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Life in the big smoke

The shipwreck at the studio

When Gerry and I moved to Thames Side Studios we often had to pinch ourselves. It had everything we had been looking for. It’s right next to the Thames, there’s a great community of artists and makers, a print-studio, an on-site sauna and the site has its very own shipwreck.

I remember walking around the place on a sweltering day in July several months before we knew we’d suddenly get kicked out of Hoxton, looking at the river and the shipwreck thinking, “wow, imagine working at a place like this”.

And now we’ve been here for two years. When it’s not too cold outside we take mugs of tea and stand on the sea wall, looking at the planes taking off from City Airport, the cormorants fishing in the river, the dredgers humming along and the occasional seal swimming by.

The shipwreck is still there, hosting an impressive colony of pigeons. When we moved in she used to float, now she sits on the riverbed at high tide like a stubborn old lady, the water lapping over her deck.

The man who owns her occasionally cycles in and uses an improvised drawbridge to get on board. Two years ago we still heard a generator whirring somewhere at the back. A year ago I spotted a group of people in camo-gear playing paintball on the ferry. Now there just seems to be more and more pigeons.

Once the Royal Iris hosted the Queen and the Beatles on trips across the Mersey. People at the studio have told me visitors from Liverpool have stood on the sea wall crying over the state of her now.

The Royal Iris sailed on the Mersey for 40 years and was decommissioned in the 90s. She came to London in 2002. The new owner found a spot for her in Woolwich and had planned on turning her into a floating nightclub.  It appears not much has happened since.

Although I’m told she once managed to escape, floating out with the tide. After that they cut out her engines and left a hole in her hull. Perhaps she too sits there watching the planes.

Hello October, month of witchery

Hello October. I like you because you make me think about stuff like this.

“Mysticism” is derived from the Greek μυω, meaning “I conceal”, and its derivative μυστικός, mystikos, meaning ‘an initiate’.

For mystical London-based events in October, check out Bad Witch’s blog.

All image sources can be found here.

Some more photos from Cornwall

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.

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Spring in Epping forest

A couple of weekends ago Anne and I took advantage of the unusually warm weather and headed out to Epping forest north-east of London to take some photos.

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Anne is a seasoned Epping forest explorer and we stopped to have lunch at one of the many lakes in the forest.

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Anne thought it was a good idea to lie down on the leaves.

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I joined her. The city feels far away in the forest. Families with excited children passed by, as did several people on horses. I spent a couple of quiet moments listening to the wind and then got up and continued exploring.

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As spring is in the air I decided it was time to give this blog a bit of a spring clean as well. Perhaps you’ve noticed a slightly different layout.

Well hello there 2014! We’re back in London

Gerry and I are back in London. I’m tired after the flight. It’s my own fault for having too much fun in a cocktail bar perched over a mall in Helsinki with my brother and Gerry the night before we had to take the super early morning flight to London. Today I’ve managed to look at my emails. Tomorrow I’ll start planning.

The best thing about a new year is all the planning you can do at the start of it. January is a month filled with possibilities. Although most of this year is already planned out. Gerry and I decided what we’re going to do all the way back in November before the Christmas madness started. Now it’s all about filling in the dates and plans into a calendar. Which is pretty fun too.

I don’t have much else to say today because really I just want to curl up on the sofa in the studio and play fruit ninja. Although I’ll add that Finland was lovely and relaxing. We spent our days eating well, going for walks and sitting in the sauna. I got addicted to Candy Crush, realised this addiction might ruin my life and started playing Fruit Ninja instead. We also watched the whole first season of Under the Dome and cursed the fact that the next one is only out in the summer.

Gerry and I also took a trip out to Fäboda outside of my hometown. We tried to take some photos of the stars, failed, and decided to lark around and do some light painting instead. It was fun, but cold.

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