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Dear blog, you are probably wondering what I have been up to lately, don’t you? Well, I have been to pick up my new iMac, the fabulous Mr Howard whom I have spent an awful lot of time with, God knows doing what. I have seen a bunch of bad films and some good ones and I have marched all over the heath and eaten carrot cakes at Kenwood House and watched people walk their pretty dogs (did you know, in Hampstead Heath dogs are called either Chekhov or Daisy – I want a dog called Chekhov or Daisy!). I have found a shop called the Junk Shop (I love shops and I love junk) where I bought a neat little edition of Mother Courage. Not by Brecht but by a Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelhausen who, it says, was the father of the German novel and who wrote under an assortment of pen-names, all anagrams of his own: Melchior Sternfels von Fugshaim, Philarchus Grossus von Trommenheim, Signeur Messmahl, Simon Lengfrisch von Hartenfels, Erich Stainfels von Grufensholm among others. I have been spending way too much time in Irish pubs and have also ended at least one night in Greenwich with someone who came to this country hidden inside a petrol tanker (you know, just like in the Kite-Runner) and I have seen the Prisoner of Second Avenue with Jeff Goldblum and Mercedes Ruehl, which was fantastic, I really must go to see more comedy, tragedy bores me to death. And I have seen a portrait of Isabella Blow made up of dead animals, said my final good-bye to good friends who are moving to New York (jealous, moi?), swapped my summer wardrobe for the winter one, then been terribly upset because the weather has shifted again and it’s now 25 degrees and sunny. Isn’t the world a most peculiar place?
Fashion week has come to London town. And this is what it looked like in the early days.
“I started reading very early. My father worked in a factory and my mother worked as a waitress, but they were avid readers. We didn’t always have a lot of food, or a lot of toys, but there were a lot of books. I fell in love with books very early on in life – they way they looked, the way they felt, and I was always curious about what was inside them. So I didn’t need much encouragement. In fact, I begged my mother to teach me to read before I went to school. The first book I spent a lot of time with was A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. I was a very sickly child – I had bronchial pneumonia, tuberculosis, Asiatic flu, mumps, measles, scarlet fever – so I had lots of time to stay in bed and read. And Robert Louis Stevenson was a sickly child, too, and wrote a lot of poems about or for children who were convalescing, so they really spoke to me.”
Patti Smith talks ELLE (October Issue) through the literature that has shaped her life and career.
Right, graduation is over and done with. Good bye academic life, hello uncertain future. I would post some pictures but actually didn’t manage to take any. I was too busy drinking champagne and chasing canapés. And anyway, academic dress does really not do anyone any favours. Or as Robert Purvis once said: “A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.” I can’t remember our warden’s speech very well but it was probably along the same lines. And something about us not getting slack because in a year’s time there will be a bunch of other bright people sitting where we are sitting now. Declan Donnellan (honorary fella), on the other hand, talked about sheep which was more encouraging. After all, Jesus was a shepherd (if only metaphorically so).