Where I’m At Right Now.

Photo on 20-02-2016 at 11.36

Recently I’ve been feeling really fed up. Continue reading

How To Stay Organised For The Naturally Scatterbrained

the messiest wall everIt’s that time of year when everybody is trying to better themselves and fill every minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run. I’m past the point of trying to implicate massive changes into the way I work; I have a really flawed working mechanism but I’m used to it! I work freelance and juggle a lot of projects on a daily basis. I often get comments like “How do you fit it all in? You must be so organised” which is ridiculous as the inside of my brain is CHAOS.

I’m naturally a very scattered person; I’m that annoying type who has to make a big mess to produce anything. Picture the kid in school who has to pull all the paints out of the box to make the exact shade they want, spills half the paint on themselves and then forgets to tidy up after. That’s me! Over the years I’ve found a few ways to keep organised and I thought I’d share them below.

computer laptop apple girl working career tapeparade blog blogging

Explain To Others What Is Going On

For me this is step one of doing ANYTHING. After years of living at home with my Mum “tidying” away (read: destroying) whatever I was working on, these days I’ve learnt that the very first thing I need to do is tell somebody else that I’m doing it. This ranges from “I’m writing a daily plan for the next month and I’ve put you in the first box of each day” to “Don’t touch the box of insects on the table” to “the lights need to be re-glittered in twelve step stages in the car”. Expressing your intention to another living person (or in e-mail or whatever) makes it a bit more real and also helps you keep yourself accountable with whatever task you’re doing. Also, those are genuinely all things I’ve said in the last 24 hours.

Last-Minute Task Lists

This is a big one for me, I’ll reach midweek and tasks seem to piling up out of nowhere. The physical process of writing down a list of what I need to do is a really useful thing to do just before I go to bed.

Carry Something Extra

I constantly have piles of music, clothes, props or whatever that need to go somewhere in my car, bags for the charity shop and packages to post. I’ve made it my rule that every time I leave the house I have to take something either to the car/post office/charity shop or whatever. This means I avoid having to run a load of “moving stuff around” errands at the weekends because I’ve worked it into the week.

Use Lists Wisely

KEEP YOUR LISTS IN THE SAME PLACE. Don’t have a reminders list on your Reminders app, a list in your notes, a list in 3 separate notebooks, a list on your whiteboard. Keep all your lists in the same place! I learned this the hard way after years of frantically running from app to app.

Stop Using Paper

This is my big resolution for this year. I’m a sucker for stationary and there was a point this summer where I had about 18 notebooks on the go – one separate for each project. This is crazy! It’s much to have a couple of saved documents, and save physically writing stuff down for other things (i.e. daily lists as mentioned above). Try and digitise as many documents as you can – it’s better for the environment, more efficient management-wise and you don’t have to lug a library around wherever you go. There’s nothing like calmly using the search box on your computer as opposed to tearing your room apart and rifling through half the stock of Paperchase for one specific detail.

Don’t Touch It Twice

This is something I’ve been training myself to do. Don’t read a message and then respond to it later basically – either read the e-mail and reply, or don’t check it then. I’m the worst for a middle of the night message check and then marking stuff as unread or having to favourite tweets to deal with later. It’s just a really poor use of time!


So there we go! Nothing that breaks the mould but a few things I’ve learned along the way. I’m thinking about sharing a couple more posts on time and project management, working from home and being freelance – so watch this space if you think that sounds good!


Camden Foundry

camden foundry bloggers camden market stables pink metallic skirt black top messing around tapeparadecamden foundry bloggers camden market stables pink metallic skirt black top messing around tapeparadecamden foundry bloggers camden market stables pink metallic skirt black top messing around tapeparadecamden foundry bloggers camden market stables pink metallic skirt black top messing around tapeparadeThese photos are from absolutely ages ago, I think almost a month? March has been one of my busiest months on record as you may have noticed from the lack of posts. I met up with two lovely bloggers, Bel and Lix in Camden and we spent the day wandering around Camden, basically eating and drinking and nattering. All these blogging meet-up days are definitely following a theme..!

I’m definitely not a fashion blogger and you have to admire the dedication of the other two (going to 4 different cafes because the aesthetic wasn’t right, bringing an alternative item of clothing specifically for the photos). I’m just never going to be that person… maybe I can be the person who shares all my travels and work with you instead? Huge props to Bel for managing to get these photos anyway regardless of my awful posing.

It’s always interesting to speak with other freelancers. Freelancing has a reputation for being a big struggle but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. For me it’s not really something I think about too much, although I know freelancing can be kind of a tag or badge of honour for some people. I earn a good amount, freelancing suits my personality and I’m constantly happy and fulfilled with my work. I’ve found it pretty easy to get to the position I’m in but I think that’s because this kind of work really suits me as a person; if left to my own devices with no need to earn money I’d probably end up freelancing anyway. camden foundry bloggers camden market stables pink metallic skirt black top messing around tapeparade

My Job

computer laptop apple girl working career tapeparade blog bloggingcomputer laptop apple girl working career tapeparade blog blogging

Today we’re going to find out what I actually do! Despite having a ‘Career’ category on this blog, “I don’t really understand your job” is a statement I’ve encountered a fair few times in the blog world recently. People never ask me in real life as everyone I know is either in the creative arts themselves or knows me directly through a job. So I thought it was time to be a bit clearer here on the blog – I’m warning you now it’s a wordy post!

I would describe my job as a musician, which is purposefully very broad as I don’t like to label or pin myself down too much. I also rarely use the word freelance as I think with arts it’s a given! I have a very broad skillset thanks to lot of varied training, so to be more specific I would possibly get looked over for certain jobs. Sometimes I include other words like director, writer, researcher, teacher and composer. What it really means is that I do a variety of different jobs at the same time, mostly centred around music. Some jobs last only a couple of weeks, some 3-6 months and some have been constants for years, so my schedule changes weekly.

Seven Nation ArmyPhoto on 17-09-2014 at 11.45 #4Flimsymoon kickstarter launch party clerkenwell gallery Flimsymoon lingerie tapeparade tape parade Freyia Porteous Laila London

I rarely post about my current work and jobs on here as it changes so regularly, and also, it’s all covered elsewhere! I maintain a very friendly and informal mailing list (Lailaletter) and also have a page and website. But for the purposes of this post, I’ll tell you about my current jobs and the sorts of things they involve. It’s not a perfect overview but it is current!


Teaching – I’ve been doing this since I was in Sixth Form. This job involves regular communication with parents, submitting pupils for exams, lesson planning, dealing with new enquiries and writing report cards, as well as actually teaching the lessons on weekly basis. Unofficially, I also spend a lot of time helping my GCSE, A-Level and University pupils. They’re learning what to do, how to get into the industry, how to survive financially, what their strengths are and much more. Teachers have a special relationship with students and can really offer a lot of guidance and perspective.


Quizcats this is a subdivision of my business WOLF PACK. We run themed pub quizzes which involve a live band and karaoke. I’m on an entrepreneurship scheme with this project and have regular meetings with my mentors. My work at the moment involves promotion, writing arrangements, managing the band, controlling social media, booking shows, maintaining the website and dealing with enquiries – mostly related to our upcoming show in 3 weeks time. I started both of these from scratch and did the concept and logos for both.

TAPE PARADE not this blog but the songs! This “job” is really me doing what I want with my songs – at the moment I’m writing an albums worth of material that deals with my grief over losing my best friend last year. I’m also preparing a bunch to be recorded. This job earns the least money but is by far the most important to me. At other times this job may involve booking and promoting gigs or communicating with labels and agents.

Depping – on piano, bassoon, voice, clarinet, ukulele and accordion. Depping means I cover for absent players in orchestras, gigs, musical theatre concerts.

Laila, Emily, cello case, rehearsing, lovely headlaila dancing around office wikimania 2014 tapeparade londonLaila Woozeer at Sura

So that’s my “job” at the moment. It’s a relatively quiet time at the moment; I chose to take on less work after a heavy couple of months last year. I’ve got at least 3 new projects in the next couple of months so this post will be outdated in about two weeks! I’m quite proud of my body of work; I’ve created a lot of things, worked on some good shows and I’ve been fortunate to get to perform a lot. That’s really when I come to life! If you want to hear or see any of my work, then there are links to everything here, or join my newsletter. It’s basically an e-mail version of the life updates I used to occasionally post. Let me know what you think!

I hope things are a little clearer now! It’s been a fun 7 years of working entirely in music and creative arts and I’m grateful to be doing all the things I always wanted to. I realised whilst writing this that I could branch into various topics; CVs, networking, surviving money wise, time management, etc… let me know if you’re interested. :)
quartz brown 112



Lovely Head and Frankenstein
computer laptop apple girl working career tapeparade blog blogging


laila close-up girl face mixed crescent moon face necklace smile face thing black velvet pinafore dungaree dress black leggings fake white converse gold luna tatty devine moon nektage floral dress dark hair ponytail tape parade

Happy New Year everyone! I came back to London on the 2nd and have been “back at work” since then. I’ve not really documented anything as I’ve been working hard on my upcoming WOLF PACK concerts, hence the lack of posts. These photos are really just to show you my new favourite necklace, and were taken during my “lunch hour” (25 minutes).

I’m wary of expensive jewellery as I imagine I’d forget I was wearing it and then climb a tree or something and break it, but this necklace was a Christmas present in the sales (thanks Dad) and I like it so much. The moon has long been my favourite satellite, entirely due to Sailor Moon. Obviously where there is moon, there are stars; and lo, I chose to wear these socks today. The tiny flowers on this 70s blouse are so sweet and embroidered by hand and lastly, my pinafore was the stupidest choice ever as the charity shop where I volunteer has three very fluffy cats. Let me tell you, cat hair and velvet are NOT a winning combination. How is your 2014 going so far?
P.S. I recently did an interview with fellow blogger Christina of Kimi and Me, which you can read here. I was incredibly honoured to be featured. Thank you Christina, I’m so proud!

collar blouse detail flowers floral mouse ring silv gold luna lune moon tatty devine sailor moon necklace crescent moon face white shoes black and gold starry socks black velvet dress dungaree pinafore floral blouse vintage smiley smile happy girl tape parade laila happy face floral flower collar collar tips vintage collar blouse detail

Blouse – vintage, £3.50. Necklace – Tatty Devine, gift. Dungaree pinafore dress thing – vintage, £17. Trainers – New Look, £6 (sale). Mouse ring – Camden Market, £2. Socks – ???, christmas present.


Polkadots & Plimsolls

Modcloth peppermint mint turoquoise polka dot dress cape layers cape shell exterior glass building camden  tapeparade tape parade mel melissa white plimsolls Modcloth peppermint mint turoquoise polka dot dress cape layers cape shell exterior glass building camden  tapeparade tape parade mel melissa white plimsolls I’m not really a fan of pastel colours but this minty polka dot dress won me over, mostly because it has A CAPE. This minty turquoise colour has become a favourite of mine in recent times, I don’t know if it has been a trend recently but I seem to see lots of people wearing knitted jumpers in a similar colour. The dress is from ModCloth and was brought by my auntie last time she visited. These photos were taken by the glass building in Camden, as one passer-by commented I blended in pretty well with my dress!

I’m also wearing my new plimsolls. Plimsolls (and studded boots) are my default shoe, and most of the pairs I own are about 5 years old, inherited from my grandma (and therefore a size too small) discoloured and full of holes. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than £5 on a pair before, but this summer I decided it was time to invest in something better. That’s where these plastic plimsolls from Melissa stepped in! I purchased them for £22.99 down in Covent Garden (who are very open to haggling) and have really enjoyed having shoes that retain their colour and shape for more than a week. The red soles remind of Sonic the Hedgehog (probably my favourite game character) and being made of plastic they feel super springy as well;  very different to canvas shoes! What do you guys think of plastic shoes?

white plastic plimsolls mel melissa brand new wiffle white yellow blue redModcloth peppermint mint turoquoise polka dot dress cape layers cape shell exterior glass building camden  tapeparade tape parade mel melissa white plimsolls Modcloth peppermint mint turoquoise polka dot dress cape layers cape shell exterior glass building camden  tapeparade tape parade mel melissa white plimsolls Modcloth peppermint mint turoquoise polka dot dress cape layers cape shell exterior glass building camden  tapeparade tape parade mel melissa white plimsolls

Camden Day

aIMG_7248ImageImageLast Friday was James And Laila Day! Regular readers will probably have read about James before as we spend so much time together. In the absence of any kind of formal anniversary we decided to start James and Laila Day – one day per month devoted to not working together and instead hanging out and having fun. As it was my turn to plan James and Laila Day I decided to share some of my regular haunts with James. I live and work in Camden and it’s always been this bit of London that feels most like home to me, despite being born and raised in the south. I go for a daily walk around the markets and often stop in after work on my way home as well.

We started off the day with an amazing breakfast and then wandered down to the market stopping at all my favourite food shops on the way, including my favourite ice-cream shop. I follow a very weird diet and it can be hard to find foods I can eat, so I’m very lucky we live by some awesome health food shops.  The first couple of pictures are taken down this little road with brightly painted houses. There’s about five of these pretty coloured streets on the route from James’ house to the market, in my head I call them rainbow roads and they remind me of the town in Edward Scissorhands.ImageImageImageThe rest of these photos are from Camden Market! Camden is divided into about 6 different markets and once upon a time each bit of market had it’s own specific focus; these days they do broadly stock variations of the same thing but there’s still some individual flavour between them. The three biggest markets are Camden Locks (arts and crafts), Stables Market (subcultures and imported fashions) and Horse Tunnel Market (vintage and antiques). It was such a gorgeous sunny day and even though I visit the same places every other day, it was fun sharing that part of my day with James. I should be employed as a tour guide as I know the whole layout so well by now.

After the market we went to Honest Burgers for dinner (no photos!) and whilst the chips and drinks were amazing the no-meat option was essentially a vegetable pakora in a bap; definitely not recommended. We also went to our favourite pub and the cinema, needless to say we were pretty tired when we traipsed home later but happy and content. It’s so important to spend quality time with your friends, especially if (like me) most of your close friends also double as artistic colleagues. It’s easy to fall into the habit of just hanging out post-rehearsal and never doing activities purely for fun so I’m so glad we started this tradition. Here’s to the next James and Laila Day!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage




One of the best things about working creatively is how often hanging out with friends leads to working on new projects. I had the pleasure of meeting one of my good friends Aella today who recently set up a theatre company with another friend of ours, and she asked me about using some of my music for their first show before taking all the photos you see here. I later bumped into a fellow Goldsmiths alumni in Urban Outfitters who had just returned from touring with Lucy Rose across Europe and America.