Saturday, 16 August 2014


If my mind is a make believe magazine, then here are the top stories I would have been running this summer:


I have been meaning to share this for a while. I'm not sure if it's because this story is genuinely as funny as I think it is, or whether it's due to a lack of strenuous partner-based physical activity that has rendered me in a near-constant state of hysteria: but I cannot look at the photo without laughing uncontrollably.

I'm actually not ready to look at it yet and I want to delay your gratification, so I'm going to insert the photo at the end. First you can have a description and then finally you will see that the real thing is 100 times better than what you were imagining.

A few months ago, scientists made a teeny tiny pair of 3D glasses and stuck them onto the face of a praying mantis (with beeswax, not superglue), their reason being that praying mantises are the only known insect that can see in 3D. Don't you think their time would have been better spent making 3D glasses for insects whose ability to see the world in 3D has yet to be discovered?

You know praying mantises can see in 3D, why did you need to make him a little pair of glasses?

Claire pointed out that there is absolutely no scientific reason for the glasses to be cut into a shape resembling human glasses either- they could have just stuck one big lens on his face. The two-lens shape was just to take the piss.

I described the experiment to Claire and Jen but they couldn't imagine how ridiculous the actual photo would be, which is why I hope you don't accidentally see it until the end of this post. All I will say is that they showed the praying mantis a 3D film of flies coming at his face and he obviously LOVED it.


If you don't know what Normcore is, it's people wearing shit clothes like unflattering 'mom jeans', shit trainers and t-shirts with 'unhip' logos on. It's all about throwing any old crap on and not caring what you look like. Of course this doesn't bode well for the magazine industry, so many of them tried to say that Normcore was a minimal way of dressing- white shirts and tailored trousers rather than leggings and a faded top that has happy cartoon bananas on it, or something.

Normcore isn't really a subculture or a trend or a new way of dressing, it's just a group of cool people who don't care what they look like, or rather, they do care what they look like, but they know they'll look cool in anything and so take advantage of this fact and make a point of wearing really shit, boring clothes.

Before I heard the word Normcore, I saw a girl at a party in Paris (it was the one in the mad little house that had once been a brothel and still had velvet and mirrors everywhere), with no make-up on, wearing a t-shirt that looked kind of like a crop top- but you could tell that really, it was just too small for her- and unflattering jeans. Me and Julia agreed that she looked like she'd found the clothes on the floor and thrown them on, which is what made her look so. achingly. cool. 

You can't copy that old fashioned, arty, sloppy, 'out there' cool. You either have it or you don't. But magazines can't sell that, so they pretended that Normcore was a thing and created everything from Normcore home decor to Normcore weddings and honeymoons to Normcore sandwiches (granted- that was a piss-take, but I can't remember any other examples right now). Even The Daily Mail got on board.

I myself have jumped on the bandwagon and created Normcore Photography. Here's my first collection. It's called 'Pics'. 





I was going to ask if Vice were interested in publishing Pics, but I see Normcore has already evolved into Avant Bland.

 I know what you're thinking- isn't Normcore just how people dressed in the 90s, except back then you were allowed to wear what you wanted without having to create a media buzzword to describe it?



I don't know why more people aren't worried about this. Hoverbikes EXIST, there are sneaky robots that can assemble themselves from flat pack and they are planning to build fucking cities that float on the sea, like in the terrifying film (to me as a child anyway) Waterworld.

Also, this week I went to see the Human Harp at the Roundhouse- it's an instrument that musicians attach to a building and to themselves, then play the strange music of whatever giant structure they are attached to. Lauren got free tickets to a preview of Imogen Heaps' Reverb festival and took me for the free food and drink I mean THE CULTURE.

I've never listened to Imogen Heap but she did a couple of acoustic songs on the piano and I like her voice. I don't know if the Human Harp is really beautiful or really creepy (it doesn't help that the name reminds me of the Human Centipede)- I couldn't believe the eerie notes were coming from the structure of the building. The notes were deep and cold, like the metal structure of the building I suppose. I wonder what it sounded like when they played the Brooklyn Bridge?

The atmosphere was only ruined slightly when one of the 'moveicians' (as the artist who created the Human Harp called them) became detached from the instrument. He just carried on moving about on his own, as if he had just walked into the space and decided to randomly perform a piece of modern dance.

Anyway. Everything's gone a bit sci-fi. What's next, praying mantises in 3D glasses??


  1. Hello!
    Is there a way to contact you regarding advice on au pairing in paris other than comments
    probably not because this is probably a weird request
    anyway - great blog!

    1. Hi Chelsie, if you follow me on Twitter @leftbankmanc you can tweet me questions if that helps...

    2. Ok I have just created an Au Pair forum on my blog... You can post a message on there, let's see if anyone replies!