Birthday Blues

Exams are over, dear reader, so hopefully I can begin to pick up this ol’ blog thing again. It was my birthday on Friday (THE 23RD OF MAY I AM SO LATE AND SHIT), but I stupidly decided to drink a hell of a lot of whisky the night before, and spent the morning shivering in a towel and gagging into my sink. This bodes badly but probably accurately for the year to come. My mother bought me a badge that looks like a jammy dodger, a bottle stopper that looks like an apple, a mirror that looks like a chocolate digestive, and some children’s socks with butterflies on. Thanks ma. I also got some handmade RuPaul’s Drag Race badges which are amazingly awful.

Once I’d got over my crippling hangover, I went to the St Moritz club in Soho, and watched the Dirty Gentleman, who were really very good. The guitarist looks a bit like the old Daario Naharis (you know I ❤ him) and I did that old thing where you fall in love with somebody for an evening. OBVIOUSLY I didn’t go and talk to him afterwards, ‘cos that would mean I was actually a functioning human being, which I’m clearly not.

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The real celebration was yet to come though, and on Saturday me and my posse/entourage/crew headed over to Crucifix Lane near London Bridge to attend Whirl-y-gig. I was serving up some fairy princess realness – paint on my face, garland in my hair, Peroni in my bloodstream and MDMA in my bra. I think it’s safe to say that it was the best night I’ve had since coming to uni, which probably means it was the best night out of my life. I’ve been to a few other nights which are mainly facilitators for taking drugs, but this was different – it didn’t leave me with that grimy, regretful feeling. Even the security and bar staff were friendly and you could tell that they wanted to be there.

I went around all night putting my garland on different people’s heads and taking photos, ‘cos I’m THAT kind of wastrel, and bought a little flute and played it to the music all night. In hindsight, I must’ve looked like a complete prick, but I felt glorious and full of love and empathy for everybody and urgh this is sickening isn’t it? Speaking of which, I marred my evening by chucking up in the smoking area on both my shoes and another girl’s, ‘cos my URL really isn’t true. Luckily, I’m a pretty charming gal and managed to make friends with said sicky-shoed girl, and she even gave me her water. SICK.

And so the night continued, dancing with ginger-dreadlocked men and buying more drugs probably mainly consisting of washing powder and laxatives. This was all to the sweet beats of DJ Monkey Pilot and the Dance Trance Sound System. Not only is this my favourite name ever, but I think he might be my favourite man ever – he was about 60 and DJ’d for 8 hours straight in a sombrero and a poncho. The music was highly superior to your standard London club night – a mixture of ambient dance music, drum ‘n bass, trance and just a little bit of witchcraft (I would call it ‘eclectic’ but my mum hates that word because she thinks stupid people use it to sound clever.)

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At about 5:30, or 6:00 (don’t ask me to keep track of time, I simply can’t do it), everybody sat down on the floor in the main room and the staff pulled a parachute over us. My friends and I languished all over one another, and everybody passed spliffs around. The lights were shining through the fabric, and the parachute was moving up and down above us and if you’d asked me at the time, I’d probably have said that it was magic.

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It wasn’t, of course, and the night faded into the day and we made our tired way across London with the morning commuters hating us. My friend had to go to Portsmouth the following day at 10:30 and go out for a family roast dinner with his mum who lived in Australia and he hadn’t seen since July. I felt incredibly sorry for him as the rest of us rolled around on the bed, easing ourselves back to reality with calmer drugs.

We went back to Crucifix Lane for an event called ‘Wonderland’ but it just wasn’t quite the same – fun but not fantastical; good but not great; a party but not pure.What was so special about Whirl-y-gig was the utter unexpectedness of the whole thing – the colour, the amazing people. It was the clubbing equivalent of a marshmallow (not that I can eat them, fucking gelatine) – soft and lovely and colourful. I’ll leave you a link to the awfully designed website so you can go along if you live in London; I highly recommend it.

http://www.whirl-y-gig.org.uk/

I’ll try and post more now that I’m basically free for 4 months.

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Chromeo – White Women

I’ve been pretty quiet recently, ‘cos of revision and essays and laziness, but here’s a lovely album to tide y’all over until the end of the exam period (dw guys, I totes know nobody reads this shit).

Chromeo’s new album ‘White Women’ is around a 9 on the ‘Sick as Fuck’ scale, and if I ever learn to drive, I will pump it out of my car stereo. ‘Jealous’ is an amazingly catchy song; if I was a shitty music blogger I’d probably say it was going to be a Summer Anthem, but I’m not, so I won’t say that. I’d also recommend ‘Sexy Socialite’ because of the astounding number of rhymes Chromeo have come up with.

You can stream it here (Tip: do): http://uk.chromeo.net/?iqTagFallback=facebook.com

Minneapolis Sniff Adventures

Absolutely beautifully written; how I would love to sound in my few moments of non-flippancy.

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For the first time in my life I moved to a place where I knew no one. Minneapolis. Before this I spent twenty-four years sprouting through the cold soil of eastern North Dakota. Then after college I ventured west to join my sister in Portland for six months. It was lonely but at least I had her. Through the between times I ricocheted around this beautiful country in various states of travel and permanence. In the end I tumbled back to the Midwest to be closer to home.

After life in a big city I knew rural North Dakota was no longer an option. I found a Minneapolis apartment off Craigslist and stamped my paw print to its lease. Things were gathered from home and I hugged my dad goodbye. I locked my slimeball mother in a window well with snake powder and toad sealant. Then I departed for the…

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Pig in the city: High Park

Yesterday was that old celebrated holy day: 4/20. If you’re unfamiliar with that particular bible story, after dying from a really big cross joint, Jesus came back to life and had a well deserved wake and bake at, you guessed it – 4:20. He rolled that stone from across his tomb, and then rolled up and got stoned.

To honour this great day, stoner cliches from all over the world (or at least London) gathered in Hyde Park to spark up in His name. This little piggy thought she’d head on over and check out all of that huffing and puffing. Here’s my thoughts on the day:

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On the left we have a police warning that weed is an illegal drug, which seems an odd thing to say at an event ostensibly aiming to protest its illegality, but then again most stoners forget things pretty easily. Next, it’s piggy in the middle – getting into the spirit of things in true journalistic fashion (just call me Hamilton Morris, but with less weird pauses and more anonymity). The police intended to make it look like they were achieving a lot whilst actually doing nothing, much like the rest of the people in the park.

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These Christians were 420 praising – they seemed to be protesting something or other, but all that I could make out was “sin”, “God” and the obligatory Eve-blaming for all that apple shit (can we please just leave it now?). In the picture on the right, these boys were being photographed practising the only commandment that really matters – “the sabbath is for chilling” – for what I can only imagine is a Sunday school project.

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The man on the left is the stuff of meme-heaven, inexplicably sporting a green top hat and very willing to be photographed. I didn’t get the chance to speak to him, as he was too busy gracing people with his strangely pleasing presence, but I like to think his name is Pete and he’s an amateur sound technician. It was a special moment with me and Pete, mainly because I was in awe of how many different shades of green he could pack into one outfit. On the right, we have the classic red, yellow and green hand-carved wooden weed leaf, ‘cos Jesus was a carpenter doncha know. Preach my friend, preach.

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This man was stealing my self-assigned job, and with an actual Canon camera no less! To ease my pain at having to borrow my friend’s ‘Lumix’ (I would have just used my phone, but alas, it was stolen on Thursday), I snapped a picture of him taking a picture of me. Pretty meta right?

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Speaking of brands, I’d never realised how entwined capitalism and weed culture really were – if you look closely at this picture, you can see the ghost of commercialism moving its way through what you would think would be quite a counter-cultural crowd. But alas! To my mock surprise, stoners love their brands – there were whole swarms of young men swathed in North Face. I hated them both for what they stood for, and for their superior ability at keeping dry on what was an incredibly rainy day. Nike shoes trampled on the dreams of many a Marxist herbalist, Vans hurtled into the hopes of socialist stoners, and…just this…

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Once it reached the fateful hour, a cheer went up around the park, everyone sparked up and a nuclear cloud of haze ascended to blanket the revellers from the rain. I did have a video of all of this, but technology is bullshit and I don’t really understand formatting, so all you have is my words.

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This ice cream stand was clearly committed to commemorating the day and making some sweet $$$$$ out of hungry high people, but a couple of things went wrong for them. Firstly, the name of the ice cream makes very little sense and sounds pretty unappealing. Secondly, who the fuck buys ice cream in torrential rain?

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Here we have a rare picture of that dying subculture – the stoned skater crew. Thought to have gone extinct in London in the late 90s, and in small country towns in about 2008, they’ve had a misguided resurgence of numbers recently. It was a pleasure to see them; it reminded me of when Avril Lavigne was cool (she was, right?).

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And finally, here we have the cherry on a great big hash brownie – that white chick with multi-coloured dreads. We all knew it was going to happen. It was only a matter of time. After trying and failing to discreetly photograph people in Rasta hats and 12 year olds who looked like they could fuck me up smoking spliffs, I decided it was time to run through the rain to the tube, so it could deposit me, sodden and spent, back home. As I changed at Tottenham Court Road, a busker was playing Bob Marley songs and I ran to the Northern Line just to escape the cacophony of cliches. This pig was hitting the hay.

Small Town Strangers

I’m back in London, but whilst reflecting on my time in my home town, I realised that quite a few strange people had said quite a few strange things in a rather short space of time. Considering that I’m a bit of an inside-dweller, what with my laziness and hayfever and excuses, it’s surprising that this number of things happened to me:

Incident 1:
Whilst I was out lunching with my darling mother and a friend (a different one from the last post; I know, I know, I’m so popular), I went off to order the food ‘cos I’m a right good daughter and that, and something slightly odd happened. Some men that were sat opposite asked my friend to swap their dog, which they assured him was a pedigree, for my mother. Thankfully, my friend reminded them that my mother was a human being, and was thus worth a little bit more than a bulldog (not to be speciesist, sorry Singer). When these charming men decided to leave, they then also asked me how much it would cost them to buy my mother, and I politely informed them that she was not for sale; I’m no P.I.M.P (also not a trafficker. Just sayin’).

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Incident 2:
This occurred in a Weatherspoon’s, which for my vast foreign audience, is a sticky-floored beer cavern with a particular and rather peculiar smell – the McDonald’s of the pub world, if you will. A man approached me and yet another friend (this is getting ridiculous, I know – Im sorry to make you feel bad about yourself), and repeatedly told us that we could never trust anyone, which made me wonder how we could ascertain whether or not he was telling the truth. Incidentally, whilst we were skating through the greasy carpet, I heard a man introduce the bar tender to his lad mates as “Tits – sorry, Leah”. Urgh, urgh, double urgh.

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Incident 3:
Whilst me and the friend you will remember from incident 2 (see above) were wandering up the high street, a group of boys felt the need to aggressively shout at us that we were “quite fit” (attractive as opposed to moderately athletic, they couldn’t possibly know about all those Marathons I’ve been eating). Although I, of course, agree with their sentiment, I hadn’t realised that simply walking around outside warranted such a threatening response.

All of these happenings made me feel a wee bit uncomfortable, which was, I suppose, exacerbated by having been away from my town. The thing is – these things don’t happen to me in London, which I find rather odd, because I thought there were all sorts in the big bad city. There seems to be an odd kind of atmosphere and human being present in small English towns that peters out once cathedrals get involved. Aside from casual sexism, what is it that makes people think that they can act, if lightheartedly, in actually quite an intrusive and intimidating way – is it in the water? Is it in the air? Is it ‘cos of the incest?

Home shit home

If you’re one of the few people who actually ever reads my blog, you’ll know that I headed to my home town on Wednesday. My parents have moved away, so this is the first time since going to university that I’ve really been back to see anybody.

Most other people from my town seem to relish going home in the holidays to see their friends and family, but the thought of going out to one of three awful clubs and seeing people I used to know somehow terrifies me. It might just be because their signs look like this though…

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Oh thank you Fever, you see, I thought you were going to play party anthems from the future to the past, I’m glad you clarified how the passage of time functions.

For obvious reasons, I’ve thus far avoided spending my shoe string budget on watered down vodka in a sticky floored club where TOWIE cast members occasionally come to smile vacantly at people I hate.

Instead, I took advantage of the fields that London denies me, smoking the last of my Marlboros on the way to avoid feeling too healthy. My friend and I took his small but absolutely insane dog Fudge, who once jumped out of an attic window, pissed a bit of blood and was then completely fine, for an evening walk.

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The night felt safe and fresh and so achingly familiar – but I felt no connection to this town I spent my childhood in. Walking around, I knew each place so well, but no happy memories sprung themselves from my subconscious to whisk me into the winds of nostalgia; only a relief that I no longer lived here.

The darkness, away from the murky, light polluted skies of my new city, cloaked me in an anonymity I crave. The moon sent its fingers out into the clouds, covering them in a light the colour of bleached bones.

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I felt unusually content, wandering through the fields, and the feeling stretched into today; though I have a suspicion it’s just a kind of numb neutrality. I still haven’t really done any work.

Back to London on Sunday, dear reader; do not fear that your pig has gone to pasture. Once I return we’ll stop with all this self reflecting bollox. I’m glad we’ve got that sorted.