Sunday, 22 May 2016


Letty is my sunshine friend
Shadows shift upon the sight of her
Scents of summer waft in
Her smile is light
Set in face round, bright
Warming the coldest day

And she is generous with it
Backpack on
She braves Bristol
Its hills, its tunes, its pints, its colour, its green
And all its crazy and broken and creative and beautiful people
Breathes it all in hard
Trailing light rivers from bicycle wheels
Changing the map

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Love letter to London

I wrote this last year, in the back of my journal, scribbled in green pen.

A friend happened to read it and said I should share it, so here it is. Not too polished, but it's honest.

I almost don't want to say this out loud. But London, I feel a little disappointed. In you? By you?

You and me, we've been ever so slowly moving towards each other all these years. An inevitable trajectory - we knew one day we'd be together.

In the meantime, it was all quick dates and brief flings. Exciting, exhilarating, a guilty pleasure. Rough around the edges you were - and that's what I loved. The mix of grime and colour. The unexpected cosy corner. Majesty, mystery, misery all rocking side by side.

You were fresh air in my lungs, a raw kick after the sleepiness of Oxford; energetic honesty after the surrealism of Brighton. You were ideas and positivity peeking up out of the grey. Basements and breakdancing, Brixton, Brick Lane, the last train back to Brighton all danced out and satisfied.

Monday, 2 May 2016

New York: the places we ate

So we did pretty well food-wise in New York, which is cool, because food is probably the quickest way to the hearts of Mr and Mrs Quinn.

Before we went Mr Q said his priorities were pizza and hot dogs.

We basically failed in that respect, I didn't even have a pretzel. BUT I think we more than made up for it with other delights.

So, here we go, our New York food diary:


Hot dog: Hot dog stand outside Central Park
This was probably the most disappointing food purchase. Maybe I just chose the wrong stand, won over by its proclamations of selling hot dogs for 100 years (or something like that) – susceptible tourist that I was. But it filled a gap when I only had $4 dollars on me – although I could only afford saurkraut with it. Maybe that's what let it down? Not really sure what I was expecting though, how good can a frankfurter sausage be? Tell me if I'm missing something here!

Smoothie (kale, mango, peach, lemon & ginger): Jamba Juice
The unremarkable hot dog was made up for later that evening by a smoothie from Jamba Juice. I was drawn in by the stacks of fresh fruit and vegetables, and needed something to sustain me through a writing class. I definitely (accidentally) picked the right place: probably the best smoothie I've ever had, thick and cold and 'zinging'.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

New York: first impressions

Some of the things that struck me in my first few days in NYC:

1. (Since basically the first thing I did was go to the 'restroom'): The toilet bowls are a lot more full of water which vaguely worried me, like I might fall in, like ohhh this is why bullies in films always flushed people's heads in the toilet. Then they flush automatically which surprises me even more! The cubicles in public toilets also seem to have a lot more space around them – like it would be a lot easier to climb under/over them – kind of like you're more exposed but less likely to get trapped without anyone knowing. Maybe that's a weird thing to think about while sat weeing?

2. Williamsburg, the first place I stayed in New York, is supposedly the trendy bit. I don't think the part I was staying in was trendy though. The main feature seemed to a whole lot of Hassidic Jews, curly sideburns and all. And a lot of yellow school buses.

3. It's a good idea to have an umbrella. The weather is changeable in the way it is in Cornwall – something about being surrounded by water?

4. Lots of people really do buy 'kwoffee' on their way to work (and pastries and do-nuts and pretzels...)

Sunday, 17 April 2016

New York Notes: Arriving

Standing on the subway platform J at Sutphin Boulevard Station, just below Jamaica Station. Smelling of piss. I feel happy in a way I haven't felt for ages.

Why? Just to be somewhere new? The small triumphs of figuring out which train to get, a MetroCard given by a departing visitor, the sun shining over a new city, the whole world gathering.

It's been a smooth journey, luxurious it feels. No hassles, no problems, barely any turbulence. Wine and beer on the flight, and a pleasant neighbour, whose son happened to be in the year above my husband at Pretoria Boys High. Of all things.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Lots of London Lenten Thanks (part 2)

Some more thanks, to fight back against the gloom that settles too quickly on my shoulders at the moment, the anxiety that tightens my chest. The "God God God, help" I chant under my breath every morning.

It feels wrong to feel sad in the springtime.

But anyway.

In between all this there's been some moments of London joy. I've been trying to finish this off for over a week, and now it's gotten long and each thing probably could have done with its own post. But hey ho, it's done, it's still Lent, just about!! :-)

Pavrov Stelar @ Alexandra Palace

Why have I not been to "Ally Pally" before?!! What a fab venue, and a great view over London (that I couldn't see this time as it was dark, but will definitely be back!). There are food stalls, so everyone was eating, sitting on the fake grass and listening to some live music before the actual show. Felt like a festival. Pavrov Stelar (Austrian electro swing DJ plus live band) were awesome, especially the saxophone, trumpet and trombone players as well as the stage lighting. Did boogie a little, with my beautiful friend Shona, although wasn't quite the full on dance I hoped, partly because there were SO many people there and very little room! But a fab night, followed by a lazy morning lying in the sunshine coming through the living room window. Lovely.