Day spent revising graphic novels and psychogeography for the exam. I’ve also been reading about ‘Hauntology’, a Derrida term reclaimed by Mark Fisher to use instead of psychogeography, for instance when describing Laura Oldfield Ford’s book, Savage Messiah.  He uses it along with Simon Reynolds  to denote a theorised ‘end of history’ trend in music as well as writing: ‘mourning for lost utopias’.

Article by Andrew Gallix on hauntology


Candid photo of me taken by Travis Elborough at the Aubin Cinema the other day. I’m in the middle of talking to Alex Mayor about, oh I don’t know, ‘failing upwards’ or some such Whit Stillman quote. We were about to watch Damsels In Distress, the new Stillman film.







I like the photo, even though it’s my Not So Good Side. I never did learn to fully love the constellation of little moles on my right cheek. Always thought they look vaguely like a join-the-dots puzzle of Bonnie Langford. I even went to see an NHS plastic surgeon about them, once, when I was about 20. He pretty much laughed me out of the room, saying they weren’t worth worrying about.

And yet… One thinks of standards of acceptable facial imperfections. In fact, it reminds me that Analeigh Tipton, one of the main actresses in Damsels In Distress, has a faint  scar around one side of her mouth.

What’s unusual is that not only has her scar not been covered up with make-up (as I tend to with my moles when properly being photographed), but the director, Whit Stillman, often seems to focus on it, lovingly, as if making a point. It’s like a sweeter version of that much maligned cinematic theory, the Male Gaze. Ms Tipton is already extremely beautiful, and the scar stops her being boringly beautiful.

A little bit of Googling reveals that she started a career in modelling, but was soon dropped by her agency. Because of the scar. ‘So many people in the fashion industry were like, ‘We’re so sorry that happened to your face.’ 

One thinks of Cindy Crawford making a trademark out of her mole. Why is a scar worse?

Still, up yours, fashion.


Tags: , ,

Christmas Card

A Frankly Merry Christmas and a Splendid New Year to you.


(This year’s London tree: in the foyer of the 100-year-old Phoenix
Cinema, East Finchley, Christmas Eve 2009. Just before seeing the new
print of  The Red Shoes. Photo by Ms Shanthi.)

Tags: ,

Christmas Photos

Here’s this year’s DE Christmas card image. Photo taken in April 2008 by Phoebe Allen. Digital snow added in December by Daniel Clift.


Here’s this year’s DE In Front Of A Christmas Tree In London shot, by Heather Malone. Taken outside the Natural History Museum, Christmas Eve 2008, at about 10pm.


And here’s one I took today, while mooching along Parkland Walk to get to a Christmas Dinner in Crouch End. It’s the scary hidden sculpture of a spriggan (an unkind creature from Cornish folklore), by the artist Marilyn Collins. Seems even more magical (or more scary) on Christmas Day:

Tags: , , , ,


Looking at the previous entry, I’m now wondering if I’ve used the phrase ‘fetchingly epicene’ before.

Actually, I’m wondering if anyone has used the phrase ‘fetchingly epicene’ before? On the Internet, at any rate. If so, I may have to marry them. 

(goes to Google… deep breath…)

It’s pathetic of me, I know. But as I go to bed – with no fetchingly epicene bedfellow in sight – it’s things like this that help my day feel, well, vaguely worthwhile. Just about. In lieu of anything else. 

Still, if you can’t add new phrases to the world – ones that spring accidentally, unbidden, directly and unselfconsciously from the heart – what else is writing for? 


Here’s a nice photo of myself and the Teaists at the Wallace Collection last Saturday. Courtesy of Helen McCookerybook.

Left to right: Tallulah, Tobias, DE. I appear to be posing for the side of a coin.

Tags: , , ,