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I was surprised, but not unpleasantly, by the outcome of the EU membership referendum. Unlike literally everyone that I know and like, as far as I'm aware, I voted to Leave. Not gladly, but I had lost hope of the EU seriously entertaining any hope of reform or consideration of the UK's specific needs, after Cameron's failed negotiation attempt. I thought the UK was likely to fall in line at the last minute, like Scotland did, but apparently the majority of people here are just too disgruntled to put up with it any more. Fair enough. I'm not even at the hard end of globalisation - I have a university degree (first class, from the School of European Studies at the left-leaning University of Sussex), I have been able to support myself financially so far, I am not waiting for a council flat or unskilled job - but I could empathise with those who were. I've been poor in the past. I don't mean poor as in, not being able to afford to go on a bender at the end of the month and having to ask parents for money. I mean poor as in, parents actually having no money to start with, scrabbling about to gather up spare change to buy fruit, driving a beaten up car, not being able to afford to leave in a home with central heating, despite working hard. It's rubbish.

Had Remain won, I like to think I wouldn't have thrown my toys out of the pram, and would have accepted the outcome of a democratic process. After all, there are advantages to being in the EU, I'm not going to pretend it's been unalloyed awfulness, especially for someone like me who likes travelling, does business with French  companies literally every day of my working life, and sees a lot to like about continental Europe. So I was a bit disappointed at the histrionic response of the disappointed Remainders. In the run-up to the vote, the Remain campaign had some good arguments, which I considered carefully. But following the result, all their claims of embodying 'compassion' and 'hope' seem like a façade. Now they didn't get the result they wanted, their true colours are revealed. It's open season on the old, the working class, the white poor, the English outside London. I've seriously seen people argue that old people shouldn't be allowed to vote. They don't care to hear our arguments, they would rather label us all racist or stupid.

There's a saying, 'Scratch a liberal, find a totalitarian underneath'. It's normally repeated by the sort of people who make unsavoury comments on Breitbart News articles and vote UKIP, so I haven't paid much heed to it until now. But now I think there may well be some truth in it. We've seen the expression of a desire to ignore the results of the referendum by people like David Lammy, MP for my former home of Tottenham, where babies changed hands for money down the road from where I lived, and everyday I walked past piles of rubbish taller than me (OK, that's still not very tall, but still...). If you can't guarantee regular rubbish collections for your local area, it's a bit rich to try and pervert the course of democracy for a whole nation. Or Scottish nationalists implying it would be wrong for the UK to take Scotland to take out of the EU, but it would be fine for Scotland to force the UK to stay in the EU against the will of the majority. Eh? Joined-up thinking, anyone? No... No? OK, fine. Just keep hitting Twitter, if you keep posting the same Huffington Post article again and again it may eventually be true.

Being 'individual' and 'unique' is glamorised but actually it's really awkward in real life. Staying true to your convictions makes you feel weird and left out. But the alternative - to follow those around you when you simply don't agree with them, in your heart of hearts - feels worse. A lot of the political establishment seems to have mobilised against the referendum result, so it's hard to know where it will all end up. (Although, credit to Corbyn for standing firm in the face of elements of the party trying to oust him after about 5 minutes leading the party - very childish.) In all events, I am glad I voted the way I did. I voted according to my conscience, and to the best of my knowledge. Let's hope that when the dust settles, both sides can agree a positive way forward and maintain civil relations with the rest of Europe while honouring the people's choice. Although I'm aware that is a bit of a tall order.
Even androids feel...: surprisedsurprised
TV sounds: Pat Benatar - I'll Do It
17 June 2016 @ 03:57 pm
The move to Glasgow has largely taken place. I am effectively living here now with Jack and the cats, with some of our belongings in storage. We still have to go back the weekend after next to clear out the house in Sheffield of any residual items and tidy up. Bringing the cats up was the worst bit although not as bad as I had feared. Mrs Lyle helped me a lot by driving while I placated them in the back of the car. They soon convinced me to let them out of their boxes, and after that they were fine and went to sleep in their little security waistcoats. It was the longest drive we'd ever done with them - about 5 hours - so most other trips in the future will hopefully seem like a doddle!

I have felt a bit strange and depressive since being here. I think part of it is to do with being in a ground floor flat again, which I loathed when I lived in London and still don't like, although this flat is better than the one we were in before. But it is a temporary measure. And just being somewhere new again. Plus any stressful situation like a move obviously highlights underlying problems and we sure got 'em. I felt better after completing the formalities to do with the clinic however - signing up with a GP, etc. I still have about 6 months left to wait before they can see me and hopefully give a diagnosis. I might travel a bit and also look into getting that elusive house.

The climate of antagonism surrounding the EU referendum is making me want to go and live in a hut in the Shetlands with no telecommunications or people to talk to! At least for a week either side of the 23rd of June. As it is I will probably just have some gin and try to think about nice things. Odd as it may seem given my ties to Europe, I don't have super-strong feelings about whether we should be in or out. I've been wavering a bit although the Remain camp's patronising, judgmental campaign has actually put me off them in recent days. Reporting your rival's poster to the police, I mean really?

There are practical advantages to staying in for me, since I would like to be able to live on the continent again one day, most likely in France. I am sure that would still be possible after a Brexit but there may be more administrative constraints, restrictions on healthcare and benefits maybe. In terms of principles though, the EU has become less appealing to me over the years. I find it to be an undemocratic bosses' club these days, interfering where it shouldn't (hoovers) and not intervening where it should (fracking). It's a shame that Germany has so much power in it, because Germany seems to have gone a bit wrong. Whatever the outcome, I won't be too upset about the actual result, although I think I am pretty much the only person I know who takes this position! What does displease me though is the tone of the debate, which seems to have boiled down to a simplistic rapists vs racists scenario. Sometimes the topic crops up in social situations when I'm trying to have a nice time, and I'm reminded of how different I feel from most people that surround me, even the nice ones. I don't let myself be drawn in to arguments cos I don't want to ruin Jack's chance of 'fitting in' with the people here, which is important to him. I'm not up for any virtue signalling or public displays of outrage. If people ask me what I think, I'll tell them. But no-one does. That's fine.

If I were betting on it, I would bet that the UK stays in because the British public usually do what they are told by their rulers. I think it may be quite close but ultimately a lot of people will be too scared to leave the EU. I'm guessing they will be put off by the threat of extra admin, costs and inconvenience in their daily lives, feeling that their lives are hard enough already. Que sera sera!
Even androids feel...: oy vey
In the early 2000s, I visited Cologne with my mother. It was one of the nicest places I have been in Germany. I have fond memories of the chocolate museum and the great zoo that offered much better conditions for animals that anywhere I have ever been. I loved the architecture and Mrs Lyle loved the beer. The only bad thing that happened was an angry cyclist shouting "Dumme Frau!" at Mrs Lyle for inadvertently walking in a cycle lane (they take those very seriously). I once thought Germany was nice and envisaged maybe living there one day.

So I was particularly disturbed by the mass violence against women that surfaced at the start of this year in Cologne, and as it has transpired despite the attempted cover-up, all over western Germany as well as Finland, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland. (Not to mention ongoing violence in my former country of residence, France, where the horror has reached the level of murder rather than "just" sexual assault and rape.) It has made me seriously rethink large portions of my personal politics. I am musing about it here because I don't think kneejerk Facebook/Twitter reactions are helpful, but I would still like an outlet in written form. If what I say offends anyone, well, that's too bad, don't read me anymore. I am not driven by hate but by dismay at what Europe is coming to. I know I'm not a bigot - it's hard to be one when you've lived in such a diverse city as London and got to know many people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, all different and all individual. So if anyone thinks I am one, I actually don't care because they are wrong. I just think Germany's "open door" policy - admitting anyone claiming to be Syrian, with no background checks - in response to the tragedy in Syria was a terrible decision that has had an awful impact on the whole of Western Europe. I am not against the idea of admitting refugees per se - it's hard not to feel sorry for anyone in that situation - but they have gone about it in a very dangerous way, which seems more about injecting large volumes of working-age men into the labour market than helping the weakest.

The people that I used to align myself with ideologically - feminists, liberals, the Left - have utterly disgusted me in their response to the attacks. Expecting them to condemn a mass assault on innocent women in a straightforward manner, without further political posturing and virtue signalling, was clearly asking too much. I've read a lot of articles about the event in the Guardian, Independent and feminist web pages where the authors clearly feel unable to simply acknowledge that women have suffered and extend compassion. As women have suffered in the Middle East, so now are they suffering here. Yet the online feminist commentators make feeble gestures at condemning generalised "male violence" that must be instantly followed up with assertions that it happens everywhere. Many of the women who day in, day out condemn "rape culture" in the West are strangely silent. Today the Everyday Sexism page on Facebook has a feature about...sexism in Star Wars. Columnists like Penny and Hinscliff make me not want to be a liberal or a feminist any more. I wouldn't call myself right-wing and have never even voted Tory, but I simply cannot align myself with these people now.

It's true, rape happens everywhere (a fact so self-evident, post-Savile, that it's amazing that anyone feels compelled to state it). But 1,000 men setting on women in impunity in a public place in Europe as the police look on powerlessly, then try and pretend it never happened, is new to me. The mayoress of Cologne tells women to remain "at arm's length" from men, and to avoid looking too cheerful, and the Viennese police chief warns women not to go out on their own. Chancellor Merkel says now it's time to get tough; immigrant men must be deported if they offend "time and again". Yet no-one has yet been convicted and it's hard to pin an offence on any one man in this kind of mass attack. Some of those women may find it hard to have a "Happy New Year" again, as they may always remember that night in 2015. But who cares? We've got to protect Schengen, right?

At times like this, I am actually slightly glad I am transgender because I don't know how I would cope as a female-bodied person if I were trying to just live life as an ordinary woman. A century of feminism seems to have achieved nothing when it comes to the crunch. Liberal politicians pay lip service to women's rights as long as they don't contradict the rights of another group. Yet as soon as they do, we see that women are still at the bottom of the pile in society. Literally everyone comes before them. It is fine to sacrifice them on the altar of a borderless Europe, in pursuit of the multicultural dream. They are just meat to our globalist leaders in Western Europe. They are an absence, a hole, not even real people. I'd suspected it previously and now my fears have been confirmed.

I had been thinking about visiting Leipzig this year for a holiday as Jack is keen to go to the Gothic Pogo festival. But now I'm not so sure. I think I'd rather go somewhere nice. It's not that I would personally feel unsafe, but I don't want to encourage the country down the route it's going and there are plenty of less rich countries that could do with the tourism money.
Even androids feel...: depresseddepressed
It's exactly 20 years ago today since the Romo movement was brought to the world's attention by Melody Maker! I was excited to hear today that Simon Price (its chief promoter back then) is planning some sort of commorative event in London soon. I will keep my eyes peeled for that, it might even merit one of my rare trips back down there.

This realisation prompted quite a few misty memories for me today, so I thought I would lazily link to them on my music and musings website, where like Brian O'Blivion in Videodrome I only communicate via monologues. 
Even androids feel...: Romo
06 September 2014 @ 07:38 pm
I've done a side-project, Marcel Wave! Going solo this time. Synthesizers, vocals and bassoon all by me, with a bit of guest sax on one of the tracks by Jack.

I've only put four tracks up but have an album's worth. I might try and get a vinyl release at some point so I haven't put all the music online yet.
Even androids feel...: synthetic
20 April 2014 @ 09:22 pm
Even androids feel...: Pascal
TV sounds: Stone Roses on Vintage TV
06 June 2013 @ 09:12 pm
Less than two weeks until we move out of House of Fail! I'm so glad to be moving out of Walthamstow. I don't like to slag it off too much on The Other Place as I know people who are stuck there, but I will be pleased not to live there any more. It's not as rough as a lot of places I've lived, but it's pretty inconvenient and not really that nice. It does have some features that are popular with people who would like to live in Stoke Newington but can't afford to, however they're not really things I'm interested in - the park gives me hayfever and I'm not that into "gentrified" fambly pubs that charge £4.50 for a pint of cider. The old Edwardian worker housing looks quaint but is pretty much unliveable unless you are actually an Edwardian factory worker.

Will Leyton be better? Well, it'll be closer to Stratford Westfield, and it'll be a whole house with its own garden, so that's something. It's also cheap and very near the tube station, as well as in cycling distance of the places we want to go (Walthamstow is just that bit too far from everything if you are a person-about-town).

We had such a nice time in the North this weekend though. We went to scummoth's fun party, which had a Louis XIV/Joan Crawford theme. Many alarming aspics were served, as well as more appealing foods including a Special Brew cake with Bailey's icing. There was also a party game, a version of pin the tail on the donkey involving a drawing of Louis XIV and some sores. I did all right but did not win. I did not incur any of the terrible penalties either, although Jack got an orange jam tart crushed into him for allegedly cheating. In fact I was confused by the orange jam tarts, as surely that is just a marmalade tart? Anyway, fun times abounded.

We found our room at the Holiday Inn on the comically named Blonk Street to be very comfortable, in a businesslike way. It overlooked the river and had a choice of pillows, soft and firm, which were tied together in pairs with denim belts like fat little men. The shower was lovely and forceful, and the bed was very comfy.

The following day we went to the Peak District and sat on a hill admiring the rocks and sheep, before consuming a picnic. Jack was very impressed at how quickly you can get to the countryside from the city centre, and said he wouldn't mind living somewhere like that at some point. On the drive back, we went through Derbyshire, and found the scenery in Matlock especially beautiful, with soot-blackened stone houses and a huge, wooded cliff face towering over the whole town.

Last night saw some entertainment I never expected to witness - a Visage concert at a small-ish venue called Hoxton Bar and Kitchen! Even in the 80s they didn't really play as a live band, and all those years ago when I listened repeatedly to "Fade to Grey" on a compilation cassette I bought from a second-hand book and record shop in Montpellier, I never thought they would reform, let alone that I would see them in action. The line-up has changed rather - Rusty Egan is no longer involved, and in fact there is acrimony between him and Steve Strange over the reformation. However, the drummer who replaced him was extremely able. There is also a new synth player, a relatively young man called Logan Skye, who in fact used to be in a really good band called Riviera F that were produced by Nick Rhodes.

They played many old favourites - the best was The Anvil - and material from the new album. I appreciated the visuals that were projected behind the band, including new and old studio pics of Steve trowelled in make-up, as well as video clips from his fabulous 80s heyday. The new songs are pretty good, better than I had hoped for really. They still sound like Visage, and haven't just tried to jump on any recent musical bandwagons. It's better than the Human League or Duran's latest offerings, in my opinion. The musicians all performed really well, as did Lauren Duvall, a Welsh lady who was providing extra vocals alongside Steve. Steve was a bit shaky but was a good entertainer, engaging the audience with some slightly shambolic chat between the numbers. Halfway through, the two singers went off-stage to get changed (just as well as they were initially wearing army camouflage, no idea why), and returned in more formal wear for the final numbers. During the interval, the musicians remained on stage and played The Dancer, a song they had been expressly forbidden from playing by Rusty, or "Crusty Rusty" as Steve called him in retaliation for Rusty's negative comments on the interweb. It's a shame they can't all get on but it was still a good night. I wonder what Ronny thinks about it all!

Funnily enough, today my band received a glowing review on a French blog comparing us to Visage! Or rather, they said we showed the traces of bands like Visage, but added enough originality to be appealing rather than just sounding "80s". I think this is the nicest review we have had, and it gets extra points for using one of my favourite French turns of phrase, "sombrer dans les poncifs" ("descending into clichés" - which it said we DON'T do, by the way! *loll*). It didn't lump us in with coldwave/minimal wave/goth lot, which I appreciated - although I do like some of those bands, we are not really like them. The article is here if anyone cares to read it, although it is in French. Plus it picked up on the whole poncing-about-in-the-face-of-the-crisis thing, which is quite a big part of the A Terrible Splendour approach, and pop culture in general in fact.
Even androids feel...: artisticartistic
TV sounds: David Bowie - All the Young Dudes
26 January 2013 @ 10:00 pm
Last weekend saw a lot of snow in London, but Mr Duckworth and I nonetheless decided to plough ahead with our plans to visit Great Yarmouth. The destination was chosen because it was relatively close and would be pleasingly deserted at this time of year. I hired a car from Enterprise again, after a good experience with them back in summer. This time the car we got was a Chevrolet Spark, not as good as the Fiat we got last time but OK, although its gears were a bit annoying.

Our catsitting friend was too ill to come in the end, so our next door neighbour and her daughters kindly stepped in. Apparently the children are cat-mad and catsit all the nearby felines. In the end it worked out well as they were able to spend plenty of time cuddling them, rather than just dropping in for a few minutes. Leif and Laeppen still contrived to develop a digestive disorder when we returned - they had been fed the right food I am sure, but had managed to drag away a pack of cat treats and eat far too many of them. I forgot to tell the catsitters how cunning they can be! They can even open cupboards now... The vet said not to bring them in straight away, but to feed them only boiled chicken for a few days! I have done that and their little colons are greatly improved. If only human ailments could be cured by just eating your favourite food for days on end.

Anyway, Great Yarmouth was rather good, in an off-kilter sort of way. I'm pretty sure we were the only people in our hotel. The suite room was nice and big, and tastefully decorated, but they gave us three fan heaters as well as the central heating, because it was so cold up there! The hotel had a special room with a sign saying 'Library', with a desk, shelves and a fat, floral 3-piece suite. It also had a vast empty dining room where the radio played 80s and 90s hits as we ate our free breakfast in splendid isolation. I was somehow reminded of the Overlook in the Shining.

The seafront was windswept and the rides all shut down, but we had some fun in the indoor arcades - we actually won things on the crane machines! A pink, glittery cuddly toy dolphin (which was then nearly snatched back by the icy wind), and some sweets! We also went bowling - I won! - and played other amusements like table football etc. I got rid of a lot of loose change. It was a special experience standing on the pier looking at the snowy beach while Freedom '90 by George Michael piped away discretely in the background. In fact I don't think I heard a single tune from later than the 90s in all of the leisure environments that we frequented. Later on we went to an American diner called Fatso's, where I had proper home-made fried chicken and a lovely tropical cocktail. The dessert menu featured a Fat Man's Misery Cake but that would have defeated me, so I got a rocky road sundae instead. (Upon typing this, I had a very vivid sensory memory of the warm chocolate fudge sauce becoming slightly firm upon encountering the white ice cream. It was a good choice.)

I could see that the town was still reasonably prosperous and would get decent crowds in warmer weather. We will probably go again when the weather is better, perhaps on a group outing. There were loads of interesting-looking attractions that were closed, such as the model village, and the House of Wax, which I am told is full of creepy-looking, inaccurate waxworks.

On the day were travelled back, we dropped by Burgh Castle on the way, on a site which was colonised the Romans. I found a wrapped, intact Twirl bar in the ruins of the castle wall! The churchyard and fields were coated in a thick layer of pristine snow. We could still see a long way over the flat countryside of the Norfolk Broads.

Snow and sand

The Pleasure Beach, apparently

East Anglian scene at Burgh Castle, complete with creepy MR James-style lurker

Church of St Peter and St Paul, on a site from 300 AD!

Driving home was extremely scenic in the falling snow, although I had to be careful and stop for coffee and doughnuts. The roads were not busy as people were deterred by the weather, so actually it went fine, and I returned the car without incident. The cats were happy to see us but disgruntled about the snow.
Even androids feel...: awakeawake
TV sounds: Ladytron - Ghosts
It's been nice to get out of Walthamstow for the last couple of weekends. The weekend before last was a long one, as we went to the house of our friend Gemma's parents in the New Forest. The parents were on holiday so we their large country home was available for us to enjoy, along with its two pleasingly stuffy British shorthair cats (one blue and one blue and cream), velvety red Rex rabbit, and a number of hens. Zara and her boyfriend Steven came too.

It was not an area that I had ever visited (Lydney near Gloucester) but I thought it was quite nice. On the first day we visited Over Farm, where we saw pigs, small horses and ostriches. The farm shop was amazing, with about ten types of Scotch egg, a wide range of fudge and other delicacies. We then visited Gloucester, with highlights including a Beatrix Potter shop-cum-museum. She was a local person and much is still made of the story the Tailor of Gloucester (a story in which an overworked tailor's work is done at night by mice). It was the subject of a coin-operated display at the shop, and there is also a clock in the shopping centre which comes alive with cat and mouse figures on the hour, every hour. I bought a tin containing a mug decorated with scenes from my favourite Beatrix Potter book, Tom Kitten, and a window sticker showing the iconic image of the rotund feline bursting out of his ill-fitting suit.

The cathedral was nice too, very ornate and Gothic-looking, with beautiful stained glass windows. The garden had curious art installations on the theme of prehistory, including a huge trilobite-type creature all made of wool.

The following day we went to Puzzlewood Farm and saw a huge Gloucester Old Spot pig called Lulu, pygmy goats and various fowl. We walked around its forest maze for a while (it wasn't a very hard maze). Then we crossed the border with Wales into a place called Penallt, and went to a nice pub called the Boat Inn. We had a drink from their bewildering array of ciders, although Zara was disappointed in her quest to get one that was sweet and 'like Kopparberg'. I had one called Welsh warrior that was quite mellow but pretty strong. We then went for a walk along the River Wye, before returning to the pub and eating some extremely satisfying pub food, which consisted largely of oven-baked cheese in various permutations. I was sat on by the pub cat, a friendly tabby called Mig, which was 20 years old yet looked like it had barely emerged from kittenhood. It was good to finally see Wales as I have many forefathers from there but never got round to going.

Last weekend was Delaney and Gemma's wedding (a different Gemma - also, neither are anything to do with my old flatmate Gemma, confusingly). Del is Jack's friend and former bandmate from Savage Furs. It took place at a mansion called Rushton Hall, near Kettering in Northamptonshire. The venue was lovely, huge and sumptuously decorated. It also has guest rooms so we stayed overnight there in a lovely room that used to be part of a cottage attached to the hall. Apparently the cottage is so old, it featured in the Domesday book and was built circa 1000! Yet it had all mod cons and was nicely decorated and very comfortable. I would have liked to have stayed longer.

The wedding had a kind of 80s Miami Vice theme (their honeymoon destination is Miami in fact). There were various neon lights and flamingo statues about the place, and music from Miami Vice was played during the ceremony. Relatives of the happy couple recited lyrics from Somebody by Depeche Mode and Heartbeat by Psychedelic Furs! I have never met anyone so committed to upholding the 80s aesthetic as Del, and I include myself in that, which is saying something.

They both seemed to really radiate happiness. It was actually slightly weird seeing people that happy. The reception afterwards was very well catered for. Each place setting had a pair of sunglasses customised with the logo 'LOVE IS COOL!' in a jagged 80s font on the arms, and there were exotic flowers and neon signs saying 'Love' on every table. The food throughout the day was delicious, but I sadly ate too much and ended up being quite sick that night. I didn't even eat huge quantities but I think I have become unaccustomed to eating quite so much meat.

At night there was a disco set up in the hall's cellars, with copious amounts of 80s tunes and screens around the walls playing a montage of Del's favourite 80's films. Del and Gemma had their first dance to Purple Rain by Prince, and then there was lots of prancing about. The couple's family and friends all seemed nice although none of them were like Del and Gemma at all, just seemingly normal Kettering folk.

The next day we explored Kettering a bit and it was better than everyone said. It was pleasingly quiet, with few people on the streets, and the shops were not bad. There was one shop called QS which was like a sort of latter-day Woolworths. I bought lots of kitty treats and black and red collars with bells and bows on, made of PVC (?!!) for very little money. I also got two pairs of stripy trousers for £30 from a local shop called Internacionale, which we don't have in London. There was in interesting-looking shop called Retro Shack that had loads of 80s stuff in the window, including a Tron annual, but sadly it was shut.

The only downside was getting home and seeing the usual vile and unsolicited photos of myself put up on Facebook by relative strangers. I hate this phenomenon so much I have deactivated my Facebook for a bit, at least until the whole MY UNFLATTERING PHOTOS LET ME SHOWZ YOU THEM post-wedding frenzy blows over. People don't understand but I am genuinely driven to thoughts of plastic surgery when I see bad pictures of myself. I have even approached a few clinics recently. Most people like being photographed and are flattered by the attention, but I hate it so much I always flinch from the camera, try to turn my head away. And that makes my face look even worse as I always get caught at some weird angle.

I think I could tolerate my face better if I wasn't continually presented with evidence of it from terrible angles. But people seem to have an insatiable appetite for bad photos of themselves and others, and a need to smear them over the internet. It feels like it almost doesn't matter what I look like in real life, for in the virtual world where people spend so much time, the bad digital photo has replaced life. I am some ideological reservations about plastic surgery, not to mention the cost and risks involved, but it has gotten so bad now that I can't enjoy a night out at a club, friend's house or even a country walk without someone busting out their hand-held twit machine (© Dan Ashcroft) and producing, then circulating, a picture that makes me want to hurt myself. I spend a lot of time at social gatherings worrying about it and trying to avoid the cameras.

I really don't mind if people ask me first, and let me see the photo before uploading it - I think that's basic courtesy and most people who are genuine mates (which includes everyone reading this post by the way) understand that and are fine with it. It's nice to have a photo memory of a good night, if it's a half-way decent picture. But the bad pics make me not want to go out in public again.

At least my tailor-made suit turned out all right. It is light yet warm, being made of wool cloth, and has all the pockets and gentlemanly details (button hole, buttons for braces etc.) I specified. It is very structured yet quite comfy. I think I will be able to wear it for many occasions.
Even androids feel...: aggravatedaggravated
So A Terrible Splendour have been asked to play the Exit Festival in July. It will be in a Serbian fortress on the Danube, and there will be Duran Duran, Miss Kittin, Felix da Housecat and Guns'n'Roses!

Below the cut is the poster from the website, to prove I'm not making it up:
Now we've got EuropeCollapse )

We are on the Elektrana stage, which specialises in electronic music. We are opening for a band called Detachments, who are quite good and can be seen here:

The opportunity came from a nice Serbian guy who has a synth-pop blog and has liked us for a while, recommending us to his friend who does the Elektrana stage. It's quite exciting and still feels slightly unreal. I have never been to Serbia and have not seen Duran since 1997! I imagine it may involve quite an organisational effort, but I think it will be worth it to reach new audiences who aren't confined to the London scene, which isn't really very big in terms of electro-pop. I am going to try and learn a bit of the language.
Even androids feel...: awakeawake
TV sounds: Enya - Lothlorien