armyofsnails: (wife)
I'm standing in the middle of my living room, alone, popping party poppers and experiencing mixed feelings.

I'm surrounded by packed boxes and various other things I apparently own (Brompton bike, 1970s globe shaped drinks cabinet, skull-shaped walking stick... ??). Party of one to celebrate the end of an era.

I'm out of Crouch end next Saturday, moving in with a partner (one of them, A) only for the second time in my life. I'm a homeowner for the first time. I'm leaving behind this red-and-white witch's house, which I shared with my dearest friend of 15 years, Mr B aka Ginger Menace, my one and only flatmate.

Party poppers smell quite nice. The boxes and my Brompton bike are now covered in confetti.
armyofsnails: (time snail)

Two years ago this week, on the night of the infamous London riots, I met two rather eccentric looking gentlemen at a dinner party in Hackney. Our very first conversation was about the bus that was burning outside their flat in Dalston, while listening to police sirens outside, eating soup and drinking cider in the relative safety of our host’s apartment.

Over the course of the next few months, I got to know them better. One became my lover, the other my friend. Through both of them, I was introduced to some inspiring people, had the best times of my life, felt accepted and appreciated more than I had ever been before. I became aware of my own freedom and the opportunities around me without the burden of control and insecurity that are so often falsely sold to us as the necessary peripherals of a relationship. I gained new understanding of my own capacity for empathy and compersion.

My old friends embraced my new partner with open arms, because of his compassionate and peculiarly eccentric personality and his readiness to spend time and effort on the people who are important to me. They embraced my new friend because of his artistic flare, extroverted nature and the effortless way in which he makes connections with others everywhere he goes.

In the heart of it all is an extraordinary love story that I am happy to be a part of.

Looking forward to the good times ahead.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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: (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: (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... )


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: (snail boob)
...and a milestone, I suppose )
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: (Japanese)
I feel like I should start apologising for my Prozac-like posts of late... Or maybe not. Deal with it. :P

I wrote this in response to an e-mail from my boyfriend the other day. Nothing particularly ground-breaking in it, but it does structure my thoughts on the subject a little, so here it is for what it's worth.... )


Mar. 30th, 2012 01:55 pm
armyofsnails: (Simpsons)
Don't think I have ever felt so happy.

Not the bouncing off walls, manic kind of happy, but calmer, more like the feeling of sunshine on the skin.

It's quite scary to think about it. Just how much is our - is my - happiness externalised? Does it really have to depend so much on other people? And how come one so often rests the foundation of one's well-being on something as apparently capricious as romantic love? I suppose that the more experienced one gets, the less capricious one tries to make it, but even then one still misses the boat every now and then.

But nevermind. For today, for foreseeable future, hopefully for unforeseeable future too, I am in love and the world makes sense in the way it has never done before.
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
A's excuse for only having had three hours of sleep the previous night: "I was baking brownies of several different levels of density, then playing harmonica for three hours practising a song for my niece's birthday." He was going to give me a demonstration too, but I told him to go to bed. I woke up the following morning to a tray of brownies cut into squares and arranged into a giant Space Invader shape.

This is the man who walks into his office dressed in a Stitch kigu suit just because he feels like it (he works in a software development company). Honestly, these days I'm beginning to forget what normal means... Hahaha...  
armyofsnails: (Simpsons)
So on the back of my birthday A. and I decided to do the drag act again for Valentine's. The idea was to pick an incredibly posh restaurant - one that has a dress code and at least three waiters per customer - and test their acceptance boundaries a little. A. suggested Fortnum & Mason's The Fountain. I managed to get a reservation there for the 14th.

Read more... )
armyofsnails: (Default)
After much deliberation I've decided to recite a Mandelstam poem about honey in Russian and English - seemed appropriate for an event centred on food, a tad random maybe but I'm not exactly a poetry geek so it'll have to do. Sourcing a decent English translation has taken a while but I think I've found it... Here (the third one). It'll be my first Burns supper (that having lived in the UK for 16 years, honestly!) and I get insanely self conscious about performing, even in front of friends. Hope there'll be enough whisky to take the edge off. Eeee.

On 25 January 2012 11:06, Andi R wrote:
Sorry this is unfashionably late, seems I've not been focussed enough
recently [must try harder!] - anyway just to remind you all (who
haven't cancelled) that today is the 253rd birthday of Rabbie Burns
(the Bard of Ayrshire)
Read more... )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
My boyfriend described me last night as "happy-go-lucky". It was meant as a compliment but it made me wonder... Am I really? Guess in some ways, yes. Is that a good thing at the tender age of thirty-two (and a mere fortnight shy of the higher number)?

Guess if I wasn't I would possibly be in a different place in my life right now. Or not? But why should I care? I'm doing all right. Now, that's a happy-go-lucky kind of statement if I ever saw one.

Useless fact of the day: most of the driving scenes in the film Happy-Go-Lucky by Mike Leigh were shot on my street in north London - they go straight past my front door several times. I've moved from the street with Chtulhu and the Goat with a Thousand Young to the street where a highly strung driving instructor shouts at an insanely cheery 30-year-old woman. Who said life in N8 was boring?
armyofsnails: (food snail)
Here is the cake I've helped make for [ profile] didlix and [ profile] razornet's birthday party earlier this month. It took 7 hours in total. The banana and apple base - including an entire banana buried in the middle - was baked by someone who is a bit of an expert in interesting cake creations (not me, obviously!!). All the coloured icing, including the 3D skull and banana bones, was sculpted by yours truly, with the letters cut out with a scalpel from a flattened icing pancake. This was a fucking nightmare of a job because as I quickly discovered the icing gets quite fragile and sticky when cut so finely. I had no idea what I was doing most of the time, but I had a lot of direction.clicky )
armyofsnails: (racer)
I've actually not updated this thing for so long that I've been "nudged" by one of my ever faithful LJ friends... useful feature. <3

The reason for the silence is that I'm idiotically busy and only have time for gnomic Twitter posts. I'll get a couple of free days over the Christmas and New Year break and will attempt to write something meaningful then.

For now suffice to say that life is moving in mysterious and unpredictable ways and that I'm probably the happiest and most fulfilled I've ever been. In part this is because of a new development in my... what do they call these things? romantic landscape? Anyway, yes. I'm finding out about crazy over-the-top romance and the joy of little things in life and how to care for someone in ways that I have perhaps not been able to do before. I never thought this could happen and never hoped for it, and I'm not sure what it all means, but it doesn't matter. Whatever it means and however long it lasts, it's a journey worth taking.


armyofsnails: (Default)

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