Life update, and things I’ve been up toPosted by Catherine Elms on May 29, 2018 Blog posts | | No comments
I’ve been pretty quiet online recently, and on my blog especially so – I wish I could say that it’s because I’ve been busy doing glamorous exciting things behind the scenes like music or travel, but unfortunately the mundane truth is that work has been kicking my butt recently.
In March I was asked to take on full-time hours for a few months, which was a predictably difficult transition after 6 years of part-time work. My full-time work also arrived during a time where I was carefully managing a very bad spell of SAD (which involved a lot of time-consuming regulated self-care including exercise, therapy, meditation, daily outdoor walks, socializing, sleep hygiene, etc), so the energy required for both full-time work and self-care completely sapped my productivity. I barely had time to write or gig, it sucks.
I know that given enough time, it would be possible to eventually adjust, and May has been better – though I’m due to go back to part-time hours in June anyway, so there’s not long to go! And my SAD is much better.
Anyway, during this time there was one big thing that I was proud to achieve: I co-organised Swansea Zine Fest 2018!
This was Swansea’s first zine fest and it was such a big success – we had 30 tablers in total, zine readings, craft space, really good attendance, and lots of feedback saying that it felt like a friendly, inclusive, community-led event. I’m so proud!
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I forgot to post properly about #swanseazinefest last weekend, which went so well – good turnout and a lovely friendly atmosphere 💕 on a personal level I was super nervous beforehand, I’ve been struggling with low self-esteem and lack of confidence again recently (frustrating after months of upward progress, but recovery/wellness is never consistent). I was overwhelmed at the thought of meeting all these cool zinesters and artists and being embarrassing or disappointing – especially because my two zinefest co-organisers are such effusive, friendly, lovely people. Anyway, despite all my nervousness it went incredibly well – most of the exhibitors were friendly, I spoke to lots of people, I compered the zine reading open mic session to a full room, read something from one of my own zines, and by all accounts I didn’t come across as a terrified ball of nerves all day! 😬 Feeling very grateful that I was able to be brave, and have the emotional stamina to sustain my bravery for the whole day. 💕 #fuckshyness #zinefest #zines #fanzines
Other fun things I’ve been up to:
- This weekend I performed at the Swansea Alternative Big Weekend, which was a 3-day festival of Swansea music organised to coincide with the BBC Biggest Weekend. All money raised from ticket sales were donated to Matt’s Cafe on Swansea High Street, which is a volunteer-run café that intercepts food waste destined for land fill and uses it to feed people who need it, on a pay as you feel basis. This provides an invaluable service for the homeless and vulnerable in Swansea.
- I helped out with organising Swansea Spring Pride this year, Swansea’s first Pride for 4 years! There was a great turnout for the city centre parade and after-event, we were all so pleased. Check out some photos from the day here.
- Had a lovely 3-day minibreak to Edinburgh – travel diary to be published soon.
- I published a minizine titled ‘Zinosaurus Rex: an ode to my love of dinosaurs’! If you want a copy, just tweet me. You can also request a free copy with every sale on my ‘shop’ page – just write it down in the special instructions box!
- I saw Amanda Palmer live, and met her at the meet and greet afterwards! Her latest UK tour saw her visiting small strange venues, including The Lyric Theatre in my hometown of Carmarthen (of all the places in Wales!?). I chattered at her for a while, gave her a copy of my EP and zines, and was suitably excited and fangirl-y.
- Published the final issue of ‘Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter’. My co-editor Kirsty and I decided to put the zine on hiatus after 5 years; it felt like the right time, and as though the zine had run its course for the time being. Our final issue is a really good one so I do recommend it if you’re a feminist and a fan of Harry Potter. Buy a copy here.
- I took part in the Swansea Rainbow Run, which is a sponsored 5k run where you get showered with powder in a different colour of the rainbow every 0.5 K! All money raised goes to welsh children’s hospice Ty Hafan.