You go to HEMA for office supplies. You go to HEMA for bed sheets. You go to HEMA for bread. You go to HEMA always, for everything, every day. There is no other shop. There is only HEMA.
You cycle to school. You cycle to HEMA. You cycle to your friends. You cycle to the big city closest to your tiny town. You cycle to the train station. You cycle to your grandparents. Your bike has broken down more times than you can count, yet, you keep cycling.
You take public transport to somewhere too far away to cycle. You’re inexplicably unnerved by this fact. You look out the window and you spot a mill on green stretches of land. You see another mill and another mill and another. You’re approaching the city center. Still, you see mills. You accept this, as everyone seems to do.
You enter Utrecht central station. You wonder if you are on an airport.
You walk along the platforms, heading for platform 1. You don’t notice 6
and 10 and 13 are missing: no one ever does. And if they do, they don’t question this. Hours pass. You’re still
walking toward platform 1. You thank god NS makes sure the trains are
always late, so you’ll make it just in time. You arrive at the platform.
“+10” it days on the sign. You sigh. You wait another 10 minutes and
look again. “+20”, it says.
At the end of the basis school you take The Test. Your parents are more nervous than you. They tell you this Test dictates your entire future. The news tells you the same in a grave, slightly more ominous voice. You’re twelve years old.
When you’re in middelbare school, you notice the seniors suddenly
disappear for approximately two weeks each year to perform a secret
ritual in the largest room of the building. There are signs outside of
this room warning you not to enter. You are frightened as the years
pass, senior year coming increasingly closer; your fate uncertain as you
finally enter the Forbidden Room. You cry. It’s the two most
nerve-wrecking weeks of your life.
Everyone wants to go on holiday to the united states. Only a few chosen (read: rich) go. You ask them how it was and they tell you strange tales of shops other than HEMA, such as “target” and “costco”; of guns on display in supermarkets; how no one owns a bike. You stare, shaken, in disbelief and shock.
It’s the first real day of summer. It’s 20°C and kind of cloudy. You go to the beach. Everyone goes to the beach. You’re stuck in traffic for hours: everyone is headed for the same beach.
When you get to the beach, the water is cold as ice and there are
jellyfish in the water. There are jellyfish on the sand. There are
jellyfish in that shallow pool over there. There are jellyfish
everywhere. You come back the next day. The jellyfish have vanished.
You’re sitting in the sun under a half broken windscreen. A few meters
away, a boy is digging a hole. This means that the boy is german,
you’ve learned. You look to your left. There, another german man digging a
hole. And another. You smile ruefully. What would the beach be without
germans digging holes? This is all very normal.
You go on holiday to another country. People think you’re german. You’ve accepted this. People always think you’re german. I’m Dutch, you say. They don’t understand. They laugh. You’re from germany right? They ask.
Stroopwafels seem to have built an international
reputation. Foreigners adore them. You don’t understand. They’re
cookies. Very good ones, yes. But the adoration for anything Dutch is
something you cannot grasp.
There is a song about a guy named Herman reading in the newspaper that the man he’d sold his car to has crashed it and died. Everyone think Herman is dead, though. This makes him very happy. No one questions this fact. No one wonders if he tells his family he’s alive. No one asks who identified the body. Everyone knows the lyrics to this song.
February 25th - I love daffodils - harbingers of spring, I eagerly await their appearance to herald the light and sun every year.
By now, I know where the earliest local ones appear - the miniature ones (possibly actually narcissus) in Kings Hill Park are usually competing to be first with this patch on the Chester Road near Stonnall, at the Wood Lane junction.
I know they’re both unnaturally early. But a man can dream of spring, after all.
They are a delight to welcome back every year, and on this dull, wet and blustery ride up the Chester Road, they gladdened my heart.
Robert’s got his magazines out again. White cupboard without handles may be off the cards but it doesn’t mean he can’t indulge his suave posh needs elsewhere. With books and comics at easy reach from a sofa that makes Robert feel sexy and powerful. And a desk he can conduct his ‘business’ on, ie Aaron.
At least he’s listened to Beck’s advice and held unto the Mill’s core architecture and old charm, just because Aaron kept teasing how he was right about everything and Rob loves when Aaron is confident.
Their bedroom is inspired by Aaron’s green top that he uses to make sweater paws. With one purple cushion thrown in to pay homage to their old bedroom which was inspired by Rob’s purple suit.
Obviously he’d design a cute little space for Liv to actually do some work for once, and also so she can draw her masterpieces on the condition that she stops drawing Robert as a monkey.
And finally he’d make an underground boys club den for Aaron and him to get drunk, play darts and xbox without Liv hogging it or cockblocking them from cuddling and making out.
At home with Phryne Fisher: now you see it, now you see it again Pt 13
“Marion had the silk cardigan fabric and when she started designing for Phryne this was the first time she wanted to cut it up.”
(MFMM Costume Exhibition catalogue, 2014)
Phryne’s beautiful, soft silk knit long line cardigan is for ‘at home’. She wears it over cream silk faille pants or raw silk skirt together with cream silk blouses of various necklines and collars - tie, mandarin, v-neck, round, roll, cowl and boat necks. She accessorises it with a long scarf with gold thread that follows the line of the cardigan, or a green silk chiffon brooch. Phryne looks relaxed and casual but elegant and stylish to entertain, and interrogate!
Right from the first episode, home sitting rooms double as investigation rooms. In Series 1 Episode 1 Cocaine Blues, headache powders are suspected of being laced with cocaine - Phryne confirms the doctor’s opinion.
Phryne: Definitely cocaine.
Mac: I’m the doctor.
Phryne: Just to make sure.
Jack learns early on that he needs to find a place in the St Kilda incident rooms if his cases are to run smoothly. In Murder on the Ballarat Train an offer of tea precedes an offer of evidence. This time a green ‘sea anemone’ silk chiffon brooch augments the outfit.
Phryne: Morning, Inspector. I was just on my way to see you.
Jack: To explain yourself, I hope.
Jack: I can’t believe your hide. Appropriating a child who should have been in the care of the state.
Phryne: State care? You know what those places are like. And if that woman was Jane’s aunt, I’ll eat my cloche. The poor child clearly loathed her.
Jack: None of this explains how that ‘poor child’ came to be in possession of Mrs Henderson’s jewels, or what she had to do with the murder.
Phryne: It’s lucky for you I convinced Jane she should speak with you. Come in, Jane!
And from her own home to another’s in The Green Mill Murder, the cream and gold accessories blend seamlessly with the Freeman’s decor. The Freemans are a family in crisis - societal prejudice and family secrets lead to confrontation and tension as Phryne finds ways to solve and absolve.
Death By Miss Adventure supports a similar theme of bigotry as the episode reopens wounds for Phryne with the reappearance of Murdoch Foyle, and Mac hides her own wounds - ironic for a doctor. Mac finds it difficult to open up to her closest friend, even in the comfort of her parlour.
Aunt P voices society’s intolerance of difference in a visit to Phryne’s home to warn her of the hospital board’s view of Dr Mac’s ‘unconventional activities’. The setting and Phryne’s outfit are in parallel for both conversations.
Narrow views of women’s place in society, with car racing as a metaphor, provoke reactions from Phryne in Blood at the Wheel. Her parlour and the cream outfit with green sea anemone silk chiffon brooch, play host to meetings with two men, one immediately after the other, Lachlan Pepper from the VAA and Jack.
Peppercomes to Phryne’s home to ensure she cannot race in place of Gerty Haynes. He dismisses suggestions of race fixing, is offhand at the mention of past attachments and perfunctory in his manner.
Pepper: You women are all the same.
Phryne: I’m quite sure we aren’t.
Pepper: Ah, no, your threats are wasted on me, Miss Fisher. Your driving offences are on the record. My hands are tied… Good evening to you too, Miss Fisher.
Wheels within wheels as the confrontation with Pepper is immediately followed by a quieter dissonance between Phryne and Jack. At this point Jack is unable to express the depth of his feelings for her, and she is so distracted by the case that she misreads the reasons for his dark mood and disquiet.
Phryne: Did you follow up on Antony’s story?
Jack: The girl can’t be found, but the manager of the York Street Hotel thinks Mr Rose checked in.
Phryne: Hardly watertight.
Jack: No, but I can’t question him again without further evidence.
Phryne: But you could question our friend Pepper. See what comes to light.
Jack: I intend to. I’ll see myself out.
And so ends one of the most devastating scenes in the show (IMHO).
Thank goodness the cardigan makes another appearance and I don’t have to end the post at this point. Dead Air has the cardigan and cream accessories playing host in Phryne’s parlour to interviews and evidence sharing again.
First to the all-too-helpful Jimmy Creswick:
Phryne: While you’re here, I would like a quiet word about Louisa.
Creswick: Of course.
And then to Jack/Archie. Here again we have mirroring of setting and outfits as in Miss Adventure and Wheel, but on this occasion the chord struck between Phryne and 'Archie’ is anything but dissonant.
Jack: Who told Hazel Creswick I should diversify into singing?
Phryne: I’m not sure, but it certainly is a wonderful suggestion.
Jack: I’m glad my feeble undercover attempt provides you with amusement.
Phryne: I look for joy in all the dark places, Archie.
I think Archie quite likes the thought of the dark places.
Going to the con made me miss these lovely people even more. Will the entire cast return for Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears? We don’t know yet at this time, but I am sure we all agree that it really would not be the same if any of them is missing. Since the scripts have not been finalized, perhaps there is still hope for us to borrow Dot’s prayers in S1E3 The Green Mill Murder and work our wish in.
Dear Lord, I beseech you to look after the little orphans and those with less than I and those without good health and the zebra in the zoo, you know, the one with the gammy leg. And if after all that, Lord, you still have some time, perhaps…perhaps you could send Every Cloud Productions some kind of sign, you know, to let them know that we also like to see Dot, Hugh, Mac, Aunt P, Mr. B, Bert, Cec, and Jane in the movies.
“Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” ― Coco Chanel
Phryne’s white textured wool crepe overcoat makes several appearances in Series 1 and 2. The single-breasted coat flares slightly from the waist giving it movement, the oversized fur shawl collar oozing the luxury and style we associate with Phryne Fisher. She wears it both with a white felt cloche and a leopard print with feather detail, and white, pale yellow and/or black accessories.
It first appears in The Green Mill Murder (S1, Ep3) in the ‘who dunnit’ reveal at City South towards the end of the episode. The coat contrasts the night club barely-there evening wear of sleek black fringing and sparkling rhinestones. It is warm and elegant and appropriately formal for an interview:
Phryne reveals the modus operandi first to an impressed Jack:
Phryne: See, he’s made modifications here and here.
Jack: I don’t know who has the more fanciful imagination… Rogers for coming up with it, or you for working it out.
Phryne: Jack! Me, obviously.
then nails the perpetrator, Rogers:
In the next episode, Death at Victoria Dock, the coat reappears with black and white accessories, mirroring the surrounds not only of the convent hallways and tiled floors, but the inhabitants themselves:
In Raisins and Almonds S1 Ep5, Phryne wears the coat and hat as she tracks down the relationship between a cottage garden and a deadly poison. The coat with its soft trim and felt cloche blend with the pastel flowers and the painted backdrop of the terrace house.
The outfit is part of the reveal of this episode too:
- as Phryne reveals a little more of herself to Jack:
- and Jack reveals a little of himself to Phryne:
Jack: I went to war a newlywed.
Phryne: But you came home.
Jack: Not the man my wife married… 16 years ago.
Phryne: War will do that to you.
Jack: My wife’s been living with her sister for some time now. But a marriage is still a marriage, Miss Fisher.
Phryne: Especially to a man of honour.
In S1 Ep7, Murder in Montparnasse, the personal intrudes but this time it is Phryne who must divulge something of her life. She wearsthe white hat and coat as she insinuates her way into an investigation of a motor vehicle accident that ultimately leads to memories of a very painful episode in her past.
Her light-hearted response to Hugh’s recreation of the scene of the crime has Jack too letting down his usual reserved guard.
The following scene shows the pair maintaining comfortable rapport.
As in Green Mill, the white coat provides a stark contrast to the later scene in the restaurant where Phryne wears all black, perhaps a symbol of the darkness of the abusive past relationship - and Jack and Phryne’s rapprochement continues…
Flowers and revelations recur when Phryne wears the outfit in Queen of the Flowers, S1 Ep9.
Jane’s mother reveals her presence, with devastating impact on both the surrogate mother and Jane:
The image above shows the detail on the cloche, bronze floral motifs with hand-painted beading, so appropriate for episodes with flowers as thematic trope.
Phryne wears the outfit to her appointment in the hall where the flower maidens are preparing for their festival performance, and we see the line and fall of the coat. But not for long.
Phryne removes hat, coat and gloves to ensure the girls in her care are better prepared to face an, at times, hostile world than finishing lessons can provide:
Phryne: And I wish I could have taught Kitty something more useful than dancing or deportment or etiquette. …Take your coats off, ladies, and I’ll show you.
Jack too appreciates what she shows them:
Then on to Season 2, Episode 8, The Blood of Juana the Mad.
Phryne wears the coat with the leopard print cloche and feather corded detail, and black accessories - gloves, bag and shoes. Her outfit here appears too, to pay homage to the surrounds and the dress regulations of those within the medical faculty.
Her estrangement from Jack is most marked at the beginning of the episode with some settings foreshadowing a later resumption of more harmonious relations.
Their exchange highlights the tension between the two - Jack determined to separate himself both personally and professionally from Phryne as he realises he can no longer isolate each of the two facets of their relationship; Phryne on the other hand believes they can and should.
Jack: I know Dr MacMillan is an old friend, but it would be easier if you left me to investigate.
Phryne: Without me? What about the safe? You couldn’t have opened that without me.
Jack: Not as easily.
Phryne: Or the blood trail.
Jack: Not as quickly.
Phryne: What about Hugh? I helped him to…
Jack: Helped what?
Phryne: Do you really want me to go?
Jack: I don’t want you to go. I need you to go. Please go home.
Phryne: Very well. Sayonara.
Phryne, in profile and framed by pillars, provides the third figure in the stained glass panelling after Jack’s exit.
Fortunately the episode ends with them in tandem - so to speak - on a motorbike, and there’s more talk of what the future might hold:
Jack: I think we’re more of a waltz, Miss Fisher.
Phryne: Not a tango? A good waltz is slow, and close.
Jack: I’ll try to stay in step, all the same.
And that’s the last of the beautiful white coat although the colour, style and trim may well be a presage of another scene or two with another white coat… but that would be another post!