This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Monday, October 31, 2005

bad girls

I have always wanted to be a Bad Girl. Dr Joolz ofcourse is one, and her posse of girls on her links.
My friend Anna is also a bad girl - she did this marvellous site specific production here.
Angela McRobbie writes about bad girls here and Lucinda Williams is a great bad girl's singer.
Jacqueline Wilson writes about bad eight year old girls here.
Julia Darling wrote great books about bad teenagers like this one, and my daughter and I adore her books.

Even better (or worse) is to be a bad mother as here.
Being a nomad, I obviously have a bad mother thing going, hence my by-line but my friend Vally who very nicely visited this blog, says it is not the case and I shouldn't put it.
This is very nice of her. I wanted to put it on to see if it invited any comments.
I might change it later.
My darling friend Jennifer is also a very supportive Friend to Bad Mothers.
If you want to follow a good debate, see here.
So I have decided not to feel guilty any more.

The ultimate bad girl is Eve

Michelene Wandor wrote some great poems about Eve here.

PS the drawing was done by Molly on the computer using Paint
She is a Barbie girl normally but today she is a Witch!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Across the scales of time

I am fascinated by the timescales attached to artifacts and have written about this here and in here.
The title of this post comes from a marvellous paper by Jay Lemke which you can find here.
Stanton Wortham also has a brilliant new book on identity and timescales, in particular on how one girl's identity was built up over a period of time, using the idea of micro meso and macro timescales.

What is interesting about blog writing, is the way in which timescales have been disrupted.
After a week of blog writing (seems an eternity) I can now manipulate time.
This post is being written when I have time, at half term, but won't be put up until next week. (Dr Joolz showed me how).
This is like the work of Jeff Wallwho may take months to shoot one photograph, which looks as if it is in one moment.
Lemke links the notion of time to the notion of affordance.
Semiotic objects have particular timescales and affordances attached to them.
One person who has written about affordance is Theo van Leeuwen who has sadly moved to Sydney where Anya is.
Anya has written a marvellous paper about digital affordances here (p. 24) and I am very interested in what she has to say as I am exploring the affordances of blogging.
One of them is time.
I have just been to Dorset and to the Chesil beach (above)
where the pebbles are older than anything to see my oldest friend Christian (that's her actual name not the religion oh no). Christian and I lark about because in our heads we are just 15 and still giggly although ofcourse we are practically old ladies.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

For Clare

This is a poem to cheer up Simply Clare and Dr Joolz:

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost;green thrives;the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man;decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss;sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen:may it happen for you.

Sheenagh Pugh

This comes from this book edited by Julia Darling and Cynthia Fuller.
Another of Julia Darling's poems can be found here.
I love it because it sums up what I feel about the country, very nice, but not me.
Think of me here:

I will be back!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I have been thinking about my nomadic status. Love the pictures of nomads here.
Also really like the nomadic clothes here
because they confirm my identity as nomadic woman, always on the move.
I am interested in art that subverts or explores nomadic status, such as Isaac Julien's work here.
My friend Dictynna is a film maker and her work with Somali women witnesses their narratives of migration. She reminded me of this book and I also thought this looked interesting.
The idea of narratives of migration and their relation to artifacts is one I hope to explore on this blog, and also I hope that this body will give me a grant for a project called Inside and Outside Glass Cabinets, which looks at the relationship between objects in museums and artifacts of identity in homes. More of than anon.

From tomorrow I am going here with my two daughters:

The biggest problem is what to listen to in the car. Daughter 1 will want this.
Daughter 2 will want this.
And I will want this.
But there will be one CD that we ALL agree on. We will love it for its revolutionary fervour, the powerful singing and the swaying of the beat to the camel on the Sahara desert.
It is true nomad music.
It is this, and it is brilliant.

What do you you listen to on long journeys?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Why do things get in a muddle? Here is Gregory Bateson:
Well, people spend a lot of time tidying things, but they never seem to spend time muddling them. Things just seem to get in a muddle by themselves. And then people have to tidy them up again.

I spend my life surrounded by mess, as here:

I wrote an article about mess in this journal.
I was interested when I went into homes for my research that people spent so much energy tidying up for me. However, when I was myself the subject of research, I was very keen to tidy up, even though my interviewer didn't want me to.
Flickrites also find mess challenging, as here.
Mess is interesting. I think it is creative.
Jackie Marsh alerted me to this which is about loose talk.
Go and see.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The collection

This post celebrates collections, particularly those behind glass cabinets as here.
In my thesis, I was particularly interested in objects behind glass cabinets.
Flickr celebrates collections, as here.
In fact, if you seach 'the collection' on Flickr, you immediately are plunged into a myriad of other people's collectable items.
I used to be a collector, when I was a child and my parents had a stall on Portobello Road(we never made any money though). I collected antique seals, (not the animals, the things you use to stamp letters with sealing wax) and small items and put them in my so called pretty cupboard, which you see here.
There is more good stuff on collections here and this book is a marvellous read on homes as museums.
However, this week being half term, new collections are spouting up all over the place, and the house is out of control.

I might need some help with tidying up.

New stuff

After lost objects and found objects the trail moves on to new stuff. Alexandra Shulman (one of my fave people) wrote in this Saturday's telegraph about how she tried to give up shopping for one month.She actully found it quite hard and worried,
I was worried by the slight aura of pointlessness suffusing each successive day...
she then relapses and buys loads of clothes...after which she says
I felt sick and guilty
She concludes that she does actully need to shop although not as much.
This is a good article, and was also accompanied by this article about the dangers of shopping too much.
Now I love new stuff and I love shopping. In this I am not alone.
I do know that Dr Joolz likes to buy stuff from here and Jennifer my lovely New Jersey friend likes to buy things from here while daughter no 1 likes to buy things from here.
I meanwhile have recently bought 2 skirts, one from here and one from an impossibly cool shop near Sadlers Wells where I also bought a blue trench coat on the invaluable advice of Simply Clare.
Well this was THE RIGHT THING TO DO as later, faced with a dire emergency my coat gave me Strength and in a very Hospital Nurse (the coat is a bit official) fashion I was able to respond (as was Dr Joolz) with Nerves of Steel.
So clothes really do make a difference, and they are artifacts of identity.
This is the theme of the article that Jennifer and I are writing together and it is very hard.
I am trying to draw on an article I wrote for this journal on the relationship between narrative and artifacts.
I think that despite Dr Rob's anti fashion comments,that there is a very important relationship between identity and clothes, as evidenced by this marvellous book here that Dr Joolz got me.
This is all very good and you are all agreeing with me.
ALso, up till now you realise these purchases are essential and important.
BUT I have a new and terrible thing that has happened in my life.
Owing to my marvellous new research project which is in Barnsley, a new Danger has emerged.
It is this shop.
I have fallen in love.
But I now do actually have an overdraft.I cannot buy any more new stuff.
What do I do?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Autumn flowers

I am trying to learn to see differently, as Dr Joolz says, 'Through my Flickr eyes' (or is it Anya our identities are merging here).
This is me trying to do the photo:

I was very inspired by Anya's post yesterday, when she just blogged flowers.

As Sunday should be a day of fun and relaxation, here are some flower pics I took yesterday in the garden:

I hope you like the pic of me for my profile. My marvellous daughter did it.
She likes my dress which she thinks is a bit like Prada
But already I see you are getting distracted and going shopping.
The picture of me reading Vogue is a CLUE as to what is coming next.
You will not believe it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

reading vogue

reading vogue
Originally uploaded by herongirlz.

Found objects

Since yesterday's post was about lost objects, today's is about found objects.
The best finder person in my household is Molly, who finds all my jewellery and miscellaneous items and displays them here:
This rather lovely installation was made using the polystyrene bits that came from my mixer (more of than anon my mixer god my mixer) and then found objects from around her environment.
The notion of found objects has been explored by artists -see here
I like the idea of the cabinet of curiosity made up of found objects in charity shops.
Also, there is the question of modern art and the Found Object as a kind of random thing.
This is one of the themes of The Turner Prize especially this guy who resurrects old stuff to make new scuptural installations.
I however am interested in ordinary people and ordinary objects. There is a great feature in today's Guardian about family objects about a stone with a hole:

It is, like all the objects here, the thing that makes the memory firm, and an instant leap to a clear and precise moment when we were together
Do other people have favourite found objects and do they tell a story?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Getting lost

I thought I would cheer up Dr Joolz by saying that due to her expert help and instruction I have just started my blog.
Visitors will have to realise however, that I am only just learning but there will be themes on this blog which will appear with monotonous regularity.
Commenters may be interested to know the themes in advance, so they can adjust their comments accordingly.
For now the themes are:
lost tickets
lost items

I thought I would begin my blog by talking about all the things I have lost.
Since my Phd thesis was about ephemera I also think lost things are v. interesting as is mess.
I recently thought I lost my train ticket from London to Sheffield and had to pay £50 for a new one only to find I had it all along.
This is called being disorganised.
I also lost my rucksack (as above) on a bus (with my lap top in it) but it was Hurrah returned.
Other things I have lost: several small items of jewellery, this child (once in the park and he was returned by the park keeper) a present for my daughter's friend (on a bus), my mobile phone for the whole summer, my car in a multi story car park (intelligent readers will realise this car is not mine and therefore this part of the blog is made up but I like that car so it will be mine for the blog obviously it was not my car I lost) and also lots of umbrellas.
Hurrah for buses and for Ken Livingstone who I adore as he makes all the buses run on time.
I have also got lost here when a very small child.
Can people tell me what they lost?