Friday, 27 March 2009

Hello Hubmarine #3

I've been waiting for a poster, but the event is actually tomorrow, so I've decided "to hell with a poster". I'm not usually one to live so dangerously, but needs must.

So, tomorrow, 8pm, at the Big Blue Coffee Co. on Sadlergate, in Derby, the third Hello Hubmarine will happen.

Jenn Ashworth will be unofficially launching her amazing novel, A Kind Of Intimacy.

Lemn Sissay and Ivoryfishbone will be poeting like there's no tomorrow.

James Hately will be very funny.

Amy Scott and Adam Gallagher will be very musical.

The films will be short and superb.

The coffee will be most excellent, as always.

And the icing on the cake? Entrance is free!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Of Bloomers and Bins

I've got a new story up at 3:AM Magazine today. I got some of the "bread facts" for it from my Saturdays working on a bread stall when I was 13. Oh those bloomers, oh those farls. I was too young to know anything of the secret language of gestures back then. The only thing I knew for certain was I was going to marry River Phoenix. (I still maintain that it was his untimely death, rather than my lack of action, that led to this never happening.)

Today was a Good Day at the library. The high point was trying to explain to a lady that Google were not photographing her house that very second, despite it being "blue bin day" and the blue bin being out. She wouldn't have it, and told me she was going to go home, move the bin, and have another look on Street View. Then she'd know for sure. It kept me smiling for the rest of the day.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

No Parking

There are a lot of empty shops in Derby. This started happening around the time that they opened the Westfield shopping centre monstrosity, and has obviously continued with the economic downturn.

Last year, a collective of artists took over an empty shop and created an art gallery for two weeks. It was brilliant, especially getting to see the ancient wallpaper, and wandering around the four-storey building, finding artwork under stairs and in every nook and cranny.

Tonight was the opening of the second No Parking. It's in the same place, 2 Cheapside, Derby, opposite the Museum and Art Gallery. And this year, they're part of the Format festival, too.

There are four floors of artwork, but the stairs to the top two are very very steep. Tracey Meek, who very kindly drew us some pictures for Home, one of which became the limited edition print, had two rooms on the second floor brimming with amazing things.



and the Houses of Lies...


and my favourite...

and lots more.

I didn't take photos of anything else because there were too many people, but I plan on going back in the daytime and looking around again. Maybe I will sit in the chair next to the projection of the drinking ladies and wave at myself on the TV for a bit, and I will definitely write something on the 'writing on' wall.

The exhibition runs for the next two weeks, and is totally free. There is lots to look at, and it's great being so high up. The views across Derby from the top windows are fantastic. It's well worth a visit.

Monday, 9 March 2009


I walked home tonight in a fine drizzle. The ground was freckled with water that glittered under the orange glow of street lights. I felt like I could walk around all night. I wanted to get my camera, take photographs of places in the city I never go after dark.

I stood on the corner, waiting for traffic to pass and the lights to change. And I thought about turning left, and crossing the road the other way, and walking out of the city, under the old bridge and the tall trees, past the big houses and across the pavements with their tunnels underneath.

I thought about being invisible. And how safe I would feel walking anywhere, at any time, and the freedom that would come with that. And then the lights turned red, and the traffic stopped, and I carried on walking home.