Archives For Wordy

RIP

12/08/2014 — Leave a comment

I’m not going to harp on about how much I loved all his films as a kid, (a lot) nor am I going to wax about mental illness (arm-chair psychologists are a dime a dozen today) but with profound sadness I am going to leave this here. He showed people that nerds aren’t just basement-dwellers with no social-skills; nerds can be funny, nerds can be extroverts, they can even be parents!

Above all else he valued gaming as a unifying experience, a way to connect to his family and get lost in something together. My heart goes out to Zelda & the rest of his family — It really is dangerous to go alone.

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Creative Bloq

29/07/2014 — Leave a comment

workspace

Big thanks to Lisa at Creative Bloq for valuing my professional opinion enough to ask me to do this! — The Designer’s Guide to Quitting Your Day Job

The plan was to go to the Botanical Gardens, walking through Norrebro to further investigate what we’d seen there on our few furtive visits, but we ended up meandering around for so long that we never even made it to the gardens

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Our first stop was a weird antiques/junk/salvage shop we’d been walking past every day but was always closed —At first we thought Danes just opened their shops whenever the hell they wanted, but we later found out the erratic opening times were because of Whit— which looked like it might be super expensive but was actually dirt cheap. Loads of excellent old design, cast-iron cookware, ancient trunks & satchels, and the ceiling was swamped by low-hanging lamp shades; we saw about 3 concussions in the 20 mins we spent in there. Made out with twenty vintage stickers and an old Donald Duck comic (He’s called Anders And in Denmark and is much much much more popular) for about £2.50 We went in some stationery shops, a strange army-surplus/street-wear hybrid store that sold the most amazing rain-macs for cheap (tried one on but the arms SWAMPED me) and wandered around until A’s blood sugar dropped and she started to get grumpy. Luckily we stumbled across Torvehallerne (Which nobody told us about – trying to keep it for yourselves I see) and had the freshest most delicious sandwich from the little deli attached to Fiskerikajen. Torvehallerne is basically like a giant super-trendy inShop, filled with butchers, fishmongers, mediterranean markets, and one of only two branches of Coffee Collective: Starbucks’ omnipresent grasp has yet to reach Copenhagen. In our haste to cram giant sandwiches into our maw we forgot to take pictures of the sweet sweet Danish architecture on the outside.

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Credit to Christian Per Bakken

Suitably satiated by rye bread as big as my face and dense enough to be used as a murder weapon, we were refuelled enough to explore rest of the market. It was a hipster haven crammed with gourmet pizzerias, paleo cafes, row after row of obscure olives that you’ve probably never heard of, swathes of italian sausage sold by the foot, and an entire shop dedicated solely to artisanal liquorice.  Once we’d walked off our sandwiches to the point that it didn’t feel like we’d just eaten a cannonball, we started our walk back to the apartment to mop off the sweat and crumbs.

On the way, we stopped off at Frederiksborggarde Is for an ice cream as we’d heard it was pretty sweet – made even sweeter by the fact it was the end of the day and the guy behind the counter had a crush on A and gave us 2 ice creams for the price of one with the caveat that we didn’t tell his boss. For the record I had coffee and A had vanilla & caramel – I know you needed to hear that.  It was ridiculously hot and we had two beers in my bag, so we sat on the bank in the sun and ate our ice creams and drank our beers.

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On the way back to our apartment there was an impromptu carnival courtesy of the Soca Truck. We stopped and partied for a while. Just enjoying the view, the music, and the non-stop daggering.

Tivoli Gardens could be a whole post in itself so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. It was more money than thought but then we were all like YOLO or whatever. We got the multi-ride pass, and went on a baby-coaster: you would have thought A was on Nemesis or some shit; terrified. There was legit a small child one car in front of us, giggling with delight the whole way round while A cowered into my shoulder and wept. (See top left image)
We partook in some general merriment, walking around, eating shitty food; standard fairground stuff. We went on some spinny rides because A is less scared of them, then she left me to go on THE DEMON alone. Waiting time was only about 20 mins and I got to be at the front – Suck it, Alton Towers. It was like 10 seconds long but real fun and worth it. A++++ would ride again. (bottom right & centre)

It was getting late and A wanted a hot dog, but we really wanted to go on the Star Flyer (bottom left) so after much cajoling A reluctantly agreed. The ride guard was hip to me trying to smuggle a camera on and shot me down so we waited for the next ride; the last ride of the night. It was insane seeing Copenhagen at 11:30 at night from 80m in the air and spinning super fast. All the other rides had all but shut down too, so it was kind of peaceful – Except the cold wind rushing real fast round your ears part. We stayed to watch the fireworks – The best display either of us had seen. And yeah, you read right I watched the fireworks. Recessed from the crowd with fingers in ears, but still…

After that we drank beers en route to Vela Bar. We wanted to see what the gay scene was up to and all the other gay bars were clearly for men. I can’t remember the exact names but something on the lines of “Cock Lounge” “Butt Bar” & “A lively fisting.” A is terrified of her own kind, (Except some scandinavian goddess in a totes-couture dress she couldn’t stop staring at – Happy Anniversary!) so we had two drinks and avoided eye contact with everyone then walked home.

Day 4, coming September 2016.

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Picking up where we left off last time we took the Metro to Islands Brygge  and we walked down along the waterfront to Brygge Broen and I gave A an early anniversary present of a Lover’s Lock to put on the bridge.

We doubled back, threw the keys in the river and walked back into town. We got some beers from a hostel and were hungry so we hit up Max Burger – their Green & Garlic sauce is the only real contender for Boro’s garlic sauce crown. Like comparing two lovers, neither is better…just different. It was so good that I smuggled the leftovers back in a sock.

The next day was our anniversary so we exchanged cards and gifts and I went to 7 Eleven and got us coffee and donuts. Got some A+ fresh bread and some cheese and we made some sandwiches when we got back for our day.

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We rented some bikes. I had to request a tiny one because I am such a short arse. Cyclists here are bosses and everything is quick and simple, nothing like the total gorms on two wheels in Bristol.  We cycled down the The Black Diamond, bought a postcard, got some tea and sat outside even though it was cold AF.

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Then we cycled on to Christianshavn to the Church of Our Saviour, but along the way A’s extremely dangerous cycling almost got me hit by a van. Happy Vanniversary! The church was nice inside, but a rip at £4 each to go up some steps. So we went on to Christiana pretty quick.

The weather was shitty so we didn’t hang around too much. The Green Light district was awesome but you’re not allowed to take pictures so you’ll have to take our word for it. Loads of camo-netted stalls selling spliffs in test tubes and pre-packaged brownies and cordoned off weed gardens. A was too pussy to buy anything so we just had a quick wander around.

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We cycled home through a different part of Norrebro, returned the bikes then came home to get ready for our anniversary dinner.  We wandered around Frederiksberg for what felt like hours until we finally settled on a real nice Italian restaurant. My food was essentially a bowl of butter and cheese: so naturally it was excellent. We had some wine then walked around looking for Haribo Worms to no avail, then turned in.

This morning I got up early to work on some projects then we had breakfast and mooched around the apartment. Weather is great today so we’re off to the Botanical Gardens then some exploring; saving ourselves for tonight when we go to Tivoli Gardens then out on a thriller!

 

Bonus Packaging.

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Ghosts

20/12/2012 — Leave a comment

My super talented friend Jodie helped make this video for Teesside MC, Hauntin for his Christmas charity single. (Go check her out, she’s crazy good!) I know charity singles are about as widespread as the Norovirus at this time of year, but this one —if you’ll forgive the pun— really hit home.

Nightstop are very dear to my heart. I ended up homeless in 2008 for about 4 months, through a cocktail of bad decisions and staggering naïveté, and it will never ever leave me. I remember waiting to be housed on the God-awful pleather sofa of the Erimus offices, I remember when I realised I was on my own. I’d exhausted the goodwill of all my loved ones and friends —you try having an indefinite house-guest and see how long you last— and I had to turn myself over to something bigger or spend the night on the streets.

I was with Nightstop on and off for the entire month of November and they took care of me. I was nowhere near their least fortunate person on their books; I knew this, and I did my best not to bother them. They offered me food, and toiletries (both things I could eke out for myself on a doley’s “salary”) but I couldn’t have took them in good conscience, but they did find me places to sleep; a young couple in Yarm, both substitute teachers, who may or not still have the Quorn meatballs I left in their freezer (It’s okay, you can keep them) a few I don’t even remember, and by far the most memorable, a lovely older couple with empty-nest syndrome on the Lakes estate, who made me feel like one of their own.

I’m about to turn 25, and it’s made me think about the person I am¹, and the person I was² and the person I want to be³, and how far I’ve come from sitting on the bench by Mima fountains all day in the freezing fog trying to nap. I’m writing this listening to Christmas carols at my desk with a warm mulled apple juice, my fiancee watching Eastenders on the bed behind me, in a huge room hundreds of miles from Teesside. I’ve got a job now, I’ve got a house now, and now I can’t even imagine being that girl.

I might not be that girl anymore but somebody is, and it’s weighing on my mind that Nightstop need help. They can’t continue to operate without funding and far from it for me to make an impassioned plea for you to give us yer fucken money…give them your fucking money. It’s kind of an acquired compassion when you realise that at any one time you or someone you know might only be a few bad decisions from homelessness — I had to learn that the hard way, so if you could just figure it out on your own…

If my ramblings have swayed you in anyway you can download the above single, with the proceeds going to Nightstop Teessside or you can text

BEDS41 plus £amount to 70070

I’m trying to get a print or something together to help, but in the mean time if just one of you gives the price of a Black Forest Mocha (not before trying one first though, they’re heavenly) then I know I’ve done something to help someone who helped me when I needed it most. I would like to end this with a brief, heartfelt, and overwhelmingly chuff note of thanks to anyone who helped me at that time. Those who let me sleep on their floors, who had me over for dinner, those who stashed my stuff for me, let me use their phones, their baths, lent me money, anything. Consider this the liner notes for that particular ‘album’ of my life. Thank you so much.

¹ – Alright.
² – A bit of a dickhead.
³ – Someone good.

It’s been a hectic month, a few weeks ago I participated in Visualising Global Marathon with Louise Kelly & Sam Blackmore. I’m not really used to working in a team but it was great fun, and a few hours in we all had that hysterical cabin fever you only get when you’re all against the clock. In-jokes galore and a lot of hard slog traipsing through pages and pages of raw data. Just thinking about it now makes my eyes hurt. You can view our efforts here, but I’ll get round to a proper process post soon enough.

On the 11th I was lucky enough to see Tegan and Sara live at the O2 Academy. (Photo courtesy of my girlfriend’s iPhone) For anyone who hasn’t seen them live I cannot recommend it enough. Bring your sister, bring your brother, bring your lesbian lover (especially her) it is essentially going to see two shows in one; a live concert and some stand-up in between for good measure. I saw them before at The Cockpit in Leeds (Ironic, as it was a total taco-fest) around the time The Con came out and it was more banter than show and was one of the funniest nights of my life. This time they were a little restrained, partly because some Austrian girls were pelting paper airplanes at them. The atmosphere softened a little after that, and Sara played a great straight-man to Tegan’s incessant mugging.  Wholly recommend catching them live, and I’m excited for Heartthrob.

Skyfall

Skyfall was great; the most ‘British’ Bond yet, in that it was gloomy and austere and had a tube in it.  It drew a lot of parallels with The Dark Knight Rises, Doctor Who, and oddly enough, Home Alone…

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If you’ve seen it, then you’ll know.

Delight

05/11/2012 — Leave a comment

Wow! What an odd week it’s been. I had my first hand-in of my final year of University, my blog post about Lucy Tobin has had a thousand views (!!!) and some great responses from my Teesside brothers and sisters, and finally I had a spare few minutes to finalise the design of the finished patches I created for Scouts For Equality and they sold out in less than a day!

I’ve written about how useless it can feel to be a designer before; when a crisis calls, the only help we can really offer is decorative. I remember when the tsunami hit Japan and it seemed like everybody was churning out distasteful reminders of the tragedy. I found it odd that someone would pay over the odds for a print, when the best thing should really have been would have been to donate money and time directly.

It’s quite simple really. People like stuff. People don’t like to give away money and have nothing but a warm feeling to show for it, we need something tangible. So I thought about it and I remembered something Frank Chimero said about design’s ability to ‘delight.’ Very few people have the opportunity to delight people with their day job and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to do so. Instead of commemorating the BSA’s horrendous prejudice, I thought I could create something people would want, something they’d want to show-off, and most importantly an identifier: something we can wear with pride, as a sign of solidarity.

The response was incredible, people really were delighted and the patches sold out in less than a day! They did so well that I rounded up the figure to $50 and another run is already in production.

This batch is ‘Eagle Approved’ and will be a limited run of 50, with a lighter background than the first batch and metallic silver border. I’m really,  really grateful to people for giving me the opportunity to pursue these projects and to ‘delight’ — here’s to raising even more money for Scouts For Equality. If you haven’t already, please go over to their site and sign their petitions, it only takes a few minutes. I’m going to leave with the final justification; the original email I sent to Scouts For Equality.

Hello,

When reading about the recent BSA atrocities I was moved to action: I self funded the production of some embroidered patches that all of us can wear to show support to the poor young men (and women, and den mothers/fathers) who are being treated unjustly by the BSA.  

I was a Girl Guide and I am now openly gay, and though I was too young at the time to know exactly what I was, it pains me that more headstrong young people who are sure of themselves and their sexuality are being punished and excluded for the way they are. The world needs Scouts more than ever, we need the camaraderie, we need the bond of sister and brotherhood, we need model citizens. We should be banding Scouts together, not tearing them apart.

I am not doing this for recognition, though if you’d like to share a link to the finished badges that would be lovely. Though I’m limited to what I can do as a designer, I continue to raise awareness for this cause on a personal level, and I’m happy to support your organisation and cause. In my own small way, I hope I have helped.

Thank you
Ever prepared,
Naomi Dodds