Visions in the Tea Steam: The Art of Georgia Harris

Back when I was working as a Community Arts Trainee at Hedge End’s d.@rt Centre, I was lucky enough to meet a lot of wonderful visual artists, and Georgia Harris was one of them. At the time I was helping to arrange her solo Pop Art exhibition, which was full of brilliant, bold and amusing…

Tea and Tunes: New Releases from Southampton’s Hunting Hearts

Southampton’s much loved queer alt-rock/punk group, Hunting Hearts, have been busy with tracks for their upcoming debut album, and were recently kind enough to send me some new music to check out. Accompanying these releases is a wide-reaching social media campaign in which the band tell us their posts and messages are being censored by…

Tea & Tales: Adventures in YA Queer Fiction Part 2

Over a year ago now I wrote about some of the books I was reading to get a sense for how other authors wrote for a young adult audience, in particular queer romances, preferably with a little more to them than just the characters’ relationship itself. Here we are many months later, and my first…

Tea and Tunes: 2020 Indie Top 20!

Well 2020 was a weird year for sure, but that didn’t stop these awesome independent artists in the rock and punk genres from releasing tracks I loved! After a bit of a slow start to 2021, I’ve finally got around to selecting my top 20 tracks from the year that was. I thought I would…

Tea and Tales: Adventures in Queer YA Fiction

So I’m writing a Young Adult novel with queer characters, which just happens to be a kind of urban fantasy. Really, it’s a romance, in which one of the characters coincidently has some magical powers. And we all know that you have to read to write. Except in recent years, I’ve been pretty terrible at…

Tea and Tunes: Toreador – Shiver and Shake single release

Toreador are a trio of Southampton locals whose work I’ve been following for a while, their tone a grungy-sounding rock with a blues edge, brilliant harmonies and clear vocals that distinguish it clearly from the varieties of garage and grunge I enjoy less. Toreador’s song “Ashes” was featured on my playlist of 2019 indie discoveries…

Tea and Tales: The Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane

This is a book which took me over a year to read. Not because I disliked it, but because its reading takes dedicated time, energy and thought. It is not a book to read in bed when tired and hoping to relax into sleep. It is a book to read to be forced to think,…

Tea and Tunes: 2019 Indie Wrap-Up

Well, 2019 has been over for a while, but there were some great songs written by indie bands in my favourite rock and punk genres, so I thought it would be fun to share my top 2019 indie songs and highlight a few of my favourites. You can listen to the playlist on Spotify below…

Tea & Tunes: Hunting Hearts – Pride Not Prejudice EP

Hunting Hearts are yet another independent local Southampton group making marks in the alt rock genre. Sitting somewhere between punk, indie and old fashioned rock and roll, their EP Pride Not Prejudice, released in August this year, is full of emotion and rocking rhythms. Hunting Hearts’ widely known tagline is “We’re here, we’re queer, and…