On Friday I finished work early in London, caught the train home and went on a mooching spree around Brighton (I do this quite often, I’m a premature granny, remember? You can read all about being a p-ranny here). I wandered into a pottery cafe and booked a class – that’s gonna be interesting seeing as I can’t even read my own handwriting, let alone turn a jug into something Pinterest worthy.
I stopped and took loads of photos that I’ll never ever use anywhere just because I had some free time on my hands and I happened to decide that these two cream mopeds parked up together were very, very pleasing on the eye. I’m not on drugs, promise. Caffeine yes. Hard drugs, no. It’s also possible I might have come into contact with one of those weird giant hogweed plants – you know the ones that are grabbin’ all the headlines right now, with the fine needle-like hairs that cause blisters because of their toxic chemicals? I like the name of them though. They sound like something Harry Potter would buy, not something that could potentially blind you and turn you into an ulcerated, rashy, itchy mess. Anyway, no drugs here just that fine ass Friday feeling.
After that, I strolled up the road and into an independent magazine shop, aptly named Magazine Brighton. Half an hour later I left… £22 pound worse off. I know, I was shocked and appalled by my reckless actions too. I flicked through mags I had never even heard of and I’m not gonna lie, I was on the verge of being turned on. The paper smelt so good, the imagery was insane and the writing was just ahhh – shall I close the blinds for a second? I think I it’s only right that I do.
I’ve always been a stationary addict for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I would spend every penny of my £5 pocket money on Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo books, scented gel pens and pencil cases that I never wanted to actually use for fear of ruining them. What a pathetic entitled a-hole. Give that pencil case the life it deserves ffs – fill it with dirty pencil shavings and get family members to chuck them in your face on your wedding day – it’s what any true stationary lover would do. And it’s cheaper than confetti.
The mags I picked up were Blogosphere which you’ve probably heard of. I’ve never read it but figured it would be wise if I did as it’s packed with advice from some of the most established voices in the industry and emerging talent. The second one was Flow – a Dutch mag all about following your heart and the beauty of not always managing to be perfect. There was an article about random acts of kindness in there which struck a cord, so that combined with the beautiful photography and sweet-smelling paper was enough to make me carry it in my arm like a small dog on an escalator. Seriously, I inhaled the paper about 204 times before I bought it. And the third and final mag in this reckless Friday haul was Sunday Girl. This one resonated with me for so many reasons: it felt instantly relatable, it’s arty without being pretentious and it’s full of the kind of content I’d wish I’d written myself. It’s different but not in a try-hard kinda way; different in a way that feels painstakingly familiar, comforting and refreshing all at once. It’s politically engaging and responsible with it, it’s every teenager that ever went through heartbreak – probably with Avril Lavigne by their side. It’s poetic and empowering but also vulnerable. Ah, I can’t rave about it enough. I feel like I’ve just unearthed another deeply addictive hobby, one that just so happens to eat into my bank account a little bit more than the ol’ cost effective dog-stalking. But on a serious note, as someone who is habitually digesting content wherever I can find it, writing and editing news and features for a career and blogging on the sidelines, it makes me so happy to discover a magazine quite so unique and personable as this one. I feel like even Lucinda Chambers would read this of her own accord.
After the magazine spree I took myself off to a cafe and sat there with an iced latte and a jammy doughnut. I knew I had spilt the jam all around my chin but I left it there anyway – even with intense eye contact from the barista, I left it there for fun like the careless child that I am, just so I could really enjoy the doughnut without interrupting the flow by wiping my gob.
I was so content mooching around in the sun in my own little world. That slice of time out gives me a chance to switch off and to do things aimlessly. I had no intention of booking a pottery class or of spending a small fortune on mags but doing it somehow made me feel inspired. Maybe it’s just because it’s Friday and I’m reading into it too much, who knows. But it’s a nice feeling either way.
There was an article about random acts of kindness in there which struck a cord, so that combined with the beautiful photography and sweet-smelling paper was enough to make me carry it in my arm like a small dog on an escalator
I opened one of my mags in the cafe and attempted to read one of the articles in there, but the baby opposite was staring at me in a really unnerving way and all I could see was orange baby food instead of the words. Isn’t it so weird how they do it? It’s like they’re looking right into your soul and seeing everything you’ve ever done that you shouldn’t have done in your life. It’s both hilarious and creepy. Anyway, said baby then went off to have his bum changed. Cute. I then got a sudden waft with my iced coffee and I immediately blamed the staring baby but it was actually just cheesy damp cloth that the barista was using to wipe down the surfaces. I’m not sure if anyone else will get that, other than my sister (possibly) but it is a thing. I legit thought I’d been sick on myself and forgotten about it or that a dog has come into the cafe, crapped on my longer-than-could-ever-be-practical dress and then trotted off without me knowing about it. The perfect crime. The cheesy cloth was a welcome relief, as you can imagine but it’s still up there with one of the worst smells in life. Bin juice is a close second and having worked in a hospital for 4 years I can tell you that yellow bin juice, more specifically, is the worst of all of life’s smells. Ever. Everrr.
I have a nose like a bloodhound. Once I said to my dad I could smell dead mouse in the kitchen. I’d never smelt a dead mouse before but I was convinced that the foreign smell invading my nostrils was definitely that of a deceased rodent. Lo and behold, dad pulled out the fridge and there was the decaying spine of a mouse – a dead ringer for Mr Jingles from The Green Mile. I should have been disgusted but I was so proud of my nose at that point in time that I forgot all about how rank the whole thing was. If I close my eyes, I can still smell it now. No idea why I need to close my eyes but hey, don’t question my technique guys.
It’s now twenty past six (it’s not it’s now 11:36 PM and I’m still up with my nose embedded in my mags, tapping away on here) and I’ve got to go and do something very basic and go and buy some flowers for myself. Again.
Where did all your money go this month Lareese? Well, first I denied it of water and subjected it to an hour long photo shoot on my bed sheets and then I stuck it in a vase and watched it die. I also spent it on various forms of paper. So that free time I mentioned earlier was never really free was it. I mean, I act like I have a May shaped money tree on the go here – £22 on mags, £7 on a doughnut and coffee … when in reality I’m actually wearing Primark knickers with more holes in them than a cable knit jumper that’s been snagged by your midi rings 191717 times. Love you bye.
PS I think I’m gonna start a swear jar, only instead of putting money in it whenever I swear, I’m gonna put money in whenever I mention dogs.