Wednesday, 30 June 2010


I mentioned getting a regular schedule together on Sunday. I'd like to aim for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday but I'm worried that four times a week will be a little much to keep up with along with everything else going on in my world. So I've decided to ween myself into a system instead of just throwing myself in at the deep end. I'm the sort of person who always aims for the stars, expecting to fall a little short. I figure if I aim high and miss my target, then I'll still have done pretty well. And I do normally do pretty well I guess, but I am always disappointed that I didn't make it to the stars. So maybe I should be sensible and aim for a little less now and then and when I get there - 'cause I will get there - I can raise the bar a little.

If I was training for high jump, I wouldn't go straight to the Olympics and stick the bar at 3 meters now would I?

The idea of lowering my expectations of myself almost feels like a kick in the teeth though. Why can't I do everything? What is this thing called 'time restraint'? Why can't I bloody well fly?

I imagine this is something a lot of people have to deal with. Let me know I'm not alone...

So the schedule I'm aiming for is going to be Monday and Friday every week and then Wednesday and Sunday if I'm feeling inspired. I imagine getting myself into a routine is good practice for when I'm a fully fledged member of the real world and have a job and stuff... Right?

Monday, 28 June 2010

Facing Anxiety

Part of me feels like anxiety is almost a Western phenomenon facing modern man. This thought led me to a bit of research on the matter to see if I was at least close in my hypothesis. Turns out a study on the Ancient Peruvians found the stress hormone cortisol in their hair, so it's clearly something that has plagued humans for a very long time.

Check out Science Daily for the science part. 

Maybe it's just a human thing, period. Our gift of rationality and thought allows us to develop and build and all the amazing things that come with our humanity, but it leaves us capable of worry and angst. Worry comes with over thinking and that is something humans do pretty well. From studying philosophy I have come to realise first hand that the more you think and try to understand the further into darkness you allow yourself to fall.

Now, this isn't me saying I'm depressed. I'm actually happy as Larry (whoever Larry is... never really understood why he's always been the measure of happiness, but heck if I'm going to take it away from him). When I found Kaity I got a few comments and messages pleading with me not to get all happy and ruin my blog, and part of me is a little worried that may have happened.

See, there is worry about everything, even happiness. But I wasn't unhappy before, just a lot more pessimistic I suppose. Kaity's optimism has rubbed off on me I guess but it means sometimes I don't see things how I saw them before, which probably means those comments predicted some sort of future.

I've always battled with anxiety, though it's more like anxiety has always kicked my arse. And I let it. It's easier to just freak out and cry than to deal with things sometimes. But sometimes you need to just man-up.

I wore a dress on Friday night. Out. I went out in a dress. I never wear dresses, 'cause I look ridiculous. Normally dresses make me anxious and want to throw up - anxiety always makes me want to throw up - but I let it go, or at least I pretended to let it go. The only way I have discovered to dealing with personal angst is to lie to myself in the hopes of believing the lie. I don't know if that's the best technique and I probably shouldn't recommend it to anyone, but it worked. I was out and I didn't throw up. I imagine you could probably still see the anxiety in my shoulders and arms, 'cause that's where it hangs out.

Tensed up, shoulders raised, fists clenched.

But fuck it, one step at a time. I danced the night away. It was my best mates 21st and we went to Proud Galleries in Camden. I'd only been there once before, for a fashion show Greg walked in for Your Eyes Lie, so I wasn't sure what to expect for the club night. It was the first time Kaity had been out clubbing with us in London and turns out, it was a good introduction. Kind of expensive, but if we got there earlier we would have got in for free. Keep that in mind in case you ever decide to go!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

A Midsummer Feminists Party

The Saturday before last some artsy friends of mine held a Midsummer Feminists Gig at Balham Bowling Green. There was food, drink, poetry, music, dance and even a fire place. So all in all a good night. The night was hosted by Catherine Brogan who had the audience giggling the night away talking about everything from how the toilets work to how a poem she wrote for my sisters night, Dyssing Monadys is now being used in schools to teach teachers about dyslexia (how amazing is that?)! 

The night was a fundraiser for the London Feminist Conference.

As it turned out, there was no Northern line and I started my journey in Swindon... so me and K had to mission it with a bunch of change overs and overground trains to get there (late - though it wasn't on a real time schedule anyway) and meant we had to leave early, to get back to my house at the opposite end of London.

We spotted the big gates walking down the street and I remembered doing this journey once before, last year some time, when Cat held another poetry event there. I've been to a few arts events at squats around London, but I think this was K's first. As we passed through the gates we were greeted by a couple of feminists sat at a table looking for donations. Further down the path we found a sign and the entrance on to the green; a large space with a bonfire hole out in the middle and a table tennis table set up in front of the building. Of course, we were soon to have a game... How could we resist?

Because of the time constraints facing me, I could only see a few of the acts. This is definitely a sad time, as I missed lots of gold, but here are some highlights:

The Kitchen Quartet were definitely at the top of the list for me. As you can (just about) see from the picture, the quartet was a person down for the evening, but don't worry the three of them still kicked arse. Their quirky style of new arrangements made from old songs were fantastic.

Sabrina Mahfouz was absolutely amazing as usual, performing a bunch of new material she tested out on us as well as the Red Riding Hood poem that won her the Lyrical Challenge the month I took part. 

Camila Fiori was another highlight, performing a poem in maybe five different languages. I'm pretty sure I spotted French, Italian, Spanish and English as well as maybe something else... unfortunately my language skills aren't nearly as amazing but I feel a little inspired to try to write my own bilingual poem. I may as well make use of being able to speak Greek! 

I've been a very busy bee this week but I'm going to make a point of blogging regularly. I have to do an Interview for the journalism course I'm applying to, so will be talking to The Dead Lay Waiting this week thanks to the lovely wife. She's a music promotor and is using her magic powers for good i.e. to help me out.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Underground Challenge: Promo Video

The Underground Challenge Promo Vid is live!

Check out the group and the video and help us spread the word. Not long left until our Inspire a Stranger day on July 5th so help us get as many people on board as possible!

Also, let me know what you think about the video!

Sorry posts are scarce at the moment... I'll give you a proper one soon!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Download 2010

I am off to Download Festival! This is the 4th year in a row me and my lot have hit Download. There aren't really that many bands playing this that I'm overly excited about, but today I found out that Hearts Under Fire will be playing on the Sunday, so I am very excited.

I have been a HUF fan since their very first demo hit Myspace, way back when. I still sing along to the acoustic version of Spitting Glass now and then, holding the title of one-of-my-favourite-songs. Admittedly since lead singer Sian left the band they haven't held as much of my attention. But on hearing they were going to be at Download I bought their new EP off iTunes last night and tried to learn the words.

I don't have much time to give you a big long post on my excitement about my adventures, but on my return I shall fill you in.

See you in a week!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

I'm Allowed To Read!

The above statement may seem somewhat bizarre to a few eyes at least, but the point being that I have now finished my degree! The last exam is over and done with and I just need to sort graduation and stuff out. But the most exciting thing, is that I am now allowed to read! I've been avoiding reading for pleasure too much over the last three years (excluding summers) because I'd feel guilty for reading something that wasn't philosophy, but now I can read whatever I like and not have that guilt of procrastination follow each page.

On Friday I picked up 1984 off my shelf, which has been sat in wait for me for a few months now. I need a big train to get to the girlfriend, so used the journey as reading time... it felt great. I must sound like a massive dork with all this excitement about reading, but I'm just going to add to that impression and tell you on Friday, whilst packing for Download with my best friend, this reading thought occurred to me. I leapt up onto my bed and pulled a book off my bookshelf (1984) then - full of enthusiasm - my best friend and I high fived being allowed to read.

This is one of those books that you're meant to have read, so it's about time I got round to it really.

I'll let you know what I think when I'm done =] Ooh, I just realised I never got back to you about that Hector's Journey book about happiness... I'll tell you now it was amazing. I got distracted by revision and life but I'll try to give you a brief review if I can at some point.

Sorry this is such a brief post, but I am off to a wedding today and have to leave the house in seven minutes apparently.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Here Comes The Count Down

In about 19 hours I will be done. I will have walked out of the door of my final exam and be free to play at being a grown up and existing with out the massive safety net that education provides. While I was in school I was guided and protected from what it is to exist in the real world. Living alone and paying bills whilst at university has left me with a vague impression of it but it's skewed. In about 19 hours university will be over and (on the theory I did well and don't have to re-sit anything) I will be left stood at the foot of a mountain with just the few tools I was handed along the way. I'd been walking with a guide up a hill for years and I was under the illusion that it would be consistent throughout, but then the hill got a little steeper and a little steeper until here I am facing the biggest challenge I've yet to come up against and my guide is walking back down the hill to pick up other travellers.

Ok, so this analogy is a little long winded, but you get the idea. I have been sat in the library revising for the last six and a half hours, in which time I have concluded that I really dislike epistemology and though I was aiming for 3-4 different topics I seem to just have one huge all encompassing one going on, which is a little scary, but the other philosophers I've spoken to seem to be in the same position.

I was studying hard up until my black pen ran out. Note taking without a pen is kinda difficult believe it or not... I was writing in pink and red for a while, but all the notes being in pink and red isn't so great so I stopped and started reading. I've been debating whether I should go to the shop and buy a new pen or just go home... so far sitting here is winning.

I have work experience sorted for a month with Pink Paper in the summer, which should be fantastic. Hopefully they let me write some things... I did work experience with them when I finished my first year for just a couple of weeks and they invited me back. They let me write an article and review Reading Pride which was awesome, and I'm hardly going to refuse their offer to return!

There is this journalism course I want to get on as well, to start in January. I've got the forms ready to apply, but it's still too soon. The next course runs in July, so I'll wait for the first deadline to pass! If I apply quickly, hopefully I'll get some points...

I'm also looking at a media internship with the Green Party, which looks amazing. I couldn't find anywhere on their website that made applying for that simple so I've emailed a couple of email addresses I found in the hopes of a response... if I fail to hear back from them, maybe I should give them a call.

There is so much I want to do and I'm excited to be able to start my life, 'cause up until now it has kinda been on hold. This will be the first time I'm not in education, 'cause I never took a gap year. I now have time to get on with all my different projects; to dedicate time to my poetry - to my writing. To really get on promoting the Underground Challenge.

There is of course a pitfall in my master plan here and that is my lack of funds. I can afford the journalism course, after saving up for it this year, but that's about it. I need to find myself a part time job to work around my busy schedule up until I start the course in Jan to fund my life a little bit, other wise I'm screwed. Hopefully after the course I will find myself a writing job on a magazine somewhere, that would be ideal. Maybe a travel magazine, that'll send me all over the world to review planes and hotels.... Haha it might be a dream, but it's a plausible one.

Now, I suppose I may as well return to perception and the sources of knowledge... as well as induction of course, 'cause everything just comes back to induction.

Ooh ooh, before I go I'd like to leave you with something interesting I learnt in my revision yesterday. The word 'testimony' comes from the Greek word 'testis' and it would literally mean to swear on ones testicles... that would be a sign a person wasn't lying! Well, it made me laugh so I hope it at least put a smile on some of your faces.