The Year The World Didn’t End

WOWEEEEEEEEEEEE! WHAT A FUCKING STUPENDOUS YEAR THAT WAS.

I hope y’all had amazing times and did all the things on your to-do lists. I have had to start all sorts of new lists to prepare myself for 2013, a new to-do list, a new ambition list, a new crush list.

2012 has been full of more love and more fun than just one little person deserves. Adventure, inspiration and excitement are the focus of the next 12 months and “Just Get Really Good At What You Do” is my 2013 motto. Meeting lots of new people and cherishing the ones I already know is number 1 on my agenda.

Best Bits of 2012

I played Broomball, Jeered at some incredible London Rollergirls bouts, facilitated singing sessions with kids who are non-verbal, saw my artistic development programme for disabled musicians get funding, guested on the She Makes War album along with some other amazing artists.

I was commissioned as a composer twice, hung out with some brilliant life-changing people, tried to play ping pong, danced a LOT, laughed (so hard I cried) every week.

I finished working with the wonderful Drake Music after around 7 and a half years. I’ve never been prouder of anything as much as being a part of changing this failing organisation into a progressive leader in the field of music, technology and accessibility. The people I met while there and the experiences we had together will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope I will work with them again in the future.

I danced on some tables at the BFI. I met some of the amazing people involved in the Barcelona post-porn scene and watched a hot boy stick needles into one of them. I was an extra in a fascinating photo project and got filmed licking a sign saying “Hot”.

The Fattylympics was one of the best, most life-affirming days of my whole life. Fatties and their allies gathered for fun and games including Twirling, Rolling and the wonderful Chubrobics. Zines about how to love your body the way it is were alongside yummy food and gorgeous clothes and fun stuff on the stalls.

I watched Empire Records on a roof with some of my favourite people. I watched Kate Tempest’s play Wasted at the Roundhouse with some more of my favourite people.

I learned to ride a bike, put on a party in an empty pub, tried to bowl, ate a LOT of cider and chips.

I didn’t sleep enough but had lots of bed parties, talked to some of my heroes and crushes, went to a book launch on a boat, went to some film festivals and saw Cirkus CirkorBoom Boom Club, Penny Arcade and La Soiree. I saw Nigel Charnock’s beautiful Haunted By The Future.

Someone very special invented a delicious cake for me and then some famous people tweeted about it.

I travelled into The Future. The world didn’t end.

So, all that’s left to do now are the lists:

Top 5 gigs of 2012

(7 this year!)

Fever Fever’s final ever show, Lexington London

Bright Light Bright Light, Cargo London

Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo doing the whole of Graceland, Hyde Park London

Dry The River, Shepherd’s Bush Empire London

Micachu and The Shapes, The Arcola Tent London

Slow Club and Spaceships Are Cool, Village Underground London

Zombie Zombie, the Lexington London

Special mentions for Band Band at Pony, Melbourne; Midwinter Picnic at West Hill Hall, Brighton; Chris T-T singing A A Milne at King’s Place, London; and the Bermuda Triangle Transmission set at the Resonance FM party.

Top 5 albums of 2012

I haven’t listened to a lot of new stuff this year so I found this category tricky. I adore Dan Le Sac’s Space Between The Words, Jack White’s Blunderbuss and Michachu & The Shapes’s Never.

Most other new stuff I have heard recently has been pretty boring to tell you the truth. I’ve listened to a lot of older stuff, rock n roll, 90s punk/emo, riot grrrl, hip hop, 60s girl bands, doo-wop. Some of which I’d heard before, some of which I hadn’t.

2013 is the year for getting everyone back into music that sounds like there are bits falling off or it’s been stuck together from things found in skips. There hasn’t been enough drum ‘n’ bass in my life (I’ve missed it a lot). It will be the year for real music and real musicians, for finding new sounds and making beautiful songs.

Top 5 books I read in 2012

Venus As A Boy, Luke Sutherland

Short Stack, For Books’ Sake/Pulp Press

Assume Nothing, Rebecca Swan

Nights At The Circus, Angela Carter

No Room For Secrets, Joanna Lumley

Best TV shows I saw in 2012

Generation Kill, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sons Of Anarchy, Doctor Who, Mad Men

Best films I saw in 2012

Far ahead of the rest is the stunningly beautiful The Adventures of Prince Achmed. See it if you’ve never seen it. Get a projector and watch it with friends.

Whale Rider, But I’m A Cheerleader, Boy, Eagle vs Shark, No Country For Old Men, The Girl Bunnies, Drive, Once Were Warriors, Keep on Livin’ and Extracting The Bomp.

Top 5 Welsh people of 2012

Kate Ellis

The Tiger Bay Brawlers

Abigail Chicken

The owners of Dragon Bar, Wellington (which I haven’t been to yet)

My Mum

Top 5 bars of 2012

Matterhorn and S & M’s, Cuba Street

The Swan, Southwark

Bar, Lower Marsh, Southwark

The Old Haberdasher, New Cross

Mr Lawrence’s, Brockley

Best shops/places of 2012

Bad Rep at the Resistance Gallery (monthly) was the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time

Unskinny Bop at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club

Prick Tattoo, Shoreditch

Te Papa, Wellington

The London Particular, New Cross

Allpress, Shoreditch

Most embarrassing moment of 2012

Hiding behind one of my very favourite rollergirls while a female performance artist ejaculated on us. You can’t make this stuff up.

Inspirations

Food, Maps, Nature/Weather, Harley-Davidson, New Zealanders, Roller Derby, Kittens and Ponies, Nerds.

Normal clothes as fancy dress

There’s not been enough of this this year. I think my favourite has to be when I was A Parcel.

Biggest lessons I’ve learnt

When good stuff happens, enjoy it. You deserve it. Don’t second-guess or over-think. Appreciate the positive things. Be bright and bold. Do stuff. Life is long. Go on adventures. Listen to lots of other people’s stories. Ask questions.

Show people how much you love them. Hold on to the good stuff. Keep in touch. Geography means nothing. Write In Real Life letters and cards.

Have high standards. Expect good things. Keep your integrity. Everything is funny if viewed from the right angle.

extra special Thank Yous for bringing me magic in 2012

Charlie Brown, Jane Bradley, Cassie Vallance, Roseanna Everitt, Becca Horn, Melanie Clifford, Vikki Von Vixen & T, Kayleigh O’Shea, Eva Monkey & Kate Ellis, Kyle Gibbens, Holly Casio, Nicholas Graham Smith, Jen Macro, Annette Barlow, Kathy Taylor-Jones, Chud & Ruth, Becky Davey & Brad Perry, Gawain Hewitt, Emma Hogan, Penny Lane, Lola & Mariana, Nathan Harrow & Malika Mezeli, Tom Snowdon, Alex Anderson, Colin & Paula McCracken, Hera, and all my family.

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