Hi! I’m Laila. This is a picture of me drinking a gin and tonic in 2013. I write this blog! Thank you for stopping by. I live in North London with 4 boys, a gecko and a giant snail. I work as a musician and writer. I like animals, science, museums, nights out, anime, travel, writing songs and mysteries, and I’m happiest on stage or in transit. I’m vegan and try hard to live an ethical, low-impact life.
My blog is a mixture of what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been thinking about. Topics range from vintage clothes and Sailor Moon to modern feminism and societal racism. I have three semi-regular series:
Laila Explains It All – longer(ish) posts on life, love, relationships and so on.
Vegan Club – reviews of vegan products, my favourite vegan places, musings on veganism etc
Laila Likes – a broad look at the influence of the two World Wars on early 20th Century neo-classicism compositions.
…ok, nah, it’s actually just a list of stuff I like. Although maybe Neo-Classicism for the future, huh? I also organise impromptu blog meet-ups in London which will appear in the sidebar; these are exclusively of the “let’s just drink coffee or beer for a bit and chat” variety and all are welcome. If you’d like to get to get in touch then hit me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook or on twitter @tapeparade.
Here’s a few of my favourite posts and round-up posts.
On Continuing – a mission statement for this blog
200 Posts – my favourite posts out of the first 200
What It’s Like Not Being White – this post went viral and I was front page of BuzzFeed for a couple of days.
Dear Virgin – a letter to virgins everywhere.
Women – a list of women I love. Links included to the ones I’ve written about.
Lastly, in 2014 (my year of loss) a number of my close friends died unexpectedly, the final death which has had the largest impact on me was my best friend Pete. These posts deal primarily with losing Pete and are amongst my most honest posts. 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8. I also wrote a post on practical ways of dealing with grief which can be found here.
Answers To Your Questions:
Where can I follow your blog?
You can follow via Bloglovin here, or follow via e-mail (in the sidebar). I also share all my posts to Facebook and Twitter.
Who is James and how long have you known him?
James is a fellow multi-instrumentalist, and my best friend and one-time bandmate. We lived together for a bit and then ten minutes apart for about 4 years until he moved to the middle of nowhere last July. We have worked on dozens of musical projects together and share injokes, shoes, and drinks preferences. James is NOT my boyfriend, although people have been making that mistake since 2011..! We’re just really close.
James And Laila Day is a thing we started doing to ensure we could spend friend time together despite busy, conflicting schedules. Some of them have been blogged about and there’s a big list in this post.
So… who is your boyfriend?
It’s true, I have a boyfriend. I was so ecstatic to be facing the next 50 years in a wonderful state of lovely, independent, self-indulgent freedom. At some point that all went tragically wrong and I’m still not sure how I, Miss Anti-Relationship has ended up in the very scenario I swore to never place myself in. However, until further notice CB remains off this blog, partly because I have enough to write about without his face in all the photos, and partly because he has own public career which doesn’t need other people’s opinions all over the shop (so for that reason, please don’t stalk him!).
When did you start this blog?
I started this blog in 2013 mostly documenting clothes which was terrible. I decided to broaden my topics about a year later, and started blogging regularly (3ish times a week) at the beginning of 2016.
What race are you?
I’m a Londoner, but my heritage is pretty diverse. The reason I describe myself as “mixed race” and avoid elaborating further is because both my parents are mixed race and it’s not as simple as “half this and half that”. But I was born in London, and have lived here almost my entire life.
What instruments do you play?
Piano, bassoon, clarinet, ukulele and voice are the main things I do. I play some accordion, guitar, violin and mandolin as well but I’m less confident on those.
Where can I read your archives?
You can find my archives, tags and categories on the side of this page.
SELECTED INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES, GUEST BLOGS: for a full list click here
Marie Claire: #BreakFree campaign (feature, February 2016)
What Inspires Us To Blog (feature, October 2015)
BuzzFeed: What It’s Like To Be A Person Of Colour (feature, August 2015)
Pretty Green Tea: Career Inspiration – Laila (feature, February 2015)
Jessthetics: Blogger Favourites – Tape Parade (interview, January 2015)
Tourjours Toi & Family Affairs (feature, July 2014)
Sailor Jennie ‘Two Inspirational Ladies: Sharing The Love” (blog by Jennie, June 2014)
Kimi And Me (interview, January 2014)
Youth Arts Online (interview, November 2013)