Archive for the ‘Extra-Curricular Things’ Category
This year has been dominated by huge news stories that shook the world. This video tries to show how it felt to live through 2011… the year beyond words.
(Warning: Contains graphic images)
They’re 100% cotton bags with a Dot Cotton pun on the front. Priceless.
They make a cracking little stocking filler for Christmas and are way cooler than anything you’ve ever seen with your eyes.
If you’re thinking of making a bag I’d recommend Canby Bags, as they’re really helpful and make good quality products. You have to make a vector graphic, but don’t let that put you off. A bit of googling will get you through.
But seriously, get clicking… I need to shift these things.
Both shows are back on air for new series so I decided to mash them up with some voice-swapping. What would happen if Joey Essex sounded like a cad and the posh types sounded like them people from that county wot’s in the south of Ingland where they drive them white cars and that and go to restaurants and, like, eat and have rows and that and stuff, d’you know what I mean babes…?
It’s already been shared over 500 times, including by Made In Chelsea’s Francis Boulle. The view count is up to 2,400 on day one so I’m hoping this one’s going to grow…
In June I went to the world-famous Glastonbury festival and made this film out of photographs. It was shot and edited on site within 24 hours before the festival began…
We were there working on several film projects for Shangri-La, part of the the late night area of the festival. This meant six days of the best filmmaking fun of my life but also six muddy days without a shower.
It’s fair to say we all smelled…OF AWESOME.
The Junk Shop is a book I’m writing one chapter at a time, releasing each one as I go along. It’s the story of a man who enters a mysterious junk shop and ends up falling through a mirror to another world.
The story is written on my phone whilst travelling on the London Underground. In the darkness of the tunnels the story seems to write itself…
I suddenly realised my face was tender and grazed. If this was on YouTube it would definitely have been tagged ‘faceplant’. But where had I fallen from? Turning back I saw the curved stone wall that ran up both sides of the corridor, meeting in the middle above my head. It was long, expanding into the darkness on my left and right.
Now I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how strange this was. It was so far off the scale of strangeness it had come round full circle, tapped me on the shoulder and slapped me in the face. Really hard. And my face really hurt.
So no mirror. No junk shop. Was I high? No, probably not. I distinctly disagree with hard drug use due to the ravages of drug production on South America, for example, Mexico alone has… nevermind. Maybe I was dreaming and would wake up eventually? Or perhaps it was real and simply very strange? Either way the situation seemed distinctly out of my hands and I was British dammit so I wasn’t going to let a little thing like the most inexplicable and disturbing event of a young(ish) man’s life get me down.
My only option was to roll with the punches.
I shuddered, maybe from the cold, probably from fear creeping into my spine. I fought it by slapping myself about the face. Mentally you understand, not literally, my poor visage had gone through enough. I looked to the only light source… a flaming torch burning away in a holder on the wall. How very David-pissing-Bowie-in-Labyrinth. There was no-one in sight and my initial shock was turning to nerves so I decided to take the torch and keep it with me for as long as it would burn. A couple of hours perhaps? I don’t know, I’m not a scout. But the light felt comforting and the fact it was on fire was a total bonus. Light scares away tricks of the mind, monsters under the bed and such, but fire scares away real things like spiders and rapists. Oh yes, I was going to hold into this torch until I got out alive or woke the hell up.
I decided to name him Torchy.
I took Torchy from his holder and examined the walls. I wish I could say they were interesting… Lined with diamonds and held together with sparkley unicorn dung, perhaps? Well no, they were just regular slightly mouldy stone walls. No gaps, no cracks, no handle back to the other side. Drat and bugger. There was, however, an old cast iron sign post. On the left it pointed to Carlisle and on the right Berlin. Was I in some kind of long-forgotten Nazi tunnel? Surely even the Nazis, who loved being mean to just about everyone ever, couldn’t be arsed to walk from Berlin to Carlisle? Be honest, there’s not even that much in Carlisle.
Then I heard it… the sound of hooves. Not galloping. Not even cantering, just clopping and scraping in the distance. How the hell would a horse survive down here? There was only one way to find out. I must have walked a good six and a half minutes (what? I’m precise, deal with it) in the direction of Carlisle before I saw it. At first I thought it was a horse in a natty jacket. Then I thought it wasn’t a horse at all, but some kind of strange headless creature that must live exclusively in this tunnel, like a rubbish minotaur. I edged closer, holding Torchy and the old computer mouse in front of me in case it attacked. In hindsight that was daft. I’m pretty sure you can’t click a horse to death.
Then I finally saw what it was… a zebra.
Or, to be precise, a zebra with its head stuck in the wall. Keeping the zebra in place was a strong collar with a simple brass clasp at the top. I had no idea if the zebra knew I was there or not, he just seemed to be shuffling a bit, like he was sick of being held in the same position. The stone walls were so thick and the collar so tightly fastened that I couldn’t hear a single noise from the creature’s mouth, but I sensed it wasn’t happy. It felt wrong. Zebras are magnificent creatures and should be free to roam the Serengeti and get eaten by lions, not trussed up in a tunnel, unable to move a millimetre. It dawned on me that it was my responsibility, no, no, my duty, to free this creature and take whatever consequences came my way, safe in the knowledge that I, as a compassionate, noble and heroic human being had bestowed kindness and mercy upon this poor, unfortunate, incarcerated beast.
Plus it’s times like this in a young(ish) man’s life when curiosity outweighs, well… everything. So I reached out and flicked open the clasp.
Now I don’t know what I expected to happen. After all, I’d never freed a zebra before. But I didn’t expect this.
“THAAANK CHRIST FO’ THAT!” Yelled the zebra (yes, the zebra) as it yanked back from the wall, shaking its mane in fits and starts, sending a huge cloud of dust into the corridor. “I’ve been stuck in that wall fer ages, proper time!”
I swear to god the zebra had a Manc accent.
The zebra stretched out, coughing and spluttering. “Aaaah mate, ma neck proper kills… OH YEAH it feels SOOO GOOD to move around… UGH! I’m sick of lookin at that shop. It’s been proper time since I’ve seen this corridor. And my arse! Jeeesus I forgot what it looked like! Not so bad eh boss?” And with that he wiggled it at me. He wiggled… his arse… at me.
The zebra stopped, finally noticing my gobsmacked expression. I had a face like a slapped donut, and was so confused I’m pretty sure my brain had begun leaking out of my ear.
“Oh it’s you.” Said the zebra “…the bloke from the shop. I saw you fall through the mirror, that was piss funny.”
Again, I stared, open-mouthed.
“Oh, sorry. You’re not from round here are ya?”
“Don’t worry,” said the zebra, stepping forward “We can be pals, like, we can hang out and that. It’s been ages since I had a proper chat, about 40 years or so. I’ve got loads to talk about, me, honest I have. Oh, who won the last ten world cups? I had a bet on with Tony and he…”
“WILL YOU STOP THIS RIDICULOUS CHATTER AND TELL ME WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?”
He looked startled. Good. He was prattling like a tosser, someone had to stop him. Although my outburst mustn’t have shocked him as much as I’d hoped.
“Alright Colin Firth, keep your knickers on. I’m Keith, I’m a zebra. You’re clearly a human, and pretty rude with it, which is funny considering you just fell through the mirror like a right prick…” He actually got spittle on my face as he said that but I didn’t want to seem weak so I left it there until he looked away and then wiped it off. Small victory, but still counts. “…and you’re on the Flipside. Right, basics sorted.”
“Yes Einstein, the flipside, the other side, the parallel wotsit… The place prissy suits like you don’t even know exists because your heads are too far up your own back sides with your stock markets and your London rent. Anyway, let’s walk and talk. Where are you heading?”
“Well nowhere. Actually… Carlisle I suppose.” I was getting a bit sulky. I’d only been here two minutes and I was already taking orders from a disco horse.
“And what do you expect to find in Carlisle?” Asked Keith.
“I dunno… A castle? Bad weather? A train back to London?”
“WRONG! Just as I thought, not a bloody clue. This isn’t your Carlisle, that’s on the other side.”
“Well what’s this Carlisle then?”
“Duh! It’s an island full of Carls!”
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