Right. I’m off. Bye London.
I’ve been trying to write about leaving this place a lot over the past two weeks but the post I’d wanted to write for today isn’t ready yet.
The main reason for this is that I’ve been having a tough time with my mental health in the run-up to moving day. I’ve realised that this isn’t an unprecedented thing for me. Most periods before or after a big move — of which there have been three in the last decade — coincide with a very low and very fragile state for me.
Saying goodbye to New Cross, where so much has happened over the last four years, is making it extra difficult. I don’t think any other place has had such an impact on who I am as a person.
I’m also sad about how bad I am at staying in touch with people. It’s one of those things that I really don’t like about myself. I nonetheless put down emotional roots everywhere and catastrophise the pain of pulling them out. But I also have a tendency to uproot myself a little too absolutely.
Note to self: People are very important. It’s good to stay in touch with them.
So, I have something of a proposition for London friends and other recent movers: please feel free to get in touch if I haven’t seen you recently or before I made the move (or even if I have). I’d intended to try and gather people together in some park somewhere before I slipped away but new lockdown measures have scuppered that and I am quietly distraught about not seeing a lot of people before I go. But that is all the more reason to stay in touch, so there’s no need for a goodbye.
What I’d like to do is start sending letters and mix CDs and mail art to the UK network that I am otherwise shite at staying plugged into. I don’t do online communication well but I’d like to make and swap things with people — things that are nice and heartfelt. Less paranoid London internet bullshit and more ephemeral nationwide (or global!) material culture please.
Let’s swap postal addresses and get freaky.
Also, here’s a load of photographs from the last four years I managed to scrape off the blog. My hard drives are already in some storage facility up north so most of these might be familiar. Nevertheless, I think they capture something of the vibe I am so, so sad to be saying goodbye to.
I have a longer post talking about these people and my feelings currently in the blog oven (as well as two rolls of 35mm film I need developed that were taken over the last month) — a sequel to the recent “Unspeakably Familiar” post — but, until then, some rehashed pictorial representations of friends and loved ones will have to do.
The biggest shout-out, as ever, must go to Natasha Eves, who I first met the Monday after Mark died and who has been a constant and inspiring presence over the last four years.
We organised the for k-punk nights together and I hope we will do them again once Covid-19 properly slings its hook.
Over the last few years, I’ve been a bit all over the place. At times, my mental health has fallen off and I’ve closed myself off from the world and my friends or gotten too embroiled in Twitter drama or just had my capacity for sociality sapped by London’s bullshit, but Nat has always been the one to carry the torch forwards for what matters. I wouldn’t have written Egress without her friendship or done much of anything else either. She’s the real deal; an idol and an icon.
You’d think she’d died but I’m just going to miss her very much. I look forward to the next 5am tube ride home when we’re just sat in awe at the kind of shit we can pull off when we get on that wavelength. It’s been a pleasure.
Below, some pub guffawing from 2017 and the posters she designed for all the k-punk nights since 2018. I’m going to be hanging them on the wall of the new office space and remembering the good times. Maybe we can do a Northern edition one day…
More soon, when I have internet again and I’m not so miserable…