Tuesday, 22 July 2014

HASTINGS PIRATE DAY 2014

This past Sunday was Hastings' annual Pirate Day. A day when much of the town dresses up as pirates and descends on the town centre to either A) Spend time their children and partake in the various family activities the organisers put on, or B) Drink and be merry. You already know which category I fall in to...


You may or may not remember that this time last year I was banging on about moving to Canada. Obviously that didn't happen. I guess the main reason for that is because of the girl sitting next to me in that photo (red hair, stripy top). She was with us on Pirate Day last year, but I didn't know her then and I didn't even speak to her. I even posted a photo on last year's Pirate Day blog post which she was in. I didn't meet her properly until several months later. In case I am not being clear, she is (now) my girlfriend and she takes great pleasure in reminding me that I ignored her on last year's Pirate Day.

We now live together and have two super cute but hella annoying kittens. If you'd told me a year ago that this is where I would end up I would not have believed you. Canada is not off the agenda completely, I have wanted to go there for as long as I can remember and that has not changed. It just doesn't feel as urgent as it once did. 'Operation: Get The Fuck To Toronto' came to be because I felt that I had nothing to stay here for. Now I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be.

Yesterday I woke up with a killer hangover, covered in temporary pirate tattoos, a cock and crossbones crudely scrawled in sharpie on my neck and 'FUCK ISRAEL' written across my chest. I think 'FREE PALESTINE' would have been slightly less offensive, but what pirate worth his salt cares about being offensive? NOT THIS ONE. ARRRRGGGHHH! I love this town and I love that girl.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

THE ADVENTURES OF MY GREEN HAT

As many of you will already know I am rather fond of my green hat. I wear it most of the year. Even in summer I'll keep it in my bag "just in case". I feel rather uncomfortable when I leave the house without it on my head. I'm not quite sure why this is, or how it started even. My current green hat is Version III. The Original, Version I, I got when I first started university. It served me a good few years before I accidentally shrunk it in the wash. I was fucking devastated, to say the least. I searched high and low for another one the same but had to settle for one that was similar. Version II only served me for a couple of months before I left it in a pub when I'd had a few too many beverages. I clearly wasn't as attached to Version II as I was to The Original. Then came Version III. At first I really didn't like it, not even as much as Version II and certainly not as much as Version I. But I stuck with it and persevered. A couple of years later and I am totally in love with the little green bastard. We have been through a lot together, my hat and I, and yes there have been a couple of close shaves, but I haven't lost or harmed it yet...

That is, until this past weekend. I woke up in my tent on Sunday morning at Sonisphere Festival and the green hat was gone. Nowhere to be seen. To be honest, I wasn't too upset. I was far too fucking hungover to be upset. I thought to myself "Well, we had a good run. Nothing lasts forever. I'm going back to fucking sleep". When I finally mustered the energy to crawl out of my tent I discovered what had become of my little green friend. It turned out that it was far from lost, in fact it had seemingly had a better night than I had...

I passed out in my tent shortly after Iron Maiden finished their set (I assume, I don't actually remember seeing Maiden. Oops). When everyone else returned to the camp site to find me tucked up in my sleeping bag (I'd started drinking at 8AM you guys, gimme a break!) they decided it would be funny to fuck with me...


They stole the hat from my head and took it on a late night jaunt around the festival. Not only that but they took about fifty photos of strangers (and inanimate objects) wearing it! They thought I was going to be livid about the prank (If you take my hat from my head when I am awake (and drunk) I get VERY angry) but I saw the funny side. To be honest, I was just pleased that I hadn't actually lost it.


LONG LIVE THE GREEN HAT!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN!

Last year I wrote about losing my music festival virginity at Download Festival, which well and truly gave me the "festival bug" resulting in me convincing a couple of my friends that it would be a good idea to go to another music festival like a month later. THIS YEAR we didn't go to Download (It was a couple weeks ago), THIS YEAR we are going to Sonisphere Festival, which starts tomorrow!

I am super fucking excited! I think it will be even better than Download was last year because now I kinda know what to expect. You can't be a pussy at festivals, there is no time for hangovers, no flaking out, there is too much to do, too many bands to see and too much alcohol to consume! "Go hard, or go home" is kind of our festival motto. It works. I have a tent, a sleeping bag, 40 cans of Strongbow and 50 grams of tobacco. I will probably be feeling like death when I get home on Monday but I don't care because I get to spend three days in a field with some of my best friends and I GET TO SEE FRANK FUCKIN' TURNER for the second time this year! (I am also pretty fucking excited about seeing Dropkick Murphys and Anti-Flag for the first time. Plus, you know... Maiden again!)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

REBEL SCUM

Last February I wrote a blog post about how I love the shit out of Star Wars, but tend to forget that it exists and then get all giddy and excited, as well as ever so slightly obsessed, whenever I finally re-watch it. Well, I am determined not to let that happen any more! (Not the giddy and excited and obsessed part, the forgetting about it part. DUH.) I watched the Original Trilogy this week so I am currently incredibly giddy, terribly excited and totally obsessed again.

Since that February blog post a lot has happened in the Star Wars universe... Disney now own the rights to the franchise, J.J. Abrams is directing the next film in a new trilogy, two spin off movies have been announced and a new TV show is on the way this Autumn. Star Wars fever is gripping the world once again and I'm right there on the band wagon, angrily shaking my fist at the Galactic Empire with the best of 'em.

Excitement for new Star Wars movies aside, I am super exited for the aforementioned new TV show, Star Wars Rebels. Ever since Young Justice ended there has been a big YA animated TV show shaped hole in my heart and Rebels looks more than awesome enough to fill it!


In other Star Wars related news, I got a birthday present from Luka! XD


I may or may not have stitched it on whilst watching A New Hope and then wore the hoodie whilst watching The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Because I'm cool as fuck. THANKS, LUKA! (Get 'em right here)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

I READ ZINES [#3]

OK Cupid Messages I Have Not Responded To

I bought this zine, by Sincerely Analog, because I thought it would be all cringe and creepo messages from pervs and weirdos, thus making it hilarious. Alas, there was not but one creepo or perv in sight, nope, just a bunch of try hards and "I'm just as quirky as you, look, LOOK!" kinda messages. My favourite was this; "shooting through the walls of heartache, bang bang, I am the warrior". What a twat. I guess that's what happens when you join OKCupid in the hipster capitol of the world (Hiii Portland).


Missed Connections in Toronto #1

A collection of Craigslist missed connections ads collected by Hippo House. I love missed connections ads, sometimes when I am bored at work I will have a browse through them, just to be nosey. I am a sucker for a good romance story and I like to think that at least some of the people that post these ads actually manage to find the person they are looking for. Some of them must, right? This collection is extremely varied, some do verge on creepy, but they are mostly just extremely shy people that seem to be unsure of how to talk to people in the real world.


Small Parts #1 & #2

Prose poems and mini stories, no longer than 350 words a piece, by Sonya of One Girl Bicycle Club. #1 is a varied collection of surreal and quirky stories/vignettes and #2 is 'the fairytale issue'; alternative takes on classic stories. BOTH ISSUES ARE WONDERFUL. Really, really enjoyed them. My favourite stories were 'City Nights' and 'Missing: Girl' both from #1. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Crust Dog #1 & #2

I love comic zines, especially comic zines about punk. Crust Dog, by Anthony Sorge, follows the trials and tribulations of Handlebar, who sleeps rough, takes abuse from strangers and even more abuse from his selfish owner. Encouraged by visions of a wolf god, handlebar exacts sweet, sweet revenge on said selfish owner. #2 follows an extremely angry dude who accidentally joins a punk band and befriends Handlebar. I love Handlebar, he's like the crust punk version of The Littlest Hobo (Obscure Canadian kid's TV show reference WIN)

Rum Lad #6/Gadgie #31 - The Rum Gadgie

A split between Steve Larder's Rum Lad illustration zine and Marv Jolly's Gadgie punk fanzine. This is two old punks reminiscing about the good old days of the Boston punk scene (Lincs, not Mass). Steve Larder's illustrations are amazing and extremely detailed. It must take an age to complete an issue. Marv's Gadgie zine has to be the first punk zine I have read which uses comic sans, possibly ironically, possibly not. Either way the content is great; hilarious anecdotes as well reviews and an interview. I have never been to Boston but this zine made me feel as if I was right there in the pit with them.

That's it for this month. I still have a stack of zines that I haven't read yet, so I'll save those for next month. Next month being International Zine Month! YAY! If anyone has a zine they'd like me to review drop an e-mail to martin-appleby at live.co.uk. I love zines, I do!

Now, time for some shameless self promotion: Issue #2 of PAPER AND INK is OUT NOW and my girlfriend recently made an art zine called (bangbang) which you should definitely check out. It's pretty rad.