Of London:Solitude

Halloween and summer returned for the day. At the end of my lane is a gap in the trees and it leads here….

empty London



Lyra day 3- Pain and Rental

Captains Log:
Hoop day 3 -pain, presumed loss of genitals. Straight leg is meant to be same angle as arm but it unbareably hurts. Get a big man to stamp on your inner thigh it’s akin to that…oo yeah aerial’s so pretty….maybe it would hurt less to not repeatedly try and roll sideways out of it to hang ‘prettily beneath the circle. ‘Rolling around a metal bar of rough tape is like bathing in sandpaper.

Still I get back on: the enticement of aerial dance.


If anyone out there beyond Lyraland is reading- how do I fix my frame in this pic from creaking? It creaks so loud that the deaf lady upstairs puts her gospel on up loud.

I am willing to offer free use of this hoop, an aerial net and 10 m of low stretch aerial silks (good for yoga) in return for space to train. The only prerequisite is adjustable riggle so i can work low to the ground. Im in London/Surrey border.

PS- if the miracle of space is offered you must be ok with me occassionaly in odd dresses and doing my own thing with my headphones in working on routines (I have the terrible habbit of listening to one song on repeat forever )

Ariadne x

101 reasons why I cant do circus classes

Now don’t get me wrong; safety, even in low aerial practise is paramount. Getting a good grounding in aerial arts goes without exception and I dread to think of anyone learning alone from scratch.
But after 6 years of aerial classes, post injuries that are permanant, health conditions that have changed my strength I find myself going from website to website of classes I am defunct to from the criteria.

I long for a school that says hey your bodies crap but I’ve seen the things you can do, why dont we just lower the equipment and focus on your creativity and expression in dance over trying to find a 6 pack and toe hangs.


I have a slipped vertebrea (not a disk ) in my back, I have weak legs from a year of injured tibias, sightloss and terrified of heights. I can no long flip my feet over my head to mount aerial equipment at a reasonable height.

But I can walk in pointe shoes, do the splits and hang by my spine.

I watched a blind woman doing trapeze, I watched a woman with cerebal paulsy doing aerial straps on my tv. But everywhere I go claims that students must;

Be required to do a pull up from a dead hang.

Be under 85kgs

Not have back problems, vertigo injuries, muscle weakness.

Are not allowed if if they are on drink, drugs, havent slept or are unhappy (do you vet them on entrance? Told to me as though I was, quite insulting when I don’t even drink)

Monthly cycles will affect your strength

Students must only used equipment at the height we set. This increases at each level (so again i can do intermediate tricks but can not get actually on the equipment)

Students are not allowed to do any moves not taught by us or beyond the level of the class they are (again see brackets on last point. I would only ever be at absolut beginner level because Cant mount correctly anything higher than my head without something to lean my back against for support.

So I got adaptive and clever and learnt to rig my own contraption of silks that combined a loop hammock to support my spine yet still be able to do silks moves, not very heigh but still above ground. It made me very happy.

But that falls me into the realms of needing to rig my own equipment which quite frankly I have more chance of being Prime Minister than being allowed to do

The words at one miserable circus induction are chalked in the back of mind forever as I couldn’t see black rigging in a dark corner.

‘You need to be able to come in alone and train alone or theres no point me letting you be here.’

I was incredibly lucky to do a residency a few after at a great venue with a brilliant technician who rigged for me without telling me off and the other performers helped page back my equipment saying simply ‘it must be hard for you seeing the black ropes against the black wall, din’t worry I’ll do it’ as though I wasn’t a burden.

After all, my theatre degrees core was working together and devising together what can be done with what we’ve got whether that was trash to make a puppet or a trapeze 1m off the floor.

I’ve no interest in strength or ‘feats’ I juste want to dance off the ground in any way I still can.


Of London: The girl in the Rookery

“What happened to you?” I say out loud on the narrow corner like finding a friend I’d lost in the crowd of a wild night, all dishevelled and crouched below Centrepoint.

The pub still bares its name. Graffiti clad chipboard coffins our old drinking days. The dropped flyers of rock music nights and goth clothing shops that were dropped in the rain as I stumbled in Velvet heels are replaced with weeds and litter. It has been years. We sat in a vodka sticky booth up in the rafters convulsing with laughter at men headbanging.

This was once the Rookery and look at you now; ramshackle carbunkle on the edge of modernity. I’d raise a glass to you if I was barricaded out.

Not once in those nights did I notice the church. It’s grounds funnel out the rain and I wonder how the homeless man by the vestry door can carry so many bags wherever he’s been. He squats with a large umbrella against a tomb.

There’s a not so secret, secret garden along the next alley. Rusty railings and ivy give peeping holes to an overgrown haven of little benches and leaves.

Narrow streets and overcrowding have led to narrow streets and overcrowding only the bricks are new. What must the place have seen with its lean-to, p dwellings where strangers shared the same floor for a shillings sleep and a pisspot? Where did all the tenants go the day St Giles slum was pushed down? Did they turn to the whores and children and sickly thieves and declare ‘we shall erect a night club and a sushi cafe!’?

Six fetid years I lived in a four bedrooms Edwardian terraced slum-share with over 20 tenants, sometimes 5 in a room with one broken bed. I could not find work or a single other property that accepted housing benefit. Sleep was best in the day when most were out and dealers and mental patients were at their quietest. Do I let those times slip from memories or write them?

A charity has housed me in a studio I relish for the peace and white clean space.

At uni we study the metropolis, modernist living and the flaneur- his need for wonder and chance encounters. I used to walk London for hours and hours writing fiction in my head that has failed. I sought life beyond my own took’ and returned to do trapeze alone in the night.

I wish I could say all the things in this city I’ve seen. I wish I could tell my lecturer that behind my mute note taking I am like the thing of story books in this London place.



To the lighthouse then to my bed

Oh my Brothers I feel rough… Forgive what will be a terrible post I am filling with life as a literature student. Maybe it is the weather or the fact that I’ve not found time to eat in eight hours. But I must write to dispell this skirt that is a torniquet around my waist and the gridlock of buses I am stuck upon.

So the modules this term are Urban Cultures looking at the complexities and tropes of the Metropolis and Subjectivities which includes some of the writers I can dive under.

I’m not the best of students….

Moday I wheeled in an hour and a half late with a case full of dirty clothes, hand spun silks and Jekyll and Hyde comics. There is always a sense of falling from a vortex, Wizard of Oz like sensation returning to London from my family in our village.

Everyone was obscured in a film as I tumbled in blind to empty seats, voiceless to drums on the screen.

I think it was man with the movie camera? Verkoff? It portrayed city life in fragments, some speeded and frozen. The camera featured throughout the film as the signifier of moments captured and editted: a production of the production of urban humanity. Both machines and people make repititive autonomous movements.

I thought of Georg Simmels essay on the Berlin Exhibition. And for a small sacrifice (in that case spending money) results in time for amusement. The film seemed to say work hard in industry and the reward are all these shots of playing on the beach all the grins the citizens wear with a dose of frenzied accordion music.

But I said nothung, I wondered if the blue roses circling my head were too eccentric and if the metropolis could exist without capitalism and mass production for mass consumption.

But I did not say a word.

University has been my biggest silencer, such carcophony of thoughts and ideas render me mute. Sometimes I think words will leak from my brain out of my ears like cut out, black paper type.

In a Plathian state I become a fidgeting Esther Greenwood wondering what position to sit, where to place my arms. If I shift from a painful slouch will it disrupt everything? Yet I am enjoying this place, these ideas and insights.

A man talks of hallucinations and research in the 18th century. In some corner of some party, probably in 1967, he would have convinced me to expand my mind.

How do you definitely know tou have hallucinated if it looks so real?

Woolf takes up the evening. Reading To the Lighthouse always overwhelms with the private thoughts of others, all doubting themselves and longing. The island they inhabit feels cut off as though in some sort of purgatory in time; a clearance in a void of grey green sea and mist that I need to read in small doses, to come up for air. Why were her critics so hard on her to be this or that; be a woman? Doesn’t her androgeny in her work (if androgyny be an indistinguishable overlap of the sexes in my opinion) show that in our microcosm of societies our thoughts and woes are equal?

I will never teach. I do not speak. And yet I could fill a library on my thoughts and interest. I just can not articulate

The boy in the takeaway tells me cocksure that all you can do with literature is teach.

I want to write. And for the first time I say so.

Of London: Mine

Gloomy, familiar, rainy Great Portland Street. Where dozy traffic clots and we all walk with intent.

Cloth tape pinches the arm with a needle hole, it gave six blood bottles, full, with bright caps like toddlers bricks; a silent nurse held the hand. Healthy as ever, dinnerless and late as always; every puddle laughs at striped socks of yesterdays dancing.

Black starched boys of the best of decorum can’t decide out of their politeness who to put in a black cab first. Their delays gives a gap to skip across a by-street. The telephone tower. BT Tower? Post Office Tower, phallic, cartoon, outer-space thing, marks the way like a friendly sentinel to the weekly haste of being lost.

A Fritzrovia mistake: it’s one street not two. Retrace in thicker gloom. The reading device in a fake leather bag won’t last in the rain. These eyes won’t last a lifetime but isn’t the little street grand? Everything has gone guache blue and echoes of heels in the detour.

What is the orange thing that slips hurried feet on the corner of Wells street where the pavement is little lit squares and pencil skirts in silhouette:a sweater, some cadaver of clothing? How has someone dropped such a thing?

Late for class but wide eyed and learning.

Of London: Ripper

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A little boy hidden in a parker coat clutches silver balloons as the rain taunts commuters flitting for umbrella space. Like spooked cattle, those without shelter stampede in to Hammersmith station as though water from the skies may melt them, or at least stain white Converse trainers.

The only life to be found at Aldgate tube is a shadow figure pasted to the entrance wall in false hope of warmth in the very first, certain, day of Autumn. Detached hollers of teenage boys cry out the name of the take away on the corner as though it will bring salvation. There is confusion amongst road works and bland offices. Texts are exchanged and misspelt from droplets on the screen; another beheading, isn’t it scary and a brief remark of location in case of disappearance. Somewhere around a corner will be a side street. They say Jack the Ripper wrote on a wall here and left a scrap of bloodied apron and terrible grammar. Centuries later it seems a pointless crack in the map.


Graffiti is still on every wall and pulled down shutter, possibly the only thing requiring eyesight in the street. Do the tourists walks come this way? Despite the gloom of modernity every side alley and gated recess has the imaginary potential as a place to kill. He must have been swift for not even a minute can pass without someone taking the same needless route. Asian women and daughters appear in bold silk dresses of gold and pinks from nowhere, trinkets against the grey.

Did Jack really have that cape and topper of so many depictions in this place that generations on is nothing but tight bricks and litter. The age, the debris and grim faced men evoke the ghosts of East End poverty; the precious last backstreets that haven’t succumbed to another glass box of executive homes.

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The poorest street in London became a desolate car park of black slits between metal. The dwellings of another victim are hard to picture under the echoing foul language of a man on his phone as he struts, determined, with his tracksuit trousers tucked in to puddle stamped white socks.

Go on to the colourful huddle of Spitalfields craft sellers and designer honey makers, or retreat beneath the grey and silence of an alley that has lost its place in time? A little glimpse of ‘Neverwhere’ in a slit opposite a car park. Is there nowhere old and ghostly that a person of the present can’t invade?

East of Hanbury street. The peeling adverts of pop up bars and street art, skinny youths with skinnier jeans and androgyny terminate at the last falafel bar on the left.

Squeezed between lamppost and screeching sun a man leaps into a shop with large hanks of unwrapped raw meat on his back. The fleshy smell mixes with curry spices in the air and all glares its way into the dismal places of Jacks London rebuilt for the latest poor. Victorian, Prostitute, Postmodern, Dancer; female apprehension never changes. Who knows exactly where Eddowes was slain here, don’t stop. Just get fast out of being lost in Whitechapel housing blocks. Jack wouldn’t have worn a cape any more than the residents here in their black militant looking sportswear will mug you in a Versace tie.

Isn’t it whimsical how garish painted shutters, brass doorknobs and the mystery of old dwellings can entice. The slums of yesterday become stories, fascinations. Murder of prostitutes in bustles and calico scanties become legends of the metropolis; dark, unsolved Victoriana. And yet layer on layer of years and mortar the immigrant low earners still reside here with suspicious faces in a tricking evening sunlight of unrest.

They are saying Jack was really an Aaron. Did he alone kill seven prostitutes, seven women? The only women out on these streets in those nights would have been prostitutes.

Gaggling girls talk rapidly, one over the over, all at once in some private joke by the station. Their numerous paper shopping bags tangle around their legs. Only a cut through wet trees of Devonshire Square and like poking a finger through a cobweb on railings the streets judder with life and rustling laughter of smokers outside the pub. It is only London on a Saturday evening again.


Help- I have to write a textual analysis of how an extract and how it conveys the subject.

What does that even mean?!! What is a textual analysis? How is it different from an essay? I cant ask uni they already think I’m a helpless case at intellect. I am currently having to read critical essays on how people from rural areas are slow, stupid and habitual compared to the highly intellectual city dweller.

Uni gave me low grades on my Ginsberg poetry essay saying ‘you are trying to argue that writing is a direct form of expression and I can’t think of any example where this is the case’!!!

Can anyone explain what either a textual analysis or conveying the subject means?

I am studying literature at masters level in my 30’s having not studied it since I was 15. I have no desire or interest or intelligence for teaching and no idea what to do with the qualification. I would like to write or work in a place I get to be an expert on certain characters and texts but no idea how in the working world.