Sunday, 13 May 2012

Elizabeth's painters


There’s a DFS advert on the telly at the moment which is driving me insane. Firstly, it’s for sofas, which has got to be one of the dullest things to advertise on telly, but the music which accompanies the advert is just beyond. It's out-of-tune, profoundly repetitive and its words send speers of vomit into the back of my throat. The woman singing it sounds like she's swallowed a mattress. It’s so awful that I've tracked it down. The song is called Tree Hugger and it's by Antsy Pants and Kimya Dawson. The title alone is bad enough but any band which calls itself Antsy Pants is surely on a hiding to nowhere. They say a problem shared is a problem solved, so I’d love someone else to share the mind-numbing pain. Here it is. Listen and weep.

I worked in a cafe in Soho today. Nathan was doing a Sunday shift at the theatre, so I decided to venture into town with him. Soho on a Sunday morning is a curiously peaceful place; refreshingly empty and half-closed. I found a corner of a Starbucks and worked until about 3pm, which felt a little token, but it was a Sunday.

I met Nathan for an incredibly late lunch at Di’s Diner on Wardour Street. The place is a bit of a Mecca for West End Wendies and, like many little cafes in the theatre district, the walls are covered in framed, signed, 1980s head-shots of long-forgotten celebrities. The ubiquitous Anita Dobson was obviously taking pride of place; beaming down at the world from the top of a fake Welsh dresser. I was pretty certain I'd find a signed head shot of Dorian from Birds of a Feather but Dobson's was the only face I recognised. There was a photograph of a black guy with a quiff which threatened to take him into orbit, an actress who looked familiar and might have been called Janet, a trio of "zany" cabaret performers pulling "funny" faces, a still from a film with a man dressed in Nazi uniform, and a young comic in a bobble hat. Ah! The brutal transience of Celebrity culture. One minute you’re posing for a photograph with Vaseline smeared across the lens to cover the crow’s feet and the next you’re on Dancing On Ice.  Do these celebrities carry their headshots with them when they go to cafes in the West End just in case?

Nathan’s just got back from work carrying yet another parking ticket; this one for parking on a single yellow line – on a Sunday. £65. He might as well not have gone to work. It's high time that the rules for parking on single yellow lines were cleared up, not simply on a council-by-council level, but nationally. I am sick and tired of stealth taxes on car drivers.

350 years ago, Elizabeth Pepys had the painters in, so Pepys made a beeline for the front door, and spent the day wondering around the City of London finding things to do, paying his bills at the bookshops in St Paul’s Churchyard before returning home to ensconce himself in a room the other side of the house, playing music, reading and drinking wine. How sympathetic.

1 comment:

  1. Re "Tree Hugger" That's 3.15 minutes of my life I won't get back.

    PS I was amused at the text below the film which read 'Watch in High Quality' as if that was going to help.

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