Monday, December 15, 2008

Lucky underpants: "the smart British male is putting his belief in his briefs...."

"So it is with a joyful heart, bedecked with boughs of holly, that we read of modern men, real grown-up ones with jobs and everything, who have handed over their destiny to a more benign ultimate deity. They believe in the power of their Lucky Pants.

Actually, only 20 per cent believe in Lucky Pants; more are convinced of the providential authority of a particular pair of socks (25 per cent), and even more (33 per cent) that an item of jewellery is what brings them fortune.


Lucky charms, whether pants, socks or a St Christopher's medal, can be imbued with any amount of significance. That's the beauty of being human. We decide. If you believe something is meaningful, then, to you, it is.


It all stems from the same desire. We want to control our lives. And despite our best efforts, our lucky knickers, our significant socks, our beliefs in the divine, in fate, or that there's no God and it's all up to us, it makes no difference. We can't control things. We are not in charge. So maybe you should believe in your pants...."

Miranda Sawyer, With fundamentalists and atheists slugging it out for the high ground, the smart British male is putting his belief in his briefs, The Observer Magazine, 14.12.2008, p.8

Saturday, December 13, 2008

... looking like Father Christmas....

"My second memory being dressed in a red knitted coat and a white hat. I was being carried by my mother. We were on a train and were saying 'Goodbye' to my father who was a Petty Officer in the navy and going off to the war. He said I looked like Father Christmas. There was a brown teapot somewhere. I must have been two."

BBC Radio 4 Memory Experience

Memory Miniatures

"My partner Shawn had a favorite shirt that he wore all the time. When he had an ink blowout in the pocket, I felt so bad that I couldn't toss it out. Instead I decided to make a replica of the shirt for him as a keepsake.


I realize now that making these pieces fulfills a need to bring myself, as well as the recipients, a sense of peace as we all transition through time and place. Time itself seems to be folded when I look at the miniatures. Like tiny stand-ins, they take on the stories and personalities of their owners with a wider reach of affect than the actual person."

Jon Coffelt, Memory Clothing, Fiberarts, Jan/Feb 2009, Vol. 35, Number 4, p.20

see also

Credit Crunch

Google search result for "credit crunch tighten belt" - 50,600 (0.21 seconds)

"Credit Crunch: have you tightened your belt? .... Tighten your Customer Experience Belt in a Credit Crunch only if .... The credit crunch: Should Santa tighten his belt? ...."

Google search results for "credit crunch cuts" - 5,100.000 (o.18 seconds)

"Credit crunch cuts out Christmas excess .... Credit crunch cuts switching by 17% in a year.... Credit crunch start-up activity...."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

... soon Christmas again...

"'Why not collect and clean chicken wish bones in the run-up to Christmas, spray them silver and use each to pinch together a white, hemstitch napkin?'

Pippa Middleton, younger sister of Kate, has an original mind. At least it seems so from this Christmas tip offered to HELLO! readers."

Quotes of the week, The Observer, 7.12.2008, p.51

Old photos

"All right, so it's grandmother; but in reality it's any young girl in 1864. The girl smiles continuously, always the same smile. The smile is arrested yet no longer refers to the life from which it has been taken. Likeness has ceased to be of any help. The smiles of plastic mannequins in beauty parlors are just as rigid and perpetual. This mannequin does not belong to our time; it could be standing with others of its kind in a museum in a glass case labeled 'Traditional Costumes, 1864.' There the mannequins are displayed solely for the historical costumes, and the grandmother in the photograph, too, is an archaeological mannequin which serves to illustrate the costumes of the period. So that's how women dressed then: chignon, cinched waists, crinolines, and Zouave jackets. The grandmother dissolves into fashionably old-fashioned details before the very eyes of the grandchildren. They are amused by the traditional costume, which, following the disappearance of its bearer, remains alone in the battlefield - an external decoration that has become autonomous. They are irreverent, and today young girls dress differently. They laugh, and at the same time they shudder. For through the ornamentation of the costume from which the grandmother has disappeared, they think they glimpse a moment of the past, a time that passes without return."

Kracauer, Siegfried (1995), The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays, translated, edited and with an introduction by Thomas Y. Levin, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England, p.48/49

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Socks and ex-husbands 1

"When my ex-husband left me he took everything of value, and emptied our account, but he left all his clothes! I gave them all away with pleasure, except for one pair of socks, these I wear from time to time, they are very comfortable, and they have for some strange reason never worn out (over 30 years now!!)but go on and on.... They are very ordinary rather plain, grey men's socks, no attraction that I can see. I don't know why I still keep them or why they give me pleasure to wear, if I have to come up with any reasons, I would say that they are an aspect of my past, and memory, that I want to retain. Also, it seems strange but in a funny sort of way, I feel that I have also got power over him! I am saying, you rejected me and left me nothing, you may not know it, but inspite of yourself you have given me something - these socks!"

From my correspondence 2008

Socks & ex-husbands 2

I too have a pair of grey socks left behind by my ex-husband.

When I had my first baby, a German friend of mine knitted three pairs of grey socks, one for me, one for my husband, one for the baby. I liked the socks, asked her for the pattern and started knitting socks myself - just a few pairs, one for my father-in-law as a Christmas present, another one for my husband.

The grey baby socks were worn by both my daughters and don't exist anymore. My socks wore thin after well over a decade of frequent use. My husband didn't seem that keen on his hand-knitted socks (or the elaborately patterned scarf I knitted for him, my labour of love) and left it all behind when we separated.

So now I am wearing the beautiful scarf and warm grey socks. Among my knitting wools there is a single blue sock I started knitting for him but never finished, realizing by then that as my efforts were not being appreciated, there was not much point in continuing.

I knitted myself a pair of black socks with gold sparkle instead. When the heels had worn thin and holes appeared, I made a stiletto sock out of one of them, exhibited it and sold it. I have still got a photo of it (see