Thursday, December 11, 2014

She's Electric

Well the morning was complete. There was tears as the music fade ― I tried to change the beat. She was the soundtrack to my summer and back then I didn't need any competition because I had everything. This blog should be overflowing with stories about our shared experiences but a dream you dream alone is only a dream. In the beginning there were complications but regardless of what had gone before this should have been a different outcome. So often we ended up talking over each other, not allowing ourselves to let down our guard and see things from the others’ perspective.

A few mistakes ago I travelled to Manchester where I was introduced to her younger sibling at a festival. I wanted to make a lasting impression and we became friends, but this eventually created a problem. I'm too protective and can't ignore a cry for help, especially when they're alone. Curiosity becomes a heavy load, will force you to be cold. I started this weekend attempting to win some prizes playing bingo. I had a few lines and came close to completing a full house game. The night continued afterwards and the following morning I slept through my alarm and missed the coach to Leeds. I had other ideas but decided to honour the original arrangement. Apollonia were incredible that night. She was amazing too but we were soon tearing apart the ties that bind. Is this the beginning of the end? The coach pulled away from the station and disappeared around the bend. I have tried to do what's right and didn't want to hurt anyone!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Basics All Stars

Back to Basics, the UK’s longest running club night, celebrated its 23rd birthday at the weekend. Reading commentary in the build up to the night, it’s clear that there’s a real sense of loyalty and respect with what the Leeds based institution has achieved. Basics remains a pioneer and continues to push boundaries to achieve the best clubbing experience with audio-visual entertainment. This year’s birthday celebration was held at Beaver Works, featuring a plethora of talent and the 3D visual installation from Haydn Robinson, Simon Fong Wah and Zeon Sam on the production that was popular at the previous event.

Basics All Stars were advised to dress for the red carpet, the theme for the event being superstars, movie stars and all stars. We arrived in costume and true to word the red carpets were out and we made our way inside the venue. Tinsel town had come to Leeds, Beaver Works being transformed to represent the glamour and extravagance of Hollywood. With four rooms of quality music we were in for a memorable night. The Bar Room reminded me of a drinks reception, guests gathering for a few glasses before being taken to their seats for the ceremony. Dave Beer and everyone involved behind the scenes had delivered in converting ideas into reality, something Basics has achieved for over two decades.

The Bar Room provided the early entertainment, Maurice Fulton proving that he’s one of the true originals with his enviable back catalogue. George Benson’s smooth sounding ‘Love X Love’ being a personal favourite in the opening stages. Heading into the Main Room for Crazy P (Live) and the 3D projection mapping that encased the DJ booth was incredible. The audio-visual experience passing my expectations with a blistering set from Crazy P which provided so many great moments. Andre Bratten ‘Trommer Og Bass’ being one of the highlights of the night. The extensive birthday line-up included so much top underground talent, mixing experience from veteran Ralph Lawson, with a new wave of talent eager to make an impression. Down in the Basement Room was Circo Loco regular Clive Henry, joined by residents Laura Jones, Burnski, Frenchy, Jon Woodall, Gavin Herlihy and James Barnsley. There was a great atmosphere and I really enjoyed listening to the DJs playing back-to-back and serving up some great track combinations. We then moved back to the Bar Room as head honcho Dave Beer was closing out his set to receive much-deserved acknowledgement from the crowd. Aden Konrad and Josh Plews followed, both making their debut at the venue and proving that Basics is still uncovering exciting new talent. After a turbulent year, Back to Basics proved why it has been around for so many years and provided a memorable night for everyone involved.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bugged Out 20th Birthday

Carling British Cider is the official Cider of the Warehouse Project this season. The award winning Cider view the Warehouse Project as being at the cutting edge of clubbing and electronic music. Regarded as the 'spiritual home' by both fans and organisers - tickets to the return to Store Street have been like gold dust. It's refreshing then, that Carling are offering fans the chance of winning two guestlist places to every night at the iconic venue. I was announced as one of the winners, here's what happened when I travelled to Manchester ―

Located underneath Manchester's Piccadilly Station, the one-time air raid shelter was home to the Warehouse Project for five years before moving to Victoria Warehouse. This season the venue opens its doors for a one-year residency and I was excited to be returning thanks to Carling British Cider. Bugged Out! were the host returning to the Warehouse Project to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Arriving at Store Street, we made our way inside and after fighting through the crowd we ordered some Cider. After having a few drinks, I noticed that the tempo had gone up a level and displaying a blatant disregard to his set time; Erol Alkan played a 10pm like it was a close. Generating a huge response with Andre Bratten 'Trommer Og Bass' and Josh Wink 'Talking To You', before finishing with his closing track 'A Hold On Love / Only Love Can Break Your Heart' (taken from the acclaimed FabricLive 77).

George FitzGerald followed, making his debut at Store Street and clearly enjoyed the atmosphere in the main room. Heading over to the second arena, I was eager to catch Moon Boots (French Express) having missed out on attending the MixMag Lab event on Friday afternoon. Moon Boots has been on the French Express' UK tour - alongside Jonas Rathsman and Isaac Tichauer - but tonight was his last show in the country for a while. There was a great vibe by this point and we moved between both rooms absorbing the atmosphere. It was heaving in the second room by the time Skream took to the stage and he played a rousing set. Returning to the main room, Paul Woolford had everyone moving even the security personnel. 'Fly Life Xtra' by Basement Jaxx is a popular track with my friends and it was great to hear that played. Green Velvet closed proceedings and a section of the crowd lifted up someone in a wheelchair to get closer to the action. Incredible scenes in Manchester and thanks to Carling British Cider for a memorable night.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2014

I recently entered the Wells and Young’s ‘Barclaycard Mercury Prize’ giveaway. The competition which was announced on the Estrella Damm Facebook Page, required participants to tag one friend in the comments section of the original competition post. The winner received two tickets to the Barclaycard Mercury Prize and complimentary Estrella Damm (four per person). Estrella Damm is a pilsner beer, brewed in Barcelona, Catalonia. Estrella means "star" in both Catalan and Spanish. It's apt then that Estrella Damm were sponsoring the Mercury Prize, considering that the shortlist shines a light on future stars that could benefit from the exposure. I was announced as one of the winners, here's what happened that night...

Arriving at the Roundhouse entrance with my date, we were given the red carpet treatment which included a drinks reception. After having a few beers, guests were taken to their seats for the live performances and ceremony hosted by Nick Grimshaw. All the shortlisted artists receive a specially commissioned 'Album of the Year' bronze trophy. The overall winner receives a cheque and a special winner's trophy. I've seen live performances at the Roundhouse before during the iTunes Festival. Most notably, performances from Bombay Bicycle club, The Courteneers and Phoenix. The iTunes Festival is an annual, month-long music concert series which takes place in September. Bombay Bicycle club were one of the big names shortlisted tonight alongside Damon Albarn, with seven debuts and three jazz artists.

I was eager to see FKA Twigs and Jungle perform at the Roundhouse, having listened to the majority of the albums when the shortlist was announced. All the live performances were impressive and in a shortlist in which there was no obvious winner ― I believed that either FKA Twigs or Jungle would be announced as the winner. Dinner followed the live performances and guests were treated to a mouth-watering menu. Nick Grimshaw returned to the stage afterwards to run through the nominations for this year's award. Then came the announcement that Scottish hip hop group Young Fathers had won this year's Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize for their debut studio album Dead. Young Fathers then took to the stage with the shortest acceptance speech: “Thank you. Thank you. We love you all. Thank you!” The aftershow party beckoned but we decided to be sensible and head our separate ways. This proved to be an expensive choice because my date for the evening slept through her stop and ended up miles away from her destination. Mouth open you're. . . getting a cab home from Coventry! A massive congratulations to Young Fathers and thank you to Estrella Damm for an amazing night!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Close Shave

I have experienced so many grand days out this summer and on several occasions I have worn the wrong trousers. On 18th September, I completed the hat-trick of Wallace and Gromit short stories when I opted for a close shave at the #ShaveMeSir Barber Shop. Facial hair has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. November has become synonymous with growing a moustache and I have grown several in an attempt to raise awareness of men's health issues. Last year I chose to grow a goatee for Halloween, the inspiration being Walter White from the drama series Breaking Bad.

Beards, dodgy moustaches and sideburns were commonplace in the seventies and they have made a triumphant return. Facial hair has become more popular than ever and I have been focusing on growing a fine mane. This prompted the visit to the Barber Shop. Man Made is London’s finest Gentlemen’s Grooming Room and they collaborated with online grooming shop Yes Sir to provide the #ShaveMeSir Barber Shop in the heart of Marylebone Village. At the pop-up shop a shave and a haircut cost you nothing more than a tweet or Instagram photo.

The barber started with a face wash and scrub to unblock pores and remove excess oil. Then a face mask was applied to help soften the beard, reduce sensitivity and reinvigorate the skin whilst a head and neck massage was performed. Hot towels infused with essential oils were then used in conjunction to the steps along with a shaving oil, cream and the sharp blade. The beard was also hair dried, which was something I have never considered doing before the appointment. I will definitely be returning for more once the beard needs maintenance.

This summer there have been several themed events for the bearded men of London. The Kopparberg Urban Forest was a pop-up bar that provided a mix of live music, mouth-watering food and drink behind the city streets of Dalston. They invited bearded men to get involved in the latest trend for floral beards. I attended the event and had a variety of flowers weaved into my beard that afternoon. It’s hard to identify who started the trend but if we ever go to San Francisco, we'll be sure to wear some flowers in our hair.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mischief. Mayhem. Wardrobe.

“Simple thing where have you gone?” 
If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? I once wrote that I woke up in a tree. That wasn't exactly the truth, but this weekend I woke up in a forest! Snow White found refuge with the dwarfs in an enchanted forest. In Grimm's Fairy Tales, the hero goes into an enchanted forest and finds a place of transformation.

My problem isn't transformation, it's looking in the wardrobe and finding towels instead of Narnia. I'm new in this city, and I'm down for a few nights. These halls may not be a home, but I decided to go ahead and lay down.

Last weekend I tried to start a revolution from my bed, but instant messaging took me on a journey instead. I have been impressed with the easygoing attitude in Leeds and take it for granted. Other cities don't have the same tolerance and it's a shame because there's no rest for the wicked. No harm, their armed. Setting off all your alarms! I attended an event on Friday but unfortunately the signal wasn't right and I didn't last the night. The "Flaming Moe" provided another memorable situation; the complimentary tip afterwards exceeding expectation. Anticipation has the habit of setting everyone up for disappointment in the evening's entertainment. But tonight there'll be some cocktails ― tonight there'll be a revelation regardless of what has gone before!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Come On ― It's My Birthday!

“Euston, we have a problem...” 
I have seen further by standing on the shoulders of giants; but in those symbolic shadows we stand today. Stepped off the train all alone at dawn, back into the hole where I was born. Oasis defined the nineties and became the inspiration for an entire generation. Chasing The Sun: Oasis 1993 - 1997 is an exhibition that features rare and iconic photographs and memorabilia from the early years.

We had planned to attend the event but became distracted by the street art, murals and bars in Shoreditch. Sculpture in the City, located nearby in the heart of the Square Mile, also provided an alternative cultural environment. Louche returned to London on Saturday for an intimate event at Autumn Street Studios in Hackney Wick. We weren't sure what to expect but the night was enjoyable. Mister! Look at your girl, she loves it! The only disappointment was the journey but even that provided some nuggets of information to take home!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Do I Wanna Know?

“It's a small world...” 
When one door closes, another door opens; but what happens when the closed door opens on another floor? The concept behind Inception (2010) is the placement of an idea into a character's subconscious. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a professional extractor who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconsciousness of his targets. Cobb has been consumed with regret and in his subconscious he has built an elevator containing various memories, with each floor being defined by a moment that he regrets. 

 These are moments that you can't shift? The type that sticks around like summat in your teeth? Are there some aces up your sleeve? The basement opening to reveal the kitchen instead of the hotel room. No time for interviews! Yeah she's dashing for the exit, collecting breakfast for her clutch bag. The second mouse moves closer to the cheese, but how many secrets can be kept for a rainy day?

Never recreate from your memory. Always imagine new places! We started from the bottom now we're being compared to Drake?! Limbo beckoned, songs about poisonous apples written once upon a time! Who's the fairest of them all? The Disney princess-inspired burlesque dress I purchased meant that my daughter shall go to the ball! You're waiting for a train. A train that'll take you far, far away... When the cat's away, the mice will play and today I celebrate my birthday. I'm grateful to everyone that made an appearance on Saturday and the parade continue in London this weekend!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Silence is Golden

“The nights were mainly made for saying things that you can't say tomorrow day.”
I go crazy 'cause here isn't where I want to be, and that distraction feels like a constant boundary. I can't help myself and all I want to hear is “Are you fine?” I have assumed the attitude of the true connoisseur in being within and without. The way I write on my blog is open to interpretation but only I know the true meaning. That includes throwing shapes, throwing drinks or communicating with gremlins! Recently the-one-that-broke-the-curse has drifted away, the situation comparable to Cast Away (2000) with the high breakers on the coral surrounding the island, Wilson falling from the raft and Chuck becoming overwhelmed by loneliness. Guti played at Mint Club this month for system presents Desolat and everyone became overwhelmed by Loneliness (Original Mix). Does that compare? For me, this provided one of the outstanding moments from the events that I have attended this year. I'm still unable to forget about that volleyball sized head! After buying a new volleyball, Chuck travels out into the country to return the unopened FedEx package to the sender. I want to travel and explore the world but I'm having too much fun at the moment!

To be popular means that one is part of the group and apart from it at the same time. F. Scott Fitzgerald describes this in The Great Gatsby (1925), acknowledging that “[Nick Carraway] was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” Could Nick be described as being popular? Then again, could Gatsby? He is renowned for the lavish parties he throws and there are many guests who so eagerly took advantage of his hospitality. Few people could recognise their host though and no one cared enough to show up to his funeral! 

I have several groups of friends in Leeds, despite attempts to merge them. Being in two places at the same time is challenging, especially when I enjoy spending time with everyone. The other weekend I attended an event that my friends were hosting and a private party at another venue. The events were within walking distance but I missed DJ and producer Josh Plews provide everyone with an education. Afterwards the challenge increased; I attempted to be in three places at once but it didn't really happen. I’m up in the club. I'm down on the grind. I'm needing a still to slow down the time! 

That evening Loco Dice returned to Leeds with Robert Dietz, both were playing at Mint Warehouse and the extensive lighting improvements were well received. The crowd favourite, Loco Dice constructed an impressive set, playing with reverb and delays. The track that stood out the most from his performance was Adapter - Yasir (Original Mix). Mint Presents was enjoyable, especially with the improved lighting but not sure about the impromptu dancing at the end. The [foot shufflers] have sent us a message... that they can dance however they want. That no one can stop them. Well, we will send them a message. And we will show them that they can't dance! And that this... this is our land! I imagine auditions for modern dance schools requiring similar choreography! 

Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon that I hadn't experienced before the weekend. It's a transition state between being awake and rest characterised by an inability to move. I didn't enjoy the experience, being unable to move and having visions was overwhelming. I watched my daughter leave the room, heard a baby crying and attempted speaking but these incidents were constructed by my subconscious. I felt like someone was pressing down onto my body and I couldn't support the weight. Many people that experience sleep paralysis are struck with a deep sense of terror, because they sense a presence in the room. I tried to explore the room but the pieces of the puzzle didn't fit together! Not too much difference with events from the real world! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lights Will Guide You Home

“Harry'll do it. I know it. He doesn't know how to fail.”
I wasn't looking for anything but then I found myself and lost something that I couldn't replace. I was holding onto three years but all I found was cigarettes and alcohol. Human sympathy has its limits, and we weren't content to let arguments fade with the city lights behind. It's true that store fronts rarely change and it's time to learn how to manage on my own again. Thirty — the promise of a decade of loneliness, but I wasn't alone and we're still going down in an earlier round!

Last weekend provided plenty of drama, entertainment and distraction. I had intended to attend an event in London but work related matters took priority. I arrived in Leeds Friday afternoon, preparations were in the advanced stages for an event in Headingley and everyone was getting ready! There was so much enthusiasm, but unfortunately when we arrived security confronted one of my friends and created a situation. I didn't know what was occurring because it happened so suddenly but it was soon resolved. The event was hosted by Loco, combining music with installations and live art. The venue was impressive and the event was well organised throughout the night. I spent that morning at a friends house and in the afternoon I was abducted by pirates. By the time I left the 'boat' it was dark outside again, but I was ready for the night ahead.

I had expected more people to be involved that evening as Nest were celebrating their fourth birthday. Those that were in attendance witnessed one of the founders of Nest being escorted from the premises. Security again overreacting and creating an unnecessary situation. Afterwards I travelled to another venue and then headed to an after party with some friends. It escalated quickly at the house! What started as pitching pounds, descended into carnage as several guitars were broken over the head of the founder who had earlier been dismissed from the club. He'll break any guitar in' world! I was then introduced to a modified version of Turkish wrestling. I didn't participate, those that did looked like they had been hit with a chair! The highlight of the afternoon was when one of the guests became acquainted with a rubber toy. My face hurt from laughing so much! Also at the party was Yorkshire music mogul, Dave Beer, promoter of the UK's longest running club night Back to Basics and recently crowned undisputed champion of pitching pounds. It's the first time I've spent any time with the unofficial mayor of Leeds and I hope I'm still going strong at his age. When I returned home that evening, I realised I had managed to distance from recent problems and enjoyed the weekend. That's something I need to do more, anyone for pitching pounds?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Too Good To Be True

 I'm the king of the world!
I've been polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's all going down, man. Those close enough to the iceberg will understand my frustration. Only know you've been high when you're feeling low. Only hate the road when you're missing home. Only know you love her when you let her go, and in the Titanic (1997) he let her go. The film portrays the struggle Jack Dawson, a penniless artist, and Rose DeWitt Bukater have to fight to be together. After braving several obstacles, he dies of hypothermia and she is saved. The closest I have been to developing hypothermia is receiving the cold shoulder; the symptoms aren't related. The film is directed, written, co-produced, co-edited and partly financed by James Cameron. Unfortunately Jack Dawson never did exist. Instead Mr Joseph Dawson, 23, from Dublin, Ireland came to Southampton to look for work. He joined the Titanic as a Trimmer and perished in the sinking. His tale, and the stories of many others taken tragically at an early age, remain untouched by a brush with recent fame. 

During the 19th century, the Steel City might have had something to say about the construction of the passenger liner. Having gained an international reputation for steel production. Many innovations were developed locally, leading to an increase in the population during the Industrial Revolution. The rapid construction of passenger interchanges has been the subject of recent developments. For example, new rail stations, bus, tram and light rail systems. The population increased momentarily this weekend. While she starts to cry, mascara running down her little Bambi eyes: "Lana, how I hate these lies." The signals don't seem right, I don't understand why they last for just one night? I believe this 'non-disclosure agreement' causes more harm than good. The future is history!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Don't Believe in Yesterday

“Been on another level, since you came...”
He waits; that's what he does. But sometimes that isn't enough. I have recently finished reading The Great Gatsby, and in the book there's a phrase stating that 'there are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.' I'm tired. I'm tired of pursuing. I'm tired of the lies and I'm tired of waiting for opportunities because recently it's felt like I'm in 50 First Dates (2000). The mistake I made was to believe there was a chance. Don't blame it on me because you wanted to have fun. Who can you trust? Ladies and gentlemen, this is me expressing my loneliness. Kiss me hard before you go, because it might be the last time. The lies have created a fabricated reality, providing the blissful ignorance of illusion. Take the blue pill and the story ends, you wake up in his bed and believe whatever you want to believe!

Summer had come and passed, the innocent can never last. I attended a festival in September and afterwards we became close friends. I spoke to her frequently and one night in October we ended up together. I had started the final year at university, pressure was overwhelming, relationship was lying on the cold hard ground and the ascent from depth should have led to the bends. I thought my partner was overreacting. By the time her mother intervened the tension had reached a crescendo. I should have listened, because when she reached out it was already too late. There was no subject, but I will never forget the words. I decided to tell her everything when she returned to Leeds. Honesty is supposed to be a virtue but no one wants to hear the truth. She was nervous and I could feel how vulnerable she was when we embraced. I broke her heart that night. Rather she hear what happened in my words, than someone who might not be as intimately involved. I wouldn't have been able to pursue the relationship. The guilt would have been unbearable and I would have placed our mutual friends in a position.

It's unfortunate that I have become the other person. It's three in the morning and I'm trying to change your mind. Drunk in love? It seems you only want to know when you're high! I'm disappointed but it's provided a valuable insight. I now understand what it feels like to be on the outside looking in on the situation. Running through the streets; buying oregano; or writing about the experience. There's always someone with a reason...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Tiger

“I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes...”
I met her in London, she's new in the city and she was down for the night. When travelling to the city people tend to just aim for the bushes. I hadn't read the script but London beckoned, songs about misogyny written by American rap artists. I took a leap of faith, waited for the train and headed for Leicester Square! I would have liked to have prepared something symbolic, instead I ended up at that American restaurant. I have always wanted to assemble a flash mob together in a public place to perform a random sequence. A few years ago I participated in a re-imagining of Mary Shelley's masterpiece, Frankenstein. In a unique take on audience participation, thousands were invited to attend Frankenstein's Wedding in their best outfits and play the role of wedding guests. I really enjoyed the event at Kirkstall Abbey but would prefer the Grand Central Station sequence in Friends with Benefits (2011). Closing time, you didn't have to go home but you could have stayed at mine!

I met her in Leeds, she came from the South she had a first for knowledge. I travel to the city every weekend and aim for the night life. There's no closed doors and I'm always on that okey dokey! That evening I attended the Apollonia showcase, I had been anticipating the night for a while and wasn't disappointed. Apollonia is the project collaboration of Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky, three of Paris underground's hottest exports. The night exceeded expectations, the highlight was when Dyed Soundorom played the track that we know only through the vocal sample. The night changed direction when she messaged! I wasn't sure what to expect, especially knowing that she doesn't approve of the creatures of the night. She came to the house where I was staying and we spoke briefly. People are so eager for the inside story though and the circus in the basement became a distraction. Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chasing Balloons

“Nights ends so much quicker than the days did.
Same clothes, you aren't ready for your day shift.”
I travelled to Leeds at the weekend, hoping the city would provide a distraction. I spend so much time on the move, passing through transitory space, travelling between cities and places. It would be impossible to undertake the routine practices of my life without public transport, telecommunications and mobile applications. The world consists of a complicated series of events and the connections alternate, overlap or combine and thereby determine our sense of place. I had a busy schedule. Intending to avoid the bright lights and fly like paper, get high like planes. Twelve months ago it was a different story. I was struggling with my emotions, deadlines and paper cuts. I wasted the good surprise! I wasn't folding planes this year, I was folding pages and trying to find the questions. I hadn't spoken to the-one-that-broke-the-curse in a few days but I expected to hear her voice at some point over the weekend.

I won't ever understand why people upload unnecessary photos. A moment on your lips, forever on your Facebook profile! Although it makes a change to be featured because I usually avoid the photojournalists. I rarely attend student nights but it was my friend's birthday and we had an area reserved. It was a good night, everyone had so much enthusiasm! The night ended early, but so did my resilience and I lost my page again. 

I hate sending those text messages, obviously motivated by impaired judgement through alcohol consumption. Fortunately the response I received was positive so I was spared any embarrassment. There's a chapter in The Great Gatsby (1925) that I have thought about in depth recently. The scene where Jay Gatsby has a greenhouse brought to Nick Carraway's house in preparation for the arrival of Daisy Buchanan. I have always thought that these grand gestures are appreciated but I'm not sure they are any more. I still remember the email that everyone received after last year's showcase!

The following nights merged into each other but I remember coming up to breathe before diving back into the music. On Friday I arrived at the club with some Valentine's Day balloons that had been acquired from a restaurant. These proved to be a popular choice but they were a distraction so I decided to give mine away. The aftermath provided the usual exemplary performances. The talking points focused on someone's choice of clothing and a friendship that appears to have taken the scenic route. Birthday proceedings resumed that evening and while everyone looked stunning and fresh I was struggling to keep pace. During the night I was even asked whether I wanted to get on someone's shoulders! I refused because the girl was clearly not considering our difference in size. The after party continued on to the afternoon before everyone headed home. I was played out that weekend by an interesting phone call with several friends. Ain't nobody got time for that...
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Day in the Life

I envy those that don't stray too far from the path. The people that can hide their emotions and abandon everything without looking back even once. Too often I have been secluded by the isolation of being on the outside looking in. But at the same time I'll always take a leap of faith. I would rather believe in something intangible or unproven, than become an old man, filled with regret... I travelled to Leeds at the weekend. I have made the journey many times in the last few months and there's no chance I'll wake up on the wrong side of any bed. I was physically present throughout, but mentally absent due to being preoccupied with my wandering thoughts. I saw her face again, oh boy, but unfortunately I didn't make the grade. I was reminded of twenty-eight but there are no words to describe the depth of indifference. Walking through the streets I encountered an expression etched across a familiar face that could easily have been my reflection. I chased shadows for much of the weekend and when it was time to leave I doubt anyone even noticed. Most people forget the first two rules of Fight Club but I was greeted with a different interpretation. The more you beat yourself up, the harder it becomes to find the answers and move on...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Empire State of Living Under Influence

I have been told on numerous occasions that I should start writing again. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been a while since my last confession blog post and a lot has happened since then! These are my sins...

Firstly where to begin? That's usually the hardest part, but the start was essentially the beginning of the end of another chapter. In 2010, I became disenchanted by London and pouring myself a cup of ambition wasn't fulfilling. I met someone around this time and decided to travel to university with her and start an undergraduate course. The pursuit of knowledge leads to many places and Leeds appeared on the horizon. Moving to another city provides many challenges and opportunities. Learning another culture, discovering new places and new habits. The first year at university wasn't easy, and settling in was difficult with so many distractions. Freshers Week will be remembered for the wrong reasons but it made my relationship stronger. At least that's what I thought at the time!

Previously I wrote about travelling to Ibiza to work there with my partner and several friends. I expected so much from the experience because Ibiza is a spiritual island but I returned early with a burden bearing down on my shoulders. When we first arrived at the airport there was so much anticipation. Ibiza. Billboards, palm trees, clubs on the beach and everything makes you wonder. Then within a month it felt overwhelming. And in that moment, I swear we were finite. The hourglass measuring our time together had been influenced. You have to play the best game you can with the cards that you're dealt. I focused on university assignments, spending longer in the library as a distraction. This only widened the divide and I began to neglect feelings and responsibilities. Then I dismissed what was important and became immersed in the music scene.

Reckless is fun when you're not the one that gets hurt. I broke her heart and then questioned how “[she] could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once.” The quote is from Yann Martel's Life of Pi (2001) and it's one that has resonated with me in regards to the pain. We shared so many memories over the three years, both in London and in Leeds. There are ways of mediating space and we made a home in the routine passages of life, producing our own version of the city. I still see her everywhere, the language written through the streets and read out as if aloud but only I can locate the landmarks. I composed our image on the city and now all that remains are memories. I pursued her for months, but there was no reconciliation. 

I finished University with First Class Honours and Joint Winner of the Alan McGregor Prize for Exceptional Contribution to the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities. I also had my dissertation published with Lambert Academic Publishing titled 'A Critical Analysis of Facebook as a Method of Manipulating Consent'. I dedicated the publication to our time together but everything paled in comparison to how much I loved her. It wasn't the ending I had envisioned for university. I watched her graduation from a lecture theatre although it wasn't the same as being there to celebrate her achievement. Even though it's not much of a consolation I hoped she would at least want to be photographed beside me that afternoon but she wasn't interested. The night before my graduation ceremony we had an argument and her words were devastating. I wept like a child. I had never experienced that side of her before and I felt betrayed. I managed to hold it together during the ceremony but when she approached outside the Great Hall I couldn't control my emotions and I fell to pieces. I'll always regret not having my photograph taken with her that day!