dimanche 31 décembre 2017

The Year of Saying No

When I look back over 2017, for me personally, it has been a year of quiet progress. On a bigger level, it has been fucking terrible, but I'm trying to see the good in it.

Last new year's eve, I stayed in by myself. Sober, pottering, writing, thinking. Then I went out on new year's day and got so drunk I fell over. I think that kind of set the tone for the year ahead.

At the beginning of last year, I lamented that it was the first time in a long time I hadn't travelled to anywhere new in a while. I decided I would go to at least one unexplored place in 2017. Almost immediately, an unexpected work trip to Qatar came up - I had never been to the Middle East at all before, so that was pretty cool.

When discussing The Year That Was with my cousin yesterday, I said 'I haven't really done anything of huge note this year'. She pointed out: 'you had a book published, you dick'. Oh yeah, I guess I did that. Because publishing is slow, I wrote it a while ago, so it's easy to forget. I mustn't, though. It's a book I was apprehensive about, and people have been lovely, which is really the best part of it.

I've also been working on FLOORED, which is coming out in July 2018. Collaborating and learning from others has been a great part of this year.

One of the things that has brought me the most joy has been working on I AM NOT ASHAMED, my fanzine with the wondrous Harriet Reuter Hapgood. A project of pure fun and love and much laughing. We produced two issues in 2017 and I hope we do more next year.

It wasn't a year when I fell madly in love, which is probably why it feels like it's been a quiet year - because I love falling madly in love. I thought I had, around halfway through the year, but as it turns out... it was just a paper bag.

This turned out to be A Good Thing, in the greater scheme. It sparked a latter half of the year of self-reflection, therapy (both psychiatric and shamanic!). I feel I've been laying a lot of groundwork for 2018.

Hopefully, an authentic, joyous and productive year. I've been working on boundaries, on knowing my worth, getting clear on what I really want and - quite simply - 2018 is going to be The Year of Saying No.

People generally talk about the opposite, obviously. I expect this is something that does other people a lot of good, but not for me. I am not going to say 'no' to everything, of course. But I'm going to stop spreading myself too thin, trying to do all the things; saying yes to things without thinking and then wondering why I've done this to myself, saying yes to things because I'm scared I'll seem ungrateful and I won't be asked again.

I will only say yes to the things that make my heart sing, that excite me, that feel like totally the right thing to do. I'm hoping this will mean a great year. I hope yours is, too.

lundi 4 décembre 2017

Time Again.

I keep writing things and deleting them.  Ooh, how deep and metaphorical?!

Anyway. Here are Some Current Things.

I went to see Bananarama and it was unexpectedly one of the best gigs I have ever been to.

I also went to see Aldous Harding and she was quite special.

My friend Neil gave me a T-shirt that says MORE ISSUES THAN VOGUE on it and I love it deeply.

At the weekend my mum came to stay, and we went to the Crab Claw on Brighton seafront and ate clam chowder chips - recommend, would 100% eat again every day for the rest of my life if I could, etc etc etc.

My random festival friend Jez is making a documentary about the album 'George Best' by the Wedding Present and you can find out all about it here.

I've been clearing out lots of stuff and have made many trips lately to Brighton tip - again, highly recommend. They also sell compost.

I became obsessed with the artist Babak Ganjei via Instagram (modern!) and I have been buying lots of stuff from his website. I literally could not love him more.

I am forever torn between thinking it's A Bit Common to put one's Christmas tree up too early, and - if I'm going to spend £30 on a tree - wanting to get my money's worth. So...I put mine up yesterday. Katherine and I walked down London Road intending to get small trees and carry them home. Of course we ended up getting thoroughly carried away and having to take our huge fatty trees home in a cab. Mine has three sets of fairy lights on it and thus looks uncannily like Winona's 'Stranger Things' series 1 breakdown.  Festive!

Reminder that you can buy copies of the beautiful, lovingly homemade lo-fi fanzine I AM NOT ASHAMED - along with 'euphemism cocktail' postcards and a whole bag of incredible one-off swag - from our online shop. We now deliver worldwide! Would make a pretty cool Christmas present, let me tell you.

Bye for now!


lundi 6 novembre 2017


My friend Sarah is one of the coolest women I know. She’s an artist and designer, with a sharp bob and shiny black-varnished nails. Basically, I want to be her when I grow up.

She has three daughters, who are all amazingly talented. (And also a pug called Mister Gucci, which is pretty cool.)

Lilja (the eldest) is an incredible singer and musician. Her songs have been soundtracking my moody candlelit late-night winter baths for a while now. They are dark and gorgeous.

I wasn’t entirely sure how to categorise her music, so I’m very glad she has featured in this article in order to help me out… Here she is, talking about her music, her inspiring family and feminism, as one of the ‘8 women of lo-fi hip-hop that you need to know’. Bonus points to Lilja for getting a ‘fuck the patriarchy’ in there. I’m crediting that to the excellent parenting of her staunch AF mum.

You can also check out her Soundcloud here. Highly recommend for these gloomy evenings.

mercredi 25 octobre 2017


It’s nearly Hallowe’en. It might be dark when I wake up in the mornings now, but it’s still a favourite time of year. This is the season for:
  • Spooky films.
  • Red wine.
  • Baked potatoes.
  • Curiously hot Amish-level sexting (‘You’re wearing a brown jumper? Send pics. Ooh, Ted Hughes himself would be jealous of that cable-knit!’)
  • Long stompy walks, preferably in the rain.
  • Running at night, funnily enough. It’s hard to get out the door, but when it actually happens, it’s more than worth it. I like to imagine I’m in a Bat for Lashes video as I peer into strangers’ windows. Winter goth running is the best running.
  • Many, many baths.
  • Movie nights with girlfriends. Always, but now (under a blanket) more than ever.

I’m really looking forward to the next few months of jumpers and boots and fires and hibernating with the people I love best. Reading books and drinking many cups of tea. Maybe listening to Dylan and Elliott Smith a lot while I do it. I know it's not even Hallowe'en yet, but I'm actually looking forward to Christmas.

vendredi 20 octobre 2017

The good stuff that I am seeking.

I seem to have spent the past week or so typing and deleting posts. You can guess what they're about. I may or may not post. I'm not sure there is any point.

And so, instead, to the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. Stuff I like; stuff I'm excited about; stuff that brings me joy.

My New Kitchen
I've been redecorating and it is an absolute DREAM. Mexican star tiles, Pepto Bismol candy pink walls, floorboards, many shelves for tiny wineglasses and cookery books... Kitchen discos ahoy (the kitchen glitter ball, of course, remains).

Stella Vine
I am a long-term and avid fan. So, it was a stroke of luck that - semi-drunk on a train the other night - I saw her post on Instagram saying a new limited-edition print was available to buy. Total whim, bought immediately - so much so that I got the very first one. I am in love with it.

Total binge-watch like I haven't done in ages. I watched the lot in one weekend and am now struggling with the idea of having only one ep per week. I need more Veronica in my life.

The magic is real. The package arrived like a proper glorious treat, and the lipstick is the perfect naughty shade to make you look like you've been drinking raspberry cocktails and snogging a boy you fancy on a rooftop all night.

Issue 2 of my old-school 90s-style fanzine, lovingly made with the beaut Harriet Reuter Hapgood, is now available to buy from our online shop! Featuring essays on Riverdale, Emma Forrest, Courtney Love; the in/out list, behind the issue, euphemism cocktails and more!

vendredi 6 octobre 2017

Friday nights.

Oh, hi. Been a while.

It's Friday night, an unusual time to be sitting around and thinking out loud, one might say. When I was 16, or 18, or 22 - staying in on a Friday night would have been literally unthinkable. Friday nights were for best outfits, glitter, eyeliner, cuing up the jukebox, a bottle of vodka round at Lou's house first, hoping your number one crush might turn up at the party tonight...

In so many ways, I am still exactly the same as I have always been - crushes on boys, inability to leave the Nutella jar alone, playing certain songs until I literally wear them out. But staying in on a Friday night is now sometimes a pretty exciting prospect.

My salt lamp is on. So, TBH, are my pyjamas. I am rereading Viv Albertine's memoir (Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys). I have talked about this book so many times before, but please let me reiterate that it is literally the best (non) self-help book I have ever read. Not that I've read many of them, but I swear this is true inspiration. One of my desert island books. Every line is a witty and wise gem.

This week I have seen Belinda Carlisle and a couple of my oldest friends. I am feeling very grateful for my friends these days, the old ones and the new ones. This weekend promises to be productive and fun all at once, which is surely the key to life. I'm feeling the autumn vibes hard. Give me great books and red wine and log fires and French music and boys in nice jumpers, please.

Yep, that sounds pretty much like heaven on earth to me right now - feeling the ethos and look at what a babe she was and still is...

samedi 9 septembre 2017


It's ages since I did a good chazzing mission.  Today I went to George Street in Hove and bought the following:

Bright yellow Adidas Gazelle high-tops (for £7!)

Songs of Leonard Cohen on vinyl (amazingly, I did not previously own this)

Heart of Stone by Cher (contains If I Could Turn Back Time - such a great addition to the kitchen disco collection!)

The Head on the Door by the Cure

Best of The Bangles

Then I came home and made a tuna sandwich and a cup of tea. Pleasing.

Current mood: back-to-school autumn vibes strong. New school shoes, healthy and productive mode. Dreams of Sunday lunch parties with lots of red wine and log fires.

I was trying hard to think of good autumnal songs.  My favourite is 'Autumn Teen Sound' by the Slingbacks, from their album 'All Pop, No Star'. That whole album sounds to me like teenage nostalgia.  I felt like that even when I was 20; I think I was more nostalgic then than I am now, even. I can't find any links to their songs, but that album seems to be available in nearly every charity shop in the country, funnily enough. I originally found it in the chazza, and bought it just because I liked the cover.

I remember bicycles overturned on summer lawns
Came so far, we rode so hard
Past the veils of chainlink to your back yard

I remember you and me in that autumn teen sound
Sing along to prove that you've been listening

Being stranded all alone
Between the Partridge Family and the Rolling Stones
I was walking down your street, undressing in my head

I remember you and me in that Autumn Teen Sound
Kiss me once before your sunburn fades

Years turn to sighs, scattered hopes lie dead
And realise how yellow and red autumn really is

Why do I romanticise an innocence we never had?
Was I ugly? Were you boring? We struggled to make sense

I imagine you and me in that Autumn Teen Sound
Kiss me once before your summer fades
I remember you and me in that Autumn Teen Sound...