Thursday, 23 March 2017

Things I Love Thursday 23/03/17

🌜 This week has felt like actual Spring! 🌜See: taking the sausage to play in the Sefton Park daffodils 🌜 Actually feeling good about writing poetry for the first time in yonks 🌜 Buying new house plants 🌜 Slobby TV nights with my bezza 🌜 Aziza Barnes' poetry (READ MORE BLACK POETS) 🌜 New comedy phone case 🌜 Free cups of tea 🌜 Wearing floaty red dresses 🌜 Mid week cheese and wine parties 🌜 THE NEW LAURA MARLING ALBUM 🌜 Nice eye contact 🌜 That Bobby (the world's most nervous dog) has finally returned my love and genuinely nothing is more rewarding than really earning the love of a good dog 🌜 Making poor quality ceramics 🌜 Patti Smith/Joni Mitchell/Winona Ryder forever 🌜 Putting down roots in 92 Degrees Coffee shop 🌜 Cute boots 🌜 Booking in a cabaret gig for the first time in a year 🌜 The evening light over the city 🌜 Working shouty music gigs 🌜 

Life is good the sun is shining, keep it up x

Friday, 10 March 2017

Creative Venture #36

Been thinking a lot about this graffiti in Krakow, and then wrote a poem about it.

Rivers run, malaphorically rich,
We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.
Overpass sea to sea seen as cleave,
Birds of a feather are worth two in the bush.
A tributary tribute to arbitrary perimeter
Lets the cards lay where they fall.
Curdled creme de la resistance,
Je ne suis pas Charlie.
Beyond it doesn't concern me,
And we let dead dogs sleep.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Things I love Thursday 02/03/2017

This week has been absolute chaos, one of those where I just haven't come up for air, so PhD research has taken a bit of a back seat which is annoying. I'm honestly so excited for next week, because I'm gonna hang out with my bezza Ruth Dalton on Monday, and just go to the gym and be in the office loads, and I love weeks where I get to just do nice routine things because I LOVE ROUTINE. However, despite being a bit all over the place, this week was a good week, so here's some shit I'm grateful for.

πŸ’˜ Getting to spend some time with my little cat, who at the grand age of 18 is being put to sleep tomorrow. I'm kinda sad, but also feeling very pragmatic, and he truly has had the best life any cat could hope for. Anyway, I'm so thankful I got to hang out with him a bit whilst he was still comfortable πŸ’˜ PANCAKES πŸ’˜ Poppa Matchett giving me free reign of the beer fridge πŸ’˜ Getting accepted to give a paper at my first academic conference IN BLOODY MILAN πŸ’˜  Colour co-ordinating outfits with pets πŸ’˜ Laura Marling πŸ’˜ Being sassy πŸ’˜ Exciting business meetings ft. merlot πŸ’˜ The success and happiness of friends πŸ’˜ Gelatine free Haribo πŸ’˜ Doing some actual theatre directing for the first time in what feels like a lifetime πŸ’˜ Painting frenzies πŸ’˜ When my boyfriend and my boss conspire to give me a Saturday night off to go to a surprise gig πŸ’˜ Dog tour 2k17 πŸ’˜ Planning many a visit to the big smoke πŸ’˜ Getting SO MANY exciting submissions for the first issue of The Agenbite! πŸ’˜ Bee-sting eye cream makes my eyes so plump πŸ’˜ When my supervisor calls me a superstar and it's like when the cool kids at school say you can sit with them πŸ’˜ Smashing through the Santa Clarita Diet πŸ’˜ Kicking the Kyriarchy πŸ’˜ Red dresses πŸ’˜ Religious iconography πŸ’˜Deidre Barlow glasses πŸ’˜ Snatched moments with my sister πŸ’˜

Be good xx

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Things I love Thursday 23/02/17

Here's my appreciation list of things I'm getting off on this week. It's good for the health yo.

πŸ’œDecadent brunching πŸ’œ Fishnets πŸ’œ Hanging out with my old man cat πŸ’œ Really LISTENING to good music πŸ’œ Cake (the band) πŸ’œ Cake (the cake) πŸ’œ The smell of ancient books πŸ’œ Puppies that steal your pants πŸ’œ When your coach turns out to be a train πŸ’œ Taking myself on art dates πŸ’œ Just generally dating myself tbh πŸ’œ Lee's first time trying Oysters (he did not love) πŸ’œ Rosemary's Baby πŸ’œ Driving for hours in Storm Doris with music so loud I can't hear myself πŸ’œ Good coffee πŸ’œ Oh God the NHS, thanks guys πŸ’œ When Lee holds my ankle πŸ’œ Sketch πŸ’œ Finally making the wedding invitations for my favourite couple πŸ’œ Making my own t shirts/painting old denim πŸ’œ Left hands πŸ’œ Angry covers of beautiful songs πŸ’œ Getting my deadlift PR yo πŸ’œ Remembering to moisturise and feeling like a silky princess πŸ’œ Dad giving me free reign of the beer fridge πŸ’œ Getting into painting frenzies πŸ’œ LIFE LIFE LIFE I'M HERE FOR THE RIDE LEMME FEEL IT ALL I'M READY πŸ’œ


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

On Losing my British Library Virginity

So this week I took myself to the British Library for the first time. The Modernist Journals Project has digitised the majority of my primary source, which let me tell you I am *highly* appreciative of, but the final few years of The Little Review aren't yet available online, so I had to pop down to the archives in London. I say 'had to', it was actually such a motivating experience to be able to touch and smell actual copies of the magazine, carefully tucked away since the 1920's.

So, this post is a mixture of just chatting about my time in the Big L, and information about visiting the British Library that I wish had been more accessible!

I stayed at my friend Lindsey's house in Kennington, which is great because a) you can see the Shard from her house, and b) she lives with a Cockerpoo puppy. I got in silly late on a Sunday because I was in work during the day, and I thought it would be a smart idea to get a Mega Bus instead of the train... seven hours later, I kindof wished I'd just sucked up the extra £20 it would have cost me... Anyway, I got there, and we drank tea and gossiped and it was cute. The next morning we took ourselves for brunch at Sketch, which was even cuter.

After far too much faffing about around Carnaby Street, I arrived at the library. I had pre-registered online which I would definitely recommend, it saved me a lot of time. The British Library isn't like a normal library -you don't just walk in and take out books. It's more of an archive, and the security was surprisingly but pleasingly high; I had my bag inspected when I arrived like at an airport, and you're not allowed to bring large luggage into the building. Having arrived, I completed my Reader Registration which involved showing an ID and proof of address, and also having my picture taken for a card - I was super warm, so my hair was kindof gross,but at least I was wearing lipstick. Swings and roundabouts.

All that done, I had to put my stuff in a locker and head into the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department, to which I had pre-ordered the documents I needed. You're not allowed to really take things into the Reading Rooms - a pencil, laptop, glasses, your phone. It all has to fit in a clear plastic bag they provide. You're also not allowed to wear a coat,and it turns out they're pretty strict on this which was vaguely annoying - I was wearing a jacket which was definitely a thin indoor jacket and not a coat, but because it hung lower than my bum the man at the door made me go back and put it in my locker. So heads up - maybe wear a jumper if you're visiting, because the Rare Collections man is clearly not attuned to the nuances of the Spring/Summer catalogue. 

The archive work itself was magical. You are allowed to photograph the collection, so I was essentially able to create my own digital collection of the things I think I might need in the next couple of months. Also, there just is something really lovely about handling the actual entity, the thing you're dedicating four years of your life to. If you're a researcher and your source is digitised, I would still highly recommend doing some archive work, just to feel it.

I ended up staying quite late (the Reading Room is open 10-8), and then I went for dinner and some gin with my friend Alex, but we went to Wetherspoons, so I didn't take any pretentious toilet selfies there, sorry.

Being slightly cold aside, I had a really wonderful first experience.The man who completed my registration,and the people who found my documents were super friendly and impressively knowledgeable, and the atmosphere was really conducive to work. Also, just what a bloody incredible place - there is so much knowledge there, and so much untapped knowledge there, it was a real privilege to be able to be a tiny part of moving that forwards. I'll be heading back soon.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentines Day, 1915 - Margaret Anderson on life, love and art

This poem, if you can call it a poem, was written by Margaret Anderson, the editor of the Little Review, and published there in October 1915. It was a little before her 29th birthday, and a year or so before she had her first great romance, with co-editor Jane Heap. When Jane and Margaret fell in love in 1916, they lived together in Chicago as a relatively openly lesbian couple, at a time when such things just weren't done.

The poem is longish, but I think its really lovely, largely because you can really feel Anderson writing it - the speed with which words are rushed onto paper, the overflowing overlapping confusing ideas that feel like love. It's the kind of poem I tried to write when I was 19 and failed - maybe I'll have more luck when I hit 29. 

Margaret Anderson, photographed by Georgette Leblanc.


BUT you don't know Life," they are always saying.
I wonder what it is they mean?

They mean humanity and the urge of it:
In the beginning and in the end the soul's longing to be known, to know itself, and to know others;
And that means, in the beginning and in the end, the quest for love;
Is the ideal of love and the finding of it;
And the magic of it and the drain of disillusionment;
And the luxury of sorrow and the voluptuousness of suffering;
And the vacuum that is beyond death;
And the conviction that ideals are better than reality;
And the decision to live for "art";
And the pull to new love...
And the discovery that love is enslavement;
And the breaking from it;
And the courage to contain life;
And the emancipation from something;
And the complacency of first freedom;
And the emptiness of it;
And the pull to new love...
And the discovery that rapture is not relived;
And the conviction that passion is not love;
And the dedication to "the spiritual";
And the pull to new love...
And the deepest agony, which is unrequited love;
And the realization of people;
And the discovery that the world is wrong;
And the glory of rebellion;
And the emancipation for something;
And the pull to new love...
And the birth of cynicism;
And the conviction that rebellion is futile;
And the discovery of one's self;
And the dedication to one's self;
And the discovery that one's self is not big enough;
And the pull to new love...
And the knowledge that love includes passion;
And the sense of rich growing;
And the hope of sharing growth;
And the longing to be known;
And the relinquishing of that longing;
And the discovery that perfection does not last;
And the sufficiency of self-direction;
And the completeness of freedom;
And the longing to know the human soul;
And the pull to new love...
And the relinquishing of that longing;
And the discovery of the peace that is in nature;
And the realization of the unimportance of man;
And the knowledge that only great moments are attainable;
And the hatred of consummations;
And the realization of truths too late to act upon them;
And the acceptance of substitutes;
And the pull to new love...

And every human being knows these things.


"But you don't know life itself," I am always saying.
I wonder what it is I mean.

I think it is something wonderful like color and sound, and something mystical like fragrance and flowers.
And something incredible like air and wind,
And something of grey magic like rain;
It is faded deserts and the unceasing sea;
It is the moving stars;
It is the orange sun stepping through blue curtains of sky,
And the rose sun dropping through black trees;
It is a green storm running across greenness,
And gold rose petals spilled by the moon on dark water;
It is snow and mist and clouds of color,
It is tree gardens and painted bird;
It is leaves of autumn and grasses of spring;
It is flower forests and the petals of stars;
It is morning - yellow mornings, green mornings, red mornings, gold mornings, silver mornings, sun mornings, mist mornings, mornings of dew;
It is night - white nights, green nights, grey nights, purple nights, blue nights, moon nights, rain nights, nights that burn;
It is waking in the first of the morning,
It is the deep adventure of sleep;
It is lights on rivers and lights on pavements;
It is boulevards bordered with flowers of stone;
It is poetry and Japanese prints and the actor on a stage;
It is music;
It is dreams that could not happen;
It is emotion for the sake of emotion;
It is life for the sake of living;
It is silence;
It is the unknowable;
It is eternity;
It is death.

And only artists know these things.

Monday, 13 February 2017

KrakΓ³w - Photo Diary/Recommendations

KrakΓ³w was potentially my favourite city break thus far. Edinburgh and Dublin will forever be my favourite cities, but for a holiday with friends, I can't recommend KrakΓ³w highly enough. We flew from Liverpool John Lennon Airport for about £60 return, and for four nights in a gorgeous apartment city centre we paid £50 each. Eating and drinking was ridiculously cheap - think a two course meal plus a bottle of wine for less than a tenner - and the local people were super friendly.  

The architecture is really beautiful, so much more so than Warsaw sadly, because Warsaw got pretty flattened during the war. Poland has a really rich history of different cultures, so the buildings range from Eastern European/Russian style to a more Parisian feel and beyond. We spent about two days just walking round absorbing the city, and we could have done longer. 

It seems that Emma Goldman is also making her mark in Poland.

I didn't get a photo of our apartment, but I did take this one of the floor. Tiles are cute.

This was the dish everyone said we had to try, 'pierogi', which are like dumplings. There were actually plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, which I wasn't really expecting - these ones were spinach with various herbs, and they were fit. The food generally was very rich. At first it seems like there maybe aren't many bars or restaurants, but that's because they're all seemingly underground.

This was taken in the Kazimierz, the Old Jewish Quarter. 

We ended up taking a WHOLE bunch of naps, I genuinely think because we just weren't used to being so cold all the time. It was between about -5 and -11 before the wind chill, and apparently it can get much colder.

I love Church architecture the most, and St. Mary's Basilica on the mains square was potentially the nicest one I've ever been in. It was so opulent and ornate and beautiful, it was genuinely quite a moving experience. Being in Churches like this is kind of like being in an awesome landscape of nature for me - its the time I find the concept of a God most believable. 

Love locks. Standard.

This was in a cute antiquey shop we found above a cafe called Camelot Cafe which is 100% my food and drink pick for KrakΓ³w. We went more than a little hungover, and they had the most amazing juices and cold presses and teas, and we had the most amazing baguettes overflowing with avocado and seeds and sun-dried tomatoes, and pastas, and paninis, and french toast, and it was the prettiest place, like being inside a pink cave. 

And of course, in any new city, one must take beautiful pictures of oneself and one's friends. Clothes are optional. 

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