Friday, June 29, 2012

I Almost Forgot: Lesley Arfin is Awesome

Man, I forgot how much I love Lesley Arfin. I used to read her now-defunct blog Cafe Con Lesley religiously and it took me watching this new Style Like U video to be reminded of her wit and brilliance. I love the honesty of this video. How many times have you read an interview about people who 'struggled and struggled until they found their late-blooming success'? These interviews always skip out the parts about the reality of self-doubt and the complete disorientation of that 'oh god, what am I doing?' feeling, so what I really love about this video is that Lesley doesn't. She is completely honest about how things went tits-up every now and then but without resolving to a 'but now, I've made it'-style happy ending. Things are good for her now, she is a main writer on HBO's Girls (which if I'm honest I wasn't massively won over by, but maybe I'll give it another go) but life continues to be great in parts, and when it's not great, that's okay too. There is so much emphasis today on things going right all the time, and on individuals always being happy, so I like Lesley's approach which feels more realistic and trial and error based. It says 'don't sweat the small stuff.'

One thing that often stands out to me in interviews with women in their 30s is that they often seem pretty sorted when it comes to their own self-confidence and competence when it comes to knowing 'how to get stuff done', in a way that starkly contrasts myself, my friends, and women in general of my own age. Lesley reflects this when she talks about how much more hung-up she was about her body in her 20s. This interview reminds me to be less hung-up, in all aspects of my life because it's so easy to get into a funk when you forget that shrugging your shoulders and pulling a 'whatever' sign with your fingers is a pretty okay way of powering on sometimes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Top, Goodwill. Skirt, Marks and Spencer. Trainers, Nike. 

An outfit I wore last week when we were being blessed with hot hot heat instead of thunderstorms. This was a 'ventilation' outfit that kept me cool while working at the cafe and simultaneously made me look like a netball player. I also came home that day to discover that I matched the paint samples my Mum had spread across my bedroom walls. Cool! 

Friday, June 08, 2012

5 Summer Reads

Five Books I'd like to get my hands on this Summer: 
A familial incest classic still unread, Patrick Trefz's surfing portraits and action shots, an ode to musical nostalgia from Mancunian photographer Kevin Cummins, Dennis Morris's book 'Growing Up Black' which is financially unattainable but mega-appealing nonetheless, and Nile Rodger's autobiographical journey through Family, Disco and Destiny to coincide with me seeing Chic this weekend. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Alone In The Wilderness

I found this brilliant video while reading the Oi Polloi blog archives. It follows Dick Proenneke, who in line with that tradition of American men- from Walden to Christopher McCandless, schleps off into the wild to tune out of modern life. We watch him in the Summer of 1968 (while the rest of America reels from multiple high-profile assassinations and social turbulence) build a cabin from scratch in Alaska, in a series of footage shot by himself. Luckily there is no Timothy Treadwell-style Bear gore, just instead the vaguely entrancing process of chopping and laying logs to make his home and canoeing in lakes. The soundtrack sounds like one of those free relaxation CDs that I sometimes find in my bedroom, with no memory of how it got there. No panpipes..but it comes close! I especially like Dick's blue Dickies trousers. They remind me of the clean blue Dickies overalls that Ken wore on the avocado farm, with a white shirt, a vaguely feminine straw hat and a serious expression. 

Home Soil

Well, well, well. The American adventure is all wrapped up, completed and I'm now back on British soil, quickly back into the pace of 'normal life' (whatever that is) and learning that life does in fact continue, you don't come home, walk into Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport and have some life narrator announce 'Chapter 12, Back in England' as I think on some level I had been expecting as a sort of acknowledgement of my time in America coming to end. After all, how could I slip so easily back into the way things were before? Well, quite simply that's exactly what happened and it feels nice. Same, but different. 

These are some of the photographs of my final two weeks in America which was spent in California working on an avocado farm and then camping in Big Sur with Jim and Charlie. We drove down the Highway 1, just as we'd done a month before and sitting in Jim's car with Kool and The Gang and Black Moon playing and the stunning coastal views beside us felt like the perfect bookend to my time in America, with two of my closest friends, a pack of Hoegaarden, squished fresh strawberries, a bit of melancholy about the idea of returning home, but ultimately a lot of laughs and affection and a good sprinkling of Massachusetts memories. 

Now I'm back and I'm excited to crack on with blogging again, make up for the month long absence and catch up with some of my favourite reads while I spent the Summer back in Bristol at my parents house, working and anticipating my final year studying in Manchester. I hope you lot have all been swell!