Just idly speculating about what it would be like if there were just suddenly LOADS OF NEW VEGETABLES
I hate DIY, and I suck at it. The new house needs things doing it and I’ve basically resigned myself to the fact that if Alex/Justin/other kindly friends won’t do it, and I don’t have enough money to pay someone else to do it once the loft conversation is done, I’m just gonna have to live with things bad, because… I just can’t. Uuuuughhhhh
Some days are just a cacophany of failure.
Alex got lots of treats on their birthday including some river swimming in their super cute new swimming costume, a weird cake by me, an amazing vegan moussaka by Chris, and lots of other lovely people to visit.
I wrote a little bit in my America trip blog about legendary club night Low End Theory, which has been running each Wednesday night for over a decade and has been the home of/launchpad for so much incredible music out of LA... and it was just accounced this month that the founders have decided to bring it to a close with just 10 final nights. I am EMOTIONAL about this, just feeling so ridiculously lucky that I got to get there once before it ended (JUST in time as well, if I'd waited even another few months I'd have missed my chance), and also LONGING to be back in LA for one of these last few shows (not gonna happen, obvs)
The eternal question. (The answer obviously being: doggo)
Feeling this way a lot at the moment. But mostly it's a good thing I think...?
Never let it be said that me and Alex don't know how to treat ourselves to a romantic hot date (to the post office, Network Rail consultation meeting, and then rounded off with a handful of weird treats from Nisa and a little wander along the canal before putting Alex on a train to go play some boardgames)
(Honestly though this was all very lovely)
Got a skip! And a lot of my new house is in it! (Having earlier said I hate DIY, any DIY has basically been on hold for most of this month as actual professional builders are in there right now gutting and renovating the attic space which is VERY EXCITING and I am mostly just standing back and keeping out the way and letting them get on with it while hoping for the best)
I barely watch any TV or films, but somehow managed to make time that week in particular to watch loads of 'The Good Fight', a surprisingly excellent 'The Good Wife' spin off with Alex (and Charlie)
Hair is very long as this point but I'm kind of intrigued by just how long I can get it before it either just... stops, or I get too annoyed with it, so I persist.
This is not a very good drawing but, as it says, I LOVE LONDON. The weird thing I wasn't prepared for with Hebden Bridge is that it actually doesn't feel nearly as far from London as I thought it might when I moved here. It's like 45 minutes to Leeds and then 2 hours 15 minutes from Leeds to Kings Cross. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but I do the Leeds train so often that it usually kind of flies by without me even noticing, and then the Leeds to London train is, 99% of the time, one of the chillest train journeys possible — I have a specific seat that I like which I almost invariably get all to myself, it has a plug socket and there's no one sat opposite, and it's just CHILLLL, like a rare time when I just take some headspace for myself and relax. So yeah, I like going to London, it's fast and easy and surprisingly affordable if you book in advance.
Anyway, basically I decided to go down to London just overnight, for various reasons, to see/meet friends, and on a whim, decided to swing by one of my favourite old uni friends Lucy's open studios night where she makes her beautiful marbled notebooks as Marmor Paperie (go buy her lovely things). It was so wonderful to see her actual studio and have a catch up!
Also had a lovely time staying with Zoe and Dan and eating delicious vegan pizza, and just generally being in London, in the summer, in the warm, with friends.
The next day, me and Zoe went to see the University of Brighton's Graphic Design and Illustration degree show in London. (I graduated from there, uh, EIGHT YEARS AGO how did THAT happen). There's always the degree show in Brighton at the uni itself, but then every year there's always also one up in London (funded and organised with great stress by the students themselves), as we were told we needed to do that in order to get a job (LOL that went well for me then). Anyway, I was super happy to get a chance to see what the cool kids are up to these days. (I was never one of the cool kids)
Joe Armon-Jones was playing an in-store at Rough Trade East close by too, which was just wonderful. I proceeded to also spend too much money on records (including getting his signed by him), and a lovely dress from nearby Collectif in Spitalfields market (I have worn it loads though, so already feeling it was a sensible purchase. Perhaps.)
(In the above bit where I was all smug about how easy and cheap it can be to get down to London, it should also be noted that I always spend way too much whenever I visit, so maybe I shouldn't actually go TOO often.)
Anyway, late afternoon I met up with Alfred who had just landed in London from fun times at Sonar in Barcelona. He was taking a few days out from work and travels to hang out in Yorkshire, so we got the train back north together.
I say a few days out from work... I mean, he still had work to do, and so did I, but for both of us that's work that can be done from afar sometimes. I so very enjoyed listening to him build music while I did my silly drawings. But constructive criticism of people you like... It's a fun game of honesty vs. tact, huh (Luckily he's very good so it's not like I have to be mean. Because I can and will be mean if I have to, even if I really like you)
But anyway, there was time for some scenic strolling too.
I say 'come visit in the summer', and I mean it, because that's when Hebden Bridge is at it's best, and I want visitors to see it like that... But also please come visit in the winter too, because that's when I get sad and need cheering up with fun guests. Basically come visit all year is what I'm saying. We have a lovely guest room, all the boardgames, and the best dog.
Alfred had a show in Manchester on Tuesday, and I love excuses to hang out in Manchester. Ate loads of tasty food, did a good dance, met some lovely people.
I love Rummikub. Alex bought me a beautiful Rummikub set a few years ago, but no one I live with or regularly associate with (including Alex) likes playing it, so on the rare occasions I happen to find someone who does, I am HYPE
On Friday I headed back down to London again and it was A LOT. Alfred had flown to Berlin the previous day for a show, and then back to London for the last show this tour, so we met again for that. The show was at Village Underground which is in some ways a great venue, but in some ways heavy going. The sound system there is almost painful at times (maybe I am just weak), and shows there tend towards very lateness. This tour Alfred was travelling with Panoptes, his new visual show, which you can get an idea of in this video. Setup in Village Underground did not go entirely to plan, but got there in the end, and a little time over to stroll round some vintage shops in Brick Lane and another visit to Rough Trade East (I managed not to buy anything this time though). The show was laaaate, as expected, although an amazing lineup with Kutmah, Jameszoo and Lefto also on the bill, but I suck at late nights. (I mean, I say I suck, I stayed up till 5am with zero alcohol, drugs, caffiene or any other form of stimulants so I guess I did okay...)
After the show finished at 4am, Alfred had a car at 4.30 for a 7am flight from Heathrow, so goodbyes tired and short and rushed, and then strange walk through Shoreditch/Hoxton back to Dan and Zoe's place... The day after solstice, so already light at that hour, strange intermingling of early shift workers starting their days and revellers still on their nights out.
So yeah. I went to bed at 5am, was briskly awoken by my body at around 9 because come on, it's 9, it's time to get up, even on only 4 hours sleep, apparently that's how things are for me now. Because of hilarious fun timing of everything all at once, my friend Reggie was also in town, so we went for some lunch and a stroll through the Barbican (where I took this picture of him which I think is really great:
Then that night, went to his show at the Spiegeltent on the Southbank, and afterwards, yeah, sure, dim sum at 2am with him and loads of other lovely people because what even is this weird life. Ate so much dim sum I felt sick and couldn't face getting into a taxi so stayed out till 4am again, WAHEY! (Maybe I'm going to get really party in my 30s)
Obviously woke up again at like 8 or 9 because that's how my body works these days, and went to lie in the park with Nat and have a cry. Sometimes there's nothing more glorious than lying in the park in the sunshine in one of your favourite cities with one of your favourite people having a good cry because you've barely had any sleep and everything's a bit much but in the best possible way.
Popped in to say hi to Lauren and then hopped on the overground down to George and Wes's place where I got to eat a very nice amount of pizza before getting another train down to Brighton, somehow, not passing out with tiredness.
Brighton Brighton Brighton I STILL LOVE YOU TOO! Delighted to be back in the office for a few days, and wonderful catchup with Hannah and Tristan in the evening. Plus, as is my way when returning, trying to fit in all my favourite foods that I miss — La Choza mexican for lunch then Pizzaface pizza for dinner.
But hey GUESS WHAT, blight of my life since moving North for some reason, another bloody cold. I really don't understand it — I'm healthier in almost every way than I ever have been, but possibly just less exposed to germs than I was when living in the city, so every little thing catches me out. (And sleep deprivation probably didn't help my immune response)
For this one specifically, Justin was to blame — he bought it home, Alfred caught it, and then I caught it from Alfred — so for once it wasn't a public transport cold, but still. It's nice to know the supply chain I guess...
Anyway, delicious bibimbap at Namul's with Zoe for lunch and then v v excited to sample Wagamama's new vegan seitan Katsu curry which was everything I had dreamed and more.
I persist, along the same theme, basically.
And then, back home. Still ill, but sufficient fun had that I'm generally in high spirits regardless.
Continuing to medicate with best foods — Hebden Bridge's new Tibetan kitchen serves exemplary momos, which I am very excited about.
As discussed, visit in the summer. Today, everyone's visiting. The house is full and SO IS MY HEART
Sorry. Gross. I've had a lovely month. I'll stop being so smug soon. July probably won't be as good but that would take a lot I guess.