With love to you grandad

My wonderful, talented, loving, charming Yorkshire grandad passed away during my time in the UK.

John Harriman. People called him Jack.

94 years old.

Sign painter, pianist, entertainer to the army, Castleford resident, vehicles repairman, father to 5 kids, grandfather to many more, Filey lover, careful driver, seaside worshipper, loyal and loving husband to my grandma Mary.

Still living in his own home.

Still playing a song on his electric organ every day.

During the war, he was called off the truck twice going to the front line to France so he could play the piano to the troops.

Aged 80 he took his first flight on a plane. And it was on Concord. It was what he wanted all the family to club together and buy for him. Because grandma was scared of flying, of any travelling, he hadn’t gone before.

Earlier on, he stopped playing the piano in the clubs and bars because grandma didn’t like the smoke.

But he played a song to her every morning and took her a cup of tea.

You will be missed

Thank you for being such a special person in my life

Even though we only saw you once a year I loved you dearly.


How to put on three pounds in 8 days

Tip for any actress who needs to gain weight for a film role – eat what I have eaten during the last week.

I have been eating double or triple what I eat in El Paredon and cannot resist all the treats in the full fridge or delicious puddings my mum presents to me each night. I need to surf again, soon.

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Ah little handmade notebooks how I have missed thee

Yesterday I went to Edinburgh.

And got caught in the Fruitmarket Gallery Bookshop. Got caught with saucer eyes over all the amazing books and notepads and stuff to make  – stuff you would never EVER find in Guatemala. Because people there just don’t have the money for all this stuff you don’t really need to survive. But it all looked and felt and smelt so nice.

So I got a bit overexcited and bought some things to inspire our project and the kids out there (and me and Carla):

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Cut Out and Make Menagerie animals by Alice Melvin and her beautiful book The High Street, Tree of Life block puzzle by Charley Harper (which we can make a version of out of wood blocks in El Paredon), How to be the Best Bubble Writer in the World Ever by Linda Scott (for getting the kids to think about using text as art) and the most exciting of all, Waterlife by Rambharos Jha – gorgeous folk paintings of fish which use detailed pen techniques almost like aboriginal art. And a lovely little handmade notebook.

I then wandered into little boutique gift shops on Cockburn St and Victoria St to get inspiration for displaying our products in El Paredon, especially good The Red Door Gallery,  with lots of Scottish work. I liked how they displayed earrings on bits of recycled card:


The nice girl there told me where to find good cheap Indian food, food I have been craving for the last 3 months.

Cafe Mother India. Fresh crispy onion bhaji, succulent lamb sag, buttery peshwari naan. And a pint of beer. All for me. No compromises on what to have. And I sat alone, the first meal alone in months, absorbing the atmosphere of a buzzy restaurant feeling quite content reading my book about bubble writing.

PS: I LOVE this typography I saw on a sandwich shop

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