Monday, 31 January 2011

Art and cake and plans ahoy

Cornwall coast
It's been a surprisingly fruitful, if not frustrating week. The reality of not having a job is fast becoming annoying, exacerbated no doubt by the unfortunate turn in writing towards a feeling of it being, well, homework. Some not so exciting artists and some works so well-known it is impossible to write anything original about them without six months of intensive research and even then it would still risk sounding familiar. Am pushing through but the rate of productivity has severely slipped so this week needs to be tackled with the sort of bloody minded ruthlessness usually applied to a dessert chasing five courses and a cheese platter. And yes, I probably will end up feeling just as ill at the end of it.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Art and pesto... the art of pesto?

I don't know where the last week has gone but wherever it went it went quickly.

For the most part I have been at home, sitting at the little desk LB procured for me, writing diligently if not excessively about portraits, artists and the 21st century. I don't know if it's the magic of the desk, or the submission to total art submersion but I have really got a buzz from the writing I've accomplished this week.

Adrian Ghenie, Pie Fight Study 2, 2008

Thursday, 20 January 2011

London days and dates for one

It's been a week now since returning to - gasp, sunny! - London. Note I didn't say "warm" London but sunshine seems a conciliatory gesture, especially at this time of year and so I will simply be thankful. For the sunshine and for socks.

Lovely Boy is back to work and I too am hard at work, trying in vain to get my part of the book as finished as I can as soon as possible. Which has meant since I began last Friday, writing the equivalent of an essay a day. We're talking 3000 words and if today is proving anything to go by, just as many calories too, and even at this rate I still don't think I'll be finished by the end of the month. It's the ultimate submersion therapy for my procrastination problem to say the very least...

I do feel inspired though and had a really positive day at the gallery yesterday with some affirming feedback and I just keep envisioning the book, finished, published and in my hot little hand. Full0time paid employment currently escapes me, not for lack of trying, but hopefully something will come up soon enough, especially if I want to get my travel plans shuffling along.

Last weekend was really lovely. LB and I went to Chinatown for dumplings and steamed pork buns and a series of serious conversations about being Grown Up and The Future (this is not code for babies by the way, fuck no, rather, an allusion to talk about life plans and where to live and how to buy a house when you have no money and, if you're me, no immediate prospects for le cashflow problem. And now that I've explained it, it isn't even an allusion. It's just a long sentence. Sigh.)


Anyway, the weekend. Sunday I left the B at home, because for some crazy ass reason he "hates" East London and I went back to my old stomping ground in search of flowers, flea markets and Antipodean coffee. I can't say it enough but I love the Columbia Road flower market. And I love East London because even with all its grimy grossness there is some stubborn charm in there and I miss it. Loads.

getting arty with the iphone...
I did come home laden with flowers however and a promise to myself that I would take myself on a date each week, just me and London, chillin', hanging out, seein' some Stuff. A necessary social arrangement really if I am to make this year as worthwhile as I want it to be and a date tomorrow night with some girlies from The Retail Job should be just the tonic to my floral gin.

What I do have to do tomorrow, is not eat my way through 3000 words and somewhere in there try to get to the pool for a head clearing, arm toning (?....) swim. At this moment in time a truck full of Snickers bars wouldn't get me there but tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully a sunny new day.

still getting arty...

Friday, 14 January 2011

Redbull and lipstick

There can be nothing surer in life than when in the company of jetlag and flattened misery, small doses of a highly caffeinated beverage and a smear of red Chanel lipstick can save a girl's ass. This would be me. Hello London.

The last few weeks in Sydney went by ridiculously quickly and were punctuated by very little in terms of excitement. Just family time, some Pittwater time and a fleeting, rather disappointing, cameo back in the Bondi hood for an honorary dip. I'm glad I didn't hype it up or I would have been epically disappointed, as opposed to just mildly bummed. It was like the Central line at peak hour out there past the waves - shoulder to shoulder with people in your face every which way you swam - and instead of well thumbed now abandoned Evening Standards getting tangled about your feet it was seaweed. Seaweed. At Bondi. It was equal parts disappointing and just plain insulting. Thankfully though the sun appeared after we had emerged from the water....

I hated saying goodbye to Nan. Hated it but she wouldn't be the matriarch she is without some sensible, sage advice, some encouragement, a huge hug and and an all-knowing understanding of what belongs where in the world. Which, apparently, is me in London.

I didn't much like saying goodbye to Mum at the airport either and sobbed all the way through customs. Thanks to a last minute re-pack at check-in because of the additional seven kilos I tried to get away with my jewellery pliers unknowingly ended up in my carry on. Only to then end up in a bin at security. I was all cried out at that point to really give a shit but nonetheless it wasn't helpful. Accessories as weapons of mass destruction? I hardly think so people.

The flight back was fine. If by fine you mean economy and a first leg Sydney to Singapore seat that didn't recline. We both managed a bit of sleep on the second leg but yesterday was a looong day. There's only so much faffing a girl can do to keep herself awake and by 7 o'clock I was so sick of smacking Lovely Betrothed Boy on the arm and telling him to wake up that we just went to bed. I woke up at 11.15pm and then again at 3am and then again at 6am and may have had another little cry.

I've kicked my own butt since then, with the aforementioned help of caffeine-related substances, Chanel, a twirl through the shoe floor at Selfridges (for medicinal purposes only of course) and a ream of lists. I've chased up a job interview, sent my CV to a recruiter or two and bought a calendar for the kitchen. Now to fill it with art dates, play dates, theatre dates and hopefully a holiday or two.

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm hoping that once the jetlag goes the misery and flatness will take a hint and sod off too so I can get on with the year and my list of lists.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Why hello, 2011

It's so refreshing to start the new year without a hangover. Or a hungover LBB. New Years Eve was blissfully uneventful but perfect in its mix of good food, ribald family conversation and champagne before fireworks on the television and an hour of bad eighties video clips. Couldn't have been more middle aged. Couldn't care less.

The cicadas are harmonising, the sun is shining and I am contemplating the year ahead. Resolutions for me ultimately become things to berate myself about mid-to-late year for a complete lack of application that has seen any of them materialise but despite being in much the same boat as last Christmas (read: basically unemployed and lacking any real certainty vis a vis The Long Term Plan) I feel excited about this year and am looking forward to seeing what evolves. Short of calling them resolutions, I have some Things I'd Like to Make Happen this year and with any luck I can do just that.