Monday 28 December 2015

My Greatest Influences of 2015

Girl in a Band - Kim Gordon
A kickass memoir from Sonic Youth's bassist and frontwoman Kim Gordon about the New York music scene in the 60's & 70's, falling in love with good art and bad men, and what it truly means to be a girl in a band. Making music myself, reading this book felt like I had a mentor lookng over my shoulder, assuring me from decades of experience.

Lolita - Vladmir Nabokov
Mr. Humbert is a handsome, well-educated and highly-revered scholar with a dark secret who meets his unravelling at the hands of  his precocious 12 year-old lover, Lolita Haze. What truly struck me was the heartbreaking sincerity with which he discusses his undying love for her, and the tact in which carnal matters are discussed. Dark as hell, but unapologetically beautiful.

Wild - Cheryl Strayed
A young woman who hits rock bottom after the death of her mother and breakup of her marriage embarks on a soul-searching mission hiking the treacherous Pacific Crest Trail alone. I must admit I did see the movie before reading the book, but the dual narrative of revealing her dark past with her present struggles on the trail works so beautifully.

Smashed - Koren Zailckas
Memoir of a recovering alcoholic about how dependency on alcohol shaped her life growing up in suburban American, from getting her stomach pumped in Middle School through to sorority life in college and then moving to NYC as a grad. I picked this book up of a market stall outside NYU over summer, and can't ignore the beautiful serendipity which lead me to this incredibly raw and relatable book.

Places I Stopped on the Way Home - Meg Fee
A collection of true short stories about all the men blogger Meg Fee met and fell for in New York City. I discovered this through one of my favourite bloggers & friend Laura Williams, who wrote the introduction to Meg's book, and has been her transatlantic confidante over the years. I almost found it difficult to read at times because it was so heartachingly beautiful, I couldn't help but think of those I've loved and lost too.

#Girlboss - Sophia Amuroso
The ultimate fist-pump motivational manifesto from Nasty Gal's founder about how she built her multi-million dollar clothing company from an ebay business. The pace is just delicious and it's SO easy to read, you can't help but feel like you can take on the world. 

Bossypants - Tina Fey
Tina Fey's memoir charting days behind the counter at a YMCA right through to becoming one of the leading ladies of comedy. I don't think I've ever read a book that has made me laugh aloud in public places as this has. So much wit, it had me in constant stitches.

Not That Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham
Mostly insightful, sometimes dark, always real memoir following the girl-to-womanhood of the worlds favourite feminist, Lena Dunham. I think this was the first real memoir I read and the non- chronology threw me a little. But the stories and lessons are simply fascinating. 

Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
I'm gonna go ahead and call this a spellbook, for the contents truly are magic. For anyone feeling a little lost, listless or on the verge of giving up completely, this book will soothe all your woes and realign your perspective. I particularly loved the discussion between passion work and money-earning work. Big love for Big Magic. 

The Odd Woman and the City - Vivian Gornick
Seasoned writer and NYC veteran Vivian Gornick reflects back on her time growing up in the city, the people and characters she met, and how the face of the city has changed in all the years she's walked its streets. I read this whilst living in NYC and it filled me with joy and profound gratitude to be stood on those same streets.

Just Kids - Patti Smith
My absolute favourite book I read this year, and the most recently completed too. This memoir follows internationally renowned artist, musician and writer Patti Smith from the moment she stepped NYC and fell in love with a man, through their trials and tribulations as struggling young artists, and right through until his untimely death which shook her world. A poetic masterpiece. Will read over and over. 

(I wonder if you can spot a theme with my book choices?!)

Django Django for your absolute masterpiece of a first album which blew my face off when I discovered it early this year, and have blasted 'Skies Over Cairo' more or less daily since. Slow Club for forever teasing me and making beautiful weird and glorious noises. Amy Winehouse for continuing to break and heal my heart with every syllable you posthumously utter. You were all I listened to when I was alone in NYC and your film made my cry so hard I could barely breathe. The Beatles, because late 2015 was the first time I ever took the time to really listen to you, and is it too late to say that John Lennon fella sounded like a pretty wicked guy? Sleigh bells for having the album 'Treats' which to me is the perfect sound I've always lusted after, and have never seen replicated since. For fuelling my dark side and giving me that boost to be a bad bitch daily. Best Coast for having the dreamiest, most nostalgic sound ever and for being supported by Honeyblood who blew me away when I saw you guys play in Camden. Also shoutout to your boyfriend's band Wavves who we saw in NYC and who KILLED IT. The Runaways, when I sat in a kitchen in Manhattan drinking whiskey whilst Chloe cut all my hair off I listened to your words and your angst and it fuelled my blood. Mac Demarco whose house we went to in Far Rockaway, the beautiful, relaxed simplicity in your artistry and your life is perfection.  Bikini Kill and Kathleen Hanna, for being the first to remind me of what I mean as a female, as a woman, as a riot grrrrl. For, of course, Larry and the Babes you wonderful son's of bitches. We saw you by chance when we won tickets to a gig, and you rocked our fucking worlds. We bought all your EP's and listened to them daily when we lived in NYC. You were the anthem of our Bushwick days. And finally, the most ridiculously yet I couldn't not mention, to The Sims Hot Date Soundtrack, which I still vehemently declare is the greatest jazz album of all time, and know every riff and rhythm like the back of my hand.   

Reply All
A self-described 'podcast about the internet', Reply All discusses a plethora of fascinating angles about the online world, from pensioners trying to friend old friends on Craigslist, and how people talk about, and document, mental health issues online, to how racist trolls are tackled when anonymous, and even dissecting One Direction 'Larry Shippers'. It's simply amazing. Plus I got featured on one of their episodes this month (!!!!).

Women of the Hour
One of my favourite things about this year was the explosion in popularity of the podcast, thanks in large part to Serial. A trend that rose from this was some of my favourite writers of all time starting their own podcasts, which just made me love them even more. Women of the Hour is a collaboration between Buzzfeed and Lena Dunham, and ranges from intimate moments in Lena's life, loves and friendships, but also features a whole host of badass, hilarious female voices I wouldn't have heard from otherwise.

Girlboss Radio
Following in the thread of writers starting podcasts, this year also saw 'Girlboss' author Sophia Amoruso starting Girlboss Radio, and extension of her debut book which features a new interview each week with some of my favourite women ever, including actress Charlize Theron, Best Coast frontwoman Bethany Consentino and vlogger Grace Helbig.

Start Up
From the same family as Reply All, Start Up is 'the business origin story you never normally get to here' about one dude who wants to start a business that will change the world. I actually wrote a whole post on why I love Start Up which can be found here.

Ted Radio Hour
Do you love TED Talks but don't really have the time to search through to find ones that interest you? That's where radio hour comes in. Each week there's a different theme, and host Guy Raz collects together the best lines from the best TED Talks on that theme. My favourite of all time is a two part episode called 'Screen Time' which discusses how technology will be interact with our lives, and even our human minds, in the very near future. Absolutely fascinating stuff.

Mystery Show
Exactly what it says on the tin. Mystery Show is hosted by one girl, who solves people's mysteries for them, mysteries that cannot be solved via the internet or library. From that one car spotted on the highway with the license plate 'I LOVE 9/11', to the monogrammed belt buckle found in the gutter 15 years ago, to the mystery of how one completely unknown author's flop of a book ended up being papped in the hands of Britney Spears... Mystery Show gets the answer every time. And the stories are always absolutely unbelievable, and more often than not, will bring a tear to your eye.

The beginning of my obsession with podcasts, as I think is the case with many, as Serial has become the greatest, most successful podcast in the history of the medium. I doubt I need to so much explaining here, but each season of Serial follows one true crime story over the course of it's episodes, trying to crack, or at least understand the seemingly unsolvable crimes of this world. Sarah Koenig's storytelling is second to none.

Magic Lessons
Lastly, Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Magic Lessons' follows up from the release of her aforementioned book 'Big Magic' which she released this year, which discusses many of the topics she writes about, featuring some wonderful guest voices. My favourite episodes where with 'Wild' author Cheryl Strayed, and author Brene Brown who has been on my 'to read' list for way too long.   

Amy for reaffirming my adoration for my greatest inspiration of all time, for helping me to understand her demise, to learn from my own mistakes and remind me I need to be at peace with myself to move forward. Mad Max for blowing my fucking mind and giving me those drum beats my soul is so starved of and has searched long and hard to find. Carol for giving the world the most beautiful, tactful and important love story of the year. Manhattan, I saw you at midnight whilst actually in Manhattan, and I fell about laughing as quickly as I fell in love. Modern Woody Allen doesn't do a lot for me, but this was life-changing. The US Office, I know, I know. Late to the party right? But shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. It's great. The Punk Singer in conjunction with listening to Bikini Kill and hanging out with Chloe, you helped me discover the kind of artist I want to be, and what I want to stand for. The Grand Budapest Hotel my first foray into Wes Anderson had me falling about in tears of laughter whilst simultaneously marvelling at the pastel aesthetic beauty.

Broad City for providing genuinely the most accurate depiction of living in New York City I've ever seen. The memories of streaming endless episodes whilst sprawled out in the heat on the laminated floorboard of Chloe's apartment will always been among my fondest of this year.  The Duff for having what I genuinely think is one of the most important protagonists of the year I've ever seen in a comedy. It Follows for being the most beautiful horror film ever made and having the BEST score ever. Whiplash for being the most musically inspiring film I saw this year, which struck a chord of dedication within me. Almost Famous because, as I'm sure you can see, music films are important to me, and watched whilst tired poor and broke in our little beach hut in Far Rockaway. Birdman for being a hilarious, delusional masterpieces. And those long shots. Brooklyn for reducing me to tears of appreciation as I was so moved by the beauty and familiarity of what it's like to have to move home after living in NYC after falling in love with a man across the pond. Interstellar, I know I saw you in 2014, but the day after we got back from Iceland in March, we got to attend Interstellar live at the Royal Albert Hall to see a Q&A with Christopher Nolan, Hans Zimmer, Kip Thorn, Stephen Hawking and Brain Cox, and then watched the film in front of Hans Zimmers live 80-piece orchestra which had me in floods of tears. What an experience.

The Lobster for being delightfully, hilariously absurd as it was disturbingly dark, but a bizzare masterpiece nonetheless. Diary of a Teenage Girl for perhaps the same reason I loved the book Lolita. An illicit and perverse romance between a young girl and her Mother's boyfriend, but set in the backdrop of 1970's San Francisco, with a heavy dose of artistic daydreaming and illustration a la Juno. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World which is the ba-bomb, and we watched with a slice of pizza and a beer in the Prince Charles Cinema in soho as soon as we returned to the UK. Montage of Heck which I watched on the plane back to the UK after living in New York, as with Whiplash, you reaffirmed my need to make music and taught me the importance of dedication to make things important, purposeful and meaningful. A tragic story, but insightful and powerfully moving. Lastly, Boyhood, filmed over 12 years, for being an absolute testament to not only film-making but also humanity and the glorious, complicated mess of adolescence.

Reykjavik, Iceland
The place I visited toward the very start of the year in early March, where we saw the Northern Lights, bathed in the blue lagoon, and took an expedition into the mountains to watch the total solar eclipse. After, we were given a sacred Nordic rune stone and I got the symbol tattooed on my right hand. Reykjavik was so beautiful, pure and surprisingly arty and cultural, I DEFINITELY see myself spending more time there in the very near future.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC
The neighbourhood I lived in during the last stint of my time in New York. From Amancay's 24 diner on our doorstep, to Max Cellar where we played our first ever NYC gig, to Morgan Ave subway which was a stones through form our house and was 4 stops to central Williamsburg and 5 into Manhattan, Elmo the little bodega where we got coffee ice cream when we were feeling sad, having four thrift shops in less than a mintues walk from our front door, The Swallow Cafe and Kave where we'd go to sketch, the mexican restaurant of dreams El Cortez just around the corner, and 'Hollowgraphic' lighting up over evenings, Bushwick truly was perfection.

Rome, Italy
The city I visted most recently just before Christmas, which absolutely took my breath away with the radiant beauty of it's historic monuments and glorious splendour. It was fascinating and intoxicating, a true marvel to behold. I'd love to return in a few years and spend a couple of weeks truly doing it justice.

Greg Burns, James Kilpatrick, Emma Gannon, Laura Jane Williams, Chloe Gray Smith, Victoria Mackenzie-Childs, Hannah Louise Farrington, Noah Stone, Gregory Levy.

Whether or not you know it, each one of you have profoundly changed something about me in the past year, some through negative experiences, some through positive ones, but all beautifully, perfectly and necessarily important ones. No matter what, each one of you have changed me for the good. So thank you. 


And so concludes my list of things I have loved, been inspired by and been influenced by this year. I hope you've enjoyed this long rambly list, and if you have any recommendations for any music/books/podcasts/movies you think I'll enjoy, I'd LOVE to hear below.

Thank you, for just... listening. Being there. Allowing me to grow and discover myself so openly, publicly and vulnerably.

Thank you. 

Monday 21 December 2015

Stumbling On To The Right Path

It's been 10 days since I did something pretty inconsequential but felt big to me, and today my fingertips quiver as I type this.

10 days ago, for the first time in my life, I stood up and proclaimed EXACTLY what I WILL get out of life, with no two ways about it. And never could I have anticipated just what a game-changer that would actually be.

Friday 18 December 2015

Our Makers Needn't Take Us

I think it's a fact of human nature that we try and exact revenge on people who hurt us, by trying to prove how better off we are without them.

It's an instant reaction, once initial shock has subsided into anger but not yet fermented into grief,  where we purposefully attempt to one-up the other, living as exuberantly and loudly as possible to show them exactly what it is that they've lost, honey. It's a destructive, spite-driven state which makes us do rash and out-of-character things, and from personal experience, nothing we're proud of.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

6 Alternative Things To Do in Rome

Ciao bambinos! I've just returned from a long weekend in The Eternal City; Rome, and oh boy, I don't think I've ever been quite so captivated with a place in such a short space of time. The beauty, enormity and grandiosity of Rome is simply comparable to none. 

Whilst there, we managed to do an exciting combination of both touristy and more adventurous things, and so instead of recommending the classics like the Colosseum and the Vatican, I thought I'd share some of the other wonderful little things we did!

Thursday 10 December 2015

What The Hell We Do It For

Entering my third year of internet creating, I think I've finally found a position where I feel safe. 

In year one I was clueless, and in my second I was all about that ~exposure~ life, but now, with the pageviews and pressure having decreased, I feel more or less at peace, observing the complicated ins and outs of the industry through binoculars from my little wooden cabin on the edge of it all.

But there's still one little anxiety that I can't shake, and it's that my future relies very heavily on what I do here. Which begs two immediately pressing questions; What am I actually trying to get from this? and am I doing enough to actually get it?

Monday 7 December 2015

It's Time To Stop Calling Women's Writing 'Self-Indulgent'

I recently decided to start keeping a list of all the things that make me irrationally sad. 

I know, it sounds melodramatic as hell, but with an often concerning mind, I'm hoping that when I see these things written, I'll realise how ridiculous they are and get over it. And I was writing one of these silly woes today when I really thought about it, and realised that maybe it wasn't so ridiculous after all. That maybe it was something which actually is kinda sad. 

And it's about women who tell stories.

Saturday 5 December 2015

The Lingering Magic of Good Reading

I always marvel at how powerful words can be. 

Every sentence ever written is just a different combination of the same 26 lines and swirls, that if we look at in certain sequences, can make us laugh and cry, love and hate, and carry the potential to change our lives forever. If that's not magic, then I don't know what is.  

Wednesday 2 December 2015

My Blogging Origins - A Decade Documenting Life

Earlier this month I was gratefully reunited with the most important friend of my teenage years.

We first met nearly ten years ago, which is as terrifying as it is awe-inspiring to contemplate. We were thirteen, permanently excited and so, so young. We'd each grown from a nest of magical fantasy franchises, YA novels, Disney Channel original movies and that incomparable, titanium bond teenage girlhood is built so indestructibly upon - swishy-haired boys in bands.

But back then in 2006, around the same time we became friends, I started doing something else, which would go on to shape the curvature of the rest of my existence. 

Thursday 26 November 2015

Dropping Out of Uni - One Year On

Whilst keeping us hooked on documenting and publishing every moment of our present tenses, social media seems to have recently grown a little fixation with retrospect.

Nostalgia is so easily accessible now, and scrolling through Facebook and twitter, we can't help but be bombarded with people posting Timehop links and sharing '5 Years Ago Today!' posts. These little nuggets are as insightful as they are irritating at times, whilst simultaneously casting a light on the somewhat uncomfortable reality of just how long now social media has been intrinsic to our lives.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

The Post-Publish Thought-stream of Every Blogger (or maybe just me)

- Okay that's it. I think I'm done. Wait, does that even make sense? I've stared at this for so long I can feel my eyeballs aging. This is just one long bloody ramble isn't it? FFS. I'll sent it to *long suffering designated-editor friend*, maybe they'll be able to fix it for me.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Processing Tragedy

Because of the design of social media, it's so easy to get caught up in the notion
 that it is our duty to articulate response to everything we see.

No longer can we seem to fight the urge to add our two cents, when a topic for debate is dangled so tantalisingly before us. Yet, the fact we seem to forget about so many of these things we're so inclined to weigh in on:

"It's not about you."

This week has seen such great tragedy, and even greater social conflict in lieu of it. Bizarre one upmanship of 'who cares the most', every Facebook friend unveiling their individual press releases for their own personal brands of politics, cyber wars waging between people campaigning for the same cause but not articulating it 'correctly'.

Friday 13 November 2015

One Simple Way to Bring Peace to a Chaotic Mind

Before I start, I just want to make it clear that this is not a sponsored post or anything. I've just quite genuinely discovered something which has changed my life and I'm pretty much just FREAKIN OUT about it. Okay, let's begin.

I think perhaps a lot of my stress, anxieties and mental health blips come from the one simple fact that - try as I might - I can never shut up my brain.

Thursday 5 November 2015

A Storm on the Horizon

I’ve never really felt like a blogger.

I write, on a blog, so I guess I’d call myself a writer, but at the same time, the only place I write is on my blog. So… I guess I’m a blogger. It’s something I’m still trying to get my head around.

This nuance has often seen me on the outside looking in, but with one foot still over the threshold. Very rarely do I understand this bizarre world, nor really claim to, but I observe, analyse, and attempt to summarise the psycho-social behaviourisms of this space because not only does it fascinate me, but I equally love to love it as love to hate it.

Monday 2 November 2015

Monday Mist

Sunday night bleeds into Monday morning, as I reach the station a half hour early in an attempt to instigate some cosmic positivity, only discover the only train 20 minutes further delayed from its regular time.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

The Virtue of Being a Nobody in a Sea of Somebody's

It's a curious conflict of ego, when you enter a situation and immediately realise you're the least important thing about it.

A year ago it had rendered me awkward, a little desperate even. But - while it may seem laughable to get so deep and philosophical about just an event - there was something remarkably different about this year, and certainly not because I'd become any less of a nobody.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Becoming A More Dedicated Writer

It's unavoidable and dirty, something we bury deep down to hide even from ourselves - but the truth is, most of the time, watching other people succeed in something you've always dreamed of doing, sucks. 

Sunday 18 October 2015

The Kindness of One in the City of Strangers

Truly, New York City is home for the strange. I could have never anticipated just how many strangers would end up looking out for me during my time there, and providing me with the most wonderful stories, too. This is the story of perhaps my favourite encounter with a stranger. And it all began with an idea.

About halfway through my trip, I realised a metamorphosis had occurred. I was no longer that same girl who'd stepped out onto the tarmac at JFK wearing - very erroneously - black tights and a jumper. A familiar flower was beginning to unfurl in my chest and lingered on the edge of my every experience. 

There's a book in this, it said.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Deconstructing Jealousy

It's widely understood that 'comparison is the thief of joy', and nowhere is that more applicable than online. 

Whilst inundated with the dazzling highlights of everyone else's ~amazing~ lives, achievements and successes, we can't help but poke at our own lives with a stick inevitably only to see it wobble lethargically in response. I think we can all agree we've each spent time sunk way down in the solitary confinement of the envy pit before, no matter how hard we've tried to fight it.

Monday 12 October 2015

The Origins of the name 'Scarphelia'

I was 17 when I began to write her. The story had begun with a memory and ended in tragedy, but it seemed all my stories had to if they were ever to end. She was born out of the love of another. 

He was a gentle and humble soul, but never fragile. He once called me the most volatile person he'd ever known only after his own mother, and I could find neither a positive or negative reaction to give in retort, for in my embarrassment I didn't really know what it meant.

Saturday 10 October 2015

The Difference Between Following Your Dreams And Pursuing Them

It’s strange, to be able to recall one tiny snippet of the internet with such detail, but about a year ago, I saw a tweet by one of my favourite writers which broke my heart;

‘Bloggers encouraging us all to quit our day jobs and travel the world need to be stopped’

She didn’t know me, but in a case of ‘if the shoe fits…’ it was as good as a personally-directed slam. It stung both because I knew how much she’d dislike my writing, and also because I just could not understand why she’d ever be against what I regarded as positivity.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

The Plight of the Lifestyle Blogger

Come New Year's Day, I will have run this blog for 3 years.

 Since it's conception in the early hours of 2013, this blog has seen endless changes - from being an online diary to be read by none, to becoming an advice blog, to sharing fashion and beauty tips, reviewing restaurants and cafes, serving critical commentaries of the blogging world, and as of lately becoming a travel blog and adventure chronicle.

Through all of this, I've always found myself under the title of 'Lifestyle Blog'. And that in itself presents a unique challenge for the diverse range of creators whose content just kinda ends up under that label for want of a better description. The line between being a personal lifestyle blogger, and a commercial lifestyle blogger.

Sunday 27 September 2015

Aren't We All Just Trying To Make Great Telly?

I've unavoidably been spending a lot of time reflecting back over my time in New York.

I had the singular most incredible, enlightening and life-changing experience of my life, and I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced what I did, comfortable in the knowledge that I made the most out of every last second.

Now back in the UK, my mind is still so attuned to NYC that I seem to notice it everywhere - Tumblr pics of outfit shots taken on Broadway reblogged onto my dash, people on Instagram sipping Cosmopolitans in Brooklyn, every blogger under the sun jetting over for NYFW. At first I was joyous; I know that coffee shop! I walked down that street! I took a picture there too!

But the more I see, I've begun to notice small trickles of fresh regret seeping into my mind and contaminating my memories.

Regret which never once appeared while I was there.

Friday 18 September 2015

A Little Bit More Than Just A New 'Do

"Since the disintegration of her parent's marriage she'd only loved two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing" 

- 500 Days of Summer

Thursday 17 September 2015

Monday 14 September 2015

A Piece Of Shit That Just Won't Quit

Today, all my friends are dressed in beautiful, billowing ballgowns and immaculately tailored suits, as they wait patiently inside the ancient, cavernous cathedral to receive a scroll and a handshake from the Dean of students. 

Today, I sit in my pants and a long T-shirt, cup of tea in hand, the only scroll for me being my thumb down my Twitter timeline. 

Sunday 6 September 2015

A Certain Kinda Sunday

There's something about a Sunday, isn't there?

Perhaps it's leftover anxiety from childhood schooldays, the perpetual post-weekend hangover of adulthood or the even the dreary lacklustre rain which always seem to dog the final day of the week -there's just a vibe about that day. It always seems so serious.

Since landing back in the Kingdom I'm lucky enough to have been whisked into an instant whirlwind of activity, partying with my closest friends just a few hours after I left the airport and venture into the depths of a bizarrely amazing underground cocktail bar in London the day after.

But today is... well. It's Sunday. 

Thursday 3 September 2015

The End of the Beginning

As it was always going to be, the turn of September meant two things. A handful of the most frustrating days of my life, and the beginning of the end. 

After leaving our beautiful home in Bushwick and one hell of a subway journey with an accumulation of 6 months worth of stuff, for the past few days we have been up in our last American refuge - an air b'n'b in Far Rockaway, the lovely little beachside neighbourhood right by JFK airport. 

Monday 31 August 2015

You Can't Hold Me Down, 'Cause I Belong To The Hurricane

I've been trying to work out whether it is perhaps a phobia or the complete opposite, but for as long as I can remember, I've possessed an acute, crippling awareness of the passing of time.

In my first ever blog post on Scarphelia three years ago, I wrote: 

'What if I continue to procrastinate and then one day realise that never will I ever now be able to do the things which I could have easily have done when I was younger?'

Friday 28 August 2015

'Don't Grow Up, It's a Trap'

Yesterday began as a bit of a downer.

Consulting our finances delighted to inform us that we were closer to flat broke than ever before, even with the penpal project, as each new purchase only seemed to just about cover of the previous package.

We spent the majority of the day cooped up inside drawing and writing, too broke to go to our regular coffee shop and soak up the inspiring atmosphere whilst working on our pieces.

By late afternoon we had as well as succumbed to cabin fever, and realised we needed to get out.

But you know, walking down the block and seeing the Empire State Building surrounded by it's glittering counterparts making up the Manhattan skyline right before your eyes, has a funny way of brightening even the worst moods.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Downtown Barfly Prophecy

The smoky air of semi-drunken musicians mingle into the warmth of the summer night sky. 

"So what brings you to New York?" 

The girl in the hat next to me turns and asks, the brim casting a shadow across her face. She cocks her head almost imperceptibly to the right and her left eye escapes the shade. Her gaze twinkles with curiosity. 

"What doesn't," I laugh, unwilling to get into the whole bombastically long-winded tale of how these two British kids ended up in the basement bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn at that precise moment in time which allowed us to meet.

Saturday 22 August 2015

The Young & The Penniless: How To Make Everything from Nothing

I'm sat on the floor of our apartment in Brooklyn, an open Kilner jar in front of me.

With a tinkling crash I upend the contents of the jar onto the varnish wood floorboards and begin slowly and meticulously sifting through it into separate jars for quarters, dimes & nickels, and pennies. 

With the change sorted I move on to counting out those little green notes into corresponding piles, before coming to our final total.

Tuesday 18 August 2015


I'm standing inside the Hayden Planetarium in The American Museum of Natural History inside Central Park. The lights dim inside the giant dome, soft music begins to swell and beneath me, I watch as slowly our world falls away beneath our feet. 

It becomes a dinner plate, a tennis ball, a penny, before disappearing completely, and constellations and galaxies tear past us at the speed of light. One hundred thousand, one million, one billion light years in the blink of an eye.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

The Archive of Human Adventure

On the 20th March 2015, I found myself stood upon a glacier in the Icelandic wilderness, miles from civilisation, watching the universe align in the sky above.

I never blogged about my trip to Iceland, which was a simultaneous regret and a confident choice. I always struggle to write about holidays or fantastical experiences after I've returned from them. Like Kim Gordon wrote in her memoir:

 'It's hard to write a love story with a broken heart.'