Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Well despite being substantially closer to the epicentre of last nights earthquake (being in Coventry for the last time) I felt nothing. Only one of the participants did - she had been awake at 1.00am (despite us having an 8.45am start - which seems unholy early to me, but a whole half hour later than tomorrow). Woke up this morning to Midland News interviewing all sorts of people who had felt huge shudders and heard wind whistling noises and loud bangs and ran out of their houses in their pajamas to find their chimney stacks falling or precarious.

Dad always told me that if there is an earthquake you should stand in a doorway (the mantle will protect you) - you shouldn't run out in the street - falling debris may hit you. He and mum were once in a sky scraper in the states when an earthquake hit - they said the world swung back and forth at an alarm angle but they were most upset because they hadn't realised there was a survivors party going on in the basement.

I remember the previous earthquake to hit - it was about 9 years ago - I lay in bed thinking that I was being shaken in the bed by a train going past - it just kept going and going. I rolled back and forth and then fell asleep. It was only in the morning that I found out what it had been. There had been no sound time - we must have been far from the epicentre. Its just not something that happens in Britain!

Monday, 18 February 2008


There are pictures that a camera just can't capture. Like this one. They have to be experienced and remembered rather than snapshotted. The sky was almost entirely graduated in a deep thick orangy hue - orange verging on red with pink undertones. The colour of red grapefruit. Its gradually sank down to the horizon as the dark decended. On the bus on the way home a glimpse of the roundabout - a tower block framed perfectly against a orange sky background. No clouds. The camera can't do it justice.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Ceramics Class

This doll's head cast was freaking people out all week as it sat on the finished items shelf waiting to be collected. Slip casting isn't really like proper pottery making but it has some interesting possiblities - makes a very sharp image. Slip (runny clay) is poured into a plaster mould and left to collect sediment. After a couple of hours the wet stuff is poured away and the sediment that has settled is left behind in the form of the plaster mould. As it dries it peels away from the mould and you can bring it out. This mould was in two bits and I had to slurry them together (not a perfect fit). Glazed it in honey (v shiny and brown). A bit freaky! I'm thinking about making a set - could mount them on stakes, or perhaps stick them together in some way.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Dreaming again

Travelling round India with two girls, sort of. Washing in public bathrooms. They had a male travelling companion who was sometimes with us and sometimes off doing his own thing.

Was swimming in a pool in a hotel, but not the hotel where I was staying... A beardy friend, his girlfriend and I were walking home - they were showing me a shortcut and I was suprised to find the pool so close to our accomodation. We stopped in a restaurant/bar and sat down. They had British tea [weird blends that seemed very specialist] like Brighton Tips [this was something we knew and were suprised that a foreign country was serving it]. We decided to have pot of it. A couple of English tourists sat down at our table and we had a conversation about tea. Then Morgan Freeman and his wife came and sat at our table with their drinks (alcholoic drinks). I was saying, "now thats more like it", and he said, "yes you English people make me crazy with all your tea!".

Monday, 11 February 2008


Standing at a bus stop where Philip Lane and West Green Road converge, wearing a towel turban on my wet hair and another towel wrapped around my body. I had to keep readjusting it so it didin't drop off.

(I get concerned when I get these very vivid anxiety dreams - they're telling me something but I'm not always sure what exactly it is).

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Camden Town Burning

Camden Town Fire Aftermath
Originally uploaded by Jeff Galasso

BBC news - camden town fire
Londonist - camden town fire
FLickr Camden Fire Pool

I haven't been there for a really long time but there was a time when Camden Town was a destination of choice every weekend - looking for shoes, clothes, jewellery, hair dye, music, clubs, drinking venues, boys - it was the place. There were punks, goths, weirdos, every type of alternative person you could hope to find. Definitely a place where everyone was included in rather than being excluded out. Before the lock market was as big and as commercial as it is today. There weren't any stables or catacombs. I would stroll through the clothes market closest to the tube station, through the tightly packed stalls, clothes flicking back in your face from someone ahead of you, up and down until finally released back onto the high street. Then up the street over the canal and into the canal-side market. Prince opened a shop on the high street, he ordered it to be painted purple but someone had already painted a building in Prince purple so it had to be a pinker colour - to be a little bit original. Later on the market expansion up to the stables and under the railway arches and the increasing number of tourists led to a change in the type of things being sold - less alternative clothing, more things. Second hand and antiques started coming in. A techno clothes shop with ultraviolet lamps and clothes with lights on them. I stopped going when I stopped wearing those kinds of clothes. Every once in a blue moon I got down to look at the furniture and house stuff. Last time I went I was looking for chandeliers - spent quite a bit of time in the catacombes and stables area, missed out the touristy bits altogether.

Shocking to see the flames licking into the air over the buildings on the news yesterday night. Can't quite get a handle on how much of it was engulfed.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Six Word Memoires

I think this has done the rounds before but I'd forgotten about it - someone at work reminded me of it this week. A life story in six words. What would your's say?

I'm thinking:
  • sleep, communute, work, communute, sleep, commute...
  • Art. Sex. Job. Career. House. Bored.

Don't think I've cracked it yet - its a bit gloomy!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Maquita Oliver in the Grocery in Shoreditch, with pals, buying a trolley load of beer, 4 bottles of wine, a whisk, maple syrup, eggs and milk. That'll be a pancakes & beer party then. Not the traditional lemon and sugar either. Not sure maple syrup is really appropriate on pancake day, although colleagues at work were disagreeing. They were also suprising me greatly by confessing to using pancake mix. It took me 5 measily minutes to make my own batter from scratch. Not a lump in it either. Reminds me of my sister's brownie cake-making badge - they used cake mixes in her pack (really don't think that was within the rules).

Happened across the Dwyers. There are two of them. Both have photographs on their profile that couldn't be classed as 'official', in a work capacity, as it were. Most SID (staff internal directory) profile pictures are horrible head and shoulders shots against monotone grey backgrounds taken by non-photographers in very unflattering light. Makes all the subjects look like extras in the Adams Family, when in real life our staff are much more human.

Anyway I digress, back to the Dwyers. One picture has a boy dressed as spiderman and a woman dressed as Zoro on their way to a fancy dress party. The other picture is of two people either on the bath or perhaps at a foam party (I'm leaning towards the foam party) - a woman and a man, unclear whether they are wearing clothes, sticking their tongues out at the camera (her's is pierced). Party animals these Dwyers.

Out of interest looking at what other photos people were loading up - nothing to compete it has to be said but one very elegant cat, and another is a pair of scotty dogs.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Politicians of the people

Passed Parliament on the bus today - all lit up, sort of serious gothic palace. Thought about Henry Conway holding his birthday bash there - all hooray henries and henriettas gaffawing through the hallowed halls. Most inappropriate use of a government building.

Passing Downing Street - it looks like any other Georgian street on the TV - never shows the huge wrought iron gates and guards at the Whitehall end. A fortress.

Politicians are increasingly removed from their constituants and voting public. Their lives bare little resemblence to our lives. Its a closed club. They forget their accountability and get sunk into party politics. Is it any wonder that we mistrust them so much.