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Barreiro, Portugal
Found this bright street art one rainy morning during my recent Portugese writing retreat.

Turns out I need to expand my knowledge of Portugese poets. The little I’ve since read of Andrade’s work is gorgeous.


It’s urgent — love.
It’s urgent — a boat upon the sea.
It’s urgent to destroy certain words,
hate, solitude, and cruelty,
some moanings,
many swords.

It’s urgent to invent a joyfulness,
multiply kisses and cornfields,
discover roses and rivers
and glistening mornings — it’s urgent.

Silence and an impure light fall upon
our shoulders till they ache.
It’s urgent — love, it’s urgent
to endure.

(translation by Alexis Levitin, found gratefully on

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Hmm, so 2013 has not been the year of blogging for me. I’m still here though, still curled up somewhere cosy with a book whenever I can sneak away from Real Life, still writingrevisingeditinggivingupwritingrevisingwriting.

I’ll share some more of my writing playlists here soon, for anyone else who likes moody instrumental guitars cranked up while they work, but meanwhile here’s a wee mosaic of my recent favourite photos on Flickr because, well, because pretty.

There – for a tentative return-to-blogging post, that didn’t hurt so much after all.

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Are you there, Yahoo? It’s me, Flickr

Have fallen back into Flickr this week. I guess it’s an outlet for my snot-brain to get involved in something creative while I’m too ill to write much, even if getting involved simply means looking at other people’s pictures or uploading my old ones of Berlin. I tried to finally watch S2 of The Walking Dead, but I keep dropping off and then spoilering myself  by waking up at the end of an episode. So, the laptop wins over the tv for now. For all that I love Pinterest, Flickr has an edge in terms of showcasing images people have actually created, vs passive pinning, and it’s been fun to hang out there again.

Here’s a collection of some of my recent favourites. Lots of sun and beaches, fancy that.

flickr faves 190712

1. ., 2. Untitled, 3. Nā Mokulua, 4. Lemons & Garage Doors, 5. sweethearts just before the plunge, 6. Burst, 7. Space Sindy, 8. Stewy, 20 SIGNED John Cooper Clarke silkscreen, 9. grand central.

Flickr is where I used to live before Twitter, before Facebook and even before Myspace, and it feels out of place next to those modern belles of the ball. Kinda like that old friend you’ve known since you were 14, the one with no social skills and a terrible haircut, the girl you still love but don’t invite to parties for fear of what she might say.

I wish it had more finesse, options to set up wider filters than ‘friends’, ‘family’ and ‘contacts’- this is one place where the circles which infuriate me on Facebook and G+ could make sense. In many cases I’d rather subscribe to select parts of someone’s stream than their entire output. For example, I might choose to see everything a user tags with ‘film’, ‘beach’ or ‘graffiti’, but skip the photos of their children and their motorbikes.

I like the way casual snapshots sit alongside pro photography, and prefer it to the poncy show-off slickness of 5oopx, it’s just that there are better ways of handling that variety of content and every other social site since manages it better.

The Tumblr interface almost does what I want, in terms of sharing images and following other people’s streams – but it’s too heavy with teens and Manga porn gifs to work as a Flickr replacement. Nowt wrong with teens and Manga porn gifs – man, if Tumblr had been around when I was an adolescent I would have been obsessed with it, and my Plath-Gatsby-JMascis-Kerouac-Nirvana-Suede-badpoetry solipsism would have been a wonder to behold – it’s just not what I’m looking for right now.

C’mon Yahoo, please put some money and some new life into the site, I fail to see what else you have going for you as a company right now.

UPDATE – have just been sent this damning, detailed, depressing article on exactly How Yahoo killed Flickr.  Maybe it really is too late?

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(resists urge to make tatooine pun*)

This year, for the first time, I started to want a tattoo. I probably won’t get one (I’m suspicious that the urge coincides with the approach of a significant birthday; all of my exes had stupid tattoos that they either did regret or should have;  all the people whose tattoos I like have skinny/buff arms and I may be confusing the two; I’m saving all my pounds for a shed at the moment #rocknroll) – but I love my tattoo mood board and will keep adding to it, anyway. Here are my favourite images from it.

Source: via Rhian on Pinterest

Source: via Rhian on Pinterest


Source: via Rhian on Pinterest

You’re right, what I really want are wings, not tattoos, but I haven’t figured out how to get those yet.

Source: via Rhian on Pinterest

Source: via Rhian on Pinterest

Source: via Rhian on Pinterest

I will graciously settle for a winged horse, if anyone has one spare.

Source: via Rhian on Pinterest

*actually I’d love to make a tatooine joke but can’t think of a good enough one. My best efforts were ‘Gotta be in it to Tatooine it’, ‘You are the wind beneath my Tatooine’, ‘Tatooine will I be famous’. Suggestions welcome…

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