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?

22 April 2010

Urgh, a horrible horrible man at work is talking about how left wing he is. While making homophobic remarks. People like him make me sick and embarassed to have anything to do with left wing/liberal politics. In his and his cronies minds it is just a fight for the white working class man. Anyone else's struggle just doesn't exist to him and are just used in cruel jokes. I hate that he is the 'liberal' voice of the office and everyone thinks he's really radical, when in fact he makes the Daily Mail look tame.

21 April 2010


Also, I've got my hands on 7 months of free rental from lovefilm. Anyone got any films, documentaries or games they think I should watch?

Time on my hands

I haven't decided yet whether I miss having the internet at home yet. I'm starting to think that I'm better off without it. I've been practising drawing and I'm starting to really like the way I draw, I did a whole sheet of facial expressions and I'm quite proud of them. Instead of the internet I might treat myself to a scanner so I can show you all this stuff!

Not being on the internet all evening (I sit on it all day at work) means that I've had a chance to do alot of reading and thinking that I think I have really cut myself off from for the last few years. I bought Gender Trouble by Judith Butler to read again and I'm hoping by the end of it I will have some more ideas about my 'queer' identity, which I want to write a zine about. I'm still on the look out for some less academic/more personal queer books and zines if anyone has any recommendations!

I've also been thinking alot about what I eat and consume, and I think I am going to take the plunge and go vegan (I can't be super strict as the medication I take contains animal derived products so it will need lots of research to replace these). Last night I baked a vegan chocolate and banana cake and that pretty much convinced me I can cut out dairy :)

It's been really nice, after so many years together (6 in August!) me and Dan still find new things to bond over. After both becoming obsessed with bikes we're now both becoming interested in sustainable and low impact lifestyles which I guess has been fueled by cycling. I find myself mroe and more thinking, 'I could just do that myself' and I finally feel like I am in a place where I can just do that. So this weekend I am going to clean out my cupboards of anything with animal or harmful products and replace or make everything with much kinder things.

Does anyone know of any good websites/blogs/books/zines about vegan baking/lifestyle or just more generally ethical living?

9 April 2010

Wenches with Wrenches!

 image from laura of the women at grease rag who run a safe space for women and trans folk to learn about bikes! (check 'em out! grease rag)

So I think I know what I am going to do with my life. This probably sounds totally lame, but since I've started cycling my whole outlook on life has totally changed. I've always tried to be someone who lived by the D.I.Y ethic and I tried to keep active, live healthily and create as much as I can, but usually I'd just end up sitting at home on my laptop looking at things other people had done.

But then I bought a bike and started to cycle all the journeys I used to make by bus or tube. And I suddenly felt completely free, I wasn't paying extortionate amounts to sit on a crowed train and I could get there quicker. I could go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. I really don't know how to describe the feeling of freedom that cycling gives you. I started to learn about the backstreets of London, see all the things you miss when you're stuck underground and I started to learn how to even fix my own bike.

The feeling of being able to do anything soon started to seep into other parts of my life, things that I've always wanted to do, I looked at again and thought, well why not? I never thought Girl Germs could become such a good night so easily, or that I could manage to be an alright dj for the whole night.

Now, instead of waking up late at the weekend and laying bed all day thinking about all the things we could do, me and Dan get out our bikes and cycle to somewhere new!

So, back to the plans. I've got to the point where I can't cope with sitting in this office anymore. I can no longer live with the thought that I am wasting 8 hours of my life every day sitting at a computer doing nothing. I need to do something that I am in control of, and I think that is what is going to happen.

Me, Lydia, Dan and Taki are working on a business plan to open a bike shop/cafe. It will be a social enterprise, so as well as selling bikes/parts and fixing bikes we will also provide education and training to people in the community.

But as well as this I am going to do a City and Guilds in Bicycle Mechanics. I put down the deposit today so it is definitely happening! It looks like a really great course, they teach you all kinds of repairs, and by the end you have built a bike up from scratch, you can even bring in your own frame and build your dream bike. And when you're done they can help you do a work placement with awesome bike shops like Brixton Cycles and Lunar Cycles, and getting a job somewhere like that until our bike shop is up and running would be amazing!

So, I've finally admitted that earning lots of money in an office job just isn't for me. I'm glad I've realised it now.

8 April 2010

Moving on...

Lots of things have been happening recently and I'm starting to come out of that limbo stage my life has been in for the last few months. Now that things are starting to have some order again I hope that I will be able to keep everything in check like making sure I answer all the emails I get, send out all the zine trades etc etc blah blah.

So, what's been going on? Well, I finally moved into my new house. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, I like having my own space, but I'm feeling lonely already. My new flatmates aren't the warmest or most welcoming people in the world. But it will be a challenge to establish myself there, at the moment I feel a bit like a lodger and not a flatmate, that I have to fit in around them. Hopefully that will change.

My new place doesn't have the internet, which I think has turned out to be a good thing as I've now realised how much time I waste on it! So far I have restarted my art journal, done loads of embroidery, watched some films and listened to my entire record collection! I like that I now have to find ways to keep myself busy and entertained and I'm looking forward to all the good things that are going to come out of it.

I'll post some pictures of my room and the things I've been making soon. Also, this weekend me and Dan are going to take lots of pictures of the cat that lives in his garden called Fat Head, he really does have a massive head.

19 March 2010

I feel queer....

Could anyone recommend me some good queer zines/blogs/books?

Lately I've seen it pop up in zines and blogs I've read and I feel quite drawn to it as an idea. I don't know if it is something I'd want to identify as, cos it seems to be something beyond labels, but I think it could help me with some of the crap I've been feeling and thinking lately.

I just don't feel like anything lately, I don't feel "feminine" or particularly "masculine." I don't know if I'm attracted to men or women, or just people? I've always found the sexuality bit confusing, and hard to talk about because I am going out with a guy so everyone just assumes I am heterosexual and if I ever bring it up I feel like I have to justify having a boyfriend or people just don't believe me.

But more and more lately I have stopped feeling "girly." I didn't feel very girly before really, when I was little I dressed in tracksuits, played football and absolutely hated dresses. As I got older I would dress more "femininely" but I have never been interested in things all these 'other women' are supposed to gossip about and enjoy.

That's never ever bovered me, I never felt like I was missing out or that I should try and fit in, but I dunno, lately I've felt like a massive fraud when I'm around other people. When I'm with Dan, I just feel like me. But when I'm with say a group of girls I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb, I have no idea what they are talking about, I don't look or dress like them...but I also feel like I don't have the same mannerisms as them, something more fundemental.

I've also never ever felt attractive, well, not in a physical way. Say I went out to a pub wearing a pretty dress I would feel horribly self-conscious, like people would look at me and think "why on earth is she dressed like that?" I don't really know how to explain it, but I feel like a fraud when I try and act like a girl, but I have absolutely no desire to act like a boy.

I guess really it doesn't matter, I can just be me, but for the last few months I feel like a stranger in my own body. I don't feel like I can be sexy and attractive, but I don't feel like I can get on my bike in a pair of shorts with unshaved legs and not give a damn.

17 March 2010


I haven't had a headache for such a long time...but I've had a really horrible one for the last two days. I was saying to Dan just on Monday how much I am enjoying not having headaches anymore. Damn.

Work is going really badly too. I have lost all interest in it, and no matter how much work I do no one notices. And to top it all off nicely, this awful man keeps harrassing and bordering on bullying me. But I really don't know what to do, even though I have been here nearly three years I'm still just a temp, so if I complained they don't have to do anything and could sack me and brush it all under the carpet if they want to.

I hate that 8 hours of my life every day is spent/wasted here.

I really want that to change, and I'm trying to write up a business plan for an absolutely amazing business idea, it's just when I get home I am so drained and fed up from this job I can't bear to do anything.

In other news...I'm seriously considering respraying my bike sunshine yellow and getting all nice tan leather accessories. I just don't know how to go about respraying a bike...

picture by mjm

4 March 2010


As much as I absolutely love riding my bike and anything to do with cycling I hate hate how male dominated it is. Not just cycling as a sport, but how many other male cyclists I see cutting me up on the roads of the elitist bike shops that treat girls like idiots.

I went to Toyko Fixed the other day and there was a gang of guys all standing in a huddle looking at some bike part. I was looking at the locks and no one thought to ask if I needed any help, and when I chose one it took me about 5 minutes to get their attention to pay for it. Then the guy who sold it to me just grunted at me to put my card in the machine and shoved it in a bag. A male customer came in at the same time and they all flocked to him offering help and talking to him about bikes.

When I got the lock back home it was too big to fit on my bike and when I was trying to get it off I a bit snapped off, so I'm going to have to attempt to take it back. I can't wait.

Urgh, and on the wall they had a calander with bikes of half naked Japanese girls straddling bikes in such practical locations as bath tubs. I guess that explains quite a bit.

2 March 2010


Spring is here! I know it sounds lame but I feel happier already. When the sun is shining I don't want to be cramped up inside and I feel like I can do anything! I know soon enough I will be complaining about being too hot, I think the thing I actually like suspense, knowing every day it will get a bit warmer and the days a bit longer.

So today seems like a good day to have my zine all done and finished!


 So there it is. I finished it once in October, then loads of crap happened and nothing in the zine seemed relevant so I ripped it up and started again. I really really got back into the idea of making zines while making this issue and I'm planning the next one already. I finally feel like I have something to say again.

This issue is mainly about cycling, being evicted, tattoos, open relationships, being inspired...there's lots of drawings too. 

If anyone would like to buy a copy or trade let me know in the comments. It will be £1.50 and 50p postage to UK and £1.00 anywhere else.

1 March 2010


I've found a place!

Really don't want to jinx it, but I'm just too happy and excited about it not to tell anyone! Here's a little picture of the outside:

It's not actually the whole house, it's split into flats, but it's still bigger than any other flat I've lived at in London! The bay window is where the front room is, and it's huge. Lovely big sofas, a telly, loads of bookshelves...ha, you can tell I haven't lived in a super nice house for a while! And then just behind the bush on the left is the window to my room. It's nice and cosy, just the right size, but the girls were saying that they mostly all sit together in the front room.

The rent is £280 a month...yep, a month! My last place was £617 a month, now I can pay the rent with one weeks wages! It means I won't have to worry about money, I'll be able to do more of the things I want to and perhaps even work a few less hours at my job.

But the best thing is the other people who live there! Two girls who are about a year or two older than me, and they are lovely. It's really nice meeting people who are similar to you. I was gobsmacked when I told them I make zines and they not only knew what they were but said they make them too!

So, just have to get my stuff over there and then hope I pass the credit check with the agency to get on the letting agreement.

So excited!

27 February 2010

Girls Get Busy!

I also got a chance to take a photo of mine and Lydia's matching tattoos!

I love having a matching tattoo with such an awesome lady!

Goldsmiths Ladyfest

On Thursday it was the annual Ladyfest week at Goldsmiths and me and Lydia were invited along to the band night to dj, something neither of us could pass up on!

Being the dj is equal parts terrifying and exciting, you get to be in control of what everyone is listening (and hopefully) dancing too, so it's always fun to slip in a few things they might not be expecting and it's a great way to get loads of people to listen to unheard of bands that you love! When I dj at Girl Germs I'm always pretty sure people are going to like the stuff I play, so Kathleen Hanna screaming or Kat Bjelland yelping always go down well. But when your in a room full of people at someone else's event, you're not always so sure what's going to go down well, and it didn't help that it was at Goldsmiths where everyone is far too cool...and that seems to be how it went down, there was a lot of foot tapping and smiles but no one broke out any crazy moves, even to Deceptacon!

Even for the lack of dancing it did seem like people enjoyed our set and we got lots of people asking what the songs were.

But, on to more important things, the bands! First on were the bracelettes who played super fast but were just as cute, kind of like a Japanese Ramones!


Then it was Pens who I'd heard a lot about, not all good...but that was definitely proved wrong. They looked cute as a button, like the cast of Sweet Valley High, and they sounded bratty and like they just didn't care in the best way possible. I think the thing I liked most was that they looked like they were having an awesome time and that just made them sound great even though they didn't have the best instruments...I think that's my favourite thing about what seems to be a mini grrrl band revival, it's so inspiring seeing girls forming bands cos they can and want to and not taking themselves too seriously like the endless poser-indie-boy-bands you always see. 


Next up it was Wet Dog. If you don't already, you need to have this band in your life. They were just so amazingly cool, like really blasé and confident, but really bouncy and excited at the same time! By the end of their set I had declared my love for the drummer! They had a really unique sound, jangly and angular, but also fluid with the three vocals and all the in instruments rolling off each other. They are way too heard to describe, I guess you could say they sounded like the Au Pairs, Raincoats and Slits... but just go just listen to them!


The last band were Veronica Falls who I think sound like the perfect jangly apocalyptic pop band. Some of the guitar riffs are just absolute perfection. But even though I think they sound wonderful, they just seem to fit the night, either they've taken the aloof hipster thing too far, or they were just bored. They didn't seem to have a clue what Ladyfest was about, or really care. Maybe it was all the boys they have in the band (ha!). Either way, their attitude made me like them a little bit less.  


It was really inspiring to be in a room filled with so many different and awesome ladies (and gents!). I just wished every gig I went to was as good and lady-friendly.

25 February 2010

Saved by Zines

image by moirabot 

Just lately it's felt like my life has been crumbling away from around me.

January is never a great month, it's cold, it's grey and the thought of a whole new year ahead of me tends to terrify me rather than inspire me (at least in January anyway, all January makes me want to do is sleep). I usually just try and see it through until the 27th which my birthday and then it's February. For me it feels that when I've had my birthday the year begins, I always make a new years resolution list on 1st February.

But this year, by the second week of January I had been evicted and I no longer had a room to hibernate in. I was given a weeks notice by my landlord to move out, so by the time I had realised what was happening I was unpacking my bag of things in Dan's room.

I don't really know why, but where I live, and having somewhere I like living and feel comfortable has been a really important thing for me my whole life. I've always felt if I have a place I can feel safe and have my things around me I can use it as a base to do anything I want to do. And when it all gets too much I can hide myself away in there.

I really enjoy living with Dan and being able to see him everyday, and I am really grateful to Les and Crissi (who own the house) to let me stay there. But that's the thing, I'm staying there rather than living there. And I guess it makes me sound a bit precious, but not having somewhere that I can call my own really started to get to me. Mixed in with what feels like the utter hopelessness of trying to find a new place, I felt like the year was never going to really get started for me.

On the 13th of February it was the alternative press fair and I went along and picked up a few zines from Tukru. When I got home I devoured them all in minutes, just reading words that echoed my own feelings and thoughts written by girls just like me made me feel so much better. It made me so much happier to know that other people were feeling the way I was, and were managing to do something productive and creative with it.

I've been working on the second issue of Pillow Talk for about three years. Yeah, three years. I've finished it about 10 times, but everytime just ripped it up. But suddenly after reading all these amazing zines I was finally inspired enough to finish and feel I had said something worthwhile. And my sudden need for anything zine related has spurred on a few other things, like me and Lydia are making a women and tattoo contribution zine and I travelled down to Brighton to go to the Zine fest there.

So this year will be the year of the zine!

image by sarah mcneil

1 February 2010


My parents think I should leave London and move to Cambridge. Get myself a nice job and a nicer little house. When I was walking around Cambridge yesterday the idea seemed so tempting, there were hundreds of people on bikes, cobbled paths, lovely shops and beautiful parks. It would be cheap(er) and I would be near my family.

Sometimes I wonder what I am actually staying in London for. Slowly, I think I am beginning to realise that London isn’t paved with as much gold as I thought it was. I love that there is so much to do here, but surely things happen outside of London.

At the moment I am living in my boyfriends room and will probably end up lodging somewhere, and I work as a temp. I am completely on the fringe. No real home, no real job, and no real money…so I can’t even really afford to do the things London can offer me.

But I can’t leave, I can’t give up that dream that got me out of my smalltown. I can’t leave Dan. As sad as that sounds, but I just can’t. As much as I don’t want to rely on someone else, I want him around. I would be so lonely, so surely that would take away the fun of moving somewhere else.

I want somewhere to feel like home, I’ve moved boroughs just about every year I have been in London so I have never really got to know one. And I left the town I grew up in when I was 8 to an even smaller town, so neither of them felt like home.

I don’t know what I really want or where I want to belong.

29 January 2010


I was forwarded and email today from my landlord, he wants another £600 from us, which I really don't think he's entitled to. So looks like it's going to end up in court or something equally horrific. I'm going to have to go to Citizen's Advice on Monday, which I'm really not looking forward too. Last time they were extremely unhelpful. I imagine I will be leaving there in tears not knowing where esle to turn. If it ends up that I have to pay all of this (on top of the bills and cancellation charges we got for moving out early) I will have spent all of my savings which was meant to be for a deposit. So I'll be back to square one and have to start saving another £1000, I'm only earning £270 a week so that's going to take a while.

And in other happy news, the awesome couple Dan lives with (and I am staying with at the moment) have decided to split up after around 20 years together, so it looks like Dan will have to move as well. It's just so sad, for the longest time I have help them up as my ideal relationship, but even that couldn't last.

27 January 2010

Vivian Girls

image from last.fm 

 I went to see Vivian Girls last night, and it was sooo good! It was at the Hoxton Bar and Grill (where it was £5.20 for a rum and coke!) The support band was Veronica Falls and they were ace! It was a 2 girl and 2 boy combo with lots of harmonies and jangly guitars. Perfect!

Vivian Girls were amazing, it's a shame they only come to England about once a year. They are my absolute favourite band, everything about them is perfect, and they were so good last night. They played lots of b-sides and a new song, and they even played my favourite song which I think they've only played once before! It was so inspiring seeing a group of slightly awkward girls with tattoos playing cheap guitars that they taught themselves how to play as they went along. I really want to be in a band!

25 January 2010


illustration by circlesquaretriangle

This week is my birthday week! For the longest time I have always insited that the whole week that my birthday happens to be on has to be full of  fun things. So I have an exciting week planned, today, well won't be so exciting, but will be lovely as I'm going to the library for a few hours then curling up in bed with some strawberry shortbread.

Tuesday I am going to see Vivian Girls. I can't explain how excited I am about this!! Then on Wednesday, my actual birthday I am going to see The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus at the Prince Charles cinema. I really wanted to see it when it first came out but for some reason I missed it, so it was a nicr coincidence that it's on again on my birthday! Then on Thursday I am going to see the free-jazz saxophonist Peter Brotzmann and then on Friday I am going home to see my family and eat a big chocolate cake my mum has baked for me.

I wish every week was this good!

18 January 2010


image by katie shelton

As I was just settling into the new year and new routines my whole world gets thrown upside down. I got evicted. Long story, but basically it was leave now or go through months of court orders and losing money. We both had somewhere we could stay for the short term so we left. Right now I am writing this sitting on my boyfriend's bed. Being the super lovely person he is he's let me stay with him until  find somewhere else. So, some good's come out of it already, I'm really looking forward to living with him again, I just hope we don't annoy each other after getting used to our own space and company.

So now I have to find somewhere else to live. A huge part of me just wants to curl up in a ball underneath Dan's bed, I don't want to move again. I was just getting comfortable in my old flat and starting to make it feel like a home but now yet again I am moving. In the last ten years I have lived in 11 houses. I just don't know any more what it is like to have a home, everywhere I've lived has just been somewhere I'll have to move out of in a few months.

Also, I'm going to have to move into a flatshare cos I can't afford to get somewhere by myself. I don't want to live with strangers. I did it before and it was shit. I hate the fact that I had a lovely flat in a great part of London and now I have nothing and I'm going to have to crawl around London selling myself to strangers whose house I'm going to move into. I'm scared. What if I move in and they turn out to be horrible and ignore me like the last flatshare I lived in?

8 January 2010

Girl Germs

I did some drawing today for the next Girl Germs clubnight. I really need to get a new cable for the scanner, so I don't have to keeping posting these terrible photos.

We're making a website for the night, which will hopefully also turn into a distro as well. When this picture is coloured (I appear to have lost my coloured pencils) and if Lydia and Mel like it, it will be the front page of the website:

need to sort the girl germs bit out.

And this is going to be the flyer for the next Girl Germs (I'll make a proper post about the night soon):



image by flamenconut

Another week of having no bloody money. Cos I work for a temp agency I have to build my holiday up week by week, so for every week I work I earn a half a day of holiday. They sure are generous. But because their holiday year starts in October there hadn't been enough weeks for me to build up enough holiday to even cover the days the office was shut over Christmas. So this week I got paid less than half what I usually do. Sigh.

It's just so frustrating, there are so many things I want to do, but they all involve money! Even things that would eventually be free and a good way to spend my time not spending money are going to cost a lost to get started with. I really want to start regularly drawing, but I don't have any decent paper or pencils. I want to start crafting but I can't afford any materials. I can't even photocopy my zine. I feel so stuck, I just can't see any way out of it.

Hopefully my chest infection will be better by next week and I can start cycling to work, that will save me a whopping £16 a week. I guess it's a good thing I've got a lot of reading to catch up on.

7 January 2010


I've been waiting for this appointment for 7 months now. Back in May the day I finished my exams (and my degree I guess) I went into Frith Street to book an appointment with Valerie for my next tattoo. For the other two I had done with her I only had to wait a week for the first and then a month for the second. But when I went in this time they said you'll have to go on to the waiting list and they said it would be at least 5 months! I guess I could have gone somewhere else but Valerie is really one of the only tattoo artists that I really love their work, and she is awesomely nice.

So I finally got to go in on Tuesday, I really love being tattooed. I love being in the shop, all the art on the wall, the sound of the needle buzzing and the other people who work there are really nice (and funny) too they're just so passionate about what they do and they seem really happy to be putting something on you forever.

So, the tattoo. I got a magpie, no particular reason other than I think they look cool and the crow family are awesome birds. And I have a bit of a magpie's eye, I'm always spotting money and other shiny things. It was originally going to be holding a watch, but I thought instead I'd get it holding a timeturner cos I've always wanted a way to sneak a Harry Potter tattoo on to me.

It turns out taking a picture of your own back is really hard, so here are some (crappy) pictures until I can get someone to take a better one.

 A bit of a washed out picture of front part which goes on to my arm, near my armpit:

and one of the back part which is just above my shoulder blade.

It's not completely done yet, in a few weeks I'm going to get the colours, lots of golds and yellows for the leaves and the time turner and then some blues and greens for the magpie. I absolutely love it, I really love how well it fits my body. I just know I'm going to end up covered in them :)