Be nice, turn up on time and put in the hours.

My love for Grayson Perry only deepens after seeing his lecture at the Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday. The rules of creativity, how to be an artist and perhaps how to live.

1) Don’t try to be original
2) Be specific
3) Size matters
4) Play seriously
5) Don’t just illustrate ideas
6) Be nice
7) Turn up on time
8) Put in the hours
9) Grrrr (anger is good)
10) Make mistakes
11) Get a gimmick
12) Death = very useful
13) Fashion – avoid
14) Feel free to avoid the above


09 2014

Books and cooking

Frank and Tina's starting to take shape

I’m currently working on a Christmas present for my whole family, which involves a lot more prep than your average gift.

Being half Italian I have grown up all my life surrounding by the best home cooked food that no restaurant can ever compete with, but as I moved to university and then London I saw how my ‘Italianess’ my heritage and roots starting to fade. I don’t speak the language for a multiple of family political reason (but something i am trying to rectify, albeit slowly) so apart from the family recipes and some stories most people wont understand where my family comes from and why I love Italy so much.

Because of this I started to write down and practice my Nanny and Grandads recipes and over the past few years I have had the idea to turn these along with some of our families story into a cookbook.

So that is what I am doing, from now until October I will be cooking, writing and designing a little piece of my family history. Which is great for everyone I know because the table will often be full of lots of food for them to eat

I’ve decided to try and document it here so I can practice writing and to help me tease out the good and the bad. I’m not a natural writer – I generally like pictures and interesting stuff other people say so this is a challenge for me. But one i’ve now publicly documented (to about 5 people) but still it means for me now, no backing out. So it’s time to go.


09 2014

Recently, reading

Teens growing up on Tumblr in 2014 // “When someone you know’s blog starts to look like yours, like excuse me? This is my blog and my soul. You can’t really imitate that, all of the art that I post on there is mine and it represents whom I am.”

Nostalgia is bullshit // “While the world is facing some of the biggest crises in its history, the young, creative minds of the Western world are busy regramming scans of The Face and writing think pieces on the cultural significance of Winona Ryder in Mermaids”

The wonderful Robert Burns tells it like it is,where would you would be happiest? // “Lying next to the person I love, falling asleep, knowing they’ll be there when I wake up. Isn’t that place the same place for everyone, really?”

FKA Twigs and sexuality // “she understands the difference between sitting on a throne with your legs apart, touching yourself, and sitting on a throne with your knees together, singing about how much someone wants to touch you.”

Waking up next to your phone // “When you wake up, you have this gift of a blank brain. You could fill it with anything. But for most of us, we have this kind of panic. Instead of wondering what should I do, we wonder what did I miss.”

Filthy algorithms // “The invisible systems that are built around our mined personal information and tracked activities are everywhere, generating data doppelgangers that can look frighteningly like us or hilariously divergent from the versions of ourselves we think we know.”


09 2014

German road trip (whip)

Time for our annual trip where we pretend we are still 20 and traveling the world. This year it was Jen’s turn to pick the destination. She picked Germany because she grew up ther until she was six and has always wanted to visit again. And Lucy also had a hen do to attend in Hamburg during August so we decided to plan a a trip that took us from Munich to the beautiful Black Forest and Jen’s motherland Heidlberg before dropping and Lucy off.

We landed in a hot but moody looking Munich picked up our car and were greeted with some fellow German friends who we were staying with and who were out guides for the first few days.

We saw the city via bikes and trams as we ducked rain, walked Pippa the dog and drank a lot of beer in their beer gardens. It was so nice to be there with people who live there and experience some of the quieter more local spots in Munich, I really enjoyed a market we went to where we even found Jen’s childhood food memory Ganam Ganoodle. Which, if I’m honest we thought was a made up dish!! It was a happy time.

I did some really nice runs in Munich too, The city is quite small so I saw a lot of it in the morning sunshine and I loved running past all the river surfers before all the crowds arrive later on.

Next stop on our German road trip was a small place called Titizee in the Black Forest. I volunteered to drive the first six hour stint and we plotted the route to take is past some castles and lakes too. There was quite a lot of roadside tourism and we may have gotten lost a little bit and missed our stops…

But it was ok because we stumbled upon lakes like this where we could have a swim, sleep and sunbathe before getting back on the road.

We arrived at our home for the next two days, where we were the only english people in their 20′s. We really had come on a German family holiday. It was time for a rewarding beer after all that driving.

I ran around the whole lake the next morning and met some cows on the way round. It was hilly and my body ached a bit from driving and new terrain but new scenery is alwasy distracting and we did get a great breakfast afterwards!

And then it was time to see some more of the Black Forest. We headed out for a day of hiking and lake swimming. There was some pretty beautiful scenery.

We found this abandoned house in the middle of the Black Forest – it was all very Hansel and Gretel and a nice snack spot.

We may have gotten a bit lost on some of our hiking so we definitely walked further than planned – so once we arrived at Schluchsee we couldn’t wait for a beer and some food. But after one very large rewarding beer this being pretty much the only thing on the menu arrived for us to eat. It pretty much sums up my food experience in Germany…

The next morning we hit up the local indoor/outdoor pool for some water slides and laps in this ace setting.

Post breakfast it was lake sunbathing and reading before we rented a boat to get into the middle of it and swim some more.

Next stop was a four drive to Hedilberg to Jen’s homeland. We found some good German food, beer and explored the castle and bars.

After we had taken in the sights we found a pool where we swam and sunbathed until the last of the sun was gone.

We even went back the next morning to swim and get a couple of hours swimming and sunbathing before our drive to Frankfurt.

We dropped Lucy off at the station and parked up the car nearby, we had an afternoon to kill before our flight home. And it just so happened we had parked in Frankfurts one time grimy upcoming neighbourhood full of organic ice cream parlours, clothes shops that cost too much and the most amazing design and print studio where we spent the last of our euros on notebooks to fill.

And then it was hometime. Thank you Germany


08 2014

Holiday reading

Reading. Pitstop.
First read of the trip. It was over before I ever felt like I spent any time sitting down to read it. Fluid and fast moving and a reminder that drug, drink fuelled superficial lifestyles are usually a product of a darker undertones that creates a sense of emptiness. Mostly read in between tram trips in Munich and soundtracked to german conversations.

Next book...
I loved this at first – it felt quite realistic and funny but towards the end it left me frustrated with its depiction of women only being fulfilled from marriage or children. Read in the Black Forest, mostly soundtracked to the sound of occasional school groups invading our secret lake swimming spot.

Third holiday read
Slightly indulgent and kinda crazy, but it was nice to read a book about women and friendship instead of just about men. A nice balance after finishing White dresses. Read in the sunshine by the pool in Heidelberg. Soundtracked to swimming pools.


08 2014


Pool party A perfect weekend away in the sunshine


08 2014

Here we go again

Locating satellites.
All signed up for Amsterdam marathon on October 19th. Summer, sweaty training has commenced. Not sure about a PB on this one but looking forward to a new city to run.


08 2014

Reading list

Sunday morning
The Goldfinch – I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But it’s worth the hype. Mostly soundtracked by Hauschka Volker Bertelmann: Ferndorf


07 2014

Forgetting the Internet

“But fuck it, I made my choice. I chose what they said would be freedom, protecting the privacy I so closely coveted and cherished. I got what I wanted. I tried to stave off the threats to my digital reputation long enough; I defended my relevance at all cost. But said cost turned into debt, and those debts are all that has been remembered. It’s not that I lost myself, but rather, I lost my representation. I wouldn’t let them shape me into a body of data and traffic. I thought I had more to offer. Now, in retrospect, I see the glaring disparity between what I thought was relevant and what they did. Once, I suppose, the tension of that disparity is what made me an individual. But what was once taut has now gone slack.”

Short story by Nicholas O’Brien over on Rhizome in reaction to Google announcement stating they will be “forgetting” things in Europe.


07 2014

Recently reading


The power of habits and how to turn an everyday annoyance into something positive? How a password changed my life. Potato salad and people on the internet Pledging even $3 gets you a bite of the potato salad mailed to you and he’ll say your name out loud while he makes it. Hours spent researching parenthood for work and coming across new perspectives in unexpected places.“That thing happened,” Vida says, “where you become pregnant and you’re suddenly aware of this whole other world that was going on parallel to the one you were living in.” The Glastonbury magic “Glastonbury is a rabid, filthy, depraved hypercapitalist clusterfuck – and an absolutely staggering achievement” Meryl Streep on Beauty, Rejection and her Drug. And the power of photography ahead of the Science Museum’s upcoming exhibition Stranger than Fiction “reality doesn’t exist before our experience. Photography is one of the tools that helps us construct reality. It is not an innocent medium.” And finally a film that visulises the way our brain might look the moment we wake up and click: #asif


07 2014