Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Two Halves Make a Whole..?

I follow a LOT of people on Twitter. And one of those people is my hero, Amanda Palmer. She tweets a lot about what she is up to, organises ninja ukulele beach parties and even posts naked pictures (go on, perv, pics are here). I also follow Amanda’s assistant, Beth, and recently began following Beth’s girlfriend, Kayla. Beth is a photographer as well as an assistant, and she collects keys. Kayla plays the ukulele and paints them for Amanda’s online merch store, Post War Trade (which you can access here).

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love Amanda. She got me through my later teens, not to mention a lot of crappy days (days where I considered knee high rainbow socks, mary janes and tutus the height of rebellious fashion). But recently, my attention has been directed toward Beth & Kayla, and their own little fanbase – a spin off I imagine, from Amanda.

From the moment they found another, I fell a little bit in love with Beth & Kayla, which is pretty absurd since they live 3335 miles (yes, I checked) away and I have never met either of them. They live in an apartment in Brooklyn, and they occasionally webcast, where Kayla plays & sings. I’ve tried and tried to decide what keeps me so interested in these two strangers, and the only conclusion I can come to (aside from Kayla’s extraordinary baking skills) is that they have the bohemian lifestyle I both idealise and crave.

I don’t pretend to know what their lives are like, I don’t pretend they don’t have real problems, but a part of me sees the ukulele-painting, post-war-trading lifestyle and wants in. Chances are, I will never paint ukes or be a rock star’s go to girl, or have as many tattoos as I want – but I enjoy living my bohemian dreams through this happy & adorable pair.

Which brings me to the actual point of today’s blog (I know it took me a while) – but it brings me back to one of the great paradoxes of my own personality. I seem to be part hippie, part wasp (which I only recently found out was an acronym for white Anglo-Saxon protestant – thank you urbandictionary.com!). The hippie part of me is the part that used to burn incense, the part that says go forth and tattoo yourself (NB – not actually wielding the needle myself), the part that says yoga is my path to enlightenment. The wasp part of me says think about when you are older, one day you might want to appear respectable, don’t do that it isn’t hygienic etc. And typically, the wasp part of me says PICK ONE, you can’t be both!

You can almost see the inner turmoil (HA!) that rages within – and I genuinely can’t decide if it’s just who I am, or if either side is a reaction to something (e.g. the vague oppression of boarding school or my pretty stable middle class upbringing).

I can bring each (polar opposite) side of me out by changing my environment – put me in certain parts of Covent Garden and I will be buying organic buckwheat and meditation cushions, put me in Bond Street and I’ll be walking home clutching shoes from Marc Jacobs and drooling over the rocks in Bulgari (and when I say rocks, I mean rocks – I tried on a diamond ring there last month that retails at £1.5 million).

But how can two such separate people coexist in one body!? (I’m genuinely looking for an explanation; so if you know anything about multiple personality disorder, give me a bell). The long and short of it is, I am still trying to categorize who I am.

So it is time to take drastic measures. In a couple of weeks I am taking up a week of work experience in the wonderful world of PR, doing a week of work at The Big Green Gathering – a huge green festival in Glastonbury. And judging by the website, it is going to be chock full of hippies and bohemians – perfect company to channel my inner green peace. I think that the hippie version of me is the one I like best, so I’m hoping to return chatting about Gaia and compost and such. I am also hoping to fall in love, get more tattoos & do a naked moon dance, but hey, I’ve only got a week.

So, to conclude this totally self indulgent and long-winded blog, here are some things I have learned lately… 1) You never know what you’re going to learn about yourself through witnessing the lives of other people. 2) Twitter is a far better tool for stalking than Facebook. 3) No matter how many times I play with photo booth, I am never going to look as good naked as Amanda Palmer.

Even when she’s covered in marker pen.

PS - do yourself a favour and go to Kayla's myspace...
(Kayla’s music is AWESOME & she’s trying to bring out an EP, so if you like what you hear, you can donate to her EP fund via the paypal link on her myspace)