Happy birthday, Blonde. I'm in a weird headspace.
In some ways I feel more at home than I ever have before - in this city; in myself; even in my clothes. But this week I've also been shivering in the cold winds of displacement and alienation. First I went to see Katrina, Jericho theatre's moving promenade play at the Bargehouse based on survivor testimonials; then I started reading Irene Nemirovsky's stunning portrait of occupied France, Suite Francaise (I'll be discussing it on Radio 4 next month, but more of that pant-wetting excitement anon).
So my mind is full of images of massed, grubby, grasping humanity, and the masking and unmasking that happens when we loose the comfort of our context and our home. This has been a year of important events, and as Nemirovsky says, 'Important events - whether serious, happy or unfortunate - do not change a man's soul, they merely bring it into relief, just as a strong gust of wind reveals the true shape of a tree when it blows off all its leaves. Such events highlight what is hidden in the shadows; they nudge the spirit towards a place when it can flourish'. Flourish both lovely and not.
When we shed old, inflexible skins, we also end up feeling flayed.
It seems doubly ironic that my 27th falls at the end of Fashion Week, as I pass streams of hollow-cheeked, hobble-footed waifs traipsing along the Strand, heading back to their Shoreditch Warehouses, reality refugees hungover from the fervent shapemaking of the past few days. God, I love them: their stupidity, their waste, their flashes of Shakespearean brilliance spotted in a twisted seamless skirt or a military band of sparrow-coloured silk. Their masking and unmasking of what we wish we were.