2 June 2010


And finally... on Monday I went down to Frith Street to get my tattoo! After three awesome days I was really starting to cheer up, and realise, that away from work my life is quite awesome! I have amazing friends that I can do neat things with like sewing and cycling and I'm able to do pretty much most of the things that make me happy. Like on Monday, I woke up, read some zines and listened to Beat Happening (how could that not cheer me up?!) then headed out on my bike to Soho to Frith Street Tattoo!

It was a really nice experience getting tattooed, this was the 4th tattoo I've had done by Valerie and we're getting quite comfortable round each other, so it was nice having a bit more a chat with her than usual. Anyway, enough babbling - onto the pictures!

I really love it, I can't stop looking at it :) I think it's my favourite so far!

Sewing and the Victoria & Albert Museum

Last week I went to my first meeting of the South East Sisters Needlework Union! How awesome is that name btw? Lydia, Mary and Sian set it up and I was invited to join, I'm really really excited and inspired by it! Basically, we're going to meet every two weeks and sew together. We're going to work on individual pieces of cross stitch and embroidery, but also we're going to make a sampler book together and hopefully a quilt!

Lydia, Mary and Sian were inspired to start the group after going to the Quilts exhibition at the V&A so on Sunday I went along to check it out myself. It was amazing! It's amazing how much work people put into making these quilts, so many tiny pieces and lots of them had individual squares of embroidered scenes on them, like this one:

I really loved seeing the really old ones, something about 4-500 year old household objects really grabs my imagination! I really enjoyed the quilt made by women aboard the convict ship the Rajah on the way to Australia, just looking at it I could almost see the women sitting around it sewing it.

It was great to see some modern quilts too, some of them I thought were amazingly pretentious, but others I think really understood the history the quilts and the feelings they envoke in people. Grayson Perry was amazing as usual:

His quilt was called 'Right to Life' and rather than the usual swirling hexagon pattern, he uses images of fetuses. This is all sorts of awesome.

Tracy Emin's was amazing too (I have such a soft spot for her):

Once I was done in the quilt exhibition I went up to the Textiles rooms and my goodness! There were these huge cabinets filled with screens which you could pull out and look at the needlework inside. The section with samplers left me speechless, there in front of me was the oldest known sampler, sewn in 1592! There was also some tudor blackwork and samplers and lacing from everywhere from Sweden to Italy!

Also, once I got to the shop I had to buy some of the Liberty limited edition fabric for my own quilt!

I was so inspired by the whole day and I literally spent the rest of the weekend sewing! Here's one piece that I did:

4 Day Weekend!

I had a lovely weekend, it was so good to get away from work for a bit longer than usual!

On Friday I went to ULU and finally got my zine reprinted ready for the zinefest! I've nearly mastered the art of double-sided copying, I only got two pages the wrong way round! Then I headed over to Lydia's (and on the way picked up some yummy vegan icecream!) and we watched Les Chansons d'amour which was an amazingly odd French musical, I liked it a lot!

Saturday was the day of the zinefest, so I was up early and on the new East London line to Brick Lane. I really enjoyed the zinefest this year. Last year was a total disappointment, I came away with not one zine! But this year I think there was a much better mix of people and stalls. I still can't get over some zines costing £7 or £8 though! There seems to be a lot more of these kind of art zines around nowadays and I'm not sure what I think of them. I think it's cool that people are using the zine as the format of choice for their art projects, and I think they look really neat, it's just they are so inaccessable to me and probably many others. I simply can't afford that much for one zine! Sometimes it feels, when you're at zine fairs, that there are almost two teirs of zines, the nice glossy art zines and then zines like mine, photocopied and 50p-£1 each and I always thinks mine ends up looking a bit limp next to them.

Anyway - here's a picture of my haul!

I also bought myself some rather lovely shoes on Saturday. They are very sensible, and they are from Clarks! I felt very grown and up and sensible buying them :)

28 May 2010

I don't think my job is doing much for my mental well-being. I've never really acknowledged the problems and insecurites I've had with my mental health, I've always thought that if I admit it I will make myself weaker, and I've always had a hard time taking myself seriously.

Sitting at this desk for 8 hours a day, in complete silence, not interacting with anyone is slowing grinding me down. I am so bored and lonely that I am nearly in tears.

I have never been a particularly confident person and find it quite hard to interact with people. When I'm meeting new people my mind goes blank, my voice goes monotone and I stutter. I can't stand being hugged or people standing too close. And it's getting worse, when I leave work I can't even function as a person around Dan. My words (if I can find them) come out jerky and I just feel crippled with anxiety.

Urgh, I hate it. And I hate talking/moaning about it.

In other news, the ceilings in my house are falling down due to massive leaks. My flatmates room completely flooded and she can't live there anymore. I don't want to live there particularly but I'm stuck there for the time being.

I was doing so well with the new diet, I'd cut out dairy completely, but the last few weeks I've felt awful and have been eating loads of crap and have put on half a stone again. It's not very noticable, but it's worrying me. Dan is doing so well and is so motivated to lose weight and keep fit, he goes to the gym and eats really well, and I just sit at home eating icecream. I don't want it to become an issue between us, or a competition. I just can't motivate myself to keep up.

I'm going to try and have a productive weekend, I'm going to the London Zine Symposium of Saturday (hopefully with some some copies of Pillow Talk), going to get tattooed on Monday and maybe going to a quilt exhibition at the V&A on Tuesday as I have the day off work (unpaid mind) cos it's the Queen's birthday. Let's hope the combination of three of my favourite things and four days off work cheer me up eh?

19 May 2010

Long Time No See


Sorry for the lack of post's recently. The internet seems to be a place that my anxiety really gets to me, I find it really hard to keep up with commitments on the internet, for some reason I get really afraid of checking things like emails and keeping up on posting a blog. But i'm trying hard to keep this up.

Saying that, I made a new blog, dedicated to cycling. I'm hoping that by not flooding this one with cycling posts I will be able to write about more personal things here, and not bore you all to death with endless bike talk.

So the new blog is: http://shecycles.wordpress.com/

2 May 2010

Girl Germs

Just to let you know, I made a blog for our Girl Germs night if anyone is interested in following it.

We'll be posting updates about the night and any other grrrl related music news we think you might like.

Also, if you're interested in getting involved in anyway, from playing with your band, sending zines to sell or helping out designing flyers or with promotion please get in contact! We want to make this international!

So, you can read about Girl Germs here: girlgermslondon.blogspot.com

29 April 2010


I'm obsessed with Mixte bikes! They are so beautiful!

(they are ladies stepthrough frames with a double top tube making them elegant but super strong!)

p.s. I promise I will blog about something else other than bikes soon!

28 April 2010

Thank you!

Thank you for all your lovely comments to my last post! I thought I'd reply here to make sure you all see. It really cheered me up to see that you girls agree. The day really knocked my confidence, by the end of it I felt like I did as a teenager back at school and could barely look anyone in the eye, let alone talk to them.

But I'm not going to let it get to me. I don't need to be around people like that. I don't need to fit in to something so exclusive and bitchy. I think Lydia was right to say that bikes are seen as a boy thing, so girls who are in to them can be extra mean to try and 'keep up with the boys.' That makes me sad, but I think it's true of lots of underground and alternative scenes, that you have to try and out do each other all the time to be the most indie or punk or whatever, and then on top of that girls feel like they need to be one of the boys.

I think if I didn't have such supportive friends who really understand the idea of girl love and support, this really would have affected me, and I hate to think that those same girls might put another girl off cycling forever. Women are a minority in cycling and are often just used a dainty accessories. Those of us who are into riding fast and fixing bikes need to support other girls so they aren't too intimidated to join in.

I'm not going to change and try and fit in with these girls. Instead I want to work to create my own supportive and friendly girl cycling gang! I want to teach other girls how to fix their bikes and go on rides around town with them!

Also, I think I am going to buy this bike and use it to work on when I go on the mechanics course. It's beautiful!

27 April 2010

Girls and Bikes

 dream girl bike gang by ellenbig

Me and Lydia went on an all-girl bike ride on Sunday called Revenge of the 50 Fixed Women. I've been looking forward to going onthis ride for weeks, the idea of a huge bunch of women riding fized wheel bikes through London was like a dream come true.

When I woke up on Sunday morning (at 7am!) it was a lovely sunny day and I cycled off to meet Lydia in a nice summer dress...then halfway there it started to pour with rain! By the time I got there I couldn't feel my feet, but the thought of how awesome this ride was going to be kept me going.

We got there and dried off a bit and went to the meeting point, and there was a little bunch of girls there on bikes so we went and said hi and as we were just getting off our bikes they cycled off! Thinking maybe I'd missed something we followed them and turns out they were in a coffee shop. Fine, we joined them and they even pulled up a chair for us.

Then the ride started and that was when they all got a look at my bike. My lovely bike is a Specialized Langster which I absolutely love and think is a great bike. But for some reason, which I can't still work out, bike snobs seem to hate it. I think it's just irrational big band hatred, I dunno and don't really care. But once the girls had seen my bike their attitude towards me really changed. They stopped talking to me and I was left cycling for long stretches by myself.

Then one girl came and spoke to me, for her only to have a bit of a dig at my bike and tell me how wonderful hers is and how great a cyclist she was. I thought she was just a bit full of herself and shrugged it off and kept riding.

But then this other girl on a too big rickety bike comes and talks to Lydia telling her how much she loves Lydia bike (which is an amazing bike) and then just comes out and says that everyone hates Langsters, that they are weird and crap.

It felt like I was 11 years old again and a gang of girls were laughing at my trainers in the playground. For all the rest of the ride and the social afterwards no one else spoke to me.

I don't get it, this was meant to be a really inclusive and supportive ride for girls who perhaps were too intimidated to go on a boys ride, or just wanted to hang out with other girls obsessed with bikes. But it seems you have to have the right kind of bike or the right clothes. And I just didn't have a cool enough bike. So even though I know pretty much as much as they did about bikes and could ride as fast and well as them they just didn't want to know.

Why does there have to be so much girl hate? Even in a group that existed for the purpose of being supportive to girl cyclists?