Saturday, February 06, 2010

living the dream

Gosh. So we're actually doing this short film thing. So excited and rather nervous. This has been a dream since I was a kid. Squeeeeee! :)

The film blog:

Thursday, December 31, 2009

the year in mix tapes: 2009

Didn't exactly manage a playlist a month this year either...

February 2009
  1. Scott Pilgrim - Plumtree
  2. Punk Boy - Helen Love
  3. Jennifer's Body - Hole
  4. Death - White Lies
  5. A Thing For Me - Metronomy
  6. Feel Free - Kano f. Damon Albarn
  7. High Heel Sneakers - Tommy Tucker
  8. Dust My Blues - Elmore James & His Broom Dusters
  9. Daddy's Gone - Glasvegas (fast version)
  10. I Could Have Done This Myself - Lightspeed Champion
  11. A New England - Billy Bragg
  12. Caskets - Damien Jurado
  13. Lost Coastlines - Okkervil River
  14. Funeral Face - Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
  15. I'm A Pilot - Fanfarlo
  16. Let's Fall Back In Love - Slow Club
March 2009
  1. Jumpin' Jack Flash - The Rolling Stones
  2. Mr Big Stuff - Jean Knight
  3. Pressure Drop - Toots and the Maytals
  4. My Girls - Animal Collective
  5. Wild Wild Life - Talking Heads
  6. Everyday People - Sly and the Family Stone
  7. Pull Shapes - The Pipettes
  8. Dull Life - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  9. King Rocker - Generation X
  10. Public Image - Public Image Ltd
  11. Knife (Grizzly Bear cover) - Born Ruffians
  12. Uptown Top Ranking - Althea & Donna
  13. Lights Out - Santogold
  14. But It's Alright - Eddie Floyd
  15. Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
  16. Clean Up Woman - Betty Wright
  17. Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
April 2009
  1. Galaxy Of The Lost - Lightspeed Champion
  2. Fake Empire - The National
  3. You Made Me Like It - 1990s
  4. The Frug - Rilo Kiley
  5. Baby It's You - Smith
  6. Little Garcon - Born Ruffians
  7. 26 Miles - Dent May
  8. Tricycle - Psapp
  9. Coconut - Harry Nilsson
  10. Piazza, New York Catcher - Belle & Sebastian
  11. Tree Hugger - Antsy Pants
  12. I Don't Do Crowds - Camera Obscura
  13. My Good Deed - Shearwater
  14. Drinking, Thinking, Sinking, Feeling - Slow Club
  15. Gone Under Sea - Electrelane
May 2009
  1. Summer Shakedown - Slow Club
  2. Cheerleader - Grizzly Bear
  3. Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk - Lightspeed Champion
  4. The Killing Moon - Pavement
  5. Creep - Radiohead
  6. Animal Nitrate - Suede
  7. Electric Feel - MGMT
  8. Stay Don't Go - Spoon
  9. Heartbreaker - Metronomy
  10. Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me - The Pipettes
  11. Blue Boy - Orange Juice
  12. Barnacle Goose - Born Ruffians
  13. Holland, 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel
  14. Fire Escape - Fanfarlo
  15. Love You Better - The Maccabees
  16. Always On My Way Back Home - Jay Jay Pistolet
June 2009
  1. Run To Your Grave - The Mae Shi
  2. Lessons Learned - Matt & Kim
  3. It Doesn't Have To Be Beautiful - Slow Club
  4. A Summer Chill - This Is Ivy League
  5. Sleep All Summer - The National f. St Vincent
  6. Feeling Good - Muse
  7. Darling, You're Mean - The Duke Spirit
  8. Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear
  9. Mockingbird - Inez Foxx and Charlie Foxx
  10. Welcome To My Heart - The Bouquets
  11. My Heart Is Out Of Bounds - The Long Blondes
  12. No You Girls - Franz Ferdinand
  13. First Love - The Maccabees
  14. Rudi, A Message To You - The Specials
  15. Drive-In Saturday - David Bowie
  16. Good Love, Bad Love - Eddie Floyd
  17. The Way I Feel Inside - The Zombies
  18. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) - Ella Fitzgerald
July/August 2009
  1. Heartless - Kanye West
  2. Tears Dry On Their Own - Amy Winehouse
  3. Little Girl - Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse f. Julian Casablancas
  4. Daylight - Matt and Kim
  5. Trophy Room - Slow Club
  6. Wild Young Hearts - Noisettes
  7. Fuck You - Lily Allen
  8. Bruises - Chairlift
  9. Close To Me - The Cure
  10. Hey Now - Talking Heads
  11. End Of A Century - Blur
  12. Kids - MGMT
  13. Wouldn't It Be Nice - Will Oldham
  14. Intervention - The Arcade Fire
September 2009
  1. Float On - Modest Mouse
  2. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs
  3. Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
  4. Dead Souls - Joy Division
  5. You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse
  6. Bigmouth Strikes Again - The Smiths
  7. This Charming Man - Stars
  8. While You Wait For The Others - Grizzly Bear
  9. She's Not There - The Zombies
  10. Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
  11. My Boys - Taken By Trees
  12. Dog Days Are Over - Florence And The Machine
  13. Tom's Diner - Suzanne Vega
  14. Superstar - The Carpenters
  15. I'd Rather Go Blind - Etta James
  16. Daughters Of The Soho Riots - The National
  17. Nights In White Satin - The Moody Blues
November 2009
  1. Fire And Rain - Willie Nelson
  2. Song For Autumn - The Catchers
  3. Land Locked Blues - Bright Eyes
  4. Save Me - Aimee Mann
  5. I Will - The Beatles
  6. Time And Space - The Accidental
  7. Dead On The Lawn - KaiserCartel
  8. Creature Fear - Bon Iver
  9. Keep Yourself Warm - Frightened Rabbit
  10. Airplanes - Local Natives
  11. Furr - Blitzen Trapper
  12. John Belushi - The Broken Family Band
  13. Sorry About The Doom - Slow Club
  14. Foreground - Grizzly Bear

Monday, December 21, 2009

first snow of winter!

On my walk home from work.

Malet Street and Montague Street:
malet / montague streets

Russell Square:
winter wonderland

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Chrismukkah 2009

chrismukkah '09

Another year, another Chrismukkah celebration - expanded again for the third year running. We're now up to 16 adults, two toddlers, and one baby bump). The celebrations kicked off at 2ish, the last guests left about ten to midnight.

The day consisted of: 2 bottles champagne, 4 bottles bucks fizz, 5 bottles wine, 20 bottles beer, 1 bottle Baileys, 5 cafetieres coffee, 1 turkey, 2.5 kg potatoes, a kilo mac cheese, 1 apple crumble, 1 xmas pudding, a whole cheese board, no toddler tantrums and Home Alone played on a loop about four times.

Good friends, good food, good times. Nicely done. Here's to next year.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

can you feel the knife?

Wanting to embrace the Halloween spirit before going to the (highly anticipated) Grizzly Bear/London Symphony Orchestra gig at the Barbican in the evening, I sat down this afternoon to watch À l'Intérieur.

Ho. Lee. Fuck. Mind scarred forever; another addition for my Most Fucked Up list. The French know how to do brutal horror films, they really do.

After that filmic experience, I ended up walking to the Barbican after realising that (a) with all the TFL closures this weekend, it would be nigh on impossible to public transport it, and (b) Barbican is actually only about 20 minutes, give or take, walk away from me. Plus, I kind of needed the walk to come out of film shock. I'm not knocking the film - it clearly works to have had such an effect, and I'm actually quite a fan of the French new wave horror films that have been coming out in the past few years. It's just not exactly a calming precursor to an evening of orchestral indie music...

Finally got to the Barbican and met up with J-Dig, then took our seats. Grizzly Bear and the LSO, oh my. Love love love. GB are pretty much one of my favourite ever bands, and seeing them play in that space, with the orchestra backing them, was just incredible.

Friday, October 16, 2009

jumped the halloween gun

hollaween '09

Couldn't wait for actual Halloween so carved my pumpkin this evening. So much fun.

Last year's effort.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

doll parts productions

New blog started to record interesting turn of events involving filmmaking... keeping it separate from this, but you can check it out here if you want:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kempton Races

early morning, kempton racetrack

Sam, wee Margot and I made an early (like 7am early - see above picture) morning trip to Kempton Racetrack for the renowned antiques fair that takes place there. It was well worth the getting up early; fascinating stalls to rummage through and some excellent little finds, including a 19th Century French family's photo album, which I bought for Dandy, making me think as it did of his amazing work.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

atoning for my sins

A wedding? Free champagne? Continuously? Your glass topped up so subtly and frequently you don't even notice how much you're drinking? Then bottles of wine on the dinner table? Why, yes please.

Blarg. So hungover it actually hurts. It's Yom Kippur and I am totally unintentionally atoning for my sins today.

Never. Drinking. Again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

cabin fever

Was cooped up inside all day, off work sick (productively, though, I did manage to watch about two thirds of the Dollhouse boxset). By about 8pm cabin fever got too much so went out for a walk. I so love living in central London.

from waterloo bridge

south bank at night

Saturday, September 05, 2009

holy cupcakes, batman

Tayo turned three today and had a superhero-themed party (yeah it was totally my idea) for which I made the above Batman and X-Men themed cupcakes. Having exposed him to Spiderman since he was a baby and Batman for the past year or so, I decided it was time to introduce him to Wolverine and the X-Men so got him, as part of his present, the animated X-Men series that used to be on CBBC on Saturday mornings when I was a kid (and it's not like I got so excited about it I cracked the DVD open and watched an episode before I wrapped it up or anything...)

Midway through his party I saw him crouched on the floor staring intently at a Marvel Heroes napkin (we'd gone and got a bunch of Marvel Heroes party crap the night before - paper plates, cups etc). I went over to see he was okay and he asked me to tell him again (as per our conversation the evening before) who all the characters were, and explain how exactly it was Peter Parker became Spiderman and Tony Stark became Iron Man. I think he got it. It was cute to see he'd remembered our conversation from earlier and was really trying to commit the characters to memory. We'll make a comic book geek of him yet. Especially with me as his godmother, giving him X Men crap and Spiderman hoodies:

Friday, August 28, 2009

summer snapshots

have i mentioned how jammy i am living in bloomsbury? i heart my new hood (and ten minute walk to work)

russell square. during that one week of summer we had.

calm before the storm

the walk back from work on a rainy august afternoon

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

movie playlist, second quarter

As per the first installment; April - June 2009.

1. L’Armée des Ombres
2. George Washington
3. Anchorman
4. Pretty in Pink (PCC double bill)
5. The Breakfast Club (PCC double bill)
6. Wendy & Lucy
7. Watchmen
8. The Vanishing (Dutch/French version)
9. Bully
10. Evil Dead
11. The Blair Witch Project
12. Juno
13. Little Miss Sunshine
14. Mean Streets
15. True Stories (BFI)
16. Point Break (PCC)
17. Bubba Ho-Tep
18. Hot Fuzz
19. Hostel
20. Cabin Fever
21. Evil Dead 2
22. If…
23. Severance
24. The Machinist
25. Jackie Brown
26. Mean Creek
27. My Bloody Valentine (original)
28. Die Welle (The Wave)
29. 17 Again
30. Punishment Park
31. Frightmare
32. The Fall
33. Halloween
34. The Crazies
35. Eraserhead
36. Being There
37. Switchblade Romance
38. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
39. Let The Right One In
40. Suspiria
41. The Night Listener
42. The Amityville Horror
43. My Girl
44. Star Trek
45. Tropic Thunder
46. HSM3
47. Blue Velvet
48. Army of Darkness
49. Schizo
50. Audition (PCC)
51. An American Werewolf In London
52. The Shining
53. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
54. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
55. Eden Lake
56. Drag Me To Hell
57. Wizard of Gore
58. The Descent
59. Hostel II
60. Friday 13th
61. The Gruesome Twosome
62. The Darjeeling Ltd
63. Rushmore
64. Nightwatch
65. The Story of Ricky, or Riki-Oh
66. Rosemary’s Baby
67. Camp Rock
68. The Hangover
69. Tokyo Zombie
70. The Happiness of the Katakuris
71. Children of Men
72. Battle Royale
73. Son of Rambow
74. Martyrs
75. Star Trek
76. The Toxic Avenger
77. The Brood (UK version)

Major shouts in this quarter to The Vanishing and Martyrs, which both quickly made my Fucked Up Films list; Star Trek for being a great blockbustery movie (finally! I think the previous blockbuster-type films I'd seen were Watchmen and Dark Knight, neither of which I rated much); Evil Dead for being Evil Dead (can you believe I'd never seen any of them before?) and Halloween - which I'd also never seen - and was one of the first films in quite a while to genuinely scare me. Kudos, John Carpenter.

Friday, June 05, 2009

early morning adventure

So it's 7am, I walk into Russell Square tube station on early-morning-autopilot. Get into the lift which will take me down to the platform level to get the Piccadilly line to work. Three other people get in as well - that early, the station is relatively quiet.

The lift descends. The lift announcer tells us we're at platform level, and to turn right for both East and West-bound trains. The doors start to open.

That's as far as they get. About a centimetre open. Then - bang. They slam shut again. And repeat - open a crack, machinery grinding - before they slam shut.

Fabulous. Doors stuck.

I roll my eyes. We all stand there for about five minutes, fully aware the doors seem to be broken, waiting for a member of staff to respond. Finally someone speaks to us over the lift intercom. They're sending someone down.

A couple minutes later and we can hear the staff members on the other side of the doors. They start to open again, and it sounds as if the employees are trying to drag the doors open with their hands. Even I could've told you that's not going to work. They try the doors the other side - these lifts having exits both sides, for crowd control. No dice.

We've now been down here about half an hour, probably. Time is ticking on. What started off being vaguely amusing is getting kind of annoying. A voice over the intercom asks us if we're alright. The other woman in the elevator starts getting lary with them. She's going to be late for work. Aren't we all, honey.

My phone starts to ring. Reception at the bottom of the lift shaft? I had no idea. It's my sister. She starts rabbiting on about Buffy, of all things. I tell her we're stuck in the lift and I'll call her later, then hang up. Offer my phone to the others in there with me - the lady takes it, calls her office to say she's stuck and going to be late. An American guy tells us he's on his way to Heathrow. Gonna miss that plane.

More sounds of struggle from the outside of the lifts. Perhaps the TFL staff have thought to get a crowbar or something, to pry the doors open? Nope, they're just pressing buttons. Excellent. Well done. They tell us there's an emergency hatch, but someone has to go and get the key. Okay, we'll wait. Not like we've got anything else to do.

Ten minutes later and we hear someone behind the wall panels, in the shaft between our elevator and the neighbouring one (there being three lifts in total at Russell Square station). They talk among themselves, seem to fiddle with something, leave again.

Good. Not getting anywhere quickly. This whole experience is not doing much to restore the very little faith I had in TFL.

Eventually the lift starts to move, back up to street level. The intercom tells us the fire brigade have been called. Fucking finally. Why didn't they do this 45 minutes ago?

Though annoyed and pissed off that I'm now going to be marvellously late for work, having gotten up so early, I realise my palms are a little sweaty now we've just been hauled 100 foot back up the lift shaft, and it's still broken. If they're going to piss around with the mechanics of the elevator I'm stuck in, I'm damn sure I'd rather it was sat at the bottom of the shaft on the ground than suspended that high up.

More crashing and banging from outside and suddenly an emergency hatch in the wall opposite me swings open.

'You alright in there?'

Fuck no we're not. We've been in here an hour and a half, almost. The American who's missing his plane is really pissed off, the other guy is rolling his eyes, the lady is on the verge of a panic attack, I'm annoyed and a little jumpy.

It's a mechanic. He swings in through the narrow emergency escape doorway, reaches back out and pulls across a ladder, that now bridges the gap between our elevator and the roof of the neighbouring one that has been specially lowered.

So let me get this straight. Our lift is a few feet below street level. The lift next to us is a few feet below us, so that the roof of that lift is just above the floor of ours. A fireman's ladder now crosses the echoing 100 foot drop between us. And they want us to crawl across that ladder, stand on the roof of the next lift, then climb another ladder from the roof of that to street level.

You have GOT to be joking.

The mechanic passes all our bags to the fireman opposite who passes them to street level. Then we're off. The other lady goes first, crawling across the ladder to a waiting fireman, who puts her over his shoulder, swings her round to the ladder to street level. Now me (what gallant gentlemen we're sharing the stuck lift with!). Just keep reminding myself not to look down. Don't look down... Get to the other lift. Eschew the offer of the fireman's shoulder for finding my own footing. Climb the other ladder, get to solid ground... and suddenly my hands are shaking so badly I can't even hold the cup of water I'm offered.

Holy crap what a ridiculous morning.

I just about manage to text my sister to tell her we're finally out, but it takes twice as long as usual, my hands are too shaky to hit the right keys. I want to just head back home - 60 seconds away, round the corner - but my sister, who stayed over, currently has my house keys.

The TFL staff jump into action, and, bless them, are actually very good. They offer us water and sweet tea or coffee, they write us letters to take to work or airlines so we've proof of why we're late and can get money back if necessary. They call us cabs to take us where we need to get to (like hell I'm getting back on the Tube this morning). I discover they've had to shut the whole flipping station down while we've been stuck which is, I have to admit, kind of awesome (the grilles are down and Russell Square being as busy a station as it is, the crowds are packed outside).

I jump in a cab down to Waterloo and get the mainline back West to work. The shakes eventually stop (I'm slightly disappointed with myself, I thought I was made of stronger stuff), and it's rather fun reciting the story to everyone (people take delight in telling me "Ohmigod it's like Speed or something!" Yes, without Dennis Hopper as mad bomber or any rescuer remotely as hot as Keanu Reeves).

End up bunking off work early as I feel I've had quite enough adventures for one day and there's a latent headache that's been building since the mechanic pulled the ladder into the lift about to explode, so go back to my parents' (a mere 10 minute bus ride from my work, and no elevators or tube trains involved!) and resolve from now on I'll forego the lifts and take the stairs at Russell Square every time, even if there are 177 of them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

super freak

Our first BBQ of the season was spent mostly inside due to the English weather, so we got the dancing monkey to entertain us...

(We have *no* idea where he picked up The Robot from)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Idol soundbites

Clare: I think Adam Lambert is the future-
Jasmin: -No, the past, present AND future – of music.
Clare: I love him more than any reality star ever.
Jasmin: I think I might love him more than Same Difference
Clare: I really want to lick his face.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

500th post

Gosh, the 500th blog post. Hadn't even noticed that this thing passed its 5th birthday, either.

In honour of both, a clip of one of my favourite scenes from True Stories, which we saw tonight at the BFI. I hadn't seen it in years and had forgotten most of it - especially how much I loved it. What a great film.

(Click here for the full scene)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

oh dear

On a scale of one to ten, how bad is it that during our discussion of Seraphs and classes of angels at the Seder last night, anything I chipped in with was badly-remembered information from the Preacher comics?


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

movie playlist

We all know how I like to make note of my playlists and share them at the end of the year… well here’s a movie playlist. Last November I decided to start making note of every film I watched (*cough* dork *cough*), so here’s my list for January – March 2009, in order watched, with movies from Lovefilm, from the library, on TV or at the cinema.

1. True Romance
2. The Family Stone
3. 8 ½
4. Reservoir Dogs
5. Kill Bill 1
6. Kill Bill 2
7. I Walked With A Zombie
8. Independence Day (kind of. On tv in background)
9. Pieces
10. Au Revoir Les Enfants
11. Edward Scissorhands
12. Oldboy
13. Escape From NY
14. Total Recall
15. Carve Her Name With Pride
16. Thank You For Smoking
17. Primer
18. Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill
19. Notorious (Hitchcock. Not Biggie.)
20. Enchanted (with a 9 year old I was looking after) (not that I feel the need to justify watching it. I heart Amy Adams)
21. Superman Returns
22. Batman Returns
23. Aguirre, Wrath of God
24. Sid & Nancy
25. Control
26. Big Trouble In Little China
27. Quay Brothers shorts
28. Let The Right One In (Angelika)
29. I’m Not Scared
30. Before Sunrise
31. The Piano Tuner of EarthQuakes
32. Goodbye Lenin
33. Run Lola Run
34. Chinatown
35. Repo Man
36. The Thing (PCC double bill)
37. An American Werewolf In London (PCC double bill)
38. Irreversible
39. Rashomon
40. Don’t Look Now
41. Thirteen
42. Gone Baby Gone
43. Death Note
44. Sweet & Lowdown
45. Ichi The Killer
46. Build My Gallows High
47. Hostel (took me two attempts to get through it…)
48. Repo! The Genetic Opera (PCC)
49. The Edukators
50. Mala Noche
51. Orphée
52. Slumdog Millionaire (cinema)
53. Sympathy For Mr Vengeance
54. The Reader (cinema)
55. Pulp Fiction
56. Deathproof
57. Lord Of The Flies (1963)
58. My Own Private Idaho (Riverside Studios double bill)
59. Milk (Riverside Studios double bill)
60. Ghostbusters (PCC)
61. 5x2
62. Donnie Darko
63. Taxi Driver
64. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
65. In Search Of A Midnight Kiss

Pretty much all great but major shouts have to go to Pieces, Oldboy, Let The Right One In and In Search Of A Midnight Kiss for being some of my favourites that I'd never seen before.

Monday, March 09, 2009

turning one

Step One: Blowing out belated first birthday candle amid french fancies

Step Two: Given her own cake; tries to smoosh the whole thing in in one go (though let's face it, who doesn't?)

Step Three: Cake Face achieved.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

the best party game ever

photobooth luv

Dan had the idea of building a photobooth for his grand party, so Friday night, after a trip to the Whitney, Brett and I headed back to his house to assist in the construction. Or rather, and despite our museum fatigue, Brett hit the ground running, being incredibly helpful and creative, while I kind of hung around, taking photos, generally getting in the way, running to the drugstore for push pins (to hang the drapery) then agreeing wholeheartedly with the plan to head to Black Mountain for dinner and drinks at 11pm.


The party itself went with a bang - lots of drink and good friends and dancing and squabbles over playlists (Christy Claire was rather put out that hers got turned off when Outkast came on), but you know there is the smallest chance I might have been getting my drunk on at the party - there was rather more of the booze and rather less of the food for me that day - so my memory gets a little hazy some time around midnight...

Luckily the photobooth, apart from being a great party game, is also a fabulous aide-memoire for those drunken occasions, so it was with amusement and trepidation we looked through the photos this (very hungover) evening...

Dan, me & Cece

I'd like to plead the triple-vodka-and-cranberry defence to (hopefully) explain why half the shots I'm in I seem to be either trying to bite someone, or licking their neck.

Ahh parties. Open bars without having eaten anything. New York. <3

Thursday, February 12, 2009

brooklyn social

Yesterday was an almost springlike 17 degrees C - one of those days you can't help but be in love with the city, and smile at everyone. Lunch with CC at the Moma, wandering through Central Park, down to Soho to meet Lauren at work, walking across and through the Lower East Side with obligatory coffee break at Sugar Sweet Sunshine... I considered walking across the Williamsburg Bridge but decided to head home to get to Rocketship before closing time (where they have original Scott Pilgrim artwork for sale, that I had to force myself to walk away from), prior to an evening with take-out watching Lost (which I was, having only ever seen the first three episodes of series 1).

Today the Wicked Witch of the East blew in and brought with her gale-force, knock-you-down-and-blow-you-to-Oz strength winds, which I braved nonetheless to hang out with Faran for a quick lunch (being Fashion Week she's run off her feet), then meet Dan at the Angelika for Let The Right One In, which we both love (somehow the subways rumbling loudly underneath us mostly add to the atmosphere of the movie). Afterwards we find Cat and head for tea at Cafe Gitane, then cab it over to Hudson for Melissa Auf Der Mar's screening of a short that Dan and Brett (who's arrived in town today from Providence) worked on last year.

Home again home again jiggity jig... somehow we convince the Greenpoint residents to come down to Carroll Gardens for a wee drinkie or two, so we head to Brooklyn Social for some (strong as hell) Old Fashioneds.

Dan, Ryland and Brett

Then it's back to Dan's where I remember I have a bag of funsize Crunchies in my suitcase for Christy Claire - it's quickly opened and everyone sugars up before CC and I grab a car service with all my crap back to her place in Greenpoint and it's time to acquaint myself with a new part of Brooklyn...

Monday, February 02, 2009

snow day!

jumping for joy at the snow day

I was clearly too quick off the mark with the previous Stopping-by-woods wintry post, as we woke up today to a mass of snow, all but one tube line closed down and all London buses pulled from their routes... Ahh London when it snows...

Seeing as were already up and ready to go, having not realised there was no way to get to work, we went out for a walk at about 8:30am, while the snow was still virgin, down along the river to Syon Park, where it felt as if we were in the middle of the countryside. Beautiful.

And of course Fi just *had* to make a snow angel...


Friday, January 23, 2009

westway to the world

honest jon's

Dinner at (well, above) Honest Jon's - a real Mexican feast cooked up for us by Jason who's in from LA for a couple months, to commiserate the relocating (and thus job losses) of the company that at one time or another has employed four out of the seven of us there for dinner. Home-made flautas and guacamole and salsa and omg my mouth is watering even typing this (that kid is a great chef) and then on to another bottle of wine and roll-ups, though we leave before they really get into it, what with having work the next day when none of the others do.

westway to the world

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the year in mix tapes: 2008

peace out 2008

It wasn't a playlist a month this year, as things were up and down (January was spent despairing about the job situation and finally taking - and passing, woot! - my driving test), but these were basically the soundtrack to my '08.

February 2008 (for Dan's bday)
1. Okay - KaiserCartel
2. Together Or Alone - Sebadoh
3. Don't Let Him Waste Your Time - Jarvis Cocker
4. Because We're Dead - Slow Club
5. 5 Years Time - Noah & The Whale
6. The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie
7. King Bubbles In The Sand - King Creosote
8. Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend
9. Horse And I - Bat For Lashes
10. Police & Thieves - The Clash
11. Something In The Air - Thunderclap Newman
12. This Is A Low - Blur
13. Freewheel - Duke Special
14. Never Lonely Alone - Space Needle
15. Between The Bars - Elliott Smith
16. Lullaby - The Cure
17. Set Yourself On Fire - Stars
18. You! Me! Dancing! - Los Campesinos
19. Bonus Track (God Gave Rock and Roll To You, which we one time turned up REALLY loud after watching Bill & Ted)

Early Summer (May/June 2008)
1. Me And You - Slow Club
2. That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
3. Ready For The Floor - Hot Chip
4. Paper Planes - MIA (not the shitty radio version they released this autumn)
5. Time To Pretend - MGMT
6. Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
7. Turn Tail - The Young Knives
8. Ashes To Ashes - David Bowie
9. Here On My Own - U.N.P.O.C.
10. In the Hot. Hot Rays - Fleet Foxes
11. The Boy With The Arab Strap - Belle & Sebastian
12. Late For The Devil - Kid Harpoon
13. Girls And Boys In Love - The Rumble Strips
14. The Kids Don't Stand A Chance - Vampire Weekend
15. A Day In The Life - The Beatles

Late Summer (July/August 2008)
1. Broken Bones - Sons and Daughters
2. Hypnotise - The White Stripes
3. Nonstop - Whitey
4. America's Boy - Broadcast
5. Ocean - Sebadoh
6. Tomorrow Tomorrow - Elliott Smith
7. Mykonos - Fleet Foxes
8. It's All Over - The Broken Family Band
9. I Know - The Beta Band
10. Ease Your Feet In The Sea - Belle & Sebastian
11. Going Down - Florence & Kid Harpoon
12. Wild Wood - Paul Weller
13. Flowers And Football Tops (acoustic) - Glasvegas
14. She Doesn't Belong - Pete & The Pirates
15. Summer's The Worst - Michael Leviton
16. Little Yellow Spider - Devendra Banhart
17. Wild World - Cat Stevens

September 2009 (about which I've previously posted)
1. Suedehead - Morrissey
2. I'm Good, I'm Gone - Lykke Li
3. Not Fade Away - The Rolling Stones
4. Victoria - The Kinks
5. Senses Working Overtime - XTC
6. Pink Moon - Nick Drake
7. Cold Blooded Old Times - Smog
8. A Town Without Pity - Gene Pitney
9. Darling - Sons and Daughters
10. A Million Reasons - Stellastar
11. Lion Rip - The Duke Spirit
12. Slow Hands - Interpol
13. Cannonball - The Breeders
14. Today - Smashing Pumpkins
15. Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
16. Doll Parts - Hole
17. The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack - Liars

October 2008
This playlist I could never quite get to work. It has some really great songs on it, but, in my mind at least, they never *quite* meshed well enough to make a successful playlist. I'll post it here anyway. I'll probably end up reusing the tracks on another one at some point. Or just rehashing this till it's right. I know it'll bug me otherwise.
1. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing - Stevie Wonder
2. Want-ads - The Honeycombs
3. Close To Me - The Cure
4. Wrapped Up In Books - Belle & Sebastian
5. Autumn Almanac - The Kinks
6. Bend It - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
7. Never Miss A Beat - Kaiser Chiefs
8. We Got The Beat - The Go-Gos
9. Knickerbocker - Fujiya & Miyagi
10. Woo Hoo -'s
11. Pin - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
12. Lights Out - Santogold
13. But It's Alright - Eddie Floyd
14. Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
15. Mr Big Stuff - Jean Knight
16. Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding

November 2008
1. L.E.S. Artistes - Santogold
2. Violet - Hole
3. The Beginning Of The Twist - The Futureheads
4. I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
5. Hold Tight - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
6. In The Morning - The Coral
7. About A Girl - Nirvana
8. Trash - Suede
9. Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac
10. I've Got My Mind Set On You - George Harrison
11. Death Of A Tune - The Hidden Cameras
12. Young Love - Mystery Jets ft. Laura Marling
13. Ragged Wood - Fleet Foxes
14. I Wanna Be Adored - Stone Roses
15. Goodnight Moon - Shivaree
16. Tire Swing - Kimya Dawson
17. When I Go - Slow Club
18. Drinker's Peace - Guided By Voices
19. It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry - Glasvegas
20. Love Your Man, Love Your Woman - The Broken Family Band

December 2008
1. I Need A Life - Born Ruffians
2. Becky - Be Your Own Pet
3. Don't Falter - Mint Royale ft. Lauren Laverne
4. Brainless - Sunny Day Sets Fire
5. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? - She & Him
6. Midnight Surprise - Lightspeed Champion
7. Since I Don't Have You - The Skyliners
8. Dance Dance Dance - Lykke Li
9. Oh! - The Breeders
10. Ocean Of Noise - The Arcade Fire
11. White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
12. Flume - Bon Iver
13. Bears - Pete & The Pirates
14. Boys Of Melody - The Hidden Cameras
15. In The Morning - Ben Lee
16. Christmas TV - Slow Club

Hope 2008 has been good to you all; here's to 2009. Onwards and upwards, as they say.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

An intellectual carrot. The mind boggles.

Had total festive season wipeout today; crashed in front of the telly and watched horror movies all evening. First The Last House On The Left, then Planet Terror, then finally The Thing. We had to watch the original for a film studies class back at uni - it was relatively entertaining and contains possibly one of my favourite lines from a film ever (see blog post title), but Carpenter's version was brilliant - definitely my favourite of the three watched. Plus, Kurt Russell is The Awesome.

Friday, December 19, 2008

gingerbread house

Another grand festive tradition: the assembling and decorating of gingerbread houses with my oldest friend, Laura. Much sugar-hyped fun.

gingerbread war bunker

For the record, though I put the cow there, my friend was the one who said "He needs some innards" and put the red licorice there...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Thank Credit Crunch Chrismukkah meal 2008

Up to a certain point (usually around December 23rd) I love the festive season. I love the build up and the lights and decorations and music and buying crap for people and the emphasis on friends and family. But by the time Christmas Day actually rolls around, I'm so over it. So we had our becoming-traditional Chrismukkah lunch today: 12 adults, one toddler, the first people arriving at 2pm, the last people leaving at 10pm; lots of food, my sister and I cooking, trying to schedule everything in, suddenly remembering we hadn't put the potatoes on to boil though the turkey was basically cooked, completely forgetting about the stuffing. No major spillages, less booze consumed than I'd thought we might, everyone wearing the paper hats from crackers, and Tayo loving all the attention he was getting. Much talk of the previous night's X Factor (pah), excellent desserts brought by people (we asked people to bring contributions), fun with the squirty whipped cream, Christmas jumpers, eating so much you feel sick, and people passing out on the sofa... sounds like Christmas to me.


end of the evening

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

dance till the morning light

Slow Club at Union Chapel

Slow Club have been the soundtrack to my 2008; I love love love them and their live shows are just so endearing. Tonight we saw them at Union Chapel in Islington (what an amazing venue), along with a bunch of special guests. We sat in the pews drinking cups of tea and listened to Jay Jay Pistolet and Adem (who did a great version of Silent Night), then Slow Club came out and did their thing. They'd distributed lyric sheets for a good old singalong - unfortunately, the ink was red and the lighting in the chapel was verrrry low, so it was pretty much unreadable. No one really minded; everyone kind of hummed and clapped along anyway. A great last gig of the year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

glow in the dark

02 Arena. Kanye West's Glow In The Dark Tour 2008. Second gig of the week. Free tickets courtesy UMusic: great seats, eight rows from the front. Result.

He played all the hits and some off the forthcoming album, and right near the end brought Estelle out to do American Boy, which of course everyone loved. The show was something of a spectacle, with a crazy set and 'lost in space' kind of story - Kanye and his spaceship, "Jane", have crashed and he has to find some way to get his rocket working and off the lost planet back home somehow. Of course, it turns out the key to getting the rocket working again is Kanye himself - he's the biggest superstar there is (of course).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

change is gonna come

In one of our usual walking around, putting the world to rights kind of mornings in Paris, Dan and I were discussing our own personal 2008s. Where 2007 had been like treading water for me – and him, apparently – 2008 was the year of change, for both of us. It’s the first year I’ve felt happy. Settled. Like I have a real goal and know where I’m going. Like I’ve finally found my footing again since NY. And I started writing again, which is more of a big deal than I thought, and makes me happier than I realised. For him, much of the same: taking a three-month NY sabbatical in Paris, trying to refocus on his artwork, trying to calm down the crazy schedule he maintained earlier in the year.

And now it would seem that our personal 2008 theme has just gone worldwide. Election results are in; Obama’s the man.

All yesterday I was really weirdly nervous and emotional about the whole thing, closely following all my American friends’ Twitter and Facebook statuses about voting, donating my own Fb status to remind everyone to vote Obama. 98% of my Twitter buddies are Americans (is it not such a big thing over here?) and I guess maybe 40 – 50% of my Fb friends are, from the Fotolog days to my time living in NY – all of them Democrats – so there was a constant stream of updates. I remember well the 2004 election, how *sure* the fotolog peeps were that John Kerry was going to get in, the feeling of hope… and then the crushing disappointment when it all went to hell.

So this year I tried not to get so emotionally involved. I mean after all, it’s not even my country – though who rules America has such a big impact on the rest of the world, it would be stupid not to care who gets in. The disbelief at the Palin nomination, the flickers of hope that seemed to be growing among my friends, the idea of a black President, wondering if America was really ready for this…

I woke up this morning feeling like hell – the cold-flu monster that has been threatening all last week finally kicked into hyperdrive yesterday and is really kicking my ass – but staggered to the computer and checked BBC News, then Facebook, then Twitter, getting quite choked up as I scrolled back a few pages and belatedly followed last night's election progress via my friends:

ultragrrrl People are coming into the streets celebrating.
sweetavenue EVERY person they r showing on tv during obama's speech is in tears
gurj "brothaz should pull up their pants" oh obama... ::SWOON::
carafornia I'm glad the republicans get to know how we felt for 8 years. fuck yessssssss
carafornia yesyesyesyesyes. at boneshakers happy happy. words can't express how amazing tonight is.
gurj you have an arousing and cool new president. I'll toast to that. (mccain election epic fail wah waaah)
jeanieforever OH YES WE DID!
Brunocerous high-fiving VT!
Brunocerous hugging N.H
Brunocerous WTF, S.C.?
Brunocerous did florida really just turn blue?!
carafornia crybaby at the polls. so many people there made me tear up like a babeh. most exciting election in america's history!
Brunocerous Voted with all the hope in my heart.

Congratulations America. Here’s to Change, and the next four years.

Friday, October 31, 2008



This year's pumpkin, which I carved yesterday afternoon (still unemployed, too much free time on my hands...). Based on:

Dawn of the dead

My sister is epileptic and this usually doesn’t impede on her/our life much – she’s photosensitive, petit mal, so things like TV static, rapidly flashing or jump-cut images and strobe lights aren’t great (her friends are pretty good about clamping a hand over her eyes if they’re out at a club with strobes, and watching Dark Knight this summer was pretty interesting, some bad lighting effects in that). Halloween is the only time of year it really sucks. We’re trying to plan a good Scary Movie Night, and so many films are being shot down because of some faulty wiring in her brain – Poltergeist? No can do. Blair Witch or Cloverfield? Shaky-cam would knock her out. The Ring? Hello to the tv static. Goddamn epilepsy. I mean really, it’s awfully selfish of her to ruin movie night...

[For the record, any non-seizure-inducing films I mentioned all got shot down too, and people started talking about Disney horror… which is, in itself, frankly horrifying].

Monday, October 27, 2008

current status: grrrr

Q: What's more depressing and dispiriting that being unemployed and job-hunting?

A: Being unemployed and job-hunting in a credit crisis/recession.

Am SO OVER this financial meltdown crap already.

Friday, October 17, 2008

i love paris in the fall

i love paris in the fall

Currently à Paris, visiting Dan. Beautiful weather, amazing food, lots of walking and rambling and people watching. Paris, je t'aime.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So long September

My favourite method of procrastination is to make mix tapes (well, CDs). As September was mostly about writing (see previous post), this meant it was also mostly about procrastination. And so without further ado I present to you my September '08 playlist:
  1. Suedehead - Morrissey
  2. I'm Good, I'm Gone - Lykke Li
  3. Not Fade Away - The Rolling Stones
  4. Victoria - The Kinks
  5. Senses Working Overtime - XTC
  6. Pink Moon - Nick Drake
  7. Cold Blooded Old Times - Smog
  8. A Town Without Pity - Gene Pitney
  9. Darling - Sons & Daughters
  10. A Million Reasons - Stellastar
  11. Lion Rip - The Duke Spirit
  12. Slow Hands - Interpol
  13. Cannonball - The Breeders
  14. Today - Smashing Pumpkins
  15. Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
  16. Doll Parts - Hole
  17. The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack - Liars
  18. Handlebars - Flobots
Play the whole thing streamed here (minus the Duke Spirit track as bloody couldn't seem to locate it).

Here's to a prosperous October...

Monday, September 29, 2008

the day before the deadline

• Hours of sleep had: Less than four
• Number of drafts written
10 pages: About five
One-pager: Still not enough
• Deadlines met: One
• People in the line ahead of me at the Post Office: what seemed like 100
• Minutes spent deciding between the veggie brunch or the pancakes at brunch: Also about five
• Tantrums the godson had during the couple hours I spent with him: At least three. Including throwing a bowl of chips on the floor at Giraffe.
• How we got him back in the buggy without another tantrum: bribed him with Maltesers.
• Plan for the next day or two: bloody sleep.

Bonne chance à tous. I hold no hope but at least a deadline gets me writing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

badlands #2


In the badlands of south west London, a sunny Saturday afternoon spent lying in the sun in Richmond Park. Deadlines be damned.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

cogito ergo procrastinato*

Lazy Sundays are an art form, best typified by that amazing SNL skit of a few years ago (which has become so embedded in the pop culture subsection of my mind that I actually can’t say Chronicles of Narnia without (a) saying Chronic-what?-cles, and (b) start laughing). (Man, I miss SNL).

Today was a very, very lazy Sunday; the sole aim of the day was procrastination (sorry, 30th September is how far away? A whole nine days you say? That’s fiiiiiine…)

I got up late.

I had coffee and watched The Warriors (I dressed up as a Warrior for Halloween ’05, when I was living in NY. Had never actually seen the film, but there was a massive billboard a couple blocks away from my offices for the videogame of it, and the image had lodged itself in my mind, clearly, as I couldn’t think of a single other thing to dress up as. At the big Halloween ball we went to in Williamsburg some very drunk guy cornered me at the bar, grabbed me by the shoulders and slurred “No one will ever understand how amazing your outfit is.” Which I took to mean he approved of it.)

I went back upstairs to get dressed… but got back into bed instead.

Got up again about half an hour later, feeling guilty that I was wasting the day so badly.

Back downstairs, completely ignored Ratatouille that someone had put on, internetted for a good long while. Joined after months of hovering around all, all in the name of procrastination (it’s great, join! we can all follow each other procrastinating! It’s like the most fun part of Facebook – the status update bar - without all the other Facebook crap).

Put Shaun of the Dead on (see below).

Paused Shaun of the Dead to walk round to open-all-hours pharmacy. Pharmacist not in, came home, resumed Shaun of the Dead.

Paused Shaun of the Dead again an hour later, walked to corner shop, bought poppadoms, went back to pharmacy, pharmacist in, picked up prescription. Came back, watched last part of movie.

Had dinner.

Internetted, made playlists, generally mooched around.

Watched repeats of No Heroics (has potential) and Samantha Who? (quite funny, could do without the weird writing bits).

Made a cup of tea.

Read Neverwhere.

Decided it was too late to try and salvage the day by doing something productive, so went to bed.

An art form. As you see.

*Yes, there's a large chance this actually isn't Latin.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Master Blaster


So my sister got last minute tickets (as in, 5:30pm-when-he-went-on-at-8pm last minute) free tickets to Stevie Wonder at the O2 last night, courtesy of her workplace. Cue much stress as I tried to figure out if it'd be feasible for me to go - of course, it's Stevie fucking Wonder, you drop everything and make it happen - then major rush over to Greenwich, but everyone got there in plenty of time.

And oh my, he was amaaaaaazing. Total legend.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Saw Badlands at the BFI tonight. My gosh, what a film. Like visual poetry. Masterful.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Note to self:

Films to re-watch as soon as I have time:
  • Repo Man. "...Ordinary fucking people, I hate 'em."
  • Total Recall - which I haven't seen since I was about 12 and made some friends watch it at a sleepover. Perhaps that was the beginning of my oddball reputation... when all they wanted to do was watch The Outsiders and cry over Johnny, and I make them watch a total mindfuck of a film.
  • Memento. Know I've seen it, but don't remember.
  • The Matrix
  • Shaun of the Dead. One of the rainy Sundays in August (and it felt like there were many), when the grey skies drained all productivity out of me, I sat and watched all of the second series of Spaced (having watched the first the day before), followed by Hot Fuzz. For some reason I never got round to SotD that day, so it feels like a piece is missing.
  • A History of Violence
  • Withnail & I
  • Kill Bill (both volumes)
  • Pulp Fiction. Haven't seen since the year it came out and I was a wee teenager. As much as I liked it then, I'm sure I'd appreciate it much more now.
  • Brick. One of my favourite scripts I've ever read.
  • Brazil, which is playing the BFI at the end of September so must try and twist someone's arm into going with me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It's very useful having friends who live on Portobello: having a place to collapse, a free BBQ, a table full of drinks, nice toilets, a good view of the Carnival crowds (and the subsquent riots, which I missed, being back at home, but my sister who was staying there had prime position to witness the riot police in action)... Haven't been since I was a teenager (can never quite be bothered), but it was so worth it just for the food: saltfish patties, fried plantains, dumplings... drooooool...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am the god of Hellfire...

I'd been reading up about Sir Francis Dashwood and the Hellfire Club recently - for research or pleasure, take your pick - and decided since another roadtrip out of London was well overdue, I'd head out to West Wycombe and go visit the Hellfire Caves.

I coerced my sister and we drove out, marvelling at the cheaper petrol prices in the countryside, and the quaint village of West Wycombe, complete with crazy old crooked buildings and old-fashioned sweet shop.

The caves themselves were good creepy fun (one family that came in a minute behind us only got about 20 feet before the youngest child - probably around 5 or so - started wailing and had to be taken back out) - lots of dripping water and echoey, dimly lit paths and creepy ass waxworks. Awesome.

When we emerged back into the sunlight, we aimed for the Dashwood Mausoleum. While I'm sure there's a more sensible route, we couldn't seem to find one, so started walking up the steep hill that soon became almost vertical. As we scrabbled up the slope - no useful grass or shrubs to grab on to that high up, just dirt and scree and a few odd roots that you hang on to for dear life - a small boy came bounding past us and asked if we wanted a hand. I've never felt more like an old lady; almost gave that cheeky young whippersnapper a clip round the ear...

The mausoleum was actually quite impressive up close and the church behind it very charming and full of Dashwood family history, but after scrabbling back down the same slope we'd had to climb up, only a visit to the aforementioned sweet shop and then one of the village pubs could soothe us enough to be able to drive home...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

bad influence...


Hanging out with M. and Tayo - coffee, wandering, heading up to Chiswick House (as above), where we introduced T. to the pleasures of the climbing tree (though he is perhaps still a little young to fully appreciate it).

Later we went for lunch, where the tot loudly banged on the table, demanding "more!" Maria tried to get him to more politely say "more please". I took the initiative, and made him say "Please sir, may I have some more?", à la Oliver Twist, before he could have more food. I am an evil godmother. Mwahahahaha.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I had a meeting this afternoon at BBC Television Centre in White City; we sat in the coffee shop downstairs for a chat, and these were poised about ten feet behind us. Amazing.

Best part of the most recent series finale, about which I still haven't really made up my mind: German daleks.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Went to see Akira at the BFI this evening. Faaabulous.