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Timberlina on Joyous Eco-Woe, Rock n Roll, Blues, Folk and Alt-Drag

Hello, I'm Timberlina and I'm a bearded drag queen who when not gardening, cooking or hosting hilarious bingo shows writes kick ass songs about impending environmental catastrophe and queer issues. No covers, just a little alt-drag, folk-blues and rock n roll joyous eco-woe. Happy stuff. I've got a gig coming up at The Glory on Saturday 3rd June so Jamie has suggested I tell you a bit more about myself.

I find myself getting more angry these days which is funny cos my mate Dave reckons the older you get the less of a shit you give. I tried to give less of a shit when I moved out of London but I ended up with what transpired to be a condition called Eco-anxiety. This condition is particularly popular amongst certain psychology circles on the west coast of the U.S, where therapies such as 'carrying a small stone' are suggested as a way to bring you in touch with nature when you feel a little overwhelmed by the wrath of humanity.

In essence, eco-anxiety is an often overwhelming condition grown out of a prevailing concern regarding the impending destruction of the environment caused by personkind. It can lead to a sense of helplessness, feelings of isolation, despair and can lead to severe depression. From what I have read, different types of therapy can be offered, designed to help the patient manage the anxiety part. However, there seemed to be nothing written about how we should actually overcome the destruction of the environment part.

I'm not wild about coming back to London to do gigs. Only because it reminds me that I am now part of what 'they' call the 'gigging economy''. 'They' being the establishment, the 'gigging economy' being the quaint and patronising term created by 'them' to objectify us who work beyond the realm of professional conventions, otherwise known as 'real jobs'.

For me, I just want a quiet life, preferably somewhere in the countryside but with relatively easy access to so-called civilisation- I have my family to think of, my husbear, my various altruistic projects and not to mention, my work-sorry-gig life which apparently is not real.

In my humble opinion, there is nothing less real than being forced to work in a stifling office environment for eight hours a day. I know because I have tried it.

There is nothing more real than growing fruit and veg and getting to know the seasons. There is nothing more real than making gallons of elderflower cordial (for now is the time) for practically nothing, as opposed to paying through the nose for a small bottle in a jumped up health food shop. To me, there is nothing more real than taking the balance of a frail pensioner as they step on to the minibus for what will be their one social gathering for the week. There is nothing more real than basic, friendly human interaction.

Over the last few years I led a stoic, provincial existence, embracing local community and a passionate spirit for subsistence over ladder-climbing careers and making loads of money. Maybe more fool me, but I sought a life that was far removed from London's overinflated sense of self importance. Don't get me wrong, this city has been and continues to be great to me, but it's not the be all and end all. And seriously, eight quid for four churros con chocolate? Please. The regions can in fact be far more interesting and on the whole a damn sight cheaper for doing just about anything.

The sad truth about subsistence, as necessary and worthy as it is, it does not go up with inflation, so you basically have to find a way to afford to be poor. Meanwhile, it was this paradox coupled with the notion of reaching 'peak' from a couple of years back that got me thinking.

I spent a lot of time hiding out, completely bewildered by humanity, scared to have a bath and utterly exacerbated by the relentless stupor of wanton consumption.

As I came to understand reaching peak oil (that is to say we have now used more oil than there is left so it will now definitely run out- current thinking at about 2050), I also came to the realisation that I had reached the point of 'peak worry', in that I have now spent more of my life actually worrying than I will ever get to spend worrying ever again.

Furthermore, thank goodness for the introduction of Instagram and pretty pictures to remind you that in a world that seemingly does not care, there are vegan trustafarians getting sponsored to spread peace and love driving around in their souped up T25s and sleeping in customised Kevlar hammocks made at a home for estranged sea otters: #vanlife

Meanwhile, this not entirely democratic election will be a smokescreen, led by single issues largely focusing on the lives of normal people will once again mean that not only do I feel marginalised for not being normal, but also that real issues such as cultivating a social system based around the simple process of good citizenship, holistic husbandry and environmental guardianship go widely overlooked.

Gosh! And I haven't even mentioned Brexit, although at this time no songs have been written about it. Yet! It's tearing myself and my relationship apart as the dreams of a generation are haplessly stolen by a bunch of folk who- let's just say make up four letters of the word country.

We are literally fucked and there's no two ways about it. And so we consume to try and forget about it, to surround ourselves with stuff that will distract us from the inevitable doom that awaits us all.

So, why not let go of your overwhelming angst and environmental woes and join for a night of joyous eco-woe, rock n roll, blues, folk and alt-drag?

See Timberlina play live at the Glory in June 3rd from 10pm and Latitude on Sunday night, 16th July. Hear Timberlina discuss Queering Art and life at Tate Britain and Wilderness Festival. Or take a walking tour round the west end with Timberlina via the National Portrait Gallery on June 24th.

http://www.timberlina.co.uk/index.html

@mstimberlina