Monday, 9 July 2018

In The Flesh



If you follow me on social media I'm sure you've already seen me go on about this, but it was so special to me I wanted to do a proper write up. Last October when Roger Waters announced his European tour dates I was lucky enough to have some savings and decided to attend two of his UK shows. Despite Pink Floyd being a band that has meant the absolute world to me for well over a decade, everything had always conspired against me being able to see Roger on any of his previous tours. As my 20s have been pretty awful and the tour fell so close to my birthday, this felt like not only the perfect way to celebrate turning 30, but also the ultimate gift to myself to start a glorious new chapter!







On Friday 6th July I traveled down to London to see Roger at Hyde Park, and on Saturday 7th July I traveled to Birmingham for the final date on his UK leg of the tour. His show at Hyde Park was part of the British Summer Time Festival, which I'd been to for my birthday last year to see The Killers and hadn't had the best time. I actually swore that I'd never go to BST again, but it was the only date Roger was performing in London and he's literally the only person who could of ever made me go again! I also took my previous experience as a learning curve, and bought the higher tier ticket of Gold Circle. This allows nearer access to the stage, but it's still quite far away, although I could at least see the stage which I couldn't last year! It was an amazing show, despite being uncomfortable due to having to crane to see, and it made me excited to see how it would translate to an indoor arena environment where the set design wasn't having to be configured around BST's set up.

The Birmingham show was absolutely incredible, and beyond anything I can even put into words. I had selected a seat in the second row, and hadn't realised just how slap bang in the centre I would be seated. I was literally just a few metres from Roger throughout the entire show, and was so close I could of counted the lines on his face. Due to being so physically close to him, the experience felt incredibly intimate and it was easy to forget the other tens of thousands of people behind. I even got to touch Roger's hand as he passed by the audience during the final track. To be so close to one of my biggest living idols was a completely surreal experience, and if I didn't have photographic evidence I'd be half convinced it was a dream.






The set list for Birmingham was exactly the same as in London, and there was something nice about knowing which track came next although I did feel regret as soon as it got to what I knew would be the final few songs as I knew it would all be over. The set design used the same elements as London, but "Battersea Power Station" was moved to overhead the central floor so I couldn't really see it. During the intermission two giant screens were unrolled above our heads to form a giant rectangle which had the power station projected onto it, with four chimney's dotted along the middle. There was no miniature Algie floating alongside them like in London, but there was the same inflatable pig who came out during Pigs (Three Different Ones). At the end of the show a giant LED pyramid lit itself over the audience of which I was right in the middle. Being so close to the front definitely makes it harder to appreciate these elements, but when you can see the stage so clearly it's a moot point!




The only element of the show I didn't like, and this was the same feeling I had at both shows, was simply that Roger was performing my favourite Pink Floyd songs by himself. I realise that sounds ridiculous, but it's kind of frustrating that he's hired someone to sound exactly like David Gilmour, you know? I know Roger wrote the lyrics for these songs and so they are his, but I really see them more as David's songs as he provides the vocals and guitar solos, and during the show Roger took a step back whilst the backing band performed tracks such as Us And Them and Money. It just made those songs feel more like I was watching a tribute act which isn't what I paid for honestly. I enjoyed hearing Roger provide his own vocals for Wish You Were Here and Time, and whilst I understand the need for other singers for certain parts, why not hire someone who can do their own rendition instead of the person doing a complete David Gilmour impression? I don't like tribute acts personally because it's empty and hollow to watch someone do an impression of someone else, and that was my grievance with that aspect of it. David brings so much passion to his playing, and it's not the same to just play the exact same notes as him, it will never hit the same chord. I'd of rathered those songs just not be included personally, and Roger use more material that was just his.




Despite that, the musicians were all excellent, and I adore his backing singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the band Lucius. They did a beautiful rendition of Great Gig In The Sky, and when they were weren't singing they were dancing and providing percussion and were really just great performers to watch. I'm definitely going to be checking out their own band!

One of my favourite elements of the show is how much is was rooted in the album Animals. Previously Roger's shows have always had a large emphasis on The Wall, but Animals is my personal favourite of the albums he's written and it was thrilling to hear all 17 minutes of Dogs performed live, and my favourite track Pigs (Three Different Ones). I also enjoyed how Roger emphasized through his set how relevant these songs still remain, particularly with regards to Trump; there were images of him photoshopped to look like Hitler and wearing a KKK hood among other imagery including Trump's own tweets. I know there's been some complaints about all of the political commentary by certain fans, but I'm not sure why you'd go if you're easily offended in that way as Roger has always been very vocal about his political leanings ever since the '70s, it's one of the things I admire about him honestly as many are too scared to stand by their beliefs so unwaveringly.





The show was absolutely incredible, I didn't want it to end, and it was such an indescribable feeling to be in the presence of someone I admire so much. Being a younger fan this is the closest I'll ever get to experiencing Pink Floyd live and at several points I had tears in my eyes partly due to it being so wonderful, and partly thinking of Rick and Syd, especially as the second night in Birmingham was 12 years to the day since Syd left us. I'm seeing Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets in September which I'm sure will be another emotional night. I can't believe this year I'll have gone from seeing none of Pink Floyd in the flesh, to two of them!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Sunny day, While away the afternoon

Boscastle

Before I left the South West for good, I knew I had to visit Boscastle one last time. Situated in North Cornwall, it's home to the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic which I visited last year and is how I discovered Boscastle. I've visited a lot of the UK throughout my lifetime and lived in more places than I can count on both hands, and I can honestly say that Boscastle is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. It's truly breathtaking, and no amount of photos can ever do it justice.

I didn't visit the museum this time, I just traveled for the view. It's only a few miles down the road from St Nectans Glen, so it provided the perfect lunch spot! It was the most beautifully sunny day as you can see.

Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle
Boscastle

There's a really great gemstone and crystal shop called 'Boscastle Rocks' which I was sure to pop in to. I've always had a huge interest in crystals and have a modest collection - my parents used to own their own gemstone shop which I used to help out at as a teen so it's something I've always been well immersed in, and you may have noticed my numerous gemstone rings adorning my fingers in every outfit post! I'm a big believer in letting a crystal choose you, which means just taking notice of which piece you're particularly drawn to rather than focusing on what's prettiest. On my last visit to Boscastle I bought a smokey quartz and citrine necklace which I'm so attached to I've barely taken it off since, and this visit I couldn't stop admiring the above purple and green ring. A ring is honestly the last thing I need more of, but it fit so well it felt like fate and it had to be mine. It's Atlantisite which I hadn't previously heard of before, but its properties fit me to an absolute tee.

Boscastle

Title: Donovan - A Sunny Day

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

I Do Believe in Fairies

St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen

After I finished university I suddenly became very aware that there were things in the South West that I wanted to do or visit that I just hadn't gotten round to, and so throughout June I took little breaks when I could to go and explore. One of the places high on my list was St Nectans Glen, a stunning natural area with a 60 foot waterfall cascading through a naturally occurring hole.

The crystal clear water is reputed to be healing, and watched over by the spirits of past guardians and friends of the Glen. It's considered by many to be a sacred place and is adorned with ribbons, inscriptions, crystals, offerings, and Faery Stacks piled everywhere you turn. Although it was fairly busy when I visited with many families enjoying paddling through the shallow water, there was a strange stillness and otherworldly quietness about the area. It was incredibly peaceful and inspiring.

St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen
St Nectens Glen
St Nectans Glen

Wishing trees isn't something I was familiar with before visiting St Nectans Glen and wondered why there were coins in every bit of the felled trees. I learnt that there's a centuries old tradition that states if you drive a coin into a tree, it will rid you of any illness and pass it on to the tree spirits. If anyone then removes the coin, they will get the illness. I might have to do it next time I see a felled tree and see if it helps my bipolar!

St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen
St Nectans Glen

My favourite thing about Cornwall is how much legend and Paganism is steeped there. Although I live in the countryside and much of the landscape reminds me of my home in Lincolnshire, and even my previous homes in Kent and Surrey, there's a particular energy running through Cornwall that I feel so connected to. St Nectans Glen is so much more magical than can be conveyed in photographs, and I hope I have the opportunity to visit again someday.

Monday, 2 July 2018

I've Been Away



It's been quite a while since I've made a blog post. All of my posts throughout June were scheduled in advance as I knew I'd be too busy. I've concluded my university studies, had my final degree show, received my results, packed up my life, relocated it back home, and finally finished unpacking everything yesterday! I'm quite relived to have gotten it all done as it's my birthday next weekend and I have a few exciting things coming up so it'll be nice to relax after such a hectic month. I did still take some outfit photos even though I didn't have the time to post them, so my next few outfits won't match my current surroundings. I'm a little sad to have left my old flat. It's was a horrid grotty student flat with some of the most inconsiderate neighbors I've ever had to deal with, but it was also entirely mine and I'm going to miss having my backdrop for my photos! But I do really love how I've set up my current room which I'll be sure to show you soon. I love how throughout the years my blog has recorded all of the different places I've lived.



A completely modern outfit! flares - Free People // top - Primark

I never had much luck with the charity shops in Plymouth whilst living there, it's mostly old Primark. But during my last few weeks I suddenly had all of my thrifting luck come at once! This dress was the most vibrant item on the rail, so I was drawn to it immediately. I just love it, it's the perfect mix of exactly what I love about '60s fashion when it was in the middle of the shift in styles and had mod shapes and silhouettes in psychedelic fabrics. It's a maxi dress, but I think I'm going to shorten it into a mini. I usually hate when people alter vintage as it's finite and I'm of the opinion that if you don't like it as it is, leave it for someone who does. So I realise I'm being hypocritical, but I think it'll look so cute as a mini and it'll suit the top part of the dress so much.




I've owned my Hornsea tea jar for a few years now. I've always admired Hornsea pottery in the antiques shops, but they're always expensive so when I saw the tea jar all alone in a charity shop for £2 I knew I had to buy it. I've always been on the lookout for the coffee and sugar jars, and knew they'd come to me sooner or later. The coffee jar I found sitting on it's own at the end of May, and the sugar jar I found in another charity shop just a week before I left Plymouth. I never wanted them to be in the same pattern as I think that's rather dull and they're enough of a set just through being the same shape and colours, and I love how they've ended up looking together! The sugar jar is missing it's rubber seal, but I'm not too fussed as it's not like sugar goes stale.



I also found these Indian bangles, I've managed to amass quite a collection of these for someone who's never been to India. They also had numerous editions of Golden Hands, a craft magazine that was published weekly beginning 1971 for 75 issues. It's not a publication I'd heard of before, but as soon as I mentioned it to my mum she was familiar with it despite her only being 11 and not interested in crafts so I assume it must have been popular!

They didn't have the full set, but I flicked through them all and selected the ones that had the best images and projects. It's full of tips and patterns for sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet, and each issue was centered around a central theme. It's full of the most wonderful images, and I can't wait to get stuck in and make some of these items! Especially the embroidered tapestry vest.








I'm hoping now that my blogging will become more frequent now that I am not living out of boxes and university is done and dusted. My apologies for the absence!

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