Friday, December 28, 2007

My Friend Flickr

Hyde Park on that morning everyone got grounded. Sorry but it was beautiful

My last week in London has made me hungry for it. I stare so shamelessly, I'm sure I should have been arrested many times over. And now I finally have the means to record these extraordinary moments. My life on the road will be a success after all. I've joined Flickr. I'm staying with Mr T and he knew how to do it.

Still, I'm determined to have a simpler life after all this travelling is over. I don't want to learn new things. I simply want to sit and read the 600 or so books I've stockpiled over the last year because books are hideously expensive in Australia and they also don't have a habit of leaping out of Oxfam bookshops and grabbing hold of your wallet. I'll never have to leave the house again.

I've done some fun things in the last week including spending the best part of a day in Hyde Park skating and going on rides and joining the Christmas throng in Oxford Street for the last time. Whereas I dislike shopping, I quite like the sight of other people doing it. It allows me to indulge in moral superiority. It's an issue for me getting my backpack down to a managable weight in any case. Once you've filled it full of mosquito repellent and malaria tablets, there's little room for anything else. I've had to learn to live without an umbrella even.

Does anyone remember the television programme My Friend Flicka? It was a show about a kid and a horse. There were lots of these entertainments around at the time. In the sixties, people in the country waited until they were pensioners to have one lonely child whose best friend was either a dog or a horse or, on rarer occasions, a kangaroo. Quite often one of the parents died and the other withdrew to his or her whittlin' or weavin', leaving the poor child with no recourse but to confide in their hairy friend.

The series was based on a trilogy of books by Mary O'Hara which Ialso lapped up. There was a 1943 film with Roddy McDowell too. In those days it was mandatory to have Roddy McDowell in any child/horse/dog combination. Ken McLaughlin, erstwhile friend of Flicka the horse had a toothless old uncle Pete who 'cut his teeth on a branding iron'. They don't make 'em like that any more. I once even wrote a series of songs which had a working title of Thunderhead, after the second book in the Flicka series.

Once getting older just meant losing your teeth, whether or not a branding iron was involved, and settling into elasticated waistbands. I've resigned myself to a month with just one pair of shoes so you can see my resistence to 'not letting myself go' is low, to say the least. The other day I was at a party and a friend who's in her late forties told us she was asked by a train conductor to show her 'Senior Rail Card'. She has a young son who is often assumed to be her grandson but no way does she look sixty.

It occurs to me that the nip-tuck culture has created an expectation that sixty-year-old women will now look forty-five. I didn't go through the whole politicising process of the seventies to end up in a situation where I feel obliged to have a facelift just to look my real age. It's absurd.

I am however grateful for the delete facility on the digital camera. Any snap that dares to infer that gravity and I have engaged in mortal combat is despatched to the ether from whence it came faster than Shergar's ashes. I may be above nipping and tucking but I'm certainly not one for shying from ducking and diving when it comes to the cruelty of the lens. There is no chance of me looking like Flicka on Flickr...


Ms Baroque said...

Fabulous, Ms P. Of course the whole point of many of these techie innovations is that they can make your life simpler, less cluttered. If you let them. I feel sure that, if anyone is capable of getting this effect out of them, that person is you.

Meanwhile, do enjoy your final week in recognisable postcodes. I think it would take the knowledge that I was leaving forever to get me to like Oxford St in sale week, but I'm glad you did.

R.H. said...


The Australian cricket captain has given the Indians two days to hit 499 runs. What a challenge.
I'd reckon they'd need a pommy innings as well.

Maybe two pommy innings.

ho ho.


R.H. said...

It takes longer to do the word verification etc than to type a comment. How ridiculous.
Then you have to do it all over again. Totally absurd.

I'm not blaming you for this, but you are not entirely innocent.
I myself am completely innocent -and banned. Rejected. Deleted.

See what I get for my trouble!


Andrew said...

Which bit to comment on? So much covered. This will do. I love the way English female actors are allowed to age and gain character in their faces.

And I am too young to remember any tv show about a shiny black horse.

J said...

Hi Pants... I can't believe it is your last week already! I am looking forward to seeing the evidence of your travels thanks to good old Flikr - I used to have a paid account with them but never used it so let it lapse. And of course, I never go anywhere worth recording anyway!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I look forward to hearing how you get on in your new life.

Take care,

J. xx

That's So Pants said...

Hi Ms B

Thanks. I do believe I can master the required technology. I did so enjoy my holiday in W2 and the walking distance to Oxford Street.


Well, quite a lot of your comments make it onto this blog. Are you telling me that there are multitude of them out there that don't? That's quite scary.

Hi Andrew

Actually, I think only Dame Judy Dench has that privilege. And I think Flicka was chestnut. Sorry for being so contrary - that's what Pants is all about.

Hi J

I can't believe it either. I can safely say that not a moment goes by that I don't try to record in some way. Change has a way of getting itself noticed. I will keep you informed - on that you can rely, as the song goes, as time goes by.



R.H. said...

The trouble I have with this country is with pen-pusher graduates from tenth-rate universities who try to run the place. Tonight on TV little doll-eyes latte-queen Stott Despoja of the stupid 'Democrats' -who has never done a thing to justify the weight added to her fat arse while living off taxpayers money- is grizzling about the restrictions placed on poor terrorist traitor dave hicks.

He has to report to police three times a week.

Really? How awful! Meanwhile my pal Geoff W who actually killed someone during a rare psychotic episode and served eight years in the nuthouse for it -and who can be returned there at any moment for showing disrespect towards little girl and boy social workers, has to endure two long interviews a week with the aforementioned clots, is visited in his flat every night by others who deliver little white tablets and watch him swallow them, has to attend 'programs' during the week which involve playing tennis, bowls, going to gymnasium and movies, is told which days to vacuum his living room, do his washing and etc, and is visited just any old time at all by social workers, nurses, therapists etc -accompanied by student novices brought along to "view the monkey".

There is interference in every detail of this man's life. Even a visit to the State Trustees next week to arrange a rise between him and them in his inheritance allowance requires the presence of THREE SOCIAL WORKERS, and what bloody business is it of theirs?

And truly, that's not half of it.

At the same time, mind you, these are the very people who prattle on about dictatorship and how terrible things are in other countries. Yes, well golly, but they're right up there themselves.

Stalin did no better.

That's So Pants said...


Sounds like it might be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for me do you think?



R.H. said...

Well since you force me to tell you, the answer is yes.
London is Nelson on a pole, Australia is a pole with nothing on it.

That's So Pants said...

As long as it's not a greasy pole, I'll be happy.



lavenderblue said...

I'm sure lap-dancing poles are not greased........I stand to be corrected of course !
Have a good journey,Pants
don't leave us alone too long
Love to you and the Very Best for the New Year xxx

Meredith said...

Have a lovely holiday Pants, and see you in Australia soon!

d said...

Is this working?

d said...

Have been clamouring for your attention-unavailingly it seems- to assure you that there is no need for malaria tablets in India this time of the year. In the monsoons it's rather widespread,though. Incidentally, it'd make far more sense to buy the meds here, if you do get ill. They're bound to be far cheaper.
Where in India are you headed for?

phil said...

Regrettably I am old enough to remember MFF, and I think it was diabolical even for a youngster entranced with anything on TV.

As for age and gravity...I don't much like them either.

All the best for 2008 and your return to godzone.

lavenderblue said...

Pole Dancing ?

A Very Happy New Year to you,Pants xx

That's So Pants said...

Hi Lavenderblue.

Pole dancing? With my thighs? Tony Soprano would look better I think.

Hi there Meredith

Looking forward to dropping in on Marrickville too.

Hi Phil

Sorry for awakening bad memories. The Littlest Hobo, National Velvet, Fury... is it hurting yet?

Hi D (and welcome)

I've already done all the medication. It doesn't come any cheaper than the NHS. Since I've suffered no ill effects from the malaria tablets so far, I'll keep on them. I'm having two weeks in the south and two around Delhi.

xxx to all


Reading the Signs said...

Hi Pants, Looking forward to seeing all the flickr things - will you be putting up a link?

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

No. I think I'll only use it for storage. Perhaps I'll put together an album afterwards. I'm quite fussy about photos being reasonably good quality. Not easy to achieve with the miniature Kodak but proper cameras are too bulky.



Janejill said...

Hello Pants - well, please don't worry about running out of books as I would willingly pop out to see you and bring a case-load with me? just say when...
I have a friend who went off without telling anyone and had a face-lift. I was so shocked as she now has such smooth skin...on her cheeks; sadly her neck remains the same . I am just pleased that my eye-sight is fading , as the wrinkles should hopefully fade at the same time.
I hope you are going to visit the tea plantations in the hills of Kerala ; I went on a Sunday and the sound of the singing from the (Anglican) churches echoing up through the valley was mesmerising.
This is me being very nosey...who is MR T??
Fare well Pants xxx (TPE will misss you nearly as much as me)

That's So Pants said...

Hi Jane Jill

You will be very welcome, especially if you bring books.

They can't do anything about necks - that's what makes the whole nip/tuck thing absurd.

I am going to a tea plantation in Kerala.

Mr T is oldest and dearest friend and former band pal.



Janejill said...

Did I forget to tell you? It is very chilly in the evenings (and early morning) around Munmar etc, so do wrap up xxx Oh I hope you go on a boat along the backwaters...but one day and night is enough

Liz said...

Happy New Year and Bon Voyage, Pants.

I think my main achievement during my 10 day Christmas break from work has been reading all the wonderful blogs that I have been ignoring for days and weeks and months. Last time I checked yours, House of Pants appeared to have been sold (again) and now I find that you have vacated it completely and are probably in transit as I type this.

I look forward to hearing all about your new life (one hell of a way to start the new year; a trip to India and a new life down-under).

All the best

That's So Pants said...

Hi Liz

Good to hear from you and a happy New Year to you too. Yes indeed, House of Pants has finally passed into new ownership and I am away, making my last preparations for India.

Hi Jane Jill

I have two fleeces and a sleeping bag so I should be all right. I have heard it gets cold at night too. Yes to the boat trip in Kerala backwaters. That's on the agenda.



Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Bon voyage, Pants, have a great trip.



p.s. Thunderhead was one of my favourite books as a pony-mad child.

That's So Pants said...

Thanks very much Your Dameship. Thunderhead - yes! Breeding will out, obviously. May your estate prosper this year.

xxx Pants

Ann O'Dyne said...

oh Thunderhead was so SAD.
and if you think I ever made the mistake of reading Black Beauty, you are so wrong.
My Friend Flicker
My Friend Flicka
My Friend Shergar - now that's the one that will rate.

Happy Trails to you ...
(that's a Roy Rogers song - equines in there too somewhere)

That's So Pants said...

Hi Annie - happy new year to you.

Oh yes, I remember it well, Roy Rogers and Trigger. One of us must do an EDW on Dale Evans at some point.