Tuesday, 26 October 2010

So last year!

In the episode of Ugly Betty that was broadcast on Sunday, on ITV, Mark said to Betty, after learning she was starting a blog, ‘Oh, welcome to six years ago... [PAUSE] That was uncalled for: welcome to two years ago.’ It got me thinking.

I haven’t posted for several months, but I always planned to resume writing at some point. However, blogging does seem rather passé, especially blogging about one’s misfortune. Although I have always tried to sound ‘angry’ rather than ‘crushed’ when relating unpleasant events, some of my posts must have sounded like annoying moans. I don’t want to read that kind of thing any longer – I find it tiresome and self-indulgent – and I’m pretty sure a lot of people don’t either. The only blogs that have lasted and are worth spending time on are those that provide useful information – or are amazingly beautiful to look at.

The number of visitors to Frag Name of the Day is increasing steadily and I will carry on posting there. As for Les Planches d’Outre-Manche, I don’t know yet...

Anyway, I would like to thank everyone who came here in the past few years. Hope you found Slap of the Day entertaining. Au revoir !

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Yesterday, for the third time in a couple of weeks, I saw a woman wearing fur at my local supermarket. Her coat looked vintage (don’t you just love the way ‘second-hand’ became ‘vintage’ when the middle-class decided it was OK to use stuff that has already been used by someone else), but the other two had been wearing coats that were obviously new. And I don’t think those women weren’t Italian or Eastern European either. The fact that this was in Hammersmith, not in Mayfair, is indicative that it is about to become more acceptable.

I have to confess that I myself have worn fur in the past. My parents, who worked in the rag trade, had friends who were furriers, and two or three times (before the late ’80s, when fur became a no-no, at least in the UK, and you risked having eggs thrown at you if you wore it in the street) I was taken to their workshops and told to select a coat or a jacket. We’re not talking mink here; just something cuddly – and affordable. There is nothing like real fur for warmth and softness; synthetic fur can be very nice (items from La Maison de la Fausse Fourrure and Jan Kuperus, for instance, are wonderful), but it doesn’t age well – actually it doesn’t age at all, whereas real fur (as long as moths are kept away from it) is indestructible and always looks beautiful.

Before she died, knowing I would never want to wear it, my mother gave away her fur (a black astrakhan coat) to one of her neighbours, who didn’t have such scruples, but, later, when sorting out her belongings, I found a woollen coat with a silver fox fur collar in her wardrobe. I took the coat to a charity shop, but kept the collar. I have it still; it is lovely; it sits along the top of my armchair and I stroke it from time to time. It is old, the poor fox is long dead and nothing can bring it back to life so I have no intention of getting rid of it. At least I didn’t hunt the animal myself, like a neighbour of mine – a member of the landed gentry – who has several such trophies hanging on his wall.

If it were possible to obtain skins without hurting the animals in any way, I would wear fur again, but since that can never be I deplore the return of the fashion for fur. It may be another sign that we are going back to uncaring times. Apparently, as a journalist wrote in The Independent a while ago, there is a fashion in ethics too.


Update 24/02/2010: Twiggy agrees with me. She has publicly condemned the use of real fur at London Fashion Week. She said designers should be ashamed of themselves.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Frag Name of the Day – FIY

If you wish to know what the latest sound file is, look under MY OTHER WEB PAGES (at right). If you wish to listen to it, please log on to Frag Name of the Day.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Money down the drain

It would never occur to a printer (not the human kind – the noisy, breakable one) to poof off BEFORE a new – extortionately priced – ink cartridge has been put in (and cannot be removed because the carriage is stuck in an inaccessible corner). OBVIOUSLY!

Of all the peripherals, printers are THE most annoying. And expensive.

Slapping (and kicking) stupid printer!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Quelle surprise!

Now that our hard-earned cash isn’t going to subsidise Mr Ross’s extravagant lifestyle* any longer – who on earth needs, or deserves, a salary of £6m a year – I was hoping he might be replaced by a woman. Preferably a mature woman. There are quite a few who would do just as good a job, or even a better one. I wanted to nominate Francine Stock for Film 2010 (her programme on Radio 4 is always interesting).

After a lout (Jonathan Ross) and a dinosaur (Barry Norman), it would have made a refreshing change.

Unfortunately, rumour has it that it will be an ageing rocker with a quiff**.

Sigh. And slap!

*Actually, I have no idea whether his lifestyle is extravagant – I’m not interested enough to find out, but with that amount of dough at his disposal it certainly should be.

** Mark Kermode, who I always thought was related to the great literary critic Frank Kermode. He isn’t. Yet another disappointment.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Frag Name of the Day – Serge Lutens

Earlier today, on a message board that I still read occasionally, people were arguing about the correct pronunciation of a French perfume house, and finally agreeing on an incorrect one, so I intend to record (and post here) a new name every day – starting with that of my favourite perfumer, Serge Lutens.

I hope all perfumistas out there will find it useful. Log in tomorrow for the next name on my list. What is it? Ah, that would be telling... 

Update (5/01/2010): I have just found a blog host where you can download any sound file posted by the blogger. Go here if you want to save the file for further reference.

I welcome requests, please don't hesitate to ask by using the comments form.