France is a cold, proud place. In winter, the snow is brittle and grimy, white like bone. The people seem equally cold-blooded. They walk through biting gales of wind with pink lips, blue veins and hearts full of contempt. Continue reading
A while ago some friends of mine who are in a band went to Europe to play some shows and I went with them because I wasn’t doing anything else. First we headed to the achingly pretty seaside town of Brighton and I slept on a gooey leather couch in 35 degree heat because we couldn’t work out how to turn the heater down and consumed only 1 pound pints and pub breakfasts the entire time. After almost a week of it I decided to go back to London a day early, partly to get some sleep and partly because I was worried that everyone else would get as sick of me as I was of myself.
Last year, at the annual National Young Writers’ Festival in Newcastle, I was asked to be an emergency addition to a debating team made up of writers arguing the topic ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ The debate, hosted by the awesome Scissors Paper Pen collective, was designed to unearth the biggest arguments for either staying in smaller towns or leaving them in pursuit of bigger cities when it comes to pursuing a creative career. As we sat there formulating our arguments in the bar at Newcastle’s Great Northern Hotel, our fingers sticky from cider and wedges, I realised that the topic couldn’t have come at a weirder time for me.