Red Light Lit Vol. 9

Tomorrow night (Friday 6th November) sees the release party for Red Light Lit Vol. 9, the quarterly literary journal published in San Francisco. I’ve mentioned before I was lucky enough to have (my first ever literary submission!) published way back in Volume 1, and they have used and published quite a few of my photos in the past as well.

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Review - Shooting On The Rim

Shooting On The Rim is the first feature length film from Ask Me Tomorrow Productions, due to be released on Vimeo’s On-Demand feature on October 30th. It’s a ‘mockumentary’ styled film, with distinct flavours of The Office and The Thick Of It, about the production of an adult movie. The auteurs have fantastical, and doomed, ideas about breaking the genre completely, whilst all around them chaos slowly ensues amidst protests, pretentious writing and egos, and on-set accidents.

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Top 5 Sci-Fi Death Scenes

I recently had a bit of a lazy day, and combined with the crappy weather outside, I put on a few favourite films to help pass the afternoon. One in particular (and I'll get to which one later) got me thinking about memorable death scenes in sci-if films. Not just spectacular or gory special effect laden deaths, but more those with certain relevance to the film, or emotionally stirring scenes. I've compiled my own personal top 5 scenes, some of which are iconic, some of which, dear reader, you might not know, or had ever considered. Please feel free to list your own in the comments. 

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Some Thoughts On Erotic Photography

I recently found the PDF version of my old degree dissertation, Erotic Photography: It’s Uses, Acceptance, and Integration In Society. Don’t get excited, it was rather a dry report, part art history of erotic photography, and the links with the fashion industry, and part analysis of how public perception has changed so much we now see it everyday without even realising - a far cry from the initial Victorian attitudes towards it.

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So here we are, another year, happy new 2015.

And it's traditionally a time when resolutions are made, and usually rather quickly broken. I have the same aims as everyone else, get healthier, lose weight, quit smoking. How these self made promises will pan out, well, your guess is as good as mine, yeah, probably not very well. But not to put a negative pessimistic spin on things, we can but try, and making a start on such ideals is just the beginning. 

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Sweet sacrifice.

Several hours a day

Spent silent.

Sad, never sulking,

Surrendering my self

And my soul

To solitude.

There’s simply no satisfaction

In sour mash and cigarettes.

Only in the subconscious images

Of her smile,

Watching whisps of smoke

Escape from her lips,

Or a bead of sweat

On her slender neck

After sex.

The First Rule Of Robot Fight Club Is....

I had taken my usual route home, zig zagging through back alleys, cutting across main roads, short cuts over car parks, and past hotel service entrances. It was summer, it was still hot in the early evening, and a fire exit had been wedged open, presumably to give the function room in the Crown Plaza some air on this muggy Wednesday evening.

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I did another post for Charlie recently, after tagging along to the Selfridges AW Fashion show...

The original post is here, and Charlie's is here, both with photos (not taken by me) of the night.


So, plenty of folk are aware that I’m a photographer, but maybe not so many know that my day job is actually within the fashion industry. ’Tis true! Who woulda thought, that me, Mr Permament-Black-T-Shirt-And-Jeans is a fashionista! Well, maybe not quite that much….

But both being ladies of quite exceptional taste, Charlie and Keeley invented me along as their plus one to the Selefridges AW14 Fashion show. And of course to get my, *cough* ‘expert’ opinion on the mens fashion. So I donned my best black tee, combed my beard, and and went off to investigate for myself.

I admit, I am not a regular visitor to Selfridges, I’m not on any of their mailing lists, so wasn’t aware of the £3 million refurb of the menswear department in which the fashion show was being held, but it was a grand event to showcase it. I did get chance later to have a wander around for myself, and it is very impressive, but also way out of my pocket. We were greeted with fizzy stuff, which I quickly downed as I realised there was also beer on offer. Which I also quickly downed as I discovered there was a Maker’s Mark whiskey bar. Oh dear. I’d also had a terrible day, and was in dire need or a drink. This could only end awesomely.

So, in my jeans (Levis, £60), trainers (Gola, £50), brand new black t-shirt (American Apparel, £8 from a dude I know who can get me them cheap cos I buy in bulk), I followed Charlie and Keeley around the store, drink in hand as they browsed various wonderful, and very expensive dresses. The handy thing about this kind of even is that I can mumble things to myself all night, and mostly no one is actually paying any attention to quite what I’m saying (£2000 for a dress? Wow, that’s a lot of booze…). I was a little conscious at first of being rather underdressed, the large majority of men there were in expensive suits, groomed to within an inch of actually being photoshopped, tanned, and all identical. The last point there was when I realised I was comfortable in what I was wearing. I’m not saying there was anything wrong with how everyone was dressed, but there was a certain uniformity which seemed to remove any individuality. 

The actual fashion show took place at the foot of the escalators down from the ladies wear department, so we took our place to view the catwalk, as the perimeter filled up with all sorts of fashionistas and bloggers. I admit, 3 or 4 whiskey’s down, my live tweeting of the event took a sharply sarcastic turn. I’ll leave the commentary on the ladies fashion to the ladies, but I tried to take notice of the menswear as it was paraded around.

I’m not going to make any points about the price range of what was on offer - we all know that Selfridges is a premium quality department store, and we know what to expect. Jeans at £200, jackets at £1400, suits at £1000. Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Dior, Valentino, and Belstaff amongst others had their latest wares being displayed. It was all, without exception, marvellous. It’s a level of fashion where the brand name isn’t visible, it’s not plastered across the front, there’s not motif, no obvious label. It’s fashion for those who know fashion. I wasn’t going to put my grubby hands on the merchandise when I wandered around later, but I know the quality of these garments from my day job. There’s a feel to the material and the build that exudes a certain opulence. 

Even just by sight, it was evident of the superior quality of the garments - even if some were not quite to my taste. All were very clean cut, the suits very sharp, elegant traditional shaping. Even a man like myself, who sports a beard that straddles the line between hero and hobo, would look like a star in suits like that. There is a sense of a ‘classic’ styling to it all. The colour scheme was dark (and going back to the aforementioned black t-shirts, I’m a fan of dark), none of it was designed to make the wearer stand out due to garish colours, only to look like a man who chooses quality.

The fashion show didn’t go on for too long, short and too the point (which was also good as I had run out of booze half way through, and live tweeting is thirsty business), which then gave me opportunity to have a good look at the menswear department. It’s very good. It’s very expensive, as already mentioned. But quality expensive. For example, I have been wanting a proper belstaff jacket for many years, while I may not have owned a motorbike for a few years, the belstaff waxed biker jackets are legendary, more than just a brand, it’s a heritage. And like most of the menswear here, it’s got that heritage, and a styling that will never be ‘last years fashion’. Timeless.

Enough fashion ranting. More drinking. And a haircut! The chaps from Gladstone Grooming had their own pop up barbers in the store, so whilst all the fashion bloggers all got together to swap notes about the show and practise the most intricate of fashionista air kissing, I had a fantastic trim, and I’ll be off to see them in Ashton-Under-Lyne soon for the good proper haircut.

As well as the abundance of fashion and booze, there was thankfully an offering of many aperitifs being served up, tiny food, tiny bites, but all delicious. I rejoined Charlie and Keeley to hear their thoughts on the show, and to meet the lovely Miss Pond and Anoushka for a few more drinks before it was time to leave the opulence of the continuing party and venture off in to the dark and misty Manchester night.

To find another bar, obviously…


I flew so high.

I know how Icarus felt.

I soared close to the sun,

My wings did melt.

Too high, too soon,

To earth I fell.

The ground gave way

Below was Hell.

"Was it worth it?"

The devil beckoned.

I replied in earnest,

"Every second."

Chatervane Beard Oil

Those who know me will know i've been denying being a hipster for years. I mean, I wear socks, I'm not covered in tattoos up to my fucking neck (welcome to a career working in the service industry, all those 20 year olds with barely a square inch of bare skin), I'll never fit in a pair of skinny jeans, nor would I want to, I don't ride a fixie, i really don't care about the provenance of my coffee, I have no real passion for 'craft' ale, and my music tastes would be considered rather pedestrian by most hipsters. The evidence for? I live not far from Manchester's Northern Quarter, I have a growing collection of vinyl records (although whilst not quite mainstream, still popular enough), I work in a creative industry (the kind of place that employs social media experts), I do have tattoos, but the most condemning fact is I have a beard. A medium-large beard.

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The following entry was originally published in Red Light Lit Vol. 1, in September 2013, and also performed by Mat Cab at the first Red Light Lit event in San Francisco.

Further poems, in all their disgusting glory, can be found here:

It was agreed at first,

To take it slow.

So of course

We fucked on the floor.


We flirted next,

You flashed me your tattoo.

So of course

We fucked in the bathroom.


We then argued

Over the share of the tab.

On the way home

We fucked in the cab.


I held back your hair

When you were sick, retching.

And after that

We fucked in the kitchen.


We fucked nearly everywhere,

And when we where able.

We pushed aside dinner

And fucked on the table.


We fucked when we were happy.

We fucked when we were sober.

We fucked on a ferry

From Calais to Dover


We fucked when we were drunk.

We fucked when we were mad.

I will always remember you,

The best fuck I had.


Then once after we fucked,

I caught you crying.

And inside I was fucked

Like a piece of me dying.


And then it was over

And it has to be said

Not never, not once

Did we fuck in our bed.


I miss you my love,

I miss your sweet post-coital glow.

I fucking wish

We had taken it slow.