Barcelona

So i’ve just celebrated my 23rd birthday. Obviously I haven’t written a post for like a trillion years and I can’t lie, I’ve been busy, but my time off has also amounted to sheer laziness – its been fab! So Summer is upon us, and Ive just touched down on a flight back from Barcelona, a city I feel I’ve left a tiny piece of my soul…and a whole lotta dignity.

The first day was pretty manic. On arriving, my BFF and I found ourselves standing gobsmacked in the Barcelona marina whilst 20+ police riot vans and biker fedz sped in and out of pedestrians as they chased down over 100 illegal immigrants who had just reached the harbour. I was completely lost for words. Standing there like an absolute idiot. It was disturbing to say the least, seeing it happen, not through the safety net of my Guardian phone app.

Then like that it was over. We talked about it for about 10 minutes, and before I knew we were back onto the mundane things like which beach bar we should check out first, or which bikini am I gunna wear tomorrow.

The world can be shit.

Still the holiday continued as normal. Until about 4 hours later, just as the clock chimed midnight and my birthday was upon us…and my phone got stolen.

Some cute as hell gay guys come over to me on La Rambla, WHERE EVERYONE WARNS YOU PEOPLE WILL STEAL YOUR SHIT DUHHH, and start dancing with me pretending to be club promoters. I get twirled around like a little wide grinned princess, five minutes later,

‘Oh no Rich, I think those guys stole my phone. FUCK.’

Classic, day one in Barcelona.

The coming days weren’t quite as colourful as the first, and to be fair I drank so many of those 1 litre pints that it all just sort of blurred into one big mess. I did a lot, the obvious like Park Güell etc, but I kinda don’t remember most it. Instead I’ve come up with a list of my favourite naughty bits (that I do remember) –

Favourite restaurant – Ocaña. If you stay on La Rambla, or you find yourself on it – which at some point you will because its sort of the epicentre of Barca, check out Plaça Reil Square. We found the most amazing restaurant/tapas bar there. On arrival you’re greeted by two of the most TRANzfabulous women dressed to the absolute nines. One woman had on a pvc leotard with this fucking fantastic tutu, with a birdcage atop her magnificently made up head…the cage had a crow in it also – how FABBBBB. The food was great, the service mehh but who gives a fuck with a restaurant that cool. Staff were lovely, cocktails were flowing, and it’s made known that you’re there to eat, drink and be FILTHYGORGEOUSSS.

Favourite Bar –La Penúltima. It’s a little bit cute, a little bit too cool and a little bit kitsch. Obviously that means I loved it. A tiny bar with a lot of character and one of the few places full of people before midnight.

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Favourite ‘is this a bar or is the a club’ – Museum. Give me a room full of screens that are all playing Britney’s ‘Work B**ch’ and i’m so down.

Favourite club – Metro. For a few reasons, the first being I had another favourite club but I can’t remember the name. Second, I love a club with a dark room. Ha, you won’t find me in it, but I enjoy knowing it’s there.

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All of these, except the restaurant, are Gay. My BBF Rich who I went with is Gay, so I experienced the ‘fag hag’ side of the city, and of course it was marvellous. I would like to go again though, there are some amazing secret cocktail bars (I think I went to one Papillon – opens at 3am and you have to knock on a big metal door before they let you in) and live music joints. Sexy spanish men and their sexy guitars. Another time perhaps.

What an amazing city though, I made some great friends and I truly could have stayed forever.

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Sound Minds

Today I had the pleasure of wiggling my way into the rehearsal space of a very inspirational band. Not only that but they allowed myself and my group to film them whilst they played. That band were Channel One. Heard of them? Probably not. They don’t mind though.

Before I go on let me give you some back story. I’ve been working on a project with a small group of friends. It’s basically a pitch for a new(ish) charity named Stigma Global + Stigma 1in4. They’re a baby charity and we’ve basically been given the task of bombarding them with young, fresh, original ideas that will get them off their feet and secure there place as a top charity for mental health.

As i’m sure you’ve guessed from the name, Stigma Global are all about breaking down negative attitudes and ignorance towards mental health. Their aim is to hold concerts that raise money and awareness for their charity Stigma 1in4 and other charities. But they’re not too sure about what to do with the money they raise.

My aunt, Coral Hines (type her name into youtube she’s cool as f***), has chronic mental health. Diagnosed with Manic Depression (now Bi-polar) in her early 20’s, and one of the most creative people I know, I knew her involvement with the project was an absolute. For 20 years now she has been part of a group name Sound Minds who class themselves as ‘arts for mental health’. This stems from acting, to writing and recording music, to painting and placing your art in exhibitions. Talent resides in all of us. Don’t think because society deems you as ‘different’, that you can’t be who you want to be.

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I spent the day at Sound Minds filming her band rehearse and grabbing interviews. The plan is to create something that could possibly be played throughout a Stigma concert. It’s all fair and well having celeb musicians play to raise money, but doesn’t that only reinforce ignorance and albeit stigma. Why not attempt to integrate musicians with mental health into the equation.

Probably easier said then done I know. But lets give it a go.

If you’re a creative mind who suffers from mental illness and want someone to talk to, or even want to take an accredited course in music production, guitar, song writing or keyboard…look them up. They’re a wonderful group/charity taking the right steps in the only direction. Lets all open up our eyes. Sound Minds.

Website – Sound Minds

Website – Stigma Global 

Madonna

Soo I don’t know what y’all were doing this Thursday night just gone but I was at the Jonathan Ross show…seeing MADONNA. No other guests, just Madonna – the absolute priMaDoNnA. And after taking a tumble at the Brits I bet there wasn’t single person on the planet who would have said no to watching a live interview with her the very next day. Esp by Jonathan Ross who can be an absolute meanie. He took it easy on her though. So much so that at one point he tried to play that already infamous clip of her falling on her fabulous ass but didn’t when she said NO PLEEEEEEASE DONT MAKE ME WATCH IT – what a babe.

I thought I’d write about it because I feel like I’ve been a Madonna fan from birth. Images of a 5 year old me prancing around in fingerless lace gloves saying ‘good going stranger’ and trying to dry my pits under a hand dryer (Desperately Seeking Susan) spring to mind.

Madonna has supplied this planet with a constant churning out of well made pop music…and because she’s doing what she always has done, only now she’s 56, she’s getting ridiculous JIB for it. Why? Racism is one thing, Homophobia another…but ageism is a concept that just completely baffles me. WE ARE ALL GOING TO BE 56 AT SOME POINT. You’re essentially telling an older version of yourself that you cannot do the things you love, cannot behave the way you always have done and cannot flash your ass because you’re ‘passed’ it. Not quite the same thing goes for men though ay? Enough of the bitching though lets talk about how great she was.

She sang her new single Living for Love, and the next release off of her album, Ghost Town. And she was great. Great production, great performance, great choreography, great great great. For anyone who’s seen her live before they’ll know that this is always the case. I was in the golden circle (check me out) for her 2012 MDNA tour; watching her Vogue in that Jean Paul Gaultier is one of those life moments that will forever sit in the hall of fame in my mind. Yes it was extravagant, yes it was sexy, yes it was CON-TRO-VER-SIAL (gun wielding, boobs out, monks everywhere) – I would expect no less.

Wossy (Jonathan Ross) really dug deep during their interview, asking questions that people had previously either wanted to ask and forgotten (her career does pan more then three decades) or wanted to and been too f***ing scared. There was talk of her relationship with Guy Ritchie and how and why it all fell apart. There was also drug chat, asking how she’d feel about her kids experimenting. For me the best was something like But when you can’t really do it all anymore (‘cus yeah ok physically in 14 years time when she’s 70 maybe she won’t wanna be tightroping and backflipping anymore) what will be your next move? To which she replied…comedy. LOL. Who knows what she’ll do but she’s an innovator in music and feminism and gay rights and equality and anything else you can think of. I think us youngens should not be so quick to brush her off simply for her age. Madonna paved the way for much of what we love today…show some respect PLZ

Spitalfield Thursdays

I often make an effort to check out the Old Spitalfields market place, which every Thursday is transformed into a bustling hub of antique goodies! Collectors from all over the country gather together in attempt to off load their bit and bobs onto the eclectic mix of people who’ve come to check some of the very best antiques England has to offer.

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The stuff sold ranges from mint condition old editions of Vogue, to gorgeous vintage jewellery (I managed to bag some very fab slightly Pat Butcher clip ons), to big beautiful chests of drawers, mirrors, grandfather clocks! Leather biker jackets, long luscious fur coats and scarfs (some faux some not :/), to piles and piles of anything you can imagine. It can be slightly over whelming, and messy, but I love it.

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