Sunday, August 10, 2008

North

I am in Manchester. This morning Ben and I got the train back from a festival in Leicester, where he had been performing and I had been sitting around variously supping coffee and wine, depending on the hour. His set was brilliant, as ever. Here is his myspace page, if you want to and listen. My favourite is Television Will Not Be Revolutionised, which is great, particularly if you are a fan of Gil Scott Heron. Also incredible is Excentral Tempest, whose poetry and performance is some of the best I have ever seen. While watching her perform I feel as if I have been turned to stone, unable to move or tear my mind from her words.

The festival itself was quite small. We wandered around hand in hand, occasionally getting a bit stuck in some mud. Ben and Excentral/Kate were on a panel poetry quiz game show. Before it started they both sat on stage, Ben grinning deviously and Kate looking as though someone was about to force her to re-sit ever maths exam she had ever done. Except this time she would have to be naked except for a pair of comedy, over-sized sunglasses. The game was very funny, though, and their team won. They came away with a shiny gold medal each, that had the word "WINNER!" etched onto one side. As Ben brandished his rather smugly I told him that having "WINNER!" etched on a medal around his neck was tantamount to having "LOSER!" etched on his forehead. Annoyingly, this did not seem to faze him.

Another act we saw left us both stunned and near to tears. Henry Rollins: rock star, songwriter, spoken word artist, human rights activist. An incredibly inspiring man. Listening to him should be mandatory for absolutely everyone.

I'm staying up here in Manchester for a few more days. At the moment Ben has gone to work and left me to idly hang about his house, blogging vacantly and having chats with his cat, who does have a real name but who, some months ago, I renamed Pony. This has, to my unending glee, stuck. Pony is currently standing cat-like on the bed, eyeing a balled up bit of silver foil suspiciously, as if it might at any moment spring up and attack him. This is a game Ben calls Space Mouse, and it does seem to be one of Pony's favourites.

(Am I really blogging solely about my boyfriend and his hilarious cat? Is this what it has come to? God. I loathe myself.)

On Wednesday early morning I am going to Paris to see my sister, who is looking even more impish since she cut all of her peroxide white-blonde hair off into a little pixie short-cut. We're going to a festival in Brittany to hang out listening to bands I will not have heard of, but who I will sometimes pretend to have heard of to look cool. I am borrowing Ben's tent, and am already wondering how I will break it to him that I have lost it/broken it/had to set fire to it in order to change the subject after a particularly embarrassing instance of band knowledge fakery.

Also this week I wrote a blog post on another site. You can read it if you want.

In other news: in October the lease on my house in Brixton runs out. I am going to move to Manchester. It has all been decided. I will live in my grandmother's spare room for a bit and see if I can haul myself out of this depressive fug into which I have slithered over the last few months. I will continue with the music projects I am involved in down in London, traveling back and forth on the train. In Manchester I will not have to be stuck in a shitty job to pay extortionate rent, so I will work somewhere nicer and have more time for writing and music. No more lunchtime panic attacks. New people, new ideas and, hopefully, new horizons. It seems very peculiar to leave London, but I need change. I have been miserable recently, and have hit a wall that has NO MORE written on it in bright black graffiti.

Now I am going to go and forage in the corner shop for some snackery, then find a film to watch until Ben gets back later on. The window is open in this room. The wind flutters in and lazily rustles the leaves of the tall plant in the corner. Outside Manchester hums and children play. The thought of being here makes me relax and let those change-winds flutter into my lungs.

11 Comments:

Blogger Clarissa said...

Henry Rollins. Required listening. And what an imitation of David Lee Roth!

Big news from you, Leonie. Congratulations for making a decision to take a plunge into change.

x, c

8:05 pm

 
Blogger DLUX:THELIGHT said...

I feel you on the need for change in scenery. My military brat of a inner child longs for experiences in new places. The best to you.

One,

DLUX: THE LIGHT
The Spoken Word Hip Hop Poet
www.dluxthelight.com
Check my new blog about the good in hip hop!
hiphopmotivates.today.com

4:15 am

 
Blogger Ys said...

Oh Manchester is just lovely - I adore visiting the place :)

I have hit a wall that has NO MORE written on it in bright black graffiti.

I can totally relate to that. I too made some decisions this weekend and it's made all the difference to my mood. Big decisions are tough ones to make but they always reep the best rewards, don't they? Good luck with the move :)

1:07 pm

 
Blogger Badass Geek said...

I hope the move goes well.

2:10 pm

 
Blogger enthalpymama said...

I have been in the same place for almost seven years (I have to dance around to keep the moss from growing on my back). Good luck.

2:04 pm

 
Blogger Huw said...

I too have left London, for somewhere not too far from your initial stomping ground. Moving is good for fug-removal, or at least you are so distracted you can at the very least peer over the fug for a good while.

6:11 pm

 
Blogger justme said...

Sounds to me as though you have made an excellent decision. I moved out of London myself just over a year ago (although to somewhere more rural than Manchester!) Even though I still travell into London for work, I find it a HUGH relief not living there. London is not a good place to live in my view. So wishing you luck with the change!

8:40 am

 
Blogger Mr Farty said...

Interesting. Tell me more about the cat.

10:05 pm

 
Blogger Jaywalker said...

Lovely Léonie, Hope you enjoy the North. It is good. We only eat our young occasionally and most of us have now lost our vestigial tails.

If you require diversion, I have once more brought you the gift of agricultural machinery:

http://belgianwaffling.blogspot.com/2008/08/weekend-poem-with-apologies-to-dr-seuss.html

8:54 am

 
Blogger Christopher said...

hmmm.. I too am interested in Pony and his Space Mouse endeavours. Do tell more.

Also, I like the other blog you wrote...

9:42 am

 
Blogger Hải Nguyễn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:19 am

 

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