Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Shopping Galore!

If you try to describe this to someone (which you shouldn’t, this web sales don’t give anything away), doctor medications you will sound like you are conjuring from memory a nonsensical and fantastical dream; not something remotely tangible that actually happened in a 25-minute journey through a Shorditch warehouse.

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Enter the ride and find yourself wheeled through 15 distinct scenarios with over 70 artists acting out micro-performances. “Designed to mentally and visually astound”, check; “leaving you overwhelmed and exhilarated’, check and check; and finishing the ride “in a totally different emotional state from the one you were in when you embarked on the journey”, most definitely true: utterly elated, mesmerised, and psychologically discombobulated.

The You Me Bum Bum train represents a new branch of experimental live art where the line between performer and audience is not just blurred, but utterly turned on it’s head; interaction is integral to the experience, and how far you take this is up to you. It’s creators Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd, intend to strip individuals of decision-making, giving passengers the would-be ordinary experience of somebody else’s shoes. You are left with fleeting slices of alternate realities, one moment you might be a drummer, the next a translator (I really don’t want to say much!). It’s real human experience through the prism of the utterly surreal, and it will take you some time to reclaim your grasp on the two, a most marvellous and novel experience.

The venue is essential to the experience, and they describe Cordy House as their dream venue, lending itself to the most ambitious event they’ve held yet.
There isn’t much time to go, and I whole-heartedly recommend it as an unforgettable experience. It runs every Saturday from now until the 20th of December between 7pm and 11pm.

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Hip Parisian fahion and electro label, buy Kitsuné, what is ed are fast becoming as well known for their associated music as they are for their fashion. In fact, there is a clear cut three-way divide at Heaven tonight: scenesters, dressed for the fashion blog photographers collide en masse with those who know Kitsuné for the music and are quite unprepared for the additional rooms full of said scenesters, and with the regular Heaven clubbers, used to G-A-Y Camp Attack on Friday nights and probably the most bemused of everyone here.

Within the four rooms there’s a frustrating mix of real djs and acts like Autokratz, whose Pet Shop Boys go big beat set was a joy to behold and left me humming ‘Stay The Same’ for the rest of the night. Hearts Revolution, Punks Jump Up and Kitsuné house band Digitalism all turned out in force to impress and did so, although at times the acts felt a little repetitive. Alas, alongside these quality acts, we also got a number of vanity djs, including various models and boutique owners, which all blurred into the same set as the night progressed and seemed to play to rooms full of people aiming to get to the bar and move on.

It transpired that the ‘Don’t Panic’ room was the place to be. Inspired by K-Tron, blasting bass heavy No-Wave, they held me and the room in near divine rapture. The highlight of the night however, was Matthew Stone who dragged us back to 1985 via The KLF, his effortlessly sublime musical compass taking us on a seemingly random adventure, fitting perfectly with the tone of the night. There were some true high points tonight, but Kitsuné are probably best enjoyed via one of their compilations than live, based on tonight’s evidence.

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Global Day of Action is a direct action environmentalism initiative that started in 2005 Global Climate Campaign to focus world attention on the anthropogenic effect that humans are having on global warming.
Actions take place on this day to coincide with a Climate Change convention; a meeting of world leaders from 189 nations, viagra dosage that meet every year to discuss climate change.
We have the listings for the actions taking place on the 6th in London, viagra 100mg for a list of other cities actions click here.

Global Day of Action
6th December 2008

This will be the Saturday midway through the next round of UN Climate Talks and our best chance to influence the decisions of delegates ahead of the critical UN talks in 2009 at which a post-Kyoto treaty agreement will be decided.

LONDON

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Climate Bike Ride 2008
Assemble 10.30 am Lincolns Inn Fields for a mass bike ride around Central London joining up with the National Climate March at Grosvenor Square (see next listing for National Climate March info)
The three stops on the route are:
-Outside Greenergy, 198 High Holborn – for an agrofuels protest organised by Biofuelswatch
-Outside E.On 100 Pall Mall – for a speaker on NO NEW COAL
-Outside the Department of Transport – for a speaker on sustainable transport
Everyone welcome; decorate your bikes, bring whistles, bring music!
Want to help out for this action? Contact Jeremy Hill on 07816 839883 or jeremy.hill1@btopenworld.com

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National Climate March and Global Day of Action on Climate
The march starts at 12noon at Grosvenor Square and will move via Carlos Place and Mount Street to Berkley Square and Berkley street to Picacadily, Picadilly Circus, Lower Regent street, Pall Mall and Cockspur street to Trafalgar Square and Whitehall to Parliament Square.
We will bring the UK issues of Aviation, New coal and Biofuels to the streets of London, along with a call for more investment in renewable energy, more energy efficiency and more green jobs.
Speakers will include Nick Clegg (leader Liberal Democrat Party), Caroline Lucas (leader, Green party), Michael Meacher (ex-Environment Minister) and George Monbiot (Honorary President, Campaign against Climate Change).
Contact: 020 7833 9311
www.campaigncc.org

There will also be an After-Party in the Synergy Centre from 5.00 pm till late.

The March on Parliament has four main themes –
1) NO to a 3rd runway at Heathrow and the runaway expansion in aviation expansion.
2) NO new coal – no new coal-fired power stations as planned at eg Kingsnorth in Kent
3) NO to the expansion of agrofuels – with negative impacts on forests, the climate and world food supply.
4) YES to a renewable energy revolution and green jobs – a “Green new Deal”
Come with your own banners, costumes on one of these themes and join up with others pushing that theme……

The March on Parliament for the Climate marks the Saturday midway through the UN Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland and we make our demands on the UK government in solidarity with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities that will suffer worst and most immediately from climate change caused overwhelmingly by the rich long-industrialised countries.

We need the government to act now on climate, to stop building coal-fired power stations and new runways – and to begin the renewable energy revolution. We need a tidal wave of people outside parliament to make them act to stop climate catastrophe now! Be part of that tidal wave, be there! Next year may be too late.

for more information:
http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org/ – for a list of cities and actions!
www.campaigncc.org

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BUST Magazine Christmas Craftacular
6th – 7th December, St Aloysius Social Club, 20 Phoenix Road, Euston, NW1 1TA
craftacular-uk@bust.com

BUST is a magazine devoted to the female. Providing an unapologetic view of life in the female lane, they break down stereotypes! Based in the US and established in 1993, the magazine addresses a variety of different issues within pop sulture, including music, fashion, art & crafts and news.
Editor-in-Chief, Debbie Stoller, decided to call the magazine BUST, because it was “aggressive and sexy and funny… It was a title that could belong to a men’s porn magazine.”
For Women With Something To Get Off Their Chests!
Click here for the Christmas Craftacular’s Facebook Page


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Jumble Fever
Under the bridge on Beck Road, E8
Saturday 6th December
Midday-4pm, Entry £1
A fabulous jumble sale with a boogie twist! There will be a great deal to see and do and buy.. See you there!

ETSY
An online shopping bazaar; Etsy is a cross between eBay and Amazon with a humble handmade twist. Launched in June 2005 by Robert Kalin, for sale Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik, the site has grown to be incredibly popular, with tens of thousands of people selling their handmade goods (90% of whom are women!).
As Christmas draws nearer and greener, we have chosen our favorite handmade things to inspire your presents list.
www.etsy.com

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“The Kelsey”; a pleated clutch in paisley mocha
This handmade clutch is one of many adorable bags created by GraceyBags; get in touch through etsy.com to custom order a clutch and choose from a rainbow of fabrics.
Featured is ‘The Kelsey’ in a paisley mocha print on the outside in greens, blues, pinks, yellows and browns. The inside has been sewn from a silky brown fabric and the bag closes with a small magnet.

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Recycled Journal – handbound
Find a lovely selection of hand bound recycled books by Rhonda; bookbinder and book artist.
This particularly wonderful journal is made with a variety of recycled scrap papers ranging from large envelopes, posters, junk mail, blank paper, lined and graph paper, covers from old sketch books, old maps, discarded photocopies, misprints from the computer printer to paper bags.
Perfect as an art journal, the book is covered with an old map of the world, the one pictured above showing the islands of Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
There are 256 pages (when you count both sides of each sheet). The pages are handbound using green and brown linen threads, visible on the spine in 4 rows of chain stitches.
The book size is approximately 4″ x 4¼” and 1″ thick (or 10.5cm x 11cm x 2.5cm).

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French Bulldog cotton tote bag

This adorable cotton tote is the perfect carry-all for any occasion. BellaBlu Designs signature French Bulldog silhouette has been cut from Heather Bailey‘s ‘Sway in Brown’ Pop Garden print and appliquéd to this cotton canvas bag. It is 100% 10 oz. cotton, measures 15 x 13 x 3 inches and can be customized with most other dog breeds.

TREEFORT
http://treefortkids.myshopify.com

We’ve also had a browse round treefort.myshopify.com, for some gift ideas for those of you with little ones in your life!

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Dreamlets Dolls
These cute little creatures would make an adorable gift this season, and as a product that gives 1% back to Artworks, Bridges to Understanding, or Poncho, they’re doing a lot more than making a loved one happy! The dolls come in a variety of shapes and colours, each with their own quirky personality. You are also able to choose which organization will benefit from your gift by registering your doll online.

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Nikki McClure’s Mama & Baby Things
Treefort also sell many of Nikki Mcclure‘s prints, books, cards, and calendars. Nikki McClure creates complex, yet natural designs by cutting away from a single piece of black construction paper with an x-acto knife. Her works are printed on 100% Recycled, 100% Post-Consumer Waste, Processed Chlorine Free paper that was manufactured with electricity that is offset with Green-e® certified renewable energy. Her work is printed by a small family-owned press in Portland, Oregon, US- and uses soy-based inks.

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Kids On Roof “House”
is made of Eco friendly-100% recycled cardboard and is 100% biodegradable. These houses are the perfect gift for creative children, as they’re meant to be decorated and personalised! (see below for examples from treefort) Kidsonroof donates 5% of its profits to specific Unicef projects; €24,000 has now been collected for the Unicef project for building better, small-scale housing for HIV/Aids inflicted orphans in Russia.
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Beyond Retro Christmas Party!

This evening Beyond Retro is throwing it’s annual seasonal gathering – in both it’s shops, viagra buy the original Cheshire St warehouse and new sibling store in Soho – from 6pm – 8pm, there’ll be lots of exclusive goodies for you to browse through and they’ll even throw in some mulled wine and mince pies. Good times.

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Made In Clerkenwell

This evening and all weekend, the Clerkenwell Green Association open their studios for Made in Clerkenwell, an event that showcases the work of over 70 designers they support through providing them with studio space, mentoring and business advice to help them create their work.

The fruits of their labors are exhibited and available for purchase, so you can hunt out that unique Christmas gift and buy all kinds of original and creative wares – ranging from fashion designs to jewellery, accessories, textiles and even ceramics.
What makes this shopping experience so different is that you can mingle with and chat to the designers and find out about their craft, inspirations, working method, becoming a designer, anything you want to know! So pop down, get a great gift and support new designers.

Open 6pm to 8pm, Thursday 27th November 2008 and
12pm to 6pm on Friday 28th, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November 2008.
£2.50 entrance – free to the under 16s.

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It’s no secret that Brooklyn’s the place to be for smart indie pop these days, view but look a little closer to home and you might be surprised. Take tonight’s superb support acts, advice for example. First up is Pens, erectile a cute lo-fi local trio who, despite playing to only a handful of people, put on a wonderfully frantic and ramshackle performance – think Karen O‘s kid sisters gleefully bashing at snare, guitar and synths.

Fellow Londoners Chew Lips are up next and are nothing short of a revelation. The threesome cater in captivatingly melancholy electronic music and boast a bona fide icon-in-waiting in singer Tigs; she prowls and creeps around the venue, all black bob and wide eyes, unleashing powerful vocals and jumping on the bar to serenade us, while the boys whip up a glitchy synth and bass storm in the background. ‘Solo’ is the band’s set-closer and an undeniable highlight – scuzzy and danceable yet strangely sad, it will be one of your anthems of 2009, no question.

This bunch are hard to follow, but Telepathe just about manage it. Dave Sitek-produced debut ‘Dance Mother’ is on the way in January, and recreating its majesty live is clearly still a tricky undertaking for the Brooklyn duo. They do their best, unleashing a stream of cluttered soundscapes, layered harmonies and clipped rhythms, and while the effect is hypnotic at times, barely a word is uttered between songs – resulting in a distinct lack of atmosphere. This could of course be due, in part, to the fact that they are playing to a room full of typically disinterested Shoreditch types. Whatever the reason the performance falls a little flat, until final effort ‘Chromes On It’ that is, its spine-tingling beats waking the crowd from its stupor and climaxing with speakers shaking and half the band hanging from the ceiling as the hysterical throng down the front excitedly punch the air. It’s just enough to convince us that we’re not quite prepared to give up on Telepathe as a live proposition yet. More like this please.
Nuclear: Art and Radioactivity
discount -4.064941&sspn=16.764146, visit this site 39.418945&ie=UTF8&ll=51.524712,-0.079694&spn=0.008598,0.019248&z=16&g=E1+6PG&iwloc=addr”target=”_blank”>Nicholls and Clarke Building, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, Spitalfields, London E1.

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‘Half-life’
Chris Oakley, 2008
High-definition video, 15 minutes

‘The Nightwatchman’
Simon Hollington & Kypros Kyprianou, 2008
Installation

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The Nicholls and Clarke Building hosts an exhibition that explores the changing perceptions of nuclear power. In our rapidly deteriorating climate, the effects of nuclear development from the past have come to haunt us. ‘The Nightwatchman,’ by Simon Hollington and Kypros Kyprianou, captures this disturbing predicament.

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As we entered the installation there was something immediately unsettling about it. A board-meeting table situated in the centre of a large dilapidated storeroom indicated recent activity, and as we crept further through the exhibition space there was more evidence of some night watchmen. But they are no where to be found…

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Together with the film ‘Half-life’ by Chris Oakley, there was a sense of being caught in a crossfire of two different eras: the naïvely optimistic 80′s and the knowledgeable cynicism of the present day.

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The film showed a series of paradoxical images of nature vs. technology, and through it we were reminded of how our idea of what is progressive has been turned on it’s head.

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If you’d like to have something of yours across the chests of music aficionados throughout the country, viagra you might like to apply for this. 100% music, cheap 100% recycled paper (well done), sildenafil Bearded Magazine is preparing for the re-launch of the printed magazine on January 29th, and they’re throwing in a t-shirt as well.

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When it came to deciding what should go on the front of said t-shirt, they mumbled gibberish into their beards and drew blanks, and so they’ve put the task out to you the reader to help them out. In fact, they might be so filled with indecision that there could be four winners, so better chances for you! Have a look at the criteria and send in a design soon, you have until the 15th of December.

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The Wellcome Collection’s new temporary exhibition is entitled ‘War and Medicine’ and focuses on the individual human consequences of war rather than the overall statistics of death and destruction that impersonalise and almost glorify military combat and which we are most often presented with. Soldiers are heroes when they die for their country but uncomfortable representatives of horror when they return wounded and disfigured.

Installation artist David Cotterrell‘s film, sales specially commissioned for the exhibition, salve attempts to rectify this. Covering three walls of a darkened room, more about the film shows wounded soldiers, with varying degrees of injury, being loaded onto a flight back to England from Helmand Province in Afghanistan. The only soundtrack is the constant hum of the plane’s engine, an eerie backdrop to the calm, efficient activity taking place on screen. There is an unsettling disjunction between our inclusion in the scene through the way it is presented to us and the alienness of the sight before our eyes. This slightly dreamlike atmosphere helps separate the artwork from the realms of documentary photography and helps us understand the confusion of this homeward flight, which we are told in the information outside, is often only partially remembered by the soldiers.

What is most striking about this piece is the individual humanity behind the uniforms of the men and women depicted. On the left are the walking wounded with a variety of arm slings and facial injuries being tended to by medical staff and waiting patiently for their journey to begin, on the right, more distressingly, a person is carried in on a stretcher, connected to breathing apparatus. It is heartbreaking to realise that although most of these people will probably survive, and so not register in the public consciousness, they will have been scarred for life both physically and emotionally. I began to see them as people beyond whatever my personal attitudes to their profession and the war they are fighting in was.
A harrowing counterpart to this work is Cotterrell’s written diary, where he describes with civilian horror, the daily minutiae of life amongst the medical staff in Camp Bastion. The exhibition’s mission statement is to explore the dichotomies in a society that is simultaneously developing ever more sophisticated means of destroying life and protecting it. The stalemate futility of this situation is given a human face by Cotterrell’s work.

David Cotterrell is featured in issue 10 of the magazine, out shortly.

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Hurrying through the lights and sounds of Soho, stuff the words ‘bloody hell it’s cold’ rattled my skull. I was heading to see the Canadian singer and illustrator Chad VanGaalen, this known for rarely leaving his basement. In this weather, who would blame him?
Once inside Borderline I was able to thaw out and to take in the cosy surroundings. Kindly folk in chequered shirts patiently waited as they sipped Guinness. But there was something odd about this fresh-faced crowd. Moustaches, I realised. There were loads of them.
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It’s Mo-vember, apparently. The time of year for all socially conscious gentlemen to grow out their fluff to raise money for testicular cancer. ‘That’s nice,’ I thought.
This playful and boyish act of sincerity seemed fitting for the night in store as there’s something of the fourteen-year-old boy about Chad VanGaalen. Deceptively awkward and immediately charming, he’ll break your heart.
Together with a hairy-faced accordionist he delivered a homemade and reflective sound. It was as if we had wandered into his basement, and he seemed a little surprised to see us there.
His hesitancy on stage draws you nearer, and his tight and masterful song-writing capabilities took a hold of my senses like a sedative.
That uneasy fluidity reminded me of Beach House and the unexpectedly punchier tunes provided an excitable energy that twanged some of those moustaches.
Listening to Chad is like putting on a pair of earmuffs and skate boarding down smooth suburban streets.
There’s a yearning to be free and limitless but it only slightly ventures out of the comfortable. A girl behind me whispered excitedly ‘It’s the kind of music I’d ride my bike to.’
It is difficult for any set at the Borderline to not feel intimate and Chad VanGaalen’s was by no means revolutionary.
But the evening was all together thoughtful and enchanting, and as I braved the bitter London streets once more, the words of Electric City wrapped me up like a duvet.

Soft Airplane is available on Flemish Eye.

Photographs by Ro Cemm
for more pictures of the night click here

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At 8am on Friday 28th November on a wet and grizzly morning, stuff the Greenwash Guerillas and a band of allies rallied together outside the E-On Head Office at 100 Pall Mall. We were there to protest against the planned government-approved scheme to build 7 new coal fired power stations. E-on will be responsible for the first of these havoc wreaking death chambers (no hyperbole here) at Kingsnorth, Kent. This power station alone will emit between 6 and 8 million tones of CO2 every year. If all 7 are built, treatment their collective emissions would be approximately 50 million tones of CO2 a year. This would make the Climate Change Committee’s proposal to cut back on CO2 emissions an average of 2% per annum so that by 2050 we’ll have an 80% reduction well… impossible.

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Browsing through E-on’s website, it might be easy to be fooled into thinking they are an environmentally conscientious company promoting ‘clean, green energy that never runs out.’ But it doesn’t take long to realize that their wind farms and claims of boosting local employment are cleverly marketed to cast a rosy sheen over more profitable projects that use coal.

Coal is the grimiest of fossil fuels. It’s carbon-intensity is higher than oil and double that of natural gas. Yet, as the driving force behind the industrial revolution, it has been the primary source of power for the electricity generation. Gathered outside the E-on head office, we are no longer in the 19th century but in the 21st century and in the midst of a climatic crisis. With sea ice disappearing at a never-before-seen rapidity now is the time to use new greener sources of power, not to revert to the practices of the past.

So why is the government supporting what seems a disastrously archaic project?
The government’s answer is that by increasing the cost of carbon, power stations will be forced to use a process of carbon capture and storage (CCS) whereby the harmful carbon dioxide produced by coal is extracted from the air and buried underground.
However, a presentation made by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee concluded that this reasoning is implausible. Voicing research from the U.K. Energy Research Centre and Climate Change Capital, it showed that using a process of CCS would in fact be the least cost effective option for power stations. The research they gathered predicted that CCS will cost power companies like E-On 70-100 or 90-155 Euros per ton of CO2, while the government estimates that the price of carbon between 2013 and 2020 will be less at approximately 39 Euros per ton.

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It’s fair to say that it is extremely unlikely that power companies will go for the more expensive option, especially when the margin is as large as it is. In short, the government’s criteria for approving E- On’s power station at Kingsnorth is worryingly unsatisfactory.

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If our government is failing to alleviate the catastrophic predicament of climate change that is costing lives then it is up to us as citizens to take action against the construction of Kingsnorth and others like it. For more information on what you can do please click here and please go to the national climate march on Saturday 6th December, bring your mates and make it fun. This is a serious issue and we need to get the message across but optimism is always the best the way of creating change, in my view anyway.
Klimax is a network for climate activists that started in 2007 by environmentalists who wanted a platform for people with more radical ideas about direct actions. Well known in Sweden for their campaigns against private motorism and the meat industry, viagra sale the group has spread to a number of Swedish cities, cialis 40mg and in Gothenburg they consist of 20 active members.

On the 12th November 2008, capsule after being inspired by Climate Rush, six Klimax members stormed a municipal city council meeting in Gothenburg dressed as suffragettes to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the British Sufragette Action.

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Members of Klimax initially wanted to protest on the 13th October, which is the actual date of the anniversary, but after finding out there were no meetings that day, postponed to the 12th November. This allowed them the much needed time to plan their action in detail; the first few weeks consisted of a few hours of planning and as the time drew nearer members were working five hours a day to make sure everything was finished. Among writing speeches, making banners and establishing contact with the media, they had to prepare their costumes!
Our contact at Klimax said “We do not always dress up for events but we believe that it is a good way to spice up an action! We sometimes dress up as penguins or polar bears because they are the two types of animal that are severely affected by Climate Change; it is also fun and looks nice!”

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Their aims with the action was threefold; firstly to pay tribute to the work done by the suffragettes- strong women fighting for women’s right to vote, secondly to make the politicians aware that there was strong opposition to the building of another tunnel under the river in Gothenburg; Miahabo Berkelder from Klimax in Gothenberg says that the group believe this to be an awful way to spend a large amount of money, just so that more cars can be on the road; asking ‘What if the money was invested in buses instead? New roads simply lead to more traffic and that is a disaster for our climate.’
The third reason for the protest was to make sure that politicians knew that climate change isn’t just a moral topic, it is a political topic.

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On the day, members were shocked to see the six activists storm the meeting,
but after the action Klimax joked that if they had been politicians sitting there during long and boring meetings, they would have been happy with the distraction!

They certainly created a buzz, and definitely caught the attention of the council! After a short while the six were asked to leave the building and did so with little fuss.
In reaction to the protest, a woman from the Swedish environmental party said Klimax had a valid point, but a man from the conservative party was more concerned about security, wondering what would have happened if terrorists had stormed the meeting instead!

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The plans for the tunnel are still up in the air. The initial decision to build the tunnel was made solely by Göran Johansson, the chairman of the Municipal Council. Because this wasn’t a democratic way of deciding, the case has been reported to the county administrative court.

According to Miahabo, there are a lot of plans in Klimax’s future; new actions will take place during the spring and there will be a new regular event called Climate Café- where anyone can attend to share coffee and discuss climate change, sometimes including an expert on the subject to answer any questions.

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The next big event for Klimax is on the Global Day of Action, taking place in cities all over the world on the 6th of December. At the same time as the leaders of the world will be discussing the climate problems, demonstrations will be arranged all over the world including London and of course Gothenberg.
Klimax have come together with several other groups to arrange a huge demonstration, Miahabo says that Klimax are organising a “Climate Clash” which is a wide spread Klimax phenomenon; they will walk out in the middle of a busy road and block the traffic; a perfect and simple way to make people aware of the climate problems.

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Anyone who is interested in joining Klimax is welcome- it is a flat organization with no board of directors, anyone who wants to be a member is simply one.

This article was written with the help of Miahabo Berkelder of Klimax in Gothenburg, Sweden. Thank you for your contribution and for the photos!

For more information about Climate Rush, please visit: www.climaterush.co.uk
Monday 1st Dec
The Ashni Art Gallery specialises in Indian Art that is both contemporary and of the past. They will be exhibiting the best of their collection from now until the 19th of December.
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Tuesday 2nd Dec

Live in Bristol? Feeling somewhat alarmed by the continued transformation of the city centre to all things consumerist (with 120 new shops having just opened)? Slipping between the gap of reality and fantasy, and Somewhere Here are hijacking advertisement space to provide shoppers with a brief respite during the fall of capitalism. Nine artists take nine advertising hoardings (billboards) until the 3rd of December only. Catch them before they are swallowed by Advertisement Beast.
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Wednesday 3rd Dec
Opening today at the ICA: Dispersion; an exploration by seven artists of the appropriation and circulation of images in contemporary society. They examine money, desire, and power in our accelerated image economy. It runs until Feb 1st.
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Thursday 4th Dec

First Thursdays of the month is here! But aren’t galleries open most Thursdays anyway? It would be silly tell you a single thing to go and see, 100 galleries will be opening their doors until 9pm, so there will plenty to satiate your creative appetites, but if you perhaps feel so inspired that you are driven to the pencil yourself, The Princess Studios will be hosting free life-drawing drop-in sessions throughout the evening.
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Friday 5th Dec

Vauxhall’s best kept secret-art-laboratory, Beaconsfield, curates Late at Tate this Friday, adapting Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries and transitory places to create a terminal space, with an array of arrival and departure points, in which only the surreal applies …

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Colin McKenzie senses that art ought to be more like a day at Woodstock, or at least what he imagines Woodstock to be like: electric, dynamic, smooth, and mind-expanding. At the Red Gate Gallery. McKenzie strives against order and sense, aiming to manoeuvre without restriction.
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Monday 1st December

The Lady: A Tribute to Sandy Denny, page Royal Festival Hall, treat London
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An evening of songs from the back catalogue of one of the most influential female folk singers, approved Sandy Denny. Various artists including Marc Almond, P.P. Arnold and Johnny Flynn will be performing songs from her Fairport Convention days as well as her solo career. Should be a really interesting night in light of the current trend for new female folkies and a timely tribute to one of the godmothers of the genre.

Asobi Seksu, Hoxton Bar and Grill, London

Sweet, fun indie-pop from Brooklyn. Should be a good one for dancing.

Gallows, The Macbeth, London

Noisy punks celebrate collaboration with Atticus clothing range.

Slow Club, Jay Jay Pistolet and special guests, Union Chapel, London

A lovely gentle way to start the week with this folky-country duo who will hopefully be celebrating the first day of December with a performance of their Christmas single, released next week.

Tuesday 2nd December

Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed and the Trueloves, Oran Mor, Glasgow
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Big-voiced retro soul.

Deerhoof, ULU, London

In the UK for one night only, this much-loved San Francisco band’s staccato, rough-round-the-edges punk pop is even better live.

Ten Kens, The Duchess, York

Anyone who has a blurry picture of people snogging on their record sleeve is a good bet for a messy live show and these Canadian grungers are reportedly no exception. Should be good in this small venue too.

Baby Dee, Union Chapel, London

New album produced by Will Oldham, harpist on Anthony and the Johnsons first album and with Andrew W.K. providing bass on her new record, this transsexual musician’s musical pedigree is assured.

Wednesday 3rd December

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis single launch, Madame JoJos, London
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Snappily dressed, hearse-driving siblings playing rockabilly at their single launch party.

Liam Finn, Night and Day, Manchester

Introspective folk.

The Wave Pictures, Club Fandango, St Aloysius Social Club, London

Thursday 4th December

Vivian Girls, The Social, Nottingham
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Uber-hyped Brooklyn girl group bring their shoe-gaze tinged grunge-pop to the UK. Time to see if they live up to their recorded promise as a live act.

The Unbending Trees, The Luminaire, London

Leonard Cohen-influenced Hungarians.

Dirtbombs, Faversham, Leeds

Fuzzed out rock and soul. Catch them before they play at the weekend’s All Tomorrow’s Parties.

Friday 5th December

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Princess Charlotte, Leicester
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Fuzzy pop from yet another hip hyped Brooklyn band.

Dan Black, Barfly, London

New single ‘Yours’ has been receiving lots of radio play.

Saturday 6th December

Dead Kids, single launch ‘Into the Fire’, Push, Astoria 2
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Should be pretty sweaty and heavy.

I Am Ghost, White Rabbit, Plymouth

Bringing some metal to the South West.

Under One Sky, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

John McCusker’s diverse folk composition.

Sunday 7th December

Tanlines, Old Blue Last, London

The Brooklyn invasion continues. Did they all club together and hijack a plane from JFK International?

Bon Iver, Victoria Apollo, Dublin

Really bummed about breaking up with some girl called Emma, he headed into the woods alone and wrote an album about it. He must be feeling a bit better as he’s spreading the heartache on a UK tour.

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Rock City, Nottingham

Lovely duets from surprisingly compatible artists.

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Pretty Taxing is a fashion collection with a twist, stuff as the end product is not clothes but car tax discs. Unusual – yes, sick but we all know how important accessorising is…

It would seem like a bad idea if such creatively interesting designers hadn’t contributed to the cause. They include Emma Bell, who has twice shown at London Fashion Week, David David and Pam Hogg. Along with artists Natasha Law and Stuart Semple, they have all created unique collectable pieces of fashion memorabilia.

You can pick up these discs of fashion-random-brilliance at Matches or at the pop-up shop KIN in Kingly Court, Carnaby Street. Abiding the law has never looked so good.

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Today I was sent to Coventry, abortion quite literally. Together with 30 other Climate Camp activists dressed as Santa we descended on E.On, health the energy company responsible for the proposed new coal fired power station to be built at Kingsnorth.

This action followed a 48 hour action that happened over last Friday and Saturday – and E.On were not expecting our return. In fact, buy they were probably kicking themselves that the special fencing that they had put in place late last week was now lying dismantled on the floor next to their headquarters.

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As a result our merry busload hopped off easily and headed straight for the main entrance of E.On’s offices.

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Why? Despite spending a lot of time and energy letting the public know that they are one of the biggest investors in renewable energy in the UK (they’ll point out the big array of solar panels on one of their buildings and the lobby features a looped tape about wind farms) they are also pitching to build the first new coal fired power station to be built in the UK in 30 years, which will alone defeat all our CO2 emissions goals. So why spend so unwisely?

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Whilst some merry santas climbed atop the revolving door and superglued their hands to the various entrances, another bunch of santas headed off into the building to see if they could speak to head honcho Paul Golby and let the employees know a bit more about the facts behind new coal.

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Bearing banners that said Stop Coal and E.On F.Off they set off down the corridors singing some specially adapted carol songs.

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Two intrepid santas managed to enter a boardroom meeting, surprising the attendees with some gifts of lumps of coal – for as you know santa gives bad children coal instead of gifts and E.On has been very bad this year. They were ejected from the property, but soon raced back in again…

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We managed to disrupt operations for four hours, stopping employees and visitors as they came to work and giving interviews to the BBC and ITV, and live on the radio. Our action was spoken about on the World at One on Radio 4, which you can listen to here. We are talked about at approximately 8 minutes and 20 seconds into the programme.

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The police were surprisingly even handed, although some employees were clearly fuming, especially the head of security (woops) One indoor santa even managed to locate a cup of tea and a newspaper to read.

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At one point we were able to reenter the building, with the santas forming a conga line for the cameras. We delivered papers written by leading NGOs describing why there is no need for coal power, and generally had a merry old time. All employees and visitors were rerouted through back entrances, so I think it is fair to say that we were fairly disruptive…

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Eventually we decided that once unstuck it was best that we leave, but the police had other ideas, and as we walked off down the road they tried to contain us, managing to trap four of our number and arrest them.

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The rest of us ran off down the street to find our getaway vehicles, parked up in a local pub car park. Our drivers had thoughtfully bought us lunch in the pub, but shortly after we had gulped it down we were asked to leave because the police presence was putting off other customers. The police followed us as we left to pick up the other santas at Warwick university student union, and thereafter ensued the slowest police chase ever, with us managing to lose them after taking a wrong turn.

The purpose of this action was to embarrass E.On and raise awareness of what they up to in a light hearted and humourous way – I think that as a bunch of merry santas we did this exceptionally well. We hope that E.On will take heed and stop greenwashing their plans. It’s simple, don’t build Kingsnorth. Spend your money increasing investment in your (meagre) renewable energy supplies. If you would like to help us stop companies like E.On destroying our world check out what Climate Camp is up to next. More articles on this action can be read on Indymedia here and here.

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We’re having a bit of a Grace Jones moment here at Amelia’s HQ. Obviously we’ve always known she was AMAZING but her majestic new single ‘Williams’ Blood’ goes to prove that she’s still totally got it. In fact, buy it’s been on repeat for about the past week and we’ve all been waving our arms in the air singing “I’ve got the Williams’ blood in me”. There’s an infectious gospel refrain running through this song that really brings out Jones’ strident message. Strongly autobiographical, link ‘Williams’ Blood’ tells the story of her parents’ life together in small-town domesticity and her musician grandfather – he of the Williams blood – philandering his way around the world, an insight into the Grace Jones spirit of rebellion.

There’s a cry for freedom and for breaking away from the strictures and constraints of her background, which you can’t help but feel has been successful for this overtly sexual, bonkers wardrobed, gay icon, hence the joyful bursts of the chorus. It also seems almost subversive for a female singer to talk about the influence of a male ancestor on their lives but Jones has never been one to play by the rules. In fact, as one of our writers proved, she’s perhaps the only woman with such immense stature you could prove your respect for by mooning. But that’s another story…

‘Williams’ Blood’ is released next Monday 8th December on Wall of Sound.

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“The film was an experiment”, abortion says Jonas Cuaron, settling down across from me on a sofa at the Renoir this Saturday. I’ve come for the release of his debut film, Año Uña – year of nails – and the place is abuzz with excitement; I’m especially enamoured by the snippets of Mexican-tilted Spanish I hear that always make me nostalgic (Luisa with no ‘o’, can you guess?), “Ai que deliciosa!” someone behind me exclaims at the sight of a quesadilla in the first few minutes of the film; maravillosa indeed.

“I wanted to make a film”, he continues, “using a format that would be hard to watch”. Hard to watch? A legitimate concern when it dawns on you that you’re in for a feature-length film composed entirely of still-frame photographs. But the merit of any film boils down to one thing, a good story – and the impossible romance between American girl and Mexican boy in the throes of puberty, subsumes this hard-to-watch format and makes it altogether accessible. Plot aside for a moment though, the genesis of the film deserves as much attention, so I asked Jonas how the whole thing came about.

JC: For the film I took photographs of my everyday life for a year. I wanted to break the way in which film is normally done. Normally people write a screenplay first, and then out of the screenplay they do the image, but here I wanted to do it backwards. I took the photographs and then we made an installation where we put them all up in a room, and made a story from that.

Were there other possible narratives, did you find it hard to pick which story to tell?

Well I always knew that it had to be a story of this girl from the US and this boy from Mexico. They were the ones I photographed the most that year, and so I knew they were going to be the main characters and it grew organically from there. But sometimes I think, with all those photographs I could make a different movie, draw something completely different from the same images.

What was exciting about working in that format?

Well I wanted to play with the boundaries between reality and fiction. I wanted to have images that were real, but to show, how with text, or with a narrative over those images, you can have a completely different meaning. All the images in the movie are real, but none of that happened, I wanted to play with that boundary.

So there was no interchange between reality and fiction? There must’ve been!

Well I mean, in the events there was. Like my Grandpa really did get sick and he had cancer, but for instance, the main characters, Diego and Molly, they are my brother and my girlfriend, so I hope that wasn’t real (chuckles).

How did your brother feel about in falling in love with your girlfriend, was that awkward?
Well the narrative was so fictional, so far away from reality that both him and Eireann saw it as an acting job; they never thought of it as real. All the character’s names are real aside from Eireann, which I changed to Molly because I wanted to help Diego and Molly not feel awkward, and I knew that Diego was gonna be saying really dirty things about her character, so I thought it would be easier for him if she was called Molly and not Eireann.

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Throughout the film, Molly seems to be perpetually trying to capture something real from Mexico in a photograph, and failing. Is that Ironic? Seeing as you’re playing with a moment captured and how it can mean lots of things.
With Molly, a lot of what I wanted to play with was the idea of the tourist, being a foreigner in another country, so even though she’s the one seeing, she’s the observer with the camera, in the case of a tourist like Molly, people are also observing her. So with her character I played a lot with the subconscious of being in a new place.

You grew up partially in Mexico and partially in the US, so is that something you link closely too?

For me, that part of the narrative – the interchange between two cultures – it really fascinates me; so when I realised that Diego and Molly would be my main characters, I was happy because the relationship between both cultures is an important one for me. I know what it is to be new in a different place, and I understand the boundaries between the two languages, and a lot of this is seen in the character of Molly. Many of those pictures were taken during Eireann’s first visit to Mexico, and it was at the time when Bush had just been elected. For her it was really hard to be in Mexico because everyone was judging her for what Bush was doing, so I wanted to play with the idea, that I also feel from being a Mexican in the US, that people see you as a nationality and not who you are.

What is the main theme of the film for you?
When I first started making a film with photographs, I realised that the main theme would be the passage of time and the impermanence of things. You can’t do anything about photography and not talk about the passage of time, and particularly in a film – film is always dependent on the idea of time and still-photography doesn’t have time in a way, and so for me, the whole film is an exploration of how nothing lasts forever.

Would you use the format again?
I think it’s a very interesting format to explore, but for me, I’ve done everything I would want to do with that format. It’s been a very important learning experience for me. At the end of the day, the important thing is having a good story.

Muchisimas Gracias Jonas. How do you like London?
It’s cold.

Last night, adiposity to coincide with World AIDS Day, clinic vinspired.com, a youth volunteer organisation website, hosted a charity fashion show to raise money for the children’s HIV Charity, Body & Soul.

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This fashion show was the last stage in a creative process, which started off with four volunteer design teams, based in four parts of the country, who gave their time to find new and exciting designers. The creative workshops were set up by Junky Styling in London, Traid, who nurtured the Bristol designers, the Ethical Fashion Forum in Nottingham and Kesh(pictured above), who worked with the Manchester based designers.

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Said designers had to then compete against each other to create the best outfit from recycled clothes, e.g.: the clothes given to charity shops – and it was at this fashion show where the winner would be decided by designer Ben de Lisi.

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TV presenter Miquita Oliver hosted the event and the celebrity quota was filled by Rolling Stone daughter, Leah Wood (pictured above), who modeled on the catwalk and Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman, who provided some post-show tunes.

Even bigger names (not in attendance) but supporting the charity include actress Kate Winslet and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who donated a suit and a shirt respectively, to be remade into something fabulous. Designer Zandra Rhodes is also a big supporter of this recycling fashion cause saying, “It is appalling how much we waste in society these days, but it seems we are entering a new era of resourcefulness. This is really exciting – and the best part of it is young people are leading the new trend.”

Taking place in Central Saint Martins aptly named Innovation Centre; the venue was small and intimate, which perfectly captured the tone of the event. Unlike most fashion shows, this one had a very human element when a representative from the Body & Soul charity got on stage to talk about her experience living with HIV. She spoke about having to live a double life, having to hide her illness from the world due to the level of prejudice that still exists towards the disease. Money raised from this event will go towards generating awareness about HIV.

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As we sat by the catwalk, video screens showed the designers in their workshops making the clothes that would soon appear in front of us. What these guys did with discarded shirts and dresses was pretty impressive, it wasn’t about following trends but making creative, innovative and pretty pieces, and there was a lot of that evident on the catwalk.

Ben de Lisi was there to judge the entries, with only a matter of minutes to decide who the winner would be, he was asked how he would do it and said, “I shoot straight from the hip, I know exactly what I want.”
Who he wanted was designer Anne-Marie Fleming, from the Junky Styling stable. She seemed to me to be a safe choice as although her design was good, it was not the best seen on the catwalk by a long way.

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This event worked so well to promote two causes, the importance of recycling (not always being a slave to trends) and reducing the level of our prejudice about supposedly taboo subjects.

All the clothes can be viewed at vinspired.com/fashion and will be auctioned on eBay from today, so you can get your hands on a uniquely designed piece and give some cash to a very good cause.

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If you’re planning on going to any of these events, viagra buy or have something you want to write an article about for the Earth Blog, more about email us: earth@ameliasmagazine.com!

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Eco-Design Christmas Fair 2008
website +152+Brick+Lane,+London+E1+6RU&sll=51.521668,-0.071497&sspn=0.007423,0.019011&g=152+Brick+Lane,+London+E1+6RU&ie=UTF8&ll=51.522349,-0.072269&spn=0.007423,0.019011&z=16&iwloc=A”target=”_blank”>The Boiler House, The Old Truman Brewery, 152 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
Saturday 13th December 2008 12pm-7pm
Sunday 14th December 2008 11am-7pm
entry £2 or £1
A great event at which you will be able to see and buy some wonderful eco-design products (including organic clothing, furniture, jewellery, books and alternative technology) directly from the makers.
Exhibitors include Amira Fairtrade Fashion Clothing, Green Oil UK Ltd (Green bicycle chain lubricant & maintenance products) , Lizzie Lee Lighting and Po-zu Ecological footwear, amongst others! For a full list and for more information about the event please visit www.ecodesignfair.co.uk
Contact Louise Kamara: info@ecodesignfair.co.uk or 07956 916 079

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Fair Trade Fair
13th December 2008 Midday-6pm
14th December 2008 Midday-5pm
Admission £3 (concessions £1)
Westminister Hall, Parliament Square, London, SW1A

Make Christmas as ethical as you can this year with another Fairtrade fair at Westminister Hall. Fair Trade Fair is an annual event that has been going on for 20 years; the first of which was organised in 1987 by Benny Dembitzer and opened by Bob Geldof.
Fairtrade events are incredibly important as they play a major role in empowering developing country producers, promoting sustainability and reducing world poverty.
The fairtrade movement encourages the payment of a fair price and the improvement of environmental standards; products range from handicrafts, coffee, tea and sugar to wine, flowers and cotton.
http://www.fairtradefair.org/ftf/index.htm
http://www.myspace.com/FairTradeFair
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Here’s a scary thought: there’s only 21 days left for Christmas shopping… so leave the high street and take advantage as London’s coolest shopping districts throw late night events…


Bermondsey Street
– nearest tube: London Bridge
Thursday 4th December

From 6.30pm to 9.30pm, drugs pop down to this fashion-forward little street, viagra sale where not only will you get 10% off in all the shops but the Fashion and Textile Museum is also open late, stomach with guest appearances by some of the designers featured in the museum. Shopping and culture: the perfect way to spend an evening.

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Cabbages and Frocks Christmas Fair
– nearest tube: Kentish Town
Sunday 7th December

Want designer goodies at bargain prices? This is the place to go. The weekly market pulls out all the stops this Sunday for its annual Christmas Fair, with all the sellers offering special yule-time discounts and the chance for you to get a genuine designer garment into your wardrobe – or give someone the best gift ever – get down there now….well, on Sunday.

Columbia Road – nearest tube: Old Street
Every Wednesday in December

Situated in the heart of the east-end, you can browse in over 50 boutiques and shops, which are all open until 9pm and listen to live music to get you in that Christmas spirit while you browse for gifts.

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The Shoreditch Triangle – nearest tube: Old Street
Every Thursday in December

As the title suggests, this shopping experience takes place within three roads – Old Street, Great Eastern Street and Shoreditch High Street – the shops taking part are offering special discounts on their wares, free gift wrap and the chance to pick up a brilliant present for the fashion-conscious people in your life. More details below:
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Categories ,Bermondsey Street, ,Cabbages and Frocks, ,Columbia Road, ,Fashion, ,Listings, ,The Shoreditch Triangle

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Amelia’s Magazine | Enchanted Palace: A very fashionable exhibition at Kensington Palace

Another year, ed symptoms another bank holiday at the start of the summer, and another edition of the Dot-to-Dot Festival, a sprawling mess of bands and audience occupying venues and bars in cities up and down the land. This year sees it spread from birthplace Nottingham and second city Bristol to Manchester, taking in three regional centres that, it could be argued, have long lacked massive indie festivals to call their own and to ground their musical calendars.

Thanks to a snail-paced jam on the M1 we missed the first band of the day (Frontiers, in Rock City’s main hall) – instead, the day began for us in Rescue Rooms with the lads of The Cheek, who sadly fail to sparkle in the mood of the glorious sun twinkling down outside. Their name may bring to mind something skinny and sharp from the late 70s but the lead singer’s suit certainly didn’t. It looked like he’d borrowed it from his dad. Their poppy punk sound came across like a sort of watered-down Suede, which held my interest for all of ten minutes before I headed out for a wander.

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Trent SU, the second-largest of the venues at the festival, had what seemed to be the most appealing consistency in acts, even if it meant foregoing Blood Red Shoes and Wild Beasts (both bands having appeared at previous editions of the festival, however, and both bands were, inevitably, awesome – also, it illustrates just how frequently Dot-to-Dot manages to pick out the next big bands mere months before they break).

Small Black were gracing the stage as we arrived – hailing from Long Island, they’re something of a blog darling in corners of the web and I can completely see why. Their music is a very carefully crafted pop that bears a resemblance to geographical cousins like Beach Fossils and Memory Tapes, bands that specialise in a kind of laid-back, fuzzy sort of sound. It’s instantly unlike anything specific that you’ll have heard before, but equally, instantly recognisable. The four lads manage to balance melancholy, longing, joy and ecstasy in a way last seen regularly in the films of John Hughes.

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Upstairs in the bar, Islet were going through their usual routine of tearing up the stage. I’ve been an ardent fan of theirs since their lead singer screamed in my face back in March when they supported Los Campesinos! at the Koko in Camden – their bizarre mélange music, all drum circles and hollering and ambient noise and funk grooves and… oh, why bother describing when I can show demonstrate:

Back downstairs, and Washed Out (or, rather, New York resident Ernest Green) has taken to the stage with his tripped-out ambient house and his friends (and geographic neighbours) in Small Black join him, adding extra layers to his sound. The clash with Blood Red Shoes appeared to have left the audience numbers a touch low, but nobody there regretted their decision – there’s something of the madchester in Washed Out’s sound, like a chilled-out evening at the Haçienda (or at least how that would seem in my mind). A case could also be made for saying it sounds like Chicago house played on a tape player with low battery. The results, regardless, are wonderful.

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The second of my 50-50 choices then came, and Liars won out over Wild Beasts – but can you blame me? The American art-punk band has doggedly refused to stick to any kind of consistent style, with their latest release, Sisterworld, yet another masterful addition to their discography. Lead singer Angus Andrews cuts a demented figure on stage, strutting and preening like a preaching Mick Jagger – his voice, the drawl of a doorstep drunk at 4am, smitten with violence, joyfully spitting the lyrics to ‘Scissor’ like some kind of mental declaration of war. Proper, proper good.

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It is then, unfortunately, something of a timetabling error to follow this violent display with Beach House, a delicate washed-out band that would have sat much more comfortably next to, well, Washed Out. The audience, still somewhat full of bloodlust, is quickly bored and begins to dissipate, which is a terrible shame considering just how brilliant Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully’s sultry Kate-Bush-meets-a-shoegaze dreamscapes are.

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I’ve written at length about how much I love Los Campesinos!, so for some of you it will be no surprise that I’m going to say that their set headlining at Trent SU was something of a triumph. I’m not being biased here, though, in all honesty – this really was a magnificent performance. The crowd, who all day had looked a little bit sun-frazzled and unable to conjure up much more than the occasional whoop (even during Liars there were visible signs of struggle during the rounds of applause), suddenly sparked into life. Jumping! Singing along! Gareth couldn’t have looked happier, and his usually awful singing was merely average. A definite peak for the day.

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Had to take a quick break here, because at this point it had been something like 8 hours of standing up with neither break nor sustenance – I grabbed some a sandwich in the still-open Lee Rosy’s Tea Room, a wonderful establishment that’s at the heart of Nottingham’s alternative music and arts scene. Somewhat a shame, then, that this year it isn’t hosting the acoustic acts – Primavera Sound, held on the same weekend, appears to have snapped up many of the bands and artists who usually make it here, leaving us with a smaller-than-usual Dot-to-Dot. It is inescapable, too, to note that the festival is far from sold out. Usually leaving a venue for another is something of a risk – in previous years it has been impossible to see the headliners on any stage without waiting through several hours’ worth of bands beforehand. The breathing space is a welcome change, but the lack of people inevitably means that the festival feels less like a party.

Yuck took to the stage of the Bodega after midnight, looking every bit like they’d been enjoying the £3 pints of 7% cider in the bar downstairs for the past few hours. Already something of a convert to their cause, having seen them several times around London over the past few months, I’d been waxing lyrical to friends all day about their brand of borrowed-from-the-90s slacker rock. Their stage banter was a little dry, and their response to a call from an audience member for their closest thing to a hit, ‘Georgia’, was met with a deliberate omission of the song from the setlist, meaning that this was not exactly their most friendly appearance, but nevertheless it proved a decent gig.

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Dot-to-Dot ends with Stealth putting on the last of the shows as the night turns slowly into early morning, and after fighting my way inside for the end of Casiokids’ brittle dance set I realised that my day (and my feet) were done. Another excellent bank holiday weekend festival – despite the smaller crowds and slightly smaller lineup, it’s still proving itself one of the most important festivals in the regions that host it, and it also provides an excellent way of kick-starting the festival season.

Another year, online another bank holiday at the start of the summer, treatment and another edition of the Dot-to-Dot Festival, a sprawling mess of bands and audience occupying venues and bars in cities up and down the land. This year sees it spread from birthplace Nottingham and second city Bristol to Manchester, taking in three regional centres that, it could be argued, have long lacked massive indie festivals to call their own and to ground their musical calendars.

Thanks to a snail-paced jam on the M1 we missed the first band of the day (Frontiers, in Rock City’s main hall) – instead, the day began for us in Rescue Rooms with the lads of The Cheek, who sadly fail to sparkle in the mood of the glorious sun twinkling down outside. Their name may bring to mind something skinny and sharp from the late 70s but the lead singer’s suit certainly didn’t. It looked like he’d borrowed it from his dad. Their poppy punk sound came across like a sort of watered-down Suede, which held my interest for all of ten minutes before I headed out for a wander.

YouTube Preview Image

Trent SU, the second-largest of the venues at the festival, had what seemed to be the most appealing consistency in acts, even if it meant foregoing Blood Red Shoes and Wild Beasts (both bands having appeared at previous editions of the festival, however, and both bands were, inevitably, awesome – also, it illustrates just how frequently Dot-to-Dot manages to pick out the next big bands mere months before they break).

Small Black were gracing the stage as we arrived – hailing from Long Island, they’re something of a blog darling in corners of the web and I can completely see why. Their music is a very carefully crafted pop that bears a resemblance to geographical cousins like Beach Fossils and Memory Tapes, bands that specialise in a kind of laid-back, fuzzy sort of sound. It’s instantly unlike anything specific that you’ll have heard before, but equally, instantly recognisable. The four lads manage to balance melancholy, longing, joy and ecstasy in a way last seen regularly in the films of John Hughes.

YouTube Preview Image

Upstairs in the bar, Islet were going through their usual routine of tearing up the stage. I’ve been an ardent fan of theirs since their lead singer screamed in my face back in March when they supported Los Campesinos! at the Koko in Camden – their bizarre mélange music, all drum circles and hollering and ambient noise and funk grooves and… oh, why bother describing when I can show demonstrate:

Back downstairs, and Washed Out (or, rather, New York resident Ernest Green) has taken to the stage with his tripped-out ambient house and his friends (and geographic neighbours) in Small Black join him, adding extra layers to his sound. The clash with Blood Red Shoes appeared to have left the audience numbers a touch low, but nobody there regretted their decision – there’s something of the madchester in Washed Out’s sound, like a chilled-out evening at the Haçienda (or at least how that would seem in my mind). A case could also be made for saying it sounds like Chicago house played on a tape player with low battery. The results, regardless, are wonderful.

YouTube Preview Image

The second of my 50-50 choices then came, and Liars won out over Wild Beasts – but can you blame me? The American art-punk band has doggedly refused to stick to any kind of consistent style, with their latest release, Sisterworld, yet another masterful addition to their discography. Lead singer Angus Andrews cuts a demented figure on stage, strutting and preening like a preaching Mick Jagger – his voice, the drawl of a doorstep drunk at 4am, smitten with violence, joyfully spitting the lyrics to ‘Scissor’ like some kind of mental declaration of war. Proper, proper good.

YouTube Preview Image

It is then, unfortunately, something of a timetabling error to follow this violent display with Beach House, a delicate washed-out band that would have sat much more comfortably next to, well, Washed Out. The audience, still somewhat full of bloodlust, is quickly bored and begins to dissipate, which is a terrible shame considering just how brilliant Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully’s sultry Kate-Bush-meets-a-shoegaze dreamscapes are.

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve written at length about how much I love Los Campesinos!, so for some of you it will be no surprise that I’m going to say that their set headlining at Trent SU was something of a triumph. I’m not being biased here, though, in all honesty – this really was a magnificent performance. The crowd, who all day had looked a little bit sun-frazzled and unable to conjure up much more than the occasional whoop (even during Liars there were visible signs of struggle during the rounds of applause), suddenly sparked into life. Jumping! Singing along! Gareth couldn’t have looked happier, and his usually awful singing was merely average. A definite peak for the day.

YouTube Preview Image

Had to take a quick break here, because at this point it had been something like 8 hours of standing up with neither break nor sustenance – I grabbed some a sandwich in the still-open Lee Rosy’s Tea Room, a wonderful establishment that’s at the heart of Nottingham’s alternative music and arts scene. Somewhat a shame, then, that this year it isn’t hosting the acoustic acts – Primavera Sound, held on the same weekend, appears to have snapped up many of the bands and artists who usually make it here, leaving us with a smaller-than-usual Dot-to-Dot. It is inescapable, too, to note that the festival is far from sold out. Usually leaving a venue for another is something of a risk – in previous years it has been impossible to see the headliners on any stage without waiting through several hours’ worth of bands beforehand. The breathing space is a welcome change, but the lack of people inevitably means that the festival feels less like a party.

Yuck took to the stage of the Bodega after midnight, looking every bit like they’d been enjoying the £3 pints of 7% cider in the bar downstairs for the past few hours. Already something of a convert to their cause, having seen them several times around London over the past few months, I’d been waxing lyrical to friends all day about their brand of borrowed-from-the-90s slacker rock. Their stage banter was a little dry, and their response to a call from an audience member for their closest thing to a hit, ‘Georgia’, was met with a deliberate omission of the song from the setlist, meaning that this was not exactly their most friendly appearance, but nevertheless it proved a decent gig.

YouTube Preview Image

Dot-to-Dot ends with Stealth putting on the last of the shows as the night turns slowly into early morning, and after fighting my way inside for the end of Casiokids’ brittle dance set I realised that my day (and my feet) were done. Another excellent bank holiday weekend festival – despite the smaller crowds and slightly smaller lineup, it’s still proving itself one of the most important festivals in the regions that host it, and it also provides an excellent way of kick-starting the festival season.

Another year, pilule another bank holiday at the start of the summer, and another edition of the Dot-to-Dot Festival, a sprawling mess of bands and audience occupying venues and bars in cities up and down the land. This year sees it spread from birthplace Nottingham and second city Bristol to Manchester, taking in three regional centres that, it could be argued, have long lacked massive indie festivals to call their own and to ground their musical calendars.

Thanks to a snail-paced jam on the M1 we missed the first band of the day (Frontiers, in Rock City’s main hall) – instead, the day began for us in Rescue Rooms with the lads of The Cheek, who sadly fail to sparkle in the mood of the glorious sun twinkling down outside. Their name may bring to mind something skinny and sharp from the late 70s but the lead singer’s suit certainly didn’t. It looked like he’d borrowed it from his dad. Their poppy punk sound came across like a sort of watered-down Suede, which held my interest for all of ten minutes before I headed out for a wander.

YouTube Preview Image

Trent SU, the second-largest of the venues at the festival, had what seemed to be the most appealing consistency in acts, even if it meant foregoing Blood Red Shoes and Wild Beasts (both bands having appeared at previous editions of the festival, however, and both bands were, inevitably, awesome – also, it illustrates just how frequently Dot-to-Dot manages to pick out the next big bands mere months before they break).

Small Black were gracing the stage as we arrived – hailing from Long Island, they’re something of a blog darling in corners of the web and I can completely see why. Their music is a very carefully crafted pop that bears a resemblance to geographical cousins like Beach Fossils and Memory Tapes, bands that specialise in a kind of laid-back, fuzzy sort of sound. It’s instantly unlike anything specific that you’ll have heard before, but equally, instantly recognisable. The four lads manage to balance melancholy, longing, joy and ecstasy in a way last seen regularly in the films of John Hughes.

YouTube Preview Image

Upstairs in the bar, Islet were going through their usual routine of tearing up the stage. I’ve been an ardent fan of theirs since their lead singer screamed in my face back in March when they supported Los Campesinos! at the Koko in Camden – their bizarre mélange music, all drum circles and hollering and ambient noise and funk grooves and… oh, why bother describing when I can show demonstrate:

Back downstairs, and Washed Out (or, rather, New York resident Ernest Green) has taken to the stage with his tripped-out ambient house and his friends (and geographic neighbours) in Small Black join him, adding extra layers to his sound. The clash with Blood Red Shoes appeared to have left the audience numbers a touch low, but nobody there regretted their decision – there’s something of the madchester in Washed Out’s sound, like a chilled-out evening at the Haçienda (or at least how that would seem in my mind). A case could also be made for saying it sounds like Chicago house played on a tape player with low battery. The results, regardless, are wonderful.

YouTube Preview Image

The second of my 50-50 choices then came, and Liars won out over Wild Beasts – but can you blame me? The American art-punk band has doggedly refused to stick to any kind of consistent style, with their latest release, Sisterworld, yet another masterful addition to their discography. Lead singer Angus Andrews cuts a demented figure on stage, strutting and preening like a preaching Mick Jagger – his voice, the drawl of a doorstep drunk at 4am, smitten with violence, joyfully spitting the lyrics to ‘Scissor’ like some kind of mental declaration of war. Proper, proper good.

YouTube Preview Image

It is then, unfortunately, something of a timetabling error to follow this violent display with Beach House, a delicate washed-out band that would have sat much more comfortably next to, well, Washed Out. The audience, still somewhat full of bloodlust, is quickly bored and begins to dissipate, which is a terrible shame considering just how brilliant Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully’s sultry Kate-Bush-meets-a-shoegaze dreamscapes are.

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve written at length about how much I love Los Campesinos!, so for some of you it will be no surprise that I’m going to say that their set headlining at Trent SU was something of a triumph. I’m not being biased here, though, in all honesty – this really was a magnificent performance. The crowd, who all day had looked a little bit sun-frazzled and unable to conjure up much more than the occasional whoop (even during Liars there were visible signs of struggle during the rounds of applause), suddenly sparked into life. Jumping! Singing along! Gareth couldn’t have looked happier, and his usually awful singing was merely average. A definite peak for the day.

YouTube Preview Image

Had to take a quick break here, because at this point it had been something like 8 hours of standing up with neither break nor sustenance – I grabbed some a sandwich in the still-open Lee Rosy’s Tea Room, a wonderful establishment that’s at the heart of Nottingham’s alternative music and arts scene. Somewhat a shame, then, that this year it isn’t hosting the acoustic acts – Primavera Sound, held on the same weekend, appears to have snapped up many of the bands and artists who usually make it here, leaving us with a smaller-than-usual Dot-to-Dot. It is inescapable, too, to note that the festival is far from sold out. Usually leaving a venue for another is something of a risk – in previous years it has been impossible to see the headliners on any stage without waiting through several hours’ worth of bands beforehand. The breathing space is a welcome change, but the lack of people inevitably means that the festival feels less like a party.

Yuck took to the stage of the Bodega after midnight, looking every bit like they’d been enjoying the £3 pints of 7% cider in the bar downstairs for the past few hours. Already something of a convert to their cause, having seen them several times around London over the past few months, I’d been waxing lyrical to friends all day about their brand of borrowed-from-the-90s slacker rock. Their stage banter was a little dry, and their response to a call from an audience member for their closest thing to a hit, ‘Georgia’, was met with a deliberate omission of the song from the setlist, meaning that this was not exactly their most friendly appearance, but nevertheless it proved a decent gig.

YouTube Preview Image

Dot-to-Dot ends with Stealth putting on the last of the shows as the night turns slowly into early morning, and after fighting my way inside for the end of Casiokids’ brittle dance set I realised that my day (and my feet) were done. Another excellent bank holiday weekend festival – despite the smaller crowds and slightly smaller lineup, it’s still proving itself one of the most important festivals in the regions that host it, and it also provides an excellent way of kick-starting the festival season.

Another year, link another bank holiday at the start of the summer, and another edition of the Dot-to-Dot Festival, a sprawling mess of bands and audience occupying venues and bars in cities up and down the land. This year sees it spread from birthplace Nottingham and second city Bristol to Manchester, taking in three regional centres that, it could be argued, have long lacked massive indie festivals to call their own and to ground their musical calendars.

Thanks to a snail-paced jam on the M1 we missed the first band of the day (Frontiers, in Rock City’s main hall) – instead, the day began for us in Rescue Rooms with the lads of The Cheek, who sadly fail to sparkle in the mood of the glorious sun twinkling down outside. Their name may bring to mind something skinny and sharp from the late 70s but the lead singer’s suit certainly didn’t. It looked like he’d borrowed it from his dad. Their poppy punk sound came across like a sort of watered-down Suede, which held my interest for all of ten minutes before I headed out for a wander.

YouTube Preview Image

Trent SU, the second-largest of the venues at the festival, had what seemed to be the most appealing consistency in acts, even if it meant foregoing Blood Red Shoes and Wild Beasts (both bands having appeared at previous editions of the festival, however, and both bands were, inevitably, awesome – also, it illustrates just how frequently Dot-to-Dot manages to pick out the next big bands mere months before they break).

Small Black were gracing the stage as we arrived – hailing from Long Island, they’re something of a blog darling in corners of the web and I can completely see why. Their music is a very carefully crafted pop that bears a resemblance to geographical cousins like Beach Fossils and Memory Tapes, bands that specialise in a kind of laid-back, fuzzy sort of sound. It’s instantly unlike anything specific that you’ll have heard before, but equally, instantly recognisable. The four lads manage to balance melancholy, longing, joy and ecstasy in a way last seen regularly in the films of John Hughes.

YouTube Preview Image

Upstairs in the bar, Islet were going through their usual routine of tearing up the stage. I’ve been an ardent fan of theirs since their lead singer screamed in my face back in March when they supported Los Campesinos! at the Koko in Camden – their bizarre mélange music, all drum circles and hollering and ambient noise and funk grooves and… oh, why bother describing when I can show demonstrate:

YouTube Preview Image

Back downstairs, and Washed Out (or, rather, New York resident Ernest Green) has taken to the stage with his tripped-out ambient house and his friends (and geographic neighbours) in Small Black join him, adding extra layers to his sound. The clash with Blood Red Shoes appeared to have left the audience numbers a touch low, but nobody there regretted their decision – there’s something of the madchester in Washed Out’s sound, like a chilled-out evening at the Haçienda (or at least how that would seem in my mind). A case could also be made for saying it sounds like Chicago house played on a tape player with low battery. The results, regardless, are wonderful.

YouTube Preview Image

The second of my 50-50 choices then came, and Liars won out over Wild Beasts – but can you blame me? The American art-punk band has doggedly refused to stick to any kind of consistent style, with their latest release, Sisterworld, yet another masterful addition to their discography. Lead singer Angus Andrews cuts a demented figure on stage, strutting and preening like a preaching Mick Jagger – his voice, the drawl of a doorstep drunk at 4am, smitten with violence, joyfully spitting the lyrics to ‘Scissor’ like some kind of mental declaration of war. Proper, proper good.

YouTube Preview Image

It is then, unfortunately, something of a timetabling error to follow this violent display with Beach House, a delicate washed-out band that would have sat much more comfortably next to, well, Washed Out. The audience, still somewhat full of bloodlust, is quickly bored and begins to dissipate, which is a terrible shame considering just how brilliant Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully’s sultry Kate-Bush-meets-a-shoegaze dreamscapes are.

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve written at length about how much I love Los Campesinos!, so for some of you it will be no surprise that I’m going to say that their set headlining at Trent SU was something of a triumph. I’m not being biased here, though, in all honesty – this really was a magnificent performance. The crowd, who all day had looked a little bit sun-frazzled and unable to conjure up much more than the occasional whoop (even during Liars there were visible signs of struggle during the rounds of applause), suddenly sparked into life. Jumping! Singing along! Gareth couldn’t have looked happier, and his usually awful singing was merely average. A definite peak for the day.

YouTube Preview Image

Had to take a quick break here, because at this point it had been something like 8 hours of standing up with neither break nor sustenance – I grabbed some a sandwich in the still-open Lee Rosy’s Tea Room, a wonderful establishment that’s at the heart of Nottingham’s alternative music and arts scene. Somewhat a shame, then, that this year it isn’t hosting the acoustic acts – Primavera Sound, held on the same weekend, appears to have snapped up many of the bands and artists who usually make it here, leaving us with a smaller-than-usual Dot-to-Dot. It is inescapable, too, to note that the festival is far from sold out. Usually leaving a venue for another is something of a risk – in previous years it has been impossible to see the headliners on any stage without waiting through several hours’ worth of bands beforehand. The breathing space is a welcome change, but the lack of people inevitably means that the festival feels less like a party.

Yuck took to the stage of the Bodega after midnight, looking every bit like they’d been enjoying the £3 pints of 7% cider in the bar downstairs for the past few hours. Already something of a convert to their cause, having seen them several times around London over the past few months, I’d been waxing lyrical to friends all day about their brand of borrowed-from-the-90s slacker rock. Their stage banter was a little dry, and their response to a call from an audience member for their closest thing to a hit, ‘Georgia’, was met with a deliberate omission of the song from the setlist, meaning that this was not exactly their most friendly appearance, but nevertheless it proved a decent gig.

YouTube Preview Image

Dot-to-Dot ends with Stealth putting on the last of the shows as the night turns slowly into early morning, and after fighting my way inside for the end of Casiokids’ brittle dance set I realised that my day (and my feet) were done. Another excellent bank holiday weekend festival – despite the smaller crowds and slightly smaller lineup, it’s still proving itself one of the most important festivals in the regions that host it, and it also provides an excellent way of kick-starting the festival season.

Another year, sale another bank holiday at the start of the summer, and another edition of the Dot-to-Dot Festival, a sprawling mess of bands and audience occupying venues and bars in cities up and down the land. This year sees it spread from birthplace Nottingham and second city Bristol to Manchester, taking in three regional centres that, it could be argued, have long lacked massive centrally-located indie festivals to call their own and to ground their musical calendars.

Thanks to a snail-paced jam on the M1 we missed the first band of the day (Frontiers, in Rock City’s main hall) – instead, the day began for us in Rescue Rooms with the lads of The Cheek, who sadly fail to sparkle in the mood of the glorious sun twinkling down outside. Their name may bring to mind something skinny and sharp from the late 70s but the lead singer’s suit certainly didn’t. It looked like he’d borrowed it from his dad. Their poppy punk sound came across like a sort of watered-down Suede, which held my interest for all of ten minutes before I headed out for a wander.

YouTube Preview Image

Trent SU, the second-largest of the venues at the festival, had what seemed to be the most appealing consistency in acts, even if it meant foregoing Blood Red Shoes and Wild Beasts (both bands having appeared at previous editions of the festival, however, and both bands were, inevitably, awesome – also, it illustrates just how frequently Dot-to-Dot manages to pick out the next big bands mere months before they break).

Small Black were gracing the stage as we arrived – hailing from Long Island, they’re something of a blog darling in corners of the web and I can completely see why. Their music is a very carefully crafted pop that bears a resemblance to geographical cousins like Beach Fossils and Memory Tapes, bands that specialise in a kind of laid-back, fuzzy sort of sound. It’s instantly unlike anything specific that you’ll have heard before, but equally, instantly recognisable. The four lads manage to balance melancholy, longing, joy and ecstasy in a way last seen regularly in the films of John Hughes.

YouTube Preview Image

Upstairs in the bar, Islet were going through their usual routine of tearing up the stage. I’ve been an ardent fan of theirs since their lead singer screamed in my face back in March when they supported Los Campesinos! at the Koko in Camden – their bizarre mélange music, all drum circles and hollering and ambient noise and funk grooves and… oh, why bother with a description when I can offer a demonstration:

YouTube Preview Image

Back downstairs, and Washed Out (or, rather, New York resident Ernest Green) has taken to the stage with his tripped-out ambient house and his friends (and geographic neighbours) in Small Black join him, adding extra layers to his sound. The clash with Blood Red Shoes appeared to have left the audience numbers a touch low, but nobody there regretted their decision – there’s something of the madchester in Washed Out’s sound, like a chilled-out evening at the Haçienda (or at least how that would seem in my mind). A case could also be made for saying it sounds like Chicago house played on a tape player with low battery. The results, regardless, are wonderful.

YouTube Preview Image

The second of my 50-50 choices then came, and Liars won out over Wild Beasts – but can you blame me? The American art-punk band has doggedly refused to stick to any kind of consistent style, with their latest release, Sisterworld, yet another masterful addition to their discography. Lead singer Angus Andrews cuts a demented figure on stage, strutting and preening like a preaching Mick Jagger – his voice, the drawl of a doorstep drunk at 4am, smitten with violence, joyfully spitting the lyrics to ‘Scissor’ like some kind of mental declaration of war. Proper, proper good.

YouTube Preview Image

It is then, unfortunately, something of a timetabling error to follow this violent display with Beach House, a delicate washed-out band that would have sat much more comfortably next to, well, Washed Out. The audience, still somewhat full of bloodlust, is quickly bored and begins to dissipate, which is a terrible shame considering just how brilliant Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully’s sultry Kate-Bush-meets-a-shoegaze dreamscapes are.

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve written at length about how much I love Los Campesinos!, so for some of you it will be no surprise that I’m going to say that their set headlining at Trent SU was something of a triumph. I’m not being biased here, though, in all honesty – this really was a magnificent performance. The crowd, who all day had looked a little bit sun-frazzled and unable to conjure up much more than the occasional whoop (even during Liars there were visible signs of struggle during the rounds of applause), suddenly sparked into life. Jumping! Singing along! Gareth couldn’t have looked happier, and his usually awful singing was merely average. A definite peak for the day.

YouTube Preview Image

Had to take a quick break here, because at this point it had been something like 8 hours of standing up with neither break nor sustenance – I grabbed some a sandwich in the still-open Lee Rosy’s Tea Room, a wonderful establishment that’s at the heart of Nottingham’s alternative music and arts scene. Somewhat a shame, then, that this year it isn’t hosting the acoustic acts – Primavera Sound, held on the same weekend, appears to have snapped up many of the bands and artists who usually make it here, leaving us with a smaller-than-usual Dot-to-Dot. It is inescapable, too, to note that the festival is far from sold out. Usually leaving a venue for another is something of a risk – in previous years it has been impossible to see the headliners on any stage without waiting through several hours’ worth of bands beforehand. The breathing space is a welcome change, but the lack of people inevitably means that the festival feels less like a party.

Yuck took to the stage of the Bodega after midnight, looking every bit like they’d been enjoying the £3 pints of 7% cider in the bar downstairs for the past few hours. Already something of a convert to their cause, having seen them several times around London over the past few months, I’d been waxing lyrical to friends all day about their brand of borrowed-from-the-90s slacker rock. Their stage banter was a little dry, and their response to a call from an audience member for their closest thing to a hit, ‘Georgia’, was met with a deliberate omission of the song from the setlist, meaning that this was not exactly their most friendly appearance, but nevertheless it proved a decent gig.

YouTube Preview Image

Dot-to-Dot ends with Stealth putting on the last of the shows as the night turns slowly into early morning, and after fighting my way inside for the end of Casiokids’ brittle dance set I realised that my day (and my feet) were done. Another excellent bank holiday weekend festival – despite the smaller crowds and slightly smaller lineup, it’s still proving itself one of the most important festivals in the regions that host it, and it also provides an excellent way of kick-starting the festival season.

Another year, viagra another bank holiday at the start of the summer, more about and another edition of the Dot-to-Dot Festival, rx a sprawling mess of bands and audience occupying venues and bars in cities up and down the land. This year sees it spread from birthplace Nottingham and second city Bristol to Manchester, taking in three regional centres that, it could be argued, have long lacked massive centrally-located indie festivals to call their own and to ground their musical calendars.

Thanks to a snail-paced jam on the M1 we missed the first band of the day (Frontiers, in Rock City’s main hall) – instead, the day began for us in Rescue Rooms with the lads of The Cheek, who sadly failed to sparkle in the mood of the glorious sun twinkling down outside. Their name may bring to mind something skinny and sharp from the late 70s but the lead singer’s suit certainly didn’t. It looked like he’d borrowed it from his dad. Their poppy punk sound came across like a sort of watered-down Suede, which held my interest for all of ten minutes before I headed out for a wander.

YouTube Preview Image

Trent SU, the second-largest of the venues at the festival, had what seemed to be the most appealing consistency in acts, even if it meant foregoing Blood Red Shoes and Wild Beasts (both bands having appeared at previous editions of the festival, however, and both bands were, inevitably, awesome – also, it illustrates just how frequently Dot-to-Dot manages to pick out the next big bands mere months before they break).

Small Black were gracing the stage as we arrived – hailing from Long Island, they’re something of a blog darling in corners of the web and I can completely see why. Their music is a very carefully crafted pop that bears a resemblance to geographical cousins like Beach Fossils and Memory Tapes, bands that specialise in a kind of laid-back, fuzzy sort of sound. It’s instantly unlike anything specific that you’ll have heard before, but equally, instantly recognisable. The four lads manage to balance melancholy, longing, joy and ecstasy in a way last seen regularly in the films of John Hughes.

YouTube Preview Image

Upstairs in the bar, Islet were going through their usual routine of tearing up the stage. I’ve been an ardent fan of theirs since their lead singer screamed in my face back in March when they supported Los Campesinos! at the Koko in Camden – their bizarre mélange music, all drum circles and hollering and ambient noise and funk grooves and… oh, why bother with a description when I can offer a demonstration:

YouTube Preview Image

Back downstairs, and Washed Out (or, rather, New York resident Ernest Green) has taken to the stage with his tripped-out ambient house and his friends (and geographic neighbours) in Small Black join him, adding extra layers to his sound. The clash with Blood Red Shoes appeared to have left the audience numbers a touch low, but nobody there regretted their decision – there’s something of the madchester in Washed Out’s sound, like a chilled-out evening at the Haçienda (or at least how that would seem in my mind). A case could also be made for saying it sounds like Chicago house played on a tape player with low battery. The results, regardless, are wonderful.

YouTube Preview Image

The second of my 50-50 choices then arrived, as Liars won out over Wild Beasts – but can you blame me? The American art-punk band has doggedly refused to stick to any kind of consistent style, with their latest release, Sisterworld, yet another masterful addition to their discography. Lead singer Angus Andrews cuts a demented figure on stage, strutting and preening like a preaching Mick Jagger – his voice, the drawl of a doorstep drunk at 4am, smitten with violence, joyfully spitting the lyrics to ‘Scissor’ like some kind of mental declaration of war. Proper, proper good.

YouTube Preview Image

It is then, unfortunately, something of a timetabling error to follow this violent display with Beach House, a delicate washed-out band that would have sat much more comfortably next to, well, Washed Out. The audience, still somewhat full of bloodlust, is quickly bored and begins to dissipate, which is a terrible shame considering just how brilliant Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully’s sultry Kate-Bush-meets-a-shoegaze dreamscapes are.

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve written at length about how much I love Los Campesinos!, so for some of you it will be no surprise that I’m going to say that their set headlining at Trent SU was something of a triumph. I’m not being biased here, though, in all honesty – this really was a magnificent performance. The crowd, who all day had looked a little bit sun-frazzled and unable to conjure up much more than the occasional whoop (even during Liars there were visible signs of struggle during the rounds of applause), suddenly sparked into life. Jumping! Singing along! Gareth couldn’t have looked happier, and his usually awful singing was merely average. A definite peak for the day.

YouTube Preview Image

Had to take a quick break here, because at this point it had been something like 8 hours of standing up with neither break nor sustenance – I grabbed some a sandwich in the still-open Lee Rosy’s Tea Room, a wonderful establishment that’s at the heart of Nottingham’s alternative music and arts scene. Somewhat a shame, then, that this year it isn’t hosting the acoustic acts – Primavera Sound, held on the same weekend, appears to have snapped up many of the bands and artists who usually make it here, leaving us with a smaller-than-usual Dot-to-Dot. It is inescapable, too, to note that the festival is far from sold out. Usually leaving a venue for another is something of a risk – in previous years it has been impossible to see the headliners on any stage without waiting through several hours’ worth of bands beforehand. The breathing space is a welcome change, but the lack of people inevitably means that the festival feels less like a party.

Yuck took to the stage of the Bodega after midnight, looking every bit like they’d been enjoying the £3 pints of 7% cider in the bar downstairs for the past few hours. Already something of a convert to their cause, having seen them several times around London over the past few months, I’d been waxing lyrical to friends all day about their brand of borrowed-from-the-90s slacker rock. Their stage banter was a little dry, and their response to a call from an audience member for their closest thing to a hit, ‘Georgia’, was met with a deliberate omission of the song from the setlist, meaning that this was not exactly their most friendly appearance, but nevertheless it proved a decent gig.

YouTube Preview Image

Dot-to-Dot ends with Stealth putting on the last of the shows as the night turns slowly into early morning, and after fighting my way inside for the end of Casiokids’ brittle dance set I realised that my day (and my feet) were done. Another excellent bank holiday weekend festival – despite the smaller crowds and slightly smaller lineup, it’s still proving itself one of the most important festivals in the regions that host it, and it also provides an excellent way of kick-starting the festival season.

Kensington Palace, pills illustrated by Aniela Murphy

Kensington Palace has been home to some of the most fashionable and glamorous women who ever lived. From Queen Caroline in the 17th century, who patronised many of the struggling artists and scientists of the time and always looked fabulous, right through to my favourite Royal, Princess Margaret – never seen at a party without a fag in one hand and a glass of mother’s ruin in the other.

So it’s no huge surprise that Historic Royal Palaces, keepers of Kensington, have decided to host a rather fashionable temporary exhibition while it renovates the Palace; temporarily for almost two years, that is.

I took a trip there last weekend with the other half and my parents. My parents are wonderful, I have to say, but they aren’t particularly into fashion; my mum was Miss Butlins 1979 – winning, I’m told, because of her fashionable swagger, but together with my father, they couldn’t care less about fashion. So I was a little concerned as to how they’d react to this exhibition – they dig a historic landmark but aren’t down with la mode.

The exhibition, however, successfully combines historical artefacts and new fashion pieces, created especially to occupy the rooms. All this is, of course, housed in the magnificent splendour of the Palace – it’s a win:win situation. We were even treated to a little bit of period dancing in the gardens, so the folks were smiling with glee before we’d even entered the building.

Several rooms are open for viewing. More traditional guests may be disappointed that the Palace’s most famous rooms and exhibitions, such as the royal dresses, are closed for the time being, but regular visitors and fashion fans will be delighted at this innovative and unique transformation of a landmark.

Attendees are provided with a map and quiz sheet – there are seven princesses to find (all previous residents, so don’t cheat on Wikipedia to find the answers first, you’ll spoil your fun!) You won’t be surprised to hear that the most recent is Princess Di – and one of her ensembles, in which she attended a dinner at Bucks Pal, hangs poignantly in a glass case surrounded by white feathers.

The rooms have been given rather pretentious titles, which at first hearing, sound somewhat superficial. As you spend time in each of the rooms, though, you soon discover that the names have incredible meaning. Take, for example, the first room – ‘The Room of Tears’. The centre piece is a specially-designed piece by fashion design duo Aminaka Wilmont – a lifeless mannequin lays elegantly, facing the ceiling, draped in Aminaka Wilmont’s creation of silk, embellished with hundreds and thousands of crystals. ‘We were really inspired by the sense of sorrow and sadness in the room,’ Marcus Wilmont said of his creation. It does hold sadness, but the essence of their piece, which lies like an illusion, provides an incredibly serene setting. The room is dedicated to [insert name of Princess here, when you’ve visited the exhibition!] whose tears were collected in glass bottles – some of which (the bottles, not the tears) are on display.


Aminaka Wilmont’s Dress of Tears, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Other rooms include a grand, sweeping staircase, at the top of which stands Dame Vivienne Westwood’s incredible creation. Westwood’s general themes, of aristocratic and royal dresses sexed up, tie in perfectly with the exhibition, and this was by far my favourite piece. An architectural feat, this sculpted number creates the illusion of a princess running down the stairs.


Vivienne Westwood’s Dress for a Rebellious Princess, illustrated by Natsuki Otani

There’s also fantastic creations by fresh London design talent – William Tempest gives his take on the longest reigning monarch’s bedroom – his piece hangs from the ceiling and is made up of thousands of origami birds, embodying the shapely figure of said Princess (sorry to be so vague, I really don’t want to give the game away!)

Boudicca have created metallic sculptural pieces that hang precariously from the ceiling, Stephen Jones showcases some of his finest millinery, inspired by a bust of Isaac Newton; and new kid on the block Echo Morgan has created an amazing sculptural piece – part mantua, part lantern, featuring the most wonderful illustrations.


Echo Morgan’s Dress of the World, illustrated by Natasha Thompson

At this exhibition, there’s much fun to be had. The addition of a game to discover each of the princesses is a fantastic touch, and a unique way of exploring this magnificent building. Go!

Open until January 2011. See Kensington Palace’s website here for all the details and to book tickets.

Categories ,Aminaka Willmont, ,Aniela Murphy, ,Boudicca, ,Buckingham Palace, ,Butlins, ,Dame Vivienne Westwood, ,Echo Morgan, ,Enchanted Palace, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Historic Royal Palaces, ,Isaac Newton, ,Kensington Palace, ,london, ,Mantua, ,Marcus Wilmont, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,millinery, ,Natasha Thompson, ,Natsuki Otani, ,Princess Diana, ,Princess Margaret, ,Queen Caroline, ,Stephen Jones, ,The Room of Tears, ,William Tempest

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Amelia’s Magazine | Snarfle is One: Celebrating Baby, Motherhood and Work

Snarfle by Kirbi Fagan
Snarfle by Kirbi Fagan.

A few weeks ago my baby Snarfle celebrated his first birthday, so now seems like a good opportunity to look back on my first year as a mum running this website: after all Amelia’s Magazine has always reflected what is happening in my life.

Snarfle Sheep Cake by Claire Kearns
Snarfle’s Sheep Cake modelled on one of his favourite fluffy toys, by Claire Kearns.

I know it’s the biggest cliche of all, but nothing, nothing, can prepare you for becoming a parent. So when I was pregnant I made a big effort to prepare only for the birth, imagining that I would follow my instincts like every other mother down the millennia and everything beyond would just fall into place somehow. Sink or swim, right? I read nothing about parenting and bought the bare minimum, instead making good with second hand offerings from relatives and friends. Then all my great birth plans were thwarted… and I was left with a baby.

Snarfle and me swimming
Snarfle was ripped out of my stomach covered in poop, whisked away for tests, prodded and poked, and for the first days kept apart from me in a plastic bed, a huge cannula held aloft in his tiny hand. For the first month breast milk was forced into him via various artificial methods, and yet I instinctively knew I wanted to be as close to him as possible, and soon discovered that the common parlance for this is ‘Attachment Parenting‘. I even started reading a book about it. The world of parenting is rife with differing opinions, but my approach has been to follow what feels instinctively right: I always think about what we might have done for many thousands of years before we had so many gadgets to help us out, believing this to best from an evolutionary perspective. This has meant that I breastfeed on demand and intend to continue until he wants to stop, I carry him wherever I can, we sleep together most nights, I have followed baby led weaning techniques, we are learning baby signing, he wears non-disposable nappies (most of the time) and I have made attempts at elimination communication…

First birthday by Bethany Wigmore
First birthday by Bethany Wigmore.

Those endless baby bits and bobs scared me so much before I gave birth that I could not even look in a brochure, never mind go into a store. So many buggies to chose from! We have a family hand me down but we rarely use it. I was determined to get by with as few purchases as possible, which was probably why we had no clothes small enough for Snarfle when he arrived. He was so tiny that the only sleepsuit that fit properly for the first few weeks was a tiny scrap of material that my mother found in a charity shop. Inevitably, our lives have since filled up with baby paraphernalia.

Snarfle One by Jane Young
Snarfle is One by Jane Young.

Before birth my baby could only ever be an abstract notion: in fact although I have always loved children (and have spent a lot of time being a leader on FSC children’s camps) I never much liked babies – that is, before my own arrived. I had imagined them boring so avoided time with them, and in more recent years they have made me feel a bit sad as I feared I would never have one of my own. So nothing prepared me for the visceral physicality of having a baby: falling in love with this tiny person who is all my own creation, who has remained so closely attached to me as he has woken up to the world. Breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping (sleeping in the same bed) and baby wearing have helped make motherhood an intoxicating physical experience that I will miss as he grows up and away from me: I now understand why some women are addicted to babies.

Baby Snarfle by Kim Jenkins
Baby Snarfle by Kim Jenkins.

And the love I feel for Snarfle is unquantifiable despite the many hard and tedious parts of being a new mum. Even when rocking him for hours every night (he is not an easy sleeper) I stand there and think: this, this, is amazing. He’s my greatest creative project, this little person who has somehow appeared in this world as though he was always meant to be, perfect, somehow, despite the flaws of his parents, despite his demanding ways. This time, it will be over so soon. I love every aspect of being a mother and feel I have to soak up every moment, for before I know it he will be 18.

Rainbow Cake by Christine Charnock
Rainbow Birthday Cake by Christine Charnock.

I started working again two weeks after Snarfle was born, with him sleeping against me as I typed. We didn’t leave the house until some time later: I was scared about how I would cope with him in the outside world when he seemed so precious and vulnerable. In the beginning getting on with work was relatively easy – he slept so much that I became very good at multi-tasking. But things change rapidly when you have a small baby and this year has passed ridiculously fast, routines constantly shifting to adapt to Snarfle‘s needs. Seen from afar it seems daunting, but you manage, there’s no alternative. Despite the constant tiredness and many small frustrations I have never been bored. I love learning a new skill and this is no exception – I have found the process of becoming a mother endlessly fascinating.

Neopolitan birthday cake by Jo Ley
Neopolitan birthday cake by Jo Ley.

I started work as a lecturer at Middlesex University one day a week in January (I am lucky enough that Snarfle can stay with my parents, so we commute down to their house in South London). This means that work on Amelia’s Magazine is squashed into ever decreasing time slots: currently these include a two hour stretch in the morning (if he sleeps) and after he goes to sleep at night, until I am too knackered to continue. My creativity has gone into overdrive and I have big plans for the magazine yet little time to carry any of my ideas out, but my frustrations are tempered by the knowledge that this time is so short and so precious: even though my mind may drift it is more important for me to be present with Snarfle than building my business. I have at times been jealous of other mums revelling in maternity leave for a full year, but ultimately I feel blessed that I can carry on being a (nearly) full time mum for much longer. I could not have had a child and sent him straight into the care of others – I want to be with him, to watch him grow. To listen to the birds together, help him learn animal sounds and primary colours (his current interests), and tend to our little garden now the weather is warming up. Baby sessions are now full of other mothers who have their own businesses… and lots of childminders and nannies.

Snarfle Oh Baby London space invaders bodysuit
So Snarfle is one year old, and I will continue the juggling act that I have created for myself, for much as I love being a hands on mother I always knew I could not only be a mum; my work will always be important too. I find myself increasingly drawn to the idea of home schooling (to the chagrin of my partner and family) but I don’t know how I would manage it. All I know is that I feel ridiculously blessed by my situation, and so thankful that Snarfle has entered my life.

Snarfle with elephant
I’ve already written about the joy of using real nappies, and over the coming weeks I will be blogging about other specific baby-related things such as baby wearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping and elimination communication. I’ll also be sharing with you the best lesser known clothing brands and makers of lovely unusual toys. I might even share my Quiet Book craft ideas, if I ever finish it. I’m writing about these things because there have been many times when I have scoured the internet, hoping to find more advice and information about my choices of parenting… so if this is a subject that is dear to your heart stay tuned, these writings will be popping up in between my other design focused blogs.

Categories ,Attachment Parenting, ,Baby, ,Bethany Wigmore, ,Breastfeeding, ,Christine Charnock, ,Claire Kearns, ,Co-sleeping, ,Elimination Communication, ,FSC, ,Jane Young, ,Jo Ley, ,Kim Jenkins, ,Kirbi Fagan, ,middlesex university, ,Parenting, ,Quiet Book, ,Real Nappies, ,Snarfle

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Amelia’s Magazine | Snarfle is One: Celebrating Baby, Motherhood and Work

Snarfle by Kirbi Fagan
Snarfle by Kirbi Fagan.

A few weeks ago my baby Snarfle celebrated his first birthday, so now seems like a good opportunity to look back on my first year as a mum running this website: after all Amelia’s Magazine has always reflected what is happening in my life.

Snarfle Sheep Cake by Claire Kearns
Snarfle’s Sheep Cake modelled on one of his favourite fluffy toys, by Claire Kearns.

I know it’s the biggest cliche of all, but nothing, nothing, can prepare you for becoming a parent. So when I was pregnant I made a big effort to prepare only for the birth, imagining that I would follow my instincts like every other mother down the millennia and everything beyond would just fall into place somehow. Sink or swim, right? I read nothing about parenting and bought the bare minimum, instead making good with second hand offerings from relatives and friends. Then all my great birth plans were thwarted… and I was left with a baby.

Snarfle and me swimming
Snarfle was ripped out of my stomach covered in poop, whisked away for tests, prodded and poked, and for the first days kept apart from me in a plastic bed, a huge cannula held aloft in his tiny hand. For the first month breast milk was forced into him via various artificial methods, and yet I instinctively knew I wanted to be as close to him as possible, and soon discovered that the common parlance for this is ‘Attachment Parenting‘. I even started reading a book about it. The world of parenting is rife with differing opinions, but my approach has been to follow what feels instinctively right: I always think about what we might have done for many thousands of years before we had so many gadgets to help us out, believing this to best from an evolutionary perspective. This has meant that I breastfeed on demand and intend to continue until he wants to stop, I carry him wherever I can, we sleep together most nights, I have followed baby led weaning techniques, we are learning baby signing, he wears non-disposable nappies (most of the time) and I have made attempts at elimination communication…

First birthday by Bethany Wigmore
First birthday by Bethany Wigmore.

Those endless baby bits and bobs scared me so much before I gave birth that I could not even look in a brochure, never mind go into a store. So many buggies to chose from! We have a family hand me down but we rarely use it. I was determined to get by with as few purchases as possible, which was probably why we had no clothes small enough for Snarfle when he arrived. He was so tiny that the only sleepsuit that fit properly for the first few weeks was a tiny scrap of material that my mother found in a charity shop. Inevitably, our lives have since filled up with baby paraphernalia.

Snarfle One by Jane Young
Snarfle is One by Jane Young.

Before birth my baby could only ever be an abstract notion: in fact although I have always loved children (and have spent a lot of time being a leader on FSC children’s camps) I never much liked babies – that is, before my own arrived. I had imagined them boring so avoided time with them, and in more recent years they have made me feel a bit sad as I feared I would never have one of my own. So nothing prepared me for the visceral physicality of having a baby: falling in love with this tiny person who is all my own creation, who has remained so closely attached to me as he has woken up to the world. Breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping (sleeping in the same bed) and baby wearing have helped make motherhood an intoxicating physical experience that I will miss as he grows up and away from me: I now understand why some women are addicted to babies.

Baby Snarfle by Kim Jenkins
Baby Snarfle by Kim Jenkins.

And the love I feel for Snarfle is unquantifiable despite the many hard and tedious parts of being a new mum. Even when rocking him for hours every night (he is not an easy sleeper) I stand there and think: this, this, is amazing. He’s my greatest creative project, this little person who has somehow appeared in this world as though he was always meant to be, perfect, somehow, despite the flaws of his parents, despite his demanding ways. This time, it will be over so soon. I love every aspect of being a mother and feel I have to soak up every moment, for before I know it he will be 18.

Rainbow Cake by Christine Charnock
Rainbow Birthday Cake by Christine Charnock.

I started working again two weeks after Snarfle was born, with him sleeping against me as I typed. We didn’t leave the house until some time later: I was scared about how I would cope with him in the outside world when he seemed so precious and vulnerable. In the beginning getting on with work was relatively easy – he slept so much that I became very good at multi-tasking. But things change rapidly when you have a small baby and this year has passed ridiculously fast, routines constantly shifting to adapt to Snarfle‘s needs. Seen from afar it seems daunting, but you manage, there’s no alternative. Despite the constant tiredness and many small frustrations I have never been bored. I love learning a new skill and this is no exception – I have found the process of becoming a mother endlessly fascinating.

Neopolitan birthday cake by Jo Ley
Neopolitan birthday cake by Jo Ley.

I started work as a lecturer at Middlesex University one day a week in January (I am lucky enough that Snarfle can stay with my parents, so we commute down to their house in South London). This means that work on Amelia’s Magazine is squashed into ever decreasing time slots: currently these include a two hour stretch in the morning (if he sleeps) and after he goes to sleep at night, until I am too knackered to continue. My creativity has gone into overdrive and I have big plans for the magazine yet little time to carry any of my ideas out, but my frustrations are tempered by the knowledge that this time is so short and so precious: even though my mind may drift it is more important for me to be present with Snarfle than building my business. I have at times been jealous of other mums revelling in maternity leave for a full year, but ultimately I feel blessed that I can carry on being a (nearly) full time mum for much longer. I could not have had a child and sent him straight into the care of others – I want to be with him, to watch him grow. To listen to the birds together, help him learn animal sounds and primary colours (his current interests), and tend to our little garden now the weather is warming up. Baby sessions are now full of other mothers who have their own businesses… and lots of childminders and nannies.

Snarfle Oh Baby London space invaders bodysuit
So Snarfle is one year old, and I will continue the juggling act that I have created for myself, for much as I love being a hands on mother I always knew I could not only be a mum; my work will always be important too. I find myself increasingly drawn to the idea of home schooling (to the chagrin of my partner and family) but I don’t know how I would manage it. All I know is that I feel ridiculously blessed by my situation, and so thankful that Snarfle has entered my life.

Snarfle with elephant
I’ve already written about the joy of using real nappies, and over the coming weeks I will be blogging about other specific baby-related things such as baby wearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping and elimination communication. I’ll also be sharing with you the best lesser known clothing brands and makers of lovely unusual toys. I might even share my Quiet Book craft ideas, if I ever finish it. I’m writing about these things because there have been many times when I have scoured the internet, hoping to find more advice and information about my choices of parenting… so if this is a subject that is dear to your heart stay tuned, these writings will be popping up in between my other design focused blogs.

Categories ,Attachment Parenting, ,Baby, ,Bethany Wigmore, ,Breastfeeding, ,Christine Charnock, ,Claire Kearns, ,Co-sleeping, ,Elimination Communication, ,FSC, ,Jane Young, ,Jo Ley, ,Kim Jenkins, ,Kirbi Fagan, ,middlesex university, ,Parenting, ,Quiet Book, ,Real Nappies, ,Snarfle

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lounge on the Farm 2013: Festival Review

Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Way back in 2009 contributor Amelia Wells visited Lounge on the Farm in Kent for Amelia’s Magazine. She was duly wowed by this small scale family orientated music festival and wrote a glowing review, so I promised myself I would make it along one day too. It’s taken me a mere four years to fulfil that promise, but this year my little family finally made the trip down to Merton Farm near Canterbury, mega pop up tent in tow (Quechua 4.2 seconds family pop up tent since you asked: can’t recommend it enough). How things have changed for me since 2009! Back then it would have been all about the late night dancing. Now my festival needs are somewhat different – I’m looking for a laid back atmosphere with space to relax with my baby, plus lots of things to keep him entertained. Lounge on the Farm does this admirably, with a dedicated childrens area called the Little Lounge full of wonderful willow structures, yurts and a miniature big top playing host to entertainments aimed at the wee ones. All this and a wonderful space hosted by the local NCT group: a haven for breastfeeding and nappy changing.

Jennifer Dionisio Illustration Lounge on the Farm Review
Lounge on the Farm by Jennifer Dionisio.

We arrived on Friday evening, and were directed to pitch our tent in the ‘quiet area’ rather than in the designated ‘family area’ at the top of the hill. Camping in the quiet area was an unfortunate choice as it turned out, since it was also a cut through from every other part of the camp and during the first night it seemed as if half the festival tripped over our (dark coloured) guy ropes and nearly crashed wholesale onto our slumbering bodies. In between this and constant breastfeeding (he’s teething, that’s the latest reason at any rate) I didn’t get the greatest of sleeps. But enough of the griping, we had a wonderful time.

Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm by Marianna Madriz
Lounge on the Farm by Marianna Madriz.

Once we’d unpacked we headed into the festival to see what was on offer, a big eyed Snarfle in tow. After an impromptu tour around the working part of the farm we feasted on Merton Farm burgers, 0 meat miles. These were cooked in a kitchen at The Farmhouse Restaurant staffed by chef Rob Cooper, one of the founding DJs, and coincidentally the brother of my NCT friend Christine. It’s a small world, and growing ever smaller: his wife Vicky founded the festival 8 years ago with her friend Sean and nowadays works closely with a lovely ex student and ex intern of mine, James Penfold, who books all of the bands.

Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm by Emma Russell
Lounge on the Farm by Emma Russell.

Everything at Lounge on the Farm has been lovingly thought through: there was a full Victorian funfair with helter-skelter and big wheel, hay bales aplenty to relax against and artwork everywhere I looked: lasercut painted sculptures and brilliant illustrated cutouts of festival goers from wonderful illustrations by Maddy Vian. The main site was split across three fields bounded by striking beech hedges, with plenty of space to rollick around: I hate it when festivals get stupidly busy and this was never a risk, though the music stages became packed enough to generate the ideal atmosphere for good bands. All the food we ate was delicious and in the main organic and local as well as very reasonably priced. Special mention must go to the fantastically tasty wild venison and wild boar burgers served up with duck eggs by Phil the Gameskeeper at the Godmersham Game stand: all hunted from the wilds of the Kent countryside. At The Farmhouse Restaurant the beer and ale had all been produced from Kent hops. The festival aims to support ‘the local arts, culture, agriculture and economy‘ and does so admirably.

Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm by George Morton
Lounge on the Farm by George Morton.

I didn’t know many of the bands playing during the day time, but as always made some impressive discoveries: on Friday we were treated to Lucy Rose, a diminutive blonde with a guitar and a big voice. Sadly I missed the headliner Seasick Steve as it was early to bed for me: there was no way Snarfle was going to sleep with so much stimulation going on so we were tent bound by 8pm on both nights (and most handy when a huge thunderstorm struck on Saturday night).

Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
On Saturday my big discovery was the lilting sounds of a Southampton based outfit called Pale Seas on the Farm Folk Stage: I loved the combination of evocative melodies from the lead singer, with backing vocals contributed by the unassuming female drummer. My other big discovery was the astonishingly tasty fruity drinks at the Sunshine Smoothies van behind the NCT tent – who would have thought that lavender would work with cherry? We visited the NCT tent on numerous occasions, where Snarfle enjoyed the Baby Sensory classes and free access to bedtime books. Outside there were toys to play with, edible gardens to make, bushcraft shelter classes, drumming, juggling and much more. The film tent (complete with popcorn stand) hosted a singalong Jungle Book showing.

At The Playhouse we enjoyed comedy excellently compered by John Robbins and cabaret from Lekido, Lord of the Lobsters (above).

Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge On The Farm by Zo Bevan
Lounge On The Farm by Zo Bevan.

On Sunday I treated myself to a lovely massage in the obligatory Healing Fields, and enjoyed music by the Snowdown Colliery Band, Intensified and Aswad. I missed Margate based rapper Mic Righteous but heard good things. Sadly we missed Soul II Soul because after a long weekend of partying Snarfle was starting to fray at the seams. This was a massive shame since they are the sound of my youth (summer of 1989, ghetto blaster, Clapham Common, Brixton, The Fridge) and it would have been the perfect end to an absolutely glorious two days of sunshine, but we drove off into the Kentish night refreshed and just a little bit more in love with this beautiful and abundant part of the UK.

Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm 2013 review
Lounge on the Farm by Rose Hudson
Lounge on the Farm by Rose Hudson.

What I love about festivals such as Lounge on the Farm is how they happily cater to all age groups – this was certainly the perfect boutique festival for London and Kent based families, but it was also thoroughly enjoyed by a younger local crowd. As night fell it seemed as if half the teenagers of Canterbury were thronging around the dance orientated Hoe Down tent in heightened hormonal anticipation. I may have seen far fewer bands than I would have done in years past (Snarfle was not always a keen wearer of protective headphones) but I had a wonderful time adapting our visit to the needs of a little one. We definitely plan to return next year, need I say more?

Categories ,2013, ,Amelia Wells, ,Aswad, ,Baby Sensory, ,Breastfeeding, ,Brett Anderson, ,Canterbury, ,Child Friendly, ,children, ,Emma Russell, ,Families, ,Family Orientated, ,Farm Folk Stage, ,George Morton, ,Godmersham Game, ,Healing Fields, ,Hoe Down, ,Intensified, ,James Penfold, ,Jennifer Dionisio, ,John Robbins, ,Jungle Book, ,kent, ,Lekido, ,Little Lounge, ,Lord of the Lobsters, ,LOTF, ,Lounge on the Farm, ,Lucy Rose, ,Maddy Vian, ,Margate, ,Marianna Madriz, ,Merton Farm, ,Mic Righteous, ,NCT, ,Pale Seas, ,Phil the Gameskeeper, ,Pop-Up Tent, ,Quechua, ,review, ,Rob Cooper, ,Rose Hudson, ,Seasick Steve, ,Snarfle, ,Snowdown Colliery Band, ,Soul II Soul, ,Sunshine Smoothies, ,The Farmhouse Restaurant, ,The Playhouse, ,Victorian funfair, ,Vine, ,Zo Bevan

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