Hello everyone. Hope you’ve had a good start to the week. I’m gulping down coffee, desperately trying to re-start my brain after the weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday at Spitalfields with Gerry, selling t-shirts when he was doing the art market.
The market is fun, but exhausting. People come and go, you’re focused, you talk a lot, you look, you listen. In some ways selling is not so different from journalism. All you have to do is look people in the eyes when you talk to them. But after two days of standing up and talking I’m pretty exhausted, which is why I’m gulping down my second mug of black coffee. I’m trying to sharpen my mind enough to send off a radio story about the day’s biggest news story. I think I’m slowly winning the battle. I’m definitely caffeinated.
But I’m still a bit too woolly-brained to write a proper blog post. Which is why I will leave you with some more photos of lovely Cornwall. This is St Agnes, one of the cutest places I’ve visited in the UK.
Last Saturday my friend Ilaria and I were sitting in a pub in North London talking about life, religion and God (you know, as you do on a typical Saturday). I was mentioning my lack of belief in a higher power, saying it would probably take an old man with a long white beard to appear suddenly floating around on a cloud in this room for me to start believing in some sort of higher being. At that moment a lightning bolt struck down just outside the pub. I’ve never seen a lightning strike up close like that before. It looked like someone had pointed mega-strong floodlights against the window. It smelt a bit burned (but perhaps I just imagined that). The timing was pretty epic. I still don’t believe in a higher power.
I’m getting very excited about photography again, especially shooting film on my old Nikon f2. I’ve even signed up for a dark room induction course next month. I’ve been reading about old cameras trying to figure out what Diane Arbus and Sally Mann was/is using. Arbus apparently had a Rolleiflex and Mann is shooting with heavy old large format cameras.
The best thing about this is that it’s all about the fun. I don’t have a goal, I don’t have to be the best photographer ever. I just want to play around and take lots of pictures. Some of them might even end up here.
The UK economy is recovering
Can you believe it? Is it true? The BBC says so.
The Mole man of Hackney
Recently I stumbled across the story of the Mole man of Hackney, a retired engineer who spent 40 years digging tunnels underneath his house. In 2006 the council and his neighbours had enough and he had to be relocated to a local hospital while the council filled in the tunnels. Quite an amazing story.
Image by Guillaume.
Yesterday Gerry and I woke up at five in the morning in an Ibis hotel next to the M1 motworway and a giant Tesco freezer warehouse. It felt very grown up. In my mind staying in motorway hotels is what grown-up people do. As is driving on the motorway. It was my 29th birthday. But that wasn’t the reason we’d stayed in a motorway hotel, eating a very strange over-cooked dinner and falling asleep to news about Mandela’s funeral. The previous night we’d driven away from the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham with a much emptier van than the one we drove out in about a week earlier.
We’ve been at the Clothes Show in Birmingham. An annual clothing extravaganza and such a bizarre experience I at first thought the only way to deal with it would be to write slightly pretentious poetry about the whole event. Unfortunately I’m too tired to even come up with anything, so instead you’ll be getting a list of the things I’ve seen over the last six days:
– Lots of reality celebrities. Gerry and I had no idea who they were, but did realise they had to be famous because teenage girls kept running after these people with their mouths open or taking self portraits with them.
– More fakery than I’ve ever seen before. Fake tans, nails, boobs, hair, lips, you name it.
– People walking around with strange UV light-things in their mouths, supposedly getting whiter teeth. It looked like something out of a bad sci-fi movie.
– Strange glitter lipstick that you glue on to your lips.
– And plenty more strange things that I must have suppressed or forgotten. Perhaps it will show up in some slightly pretentious poetry later in the year.
Tonight Gerry is doing a market on Rivington Street and I’m back in the Barbican. It doesn’t stop until the 23d when we’re flying to the land of snow and saunas.
Gerry and I spotted these cuties on the way to work today
Yesterday I travelled to the sea, but didn’t see much of it. Instead I was soaked by drizzly rain, the battery on my phone ran out (as it seems to do if I as much as look at the instagram icon on the screen). For some strange reason I’d dressed for Finnish November and wasn’t prepared for a mild, grey afternoon at the seaside. I also got lost. But it was a pretty nice day.
I went to Folkestone to do a story about cultural regeneration and met some really nice people. Then I came home. Then I went to a music event in the evening.
This morning I slept in. Felt a bit bad about it. Then told myself I’d been working all of the weekend and needed a short brake. On Saturday I did all my taxes (the floor in the guest room is still a mess of paper). On Sunday I helped Gerry out at a market, did a radio story and then I did something else I’m sure, but I can’t remember anymore.
I think time is speeding up, rushing toward Christmas. It’s exciting and terrifying, kind of like before the big slope at the end of a roller-coaster (not that I’ve been on one since I was 10).
And also today the Kickstarter was funded! It’s been an emotional process. Not exactly stress-free. But we finally made it. If you ever need advice about a Kickstarter campaign, I will have plenty of stuff to tell you. It’s not as easy as it looks.
We’re back in London after a strange jet-lagging day of travelling. Even though the time difference between Finland and the UK is only two hours, getting up at 2:30 in the morning (UK time) to catch a flight will mess with your head a little bit. We arrived yesterday and couldn’t have had two more different taxi journeys, the one in the morning past green fields in the Malax countryside, where we had stayed with friends, and one on the motorway from Heathrow all the way to North London. Two completely different places only two short plane journeys apart.
Yesterday afternoon was spent eating snacky food and watching the almost too exciting Wimbledon women’s semi-final. Something I remember us doing last year as well after we came back from Finland, perhaps it’s turning into a tradition.
Also, coming back to real life and a fast internet connection I noticed that Google reader has finally stopped working. I’m switching to Bloglovin where you can follow me as well – follow my blog with Bloglovin.