Jellyfish eyes and the quest for the holy bowl.

Ok, I admit it, I’m an idiot!

There! I said it.

So now that I have established my stupidity, I shall explain why.

It started yesterday morning. I made the foolish mistake of getting up early and compounded this stupidity by trying to break the habit of a lifetime and doing the washing up.  Wrong! In a series of events reminiscent of the board game “Mousetrap” I managed to catapult my wok into the air and  knock over a Whittard’s pasta bowl with the sleeve of my dressing gown. The bowl would have safely bounced on carpet covered linoleum but for the wok crashing into it like a downed U.F.O.

illy_htmlNow I have major issues when it comes to kitchenware, I have something akin to an allergic reaction to ugly crockery. Take Illy coffee cups for instance,(or rather don’t) they are one of the most hideous pieces of design on the planet. They have this little round handle that is impossible to get your fingers through unless you are of lilliputian proportions. So now I had a sum total of one, very lovely, bowl left and a dilemma at hand. My girlfriend was coming ’round for dinner that night and I had precisely one wobbly (pasta, stir fry etc.) food receptacle.

So the dilemma was… I needed two bowls, two aesthetically pleasing bowls. How hard could that be?
It turned out that the answer was… Very.
My first plan was to head for T.K Maxx, which is on the outskirts of nowhere rather than the middle but a pain to get to none-the-less. On the way, I passed my favourite little Chinese food store and made a mental note that they had some quite decorative knick-knacks on show. When I arrived at my destination I discovered precisely… nothing. Well, not quite nothing, but the wares on show were so nauseatingly tasteful as to bring me out in a rash. The queasy feeling in my stomach was telling me that I had made a bit of a cock up and I should have walked into town, which was now a four mile walk in the other direction. Loath to do this, I trudged in that direction, pondering the thought of rummaging about in the St Leonards charity shops for something suitable. I balked at this as, and I suspect I will get into trouble with this, I am totally sick to death with anything vintage. When I hear the word ‘vintage crockery’ my brain instantly translates the phrase to ‘smelly old tat’ and I think of all the meals some wee smelling, cat collecting, old lady had ate from them before finally using them to serve up wobbly horse and kangaroo offal to her darling moggies, before she died alone and they ate her.
P1010583It was then that I hit upon the idea of checking out the bits and bobs on sale in the Chinese food store. Jackpot! Gathering dust in the corner were some rather delightful blue and white bowls, not the usual willow pattern but a slightly fuzzy transfer print of a koi carp at the tempting price of £4.75 eat. Result!
Although…. But…
A niggling thought started to take hold when I got home and soon promoted itself to a fully fledged gnaw. Chinese restaurant bowls are all well and good for stir fries and the like but would look plain daft for serving up pasta. So I sat on my sofa, staring at the half finished painting that I was supposed to be doing and felt myself gravitate to my computer and then to eBay. My initial search for pasta bowls had 8000 results, reduced to around 2000 by adding ‘new’ to criteria. After trawling through the first twenty pages of assorted bowls before spotting a pattern… Debenhams outlet store kept popping up whenever anything took my fancy. I almost bought a couple online there and then but the delivery details said ‘other courier’ which means some poor sod would be trailing up and down the road for an age before taking it back to the depot for some other poor sod to look up on google maps as my home is totally hidden from sight to all but the most persistent delivery person. Basically, I  wanted pasta bowls and I wanted them NOW! (THEN! ???)

So here were the the facts as I saw them. The nice bowls were all on the Debenhams eBay store, the Debenhams delivery was a pain, there was a Debenham’s in Hastings a twenty minute walk away. So although I already had jelly legs from that morning’s outing, I figured that I would just end up stewing, thinking of what ceramic wonders I was missing out on by staying at home and actually doing something useful, like painting.

P1010585So off I went again! a swift walk down a hill, knowing that would be followed by a long trudge up a hill back home again. And low and behold, there was a sale on, woohoo! The Hastings Debenhams is a bit of a higgledy piggledey old department store type affair, not quite Grace Brothers but going that way. I eventually found the tableware section tucked away down a maze of labyrinthine aisle and located the crockery. Things suddenly got very complicated as all the bowls looked vastly different from their online photos and the ones I liked on-line looked hideous in real life. Plus some bright spark had left two Point-of-Sale video displays chuntering away to themselves right next to each other. Being dyspraxic, one of these on its own would be hard enough to cope with but two together is a nightmare. So I stared at bowls while video A tried to sell me on the virtues of some new non stick pans and video B tried to sell me a magic choppy uppy things machine and all I could hear was an amalgamation of the two, magic choppy uppy pans that wouldn’t stick to your smoothies and soups. Well I eventually got them, avoiding all the chef and designer branded crap (Since when did Jamie, self righteous git, Oliver do pottery?) some gorgeous Denby stoneware with a deep blue glaze. Mmmmmm. And did the walk/climb home again. So mission accomplished, two pairs of lovely bowls and a day totally wasted. I am an idiot!

And if you needed further proof…

jellyfish-eyes-takashi-murakami-yatzer-10A couple of years ago Japanese art behemoth Takashi Murakami made a film, Mememe no Kurage or, in English, Jellyfish Eyes. The plot of which was totally lost on me, even after watching the trailer which, strangely enough for a Japanese film, was in Japanese. After a couple of years, during which its existence bugged me from time to time, it became apparent that it would not be getting a uk release. But whenever I looked on the net, the cheapest option was £27 for a dvd, about five times what I’d usually pay for a dvd. How on earth can I justify that?

Well… My thinking was this. A few years before Murakami released dvd animated shorts starring his characters Kaikai and Kiki. That dvd now sells for around £100. So… I’m saving money. Honest guv! So I bought it and it got stuck in customs, costing me another £13. So in the end it cost me £40, for a dvd with neither a english audio track or english audio subtitles but it did have stickers so,erm, yay!

So in case you are interested the plot is roughly this, Pokemon type Murakami creatures that unknowingly draw energy from their owners to help create a really big monster which gets squished by all the little monsters working as a team. It cost me forty quid to find that out so yup! I’m a total idiot!



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