Monday, March 31, 2008

Window in the Grassmarket Vintage shop
Such a beautiful day here. I sat out with my journal, coffee and enjoyed the warmth and the blue skies.
Its partly due to coming here relatively late in life from SA but we've always been taught to make the most of the weather here when its good. To extract every drop of pleasure. Its a good way to live.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The mighty friday night

Yesterday I met a friend at the library - I was hoping to pick up the copy of Michael Pollen's In Defense of Food that I'd ordered. But it wasn't ready for collection so I picked up a few other books and we walked down Leith Walk together. My friend wanted to go and pick up spices at the Chinese supermarket. It was fantastic incredibly good value. I restricted myself to bayleaves, jasmine tea and rock sugar for the princely sum of £1.99 while she ment mad in the spices section. I'm definitely going back there to stock up. Then we kept on walking and disappeared into secondhand furniture shops as I'm looking out for a chest of drawers. (I've lived without one for 8 years I can probably live a bit longer). Sadly as we were late in the afternoon the butcher and fishmongers were closed but Fruit Heaven was open and I bought 3 avocados, an artichoke and some ginger for £2.10. Then I went to Lidels with friend and put an end to shopping as I was weighed down by library books. But I do feel bad that I don't support independent local shops more in my area and I should make more effort instead of sticking to Scotmid.

Then my friend persuaded me to go to Ocean Terminal where she lives for coffee and then it merged into dinner and Dirty Sexy Money and oh joy of joys a Mighty Boosh Compilation DVD. I keep on falling over the two protagonists when I'm in London - they must live near my friend Sarah - I loved it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

its an old file and I can't move it around - just do some desk yoga... its Manly Beach Sydney

good stuff

Half day at work. I'd cleared my afternoon for time with The Cutest Neice (TM) but she has not arrived yet. So went for a walk at Porty with a friend - gosh it was stunning today. Beautifully bright with large banks of fluffy clouds rolling across the sky. After walking along the beach we went to the pet shop to view the latest in kitten collars as her kittens have divested themselves of their collars. What a nice afternoon.

Came home sat outside with more knitting - so near yet so far to finish blanket... I was using some shetland wool which I bought at the new knitting shop in Edinburgh K1 in the West Bow. Very lovely shop with many gorgeous wools, bags and wooden crochet hooks. And a scheme where by you get a loyalty card and a stamp for every £10 spent. I've already worked my way up to two stamps.

Helped Polish lodger fill out application form and then had to lie down and have a rest while listening to The Archers. Walking on the sand is actually quite tiring.

Cat sleeping beside me on the shelf paws crossed under her chin. Off to soak my feet in Dead Sea Salts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great discussion about really horrible jobs

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Quick links

At last The Little Red Blog of Revolutionary Knitting

and 1001 Journals the 1000 Journals extended - I've even managed to sign up for one

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Monday

No chocolate left. Beautiful day I tried to sit out with my morning pages but it was too cold even with a coffee in hand. Retreated indoors, threw clothes into the washer they should dry beautifully in this cold but dry weather.

Busy week and weekend. Working fulltime really cuts into my day... Yesterday saw two films The Son of Rambeau (lovely a bit tvish but sweet all the same and even sweeter that it was a free screening) then The Dybukk at the Filmhouse. I helped organise a screening of Yiddish films there which has grown out of my Yiddish class - more info here. My Yiddish teacher was worried that the screening would be very quiet but after a bit of emailing it was about 80% full. In the evening I went to a lecture by Barry Davies on Yiddish Film which was fascinating. There are apparently only about 150 surviving examples so I could easily set a project of seeing them all.

Sat I saw the Ansel Adams exhibition at the City Art Centre. My friend wanted to go to the Dean Gallery but I couldn't face the walk and cold. It was great seeing the Adams pictures in the flesh so to speak after so many years seeing them reproduced but I'm sad to say I really miss seeing exhibitions on weekdays. The entire place was filled with couples who seem to think that visiting an art exhbition is a great place to a) exibit to your potential mate that you are a good catch by being interested in art and b) just how much you love them by standing in front of the exhibits glued to each other fondling bits of each other to prevent the single exhibtion visitors from viewing the exhibits.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

In honour of Spoon Cafe and meeting R & B there on Friday afternoon. Lemon cake yum !

Friday, March 21, 2008

Polaroid Roundup

Article in the NY Times about how despite its being phased out polaroids are becoming cooler.

Also via 52projects - Save Polaroid Blog

Finally My Polaroid Blog which makes me wish I'd got into polaroids... but part of me wonders if I'm just envying here west coast lifestyle!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cult of the Holga camera - article at the Independent.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Allow yourself to create badly

Just spent an hour trying to write a first draft of a book outline. Ghastly. Dreadful. Just sent it via email to my collaborator, cringing internally.

But I also know that everything starts off unattractive and misshapen its the first step in creating something.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Roses all around metaphorically speaking today.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Maggie Nelson interview

CV: What's the most helpful creativity technique you know?
MN: I know there are many who believe in the Trollope school of thought, that one should wax one's ass to the chair and spit out novels or sestinas or whatever without waiting around for that elusive, romantic, ghost-in-machine, inspiration. But for me the work of being a writer is the easy part. I like being at work. What I like less are the soggy, ill-defined but probably necessary periods between monsoon and drought. The periods of silence, inactivity, and aimlessness that inevitably punctuate a life. Being possessed is pleasurable -- it feels good to lose control of the car while also somehow staying behind the wheel. But abiding with a dead or resting or paused brain, or numbness, or ordinariness, or sanity -- that's harder for me. So the best trick I know has less to do with tapping into creativity and more to do with cultivating the capacity to live without it. To let it go, and not feel as if the plug has been pulled on life. This abiding demands a certain kind of acceptance: If it is better that I write something again, let me write something again. If it is better that I never write again, let me never write again. (The prayer I'm cribbing from actually requires a more radical acceptance: If it is better for me to be dead, let me be dead.) I wouldn't call this a trick, exactly; it's more of a renunciation.
Poet Anthony McCann didn't teach this to me, but he smartly reiterated it to me the other day. We were talking about these periods, and he just said something simple like, the hard part is learning how to bear them. Just knowing that someone else is up against a similar problem is often enough to help me in a profound way. More profound, probably, than any nugget of advice. Neither he nor I, as relative newcomers to Los Angeles, has yet figured out how to write about the city, so we keep taking long hikes at dusk, looking for coyotes, and, at the summit, staring in awe at the ridiculous expanse of the city below. Waiting for the lights to come on, I guess. There is no guarantee that they will, but every time I've been up there, they have.

More here

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I've taken quite a few pictures in loos - as I use them as handy places to load more film.

interview with Keri Smith

CV: How do imperfection and impermanence influence your work?

KS: Our culture teaches us that there is a standard that is most desirable and that things that are imperfect are less desirable. You can also see this applied to the emotional realm -- dark, ugly, or negative emotions are deemed dysfunctional; if we are not happy, we need to take a pill to feel better. So we all grow up with some kind of ideal that really has nothing to do with our personal beliefs or reality (accepting what actually exists and saying, "I am not perfect, and that is okay").

Over time we create a set of standards that none of us can possibly live up to, and so we have a tendency to beat ourselves up or become critical with much of what we attempt (which leads to depression). The goal for me at some point became to examine those imperfections, in the emotional realm but also in my creative life. I used to become frustrated when I would make a mistake or when a drawing didn't turn out the way I had intended. This is a natural part of creating, but I wanted to consider what would happen if I approached it from the perspective that those imperfections are not just beautiful but actually the thing necessary to make my work unique.
This is where the need to treat everything as an experiment came in. If you watch children creating, they often treat everything as an exercise where everything that happens is just a part of the exploration process (not a means to an end). It is adults that place value on the final product; children see it more as a journey -- "What if I add blue to the page?" Through my own research process I was introduced to the work of John Cage, who in his own work had tried to incorporate the concept of indeterminacy, a process by which the control of the artist is given over to some other means (decisions are determined by chance operations, such as dice, I Ching, or randomness). I became interested in this concept as a way for [me] to let go and not have to control the work.

More Here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

away in London

Back this evening - amazing dark stormy skies as the train sped north.

Very busy trip.

Thursday - Derek Jarman Exhibiton at the Serpentine Gallery. Big big artist hero of mine and when I wrote to him when I was at uni he sent me a book of his by return post. Then to Photographers Gallery and saw amazing photographs of the US in the 70's. I know I should link properly but tired... Went to Chinatown and bought loose green jasmine tea in a gorgeous yellow tin £2.80. Resisted Hello Kitty sweetie tins.

Friday visiting the niecelet in Cambridge. Feeding herself by spoon - this included feet which had a good layer of strawberry organic yoghurt on them. Nap and then woke up early very very cross until we put her into her new trike - it has a handle for mommy to push her - but she thinks its all her own work. Park, swan feeding, swings, a giving a little boy who climbed onto her trike a very hard stare.

Friday night - back to London, birthday party. Sat into Hoxton for my friend's Short Film Production course, assistant failed to turn up so I man door, wash cups and make coffee. Sat night went with friend to town and end up sitting in on a film biz meeting in a casino. Very intriguing. Film person's mum runs the casino so went there as we could have free dinner. Very nice food - I suppose they want to keep the clients on the premises losing money rather than leaving for food. I'd never been inside a casino so it was very interesting.

Sunday course, dinner with another friend. Today went through Bloomsbury on my way to the London Review of Books Shop - totally soaked in a torrential downpour - free umbrellas are pretty useless.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Chinese Lantern Festival

I went to this at the Botanical Gardens tonight - feels a little crazy when I'm going to London tomorrow and haven't packed or charged mobile or found the essential A-Z.

It was spectacular and we made origami lillies and floated them on the pond. Afterwards we went and had Dim Sum. I hope my friends pictures come out ok as I only took the lomo.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who, she thought,
wouldn't want
to be friendly towards

In the park

a collie worries

the purple crocuses.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The cat lies
on the computer monitor
warming the pixels below.

World Beach Project

Saturday, March 01, 2008

knitting recipe

For the blanket recipe

see picture below a few entries

Cast on 89 stitches.

Next row knit two together, then knit 19, knit 3 together repeat until end of row and then knit two stitches together.

Knit next row.

Knit two together, then knit 17, knit 3 together repeat until end of row then knit two stitche together

knit next row.

Change colour

Same as above but knit 15 along.

All the time each second row reduce the knitting by 2 stitches, soon you will see the 'corners' of the square develop. Change colour every 4 rows. Once you are knitting only one stitch inbetween the 3 stitches knitted together, knit three stitches together x 3 and then knit the last 3 together and cast off. Sew up the seam with the tail from casting on.

I have decided that once my first baby blanket is finished to graduate to bigger needles so my next blanket is quicker.