Monday, 9 May 2011

Derby, UK: Embarassing my hosts at the Zoo

In January 2011 I hopped on a train and travelled sideways for two hours to Derby. When I got there I was greeted by my brother, his girlfriend, some raspberry cheesecake cupcakes and a shockingly tall doorstep.

I scaled it, confused as to how their cat ever gets in and out of the house on a daily basis...

The next day we went to Twycross Zoo. EXCITING. I fumbled around for my chalk as soon as I saw the sign below (I wanted to write 'yay! We're at the ZOO!') but I got one of those looks that says 'do you really need to start already? Wait until you're inside, at least...'

We queued, eagerly trying to eyeball anything that looked like it might be an exotic animal living on the other side... 

Hello penguins. Totally deserving of my appreciation (and everyone else's), I left this message on the wall to remind passers-by of their aceness...

I remember looking up shortly after this though and seeing my brother and his girlfriend in the distance. I think they were clearing the area to allow me space after my scolding from the Zoo Keeper...

(I was not scolded. It was worth the wait.)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Liverpool, UK: Chalking on the doorstep.

Returning from London with a batch of photos of my recent messages only made me more eager to chalk up some other places. I was out of spends though so I stayed a bit closer to home.

In October 2010, inbetween sipping tea on my doorstep in Liverpool and admiring all the small dogs that walked past my feet, I decorated our front door with words that rhymed with 'fifty six'. Our landlord rubbed it off when a potential tenant came for a look around. I don't know why. I'd say the 'Beware of the Dog' sign my sister had made for the window was more of a concern. The dog had been drawn with massive teeth and looked hungry.

Charlie's feet. Charlie's message.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

London, UK: When the game began...

I walked to Manor House Subway in July 2010, crouched down on the floor and started chalking. I had a few minutes of wondering whether a local would kick me while I was there, annoyed that I appeared to be vandalising their link to the rest of central London.

But alas, nothing of the sort happened so I continued, took a photo and then ran merrily down the steps to catch the tube...

Friend mentioned is Charlie Mallard, a favourite in the 56 household who gave me my first piece of chalk and told me to leave a message in London. She opted for this over a keyring and a postcard with a beefeater on. I would have been happy with either/both.

Moving on, I followed my brother's directions to Stoke Newington Church Street. There I found lots of cafes (a bit like Liverpool's Lark Lane), a shop with a garden store out the back, a line of someone else's washing above it, and a little vintage boutique called Casino...

The girls at Casino let me draw on the front of their shop because I told them it was part of a project that my housemate and I were conducting. At least I think that's what they heard. Having lived in Liverpool for four years, my accent can sometimes become a bit of an odd mangle of Welsh and Scouse. Scwelsh. They seemed excited anyway.

Tommy, who works as a security guard for BBC Radio Merseyside requested this next message. I found a cake shop and decided this was the most fitting place to leave such a statement.

Had to dash after this. I stood up and found a big frown on the other side of the glass next to the cakes...


For mum. The world's biggest Beatles fan.

For my sister Winny, who does up old-school bicycles and makes nice illustrations.

Because I think I'm funny.

Because it's true, I do.
Finsbury Park, London.

For my friend Lea. She introduced me to Manchester hostels, Gogol Bordello videos and most of all, her favourite song 'Illumination'. It came at the right time, I think.

Hard to read on here because it's tiny and my eyes are rubbish. It says I went inside the Houses of Parliament. I did. My friend gave me a guided tour, a free badge and a really cheap cup of tea. WOO HOO.

I ran out and had to buy some more. No Oxford St clothes shopping for me. I asked about six different people where I could find a Ryman. A bad workman shall not blame her lack of tools.