See that girl ….

Last week I did something that I haven’t done in a really long time. I decided to take a contemporary dance class. Now this probably doesn’t sound so shocking if you know that I used to do contemporary dance at uni. And in fact I had danced all my life from the about the age of 5 until I finished Uni in about 2005.

However 11 years is a long break. In between I have done bits and pieces of dancing. But I hadn’t been to a full on contemporary dance class since studying.

If that wasn’t crazy enough the class also duelled as an audition for an adult dance company called Scatter. I really should have read between the lines and known that this wasn’t going to be a gentle walk in the park. The biggest alarm bell was when they handed me a candidate number to wear on the door!

img_2867

Number 51 was not my lucky number

I should have run, but I didn’t. Instead I put my body through all sorts of physical exertion and pain, the likes of which I wasn’t prepared for. Here is some photographic evidence of the the external markers of the brutality.

img_2868

On the night

img_2870

The next day

img_2892

Two weeks later

The internal suffering was much worse to bear. I could barely stand up and sit down for about 5 days. It was astonishing to realise how so many of my muscles never get used on a daily basis.

However, despite the physical agony. I was so pleased that I did it. Yes I was WAY below the standard of the class. Yes I was by FAR the oldest person in the room (including the teacher). Yes it was almost IMPOSSIBLE for my brain to keep up with the pace of the class (I recognised the steps but the messages weren’t getting from my brain to my body fast enough to execute). But in spite of all that. I did it. I bloody well did it. I was behind but I wasn’t SO far behind that I felt that I could never get back to that standard. The moves where still in my body, I just need to coax them out a little more.

And that is exactly what I intend to do. I’m getting back in the dance studio. I’m getting my socked feet out and I’m going to contract and release and give myself bruises like it’s 2002.

Wish me luck.

Friends Fest

When I was in high school (longer ago than I care to remember) a brand new American sit-com came to Friday night’s Channel 4. Friends shaped by teenage years. I recorded episodes (on VHS!) as I always had Ballet classes on Fridays and then watched them over and over again all week, until the next episode came out.

img_2684I literally could quote Friends all day. I was and remain obsessed. When Comedy Central took over the rights to show Friends, and our TV package didn’t cover the cost of the channel I was both devastated, and a little bit relieved. If an episode of Friends is on, I canNOT ignore it. It can never just be playing in the background whilst I carry on with other tasks. I am drawn in every time. I have literally whiled away DAYS of my life, days of pure joy, watching and laughing at episodes I have seen HUNDREDS of times.

It’s the small character details that I love. Nobody stops acting for a second, the nuances and the quirks are superb, and sometimes the best moments are with characters who are not even speaking, they are just reacting.

img_2757

So it’s no surprise that when Friends Fest came to London I was desperate to go. We were so lucky to get tickets. And whilst I know these weren’t the original sets, just having the opportunity to sit on that famous sofa, has made me so happy.

jfyx9747img_2685 img_2840jfyx9747img_2652img_1464

 

London’s Lost Railways

Here’s my latest presenting piece for Londonist

We walked the genuinely wonderful Parkland Walk from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace, in search of one of London’s lost railways. I was really surprised to see so many traces of the railway, sleepers, bridges, building and cable holders (from when the line was electrified) dotted all along the path.

img_2758The most spectacular moment was certainly happening upon the abandoned platforms at what was once Crouch End Station. The concrete platforms themselves are almost completely intact, albeit overgrown.

The end of the line, was also extremely picturesque. Alexandra Palace, a place I had never been before but had always wanted to go. And I would be keen to go back, as by the time we got there the museum to the original BBC studios was closed.img_2762

Where to Invade Next

Here is my latest film inspired poster art / illustration.

I’ve recently started using Adobe Illustrator, this is mainly for getting my board game design together, but have been trying out a few other ideas and techniques along the way.

If you haven’t seen Michael Moore’s latest documentary ‘Where to Invade Next’, then you really should. A good hard stare at the pitfalls of the American Dream. Not that the UK one is any currently any more fulfilling.

Lamenting for what America once was.

Where to Invade Next

Rivers of London

My goodness am I enjoying the Rivers of London series! I’m up to Foxglove Summer in the novel series but have just discovered that there is a comic book series too. And I’m already behind! 

So I’ve caught my self up with a treat of all the Body Art series in one (and a signed copy to boot!) and have subscribed at my local Forbidden Planet for the Night Witch series. 


What I love about the stories is how the magical world’s and the real world’s are mixed together so seamlessly. The subtleties of how they live side by side, and the plausibility of it is clever and captivating. It’s probably why I’m also a massive Harry Potter nut. 

Oh. You should also know I picked up Foxglove Summer at my local library which is under threat of closure. It’s already reduced to just three days a week and is self service. You can follow the progress of the save lambeth’s libraries campaign on Twitter with @DefendTheTen 

Do a vote 

Everyone in the UK (over the age of 18) has the right to vote.  

This was not always the case. Many groups of people have fort, marched, were arrested, force fed and died to make this happen. 

Don’t take your right to vote for granted. Get out there and put a cross in a box. 

Things that are deceptively difficult to do

Things that are harder to do than you think they would be. 

Keep a relationship happy and healthy: friends, family and the people you are in love with. That last one’s the hardest of all. 

Rotate you right leg clockwise whilst at the same time draw a number six in the air with your right hand.

Be 100% honest about how you’re feeling; to almost anyone that has any kind of relationship with you.

Choose your favourite song of all time.

Stay focused on a converstation, no matter how important, when you think you might have left the oven/hair straighteners/iron/hob on. 

Apologise. 

Go to bed at a reasonable hour when you have a decent wifi connection. 

The Last Man on the Moon

The personal story of a Nation’s hope. Heartbreak than runs deeper than anyone can or wants to say.

The speed with which the World changes. When the world’s greatest achievements are remembered by Wikipedia entries.

To see the Earth as no one ever had done before. 

As no will ever see again?