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One Direction by hmv_getcloser
One Direction, a photo by hmv_getcloser on Flickr.
In honour of the approaching NaNoWriMo, I'm going to start writing one hour a day. I don't mean necessarily write for one hour, but have that time and space dedicated to it. I may just stare at a screen or a paper journal for 60mins.

What I want is routine. I already have one with exercise, and even with my little cafe excursions on Monday mornings before work, so why can't I have an hour a day for writing? And for days when I absolutely can't get an hour to myself, I could add it to the weekend so - say - on a Sunday when I'm at home, I can write for three hours and catch up on the hours I owe (though that sounds like a cop out already, doesn't it?)

So I'm here, sitting in the living room listening to Jarvis Cocker's show on BBC Radio 6 (<3), the wind rattling the windows (bring it on Super Storm of the Decade About to Hit Britain), only a few minutes gone by in my allocated hour.

Can I write on LJ during my allocated hour? Yes I can. Can I write on Twitter or Facebook? No, I can't - those networks don't count.

I wish we had a cat. It would nestle against me when I was focused, then sprint away when I tried to pet it.

My mouth tastes faintly of chai tea. And a little bit of the cheese and onion Ruffle crisps I had for lunch with a salmon and cream cheese bagel, on a bench in Victoria Park.

I went to the gym first thing this morning - it's always empty on Sundays, which I love. I took a bath in the afternoon, with a candle for company (a scented one that one of the Sissies gave me for my birthday.) I listened to songs from my iPhone while I soaked - 100 randomly selected songs from my iTunes.

I have a brasilian friend in town who I met for drinks and a play at Soho Theatre last night. (A very good feminist play that was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe - highly recommend you see it you have a chance: Bryony Kimmings: Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model.) We were meant to go to Columbia Road's flower market today... I'm still waiting for their phone call.

Last Tuesday my boyfriend and I marked 15 years together. Fifteen years ago we went on a date in Montreal, to see Bride of Chucky. I gave him David Sedaris' latest book, which I bought at Gay's the Word (one of London's best bookshops). He gave me a collection of short stories written by bloggers, edited by Dennis Cooper.

He's now in his cupboard office, going through his bills. We just watched the final episode of The Killing III. I'd been under the impression that it was the last series ever, but the ending has left a door open and a return more than likely. This makes me happy even though the Scandinavia portrayed in the series is as bleak as fuck.

A few weeks ago I toyed with the idea of doing a fanfiction NaNoWriMo - a thriller based on One Direction. Here's my pitch: girls from all over the world adore the boys and want to meet them at all costs. But little do they know that... One Direction have a bloodlust for their fans! They enjoy hunting and killing them for sport. (There's some subplot about One Directioners disappearing and a cop who wears ugly knitted sweaters investigating these cases.) The opening scene is a One Direction bus pulling out of the stadium, with blacked windows - girls screaming their heads off around it and begging the boys to come out. Little do they know that inside its soundproof walls, Harry Styles is wielding a chainsaw and advancing on a terrified Directioner... and so on. My heroine in this fanfiction comes from Nottingham and survives a night in One Direction's hotel after her friend is killed. She turns into prey as the band hunt for her, even going so far to track down her family's home (they announce to the world that they are bringing their arena tour to - surprise surprise - Nottingham!)

I may have Moussaka for dinner tonight. I bought some at M&S during the week and put it in the freezer. Oh, I forgot to mention: we didn't have Pancake Saturday yesterday! I don't know if the boyfriend has been reading my journal but it suddenly became French Toast Saturday and I was in charge. (I make some mean french toasts I'll have you know.) I'm determined to have Pancake Saturday return next weekend.
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A nice blend of Cocteau Twins with ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. Didn't see any good reviews for the album but... I'm digging it so far!
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Hackney Downs by IanMH
Hackney Downs, a photo by IanMH on Flickr.
Saturdays in our flat have become "Pancake Saturday". My boyfriend has mixed feelings about this as he's the Pancake Master. I like to say on Friday night things like "I can't wait for Pancake Saturday tomorrow." Or, "I notice we have bananas and blueberries - Pancake Saturday is going to be extra special tomorrow."

In the morning, he'll try a "you do the coffee then." I'll smile, hit the coffee maker's button and go sit on the sofa. I prepare the coffee maker the night before, you see.

I love nothing more than BBC Radio 6 on a Saturday morning, a copy of the London Review of Books and the smell of pancakes frying in the kitchen. Yesterday, I read in the LRB a review of a Nijinsky biography. About his famed beauty, the choreographing of the Rite of Spring, the ensuing succès de scandale, his madness… before I knew it, I had disappeared into a search through YouTube footage and Tumblr photos.

In the evening, we met my friend Vini Bambimi in Stoke Newington for some drinks at the Three Crown and a spot of dancing downstairs, in The Waiting Room. It was a 90s night - a 90s I'd forgotten about. Utah Saints more exhilarating than Elastica; Hole instead of Nirvana (very popular with the attendees, I'll tell ya); the unfairly neglected Urban Cookie Collective.

It was a LGBT night too. The crowd was mostly young but one or two oldies were also on the dancefloor. It was a good mix.


The Waiting Room

Next Friday night is 80s night - I'm thinking of checking it out with [livejournal.com profile] millionreasons. (We are going to some birthday drinks in Bloomsbury beforehand and I'm planning on dragging her to the club afterwards.)

It's a very small space - the kind that would elicit many casualties if a stampede broke out. But it has that thing Electric Dreams doesn't have - a dance floor without bright lights straight in your face. Also doesn't take long to get a drink from the bar.

This morning, the boyfriend made an omelette and hashbrowns to go with the croissants we bought on the way home last night from the 24-hour bagel shop on Stoke Newington High Street. We then took the 425 bus to Clapton, where we met Vini Bambini again for a 5K run through Hackney Downs, London Fields, Broadway Market, Regent's Canal and Victoria Park.

I wish I had an Agatha Christie to watch tonight.
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The Drowned Man
The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable, production shot


Gradiva is the story of a young archeologist who buries his desires, but of course what is repressed always returns and one night he dreams of Pompeii; it is the time of the eruption of Vesuvius, and he sees his Gradiva there, the dream image of a woman depicted in a plaster-cast bas-relief, with a particular gait that fascinates him, for which he searches in the streets. He is possessed by her ‘lente festinans’. The woman in his dream lies down as if to sleep, stretched along a broad step. She dies (it is a moment for which Jacques Derrida says all historians wish: to witness the coincidence of the event with the archiving of that event). She is like a beautiful statue and a veil of ashes covers her face and soon buries her. In 1907, Freud published his essay on Gradiva and delusions and dreams. It is also a ghost story, unstable and distorted, its happy ending uncertain even when resolved. [1]

In that same year, Freud wrote a postcard from Rome to his wife, Martha. "He invited her to think of his joy in encountering––or re-encountering––after a long solitude, a beloved face. It was, however, as he remarked, a rather one-sided recognition, for the face to which he was referring was that of the bas-relief of the Gradiva, a figure stepping lightly, high up on a wall in the Vatican".[2]

106 years later, to the date, I step into a building near Paddington Station, London, for Punchdrunk's latest production, The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable.

Contains spoilers... )

[1] & [2] A London Fantasy, by Sharon Kivland
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Wax Idols, Discipline + Desire, 2013

My boyfriend was cutting my hair last week in our
makeshift hair salon in the kitchen when I suggested this album as soundtrack. As the album unfolded and he snapped at my salt & pepper locks, he said our mirror should be covered with skulls and we should be wearing heavy mascara.

Wax Idols are very old-school gothy (or post-punky, if you prefer).  Siouxsie's influence is in there with Robert Smith's guitar, as well as P.i.L. and Joy Division's rhythm section. For a more recent comparison, I sensed a bit of The Organ in there and even the Pixies.  According to Pitchfork's review, the band's front woman Heather Fortune, who once played with Hunx and His Punx, is a dominatrix during the day, which explains the album's title.  Hailing from California, there's a yearning for the type of darkness only the Brits know. I don't agree though with Pitchfork's conclusion that all songs keep the listener at bay.  It's the opposite for me; their 80s style alternative pop is nostalgic and embracing, with some songs like "Dethrone" staying with you after a few listens. It's a dramatic and catchy album, which is - really - my bread and butter. (It also helps that they are an all-female band!)


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Harsh beat, stress down my spine and fingers.

Sitting in the spare room, early Thursday morning in London, about to slip on some socks and head to work.

Bjork so hard, drilling a hole in my head.
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Vocals and chords from a tiny device I touch, a roar outside.

In my writing room, 9.13 Tuesday morning, before heading to work.

See myself walking all the way to the station while listening to the Jesus and Mary Chain.
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Lovebox Festival by J_Ymmit
Lovebox Festival, a photo by J_Ymmit on Flickr.
Went running around Victoria Park this morning with my boyfriend and heard Goldfrapp doing the soundcheck for her gig tonight at Lovebox.

Ran past a gentleman who wished me a good morning. Ran past other gentlemen who ran their eyes between us with a certain curiosity.

Read on Twitter that Lil Kim was late for her performance so Lovebox decided not to let her on stage (fair enough.)

Almost regretted not having a ticket this year but the memories of being arrested and strip searched last year are still very much fresh in my memory.

Didn't win the lottery last night.  Didn't even get a single number right.
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Do any of you know if there's an easy way of searching for info in your old LJ posts?  I want to find the posts where I wrote about "The History Game" - the game where I move chronologically through history books, trying to get to modern times.

I have a new bad idea game: I'm purchasing one album per week and listening to it non-stop, with the idea of then writing a little review for them.  I suppose I want to get into the habit of reviewing music, thinking of albums as novels, feeling a little more what's been put into them.  Mostly new albums such as: the latest from Camera Obscura, Noblesse Oblige, Future Bible Heroes, Jon Hopkins and, this week, Austra.  Looking forward to checking out the new ones from Editors and White Lies.

I tried listening to Taylor Swift's "Red" the other day in the bathtub, in [livejournal.com profile] naturalbornkaos' homage, but the water went cold halfway through the album (It's got 22 songs or something - a proper double-LP).

I'm still taking that Coursera course "The Fiction of Relationship" but have decided to give it up at the halfway point.  I'll still get a Statement of Accomplishment, which is OK. (For completing the whole thing I think you get a SUPER Statement of Achievement.)  I just don't think I could deal with reading the upcoming five novels until August... I want to enjoy the sunshine while it's still here in London!

The allergies are killing me.
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Future Bible Heroes, Partygoing, 2013

The new Magnetic Fields Future Bible Heroes album feels to me like a return to form for Stephin Merritt. The idea behind this ongoing side project is that all songs must be synthesiser disco-pop - essentially the Magnetic Fields camped up on Erasure and Yazoo beats. Lyrics are typical Merritt and mostly sung by Claudia Gonson (who is also part of the Magnetic Fields): barbed miseries and ditties that are smart, ironic, and always far from a happy end.

The album opens with Claudia sharing how a drink is just the thing to light her mind when she's feeling low. She's followed by a narrator who lives in a cave surrounded by books, records and dolls, and who clarifies that "I never said I wasn’t crazy / I know I’m a loon / I’m crazy for you darling, and that’s / sadder than the moon." The parents in "Lets Go To Sleep (And Never Come Back)" buy some crack and make a suicide pact because they can't afford their rent or children anymore. Later, though, the best plan for a another set of parents is to "Keep Your Children In A Coma" as that saves the family a load of grief (no priests will abuse them, no bullying beasts will catch them in school).  There's a lot of dreaming too: of "A New Kind Of Town", the kind that "doesn’t hate you /
wear a new kind of gown / And they’ll queue to date you;" or the ones brought about from "Living, Loving, Partygoing" - partying with John Waters and attending Mink Stole's birthday bash; then sleeping for three days after falling on your head.

The only wrong step in the album for me is "Drink Nothing But Champagne" - a song that sounds more like a musical number, with "David Bowie" and Aleister Crowley voices taking turn trying to convince us that champagne is better than water. Another strange thing is that some of the songs break away from the traditional pop structure, with no second verse and chorus - going straight into a short "middle" after the first verse and chorus.  It leaves you hanging and wanting more.


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I want to dance to this in the early hours of the morning in [livejournal.com profile] neenaw's basement disco.
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The start of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life", sat on a hard chair, surrounded by white walls, faint whiff of the cold coffee to my right and a gentle creaking that is either raindrops or just the window moving to the air outside.

I'm in the spare room - my office - surfing the net and listening to a playlist on Spotify I put together from Electric Dreams songs. My back is sore and I'm sitting up straight; trying not to break in half.

If I concentrate on being in this moment, it feels like I'm sinking into the chair.
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Via [livejournal.com profile] sarahofthedead

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