Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 2 May 2008

The root of all evil is

. . . a cupboard at the top of the stairs containing an old rug, which has formed a sort of moth Waitrose, aisles and aisles of delicious things to eat. I now have to clean out the whole thing. The floor is covered with larvae.

On the plus side, they don't seem to have got into the wardrobe. I hope.

Having had the most disgusting morning putting half-eaten stuff and other stuff covered in larvae into bin bags, and having found a half-eaten vintage coat from the early 50s which a friend gave me in 1985, my cleaner has arrived and is going over the carpet inch by inch with a vacuum cleaner, crevice tool and insecticide. Next week the carpet cleaners are coming.

I have to go to the gym now and have my trainer make me pick up heavy things. Lovely. Then home to find out if this is the new mayor of London, as predicted by all the news media.

After I spent four hours this morning clearing out the cupboard, spraying moth killer and laying down insecticide, and my cleaner spent five hours vacuuming, this evening the moths are still there, on the walls and ceiling in the hall.

I have had an email . . .

Greetings --

just a quick note of commiseration! it's a testament to the laxity of my cleaner that oh, god, nearly a year ago last november, i noticed some bald patches in a rug I'd bought at John Lewis (normally very reliable in all things) and when i turned it over, it was teeming with larvae and suchlike. it took me ages and ages to get rid of the damn things, using some of the same products I see you've got. unlike you, i'm not smart enough to store woolens in bags so ended up tossing a few things, though nothing quite as mind boggling as the rug itself! i'm not at all squeamish about bugs (rodents are another story) but I was grossed out. moths are so persistent, too.
and just when I thought it was safe, I saw one flying round the room the other night. Luckily, so far, seems to be a solo flight. But the shorter version is just to say perservere and I feel for you!


The Story of the Supremes, an upcoming V&A exhibition of the performance costumes of the seminal girl-group, makes it pretty clear that it's not just Marge Simpson that Amy Winehouse is channelling. The beehives and the beestung lips, the doll-like get-ups and the larger-than-life voices: it's there in grainy black-and-white stills of Diana and co from the early 1960s, and in a million grainy YouTube clips of Amy circa 2008. Winehouse uses the retro image to position herself in a roll call of female singing icons dating back to Ross and beyond, and distance herself from the world of contemporary throwaway pop. But no amount of hairspray can disguise how much the pop world has changed in four and a half decades: while the Story of the Supremes tells an old-fashioned tale, from the first album cover with its Woolworths pearls to the days of Bob Mackie gowns, the Amy show has been all about downfall, not rise. If the Story of the Supremes is about how to construct female fame, Winehouse, vulnerable in her overexposed body and unsteady on her five-inch heels, is about how vulnerable female stars really are.