True(ish) Facts About London

In case you weren’t already aware, in January I became an inhabitant of That London. This is a very different living situation from the wilds of Herefordshire, but it’s generally proving pleasanter than I had expected. Cheap art and easily available friends are a good consolation for the constant lack of time and money, even if they don’t help much with the oversupply of diesel fumes.

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Fainter alert: My day as a side-effect statistic

Well hello there. It’s been a while since the Archers debacle, so I thought I’d risk peeping my head over the parapet of the internet. For now it’s just a quick cartoon-post, but if I’m not pounced upon by hordes of trolls this time, I might just attempt to get back to some kind of regular posting schedule. Stay tuned. 

Today, I spontaneously decided to give blood for only the second time in my life. I know, I’m a hero, but let’s not go on about that – no, really, there’s no need to applaud. Honestly, it was nothing! All I did was donate a whole pint of my life’s blood for the good of my fellow human… Oh very well, you’re right, I am basically an incredible person.

Anyhow, the whole mildly unpleasant process went quite smoothly at first; I passed the various forms, interviews and tests, and got through the stabby needle bit without wincing too conspicuously. After fifteen minutes of lounging in my reclining chair as the creepy swaying blood-bag filled up (by the way, does anyone know why they rock back and forth like that?), I was starting to feel quite complacent.

Unfortunately, my body had other ideas, and shortly after I’d been sat down and given a biscuit, I came over all woozy. Just as I was just starting to wonder if I should inform someone that my head had become a lot heavier than usual and the room had shrunk to half its usual height, I was swooped upon by a very observant nurse.

With terrifying efficiency, the other people in the recovery area were unceremoniously displaced so that I could lie across their seats. Despite my protestations, I was then propped up with wedges and cold-packs, given copious amounts of orange squash, and quite literally fanned by one of the nurses. My attempts to leave were firmly quashed for the next half hour, during which time I began to feel like more of a damsel than a hero.

Given that I felt fine as soon as I lay down, this all seemed a bit unnecessary, but I suppose it’s good PR to ensure that people don’t keel over on their way out of the donor centre. However, I’m pleased to announce that my release into the wild has been successful, thanks, no doubt, to my dutiful observance of the instructions in my slightly patronising ‘Feeling faint’ leaflet. Jane Austen would be proud.

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Rowan Recommends: Bookbarn International

I’m sure my excuses for the yawning gaps between posts are beginning to wear a little thin, so I won’t bother to make any this time. Just rest assured that I have excellent reasons for disappearing into the ether, and as usual I promise I’ll try to do better from now on. As an apology for my silence, here’s a quick roundup of a weird and wonderful place Dom and I stumbled across yesterday: The Bookbarn.  Continue reading

Everything you need to know about Port Eliot Festival*

* if what you need to know is a jumbled collection of the things I did and thought while I was there, excluding all practical and objective details.

Once again, it’s been quite a while. This month’s excuse is that I was very very busy working onsite at Larmer Tree festival where I did Very Important Things like running around with a radio and explaining to large numbers of people how to use a website. It’s a pretty solid excuse for my absence as long as you ignore the fact that the festival only lasted a week…

I’m back from festival-land for now though, and I’ve been taking a well-earned break by going to another festival with Bonnie, my ex-flatmate and the co-star of most of my year abroad posts. The festival in question is Port Eliot, which I’ve mentioned on here before, and of which I was going to do a solid, all-corners-covered review. However, I’m still quite busy what with moving away from Salisbury to an uncertain future this weekend, so it’s going to be a review of the patchy and subjective variety. Enjoy! 
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Brexit: Burning our bridges

It’s hard to know where to start on today’s result. Like many, I’m still feeling regular waves of shock, horror and nausea when I think about what we’ve declared as a nation, and what impact it could have on our future and others’. I’ve refrained from blogging on the subject previously, because I’m not as politically informed as the many people whose posts I’ve shared, but now it’s become the only thing I can think about, I’m going to have a stab. Because I’m angry.

I’ve seen a lot of people on my social media requesting that we stop verbally abusing leave voters and tarring them with the ‘bigot’ brush, and that’s fair. There’s already been too much anger and personal hatred in this debate; in fact, that’s probably one of the reasons we’ve made such an insane dangerous ludicrous unprecedented decision. There are various reasons to vote leave, not all of them xenophobia, and I don’t want to continue the harmful scapegoating that’s already far too prevalent, but nonetheless, I’m really, really f*cking angry.

I’m going to do my best to explain who I’m angry with, and why, because I think at this pivotal moment it’s crucial that those of us who feel cheated and disappointed hold accountable those who are responsible for this mess. As I’ve said, my political/economic knowledge isn’t where I’d like it to be, but there are some pretty clear villains in this piece. Here’s who I condemn, and why. Continue reading

On opting out: How to make life choices when you’re a professional ditherer

On Saturday, I put the final nail in the coffin of my plan to do a masters. You may not know that I’d applied for UCL’s Comparative Literature MA, got in and even found some (very partial) funding, but for a few months at the end of 2015, that was officially The Plan. Then, over the first half of this year, I gradually wobbled towards a change of heart. And just the other day I sent the email that made my declining of the offer official. Continue reading