What would you say to a partner or friend after everything else has been said?
What do you want to say to those close to you but have never had the time to get to?
Who could you imagine spending 70,000 hours with?
18 people contributed between October 29 2002 and February 20 2003
g from out here wrote on October 29. 2002, 10:41:
it happens every day
it's amazing that each time this happens
it's possible to feel more than the last time
this could go on forever without blinking
but we are only given a glimpse
in which to live
Mark Hutley from the joyful union of my parents wrote on October 31. 2002, 12:18:
"Has it really been that long"
"Yes,it makes you think,doesn't it"
"So what,it just it flows like water until the big sleep"
"Do you really feel like that"
"What do you expect after all this time"
"I don't know,it's strange,you still surprise me,even now."
"Yes, but i digress i want to go back to what you said about time,
y'know about water."
"Oh god,here we go another great insight from the fucking clown"
"At least i have insights,now shut up and pass the chalk."
Ofar Quarson from www.quarson.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk wrote on October 31. 2002, 20:39:
Not my words...but,
Words like violence
Break the silence
Come crashing in
Into my little world
Painful to me
Pierce right through me
Can't you understand
Oh my little girl
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
Vows are spoken
To be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
Enjoy the silence.
Robert Persson from Vancouver BC Canada wrote on November 1. 2002, 03:47:
What the girl and the clown talk about is the same thing those two people in the lift are talking about, as the doors open on them and shut on them again as they appear from somewhere and travel on somewhere else. Where do they disappear to? Their conversation is strung through the space of BBC TV Centre, wandering like Charlie Bucket's elevator.
Or maybe they are just listening to the music. It is strange. One piece is called "Janice In Wonderland". Another is called "My Fate And You". If it was me in the test picture I would be listening to the music. I think the noughts and crosses is an action drawing produced in response to the music. The girl is doing the drawing, while the clown is just sitting and listening to the music.
Joanna Hind from Boston wrote on November 1. 2002, 10:43
Do you remember reading the Brian Keenan/McCarthy book on their hostage experience? One of the things that they said was that the fact that they came from such dramatically different backgrounds (Irish working class v English Upper class) meant that they had far more to talk about and it was more interesting. They felt that if they were more similar it would have restricted what they could discuss. Anyway, just a thought.
simone kenyon from bradford wrote on November 1. 2002, 12:10:
A pushy mother is standing on the edge of the set, shes telling her daughter to smile and looks on proudly waiting for the day her darling daughter will be a famous actress
cathy from exeter wrote on November 1. 2002, 15:22:
When I was about her age, maybe younger, I somehow had the idea that she was drawing her noughts and crosses on the tiles above a bath. I don't know why I thought this when she obviously has a dress on.
Perhaps she had somehow become confused with 'The Hairwash Girl', our name for a picture in a book of photos by Bill Brandt. Both of them somehow belonged to a world where children are always smelling of soap, and for both, I believed these fresh faces concealed a pre-photo struggle with an insistent adult.
It was years before I thought about it and realised she was not naked in a bath, drawing with soap on tiles, but fully clothed in front of a blackboard.
The clown was irrelevant. She did not communicate with him, but silently, with me, looking out through her screen.
Her space, her window, was like the green light on the radio, which seemed like an illuminated keyhole, which someone small enough might see through.
All parts of a child's world, little projections, little mirages. Correspondences found in the adult world, or half found.
sophie from london wrote on November 2. 2002, 10:10:
when there's nothing left, say i love you back and forth forever
Josie from waterford via brightonberlinbristol wrote on November 6. 2002, 13:45:
I thought of McCarthy and Keenan too - how they used to go on imaginary journeys, cook imaginary meals and make up new lyrics for Simon and Garfunkel songs. In that sort of situation sanity seems to depend on continued dialogue. Only by continually reaffirming the existence of a world outside their cell were they able to hang onto to any kind of hope.
rachel from knutsford wrote on November 7. 2002, 01:37:
the testcard image reminds me of the sense of smell I haven't had in two decades because it's completely fused with what I remember as an advert for ICI but felt/smelt to me like the longest drama documentary in the world. It scared/thrilled me (that classic/bloody obvious childhood combination)and consisted of jaunty focus/lense pulling (televisual showing off of the highest order in 1970)in rapid succession, views of the coliseum, roaringish lion noises and powder paint being mixed in half shells as some sort of evidence of the brilliance of said petroleum company... With adult estimation, perhaps it was an ad for Shell...anyway, that was ITV to the BBC's quiet girl/puppet contribution in that no man's land just before childrens tv began for the afternoon (which didn't have a smell of it's own). What the testcard has affected is my hunger for the type of dreadful music playing behind it...it's like a threadbare teddy/blanket/totem in times of crisis...middle of the road,synthetic, popular orchestral comfort. It was when silence or, worse still, the whistle set in that the real world began.
Andrew and Rebecca from London wrote on November 15. 2002, 23:20:
At the end of all language we take the first name of someone that we know
and pair it with an unfortunate surname. Lou, for example would marry
someone called Mr. Brush or Mr. Seat and so on, and so on. And when we run
out of inspiration we resort to the dictionary which can prove extremely
profitable, for example Mr. Bricate.
When we tire of this we start making little flick books with big smiles.
Animated for the ladies' pleasure.
Christa from UK wrote on December 2. 2002, 21:20:
I used to look at this early in the morning in my pyjamas, waiting for the cartoons to start. I used to wonder whether the toys actually belonged to the girl (probably not) & always thought that the noughts and crosses were far too neat for her to have done herself (they must have been drawn for her by a 't.v.' man. Also it reminded me of a friend at school who always used to wear one of those pink elastic Alice bands around her head (like the ones you wear in Ballet). Her name is Linda Mitchell. I wonder where she is now.
david taylor from london? wrote on December 31. 2002, 03:04:
i would like to find every word in every language in the world for 'silence' and maybe some languages have words for different kinds of silences (the silence after a prayer, the silence after a curse?)...then slowly say each word with an equivalent silence in between. ah!
Rowena Williams from London, England wrote on January 7. 2003, 16:12:
"Do you think I should change my look? The whole Alice band thing...........?"
"You don't look at me the way you used to...."
What is your porn name? Take the name of your first pet and your mothers maiden name....
"Which am I, nought or cross?Haven't got a clue..."
"How about Connect Four?"
"Is that the board rubber or are you just pleased to see me.........?"
"Put that spliff out, you crazy clown."
Which Magic Roundabout character do you most associate with?
"You see, my problem is I am not really a 'circle' person........."
Tim Ingram from Uley, Glos. England, Western Spiral Arm wrote on January 10. 2003, 16:42:
The test card is probably one of my earliest memories of television. In those days there was no such thing as day time television (at least this is how I remember it) so instead of banal soap operas, chat shows and repeats of Quincy the BBC gave us the delights of the test card. I remember sitting transfixed for what seemed like hours just staring at this one complex image: so many shapes, lines and colours. I remember that the four corner rectangles reminded me of fig rolls and the thick black rectangle above the central image was a letter box where you could post messages to the girl. I was never really sure what the "clown" was, it seemed to be made of deformed green balloons or those glace fruits that gran always gave us. I think it scared me in some way, it seemed strangely sinister and I was always unsure why this girl was playing naughts and crosses with this - for want of a better word- puppet. She obviously won every time! Did they ever move? I could never catch them out but sometimes out of the corner of my eye, did she move her hand? Was there an extra naught on the board? The music (Muzak?) was something else too. Easy listening taken to its illogical extreme. I always had this image of a doddery old man behind the test card with an old record player and a large stack of records just putting them on one after the other. Oh, and that "F" that appeared in the central panel below the central image. What DID that stand for? It used to drive me potty: finish, five minutes left, what was it? I seem to have a vague recollection that numbers used to appear in the bottom extreme right hand corner square, telling you how many minutes of the test card were left. My excitement would mount as the numbers decreased because after this were children's programmes. But I could never fathom out what the test card was for, it was just always there.
Tim Ingram from Uley, Centre of Universe wrote on January 13. 2003, 16:21:
Sorry, me again. Just had a thought about what you might talk about. From the info you have given it sounds almost Pinteresque. "The Birthday Party" springs to mind: a couple married for x number of years with really nothing more to say to eachother, so they talk about incredibly banal things eg. breakfast cereal, the weather, the price of biscuits etc. Questions are asked but there is no reply because the answer is a). obvious b). boring c). unimportant d). all of the above. Also it doesn't really matter what is said in a Pinter play, just as long as you leave a decent enough pause between each line.
From my own personal experience, when I have run out of things to say to someone I know incredibly well I usually seem to resort to childish acts eg. making a stupid noise for no particular reason, pulling faces, pinching or inflicting chinese burn etc. Anything which will provoke a reaction from the other, thus starting a whole new discourse (usually an argument involving similar scenarios from the past). Anyway it certainly breaks the silence!
Nina Tecklenburg from Berlin wrote on January 29. 2003, 16:43:
Hi Dan and Soph, here is a little story/thought:
If you change your radio channel from 'Kurzwelle' to 'Langwelle' you can hear strange noises. When I was a child my father always told me about those noises being send out from aliens. So I believed that those noises might even be the aliens voices and that they were trying to get in contact with me via the radio every time I switch over to 'Langwelle'. With the test card (which was without an image in germany) I thought that this might functionate in the same way. Everytime the channel turned on the test card I believed that aliens were hidden behind the shapes of colours. I kind of got afraid of switching on the radio on 'Langwelle' and the television for example very early in the morning - but on the other hand I WANTED to get in contact with those people from the Mars of whatever...
a different story:
As I have never seen your test card (because I grew up in Germany) I was thinking about an equivalent in Germany: a face that is familiar to everyone and that exists/ existed publicly for a very long period of time. The problem is that there might not be one for the reunited Germany; but for me - as I was born in W est Germany - I think that the funny and at the same time very strange face on top of the box of the 'Kinderschokolade'. I guess that this is a very familiar face to every West German (probably also for east germans because they might have got Kinderschokolade for Chrisman with the 'West-Packete' from their western relatives - but that would be a different story.) So yes, the Kinderschokoladen-face: The face looks very old-fashioned; as a child I was kind of aliated by it for the following reasons: does this face belong to a child or to an young adult? so how old might this person may be? And then: is this a girl or a boy...? the face didn't want to fit into a fixed category; it had something very artificial - almost like a puppet. I was trying to imagine this person standing in front of a camera beeing photgraphed - but I couldn't make a clear history because of his/her undistinguishableness (?). Does this person exist at all or is it just a very well made image? Nevertheless I thought that if the person exist he or she must be very old now and that it must be strange to see your young face in every supermarket. Would I every recognise this person on the street? Probabely not because I didn't even know wheather I would have to look out for a man or a woman.
Oh yes, a thing I was also asking myself was: Chocolate is not good for your teeth: so, how does this person manage to keep his/ her theeth so extremly white? It could be more a face for a toothpaste adverd... Than I thought that it is probabely because of the high amout of milk that is inside of the chocolate. but the 'white' inside of the chocolate is made by artifical ingrediance and not by milk as my primary school teacher later told us... (the same with 'Milchschnitte' - by the way, which is produced by the same company.) I couldn't believe: Kinderschokolade: something unhealthy? but the face looks quite happy, quite 'healthy' skin colour. (That was probabely one of my first experience of the fact that unhealthy and happy is related to oneanother.)
So yes, that's all so far I can remember. P.S. Years later I found a very cheap version of 'Nutella' which had two faces on top of its glass which looked very similar to the face on the Kinderschokoladen box; but this time it was more clear what their intention was: each with a big slice of german bread taller than each of the smiling faces the slices overcharged with the cheap nutella version about to be put into the greedily wide opened happychildrensmouths...
Russell Anderson from Cheltenham, UK wrote on February 20. 2003, 23:38:
It seems small, but this can spark off all sorts of conversations at a low point - from "what ARE you on about?" to "CONSPIRACY!!!"
Have you noticed that the popular bottled water, 'Evian', is 'Naive' spelt backwards?