Friday, December 30, 2005

the inbetween time - wanting striving and failing

Between Christmas and New Year is so w e i r d a space. Its the time that people start making resolutions, change job, get fit, move. I too used to make resolutions often to 'have more fun' in a life raining down with obligations. But its not specific enough and often I'd get to the end of the year and realise I'd had very little 'fun' let alone a big belly laugh on a regular basis.

I was lying in bed last night doing a mental inventory of my friends (prompted by seeing a friend on Wednesday who I was shocked to discover we hadn't seen each other for 6 months). Everybody I know has been walking slowly through the most horendous 'challenges' this year. Relatives dying of cancer, 3 breast cancer scares, degenerative blindness, a sister with breast cancer a brother with Hodgekins lymphoma (both brother and sister to the same friend), infertility, coping with parents growing older... I suddenly realised I had one friend without a major 'challenge' in her life and then remembered her cousin with the inoperable brain tumor!

We all have problems and one of the way we get through them is being a kindly presence with each other. Bearing witness to what we go through. I'm not good at this - when did I ever get the life lesson on how to help someone facing potential blindness? Was that one of the days I missed at school? I can only bring my ordinary human broken patched together wanting striving and failing self.

This year I've decided that my resolution is to be the imperfectly human me I am. Just as I am.

The friend I met (I wrote and erased a list of her 'challenges' it was too long!) said that after a close relative dying of cancer slowly and painfully over many months that her resolution was to stop putting off the things she loved doing but had put aside due to a focus on her work. She drew up plans for riding and skating in the coming year. Energetic outdoor activities she'd given up in her striving in her career.

What a challenge! I realise that I've been so focused on surviving the past two years I'm not entirely sure if I could write a list of things to do that would make me happy. Currently my list contains things I would like NOT to do. This is my second resolution. Remember and rediscover all the things that make me happy and do them and not let them get lost in the business of living.

Alternative Photographic Processes site - fascinating.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Saw Narnia yesterday

- did anyone else watching hope against hope that the cool whicked Witch of Narnia was going to win instead of those frankly dull and irritating children?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Cuteness overload

oh and keri smith has a sort of guerilla guide to christmas which looks great but you know what I'm so damned tired I shall look a the list, admire it and do nothing

Sunday, December 18, 2005

cameo update

Hi Cameo supporter

Before everyone disappears for what I hope will be a cracking Christmas and New Year for each and every one of you, PLEASE don't forget The Cameo Campaign and here are some simple things you can do straight away to help:

1)) Register for email notification of the Cameo programme. This is a practical way to show interest in the Cameo and its films and to help staff morale - sign up, sign your friends up, get the programme
details weekly and please please please, come along to every film
Why are we recommending this action when the owners are not safeguarding the Cameo's future? Well, the for sale signs are up and the owners are starting to run it down - eg by stopping the membership scheme. Yet The Cameo is NOT a failing business and we need your help to show it is still thriving. It costs nothing to subscribe to the email programme, but it does show your interest in the cinema, which is judged by how many people come to see films, use the bar, and sign up to receive email programmes.

Please do all three! The Cameo needs you to go see films
in its lovely space, all year round, for as long as its there standing as a cinema.

Email a brief Christmas message to staff from you, mention you're
a Cameo Campaigner, and request to be added to their weekly email
programme. That's all it takes! Do it now at:

2) contact your local councillor and MSP to remind them of the Cameo situation and to urge their support in ensuring current and any future plans by City Screen are looked at critically and opposed unless the arthouse identity of the Cameo is kept intact, not least by ensuring the safeguarding of Cinema One, the Cameo's showpiece. Do it before Christmas if you can, and/or in the New Year!

We repeat, The Cameo is NOT a failing business. On the contrary it is not doing badly considering multiplex competition.

Sarah Boyack MSP and Cllr. Lorna Shiels have been stalwart in support of The Cameo. If you live in Edinburgh and not in their constituency/ward, please contact your own MSP and councillor - these individuals need informing of your concerns! Find your MSP and councillor if you don't know who they are,

3) As soon as the New Year starts, Save The Cameo will need your help again to bring The Cameo back on to the public agenda: please don't let it fade from view.

Write to newspapers, contact people, check the website regularly, and help make sure the start of the year promises a brighter future for The Cameo.

4) Soon there will be an email survey carried out of Edinburgh-based Cameo customers. This is important and we will email you soon with details. Please elp us by responding quickly.

Finally, "Its A Wonderful Life" is on at The Cameo from 23-29 December. If you can be there, please go to a screening, take your family - a great film in a great cinema.

Thank you so much for your support. Have a wonderful time.

Warmest wishes

Genni Poole
Campaign Coordinator

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

slow movement

There is a slow food movement but I want to start a slow travel movement. Not only is travelling by bus and train much better for the environment and safer than travelling by car but it doesn't cut you off from life. Packed into metal boxes, all you can do is observe life or wait in a traffic jam. On Sunday I waited on a wet street for a bus to visit a friend. While I was waiting, a small boy also waiting, gave his mother and I an inpromptu rendition (with actions!) of the 'Hokey Cokey' - completely entrancing. Then at the other end I walked to my friends house admiring the Christmas decorations glowing in the dark - if I'd driven all I'd have been thinking about was finding a parking space. Slow travel is the process of the journey being the destination, because we are already here. Stop rushing there, thinking that is where here is.

Free Christmas Cards

at Michael Nobbs - what a nice man he is!

Personally I write New Year cards if I do write at all.

Monday, December 12, 2005

camera mail look like a fun project.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Embracing what is

I stood at the bus stop this morning and realised it was still dark. We are rapidly reaching the shortest day. I'm not good at this dark stuff. I want to go and hide in a cave (sofa) knit and talk to kittens. My capacity for doing stuff plummets. I spend a lot of time fighting the urge to hibernate. I decided this week I wouldn't I would accept that this is the way it is at this time of year. Get through the last few weeks before the holidays and lo! I immediately felt much better less frazzled and overwhelmed. I began to enjoy the thought of christmassy things like visiting the German market in town.

Instead of railing and fighting a situation you can't change, the weather, co-workers, crazed christmas behaviour, accept it - it frees up energy.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What a month - I've just realised I've been over a month at this temp job. Its been a roller coaster ride and I've learned or rather re-learned so much.
1. You can't cope easily with what life throws you if you are ill and tired. REST is the no 1 cure for it.
2. Reframing - commute = thinking time not waste of time.
Temp Job = Arts grant
3. How much I've lost my connection to my original self. How much I've put other people before my needs.
4. Clawing back that slightly eccentric self. You will find me standing outside the main entrance of the World's 10th Largest Employer determinedly knitting at lunchtime in a bid to push back SAD.
5. Self care only I can do it and sometimes it means saying 'no' and I hate saying 'no' - it pushes every one of my people pleasing buttons. I have to practice more 'no'.
6. You can have a job and still create step by step. In between all this crazy temping, communting stuff I've put together a proposal with my noble long suffering producer. Its away being considered please annoy small mammals on my behalf.*
7. Awful things happen, which seem to career out of of nowhere. You survive. I've lost the drama perhaps because of the tiredness - I just don't have the energy. I just think 'This is the way it is'. And as soon as you stop banging your head on circumstance then there is more energy for other stuff.
8. Acceptance see above
9. Gratitude - focusing on what I do have instead of what I perceive as lacking makes life a lot easier.**
10. Stepping away. I keep on being tested. People keep arriving in my life or reappearing in my life who I realise are only there to distract me from what I really should be doing or really should be feeling. I'm practicing counting to 275, feeling guilty and walking backwards anyway.
11. When I don't listen to the wisdom of my body and walk in the wrong direction the pains in my feet tell me where to orientate myself.

*I used ask people to sacrifice small mammals on my behalf then I became friends with a vegan so instead if you see a fox just really annoy them by saying things like 'I don't think that colour suits you' and 'Didn't I see that coat last year in Maplin'.

** Sound glib but when a friend phoned and told me about the papparazzi attended vast media party launch do which I couldn't go to in London because I was temping I had to practice this a lot.

networking for introverts

Top 10 bookshop list from Guardian - makes me itch to get out and visit them all. Especially Shakespear and co in Paris.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

We must be willing to be in the gap between what we want to create and what we are actually creating

A really interesting post over at Loudenmouth.

So many people give up as soon as what they are creating doesn't exactly match what is in their heads.

Friday, December 02, 2005

save the cameo update

(Only interesting for Edinburgh based readers - sorry)

My uncle was at the public meeting which I couldn't make. Here's his report and Genni Poole the daughter of the former owner of the Cameo Jim Poole has got in touch with a few amendments and additions.
The hall was packed with >300 people sitting and standing, to the surprise and delight of the organisers (and of councillor and MSP attending, one representing the Fountainbridge ward, the other the chair of the Scottish Parliament's Planning & Environmental Committee). Four main speakers: Genni Poole, (Save the Cameo)Sarah Boyack (MSP Edinburgh Central), Dr Gordon Barr (co-designer of a website on the history and architecture of Scottish cinemas) and the Fountanbridge Ward councillor Lorna Shiels.

The main news was that a City Screen rep met the ward councillor and the representative of Culture and Leisure Department of the Council. It became clear that City Screen and/or their architect had misled the Council over the planning application; they did not make it clear that there would be a substantive change of use of the main auditorium. Despite this, City Screen sent Genni Poole a long email on the afternoon of the meeting, in which they claimed that they had abortively tried to hold a meeting with Council officials "to which no one turned up" (although it was very short notice and two Council representatives managed to rearrange their schedules to attend); as a result they were instructing the architect "to withdraw the planning application" due to the opposition received.

Ginnie Atkinson also spoke, making it clear that, if it became possible, Film House would love to run the Cameo in tandem with Film House. She is writing a strategy paper re art films for submission to the council, who apparently give a small grant representing about 2% of Film Houses's income, It also emerged that the screen 2 space in the Cameo is owned by the Council and merely leased to City Screen (8.5 years to run, which is why City Screen were seeking an extension of the lease for another 50 years, so they could sell this leasehold on to a new buyer when they put The Cameo up for sale).

Someone in the audience pointed out that City Screen are merely a subsidiary of
the Allied Arts Media Group, whose main business is selling and renting DVDs. Their main interest is raising the level of profit from their art cinema chain, as the Group apparently lost about £1M last year. (NB The Cameo made a profit last year, but obviously not enough for the owners.)

Gordon Barr said that he had contacted Historic Scotland, to query the possibility of upgrading the Cameo's Listed Building status from C to B (which would make it more difficult for any owner to obtain consent for change of use). However, HS cannot change the status, while the Cameo is the subject of a planning application. If the application is rejected or withdrawn, then HS may look sympathetically at an upgrade, if there was sufficient strength of feeling.

Further actions were agreed, namely:
a) An attempt would be made to verify whether or not the planning application was being withdrawn.(To date the planning applications have not been withdrawn)
b) Meanwhile, objections from Save the Cameo members can still be lodged with the Council's Planning Department.but only until 9thDecember.This should be done through the campaign website link:
c) Possible buyers for the Cameo (asking price £750,000) were being sought but, unless the current managementand staff were to be retained, cinema expertise would be needed by any new owner. (Ginny Atkinson commented that Film House could supply that, if requested.)
d) The website will be expanded and information circulated to everyone with an
email address (forms were available at the meeting).
e) People can write to HS supporting the proposed upgrade in Listed Building status.
f) Anyone with knowledge which could be of use was asked to contact the organisers (most of the work so far having been organised by Genni Poole).

Save the Cameo