lundi 19 février 2018

We are the Misfits!

My cousin and bestest friend (AKA frousin) Nic is pretty awesome. Recently, she has moved to Brighton (to the end of my road - yay) and become a yoga teacher.

She is now launching MISFIT YOGA, which I personally think is a very exciting and brilliant idea. Basically, it's yoga made fun and accessible, not scary Insta showing off, with laid-back and friendly people. She will be running workshops, initially around the Brighton area, but let her know if you live somewhere else and are interested!

There will also be a MISFIT NEWSLETTER! I am very delighted to disclose that I will be helping out with this side of things, so as well as more information about Misfit and yoga wisdom from Nic, please do sign up if you have any interest in receiving amusing, tenuously yoga-related articles from me, straight to your inbox. Boom.

Expect my thoughts on Madonna arms, the classic Geri Halliwell yoga video, inspirational women in general, fitting in exercise when you have a full-time job plus side hustle plus social life, recipes, random book/music/article recommendations, and other such life-enhancing ephemera.

I'll leave you with the original Misfits. Well, kinda. The best ones, anyway (haha).

jeudi 15 février 2018

Year of the Dog

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve! We are leaving the Rooster and going into the Year of the Dog...

Last year, the Year of the Rooster was 'my' year. I got excited about this. I planned an elaborate themed party. I made vast trays of chicken wings (because cannibalistic roosters are funny, right?!) and 'red rooster' cocktails. I spent a small fortune on decorations and fortune cookies at the Chinese supermarket and wore a lucky red dress.

It was a fun night. We drew roosters on the walls in red chalk and I argued with a boy about Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Ruth and I were last up after everyone else had gone home. In the morning, cleaning up the kitchen took on a somehow profound tone as I kept finding fortune cookie mottos everywhere.

It was only later, when my friend and fellow rooster Katherine read up on it - which I had not bothered to do - we discovered that being roosters in the Year of the Rooster is not actually lucky. We are in for a much better year this year.

So, I've actually bothered reading up on the appropriate customs this year... This evening I will be cleaning my house and doing the washing. Tomorrow: wear red, don't do any cleaning, don't eat porridge or do any needlework, and don't under any circumstances wash your hair!

Worth a go, right?

In other news:

  • I had lovely Valentine's Day flowers yesterday from my mum (haha).
  • I am working hard on a top-secret writing project.
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed and recommend Dolly Alderton and particularly Cat Marnell's memoirs.
  • I am feeling fondly towards badgers.
  • My friend Charlie has started a brand-new work-in-progress blog, The Unmisunderstood, which is worth taking the time to have a read.
  • My friend Jess is involved in this Stripes anthology, which I am excited about.

vendredi 2 février 2018

Today's cliches, brought to you by...

My coat cost £20 from a junk shop and I just spent £101 in Holland and Barrett.

I know I'm an idiot, but I think something in that £101 shopping bag *might* just be the thing that changes my life. When I was younger, I genuinely used to think that 'going on a diet' would also miraculously make me taller, as well as skinnier.

This morning I walked by the river in London silently composing a mournful eulogy for the olive green bobble hat I lost on a Friday night at L'Escargot over a month ago. I'm suddenly, inexplicably - or maybe slightly explicably - furious about it.

When I'm depressed, my ancient old-school self-indulgent blog wakes up and also becomes one big elaborate subtweet.

When my little sister tells me to do something, I do it. She is always right.

I'm still genuinely, properly sad that Chanel discontinued my all-time favourite lipstick (Egerie).

There's something fun about crying in public behind sunglasses in broad daylight. Crying in close proximity to another person, though (whether family member, friend, sex partner or therapist) - that's a different story.

I wonder what sort of new hat I should get to replace the one I lost. Maybe I need a new gigantic cardigan as well.

Also I should probably buy some velvet knickers.

But I must live off store cupboard rations this week (see: £101 spent on useless supplements).

I cried at a busker playing 'My Heart Will Go On' on an accordion earlier this week. Unfortunately I was not wearing sunglasses. I think I am just tired.

jeudi 1 février 2018

Over. It.

January is over. The supermoon is over (although it was, rather magically, still visible in the sky as I took the early morning train into London this morning).

Today it is a new month, a beautiful sunny day in London. Spring in the air is sniffable.

Yesterday, I wept through therapy, dragged myself through a dance class hoping it 'would help' (it did, kind of - only kind of). I ate a barely-cooked steak as big as my face. I had a full-moon bath and left my crystals out on the windowsill. Then I stayed up for most of the night watching The End of the F***ing World. Cannot recommend highly enough, is pretty much all you need to know from me. Bonus props for the on-point True Romance aesthetic, perfect architecture and Earl Cave.

I've saved this article by the inspiring (in an I-wanna-be-her-or-maybe-be-her-friend-or-at-least-have-her-hair sort of a way) Molly Guy. I've been finding it most useful. When ANYONE offers you a plate of crumbs and tells you it's a feast, tell them to fuck right off. I'm working on it. A work-in-progress, I must admit.

Today, I brought a green smoothie to work in a fucking Kilner jar for my breakfast. Smug levels high. Think I might go and hang out in Holland and Barrett at lunchtime. Yoga tonight.

The Fuck-Boys-in-the-Eye February regimen is afoot. I'm actually excited.

mercredi 31 janvier 2018

For what it's worth

January is nearly over and where did the time go? I'm not going to complain; the mornings are getting lighter, I left work yesterday when there was still blue in the sky. Daffodils are in the shops and I've been buying them by the armful like a basic bitch. Few things make me happier than a nice bunch of daffodils in every room.

I managed to skip most of January. I went to Goa, where I did yoga every day, ate curry for every meal, and absorbed a lot of forgotten family history. I bought impractical dresses, rode in tuk-tuks and befriended wild dogs. A toothless old lady stopped me in the street and gave me a blessing and a slightly manky old flower; obviously I gave her all my money and kept the flower plaited into my hair long after it was brown and dead.

In short, I'm now one of those annoying people who is obsessed with India.

I flew back overnight from one extreme to the other: to a tumbledown old priory in the countryside with my friends for the weekend, where we drank wine, played board games and went on walks. It was pretty perfect. I wore long socks and sat reading by the fire. I slept in the furthest-away bedroom by myself, the one with the little writing desk overlooking the Long Man of Wilmington, and basically pretended I was in I Capture The Castle.

And now... I'm back. I'm ashamed to say I haven't managed to do yoga once since India. My tan feels like it's fading by the minute. It's too cold to wear any of my new dresses.

I am, however, inspired to be productive, make this year count for something. I've been editing a book (in bed, wearing two jumpers, mostly) and I have new ideas buzzing around.

And yet... It takes so little to make me happy, and it also takes so little to tip me into abject despair. I came back with such good intentions. I have daffodils in my house and new fairylights, and it's cosy in here. It's not awful being back.

But I also still can't decide if I should get a cat, and my favourite person is going away, and there are so many things I should be doing that I never have time for... and this morning I made my coffee, ate a ham sandwich, and then spent twenty minutes crying to this song and I'm not even totally sure why.

'For what it's worth, I love you
And what is worse, I really do.'

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!