Saturday, 23 January 2010

Swedes and Sexpots

A round-up of my week. The highlights.

I have nothing to report on the internet dating front. I fear my heart is just not in it. Every man who contacts me is immediately and brutally discounted. One for referring to me as 'honey', another because the picture he attached was a novelty Wild West 'Wanted' poster in which he was wearing a Stetson. I am sure he doesn't wear it whilst doing his milk-round in Grimsby, but even so. It was too much of worry. Oh, and his favourite past time was going to 'theam' parks. So, not only are we woefully incompatible in terms of hobbies, but the rascal also can't spell, which is another pet hate of mine. If a man is too apathetic to use a spell-check then what chance of foreplay?

I also received this heartfelt treatise.

my name is ahmed .i living uk last 15 years.i was busy 4 my business n previously i am cheated by my ex,i am alone in this country that is why i am looking 4 a honest ladey some time who can look after my business n my other property..i am brown skin asian man,if u like brown skin n honest person u can winks me take care loveyly ladey

Trust me. I didn't 'winks' him.

There is a fundamental problem with all of them, you know. They are just not Rochester. They are lacking in eyebrows and irony. Eyebrows and Irony. Sounds like the title of a Pulp album, don't you think?

So, let us swiftly move on to other matters.


I love wallowing in things dark and depressing. I have been really enjoying the BBC's dramatisation of Wallander, It is utterly bleak. Kenneth Brannagh is a revelation. Take him out of his RSC leotard and add sprinkling of stubble and he really is very attractive. The program is set in Sweden and the landscape is starkly beautiful: vast, leaden, empty skies and miles and miles of bleached, windswept grassland. The whole programme has a haunting, morbid lyricism.

Brannagh plays your typical lonely, dour, cynical, anti-social detective. Is there any other kind of literary copper? Let's face it, they're never portrayed as chirpy, happily married family men, are they? Kurt Wallander makes Inspector Morse look like Ken Dodd.

This week's episode was particularly somber: murder, torture, betrayal, cancer and revenge were the very Shakespearean themes. But, in the midst of all that bleakness Wallander fell in love. He met his 'soul-mate' (or if you are a man on, 'sole-mate'). How did he know she was 'the one'? Well, I shall tell you. It transpired that he and the lady in question shared the same painting. What a co-incidence. The print was a rather menacing, Munch-inspired forest scene, all twisted silvery branches and lengthening shadows.

Obviously this startling co- incidence hinted at a deeply soulful and sensual connection between the two. Although, I think the film-makers did miss a trick here. The film was so distressing in its themes that I think a welcome note of levity could have been introduced at this point. Imagine how the oppressive tension of the piece would have lifted had the painting in question been of dogs playing pool?

I was compelled to email Rochester about this though, given that on his first visit to my Art Deco midden, he was astounded to see we had a shared picture. That was not dogs playing pool (no, he had the poker version), but a lovely and rather obscure print from the Laing Gallery called The Bathing Pool.

Meatballs and Dimebars

The Swedish theme was continued later in the week with a trip to Ikea, (yes, it was a legitimate need, I had to buy things for my class, more of that another time). I have a huge affection for Ikea meatballs, and the gloopy packet sauce that accompanies them. I know they represent the antithesis of healthy, natural, organic food. They are environmentally friendly though, those meatballs. They are made with recycled Volvo tyres, pulverised Scholl sandals and Kenneth Brannagh's redundant leotards. That accounts for the rather odd, rubbery texture.

I also bought dozens of Dimebars, to be dipped in Yorkshire tea, whilst partaking in my favourite bed activity: watching Mad Men on DVD.

Mad Men

Now, I am rationing myself with Mad Men. I have only watched the first 4 episodes, but I love it so. I shall be devastated when it is over. I'll have to find something else to do in bed then. Reasons to buy Mad Men on DVD.
  • it has razor sharp dialogue (written, mostly, by women, you know)
  • gorgeous costumes and super stylish retro settings (I love admiring decor, I can even watch Midsumer Murders just for sheer pleasure of admiring the Agas. They are so much more interesting and expressive than John Nettles)
  • it is gleefully politically incorrect - all that smoking and those old-fashioned gender roles. 'it was like watching a dog play the piano really well.' one guy says, after a woman somehow manages to write a great line of copy for a lipstick ad. You know, I wish I lived in a time where men were men and women were women. I can't help but think things would be simpler.
  • the character of Joan, who is just such a gloriously arch and beautifully juicy sexpot. Here she is in action.
As you can see from the picture at the top, Cecil the Maine Coon is a big fan of our cosy Mad Men nights in. Now, excuse me while I settle down with episode 5.

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