Locked-down And Out In London

March 27th

There’s the familiar, mechanical Predator cackle of a magpie in a tree. It is another beautiful day. A distant hum of traffic, or is it just my ears buzzing from the silence?

I wake early, every day. Today, my back hurts so I watch the birds on the feeder from bed. Little brings me such uncomplicated joy as this.

One blue tit is on the feeder and two are hopping about on this gigantic yellow flowering thing that has grown in one of our pots over the last few months. I let it grow out of curiosity. At first I thought it might be kale from seeds in the compost, then as it grew, I became sure it was tender stem broccoli and we were going to eat it when it got back from Devon. But in that time it started flowering bright yellow flowers. Now I’m pretty sure it’s poisonous.

(If anyone knows what it is…?)

The daisies I planted last summer along with the all the other now-dead wild flowers kept flowering all winter, and are still going strong, bobbing obediently in the breeze. Some of the seeds planted last month finally have tiny shoots coming up from the dark earth.

Nature is slow. That’s how it keeps its magic.

I’m reading Wide Sargasso Sea. It’s brilliant but it’s sinister. A lot of heavy overtones to deal with. A lot heavy undertones to deal with also.

I swing from feeling everything far too much to not feeling anything at all. Not sure which is more healthy at this point in time. The combination certainly isn’t. Last night we watched Aussie Gold Hunters and I cried at anything even remotely emotional—happy or sad, which meant I cried through most of the programme.

Someone got shot in The Wire and we had to turn it off.

Apparently you carry anxiety in your lower back. It would explain why mine’s been playing up again the last couple of weeks. I thought I was pretty calm compared to some people, but then denial is a river and it flows to my heart.

I painted my nails red and it made me feel better. I listen exclusively to reggae and soul. And ok, I admit, some madrigals and cantatas. I’ve lost all my paid work in the last couple of weeks. Instead, I work hard on my own writing. Yesterday I worked hard, got up too early, and was asleep by 8.30pm. I now consider that a very good day.

This virus has brought some enlightening things with it, especially via Twitter and Facebook. Lesley, who you were sure had a life-long career as an estate agent, is actually an immunologist, it turns out. She has been reading The Guardian’s Coronavirus Live Feed for two weeks now, so she knows exactly what she’s talking about. Terrence— who you’ve never been entirely sure what he does— announces he is not only a qualified immunologist, having read the many NYT pieces Belinda sent him, but he’s also been on a Preppers4Life forum and now he’s a professional chef – he can make a sourdough starter out of the skin of an onion and a sprinkle potash. When you next log on: everyone has become an expert on everything. You however, are a failure. You have not become an expert on anything in the last two weeks. Or, so you think. In fact, you have become an expert at watching other people miraculously become experts on things they previously knew nothing about. Congratulations!

Why not make something just for you, Terrence?

But, you know, whatever gets you through the day, Terrence. You too, Lesley. Keep on keeping on. I’m with you.

Last night we leant over the balcony railings and listened as the whole city clapped in darkness for the NHS workers. It meant something. What would mean more is if those who voted Conservative hereby make the decision never to do anything so destructive again.

It hits when you least expect it. Walking back one night from doing a shop for someone, it was dark and the streets were silent, except for a group of boys on bikes circling the area. “This is what it’s like to be in a pandemic then,” I thought.

But there are things to be grateful for: I have – after phone calls, emails and innumerable failed attempts – finally got my mum’s food delivery sorted and, without a shadow of a doubt, I have certainly become an expert on that.


Mystery Plant

(And thank you, Sainsbury’s, for prioritising the elderly and vulnerable!)

Illuminated Scratch Card

As usual I’m at home changing the world. This time, I am making one great-fuck-off illuminated lottery scratch card. Here it is in progress. If anyone has a suggestion as to why I might be doing this, do enlighten me. x



New article for Creativepool about bringing back fun …


Analysing the Layzell Bros success through nostalgic, ‘feel good’ animations

Published 12/08/2015 by Creativepool News

Remember when the object of a music video was to promote something ‘feel good’? Remember when you didn’t wonder whether someone close to the musicians had recently died, and then why on earth were they making a music video at this time, when they were clearly in emotional distress? Or maybe it was just some mysterious abstract pain all musicians are in these days.

Who knows, who cares. All I knew was that I hadn’t seen a fun music video since Zach Galifianakis did a remake of Kanye West’s ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2bCc0EGP6U?wmode=transparent&jqoemcache=gMZrb]

Well, not until The Layzell brothers from Wales hit the scene. Working as animators, illustrators and directors, they’ve been livening up the advertising industry with their ‘far out’ cartoons and animations for Three mobile – which are animated phone conversations where people are transformed in to things like clouds and pineapples, and their most recent success for Harvey Nichols new advertising campaign.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfdiClhlLZk?wmode=transparent&jqoemcache=DynJa]

Inevitably, praises be, they hit music industry. Starting with a music video for Mazes song ‘Most Days’ with an animated video of a sort of green triceratops skater teenager and a lot of other strange skater creatures, to a Crystal Antlers animated video and now a fantastic psychedelic trip for Adam Buxton’s (Adam and Joe show) new music video inspired by The Beatles Yellow submarine.

As with Alice and Wonderland, The Magic Roundabout, The Simpsons and a lot of fun, seemingly childish creations; at first glance that can appear all they are, a lot of fun and nothing more. But if you pay attention to the Layzell Brothers music videos, and all their shorts (less so with the advertising campaigns but it’s not a perfect world) with as greater absorption as you would if you’re watching Rhianna massacre anyone around, including herself with pretty much anything she can lay her claws on; you will discover something startling. They’re actually quite “deep”.

– It’s this vague fascination with the glitches of physics affecting reality combined with archetypal images of pyramids and giant cats, and hitting our collective unconscious with relentless nostalgia –

The Lazyell Bros tripping you in to parallel universes in their animations is no accident, they may not have the attitude of ‘intellectuals’ – thank god, but they certainly have a fascination with quantum physics saying they study “text books and stuff”.

It’s this vague fascination with the glitches of physics affecting reality combined with archetypal images of pyramids and giant cats, and hitting our collective unconscious with relentless nostalgia – skate boarding, smoking a mysterious herb, anarchy, vomiting, running from authority –  with the commitment to a sort of automatic, unconscious drawing style that produces some incredibly bizarre looking characters, sort of like Jim Morrison’s automatic poetry in visual form, with a sprinkle of joy. And what fun that is to watch. What fun for your brain to be looping in and out of these fantastic colorful realms, what a relief not to be watching some woman or man suffering some abstract pain, or aggrandized self-delusion.  How nice to be watching a skating triceratops guy, please musicians, let there be more, don’t feed the pain.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKrYHLE8mDc?wmode=transparent&jqoemcache=cVDN1]

Words by Jade Angeles Fitton

Motherisms …


It’s the festive period! Oh yes, and it hits us with a bang …..


I’ve produced an advert, which has actually been a success, mum has seen my facebook post and hasn’t quite understood the Internet terminology …
Mum: I’ve heard the ads gone viral, is the computer ok?

Mum’s on the phone to her friend who is converting a giant water tower in to their new home:
“It sounds fabulous darling, like an enormous grave stone … ”

Mother is on Facebook and commenting how often people are on Facebook:
Mum: People seem to be on it all day!
Me: They are.
Mum: How so they do anything else?
Me: They don’t that’s why everything’s on Facebook now. Every business has incorporated because they couldn’t stop people going on it.
There’s a pause as mum reads a post, and contemplates writing something sarcastic …
Mum: If you were bored and mischievous you could get up to so much monkey business on this ….
I watch mum suspiciously for a few minutes …..

We’re listening to The Archers, even though mum now hates every single character in it, maybe more than me.
“I think Peggy should be taken to Dignitas, that would liven The Archers up a bit …”

While babysitting a teenage boy mum has got in to Ice Road Truckers, which I am now also subjected too ..
Mum: There’s Lisa, she’s a great trucker.
Me: Ok …

Mum is talking about Russell Brand …
“I think he is a ponce and a plant by the establishment to bring discredit to protest.”

Mum has played the lottery and for some reason thinks she needs to justify it to me …
Mum: I only did it because it was a triple roll over that sort if money would be useful …
Me: I’m pretty sure any money would be useful.

There is a fair ground in Barnstaple town centre with a Merry-go-round …
Mum: We could ride on the horses …
Me: That would take the edge off.

A sign at the fair is, I’m assuming supposed to be leading towards ‘Fresh Doughnuts’ …
“Got fresh donts …”

We’re watching television ….
Advert: Beachams cold and flue will open your mind …
Mum: Acid will do that.

We’re talking about all the hackings that have happened this year and the internet in general …
Mum: People will have to start writing to each other if they want security.
Me: They are
Mum: It’s all disappeared up its own fundamental orifice
She looks at her computer with unbridled loathing ….
Mum: I knew I didn’t have to learn how to use that thing.

Mum is showing me her draw full of cards …                        
Mum: I have a lot of cards …
Me: That are too good to give to anyone.
Mum: Well, yes. Look at this one …

It looks like we’ll be selling the house in the New Year; mum is looking around at it … 
Mum: I’d be happy to end my days here …
Me: Alright mum, no death, just for Christmas.
Mum: You have to be practical.
Me: No, not in every sentence, at Christmas. And practicality is not synonymous with mortality.
Mum: That’s what you think.

Mum is reading the paper and wants to tell me a fact but forgets which daughter I am …
Mum: Do you know something Charlotte, er, Jade …
Me: Whatever your name is.
Mum: Exactly, Whatsyourname.

We’re bemoaning the poor selection of cars in Sainsbury’s car park, well, mum is …
“Cars aren’t any fun any more everyone’s too worried about denting them.”

We drank a fair amount of Champagne at lunch without actually eating lunch. We finally get round to it at around 5pm, mum’s left me some croutons for my soup, I don’t like croutons, mum accidentally attempts deception …
Mum: I’ve left you some croissants …
Me: Croutons?
There’s still enough Champagne in mum’s veins to get her going again …
Mum: Croissant, croutons, Patisserie Valerie are everywhere now, they used to send me up my croissants on 46 Old Compton street now they are MULTI national co-operation splurged everywhere.
She thinks for a second and raises her glass and back tracks.
Mum: Well done.

Mum is behaving literally like a baby to get try and get what she wants, I am not budging and telling her to behave … not like a baby.
Mum: You wait til you have a baby
Me: And what, it behaves exactly like my mother? Yeah that will be disconcerting.
Mum: You wait  …
Me: What does that even mean?

Mum is watching the news in the other room, I hear mum exercising her political opinion ….
“Arseholes …”

There is some terrible, totally OTT opera on Radio 4, I am singing and making up my own lyrics.
Me: Christmas ghost has taken my porridge. Whyyyyy it only had banana topping. But it’s gooooooone …
Mum clearly hasn’t registered I am singing, looks affronted, and says defensively …
Mum: No darling, there’s prunes.
Me: I’m singing about the Christmas ghost mum.
Mum: Ah, right, do you want porridge?
Me: No mum.

Mum is looking for the Post-Its, she gives an accurate description of the desired item …
Mum: Where are the bloody little doodies?
Me: The little doodies?
Mum: YES!!



Commandments From A Parallel Universe Exhibition ….

I am super happy to reveal why I have been sat at my desk like 12th century monk for the last 3 months, it’s this! I have an exhibition of illuminated manuscripts at beautiful CELESTINE ELEVEN.
Starts 6pm on 15th December, come down, bring loved ones – just warn them it’s pretty far out!
(Ha. But really it’s in Shoreditch … COME x x x)
invite2 copy