MATT HAYNES used to work in an NCP multi-storey in Bristol and, outside of the rush hour, wrote the music fanzine Are You Scared To Get Happy? – a heartfelt concoction of Pritt Stick and Letraset which successfully campaigned for the abolition of the compact disc. Three years studying theoretical physics taught him that reality was an endlessly malleable concept, something he then put to good use as co‑owner of Sarah Records, an independent record label which, it would be fair to say, changed the face of modern popular music; sadly, the world isn’t fair. After too long being unsure whether he lived in Kennington or Vauxhall, he moved to Greenwich in early 2011 with his cat, Schrödinger. Sadly, on arrival in SE10, Schrödinger turned out not to be in her pet carrier after all, and is still either missing or dead or both. Born in Leytonstone of good Bethnal Green stock, he is a lifelong Leyton Orient supporter, so in 2012 was somewhat surprised to find himself editing a book about the Olympics, having never previously taken much interest in top‑quality sporting activity performed by elite athletes in peak physical condition; indeed, as a lifelong Leyton Orient supporter, such things had generally tended to upset him. He’s also been helping long-time Smoke contributor Tricity Bendix write her memoirs, I’m Just A Girl Who Can’t Say Pwllheli. It’s all taking rather longer than expected on account of Tricity’s life containing a surprising number of continuity errors – as is often the case when one’s been around a bit and is rather fond of the odd G&T – but if you’d like to see how they’re getting on, there are some bits of work-in-progress on Tricity’s blog. Matt’s own blog, Danger: Void Behind Door, was relaunched in August 2014. There’s also now a new website for Sarah Records.
Matt likes to think of himself as a man of mystery, but won’t tell anyone why.
Words mostly written in a secret twenty-fifth hour that I found folded over twice and wedged in sideways between half past two and twenty to three. (Incorporates Beware of the Trees, musings on life in SE10 and other parts of London’s “lower east side”, a mysterious land where even the foliage is a little bit tasty, though not in a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall sense.)
Romantic novelist Tricity Bendix speaks candidly of a misplaced girlhood and of her struggle to be taken seriously both as a writer and as a woman; she also offers her thoughts on life, love, nuns, and the best way to bathe an over-excited labrador.
“… because when you were nineteen, didn’t YOU ever want to create something beautiful and pure just so one day you could set it on fire and then watch the city light up as it burned?” Includes scans of old fanzines and other bits of writing from the days of typewriters and Pritt Stick and fifty-pence pieces sellotaped to cardboard inside SAEs.