Friday, 23 January 2015

Stendhalust

Sudden desire to go and look at a castle or silently gaze from a train window at slow-moving mountains and fast-moving sheep. Or wander through a street market listening to foreign chatter, making fuzzy calculations trying to figure out if the souvenirs for sale are worth frittering away the monopoly money or not.

Been too busy caught up lately in a whirlwind of supposedly January blues-busting gig announcements, cinema visits, music music music clothes clothes clothes boys boys boys. Proceed to checkout. Check in. Don’t see the money leaving. The cultural collateral. Learning the new words to keep up-to-date in this ever evolving language and scene, believing the hype. Fresh to death. As one event fades and the train pulls out of the station, forecasting money which hasn’t yet arrived going on the next ones.

I desire space. Head space, breathing space, the final frontier, cut and paste. A deep inhalation of true majesty rather than the stop start quick-fire leave-me-breathless jolts of entertainment we convince ourselves are the path to happiness and fulfilment. Meditation on something other than remembering the password to my See Tickets account or what time I’ll get in to Victoria.

Suffering screen burn. I need to re-focus. Clouds, faces, faces in clouds, statues, mannequins, rotisseries, lights, plaques, I need it like oxygen. I need to fill journals with something other than worn out hastily pasted in ticket stubs. I need to wait in line to go to a new country instead of waiting in line while my bags are turned inside out with more precision and implied distrust to enter a gig than when trying to enter said new countries.

All of that feeling smug and superior when you get the latest reference from that viral YouTube video, high fives with taxi friends as you quote it at the bar. Feeling accepted because you know the lyrics and when to put your hands up because the tune’s about to ‘drop’. Knowing phrases like ‘the drop’. Killed it.

I want to stand at the edge of a foreign shore, swaying in the density of a different atmosphere, an unfamiliar breeze rustling through the faint hairs on my arms, hearing the call of strange birds, and the smell of a sun-kissed sea.

Photos taken from here and here

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Jarring

I don't usually write about the twee and sentimental on here, instead using it as a repository for experiments in Paint I found hilarious at the time, showcasing my photos, and of course whinging.

But I thought I'd share my 2015 project as quite a few people have said it's lovely idea. It's meant to make me feel better. Maybe if others try it they'll feel better too. Maybe you'll say "enough of this tosh, more warhorses and battleships and drinking games please". In which case fair enough. Whatever makes you happy.

My friend Leanne, seated here:

Say hello, Leanne!

gave me a beautiful jar of cookies for Christmas. Seated here:

(And also in black and white, because I couldn't quite make my mind up):

"Ah brilliant! I've been looking for a jar!"

Leanne's reaction to that statement can also been seen above, but imagine without the dreads, sunglasses, and sitting in the Hare and Hounds on London Road instead of my old gaff in Canterbury.

I sheepishly explained that I'd read about this thing where someone wrote it down and put it in a jar whenever anything nice happened to them or someone did something awesome for them. Or paid them a compliment. A jar of good things, of happy memories.

And whenever anything shit happened to them, they'd pick a random note out just to remember that good things happen, and there are well-meaning people out there in the world. And at the end of the year you get to sit down and read them all. Or during shitstorms like Valentine's Day or NYE. You can create a tangible ticker tape parade of recollections where the star is you.

I quickly got all of those pesky biscuits out of the way (blimey, what a chore) and began filling it with folded up bits of paper.

I haven't had to take anything out of it yet. Christ, it would be pretty bad if I did, it's only been a couple of weeks, right? Haha. But it gives me pleasure to see it opposite me when I wake up, when I'm doing weird stretchy things for my back and I get level with it, when the sunlight glints off it (when we have sun).

Jars. They'll be on everyone's wishlist by next Christmas, mark my words Sonny Jim.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Mumbelina

I’m starting to become one of those. You know, the dishevelled freaks limping along the pavement, talking to vibrant alcoholic hallucinations, one of those you cross the street to avoid being accosted for your views on the impending apocalypse, or being showered in spittle. Well, maybe not quite that bad. But I’ve definitely started doing the talking out loud part. It’s the beginning. The end is nigh.

It began, as it always does, with a song insidiously sliding into my head with a beat that matches the pace of my walk, and me muttering a few lines (“YOU SHOULD WANNA BAD BITCH LYK DIS”) in the (often incorrect) assumption that I’m alone. Then, trying to cross a road, “TRY INDICATING MATE!”. Doing a crabwalk past siamese twin couples on a narrow part of the pavement going over a bridge, “yeah alright I’ll just walk in the gutter where I belong then, shall I…?” More walking. I don’t do buses. I don’t do bicycles. I’ve been privy to far too many tales of narrow escapes, and I just don’t have the balls for it. I can drive, but who can afford to run a car in Brighton? More walking, more tunes. (“TO ROCK A RHYME IT’S TRICKY”) Helps with the strut, the pretend swagger. Helps me forget the trapped nerve, twisting a wince into a choked lyric. Isn’t all our entertainment just to take our minds off varying degrees of pain?

Yes, Morrissey.

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I don’t listen to any music while perambulating other than that which pops into my head, inspired by an overheard comment or a sale sign in a shop window (“dumb cunts same dumb question…”). This is partly because I don’t wish to be knocked down by a bus I haven’t heard coming. And partly because when I’ve shouted a greeting at a friend with earphones in I know the embarrassment of having everyone else turn to look at you apart from said friend.

Finally, I get to wherever I’m meant to be and remove my coat. Usually to cries of “aren’t you cold?” because I’ll be wearing some sort of sleeveless garment beneath the black duvet with arm holes I’ve valiantly carried on me for miles. No. Uttered bluff and bluster and the adrenaline from catching myself from tripping so many times in my haste has made me quite the hard-boiled egg. I reign in the thoughts, daydreams and lyrics, and try instead to concentrate for eight hours.

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Photos taken from my Flickr.