Tuesday, 2 January 2018

a dirty picture

First things first. I saw this picture for sale in the Brotherhood of St Laurence opshop in Brunswick Rd. I'm sorry about the reflections in the glass - I had a migraine coming on and there were bars of light like that everywhere in my field of vision so I didn't notice these. But look at it - it's a not very good drawing of number 17 Canning St.

shit drawing in frame $8
Don't know about you, but i think this picture showing up in the opshop is evidence of a complete abrogation of personal responsibility combined with breathtaking arrogance. If the residents of 17 Canning St don't want this thing, sure as shit there's nobody else in the whole world that does. They caused it to exist, they're responsible for it now. A drawing of your house is FOR LIFE NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS dudes of Canning St.

So this morning I looked out for 17 Canning St and sure enough...it's real

I've noticed this house before because it's got about five rosebushes of different colours in the front yard. In other words it is twee to the max. This is the part of Canning St that almost always smells of raisin toast. I don't mind that so much, but it's not an excuse for pretending to yourself that the opshop will very likely be able to rehouse a picture of your house.

I have been considering whether I can really be bothered to do what I know needs to be done: go back to the opshop, buy the picture (yes that's a problem right there), and take it to the house and leave it propped, somehow malevolently, on the doorstep. I want to do it but I don't quite know how rig things so as to strike the necessary note of creepy supernatural kink into the self-satisfied hearts of the inmates of no. 17.  I'm thinking of something along the lines of the effects generated in a wonderful ghost story called "Couching at the Door" by an entirely forgotten English novelist called Dorothy Broster - there's a good paragraph on it here - in a nutshell, the story is about man who fancies himself as a great artist and who sets out to acquire 'experience' by cold-bloodedly doing something terrible, then afterwards everywhere he goes he's haunted by a feather boa. You should read it. I came across it first in a great collection called "Ghostly Tales to Be Told", Faber, 1950s, edited by Basil Davenport, about whom I know absolutely nothing except that on the evidence of this anthology he had an amazing eye and ear for true and authentic creepiness. Well, I'll think about it some more. Canning St could do with being creeped out, I have decided. I tried to be openminded and generous, but there are limits to how much smugness one should tolerate.

OK now on to business. It's 2018: thirteen years since this blog began, and about a year operating in its current breakneck phase. Thank you very much, my friend, for reading all this time and for bearing with me. It means a lot. Even if this blog is a hate read for you, that's no problem, I'm still grateful to you. The last year has been strange, and writing about it, and through it, has been useful, in large part because of this good situation you and I have got going where I know you're there, in a moderately abstract sort of way, but you don't make your presence too apparent. 


lucypigpuppet said...

Maybe it was a previous resident who donated the picture. If the current residents were surprised and delighted by a portrait of their house appearing on their doorstep, would that ruin the effect?

lucy tartan said...

Hello lucy! True, maybe it was a previous resident. And your question gets to the heart of the matter. There are just too many variables. I think maybe unless it's presented in some over-the-top creepy way, the odds are that the people in the house would somehow interpret it as evidence that their house really is the centre of the universe.