Here is a photo of me during my first Christmas in London in 2002.

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And here’s a photo I took at 3.45 today.

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From the 2002 pic, note the look on my face: a mixture of confusion and resentment. Confused that the grass in England is greener in winter than summer. What?! HOW. Grass dies and goes yellow in autumn – this shouldn’t be possible. What’s going on. Am I an in an alien realm.

And resentful because it was so blissfully warm. I can’t bear the cold, and though snow is pretty, growing up in Toronto was miserable for me during the winters – the cold (down to -35C for weeks at a time when I was a kid) always just sucked every ounce of happiness out of my body.

Christmas in England to me felt fucking weird.

And it still does – and it never will stop feeling so fucking weird. This pic of a slate grey sky, the streetlights coming on, children playing without sweaters, and electric green grass… none of it computes. Head hurts. THIS IS NOT WHAT CHRISTMAS LOOKS LIKE, my brain screams.

And yet… I adore it. England, my heart is yours. And always will be.

Happy Holidays everyone, from my lovely polite robust Canucks to my snaggle toothed drunken Pommies, I love you all.

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You know how restaurants will have glossy B&W 8X10s of famous celebrities who have eaten there, with a swish signature to say “David Hasselhoff Endorsed” or whatever.

So, I live in Clerkenwell, about a 15 minute walk from Boris Jonhson’s house over in Islington. I just noticed that a barbershop near me has a flat screen monitor in the window with a shot of Boris getting his hair cut there. (It’s called The Bay Room if you want to go harass them.)

Now, I know his hair is famous, but it isn’t famous for being good.

I would cut off a toe to have been present when he gave the hairdresser instructions:

“Please make it look flouncy as though I’ve just rolled out of bed, windswept like I’ve biked twelve kilometres, and cut using a cereal bowl on top of my head, a la the proles, to hide the fact that I’m a racist, entitled, Bullingdon Club twat.”

Thought I’d share this visual treat for you all.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

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Growing up in Toronto, I had a golden retriever named Norton, who was the sweetest, most darling dog in the universe. I can’t imagine owning any other breed.

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Every single winter when it snowed for the first time, he would absolutely lose his shit: because he had the memory of a dog, he reacted to every single first snowfall as though he’d never seen snow in his entire life. Even when he was 14 years old, he still went absolutely apeshit at the sight of snow, responding with a mixture of excitement, terror, confusion, joy, and befuddlement. He’d trot around the garden staring in awe at the white ground, not knowing what the fuck to do with himself. It was an annual ritual and it made me laugh my ass off every year.
 
Dear British people: thank you for reminding me of my lovely dog. Your annual response to an inch of snow is pretty much the same – especially the crippling confusion and inability to know how to react to the mysterious, otherworldly white stuff. (Tip: create an urban infrastructure that doesn’t grind to a halt when it’s 2C and the snow instantly turns to slush anyways.) It’s annoying the way you whine and crumble – but gosh darn it, it’s pretty cute.
 
Bless you.

PS This is what a real “snow day” looks like. It snowed five feet and people who didn’t have porches like ours couldn’t even open their front doors for a couple of days.

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I hate Christmas – always have.

It features countless things I despise:
– shopping
– mindless consumerism
– garish advertising
– shitty music
– cold weather
– enforced time with family members I loathe
– hangovers (especially in the UK, where I refer to December as “let’s ruin tomorrow for a month”)
– weight gain
– needless expenditure of money
– religious undertones

However, I understand that a lot of you love this time of year, and I can see why (booze, friends, tasty food, rest).

So, in honour of your love of this festive season, I will refrain from being a grinch this December. And as a friendly visual signifier of my effort to take part in your joy, I shall wear green glitter as much as possible to display my acquiescence.

I would like to send a message back in time to 20-year-old me, at Glasto 2003, taking LSD for the first time (which I decided to do alone):

“Dear Zoe, it’s your future self. Don’t freak out – I know you’ve learned your lesson, that this is a treat best done with friends. But guess what: In 14 years, you’re going to do this again, and it’s going to change your life. Oh – and you’ll write about it for Rolling Stone. Love, 35-year-old Zoe.”

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Note: 100% real photo of me from that day.

Hello everyone. Today’s magic words are…

Rolling. Stone.

… actually make that:

ROLLING FUCKING STONE.

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When it’s taken two years to make a feature happen, an expletive is well deserved. This is my first story for the magazine – and it’s about two of my favourite things: Music. And LSD.

It’s been a long journey. And a fun one. As a mate put it,

“Christ Zoe, you’re the only person I know who can put ‘TAKE ACID’ on their to-do list, and it’s legitimately for work.”

Note that I’m holding up the September issue and not the current one – but this is probably the only chance I have to get my face this close to Dave Grohl’s.

I am in one of my favourite places in the world (Scotland) with one of my favourite people in the world (Graham F. Scott). Life is good.

Yesterday we went for a 7 mile hike around Hadrian’s Wall. I was first taught about the Roman invasion of Britain when I was 15 and studying Latin in highschool. I absolutely fell in love with the idea that the Romans could conquer all of Europe, but had to concede defeat (or at least, lose the will to even keep trying) when they encountered a bunch of bastard crazy angry half naked Celts (who probably chucked fly agarics into their brews). But instead of actually conceding defeat, they drew a line in the sand and built a wall to demarcate the Empire’s border.

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Oh, and the construction was ordered by Emperor Hadrian, who was one of the first Emperors to sensibly realise when continuing to wage war is a waste of time and energy. Peace > War n’ all that. Oh, and he was openly gay.

Finally – 20 years later – I got to finally see the wall for myself (even though I’ve been to Scotland a dozen times by now).

Thank you Graham. This was worth waiting 20 years for.

Magic. Just magic.

In two hours I will be 35 years old.

I have managed three and a half decades without succumbing to the tattoo bug (as in the infectious desire to ink oneself – not an image of a bug, i.e. my mate Daniel’s demand that I get a tattoo of a tardigrade).

I think now might be the time.

One of my legs is an inch longer than the other, and I’ve been getting cramps n’ crap in one leg for seven years. Whenever I see an acupuncturist about it, they all find the exact same two points on my right leg, and the needles work a goddamned charm.

Think what you like about acupuncture, but five people have independently all picked the exact same two spots to impale. I’ve done this about a dozen times now.

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I’ve been thinking… why spent £60-£100 for each visit to have the same two spots pricked when I could just figure out how to do it myself (or get a mate to do it)?

To aid in this endeavour, why not get two small tattoos on those spots so anyone could help me out, save me a fortune and make my leg happy? I’ll gussy it up by getting my genome sequenced and visualised in a circular fashion, comme ca.

Bad idea… or am I a fucking genius? I think the latter.

PS My mother can scream all she likes, but I think this idea has legs. (Cough.)

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Every year the BBC generously records and displays almost every gig they can on the iPlayer for people to enjoy for a month. For people who didn’t get to go – and for those of us who went to watch all the gigs we couldn’t see. (Which is almost all of them – the lineup is staggering.)

But. There appears to be no footage from Arcadia at Glasto 2017 on the iPlayer.

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ARE YOU F*ING SH*TING ME.

A drum n’ bass playing giant spider and NO FOOTAGE? I communed with the spider for hours, how can I get my fix now?!?!

They have every single second of Ed Sheeran’s set and not ONE BIT of Arcadia?!?!?!

THERE IS NO GOD.

I have just recovered from Glastonbury 2017.

There are countless reasons why Burning Man may be an incredible experience – but Glastonbury is my one true love. Aside from the fact that there is no greater lineup of music to be found on earth… it’s the people. As my Facebook “About Me” used to put it: “English people make me laugh.” Find me a group of humans funnier than five thousand people at the Stone Circle on a Saturday night and I’ll eat my goddamned hat.

(Also there’s none of that sanctimonious “gift economy” nonsense. Like really – please.)

Long may you continue, shit faced Brits. You make the world a better place. Who needs to do sit ups when you can laugh this hard for five straight days.

Where else in the world can you find people who carry around signs claiming “Donald Bump”? Nowhere.

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Also signs expressing a deep reverence for chicken nuggets.

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