Filed under: Steampunk | Tags: Alan Ladd, Jenna Coleman, Matthew McFadden, Ripper Street, The Iron Mistress, The Victorian Slum, Victoria, Victoriana
After Victoria what? The Twentieth Century, I suppose. The first series of Victoria on ITV has finished and I’m going to miss it. On Monday the latest series of Ripper Street ended on a cliff hanger. Now where will I get my weekly shot of Victoriana? I could watch The Victorian Slum, but I watch for inspiration and uplift and I suspect the slums will not provide that, Ripper Street was gritty enough for me.
I have loved the costumes on Victoria as the Hanoverian age gave way to the modern age of Victoria. Having seen Jenna Coleman in contemporary dress as Clara Osborn I am firmly of the opinion that the dresses of the Victorian era were much more flattering to women. Of course, never having had to be laced into a corset myself, that’s an opinion I can hold without discomfort. The flattering elegance of Victorian clothes is, for me, one of the main attractions of Steampunk. Many women in the Steampunk community prefer to wear outfits drawn more from the shady side of Victorian society, it’s all about self expression, but I personally prefer decorous elegance.
I also enjoy the male attire of the period, I think I need a stovepipe hat…I know I need a stovepipe hat! It is in menswear that it is most obvious that the Hanoverians are the recent past. Much of the neckwear is the same as one would see in a Recency romance. When we get to Ripper Street set in Victoria’s later years the men’s clothes prefigure men’s clothes of today. Again this shows in the neck ties, but also in shorter jackets than the earlier frock and tailed coats and in suits whose jackets and trousers match. However the dress of any era carries over into those that follow and so even today we see men occasionally in frock coats or tails, and frequently in the case of Steampunks.
As for me I shall have to fill the vacuum left by the absence of Victoria and Ripper Street by watching Oscar Wilde DVDs. I may even go back further and indulge in a bit of Jane Austen (I don’t care what anyone says, Matthew McFadden is the best Darcy on film!). Perhaps a few westerns, I’m thinking of The Iron Mistress with Alan Ladd. I am looking forward with eagerness to Victoria’s return.
Filed under: Health | Tags: Boy George, diversity, gender, Jan Morris, love, marriage, Michael Palin, Neelam Bakshi, sexuality
In two consecutive television programs tonight the quotation, “The past is another country.” has been used. Its a country where I have spent much of my evening.
I am drinking tea, eating Garibaldi biscuits and thinking of my father. He loved Garibaldi biscuits and I can’t eat them without thinking of him. At the same time I was watching Michael Palin interviewing Jan Morris who as James Morris has covered the first successful conquest of Everest. I was watching film of the year I was born and it really doesn’t feel so long ago.
I was amused by the next program with Boy George talking about his childhood in the seventies as if it were long ago. I was in my twenties, left-wing, politically active…I am still left-wing, but far less active in every way.
Both programs were much about gender identity and sexuality. Jan Morris talking about transsexuality and transitioning said “Everyone’s doing it now…” I think not, however I suppose we are all much more open these days. It’s certainly true that in the days when I wanted to be a ballerina, it wasn’t generally possible. My mother told me kindly that I couldn’t be a ballerina, but I could be a ballet dancer like Rudolf Nureyev. I didn’t want to be Rudolf Nureyev, I wanted to be Margot Fonteyn. I am glad now because I’m a happy grandad and about about to celebrate my thirty fifth wedding anniversary.
Thirty five years married to a wonderful woman who is also my best friend. I have always struggled to make sense of the world and my place in it. She actually can explain me to me, and I love that she embraces my fluidity and eccentricity and loves me anyway. I think we could have at least another thirty five years together, I hope so.
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, Health, Steampunk, Travel | Tags: Ayr, Jordan's Opticians
Had I had a plan for today, today would not have gone to it. I suppose I had a sort of plan, but it went no further than going to Ayr with my wife to have lunch and then collect our new spectacles from Jordan’s Opticians.
The day started somewhat more slowly than anticipated and by the time we got to Ayr lunch was long passed and so we did not get the Macaroni Cheese to which we had been looking forward. However we did go to the Cookery Nook to buy the Gripper (jar opener) that they didn’t have in stock when we were last in Ayr to have our eyes tested. We might not have got our Macaroni Cheese, but coffee and home baked cakes and scones in Book and Bun was a happy alternative. Needless to say we ended up buying books…some habits are hard to break.
We collected our eyeglasses and went for a wander through the town rather than risk the rush hour traffic. As we rested a while on a bench some yards from the Gaiety Theatre a young woman asked to take my photo for an art project. I was not wearing Steampunk so it was a wee bit of a surprise, but I’m always happy to help. We set off about the time I had anticipated being home to watch Strictly It Takes Two and after driving around the streets of Ayr for some time we found ourselves on the road home. It’s nice sometimes to explore new places, unfortunately I’m not sure where it was we were exploring, but it’s an attractive town, on the whole.
Our timings were by now well adrift and so rather than cook we decided to buy a takeaway on the way home. While I waited for our food to be cooked Neelam went into Asda for some shopping. We had intended to get home and eat our food while it was hot. However when I got to Asda I discovered my wife helping an old Indian Woman packing a trolley-load of fruit punnets into bags. It turned out the woman seeing another Indian had asked Neelam if she might have a lift to the bus stop. She said she was going to near Lidl. Now there was no way Neelam was going to allow an ould woman who walked with a stick to struggle with five heavy bags on the bus. So it was we decided to run her home which turned out to be in Garnethill. We were somewhat later home with our food less hot than anticipated. However with the warm satisfaction of having used our time well we enjoyed our meal.
The funny thing is that although almost no part of my day passed as planned or expected and I’m later to my writing than I’d like I am well content. Some days are good days even though they are full of surprises (I don’t like surprises) and today was a good day. I think I will sleep well tonight.