Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Next Few Chapters

Sometimes I think of this blog like a creature: one that hibernates on whim, or lies dormant for a while, only to spring back into life. In the past, it had to be fed regularly, and given a good runaround at least once a week. But this last year there’s been a kind of relief in giving up on the pretense of continual tending. I let things lapse, temporarily abandoned for months here and there. My last post was in March. And now it's July. How time flutters on!

I’m really rather glad for it though. This last year, I’ve had some breathing room. I finally acknowledged that after finishing university and launching a book, I was fired up for the future, but also really fucking tired. I needed to carve out a little more space to live: to know that work is important (and I am still very bad at fully switching off from the whirring pace of article pitches and book synopses and ambition and multiple projects), but so is walking and dancing and sleep and travel and picnics in the park and new people and kisses and long conversations over wine with brilliant friends and swimming and watching Sally Potter’s Orlando on repeat because it’s practically perfect in every way and the luxurious pleasure of lying by oneself in bed on a Saturday morning with a book and not moving other than to make more coffee before curling up under the duvet again.

Between these points of relish, and that strange business of suddenly being an adult with a multi-hyphenate freelance career, the blog was the thing that had to give – for a little while, anyway. I had to not run myself into the ground. And prioritise being paid for my writing. Writing that's included everything from discussing Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe choices for Dazed to talking about my adolescent experiences modeling for Buzzfeed to this piece for Broadly on the deadly history of clothes that could kill you (as a side note: editors! Commission me! I write good things about clothes and culture and bodies and travel and lots else. See this page for more info). And I’ve done other things too. Poetry readings aplenty – the latest alongside the magnificent Charly Cox. I’ve hosted panels about poetry at Waterstones, been an extra in a music video, travelled to some extraordinary places (keep an eye out on the next issue of SUITCASE magazine for details of my adventures in Japan and Prague), and put quite a bit of legwork into a website that will be launching later this year.

I’ve also done lots of my own writing offline. Some of that should be making its way into various, very exciting, imminent projects. Other endeavours didn't go where I wanted them to, but were still necessary paths along the way to better things. There’s been a pleasure I’ve really discovered in this slow-burn process: in not doing everything for instant gratification (I’ve got Instagram for that!), in letting things take the days, and weeks, and months they need.  

I missed this though: this little blog. Between the relief of letting myself off the hook for not doing 103 things at once all the time every day never stopping, there was the odd, sharp pang. This platform has been such a significant part of my life. One that has helped shape it in innumerable ways. It’s always been my corner of the internet, where I can do, think, dress, and write as I want. Besides, what else would give me the motivation to put on ridiculous outfits and dance around the countryside just because I could? Being able to dress up and pose for photos for the last eight years has been joyous. More than joyous. Exhilarating. Here I started learning how to fashion myself, to appreciate the transformative qualities of clothes and the stories we tell about ourselves in fabric - and to find a community who felt similarly.

Much of that community has migrated elsewhere now, but that’s ok. We all move on, as we should. Many of us were teenage girls doing this blogging thing in our spare time. Some have stuck with it. Some have gone on to make that a full-time career. Others let it fade, replaced by other types of creative endeavor. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. This is probably always going to be a passion project. But it’s one I want to to continue doing. Maybe not regularly. Maybe not with big, sprawling articles any more (could be just a paragraph, could be a 1000 words. Who knows?!) But it’ll be here. I have an absolute stack of shoots lined up. There are bluebells and beautiful old caravans and bright pink sprays of flowers and sweeping, seventies dresses. I can’t wait to post them.

In the meantime, I’ve spruced things up around here, having said I needed to do so for MONTHS. The new header is by my incredibly talented pal - and imminent flatmate - Holly Gorne. She’s a gem of a friend, and a damn fine artist too. You can see her Etsy shop here. I love this image. It captures nearly everything I adore, including impractical silk slips (talking of which: head over to Vestoj’s Instagram for an in-depth look at that particular shiny number).

There’s a name change too. Welcome to I continue to love clothes, cameras, AND coffee, but, well, this is a portfolio for all my other work too – alongside the images of me tottering through fields in high heels. It was time for this corner of the internet to reflect that. Welcome to the next few chapters. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go.

These images were taken by Holly while we were running around a field (could have been wheat, we weren't quite sure..) the other week. They seemed like a good indicator of the fun I've been getting up to: plenty of loafing around in tartan trousers included.


Dolly Rocker said...

Glad to see you back! I feel like the blogging community is shrinking so much lately that I'm always relieved to see old favourites haven't jumped ship. Loving the new layout. It sounds like you've been doing some amazing things!

wholelottarosie said...

Wow, this new site is ace! So good to have you back. I enjoy your posts a great deal, no matter how sporadic.

Alanda Theriault said...

Your new site is beautiful. I look forward to reading more soon!

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