Here is one neglected blog from a not so neglected soul.
There is a reason for the neglect this blog has suffered.
In fact there is more than one.
Negligence is quite a negative thing, yet I assure you that my excuses are positive.
It is like when I went on holiday with my dad as a child, and neglected to call my mum, I would apologise for my negligence, normally in tears, and she would reply
"Don't be sorry, I know you haven't rang because you have not had the time, what with all the fun things you've been doing."
Typically the fun things would be running down super steep sand dunes to the beach, or tiresomely and feebly attempting to climb back up the dry tumbling mounds, or queuing up to go on the camp site's sole water slide, gaining a verruca (a verruca I still have, 15 years later), being stung 4 times consecutively by the same wasp (I still bare the scar on my stomach), watching magic/illusion shows, playing bingo, spending hours on the arcade machines - figuring at an early age that learning to drive will only be a negative thing due to the series of crashes accumulated during a game of ridge racer.
It is in the same vain that this blog has been neglected.
I have been doing too many good things, and have not had the time time.
So here is my list of good reasons to neglect a blog.
1. Parlour Press
Yes folks, Parlour Press is here, a new tour de force in book making.
Five rather attractive ladies donning a rather attractive set of handmade books.
Libby and I spent a day with a feast of oatmeal and raisin cookies, millionaires flapjack, soup and lemon and ginger tea... and inDesign, and Nouvaeu-esque typefaces, and swirls, and paper, and doodles..... Eventually we got us a logo. Later I spent the evening with a packet of sour sweets and wrote a sugar induced manifesto... I actually thought I was Allen Ginsberg by the end of it.
Contemporary book makers or contemporary folk, close vocal harmony group that the hip kids are going to dig?
2. Manchester Artist Book Fair
Parlour Press took it's books on tour, to the Manchester Artist Book Fair. The build up to this event comprised of many many many days and evenings spent with a half dead printer, cutting down A0 paper to A4, sewing books, ruining books, rescuing half eaten paper from the mouth of the half dead printer, folding, rolling and sticking until final I had a set of books/zines to sell.
8 Altered Meanings
At the book fair we were met with a combination of praise, interest and propositions.
Everyone at the Parlour Press managed to sell. There was a small impact to my stash of hand made zines/books - which truly did have a D I Y feel. We were naive young whippersnappers at the book fair compared to the stalls and stalls of pros. The new school. We learned a lot from our first fair which we will be taking with us to the next fair. Yes there will be a next fair...
I have sent 4 books on tour with Lucy May Schofield. So long books, Seeya in a year....
3. Out of the Cupboard
Finally, somehow, somewhere amongst the chaos and anxiety caused by the prospect of making books, my mum managed to actualise her promise turning the spare room into a studio. I have now left my temporary home within an old cupboard and I have a desk. Not only do I have a desk I have my grandad's old wallpapering table - which is where I constructed my books. My mum wishes to paint the wall papering table black - to comply with the rooms colour scheme of black an white. There are two reasons why I do not want her to do this. 1. The black paint my scratch and rub off onto my work. 2. (The reason I haven't told her) There are numbers and markings on the table in my grandad's hand. My studio is a little bland at the minute, all I have on my wall is a Andy Warhol print of a gun (over layed and offset) and a newspaper print of three men jumping from the WTC (this is a dark piece of inspiration. It is a sign of the times, the frailty of humanity, it also reminds me that when I am low I can always jump - this makes me not want to jump and thus inspires me to carry on, make the most of things.)
4. Manchester Literature Festival
I attended three events and wrote three reviews which can be found on the Manchester Literature Festival Blog. It was quite enjoyable, but I can't help feeling with a little more notoriety behind me I could have wrote of some of the bigger names such as Martin Amis and Will Self... Here are my posts:
Six by Six
Writing about place
There is Magic in Looking at Words and Pictures
5. Goldsmiths Open Day
Yes it is time I considered my future. I recently took the Vann for a visit to Goldsmiths University where we looked at the course Art Writing. There was a super massive queue which on our walk to the back Lucy and I simultaneously announced two Dad jokes "It's like Alton Towers"/"This ride better be worth it!" making all the hip kids in the queue stare with disdain.
As you may or may not know I like to write, but I also like to design and image make. I have found quite a comfortable relationship between these two in the form of artists books. It is now time to decide which aspect of this relationship I wish to work on a MA level. I have visited two courses, LCC - Graphic Design, and this Goldsmiths course. Design or writing? I am 100% torn.
London will be ours.
6. My Dog Ate My Blog...
This one isn't true. I do not have a dog.
I have to earn money to save for a Masters.
One final distraction, Podcasts and Audiobooks. Adam and Joe are my new full time friends. In fact I think I may be suffering some kind of Adam and Joe related disease. I wake up early on Saturday mornings to listen to their breakfast show - thus making me a member of the Black Squadron, I listen to their podcast in the week and then this last week past I listened to a backcatalogue of old podcasts, I sing their jingles at work to help the day flow, I have adapted their idiolect... Yes I am addicted and they have even made their way into my dreams. Lucy Vann seems to be suffering similar symptoms. We need a diagnosis from Dr.Sexy (that in itself is a Adam and Joe reference). STEPHEN?
I have also been listening to the old Mighty Boosh radio series which I had almost completely forgotten. Noticing similarities between the Howard Moon character and a certain ex-tutor makes it extra extra hilarious. (Tutors should not be offended by this remark)
Masses of audio books have been consumed - does this mean I can say I have read the books or just listened to them?
Also I am collecting and listening to spotify playlists.
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST RULES...
I wish to revive the art of mix tape.
So if you have spotify make me a playlist.
It must be 21 songs long (or there abouts)
It must be about yourself/your current frame of mind - it seems the music we listen to at certain points in our lives reflect the way we feel. Songs should not be chosen for the sole reason of - 'oh man I'm showing off my obscure music taste' or 'you are going to just love this.'
Other than that you are on your own.
To send a playlist simply drag and drop the title of your playlist into an email. Or ctrl click (right click PC users) and copy link. In return I will send my playlist.
Send them here
and I will love you forever!