This used to be a train station.

I continue to walk around in a daze, a haze of the insane covering my gaze



Not quite right, somehow, but I don’t know

Why this is

What to do, to lift the spell and see things anew

Nothing phases, surprises or shocks anymore,

I don’t think I feel excited by things at all

And even now I’m not trying to be morose, as I chew on my toast and ponder



This is.

More of a question really, a musing, something to note

A human quality more than a sociopath

I hope


But then there’s the other side of me out of the city

That can look at a Renoir for hours

And what a pity I can’t spend my life doing that,

Delving in

Seeing faces, swapping stories

Alive and well at the ball

Maybe I’m just disappointed, that’s all

And I should do what Byron did, and love nature more

Or what about Monet, more of the same -

Tells us a story we already know

One that speaks to our soul

Mine unfolded in that museum

Was touched


Forever by beauty.



And even, perhaps, when I reach senility I’ll remember that August afternoon in Paris

And smile

And fall to sleep


With butterflies in my belly.


We are not staying at Moe’s.Maggie’s already drunk on the fumes.And she’s a mean drunk.

We are not staying at Moe’s.
Maggie’s already drunk on the fumes.
And she’s a mean drunk.

(via fuckyeah1990s)

Even grown ups get star struck.

We are walking down the Boulevard St. Germain in Paris and my Father sees one of his favourite actors of all time approaching us. He smiles.

"Bonjour Monsieur Rochefort" he says, with admiration.

The old man, who must be in his late eighties, in a split second realises the recognition, and something inside him ignites. He sparkles. His grin stretches from ear to ear. He understands his importance in my Father’s life in this tiny little instance. He walks ahead, before realising the reason he was on the boulevard in the first place, to go to the pharmacy. Monsieur Rochefort retraces his steps, and my Father does the same, because their encounter is not yet complete. My Father, almost a child again, almost - but not quite - overcome with emotion, steps toward the old man and thanks him; thanks him for his work, for his oeuvre. The man is lifted and looks overjoyed to have been thanked for his hard work once again: his canon, his theatrical and cinematic triumphs. My Father asks if he may shake Monsieur Rochefort’s hand.

"Bien sur!" he says - seizing my Father par la main and for a split second I sense they may embrace, the connection is so strong, but they are men and they are strangers and so they do not.

My father thanks Rochefort once again, and we walk away. My father begins to cry. I don’t think in all these long years I have seen him quite so delighted. He cries tears of happiness as we walk down the short flight of stairs to the Solferino Metro station platform. He beams for the entire journey to the Gard du Nord. Something passed between them. An inexplicable connection, palpable and yet sullied by words. Sometimes the divine needs not explaining. My father and the old man - both gleeful. Something about it makes me melancholy, but I don’t quite know why.

Roses by Outkast is playing on the radio. It’s perfect. What are the chances?

Roses by Outkast is playing on the radio. It’s perfect. What are the chances?

(via hellotashahall)

A Simple Poem.

And so years pass,
And things change
Nothing really stays the same
Which is fine by me (as it happens, I don’t mind)
It’s always nice to watch the time
Start to flow
On a spring morning filled with hope
For what will be, 
What has been (strong foundations laid, at least)

And I suppose the most important thing is taking it slowly
Writing a to do list
And getting through it
Not all at once, not all right now, it would be impossible to do that anyhow
But tackle a few things a day
And by the way
Don’t rush, please, don’t let life breeze by without really looking at it
Without really seeing
Without actually feeling


It’s easy though
To miss a sunrise, a sunset, and all the colours in between
All the hues of red and green, the sheen of white on the pavement at night
From the moonlight
Completely trouncing everything artificially beautiful there ever was
Because the moon -
It’s spherical!

I see its curvatures now

I didn’t before
I can see where it curls, unfurls into the darkness
The other side
No longer bright

Matched by the light. 

Everything is either or I think
I don’t know how that happened
And I don’t agree it should
I think I’ll just continue doing what I would
Once in a while cake my hands in mud
Write a thing or two, tell the truth 
That’s all there is
Not this business thing
That doesn’t bring anything good to me
I see actually 


Diving into the wreck.

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.

it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

Adrienne Rich.

Women of Twilight.

You know when you’re watching a play and you’re already enjoying it immensely and then all of a sudden - out of nowhere - something so shockingly, heartbreakingly, devastatingly beautiful and sad and human happens and you sit in your seat and tears roll down your face and because you kind of feel a bit sick now from what’s just happened you let them fall? No? Well, you might, if you’d been to The White Bear in Kennington to see Women of Twilight.

The company is astonishing, honestly, and it’s so refreshing to see an ensemble of strong, talented women storm that tiny space and fill it to the brim with palpable energy. The play, written by Sylvia Rayman and published in 1951 tells a startlingly familiar tale. Yes that’s right, single mothers did exist in the 50’s, though history would have us believe differently.

I shan’t tell you the story, because really you should go and see it, but I shall say that everyone involved in the production acts their socks off. It is so full of words that it runs the risk of falling on its face and I suppose the one ‘criticism’ I’d have is that some of the actress’ could have jumped on their queues a lot more - sorry ladies! But still. I even forgave the blackouts between scenes because they were so slick, and the choice of music was so apt that I felt comfortable sitting in the darkness and simply listening, contemplating, waiting.

My heart goes out to Emma Reade-Davies who plays Sally in the show. In fact I’d go so far as to say that it’s some of the best acting I have ever seen. Yes that’s right. I’m not sure quite what that means exactly, do you trust my opinion? Well if you do, take it. Oh and that’s not to say the other actress’ aren’t good - believe me, they are. In fact Sally Mortemore - ‘Nelly’ - has been nominated for an Offie for her troubles, not forgetting she’s that good even after stepping in last minute and learning her lines from show to show, sometimes with script in hand. Yep.

I liked it that much that after the curtain call I went on the stage and looked at everything: the postcards on the wall, the ration books on the shelves, the art and clothes and nicknacks - I couldn’t leave it alone until I’d taken every little bit of it in.

I feel like I’ve been quite vague about the production here, but that may be because it felt like an entity in which so much happens. Births, deaths, life, love, murder trials, marriages, double crossing, giving, taking, friends and foes, happiness and sadness, ying and yang. It has everything a good piece of theatre should have, and then some, because the cast do it such justice that I could watch it over and over just to pick up on the things I missed out on the first time, you know?

Emma Spearing, a very good friend of mine from drama school, beautiful woman and actress invited me to the show (she’s in it, of course) and I went along, not knowing what it would be like (theatre at The White Bear? It’s anyone’s guess), but it did that thing that all theatre should do. It took me to a time and a place and made me feel emotions. Real ones. It’s not very often theatre does that, not really. I’m a bit of a theatrical sourpuss, come to think of it. I say we start a petition to move it to the West End immediately. Who’s in?

(The show is running until the 20th October and is returning in January for a second spin).

Crochet, hey?

Tell yourself to start the day with crochet,

Even if it’s a Saturday and you had all those plans,

Those good intentions,

People to see places to go.


Wake up early.

Make some coffee.

Give the cat a straw to play with.

And breathe.

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.

It’s okay, I say, to feel shame, or fear - of missing out -

Of missing friends -

Of missing what’s behind the bend that leads to the future,

But trust me, you’ll get there a lot faster, easier, smoother and freer if you take a second to breathe,



Don’t mind me, just writing an essay.

So, in the grandest tradition of always leaving essays to the last minute, I’m up at twenty to two in the morning finishing my very last (for real this time) MA essay. Shit man. I think I’ll hold off becoming a Doctor just for a little while, I forgot how tedious essay writing really is. And it is. IT SO IS. I keep reading my work back thinking I really hope Zois doesn’t find this boring. Dear God, please don’t let Zois find this boring. If he does then I’m bollocksed, completely and utterly, he’ll just write, ‘IT’S BORING’ in red, and gimme a rubbish mark and I’ll be wiping my snotty sleeve come results day. 

But it’s fine really, because the marks don’t matter, and it’s still been the greatest year of my life, and my boyfriend has been sat supportively for the last few hours reading things out, and checking things, and playing lovely music, and showing me videos when I have ‘breaks’. 

Oh and, this is in my essay:

We lose the soulskin by becoming too involved with ego, by being too exacting, perfectionistic, or unnecessarily martyred, or driven by blind ambition, or being dissatisfied - about self, family, community, culture, world - and not saying or doing anything about it, or by pretending we are an unending source for others, or by not doing all we can do to help ourselves. Oh, there are as many ways to lose the soulskin as there are women in the world.

Yeah. That. Take that, essay.