Happiness is a warm sequin

So I’m sitting here wearing my cashmere sweater.

It’s kind of like a Bucket List thing, this sweater purchase. While I have no interest whatsoever in actually seeing the movie – as Roger Ebert put it, wouldn’t it be nice if just for once, a movie opened with a white character extolling the virtues of Morgan Freeman? – I have always been kind of sympathetic to the general idea.

I suppose it involves some misdirected wedding-planning instincts, too; I can’t have the poufy ivory dress with the rosebud-embroidered bodice (mental pattern borrowed liberally from Catherine Cookson novels), so the ridiculously expensive sweater is like the prize for growing out of it already. You may not have a man, self, but by God you are a successful, sophisticated woman! More

Guinness goodness

Well, it finally came to pass.

Secular saint Bob Geldof may well be (or at least, that’s how my teenage self defended him to Shoemom after he used ‘f***’ on an awards show), but when it comes to naming his own offspring, his lack of humanity is truly appalling. Over the years, as the reports of Pixie, Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeybloom and Heavenly Hiraani Tigerlily rolled up, the bell began to toll ominously.
‘Twas Peaches who finally got around to asking for whom, in a news article earlier this week: “I hate ridiculous names, my weird name has haunted me all my life,” she complained to the UK press. She’s trying to launch a music career herself, apparently, and as you can appreciate ‘Peaches’ in rock terms doesn’t quite carry the cred of, say, ‘Moon Unit’…or even ‘Dweezil’, for that matter. Unless she wants to become a hip-hop star, in which case ‘Peachy P’ is really no more impossible than ‘P.Diddy’…

Anyway. The whole thing – as things are wont to do to me at the oddest moments – triggered off nostalgic flashbacks to my boon companion of rainy afternoons past: the Guinness Book of World Records. Now, I’m not talking about the post-millennium editions; in fact, leafing through the new ‘relevant’ editions, all glittery covers and colourblocked gossip (“Most Successful Plastic Surgery!”) makes me kind of sad.
The Guinness book of my preteen-hood was a fat Bantam paperback, densely packed with doggedly businesslike prose (“The claims of M. Michael Lotito to have eaten a bicycle must, however, be regarded as apocryphal.”) The combination of kaleidoscopic detail and determination to make sense of it was just endlessly charming to me. I can’t really recommend a better way to inspire wholesale fascination with the human experience. More