Saturday, March 31, 2007

A confession

My week of being ill and out of sorts. I've spent so much time surfing - checking up on 'boyfriend' gawker etc rather than just being ill. Isn't that an art? Learning to be ill rather than running away from it - distracting myself from it?

I keep on making plans despite being ill. Today I got up very late sat outside and drank coffee and wrote my morning pages. I wrote how I'd do lots of housework and finally SORT OUT THE FLAT! Meanwhile cats jumped up and down on me, I chatted to neighbours over the fence. I went inside and blogged. Eventually I left the house (it is an utterly gorgeous if cold day) to buy supplies and on the way posted some postcards to students and friends. As I stood staring at the box (quelle horreur! our postal service is to become even more spotty) I was surprised by an ex-lodger of mine who appeared out of the Central Bar. (Fantastic place amazing 19th tiles on the wall, and made - well -celebrated by Irvine Welsh).

We had a chat and I expounded my general gloom and malaise due to illness / work / life. He suddenly said 'Do you have 3 minutes?' so I found myself in William Hills trying to decided which horse to but a bet on at Uttoxter 5.30. In the end the Bunnotted Belle despite being third for some of the race was trounced. Not that I should have been surprised at 18 to 1. Anyway for the 5 mins or so the race was being run and our horse was doing well I had this surge of exhilaration.

Of course after it lost I put the bet in my bag and trotted off to get my messages.

I put in a whole sleugh of emails this afternoon trying to organise get togethers and take my mind off the way I feel. Oddly enough after this serendipitous encounter I think I'll stop. I'm making my dinner I'm going to enjoy eating it and just veg out with my knitting hopefully not too terrible TV and stop feeling guilty about surfing for pictures of my 'boyfriend'. Basically stop fighting to make myself they way I feel I ought to be.

Natalie Goldberg: Painting and writing

Natalie is the author of the fantastc book Writing Down the Bones which has had an enormous influence on how I see creativity. Some years ago she wrote a book called Living Color which was about her paintings and how when she gave up paiting she feel into a deep deep struggle with her writing. Ironically she had given up the painting in order to be 'serious' and 'commited' to her writing - which then suffered. Her paintings infused her writing. I wonder how many creative people need the infusion of something else to support their creativity. I find that a really dry life for me is one where I am not cooking anything of interest or I've stopped playing with wool.

Here's an extract from Natalie's book.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I offer you Gypsy Girl and Notebookism in lieu of a proper post. I keep on thinking of long and fascinating ruminations but they flit through my mind in a rapid rate and I've spent a week fighting this cold thing which is a losing battle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the global Artist Date

Join in ! Michael Nobbs has launched a Global Artist Date (fun outing to keep your artist juices running) which he calls The Global Shop. More info at his website.

But basically the idea is to go out to a seondhand shop/chartity/thrift shop set a abudget and buy something you would never normally buy send Michael a photo of the result and he will upload it.

My trip resulted in the postcards above but I didn't find anything on my travels so perhaps time to try again to do the Global Shop.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Little Sparta

now seems to have an official website. Plus a minibus service once a week but only starting in June.

Standing in our own shadows

Our shadows are elongated on the ground; the things that we ourselves are holding are making shadows that cast us in darkness. I could write that book, but… I could finish my PhD, but…. Shadows all, cast by ourselves.
I wonder if I am casting my own shadows all the time and don’t realize it. Am I constantly shifting to the left to get out of a shadow that I, in fact, have cast? Am I holding up something that blocks my own sun?
“Alas! must it ever be so? Do we stand in our own light, wherever we go, And fight our own shadows forever?” wrote Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton. We are fighting our own shadows. Need it be forever?
“Thus shadow owes its birth to light,” wrote John Gay in The Persian, Sun, and Cloud. Enjoy the light and embrace your shadow. If you turn away from the light, you’ll never see the shadows. Don’t blame the shadow on others. Sometimes others overshadow us, but often we are standing in our own sun. Sometimes, we are holding things up in front of us that block the sun. Just sometimes.

from 37 days

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hermits & Termits

I was early for an appointment and took the opportunity to spend 15 mins exploring a part of Edinburgh which I never normally go to.

I went to St Leonard's at first attracted to seeing Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat ( I do find it amazing that there is such a large geological phenomenon right in the heart of our city). St Leonard's is also famous for being the polis station of Inspector Rebus! But what attracted me was going up close to Hemits and Termits a lovely 18th Centuary Villa which is surrounded by flats and tenements - it seems to have been forgotten and over looked. I took some photographs and for the first time saw that in front there was a monument to the Battle of Waterloo. See what you miss in a car or bus? Then I caught my breath for 5 mins on a thoughtfully placed bench before going on with my day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

where did my creative oomph go?

I fear I may have left it on the bus. I've been quite unbalanced recently work is taking over and the creative bits are being squeezed and becoming a bit pedestrian.

I've tried to take this into hand. A splurge on medium format film at the weekend. A delightful discovery of a wool stash for my next crafty project. But I think I need to organise an Adventure. A bit of travel always perks up my creative oomph.

When the blahs hit I find treating myself to some creative supplies, adding in some 'artist dates' ie seeking out the new and different help to revive the spirit.

In the meanwhile Wishcasting.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

How to be an explorer of the world

1. Always be looking (notice the ground beneath your feet)
2. Consider everthig alive & animate
3. Everything is interesting
4. Alter your course often

13 things to consider over at Keri Smith

My first thought was how all of them could be related to the practice of photography and secondly how many of them relate to the artistic practice of my friend S in London. She takes a space and explores its memories and brings them out. Often places which look most bland like hospitals are built on poorhouses and have a rich and traumatic history but their surface would deny this.

quiet due to

spring cleaning, in a very slow fashion. But found a whole load of stuff I didn't realise I had more wool which is handy for a creative crafty project. Being out and about in the cold spring air. I'm going for a picnic this afternoon but indoors!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The normal way of living

Yes at last a book of real interiors.

Knitted inspiration MasonDixon Knitting. Find US knitting blogs much more inspiring.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Now this really isn't a very good picture but its my completed baby blanket for my niece - the one L helped me sew up recently. It looks much better in the wool so to speak.


A great post by Keri Smith on the coming of Spring and the importance of it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The Holga pictures which I've posted below are only the second lot of holga photographs I've processed. The first lot I did on Boxing Day two years ago after getting my new camera. Then I mislaid the holga in my flat. Any way it resurfaced a few months ago - luckily as my lomo is in need of repair. I've taken about 10 rolls since but have only had the money to process on roll. I took out the holga last week to photograph my Global AD as suggested by Michael Nobbs on an email group we are both on. In the end I didn't find anything I wanted to buy enough so didn't complete that part of the AD but did take photos of the two charity/secondhand shops I visited. I struggled changing the film looking at that view of the Castle before I could take a photo. It was so cold that day but unusually bright. I'm used to my lomo and the way it affects picture colours. I thought my holgas would have the same kind of intense colours. I didn't realise that they would come out so blurry and indistinct.

When I first got my lomo I put many many films in which never came out at all. Yes entire rolls of film came back blank. It was a long time before I got the feel for the mechanism and became at one with my lomo. I realise I'm at the same stage with my holga I'm going to have to go on a long learning curve with it. Being creative needs a learning curve often quite long where you allow yourself to 'waste' film and experiment and experiment and learn. Too many people have a low threshold for learning and never get to grips with a new technique or a skill as they sheer repetitiveness of getting something right is something they will not allow themselves some patience.

However my day of mixed results was lovely I walked around town soaked in sights, tried on a few items, enjoyed the fresh air, had tea and cheesecake, bought a glossy magazine. Learning can be pleasurable.

Finally if I remove my blinkers about what I think these pictures ought to look like and just look as them as they are - are they really that bad? Again we torture ourselves when creating but instituting in our heads a way our creations should be instead of accepting what we do create might be different but is it any lesser? I'm reminded of being in an edit suite and looking at what rushes are available. The worst attitude is to sit and say 'Why didn't we get X' but instead to work with what is there.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Great post by Danny Gregory - very very funny.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Posie Gets Cozy

going the grannie-along - that is crocheting one of those traditional blankets with squares. Her colour selection is utterly delicious.

Deidre is back!

Who is Deidre? My double... I've never met her but first came across her a few years ago when someone ran down the street shouting 'Deidre ! Deidre!' and seemed puzzled that a) I was reluctant to stop and b) when I did stop that I was not actually Deidre. Well today I was early for an appointment so sat in the window of a cafe on South Clerk St. A bus pulled up the lights and an Asian woman banged and waved her arms at me and mouthed 'See you next Wednesday' and I mouthed back and shrugged my shoulders 'I've no idea who you are '. Yes I did look around the cafe to check that there wasn't someone right behind me cheerfully reciprocating - but no I was the only one in it. My conclusion ... Deidre is back ! and she's meeting someone on Wednesday. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

This may be an image of the inside of my head at the moment. A morass of things shifting about with no clear picture.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday, March 05, 2007

Victorian terraced house Surrey Hills Sydney

Knitting again

or at least sewing up a bunch of squares I'd made of this pattern to make a baby blanket for the new niece. I'd began to suffer a 'fear of finishing' - do other knitters have this problem? So I invited L to an impromptu Stitch and Bitch to get over it. We laid out the squares on my kitchen table. Rearranging them to get the best effect. Got out out needle and thread and ate cake and got to work. L left before it was finished but I did the last few seams while watching TV. I have to say it looks pretty damn good. I took it to my mom today to transport to niece and she will crochet a border tonight. I've taken a photo and hope it comes out because 'eat your heart out Kaffe Fassett!'


Made me wonder if there are any other situations where asking for someone to do something alongside you would help? Quilting and sewing bees are traditional. But what about taxathons? Swapping gardening. I've had a friend report swapping about to help out in decluttering. I'm sure there are creative situations which could be helped out as well especially the fear of starting. Sometimes it helps to phone someone or email and say 'I'm starting X - wish me luck' and then to check in again afterwards.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

I did go out adventuring and saw it over Portobello. I sat perched for a while on a groin watching it. Very red over the city. I took a few photos but I'm pretty sure they won't come out.

However it was wonderful sitting there listening to the surf pound the beach. Like an eternal heartbeat, then in the distance the lighthouses in the dark, the lights in Fife, the flares from Grangemouth.

Just before I left to get the bus I had a 'can I be bothered moment'. However I stood quite a while waiting for a bus (I didn't time things quite right). As I stood there I thought I saw a cat cross the road. It was actually a fox. He/she passed less than 4 foot away from me and trotted across the Links into the dark. I would have missed all that if I'd not roused myself.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

moon eclipse tonight?

One of my students told me about it yesterday so I'm hoping that it will be clear enough to see it tonight. Apparently it should occur abou 10.45.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The State Theatre Sydney where I got my lomo repaired when I was staying there.