Where are they going now?
May I start by saying how lovely you are looking today, and by apologising for neglecting you for so long?
It’s been cold enough to freeze your knackers off today, but has been an excellent day all round. It started off when I went off to meet my old mate Fred. He’s called Fred cos of his resemblance to good old Freddie Mercury.
He’s found that the Freddie Mercury lookalike market was drying up a bit, so he’s been looking to diversify. He showed me his John Travolta dance moves for his next audition, but in the meantime he told me about the new job he had on today, doing a modelling job as the nutcracker prince, sitting on a statue. And he invited me to come along as there’d be many lovely ladies. So, I put on my new “I shagged your gran” belt and headed out.
At the rehearsals I hooked up with a couple of his co-stars
And I met a couple of sexy Spanish ladies
and an innocent young blonde. She wasn’t innocent for long, I can tell you.
We went out on the job, and I ended the night touching a ballerina’s knickers.
An excellent day all round, I think.
Do the creations we create have a life away from the yarnstorm? Some would say that they are merely actors playing a part. I caught up with the grey lady and the black rabbit hanging out at the Royal Festival Hall.
It was Halloween and time to yarnstorm. And, I thought, what better use for a Halloween yarnstorm than to exorcise a few demons and nightmares in the company of good friends and through the medium of warm woolliness.
The nightmares for me started with Sapphire and Steel, spooky tales which scared the crap out of me when my Dad let me watch it while Mum was on a night shift. One of the stories featured resentful ghosts of another time haunting a deserted station platform, which brought to mind the ghostly actress said to haunt Aldwych station from the theatre that was previously on its site. I decided to bring her to life at the station, a nameless actress, gradually fading into grey and features disappearing into a blur.
Other nightmares followed over the years
The Black Rabbit of Inle has haunted many of my generation. It just takes the first few bars of Bright Eyes and a black shadow sweeping before the eyes to reduce grown men to tears.
Next followed Cthulhu. Marked with the label “this is not a toy, this is pure evil”, the woolliness did nothing at all to lessen his evil hold.
Finally we have the Slake Moth. For those who do not know slake moths, they are a creation of China Mieville’s in Perdido Street Station. They suck out your dreams and leave you hollow. I think that may be the scariest thing of all.
Our Story Begins …
Dick Whittington was a poor and simple boy. One day, he heard tales of an opportunity to make his fortune. Lord Highwaist of Cowell was hosting Ye Olde X Factor in the distant city of London. Lord Highwaist and his cohorts offered wealth beyong imagining, instant fame as one of the greatest minstrels of the day and a shopping trip on Ye Olde Bond Street for those deemed worthy. Dick’s eyes shone as he imagined escaping from his hovel, so he packed a small bag, slung it over his shoulder and made his way to the big city.
When Dick arrived at Highwaist Towers, he was taken in by Lord Highwaist and asked to impress him. Being a simple country boy, he knew little of the entertainments of the town but sang a simple folk song. Lord Highwaist and his cohorts were impressed but felt something was missing. Outside the audition room, he met a small white cat. She looked at him quizically.
“Little white cat, my music apparently lacks a yowly quality that the great masters think is the very thing for town entertainment. Would you care to join with me and go and see Lord Highwaist?” Dick asked the cat.
The cat said “meep!”
Dick and the cat were a great success and were universally praised and taken under the wing of Lord Highwaist. Times were good.
The months passed and times got harder. Tastes for minstrel entertainment in the town changed and Dick and his cat fell out of favour. Lord Highwaist offered Dick an opportunity. “I hear that there is a market for yowly singers in the distant orient. Would you care to sell your cat to one of my associates who is travelling out there.”
Reluctantly, Dick agreed. He said a sad goodbye to the little white cat as she was loaded onto the ship.
More time passed and times grew harder for Dick at Highwaist Towers. The other minstrels were cruel. Dick decided to run away. As he reached the outskirts of London, he sat down and heard a sweet sound coming from the heart of the city. “What can that beautiful harmony be?” he said. “I do not know” came the gentle reply. Dick ran back to the town to find the source of the tone and found a four piece harmony group rehearsing outside Highwaist Towers.
“Who are you?” he cried!
“We are the Bow Belles,” they said “We are a manufactured band, made by the great Bell foundry in Whitechapel”.
“We have news for you,” said Belle One. “You are not destined to be a minstrel. Your cat made a fortune in the
Orient. You are a wealthy man!”
“Besides,” said Belle Two, “you are a very simple soul. While this is useful in a minstrel, the combination of wealth and simplicity mean you are destined for another role. Go forth, Dick Whittington, future Mayor of London!”
Scene 1: A slightly tawdry living room in North East London.
A mother and daughter butterfly sit in drinking cups of tea. The men of the family went on a big night up west. Ma Butterfly is a bit worried. The boys like a bit of trouble.
Some minutes pass.
Suddenly, Ma is alerted to the sound of an envelope falling on the mat.
“Wonder what that is?”
She opens the envelope and out falls a photo and a letter.
Scene 2: Ma and daughter get on a Routemaster up west. They reach the tunnel
Scene 3: In the tunnel. There’s no sign of the boys, but our heroines find a shred of a web, a lovebug looking for a lost love, and some ghostly souls.
Butterflies. They fly around, light as air. They have elegant delicate wings. They are prettier than their dowdy cousins, the moths. People are taken in and think that they are lovely and that they are good. But people are being fooled. Butterflies are secretly evil, sweary little bastards. Look at the language used by this pair I found trapped in our Knit The City spider web. Potty mouths, the pair of them.
I yarnbombed Mildmay library almost two weeks ago. I’m secretly quite pleased that it’s still there and that I can see it from the bus window on the way to work.
I have taken my first steps in yarnstorming.
Flower 1 is on Exhibition Road, a bit of a rush job and a bit untidy around the edges.
Flower 2 is at Embankment Gardens.
Flower 3 hangs swaying in the breeze on a tree in Clissold Park.
Flower 4, a little blurry, is at Battersea Park, and my first use of the Dymo label.
Flower 5 is in a pub, because I couldn’t resist.