“I am much better at saying how I feel when I no longer feel it.” ― Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries

When I was 17 I used to write down words I loved. I wrote them in books. On scraps of paper held together with an elastic hair band. On the back of school textbooks. On cassette inserts and CD inlays. I wrote words I found inside unfeasibly tiny postcards and sent them to my boyfriend. The stamp was almost as big as the card.

I used these quotes, other people’s words, because I couldn’t say my own. Pushing them out took an effort that I just couldn’t muster. I couldn’t do it. They sat in me. Growing. Degrading. Dying. I could never say what I felt. Maybe because I’ve always found it hard to know what I’m feeling.

The weight of words. Anchored by them. Determined by them. Hanging on to them. Never forgetting them. The cruel words that nestled in between my collarbones. The praise that slid off my shoulder and sank into the campsite grass. The words that clunked around in glasses full of whiskey, melting like ice cubes. The glibness of words said and the breaths in between. Made up of them. Joined like dots. Hung from them like pictures on wire. Words have owned me. Broken me. Defined me. Held me. Armed me. Hidden me. Saved me. Made me me.

I’m thinking about all of this because of James Jones‘ designs for Jeanette Winterson’s new Vintage covers. Jeanette Winterson gives good quote and I wrote down a lot of her words when I was young.

“I began playing around with the illustrations as vectors – as I wanted that really digital look to set them apart – and it was at this point that they resembled Jeanette’s writing the most,” says Jones.

“Her writing is like no one else’s: passionate, punchy, lucid and lyrical, and each cover aims to represent a tiny bit of this to the reader. The clash between organic materials/objects and something a bit sleeker helps portray the sexual nature of some of the subject matter and its surreal tones.”


JW_James Jones

JW_James Jones

JW_James Jones

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Putting this here so I never forget:

‘Playfulness is what makes us human. Doing pointless, purposeless things, just for fun. Doing things for the sheer devilment of it. Being silly for the sake of being silly. Larking around. Taking pleasure in activities that do not advantage us and have nothing to do with our survival. These are the highest signs of intelligence. It is when a creature, having met and surmounted all the practical needs that face him, decides to dance that we know we are in the presence of a human. It is when a creature, having successfully performed all necessary functions, starts to play the fool, just for the hell of it, that we know he is not a robot.’ Matthew Parris article in New Statesman

Also reminds me of Kathleen Hanna in Frankie magazine – do more weird shit. (The bit about toxic people is also spot on. SPOT FUCKING ON.)

Kathleen Hanna

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This is what was in my bag yesterday when I took a lift to the top of the Shard.

What's in your bag?

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Updating Your Status.

I just deleted a load of Facebook friends. I felt bad while doing it. I really need to sort my shit out. Old boyfriends, people I barely ever spoke to, someone I shared my lunch with when I was 9.

So often I find myself having imaginary conversations with people from my past. I keep saying, ‘I don’t care what you think.’ It has to stop.

I was having dreams about people I haven’t seen in years. Why are you in my head? Why are you trying to drown me in this dream while I’m surrounded by Alphabetti Spaghetti and time travelling cats? Why? Facebook. I see your faces on Facebook. I see pictures of you camping, eating a steak, burping your baby, telling me you bought a £400 handbag. I see your self-congratulatory bullshit, I see your hackneyed sayings and inspirational quotes, I see the parts of your life you want me to see and I close my eyes.

Next step is to shut Facebook down. Problem is I want to see pictures of my friends with their babies, or in San Francisco eating bagels, or videos of their cats being weird. I like seeing what they want me to see. I like tracking events in my life. Maybe it’s all about reduction. I wonder what will be left.

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