Monday, 31 December 2018

December 2018

It's the end of the month and also the end of the year, and I'm guess I'm feeling kind of meditative. Lots of people are posting their Instagram best 9's and writing about how 2018 has been tough/amazing/complicated/hope-filled/a year of growth and change, and... You know, all of the above from here too.

I've spent a lot of my year with this boy, the first full calendar year of Charlie. (Although we have actually had him for nearly two years now). Despite all of that, and my ever growing love for him, I am still utterly incapable of drawing him well.

I realise now that I've made two drawings this month to which I've just applied the word 'drifting'. (And probably several more this year). It's a strange thing... It's been an extraordinarily busy year but at times I feel like I'm just coasting on a wave. Waiting for the next big thing. The next train. The next embraces. The next adventures. The next big project. Especially through the winter months, I'm just riding out the cold so I can emerge fresh on the other side and figure out what's next.

And I drift, and I drift, and it gets darker and darker... Winter's hard, and bad, as it always is, but maybe not as hard and bad as last year was. The weather hasn't been too awful (not very cold and less rain than some years), which is helpful. I'm worried I'm tempting fate by saying that now though, but maybe we'll be okay...

Our friend Jasmine organised a delicious vegan Christmas dinner cooked by Teatime Collective in a shipping container in Hulme. It was GREAT.

As discussed, can't draw the boy. I want to get better at drawing comic style illustrations too, but have a long way to go in that respect as well. (Next time you see him, throw him a treat. It's honestly hilarious and he's used to us all laughing at him by now...)

It's a big winter mood.

Eggsmas was a joy — so delighted to be part of the Egg Factory's always-excellent (eggsellent, lol sorry not sorry) weekend-long winter fair. Selling my zines and prints on Saturday, and running a letterpress activity on Sunday, both were a lot of fun, and always so nice to see so much of Hebden Bridge's community come through and say hello.

Here's a tired bad drawing of London work and fun with some of my favs. Travelled down south for a few days of festivity (I mean, mostly work. But some festivity.)

Can't draw dogs, and my parents puppy is no exception (She's very lovely though)

Back in Brighton and SO TIRED. Spent much of the week feeling sure I was ill, and maybe I was, but its only manifestation was in a kind of intense, crippling exhaustion. It was the night that some nonsense was kicking off with Theresa May and my choices were either to glaze over in front of my friend James' big projector screen and watch it all unfold, or drag myself over to one of my favourite live music rooms and try and be energised. I managed the latter in part, made it to the show (Miho Hatori) but entirely failed to be energised.

Always delighted to get some Planet India treats in my belly, best Indian food in Brighton, in case you were wondering

Office party time! My EIGHTH somehow... Different since I starting working part time/remotely, but no less lovely.

Then back to London for the Brainfeeder 10th anniversary show at Brixton Academy. I had been SO excited for this, despite generally not enjoying big venue shows... The lineup was just incredible, basically ALL absolute favourites of mine (testament to the incredible work Brainfeeder does) — Iglooghost, Lapalux, Dorian Concept, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Ross from Friends, with DJ sets in between from PBDY and Gilles Peterson. All amazing, BUT I am still genuinely very grumpy that Brixton academy had SUCH terrible sound. I last went there for a show 10 years ago — it was awful then and still is now. It was a crime to put on such a terrible lineup in a room that sounded so very bad.

I still had fun, but damn.

An ongoing concern. Working hard on my listening and general 'don't be too much' skills for 2019, yo.

I got home and our lovely friend Stephen came to visit. We played Carcassone and Bananagrams, which with such a ridiculously huge boardgame collection as Alex's in the house, don't always make it to the table that often, but I still love them.

Still trying to paint a little. Winter studies.

Nearly out the other side of winter's darkest days.

We've all been victims a little this year of our own and each other's highs and lows, trials and tribulations. But my chosen family are my favs and I'm so lucky to have them. We've had such a joyous Christmas of being gentle with ourselves and eating all the foods and it's been perfect. On the 21st we went to Sainsburys and bought EVERYTHING then watched Die Hard while eating.

It has been really good to have a few days of downtime after an (entirely self-inflicted) frenetic year of work and play, but... Maybe I'm not actually very good at downtime

Having said what I said earlier about the weather being a bit better this year, 2018 has definitely been a winter of FOG so far. That's okay though cos I kind of like fog.

An IMPRACTICAL anniversary date, now seven years in. It's not always been easy this year, but we grow and we change, and we shape ourselves around each other with love and care and patience and kindness as best we can muster. I'm lucky to have this sweetheart in my life still.

Christmas day we mostly just sat really still and it was great.

More of that fog. Emerging through

I just can't keep away. (Also, I'm not some kind of... I dunno, rich person? I've never even been in either House of Fraser or Harvey Nichols before, but I needed to buy a suitcase and they seemed to be the best places...)

The annual tradition of Christmas II lives on! We cooked a big delicious vegan roast for a whole bundle of people, and then had ALL of the desserts to follow. It was wonderful and warmth-filled and we're so lucky to have such sweet friends. Thank you to everyone who came out!

Drifting, again, through those in-between days...

Soon we'll have to confront the real world again, but not quite yet.

2019 is just on the horizon and its early days already have so much in store, I am terrified and excited in equal measure. I can't wait to get started.