Sunday, November 06, 2005

Kente, Lace and Champagne

Pondering a photo to (belatedly) complete the London's Got Soul Trilogy...

Kente Lace country chic

Photographers talk about seeing The Shot, knowing as they press the button that they have captured a great image. I'm not much of a photographer and have only come close to this once, 45 seconds before I took the above photo. As it turned out it took me that long to find my camera and I missed the shot I wanted when additional people walked into the scene. The occasion was a friend's wedding. Still I think it turned out fine and the sight compelled me to declaim some spontaneous poetry, or doggerel as my friends labelled it.

The first two lines were obvious

Rolling Hills Of Fair Essex
Stately Homes And Greener Pastures
rolling hills of fair Essex

As was the eventual final line
Kente, Lace And Champagne
In between there was what you would expect: musings on the wonder of Accra style and Jamestown posturing melded with East London street smarts. It appeared to me that all were trying to create high society. One can imagine everyone settling for high tea at Fortnum-and-Mason's what with the costumes and the hats on display. And yet these are all normally unprepossessing Londoners who hustle and bustle on crowded buses and the packed cars of the underground. But give them a happy occasion and a fine setting, and they'll be all Ascot top hats and (relatively) stiff upper lips.

When you mix lace style and kente chic with a London sensibility all that's missing is champagne.

And while on the topic of champagne and London, I came across this tidbit about the improbable ascendency of British wine in recent international competitions.
Champagne houses eye up English vineyards

From Kent's Isle of Thanel to the Sussex Downs, what began as a rumour, or a bruit as the French might say, may soon become a brut reality.

French champagne houses, impressed by the strong performances of English wines in international competitions, are looking to buy English vineyards.
The French, who have always looked askance at the culinary prowess of their now Channel Tunnel linked neighbours, of course were rather skeptical about this development. But they are nothing if not pragmatic when it comes to money hence they will scope out the competition.

The English reaction to this scrutiny is an interesting blend of stoicism and prickliness.
"Why should we help the French when we are already producing better champagne on our own?" he said. "We have exactly the same soil conditions and thanks to global warming the climate is actually better. The only difference is I'm not allowed to call our wines champagne."

"It's got to be better than growing cauliflower."

"At every English sporting event from Wimbledon to Ascot, we toast the victors with French champagne", he said. "We'll probably be toasting the anniversary of our victory at Trafalgar this summer with French brands too, it really gets my goat."
British wine?

Soundtrack for this note


Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls

A pop synthesizer tune by the boys of irony for the ultimate city of synthesis and soul, London.

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3 comments:

The Java Diva said...

I'd like to read the entire poem...Kente, Lace and Champagne is a very catchy title.

India J said...

Salut, j'adore les photos, l'article, mails surtout le titre..!
A bientôt :)

India J said...

Salut, j'adore le titre..!