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Ciao!

To Venice…yes, you heard right. I’m in this lovely city for two nights. I booked a cheaply flight ages ago and was coming out to go to the Bienniale but instead I have spent my time at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Why Peggy? Well, I haven’t written about it yet but I was a contestant on a British TV show called Mastermind recently. Now this is a BIG THING for me…I have watched MM since I can remember and have harvoured a fantasy of being a contestant for years. Reader, I did it.

I applied a couple of years ago and to cut a long story short, was accepted out of loads of entries and filmed my episode over the Summer. You can find a link to it (episode 13) here. My specialist subject was the wonderful Ms Guggenheim so I felt duty bound to go and pay my respects.

What a wonderful place. I stayed almost all day. Really, you have to go if you get the chance. My phone is charging at the moment so I can’t post the photos but I will return. Just wanted to get this down while I can. See, I’m trying to be sensible!

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Treacle

I am in treacle and that’s not a good thing. I am trying to stride through life, I am trying to maintain momentum. But I realise I have to, and I mean HAVE to, pare it down, strip it out and get back to my core. Back to the most important things in my life….family and art. That’s it. So although I have done a LOT of decluttering and reorganising recently I still have a way to go and I have to re-examine what I spend my time on.

I am also taking part in a pilot online self management programme for Parkinsons’ uk which I will update you guys on as soon as possible. It’s great though and has shown me how rich and varied my life and experiences can continue to be. New spins on old thoughts and shared experiences are challenging my assumptions.

Put these two shake ups in my life at the same time and you have a chaotic mix, throwing me around but, hopefully, leaving me at rest in a better place. I’m still slewing aroundbut am trying to get my new bearings and they are falling into place.

Life is so valuable and rare, I want to grab it even harder but the skill I have to learn is how to embrace it without taking in too much. And how to remember to take my meds. Important one, that.

axis

Let’s try to explain what the past couple of months have held by considering maths’ interpretations. stay with me on this one…

Space is defined by three coordinates based along 3 axis, x, y, z – get those three positions on the three axis and you can pinpoint where you are. now add in time as a fourth dimension and you can plot your position and your journey. so far so good.

Now, what happens if you are plotting along and then somebody starts messing with the axis – the past positions you carefully documented are now no longer relevant to you, now or in the future  because you can no longer compare the present with the past – if you had apples in the past, you have pears now.

Imagine now that this misalignment is then compounded – what if the scales on each axis were amended, randomly, with no proportionality to each other. Chaos right? now you can’t even plot where you are and the future is similarly impossible to plan.

interestingly however, the plotted points themselves will find it nigh on impossible to understand the implications of these changes – they are too close to see the curve on the axis, the flexing of the scales. They just know they exist and that they are ‘here’ .

Well, that’s what life has been like recently…I was/am a plotted point if you like, my axis have been distorted and I have only recently realised. I am changing that. The result is disorienting but it is also rejuvenating because, now I know which way is really up, I can stop having to compensate for my skewed position.

I know I seem to be speaking in some kind of convoluted metaphor but I have found the comparison between life and maths to work quite elegantly. My goal now is to straighten my lines of sight and to find a new normal.

Revamp

It's October, the air is crispier and so is my life. Stitch Towers is under new management (mine) and life is both challenging and stimulating. I am middle aged, I admit it, but I have never had to fend for myself until now. It's not a barrel of laughs but I'm not drowning quite yet. I am unhealthily interested in household organisation tho. I admit.

This whole experience is making me realise that despite the plethora of domestic bliss/homemaking blogs, books and advice, what goes on behind closed doors will remain a mystery until we choose to disclose. And most of us don't choose. So, the stories I have been hearing recently from friends who have trusted me will in the main remind hidden. And that means that the perpetrators of domestic unhappiness will continue unhindered and will never truly understand the impact of their behaviour. I come from a quite well healed area where middle-class guardian readers like to drink their Pinot Grigio wine sitting in their beautiful gardens. But that image is just that, an image. Such unhappiness and frustration can lie underneath it all.

I am choosing to walk away from unhappiness. I hope this blog will become happier and more frequent as a result. I have missed you guys.

Interim

So, you wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've been up to recently. Just haven't been able to share it. Will do soon as I can but suffice to say television programmes are involved… One arts -based and the other one more intellectual. Both excellent fun.

In other news, school holidays are upon us once more. This is I think the eighth year I have blogged on the subject and I'm not going to say much except that this year is a little bit more exciting. Why? Well, two reasons as follows: Elder has now left primary school and is going to start at secondary school in September… Can't quite believe it. And secondly, we are about to go all around europe together (me and the boys) into railing. Yes, I'm taking Elder and little one inter railing. Wish me luck i'm going to need it!

And me? Well I had a illuminating conversation yesterday with my very good friend, the child whisperer. She said that the reason why she wasn't very good at looking after things or putting herself first was because she never thought she was worth it. And it made me realise, I always jeopardise what I do and sabotage it for exactly the same reasons. I never think I can do things even though I know theoretically I should be able to. And actually, I've proved to myself with my recent gallery opening and studio complex that I can do it. So, at the risk of sounding like a L'Oreal advert, I am going to try and remind myself that I can do things and that I have value. Big decision for me. Huge.

Grab

ive been absent for a while, not in spirit but in keyboard dexterity. I e been so busy that all my energy has been used up by the end of the day so I can’t even tap a quick post out. But, I have done SO SO SO much….just listen…

  • opened my art space for emerging (for which read skint) artists;
  • held 3 shows;
  • Rented out 90% of the studio space;
  • designed and completed my son’s school yearbook (it’s at the printer now….I can’t wait to see it)
  • prepared for and appeared on an art based TV competion; and
  • prepared for and just filmed an appearance on a general knowledge quiz show that is very famous and very cool….and I did not embarrass myself with a low sad score. I got a good score and can confirm I did not come last.
  • Got recognition for my artwork from unrelated third parties i.e. Not family
  • got an A for my university work this semester…yay!

and the boys and I are busy prepping for a trip around Europe on interrail. We go in about 2 weeks. That’s an adventure!

So, please know that my abscence has been due to activity rather than torpor – I may be whacked but I’m not beaten. Ever.

People soup

Porridge tastes better in the dawn

As water drips off my wetsuit 

a chorus of chatter, of laughs and faint screams 

and make mine a chocolate and don’t hold the cream.

the sun slowly lighting us up as it lifts 

and time is so precious 

So relish the gift 

and soon we’ll return to real life – The rat race 

But this is my bubble

A bright shiny place. 

 

Lucky number

So, as I said last time, I’ve started a new arts space here in stitchopolis. It’s my new baby and I’m loving it. I’ve come to realize That the genesis of this venture is a massive step for me. For Once instead of saying ‘one day I will do that’ I’ve just got up and done it. It had made me so much more Confident in other areas of My Life and has left me way more appreciative of my friends and network. 

Yesterday I went to a street party being held round the corner from the unit. I knew so many people, all for different reasons- it was lovely. And me and my business were right there in the middle of it. Great. 

I also met someone who was struggling with life and just needed to offload and breathe again. I am still stressing on a daily basis but omg life is so much better than this time last year even. 

So I guess this post is to mark my recognition that I’ve come a LONG way in the lifetime of this blog (7years!!) and that means j can continue to go even further….cool, an adventure!! 

Now

I have a confession to make, I have another love in my life. I have been working on another venture and this weekend it took flight. I am now the founder of an arts space here in Stitchopolis. Can you believe it??  Check it out here

Hope you like!