Monday, May 28, 2007

films for a wet weekend

Jon and I have watched two films this weekend. Last night, we saw Red Road on dvd. Today we went to Spiderman 3 at the cinema. Fair to say the two aren't that much alike.

Red Road is set on a depressing Glasgow council estate where people's lives are filled with hardship and darkness. The acting is sensitive and, combined with minimal musical distraction and everso slight handheld camera giddiness throughout, makes for a believable, disturbing tale. The general mood is of despair and claustrophobia but there are plenty of gentle touches and signs of humanity: even light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the aimlessness of the first 45 minutes, a gripping story line does emerge. Watch out for the bedroom scene, though. Blinkin' heck! You don't want to see that with your mum and dad.

Spiderman's fun. Not as good as the first, or second, film but fun nonetheless. I like the dark suit and the hint of eyeliner when he's gone all nasty. But my question is, does anybody actually fancy Tobey Maguire? Lycra-bound muscle or not, I just don't get it, Mary Jane.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Clothes shopping is one of my least favoured pastimes. This is because:

a) There's always something more satisfying to do
b) Clothes shops are generally full of crap
c) Changing room mirrors were designed in hell by a Kate Moss-shaped demon
d) Parting with money is stressful and should be reserved for the most pleasurable purchases. A bottle of wine, for example.
e) It's depressing to shop alone and irritating to shop with somebody who is more/less patient with the whole enterprise than myself (ie, everyone)

In recent months, this strife has matured like an unclipped hedge. I am now aware that I need to clothes-shop 'ethically', as well as everything else. Oh dear, oh dear.

There are, of course, plenty of 'ethical' or 'fair trade' online clothing places. I've bought nice things from Ganesha and The Green Apple. But internet clothes-shopping can breed hideous results.

I am steadily getting scruffier and scruffier. Many of my clothes are cast-offs from friends and family, greedily snapped up by me. It takes a lot to make me feel scruffy - but I am there.

Thankfully, dear reader, I recently found a solution to my problem.

It came in the form of an exchange of letters printed in the Guardian's ethical living column. A troubled reader said she just didn't know where to shop. She was under the impression that only inaffordable boutiques were 'ethical'. (She was advised that this is not the case. Expensive places are just as bad).

Among the various responses lay my gleam of light. A wise and wonderful woman wrote that the most ethical thing to do, when it comes to clothes shopping and indeed any kind of shopping, is not trawl the internet and magazines getting confused by contradictory information. No. You simply need to buy less.

Buy less. Genius. Hurrah. What more excuse do I need? I am scruffy because I am ethical, you well-clothed monsters. Just popping to the pub.....