I'm Kristen and I'm living in Crawley, Sussex (hoping to return to my beloved Brighton 'n' Hove when my ME/CFS allows). I drink a lot of tea, ride a lot of buses, go in a lot of charity shops, draw, sew and knit (and attempt to crochet), take a lot of photos, spend a lot of time sleeping, read a lot of history books and follow Jesus Christ. <3
Email: busstopgirl (at) googlemail (dot) com
I'm on holiday. I'm still here, of course, due to lack of travel funds, but when you're already by the seaside in the middle of a heatwave, why mither? It's taken a day or two to get the hang of this 'being a tourist in your own town' thing. Having a friend from The North down to stay for the first four days has helped, as she really IS a tourist. Doughnuts and full English breakfasts have been consumed. Sunburn has been acquired. We have taken an open-topped bus up to marvel at the jaw-dropping beauty of Devil's Dyke, we have admired girdles and crimplene dresses at very reasonable prices here. We have lain about listlessly in the afternoon sun on Brighton beach, reassuring ourselves with other peoples' cellulite and dodgy choice of swimwear; we have huddled together on that beach with invited guests as the sun goes down, warming ourselves with chips and vodka. And every time we sit on that beach, we gaze at this beautiful ruin and sigh at the wonderful melancholy of it all...
As the 'artistic' one in the family (ie. the one with the least earning potential) I am relied on to cover anything which doesn't move in glitter, wear dodgy items of secondhand apparel and generally be wacky, zany, eclectic and kooky (I AM kidding, folks). It's chuffin' exhausting, I can tell you, but oh, the therapeutic value of getting creative!
I go though phases of great activity, and thrive on it, then times when I can't think of anything to do - creative block. But ever since Mum first hung one of my drawings on the fridge door I've felt a compulsion to customise myself and my surroundings in whatever way I can. (I'm even exempt from my office's 'clear desk' policy because my boss finds my mountains of tacky crap amusing.) It's an itch which *needs* to be scratched (no sniggering there at the back, please!).
My back door has a bead curtain made of old charity shop necklaces fastened end-to-end (bought bead curtains are ten a penny in this town, dahling). Lately I fear I am becoming a tie-bleach 'n' sequins addict. Evenings find me crouched over a bowl of Domestos with whatever T-shirt I have recently tired of and a bunch of rubber bands...later to spend hours stitching sequins 'tastefully' over said 'madeover' garment. If I ever start dressing like Christina Aguilera you will say, wontcha?!
You know when you're chasing a particular song, and you've asked all your mates, and you know what album it's on but can't justify £14 just for one song, and you've almost given up, and then somehow you get your hands on it? THE JOY!!! This happens over and over (I always want more ;) ...), but the song in question today is Sexuality by Billy Bragg. (Acquired thanks to a chance conversation with an generous and beautiful work colleague who had a tape of Don't Try This At Home, but no tape player - my gain!) This is such a fantastic song - brilliant lyrics, catchy tune - AND Kirsty MacColl and Johnny Marr helping out - how could it fail?!
Lovely Billy, so misunderstood. Famous for his 'up the workers' stuff, less well known as a writer of beautiful, tender love songs and witty surburban tales...'One minute she says / She's gone to get the cat in / The next thing I know / She's mumbling in Latin / She cut the stars out of the sky / And baked them in a pie...' (She's Got A New Spell). This is the man who wrote Kirsty an extra verse for his A New England in return for a fried breakfast. The man who can get away with live covers of both JerusalemandGroove Is In The Heart. The man who has had Porky the Poet (aka Phill Jupitus) as support act, singing his own suspiciously familiar composition Bestiality:'I look like Johnny Morris / I love a penguin and her name is Doris'...
Still looking for The Ramones' version of Baby I Love You though...can anyone pleeeeaaase help??
Just been listening to Teenage Fanclub'sSongs From Northern Britain for the first time in ages. I was so skint when this came out that I bought it on tape, and I've never replaced it with a CD. You can keep your Lighthouse Family, this music is what the word 'lifted' was invented for. Ever since Grand Prix I've been hooked. It's the Beach Boys thing, the Byrds thing, the way Gerry Love can write a song which makes me so happy I just might burst. Ain't That Enough just soars:
"Toy town feelings, there to remind you Summer in the city, do what you gotta do..."
Couple that with the fact that quite unwittingly my record collection has grown to be 50% Glaswegian (Belle & Sebastian, Orange Juice, The Delgados, BMX Bandits, The Amphetameaniesetc...) and there they all are, on each others records, playing at each others gigs, popping round each others' house for a cup of sugar...and doing my bank balance serious damage. Good news though - Norman has been playing with the wonderful Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, another band who make me go all gooey - album out in September, to include live favourite Honeymoon With You, and about bluddy time too.
OK, so not *everyone* likes the 'Fannies - none of my friends do. But they smilingly put up with my starry-eyed gushing every time a new record comes out, and occasionally brave a TFC gig with me, if only to ensure that I don't invade the stage in an over-affectionate frenzy, leaving Messrs Love, Blake and co. hospitalised...
Right, after over a week of yelling, '...Damn!' every time I go into the bathroom, I've finally remembered to buy replacement batteries for the shower radio, so I'm off for a bath with John Peel. Probably at the wrong speed.
The older I get, the more I realise that the best things in life come along when you least expect them. What's fur ye will no go by ye. You can't hurry love - no, you'll just have to wait. On a deep level, I mean that dream job, or that long-awaited soulmate. On a trivial level, I mean...
...terry towelling curtains in mint green with yellow and grey flamingos all over them! For £1.50! I don't need them! They'll sit in my room for months before I do anything with them! But oh, the joy of finding something which pops your kitsch cork, floats your tacky boat, tickles your Fifties fancy...if I was a smoker I'd be lighting up right about now.
Possible scenario 231: The sock fell out with its partner sock and went out into the street for sulking / 'making a point' purposes.
Possible scenario 452: A spider dragged it out of my room and into the street to perplex me, as revenge for me hoovering up his brother last week.
Possible scenario 628: Aliens abducted my sock. Then discovered it didn’t fit and discarded it.
Possible (and much more likely) scenario 874: My sock somehow fell into my bedroom bin. It was then parcelled up in the household rubbish, and placed out in the street on bin day. As per usual the binmen didn’t turn up, and seagulls tore the bag open looking for lunch. They found my sock and trailed it down the street, dumping it once they had deemed it unfit for consumption or nest-lining purposes.
The truth is out there. The sock is going in a hot wash.
Ah, the homemade compilation tape. Beloved of 'High Fidelity' Man, and a pretty appealing way for the rest of us to pass a couple of hours too. I've just put together my first mix tape in ages, as a present for my friend Baadad, promised to him yonks ago.
You can of course fill a C90 with your latest discoveries, but more of a challenge is to run with a theme - colours, place names, songs with 'baby' in the title... This one is called 'Ladies Night', and it's busting out all over. It's had me going through my CDs, and rummaging through crates of old cassettes, searching for long-lost...tit-bits ;)
It's rare that you speak to someone at the bus stop, much beyond, 'Do you have the right time?' or 'Has the 7 been past yet?', but I am here to try to break the ice a little. Hiya.
For those who are here by accident - this is my Bus Stop. I drink a lot of tea, ride a lot of buses, and write a zine about Belle & Sebastian. Please don't let that frighten you - I promise you I'm not the type of fan who wants to drink Stuart Murdoch's bath water. Mine's a vodka and coke.
B&S are so much in my blood now that I hardly ever listen to them anymore, though I still love them dearly. At the moment I'm totally addicted to my Kirsty MacColl albums, particularly the Cuban beats and pithy lyrics of 'Tropical Brainstorm'.
If you have anywhere at all in your heart for country music you MUST get hold of Laura Cantrell's album, 'Not The Tremblin' Kind'. Best to speak to the lovely people at Shoeshine. I have Monie Love's 'Born 2 B.R.E.E.D.' and Michelle Gayle's 'Sweetness', 49p each from the charity shop, and after watching the 1981 Top 10 on Channel 4 last week, I actually found myself looking up Shakin' Stevens albums on Amazon...a man who has done more for denim than the whole of B*witched put together.