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domesticity & white towels

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

I surfaced from multiple conflicting deadlines long enough to prepare for the First Official Houseguest and noticed that I'm not responsible enough to own white towels.

These goods were purchased from Heal's when I moved in to the flat last September. I had never before owned quality towelling and couldn't have known what to expect, but I did anticipate they would remain dazzling and fluffy longer than five months. Especially since I was away for two of those months.

They are not tattered or dirty, they are just. . . vaguely not quite white.

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stereotypes, reputations, simplicity

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

Six years of life in Europe has served one main purpose: to convince me that national stereotypes and historical reputations are deserved.

Certainly not all - and generally not the worst of those available - and of course individual people have an array of personal idiosyncrasies. But very general points like England has shoddy housing are more accurate than I could have believed possible.

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Wed, 12/01/2010 - 07:45 -- Bee

Last year I was stuck in Cambridge, unable to travel because of immigration restrictions, and I decided to make a list.

I sat in a cafe I disliked in a town I hated with a piece of paper and a bleary pen. I outlined where I wanted to be, and what it would take to get there. The specific destination was less important than the philosophical imperative of change - profound, brutal, transformative, necessary.

Back then I didn't like my life, so radical departure did not pose a threat. Transgressions are immaterial if you have no expectations.

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Thu, 11/18/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

I've been here six years, and I'm now officially British, yet I still cook with a melange of US and UK recipes and measuring apparatus. With no discernible skill, aptitude, or understanding of the metric system.

Cause I like to keep things lively?

The more likely answer is that I just don't care; I've never aspired to any level of domestic excellence. Except perhaps in terms of the equipment, but in that I am adamantly opposed to conspicuous consumption. My kingdom for a logo free mixing bowl!

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Fri, 10/15/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

There is at times an enormous gaping chasm between my perception of a situation and what an objective observer might report. One example: I cling with bloody shredded fingers to the notion that I am working class, despite all evidence (education, income, career, tendency to scamper off to the Riviera on a whim) to the contrary.

Usually this distortion makes no difference in real terms except that I am inclined to say critical and highly offensive things at dinner parties. Or, you know, live on the radio. Whatever.

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Fri, 10/15/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

From the spectacles on my face to the bags I carry to the desk I own, my love of vintage objects is partly emotional, partly practical. As much as I like the shape and history of old things, I have always liked the price more. When the things I lust after become expensive or cross the date line to "antique" I lose interest.

I'm not a collector. I'm thrifty.

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Thu, 10/14/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

Now that I have something to sit on, I need something to eat with. Cutlery - what a quandary!

I have looked everywhere in this vast metropolis, with no joy. Merchandise on the market is either too expensive, too old-fashioned, or too ambitious. Why, oh why do designers think they need to be creative with the shape of a spoon? It is a spoon. It is meant to ladle soup. The shape has been standardised over time because it makes sense.

Even the Scandinavians failed me.


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