Favourites from EGX: A Light In Chorus, Lumino City, How To Be A Tree & Bertram Fiddle

A Light In Chorus

A Light In Chorus

Yesterday, H and I spent six glorious hours trawling EGX, the video games expo in Earls Court which runs til Sunday. SUCH joy. The cosplay! The Streetpassing! The hunt for new games we’d heard of,  and new things to fall in love with and throw our pounds at in the near future.

Towards the end I was hungering for new Street Fighter so wasn’t wild about visiting Rezzed, the indie zone, but blimey it’s grown since I last went a couple of years ago. And double blimey – this year’s had some of the most beautiful and entrancing games I’ve seen since playing Okami, that gorgeous watercolour RPG reboot. All the ones I tried were works in progress, and these ones were my favourites. Continue reading

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The gentrification of Camberwell

The Myatt's Fields Park summerhouse...through the seasons

The Myatt’s Fields Park summerhouse…through the seasons

I was thrilled when the Evening Standard announced that they were covering Camberwell in Homes and Property (today, people! Today!). I love H&P. It’s the covetous, property porn jam to my otherwise disappointing Wednesday toast.

And I was thrilled that people were going to see how great the place is. Sarah Waters’ new book, The Paying Guests, has a ‘genteel Camberwell villa’ at its centre, and lots of Camberwell is indeed jolly genteel. So much so in fact that there was much “Wuh?” from SE5 residents on Twitter when Time Out posted a review of the Camberwell Arms (announced today as one of The Good Food Guide’s top 50 British pubs) painting SE5 as a grim, downtrodden haven of grime, and nought else. It was so bewilderingly sniffy that those comments have since been removed from the review.

My brother used to come to Jazz in the Crypt at St Giles all the time, but as far as I was concerned Camberwell was unreachable – largely because everyone told me it was. When I moved here three years ago, I may as well have been moving to Narnia. “You have to walk? To get to a bus stop? For 10 minutes?” I was weak at my under-exercised knees.

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Walking Stories

I must have been 16. I remember being in some shoe shop in the Friary Centre in Guildford, absent-mindedly talking to myself, when a woman looked at me sharply. I hadn’t twigged that wandering around singing,  or talking to yourself might be totally bonkers – it was just something I did.

It’s still something I do. Walking through Durham and Cardiff, and later London, I would write monologues,  run through ideas, and sing (quietly). Walking lets you be anonymous, lets your mind roam around while your feet move on automatically. You’re sheltered,  supported even by the people walking past, they provide walls for the little bubble you put yourself in while you let whatever’s in your head pour out (quietly).

I’ve been having real problems knuckling down and concentrating on writing my book idea out, probably because sitting down to do anything makes me think of exams, but more realistically because I have a horror of anything that doesn’t come naturally. And writing thousands upon thousands of words does not come naturally to me.

What has really helped is the walk from the bus stop to my house. It’s eerily still and utterly beautiful, and I feel safe walking through it. Switching off, then switching on my iPhone to record an idea has meant that I’ve kept the ideas that disappear as soon as I walk through the door. I’ve put last week’s story up top, but if you’d rather read it, the text is after the jump.

THIS IS THE JUMP. CLICK ON IT.

Would you hold my hand?

Holding hands with Louise Brodie

Louise and I hold hands. Picture by Lou Brodie

What do you think about, when I say “holding hands”? Is it pig-tailed girls swinging their arms and giggling, best friends. Or lovers with their palms glued together, or running their fingers over one another’s hands just to make sure they’re real?

I think of love. Whether it’s a consolatory hand-hold to tell a sad friend that I’m listening, or skipping hysterically down a street after way, way too much prosecco, or walking down the street smiling happily at my boyfriend, I only hold hands with people I love. Oh, not my parents though. My family loves each other dearly, but from a distance.

Apparently the UK is jolly rare in thinking of hand-holding in such a limited fashion. While idly combing the internet for more things to do in my beloved Camberwell, I came across a work in progress by Louise Brodie, called Palm To Palm – The Art of Holding Hands: Continue reading