Saturday, February 28, 2009

Japan 1: Nagoya and Tokyo

So I only realised when I got to Japan that this is pretty much the motherland of twee and cutesey shit. Even the customs officials and policemen have cartoon characters on their badges!
Only been in the country for four days but seen such a lot of things that we're resorting to sleeping about 3 times in the day to reset our brains.

Spent the first day in Nagoya, which is not the most exciting city ever, so we went to some random museum that showed how tacky porcelain figurines were made. Included in the price was the entry to the Museum for the Commemoration of Industry and Manufacturing, which sounded less than fascinating, but turned out to be a bit of a surprise hit. It was actually basically the history of the Toyota company, who started off making weaving looms, and i got very excited about the carding and spinning demonstrations, both by machine and by hand. The looms themselves (there were hundreds) were also more fascinating than you might think! And then there was a bit about cars, too.

Awesome Loom

Going out for a drink in Nagoya turned out to be fairly difficult. Bars in Japan are hidden away in multistorey apartment buildings and the only thing you have to go by are the signs outside, so it's always a bit of a gamble to open the door. The third floor of one building led us to an extremely posh place where the waiters wore bow ties, another basement place contained an Irish pub. All very expensive - we may need to resort to supermarket beer on hostel beds eventually.

Now we've been in Tokyo for a little while. I haven't found a knitting shop yet, but bought a lovely bit of brocade fabric, and our hostel is near an enormous bead shop. They sell kits for making little beaded keyrings, I think buying one of those will be in order at some point.

We've also been to see a variety of crazy Japanese bands, which I'll write about a bit later - I need to go and hug some goths in Harajuku now.

Asakusa Temple

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My friend R has been nagging me to do some knit graffiti for a while now, and I figured the railings of the swimming pool near our house looked so much like little clown's heads already that they'd be the perfect candidates for some cosy hats.

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

We'll see how long they will last!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is there a doctor on board?

Well, yes. I have actually graduated now. Amazing.
It turned out they weren't giving us any caps or mortar boards, so I made my own psychedelic one. I didn't wear it at the ceremony, but for the photos afterwards.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I've been doing a lot of drawing and was getting annoyed with the crappy plastic packaging I was using to carry my pens around in, so I whipped up a little velcroed pencil case (if you can see *anything* in these pictures)



Thursday, February 5, 2009

Josie Fest

I had an email from Josie Longs mailing list yesterday. She is the nicest, most DIY comedian ever, and the event is just too fitting for this blog for me not to mention it. I will probably be going on the Monday, but then again, Battersea is quite far away from here.

Next week I am curating a mini festival as part of the N20 festival at the Battersea Arts Centre-

It’s the evenings of Mon-Thurs. It’s going to be like a low-rent Steiner school masque of the red death but with soup and more people dressed as robots. I can’t tell you how excited I am about it- there will be great shows and lots of other opportunities to enjoy yourself. Buy tickets for individual shows at 7.30 or 8.45, but stay in the venue from 6-11 and enjoy the ramshackle carnival. Participate (or you can just relax- no pressure).

Let me tell you about what’s happening:

Each day there will be: a performance of an Edinburgh show, a variety stand-up show, a band in the bar at 10.30pm and a free workshop.

Monday 9th February

Joanna Neary’s show, followed by Storyteller’s Club feat. Jeremy Warmsley, Sarah Bennetto and me! Gavin Osborn in the bar! Comic book workshop with Steve Marchant!

Tuesday 10th February

Isy Suttie’s show, followed by Wonderful and New- a showcase of brilliant things you might not have seen before, hosted by me, followed by Ward and White’s Karaoke Circus- sing karaoke, backed by a live bloody band! With an audio describing workshop by Alice Sanders from the ITFC!

Wednesday 11th February

Maeve Higgins’s Show, followed by Brave new world- a cutting edge strange night of fun with Will Adamsdale and Ed Aczel and Brian Gittins. Dress as robots please. Then Hong Kong in the 60’s in the bar! Badge Making workshop with Anna!

Thursday 12th February

Bridget Christie’s superb show! Followed by The historical personages cavalcade feat. Tony Law and Tom Allen. Come as a historical figure of your choice! Then The sound of the Ladies in the bar! And a dance workshop by a trained clown! As well as this there are some permanent fixtures every day, all around the building-

A tiny cinema curated by the popcorn club, showing funny brilliant short films by London comics. A recording booth to tell your stories- watch and listen to other peoples’. Photography of the best things in Southend!Alex horne’s photo pose challenge! Join in with crafts and silliness: A giant strange quilt! Yarnbombing! Comic books and murals! The secret map of London! A mini craft fair and jumble sale! The chat magazine collage mural! Artists decorating the space! You decorating the space! Free baked goods! Free magazines! Prizes! So much more to come and hidden round the building. It’ll be as good as snow day, I promise.

Turn up early for group soup every day in the café bar- one sitting of dinner between 6pm and 7pm. There will be a Drink of the day, too every day including ovaltine, campari and orange, and pear cocktails. Board games and board games championships in the bar: try and beat me at boggle?


Monday, February 2, 2009

Beard stroking

I have had beard envy for quite a while now - it looks like so much fun to grow things on your face. Now, thanks to Prick Your Finger, I finally have my own!

my beard

It took me a few days cos I'm a really slow crocheter, but it was worth it. My chin has never been so warm.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


The Katamari is now with its new owner and was a great success - I was a bit sad to let it go! I bought some safety pins specially for demonstration purposes. People who don't know about Katamari Damacy get very confused! I have also been told it looks a bit like a virus.

Camera still not working, so more crappy pictures: