armyofsnails: (miro hare)

I'm at a wedding reception, talking to the bride's sister. The bride's maiden surname is Dyke, and we are discussing the concept of changing given names and surnames, whether for marriage or personal preference reasons.

Bride's sister, waving her champagne glass around, "So my surname is Dyke and I'm... a dyke! And my family was surprised when I came out! Seriously. Also, when I used to live in Brighton, my street was called Dyke Street."

Read more... )

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

armyofsnails: (time snail)
We walked by the cliffs to the Dover Lighthouse, had a picnic (everything was flying away, including Prosecco and the vegan salad), visited the lighthouse (with its Faraday's giant lightbulb and Marconi's first radio transmitter), walked back. The turquoise of the sea, the white of the cliffs and the yellow of the flowers were so pure and bright they hurt my eyes.

S then sent me this poem by Ted Hughes which is reminiscent of the wind-swept Dover landscape, albeit bleaker.

The wind flung a magpie away and a black - Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly )
armyofsnails: (time snail)
A came back from Austria last week, late on a weekday evening. I met him at Heathrow airport, and as we were heading towards Dalston Raq sent me a text, "msg us when ten mins away, we have a surprise. Don't tell A!x"

When we finally reached the door there was a bit of a kerfuffle, and we were told to wait outside for a few moments. Then, as we entered  the flat, Raq was standing on the coffee table, wearing enormous shiny platform shoes, her face painted blue. The main lighting was switched off, bar one rainbow uplighter resting at her feet. Gentle music from the laptop, she began singing... initially, the aria from Donicetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. In a little while, this transformed into - you *may* have guessed it - the Diva aria from Fifth Element. Once the beat struck, Raq whipped out bright pink stripy sunglasses and put them on.

Sadly, I don't have a recording of this bizarre and wonderful midnight performance, but here is the lady herself on Youtube (from another performance). And below is her at Bar Wotever at Royal Vauxhall Tavern (earlier on the same night).

At the end of the song, Raq ran around the living room hugging us and smearing blue paint all over our faces... We had some food, watched some 80s music videos and went to sleep.

Pic behind cut )

On #aiww

May. 17th, 2013 01:55 pm
armyofsnails: (time snail)
S and I went to see The Arrest of Ai Weiwei at Hampstead Theatre last weekend. Impressed by the play, I ended up googling various links on the artist and sending them by e-mail to S, A and AR to get their opinion on the play and on Ai Weiwei in general (A and AR have already seen the play).I thought it may be worth sharing this here. )
armyofsnails: (time snail)
This wonderful man was my physics teacher when I was a teenager and until the point when I left Russia for the UK, aged sixteen. He was one of the most amazing, inspiring individuals I had ever met, and - goes without saying - my favourite teacher of all time. He changed - directly or indirectly - the lives of many of his students, which is why decades later they still talk about him. I am glad and not at all surprised to find him just as sharp, witty, active and beautiful as I remember him.

The link should Google translate reasonably well.
Read more... )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
A may not be the next T S Eliot but I find his bursts of creativity immensely amusing and very relevant.

[02/05/2013 22:38:12] A: I going to write you some bad poetry here, please check back from tie to time to see what awful chleckt I've come up with next:
Read more... )

He did actually record a T S Eliot poem once, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock (it's A's voice in the recording; apparently this is attempt no. 20). The obsession started when S told me that the name of our favourite London coffee house, Prufrock, may have been inspired by the poem of the same name. A ended up reading and re-reading it, then finding an online recording of it by T S Eliot himself, hating the recording and doing his own version. Objectively, A's version is much, much better.
armyofsnails: (time snail)
Drawn by my LJ friend [livejournal.com profile] edgecondition, translates as,

"Did you see that scene yesterday?"
"A-ha! Women at the construction site!!!"


Clicky for image )
armyofsnails: (Simpsons)
Went to a Dyke March fundraising event last Sunday with Raq and A. It was a documentary afternoon at an East London pub. The projector kept slowly sagging, the sofas were sagging, there was cider, the atmosphere was quite jolly, and A was the only man in the room (unsurprisingly; apparently that qualifies him as a 'lesbro'! Did you know this word? I didn't).

Out of the three features we watched, the one about the Dada artist Hannah Höch (1/3 of the documentary called The Female Closet by Barbara Hammer) excited me the most. I had come across her before, but seeing her work alongside her life on the screen has suddenly opened her up for me. Her collages were touching, sexy, cheeky and thought provoking; her life tempestuous, and her sexuality not dissimilar to mine. I'm going to have to buy books on her now and track down her work in art galleries.
armyofsnails: (time snail)
Well, this is embarrassing. I was sent home earlier this morning by our office secretary for being the carrier of disease - have only just recovered from norovirus, but even though I'm feeling better apparently I'm still infectious. An unexpected birthday present from last Saturday; *someone* (I'll probably never know who, and does it really matter?) has given it to two of my friends as well... One of them now on holiday in Barbados! Crikey.

I did in fact remember all of my birthday and the day after. Read more... )

Birthday

Feb. 2nd, 2013 08:30 am
armyofsnails: (time snail)

So I'm now a year older (not far off trying to make people forget what age I really am... futilely no doubt. But who cares if I'm thirty or fifty, right?) I was going do to a summary for 2012 but failed miserably, so this is a substitute for that.

Some of this may read as a bit of a 'London life' informercial.. Hello Time Out? )
armyofsnails: (food snail)
A's raspberry 'Pi' pie.
Actually only 20% raspberry, the rest is apple and raspberry jam. I helped make the filling. Link to story here. Photos are also A's, reproducing with kind permission...

Read more... )
armyofsnails: (Default)
Pictures of my hometown - stumbled upon in [livejournal.com profile] architecture tonight. Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] nazarov_msk whose photographic work I am rather enjoying.

A little weird, considering how nostalgic I'm feeling already... Fuel to the fire, eh.
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
...and a milestone, I suppose )
armyofsnails: (Default)
My mum on the phone today (translated from Russian):

"Language is a complicated affair with many thousands of words, yet even in simple conversation we can't seem to be able to avoid the three words - love, life and death."
armyofsnails: (Default)
London -> Herefordshire -> London -> Calais -> Rouen -> Le Mans -> Angoulême -> Clermont-Ferrand -> Dijon -> Ronchamp -> CERN -> Geneva -> London

English cider country and its wonderful artisan cider farms, followed by mouthwatering French and Swiss wines and many types of cheese fondue.

Got caught in two insane lightning storms whilst on the road - like something out of a movie, with one lightning bolt per second across the flat countryside of south-western France. Drove though a solid wall of water. Slept in the back of a van in all sorts of locations from a village cemetery to a vet's back yard. Van coffee from a tiny portable kettle was one of the best parts of waking up.

Shovelled calcium stones in a village barn-cum-chateau in progress for the Cyberdog designer Dominic Elvin.

Saw many ancient, giant cathedrals and basilicas and one *little* church from the modern times, by a certain French chap, in a convent in a tiny village only architects have heard about. We broke the convent's rules and sat on the grass outside Ronchamp's Notre Dame du Haut drinking perry we had brought all the way from Herefordshire, then peered into the nuns' quarters controversially designed by Renzo Piano.

In the true spirit of Italo Calvino, we passed through a city of black lava stone, a city of mustard and chocolate, a village of spectacles, a skiing village, a town of nuclear physicists, a city of banks. We drove atop of Mount Jura in milky fog, with glimpses of mountain villages hundreds of metres below, then over the giant circle of the Large Hydron Collider into CERN.

Now home in London N8 eating hiyayakko tofu, a dish impossible to find in the land of meat, cheese and snails. I left the two boys driving through the Alps into the sunset of distant Germany. Wish I had more holiday time left so I could stay with them, but the hamster wheel of London-work-life wants me back.

As usual, bits and pieces and photos are on Twitter, I've been posting these throughout the trip.

A couple of my drawings of Le Corbusier's Ronchamp behind cut. )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
My entry to High Line for London Green Infrastructure competition.

A week's worth of drawing work preceded by (not particularly intense) couple of weeks of research, during which I discovered that the river I was going to write about - called Moselle, not to be confused with the one in Germany - flows directly under my street in Haringey (like many streets in London, mine follows the course of an underground river pretty much exactly).

Pfew! Not done anything like that since university days... Photoshop-tastic and some hand drawing, too. Click for piccy )
armyofsnails: (Default)
Boys, girls, don't ever look for pain, don't think that the experience of pain will somehow make you a real man or woman or any such bullshit. Pain will find you sooner or later, and when it does you'll wish you'd never known it. Trust me.

Please, please just enjoy life while you still can without any of the crazy luggage or the awareness of the human condition or any of it, please. You haven't got long. 
armyofsnails: (fear me)
I still exist... Mainly on Twitter though! Feel free to leaf through for what it's worth. :)

Latest, drawings of Christian Louboutin's shoes at the Design Museum. Am quite pleased with these, especially considering I haven't drawn for fun in quite a while. Loving the coloured paper effect which was suggested to me by a friend (whose paper I stole, too); think I'll stick to it for its forgiving fluffy qualities...

New York

May. 17th, 2012 09:54 pm
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
Back from New York last Sunday; there for a week with the loyal musketeers [livejournal.com profile] 3_nic and [livejournal.com profile] captain_g.

Best followed on Twitter. Lots of open WIFI everywhere, so kept tweeting from the strangest of places, including the top of Chrysler Buidling which isn't normally accessible to the public, but we got in courtesy of CG's local connections. Followed by cocktails on the 14th floor of Library Hotel with the said connections. 

I think I've managed to develop a mad crush on New York within the space of a week. But unlike most holiday romances this one might just last - already plotting when I may be back. This is rare for me; usually I'm a one night stand kind of girl when it comes to foreign holidays - too many places, too little time...

Breathtaking skyline, weird juxtapositions (hipsters playing Imogen Heap and selling craft mayonnaise; a limo parked outside a McDonald's and a bar called "Hot Bird" which does not mean "hot lady" apparently), hearty food, cocktails consisting of 99% alcohol, cool bars, including a secret bar hidden behind a phone booth, amazing art, stylish Coney Island ale, 34 types of local oyster, and seemingly genuinely friendly people. Some weird personal coincidences - though I'm getting used to them these days. Some fantastic architecture and some crap architecture, too. Did you know that the third and the fourth tallest buildings in New York had been built in the 1930s? I've seen the tallest one in construction, too, and to be honest from outside it's much of a muchness, but the disappearing inverse mountains of water in place of the WTC towers were impressive. Went to Long Island for a day to eat oysters and look at boats, appreciating as we did from the comfort of the departure display board the strangeness of suburban places such as "Locust Manor", "Mastic-Shirley" and "Flushing Main" (seeming to us alternately like an apocalyptic townscape or a severe plumbing problem). They say New York is a bit like London on speed and they are right. It's faster, taller, crazier, more concentrated, more restless. London is and will always be the love of my life but it may have a competitor now.

I keep promising that photos will be posted and never get around to it. I might do this time... 

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