Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Making do

I am reading a book called Austerity Britain by David Kynaston and have come accross this marvellous moan from Vere Hodgson, a welfare worker in west London in March 1949 (capitalisation model's own). "Oh for a little extra butter! Then I should not mind the meat. I want half a pound of butter a week for myself alone . . . For ten years we have been on this miserable butter ration, and I am fed up. I NEVER enjoy my lunch."

I feel entirely blessed and will hurry home to have toast and butter for lunch. The book is made up mainly from the records of the Mass Observation movement who asked lots of interesting questions (eg. "What are your feelings about housework? What do you consider to be the six main inconviniences of present day living conditions?") and who rigorously observed the most compelling experiences of everyday life. They observed the cinema going public and noted that "whereas men tended to weep at moments of reserve, women wept at parting and loss". If I were parted from my butter ration I would indeed weep.

Friday, 22 July 2011


Dawn is overrated. But the first train is always a godsend.

“The breath of the moist earth is light around its unexpanded buds.” –Shelley

“The regularities of the metro are obvious and well established. Both the first and the last metro perhaps draw some poetic allure from being seen, thus assigned an immutable place in the order of everyday life, the two being symbols of the ineluctable character of limits, of the irreversibility of time, and of the succession of days.” (Augé ,28.)

Sunday, 10 July 2011


Couchette and launderette . . . The same last four letters. A coincidence? I THINK NOT.

It's worrying that this is what gets me excited these days.

I have been frothing milk for more hours than I have been doing anything else this weekend. But look where I get to do it . . .

I really really want to buy a van just like it.

Sunday, 3 July 2011