Sunday, 29 April 2012

Nooks and Yuri

Bruge is in a plentiful supply of alcoves, especially in the area of Astridpark. This according to Yuri (a fictional character of In Bruge fame) it’s a perfect place for the heinous crime of murder. But for Yuri, the big concern is over 'alcoves…or nooks and crannies?'

Whilst Yuri seems none too bothered about the unfortunate grizzly end for one individual that will be the result of his selling of armoury to a portly Irishman, his quest for a more appropriate term to accurately describe these architectural nuances seems to plaque his dialogue rather too much. It seems odd to me that a gentleman of this unique calliper, interested in facilitating hit men, gangsters, the all round not the loveliest of folk, would need a better descriptor to deliver his disturbing advice.

Alcoves tend to suggest a specific form, a recess in a room, a place for grannies books, a safe haven for dust, a unthreatened post from which to leave generic images of your glorious gap yar photos, framed in ‘authentic’ livery with hand painted ornament to reassure any viewer of the authenticity of it's Asian jungle far from the reaches of the manufactured (although stamped with 'made in india' on the underside), origin

The alcove is easily illustrated but rarely ventures beyond the living room. It’s type cast as an easily defined space fit for the purpose of sound storage. It however meets few benefits for Yuri, and neither does it have much skope for exploration in my ever tentative look into my supposed interest of the fabled all encompassing narrative architecture.

‘Nooks and Crannies’ seem to better reflect the construction of these archi-types that populate the Astridpark area and allow for the sinister story line conducted by Hollywood’s scribers to play out. But it’s unfortunate that the nook and crannies formula retain such a negative label, from general space waster and space planners’ nemesis, to the arch rival of the modernist machine ὰ habiter, and now top hitter for Yuri’s advice on delivering 6 feet under, it’s about as much loved as a wolf whistle.

I wonder what younger Yuri, a loved and opportunity rich, ambitious boy of the post war Belgium, state educated, tentative yet confident lad, explorative with charming naivety, a giddy thinker, a happy go lucky dreamer, what would he have made of the nooks and crannies. What would his memories be, what we he do with them, instead of his shadowed quirky self of late.

The nooks and crannies from an array of person’s anecdotes, plenty dull, but plenty not so dull, generate the very crux of the story and turn the inopportune moment, into a delicious melody of chance.Take Frodo and team for a prime reference. During his early foray into the unknown, He, Sam, Pippen, and Merry take quick refuge in the nook below the track, perhaps a little fortunate, but then it would have been a dam sight shorter story if they had no where to hide, the horse chap picks them up, kills the lot of them (ironically the absence of an alcove at this moment in time is the reason for their demise) takes the ring, and bobs your uncle, Middle Earth is destroyed. The nook saved them.

The nook and the cranny are the unspecified, un-regulated, un-loaded space for the strangest events to take place. Consistently overlooked as a blight to ‘space’ the good nook and cranny has potential in the private or public sector, from residential to office spaces or maybe rural farmland. They can offer little pieces of intimacy for that cheeky kiss. For the stashing of all things tea related. For your new ant farm. They can act as secret meeting areas, public meeting areas, devious meeting areas, chickens meeting areas….if you have chickens. They can be awkward, unusual, simple, bland, cosy, dark, damp, cold, frosty, full of ice, ants, cheese and crackers, or paint by numbers. They can lead to secret lairs, squat loos, or to nothing at all.

But I think the young gun Yuri would have just peed in them. After all, his national icon is Manneken Piss

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Disconnected Dribble

I have been tasked with writing 10 points on survival. 

This tasking came about during a brief discussion based on the recipient of a frivolous “you’re a spoon” accusation that was handed from one individual to another. This comment has no bearing on the following, and I am not clear on the exact conditions of said comment, but I can assure you, I have lost no sleep on it. But after interjecting into the said negative comment/gesture, a plea for mediocre help was issued.

This unfortunately was not a cry of help to fend of lions with laser shooting eyes, or to stop jungle fever induced diarrhoea, or to solve the mystery of Sherlock Holmes as he obviously plunged to his death in the last episode, but some how manages to waltz about merrily, or be it lurking behind a tree, after his doctor friend. I mean really, surely there should have been a dirty splatter of his innards permanently marking the floor that stopped his friend saving fall. On that note of people falling to their splattery death, In Bruges has similar circumstances of jumping to an inevitable death to save the hide of his friend dearest. However on this occasion there seems to be an indication of poor quality control in the craftsmanship of the metal pistol that is shattered upon impact, which is in contrary condition to owners skull which remains resiliently wholesome. 

Shifting back from beating that bush into submission, the help orientated plea was to evidence a path of success during the last term of an undergraduate course. Even I’m bored of it before writing it… It could have been about surviving capture of a enraged gorilla that has masterminded the take over of Checkers, or how to undermine the privatisation of all European roundabouts so they all go clockwise in a bid for international consistency, or how to destroy the growing hedgehog empire that seems to plague our back garden. No, this is how to navigate those final bitter, burden heavy, social free, contorting, anguishing, unrelenting, mind screwing, challenging, stupefying, brutal…..lovely months. 

Well the truth is, I don’t know. It’s a blur. Maybe not a blur. It’s a mixture of un-spectacular to the outsider, but unforgettable moments to the insider (me). They’re boring moments of getting three cups of coffee for three because you made a joke with the vender. It’s about staying an extra 23 minutes after kick out to finish the never used section. It’s about the night guard coming round the studio at 2 in the morning handing out peaches just to help everyone through the night. It’s the entirely forgettable moments…that somehow are stuck in my head. So here is the top ten tips to triumph.

1 – Have short nails
I can’t think of much worse than having a broken nail at 2:30 am, compounded when you haven’t got any nail clippers. You’re dealing with the impending doom of definite failure that all the effort your pouring into this piece of crap you're supposedly designing is going to fall on it’s arse. You are struck with the idea that you would have been better off being a chippy straight out of secondary school, that all the money that you would have made from working straight away would easily balance out the money you’re going to get after graduation. It’s made even worse because you know you’re not going to graduate, you’re going to be stuck with £27,000 worth of debt, a bitter taste, friends all moving onto better things, and you're going to be doing the same job you left when starting here. You're dealing with the reality that this is all for nothing, that life is too short and you’re a failure, you're dealing with the life crushing realities that you’re having a midlife crisis at the age of 23 and then your nail rips. You catch it on the zip of your bag and it slices ungainly towards the nerve endings in your fingers. 
With the mental capacity of a coke influenced anarchistic teenager, you decide to deal with the problem immediately, and continue the rip down to remove offending splintered nail piece.
In the heat of the moment you have removed half your nail, you’re in agony as the pulsing nerve endings pulsate brilliantly in the face of your moronic compulsions. Whilst a plaster hides the immediate problem, your hand is rendered useless for the days to come. An irritable persona encases your every move, and you have lost the ability to work constructively.

 It’s a disaster easily missed. Cut your nails.

2 - Don’t cut your nails
You haven’t got time to be wasting cutting your nails?! It doesn’t matter what dirt you have trapped under there, and long nails make for good pincers to tackle those multiplying spots that occur during the times of oily stress.

3 - Make love to the security guards
Don’t make love to the security guards. There should also be another point that says don’t do everything that you’re told, but that sounds far too serious and meaningful for the ill ramblings of an idiot. 
In fact, get in bed with all the staff, it's just good sense. They’re the ones that make that place work, and they’re the ones that can cut the corners, get you to the front, take you to the front, put you at the front...get you a free biscuit, sometimes they even dunk it for you…and biscuits are good. Who doesn’t like biscuits? Because biscuits come with tea, and that’s my next point

4 – Make love to tea
Don’t just know about tea, read about tea, see about tea…you have to love tea. Love tea and drink it. There is nothing better than the sight of a steamy cuppa ready to be dunked, and then drunk. If there where ever to be a uni survival pack, it should include nothing else, not a tin of baked beans nor a condom - but a mug, a box of tea bags, Milk (I suspect UHT in case you buy this pack a couple of weeks before you go to uni), and a spoon.

Tea is better than watching kittens eat Rupert Murdoch, I know this hasn’t happened, and I wouldn’t want it in reality, but as this is a place of fiction, i am allowed to imagine it.

Tea is a friend that no friend could ever be. It’s warm and lovely, it doesn’t talk back, it helps you to make other friends, it acts a distraction from work, and helps as a fuel for you to tackle work. Anyone that mocks tea has no place to comment further, as they have lost the morale high ground, and should be extradited without trial, without question, without appeal, to Norwich.

5 – Have biscuits to hand
Have biscuits to hand, so you can dunk them in tea. To see how good tea is…drink it. To see how tea is relevant, read point 4.

6 – Hamas is relevant
Talking from a creative perspective, knowledge of just about everything still isn’t good enough to make lovely work. Talking from a non-creative perspective, knowledge of just about everything makes you Steven Fry, and I don’t want to be Steven Fry.
Knowing about just enough gets you just about known. Read up, because knowing a little about Hamas may come in handy when you least expect it.

7 – Quote the shit out of films
To do so, you need to watch films, to watch films, you need to take time out of work. To take time out of work, you need to have a break. To have a break, well according to Nestle, you need to have a Kit Kat, now apart from their less than reputable reputation for screwing over the third world, I couldn’t agree more with Nestle, because Kit Kats are great, unless you don’t hear, because it might sound like kick cats. 
...I would start with Top Gun, it’s a great one for a sing a long, cheesy lines, and worse repeat film cuts.

8 – Stop reading this and get on with your work!

9 – Make sure you have a brother that is several years older than you are and that has done the exact same course as you, with the same tutors, in the same uni that knows what you’re getting into and can guide you through and support you in the harder times
This takes an uncongenial amount of preparation that I am as of yet, to comprehend. It involves hoping to have a bigger brother, which means wishing for something before you’re born, which as far as I know, isn’t possible. But then I thought Transformers 3 wasn’t possible, and they still made that.

10 – Love it
Love it

Not sure any of this helps, and for those that have for some reason continued to the end of this un-flowing array of disconnected dribble, read a decent blog for heavens sake.