Collected Electric

Sleep is for the weak. Week?
May 15, 2009, 06:38
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From Wikipedia:  Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are a family of sleep disorders affecting, among other things, the timing of sleep. People with circadian rhythm sleep disorders are unable to sleep and wake at the times required for normal work, school, and social needs. They are generally able to get enough sleep if allowed to sleep and wake at the times dictated by their body clocks. Unless they have another sleep disorder, their sleep is of normal quality.

I hoped never to preface a post with a quotation like that, but given that it’s around quarter past six in the morning and I’m in a twenty-four-hour computer lab, having woken at around 4pm yesterday, it occurred to me that I should research sleeping pattern irregularities, and Wikipedia seemed able to sum it up better than I could (scientific lingo tends to make soup out of my brains).

I’ve never considered myself a hypochondriac, nor am I attempting to diagnose myself with the aforementioned disorder or anything like it. But over two months of a disrupted sleep cycle that has evaded all my attempts at correction has begun to spark concern. Not that it’s an entirely new phenomenon in my life.  For the past year at least, my body has expressed its stubborn desire to sleep wrongly in no uncertain terms. Occasionally, I will manage to force it into something resembling normality, but I always tend to relapse into weirdness. Statistically, I have no idea just how common or uncommon this is, but it doesn’t seem right to me.

Whenever I’m still up and doing at insane hours like this one, I feel like sleep is really just an evolutionary hitch that humanity will eventually grow out of. Honestly, we waste so much time sleeping, and while it’s lovely to get a good night’s (or day’s, in my case) sleep, if it weren’t for the in-flight entertainment of dreams, it’d just be a pain.

Maybe I should stop musing on this and really set about fixing it. Also, I must endeavour to remember that Wikipedia is not in fact a trained health professional. Wikipedia will not tell me how to run my life. Wikipedia does not love me. Wikipedia and I should really part ways before one of us ends up getting hurt. Wikipedia’s control over my everyday decision-making process must end. Much like this post.

— Chris


Oh the shoes…
May 8, 2009, 21:06
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Wasting time in the library, thinking about my new brogues, a stumbled upon Jeffrey Campbell, who may be the Louboutin of indie shoes. I know, I know, indie is a terrible adjective, but these shoes are awesome. So awesome. AND THEY AREN’T IN MY SIZE:

And there are many more delights. 

I want Jay-Jay to be my friend (although it’s doubtful he’d let me call him that)



The very very distant past, and the almost present future.
April 28, 2009, 08:37
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Goodness me.

It’s almost the end of the academic year.

It’s the end of the 08/09 Inklight Committee (Congratulations to the 09/10 crew!)

It’s the end of my sister’s single life.

It’s almost the end of my youth, and Chris’ teenagedom.

Sometimes, that annoying American-ish aphorism ‘you just need some perspective’ does have some truth to it.


This baby mammoth was found by a Russian hunter, who initially thought it was a reindeer carcass sticking out of the snow. In fact, what he found was a perfectly preserved baby mammoth, encased in ice for 40,000 years.

This tiny, 6 month old mammoth calf was trotting along after mummy mammoth in the last Ice Age- between 1.8 million to 11,500 years ago. 

That vast expanse of time is simply incomprehensible. The fragile beauty of this infant, perhaps emphasised by the anthropomorphising of elephants, is both inherently sad and somehow affirmative.

How would it be, if i were perfectly preserved now? What would be encased in ice? Those marks I chase like poisonous butterflies to taunt others with, the perfect image crafted at the mirror? Even this, this body i carry around with me, would that be the ‘me’ that is perfectly preserved?

Despite the sadness of such child (yes yes i know it’s really an elephant) being taken away from its family and its potential so young… she’s never failed, she hasn’t even had the opportunity.

Yes. An Ice Age baby mammoth, found by someone who was roaming for food and not just going to Tesco for supernoodles, does stretch the perspective more than sufficiently.

Skye lights
April 16, 2009, 18:09
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(see what i did there– yep, my punning is dire)

After finally getting Vivian, my long-suffering car, back from the garage today, after she had broken down on a wee break away, I am finally ready to think about the trip. Until now, i’d refused to think about the disaster, but in reality, it was stunning. The people, the food and the scenery were all super-duper, and here’s a wee peak for you:



April 15, 2009, 10:57
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The wonderful Susie Bubble has drawn my attention to the fantastical WORN.

WORN is a fashion journal. Yep, that’s right, JOURNAL. An intellectual take on fashion? Let’s hope it’s not a trend.

WORN is an unfunded, independent, self-published journal interested in fashion, the history of clothing and just about any interesting apparel related stuff.


After reading the website I immediately subscribed. What better way to spend the new loans?

Unfortunately it’s in Toronto, and the delightful offers of internships aren’t really a possibility for me. (Maybe next year?)

Take a look. Especially at their linked Etsy shops- Norwegian Wood is fast becoming my new addiction.


Port Eliot Lit Fest.
April 11, 2009, 12:14
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The summer before I started university my best friends took a month-long trip around Europe. I stayed at home. 

I choose going to work at Port Eliot LitFest instead, and it was worth it.


Port Eliot is not your usual literary festival, nor does it aim to be. Famously described by the Guardian as ‘Glastonbury with less focus on the music’, Port Eliot is indeed a magical land, complete with castle. Well, actually it’s a stately home, but it’s pretty damn impressive. You can wonder around and stumble into a seance, an out door disco, art installations or a michelin starred restaurant. And that doesn’t even cover the official line-up.

The line-up this year is outstanding in its quality and diversity, coveri ng music, art, comedy and of course, literature. It also has plenty for kids with the house of fairy tales, and various games and workshops throughout the weekend. Whether you’re there for contemporary fiction writers of extraordinary talent (Hanif Kureishi, Marcel Theroux), performance poetry (Mucking about with words), cultural icons (Micheal Eavis) or fashion greats (Barbara Hulanicki, of Biba) Port Eliot has it covered.

Camping is great, I mean look at it:

I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough, especially for those people who’ve been attending big gun festivals (Reading and Leeds, V, Glastonbury, T in the Park etc) for a while now and want to branch out. Don’t be put off if you don’t immediately recognise acts on the line-up. In a magical place like this, all the fun is in the exploring.


Port Eliot Lit Fest will be held in Port Eliot, Cornwall on the 27th-29th of July.

The website can be found here :

And tickets can be bought here:


It’s Back and It’s Blitz
April 10, 2009, 14:50
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz


After a heart-wrenching absence (well, for me at least) YYY’s are back, YAY! Their third studio length album, It’s Blitz, marks another progression for a band renowned for pushing out of the comfort zone and continual into unknown ground. Except, the synth-driven, pulsing throb of ‘It’s Blitz’ isn’t unknown. This is ripped up retro 90’s dance music, but chewed up by Karen O’s schizophrenic vocal and passive-aggressive guitar riffs.

In a good way.

Fans who proclaim ‘Fever to Tell’ as the band’s finest hour might not be impressed, but whilst ‘It’s Blitz’ shares more in common with the slow-burner that was ‘Show Your Bones’, the more subtle and crafted sounds of this third outing does not mean the album lacks danceability.

The lead single ‘Zero’ opens the album and is a delightfully sleazy wee tune that showcases Karen O’s new, tightly controlled vocal prowess. Not the roars or screeches of ‘Fever to Tell’ but these honed vocals perfectly give way to waves of synth and just a damn sexy beat.  ‘Heads will roll’ continues this glam-sleaze vibe, starting pretty low key before O’s trademark moaning (although slightly less ‘organic’ this time around’ leads it into a full on disco stomp. This track simply demands disco balls. And sequins… MANY sequins.

Of course, we all know that the New York trio can bash out some great 3am cider/gin/WIIIIINE moment tunes, but often they are at their most interesting, and innovative, when they reign themselves in and explore their delicate side. ‘Hysteric’ has O barely whispering ‘you suddenly complete me’ over such a beautiful soundscape that no other band could pull off; and I’ve not even begun to blabber about the weird, etheral celtic-vibe of Skeleton.

Navigating somewhere between trip-hop, shoegaze, disco, dance and pop, the luscious sounds of this album are great ear fodder for new fans and old. But beware, leave your preconceptions at the door. YYY’s are always going to challenge the listener, and this tightly crafted songs, may not seem to have the explosion of ‘Fever to Tell’, but they WILL get you.