Friday, December 29, 2006

Being green can make you happier.

Makes sense. One of the greenest things you can do is slow down, work less and instead be more. Being is greener than doing. I highly recommend Tom Hodginsons book 'How to be free' its a great manifesto. I agree with almost all of it except the move to the country bit. The country is very ungreen.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius.Most people spend their lives using their strengths to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strengths to incorporate their weaknesses, who don't divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation there are a few and they lead their generation. - Moshe Feldenkrais

Great quote from Molly Gordon's email list

I also like what she wrote here about being whole:-

'Living a Whole Life, One Part at a Time
don’t know about you, but trying to live a balanced life as a self-employedperson has got me plumb wore out. (Or is that plum wore out? I suppose spellingis not a terribly serious matter when using the vernacular.)

My friend Jennifer Louden once remarked, “Balance is the new girdle.” I agree.

Balance has become, as so many good ideas do, a tyrant. I love balance; don’t get me wrong. I just don’t experience it very often. And I’ve noticed repeatedly that life is better and I am kinder when I accept myself exactly as I am rather than spending hours pre-occupied with the way I think Iought to be. So here’s a question: If everything is perfect, and it is, why are we trying so hard? And what are we trying to do?Here’s my simple answer: we’re trying to be whole. It’s the most important thing in the world, and because we usually experience this wholeness in relatively small parts, we don’t often realize that we’re already there. Wholeness doesn’t look the way you might think. Wholeness is all of it – all of you – right here, right now. You may be completely, fabulously, rampantly crazedby the holidays or some other aspect of your life. You may be blessed out or in, swimming in a current of gratitude, praise the Lord! You may be heart broken orexalted; your checkbook may be balanced or in chaos. Whatever state you and yourlife is in, it is the state of Grace.'

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mist all around

Edinburgh looks like something out of a RL Stevenson novel in places.

I'm about to return home, tidy kitchen and start my prepartions for tomorrow's lunch. We're having summer pudding as I prefer it to Christmas Pudding.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Solstice Greetings

I have a friend arriving this afternoon from London. I'm racing through a list of to do's and am feeling a little behind.

I have plans like make cranberry jam and then the other voice is saying 'be sensible'! (recipe at 101 recipies website)

I find downscaling my expectations essential for my sanity this time of year.

I've had the secret santa at work. I've been up until midnight writing cards... I'm now going to do the 'bare mimimum' even 'lower my standards even further'.

Internet access will be intermittant until the new year so posting will be light.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pre Christmas nuttiness

I'm not sure that I can give any helpful advice on keeping ones sanity at this time of year. I seem to be keeping going with keeping going with an excessive book borrowing habit from the Edinburgh Library system coupled with going horizontal on a regular basis with cats using me as a hotwaterbottle. I'm also ditching loads of 'shoulds' and 'oughts' and am down to the bare minimum which consists of seeing people before they dash off hither and thither to relatives.

I did find the quote I wanted to use on my New Year Cards this morning so I might get those out after Christmas.

On Sunday I visited a friend but unfortuantly I was ill (it really is a sign of true friendship and sand froid that said friend could take me throwing up while she ebayed for christmas pressies!)

We agreed that finding our passion for life was the no 1 priority for 2007. Which reminds me one book I really enjoyed was Julie & Julia based on the blog by Julie Powell (I'm in an internet cafe so won't publish the link) Anyway Julie devises this crazy idea of cooking every single recipe in Julia Child's The Joy of Cooking in a tiny NY appartment on her tiny secretarial wages. (Her descriptions of being at the bottom of the office pile revived many painful memories for me). However in the midst of this insane project - at one point her husband remarks that she is so casual about meat that she would start deboning puppies without turning a hair - she rediscovers her lost passion for life and awakes from that grim plodding one foot in front of the other life I know so well as a temp.

ALSO please go to Hendrix-Cat's blog and get the info about her song which was released yesterday. It is available to buy on line. I tried to buy the Eskimo Disco record yesterday but failed in a shop... I must have been asking inthe wrong places. Anyway please buy it as she wants no needs new shoes.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Cosmic Tantrum

Is helpful when things go completely pear shaped.

I've had a list as long as your arm of techical things not working, money 'issues', I've been dashing hither and thither doing work before the 'holidays', ground down by the dark and wet and wind. Mood not improved by receiving christmas cards from people bloasting of their immient move to 17th Century Tower houses * in the company of younger boyfriends in the new year, being escorted across the road by lollipop 'people' as if I was some kind of 3 year old with limited intellectual capacity. (I'm 38 years old, I may be on the short side but I've been able to reach up and press the crossing button for some years now).

So I really lost it yesterday. I mean really. And if the lollipop 'person' tries that again I'm off to the council.

This is a truly hideous time of year. No pratling about how you just 'love' Christmas. If you want to do that just bugger off to someonelse's blog. Every loss, every potenial loss, everything that is missing gone deleted absent thing from your life is highlighted with a huge cosmic highlighter pen. Thought you were doing ok - well shrieks the universe HA HA HA! We crawl towards the shortest day our nemises are waking up and dancing about in front of our eyes and as I wrote in an email to a friend I contemplate the ' grey dry graveyard that is my life'.

So what to do? I do not think that looking on 'the bright side of life' is the way to go. Indulge in the total shittiness of it all. Imagine becoming a hermit dressed in shapeless garments until mid January. Close the door, put on the anwering machine and INDULGE and revell in the dark side. Tell the fecking people who are annoying the hell out of you to bugger off.

THEN my friend you will feel better. Then you can imagine an outing to see a seasonal film with some friends you truly like. Then you can imagine sending a few cards, possibly even after christmas, then you can think about giving yourself the biggest fattest, most tasteless Christmas tree that was missing from your childhood, then you can go out and buy exactly what you want for Christmas, wrap it and and write 'To me love from me' on it.

Do this.

If you do it means that anything else you get is a bonus.

* A friend who formerly was in the 'heritage biz' assures me that she will have to fill out a form in triplicate if she ever wants to open a window - it cheered me up somewhat

Monday, December 11, 2006

Eskimo Disco

Remember I urged you to look at their video on You Tube? My friend HC is to be heard on their current single - well it apparently got to no 1 in the BBC chart last week!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

On My Desk

Creative types working spaces via 52 Projects. Not all the pictures loaded when I looked at it - but they all looked extraordinarily tidy. My desk is 3 inches deep in paper ( it only lies in imperial measurements), a cat is sleeping on the monitor, my ikea drawer thingy has receipts peeping out the drawers, CD's of photographs lie jumbled in front of it, one dead phone in front of the keyboard, origami paper which I bought 6 years ago in Singapore awaits being sent to my friend in Germany, a 16mm film canister perches on an in tray, an old film programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival from when I wrote a biographical essay on Margaret Tait 3 years ago, a yellow pages, a few books, my holga camera box, a purse which was lost on the beach and picked up at the police station, a copy of O magzine, Divine chocolate bar wrapping, postcards, an old passport, a box which had tulip bulbs in it (now planted) but has the number for the tree people at the council on it, a roll of fax paper still in wrapper ( I don't have a fax machine anymore) a smattering of bills, postcards. Lets not get onto what's under the desk.

Sorry about lack of updates I've been having internet connection trouble. I've been forced to frequent sleezy internet cafes on Leith Walk to check my email but things seem back to normal. I might even get my phone back tomorrow.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Work Manifesto

by Pamela Slim, Escape from Cubicle Nation
1. Work is your real life. It is the way you translate your feelings, your thoughts, your hopes and your desires into something valuable, tangible and useful every day. You can choose to make work into a dreaded, necessary evil that you can't wait to finish so that you can get busy with your "real life." Why not just do work you love?
2. Good work will improve your sex life. Frustrated employees desperately long for excitement and release in the form of fantasy football, internet surfing, porn, and the affections of their stressed and overworked spouses. No superhero could fill the gigantic void of a passionless man or woman in a 15-minute tryst in bed. Express your passion through your work every day, all day, and find that you will be less needy, more attentive, open, giving and loving to your partner. Which makes for better sex.
3. Your secret desire holds the clue to your best work. You say that you would love to do meaningful work, but don't know how to find it. What is your secret desire? What idea are you a little embarrassed to share with someone because it is so delicate or bold or crazy or exciting? You often claim to not know what you want to do, but in fact censor yourself from what you know you want for fear of appearing ridiculous.
4. You can't fool your kids. Many of you claim passionless, dull and frustrating careers with the excuse that you must provide for your family. Providing for your family is noble; using it as an excuse to hide from your own greatness is a bad example for your kids. If you want them to grow up motivated, creative, free and enterprising, be that yourself. They are watching and emulating your every move.
5. Fear is the great inhibitor. All of the excuses that you find for not doing work you love have solutions. You do not enact them because you are afraid: of showing up too big in the world; of failing; of appearing as an imposter; of living in poverty. There is nothing wrong with fear. Feel it, talk to it, examine it and walk with it. Then step out and let yourself show up, warts and all. It will liberate you.
6. Owning is better than renting. While you may feel "safer" renting out your skills for a paycheck and benefits, you often sell all your energy this way and have nothing left at the end of the day. If you don't get what you need in this employment arrangement in terms of money, recognition, power or responsibility, you feel angry and frustrated. Own the means of production and the factory, and at least your glorious disasters will be your disasters. Accountability breeds passion and desire.

from Gaping Void's on going series of Manifestos.

Gathering Winter Cheer

Its been one of those miserable gray and off and on wet winter Sundays. I lay in bed listening to The Archers which is a cheerful mix of stalking, breaking down marriages, infertility and a spot of cow AI! I managed to start dull tasks like cleaning out the cat tray, washing up, and chucking a few things awa in the cheerful company of I'm sorry I haven't a clueI was to make dinner for a friend and meet her at the library before but she cancelled due to the inclement weather. I showed a potential lodger around my spare room and then scarpered to get essential supplies (coffee & chocolate). Dinner is now on the go and I'm comforting myself by reading an old Vogue I found. The great thing about losing things is that when you find them again its like new. I shall put on the coffee while my dinner cooks and I urge you to search google images for 'Anne Redpath' she is the painter of the image above. I wanted to find something cheerful and cozy to look at. She is a magnificent colourist. A great role model of a woman who was a single parent and still managed to rise to the top of her profession.

Also worth checking out is Skirt magazine

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Balsy Blog which I'm just exploring!

Stillness is my submission to Photo Friday this week. Go to Photo Friday to check out the other great photos.

Friday, December 01, 2006