Thursday, November 08, 2007

Little Black Dressed Wednesday


Portrait of Pants by Barbara Bennett

The abandon with which I am currently exploiting Scorn and Noise's distinguished idea of celebrating Wednesdays with elegance probably deserves some kind of public flogging. (Please someone, I have so few pleasures in life). Pardon me, my manners have deserted along with my previously strict adherence to personal hygiene. I have forgone all sense of decorum by my shameless self-promotion, not to mention my attempts to raise awareness of artists whose work I own. Be assured that I am aware that I have a problem and I will seek counselling if hell is ever in imminent danger of freezing over. You have my word.

The problem is, (and this can't have gone unnoticed), in all things blog at least, I seem to have lost that je ne sais quois that made me want to kick against everything. Now that the world and I have agreed a trial separation (custody of kids goes to the world, obviously), I find my appetite for ranting to be roughly equivalent to that of the sex drive of a ninety-seven year old.

I have considered trawling the archives and recycling a continuous stream of 'best of Pants' posts, rather like one's beloved BBC does with its digital channels. The BBC delights in rolling out wonderful, wacky gems from its self-assessed 'golden era' that hardly anyone watched at the time but everyone remembers with great fondness, and rightly so. It then rather cleverly goes on to create shows in the same mode to capitalise on this touching nostalgia for false memory. Life on Mars - much as I loved you - you were that show.

Early Pants posts inhabit the same void. They were wonderful but no one was tuned in to them. You have my word for that - or you could visit the archives and post me a reality check. Or you could post me an actual cheque - I never knowingly refuse money.

I so easily slip off the point these days. Anyone who visits my comments might be aware that a well-known writer recently popped by to track down a long lost actor of his distant acquaintance through this blog. He'd googled her name and come up with That's So Pants (what must he have thought?), as another friend of this actor had commented that I looked like her in a photo I'd posted. The consequence of this exercise is a significant percentage of the blogosphere is searching for one Berys Marsh.

The other day when I was negotiating my half awake self through the increasingly chaotic transport hub of Stratford, East London, I thought I caught sight of my old friend Barbara Bennett who did several portraits of me in younger days. The one above is a pastel drawing. She also did a painting of me in that dress and a couple of casual pencil head portraits. I love these pictures and not just because they're of me (although I can't deny it's a big factor).

Barbara is a great capturer of the moment. I didn't prove so great at it. I lost Barbara's number some years ago and what I should have done was run after her screaming, 'Barbara, Barbara.' It's not that I care what people think, after all. It just didn't occur to me. And she slipped away.

In my own defence, that was the day I got onto the train at Hackney Wick only to have the driver announce,

'This train is full of vomit',

or so I thought. (Seriously, it isn't outside the realm of possibility on Silverlink Metro).

Actually what he said was,

'This train is for the moment... slowing down to comply with' ... blah, blah, wrong kind of leaves on the track, classic autumn lame excuse for slow running... blah, blah.

So I was chuckling away to myself about this lovely Mondegreen and trying to avoid getting trampled in the changeover crowd when I thought I saw Barbara and reacted more like an extra in Minority Report than my true self.

This EDW I present myself (again, boring, sorry) but also this great picture of me which I think does capture both my natural haughtiness (genetic fault - can't do anything about it) and my permanent sense of just not being comfortable, no matter where I am. It also sets in stone my weirdly lazy right eye (thanks Barb - history so needed that). For the record, that's a fan I'm holding, as opposed to a pan pipe.

So, I'm hoping that this post will put me back in touch with Barbara Bennett again. I'm going to leave Britain soon and Barbara was one of the first people I met when I came here. I hate goodbyes so much that I haven't even thought of how I'll handle all that. You can tell how crap I am at it. In less than two months I will leave Britain after twenty-five years of living here. How am I ever going to do this thing?

If only I could still fit into that little black dress...




25 comments:

Quink said...

A wonderful choice. Let's have a competition to see who can put on the haughtiest expression. It's one of those things I find hard to erase...

That's so pants said...

Hi Quinkie?

A contest? Sorry, I'm not seeing the point of that. Just send me the prize.

xxx

Pants

Andrew said...

I did not realise that you had lived there for that long Pants. What a big move to make at your......errr, well what a big move. Great dress btw, so self supporting.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Ms Bennett's portrait is wonderful - what a thrill to have.

peace and love to evahbodeee
(from a blogger alienated as a result of not being in own home or on own computer)

Minx said...

There is a large pink thing on my blog for you.

That's so pants said...

Hi Andrew

Er... thanks?

Hi Annie

Know how you feel. I'll be experiencing that soon enough!

Minxie

Thank you.. I think. I have to go to work now but I will be by later. I love large pink things.

xxx

Pants

trousers said...

I'd thought it was neither pan-pipes nor a fan that you were holding: camera bellows where what came to mind. No disrespect to the artist since it probably says far more about me, and it's a fine rendering anyway.

Oh and I like reading your posts especially when they wander off the point, so I wonder whether diverting to some of your earlier rants would be a useful exercise or not. Time will tell.

Wisewebwoman said...

Tres elegante, Pants, I see what you mean about not quite being at ease in the world. Barbara captured that well....
Big changes ahead, yes, but that is supposed to be what life is all about. And if we don't like la nouveau vite than we change again, n'est pas?
I don't know where this francaise is coming from today, I was reading about the sex life of Rene Levesque of Quebec (he of the 80 cigarettes a day and a predeliction for les jeunes filles) and I think some of it stuck to me like fly paper.

That's so pants said...

Hi Minxie

Have just visited your award ceremony. Thank you so much. I will add to my sidebar now and post on the weekend - when I am able to draw breath.

Hi Trews

I think the mystery shall we say, of what I am holding is largely to do with the way in which I'm holding it. To me it now looks as if I'm attempting a rather restrained air guitar.

Hi WWW
Yeeuucchhh. I'm a louche, but not THAT much of a louche, certainement?

xxx

Pants

NMJ said...

Pants, This portrait is also sexy, don't you think? Lovely.

A train full of vomit is perfectly likely in the UK.

I feel sad that you are going back to Australia, which is silly since I don't even know you, and you will still be able to blog.

x

Reading the Signs said...

"They were wonderful but no one was tuned in to them."

Oh yes they were! Well, I was, albeit by another name. And still true to you, in my fashion (singing this bit) - and am with Trews on liking the wandering.

The portrait is fabulous.

That's so pants said...

Hi NMJ

Sexy and Pants are not too concepts that go together very often. Hang on, that can't be right. You know what I mean anyway. Don't be sad. Pants is not a real person. Pants is one of those fictional people we love to care about. If I hang around, perhaps JK Rowling will 'out' me too.

Hi Signs

You have of course been here from the beginning. (Thank you btw). There are few paintings of me kicking around. I think I've mentioned the nude one before. THAT artist became known for her paintings of goddesses. I'm just saying...

xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

"Pants is not a real person" .... "paintings of goddesses" - Pants, I am usually slow on the uptake, but think I have got it now. Remember me to deathless Aphrodite.

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

I sure will, that is, if I can ever get her off that lavish throne.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

When you come her I'm taking you to Savers. Complete outfits for twenty dollars. Put your old stuff in the bin outside.
Later we'll go across the road to the Dancing Dog Cafe. Art for Footscray's sake.

Savers do ye ken
The corpse walks again.
Savers for the poor
Savers, mon amour.

That's so pants said...

Hi RH

When one needs bringing back down to earth, thank fuck for RH...

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

There's something wrong with that painting, the top half is foreshortened, chunky, no neck.

That's so pants said...

Sorry RH

Some of us do look like that. Modigliani gave the world a false impression.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

How gracious. I'd blame the artist.

R.H. said...

Picasso would have done a worse job.

I don't understand that business, but I do like the thing of the woman dashing downstairs. A married couple copped two years here yesterday for faking aboriginal paintings. An associate of mine had the same idea, he planned sending me to New York to flog them off to the ingenuous yanks. I guess I won't be going now.

R.H. said...

Well I guess it's not bad, not awfully flattering though.

(Whose funeral was it?)

phil said...

If kicking, shouldn't one be kicking against the pricks?

That's what they're there for, you know.

That's so pants said...

Hi RH

Faking Aboriginal paintings - I'll have to look that one up. I presume you mean they were misrepresenting this work as authentic in order to profit from it.

Hi Phil

My point exactly. I used to be first in line. I just never seem to get cross about it any more.

xxx

Pants

Anonymous said...

Hi Pants,
I am thrilled that you've put my work on your wonderful blog...fame at last!
I can't find where I've put your phone number either or I'd have given you a call. I will just have to continue to lurk around Stratford Tube station for the next two months till our paths meet again Barbara

That's so pants said...

Hi 'Anon'

I'm calling you now.

xxx

Pants