The awkward turtle

Celebrating the failings of a successful person

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Midnight Mass with Matt Corby

This morning I awoke for work refusing to open my eyes because the cold in bones told me all there would be to see was frost invading the world outside. As I looked in the mirror, furious dark rings framed the eyes starring  back at me, I was determined to be grumpy. I was tired, I looked a mess, and there was ice outside. Peering at my discontent I remembered that I have undertaken a vow of gratitude, so I rethought: I was tired because I got in late, I got in late because I went to an amazing gig, it was icy because it is winter (somethings you simply cannot change).
Did I mention the amazing gig?

Two days ago I never Australian knew singer/song-writer Matt Corby existed, luckily my Aussie friend did and asked if I wanted to come along to a gig. I replied with the affirmative, my only question being, what type of music was it? Folk. OK, I could get down with that. After a series of disatruous events in the run-up to the show – a peak hour London Underground commute, station fires, lost tickets (on both our parts), and a scarf that came with an aphyxiation hazard – we arrived, shivering and weary, outside the beautiful Hackney Round Chapel. Inside rows of chairs flocked around the pulpit that was a stage. Although I had not expected to be sitting down my feet were grateful and we shamelessly grabbed seats on the second row. Whilst the seating arrangements made for a more introverted audience – we were told as much by the support act Bear’s Den front man who was genuinely hillarious – it also set the mood for an intimate live performance. Bear’s Den came to an end, the set changed, and the main man appeared accompanied only by a guitar to open the set. Having only had one EP’s worth of education on the Matt Corby experience I was still happily nibbling on my chocolate and distractedly trying to point out the set features to my friend. I soon realised that she and the entire audience were transfixed by the man on stage and he was yet to strum a string. It wasn’t until the first note of Big Eyes escaped his mouth that I heard what everyone was waiting for. I stopped crunching my chocolate and simply melted into the music; my eyes closed and my ears hooked. His voice was so melodic and his range contrasted from the gruffness of soul and blues in Soul A’fire, to angelic softness in his signature EP Brother.  

Matt Corby, acoustic soul, Round ChapelWhat was most enjoyable about watching the performance was the clear comradery between the band members, and that each one was distinctive and fascinating to watch;  I fell in love with Bree Tranter, the ethereal keyboard player and was utterly mesmerized by drummer Chris Maas.The finale, My False, had us all up on our feet as the band rocked out and literally let their hair down. You could not doubt the passion they felt for their music. My only wish was that there was more. On my way out I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more to come, yet my feet continued shuffling me back outside to the cold Hackney streets.

I went to the chapel of Matt Corby and came out a believer.



Thursday Philosophy

A good friend sent me this snap to start my day…

I’ve always been a firm believer in what is meant to be will be, and this thought echoes the same sentiment. This reminds me to stop looking at all those imagined alternative paths in life, the what ifs and feeling like I’ve missed out on opportunitites, because ultimately everything that we decide is right in that exact moment of deciding it, whether we like the outcomes or not there is always some reason to the chaos.

**My friend’s amateur photography cut it out but the quote is by Edith Bowman

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“What’s that you say? You have a blog? Well join the line…”

Anyone can blog, even my mum, but some are convinced that it gives them some sort of special status. I tried to exploit this belief recently when I organised a day out to London Fashion Week dragging some friends in tow. The emphasis on my planned day was for free events, perhaps a glimpse of a few collections via a big outdoor screen designed to keep the riff-raff from muddying designer garments with our mediocrity. However even this, it seemed, was a big ask and inevitably we needed a pass to see anything of worth. One of my lovely friends, who has a penchant for blagging – one that I do not share – found out that if you were a blogger you could get a coveted pass. Her eyes lit up with the realisation that My friend has a blog, and sure enough she shoved me up to the Blogger’s desk to get us in. I knew I had no right being there but the cringe-worthy exchange had commenced:

“Erm, I’m a blogger and I was told to come here for a pass…”
“Right, do you have a business card?”
“Do you have your site stats?”
(I was not aware at that point what that was) “No.”
“Well if you give me your site address I can have a look for you.”
“What’s your blog about?”
“Er, food? writing mainly”
“Hmm. Well it should really be about fashion (duh). And you have to have had it for a year minimum (mine was 2 months old), or an average of 5,000 hits a month.”

Silence. We stared at eachother. I wanted the ordeal to be over but I knew there was no backing out now, all I could do to express my discomfort was grip my friend’s thigh behind me. She took a glance over my shoulder to judge my companions, they do say that a person should be judged by the company they keep. No doubt she found the sight of my poor friend Alex offensive; he had been an unsuspecting tag-a-long to the day’s events, and his idea of fashion consists of flip-flops (thongs) and shorts. Her verdict:

“Sorry. You can come back on the weekend when its open to the public.”

I saw a similar episode not too long after whilst queueing for London’s trendiest new restaurant of the week – going on month. We were one party away from the seating list and the woman in front was trying with everything at her disposal to get a table for dinner. Her desperation to enter was clear; at some point the line, “I’m a blogger, I’ll write you up if you let me in”, was dropped in at which point everyone within earshot held their breath to see what favours such a promise would elicit. The answer, nothing.

I felt suitably awkward on her behalf, only enhanced when moments later we found ourselves snaking back down the queue as there was no room in that inn.

A couple of weeks later I tried this same restaurant again. It involved an hour of queueing in the rain to no avail. During our hard time we got asked if anyone had given us an estimated waiting time, and as we looked into the face of our inquirers I realised we were staring at the face of the mum from Home Alone, Catherine O’Hara, and the fabulous wedding planning in Father of the Bride, Martin Short.

And the moral of the story: leave the blagging to your friends who know what they’re doing, don’t turn up at the hottest new restaurant on a Friday night, even celebrities from our childhood films can get turned away, and lastly, always carry a business card. That’s all folks!

London Fashion Week, fashionistas,

The ‘In’ crowd at London Fasion Week, Somerset House. Another reason why we didn’t get in was probably that we did NOT look like this

Bubbledogs, champagne, hot gods

Bubbledogs: the champagne & hotdogs restaurant that is permanently full