Grayson Perry, Paralympics & Bog Rolls

A bits and bobs blog this week, I think…

I just got around to watching the final episode of Grayson Perry’s In the Best Possible Taste on 4oD. This was the episode focussing on the upper classes, and my reaction to it was, unexpectedly, a strange combination of loss and regret. Towards the end of the programme Grayson presented his tapestry to the people who had inspired it, and there was one particularly poignant moment where aristo ‘Rollo’ looked at an image of himself depicted as a felled stag being torn apart by hounds and muttered, somewhat shamefacedly and unconvincingly, ‘you know, there are occasions when the hunted stag arises…’ Continue reading “Grayson Perry, Paralympics & Bog Rolls”

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A Bad Taste in the Mouth…

Hmmm, now where was I? Oh yes: Grayson Perry’s In the Best Possible Taste, middle-class angst, Tunbridge Wells…

Hem Hem. I ended last week’s post on the ‘Kings Hill’ part of Grayson’s programme with an apology to the town’s cup-cake makers. I’ll start this week with a pre-emptive apology to those who might buy or sell at Vintage Fairs or Farmers’ Markets. Of course, I can’t prevent people taking personal offence, I can only offer assurances that no personal offence is intended, and that in the larger scheme of things (or even the smaller scheme of things) my opinions count for very little. And that’s probably an exaggeration.    

From reactions on Twitter it seems people had mixed feelings about Grayson’s insights into the lifestyle and values he encountered in ‘The spiritual hometown of Middle England’™. While some felt he had failed to capture the cultural diversity of the town, others thought he’d revealed something of the ‘wankyness’ that outsiders seem to see when they cast an eye in our direction, and the underlying narcissism underpinning that wankyness.

I think both camps have points to make, but would suggest to those in the first camp that any cultural diversity actually existing in the town and surrounding area is very poorly reflected within the infrastructure of the town, where ‘haves’ are certainly far better catered for than ‘have-nots’ and any attempts to cater for the have-nots (like pound shops or retail outlets and eateries suited to the more budget-conscious members of the community) are looked down upon. Taking that into consideration, I think Grayson very accurately reflected what he saw, particularly as the focus of the programme was, by definition, on those very aspects of life in TW, and that he actually went very easy on us. Continue reading “A Bad Taste in the Mouth…”

Trying Hard to Look Like You’re Not Trying…

Well it was lovely on Tuesday to see Larry Grayson back on the telly after such a long absence. He’s wearing a dress now and talking about art and lifestyle, and I’ve got to say whatever his health regimen it’s working because he’s looking younger today than he ever did back in the days of The Generation Game. Probably a bit of nip and tuck going on, but all well and good to him IMHO…

What? Really? 1995? Blimey… Who? Izzit? Oh…

Well isn’t it lovely to see Grayson Perry back on our screens after such a long absence. He’s doing this wonderful show about art and lifestyle where he’s travelling round the country talking to people about, erm, art and lifestyle then commenting for us, the viewers, on their art and lifestyle choices. The focus is on the British class system and each week he’s looking at different sectors of society to see how they measure up to their stereotypes, and what this means in terms of their ‘taste’. Continue reading “Trying Hard to Look Like You’re Not Trying…”

Funny Old Week…

Had a bit of a shock earlier in the week when I saw what I thought was the Olympic torch procession coming up the hill. They’re not even due round here until mid July so it did seem odd, but given the number of cock-ups we’ve had so far surrounding The Games I wouldn’t have been overly surprised. It turned out to be the villagers storming the castle AGAIN: That’s the third drawbridge I’ve lost this year and I never get a penny back on the insurance. Thank God I’d had the leak in the moat bunged up and a fresh delivery of boiling oil, or there might have been no blog today at all.

Ben has been away in Edinburgh with his BFF since Sunday, and it’s been really strange without him. Daft, because if it was a normal skool week he wouldn’t be about anyway, but with the bank hols and that I’ve really missed him. Oh well, he’s back tonight and chances are that by Saturday he’ll be driving me bonkers again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. He phoned just now, and will be home around midnight. His BFF’s mum had said if they were back too late he could sleep round theirs and I could pick him up in the morning. The words ‘welcome’ ‘worn-out’ ‘his’ and ‘he’s’ come to mind, but not necessarily in that order.

So, hasn’t it been a great Jubilee? Lots of soggy people sitting at soggy trestle tables eating soggy crisps, sossages, and cupcakes and wishing they were indoors in the warm with their feet up. Not really giving a toss about the queen, I WAS indoors in the warm with my feet up for most of it, complaining bitterly about the hi-jacking of the regular weekend TV – bad enough under normal circumstances – to make way for hour after hour of footage featuring soggy people sitting at soggy trestle tables etc etc and over-the-hill musicians and entertainers doing their bit to draw attention away from the fact that it was all costing billions in an economic climate where the vast majority of dear ol’ Bettie’s loyal subjects are on their uppers. Still, any excuse for a piss up, eh? Continue reading “Funny Old Week…”

Just Doing This Now…

No energy for a good rant this week so today’s blog hasn’t really got a theme and is more of a personal ramble. If you’re up for it put on some comfy-but-sturdy walking shoes and grab a bottle of spring water, but I’ll not be offended if you decide to just put your feet up and watch the telly instead. Unless it’s Jeremy Kyle, of course, which is offensive by definition.

A funny old week without any OU deadlines to worry about. Not sure how I feel about that yet, but the word ‘uneasy’ certainly seems appropriate. Have to wait and see…

Walking back from the cash-point after collecting son’s spending money (he’s off to Edinburgh next week with his BFF) I was hit by a couple of drips of rain and there seem to be quite a few filfy looking clouds floating about up there. Such a contrast to the little fluffy Orb-worthy white ones (lil-lil-little-li-li-li-little fluffy clouds) that dotted the sky on Tuesday when I spent the afternoon cycling round the park and lake with a friend before returning home, sore-bottomed but pleasingly invigorated, for some chicken thighs and couscous and lashings of grown-up’s ‘pop’. Do those drips mean summer is over and we’re back into the realm of ‘wettest whatever on record’ and ironic comments about hosepipe bans? I hope not – I like sunshine and beer gardens and li-li-little fluffy clouds and stuff, and they took a long time getting here this year. Continue reading “Just Doing This Now…”