Friday, 27 June 2014


So my friend Naomi posted one of those ‘let’s get more X on Facebook’ memes where they share a link to a relevant thing beginning with a particular letter (the main one I’ve seen in the past is art), and if you like their status, they give you a letter in return, so you can share a thing beginning with that letter on your wall.

Well anyway, the one today was for music, and although I usually try and avoid these things, I thought ‘sweet, I’ve been listening to loads of amazing new music recently, this could be a fun way to share it’. But what letter did I get? E! The letter in my music collection with possibly the fewest artists. Grump!

Well anyway, I’m not one to break an internet chain commitment promise (goodness knows what curses would rain down on me if I did), so I’m going to try and make the best of it with a blog.

Now Naomi insisted that it has to be an artist, but I’m totally going to cheat later on.

First though… Artists beginning with ‘E’.

Now I’ll admit, I think El Guincho are a bit of a one hit wonder, but what a hit that was, and with one of my favourite videos of all time to accompany it.

There's also the Emperor Machine, probably the E artist in my music collection with most listens, but mostly just because I had this one song on repeat for much of summer 2008.

Finally Errors. Who I know next to nothing about and have been meaning to look into more for ages. The only reason I own this one (quite good) song by them is because a boy from OK Cupid once gave me a mix CD with it on. (It was such a good mix CD that it actually made me want to kiss him, but sadly that never came to pass)

But anyway. Let's get to the good stuff now, huh?
Albums beginning with E. Because there ARE some good ones of these.

First up, HOT OFF THE PRESS, Taylor McFerrin's absolutely gorgeous debut release, 'Early Riser', which I think was delivered just last Saturday. Dare I say it, already an all time classic for me? I was wound in by hearing the beautiful 'Stepps' on Gilles Peterson's Saturday show, and ordered it expecting more sublime instrumental electronica, but it's oh-so-much more than that.

It's so new I can't find any links for you to go listen to it. But you really should. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Next up, the incredible 'Ex-Aquarium' by Kelpe. I'm not particularly good at writing about or describing music, but if you're into beautifully produced, vaguely sinister, underwater themed electronica, this is the album for you.

A highlight (it builds into something quite beautiful):

Next up, good old Prefuse 73 with his 29 TRACK ALBUM: 'Everything she touched turned Ampexian'. Don't be intimidated. They're all like a minute long and are just delightful snippets of weird. 'Natures's Uplifting Revenge' is basically how I feel whenever caffeine enters my system. Kind of glitchy and nauseous and frantic and terrified and uplifted.

And finally on the albums front, possibly my favourite album by one of my favourite artists, Daedelus' 'Exquisite Corpse' from back in 2005 I think. If you're not aware of Daedelus work I'd encourage you to have a listen to his most recent album 'Drown Out', and work back from there.
I didn't listen to his music for a very long time after I first heard of him, because although I figured I'd probably like him, I was intimidated by his vast body of work (the man is insanely prolific, I think he's released like 13 or 14 albums and he isn't even 40)
I was finally prompted to get around to it when me and Alex got to meet him in the flesh, and he is just THE LOVELIEST MAN, and his live show transcends possibly any other I've ever seen.

Last of all, let's have a song, eh? The wonderful Todd Terje's 'Eurodans', followed by the EVEN BETTER New Mondjalen Disco Swingers cover. (Seriously, if you've hated everything else I've posted here, give that last one a go. If it doesn't make you want to dance even a little, I'll still like you, but I will wonder if you have a soul.)

Sunday, 1 June 2014


Themes this month:
  • Trying to get better at drawing individuals and groups of people really quickly from observation or from memory.
  • Having days really full of action packed exciting stuff that tire me out so much I get a bit terrified that this is what old age is going to be like only WORSE
  • Watercolours and oil pastels.
Without further ado...

Very excited about my new and improved desk setup. DIGITAL DESK! ANALOUGE DESK! However in practice it seems like digital desk = almost everything desk, and analouge desk = sewing and general dumping stuff desk. Still, it's good to have a system, and I'm lucky enough that my system now involves TWO DESKS!

My friend Lucy from uni came down to Brighton for the day with her boyfriend Josh. We had Pompoko in Pavillion Gardens in the sunshine and talked about adulthood.

I’m not sure whether these ‘comic strip’ style diaries are good for my creativity/improving drawing skills or not, but I mostly do them when I have a day that’s super busy and full of stuff, and nice (or occasionally not nice — see 31st) in a way that I want to remember.
This was a nice day. A long cycle over to Saltdean for a lovely garden party with friends, followed by a long cycle back and dinner out with some of our new housemate Justin's friends.

Sometimes when I’m stressed and grumpy, having to do the washing up just makes me even more stressed and grumpy. Other times, I find the process oddly calming and methodical, and if there’s a particularly large amount of awkwardly shaped dishes, correctly loading up the rack is an oddly cathartic process. I wonder if my love of cleaning/tidying is symbolic of restoring order inside my brain as well as in my external physical spaces. Or maybe I’m just terrified of germs.

Justin is great. We’ve so lucky to have him living with us. One of his strongest points (amongst many) is that he’s one of the best listeners I think I’ve ever met. Must try not to take too much advantage of him by TALKING AT HIM ALL THE TIME but it’s just so hard not to when he’s so good at listening faces/wise words.


For Eurovision I went over to Jonny and Kris’s house in Peacehaven, with Elly and Kitty, and we had a Euro-tastic party. Where the European elections of later in the month were a show of depressing right wing bigotry, the European pop music elections (as I like to think of Eurovision) were a sparkling, LGBTQ friendly, European community delight. I decided I was going to try and draw every act. They’re pretty terrible drawings but I had fun, and they proved quite useful during the points section when we kept having to remind ourselves what various countries had done.

As always, May heralds a ridiculous flurry of Brighton funtimes, The Brighton Festival, the Fringe Festival, The Great Escape, and Artists Open Houses. I haven’t taken nearly enough advantage of any of them, especially the Artists Open Houses, which are basically just an awesome way to get some exercise walking around Brighton and looking at people’s beautiful expensive houses. This was the only weekend I managed to go and see a few.

Part of the reason I was so low on money by the end of this month was because I spent over £50 on art materials. I decided to invest in a big box of watercolours, some water-soluble oil pastels, and some nice paint brushes. The rest of the month features quite a few days of me trying to get good at using them. Here was my first go with watercolours (well, in a few years, anyway). Moshimo!

Justin’s friend Adam came to stay. He’s from Portland in America which I found exciting. He cooked us great chilli and we all ended up using the word ‘infrastructure’ a lot. I'm still terrified of doing faces and him and Justin are so cool I didn't want to risk messing up their faces while they were watching me so I just didn't do them.

As payback for avoiding faces the day before I tried my own face in oil pastels. I’ve done far worse self-portraits, even if it still doesn't reeeally look like me.

I don’t ever tell people these to their face because I think they might hate me, but it’s becoming apparent to me that when washing up needs doing I’m probably better off just doing it myself because I’m just too fussy.

Made some pretty bangin' salads.

Trying out the oil pastels with water while watching the European election results with Alex and Justin and getting upset about UKIP. Still terrible at faces.

From a terrible drawing of Alex to possibly the best drawing of Alex I’ve ever done. (If a drawing where he’s mostly facing away counts)

There are just too many invertebrates in my life right now. So far today I’ve evicted three woodlice, cleaned up slug trails in the kitchen, sprayed washing up liquid on aphids to try and kill them, found two moths dead in the bottom of an empty mug of tea (note to self, catch more moths using Alex’s old sugary tea mugs), flicked a money spider out of my hair and squished like 20 flour beetles that were living behind the toaster. THIS HOUSE.

One of the Fringe events I did make it to was our wonderful friend Chris aka oneoneoneone aka that guy who posted the walrus gumtree ad poetry night. It was a delight.

This is not how Friday evenings are meant to be! Sometimes circumstances do conspire to make life stressful. We'll be okay though.

So I’m sharing this because after I told Justin about my day he mostly just said he was relieved to know he’s not the only one who has days like this. You know those days? Where everything just seems like TOO MUCH?
So as well as a slight cramping IBS flare-up, I had that old curse of womankind, cystitis, coupled with a fairly hefty dose of PMT. All conditions which make you basically just want to curl up in a ball and not go anywhere. Sadly, that wasn’t an option, with the wedding of some close friends of Alex’s up in London, I somehow managed to squeeze myself into some semblance of a wedding outfit and flump onto a train. Only to have a crying breakdown in Victoria because I NEED TO WEE AGAIN AND I JUST WENT LIKE FIVE MINUTES AGO AND IT HURTS AND I CAN’T GO ON THE UNDERGROUND LIKE THIS. (Look, if you’ve had cystitis really badly, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) Then I somehow flung myself into a room full of many of Alex’s favourite old friends and mostly managed to function well enough that hopefully none of them thought he’d made a terrible choice of girlfriend… And even managed to entirely hold my fragile self together when I went to the bathroom and a girl in the stall next to me was noisily vomiting (new readers, I have emetophobia and that is MASSIVE progress)…And then we came home and I drunk loads of fluids and had the best sleep ever and now everything is OKAY! Bodies, eh?

Anyway. Onwards to June. Alex is 30 this week and I'm currently preoccupied with making sure that everything is lovely for him. Because 30! That's a lot of years! And also because he's great and still loves me and looks after me even when I'm having a hormonal cry in the middle of Victoria Station. :)