Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Nine Days Off

"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you,
Tomorrow I'll miss you,
Remember I'll always be true.
And then while I'm away,
I'll write home every day,
And I'll send all my loving to you."
All My Loving, The Beatles

I've spent the last 10 days on a much deserved holiday - with my last week off being the first week of July last year! I'd have loved to have gone somewhere abroad, or even just adventuring in the UK. Sadly, my finances don't allow it - so it was a quiet affair, staying at home and keeping myself amused. I think I managed it.

This is what I got up to:

Saturday 18th February

Here we go!

On my first day of holiday, I wanted something of a lazy day - but equally, I wanted to get out the house and do something. The solution was simple: Greenwich!

It's a picturesque area of the city, and just a few short bus rides away from where I live. I journeyed there mid-afternoon, and had a great time looking around Greenwich Market, and the area's many book stores. (I picked up Raymond Briggs' Ethel & Ernest - released again following the triumphant debut of its animated adaptation last Christmas)

I headed home, where I watched Stranger Things with another housemate, Riv, and did some reading.

Sunday 19th February

My birthday! (But I've told this tale already - see here)

Monday 20th February

Man, I slept today! I had a solid 12 hours over night, but I headed into central London - where I met my friend/former work colleague Kathryn. She's now the General Manager at Picturehouse Central, and doing really well for herself. Time only allowed us a quick catch-up, but nevertheless it was good to see her.

I then headed to my favourite cinema, the Prince Charles just off Leicester Square, where I watched a double bill of movies focused on A.I. interfaces - Electric Dreams and Her. Apparently this is the only 35mm print of Electric Dreams still being shown in cinemas, and is something of a rarity. I loved it! Yes, it's pure 1980's cheese - but it's charming, has heart, and a kick ass soundtrack. I'd highly recommend tracking it down!

(I'd seen Her already, a few years ago when it was originally released. My opinion of it remains high, but it feels more poignoit now - my own break-up traumas still fresh in my mind.)

Tuesday 21st February

Today was the day I finished writing my new short comic - The Beautiful Ones: King of Wank. It's difficult to explain. Basically... it's a mickey take of hipsters, and their need to have a distinctive 'thing'. It's funny, and quirky, and not at all like me! Today I wrapped my redrafting; bouncing ideas back and forth with my friend and editor Jonathan, until we both reached a standpoint of being satisfied with the strip.

(I have to admit, I am still not overly impressed by it - but I'm my own worst critic, and everybody else who has read it likes it).

In the evening I watched the usual TV and read more of Judge Dredd, Rachel Rising and Marvel Comic's The Vision (which is fantastic!).

Wednesday 22nd February

Today was another cinema day, as I ventured into central to watch an incredible anime called Your Name & a classic of European Surrealist Cinema -  L'Age D'or (which is absolutely mental). I also picked up 2000AD's 40th Anniversary Prog - which is a thing of beauty, with stunning covers by Carlos Ezquerra and David Aja.

Later on I sat in the Picturehouse Central cafe and plotted out my next comic short - which for now is called Starship S.O.S.. I'm quietly confident about it, and think it could turn out to be something really great.

I don't know who, but somebody discovered my blog today. I had been posting on Instagram again for the first time in several months - and my statcounter has seen a spike in visits. At first I got terribly excited thinking it might be my ex, but I'm pretty certain it's not. A shame. If it's you, say hi!

Thursday 23rd February

Storm Doris hit the UK today, and I stayed at home to avoid it. I took the opportunity to clean up and reorganise my room. It's the first time I've shuffled shelving around, but with the amount of books I've bought since moving in, I needed to do so to make room!

Aside from the nitty gritty of moving things around, I also watched several episodes of Tom Hanks' The Eighties documentary, and a number of Louis Theroux programmes. I love his stuff!

Friday 24th February

With my holiday rapidly coming to an end, I plotted Darkened Avenue issue #033 'Pressed'. I had put it off for long enough - and realised that if I didn't write it soon, I would fail in my "2 comics per month" challenge.

I once more headed into central, and collected my Bowie Moonage Daydreams print from Orbital Comics. It's a fantastic piece by artist Jamie Coe, homaging the cover for David Bowie's Changes.

The day was capped off watching Rushmore at the Prince Charles Cinema. It's the second in their Wes Anderson season. I met a nice girl called Mimi at the screening. She's a fan too!

Saturday 25th February

Today me and my housemate Riv headed out to visit the Hunterian Museum, which houses lots of biological exhibits and is a fascinating venue. I took him to visit Forbidden Planet, before we headed home and I watched some rubbish Saturday night TV.

Sunday 26th February

Because I'm rubbish, I'd put off writing the 2nd Darkened Avenue comic of the month. Yes, I'd planned it on Friday (well, the first half of it...) but I still had the heavy lifting of writing it to go. So today I dedicated myself to putting it together. I woke and wrote 6 pages, before I started to get restless and distracted. So, I headed on out to Woolwich Starbucks and wrote there! I returned home with an impressive 12 pages done and dusted - and was convinced that I'd manage to finish the remaining 10 pages on Monday/Tuesday (and, you'll be pleased to hear, I did!)

I called Mum in the evening and spoke to her for an hour, before having a bath, and reading more from Rachel Rising and the first issue of Nailbiter. Then... then... it was bed, nice and early, my holidaying over for the next few months.


I didn't get up to much, but that's OK. I needed a bit of a rest, having not been on holiday since early July last year. Besides, I don't have the money to go travelling like I want. If I did I'd have gone to Dundee, Estonia, or Paris. Nevermind. Always next time.

Ah. Next time!

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