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tales of the curious ISSUE 1





welcome. Welcome to the first ever issue of


It feels like it has been months and months since we first began planning the release of this issue, and it’s strange (but also totally, amazingly excellent) that it’s actually finally here. When deciding what theme we wanted to work within we both started narrowing down all the little ideas we had in our heads, we were getting closer and closer to things that were odd, quirky and intriguing. A line from one of my favourite stories kept popping into my head: “Curiouser and curiouser” No need to guess what story that’s from! Alice in Wonderland has been inspiring people for generations, which is something we dip into over on page 78 exploring the British Library’s 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland exhibition (running until Sun 17th April 2016). We are submission based magazine and we couldn’t have achieved such a beautiful first issue without our lovely contributors - So thank you all! Back to our theme – Curious. Even though the theme that runs within this issue was initially an idea stemmed from a famous line in a children’s book, it has been interpreted in a myriad of ways by all of our lovely contributors; from the infatuation felt towards a stranger, to an extremely intriguing relationship between two different species. Something learnt from putting together this issue is that curiosity connects with emotion, which could really explain why the hell Alice was so easily rattled.

We hope you enjoy! Love, Sam & Kathrina





contents. 12




Alexandra Jane Wall

The girl with the cigarette in her hand

I AM; Farah Mariya Sadiq

Joshua Charnock





Kirsten Hamilton

Eight thoughts on curiosity

George and Lola

Annie Mae Herring





I used to be Snow White but I drifted

Iris Van Gelder

An evening with Lee Gordon

Out of time







Philip Whitton

150 Years of Alice in Wonderland

Curiosity had nothing to do with the death of your pet





Chloe Allen


The new curiosity shop

Secret Garden





Into the Sea

Joey Yu

The old curiosity shop

Encounter with a platinum blonde





Lady danger


Pandora’s jam jar

When Katie Jade met with vlogger Revilo Gloire


alexandra jane wall. “ An ancient tradition with pagan roots: in a shortened version, its a festival of sacrifice and rebirth! ”

A recent graduate of University for The Creative Arts (UCA) Epsom – designer Alexandra draws upon the darker and extraordinary elements from different cultures as the inspiration for her work. The annual Navolosa Carnival in the Spanish province of Avila was the main inspiration for her graduate collection. An ancient tradition with pagan roots; in a shortened version, it’s a festival of sacrifice and rebirth! “My graduate collection was inspired by a festival in the Spanish province of Avila where the Navolosa townsfolk annually dress up as evil spirits for a festival that spans over three days to celebrate the ritual of the rebirth of their town in which a young boy is ultimately “sacrificed”. - This collection combines old traditions with new and harnesses the essence of Spanish flamenco and culture whilst providing a modern, dark undertone to the garments silhouette and creative pattern cutting. I also designed and produced my own 3D printed jewellery to style with my collection.”





“My graduate collection was inspired by a festival in the Spanish province of Avila where the Navolosa townsfolk annually dress up as evil spirits.” ALEXANDRA JANE WALL - FASHION DESIGNER



Photography: Megan Popelie Creative Direction: Latoyah Prempeh Make Up Artist: Linda Ohiwereh Model: Tamara @ Mahogany Model Management www.metafash.com www.xandrajane.com



the girl with the cigarette in her hand “With no words and no cares, she would stare out at the transient country sides.” CHLOÉ LAIGHT - CREATIVE WRITER

The far too regular formality of catching

her daydreams out from under her feet.

the train was in motion. The same journey had

Every day as we would arrive at her

took up four years of my life and the commute

station; a few moments would elapse where she

and the people involved in it all were repulsive to

could finish her cigarette on the platform edge. In

me: the same dead-eyed faces staring into dead-

those precious minutes I could stare unabashed,

faced spaces, each dying of a mutual hatred

myself hidden by her own reflection on the glass

and an uninspiring tiredness. Repulsive, that is,

the other side, before she danced through her

save for The Girl. For the past three months and

cloud of smoke and clambered on. The sight of

for three quarters of an hour each day, The Girl

a cigarette was almost constant in her right hand

would get on and sit, never in the same space but

or, if not, there was a quiet suggestion playing on

always nearest a window, consistently silent and

her upturned lips that she had not long since got

somewhat vacant. With no words and no cares,

rid of one. In the beautiful gap between the last

she would stare out at the transient country sides

breaths of her self-created fog and joining me on

and the occasional flat blocks with the whimsical

the carriage, it was hard for anybody not to look

examination that only a child could harness. Yet,

at her. Other people did not hesitate to make this

however sedate she could seem, she was always

act obvious. It wasn’t as if she was really truly

attentive enough to dart her eyes accusingly

charming or even fine looking of any sort (at least

around the carriage at the slightest of coughs,

not in the way most people saw it as her nose

or bubble of laughter, to then linger upon the

was just a bit too straight, mouth ever so slightly

defendant as if they alone held the power to pull

crooked on the left side and altogether quite a


cold-feeling creature to ever be considered thus),

the day that the sun of my timidity had set and

but she emitted a pure magnetism. The kind of

The Girl would no longer be a stranger.

magnetism that is impossible to possess for most

The time of retribution arrived too

mere mortals such as you or I. Her grey eyes

fast as it usually does: way before I had time

mirrored the stream of her projecting, tobacco-

to firmly devise a foolproof plan of allurement

tinted breath and her hair fell about her long

as she stepped onto the train and resumed a

face in such a perfect but unkempt way. She

anticipatory seat by the window. It was around

was uncommonly tall, far succeeding most of

six in the evening and the sun was mid-way

her gender in great crowds, and she moved her

through it’s transition from being brilliant to

long limbs with a feline elegance that cannot be

ebbing away into its last dying embers and the

taught by the greatest of teachers. She moved

left of the carriage was tinted a soft pink. Stained

always with the half-clumsy poeticness of a

with a kaleidoscope of different hues of blues

person who thought nobody was watching.

and pinks, my heart sank even lower when this

She barley spoke to strangers or friends, by

sentimental atmosphere seemed to envelop

what I had observed at least, which made you

the girl even more than usual and not even the

feel extraordinary if you had the blessing of

consecutive jerks from the tracks or the group

hearing her emit a small tickle of a cough. This

of slightly intoxicated singing men at the back

made the lowly stranger, the dutiful observer, the

of the train could shake her from her self. My

languishing I, think that she could be anything or

hand shook as I tried to steady my knees that

anyone. She herself was unaware to this power.

unbeknownst to me had begun bouncing up

I was certain that I was in love with

and down, nervous as I tried to summon the

her. I was certain when I watched her fingers

courage to cough out the smallest of splutters

haphazardly interlace with one another, when

in order to possess even some tiny part of her

her breath caught in her throat at something

attention. Every bark I expelled failed miserably

particularly beautiful or when I saw the tiniest of

as the sound echoed through the cage but barely

wrinkles by her eye deepen as she unknowingly

even made her blink. I knew the seat next to her

creased into a hint of a smile. Her chestnut hair

was reserved but the restrictions of such were at

seemed to reflect the tiniest bit of sunlight even

the back of my mind as I settled on occupying

on the dullest of days , illuminating the easy curls

that empty, charming space. At the next stop, for

that fell from her head and her eyes always big,

I knew she only had but three stations left until

round and open. The Girl seemed to me neither

her own departure, I moved as if possessed into

happy nor sad. Three months of grace, three

the spot next to her. We rolled to a halt but she

months of conversation-less intimacy on my

didn’t turn from the window. I had no idea what

behalf was all I had to show for myself and this

to say, perhaps a meagre ‘hello’ would suffice, but

moment, this day - Ladies and Gentleman - was

I did know that dismissal today was not going to


“ She moved always with the half-clumsy poeticness of a person who thought nobody was watching.” CHLOÉ LAIGHT - CREATIVE WRITER


succeed and I swallowed the golf ball that had

to her. I had no choice, the insistence and loud

risen in my throat and braced myself for impact.

annoyance of the beast had drew many of the

“Thats my seat”. He said it before I could

commuter’s eyes in our direction, and I got up.

introduce myself and the unfamiliar grumble

The seat still lingered with my own dull warmth.

sent shivers down my spine as it hit me. I refused

I turned my eyes down the carriage towards The

to look at the stranger who had just boarded but

Girl and her new gargoyle as I sat back in that sad

I could sense the brute looming over my seated

cushion and was surprised to see her bright eyes

frame (it was not hard as I later discovered he

staring straight back into mine. She offered me

was a monstrously tall and broad fellow) and

an apologetic smile but just as I recognised it she

I stared, instead, straight ahead. You should

lifted her head back to the beckoning attention

definitely pretend to be deaf, my subconscious

of the window.

wisely advised me, or at least unable to

The duration of the journey from then

understand English. As my mind raced through

seemed to crawl along, lengthened by the heavy

long-forgotten GCSE French, the giant tapped

weight of what could have been. People got on

me twice on the shoulder and tutted with the

and people got off and I gawked and glared but

tip of his thick tongue in the most irritated of

The Girl never once returned my melancholic

fashions. The touch of these fat fingers caused

look. Her fingers traced the contours of her lips,

me to look into the face of my prosecutor and

head twitching ever-so-slightly at the passing

he raised one of the slugs that hooded his eye

street lamps as we approached her stop - which

sockets as if he knew the of the opportunity he

soon came - and she got off, just like any other

was taking away from me. He was smug, but then


again who wouldn’t be if they got to sit so close


I AM ; farah mariya sadiq As a Muslim who is a modern British woman

So together I had the perfect combination of the

The only time we may have any sense of control

of Pakistani heritage, I wanted to explore ‘the

two and it moulded me into who I am today. I

over our identity is when we choose to consume

identity of the hijab’ and how it conveys the way

truly believe the person I am meant to be exists

information from others you hear of or people

I want society to perceive me in contrast to how

due to my parents, especially on my father’s part.

you talk to on a regularly basis. In relation to my

I perceive myself.

case I would say that has happened in a very

Draped with two scarfs, which are metaphors of

You are always going to parts of people; a version

positive aspect.

my two different identities, my image shows the

of them into you. And you do that by believing

In addition, sometimes I think only half of

way my religion and culture would like to portray

what is written or what they tell you as you think

yourself is really you, like truly. The other halves

me and the way I feel as a woman.

it’s a right statement and then you start to initiate

are the influences of the good wisdom and

it all.

character of people you talk to daily. My prime

From being an outsider on the topic it can get

example would be again, my father.

quite confusing on what it is that I really want to

I guess what I am trying to state is that all you

As long as you are learning and growing from

say. What I mean by outsider is that I grew up in a

need is a virtuous balance between the two and

your receiver then it is a beautiful element to

very relaxed family and never have experienced

not be extremely one sided, because if you are it

have and a way to be in life.

a force of action to wear a Hijab or any other

will not help you in regards to knowing who you

One thing that applies to everyone is that you

piece of garment to cover up. My father brought

are and who you may want to be as you age. I

do not need religion to have morals. If you can’t

me up to discover myself and create my own

say this because you are living on someone else’s

distinguish right from wrong then you lack

individuality and character, which I think is

terms and on their interpretations of religion

empathy not religion. However to conclude,

extremely crucial.

(Islam) and how to live life.

there will always be an illusion of separation of

But thanks to my mother I was able to learn

As an end result this only concludes to a false

who you think you are and who you are really are.

about my culture and values from a very young

identity to which you then have no control over

age, which then gradually led to modesty and

nor insight to who you have become.



“Always stay connected to your own soul and don’t let the system control your way of being and the way you manifest love in your life.” FARAH MARIYA SADIQ - PHOTOGRAPHER


“Love is the most powerful source in the entire universe and can override absolutely anything – and I can project this out from my positive energy without wearing a headscarf – I fully believe that beauty comes from the representation of your inner light which then shines through your outer appearance. ” FARAH MARIYA SADIQ - PHOTOGRAPHER




joshua charnock Blessed are the curious for they shall embark on many great adventures... the beautiful English Fox being the most Curious and Adventurous of all. Hidden in mystery, our iconic Fox could not have been captured in a more suitable location than the dabbled sunlight of a true English Forest surrounding us in a beautiful balance between shadow and light; mirroring the controversial hunting vote that was due to happen just days after. Not wanting to disturb these beautiful creatures I instead looked upon the wondrous talent that is ‘Curious Fair’ to complete the Curious creation with a stunning innocently white mask.

Photographer: Joshua Charnock Model: Bernadette Lemon Mask: Curious Fair www.jpatrickphotography.co.uk www.bernadettelemon.co.uk www.curiousfair.co.uk



“I had previously worked with the model, Bernadette Lemon and knew she would be perfect for this theme. Her ethereal look and movement transformed this shoot just as I imagined.” JOSHUA CHARNOCK - PHOTOGRAPHER




kirsten hamilt n. ILLUSTRATOR

“When I saw the word ‘curious’ I was immediately excited. This word makes me think of Alice in Wonderland, and the Secret Garden, two stories I adore. It struck me that this word generally brought up connotations of being a child, exploring forests and getting muddy and getting excited by finding things on your imaginary adventures. Therefore I approached the theme from an almost childlike perspective, thinking of how I felt when I was little, and I was mostly curious. I wanted there to be questions asked when looking at my final image, because curiosity is questioning things; what is that? Why is it there? My initial drawings seemed too subdued and clean for the ideas I was trying to communicate, so when I dropped a green pastel on my immaculate work, and tried to brush it off, smudging it everywhere, I looked at my mucky hands and the unclean paper and thought, yes, this is being a child. I started from scratch and drew quicker and did not care anymore about tidiness, but thought about texture, forest patterns, and moss. The outcome is full, makes you search every corner, and most of all, hides its own little story.”



eight thoughts on curiosity ALLEN ASHLEY - CREATIVE WRITER


It didn’t kill the cat. Yet.

Many animals have curious streaks at least equivalent to a 2 year old human. Who has electronic babysitter devices to safely kill off his/her tendencies.

These days young girls would be well advised to steer clear of rabbit holes.

It was probably a fig, not an apple. Another example of Westernising the Middle East.

The state and the corporations want to know more about your profile than you actively realise yourself. To predict and guide your next clicks of curiosity.

“Curio City” was an online antique detecting game. It failed because none of the artefacts was cursed. Or explosive.

“I wouldn’t stick it in there, old son!” is often misinterpreted as a dare or a come-on.

As we’ve already told you, the worst curse from the opened box was the last curse. Its name? Hope.


george and lola “She looked young, delicate, still untouched by the filth of life. Who knows what she saw when she looked at me? But I knew she was special.”



I’m not sure how it ended up like this but it wasn’t my fault.

I don’t think so, anyway.

The last thing I remember is holding Billy’s hand at the zoo. He’d just spilled his popcorn

everywhere 30 seconds after I’d bought it and, I’ll admit, I didn’t make any attempt to hide how I felt. I may have used a word that only grown-ups should hear. I regretted it afterwards, of course, I’m not a monster, and the wet red face with wails bursting from the hole in the middle definitely filled me with regret about something. Parents and grandparents with their non-crying children stopped what they were doing to stare, gripping each other’s hands a little tighter. Billy’s eyesight always became hyper-alert when he was upset, fuelled by saltwater, and he honed in on the growing audience. His eyes closed, his mouth widened further, and his wails grew loud enough for the wolves to join in. I grabbed him, mostly feeling the smooth polyester of his jacket as I reached to embrace him, and felt a jolt as my jaw banged into the top of his head. His face was squashed into the front of my own jacket, snot and saliva absorbed by the old denim, and his cries muffled, slowed, then stopped.

And now I’m here.

I had taken Billy to the zoo before. He had watched a programme about chimpanzees – a proper

one with a narrator, not a cartoon. It had sparked his interest and his mother, a true believer in encouraging children’s interests, had bookmarked “educational” videos online of chimps and bought him lots of books with pictures. After a few beers I asked her if she would also support his interests in stepping on snails and gluing small bits of paper onto larger bits of paper, but she not-very-respectfully declined to answer. I wasn’t too drunk to realise that I probably shouldn’t have said that, especially after the last time I’d commented on her parenting. So I offered to sacrifice the next Saturday afternoon and take Billy to the zoo. She hesitated, although I’m pretty sure it was just to make a point, and then agreed. I knew she would. She was never one to pass up an opportunity to spend time with herself.

Saturday came around quicker than expected and I was regretting my feeble bid for Uncle of the

Year before we’d even got there. My mind was sluggish and prickly, the roads were clogged with people desperate to get somewhere else, it took half an hour to reach the front of the queue, and the tickets cost more than I’d spent in the pub the night before. By the time we made it through the gates and Billy had narrowly avoided wetting himself, I was ready to buy an overpriced goggly-eyed toy chimp from the gift shop and just go home. Billy was determined though, in a way only five-year-olds could be, so we followed the signs to the chimp enclosure.

That was the first time I saw her. Lola. She was sitting on a branch, quiet and still, while her family

and friends swung and climbed and chattered. Our eyes met. She looked young, delicate, still untouched by the filth of life. Who knows what she saw when she looked at me? But I knew she was special.


Lola jumped down to the ground, a ballerina caressing the earth with prehensile feet. She moved

on all fours to the barbed wire fence, her eyes locked on mine the whole time. I moved closer to the fence from the other side, dragging Billy by the hand with me. We stood facing each other, her huge brown eyes met by my own brown eyes a metre above hers. She tilted her head to the left and held up an arm. My own arm lifted in response, mirroring hers.

“Look at that one! He’s upside-down!” Billy pointed to a chimp hanging by one leg from a climbing

frame, grinning at the crowd. Children squealed and laughed. More male chimps joined in, competing for adoration. The female chimps looked on, unsmiling. Except Lola.

Billy pulled me away, keen to see other animals, primates or otherwise. I kept him in sight, made

sure he wasn’t mauled or eaten, made appropriate noises when he spoke to me as we visited the other inhabitants, but I really just wanted to go back to Lola. She was more beautiful than any human female I’d ever met and completely unselfconscious about her body hair.

When I took Billy home I hung out with him a little longer, looking at some of his books and

videos of chimps. I was not a good uncle, using the pretext of spending quality time with my young, trusting nephew to learn more about another species. Billy chatted away happily, showing me his favourite pictures and telling me facts he had learned about chimps, while I tried to imagine how all the information applied to Lola.

“You’re really bonding with Billy,” said Sue as I was putting on my jacket. “You’ll be wanting one of

your own soon.”

I stopped myself from rolling my eyes.

Over the next few weeks I went to see Lola as often as I could. First thing in the morning was

best, followed by the end of the day, times when there were fewer gawpers. I’d leave work bang on time and go straight there. “You got a new girlfriend or something?” people in the office asked, half joking because they didn’t believe it could happen. I’m sure they were placing bets. I just shrugged my shoulders and said nothing. On weekends I’d take a packed lunch and spend the whole day there, even when it rained so much the roads flooded. I took Billy whenever I could – people tend to look suspiciously at a single man without a child at the zoo. But he never wanted to stay with the chimps for long and I felt like I was betraying Lola.

I sat on my fold-out stool as close to the fence as I could get and watched her. Often she watched

me too, sometimes within touching distance. I kept a journal, recording her habits and preferences. Sometimes I sketched her. A few times I even tried writing poems but when I read them aloud we both groaned and shook our heads. She liked to sit on a branch halfway up the tree in the middle of the enclosure, where she could observe the world inside and outside. She often looked at her reflection in a mirror, tracing parts of her face and watching the other Lola do the same, then paced back and forth, still looking in the


glass. She preferred apples over bananas, carrots over cabbage. She sometimes tickled and chased another female, slightly paler than her, but she turned her back on the young males when they approached or threw sticks at her. She moved lightly, precisely, never placing any part of her body anywhere but exactly where she wanted it to be. I took photos and videos on my phone and watched them at home, noting details I’d missed earlier and imagining she was in my dusty one-bedroom flat. I wondered if the other chimps had noticed us. Could they sense our growing bond? I talked to her whenever I could. I told her about Sue and Billy, my never-ending days in the office, my favourite foods and books and my dream of going into space one day. Not once did she laugh. She sat on a flat rock, legs sometimes crossed, head always tilted to the left, and listened. Clearly, she wanted to know about my life as much as I wanted to know about hers. I showed her videos of chimps in the wild and she leaned closer, mouth open, sometimes mimicking their calls. I learned her sign language. Scratching her belly meant she was happy, patting her leg meant she wanted more, and slapping her forehead meant “stop”, although sometimes she teased me and used one gesture when she meant something else. She was so clever.

The zookeepers got used to seeing me and waved. One morning one of them, a young woman

with a blonde ponytail, came over and stood next to me.

“Hi,” she said. “I’m Debbie.”

“Hi,” I said. “George.”

“Nice to meet you, George. I’ve seen you here a lot.”

I nodded.

“You’re interested in chimps?”

I hesitated, then nodded again.

She smiled, her teeth startlingly white and even. “I thought so. Me too.”

We stood in silence for a few minutes, watching the chimps laze about as birds called in the


“Well, I’ve got to go and give them their breakfast. Wanna come?”

“Yes!” I said. Debbie’s hair shone in the sunlight. I swear there was a faint golden haze above her


I wasn’t expecting the uncomfortable smell of overripe fruit and the deep, musky tang that filled

the air. Debbie didn’t seem to notice, whistling and busying herself with replenishing the buffet. The chimps were out of sight, still easing into the new day. Debbie shook a bag and brown pellets tumbled into a bowl, mixing with the salad like croutons.

“What’s that?” I said.

“Hmm? Oh, protein pellets. Gotta make sure the little guys have a balanced diet, just like us.”

“I wondered if the other chimps had noticed us. Could they sense our growing bond? I talked to her whenever I could.”


I could see black fur, then an eyebrow ridge, and then there they were, those beautiful brown

eyes. I stopped listening to Debbie.

“Lola!” I said.

“Who?” Debbie looked behind her. “Oh, you mean Daisy. Hey, girl, how’s it going?”

Lola looked at her, a disdainful set to her jaw, then walked towards me. She stopped in front of my

battered leather shoes and touched the laces. Then she looked up at me.

My legs wobbled as I slowly crouched down, careful not to breathe too hard. I smelled that tang

again but it was sweeter, an exotic pink lemonade cocktail. I reached out and gently stroked the top of her head, the wiry hair leaving a light oil on my fingers.

“Careful,” said Debbie. “Chimps bite.”

Lola scratched her belly. I removed my hand and she patted her leg, but Debbie was watching.

“Okay, all done. Let’s go.”

I looked back just before I went through the door. Lola was watching me. She smacked her lips

together and hooted softly. Her friend sat down next to her and patted Lola’s back.

The next few visits were more intense. I slowly moved along the fence, testing each section until

I found a weak spot against a pole. I took the wire cutters out of my bag, checked that no one was watching, then sliced through the barbed wire near the ground while I pretended to watch the chimps. Lola was watching me from her branch and I beckoned her over with my hand. I sat on my stool, bent the free bit of fence towards me, and slid my hand through the gap up to the wrist. Then I waited.

Lola looked at my hand, at my face, then back at my hand. Slowly, she reached out and touched

my palm with one finger. I closed my hand around her finger, feeling the warmth and roughness cocooned by my soft white paw. We sat like this for several minutes, silent, glancing at each other and then looking away. Eventually, Lola’s friend called to her and she withdrew her finger and knuckle-walked away.

From that point on, we met by that spot in the fence. I shared my ham sandwiches and sweet,

milky tea with her. She passed me pieces of banana, which I usually put in my bag. I brought her things to explore, mostly toys I snuck out of Billy’s room. She figured out how they worked in no time, faster than Billy, for sure. She liked to show me how intelligent she was, smiling a full-tooth grin and holding the toy aloft when she was finished. Sometimes she felt my sleeve or my watch, then touched her own arm, but I never touched her again.

We didn’t have many meetings at the fence like this before I ended up here. I’ve been lying in this

bed, not my own bed, every day. I could move, could explore the building, but I have neither the energy nor the inclination. Food comes on trays three times a day, finger food mostly, and the plates and cups and cutlery are plastic. There is a plastic chain around my wrist with words and numbers. There are white coats, clipboards, soporific voices, pens rubbing against paper. When I close my eyes I am back at the fence with Lola, until the smells of disinfectant and disappointment bring me back.

“Uncle George!” Billy runs into the room and grabs my hand.


“Gently,” says Sue, following him in. “Be gentle.”

“Where am I?” I say, although I have a pretty good idea. “I want to go home.”

“Shh,” says Sue. “You need to stay here for a while. Let the doctors take care of you. Get some rest

and get well. Look, I’ve brought you some clothes.” Sue holds up a black sports bag that usually lives at the back of my wardrobe.

“What happened?” I say.

“The chimp jumped and you fell on top of me. But it’s all right now. I didn’t get hurt. I got to ride

in an ambulance and it was fun!” Billy smiles at me.

Sue looks at Billy, then at me. “That’s enough, Billy. Let Uncle George get some rest. We’ll visit him

again soon.”

Later, when my eyes are closed, I hear Sue’s voice talking to a man’s voice. I make out the words

“loner”, “intelligent”, “harmless”, and “infatuation” from Sue. The man’s voice is too quiet for words, but the tone is gentle and reassuring, hot chocolate on a cold evening.

The white coats and earth-toned cardigans want information, their pens and clipboards listening.

Tell me about the photos on your phone. Tell me about your journal. Tell me about your interest in chimps. Tell me about the wire cutters in your bag.

I stare at the ceiling, the wall, the floor. The words are safely locked away in my mind. I slap my

forehead with the palm of my hand. The pens jump into action.

I piece together what happened. I find an old newspaper, “borrow” someone’s phone and do a

search. I see pictures of Lola, of Billy, of the chimp enclosure. I read that Lola started screaming when Billy was crying. She picked up a rock, hit the weak spot in the fence, and squeezed through. She ran towards the back of me while I was absorbed in stopping Billy’s wails. The crowd tried to run away, adults clutching children who were now screaming too, and Lola screamed even louder and bared her teeth. She picked up another rock and ran at them, distracted from her original path. A man slipped, possibly on a puddle of buttered popcorn, and knocked me over, Billy still in my arms. I hit my head on the pavement, Lola was tranquilised, and Billy stopped crying.

A female voice comes in, a white coat scented with gardenias. It’s a new voice, low-pitched, slight

foreign accent.

“Where’s Lola?” My voice rasps from lack of use, my lips and tongue struggle to find their positions.

“Who?” says the voice. Rustling. “Oh, the chimpanzee you were studying. She’s in a sanctuary

with other chimpanzees. She’ll be well taken care of. They know how to look after chimpanzees that are disturbed.”

I open my eyes and look at the bars on the window. I hear scraping on the floor. The smell of

gardenias grows stronger.

“Tell me about Lola.”



annie mae herring ILLUSTRATOR




“ I used to be Snow White, but I drifted. ” QUOTE - MAE WEST

Photographer: Julia Holland Hair: Amy Taylor, Flamingo Amy Makeup: Emily Turnbull, Love MoiMakeup Model: Chloe Manning Macarons: Macarons & More






“ let

them eat cake. ”






IRIS VAN GELDER “ for me curious is exploring and experiencing new things ”




IRIS VAN GELDER Twitter: @FASTTRASH Instagram: irisvangelder Tumblr (my main site!): fasttrash. tumblr.com



an evening with Lee Gordon SINGER - SONGWRITER 60

“I have been told, rather accusingly, that I have an ‘American’ sound. I don’t know why that is a bad thing! Growing up in the 90’s America led the way musically…” LEE GORDON


We get to know Singer/Songwriter Lee Gordon, in the run up to his debut single launch BEACH HOUSE next month!

about on the guitar will give me a chord progression or riff of some kind, which will kick start a melody and top line which I will just vamp on, then the lyrics will slot in over all that. Lyrics are very important to me and I put every ounce of energy and brainpower I can muster to really throw myself heart and soul into the words. I love a hook also. For me a song has to have a real good hook somewhere. My songs always come from an emotive place.

Sam & Kat: “When did you start playing?”

S & K: “Your debut single Beach House releases next month, can you tell us a bit about that? - Has it been a long process getting to this

Lee: “I could always sing, I think. Well, I always liked to sing. One


of my first memories probably around 4 [years old] was singing along to Michael Jackson with A head right in the cone of one of the old giant wooden speaker that sat on the questionably patterned beige, brown and black carpet in our front room. I loved the feeling of being immersed in

L: “BEACH HOUSE was written on a rainy day at a beautiful house

the music. No one in my family is musical. I didn’t grow up in a house full

on the North Cornwall coast surrounded by my family and then pregnant

of music. My Mum did love Motown and Stax though and I still have her

wife. The sound of the ocean really influenced the style of guitar I wrote

old Otis Redding vinyl. He is definitely an inspiration and an example of

for this song, it rolls and repeats to give that sense of the water hitting the

exuding pure soul into your music.

shore. The double bass really made the song come to life, again focusing on the comforting, almost hypnotic sound of the sea. Lyrically, the song is

I first new I wanted to play when I was around 11 and at a friends

about the sense of catharsis created by being away from a hectic London

house. His uncle turned up with a red Fender Strat and showed off to us

lifestyle, surrounded by beauty, the ones you love and questioning the

playing questionable versions of old Clapton and Cream. I was hooked. I

choices made in life. I saw the ‘beach house’ as a metaphor for the places

knew this was for me! I got a cheap copy of a Strat for the next Christmas

or people we hold most dear in life and the longing we feel for them on

and spent hours a day trying to play it. I had my first band at 13 I think. This

occasion. Darren and myself had this recorded in an afternoon. It was

began my journey into music and all of its genres.”

just an organic thing that happened really naturally. It is such a treat as a songwriter when songs come together like this, you really capture the raw emotion as though it’s writing itself.”

S & K: “Are there any famous musicians you learned from while growing up?”

S & K: “How did you and Darren meet and come to work together?” L: “I started with Eric Clapton, which led to Blues (Muddy Waters/ Robert Johnson), then Guns and Roses and Rock music which led to Metallica (the good stuff, Master of Puppets, Ride The Lightening etc) and

L: “I’ve been friends/brothers with Darren Woolner for 25+ years.

metal (Slayer, Anthrax, bay area stuff ). Around 15 when grunge hit it blew

We went to school together, been flat mates, band mates and each other’s

me away, the guttural angst of it all, the lyrical style, just struck a chord with

family for as long as I can remember. I have never played with another bass

me especially Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. I’d say their sound still influences

player. We are each other’s other half. We have been in countless bands,

me to this day. Eddie Vedder is a hero of mine for sure. It was late teens

toured up and down the country and travelled the breadth of the US. We

when I got my first acoustic guitar and wrote my first ‘singer/songwriter’

are and have definitely been on this journey together”

song. Then the likes of Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Counting Crows, Ryan Adams. I grew up on Rock, Metal, Grunge

S & K: “How does it feel for you performing live? Do you ever get

and Singer/songwriters coming out of America and I can hear all of them

nervous beforehand or is it something you can just do with ease now?”

in what I write now and have written previously. I have been told, rather accusingly, that I have an ‘American’ sound. I don’t know why that is a bad thing! Growing up in the 90’s America led the way musically (unlike these

L: “I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I work very hard

days when we have some serious Talent!) I suppose it was inevitable given

at what I do but I’m never happy. I don’t get nervous but I do sometimes,

my taste. I write from the heart. Its not stylised in anyway. It is 100% me. “

depending on the show, give myself too much of a hard time. I could do with chilling out a bit sometimes and have a bit more faith in myself. In my head I can always do better. I am very competitive and want to be the best I can be.”

S & K: “Who or what do you find inspires or influences you most in your music?”

S & K: “What would you say is your most amazing moment to date in your musical career?” L: “It varies, I write from a very emotive place though. Song writing is my first love and real catharsis for me, and what ever I may be feeling is laid bare in my process. I, like most others like me, write better when life

L: “I have had so many amazing moments! I’ve been lucky enough

sucks! I have people I admire and look up to but I don’t take direct influence

to play and record in some amazing places with some amazing people. The

from them as such, I do always seem to write in a certain way. Fiddling

one that stands out for me is an old one though. When I first started out in 62


Norwich I did our first gig in the Norwich art centre bar and sold it out. The

entire world and a constant inspiration everyday. I have simple aspirations.

promoter for a 2 day charity show at the Playhouse was there and booked

I would love to make my passion for music my career. Waking up everyday

us for that. We were main support act and it was totally sold out. The second

to my family and being involved in music 24/7 would be a dream come true.

night we performed like we were possessed! I’m pretty sure I hit my last

I would love to be able to support us by playing and writing music. That is

notes lying on the floor. As I looked up all 280 odd people were on there

my dream. I don’t want to be rich and famous. I wouldn’t say no obviously

feet clapping and cheering. A proper standing ovation. I cried. Big proper

but it is not an end game. I don’t want to create a new musical landscape.

blubbery man tears. Very embarrassing!”

I’m going to see if it’s possible to make a living from doing the only thing I’ve ever been good at. I will always write songs though and will keep working and exploring the art of creating music because I love it.

S & K: “What will you be getting up to once Beach House is released? Do you have any big plans for 2016? And where do you see your musical career

Bucket list though: Play at the Royal Albert Hall anywhere on a bill,

leading in the future?

Sell out The Borderline in London, be involved in the soundtrack for a Film, have a signature series acoustic guitar.”

L: “I’m releasing the single as a bit of an acid test. Dipping my toe in the water so to speak. I have been back playing and recording for only 6 months after my break so this is just me saying hello and trying to lay some solid foundations. I am recording at the moment working towards my album. That and playing as many shows as is sensible are my main focus at the moment. I am going to write the best songs I can and put them out


there, whether that is live, on video, on record, I’m not sure, which ever way is best at the time. I have no grand plan right now. I have been back writing and working hard for 6 months now after a 3 year break when the label we were signed too went bust, the band split then my dear Mum lost her fight with cancer. I have a family now, an amazing wife and little boy. They are my 63

out of time “Aaron Sehmar is a Fine Art & Fashion photographer from the UK. Within his current series, Out Of Time, he explores the duality of freedom and constraint in contemporary society and the way in which one can’t exist without the other. Aaron has chosen to present this ideas in the form of ambiguously staged photographs, that draw upon the concept of hyperreality, to highlight the way that we now live in a world where the line between truth and fiction has become blurred. Taking inspiration from cinematography, fashion and painting, the images contains a sense of unresolved mystery and uncertainty, encouraging the viewers to draw their own narratives from the series.”

“ Work from this series has been exhibited in the Lanchester Gallery, Coventry & in both The Old Truman Brewery and Lacey Contemporary Gallery in London. I have also been selected to exhibit as part of New Art West Midlands 2016. “










I close my eyes: And rub the sun-cream into my face. Highs of thirty-two degrees in the capital of this sub-climatic island. Sub-climatic. Hot and cold. Freedom and commandments. A world of contradictions. I can’t begin to comprehend The want of this jumper in such heat. A jumper I swore I’d never touch while I’m here. I’ve been told to take it anyway. We’re travelling up, up. The sun beats soothing, satisfying rhythms Into my back and the top of my head. Decorating me in red. I put my hat on. Music Paints my insides with an indestructible force field. Indestructible. I close my eyes. I’m told I should be watching the views But I’m too busy feeling, Feeling the free pulse of the city Die away, and the wind as it Whisks up knots and tangles in my hair As those rhythmic beats begin to turn Staccato. Far. Too. Staccato.


On the ascension towards the three peaks, travellers will experience chills as low as fourteen degrees. The hat blows off. My force field disintegrates. My freedom. It’s dust in the wind now. I close my eyes. Frozen, silken scarves Tight around my arms, neck,

Face. Where’s my jumper? I can’t c-c-comprehend The absence of this jumper. My breathing is restricted – It’s full of restrictions, up here. The air I’m forced is cold. Unwanted. Unfriendly.

Hands. They pull at the scarves – no, no, look this way – Tug at the knots, the tangles, Jab at my eyes – I close my eyes Tight. We swerve. We descend. KATHRINA WAINSTOK - PHOTOGRAPHER

The wind dies. And the comfort of my music – my force field – Is back. The sun rubs at my shoulders, massages my face, Beats soothing, satisfying rhythms Into my back and the top of my head. Decorating me in red. Down here is where I belong. The jumper is gladly discarded. I have no need of it anymore.



The following works explore a series of different environments, moods and atmospheres. The purpose of these pieces is to place the viewer into the scene in order for them to question their surroundings, look for answers within the pictures and want to know what else is in these imaginary worlds.

In these illustrations I have attempted to combine reality and familiarity with fantasy in order to spark curiosity. The main aim here is to make people want to know more about what could be happening within these images. I like to think of these images as stills from films or TV shows, and what has happened or will happen within these worlds is open to interpretation.

philip whitton. - ARTIST



“combine reality and familiarity with fantasy in order to spark curiosity.” PHILIP WHITTON - ARTIST




150 years


Lewis Carroll’s timeless creation, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, celebrated its 150th anniversary last November; 150 years – first published in 1865, it’s easy to simply forget how long the story has been around, after all the story has seamlessly lived on and adapted to each new generation, continuing to thrill audiences and inspire artists in the present day.

To celebrate this impressive milestone, the British Library is hosting a free exhibition in their entrance hall gallery until Sunday the 17th April 2016. The exhibition celebrates the story and its “humble beginnings on the ‘golden afternoon’ when it was first told to Alice Liddell and her sisters”.

The story of Alice was conceived on a warm, summer afternoon in Oxford, 1862. Lewis Carroll – real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgon if you didn’t already know! – Was accompanying the Liddell sisters on a boat trip through Oxford near their home by Christchurch College. When Alice Liddell beseeched Carroll for a tale, the story goes

Illustrated music cover of ‘The Wonderland Quadrilles…for Pianoforte’ composed by Charles Marriott in 1872, showing scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (c) British Library

she loved it so much she asked him to write it down for her


Sir John Tenniel's illustration of Alice and the Cheshire Cat from the 1866 edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (c) The British Library Board


A drawing of Alice from Lewis Carroll's manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, written between 1862-64 (c) The British Library Board

– he did, and that’s how one of the most famous children’s stories ever was born, and Alice Liddell is now too just as famed as the character named after her. Since that day, and years afterwards, the story of Alice and her adventures underground have sparked the imaginations of children – not forgetting adults too – as well as inspiring generations of artists and creative types, reimagining and interpreting in their own ways, picking apart and analysing the nonsensical and putting it back together. The British Library’s exhibition explores the continued fascination with each new generation of readers, and how both Alice’s Adventures in

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where–“ said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation. “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass have both influenced the music and film industries. The exhibition is being held in the Entrance Hall Gallery at the British Library, London until Sunday


the 17th April 2016. Admission is free so get down there! More information at www.bl.uk/events/alice-inwonderland-exhibition


Entry from Lewis Carroll's 1862-64 diary, in which he records that he first told the fairytale of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground to Alice Liddell & her sisters (c) British Library


curiosity had nothing to do with the death of your pet MICHAEL JOHN JAMES - CREATIVE WRITER



Cats are not a standardized unit of measurement. All animals should be kept away from shops selling porcelain. Location does not affect the exchange value of birds.

It is more economical to save denominations larger than pennies. Homelessness is not a condition whereby agency is removed. Books have no rights under UK law.

Gender is not the determining factor as to whether someone is or is not an island. Health professionals do not have time to check on the consumption of fruit. Mental health conditions cannot be applied to amphibians.

Showering does not afford near omniscience. Problems are not easily divisible.




Curious? “Furious will fade away. Curious will stick in us all...” CAROL MOEKE - CREATIVE WRITER

Curious? Furious! Fury ran amok. Sure he was cool to us but that was before he sold our idea to the smart, the smooth brigade. Curious? I bet he was to see how much they’d pay for our work our dear idea ours that we’d nurtured and developed and argued over and listened to each other about and accepted little tweaks that grated substitutions I had hated yet let ride in the interests of all of us making it making it together. Hideous tricking us scooping up the prize in his name


his the fame

Furious will fade away.



the churning sickness of the tricked by

will stick in us

random flicks of smarting kicks from

all because

realised deception.

we’re curious

So yes we were

to know why.


the new curiosity shop




Greetings, friend. Please enter my abode – “The New Curiosity

it’s actually just made up, doesn’t match our solar system. Sun’s in

Shop”. Who knows what delights you will find within? My name

the wrong place. Not sure why they would decorate it in such a

is Mr Odessa and I can do you a more than reasonable deal on

fashion. Maybe you could find out…? It’s yours for five grand. I’ll

anything that takes your fancy in my humble emporium. Just ask;

even deliver…

or, better still, let me show you. If you would pull the curtain aside.

Now here’s a piece with an interesting history: a game that is not

That’s it, step right through… Apologies for any dust – business

a game. In 1814, the Grand Duke of Oldenburg had his craftsmen

has been quiet of late. Now let me tell you about some of my

build a plaything for his son Jens, a frail boy who was born with


his hands and feet on backwards. The boy had not the intellect

I sort of inherited this piece from the shop’s previous owner... yes,

for chess, nor the body for athletic sport. The game board was,

it is a harpsichord. It’s a kind of piano with strings, you know. I’ve

I am told, carved from a single piece of the elm that fell on the

done some research and a piece in this condition is very unusual.

occasion of his fifth birthday, crushing his mother to death and

It must be wind-up; sometimes it plays itself. A few bars here

striking him dumb. It is said that the board was cursed by the

and there, in the mornings and at dusk. Original timer must still

boy’s governess. The woman was hanged for witchcraft and went

be working. Amazing, that. It shouldn’t do that, you say? Well,

to the gallows proclaiming her innocence and the downfall of

look, I think it’s an added bonus. Incredibly rare, y’know. Worth

the duchy. The boy? He played the game but once and was never

an absolute bomb. I wouldn’t even sell it but I could do with the

seen again. At least, not in his original form... I call this piece The

floor space. I mean, it’s beautiful, look at that detail. The gold and

Mousetrap. A transformative experience. Step onto this board

bits, all that engraved pattern looks like planets, doesn’t it? But

and your very surroundings conspire against you. Walls close in. Friends hiss and claw. Your home becomes a cage. Your very life becomes a fight to survive. Play if you dare, for you are the mouse, and the trap is everywhere… Rock memorabilia? Seriously? Oh hang on, have a look at this, my friend. I know it seems like nothing more than a fragment of bone you might throw to a mangy dog. But let me assure you that this


is none other than a genuine section of Elvis’s pelvis – that crude,

you’d be surprised how hard it was to get hold of and hang on

sexually gyrating thing that caused so much consternation and

to. I’ve lost count of the people who’ve tried to sneak it off my

moral outrage in Middle America.


Not to your taste? Let me see.

No, it’s not a treasure map. It’s a guide to a place that’s worth

How about these little nubbins? I have it on extremely reliable

more than treasure, a country that hasn’t been visited since the

authority that these are the genuine tips of Tony Iommi’s fingers,

days when old Atlantis ruled the waves and there were dragons in

lopped off in that notorious sheet metal factory accident long

the mountains of Greece. People used to sell all their belongings

before his days with Black Sabbath.

to go to the country where the trees sing and people can grow

Too near the knuckle? Yes, sir, I’ll excuse the pun.

wings. Nobody can find the way any more, not even with the

Let me clear these items back into the drawer. I think I have

help of the guide. But anyone who reads the book may at least

something that might be more to your liking. Here it is. I know

visit the place in their dreams and half remember it when they

it’s small. It’s a bit scratched and chipped, but I can see from the

wake. And one day, perhaps, the book’s owner will understand

twinkle that’s come to your eye that you’re interested now.

its riddles and open the way once again…

Yes, it is a guitar plectrum.

The truth is: I keep this piece for sentimental reasons. All right, I’ll

Its last owner was none other than Joe Strummer.

tell you a little about it. It looks much like any other chess knight:

If only you knew the fingers and thumbs that have held this

a white knight of course, the black ones were made of something

plectrum. Robert Johnson stole it from the Devil when he made

different, no, no, that doesn’t matter. Just look closer, you see,

his deal at that infamous crossroads. Hank Williams and Buddy

there is the tiniest of horns protruding from the horse’s forehead.

Holly are amongst its previous owners. Jimi Hendrix carried it

Yes, that’s right, it is a unicorn.

across the Atlantic. Marc Bolan was its custodian before it passed

They were beautiful creatures and they came to us if we

to Mr Strummer.

called them, rushing through the forest and laying their heads

It is imbued with unbelievable power. Over the decades it

down on the ground in honour of our purity; we were children

somehow galvanised all of the latent energy that was sucked into

after all. It’s the best way to catch them.

it in honky-tonk bars and recording studios. Imagine the iconic

We beckoned them to follow us out of the forest, those

power that the Christian crucifix garners from the veneration it

white bands of unicorns, and they ran alongside us. It was a

receives and you will have an inkling of what I am alluding to.

joyous moment; that part of it.

The plectrum is a weapon of war, my friend. If you are truly

The processing plant was just outside the forest. The men

thinking about purchasing it then know that those who fear the

were waiting and got them into a corral before stunning them

plectrum always seek to destroy its owner.

and sending them to be butchered.

I know those I’ve mentioned supposedly died from varying

This is something beautiful, isn’t it? There was a whole

afflictions and accidents. Perhaps the true cause of their departure

set once. Yes they were wonderful creatures and their horns are

was kept secret for good reason.

precious beyond belief. And oh, the taste of their flesh is beyond

What does the plectrum do? Do you recall ever seeing an old


black and white photograph of Woody Guthrie? The one where

Now then, here's an item that has an interesting history. Yes, I

he is wielding an acoustic guitar with the words “This Machine

know what you're thinking. It's a Faberge egg. Look - here is

Kills Fascists” written on it? Well, the industrious Mr Guthrie’s scratched some words onto the plectrum as well. If I angle it into the light I am sure that you can still manage to read them. Do you see? “This plectrum does kill vampires.” Not clear to you? Just scribble! I should lend you my all-seeing glasses, a relic from Mr Huygens himself. Still, even without them I can see you are a person of distinction, so you’ve probably done plenty of travelling in your time. But there’s one place you’ve never been and can never get to, not even with the help of this little book here. It may not look like much, dusty and spotted, but 88

the outer shell, crafted in white enamel. Open this up and you get a gold interior. Inside that – don't be afraid, come a little closer – is a gold hen. The head comes off and there is a diamond crown with a ruby pendant. This is, in fact, the firstever Faberge egg, made in 1885. But I direct your attention to two points. Firstly, it was thought that the ruby pendant was lost. But here it is! How? I hear you ask. Aha. That is the first of the egg's secrets. The second is this – the crown comes apart to reveal a treasure still more fabulous than any other the egg contains. A treasure for which the Tsars would have

the pipe would make you see things differently, that’s the beauty

given their right arms. And here it is, within your grasp. It is

of it. This item is priceless, but as a man of business I do have to

the ability to go back in time, to travel the roads of history, the

make a charge. Your soul? What makes you think the price would

ways of space, time and eternity. If you will buy this egg, you

be your soul? I thought in this age of Science no-one believed in

will discover how to make the secret work. But you have to

souls. Sir, that is poppycock. I apologise, but there may have been

become the owner first.

some substance I was not aware of remaining in the pipe. I am but

Hmm, you’re not even going to ask me the price. Ah well, how

a normal man, whatever monstrous vision you may believe you

about… It may look like just a dusty old pipe, but I assure you

see before you. Sir, come back!

it has a pedigree second to none. Not a smoker, sir? This is

Do not depart yet, please. Odessa commands it. There are other

no ordinary pipe and will have no detriment to your physical

levels to explore in “The New Curiosity Shop”. I can do you a deal


on, literally, anything…

Its previous owner was a police consultant, believed to be a genius by all accounts, in Queen Victoria‘s time. Yes, that’s right, you named him. Fictional? He’s real in this world, is he not? Well, the Victorian age was a long time ago, I do get confused. I’ll just fetch you a glass of water. Don’t you feel better now you have stopped coughing? I knew





Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Model: Celine @Scout Sweater: COS Dress: Mes Demoiselles...Paris



“ Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” ROBERT FROST - FIRE AND ICE




Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Model: Celine @Scout Victorian Blouse: Vintage Dress: Vintage



Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Model: Celine @Scout Scarf: American Vintage Dress: Vintage


Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Models: Marysia @Visage & Tola On Marysia: Dress: Zara On Tola: Dress: Vintage Hat: Vintage


into the sea .



Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Models: Marysia @Visage & Tola Victorian Blouses & Skirts: Vintage Hat: Vintage


Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Models: Tola @Visage Dress: Vintage Hat: Vintage



Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Models: Marysia @Visage Victorian Dress: Vintage


“Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.” ROBERT FROST


Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Models: Tola @Visage Dress: Vintage Hat: Vintage


Photography/Styling: Vivienne Mok Hair & Make-up: Vivienne Mok Models: Marysia @ Visage Dress: Topshop Necklaces: Under the Pyramids







the old curiosity shop Grime had crusted hard in the crevices of the door frame, rounding each corner. The handle felt sticky. I eased the door forward, hoping its scrape would not call forth the occupant. So far: so good.

It had become a ‘dare’

among us children to make a foray into this shop. But it was not just the challenge of a ‘dare’ that impelled me that day. Holding one’s breath under water, seeing who could climb on Mr Green’s shed to get apples, these were our usual dares. None of these, however, had called forth my curiosity, the desire, the need to see if something, someone, was as strange as others had hinted. In the gloom of the sickly light, my eyes traced the grey film that lay uniformly on the contents


Then, a shuffling sound,

too slow for rodents. A pause. There it came again, soft, slipper- shod. I found my fingers gripping my purse but curiosity kept me transfixed. In the shadows, a stooped figure of shelves: yellowing stationery; brown parcel- paper, curling at the edges; bottles of green disinfectant; grubby coarse-knitted dishcloths like grandma had made in wartime. Tall sweetie jars were drawn up in serried ranks, their flocculent epaulettes betraying the occasional smear and revealing bull’s-eyes to be most often called into service. A small patch near the till had repulsed the invading dust; here the counter’s once polished glory, brushed by a passing sleeve.

My eyes continued to

scour the surroundings. A pair of elegant bronze scales graced the counter, their surface now infected with a measly coating. The scoopshaped pan still curved in a linear delight. I knew it was capable of slithering its contents straight into a paper bag; a knocking tumbling would ensue if it were boiled sweets; a whooshing fall if it were sherbet or hundreds and thousands. What else might be delivered along with the sweets here? A till, of equal antiquity, had elaborate curving metal work snaking down every surface. Its gratuitous beauty had surrendered to the same mousegrey bloom.

Mice had indeed

left their droppings, generously decorating the bleached chocolatewrappers. Time had stopped here. Maybe no-one was here anymore. Maybe ghosts were. The impulse to leave fought with my desire to see more.

was slowly revealing itself at the back of the shop. It shuffled once more, stopped again. Was it male or female? It seemed to wear a skirt, but the head was bald! I gawped. Why I did not turn and run I do

I realised the innocence of her

not know. By this time all the force


of the challenge, of the ‘dare’ had

vanished. This was an image from

balls, please,’ I stuttered.

folk tales. My horror took flight

when the lamp above the counter

figure to lift the jar, an age for the

threw down its weak arms to show

clawed fingers to twist the lid. Nails

an old, old woman, not hag-like,

as long as that could not be helping.

though her hands clawed the

A passing comment of my mother’s

counter’s surface, but seeming to

regarding hand hygiene, flitted

have stepped out of a Japanese

across my mind. This was how a

painting where bald-headed men

Creature or a primate like a sloth

drew their remaining hair back into

might try to undo a jar.

‘Two ounces of aniseed It took an age for the

a knot. She, for it was a she, had fashioned what remaining hair she

had, in like manner. With my leaden

the scoop, the dust, the mouse

feet, I stood transfixed. Were the old

droppings. Clutching the paper bag

like this? Pared down so that hair

I found myself in the street. I knew

and flesh retreated? I both wanted

I would not eat the sweets; they

to avert my gaze and look longer

were from another realm, a realm

in a kind of horrid fascination. No

I had no desire to revisit. Miss Ellis

one this old had entered my world

our science teacher was always


telling us that curiosity was a good

‘What do you want?’ a

No time to ponder over

thing and that no discoveries in the

reedy voice questioned.

world could be made without it.

A wave of shame flooded my body.

What I had found out that day was

What did I want?

To show to my

that vague curiosity could lead to

friends that I too had courage? To

discoveries one was unprepared for,

laugh at someone who could dare

lead to the stuff of nightmares.

to keep a sweet shop in this state, in

We had called it ‘The Old Curiosity

this day and age? To visit something

Shop’, but most curious, most

freaky? I had not counted on being

frightening of all, was its ancient

thoroughly shaken, riven with fear.

proprietor and all she told of ageing.

Nor had I thought that my desire to know would disturb me so. Then



encounter with “the platinum blonde” LAURA MCKENZIE - CREATIVEWRITER

‘Did you know fake blood has an expiration date?’ No but as far as first lines go that’s pretty fucking great darling. And I’m sure you know how many men would kill to be yourBreakfast of bright leaf and Americano. So tell me again that storyYou know the one where you suspend yourself from chandelier While singing ‘God Save the Queen’ Because you know I love it when you sing. And tell me how you love it when you discover

Alas, our time is near-

That movie stars are real

Or at least your taxi is, then you leave-

And how half of Hollywood got high in your toilet

And drift off into your city

(Because it’s the only place without fire alarms).

Clasping the key.


My love has had many martyrs, Just ask all the boys still waiting on the dancefloor (Shhh… I’m supposed to be in the toilets.) And if I wear a dress three quarters of an inch too tight At the waist Don’t they notice? Wide eyed boys thinking its Christmas (Don’t tell them it’s actually bonfire night) If curiosity killed the cat I’m cream to the lactose intolerant. But it’s not my fault, blame on the first Egyptian prostitute Who worked out men just can’t resist red lipstick.





ultraviolet. Photography & post-processing: Andreea Iancu (www.andreeaiancu.com & https://www.facebook.com/andreeaiancu.photo/) Model: Manuela Ticarat MUA: Cristina Foit Hairstyle: Daciana Durla (https://www.facebook.com/DacianaHairstyle)




“ femininity, frailty, yet something strange.” ANDREEA IANCU - PHOTOGRAPHER




pandora’s jam jar LOUIS CENNAMO - CREATIVE WRITER A dimension hopper moves so fast that passing time has no time to pass. Until he passes another time in a spinning blue world, a ghost plane of sunlight and shadows….And a place he knows so well… The bittersweet smoke trailing from the burning oil of sandalwood and patchouli meandered for a while, and straightened by thicker air, spiraled upward then began to fade and vanish somewhere high up in the room. I had followed the scent-trail to its vanishing point and wondered where I might enter ….I hopped in from the invisible space between what appears to be real and what is something else altogether, something really unreal… My spacesuit felt convincing to me, and I hoped to those spirits I had come to explore with. They were earthbound adventurers tied to a finite existence, or so it seemed…And locked into forgetting, they were searching for a great truth they had forgotten… most had forgotten they were searching. Madam Pandora emerged from the half-light with a rectangular carved wooden box and laid it on the table in front of us. Silence roared for a few moments and then she took her seat at the head of the table and scanned us with her penetrating eyes. As she looked into my eyes there was a time-stop moment and maybe a flash of recognition, as if she knew…But she continued like it hadn’t happened, speaking softly… .“This is my Pandora’s Box, and tonight it will open for all of you.”

She paused to take in the expressions on our six faces, studying mine a lot more closely, no doubt to feel the vibrations emanating from the auric fields she was sensing, before continuing… “You see, just like the fabled Pandora, you know her?”…(A few nods). Well this is MY Pandora’s Box, and when I open for you, then out will come many little demons”. There were one or two startled looks, Pandora’s face settled into a reassuring smile.. “But oh you look so worried, no! no, … not ACTUAL demons. No no…these are cards. And I will invite each of you to pick one and reveal which demon you have”.


I knew from previous journeys through the time door that this was thought to be a way to bring negative emotions and attitudes to the surface, to realise how these subconscious baddies were holding the blue world spirits back from personal growth, and with it creative fulfillment and lasting happiness. Pandora told the group that in the mythology of Pandora’s Box, the box was actually a large jar. It had been mistranslated from the ancient Greek… “But I have this box for you, it’s much nicer than a jar, yes…Or if you prefer, I have a big jam jar I can put them in, but first I must

Judith sat up straight in her chair and closed her eyes for roughly a nano-

remove the jam!”

second and then they half opened and flickered like a candle about to go out and she switched, on an impulse, to another card and flipped it over

This brought laughter to the table and some light relief, at least


temporarily…. She then reached for the lid of her box and slowly

Madame Pandora addressed her once more…

lifted it on to its hinges to reveal an anti climax initially, as there was no dramatic content inside, just a large number of rather

“Would you reveal your little demon now?

small, plain, slightly dog-eared and time-worn cards lying in a jumble, face down. She waited a while to see if any of us would

“IMPATIENCE!”…”Ah yes, one we have all been visited by I’m sure” said

betray any reaction and then addressed the group again. “Who is

Pandora. Judith took longer to respond this time, her half-open eyes

ready to confront their shadow self?… ”

flickered again…

No volunteer was forthcoming, the air felt heavier with my fellow aspirants’ unexpressed thoughts and emotions. It was as clear as

“Though as a therapist, I, er..oh well…you know…have to be SO patient!.”

Pandora’s rock crystal earrings that no-one wanted to admit to even having a shadow self, if indeed they even knew what it was.

“Yes, that is your persona, Pandora replied.“ Your mask for the outside world,

Pandora’s gaze fell upon the first victim.

but the little demon refers to where you may be impatient within your own

“Judith! Would you like to go first?”

inner world, your most secret world especially. That is why patience is called a virtue, you see?…

It was more fun not to know why I entered the revolving blue world here, not yet anyway, and whether I would be thrown

Pandora’s box continued to deliver as the rest of the group turned up

into fact or fiction, the two evolving storylines within its dream

their cards beneath her watchful gaze…‘Impatience was followed by

sequences, but I watched with fascination as the scene unfolded…

‘doubt’, ‘greed’, ‘anger’,’ ‘depression’….and then it was my turn. As I closed

Judith’s voice said ‘fine, OK’ though her eyes were saying ’panic’.

my eyes to reflect, a tiny wisp of cool air brushed my face, and time, as they

She hastily reached for a card and was about to turn it over when

measured it, seemed to stop, though my hand still could move and was

Pandora raised her right hand like a traffic policeman…

guided towards a card by a compelling but gentle force. I turned up my card and held it aloft, not waiting for Pandora’s request, …

“Wait!….Before you face the demon please take a moment to

“HOPE!”…The word slowly released itself from my lips. The only non-demon

think about which negative quality might be holding you back

in the pack, Pandora’s mythical parting gift, and it wasn’t covered in jam.

in some way.”

All was quiet, then it felt like a movie that had been paused had started up again. One by one the little demons came to the table: “FURIOUS” fired anger….”ANY MORE CUSTARD CREAMS?” asked greed.. “WHAT’S THE USE!” sighed depression… “SPURIOUS” cried doubt… Judith said nothing, just drummed her fingers on the table and looked at her watch. Pandora summed things up just before I slipped back to my ever present moment beyond the time door …“CURIOUS” she said, looking knowingly at me… ”But HOPE will always spring eternal”. It was all that remained …at the bottom of the jar. 125

When Katie Jade met with vlogger Revilo Gloire

Photographer: Katie Jade Model/Vlogger/Make-up/Styling : Revilo Gloire











Profile for Tales Journal

Tales Magazine: Curious  

Issue 1

Tales Magazine: Curious  

Issue 1