Sunday, 28 February 2010

Lego and lost gloves

There are some people's projects that I think about doing almost every day- I am constantly listening for a line I think will be good for one of Greg's twitter plays and I have been planning my introduction for my 300 words about art since before I created this blog.

There are some things that I did before but now am more likely to, like complimenting people, taking opportunities to talk to strangers or being open to trying new things, and I don't really feel I need to blog about them. (Although doing one big new thing before next Wednesday is definitely something I want to achieve.)

Other projects require strategic planning, like taking a trip to Hamley's to play with Lego. I'm no Daniel Weir but I had fun.

I started off simple with some European flags.

Then I attempted something slightly more complex- a tree (and flower).

The little boy next to me put me to shame though. He was making some kind of epic spaceship and the second I stepped away from the table my tree was stripped for parts to be added to his craft.

Neither of us could quite compete with this though.

And then there are times where the opportunity for plagiarism just presents itself. Like today when walking along Regent's Street I spotted this lost and lonely glove. (For more and better photos of lost gloves I direct you to grant_me's flickr.)

With only 10 days left I'm hoping lots more of these kind of opportunities present themselves but I am also doing some planning to try and fit everything in that I want to do. Please let me know if you think there are any projects I really have to do before our 100 days are over.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Photo fun

Heidi aka Mybitofsky takes photos of rubbish she finds in the street. They are stunningly good and make you look at mudane and discarded objects as works of art.

This is my homage to her, taken on the Kings Road, London.

Monday, 22 February 2010


I love Wikipedia.
I love the idea of people getting together to share knowledge about everything (absolutely everything).
I love that Spanish universities feel it necessary tell students that it is unacceptable to use Wikipedia as your only source for an essay.
I love the Nathan Filer poem about Wikipedia which sadly I can't find online (although I strongly recommend you check out his other work).
I love the random article button on Wikipedia. When I worked in a very boring job, my friend Richard and I, working on opposite sides the city, would send each other links to the best random article we could find. Actually, now my job isn't boring and we live several hundred miles away we still do!
I love the stories Ben Partridge wrote, based on the wikipedia article generated by the random button each day.
I particularly love day three and day 25.
I miss those stories.

Here is my very poor attempt to replicate one.

Based on the wikipedia article:, as generated by the random article button. (And I was good and only pressed it once.)

It had all started when Emma Hardy had given him salty popcorn when he had specifically asked for sweet. He didn’t discover the error until he was sat in his seat and the trailers had already started. He had timed his entrance perfectly to avoid the adverts but catch the trailers and now it was too late to go back and complain. He was so angry he didn’t even take any pleasure in the trailer for the latest George Clooney film. All he could think about was Emma Hardy, giving him the wrong popcorn, mocking him from behind the refreshments counter. Not even George- so rugged yet so debonair- could smooth over that slight. He managed to concentrate for most of the film but when occasionally his hand would stray to the popcorn bucket he would remember and his ire would rise again. He’d have his revenge though.

As soon as he got home he logged onto Wikipedia and edited the entry for the Kettering Odeon, referencing the low hygiene standard and low morals of their food staff. That would show her. His satisfaction didn’t last long however. Three days later the article was amended and all mentions of what Ms Hardy liked to indulge in and with whom were removed from the site.

Since then it had become a challenge, an obsession: John against the machine. He learnt quickly- comments on cinemas and nightclubs got picked up pretty quickly, sexual slurs were detected within a matter of days, UK and US based businesses were a lot quicker to cleanse their entries than organisations in other countries. Tonight though he was pretty sure he had cracked it.

‘Cafe Cartel Restaurants in the suburban areas are infamous for their bad customer service. Snobby managers and staff with no eye contact.’

It didn't matter he had never even left the UK,let alone visited Singapore. Tonight, he was sure, he had acheived his goal. It would be months, even years, before anybody corrected that.

It was with intense smugness and satisfaction that he watched his ER box set that night.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Letter writing

Today I wrote a letter to Sara Pascoe. Sara has been writing a letter a day for her hundred days and very kindly wrote one to me. And being a fabulous comedian type she will be telling us about it at the event on the 10th March (her hundred days I mean, not just the letter she wrote to me).

Sara and I actually went to university together (I am one of her 1500 close, intimate friends on facebook) and she directed me (and also starred) in a production of Alice in Wonderland for Sussex University Drama Society. I played the very important role of frog footman/playing card/segment of a caterpillar and general chorus. Whereas that show for me was the pinnacle of my acting acheivements Sara has gone on to bigger and better things including popping up in the episode of Being Human I was watching this evening. I have great memories from Alice. I met my best friends at uni through that production. I am very greatful to Sara (and Vanessa and Katie) for casting me in the first place. It's been really nice to reconnect with her breifly and in letter form through 100 days.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Carrying On

So last week was plagiarism week and I got a bit lazy. It was brilliant to see everyone else's efforts, I really enjoyed it. But it did kind of take away my drive to carry on with the blog. I wasn't sure whether I would continue now that the whole homage thing had kind of been done and done better by everyone else. Also I'd completely let my original pledge slide (physical exercise or creative writing everyday) having not written anything or gone to the gym since day 62.

But last night, on my way back from the hundred days meet up I felt a renewed sense of determination. I've never been and never will be the best writer, athlete, playwright, photographer etc.etc. but I've really enjoyed trying and I want to continue to do so. I re-read the writing I've done for my own pledge last night and I have over 8000 words, some that I'm actually really happy with. I want to carry on and see what else I can do.

So tonight I have copied a pledge (or several) that I love and don't have the talent to do myself. But I've done it anyway and I enjoyed it. So in the spirit of Vented Spleen, Eddie Ross, and the fabulous Wiggly Mittens here is my comic strip:

And because the photo quality is so appalling (will try and scan it at work tomorrow) here is what it says:
Today I was productive. I fought the CMS and won. I got my boots re-heeled. I baked some sweet potato muffins. I did some washing. I did some writing and drawing. Today was a GOOD day.

I think the next 20 days will be pretty good too. I've got a list of lots of projects I still want to copy and I'm going to try and continue with my own as well. I want to make sure I've got lots for my plinth at the Hundred Days Museum. I hope to see lots of you there.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Renault 4 Door

I am not a songwriter. Occasionally I am a singer but I am not a songwriter. I thought I'd never be able to follow the lead of The Pictish Trail and his 30 second song a day.

But this week is plagiarism week and with so many people do stirling work on the homage front I'm upping the ante and posting work that's not even vaguely mine and claiming it as my 100 days contribution.

Last night Declan came round with his guitar and we sang some tunes (including a pretty good version of Dancing in the Dark by The Boss) He also made up this little ditty about his first car.

Renault 4 Door

You can hear me say 'go' at the beginning and laugh during the song so it's almost like I wrote it. Right?

Big thank you to fellow hundred dayer Jamie Lickfold for helping me overcome my technical stupidity and work out how to share the song. He has been writing some lovely songs too over at his 100 days of creativity blog.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Plagiarism week!

Josie has spoken and this week is Plagiarism Week!

You can see the video where she explains it all here.

I don't get a name check but I'd like to think when she says it's "in honour of the hundred dayer whose entire project is plagiarism" she's talking about me. Although, the now extremely strong and buff Ryan Millar has been touring pledges long before I started. And Dominic McKenna did a fabulous week of plagiairsm a few weeks back (day 34- 41)

In fact Dominic's whole project is fabulous. He takes photos of people smiling each day and posts them on his blog. And thereby captures and spreads that happiness to all of us.

Yesterday I did a lot of smiling- I went to a Micheal Rosen event with work, I took the afternoon off and discovered a hidden Roman baths just off the Strand, I saw a 13,000 year old sculpture at the British Museum, saw the wonderful Patrick Ness at an event and then met my friend Nicole. Nicole makes me smile a lot. And yesterday she took me to a bar near Tower Bridge. I had never seen Tower Bridge up close before and it made me very happy. I love London. Sometimes I forget this but yesterday I was blown away by how stunning it can be. This is Nicloe smiling in the bar. Apologies, as always, for the bad quality photography!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Scotty and Mr Zak have a beautiful project. Everyday for 100 days they are kissing in front of a London monument and taking a photograph. It's simple, it's romantic, it's touching and it warms my heart a little each day.

So while I was in Paris I decided to take advantage of the fact that I was in the city of love and staying with a very loved up couple to pay homage to S&M.

Here are my friends Solal and Lisa and the sights of Paris. Ain't love grand?

Also in case you were wondering Lisa and Solal have a story that would be eminently suitable for one of Lina's 100 love stories. They met when Lisa was studying at law school in Seattle and Solal was travelling the USA. Solal couchsurfed with Lisa for 4 days and they got on really well. The day after he left to continue his travels he emailed Lisa telling her how he felt and asking if he could come back and stay with her again. She said yes and they spent the next six weeks together. After he had returned to France, Lisa went out to visit him there. And after that she applied to study her final year of law school in Paris. They have been living together for seven months in a one bedroom apartment on the banks of the canal. Lisa will be going back to America to start work in June. Solal has applied to study in the United States next year.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Je ne parle pas francais

So I tried. I really did. And I did much better that if I hadn't studied my phrase book. I still can't speak French though- way too much Spanish slips out. But I managed to order food and drinks and eclairs (they deserve their own category) and people smiled at me for trying. I think that makes me a better person.

Also I had a fab time and did some excellent plagiary while in Paris... will share with you soon!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


This week I'm a trying to learn French.

I'm joining the ranks of Waves in Warsaw (Neil Milton), Emma J Lannie and I'm sure many others in using 100 days to improve our language skills. I'm not learning anything as complex or exotic as Polish (Neil) or Icelandic (Emma). But I'm hoping that 15 minutes of French a day will make me a better person.

All of this is because I'm going to Paris on Thursday! I know I've just got back from Spain but I promise my life is not normally a European city every two weeks. But I have a friend I can stay with and cheap eurostar tickets and I am taking full advantage!

I have GCSE French but since learning Spanish any French has been pushed right out. Last time I was in France I confused everyone by looking extremely English and babbling in Spanish. It's almost as if I only have one section of my brain labelled 'foreign' and there isn't much space in there for more than one language. However I managed to carve out a little space for Catalan and I'm hoping I can now do the same for French.

As I will actually be in France my challenge for this week is to learn phrases and try them out on real people. I am preparing for the next couple of days by reading my phrase book on the tube. As my book was published in 2004 I now know useful phrases such as 'I'd like a video cassette (Je voudrais une casstette de video) and I will understand phrases such as 'fumeur ou non-fumeur?' (smoking or non-smoking?) which I may hear when booking my seat on a flight. It's scary how much the world has changed in 5 years.

I will let you know how I get on with my language adventures- if anyone has any good French phrases I should try and use, please let me know.