Things I Love Thursday #39

My horribly scatty but talented graphic designer/illustrator sister lives here, and I am down to stay with her for a few days. Newcastle is frighteningly different to Edinburgh — when I’m here I really miss the cafe culture, for example; and there are less hippies, less tattoo parlours, less bookstores, less pashmina-flipping toffs. My sister actually hates the place and yearns for the time she can come back to Edinburgh, but I think Newcastle has its charms. If you’re ever over in that direction, be sure to check out Attica, a well-hidden but utterly amazing hoarde of vintage treasures, run by a bloke who looks eerily like Marc Bolan. For that kind of stuff, you’re in the right area — Attica is just off High Bridge, which has heaps of other cool second hand clothes stores, including Period. You should also go and find Scorpio Shoes, which stocks every kind of Doc Marten you can think of and is recognisable by the enormous DM boot on the roof; the Shoe Tree (which is in Armstrong Park), and pay a visit to Tynemouth if you can! I think mostly my sister and I will be wandering the streets, charity shop bargain-hunting (Newcastle is also good for this!), doodling and scribbling, drinking lots of tea and taking ridiculous photos of ourselves. Good times!

Jenson Button.
OK, prepare yourselves for some motorsport chat, because Jenson did it again this weekend, and at Monaco, too! After the Spanish Grand Prix I claimed in public (ie, Facebook) that my money was on Jenson, and got a whole load of flack about how ‘it’s a fluke, he won’t keep winning, Monaco will be the deal-breaker,’ so I am very pleased that he’s come through again in such style! I wasn’t always a fan of his whinging behaviour at Honda last season (although I’ve always supported his teammate Barrichello),but he’s undoubtedly a great driver who deserves a Championship (even if he does forget where to park sometimes!) — lets hope he gets one! Jenson FTW! (Also, there’s a lot of kvetching going on at the various F1 forums about Jenson’s 5 wins out of 6 — apparently it’s not exciting. But it’s about the racing, not the winner, not the Championship at all really… and for me this season has been the most exciting for a long time! Bring on the Turkish GP!)

White Oleander.
I’ve started reading novels again, thanks to Miriam, who gave me a huge heap of them (right now I am halfway through Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Blind Assassin‘, which I’ve already read about four times). Last week, I devoured White Oleander by Janet Fitch, an absolutely great book about an emotionally damaged female poet and the poisonous hold she has over her young daughter. It’s a big, spiralling novel with a lot in it, but I read nearly the entire thing in one sitting. Some of it clunks a little — the idea that Ingrid becomes an incredibly famous poet, for example, when the occasional poems Fitch includes are basically dreadful (she should definitely stick to writing prose)! I also bought the movie, which is OK but impossible to like much after the book, as it misses so much good stuff out — they also changed it so Ingrid is a visual artist, rather than a poet, which really pissed me off. Why could she not be a poet? Would it make the movie too “highbrow”? Very irritating. Robin Wright-Penn is fantastic, though. Anyone else read this/seen the film?

Honourable mentions: charity shopping — I scooped heaps of great poetry books (Eddie Gibbons, Gillian Allnutt) over the weekend, just mooching round the thrift stores in Stockbridge // spending nearly 24 solid hours watching motorsport: F1 qualifying, Formula Renault, British Touring Car Championship, Red Bull Air Racing, Formula 1 Grand Prix. Thank you ITV4! // Making mix CDs // looking forward to my travels this summer — a week in the Lake District, a week in North Yorkshire, a weekend at Nozstock Festival in Herefordshire (THE BUZZCOCKS headlining!!!). Nowhere exotic, but it’s going to be good! // Plotting things, as always // Twitter. I am becoming sadly, sadly addicted.

Et toi??

(Photo by Bakerella)

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4 Responses to “Things I Love Thursday #39”

  1. H. Says:

    I read White Oleander and then saw the movie (though this was years ago I guess). All I remember is how much I HATED both, though I can remember no specifics on why (perhaps because of the included poetry, I really can’t recall).



  2. Sierra Skinner Says:

    I absolutely adore ‘White Oleander’, ’tis one of my favorite books. Fitch is a word-sorceress she is. You need to find a copy of her other novel ‘Paint it Black’ as well, its one of the most emotionally crippling books I’ve ever read.

  3. Rowena Knight Says:

    White Oleander is one of my favourite books too, it’s impossible to put down once you start reading it. I still like the film, obviously it misses out a lot but as a story of its own it’s still quite good. I always thought that Ingrid was a poet as well as a visual artist, and the film just didn’t mention it, but now it’s occurred to me that maybe I was in denial and didn’t want to accept the fact that they changed it…
    I tried reading Paint It Black but gave up after two chapters, I couldn’t stand it.

  4. Crafty Green Poet Says:

    I read White Oleander a long time ago, i enjoyed it, though its not one of my favourite ever books.

    I agree with what you say about Newcastle, i remember there is a really nice organic cafe somewhere in the city centre. and also there is a nice country park just outside the city which also has a good cafe.

    I take it you didn’t leave any poetry books in the Stockbridge second hand shops then? I should leave it a few weeks before i browse them again? Lol

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