I went to the studio - spent most of the day there, doing admin and other practical things - including shortening the chain on my bike again - much better now.
Pretty happy with the way I've been able to back everything up online - the engineer is coming on Friday to look at my MacBook - seems to think it can be 'saved'.
Sad, but not at all shocked to read that Nicole Farhi has gone into administration. She's no longer involved in the business herself, it's passed between two different equity houses in the last 2 years and she retired at least a year ago - but I liked her when I worked for her, and she was always very decent to me. I have to admit - she looks 10 years younger now than she did then ( or ever 12 months ago ), and I doubt that it's cosmetic - must have been a bugger of a business to run. Sadly - it was all about ego and ambition - a brand that grew too big for it's boots and it's consumer and then lost touch with reality. I can understand the desire to be a 'player' - but NF never was. The product actually wasn't bad at all - but the ambition of the advertising and retail space didn't reflect the consumer. It could even be argued that her consumer isn't really there any more. Solvent, educated, North London, mature, happy to wear non-label but obvious quality. They have all lost their houses and are rotting in provincial seaside towns living off trust funds and memories, wearing very threadbare late 90's purchases with a bit of high street and a lot of M&S basics. During my time at NF /FC they pissed away millions on an abortive American adventure and absurd photo shoots when they should have been nurturing their customers. When the business was finally sold after bleeding FC dry, it was valued at less than fixtures and fittings. A shame. There is a rumour that she may buy the brand back and re-vitalise it - but I wouldn't risk it myself. Not unless there is someone smart and focused behind her - and I can't think of anyone. It all started to go wrong when they changed their Logo - if they had kept the old one, it would be the height of fashion right now. They never really got to grips with their image - the PR woman I had to deal with was very limited.
It's hot and muggy, overcast and quite malevolent - quite horrible. I bought a couple of great Penguin paperbacks from the 70's. One about class and one about death, and a 1960's binder of Motorcycle News, for the typography - all for about £3.
They have just started talking about Nicole Farhi on the 'big' news on radio 4. They are saying that they just couldn't pay the rent. She's talking live now.Voice trembling with emotion etc.
Live streaming of Egypt going Tit's Up. I think I preferred it in the 'old' days when it took 6 months to find out what was happening on the other side of the world.
On the way home, I cycled over the west hill - the road through the park narrows to control the speed so that only one vehicle could pass at a time - I had right of way / priority ( there is a big sign ) - I could see one car driving towards me, if I had carried on at my existing speed - I would have passed through the narrow point at the same time as them - and I knew, I just KNEW he wasn't going to stop, so I did, just in time - he went through the narrow part, missing me by inches - then stopped, his window was open - big smile on his face 'sorry - didn't see you' - like FUCK, it's a flat field, nothing else to see but ME, HIM and the FUCKING GREAT BIG SIGN TELLING HIM TO STOP. Why is it that people can nearly kill you, and assume a cheery smile or wave is enough to make it 'alright'.
I'm getting a lot of unsolicited cold calls at home - really pissing me off. I spend all my time and energy trying not to lose my temper, when I'd be perfectly justified.