As soon as I started at Kingston almost two years ago now, I was introduced to Union of Kingston Students. We started to explore and research models of student-led shops to help them have a retail offering larger than a rail of hoodies on campus. We found some amazing models of student and artist-led enterprises across the country: Saltspace run by GSA alumni, Re_So from Southampton, and a hive of activity in Croydon with Turf/CAS and FMM Pop Up. In Margate, the daddy of pop up shops Dan Thompson was happy to chat about what he’d done and also SJ…


The Shining — “Here’s to 5 miserable months on the wagon”

It started in February, a year ago. I decided to give up drinking for Lent. And then Lent went and the pandemic hit. I wondered how hard it would be to continue not drinking. And here I am a year later, still happily sober.

I’ve been using an app called Drinkaware consistently since January 2016. What it showed me back then was when I drank, I drank a lot. Not all the time, it would usually hinge around one night out. At that time I wasn’t capable of limiting myself to one drink, so I knew I had to retrain…


early season KUWTK titles

Over November and December 2020 lockdown 2 I watched all 19 seasons of #KUWTK without shame. I now feel immersed enough in their heritage and evolution to appear on Mastermind with them as my specialist subject. I could be called on by the BBC to comment on the recent rumours around Kimye’s divorce but an attempted coup stole the headlines from even them. If I ever get to do standup I may use them as material.


In a year in which it seemed you couldn’t predict anything, I was delighted to get the call in November from Neals Yard Dairy to ask if I’d be available to join the Seasonal Retail Team again.

In case you CBA to read my previous posts, I’ve worked for NYD at Christmas twice in the Borough Market shop managing the queue, and at Easter in the hallowed cheese arches at Bermondsey as part of the cheese caretaking team known as “cheese shift”. I got to know the business so well and enjoyed each experience so much I keep returning. …


I didn’t expect to watch TV on Saturday for 12 hours straight, but this was Punchdrunk.

I’ve been a fan of the experimental theatre companies’ work since their 2013 show The Drowned Man staged in a vacant sorting office in Paddington. I went with a very dear friend who knows her stuff and I clearly remember coming out, exhilarated, wanting to do it all over again and saying — “all theatre should be like that! Who needs stuffy velvet seats when you can follow the action?”

Another very dear friend reminded me I should book for “Sleep No More” on…


Here’s the thing: I miss live music TERRIBLY. The build-up, the queue to get in, the crowd, the venue, the setlist, the merch stand. I had a cracking list of bands to see over the last few months: Warmduscher, Sports Team, King Krule, Baxter Dury. The dates got postponed to October, and now the dates are moved to 2021. My fave venue Rough Trade East won’t be reopening until January.

It’s been fascinating to see how musicians and artists have adapted in lockdown: who has been completely silent, who has made the decision to perform for fans, which technology…


A love letter to the lyrics of If There Is Something by Roxy Music

Gatefold inner sleeve of Roxy Music’s first album

Dearest darlings,

A song with three acts: an incredibly gorgeous opus to love, youth and beauty.

Strap yourselves in: we are going for a musical ride with Roxy Music and their track “If There Is Something” from their first eponymously-titled album “Roxy Music”. You know, the one with the girl on.

Okay, they all had girls on the cover.

The track starts immediately with a honky-tonk country guitar and a western twangy sound, done with all the irony of a boy born in County Durham…


I was reminded by Mike Walsh of Uniform Design that I haven’t updated the progress of the project for a few months. Time flies when you are having fun. Mike got in touch via Twitter after reading the first blog back in January. He wanted to know more about the model and how it runs practically, as they are thinking of similar. I was more than happy to chat about what we’ve set up and how it's been working.

Studio KT1 is a commercial venture, running out of Kingston School of Art (one of the four faculties of Kingston University)…


My third experience with Neal’s Yard Dairy began again in December 2019. I was part of the seasonal retail team once more to support the hectic festive season and work in the Borough Market shop in the lead up to Christmas.

I returned to the now-familiar Bermondsey arches on the last weekend of November for the induction day alongside a much larger group — this year instead of fifty extra staff they were taking on around 90.

Bermondsey Arches

This time around there were, of course, familiar faces amongst the permanent staff, and returning seasonal cheesemongers like me. Also a lot of…


Stop Making Sense: a COVID-19 reaction

Image courtesy of https://xkcd.com/2287/

Week One passed in a kind of unrelenting fear and anxiety, the sinking sensation you get when you don’t know how to feel. Clutching at things, not being able to concentrate, looking at the news, watching the numbers rise, talking to friends and family trying to make sense of it, except there was no sense. Feeling sad and helpless, emotionally drained and upset at the smallest thing.

Week Two was easier — not checking the news, Twitter or Instagram every five minutes helped. Knowing I’m not going to see my family and friends for…

sitdowncomedian

disco peanut, laser queen

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