End the Silence on Domestic Violence

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I woke up this morning – drrn drnn drrrrDUN.

Anyway I woke up and as is my habit I turned to social media for a little light howdy doodly do, and almost the first thing that caught my attention was Julie Graham‘s fizzog with an exhortation to join in a selfie drive in support of Avon throwing money at Refuge

Of course, her photo was super glam, so with a face full of sleep and with all the allure of cold porridge I decided to wait a bit before doing mine. I shared the bejeezus out of hers in the meantime to help amplify the message. Here’s hers…

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And here’s mine.

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There’s plenty going on on the twitter hashtag #wallofsilence but I am still a bit useless at instagram, but got it up eventually,  anyway it’s the same deal there – use the hashtag, Avon coughs up £1.

So we’re heading towards the end of the year on the same theme as we were last year, and on the 29th of April we had what turned out to be truly a gala night – the glamorous End Of. I didn’t blog about it properly at the time, because I was so bloody knackered for a variety of reasons, so I’m going to try to do it a bit more justice now.

First of all, one thing I did share in passing was a snippet of Alison Moyet…

Sorry it’s short, but SHE WAS THERE, YO! As were many others. The steering committee spent several months getting the evening arranged, and there was Caitlin Moran and Tracy Thorn reading out stuff they’d written in their books, that was good, everything was pretty short, and they had a good criteria for selection too, if anyone showed any sign of diva behaviour, asking for free tickets, wanting special treatment of any sort they just didn’t pursue having them, so on the night the people who were there were all friendly with each other, there were absolutely no free seats, and it was a great night which raised over twelve grand for RISE who were having some financial straits. I’d spent several months collating articles that seemed relevant to me on a tumblr which I still add to, so there are quite a few news articles, op ed pieces, some art works, whatever came into my orbit about the topic as the event approached, and I didn’t see much point in stopping adding to it afterwards, so it’s still going.

There were lots of us involved, you know who you are. The night would have been endless if they’d thanked everyone from the stage, and this post would be endless and frankly never finished if I tried to figure out the entire list to credit.

At any rate! Well done us!

The main gang, including Julie G and Julie Burchill were all meeting up in Brighton to make the event happen. Julie G took on tweeting, so I helped her set up her twitter account (click through her name in the first paragraph) and it was a bit of a rushed affair, so there was a small matter of me forgetting to tell her how to stop every single notification coming in to her email. Being a regular person I did that when I got around to it, but she was quickly snowed under til I talked her through turning them off – she was doing Bletchley at the time, and there was a whole troupe of #ladynerds who at the time of writing this are clearly still pretty active.

You know I don’t hold down a regular job, I’m just not well enough, but it was great to be able to contribute to something. It was useful to me to know there was an end date, even though in the end I didn’t stop adding to the tumblr, I could have done, and there have been huge gaps of time where I’ve been too ill to prioritise it, but if something comes into my Facebook or something and it seems relevant then I usually chuck it in, in case anyone is ever looking for a bunch of badly collated stuff about the topic.

The irrepressible Clare Cathcart was the Mistress of Ceremonies – can we call it that or would that be mad and old timey while also being warped? Anyway, she introduced the acts, often with a “RIGHT THEN” as each performer raced on set and off again in quick succession. She was getting into a pretty good stride with her own acting career, and was a sparkly lady about town, til her incredibly untimely death in September. Here she is with her paws in something with bezzie mate Julie.

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Photo by Emma Jane Lee, Julie gropes for winners while Clare looks on, and Stephanie Starlet reads out the results. Hoots were had.

Here’s a lovely photo of Clare…

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On a completely selfish note, I am bloody furious that she died – she was a lovely woman who left behind children and devastated friends and workmates, and deprived us all of a very cut short career of comedic and dramatic work. It has been weird and lovely and sad to see her on Casualty and New Tricks since her death, dammit, she was just getting into her stride.

It feels weird and a bit cut and shut of me to memorialise Clare at this point, when clearly the post is about something else, but I can’t not mention her, she was an important part of End Of, and while we weren’t close I liked her and, probably more importantly, to me, she mattered a lot to people who matter a lot to me.

The Future of Text, the Visit to Munich, and Some Social Media Stuff

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So much to catch up on, you guys!

If you read me on Facebook you’ll know that I am just back from visiting Ken in Germany. There was cake and there were doggies and there was the Englischer Garten (English Garden – did you guess?) and so many things. And one of the things was a week long conversation about where we are going in our virtual lives. Here’s his take on the convo Having Cake and Discussing Which Direction We’re All Going

Since I got back we’ve been Skyping and continuing the conversation. There’s an element of collaboration as well, since in the intervening time I went to the Future of Text conference here in London which he’d wanted to come over for but couldn’t and then he hooked me up with Frode Hegland via Facebook and I got an invite, so we have been hooching up some sort of a text on that, which is still in the oven.

On the hot plate, though, is a slice of netiquette that he asked me to blog about because he thought it was interesting. In a kind of dry way, but it makes my fb experience better, and I get to see more of my friends’ posts there because of it. I’ve done it so often now it was kind of hard to find an example I could use, but here’s one which will serve as an example.

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What I’ve actually done is, rather than hiding friends or letting fb drop them for me, which I don’t want to do, I just hide some of the stuff that people share. Not that I never want to know which US state I should live in, just that I have done those quizzes a million times and I now never ever see them in my feed, thus freeing me to enjoy the other content that people who I’m talking to are sharing without having to see the quizzes I’m not interested in, and at the same time, because of that, seeing more content that I do want to see.

So, see how, for instance, Shaun has shared a thing from Comedy 103.1 and say there was a lot of their content in my feed and I wasn’t interested in seeing any of it, rather than stop seeing Shaun and all of his posts I get to just hide all from Comedy 103.1.

In reality, I can’t remember if I have ever seen any Comedy 103.1 material before, or whether it would clutter up my feed if I let it, but if I wanted to, as I did with the interminable quizzes, I could just scroll down and hide them instead of hiding Shaun.

Given that FB has decided to do friend culling for us with their evil algorithms, it’s nice to be able to exert some control beyond installing Adblock and making sure notifications are ON for specific friends, rather than actually creating groups, which, thus far at any rate, I haven’t been interested in doing.

So that was that.

Here’s a picture of Ken and his dogs in front of a Peace Monument.

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One of the Good Guys

I have so many photos from the trip, and that’s another thing I’m thinking about. I’m kind of reassessing my entire virtual presence. Where should I post my photos? Should I go the Instagram way? I do have an account, it’s just that it’s only got two pictures in it so far. Should I post photos in tumblr, even though the people I follow are artists or art curators? I just don’t know right now. It’s a thing I have to think about.

So yeah, this is a place holder to tell you I am going to tell you about the Future of Text soon, but not right now, there are photos and thoughts, so many thoughts, from Germany. I’m pretty sure there are other things as well, but I’ve had rather a roller coaster health horror since I got back and I’m only now having a moment to reflect, and I’m on some new medication, which seems to be helping, but for now it’s making me a bit stoned, too.

So, that.

Ach! Language! So much language stuff. And music. The cakes, I told you about the cakes. Talking of that sort of thing, if you follow this blog in Facebook through the button there you really only get the blog, I don’t put incidental stuff there. Go ahead and friend me if you want that sort of ephemera – I’m Elaine Axten, pretty easy to find, not many of us to the pound.

Breakfast of Champions – Referendum, Writing, and Travel

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Yesterday I finally weighed in on the Independence debate. What do you mean, last minute? There is a WHOLE DAY to go yet!

Anyway, I wrote about it on Facebook, and then on tumblr. Then, for good measure I copied it onto a site I’d not seen before, WriteHere.com which is easy to join and format free for those who can’t be bothered with the fiddlearseing you have to do on WordPress and have to do a bit on tumblr.

Apparently we will know the outcome ‘breakfast time’ on Friday.

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As a Londoner for more than 25 years, clearly, I don’t get a vote. I am, however, happy that this debate has happened whatever the outcome. As Josh White puts it in his post Free of London in Souciant

“The independence of Scotland would also humiliate the Cameron government, possibly beyond repair, showing up the Conservatives as a vulnerable force. This is likely the case even if Scotland gains greater powers and remains within the UK. The Left should be asking itself, “Why haven’t we been able to undermine the Con-Dems in this way?”

Whatever the map looks like on Friday morning, the terrain is already changing.

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Speaking of blackberries (oh come on, we all know that was the elephant in the room!) it’s been a year since I read out Pattern Recognition at Have a Word and I’ve written very little since, I’ve barely even blogged, and that is a SAD THING for me. So in the summer I started a Facebook group First Thursday Writers and The Like with the idea of holding a salon at home. This was possible to consider because my new flat is large and central, and I got the idea from having had hopes dashed of doing a course in Narrative Non Fiction at City Uni. I had to recognise that I am really not well enough to do a full time course. After I recovered from the inevitable soul crushing I looked at short courses, and I noticed that, for people who had done a short course, they were offering a monthly meet up course for people who had completed one of the term long courses. I was attracted to that but thought HANG ON because I know enough writers and creative people with writing projects to drum up a group myself and have them come to me, which, in my quest for less travel to events literally couldn’t be easier to get to. So I started a Facebook group and invited people who either lived in London or who might be likely to visit once a month, and got started. We had our first meeting this month and there was only three of us, but we had a really productive session. I read out Pattern Recognition again, and also some other snippets. First of all, it had been some time since I’d looked at it and I thought it would have sort of ‘gone off’ and would need ripping apart, but it actually hung together quite well. The other thing I got as feedback was that the other snippets I’d read out, which I’d been seeing as random beginnings of other projects also hung well with that piece. It gave me some heart to carry on, even though it will inevitably be very slowly.

Today I opened up the Facebook page to anyone anywhere who is writing and wants to get posts from the group – it’s mainly me posting in it just now, and I have been sharing stuff about writing, mainly to remind people that the group still exists, but someone commented that they liked the posts and I thought, well then, why not make the page open to anyone to follow, even if they will never make it to London for a meeting, after all, isn’t that what the internet is good for?

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Between moving house and messing with medication I’ve not traveled further than Brighton this year. This is a pisser because I really benefitted from extra warmth last year. One way and another I haven’t been able to get a shot of warmth this year, beyond the hot spell in London, and, being unwell I’ve not wanted to travel alone. I had a shot at meeting a friend for a holiday, but for the past few months I’ve not been able to walk for more than ten minutes at a time without a river of pain down my shoulders and back, and that’s without carrying anything. I’d be miserable being abroad if it didn’t make me feel more well, and with hotels as well as flights I felt it was too much of a financial risk, too. Enter Ken with an invite to Munich! Exactly NO hotter than here, but equally, a cheap flight away, a change of scenery, and staying at his makes this a less scary prospect. We have 24/7′d before, and I know he won’t mind if I can’t manage more than a bit of dog cuddling, epic conversations and cake eating, and if I have it in me he knows all the local walks, the cultural stuff, and *whisper* if I am well enough I want to go to Weimar and see the Bauhaus museum.

IF.

 

It may be Messy but I do it all for You

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Made a little tumblr for ya, on elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2014/01/18

And I’ve been updating the Mnemonic Mujer blog weekly, although it took a couple of go rounds to get it set for GMT, but I’ve done it now, and the next one will be Monday at 11.11am. Most pleasing.

AND, and, I have made a MM tumblr to complement the main blog. The blog posts are featured, but there will also be extras, and you can follow either or both or neither or whatever you damn well please. Both this blog and the wordpress MM blog are going through to the elaine4queen facebook page. And twitter. There are tweets. I have it mostly covered, but there is always room for improvement. My online presence is frankly messy.

In Brightlingstone

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“Since we live on an island, and have the sea about us, we cannot want an excellent cold bath”

An excellent cold bath

Do not fear, I have not been out bathing. I have been in bathing, inasmuch as I have bathed, in a bath, but there are those that do, in the sea. All year. No matter the weather. I have met some of them, because a friend of mine made a short documentary about them. But I’ve not seen them this trip.

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I have napped, and walked, and eaten, and watched a couple of films. I am particularly pleased with my pairing of Manhattan and Frances Ha. I hadn’t seen Frances Ha before, so didn’t know exactly how well matched they were, but they are, and I can recommend the juxtaposition.

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On our way down to look at the sea yesterday we spotted this tree.

Blending and toning

Here is a closer look.

Monochrome. Classy

On the way back we saw that there were two others, both colour themed.

Blues

Orangery

It’s kind of hard to tell whether this is a grafitti, public art, or community art. Whatevs. There it is.

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So, and lastly, I’ve made you a little tumblr elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2013/12/28

Solstice and Shenanigans

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Seasons greetings, whatever theological or tribal stripe you may be, on this, the Solstice, the nadir of the year. It will reach it’s very zenith at 17.11 GMT. Unfortunately, that does not mean that sunny days are ahead. They are, but they’ll be a long time coming. We will have to content ourselves with incremental increases in daylight hours.

Here is a beautifully crafted art work of festive cheer from Poppet’s oeuvre.

And here is a weird Victorian Christmas card.

In time travel news, here’s a picture from July 2012, but it is just as apt this very day, since WE’RE OFF TO BRIGHTON, YO!

However, just because we’ll be away from home, it doesn’t mean I won’t be cracking on with my new hobby, LEARNING ALL THE LANGUAGES.  I can’t remember who put me onto it (WHAAAT? it was all the way back a few DAYS I can’t be expected to remember EVERYTHING) but I am now big into duolingo.com which is a free software for learning languages. Not ALL the languages, but SOME languages. I am currently virtually fluent in Spanish as long as I only want to talk about apples, bread, water, milk, eating, drinking, a man, a woman, a girl and a boy. Still, I reckon I could get by on that. But there’s more! So much more. And it’s a bit like playing a game. I’m very excited.

Ten has just taken Poppet out for the shortest walk in the history of going outside, and I can hear him telling her she will have SOOOO MUCH FUN today, but I’m not sure she’s interested in tenses.

Gotta get ready to travel – in the meantime here’s a little tumblr I made the other day elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2013/12/14

Violence, Sleep, and Cake

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It has been some time since my last confession, but let me tell you now, there’s no news like no news, and I’ve got no news. Not really.

I made a tumblr this morning elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2013/11/25 in which I, possibly rather redundantly, reblogged every post I’ve put in the End Of. tumblr so far. Weeeelll… it’s World Day Against Violence Against Women so why not?

It’s a small man…

It is the flimsiest of coincidences that I post an Italian poster here… but here’s a segue – BECAUSE IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW ALREADY IT’S THREE SLEEPS TO PALERMO! And by sheer magic, kismet, what have you, I have already put my foot in it by announcing on facebook that I am going to Italy. NO! I am going to Sicily! Quite different, apparently. Also, by sheer spooky coincidence, apparently Palermo is the city of CAKE. This is not entirely good news, but I’ll take it. And I will also take yoga pants in order to forgive what may occur to my waist.

In the meantime I have become a fan of and facebook friend of one Phil Lucas who, it turns out doesn’t just make amusing internetty things and daft fake council notifications around Brighton but does some sort of stand up/spoken word. So he is MY PEOPLE even though we have no fb friends in common and I probably came across as a crazy stalker lady when I friended him. This is modern life. Or postmodern life, if you prefer. I don’t because I think postmodernism is a massive hoax.

From the webbery of Phil Lucas

So, I’m quite the schmoozer, considering how seldom I leave the house. I’ve also friended up one Graham Duff, who I do have fb friends in common with, which makes me feel slightly less like a mad fawning fan, although, of course, I am, and that’s not how we met (we haven’t met IRL yet). He wrote Ideal, starring Johnny Vegas, about a small time drug dealer in Salford. Forget Breaking Bad, this is the real deal.

And how I ended up facebook friending the writer of this is that I met the person Tanya is based on! She IS called Tanya, but she stresses she DOES NOT do shoplifting. Even more amazing is that we met at all, since she is possibly even more hermitty than I am, but that’s the UNIVERSE and it’s mysterious ways, yo!