Wednesday, 26 August 2009

anything with a hot air balloon in it generally pleases me

sweet video for a sweet song. what's really lovely is that it's a fan video - it's not even the official one. how much proof do i need that if you want to make something, you ought to just get the fuck in there and make it...?

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

i know this much is true

if you feel it, say it. or, as frank o' hara said with heart-stopping simplicity -

it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it

this is what i have been doing

in case you'd been wondering, i've been:

a bit of this:

interviewing this guy:

marvelling at this:

chuckling at this loveable eejit:

missing this guy.

coveting a set of brian eno's oblique strategies.

nursing a couple of new girl crushes.

where have you been? i haven't seen you on the bus for ages.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

in the in-between

Originally uploaded by rubydoomsday

like joan didion writes, when i find myself in choppy waters, i 'go to the literature'. writers are the ones i hope understand the world better than me, or at least there is comfort found in their tales of the journey back from the dark edges. this is the power of stories. keep turning the page. you'll see.

when i was at university i swallowed books of poetry whole. most of it passed through me or maybe into me, i'm not sure which. one poem in particular has driven me mad since i read it ten (ten!) years ago - i could only remember a few of the lines, and searching for it in books or online yielded nothing.

yesterday in frustration i googled the poet, alan riach, and found an email address for him. i explained that his poem was important and asked him to please tell me where i could find it. he emailed me back less than two hours later to tell me that it had only ever been published in a magazine but he'd do his best to find it.

this morning it was waiting in my inbox. wowsers.

i hope he won't mind me publishing it here. i think it should be in the world.


In darkness how they haunt us, these shadows of a past we know –
a past we always know we’re on the point of superseding –
always in the moment of the dawn’s anticipation, letting go
of an evening spent before this sun had risen.

May all the hauntings be of favoured memories of real things
Not things you’d wish forgotten or that never should have happened.

Let them linger in their traces as they go. Let them lead to this.

- Alan Riach

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

dark days and starry nights

I’ve always made a racket. It’s not because I’m extroverted – I’m never really sure whether I'll be silver-tongued or blushing and trembling – I’ve just always been noisy. I tend to talk too loud, and my laugh escapes in involuntarily noisy bursts. I’m embarrassingly clumsy, too, bumbling into and dropping things, and I grew up being told that I went at things ‘like a bull in a china shop’.

This last weekend, in fact, my dad took me and my sister to our old butcher’s shop, where he christened me “that noisy ommer” (Lancashire for ‘noisy hammer’).

I’ve also been told by people closest to me that they know something’s up when I go quiet.

So I apologise for being a bit mute here, lately. There are a lot of things roiling and churning in my heart and my head that have drowned out any other thoughts worth sending out into the world.

In the meantime (and it’s always the meantime), I’m heeding Robert Rauschenberg:
“John Cage said that fear in life is the fear of change. If I may add to that: nothing can avoid changing. It’s the only thing you can count on. Because life doesn’t have any other possibility, everyone can be measured by his adaptability to change.“

So. Enough of that.

There’s a meteor shower tonight. I’m going to be sitting on a rooftop with a great friend eating noodles and drinking wine, eyes peeled. I’m even going to download some of the National Trust’s wonderful stargazing guides. I might even try to learn my three constellations...

Here’s to starry nights.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


walking to meet a friend for lunch today, i noticed that the smeary windows of a defunct dim sum joint looked different.

at first i thought they'd been drawn on, but actually, they were creating pictures by rubbing off the cruddy whitewash that had been slapped up to mask the goings-on inside.

instead of layering things up, it was taking away that made this so lovely.

i stopped to chat to the guy as he worked. i thanked him for making this ugly corner a bit prettier, and he told me that tomorrow night they're opening a new bar-restaurant-art space there.

take away the depressing dim sum place and you've got a new space full of potential. rub away some paint to make a new picture. reduce and have more.

i like it.

step one: open a bottle of champagne

most people love apple for their slick, designery gadgets. me? i love them for their cooking skills. well, alan dye, their creative director, at any rate.

any man who whips up a plate of oozy mac n' cheese, washed down with copious bubbly is alright by me. that might just about be the best sounding meal i ever heard of.

attention, men of the world (okay then, man of the world): please woo me with carbohydrates and bubbly. thank you.

marilyn agrees with me:

champagne and potato chips? that's a GOOD PARTY.

i wish the world was like this all the time

this is wonderful beyond words. stick with it - its charms swell. i promise.

via the truly marvellous duo that are something's hiding in here.