Slogmas: A Review

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Good morning! Before I chat about Slogmas I’d really quickly like to ask you if you could take a few minutes to fill in my reader survey – it would mean the world to me! I’ve never asked you guys to fill in anything like this before and it would really help me to know what is and isn’t working on this blog. Thank you!

Ok, so back on the 30th November, I was house-sitting in Oxford and seeing a lot of people posting about the start of Blogmas. “Hey, why not”, I thought to myself. “I could use a challenge.” I decided to post a piece of content everyday: somedays a song, but most days a blog. I had planned to do a video but NO WAY I GOT TIME FOR THAT. I’m sure blogging seems like a very low level activity to a lot of you and you’re probably wondering why a daily post should seem like a slog. I don’t know much about the blog-writing habits of others, but for me, most posts take a few hours minimum.

So to embark on an entire month of daily posts with nothing scheduled or planned in advance, during a month where I was also undertaking a number of big personal and work projects, was pretty foolish. I like the idea of Blogmas (or Slogmas), as being a way to thank your readers. It gives me so much joy to know somebody out there reads the little ideas I throw out into the world.

Day 1: Slogmas
Day 5: Quizmas
Day 7: Highbury
Day 12: Pitt-Rivers
Day 19:
Day 22:
Day 23: Boyfriends
Day 25: Christmas In London


Day 31: 2K15

Well, it certainly was a slog. There were a few days in the middle where I thought “this is ridiculous”, and yet I kept on; childishly, stubbornly. There are two BRILLIANT reasons for missing Day 19 and Day 22; the best date of my life and one of the most important dinners I’ve had this year, so I hope you won’t resent me too much for missing those days.

I think the post I spent the longest time on was either Day 3, which I poured my heart into, or Day 31 simply due to scrolling through the archives and choosing which photos to use. I think either Day 3, Day 24 or Day 27 were my most honest, and Day 17 was by far the most personal. I don’t think I’ve ever hesitated pressing “Publish” before so that was a first for this blog!

Thank you so much for enduring, and hopefully enjoying Slogmas along with me! If you read along or had a favourite post then let me know. :)

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behind curtain looking outcardiff cat clothes(1 – Dress Of Dreams, 2 – Cats In Cardiff)

Hello, and Happy New Year! I’m writing about 2014 whilst sat in the middle of my room on a box; the rest of my housemates are putting fantasy fairy decorations up in preparation for our party. This year has been a weird mixture of high and low. I’ve had some of my best opportunities, a huge amount of fun, I’ve met so many amazing new people and renewed contact with lots of older friends. The low points have been devastating and far worse than anything I’ve had before, but mostly very few and far between.minnie mouse warehouseSeven Nation ArmyFundacio Joan Miro Barcelona outfit girl dressParc Guell Gaudi Barcelona Spain Tapeparade blog tape paradejessthetics tapeparade jess and laila yellow coat navy east london shoreditch high streetKids with crayons at surya

(1 – Sequinned Minnie, 2 – WOLF PACK, 3 – On Miro, 4 – The Red Skirt, 5 – With Jess, 6 – Kids With Crayons)

Last year I shared my resolutions and I thought I’d do the same this year, as well as a brief catch-up. My resolutions act more as vague goals I might happen to achieve, rather than set targets I work towards.

Keep to a maximum of three projects to focus on – work has seemed a little more paced. Productivity has slowed but I’m definitely having more fun!

Hang out with (long list of friends I don’t see enough) – Yes! I worked on this, facebooking, calling, messaging, e-mailing. It was great!

Tour North America – YES!

Go to Monkey World – No. I also forgot this was a resolution until I clicked on the post a minute ago. Maybe next year!

Go to New York, Disneyland, Brazil and Cambodia – I managed two out of four, plus some other places.

Take James to AMNH (my favourite museum in the world) – no, but this is planned for next year now!

Casanova camel Facebook egypt sensatori sharm el sheikh laila arab bedouin arabic arabia travelling on a camelexmouth marketOregon country fair OCF 2014 fun and games happened tapeparade fields eugene oregonsalt lake city tapeparade USA 2014 travel travelling journal photography tabernacle squareMoMA statue garden outside New York Museum of Modern Art Laila tapeparade blog

My 2015 resolutions!

1. Lose weight
2. Catch up with (long list of friends)
3. Go to Helsinki, Japan, New York, New Zealand and Russia
4. Record an album
 5. Aim for a zero-waste life
6. Save £5000
7. Make 6 videos

8. Travel with Quizcats

I have no idea how much I weigh and I like the way I look, but I have put on a lot of weight in the last couple of months (lack of sleep and comfort eating). I’ve never been on a diet or attempted to lose weight before, so any pointers appreciated! I’m pretty sure everything else will be simple if I remember to do it. I’m not saving for anything special, I just like the idea of saving up a huge amount of money and spending it on something spontaneous.

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This year, honestly?

The lows have been low. Death of my best friend, death of my favourite teacher, death – suicide – of childhood friend, death of close family friend. C4CC closing. Continued issues with projects, continued issues with getting people to come to my gigs.

But it’s also been my best year for a long time, artistically I can’t imagine being happier with a concert than I was with the WOLF PACK concerts at VAULT, I worked my arse off for wikimania, I finally set up a personal website, I started Quizcats, I met an amazing group of people at C4CC, I stayed living in my awesome and happy house.  I took an incredible life-changing trip to America, holidays to Cardiff, Barcelona (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Egypt, Paris. I saw Kate Bush, I met up with lots of blog friends, I helped with the Flimsymoon launch, I directed parties and plays and gigs. From July onwards has been one of the happiest and most joyous times of my life; going out every night, sharing every meal with somebody else, gigs, parties, galleries, museums. Pints and pints and pints. Staying up all night, sleeping in once every 6 weeks and not feeling lazy, calling up my mates, my workmates, my neighbours, my old friends, hanging the hell out with everyone.

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It’s been great and I feel so grateful and lucky. Lastly, thank you all so much for reading my blog and sticking with me; I appreciate every single one of you so much. I still find it crazy that people spend their time willingly reading my jumbled words and looking at my amateur snaps!

If you have any suggestions of comments as to what you’d like to see on my blog going forward, I’d love to know! I’ve put together this basic poll. You can select as many things as you want and also add in whatever options or comments – I really take all your suggestions seriously and even one piece of feedback would mean the world to me.

I wish you all a wonderful New Years!


Kate Bush

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kate bush hammersmith apollo 2014 outside before the dawn queues opening night tapeparade blog
Last Tuesday I was sat in Hammersmith Apollo watching my favourite living female artist on stage. After a 35 year stage hiatus, Kate is back. Kate Bush represents so many things to me. An artist who isn’t afraid of books, history and academia as song topics. An artist who makes uncompromising visuals to accompany her art. An artist unafraid of seeming a bit weird. An artist who embraces her voice and her instrument, however unorthodox soprano and piano may be. A woman who embraces being a woman in a mans world. A woman who doesn’t get her kit off but instead sings about sex in an intimate, adult way. She just represents so much to me that I’d like to one day represent to somebody else; the music we make is very different but I feel a sense of kinship with her story-telling, her looping vocals, her layered music, her piano-playing and her poetic lyrics.

I’ve long been dancing around my room (and later on stage) to the songs of “Auntie Kate” so naturally snapped up tickets to Before The Dawn – I’m going to a further 2 concerts of the run including the closing night! I took along my two favourite people and wore all my favourite clothes. It was amazing. Thank you Auntie Kate, and see you again soon.

Due to the no video and photo message Kate posted I’m offering you a video of myself performing Kate instead!

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kate bush hammersmith apollo 2014 outside before the dawn queues opening night
kate bush hammersmith apollo 2014 outside before the dawn queues opening night
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Matilda The Musical

Last Wednesday (as mentioned in my previous post) I went to see Matilda The Musical with my Mum. The show has been really well-received in the UK and recently opened to rave reviews on Broadway. I’ve studied musical theatre since I was young, and during university was focused mainly on contemporary musical theatre, especially trends and traditions in musical theatre singing (spot the essay title…).

I can see why Matilda is getting such great reviews. I personally found most of the music functional rather than fantastic (apart from a couple of standout tracks) but the playful, cheeky score does fit the tone of the show even if it’s not especially groundbreaking. I’d be interested in future Tim Minchin scores to see how he progresses as a composer. My favourite aspect was the ingenious set, which was used thematically throughout and really felt as though it had been ingrained in the development of the show. I also really enjoyed the choreography, which showed influences from contemporary ballet and was at times very surreal, something I wasn’t expecting from a commercial West End production. In the linked video to “Naughty” above you can see a brief example of the choreography – the actresses playing Matilda really reminded me of Quentin Blake’s iconic drawings with their jerky little arm movements.