in my life have I been cuddly and certainly not plain. I am ravishing...thats ravish-ing not ravish-ed Tiger. As I think I said before 'In your dreams Tiger'...even if you are a cruel and boastful monster.

Time to go lovies. It's the w/e here at Cusp Villas and time for R&R. As I type (well...not's the secretary typing whilst I'm in the bath dictating ...delegation est tout dahlings) I am soaking in Dame B's special recipe honey and gin bain-de-delice with a straw: one soaks in it and then drinks it...sort of along the lines of drinking your own pee, only cleaner. Elixir !

Ciao beauties ! I'll leave you tiger to do whatever it is you're doing over there and you Signs to watch.

Dear oh dear....what have I become ?

tpe said...

It looks like it’s over, Signs, and you’re destined not to reach the 100 comments milestone again (phew). We lie in disarray, terminally spent, our venture come to an end. First we had The Collective and then we had The Pair. And now, as wise destiny slyly proclaimed it must always be, we are left with simply The One. Me.

I leave these shores with sadness, an incontrovertible stain upon my tunic and the troubling thought that Clasp may drink her own pee. It’s hard to know what else I could ask for.

It’s been a pleasure, Signs. It’s been a pleasure, Cusp.

I thank you both for the therapy.

Yours, until next time and with outright magnificence,


Reading the Signs said...

ok - I will stop larfing in a minute - TPE was it the "my hand is ready, may it do him ease"? - but anyway, you can't just come here (absolutely no pun intended so just please shut your smirking face) and have sex-mistakes, this is a respectable salon and peeps come here for refined intercourse - discourse, yes, about matters literary, artistic and philosophical. But ok, we're talking Shakespeare, so that counts. There is nothing anyone can say about Pet and Kat that I haven't already sweated over (just don't) when I did my Eng Lit degree - everybody loved Pet, even Germaine Greer, who said that it was exciting because Kat had something or other (pride?) to give up. But no-one ever came up with the notion that Pet was also off his trolley.

Cusp, wait - I'm not a voyeur as such, but I can't help, you know, watching - as it's all going on in my living room, so to speak. And now I'm reminded of what it is I wanted to say about the Cruel Boastful Monster, yes: the way he shows his love is by attempting to insult you, so pay attention: by comparing you to someone or other from Crossroads (I never watched that or Neighbours so am rather out of the loop), and a plain someone at that, he is demonstrating how smitten he has become with you. He really is like Pet in this respect. No reason at all, though, for you to go putting your hand beneath his foot (not that you would) - for we never did find out what happened afterwards.

As to your question, well: what have any of us become, dahling? Definitely time to have another Campari and soda. Have a spiffing weekend at the Villas.

Reading the Signs said...

Petruchio, I nearly jumped out of my skin, you creeping up behind me like that. Forsooth!

Reading the Signs said...

- and if would be too mean to leave this thread before we get to 100.

A townswoman said...

It’s no use, Lady Signs, he’s gone – see how his exquisite golden boat carries him from you even now; see how firm his jaw is set; see how he sails with the wind in his courageously complex hair towards danger and war and transnational fertilisations. We all loved him; he leaves us all. We are as a nation of widows, abandoned, quite lost, and we are all of us now alone.

Upon us hereafter is an age great grieving and regret - and in this spirit of weeping, and in preparation for and in fullest expectation of the Second Almighty Coming, we must let Petruchio go.

There is much to do, the town lies pregnant before us and reports already emerge from the north of widespread love-aches and pregnancies. And the forests of the rain-filled eastern frontier are filled with wild armies of The Pregnants, fearful of their own dark lustings, wailing for the return of Petruchio.

But he has gone. Long live Petruchio – artist, lover, poet, warrior, vain slayer of female inhibitions. A tiger, a lion, a weasel. All of these things and more.

Come, dry your eyes, fix your skirts, let me pick you from these sands and lead you to the barest comforts of home. You blew it.

Cusp said...

Oh Signs....can it be true ? Has Tiger really gone, really left us ? Surely not. And this 'Townswoman' ? Who is she ?....some upmarket rep. from a kind of Womens' Institute ?

At first I could hardly read those terrible lines for the flood of tears that filled my eyes. I had to go to bed and recover.

However, after a good night's sleep and re-reading the comment I am having doubts for I'm sure I detect a familiar ring to the writing. A whiff of Tiger's tail.

I fear that naughty boy is either toying with us and our good nature or has made a bid for escape. Knowing him it was your reference to a possible prize for your blog after the 100th comment. He is the jealous sort and could surely not have stood by and watched you gain a prize he might never be he's scuppered your chances...and then has the cheek to say you 'blew it.'

I reckon he couldn't stand the heat in this kitchen ...not with we two Arts Pioneers. If he has gone, really gone, might I tiptoe back to the original project and it could be just we two without interference from across the sea.

What do you think ? I could put Crossroads on hold. Noelle will be cross. You know these redheads...very fiery...but I'm sure I can work something out with her before she turns really nasty and starts moving stuff around the house without warning (last time she became very irked a huge can of Elnett just missed my temple)

Well....let me know what you think i.e. has he really gone or not do you think ?

What shall we do ?

Phone SisterMister.....

Ciao Darling !

mwah !

Cusp said...

Also what the hell is going on with Google's/ Blogger's emails re. new comments?

I keep getting left behind in the loop: coming over here and commenting on a supposedly previous comment, only to find that there have been other comments in the meantime. I need to be kept properly abreast of things dear...and now I've read on I see Tiger has been threatening to abandon us just to stop you getting the 100th comment...and he mentions a Weasel .

Did you see that ? that puts a completely different slant on the matter for it may mean he is 'in bed' with 'that other party'....

God save us !

A townswoman said...

Oh, brave and gentle Cusp, one of the last to fall, how your pain reverberates in those delicately chosen words. But these words are as naught when pitted against the deaf certainties of cruellest destiny. He sails. He has gone. The distant speck of his luminous green tunic is all but over the horizon. It were a vain endeavour, though you should gaze forever, sweetened Cusp, on that green light that lingers in the west

Such an ode to dejection I have never heard, poor child. But pluck up thy spirits, look cheerfully upon his memory, exalt in all that he gave you. And though you may rue your talent for the grand mistake and these sorrows shall never leave you; a life of devotion may suit you still as you keen for his touch and the heat of his love beneath the cold pale moons of Gethsemane.

In full-blown dignity, see Petruchio stand, with law in his voice and fortune in his hand. He leaves us to preach the truth of a desolate winter, whilst levering open spirited thighs with fair talk of both summer and spring. You served him well, we all did, yet he no longer has need of these softening charms – not on these shores, not here, not with us, the despoiled and the devoured. The pain feels unendurable – you’ll know this too well – but you must join with your sisters as they cry into the sea, hoping to flummox the whims of tides that he may once more come among us; so that we may thrill one final time to the heart-hurting joys of what it means to feel love in our bones.

We are all of us alone. And yet we have each other, sisters in grief, sisters in search of their saviour. Come, the sea needs filled with our tears.

Cusp said...

Blimey don't half go on, don't ya ?

Tee hee hee......

I claim the 100th comment

Yarbooh sucks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A townswoman said...

I believe it now falls to Signs to write you a musical composition. Well done, Cusp, you win. I rise - soar - above your incautious jibes and offer my congratulations.

Over to you, Signs......take it away.

Cusp said...

See I knew it was you Tiger....are you all dressed up in Towns Womens' Guild clobber...tweed skirt, brogues and Hermes scarf at the neck ?

To think I saw you as an honourable gentleman when all the time you're into all sorts weird guises and gizmos.

Just goes to show you can't tell a book by its cover.

Must go and tell Noelle. She'll be so amused ;O)

Mwah !

[P.S....this is all banter and guff..Love you really you naughty boy ;o) ]

Cusp said...

Oh BTW Schwester...if you are going to write a little quelque chose for moi I'd love something based on the life of Noelle. Maybe it could be a phantasie based on a kind of sapphic tryst between Noelle and Dame B in the afterlife ?

Just an idea, dear

Reading the Signs said...

No, hang on, wait just a minute there! Townswoman, I have peeped beneath your trailing skirts and found the truth of the matter, so don't think you can pull the wool over this sign-reader's eyes. The bristles are poking through the pancake make-up - and your mascara is running. It just occurred to me that I could have made a lovely quip about "sex-mistakes", but tush, I will hold my tongue.

Cusp, you have got it all wrong, I'm afraid - it's you who have to give an award to me. Last time this happened TPE made a special thing for me, you can see it on my sidebar - amazing. He actually employs a quartet to sit in that room and start playing the tune he composed (especially for me) whenever I (or anyone) press the button.

Oh, and Anna made a beautiful scroll for me, it's hidden away in one of my posts.

I don't know how you're going to beat that, but I know you'll do your best.

A sapphic tryst between Noelle and Dame B sounds quite hideous - I was never that deeply into either of them in this life, never mind the hereafter and (never having watched much soap) can hardly picture what Noelle actually looked like. But the thought of Dame B's pink lipstick smearing on everything - no.

Townswoman, I reckon you should do something too. A poetic effort, I think, in praise of - well me, I suppose. But if you'd like to sing about Petruchio that would also be ok - just so long as I feature. And Cusp too, obviously, as she has been a veritable partner in crime. I think I can rely on you to make it all in the best possible taste.

Cusp said...

Well I'm glad you saw through him too

So I've got to do something for you have I ? I thought that as I had written the 100th comment that I would be getting something.....but I'll try dear, I'll try.....

Furiously busy ATM dahling...scripts, botox, doggies, voices.....but I will try ...

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp - Noele! - I eat my words, you are clearly a star in every possible sense. Soon the whole world will know.

A townswoman said...

I can't see Cusp spending less than £200 on this gift, you know, Signs. Anything else would be an insult. Should be good, looking forward to it - without wishing to pile on the pressure.

Listen, I can't say whether I'm A Townswoman or not. I mean, if I just come out and say "yes, it's me, well done" and then it turns out that it's not me, then I will have betrayed the trust of A Townswoman and trespassed on her perfectly legitimate expectation of anonymity - and that's before we even reach the outskirts of the thorny question of identity theft. So it's all a bit touch and go, I'm afraid, but I feel sure you'll both understand. I certainly do.

I imagine that TPE/Petruchio fellow will be hopping about on the distant horizon, agitatedly, not daring to venture back following such an emotional and triumphant departure. I can't read his mind, of course, but he's got to be feeling a little bit stupid round about now, poor soul. Then there's the CSA, of course, doggedly in pursuit, lining the coast with telescopes, trying to get a lock on his (golden, cash-filled) boat. This tends to keep him at sea. Anyway, we should save him some cake.

Signs, if I were the Townswoman I'd probably be thinking that I'd given you (and Cusp, for that matter) enough poetry already. Some of it stolen, some of it merely poetic in feeling yet indisputably mine. Surely this is sufficient, I might say to myself, to commemorate this 100 comments mis-achievement.

I'll get on to me, though, and see what I think.

Utterly fractured regards etc...

A Townswoman

(We should swap and share clothes, as womenfolk do. Oh, this will be terrific, yes, let's. Send your garments to The Golden Boat, c/o The Sea, and I'll have a wee look to find something for swapsies. I like shoes. Sorry for running out of breath and sounding suddenly hoarse.)

Cusp said...

I still have deepest suspicions about this Townswoman. 'She' keeps mixing and matching re. identity so I think we must conclude that 'she' is 'he'.

Now listen TW, if it really is you, there's no way I can swap 'shoesies' with you or any other garment for you see, dear, my suspicion is that you are probably a wide fitting 12 whilst I am a dainty narrow befits a real lady. As for clothes, well I don't imagine that you are shopping in the couture depts. like moi and I do not relish the notion of delivering, to you, a case of my cast-off Gucci, Prada, YSL, Galliano etc whilst I, in return, find myself lumbered with cheap copies from Peacocks, Primark and Evans...not to appear harsh but none of these 'labels' are really me.

As for Signs I think I can say without fear or regret that she too will not want to swap her vintage finds (e.g. purple pantaloon) with you. You may have poetry on your side but what of style and poise. Are you a graduate of Lucy Clayton like We Two ? No, thought not.

Best you stay on your side of the sea ......or in it.

Sorry for the rather tart response but I find myself again very hurt by the insinuation that I am penny-pinching and will not be able or willing to bestow a suitably lovely gift upon my my chum Signs. Actually, and for your info.., 'tis already in hand and shall be revealed in due course. Be warned that should you get your claws out, mine will be sharper and, after all, I do have my two celestially-bound friends at my side and they have all sorts of powers for the mere mortal's fate

Wettest regards....

Ciao and mwah ! x

Reading the Signs said...

Well true enough, Petruchio - I mean Townswoman, the paragraph beginning

In full-blown dignity, see Petruchio stand, with law in his voice and fortune in his hand is pretty damn good, even though I say it myself, as is Blogoslavian poet laureate manque. I keep hearing it delivered in a high falsetto, though, which kind of gets in the way. But thanks - I think. Except that you weren't actually singing my praises, were you? Well never mind, we'll take that as read.

Forget swapsies, I don't do clothes. I don't mean that I go around in the altogether. I have my purples and, as Cusp has pointed out, I am unlikely to part with them for anything for they are part of my etheric body (ask TPE, I've already given a tutorial on this).

Cusp, don't knock Peacocks for time was when they were personal couturiers to la famille Signs - until daughter said she did not want to be seen (by her mates) coming or going through their doors, can't think why.

Yes indeedy (as Tony Blackburn would say if he were here), all will most definitely be revealed. She has done me proud, TW, or Noele has. In Blogoslavia nothing and no-one are as they seem, are they? Everything is very - what's the word? - fluid. As there is already plenty of wetness going around, I leave you with

Dry regards

(TPE, get a grip, exchanging one identity for another is just playing with fire - don't say I didn't warn you)

tpe said...

Six mois plus tard.....

Who says Tony Blackburn isn’t here?

Anyway, true that. (I wanted to say “true dat”, like they do in The Wire, but I’m not sure I could carry it off convincingly – especially now that there has been an embargo placed on swapping identities.) Exchanging one identity for another is a path fraught with danger, Signs, you’re quite right. Thank goodness you had the necessary mental health to see it. We should all be thankful.

I’m not sure I get your unusual hostility towards swapping clothes with the Townswoman, however. Both of you seem perfectly opposed to her idea. Your loss. Personally speaking, I have a vindictively splendid wardrobe, row upon row of achingly subtle (yet attractive) clothes and shoes and watches - the kind of thing that makes it almost impossible to hide my good breeding. To be fair, the word “almost” is superfluous in that last sentence. I wouldn't swap them for anything - not even with the thrillingly attractive Townswoman. (God, how my heart skips a beat when I see her. Agony.)

It looks like I can’t keep away. Did you think we were done here? I did, right up until the moment I didn’t. Baffling. Don’t worry, you can be done here – I’m perfectly capable of holding a conversation on my own, after all – but I’m just here to say hello and to see how I’m doing. I seem to be doing okay, thanks. You’re welcome. (See?)

Does Cusp mean to say that you’re both graduates of The Lucie Clayton Charm Academy, Signs? I should probably ask her directly, actually: Cusp, do you mean to say that you’re both graduates of The Lucie Clayton Charm Academy?

I think that might be exactly what she means to say, Signs. I’m far too civilised to doubt the truth of this assertion, of course, but I have my doubts.

Between ourselves, obviously, but the way Cuspetta bandies labels about (Gucci, Prada, YSL) whilst goading the miraculously polite and friendly Townswoman makes me fear that she may dress in a manner not entirely dissimilar to that of Wayne Rooney’s wife. There is the smack of new money about her, most sadly, and I think I’d rather be no money than new. Thankfully, however, I’m disastrously rich, so I probably needn’t worry my well-groomed head about such trifles.

Cuspy, hello. I can’t speak for the Townswoman, of course, but I think she may be thinking something along the lines of “I wonder when that lovely Cusp will learn to slow down and read things through properly instead of jumping to the wrong conclusions all the time. I hinted at her generosity, not her meanness, and now I’m just hurt and confused. I was all friendly and everything, making all the right conciliatory noises, but then I had my head snapped off and this leaves me feeling sad and blue -and I’m not sure I can even feed myself any longer, such is the level of my upset - although I’m aways willing to give someone a chance to apologise for their mistake and move on, but we’ll see.”

I could be wrong, she may be thinking nothing of the sort, but you’d be hard pressed to blame her if she was. I think you owe the lady an apology, a big lingering hug (that goes on for too long and makes everyone a little bit nervous and – I’m very sorry to say - aroused) and some shoes. I’m just saying.

Bye Signs, bye Cusp.

Scathingly contemptuous regards to both etc...


Cusp said...

OMG Signs...s/hes at it again !!! and just when I thought the coast was clear.

Shall we run away or hide behind that bush and ambush the nutter as s/he rides past on that ancient rusty bicyclette ?

For the moment I'm just going to put my fingers in my ears...nah nah nahnah nah !!!!

tpe said...

It’s no use, Cusp, she’s not here. I’ve taken care of Signs and she won’t be troubling us again. Not for a while, anyway. You’re stuck down here with me. Or I’m stuck down here with me, if it comes to it. I’d hang about on my own blog, of course, but the comments are shut. Nightmare.

But Hmm. If your fingers are in your ears then you won’t be able to hear what I’m telling you. In fact, I could probably say just exactly what I like about you and you’ll never know. Tempting, for sure. Knowing my luck, though, I’ll say some really nice things about you and then I’ll get back to the stuff about you being like Wayne Rooney’s wife – and this is when you’ll unplug your ears, just as I’m calling you A Working-Class Burberry Babe of Bewilderingly Bad Taste and Bling. And then things would simply get ugly again, just as everything is settling down. So I’d best not say a thing.

I’m betting I’ll say something else tomorrow, though. I just have a feeling. It’s a hard habit to break, you know, blabbing into thin air. I imagine you’ll be dancing round handbags with the other Burberry Babes in a nightclub in Essex at the moment. Don’t overdo it, okay?

Firm but fair regards etc...


(Were you once a mod? You have a link to a mod site on your blog - which you'll know, obviously. I tried to make sense of your musical tastes yesterday, but kind of failed, alas.)

Cusp said...

Mr Periodical, Can't hear you...except the bit about Mods.

Well, I'm FAR too young to have been a Mod but I did aspire to be a Mod and was in awe of the Mods who lived near me. I'd still kill yo have a Lambretta.

I still love 'Mod' music and stuff from the 60s (especially 6os yeh yeh form France) but I have very eclectic tastes musically so it probably doesn't make much sense when written down in a list

tpe said...

Hmm. That's a shame you didn't hear what else I was saying, Cusp - at one point I offered you a £100 Amazon book token (subject to terms and believability).

I love Lambrettas. Love Lambrettas. I very nearly succumbed to the temptation a short while back, but stopped myself in the nick of time. They can be very beautiful things, though. I think you should get one. It'll be the best.

No, your musical tastes didn't make sense (to me) when viewed as a list (or as seen in some of your blog posts), but I'm not sure these things actually need to "make sense", do they? I find everyone's taste in music quite baffling, really, unless they like exactly the same things I do.

I enjoy trying to detect patterns, of course - it's a chess thing - but your tastes defied logic or categorisation. Well done. I felt I may have been making some progress, in fact - even with all the French stuff (not my thing at all) - but then came The Human League. (One of my sisters was into The Human League in a big way. I think the man who sang for them was maybe a bit attractive or weird or something. Can't remember. Anyway, she was crazy hot about the whole affair.)

I'd love to know why it is that certain people like certain things (musically speaking). It's amazing how it whacks us in different ways. Some people actually liked Wings. (My mum, for example.) How does this happen? It's brilliant.

But you could have been a mod in the seventies, eighties or nineties, surely? There's no time limit to these things. Signs was a rocker in the sixties, you know, a sprightly fifty-something, fighting the mods on the beaches of Brighton and Hove. The things that woman gets up to. Quite shameful, really. A sight for sore thighs.

Buy a Lambretta.

Sharply-dressed regards etc...


Reading the Signs said...

Now listen, (Cusp, Cusp pssst) - there is obviously a multiple personality thingy going on here, so we need to tread carefully. I know what I'm talking about because I have it too, as it happens, the MPT - and this does not translate into anything menopausal, ok? ok. I think I'm getting the measure of Townswoman - she is sensitive, artistically inclined and deeply, if not fetishistically, into schmatter. Of course, you might say, some or all of these things may be true of our esteemed TPE, or even (yes, at a stretch) he-who-bringeth-the-shrew-to-her-knees-and-then-shags-her-senseless Petruchio. But what am I on about? For you too, it seems have the MPT in good measure, it seems, and very interesting your "alters", if I may refer to Noele, Barbara and Joan C as such, are to such a one as I who has been psychoanalytically Shrunk to within an inch of her life. He didn't manage to cure me though - ha - no mean achievement on my part and worth celebrating.

TPE darling, don't read my presence here as meaning that I am in any sense resisting the idea of your taking care of me, for I appreciate this very much indeed, and have done, especially with these new insights into your vindictively splendid wardrobe. You see, I do take in the details (in some part of my being) even though if it doesn't always look like it. What are we going to do about Cusp? I think she has Multiple Personality Thingy and is possibly in denial.

I am not into clothes, shoes, accessories - my erstwhile reference to Peacocks must have been a dead giveaway. And anyway, I think you're both bonkers.

Reading the Signs said...

That's stumped you both, hasn't it? Oh c'mon, don't be cissies - bonkers is good (I'm mad, I am, remember?). Speaking of which, where is Anna these days?

TPE, I would like a £100 Amazon gift voucher too please, thank you.

tpe said...

Hmm. I was about to come here and deal with The Cusp Issue, but things have changed. (For the record, I was going to suggest that we simply kill her and be done with it, but I know from past experience that you tend to shy away from my projects when I suggest murdering this person or that - leaving everything up to me, as usual. Sigh.)

But, yes, like I say, things have changed. I hadn't seen the gift she brought you up until this very moment (when I happened to be looking at the rest of your blog). You didn't think to tell me? Harrowing.

I like Cusp now (although not much, granted) and feel that her gift was momentous. I'm simply forced to have grave doubts about you, though. I've been wittering on down here like a sparkly leopard with golden shoes and a deft touch in the stock market, blithely and lithely unaware of the action unfolding upstairs. You would make me look stupid? Again?

I'm going to need to think long and hard about giving you the £100 Amazon gift voucher, Signs. Long and hard. I'll let me know when I've come to a (brave) decision.

Surely we'll need to move upstairs now, though, given these latest developments? It would make sense - in as much as these things can ever be said to make any kind of sense at all. I'll miss this place, you know - or I'll miss me in this place, more accurately (I always enjoyed reading my stuff the best). Actually, no, to be fair, I really enjoyed the interventions of A Townswoman, as well. And you're right, I feel and fear, she was heavily into her schmatter. I don't want to end on a crude note, as you can imagine, but I've a hunch that Petruchio totally nailed her.

I need to go and make some decaffeinated coffee and consider my options.

You love me, Signs, and so does Cusp.

Straight-talking regards etc....


Reading the Signs said...

I suppose I do, TPE. There, dammit, I've said it. Does that make me a wimp? Cynics might say that I'm just after the Amazon voucher but what do they know?

You are going to have to do something about this habit of yours, though - going around bumping people off etc. - it just won't do, especially not one such as the lovely Cuspie. Having said this, I'm sure that there are others you could bump off and I wouldn't mind so much. But anyway, it's not moral, legal or edifying. Moving upstairs, though, is all of those things. Hurrah - Noele will be pleased.

Reading the Signs said...

(actually I'm just a bit jealous of Cusp at the moment on account of her techie/artistic abilities. So watch it.)

tpe said...

No, you watch it.

There. It needed said.

Going upstairs now, Signs, although it may take me a day to get there (carrying all this magnificence around tends to slow me down).

Love and magnetic attractions etc....


Reading the Signs said...

- always got to have the last word, haven't you?

tpe said...

I'm afraid so, yes.

Cusp said...

WELL !!!!! ....Methinks that the dreadful Irish man, woman,...whatever it is,has been fiddling with my antennae and playing marbles with my circuits because I came wandering back to this madhouse only after Mr Google told me dear Signs had written another comment trying to rid the virtual world of confused people who live in green houses and then, as I open the door on Sign's world, what do I find but a whole tranche of comments about which I have never been informed !!! Noele didn't even alert me to new comments..maybe it was her way of trying to protect me.....

You two have been playing footsie under your virtual table whilst I've been left out on the cold...and I thought you were my friend Signs.

There you are behind my back canoodling with a full set (well not a full set ...we could never say the Irishman has a full set of anything .....ha ha ha ) of Periodicals, every page thumbed, every corner turned, so to speak; you schmoozing around him and asking for Amazon vouchers like some alley cat !

I really don't know what I'm doing in these shady environs. I'm a good girl I am. Always have been....a little off kilter now and then and there was that unfortunate incident in the 80s with what I assumed was a nice young man who turned out to be ...well, let's just say he wasn't nice at least that's what the STD Clinic nurse said when she handed me the prescription...but I am basicaly nice....and loyal and now I've been kicked in the proverbial goolies by the Jackie Collins of Brighton & Hove.

Unless Noele tells me to 'enable' one of you again I don't think I can ever bring myself to drop by in the's all too, too harrowing.

*That's probably why Sister never comes over now. She'd be ashamed to be noticed in such shady company

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp ..... Cusp? - ah, don't be like that. Because, you see, as it happens, I could do with a little sisterly advice. Suppose that you, in the spirit of glorious fun and the crystal moment, made as though to ask a dear friend of Petruchian madnesses for something or other - a diamond necklace, lets say, a silken coat of many colours - or, for the purposes of this supposition, a hundred pound Amazon voucher; and then you trotted off into the day or night to do whatever Cuspian things took your fancy or wanted your attention, thinking no more on the matter; but a little while later something comes winging its way to you with your name on it and falls neatly into the palm of your hand (so to speak) and when you look you see that it is a lovely thing, something you didn't actually mean to ask for other than in virtual pretendedness but there it is in actuality: a hundred pound Amazon gift voucher; and you have had one of those days, or several - feeling more than usually vulnerable; and you hold this lovely thing, or at any rate you look at it there in your email box and feel as though you are holding it. And then you don't know how to properly receive it or say thank you.

It's not often I find myself in this kind of predicament - actually I can't remember when I ever have - till now.

Very strangely, I appear to be at a loss for words.

Reading the Signs said...

(but the WVLs - what absolute bastards they are, always sabotaging the moment - are saying skint)

Cusp said...

Lordy, lordy what a pre-dicka-mente.

Seek and ye shall find dear Schwester.

But I do see what a spot this could have put you in...mind you it could be construed as a rather nice spot. Next time I ask for something virtual and in pretenderness I think it'll be £1,000,000,000 and a diamond encrusted bed and easel --- just in case there is a generous benefactor out there.

Are you saying that the mad Irish man/woman has dropped a bounty in your lap ? Are you sure it is he/she ?

Well, if he/she has....wait un moment...I think Noele is on the other line.....yes, yes, she's coming through...the mists are clearing.............

Noele says that if you are sure it is a gift from the Irishman (and she's not letting on if it is, although of course she knows whether it is or not )you should:

a) as a proper laydee accept said gift with grace and thank him profusely (but don't whatever you do promise him anything: God only knows what he might hold you to, if you get my drift ;o)

b) as no lady at all, ask him everso gently if it is he who has sent such a valuable token and then decide whether or not it is appropriate for a betrothed woman of the muse, like yourself, to accept such a generous gift...i.e. give a mo. to look all 'umble and genteel and then grab it with boths mitts

* Might you also mention this whole business to your beloved who is well-versed in the peculiar workin's of the (peculiar) mind and see what he makes of this whole sorry business

As and hugs

Cuspschen Mwah !

(Noele says she's off on hols for a few days. Think she's giving tutorials to lesser angels: she needs the ackers up there, you know. Dame B has been 'borrowing' form her and not giving back. )

Wish I could have few days hols away from the blessed builders. I should be so lucky.

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp, I will make particular petitions to angels inc. on your behalf with respect to builders etc - that the whole business may be sorted and expedited without needless botheration. Meanwhile, empathy, as before.

The gift was of a winged kind (no promises asked for), a lovely thing. Please thank Noele for her advice and say that I have the grace - and the winged words will follow.

Cusp said...

'a winged kind...' ??? blimey, he hasn't sent you a budgie has he ?? or a parrot ? '..Pretty Polly...pretty Polly' ;O)

Reading the Signs said...

ok, some clown seems to have stolen my face!

Reading the Signs said...

Ah, that's better.

tpe said...

Spooky. I travel without a face these days, Signs, and find that I now barely remember what I look like. Mine wasn't stolen, though, I just ditched it in the sea. You must have suffered real trauma when someone stole yours. My best advice? Hold onto your face tightly at all times. You just can't trust anyone these days.

Did you see how greedy Cusp was with her (imaginary) demands? £1,000,000,000 and a diamond encrusted bed and easel. I was shocked and excited in roughly equal measure. You clearly should have gone large, Signs, as you inadvertently tapped Petruchio for a gift. (I really don't like how he's stealing my thunder, by the way, with his appallingly attractive generosity. And the pair of you, all swoony there as you regard his abiding munificence. Makes me seethe with a misplaced envy. I've rarely felt so inferior.)

To give the admittedly handsome man credit, though, he does seem to have brightened your day. And for that, Signs, we should all feel very happy.

I must, must, must get upstairs to congratulate Cusp on her artwork. I'm giving myself until midnight tomorrow - or I may need to take drastic action.

Astonished regards, attractive regards....