A few days ago I was going through a bit of a rough patch with my boyfriend. Usually I spend every penny I have on going to Cardiff to spend time with him on his days off from work, but due to a succession of disappointments, loss of tempers and a subsequent bitter silence in which I cried and vomited (yes, it is possible to cry and vomit at the same time, isn’t life magical) in grief, I ended up having a lot of spare cash to cheer myself up with, seeing as I was, for all intents and purposes, single. I didn’t have a train ticket to buy, and no need to hoard my cash for date nights. I was free and alone and broken and rich for about 48 hours.
I had to go into town with my family during this time, and while I was there I wandered into Boots, claiming to be looking for a new foundation (but deep down looking for a new face, a new life, a new heart), something pale enough to match my now helplessly anaemic skin. I found Infallible by L’Oreal in Porcelain, which I double checked in the sunlight and found it to match my skin very nicely. On top of that I bought a new concealer, Lasting Perfection by Collection, the one I’ve been hearing Tanya Burr rave about so much. I got a powder by Collection too, in Ivory, which was only £1.99 so I couldn’t really justify NOT buying it. I also picked up a matte pink lipstick by Kate Moss for Rimmel; I’ve never tried any of the Kate Moss stuff before now and to be honest I’m not greatly impressed. The pigment isn’t as dense as I was expecting, and even though it’s quite matte, it’s also really creamy, and I prefer my lipstick to stay put. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Mac formulas. Lastly, I got an angled foundation brush from E.l.f, my new favourite place to pick up make-up brushes. Oh, and magazines, of course. My mother, bless her soul, gave me the two Lavera creams; one for face and one for body.
After that hellish 48 hours or so, I was out blogging in one of the only places in town that provides free WiFi, and I got a call from my father saying that a bouquet of flowers had arrived for me and what should he do with them. I told him to leave them on the sofa and I would deal with them when I got home. I waited for him to hang up. ‘They’re nice flowers’, he said, ‘very nice’. ‘I’m sure they are’, I replied. When I got home I found a large concoction of roses and lilies sort of propped up on some cushions, my father having obviously been worried they would fall everywhere and be spoiled. While I was transferring them to a vase, a little note dropped out, which simply read ‘I’m Sorry’. For some reason I couldn’t help but imagine him saying that to the florist when the guy asked him if there was to be a message, and I smiled at the thought, just because it seems so odd that a stranger should know that he is sorry, but not know why. We are meeting up on Wednesday, to talk. At least I won’t have to worry about my make-up.
It has been a long time since I have posted new collages here. The other day I started thinking about it and realised I’d only posted one in the last six months. A lot of stuff has gone by without being immortalised somehow, and that’s not okay with me. The more I think about it the more I realise artists must be, by nature, exhibitionists. Blogging satisfies my exhibitionism, for sure.
In other news, I wrote an article about blondes in cinema for SCREENQUEENS, which you can find here. I’ll be contributing to Pop Culture Puke on the 5th of April as well, so please check that out if you can. I’ll be sharing it on Twitter and all that so keep your eye out! And finally, I’m doing a couple of photoshoots soon with the lovely Charlotte and Katie, and I’ll share those with you as soon as I can. Please do check out their blogs in the mean time. I honestly can’t wait to meet them both and get some amazing shots to show you. I think it’s going to be a very exciting month.
Do you ever surprise yourself sometimes merely by liking something that, according to your definition of yourself, you just shouldn’t like?
I was out shopping with my boyfriend the other day, in the sun. He had come a long way to see me, only for one day, and he wanted to take me out and give me everything I wanted. I earn very little compared to him, and he is an incredibly strange man, in that he enjoys spending money on me so much it borders on the ridiculous. I watch female sales assistants as he carries pairs of shoes and arms full of clothes to the check out, and their response to his long-suffering-boyfriend banter is always the same. He likes to joke (even though everyone present knows this is not the case, and everyone knows everyone else knows as well) that I am a high-maintenance girlfriend. That I have him wrapped around my little finger. He makes some light-hearted remark, grinning from ear to ear, about how I’ll have cleaned him out completely by the end of the day. The sales assistant laughs good-naturedly, and says something along the lines of how I’ve landed on my feet with this guy. She looks at me in my jeans and Converse, smiling adoringly at him from behind my DIY fringe, and she laughs because she knows it is safe to laugh; that I am not that girl at all.
Anyway, while we were shopping I spotted a pair of shoes that you can see above. I don’t think I’ve so much as tried on a pair of pink shoes since I was about nine, and yet here I was, clapping my hands as I shimmied the most impractical, Barbie-esque, super-girly, plastic-fantastic shoes in the whole shop onto my size 5’s. I didn’t know whether I liked them ironically in a sort of young-feminist-movement-re-appropriates-a-gender-stereotype kind of way - like kawaii, Hello Kitty and the whole Cher Horowitz aesthetic have been reclaimed - OR whether I just straight-up liked them because they were pink and made me look like Barbie. Is there even a difference?
Part of me would like to think they are a sartorial choice. That I am referencing Courtney Love or early days Buffy The Vampire Slayer, before she found out she was the Chosen One. But I can’t say I’m certain.
Sometimes I watch myself, as I lose control, and things slip through my fingers. Sometimes I say things I do not mean, as if I am reading them from a hidden script inside my jealous heart. Am I programmed to hurt people? To throw my own children from the walls? I give everything, until I have nothing left except a reason to leave.
I sing while I am suffering, and it feels better than happiness. It goes deeper inside me, and further out into the world, than any joy could ever reach. I feel parts of me come apart in the song. I break into pieces; tiny shards of consciousness and experience, transparent, like a diamond. If we didn’t break we would never see what was on the inside.
But he needs me to be whole. And I cannot lose him.
The title of this post is a tiny bit misleading, because in actual fact, the first thing we did on our last day in London was go to Oxford Circus to see the David Lynch exhibition at The Photographer’s Gallery. I had been so excited to see it, after being given the book of his Factory Photographs by my brother some weeks ago, that when we walked into the space, and I heard the accompanying sound composition that Lynch made to go with the photos, I was fan-girling so hard my boyfriend had to hold me. I spent about two hours in that room, peering at everything open-mouthed. If you are in London, or if you like Twin Peaks, David Lynch, or photography in general, then do go and see it before it ends. I left feeling inspired in every possible way.
After that we went to Camden, where I took my kinky boyfriend in Cyberdog, to see the clothes, and the dancers, and the dungeon, and to hear the music. I tend to go in Cyberdog every time I go to London, just because it feels like my spiritual home. It’s a place you can buy a party dress, some cool music, a vibrator and a latex gas mask all in one trip, so I fit right in. On our way out my beloved turned to me and said ‘pick something you want’. Me being me, I got all flustered and didn’t know what to choose; until I found a little red suede and black leather collar, with a hoop at the front for a leash to be attached. It can be locked, but mostly I wear it simply buckled, like a necklace. Its soft red suede hugs my throat and I feel close to him, no matter where I am. I sleep in it when I am not with him, and it reminds me of his fingers, wrapped around my breath. When I am out in the world alone, and panicking, I pull it gently in the direction I want to go, and it calms me. I don’t care who sees it.