Did I ever tell you about the time I met Peter Murphy, David J and Kevin Haskins? About how I was sitting in the back of a van with a quartet of knitted dollies? No? Well, sit back internet and let pixie tell you a long and surreal story.
Back in the mid-2000’s I was a regular on the bauhausmusik forum. I was 18, I was absolutely obsessed with Bauhaus and I had just learnt to knit. As a joke, I started knitting rock star dolls for my friends, and eventually ended up knitting a group of Bauhaus dolls. They were called the minihaus and they were very, very silly. I did a bunch of stupid photos of them re-enacting various pictures of Bauhaus, like this one
Or, my favourite, this one inspired by the Maxell adverts Peter was in
Anyway, they became my signature thing on the boards and I started taking them along to meetups and whatever so we ended up doing things like this when a bunch of us went for a wander around Highgate Cemetery
One of my ‘net friends, a lovely lady known as strangelets, even made a little coat for the Peter Murphy dolly
I took them along to the gigs Bauhaus did at the London Forum in the summer of ’06, stuffed in my backpack. After the first show me and a few forum regulars lurked outside the venue for long enough to see the band almost leave without Daniel Ash but they didn’t stop to greet us.
After the second show, Danny had already left in a huff after technical difficulties but the rest of the band were taking their time. Finally they all piled into their minibus and drove through the gates… and then stopped by the curb. We all queued up to say hello, some people taking rather longer than others, and then at last it was my turn to MEET BAUHAUS!
I climbed up into the van and Peter asked me if I was from the forum too. I said yes and told him my then-pseudonym, which he recognised (single most terrifying thing in the history of my existence). I mumbled something about how much I loved the band and mentioned the dolls.
“Oh yes, I know,” said Peter, referring to my woolly creations.
Oh shit, thinks I.
“Get the dolls!” someone screamed behind me, “where are they? They’re in a bag!”
A somewhat damp carrier bag full of woolly nonsense was handed to me over the top of people’s heads. I pulled the first one, the one based on Peter (or “the minimurph” as I called it), out and handed it over to the man himself.
“This one’s meant to be you,” I said, not quite believing this was happening.
Peter was absolutely delighted. He examined the doll, enthusing over the details, while I awkwardly waved the other dolls at the Haskins brothers. David J was staring at me through his sunglasses as though I came from another planet, eyebrows inching up his forehead. Kevin was smirking away and desperately disappointed that his woolen counterpart was the last to escape the bag.
“This is supposed to be me, is it?” he asked doubtfully.
“Yeah, note the drumsticks!” yelled one of my ‘net friends somewhere behind me.
Kevin laughed and handed the doll over to Peter, who was making grabby-hands gestures at him. Now Peter had two dolls and expression of pure unadulterated mischief.
“I’ve been waiting for years for this,” he announced, and promptly positions the dolls into a compromising position.
So, there’s me, sitting in the back of a minivan with three-quarters of my favourite band in the universe at stupid o’clock at night, watching slack-jawed as Peter Murphy makes a knitted version of himself and a knitted version of Kevin Haskins have sex. Complete with silly, utterly filthy noises. And cries of “Oh Kevin at last!” Eventually he decided that this wasn’t appropriate and forced the two dolls into an embrace.
“There look,” he said innocently, “they’re hugging. That’s nice.”
This is one of the many reasons why I am completely in love with Mr Murphy. Though it did make it quite awkward when I met David J again last year.
Somewhere there is a video where you can hear all of this crazy shit happening. I’ll try and find it.
I finally have a permanent altar space in my new house! Y'know that bookshelf I mentioned earlier, well it now contains most of my pagan stuff. The top is an altar, the second shelf is full of assorted magic and ritual gubbins, and the bottom two shelves are books on magic, folklore, mythology and herbalism (along with a few odds and sods that don’t fit on the top shelf). Oh and there’s a book about tea, but it felt like it ought to be there.
It’s not got all of my religion-related stuff on it, I don’t like compartmentalising my life (or my stuff), but I’m so happy I’ve finally got a focal point. Yay for me!
It’s not completely finished and everything’ll probably get shifted about in a few days but yeah.
Knit scale maille progress! It’s warm! It’s armour! It knits up suprisingly fast!
The gloves/gauntless are pretty much done. They knit up in just a couple of hours; great instant gratification knitting. They take about 200-300 scales each (knit in Debbie Bliss cashmerino in case you wanted to know).
The hood is going to have a collar/cowl thing added to keep it in place so I can wear it down. The collar will only have scales at the front, it’s getting kind of heavy and they’re a bit cold against the skin. The hood has about 1000 scales on it (and weighs a fucking ton) and was knit with an aran malabrigo (can’t remember which one off hand).
I may also have to make epaulettes. And maybe lapels. And maybe a necklace. I have a problem.
Scales were bought from beadsisters. Please excuse my face.
An absolutely foul day got a hell of a lot better when I came home to find this little chap waiting for me in a parcel. My very own itty bitty bean-bag Phantom of the Opera from the Univeral Horror Stuffins series from… 1999? I think? That’s what the trademark on the label says anyway. I already have the Dracula one, I may have to collect the rest they’re way too cute.
On the way back from the Halloween party, I got on the wrong bus because I’m an idiot who really needs to update the prescription on my contact lenses and so I needed to get another bus to get back to where I needed to be.
Now, by this point I had taken off most of the makeup and just looked like a particularly bedraggled goth creature. I got on the bus, smiled at the bus driver and, since the bus was empty, sat down towards the front.
So there I am, minding my own business, when I notice the bus driver is mumbling to himself and not talking to the radio. He’s also staring at me in the rear-view mirror and gesturing,
Then I realised what he was saying: he was repeating In the name of Jesus over and over again. And when I got off, he stopped the bus for a few seconds, stared at me and crossed himself before driving on.
Guys, I think the bus driver just tried to exorcise me.
I was buying my groceries and supplementing them with reduced Halloween gubbins and the guy at the check out asked me what Halloween was. Weird question, but I like being informative so I told him that it ultimately derives from the Celtic Samhain and blah blah blah.
He freaked out a bit when I mentioned it has pre-Christian pagan roots, and did the whole “people should research what they’re celebrating” spiel. I just shrugged and said, “Well, doesn’t bother me. I’m pagan.”
He looked appalled. “So what you celebrate with black candles and that?”
“No,” I said, “I went to someone’s house and had cake."