Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

A Day at the Seaside!

Penned upon the 16th of June, 2007

The eternally wonderous Lady Tanah and I were able to afford a moment of respite in our winter timetable today, as business had us over in historic seaside Williamstown! It’s nice just to give yourself permission to rest and regenerate when you need it. Williamstown is thoroughly charming – we sniffed tasty soaps in the hippie shops, strolled by the old fort, admired the mechanics’ insitute cum historical and film society, took note of the numerous bastions of Freemasonry dotted about, and toured the cemetery – I was particularly struck by a monument to three unnamed nineteenth-century Japanese sailors, poor fellows.

That would have been a fulfilling little holiday on its own, but on our way out of town we passed, of all things, the Way We Wear Vintage Fashion Fair at the Williamstown Town Hall! It’s truly worth visiting: there’s a 1960s theme running at the moment, which means some wonderful lines, plus pieces from as early as the eighteenth century. We gazed in awe at a Regency gentleman’s paisley bunyan, stroked some beautiful kimonos and 1920s shawls, and giggled at antique advertising prints, phrenology charts and naughty postcards. I tried on some enormous square-toed platform heels, but they were too small.

Fortunately, my will to flower wasn’t to be wasted, because today is International Dress-Up Day! This month’s theme is alter-egos and evil twins, so I’ve dressed as that suspect psychological shade, my animus. Ms Gala has all the details, but I will show you some pictures from, having dressed down again, reading my Cover the Mirrors postcad!

Cover The Mirrors postcad! Er, card.

Cover The Mirrors postcad! Er, card.

Oh, and if you were wondering РWilliamstowneans dress tr̬s fabuleux. Big buttons and jewel tones rule the scene.

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Commentary upon “A Day at the Seaside!”

  1. [a} was heard to remark,

    Upon the 18th of June, 2007 at 2:12 am,

    Egads! I love your site! Somehow this get-up reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.

  2. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 18th of June, 2007 at 3:28 am,

    Thank you so much! I’ve just been taking the liberty of reading your Blogspot; you write so beautifully! I’m nodding my head now to your posts on violence – why is it considered ‘realistic’ to accept as natural the things we find most horrible; violence, exploitation, privation; but ‘idealistic’ to try to try to propagate those things we find most natural and beautiful; love, kindness, a good life?

    People have to shut off their brains because because their brains are telling them absolutely and unconditionally to stop what they’re doing. I went to a school with a devout militarist; all his life plans involved rising through the ranks. He spoke about everything in army jargon, ranks and status and whatever else… all language designed to stop him seeing things as they actually are. It’s modernism, too, the imaging of the world as machines and machine parts, angles and surfaces, until that’s all we can see.

    Although it’s ancient by now, I agree with your post about how history can be depressing, and how we’re rarely prepared to accept people as being genuinely ‘good’ – we get suspicious and start looking for their weak points. Anyone can be a misanthropist, but only very rich people can be philanthropists! From my own experience, at uni, whenever a text we study describes someone in particularly glowing terms, someone’s bound to accuse them of ‘romanticising’ – which also gets my goat for my love of the romantics, of course! Incidentally, I took a course on South Asian history & politics last year, and one topic the lecturer emphasised was the difference between the image of Jinnah portrayed in the Anglo world, like, say, in Ben Kingsley’s Ghandi – cold, aloof, shrewd – and the historical reading of him as a genuine, idealistic man. He had a fantastic wardrobe, too!

    Anyhow, thank you for reading and feel free to comment anywhere, anytime!

  3. [a} was heard to remark,

    Upon the 19th of June, 2007 at 3:15 am,

    Wow, love your insight on it-“DEEEEP.”

    Especially this: “It’s modernism, too, the imaging of the world as machines and machine parts, angles and surfaces, until that’s all we can see.” You’re right, & I never noticed that!

    Jinnah’s my hero!! Movies like Ben Kingsley’s have their place in “experiencing history as it happened,” but yeah, bias & all that is inescapable in them.


  4. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 20th of June, 2007 at 1:40 pm,

    Oh, I’m just a silly, opinionated man. Thank you, though!

    Plus, Kingsley portrayed Ghandi with a small, demure, rather melodic voice – but he actually had a BIG, BOOOOOOMING, rumbly voice! Bit of a stereotype there, Ben, tut tut. I have big respect for the independence leaders, and quite a few South Asian activist post-independence too – I really think they’re setting a lesson for the whole world in a lot of ways. Social, spiritual, environmental, in terms of listening to history and adopting practices which are both universal and carefully shaped to be relevant to local needs…

  5. gilda was heard to remark,

    Upon the 21st of June, 2007 at 7:50 pm,

    hi… i’ve been here to read a few times and for some reason, today, i realised how much thought and process you seem to put into each and every post, and how little i seem to put into mine. like mine’s just a regular journal. and how my alter-ego just wants to have fun ;( heh heh. well, that really made me think about things, so thank you.

  6. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 22nd of June, 2007 at 12:24 am,

    Pish to the power of posh (Pishposh)! If your journal expresses who you are and what you do, then it’s great! I’m just a student at the moment, so my time is spent writing too much, deconstructing things, needing a lie down…

    I hope FrillyShirt is enjoyable to read! I aim to please and all that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 22nd of June, 2007 at 12:25 am,

    Oh, and you met kangaroos – so cool!

  8. gilda was heard to remark,

    Upon the 22nd of June, 2007 at 2:51 am,

    haha pish to the power of posh is quite funny. yeah i’m supposed to be a student as well but oh well. :( frillyshirt IS enjoyable so you don’t have to worry about that. and yes, i met kangaroos. they were too cute!

Further remarks are not permitted.