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Redolence by Camens – The accidental review

If you’re going to review local music, you should really know local artists, that’s a given. I don’t. Not because I don’t care – there are some amazing examples of local talent, but in my role as occasional writer for Rebel I’ve always tended to lean toward art and culture writing and given that it’s impossible to know more about the local scene than Lee Barber I’ve stayed away from writing about music.
That was until Scott Powell from Camens messaged me a couple of weeks ago, he was full of excitement about their new track and sent me a copy to listen to. Generally speaking if it’s not some form of Bristol beat, slightly depressing acoustic or 80s synth with added synth it doesn’t make my iTunes playlist; so I was already trying to work out how to say “I hate it” politely as I clicked play. But you know what? It’s a great track. As a new listener I was genuinely surprised at the strength of Scott’s vocals; the track having a ‘bright’ feel to it, it’s definitely a summer track – perha…
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RAWR cleanse - The review

The cleanse is over

One week ago I wrote about a cleanse that I was about to start. I mentioned my motivations for doing so, namely that I wanted to feel better, and hoped that a feeling of wellness would help me cope with the chronic pain and depression that I suffer from.

The result? Concisely, a resounding success.

In more detail.

Day one wasn't pleasant. Presented with six juices and a list of appropriate snacks I was free to cleanse and become energised. It turns out that knowing you can't eat is all it takes to make you want to eat. Pleasant as the juices and smoothies were, by the end of day one I was vile. I wanted a Chinese even though I wasn't hungry. I had a headache, I wasn't nice to be around. After three hours of trying to talk myself into a better mood I went to bed. At 8pm, having deleted the Just Eat app and re-installed it twice.

The juices and smoothies themselves were pretty good, of the six per day four were delicious, one was ok and one was pinch …

I'm not fat...I'm just full of poison!

For those of you who were alive in the 90s you'll remember this battlecry from Edina Monsoon as she moans at the hapless Saffron about why she's overweight. A detox is the answer!

RAWRs cleanse isn't a detox in that detoxing is what your liver does, but it's a programme of juices and smoothies that support your body in doing what it should be doing (if i was listening to Gemma, it might be entirely different). Plugging any gaps in terms of vitamins or nutrients, and helping to form the habit of eating well and in a balanced form.

That's the idea.

I started cleansing yesterday. No food, snacking on carrot sticks in peanut butter. I didn't kill anyone, I didn't actually feel hungry. I did miss eating though. After a day of meetings and then going to work I was more ratty than usual and had a headache I couldn't shift, despite the fact I wasn't hungry I was desperate for a chinese. All that sugar and salt, and delicious msg. I managed to resist the tem…

The day before the next day

I'm tired. Of not sleeping, of comfort eating, of being in pain. I'm tired of feeling dreadful, having pale skin, no energy and everything hurting. I'm tired of having to force every interaction because I don't have enough energy. I'm 36 and I shouldn't feel this way. I'm unlucky to suffer with a chronic pain condition, it's called Trigeminal Neuralgia and it's awful. It's wearing and depressing and when I'm not in pain I'm spending time waiting to be in pain. In the days before drugs that affected the nervous system it was known as suicide disease, and it’s wearing me out.

Despite this, I didn't always feel so unwell. But combined with rheumatoid arthritis affecting my feet and ankles and a motor/sensory nerve condition that limits movement and sensation in my left hand I feel pretty crap right now.

I cope by eating. Bad day? Cake. Really bad day? McDonalds. Really really day day? Chinese and an extra anti-depressant. This isn'…

Are you even from here?

Across the city people in the creative sectors are considering the opportunities that the City of Culture 2021 bid brings to them - it represents a step change in the relationship that the council has had with the creative sector. A more open dialogue, a more willing contribution to funding, and a more open admission of the contribution of the value of the sector as a whole.

For those who aren’t in the creative sector, the bid gives everyone the chance to shout about the passion that they have for their city. And as we know, we’ve much to be passionate about, our design heritage in ceramics, our manufacturing history, the contributions that the city has made to music and the community feel and openness that the city has long been known for.

It’s right that we have this pride about our city, and it’s right that we are excited about what the future might bring. Does it matter I wonder, when we got here? Re:Stoke recently released the film version of their stunning “You are here”. It cel…

Making learning work

I’m not really a child-friendly person. Not that I dislike children, I don’t go round putting them in the bin or anything, it’s just that I don’t like things that I can’t predict. So along with Jazz, moths and butterflies, children go into my personal room 101. After all, dog memes and anti-depressants already exist - how much more joy could there be in the world?

It was with an amount of trepidation then that I recently went to a School science day run by my friends at Wavemaker. The purpose of the day was to expose kids to some learning, some ‘daft’ science and tech and to give them an idea of the tools that are available that schools might not have the resource, or the time to dive into. I was there to do the tweeting and to help the team out with anything ah-hoc. As such, once the setup had been done, and all the leads had been securely taped away to avoid trips (and to stop Benedict’s OCD getting triggered) I promptly hid behind my Wavemaker stickered laptop in the corner.

The ki…

Part 2 - Moving on

So at the end of my last "Long Read" article, I didn't really answer the question that I started with. Well, I hinted at it. I said that a maker was a creative, curious, intuitive, determined person - but those are just some of the hats that makers wear. 
I've been working more closely with the Wavemaker gang over the last few months, and it's given me a lot more insight into what makes a maker. From the perspective of the core team - Alex and Ben making is more than the physical assembly of new objects. They speak about making in the way that many would talk about a religious conviction - with the fervour and excitement of those who have just glimpsed a cosmic clue. 
What I'm beginning to understand is that the "maker mindset" isn't really about making at all, it's about thinking. It's about having the knowledge and confidence in your ability to find a solution, when you're able to make something you can look at a situation and visual…