Have you ever wondered what happens when you click “BUY” on an indie artist’s products?
In Tea & Empathy Episode 004, join me as I package up orders from my House Clearance music and merch sale prior to leaving Bristol FOREVER. I talk about upcoming changes, gratitude and more.
Starring Lunapup and Albydog.
✅ Watch more episodes of “Tea & Empathy” here xo
Authenticity is a word we hear all the time, especially in relation to how we should present ourselves online. After something big happened recently, I wanted to talk about why I NEVER lie.
-> Order Andy J. Pizza & Sophie Miller’s ACE new book “Invisible Things” here (and support this channel at the same time)
-> Visit the “Invisible Things” site here
-> Then listen to Creative Pep Talk (it’s my fave!)
✅ This is Episode 3 of “Tea & Empathy” – watch the rest here xo
“Oh no, not another one!” I hear you cry, as Meta’s Twitter-like new social media platform Threads takes hold. I’ve been having a nice time on there, but wanted to offer this alternative viewpoint that applies to all social media platforms.
AKA how not everything is for you, and how music criticism is different from bullying. I share a few thoughts on the barrage of abuse Tor aka Billy Nomates received for doing THE JOB SHE WAS HIRED TO DO by Glastonbury Festival / BBC 6 Music on the weekend. She earned that slot!
This is the first in a new series called “Tea & Empathy” – use the comment section to send me any questions you’d like answering, or topics you’d like to suggest for future episodes xo
PS yes, I suppose this first one is “Beer & Empathy” – it was too hot in Paphos for tea!
Welcome to episode 2 of my Creative Spaces series!
I met Ryan Hamilton online recently after his album release plan went very wrong…and I thought to balance out the industry kerfuffle we should have a deep chat about creativity, music recording and how your space can affect your work. So we did!
We talk about how easy it is to record your own music, which three things Ryan considers essential for recording, where songs come from and the magic word to use in your lyrics to bump up your streaming numbers 🤣.
Ryan also talks about Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, and the story behind “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”…and there’s even a cameo from Justin Hawkins!
In September 2021 I was burned out and feeling super sad – so I decided I had to do something completely different. A one-off surf lesson led to my first outdoor swim…and in October 2022 I found myself in Marseille!
Subscribe to see future videos x
➡️ Places I mention in this video:
The Wave, Bristol – aka “man-made wave…place”
Swimming locations shown:
Clevedon Marine Lake
Cromhall Quarry (Gloucestershire)
Dosthill Quarry (Tamworth)
Lake 32 (Cotswold Water Park, Wiltshire)
Praia da Rainha, Cascais, Portugal
(I also swam in Estoril…more on that in a future video)
Vivienne Rickman runs regular wild swimming experiences in Snowdonia – I highly recommend!
In Marseille I swam at:
Calanque de Podestat
Calanque de Sormiou
Plage du Prado
And I stayed at L’Appartement in Sormiou which is where I met my gorgeous guard dog friend Oknit.
Comics class has been cancelled due to lack of interest, and my Zoom H6 Handy recorder won’t turn on. I managed to wipe the battery compartment clear of crusty white goo, but it was too late. The damage was done. Game over. I had some luck selling broken cameras on eBay a few years ago so I’ll see what I can get for the remains.
In 2022 I would have taken these slights personally; 2023 and I are just getting to know one another.
I keep forgetting about having had Covid. How lucky is that – I am so thankful that TOUCH ALL THE WOOD its obvious effects have already gone. I started the year gently, with daily yoga and meditation, but this week I went on three very huffy-puffy runs and am getting back into Blogilates routines.
I feel like a different person.
This morning (Saturday) I tried to sleep in past my 6am alarm, but just lay there wide awake thinking about writing and working out. So…I got up, worked out, and am writing.
I’ve written every day since 3rd January. Three longhand pages of whatever blah blah blah comes out of my brain first thing (aka Morning Pages), plus 30 minutes of timed writing in another notebook, sitting at my desk under the window. It’s still dark outside, and completely quiet, and the leaves from my Monstera plant make silhouettes against the slowly brightening sky.
Quiet is the thing I crave most, these days. I need to hear my thoughts.
It’s important to me that these sessions are analogue, because I always have something to show for them. The delight I feel looking at the photo at the top of this post is incalculable – and nerdy. I made those squiggles! I had those thoughts! I put the time in! I can do this.
I’m doing it. Taking small steps.
What small steps will you take in 2023?
A snoozy day, punctuated by washing piles of soft furnishings and spraying the entire house with Indorex. Surprise baths for reluctant pooches. Flea and worming tablets doled out a few days early. All just in case…but I had a feeling. Just writing about the thought of it makes my skin prickle. Ugh.
I’m still “off work”. I fell ill mid-November after going to see my first gig since 2019 (Gary Barlow’s one-man show – brilliant), so the end of year go-slow started early, but then, in early December – Covid. First-time Covid. Game over.
Unable to do much, I’m in rest and research mode: reading, writing, watching videos on topics that pique my interest. Today I watched videos about field recording and how to sample your own sounds, and made a list of the music production techniques I want to learn and practise in 2023.
Spurred into action, I bring my Zoom H6 recorder down from the studio for a cleanup. Since I paused my podcast this time last year I’ve rarely used it, and the machine has responded to its neglect by letting some batteries fizz and melt in their compartment. Cheers.
I bought a vat of white vinegar a while back for occasions such as these, but it’s probably in the shed, and it’s raining out, so I look for the next best thing. I waver between cider apple vinegar and white wine vinegar, and go for the latter to avoid staining. It works.
Rest is essential (I read that all the time), and I’m enjoying my cosy sofa duvet nest, but I’m starting to feel restless. I haven’t felt itching-to-get-started for months: overwhelmed, stuck and hopeless are three words that sum up much of my 2022. I’m finally starting to feel excited about making things again.
I think it’s because I’ve managed to stay away from external distractions long enough to hear the quiet voice inside urging me onto new and old topics of interest: field recording, sampling, cardboard art. Sculpting with air drying clay. Creating dioramas in boxes and box frames. Blogging! Twitter hasn’t been a satisfying place to write in YEARS and I still love reading (and writing) blog posts. Consider this one a statement of intent.
I’ve signed up for a Cartoons and Comics evening class in town. I’m thinking about creating sample packs using sounds from my solo albums so far. Instead of reminding myself of all the things I didn’t manage to do in 2022 and dragging them all along with me, I’m starting a fresh new list for 2023.
My break includes my YouTube channel: after successfully uploading videos for 52 weeks in a row I’ve stepped back to ponder my next move. I want everything I do to be part of a coherent world I create – I don’t want a hugely successful YouTube channel about cheese, delicious as that may be. It’s a fun challenge to make videos that fit with what I already make, packaging them with the right thumbnail and title to pique the interest of viewers who might not know me yet, as well as those who do.
A phrase pops into my mind, a fresh direction for the year ahead: “adventures in sound and songwriting”. That sounds like a fun year.
Will you join me? xx
In October 2021 I embarked on a solo trip to Lisbon. After retreating into my home – first during a series of lockdowns between March 2020 and January 2021 and then, voluntarily, being super careful for the rest of the year – I tested the waters with my first trip abroad since touring Europe in 2019.
I’m a huge fan of solo travel, whether that’s close to home or further afield. It’s such a great opportunity to do, see, eat and drink whatever *you* want to, as well as to think deeply, appreciate your own resilience and plan for the future without any distractions, without making all those micro-adjustments we rightly or wrongly do when we’re with our loved ones.
In this video I also share some thoughts on the immediacy and addictive nature of social media sharing, whether that’s caring or, perhaps, wearing, and share some photos from my trip.
I’m very thankful for any opportunity to travel like this, and don’t take it for granted at all.
Lisbon is a magical place, I hope you get to visit some time xo