Nine Times Nine Pictures to Dispel the Cold

I was read­ing about a Chinese tradi­tion simil­ar to an advent calen­dar that starts on this day. It’s 81 days until the Spring, and that makes a neat grid of 9×9, lead­ing to the tradi­tion of Nine Times Nine Pictures to Dispel the Cold- draw or colour a picture every day to get you through the winter. 

I miss the inter­net when it was weird

Some­thing I have been think­ing about recently is how much the inter­net itself has changed in the past few years, possibly not for the better. I like the conveni­ence of modern services like Google Maps or inter­net bank­ing, but I actu­ally think the level of inter­est­ing content on the inter­net has gone down­hill.

The Ulti­mate Bubble

I’ve been tired and busy lately. Here’s a great bubble gum advert from the 80s with a Kraft­werk-meets-Eurythmics soundtrack, and some odds and ends of inter­est­ing links.

Assor­ted dreams

If I remem­ber my dreams I try to write them down in a note­book, to use for later inspir­a­tion. The one I’ve been using suddenly fell apart yester­day. I tried to stick the pages back in, but the spine was completely disin­teg­rated. I think I’ll just start a new one and copy the old entries over. Here’s some vari­ous bits from it.

90s Veget­ari­an Food

I haven’t eaten meat since the late 90s. Veget­ari­an­ism was on the rise at the time in the UK, but the selec­tion of meat-free products was very poor compared with the current day, and many of them had to be bought in the health food shop.

Windows (18)95

The build­ing I live in was built in the 1870s, and still has the origin­al wooden windows. Well-looked after origin­al examples are highly prized in the UK. Unfor­tu­nately mine were not well looked after by owners in the recent past.


Ruth had a dream that you could buy tins of some­thing called “Green­cheeks” that seemed to be tinned Kermit meat. I had to make this a real­ity in Photoshop using a stock can mockup template.

How to spot fake Twit­ter accounts and misin­form­a­tion

The main way to keep up to date with what’s happen­ing on the ground with the Black Lives Matter Protests is via social media (and Twit­ter in partic­u­lar).

It’s really confus­ing though, because there are a lot of people and organ­isa­tions acting in bad faith and delib­er­ately making commu­nic­a­tion and fact-check­ing diffi­cult, and using manip­u­la­tion strategies to drown out the real inform­a­tion about what’s happen­ing on the ground.

Roskilde Viking Ship Musem

It’s very unlikely I or anyone else will be trav­el­ling much this summer (I’ve not been more than a mile away from home for months now), so I thought I’d sort out and post some old travel photos. Here’s Roskilde from 2015. I posted photos of Copen­ha­gen and Malmö at the time (you can see them here and here), but I forgot to do these ones.

A walk along an empty beach

Not many people are getting to the beach these days, but I live right next to it (in fact I can see the sea from my living room window). It’s strange to live in a tour­ist town when there are no tour­ists.

A gener­al update

I haven’t posted much this month because I was ill- not ill enough to need medic­al atten­tion or be bedrid­den, but not ill enough to do anything much either. Was it the virus, or not? I have no idea because of course I wasn’t able to get tested, but the symp­toms fitted, and the people in the flat next to and below me were equally ill with the same symp­toms, and I live in one of the most affected parts of the UK. I also felt tired and grey for a long time after recov­er­ing- simil­ar to after having glandu­lar fever and shingles (not helped by doing some­thing pain­ful to my shoulder in the mean­time). So it seems likely.


Amstetten is the most extremely aver­age place in Austria. It’s a largish commuter town in between Linz and Vienna. You have no reas­on to visit it. Its main claim to fame is that Josef Fritzl lived there. I was there to teach in one of the schools as a visit­ing teach­er.

Hibern­at­ing & clean­ing

I was supposed to be in Austria right now running school work­shops, but obvi­ously that’s not happen­ing. Like many other people right now I’m unem­ployed as my whole industry has stopped exist­ing overnight. Seeing as I’ll be spend­ing a lot of time at home in the fore­see­able future, today seemed like a good time to have a big cleanup of the living room.

Assor­ted Deutsch­lands­berg

Here’s some assor­ted photos from Deutsch­lands­berg. It’s a very ordin­ary small Austri­an town near Graz. Although it’s a pretty and nice place, it’s prob­ably not where you’d pick for a holi­day in Austria (although they do get hikers and people coming for the wine trail in the summer).

Eszter­házy Castle- The Versailles of Hungary

Fertöd is also home to Eszter­hazy Castle, a baroque palace often called “The Versailles of Hungary”. The Eszter­hazy family were the ultra-rich landown­ers in west­ern Hungary and east­ern Austria, and have palaces and castles dotted all over the place. This wasn’t even their main palace. It’s now a museum with guided tours. The tour was all in Hungari­an, but luck­ily with an English crib sheet. 

Post Club

Get a nice surprise in the post every month- sent out on the 22nd of each month. Zines, mini-prints, post­cards, stick­ers. It’s a surprise.

Trees and Snails

I’ve got some more of those 70s badges people liked so much (plus some mush­room and moth ones leftover)

το υπνοδωμάτιο μου

I moved to this flat in Janu­ary but only recently sorted out the bedroom how I wanted it. Due to the place­ment of the window, built in ward­robe and door, there’s really only one layout that works.

My Office

I have spent the past few days rearran­ging and clean­ing my office. The old layout just didn’t work. I spend a lot of time here work­ing, so it was time to change things round.

Bognor Char­ity Shop Finds

Here’s the best stuff I got for very cheap in the excel­lent char­ity shops in Bognor Regis (the only enter­tain­ment there). The reas­ons for so many good finds is fairly grim- lots of old people in the area who die and have house clear­ances of all the 60s and 70s stuff they were hanging on to. Everything cost less than £5.

The Song is the Single

Here’s anoth­er song for you- The Song is the Single by Barr. It origin­ally came out when I was at univer­sity, and then ten years later, Brendan did a show at Power Lunches out of the blue, because he was in town for an art event anyway…


I’ve been out of action for the last ten days after a stage light fell from a shelf onto my head and I was left with concus­sion and back injur­ies…


This is the creepi­est anim­a­tion I’ve seen in a long time. I love it. The youtube comments are split between people being creeped out and find­ing it sooth­ing. I’m in the creeped out camp- stop trying to glom onto me with your love, sneaky plas­ti­cine man. I don’t know you. Here’s some other inter­est­ing links too:

I’m back

So like a lot of people lately I’ve been think­ing about the influ­ence of the big social media sites, espe­cially with all the news stor­ies about how they have done little to noth­ing to stop far-right radic­al­isa­tion in the past few years. I loathe Face­book, and would happily close my account if I didn’t use it for promot­ing events…

2018 to 2019

2018 was a hard year and felt like it lasted a million years rather than just one. I spent most of 2017 trav­el­ling around for both work and pleas­ure, visit­ing the Czech Repub­lic, Austria, Germany, Japan, Croa­tia, Slov­e­nia, France and Switzer­land.

Here I am

I have barely updated this blog since the summer because I’ve been both very busy and rarely home. I spent most of Septem­ber in Australia…

Ma Chambre

So here’s my room. I moved to this small unfur­nished flat in Octo­ber, and until the New Year I didn’t have a bed or enough shelves, so everything was in boxes all over the place, and it didn’t look great. The other room has both the living room stuff and my desk, which isn’t ideal. Photos of that will have to wait because it’s currently covered in a load of paper­work and art stuff.

Trying to be nicer to myself

Today is the last day of my 32nd year on the plan­et. As someone with a mid-Janu­ary birth­day, I partic­u­larly hate how Janu­ary is assigned to be the hate-your­self-and-vow-to-change-everything-about-your­self-in-a-punit­ive-way month. Rather than futile and harm­ful diet and gym plans, I’m trying to be nicer to myself and less viciously self-crit­ic­al about my appear­ance.

Some thoughts about having left London

So I returned perman­ently to the UK in Septem­ber and moved to Margate. I grew up in Kent, but haven’t lived here perman­ently since I was 18, which feels like a long time ago. Settling in has been both good and hard. I trav­elled non-stop essen­tially from Janu­ary to Septem­ber, and adjust­ing myself to being in one place and the idea that I live some­where has taken a while. It’s also kind of weird pretty much only being surroun­ded by people I’ve known for 1-2 months- you feel like the awkward new kid at school.

Hiding in plain sight

I’ve wanted to write about some happi­er things for the last few days, but my mind has been very much consumed with the Harvey Wein­stein sexu­al assault scan­dal

It’s so funny how we don’t talk any more

I real­ised recently how much I miss getting comments and having conver­sa­tions on this blog. I know that people read it and they seem to enjoy it, but I don’t get much feed­back or reac­tions outside Face­book.

One Second A Day- Septem­ber

Here is my one second a day video for Septem­ber. Features Hamburg suburbs, Heidel­burg, small towns in Baden-Württem­burg, the Kent coast and a gig from Brit­ish Sea Power and Everything Everything.

So I moved back to Kent…

So I moved back to Kent last week. (I’m knackered after trav­el­ling round Germany for three weeks and then moving house back-to-back). To Margate in partic­u­lar. I grew up in Medway, a little way to the west, but left when I was eight­een to go to univer­sity, as it didn’t feel like there were any oppor­tun­it­ies for me. Nearly fifteen years later, here I am. A lot has changed in that time.

So Bin Ich

I return to the UK for good next week (?!?) after a year spent mostly abroad. It will be back to service as normal round here, and I’ve got a whole load of photos of differ­ent places that I have yet to post.

I’ve got a fair few new read­ers lately (mostly from my photos of Japan), and the bio on here isn’t very forth­com­ing about myself. A lot of the time my approach to blog­ging is Look Here Is A Thing, but I think a lot of people prefer some­thing more person­al to keep read­ing. So here’s one of those 50 Things About Me things, (with one for luck).

Here I am

Also I haven’t been updat­ing this blog as much lately, because I’ve just been so busy. I went to Croa­tia, Slov­e­nia and Austria for work and pleas­ure in June, and then came to Cambridge at the start of the month to teach on a resid­en­tial course. My contrac­ted hours were already high, and I’ve been doing a lot of over­time cover­ing for someone who was hospit­al­ised. I’ve worked 160 hours in the last three weeks, so it’s no surprise I’ve had no spare time. I only have one more week left to go however, so expect some photos of Austria and the former Yugoslavia, as well as other things.

Gute Reise

On Thursday I go off to spend 6 weeks in Cent­ral Europe. One week in Brno in the Czech Repub­lic, then five weeks in vari­ous places in Austria teach­ing. Then in March, I’m off to Japan for two weeks.

So I will clos­ing the shop from 3pm GMT on Weds the 18th of Jan. If you want zines or ribbons or badges, this is your last chance until April.

Keep it clean

I wouldn’t say I was partic­u­larly tidy, but I do like to keep my living envir­on­ment clean. I spent a few years work­ing in restaur­ants when I was young­er, and a big part of the job was keep­ing the restaur­ant and bar as clean and pleas­ant as possible. Espe­cially at the end of the night, you can’t go home until everything is spot­less, so you get used to clean­ing things as effi­ciently as possible, and in a way that makes sure it all looks shiny as well as being hygien­ic. This has also been useful in making not-so-nice rented places in London a lot more pleas­ant to live in. (It has also given me the side-effect of find­ing house­work to be an effect­ive hangover cure)

I’ve come to real­ise lately, a surpris­ing number of people find house­work diffi­cult and turn out not to know things about laun­dry, unblock­ing drains etc that I thought every­one knew. It still seems a bit patron­ising for me to write these tips (but also quite milit­ant in my aver­sion to dirty tea towels and unrinsed wash­ing up), because they’re obvi­ous to me, but I know now they’re not obvi­ous to a lot of people, and New Year seems an appro­pri­ate time to write them.

2016 in review

I spent a low-stress and low-key Christ­mas with my friend Vicky up in Manchester, and have returned to Kent over the New Year to see homet­own friends. I’ll be in the UK for a few more weeks (includ­ing my birth­day), then head­ing off to Austria for 5 weeks for work, then a further 2 weeks in Japan, mean­ing I’ll be abroad until April. A vari­ety of factors has meant that I’ve not worked full-time in months, and to be honest I’m itch­ing to go back to work and being busy all the time.

It’s fair (and easy) to say that 2016 was not a good year for me. And the consensus is that it was also a terrible year polit­ic­ally, that has seen fascism and far-right polit­ics on the ascend­ant. Here is a brief list of my posit­ives and negat­ives for the year.

Well that was depress­ing

So Donald Trump just about won the US elec­tion, continu­ing the exhaust­ing and depress­ing down­wards traject­ory of 2016, and the continu­al rise of the far right to power. Brexit and the elec­tion of Trump show how good the Right are at times of econom­ic hard­ship in convin­cing people their prob­lems are caused by foreign­ers and the Other, rather than that they’re living in a system designd to make the rich become rich­er, and keep a perman­ent pool of people desper­ate for work to drive down wages and condi­tions. Saying “oh it won’t make much differ­ence” after events like Brexit or Trump winning is some­thing you can only say if you and every­one you know and care about don’t fall under the categor­ies of people such as POC, Muslims, women, poor people or immig­rants whose lives are about to become so much more diffi­cult. People always think “oh that doesn’t mean my friend/​wife/​neighbour/​workmate, they’re talk­ing about those weird threat­en­ing strangers, not those nice people I know”. It does mean those nice people you know.

A bit part in your life.

So it’s Octo­ber now. The last few weeks I’ve been boun­cing back and forth between Kent and Sussex. Job-hunt­ing is boring and tedi­ous, and has pushed back moving house. All my things are packed up in boxes, ready to go, but the going isn’t happen­ing yet. I’ve also had toni­sil­it­is for the last week, which is finally clear­ing up. I’ve got too many of my own projects I need to finish. So not the most fun of times, but hope­fully it won’t drag on forever.

Here’s some inter­est­ing odds and ends:

Tues­day the 13th

No posts for a week. I stayed with my dad for most of last week to go to a family wedding, took my laptop with me to do some work while I was there, but then stupidly forgot to bring the power cord with me. Here’s a relax­ing video. I actu­ally really don’t enjoy those “relax­ing” videos of people whis­per­ing or crink­ling things, they don’t relax me at all (and some of them are defin­itely aiming more at “attract­ive woman pays atten­tion to you” than sooth­ing sounds), but I like this one. Best enjoyed with head­phones.

Bienv­en­ue à Lassay-les-Châteaux

My moth­er lives in a small town in North­ern France called Lassay-les-Châteaux. For a few years she’s had a holi­day cara­van in a park nearby, and at Christ­mas she bought a house in the town. The English version of wiki­pe­dia has prac­tic­ally noth­ing to say about Lassay-les-Châteaux other than show­ing photos of two of the three local castles- one in the town centre, the other two just outside. (The town’s name also sounds like it means “leave the castles” in French). The French entry doesn’t tell you much more, except that a lot of people were guil­lotined there in the Revolu­tion, the local mayor doesn’t belong to a polit­ic­al party (after a long line of right-wing­ers), and that Victor Hugo visited once. It’s just not a place where things happen. If you want the quiet life, you can find it in Lassay.

Recent char­ity shop finds

The good thing about spend­ing the summer in a small town full of old people is that there are a lot of char­ity shops and jumble sales, they often have good stock, don’t over­price and there aren’t a lot of other people look­ing for the same things as me (which is more likely to happen in a big city).

This must be the place

The past few weeks haven’t really given me time for blog­ging. I’ve been help­ing with house-clear­ances, writ­ing a propos­al for some freel­ance work I really wanted but didn’t get, and under­go­ing major dent­al work. I now have the next 10 weeks house-sitting in a small town at least an hour’s travel from anyone I know.

Where I’ve been

I haven’t writ­ten here for a while. Life has been very busy, and apart from a holi­day to Italy, gener­ally stress­ful and a little depress­ing, and I’ve very rarely had access to the inter­net other than on my phone, which doesn’t encour­age updat­ing a blog (although I’ve got lots of things I’d like to put on here). On a person­al level, I moved out of London at the end of April. I was supposed to go down to Sussex to take care of my mum’s new flat until the Autumn. She inher­ited some money before Christ­mas, and moved house and bought a holi­day cottage in France with it. The plan was she’d have some things done to the new flat and then spend the whole summer in France sort­ing out the holi­day cottage how she wanted. “Some things” turned into “rip out all the elec­trics because they turned out to be illeg­al and unsafe, have all the walls replastered and replace the kitchen and bath­room”. Coupled with a build­er with a very elast­ic sense of time, it’s only just being finished at the end of this week. That means I’ve been living out of a suit­case since April. I’ve been to Italy and Shef­field in that time (very nice), visited relat­ives (very stress­ful) and spent a very claus­tro­phobic two weeks in a cara­van in France with my mum where we couldn’t go anywhere or do anything because there was a fuel strike and then floods (I didn’t murder her).

Roll up, roll up

I’ve been very busy this week. On Wednes­day I moved all my stuff out of London and into stor­age until the end of May, and visited my dad, then took the train up to Shef­field to see friends and table at the Shef­field Zine Fest. I had a great time, but I was exhausted and fell asleep at 7pm on Saturday! I’m going back to York­shire this week­end for a friend’s wedding, and then Italy the follow­ing week (ridicu­lously, it was cheap­er to go on holi­day to Lake Garda, hardly the cheapest region of Italy, than it was to extend my tenancy a week in London. Let that one sink in… ). When I come back towards the end of May, I’ll then go to Sussex to house-sit for the summer.

Here I am.

My life has been both turbu­lent and boring at the same time lately, and I haven’t been writ­ing here, as I haven’t had the energy. I have been suffer­ing with health prob­lems, deal­ing with family illness, and trying to keep my head above water in a London that is increas­ingly unaf­ford­able and inhos­pit­able. (And to make things even worse, this week­end a homet­own friend died at a horribly young age. RIP Louise).

Every morn­ing there are moun­tains to climb

I haven’t posted here for nearly a month now. Family illness, upcom­ing major life changes, unsuc­cess­ful job hunts and other stress­ful things have taken up my time. I’ve had a lot of ideas for posts to make here, but neither the time nor energy to write them. Not a lot of fun happen­ing round this way lately. I got to see Grimes play live though recently, which was some­thing, at least. Here are some inter­est­ing links to share.

Frimaire, Nivose & Pluvi­ose

I haven’t updated here in a while. I worked long hours through­out Janu­ary and also moved house. I’ve also now offi­cially deferred my course until next year. I missed too much of the school year when I was ill. I’ll have a little while off, and then look for some work to tide me over. In between all that I turned 31. Ancient, really. I’ll have a bit more time on my hands over the next couple of weeks, so I’d better make use of it. Here’s some links of inter­est­ing bits and bobs to tide you over.

New Years 2015

I’m not going anywhere tonight. I’ve never been much of one for NYE, and my options for tonight included spend­ing lots of money I don’t have, or spend­ing at least an hour cross­ing town. As I’m not drink­ing at the moment, feel­ing kind of quiet and tired lately, and totally broke until Monday, I’m happy to stay in. My preferred NYE social options are either going to a pub with­in quick reach of home, or going to a friends house/​hosting them anyway. The prob­lem with London is that every­one is so spread out with long jour­ney times or awkward jour­neys if you’re not going via cent­ral, and trans­port is often such a horrible exper­i­ence on NYE that it can become a bit of a mission to do even that.

Roll on 2016

I’m at my dad’s place for a couple of days over Christ­mas, I’m not feel­ing at all fest­ive this year though, and it seems a lot of other people aren’t either. When I was grow­ing up, they nearly always showed Water­ship Down on TV at some point over Christ­mas. It seemed perfectly normal at the time, but now it seems an odd and slightly depress­ing choice of film to repeat every year. So here’s the trail­er as my half-hearted attempt at being fest­ive.

Enjoy your Londons

In 2015 I’ve worked long hours in the day job (+ spend­ing the spare time I did have in the summer help­ing to make DIY Space for London a real­ity) and not had much time for creat­ive projects. It’s been good for my CV, and my mater­i­al stand­ard of living has improved, but I’ve not always had the time or energy to devote to doing much in the way of creat­ive work or taking as much advant­age of all the inter­est­ing things London has to offer as I could do or would have liked. I now have plenty of time and not much money until Janu­ary, so now seems the time to try to figure out how to get a better work-life balance without going broke (always a chal­lenge in an expens­ive city like London). It’s a month early to do New Year’s Resol­u­tions, but why let a calen­dar stop me. I always feel much happi­er and focused with a to do list to work on. Here’s my goals.

Odds and Ends

Here’s some nice things I’ve found lately. Start­ing with this stop-motion cook­ing video by PES Studi­os.

Long time no see

I haven’t updated my blog since August. Since July I’ve moved house, worked in Cambridge teach­ing a summer camp, then worked long hours to help make DIY Space for London a real­ity (it worked, it worked!), and enrolled on a teach­ing course a few weeks ago. The first few weeks of the course crammed a lot of classes into a short peri­od of time before we star­ted our first place­ment, so I didn’t really have time to update. I also wanted to take my full name off my blog, to keep it out of the grubby mitts of the kids (I was teach­ing before in places where the students called me by my first name, at Brit­ish state schools I’m Ms F- if it were up to me, I’d stay on first name terms) and move it to its own site, with a new layout. All this takes time and energy, of which I had neither. Some of the images and format­ting on older posts may be a little wobbly until I’ve gone through everything thor­oughly. They don’t always auto­mat­ic­ally import very well.

Good­bye N17, Hello SE13

I’ve been really busy the last month. I moved from one end of London to the other, finished one job and did anoth­er short-term one, all in the space of a few weeks. When I’ve been at a computer in my spare time I’ve mostly been doing admin for DIY Space for London.

Blogs -vs- zines

People who don’t make or read them much them­selves some­times ask me why I still make zines, even though the inter­net exists, and the world is becom­ing more and more digit­ally-focused, and I have this blog. In short, the answer is for the same reas­on I still have hundreds of records and books, and devel­op black and white film at home, even though I have an ipod, spoti­fy subscrip­tion, e-read­er and two digit­al camer­as, and I’m far from a luddite: I feel the phys­ic­al medi­um offers me some­thing that I don’t get from the digit­al version.

Manchester: North­w­est Zine­fest 2015

Last week­end I went up to Manchester to do a stall and run a Zine 101 work­shop at the first North­w­est Zine­fest. I had the luxury of a day off work, and enough money to take the train rather than coach, and stay at a bed and break­fast. The last time I was in Manchester was well over a decade ago, and it was nice to have a whole week­end rather than rush to and from the event.

If it ain’t brack­en, don’t fix it.

I refuse to apolo­gise for that pun, you’ll just have to suffer. Here is a photo I took of myself recently in my dad’s garden. I can’t remem­ber the last time I had a new photo of myself bar a few awkward phone snaps when I’ve been out. Perhaps you could say I was commun­ing with nature when I took this photo, but I was sat on a plastic bag to avoid sitting in anything nasty hidden under­neath the plants, so I don’t think I was that in touch with nature. Luck­ily we don’t have pois­on ivy or danger­ous snakes in this coun­try, I was more worried about the milder perils of sting­ing nettles or fox drop­pings. I was also a little limited with angles and fram­ing, because stick­ing a wide-angle lens in your face is rarely flat­ter­ing, but I couldn’t get the distance to use my portrait lens because I didn’t have a tripod with me.

DIY Space for London is go!

For quite a while now, I’ve been part of the DIY Space for London co-op, work­ing to open a non-profit, co-oper­at­ively run access­ible music, art and gener­al creativ­ity & activ­ism venue in London along the lines of Wharf Cham­bers in Leeds. Oper­at­ing in London has raised its own unique chal­lenges. Most projects of this nature in other places can find a build­ing and have trouble rais­ing the money. We had the oppos­ite prob­lem- we had an incred­ible amount of good­will, and people kept giving us money, but we had trouble spend­ing it. London is in the middle of an uncon­trol­lable prop­erty boom, and we had immense trouble find­ing anywhere suit­able. Places went imme­di­ately, had resid­en­tial neigh­bours or plans to build flats in unsuit­able places that would imme­di­ately result in noise complaints, had legal issues or wanted ridicu­lously huge depos­its.

London, you get to keep me (for a while)

For the past few months I’ve been weigh­ing up wheth­er to stay in London or to leave. I’ve lived here since 2011. In that time I’ve been a part-time post­grad (and finished the course), done an inter­est­ing but mostly not well-paid assort­ment of jobs, and lived in an assort­ment of sublets and prop­erty guard­i­an­ships. Since the end of 2013 I’ve lived in a prop­erty guard­i­an­ship that’s unusu­ally cheap, but not at all homely, but far too cheap to give up need­lessly.

Shef­field Zine Fest this Saturday

This week­end I’m going up to York­shire to run a table and work­shop at the Shef­field Zine Fest (Face­book event here) and see friends. I’ll have lots of issues of zines from both myself and Char­lotte Richard­son Andrews and some other good­ies, and I’ll be running a work­shop on getting star­ted with zine-making (and my good pal Tukru will be running a hands-on miniz­ine session).

Wander­ing along the canal

I often like to get some fresh air in my lunch break by walk­ing along the canal near my work. There’s not a lot there, just some house­boats and a small lock, and a lot of lunch­time joggers and the odd person eating sand­wiches on a sunny day. I’m a big fan of canals, and I think I’ve walked along pretty much the whole length of this one at vari­ous points.

Not gate-crash­ing a funer­al

I actu­ally atten­ded this funeral/​memorial for children’s writer Diana Wynne Jones over 2 years ago. I had meant to write about it for a long time, but I didn’t want to write anything without having the programme of speak­ers from the event to hand, and it stub­bornly disap­peared until recently when I had a big clear out of papers (and faded with some print rubbed off after 2 years), so here it is.


So now it’s 2015, the year of the future. I expect a fax to pop out of some­where unex­pec­ted any minute now. I had a very sedate and teetotal Christ­mas and New Year due to injur­ing my shoulder and then coming down with a bad case of the flu that lingered on forever. I wanted to get a few creat­ive projects finished over the Christ­mas break, but that put a span­ner in the works. Already this year I have star­ted a new job, been to Paris for a few days and turned 30.

Space Scrap­book

I have kept scrap­books like this since about 2002, stick­ing in things like tick­et stubs, cata­logues from art exhib­i­tions, food pack­aging, pass­port photos etc. Future histor­i­ans will prob­ably not be that grate­ful to me. Once a year or so I also make a gener­al list of things I like, to compare with previ­ous years. The lists have been pretty consist­ent though, my tastes don’t change a lot. This scrap­book spans late 2011 to the end of 2013. I photo­graphed all the pages and made this gif. I took photos of some other old ones too, but I haven’t finished edit­ing the pages yet.

Wake and walk and talk and take

More like wake and talk and work and talk and work lately. I’ve been work­ing teach­ing on a resid­en­tial course in an ex nunnery near St Albans this week. I’ve worked for the company for a few years on and off, teach­ing the odd course here and there. Most of their work is resid­en­tial, so I just do it occa­sion­ally. They hire out beau­ti­ful histor­ic­al build­ings and teen­agers from abroad come for 2 week holi­days. You take them out on field trips, give them lessons about cultur­al topics, and to improve their prac­tic­al use of English, and do a creat­ive project with them. This time we have been doing film-making. Last week they did a detect­ive story, this week horror stor­ies. No, you can’t see them, because of child protec­tion rules at the job.


I’ve been using Pinterest for a couple of years now to keep track of visu­al research. It’s nice to be able to keep the pictures organ­ised in categor­ies, and auto­mat­ic­ally have the source noted. The site is also very visu­ally appeal­ing. If you go to the front page without having any interests or contacts set up, it looks a bit dismal, full of wedding dresses and self-help maxims. However once you have it set to what you want to see (and anything that bores you unfol­lowed), I find it full of inter­est­ing pictures.

Good­bye Blog­spot, Hello Word­Press

I moved my blog over to Word­press from Blog­spot today, import­ing all the old entries and comments. Blog­ger was getting increas­ingly outdated, with not much vari­ation in design possible, and since they upgraded the edit­or it star­ted to do weird things to the text, even if the html view showed that not much was going on. Some of those issues have cropped up when I’ve impor­ted the entries here, but with over 300 old entries it’s going to take me a while to fix them by hand, so please be patient.

New website

So recently I’ve been spend­ing a lot of frus­trat­ing time re-doing my website. I wanted it to work/​look the same on computers, phones and tablets and be simple and unob­trus­ive and just work. It turns out making simple things that work prop­erly is quite diffi­cult. I was going for “so unob­trus­ive you barely notice it’s there” not “made on Geocit­ies in 1998”. Anyway, I got people with vari­ous differ­ent pieces of equip­ment to test it and it all seems to work fine now. The artwork galler­ies are a little empty at the moment, but hope­fully that will be remedied in the next few weeks with lots of new work.

The more you use it, the more it works.

Februr­ary has been a deeply weird and confus­ing month, for vari­ous reas­ons. I had to go to hospit­al with gast­rit­is and a kidney infec­tion. I didn’t have to stay in or anything, but I had to take loads of differ­ent medic­a­tions and was pretty ill for about a week and a half. I had to also follow the most boring diet possible until my stom­ach healed up (like, liter­ally noth­ing was allowed). I was basic­ally eating the diet of a fussy toddler. I never want to see anoth­er quorn nugget as long as I live. My stom­ach is fine now, and I’m rein­tro­du­cing vari­ous foods and drinks, but it’s weird to have to try to remind myself to eat prop­er meals again. I also lost weight. Soci­ety wants to tell you that you should always be happy about that for whatever reas­on, because women aren’t supposed to take up space in the world or some­thing, but actu­ally my weight was fine before (they defin­itely don’t want you think­ing that). Now my clothes are a bit sad and loose look­ing. Hope­fully now I’m back on prop­er food that will be sorted out quickly.  

DIY Space for London

On Sunday I went to a meet­ing for DIY Space for London. My friend Natalie is one of the initial organ­isers (and I also already knew a fair few of the other organ­isers), and she told me about it last year, but I was either work­ing very long hours in London, or was abroad for most of the year, so I didn’t really have a chance to get involved. I’m in London for the fore­see­able future and actu­ally have some spare time now, so I volun­teered.

Where you’ll find me now

Long time no see. I moved house a few weeks ago, and the inter­net connec­tion has been a long-running (and very boring) bureau­crat­ic saga. Hope­fully from next week we’ll finally have prop­er inter­net. I’ve been keep­ing up with stuff like email either on my phone or work computer, but that isn’t really ideal for things like updat­ing a blog. At least I have unlim­ited data on my phone, which has been very help­ful, although I never want to have to use my inter­net bank­ing site on a phone again as long as I live.

Shop re-opened

I’ve reopened the shop now I’ve returned from my travels. There are some back issues of zines on there now- once they’re gone, they’re gone. I’ll contin­ue to print from issue 12 onwards, but the older issues are now out of print. There are some colour Space is Ace posters for £4 each, and each order over £5 will come with a free black and white version of the poster while stocks last. I’ll have some inter­est­ing new things soon, keep your eyes peeled.

Listen­ing to my grandad’s stereo (but not his record collec­tion)

I recently received my grandad’s stereo. He’s 89 and has moved into an old people’s home, and said he didn’t need it any more. He was an elec­tric­al engin­eer for Philips, so his choice of appli­ances can usually be relied on. I was expect­ing some­thing from the 70s, but then it turned out he’d actu­ally bought this one 3-4 years ago. I don’t know why he felt the need to buy a whole new stereo to listen to his 10 Shir­ley Bassey records. He once gave me a tape with Itali­an lessons on one side, and Shir­ley Bassey songs on the other. I guess he felt it was about time I took up both of those things.

Once it’s on you’ll never want to turn it off any more

Spend­ing Friday night scan­ning as much film as I can bear, sort­ing through unscanned film photos /​ un-prepped digit­al photos and listen­ing to Grandaddy. I’d rather be out, but I’m not, so I might as well do this. Three weeks feels like three years, and I’ll be glad to have a job again. I bought the film scan­ner in 2007, and it has prob­ably paid for itself 10 times over by now. Usually the tea goes on the left, but it gets in the way of the scan­ner. I have a whole set of the penguin mugs, they are the best mugs.


On Saturday I did zine stalls at Brix­ton Record Fair and Bloody Icecream. I brought a film camera with me, and the film is at the lab still, but I took some (not fant­ast­ic) phone pics too.


This is the time of year when you’re thor­oughly bored of Winter and want it to be Spring again. I’m currently stuck in Chath­am, wait­ing for vari­ous things to happen, and look­ing after my mum’s cats in the mean­time, who come to the front door and meow at me indig­nantly if I have the cheek to go out, because every­one has aban­doned them, and they are poor orphan kittens (aka very spoilt cats).


The other day I had to go to Maid­stone. I really can’t think of any other word to describe the place rather than dull. It has the usual chain shops if you want to buy some things, and a pretty town hall and museum, (and a pris­on with huge stone walls slap bang in the centre) but that’s about it. It’s the sort of place you go to run errands, no other reas­on. It’s not horrible, but not partic­u­larly inter­est­ing either.When I was at school I some­times went to gigs at the student bar there, but it was such a pain to get back in the even­ings I didn’t both­er too often unless I knew someone who was driv­ing. When I was really little I used to go to see the Sooty Show and panto­mimes at the theatre, and that was the high point of Maid­stone in my estim­a­tions.

Smooth down the aven­ue glit­ters the bicycle

I’ve always had a soft spot for 30s subur­bia. These two pictures are a place called Twydall, near where my mum lives. I went along there to buy some wool, and I wasn’t disap­poin­ted, the area is full of old ladies. Also, the fact that the wool shop is called World of Wool­craft and is run by what could be the broth­er of the Comic Book Store Guy made me laugh.

I could be happy (miss­ing images)

I was in London to go to a private view for my friend Mark Pembrey. He does fant­ast­ic things with typo­graphy and print­mak­ing, and he had an exhib­i­tion at Woolf­son and Tay, a book­shop in Bermond­sey. For some reas­on, I was expect­ing it to be in an old quaint build­ing on a market square, but Bermond­sey Square turns out to be super modern. In fact they were film­ing a real­ity show there, where vari­ous famous people had to run a restaurant/​hotel. There were quite a few bored look­ing locals stand­ing around outside the restaur­ant window to see if they could get a peek of anyone famous. The bookshop’s great anyway (although wonder­ful book­shops are always pain­ful when I’m broke) and I had a better time at the private view, chat­ting to Erika, Mark, Zoe and our teach­er Graham than I ever would have had stand­ing around outside a tv set.

Things I like

I decided to make a list of things I like. It’s not specif­ic things, like partic­u­lar bands or direct­ors or food, it’s more a list of gener­al prin­ciples of what I enjoy. My life recently has been controlled by people who have noth­ing to offer, and who have to create drama and pain in their and other people’s lives in order to not be bored.

The world and life aren’t boring. There are 10 million inter­est­ing things you can do that don’t hurt a fly. Anyone who is worth know­ing, knows this. Actions have consequences, and anything worth doing doesn’t have negat­ive consequences on other people. They say the best revenge is living well.

Long time no see

I haven’t posted much in the last few weeks, because I’ve been work­ing all hours to finish my MA project and disser­ta­tion (I handed in my disser­ta­tion last week). This is the kind of thing I’ve been doing. Yester­day I stuck on the Beatles Antho­logy, the longest docu­ment­ary I could think of, and sat and just sewed and sewed until about 70% was done. I was in Spain for two weeks before that. I’ve got lots of photos, but I haven’t had time to devel­op the film ones and organ­ise and post-process them. It will have to wait until later.  The first week was fine, but the second was far more stress­ful than a holi­day should be. There was a 40C heat­wave, and the air condi­tion­ing broke down, and there were ants, and we both had insom­nia and short tempers and it was too diffi­cult to concen­trate on the work we’d both been forced to bring with us. Stress. In two and a half weeks I should hope­fully be all finished with my MA, and free to find a full-time job, and actu­ally earn steady money again (I hope). I’m really broke right now, and I’m tired of being broke for so long.

Cake mistakes

These are a couple of photos from the end of a roll that I forgot to scan. Me & Marcos went down to Brighton for the day in March, and it rained torren­tially, so we basic­ally went from cafe to pub to restaur­ant. We went to meet up with my friend Vicky first at the Mock Turtle, a tea room down by the seafront that looks like a grandmother’s dining room. I’ve been there lots of times, and their food and drink is nice and reas­on­ably priced. Vicky was running late, so I decided to get a cake for her as a surprise. I saw they had added a rain­bow cake to the menu, and she loves that kind of thing, and I was curi­ous about what it looked like.

Girls Get Birth­day

So on Tues­day, me & Tukru went to the Girls Get Busy birth­day party at the Alibi in Dalston. Dalston is a bit of a pain in the arse to get to from mine, you have to walk about 20 mins to West Hamp­stead and then get the Over­ground (and two night buses back). It’s also full of Nath­an Barleys. There was Riot Grrrl karaoke, and cake, and Tukru and some other people I know djed, and over­all I had a good time and met some nice people, although it would have been better if the prick­ish men hanging out round the bar hadn’t been there.

Dip dip dip

My friend Tukru came to stay with me in London. We went to the Girls Get Busy birth­day party, and she went to see Wild Flag (I couldn’t get a tick­et). While she was here, I dyed her hair, because it was boring her. We went for dip-dyed, as then you don’t have roots to deal with.

Muy deli­cioso

Marcos’ parents sent us a parcel of Span­ish good­ies. Mallor­can honey, cheese and hazlen­uts. Ferrero Rocher, savoury crack­ers and chocol­ate covered almonds (although you can get Ferrero Rocher here too) and Llum de Sal with assor­ted flavour­ings, which is Mallor­can fleur de sel. They also sent Marcos some vacu­um-packed ham, which has been named the space ham.

Day in My Life- 10th Janu­ary

10th of Janu­ary for the Docu­ment a Day project. I mostly waited at home for a parcel of birth­day presents sent by my dad and did some uni stuff and tidy­ing. Not the most excit­ing of days.

¿Donde esta?

When we were in Mallorca, every­one did their best to ensure that we were stuffed at all times. The big curly pastry is an ensaimada, a Mallor­can speci­al­ity.

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