And she’s off again, dismantling the treasures from her sweet Camden bedroom. Postcards and posters peeled off, books taken off for light to shine on the dusty shelves. Staring at this four-walled shell one comes to realise how even the scrubbiest of flats can always become beautiful with human inspiration.
Did I just die in the stalls. If my pores were eyes they would have been crying crystals, and I would have made sacred offering of them for the Gods on stage.
Happy Summer Solstice. Time to write something a little less mysterious.
As the years pass by I’m believing more and more in Vivaldi’s depiction of summer, and becoming less ashamed of enjoying the clichés. London was at a violent temperature yesterday – 34.C. Mosquitos have already made a dance floor of my legs: clusters of mini gunshots along my calves and thighs. Damn these hungry, inebriated beasts. I am forced to douse myself with fēng yóu jīng and sprinkle it on my mattress. I leave the tiny bottle open on my bedside table; hopefully the fumes of magic, anti-demon potion will keep the evil spirits away.
Each day we wake up as if we’ve been wearing thermals in bed. We are hot from the air and the weight of time, then we cover ourselves against the ammunition of the sun. Hot hot hot. Layers and layers of chain mail.
Chainmail, Amartey Golding
In the Four Seasons, Vivaldi writes of a summer that rouses our blood and our propensity for violence. Violence and conflict, like the friction of two sticks, rub sparks, make fires. That much we have seen in London throughout June. From terrorists mowing people down on pavements, hitting worshippers at mosque, to the fires of nightmares; not to mention the news that is overshadowed by the blazing headlines and the offences that never get reported by the public…
As the bus turns left from the East end of Princes Street, a macabre scene bleeds into one’s periphery like an incoming raincloud. The passengers look up out of the blindness of their touch-screens and crane their necks by the window-glass.
It can’t be. He was immortal…
Sometimes I feel like a tired, hungry puppy
Pulled at the leash to places in positions
That no longer make me look like a doggy.
Oh why do humans do this?
Can’t you see
I like to stand on four legs
not just three. Continue reading
I remember when the word University looked like a big mountain and
I remember when you shouted me into doing this degree after looking at all the Linguistics books I’d borrowed from the Central Library in Edinburgh.
I remember emancipation from music school, a place that flung me into the sky, to blissful, heavenly heights, and threw me back down onto the ground.
I remember how desperate I was to break away from school and everything I used to do, to the point where I was convinced – encouraged to believe – and not entirely by my own hand, that I should change my image and even my own name, for the second time; because having an unusual Chinese name would be an oral obstacle to professional networking and to becoming a success.
I remember during the summer before the great move I had researched, extensively, all the societies I considered joining, even emailing some of them in advance in order to indicate and validate my existence as an enthusiastic, energised new student ready to make her mark in the student community and all that yada-yada.
I remember the day I moved out of home. We packed many, many bags into the car. I had curled my hair with rollers the previous night and my locks had scooped into curls that bounced like the dancers in the flirty fifties. I remember picking utensils from the kitchen in the old house; we were very selective of the number of knives, forks, chopsticks, plates and bowls. My spatula was made of pink rubber with a stainless steel handle. The chopping board was grass green. Continue reading
16 October 2016
Sunday morning. Look out beyond your bedroom door. Celebrate the sunlight humming along the silent corridors and the caress of your blood floating back to room temperature.
7 January 2017
pro cra sti na tion |prəˌkrastəˈnāSHən, prō-|
The process of swallowing an abnormally large tablet. A deeply uncomfortable experience regardless of its nutritional content and proven long-term benefits. Positive effects include (but are not confined to): rays of sunshine, drops of oil to your joints, strengthened muscles. However, such accounts have little bearing on one’s decision to actually and willingly accept the giant particle. Subjects are warned to expect a dark, prolonged sense of dread right up until the relaxation of the tongue muscles, a period which can last from 10 seconds to even 1 month or more.
The task – allowing this pebble creep down your throat and grind against your windpipe – is not to be underestimated.
2 February 2017
The most beautiful thing I saw turning left onto Russell Square, was an overweight blue rubbish truck as beaten and bruised and triumphant as a gladiator.
3 February 2017
Today I feel the filth of London and the gritty woes of its people enter my lungs, drying the moistness at the back of my throat, as if I’m inhaling the excrements of dust mites and vacuum cleaners in a windowless room.