Ladies of Cliftonwood

whahey!! easter crafty baking joy in Cliftonwood as the Ladies get together for their fourth outing to make simnel cakes and easter nests; undignify themselves blowing eggs (horrible business, especially duck eggs) and getting painty; fondle the chicks that are hatching at an alarming rate in Netty, Jen and Bec’s back room; eat boiled eggs and soldiers with extremely nifty Ukrainian shrink-wrap boiled egg designs on… and other appropriate sorts of activities.

I finally got my marzipan applied and browned this evening, having left far too late last night with a very hot cake and no bike lights to do anything about it before bed yesterday.  And this was the exciting result (note the slightly crushed and smudged painted eggs produced especially for the occasion and hung using Holly’s extremely cunning matchstick-and-string Steiner equipment (thus proving the worth of a steiner education for daily living…)

a mo a mass a mat a marmalady moon…. our first try at productivity on a grand scale yielded some rather fine marmalades in January.  We rock.

** for things of a more foodie nature – please go to my cookzine which is currently residing at


well… what a weekend, an emergence from hibernation, a getting together of many beautiful people, a whooping up, a gathering of far flung folks before they spin off into the wider world, unlikely to ever be all in the same room together again… what a thought.  It seems Bristol is emptying; a diaspora of its own diasporees… Alice and Matthaeus were back for a few days of triumphant post-wedding multiplicitousness, expecting twins to pop out in but a few months.  How lovely, how ‘normal’ to have them here, ready to meet for teas, dinners, drinks, saunas, chats.  Still, Munich is now their home – in fact, I must get back on the bandwagon and try to procure some tickets to see them before too long.  Kate and Ollie, our illustrious Canadians, not forgetting Fin, soon to resume being Canadian, are presently leavinge for pastures old and new in the east of Canada…

What a party they had last Friday.  The Polish Club, resplendent with its 1970s Polish football club posters above the bar, long-suffering bar staff and capacious dance floor held the first leg of the farewell tour…which later took us to the horror of Luna Clifton, a positively frightening club beneath the 10 o’clock shop, full of well-watered ladies in the twilight of their middle years sporting a uniform of ill-advised t-shirt dresses, peroxide or jet black coiffures and craggy facepaint… and finally to Ben Neighbour’s flat to waken the dead until 5am, entertaining ourselves with a plethora of fine hats…amongst other frivolities. I was proud to be the last person to wish Ollie goodnight, given my rare all-night party record.

I found it difficult to wear many of the hats at Ben Neighbour’s house due to my being dressed as a snowflake (dress code: what does Canada make you think of?), with a large pastry cutter lashed to my head, amongst other things… this is what I found left of the melted snowflake girl on the morrow…

thoughts on nothing

Found these two quotes on this rather good blog entry from local art project Central Reservation:

*As Susan Sontag said, silence is never pure, after all, your heart is always beating.

*Nothing seems to me the most potent thing in the world – Robert Barry, 1968

Feeling in a mood just to share words I like rather than writing in a coherent fashion.  The above quotes seem to set the mood.  My favourite song lyrics have to include Tales from Black by Tunng, they are so laden with sadness and enigma…I like the line that hints at the deep rooted knowledge that when they find her and lock her up, that’s it.  no escape.  grind down the key…  is it because of inherent distrust of the self and knowledge of a capacity for badness or because of a knowledge of the inherent unfairness and lack of understanding of the outside world?  Or is it part of a deep seated myth of the dark side of women propagated by the church, propped up by myth, reaffirmed in popular culture… Brings to mind the Led Zep song Dazed and Confused: Been dazed and confused for so long, it’s not true/Wanted a woman, never bargained for you/Lots of people talkin’, few of them know/Soul of a woman was created below.  I must say, disagree with all this inspiration towards misogyny as I emphatically do, the idea of female stealth and wisdom being far above the capacity of the male  ego is somewhat appealing…

Anyway, this is Tales from Black:

    She washes all the young blood from her hands in the sink
    And she knows that the lights will be there for her
    Breaks down the bodies to dark subtle ink
    And she scrawls on the parchments that hang in the air


    She rides a horse over stones in the night
    And she closes her eyes and lets go of the reigns
    She knows the radios run through the night
    And she knows that the lights leave the prettiest stains


    She builds a shrine and a typing machine
    And she curls up to write down her tales from the black
    Prays for a soft breeze and cool gentle rain
    And she prays for the bodies that rise slowly back


    She knows the dunes where the steel cities grow
    And she knows when they jail her they’ll grind down the key
    She knows the lights lay the heaviest blows
    And she knows that the sand must submit to the sea


    She builds a bird out of plywood and gold
    For to carry the old souls on up to the sun
    Turns on the TV and sits in the cold
    And she dreams that sometimes she’s the prettiest one


    She knows the thrill of the chase in her veins
    And she knows that the sinking’s a trick of the light
    Prays for the silence and cool gentle rain
    And she prays that the radios run through the night

And just for sheer entertainment value because his writing makes me laugh, here is a small excerpt from Silas Wynd’s invite to “the party that no-one remembers”.  masterful…

I Drink Because I Like It & Because I Don’t Like You When I’m Sober. You’re Prettier When I’m Drunk. I’m Richer When I’m Drunk And If You don’t Like Me You Can Fuck Off & I’ll Bother Someone Else. It Doesn’t Matter Where I am or What I’m Doing, What I’m Wearing or Where Tomorrow Is. It’s a Party and There’s Drink and There’s Boys & There’s Girls And Some of Us Know Each Other And Some of Us Don’t. We May Be Friends, For The Night or For Life, We May Mate, In The Toilets, On The Stairs in The Bushes, On The Beach in The House, In the Car, It May be Just Once, It May Not Be Fun. But One Day It’ll Be Beautiful & I’ll Look Into Your Eyes And Know I’ve Mated For Life. If You, Any of You, There’s So Many of You Now, Had Known That Too I Wouldn’t Be here And I Wouldn’t Be Asking You To Join Me. I’d Be At Home in Bed in Our House in The Country, By the Sea, With Our Children, Dog, Cat, Pony, Chickens, maybe a couple of Horses, Allotment & Orchid House, Volvo on The Drive And Worries About Next Terms School Fees, And Wondering When I’ll Next Have A Minute To Myself For a Wank.

having so much fun with photos…

well, what a day of fun…virtually unheard of in recent months at work (sorry LBL, very disloyal, but have any of us been having fun?).  I even got to work within the realms of 9am just at the prospect of spending the afternoon waltzing round Montpelier park attempting to create funkalicious photos with which to populate a schools’ education pack i am designing… Not the most usual LBL activity.

So, after a morning of the usual stuff I met up with my friend Sy and went to take photos of his skate shoes…  I’ve never tried taking portrait shots before, weirdly its actually more self-conscious making being behind the lens than in front of it as you have to be in charge of the situation and have avision of what you want to create and then communicate that.  I think in retrospect I may stick to the very large repertoire of inanimate, or at the very least mute, subjects available in the world so that they can’t scrutinise my techniques.  However, the results were pretty good.  Also think I need to move away from the fish-eye lens fascination as, entertaining though it is, the novelty is bound to wear thin at some juncture.

Sarah, LBL’s wonderful intern who I have discovered writes a very delicious looking blog about tea and cakes and all things nice, was extremely obliging and ditched her beautiful floral gear to climb into her brother’s swimming shorts and boyfriend’s cricket jumper and proceeded to gamely jump off climbing frames…What the results of this will all say to today’s disaffected teen in terms of cool I am not entirely sure but I think the photos look great.  Whoop whoop, how to sell the idea of ethical sportswear production using two people who are not exactly ambassadors of sporting prowess or urban nike-toting bling.  Oh well, making good use of sunshiney afternoons is always a good thing.