Thursday, 18 June 2009

Chinese Medicine

So... the birthday party came and went, leaving only photos of me fighting a man-size hot-dog, a crushing hangover and some droopy, leftover buffet behind.

I am officially old. At the ripe age of 27, I can no longer take my booze and these particular alcohol induced after-effects refused to bugger off until 7pm. 7pm!! And aside from feeling like 'a pig's shit in my head', the emotional hangover was equally, if not even more powerful: Whilst eating hot and sour soup (the world's best medicine..) in front of the BBC's South Pacific nature thingy, I was brought to tears by the spectacle of wide-net tuna fishing. It just seemed so very sad, like some kind of fish holocaust, I thought, whilst tucking into Char Siu pork and prawns in oyster sauce...

Anyhow, the Crapulence was chased away by said Chinese food, and the infamous promise to 'take it easy and just have a dinner or something next year' was yet again made.
But I won't do it. That would REALLY make me officially old...

Very good.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Thoughts on turning 27...I am not a number, I am a free woman!

So, yours truly is now one year closer to the grave... or thirty - the jury's still out on which one's more scary.

But what may well be even scarier, no jury needed, is the fact that at 27, I am once again working in a pub.

I've never had a career plan, or any other kind of plan for that matter, but after a degree, nearly six years of proper employment, a post-grad journalism thingy, and God knows how many internships I thought I might be doing more than serving prosecco in a pub I can no longer afford to drink in.

All of my friends have been super supportive throughout the entire no job, no money, pub-monkey journey I've been making, but I am very aware that in certain circles it definitely wouldn't have been the same. The university, year travelling, graduate scheme, then job trajectory seems pretty ingrained in my generation's psyche, and even more worryingly, the idea of being completely defined by one's job.

When people ask 'what do you do?' I have come to realise that they don't really want to know what you do, they want to know what you get paid for. I write all manner of music reviews and other waffle for all manner of print and online magazines, but because I don't get paid for the massive majority of it, I am not a writer, I am a simple pub-monkey. Weird, no?

One thing that I have learnt from the pub (apart from how to make a Jager-bomb - just say no, kids..) is that this judgy, linear, career mentality is happily lacking in other countries. I regularly work alongside a Hungarian 30-something lady who is doing her final year on a photo journalism course, a 35 year old Spanish trainee hypnotist and a 28-year old South African who will start a four-year law course in September.

They don't think it's weird that I'm 27 and work in a pub. They don't think it's weird that at 35 they still work in a pub: It's a pretty fun job and it enables them to do what they want to do.
And although things are less than ideal, in a way, it enables me to do what I want to do - write stuff. Yes, it would be lovely if I had a cheque through the door for everything I wrote, but for now, at least I'm writing, and can even afford to buy branded soup. That's living.

So for now, I shall keep calm and carry on. For as the one-time underage plaything of R.Kelly, Aaliyah, once said, age is indeed nothing but a number.

Happy Birthday to me. x

Stop Press: Gemma Likes Jarvis Record Shocker!

Everyone's favourite weed in tweed is back with his second solo offering and Lordy, it's well good.

Read my review, penned for the super-trendy Disappear Here:

Then go and buy the record.

Over and out.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Word up

I went to see none other than 90's legend Finley Quaye the other day for the lovely London Word.

Read all about it and peruse the finer points of the capital's culture at:

Very good

Friday, 5 June 2009

A Shamless Plug

The summer issue of Fashion Music Style magazine is out now!

It comes complete with free 16-track CD, and exquisite articles penned by yours truly. It's in all UK branches of Borders and loads of independents. Or you can buy it online from their myspace:


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Imagine no possesions....

There aren't many upsides to losing your job. The novelty of watching neighbours twice a day soon wears off.

For me, however, the only good to come out of my joblessness is a renewed and healthy hippy-spirit. At first, not buying stuff that wasn't completely necessary was hard and oft upsetting. I like shiny things. But after a while, it became almost liberating, and was one of the few things that made me feel good about myself.

I liked to think that I'd worked out what was and what wasn't important, and that even when I eventually get back to work, I shall hang on to this waste-not-want-not mentality.

For the past few weeks people have asked me what I want for my birthday, and I've said "well, nothing really" and actually meant it, instead of saying "well, nothing really" and actually meaning two pairs of Kurt Geiger shoes, Prada perfume, nice underwear, posh make-up and a pony.

Then my Mum came to London as a pre-birthday treat. She again asked the birthday question, to which I gave the above reply. She then suggested, "Well, if there's nothing specific you'd like, perhaps I could just take you shopping for some new clothes, or whatever you fancy."

Oh my. In my self-constructed hippy hierarchy of badness, seeking and buying a specific item, as in, 'I need a dress for a wedding' is pretty bad, because you never really need a new frock, but at least it's not just buying for the sake of buying. The rampant consumerism my Mummy dearest had suggested was the most heinous hippy crime imaginable...

Needless to say, I took her up on this fantastic offer quicker than you can say Mega-Topshop and four hours later I came home with a pair of sandals, two frocks and two boxes of biscuits from Julian Graves as some kind of offering to appease the Gods of hippydom.

I hope they like organic, wheat-free Thai-style seaweed crackers.....