Latitude, with all of your ladies you are spoiling us

A cheery email announcing Latitude Festival‘s first line-up has just come a-pinging into my inbox. Here we go! Here’s the line-up. Let’s have a look at it and have vivid flashbacks to festivals we may or may not have drowned at in the past:

Latitude festival first line-up announcements

Whoah. Something weird’s going on here. Where’s the – where are the – ladies? Women? Women of pop and comedy, hello. I’m calling to you. Latitude, I can’t find the – oh no, wait.

I’VE FOUND HER. She is one half of alt-pop duo Beach House.

Latitude festival first line-up announcements - one lady

Back in the day, the day being 2006, I ran a festival website for Emap. Latitude was launched that year, and it was a complete blast, with a fantastic varied line-up and a line in food you actually wanted to eat. What a shame. What the f, Latitude? Have you seriously only managed to pin down a single one of the world’s myriad musical and comedic ladies to flag up in your first line-up announcement, and even then as part of a duo?

Mais non. The Guardian tells us that  Yeah Yeahs Yeahs, Jessie Ware, Cat Power, Laura Mvula and a load of other women I am no longer current enough to know about are also playing.


Well bugger that. I’ve had a lovely week of women, as it happens.

Business women!

Tonight I’m going to troll around the Country Living Spring Fair with my entrepreneur friend Jessica. I really don’t have more to say on that as I haven’t been yet, but I haven’t seen Jess in weeks and am very, very excited about that.

This is however a great excuse for a quick tangential reminisce over an amazing picture from my 30th – Jess is Peach, her fiancé is Luigi (wrong way round!), our friends are Daisy and Mario, I’m Yoshi, and that is my Tetris piece brother on the far right who flew in from Singapore for three days just so he could come to mine and dad’s birthdays. Dude!

nintendo birthday party

Best. Party. Ever.

Large-footed women (and business women)!

Last night, I went to the launch of the 9/10 club at Opium, for women with large feet who would actually quite like to wear nice shoes. It was run by the design-your-own-shoes site Upper Street, which in turn is ran by two amazing sisters.

Shoes at Upper Street's 9/10 club launch at Opium


There were loads of women in one place, all gossiping, eating, trying on shoes, swapping war stories of shitty shop assistants and the world basically hoping they’d all shut up and go away so they could carry on not catering for them.

Cocktails at Opium


Elizabeth and I kept on freaking out slightly by the unusual sensation of lots of women sharing our eyeline rather than being several inches below it. It was great fun – especially when they started bringing out cocktails in caged coconuts which appeared to be on fire.

Writing women! (who also have impressive jobs)!

And then I went to Polpo, also with friend and Write Club buddy Elizabeth, where we drank lots of prosecco, ate various delicious things in near-darkness and slurred our way through a long list of fantastic female children’s authors and Books That Made Us Who We Are before wobbling off in the direction of the Tube. Brilliant.

Dark dinner at Polpo

Somewhere in here is truffle cream

Utterly bloody funny women!

And on Monday, shortly after leaving a tablet and a box full of cheesecake on the 63 bus (FML), I went to Birthday Girls‘ comedy night at the Wilmington Arms, run by former members of the all-female, apparently all-conquering comedy troupe Lady Garden. And bugger me if there weren’t loads of people there being funny, quite a lot of whom happened to be female.

I fell a little bit in love with Mae Martin, a Canadian ex-pat who did a fantastic stand-up set. You will love her too. She also does animation, which she didn’t show off on Monday thankfully or I might have had to invade the stage and cry on her.

There was Lou Sanders (lady) and Joe Lycett (man), who weren’t my cup of tea but got plenty of laughs from the audience, and two not-women, Max and Ivan, who I absolutely adored. And then Birthday Girls of course, who were great hosts and had some lovely new sketches.

I haven’t seen any musical women this week which rather prevents this blog from ending on a powerful note of strong meaning

This is because I missed my choir rehearsal to go to the 9/10 launch and see Elizabeth. But there is a clip of another lovely Elizabeth singing solo in our new version of Heartbeats by The Knife, which is brilliant – and I’m trilling the high bits at the end, so let’s pretend that neatly wraps up my annoyance at Latitude not giving the ladies in its bill more due prominence.


Aslan is on the move! Post-winter plans, and the execution thereof

Narnia happened exactly like this

Narnia happened exactly like this


I can’t be the only one who constantly talks myself out of everything.

I might be lying in bed going “Oh God, take your love of refined sugars for a run you fool,” but will then just stay in bed feeling guilty. Or find something that looks really exciting, suck air through my teeth at the price, and then fritter exactly the same amount of money on complete and utter crap.

Well, I’m going through one of my periodic phases of ravenish “NO MORE!”

(I know it’s never more, but ravenish is just such a lovely sounding word.)

Unsurprisingly, my ravenish period usually coincides with the end of winter, or, at least, the merest sighting of spring. There were nascent daffs in the window pots of the houses I passed on my staggered hop run yesterday, and snowdrops punching their way through the ground in Brockwell Park. Somewhere, a bewitched talking beaver is saying, “Aslan is on the move.”

There will now be a short pause to contemplate the myriad brillance of the BBC’s Narnia

Whereas my winters are by and large spent in a state of Victorian swoon, catalogued in a fat pile of decisions I felt too exhausted to make and places I couldn’t summon the energy to go to, the onset of spring sees me making plans and feeling excited, not just knackered and used up.

New things! YES!

  • I’ve joined a running club! Or rather, knowing my limits, a learn-to-run beginners course. I’ve been running on and off since 2011 and have yet to progress to anything more than a jog.
  • Rather than wistfully pining over clothes, I bought all the ones I liked the look of from Tall Girls and Brand Alley, tried them on, and then returned the ones that didn’t look right. Sadly for me, but brilliantly for my credit card and the entire ethos of window shopping, that was pretty much everything.
  • On Sunday, where I would usually have cried off at the eleventh hour to just go to bed, I spent the entire night watching the Oscars with friends at Soho House. (Jesus that place is cold. You’d think with their membership fees they could afford some secondary glazing. Corrie spent the night with her feet wrapped in napkins.)
  • I also went to the Manet exhibition at the Royal Academy – my parents sporadically attempt to Eliza Doolittle their daughter – and then we went to try out Brasserie Zedel which, unlike the rather meh Manet, was just absolutely wonderful. Great food, grave five-star staff, and our pre-lunch fizz came in coupes at a long golden bar with plush velvet barstools. Wonderful. I love going out with my parents in London, and lunch plays a big part in why.
  • On Monday, rather than just staying in bed and feeling awful, I crowbarred myself into running clothes and reunited joyfully with the best running app in the world: Zombies, Run!. It reminded me how much I love running, even though I’m back to the jog, walk, jog, walk, and I got endlessly lapped by handsome men in shorts.
  • And today, I finally used the voucher I got for my birthday to book an Arvon course I liked, and then booked a ticket to a bloody amazing-sounding festival in August. If I can’t find anyone to go with me, then I will go alone and have a wonderful time trotting around eating, horse riding, and lying flat on my back staring at the inside of my eyelids.

Update: Miss Cellany of Write Club has gifted us with this amazing behind the scenes video of Voyage of the Dawntreader back in the 80s. Delicious Sam West alert!