Vulgar in Velvet

Thursday, 3 March 2016 15:29
songofcopper: (montesquiou by doucet)
It’s World Book Day! We did a roaring trade in the bookshop this morning - there never seems to be any rhyme or reason behind foot traffic/sales in there, but maybe people were aware of the occasion and had book-buying in mind.

Vampires, Velvet and Vulgarity )


Thursday, 26 March 2015 18:47
songofcopper: (Poste Dalferinin)
Something about today required a dash of vivid red. (I think it’s because I’m very tired: wan, weary and wilting. I really must force myself to go to bed at the proper time, though this is inconvenient to the natural flow of interesting conversation.) Anyway, red certainly does fill in the blank of one’s personality when it is AWOL owing to mental and spiritual fatigue.

“Would you buy a secondhand book from this person?”

Within: Crimson Silk, Cosy Coffins, Pens In Profusion, Notebooks For Idiots )


Tuesday, 7 October 2014 20:36
songofcopper: (Albrecht Dürer Forever)
Yesterday, very very overdue indeed, I gave myself a much-needed haircut. Really, it is quite a relief to feel like myself again! Hair is psychologically significant, even if to own so is apt to make one feel rather superficial.

No Actual Capes )
songofcopper: (Christina Autochrome)
A couple of Thursdays ago, I achieved a long-held ambition: I attended a writers' group. I'd known of its existence for ages, but living in my castle on the hill, far from the city, and being a stubborn non-driver, I wasn't in a position to do anything about it. But having gained the city's bounds, there's no excuse now to ignore the opportunity to meet other writers, with the aim of getting and giving useful feedback, moral support, or at the very least a drink and a nice conversation.

Cake May Ensue )

Last week at the bookshop, on the Big Table of Interesting Things, the display included a book with the intriguing title 'Princes of Victorian Bohemia'. Hmm, thinks Cosmé; instructive? The cover shows this photograph:

Anachronauts Ahoy )

Oh Well. I don't have Mr Wynfield at my disposal, but I do have a camera of my own. Also, I wasn't in Renaissance Prince Mode on Thursday; it was more of a Listlessly-Awkard Edwardian Creature moment. Imagine Cosmé, wistfully adrift at some dully-genteel seaside resort, sulkily solitary but very much wanting a cup of tea… if only a kind person would take pity on the poor thing.

In the absence of kind strangers, one takes pity on oneself. (How very sad! And yet: occasional self-indulgence works wonders, I find. Don't you?)

The Lorn Lens )
songofcopper: (Miaow! =^.^=)
[Title Refers: Today at the shop I noticed a cardboard box whose original use was to contain fruit. It had a slogan printed upon it: "Melons with Purpose"! Now, there's a mottoe to conjure with!! Personally, I tend to feel that in life, and certainly in the bodice area, one may be given peaches, pomegranates or melons. I myself have been blessed with pomegranates, but to no great utility. Not that I mind pointlessness; it is, after all, a symptom of civility. In the words of Frank Zappa's Mr Green Genes: "Deliciousness, Nutritiousness, Worthlessness". ;-P]

Remember when young Cosmé indulged his fancy for the princely life during the Northern Renaissance? How deftly Hans Baldung Grien captured a look of doe-eyed sweetness upon the pampered one's fair face?

Well, now. Just for the sake of appearances, our very vain anachronautick wanderer needs must try on a more warlike pose now and again. Public relations demand a statement of martial intent. And so: enter Lucas Cranach the Elder.

This style of armour has an intriguing hourglass formation. Plenty of room for pomegranates in there!!

For Maximum Effect, Co-ordinate your Palstave with your Halberd )

Meanwhile, back in the 21st Century, Cosmé is still in Renaissance Creature mode. That is to say, in black velvet and my reddest shoes I have been a decoration upon the day, the weather of my fashion gathering like a storm in the horizonless sky of denim that does infest the heavens. ;-P

Der Schwarze Prinz mit Rote Schuhe )
songofcopper: (Sparks - Big Beat)
What is this? All on a dingy December morn, sometime in eighteen-ninety-something, here's a befogged street corner, illumined by the orange hue of Cosmé's poppy-blazoned blouse.

Must adjust hat to louche angle before venturing forth to sell scandal sheets to wannabe aesthetes.

A street corner? Not a nice place for a well-brought-up article of the Cosmé type, surely!

But Stay: "Extra! Extra! Read all about it," the creature cries.

Ah, that's what it is: the dear thing has found a little job! Well, you know, 'The Haut Boy's Own Paper*' shan't sell itself (and neither shall Cosmé, before you say such a thing, thou slyness!). [*This estimable organ may perchance be an ancestor of 'Cor Anglais!' mag.]

Op-Art-Nouveau )

In Other News, one of our regular Thursday bookshop customers (our Pop.Cult. aficionado) tipped me off that there was a copy of Sparks' self-titled debut lp in the record shop next door. (Pedants, sit down: yes, on its first release it was Halfnelson's self-titled debut lp, until Halfnelson changed their name to Sparks and re-released the album.) It's a weird record, with a sort of warped-calliope, demented-cute air.

The band photo gives you a clue - Russell (2nd left) looks sweet in his sailor suit but Ron (far left) has evil-clown hair and kohl-rimmed eyes.

Cheerfully-Defiant Eccentricity )

Oxford Baggage

Thursday, 5 December 2013 17:31
songofcopper: (fred)
"Whither shall I wander?" ponders Cosmé, looking down upon the World (as per usual). "It's a straight toss-up twixt Oxford (Exeter College, I think - some accommodating swain will invite me in for tea, scones and wistful gazing) and Paris (that café where the torch-singer competes nightly with feuding Surrealists throwing food in fits of fury…). Nineteen-thirty-three, indeed."


Nineteen-Thirty-Three )
songofcopper: (Prince Stash Klossowski de Rola)
What ho, my gossips! Will you, won't you, hava cuppa tee? …Oh, dear me, yes, well, they do talk like that, whence I am come. Anachronautick wanderin's found me somewhere around 1967-ish, totterin' in the heady wake of Prince Stash Klossowski de Rola and courtiers.

"Cosmé, fellow prince," said he, "be a dear and stand in for me on the corner of the Kings Road while I make a quick exit in the Bentley. Really, it's a drag being adored by all these dollies. They'll have the shirt off your back before you can say 'knife'. Strike a pose, love, like the fabulous decoy you are. I'm outta here!"

I could only shrug and obey. A man such as Prince S., who is forced to toss a coin so as to choose between Marianne and Anita, is obviously on to something. (Probably he has contrived to lose the coin between the floorboards in order to unlock the third option: Both!)

Cosmé demonstrates the Dandy Peacock Decoy Technique which proved all too successful on the Kings Road.

Teatime for Peacocks )

Queen of Clubs

Thursday, 21 November 2013 18:38
songofcopper: (fred)
Sometimes, Cosmé hides, trying on Normal Person Clothes just to blend in. (Let's face it, charm is keenest felt when it is a rarity! Let us not give of our benison too freely, lest it be misprised for something cheap or commonplace!) However, today is not one of those times. Today is a Princelie Daye.

Fate undoubtedly agreed with me on the point. This morning, on the train, a cluster of boys from the College were… not playing cards, as such - playing with cards. How they giggled, as they flung them at each other! (It is reassuring to find that seventeen-year-old boys can still giggle and lark about like this. What a shame if they were all po-faced little cynics!) A playing card, I conjectured, might make a useful weapon if aimed with devastating accuracy and coated in something corrosive. If it got you on the neck, or the eye…

"Can one die of a paper cut at high velocity?" I wondered aloud. (If only there had been an indiscreet Ninja present to answer my question!)

A minute or two later, one of the boys happened to throw his fistful of chances with more flamboyance than precision. A card landed in my lap, from several yards away. I picked it up with a flourish and scrutinised this unexpected messenger. It was a court card - the Queen of Clubs.

"How very appropriate," said David.

"Indeed," said I; "I shall keep it, as a souvenir."

The boys didn't seem to notice or care that they had lost a card to my acquisitive fingers. I suppose this means that I have already influenced the outcome of their next game of Gin Rummy - if they ever bother to play it.

(Just now I am looking at the Wikipedia page on cartomancy. Apparently, the Queen of Clubs signifies "A woman over 18, with medium or dark brown hair, with brown, blue or hazel eyes. Usually a business woman or social butterfly." As with all fortune-telling, this is both wildly vague and mildly specific; it does and does not refer to me, in several aspects. In fact, there appears to be no card that points very definitely at Cosmé - how cramped the imaginations of seers must be!)

When I reached the bookshop, I saw that the window was filled with books on Medieval History. Appropriate again! For there I was, attired in a splendid pair of black velvet knee breeches (I finally found just the kind I wanted, from a seller of vintage clothes on Etsy), my dear time-travelling shirt and a bargainsome scarlet velvet shirt found in a charity shop. The buckled shoes completed the picture.


Rouge, Noir, Argent )

Pre-Raph Sib

Thursday, 12 September 2013 16:18
songofcopper: (Prince Stash Klossowski de Rola)
Cosmé, that ageless anachronautic sprite, gave the 1840s a spin, but was soon disenchanted.

"How very earnest, and yet how very hypocritical, these Pre-Raphaelite fellows are," he summarised. "Had they seen the girl-me with the torrent of auburn hair (well, it flowed down to the very dimple, didn't it - you know the one I mean...), they'd have pulled out each other's beards for the chance to site me in a moral allegory... but - alack! - this creature here in the natty checked unmentionables is not much to their liking. Were I dressed as a rustic or pauper, I might have a chance at immortality: at haystack-side, or in a slimy slum. (...I should have carried a rake, or put holes in my boots!) Oh, well. Let me stand here by the inglenook, courting invisibility, until the fashions change."


Drape cobwebs 'pon the ghost of memory )


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