Wednesday, 1 July 2015

June 2015

June is (almost) always a nice month, and this year was no exception. It's officially warm enough that the winter sads can be declared formally over, and it's the first month that (in this house, anyway), you can walk around barefoot without getting sad cold feet.
Plus it's Alex's birthday, and this year, we went on holiday too!

On Alex’s actual birthday me and him and a big lovely group of friends went to Planet India for vast quantities of curry and associated treats. This isn’t the best illustration, but I’m including it because it documents my first ever encounter with a SELFIE STICK. Selfie sticks are very trendy and being mean about selfie sticks is also very trendy, but you know what, haters gonna hate. I think they're great.

The day after Alex's birthday, lots of people came over, and in a continuance of the previous night's indulgence, we ordered loads of Chinese food. We decided to play 'the hat game', I'm not going to spoil the rules for those of you who haven't played it, but suffice to say, we had a magic moment where we realised HOLD ON, we've got this (previously) utterly pointless window on the staircase, which is perfect for backlit hands-only charades. And it was MAGIC. I don't think our living room has seen that much sustained, intense laughter from such a large group of people in a long time, if ever. I love this house. (And our friends, obvs)

From June 8 – 12, me, Alex, Justin, George, Jess, my old school friend Ieuan and Stompy the dog went on a canal boat holiday on the Rochdale canal. Canal boat holidays are marketed as relaxing which is ALL LIES.

Being in charge of a boat is TERRIFYING and living on a boat is TOO COSY. Day 2, and, as stated, found it very hard to find anything positive (apart from the lovely people who I was sharing the experience with)

The trip passed, twice, through Hebden Bridge. Hebden Bridge is wonderful, and me and Alex hope to move there one day. We planned the trip so that we could have nearly a full day mooching round there. By this point we were better at controlling the boat, and managed to find a lovely place in the heart of Hebden Bridge to moor up overnight.
We got to hang out with our friend Keith who lives in Nutclough co-op, and I rather cheekily managed to go over to his house and have a real shower (boat showers are the WORST) which made me feel a lot more human. That coupled with gorgeous sunshine, gorgeous Hebden Bridge and general good moods all round meant that everything got better from here on in.

By day 4 of 5, we had got locks NAILED. (The Rochdale canal, and the stretch we were on is one of the most locky canals in the UK. Intense.)

And by day 5, I was almost (ALMOST) sad to be leaving. Team boat lives on in all our hearts.

While in Hebden Bridge I finally learnt what za’atar is for (less for seasoning, more for stirring with olive oil and dunking bread in). On my first day back I bought myself a jar and ate nearly 1/4 of it in one sitting with way too much olive oil and a giant chunk of crusty bread. SO GOOD.

Have you all been watching Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell? It's not often I get fangirl squealy over telly things and even less often that I do... fan art... But here we are. It was really excellent. You should definitely watch it all if you get the chance.

(On a side note, I got myself two big pen treats this month... more on the second one later, but first, was a coloured multipack of Pilot's Frixion pens. Weirdly, I can't find it on Cult Pens now, so maybe I got lucky and it's gone now, but it was basically these, but with lids rather than clickers and in 12 gorgeous colours. To wax lyrical for a moment, these pens are GREAT. I've always preferred drawing in pen to pencil, but then comes the problem that I'm not always super good at drawing... these pens genuinely erase, cleanly and thoroughly, and it's basically magic. I'd totally run down the black and green ones I originally bought to try them out, so I decided to invest in the pack of 12. So expect a lot more brightly coloured line drawings from here on in)

Alex and George went for a proper swim. I just had a little paddle. Then we all had burgers and played another round of Sherlock. Top evening.

Slips of the tongue.

As alluded to before, this is a cold house. And I am a cold person. The result of which is that from about September to April every year I have to be fairly well layered up to not be uncomfortable, and from November to February, no amount of layers will keep out the vicious coldness and even such simple activities as going to the toilet are fraught with chilliness. There’s nothing like a cold house to make you appreciate the warm months. Related: for about 6 months a year I basically don’t look at myself naked for more than a few moments in the shower. I still have ISSUES with boobs and tummy, but some days everything feels alright.

My hip hop dance odyssey continues, with a lesson in twerking from someone who can actually twerk. It’s REALLY HARD (as anyone who’s ever tried will testify to.) One day I will reach these towering heights. (P.S. I don't think this diagram is actually a helpful depiction of how to twerk)

So this is a terrible drawing but BEAR WITH ME, because on a pizza and fizzy pop fueled binge, me, Alex and Justin came up with a GREAT (possibly) idea for a play for next year’s Fringe festival, as follows:

"The play is played out over the course of a year's worth of Argus comments [the local Brighton newspaper, renowned for its utterly abhorrent comment threads which show the very worst of Brighton's bigotries, such as they are], in which two commenters, one an anti-gay immigrant, the other an anti-immigrant gay man, slowly fall in love, ultimately meeting and realising their feelings on the opening night of the i360 [Brighton's ridiculous folly] — which they both won tickets to in an Argus competition. Alex and Justin play the couple and I play EVERY OTHER ARGUS COMMENTER. There are banners in the background with thumbs up and thumbs down that descend at appropriate moments [in reference to the thumbs up and thumbs down which can be rewarded to comments based on their popularity] The entire script is actually published on actual Argus articles in the year running up to the play. Possibly the play actually takes place on the i360."

It's worth noting that, in my head, I picture the whole thing as being a musical, but that could be thwarted by the fact that none of us can sing.

Who wouldn't go see that play, amirite?

I hadn't been for a cycle in aaaaages. Like months. I got a puncture from some glass while cycling in the dark and the rain, and three attempts at fixing it failed, and since then my motivation was low. I've also stopped going climbing, because I'm a big quitter. I got massive conscience pangs about both of these things for some reason, and felt like I should maybe cycle to climbing. Two birds, and that. I cycled nearly to climbing and then stopped at Lawrence Art supplies and decided to instead spend my climbing money (and then some) on loads of lovely Tombow Brush pens... I really like buying them in sets of a single colour, light > dark, as they're great for shading... I got a rose-pink set (with the added bonus that I now have a felt pen matching my skin tone), and a lilac set. And I immediately cycled home to do this with them.
Pleased that I'm still okay and safe to cycle on roads though. Cars won't wear me down!

More pen fun. I really like these pens.

I'm dog-sitting next week. Expect lots of terrible dog drawings because dogs are really hard to draw.
I went over to see Lump and his owners and learn all about his funny ways. Then I came home and baked a vegan dark chocolate and raspberry torte, which everyone got pretty excited about :)

It’s very hard to be like Beyoncé when 29º + period pains. But I guess Beyonce sometimes dances in 29º heat with period pains. How does she do it?! (Side note, Lya my dance teacher is an absolute hero. She’s so kind even though I am TERRIBLE)

Now it's July and HEATWAVE! I am so into this.