Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ruminations

I've been trying to upload some lomos of the view from EH1 (RIP) where I met my friend R regularly for some months last year to do the Artists Way together. We met last night at a different hostelry and had a great conversation of which I wish I could remember more!

The salient points were 'taking responsibility' instead of blaming external factors for roadblocks to our art. R is in the middle of a creative form change. I just feel I'm in the middle of a creative stagnant pond. Much of the pond is of my own making and I need to stop creating monsters of bitterness which lurk under it and see the lillypads to make a very long extended metaphor. Which leads me to 'bitterness' and 'bile' of which has been washing over me lately. All to do with a political situation which I became embroiled in quite a long time ago but events seem to have conspired to bring out all the pain/anger/bitterness that was associated with it once again. Of course this situation is harming no one except myself.

R was wonderfully patient listening to my muttery grouches and magically through conversation taking apart the situation and her clear eyed outsider view I could see entirely what harm I was doing to myself and how a practical plan of action to take my attention away from them and instead to direct my attention to my centre, my world, my creativity was needed. By the time we parted were were joking about setting up a new agey workshop for releasing our most bitter and resentful parts of ourselves. We thought a bonfire on a beach, followed by dancing and toasted marshmallows afterwards to remind ourselves of the forgotten sweetness of life should do the trick.

~~~

I'm just in the process of moving from one job to another - my upcoming job being much more intense than the one I'm leaving so blogging may become more erratic.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Make Poverty History

On Saturday 2nd July my home city is host to a huge gathering of people showing their support for the Make Poverty History campaign. (www.makepovertyhistory.org)I'm going up to a friend who lives near the Meadows where people are assembling on saturday morning.

She's been emailing me about making banners.
There is of course the perennial favourite:-

Down With This Sort of Thing

other suggestions include

Ferrets against unfair trade rules (my friend is kept by ferrets)

Kittens against poverty

Ladies Knitting Circle Against Poverty

Make Fair Trade Tea Not War Against Poor

Any other suggestions gratefully recieved

All Things Sweet

I've just read Chocolate & Zucchini's report on eating sweet things in NY - I'm sorry I'm going to have to cut short this posting and go and get something to eat!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Werner Herzog against Cinema Verite

Minnesota declaration: truth and fact in documentary cinema

"LESSONS OF DARKNESS"
1. By dint of declaration the so-called Cinema Verité is devoid ofverité. It reaches a merely superficial truth, the truth of accountants.

2. One well-known representative of Cinema Verité declared publiclythat truth can be easily found by taking a camera and trying to behonest. He resembles the night watchman at the Supreme Court whoresents the amount of written law and legal procedures. "For me," hesays, "there should be only one single law: the bad guys should go toj
ail."Unfortunately, he is part right, for most of the many, much of the time.

3. Cinema Verité confounds fact and truth, and thus plows only stones.And yet, facts sometimes have a strange and bizarre power that makestheir inherent truth seem unbelievable.4. Fact creates norms, and truth illumination.

5. There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such athing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and canbe reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.

6. Filmmakers of Cinema Verité resemble tourists who take picturesamid ancient ruins of facts.

7. Tourism is sin, and travel on foot virtue.8. Each year at springtime scores of people on snowmobiles crashthrough the melting ice on the lakes of Minnesota and drown. Pressureis mounting on the new governor to pass a protective law. He, theformer wrestler and bodyguard, has the only sage answer to this: "Youcan´t legislate stupidity."

9. The gauntlet is hereby thrown down.

Werner Herzog

from D-word

Summer Pudding

Summer has landed a little late somewhat of a skid on touch down but definatly here. I'm going to a garden party this afternoon and I'm taking Summer Pudding because well it really means summer...

Recipe

2 x punnet of strawberries
2 x punnet of raspberries
1 x punnet of nectarines
caster sugar to taste
white plastic bread one loaf

I bought what was in the shops but red currants, black currants and white currants would have been good also mulberries.

Wash and hull strawberries, wash raspberries, wash and chop nectaries. Put into large pan with lid add half a cup of sugar. Heat until starts bubbling.Test for sugar add more if you want. Don't over cook so the fruit entirely loses shape. Cut crusts from bread line bottom and side of a bowl medium sized. Take as slotted spoon and spoon the fruit into the lined bowl. Top with more crustless bread. Find a plate slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl and weight it down with cans, bottles etc over night. Retain the juice.

Serve by turning out onto large plate, pouring over reserved juice and adding cream.

Friday, June 24, 2005

more on Guerilla Gardening

from Tree Hugger

I have to say the idea of guerilla gardening does fascinate me even though I only tend a few containers. I had the idea of guerilla windowbox gardening. There are a few places I see with low windows around the city which I think could be improved by a windowbox. But perhaps arming myself with nastursium seeds would be easier!

Janet Evanovich: Author as Businesswoman

From failed author to media magnate: Janet Evanovich is using a creative approach and good old-fashioned common sense to market her bestselling books.
While her success speaks to her tenacity and devotion to family, it owes as much to marketing prowess. When fans, impatient for her next novel, began asking her to recommend other writers like her, Ms. Evanovich hired one instead. Thus began a separate line of paperback romance-thrillers with Charlotte Hughes as co-author and St. Martin's as publisher. Four books in that series became best sellers. [...]
Ms. Evanovich plots her first week of promotion to include book signings at big stores that report their sales to publications that publish best-seller lists. As in past years, the publication of the new Stephanie Plum novel will include a Stephanie Plum Daze festival in Trenton, the setting for the novels. Featuring live music, food, a character dress-up contest and historical-society tours of Trenton sites mentioned in the series, a festival on June 25 is expected to attract several thousand fans. Barnes & Noble will be there selling books.
Her approach is refreshingly non-egotistical, don't you think? Evanovich doesn't seem to see the "working writer" as an artiste, but as a businesswoman.

From Rebecca Blood

Thursday, June 23, 2005

An Artist who became the mayor of Tirana

He remembers hearing a saxophone for the first time. Saxophones were banned in Albania, which may be why the day a school friend whispered, “Want to see a saxophone?” is as memorable to him as the day he saw his first nude drawings. He says that the sound of that saxophone—a few notes, played in his friend’s attic, with lookouts posted on the stairs—was “like a strange amplification of the miraculous,” and started him wondering “why all these beautiful things were bad.”

Edi Rama returned from a life as a left bank artist in Paris became Mayor of his home town and started to attempt to transform it. One of his first acts was to get coloured paint and cover over the decades of communist concrete. Full article at the New Yorker

Jill Sprecher: As brave as they come

She was mugged and owes thousands of dollars, but film director Jill Sprecher still got 13 Conversations to the screen.

Sprecher is one half of a team that has been dubbed "the Coen sisters"; sister Karen writes and Jill directs. She has a Wisconsin twang similar to the one heard inFargo, and which is apparently a very amusing hick accent to your average American. After a provincial early life, she escaped to New York where, after a spell in film school, she became involved in the production of two classic New York movies - the trippy Liquid Sky in 1982 and the gay rights saga Stonewall in 1995.

So why is this talented New York director now living in LA? The answer has everything to do with 13 Conversations and the enormous personal debt she built up while making the movie. This is no Darren Aronofsky/ Kevin Smith story about making your movies on your credit cards and then becoming famous. Six years on, Sprecher still owes $150,000 on her plastic. It seems you can direct movies with Toni Collette and Lisa Kudrow (Clockwatchers) and McConaughey - but that doesn't mean you won't end up penniless.
Amazingly, Sprecher doesn't feel her story is especially unusual. "I think it's the norm, outside the Hollywood system," she says with a laugh. But the production history is terrible, I say. The idea of 13 Conversations came directly out of Sprecher being brutally mugged twice and nearly brain damaged. The day before shooting started she lost important financing and had to sign away nearly all her rights, despite the best efforts of producer and REM front man Michael Stipe. Sprecher never got paid for directing it. The budget kept getting cut during production, with her cinematographer Dick Pope (Vera Drake) having to do the job with a handful of set lights.

Just after she sold the film one of her close friends died in the 11 September attacks, and she felt guilty she hadn't invited him to Toronto, thereby saving his life. Distribution of the film was affected by 11 September. Having gone to LA to edit it, Sprecher couldn't actually afford to move back to New York. If ever a film has laboured under a curse, it has to be 13 Conversations.
She's still surprised, though, when people think 13 Conversations is a dark film. "We thought it was upbeat." She laughs wildly. "It gets the reaction according to the viewer's own outlook - if you're pessimistic you see it as gloomy.

More from The Independent

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fete de la musique

The French Institute is having its annual Fete de la Musique. I've been before its a great evening.

Re-enchanting the city

From Treehugger

After the reenchantment of our knickers comes the reenchantment of a more exterior kind. To be specific, the exterior world that is our urban environment. Clare Cunningham is as similarly disillusioned about the bleak appearances of our city streets as her fellow Eco-Design graduate Anna Hillman, whose Amazingness project we wrote about last week. While Anna produced a book highlighting details of nature which surround us each day, Clare has chosen a different way to redress the problem of being cut off from nature in our cities. She has identified common eyesores on our streets, such as discarded old rotting sofas or abandoned shopping trolleys, and transformed them into beautiful verdant objects. The old sofa has been stripped down and reupholstered with hemp and sewn with grass. Soon this will be a beautifully green and comfortable community bench. The abandoned shopping trolley has been transformed into a mobile garden – planted with gorgeous flowers that would brighten up anyone’s day making them grateful, not resentful, that someone left it there. Clare is also aware of the often harsh nature of graffiti and advertising billboards on our city walls. She offers an alternative with her ‘green graffiti’. Using a solution with moss seeds, motifs can be painted or stencilled on to walls. This moss graffiti will not only grow green and luscious with time, but will also bring new softer textures to our streets – enchanting indeed. ::reenchanting the city

Monday, June 20, 2005


High Street, Edinburgh

quick links

I like - great blog

Barbara Scher see below

Planet Sark

Apartment Therapy - I know I don't have an apartment in New York but I surf by and live vicariously at least once a day!

Jamie Oliver - whatever you think about him ... great recipies for jaded cooks.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Robbie, Editor (L) Stuart Producer(R)

This is a photo from way back in winter when I did a shoot on my favorite beach in Edinburgh for a documentary pilot. Ahhh you were wondering weren't you if I ever actually produced something creative... Since then I've been knee deep in working for money, making several adjustments in my life (realising I'm not such a hermit after all) and becoming mummy to two kittens. I had a small supper party last Friday to introduce Frieda and Diego so some of my closest friends. Stuart came along gamely despite being allegic to kittens then had half a glass of wine which reacted badly with the anti allergy medication he had taken. But inbetween being very rude about kittens and cats he improvised a kitten toy out of some string and elastic he'd found in my kitchen. Anyway this is a round about way of getting to yes I've been very busy in the flow of life but really I have to get down to doing some creative work. Not only that its the kind of creative work which is not ladi la let my creative side come out and play but the making of a budget. Yes creativity also entails doing things which are frankly DULL. So time to surf away from Blogger print off some budgets and start playing around with figures. I also have to acknowledge that being away from this kind of stuff for so long has meant I've built up a small reservoir of fear about doing it. The only cure is doing it and doing it regularly.

So Stuart I will do that budget and I'm very impressed by your knowledge of Napoleon's resting place.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Are you the only person in the world still to read the Da Vinci Code?

Never fear... a version is online at Here Be Monsters

The laughing girl with the dancing mouth and smiling eyes ran ahead of him towards the looming majesty of the Great Pyramid. Jack Kirk ran after her but, his feet sinking and slipping in the hot desert sand, no matter how hard he tried to catch her, she remained just out of reach.The Sphinx looked on inscrutably.Kirk felt the warm winds of a thousand years blow over him.Straining every muscle, he reached the smiling girl with the laughing mouth and dancing eyes, the girl he loved, the woman of his dreams. Just as his fingers closed upon the fragile Egyptian muslin of her haute couture Prada blouse, the smiling girl with the dancing feet and laughing nose dissolved into a dark mist that his hands passed helplessly through. He had lost her. The girl of his dreams. The woman he loved. He had lost her again. A toothless crone selling plaster pyramids by the side of the road cackled. Kirk felt her contempt burn into him like fire.

If he gets 40 comments he's promised to post chapter 2

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Barbara Sher's 'Subsidy to the Arts' v All or Nothing fallacy

Dear Barbara
I just saw your television program on PBS and I was really inspired by your speech! I am a 34 year-old woman with a dream(actress). I am 5'-0" tall and avarage looking and a single mother. I am struggling to make a living and when I tell my friends my dream, they just say "it is only a dream, you have to look at the reality!" I am also an artist and tried my dream in art, but all I have achieved is being poor! I am now in a crossroad (my parttime job ended this week) and I am feeling frustrated because of my failure to achieve my dream.I want to change my life for myself and for my son. I already know what I am good at but I just don't know where to start! I am very unhappy and it reflects on my child's behavior....I don't have supportive network of friends and I don't know where to look for the supportive ones. I truly think that what you do is inspirational and is helping many people to reach their goals. But I think that what I am facing is a very challenging one.Would you help me? I am willing to do anything to change my current situation. I am ready!
Patty
Hi Patty. First, stop telling your friends (and family, if they're not supportive either) about your dreams. Turn every conversation to recipes or politics, or better yet, ask them about themselves: 'Have you lost weight? You look fantastic!'. They'll forget all about you in no time.
Next, go directly to my Bulletin Board at http://www.barbarasher.com/boards/ and take these 4 steps:
1. Look around. Read what people have posted in a number of places so you'll see what an unusual community this is. You'll find that the people on my board are astonishing. They're knowledgeable and generous and supportive. You will be surprised and impressed when you go to my Bulletin Board. I am.
2. If you like what you see, register and spend a few weeks helping other people. Then you won't feel like poor Patty, you'll feel like a smart, helpful person yourself. And that's how you'll be seen by others on the board, too.
3. After a few weeks, go to the forum "Wishes and Obstacles" and start a topic to help you find the right kind of job in your location. You'll get great suggestions every time, usually within a few hours, always within a day or two.
4. Then head over to the forum called "Informal Success Teams" and see if you can locate a free support team in your area or on the phone so you'll have some supportive people to talk to. If you're ready to start taking weekly steps towards your goals, go to www.shersuccessteams.com where you'll find the local registered Success Team leader and can sign up for an 8 week workshop with a trained leader and about 5 other members who are also ready to get into action.

Okay? Now let's discuss the nemesis of all dreams, the All or Nothing fallacy.The people on my board and in Success Teams understand that there are perfectly realistic ways to get the part you love of any dream, often right away. But they're rare. In this world it's all too common to run into the conviction that going after any dream is always a huge investment, a life changing gamble, do it all the way or don't do it at all.

"You can't make money at what you love!," is the shape it usually takes. "Give up art, acting, or whatever you love and get a job."

If there's one thing I wish I could change it's that automatic, knee-jerk reaction that slams the door on dreams. Why is it still here? Somebody's not paying attention. All around you people are doing what they love most, and they are not starving to death. Go to an art or acting class and get to know the other students and you'll see what I mean.

Everyone must have money to live. Everyone must do what they love. But why do we assume that those two need to be one? Who said you must make money at what you love? Almost all of us have to work and do what we love on our own time, often for years, sometimes forever. There's nothing wrong with that.

You can even create a relatively successful career on the side if you find work doing something you're clever at--programming, organizing, writing, communicating, gardening, selling. Just make sure the people don't drive you crazy and the job doesn't take more than 40 hours a week.
And call it "A Subsidy to the Arts."

Because, even if you eventually succeed at what you love doing most, it won't fall through the window because you had positive thoughts or said the right mantra. It will be the result of having done what you love for a long time, often years, until you're smooth and sure-footed at it. That means you have to start today.

If you just thought something like, "Oh no, I have to wait for years before I'm successful!" think again. Imagine how heavenly it would be to engage in what you love part of every day, to get better and better at it until you are an artist who is worthy of the gifts you were born with.
It's your happy task to develop your gifts. Unless your gifts are in business, you shouldn't subject them to the marketplace. To earn money you have to please the people who could buy from you. Artists aren't supposed to please people, they're supposed to make the best art they can. When you start getting your sea legs, you'll find that you're always way ahead of the fashion of the day, and only a few people will understand what you're doing. If you're an artist, you're exploring and learning and taking new paths. You'd never let a buyer control you. That's a contract with your soul. Don't break it.

Okay, time to swing into action: start searching for a job where the people are reasonably nice and where you're doing something you're good at that's not too boring (but has nothing to do with acting or art). It's worth trying to get the right job.

Just think of how much better your life would be if you had a tolerable, even pleasant job and a happy, creative, exciting life too! No All or Nothing. Just All and Everything.

If your child sees you happily doing your art after work and on weekends it will be very good for him. Set up a nice "studio" in the corner of your room so you can make art whenever you want. Then turn the rest of your space into a little private theater and put on plays with your child as audience--starting tonight! Maybe one day he will be your co-star.

Try going to a park or in front of a museum on Sundays and do wonderful mimes (with your son, if that's an option) and start showing off as soon as possible. Get to love your audiences if you want to be a good actor. Maybe you'll get some money in the hat, at least enough for a nice hot fudge sundae for the two of you and you'll be teaching your great child lessons about how to live a good, fun and productive life.

At the very least, take a minimum of 5 minutes every single day to use one of your talents in a way that makes you very happy--even if it's only to close your eyes and have a perfect fantasy.
Start on that dream at once. Start small. Start now.
That's an order.
"ToughLove" Barbara

From her e-letter

(Barbara's book Wishcraft is excellent and well worth seeking out)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Pittenweem sign 2004

Monday, June 13, 2005

Following on

being busy is a form of laziness

How to be idle

I had lunch with these French people who said, “Travailler moins, produire plus.” In other words, the less you work, the more you produce. And certainly in my own experience—even in the really good jobs—a lot of the day is just spent sitting there, staring at your screen, pretending to work, checking your emails, on the phone to your girlfriend. I realized I’d rather work hard for two or three hours in a day—which was the only real work I was doing—and then bobble about the rest of the time, in the park or whatever. I’ve found that there isn’t any correlation whatsoever between the hours put in and the quality of what comes out. Most of the Beatles’ songs probably originated in about five minutes. Often, the things that a lot of work has gone into have been incredibly bad because they’re over-worked.

Interview with Tom Hodgkinson in Mother Jones.

I can fully concur. I've had a wonderful weekend starting with a surprise 70th birthday party for a family friend with people coverging from the north, south, west and east to make it. I've caught up with people and sat outside sipping tea and getting sunburn. This was followed up by the arrival of two kittens when I got home. I will try not to be a kitten bore but idling on the sofa while watching two kittens playing has got to be the best way to start your day.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


bus stop by moonlight - lomo

Molly Gordon - Artists, Marketing is your job


'I recently received an email from an artist who thanked me for my work. She went on to say, "I will agree it sounds very tempting but unfortunately its impossible to find the time and money to do a study on how to market oneself. Especially when every moment available is spent doing the work you are best at."

I can relate. I spent eight years trying to make a living selling my artwork. I vowed that I would not fall into the starving artist myth. I applied my business experience to present myself and my work to the world in the best possible light. I succeeded in getting a good deal of national recognition for my work, but I never turned a profit.

As I look back on that time, I see that I was so busy "trying" that I never examined the assumptions underlying my notions of selling art. Here are a few doozies:
1. Work that takes a long time to make should command a higher price in the marketplace. (Command? Who was I kidding?)
2. Unique pieces should command a higher price than production work. (There's that word, command, again.)
3. My work is valuable because... Fill in the blank: I use traditional methods, my pieces wear better and last longer, I use the finest materials, etc. (Bottom line: I should get paid because I am proud of myself and I work hard.)
4. My work is valuable because it comes from my soul. (And that has an economic value to whom?)
5. My work is valuable because I take risks in making it. (Ditto.)
6. I should be compensated for doing what(ever) I love to do. (Right. The artist as fascist.)

It never occurred to me to check out my assumptions because they made so much sense. I didn't even know they were assumptions. Still, by some grace, I eventually had the thought, "Where is it written that because I choose to invest a lot of time, energy, and resources in art-making, I should be paid and paid handsomely?"

Yes. I know. Art is important. It has the potential to challenge, reveal, reconfigure our ways of seeing and making meaning. Art can seed war and peace, aspiration and despair, exaltation and profound doubt. I don't know that there is a higher function in society. To perform this function, art must be encountered in public or in private. A work of art is not complete until it is experienced by another human being, and getting art in front of other human beings often entails buying and selling.

The fundamental values and assumptions of the marketplace are not impressed with art's sacred functionality. Once submitted to the competing forces of supply and demand, art must make an economic case for itself. In this arena, the soul of a work or the vision of an artist are subjected to a quite soulless analysis. What's in it for a buyer? Is the valuation appropriate? How do we know? What can a buyer expect from owning the piece, and is the value likely to increase or decrease over time? We can moan about the unfairness of this until hell freezes over, but for now, that's the way it is.

Given this, it would appear that the job description of an artist is not only to make art. They have the additional responsibility of making their work visible, accessible, and attractive to appropriate audiences in the marketplace. Therefore, promotion is not a departure from artists' real work, but an essential part of it.

Life is not fair. (That's right. You read it here first.) Promoting art (or anything else) can be hard, and the money that we're told will follow doing what we love is not guaranteed to arrive in our lifetimes. Earning a living doing what you love is not a birthright. Artists make art; they may or may not make money. An important corollary is that income from art sales is an inherently crummy measure of artistic success. The yardstick for economic success calibrates an entirely different set of values than that for artistic excellence.

Artists face some very real challenges when it comes to promoting their work. Instead of approaching these challenges as a victim, face them as an advocate for the work that you hold sacred. Observe the difficulties dispassionately. Learn from every experience of confusion, discouragement, or rejection. Take on the mantle of an advocate, not only for art, but for the millions who (knowingly or not) long to encounter it. Attend to your heart and listen for the purpose behind your art-making. Listen carefully for the difference between the impulse to create and the compulsion to gratify your ego. While I have nothing against a gratified ego (perhaps you've noticed that I like to keep mine happy), I prefer not to let its insatiable appetites run my life.

Last, but not least, consider disentangling making art from making a living. Let go of the notion that artistic success requires that you earn your living from your art. There are many ways to share your creativity and skill outside of selling your art. Getting a "day job" may enrich your art by releasing it from the web of commerce. "

Pearls of wisdom from Molly's Newsletter.
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-311XUnless otherwise attributed, all material is written and edited by Molly Gordon, MCC. Copyright (c) Shaboom Inc.(r) 2005. All rights reserved. Visit our extensive archives at www.mollygordon.com .

At last summer has arrived

I walked on the beach last night hence last photo and had to water my containers. Up to this date mother nature has done my watering by her frequent showers.

Eco Wools from Tree Hugger.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Portobello Beach

Manifesting a great summer

'The summer is approaching and I am reminded of a great exercise I read in a Rob Brezsny horoscope several years ago. He told the reader to write an essay from the future entitled, "What I did during the summer of 2005 that made me a better, smarter, happier person."
{Well maybe it didn't say 2005, but we will} Then he asked you to mail it to him with a self-addressed stamped envelope and he promised mail the essay back to you at the end of the summer. It was like your very own transmission-to-the-future time capsule thingy.
It was so powerful for me to do this. When I received the letter back I was shocked that every single item on my list had come true.'

Andrea offers to recieve your letters and post them back. More info at Superhero Designs

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Saving ourselves from freezing

Evelyn Rodrigues from Crossroads Dispatches on keeping the heart open.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Nicolas Roeg on accident, chance, serendipity and the fourth hand

I've never storyboarded anything. I like the idea of chance. What makes God laugh is people who make plans.

If we're supposed to head for the beach to shoot a scene where a pair of lovers are taking leave of each other, and she gets up and walks off into the sunset, and they pass some other happier people on the beach; but if when we arrive there and it's raining, the assistant director would say, "I know, get the camera out". Because that chance is telling you something. They'd planned to say goodbye on the beach, it's raining, and there's nobody on the beach. There's a fourth hand, telling you something better.

More in the Guardian

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Female Nomad

Rita Golden Gelman got divorced and decided to change her lifestyle. Her website is a fascinating delve into writing and travelling.

Discovering where you live

I was in London a few weeks ago and had a wonderful stimulating time. Came home felt a bit flat and remembered that lots of people come to where I live and have a fantastic experience. So I went on line found out about the Scottish Literary Pub tour. I emailed about 12 friends inviting them to meet me on Friday at the Beehive Inn. In the end about 7 of us set off in the company of assorted Norwegians, Americans, Canadians about 30 in all. We had as they say in Scots a 'rare' old time. We ended up chatting about differences in English & Scots language in a hostelry nearby the end of the tour and parted late on the evening, promising each other we would try and find more fun things to do together.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Poet and Farmer

A FEW weeks ago, Scott Chaskey, poet and farmer, was hunkered down in his favorite garlic field to get out of a chilly wind blowing off the ocean. The sand was warm between the perfectly tilled rows of green garlic stalks, mulched with a soft blanket of shredded leaves. Mr. Chaskey calls them "green sail masts," and so they were, all 20,000 of them, sailing down this two-acre field.

more here

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How not to buy happiness

fascinating article

The Value of Failure

Friday 24 June 2005, 11.00–18.30 Tate Modern London
Success dominates universities and cultural institutions. No projects are funded unless success is guaranteed in advance. But we learn little from success, whereas failure can show where the true path lies. This event invites, among others, Stephen Frears, Tilda Swinton, Hanif Kureishi and Alan Yentob to examine the value of failure in a variety of creative and administrative contexts. This symposium is organised by the London Consortium for its tenth anniversary, in conjunction with the New York Public Library, where a second event on the same topic will be held later in the year.

An intriguing idea but tickets are rather pricy.