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  • April, May, and June 2023

    Sun, 30 Jul 2023 14:28:23 GMT

    April 2023

    In April I worked the notice period of my job, then visited London to meet up with my friend and now ex-colleague Claire to celebrate! We went to Thin Air, a collection of light and sound art installations in a few large warehouses at a single London location.

    This is exactly my sort of thing, with alarge warehouse with curtains of light flashing on and off to thunderous noises, a geometric laser display you could walk through, a set of flashing lights largely above head level with beanbags to sit on and watch, and that sort of thing.

    Photos don't really do this sort of thing justice but here's a few I took that give a rough sense of it.

    lights projected to give the sense of segmented spaces, moving around and appearing and disappearing to thunder sounds.

    A laser installation, taller than human height, which you could walk through.

    Lights in various moving patterns and colours on the ceiling.

    While I was in London I also popped into Double Threat skates, one of just a few places in the UK where you can try on roller derby skates, to get properly fitted for that sport. Until then I'd been wearing my very first pair of skates, which fit me badly and weren't ideal. I felt a lot more comfortable the first training session I made it to in the new pair!

    May 2023

    I decided to use my time unemployed twofold: to really practice and skill up in my artwork, and to write a novel, which would be my second (the first is not published). Each working day would be a mixture of those two, plus any exercise I deemed necessary to help with my mental health. I'd written 16,000 words of the novel by the end of the month.

    Eurovision was in May too, which I watched online with two text chats open, primarily with Emily and Angel respectively. It was a really good year, and it's such a fun event to watch as a party. I also had Samathy and Lex over for dinner one weekend; I made a chilli with seitan, and we played Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert.

    I took a trip to York, partly for an event, and partly booked as a long weekend break from back when I was employed. I stayed in a lovely self-catering flat, and it was the first time I'd been back to York in almost exactly ten years.

    It was surprising how much I remembered, and how much came back to me.

    York Minster

    The Shambles

    I took a walk around the entire city walls walk, and also found an LGBT+ bookshop that displayed books with the appropriate pride flag bookmark for their contents. I bought a book, which unfortunately I didn't enjoy, but never mind!

    I also walked up to the Millennium Bridge, which is a very picturesque walk along the riverside. Plus there was an ice cream boat! Needless to say I bought an ice cream from it

    Mint chocolate chip

    This was also the debut of Hat IV, which replaced Hat III lost in Vienna last autumn.

    The event in York was STC-Con, which I'm not going to say a lot about but gave Angel, myself, and some of the STC: Reillustrated contributors a chance to hand over print copies of the comic as gifts to various STC alumni, including the three who we interviewed over email for a feature in it (Richard Elson, Nigel Kitching—who also contributed a panel—and Ferran Rodriguez, who even asked us to sign our panels in his copy), the first editor Richard Burton, who was really good to chat to, Carl Flint, and Lew Stringer, who remembered Angel and I from Nottingham Comic Con last year when we went in cosplay.

    Nigel Kitching and Richard Elson

    Ferran Rodriguez

    Richard Burton

    We released STC: Reillustrated issue 3 online on time for STC's 30th anniversary on 29 May. I'm immensely proud of myself for managing to project coordinate the whole thing (this involved processing applications, keeping track of artist submissions, checking in with artists, working with Angel who was leading the project, and so on), and equally proud of everyone else I worked with on this. The fandom has some exceptional talent, and it's a community that just feeds on positivity in a giant feedback loop. It's magical.

    June 2023

    Architects of Air's latest luminarium, Terceradix, debuted at the University of Nottingham, and you never need to ask me twice if I want to go to one of these. Wandering or even sitting in a luminous cave saturated with colour? Yes please.

    This was apparently one of their most ambitious ones, aiming to include a wider colour palette than previously, which was impressive but I felt did mean the colours felt less saturated. Overall excellent, but not my favourite!

    I also went to see Dark Crystal: Odyssey at the Royal Opera House in London. It was the weekend of both train strikes and a football game at Wembley, so getting to and from London was a nightmare and I didn't have a chance to meet up with anyone as a result, which was a shame. I went into the performance completely naïve, as I'm a big Dark Crystal fan and wanted to know as little as possible about the performance.

    I was bitterly disappointed. I learned later that the ROH, and particularly Studio Wayne McGregor, tended to go for more experimental and interpretive performances, but given that the show had the Jim Henson Company's endorsement, I was expecting, you know, anything to do with The Dark Crystal in it. There was some tangential references to it, and judging from listening to a fan podcast that covered it, I may have missed a lot of metaphor, but my experience was of 70 minutes of impressive dancing but absolutely impenetrable meaning. The highlight of my trip was grabbing a pizza from Franco Manca afterwards. Oh well, it was certainly an experience!

    I reached 48,000 words in my novel by the end of June, plus I managed to replace a broken tap in my bathroom by myself, and I completed Sonic Origins as Amy Rose, the newly playable character in an update for it!

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