Thursday, 31 March 2011

Drawing a veil over proceedings.

Yesterday I filmed my final footage with the Filmmaker at the London residence of the Brimstone Butterfly. The Filmmaker made a number of suggestions for how the shoot should go, some of which I agreed to and the more outrageous of which I quickly slapped down. Thus, given that I have no qualms about being seeing in public in a swimsuit and have worn corsets as outwear, I had no misgivings about being shown in a corset from above the waist. I chose a burgandy silk one which I had never worn before, although I often wear a similar one made in black silk. Consequently, I had forgotten that steel boned corsets like leather shoes need to be broken in. Moreover, trying to bend and put on a pair of boots proved not only difficult but quite painful as the stays presssed into my flesh. At least  I was not obliged to wear footwear indoors. For the shoot I had no objection to displaying the same amount of leg as I would show on the beach, especially as my legs happen to be one of best features. I might be on my last legs in more ways than one, but they are as fine a set of pins as any other to be seen tottering around on.

Knowing that the Filmmaker was going to intersperse footage of me with images of his earlier jaunt to China, I suggested that to complement the Oriental theme I wear my 19th century Japanese silk kimono that I had bought from Liberty’s years ago. Later, I wrapped my 1920s black and white silk Chinese shawl around the lower end of my corset to wear as a skirt. Both the kimono and the shawl were highlights of my own parody of the 1794 literary bestseller "Voyage autour of  ma chambre".  Atop my head I sported my 1920s style fascinator which I had first worn to a friend’s wedding in the country. On the eve of the wedding I had dashed into Selfridges desperate for a new hat or head piece.  Although I love hats by the likes of Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy they are way beyond my meagre purse. Fortunately my eyes had alighted upon a veiled fascinator for under £20.Those were the days before I discovered the cornucopia of vintage millinery that is E-bay.

One of the more bizarre requests by the Filmmaker was that I should run my fingers along a piece of duck flesh. Having established that I was to keep the meat I readily agreed, being used to handling raw duck meat prior to cooking it. By that time I was more than glad to be able to change back into my normal clothes as the room had become quite chilly. With my goose bumps from the cold my flesh bore more than a passing resemblance to the flesh of the fowl I now handled.

Satisfied with the footage the Filmmaker retreated to the lawns of Brimstone Butterfly Tower’s where I had espied a dead rat in an advanced stage of putrefaction, a subject that seemed perfect for the gothic tone of the film.

That left me free to finish preparing the same Nigella Seafood Thai Curry I had served when he had last visited. Normally, I like to ring the changes as far as cooking for guests is concerned but I am prepared to make an exception.

Earlier I made a swiss roll sponge which, once cooked, I had sprinkled with Grand Marnier and rolled up again to allow to cool. Later, I unwrapped the swiss roll, spread strawberry conserve over one surface and added a filling of strawberries, marinated in Grand Marnier, and whipped double cream. Having rolled the now bulging swiss roll up again, I dusted the surface with icing sugar. The swiss roll was left to chill in the fridge for half an hour whilst I prepared the Thai Jasmine rice and added the organic salmon and raw prawns to the curry to cook. As before, the Filmmaker insisted on photographing the food before we sat down to eat and as befitting his artistic soul he was not satisfied with merely recording a still life. Instead, he snapped away as I slowly sank a knife into part of the swiss roll, the cream oozing out as I did so.

The Filmmaker must finish editing yesterday’s footage for tomorrow’s deadline. He tells me that he will adding special effects. The completed film will be uploaded to Amsterdam to the organisation which first commissioned it. I shall miss my own premiere and have no chance to wear one of my vintage frocks and hats along the red carpet. Even worse, I failed to ensure my own official immortality as a siren of the silver screen by stating in the Census that my most recent employment was as a film-star. What an oversight that will prove for cultural historians of the early 21st century.