Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ads

I've been looking at the job paper and I'm fast losing the will to live. Lots of sales stuff, completely above board I'm sure. Do I want a career that will start me off at £200 per week? Yes, of course I do. Do I believe that by delivering catalogues I'll be able to do it? Especially since I don't have a car? Ummm...no. There are those of you who will say I'm being very fussy, after all, there is no shame plucking and gutting turkeys on the run-up for Christmas, and it pays well. I know people who did it for a short space of time and people who do it for a living. I'm not that screwed up thanks. Looking at turkey's guts is not my idea of a good time. I know it needs to be done (though many vegetarians will disagree, don't shoot me, remember your argument about all life is sacred), but I'm glad it doesn't need to be me.

Out of curiosity, I've been looking at the Soulmates ads in the Grauniad. I can't help it. I find them fascinating. Men and Women trying to order partners, like they'd order a pizza (yeah and I'd like chicken wings on the side with BBQ sauce). The list of things they'd like from ethnicity, education to spirituality, it goes on and on. But it never seems to cover the important stuff that make or break relationships. Questions that we all wished had got answered sooner, rather than later. "When you're pre-menstrual does the cat move out?" and "When I'm pissed I think I'm a blind Romeo on steroids. Is it likely to be problem if I wake up in a cell with someone called Tracey after a night out with the lads?"

Craig's List personals has me rolling around the floor crying. Not only do you have the 'normal' ads, they cater for the spicier side of sexuality. Need a gimp, slave or a dominatrix? A guy put it out that he was willing to pay £80 for a pair of ladies knickers still warm. I realise now why I am unsuccessful with men. I am just dead boring.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Slow Blog Day

Not much happening at the moment except I finished my stint at the alternative health care clinic. As always it was quite entertaining. My boss thinks that he and I have the same relationship as Inspector Cluseau and Kato, he's very keen on martial arts and is trying to get my to join his club. I'll be wandering around trying to do stuff and he'll pounce from behind a door. Or I'll be talking to his wife and he'll walk in with his clipboard, and try take me down.

It's quite funny, I've worked for some seriously grumpy bosses in my time, drunken publicans throwing crockery and glasses around, but it's the first time I've been encouraged to retaliate. He was dead chuffed when I lumped him one with my dead cardboard roll. When it gets desperate I fend him off with a plastic bin. I will miss working there, they're good people to work for and the clients are a hoot.

Tomorrow is Thursday. It's job day in the local press. So wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Return of the 'C' Word

I was forced to threaten a client at work this afternoon. She said the 'C' word! Right in the middle of a busy waiting room. Honestly. She apologiesed immediately when she appreciated the extent of my disapproval. There really is no call for that kind of language in a public place. Especially with vulnerable members of the community waiting to be seen by the acupuncturist. Unfortunately, she did confirm rumours of certain festival cards in Next, and tonight I heard it on the TV. I just don't approve of that kind of language when it's not even bloody Autumn.

I did come across a hilarious article in the on-line Grauniad today. Apparently, career women make lousy wives. Career women are more likely to be grumpy, unfaithful and divorce their husbands than housewives. Apparently.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Baby Blogger

I woke up this morning, washed my hair and realised that the maternal hormones have chilled out again. Whew! I can't be doing with that at the moment. Life is interesting enough without me making it 10 x worse by wanting to reproduce on top of it. Thank goodness the rational side of my brain finally kicked in.

Anyway, over the weekend I've been having a look at other blogs and the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed I've added some other blogs in my links section. I think they're pretty fab. Girl with a One Track Mind, you've heard me talk about previously. There's now JonnyB in Norfolk, who is really witty, I love his droll humour. Petite Anglaise is another blogger who got 'dooced' (outed and fired for those who don't know), and her life in Paris. And for those who are fascinated with all things medical, Random Acts of Reality, the joys of being an ambulance crew in East London. Mike Carter and his mid-life crisis blog are a bit sporadic and the Observer don't seem to believe in maintaining a dedicated space, so I'll just keep linking his articles.

At the Baby Naming yesterday surrounded by academics and really creative, intelligent people. Perhaps I should introduce them properly. Yummy Mummy is a doctor (not medic), her Fab Hubby a nurse (the medical kind), her sister Truly Talented is wading her way through a Masters, her boyfriend The Bostonian is working on his doctorate, their mum My Best Friend is writing 2 books and is in the midst of recording another album, her husband Rockin Johnny plays bass round the county. Their two huge, boys are like older brothers to my boy, the eldest Loomer and the youngest Headbanger both play guitar and several other instruments.

ah yes...the Baby Naming. Surrounded by this excellence I had to field several enquiries as to how I'm getting on with my dissertation and project. Saying 'ummmm....' just doesn't quite cut it. Especially as My Best Friend has lent me several books to get me started. Time's cracking on, I've got another month and then I start my final year. Oh boy.

I've got 2 days work at the practice, and my Boss doesn't mind if I study when I'm not dealing with clients or the phone. I'm hoping it won't be long before I hear from the bus company. Being sponsored would be just great. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

PS...

Having a bit of trouble with the technology. It seems not to want to do what it's told.

Grrr....!

The comments box disappeared on the last entry, if you feel so inclined, leave a comment on this entry for the one beneath.

Clear as mud?

Look Out - Maternal Hormones!

I was okay. I kept it together. I was fine. Until....

Boy and I glammed up for this afternoon's Baby Naming. We got there in time, a bit of an amazement considering we are perpetually late for everything, kissed and hugged everyone in sight. Did I mention we are a tactile bunch of people? The Baby Naming ceremony was brilliant. Baby didn't protest too much at all, smiled loads and was incredibly sweet. We had sparkling wine, fruit cake to die for, more kisses. And then I held him.

*sigh*

He didn't mind me at all. He just chewed on my shoulder, pulled my hair and dribbled a lot (I've had worse dates like that). There is just something about the smell of baby, the soft fuzz on their heads, the wide-eyed wonder when they look at you. I look at my boy now, entering teenager-hood and I think back when he was that age. I no longer see the baby in him. Yes, I still get cuddles, but I think he's going to be an affectionate young man. I remember holding him in my arms and looking at the toddlers in the baby and mothers group and thinking 'how will he get from this, to running around like that?'. Now when I look at him, I realise it won't be long before he's doing his GCSEs and going off to uni. My baby. I wonder if he'll ever realise what a priviledge it's been, being his mum?

Parents have it so hard here. Mums and Dads are expected to work 40+ hour weeks, keep a perfect house, maintain a perfect lifestyle with piano, swimming and taekwondo. Do we really take the time to appreciate our children? Are we ever really given permission to acknowledge what a big deal it is to be a parent?

Maybe I am a complete sap, but to all you parents out there who read this, I raise my glass to you. Good on you!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Good Luck Charms

I have a friend down in the Big Smoke who needs 14 minutes to get ready. That's 14 minutes between opening eyes and leaving front door, and also includes coffee and ablutions. I am insanely jealous. It takes me 14 minutes to work up the courage to open my eyes.

Given that I had an interview this morning, I pulled out all the stops. Now my racial heritage is such that I am, shall we say, hirsute. And that is without the help that age brings. Now I always knew that men when they hit middle age develop nostril and ear hair which is quite foul. I've had to sit in meetings next to men whose glistening nostril hair were rather off putting. Or worse, hair sprouting on the outside of said nose. All I can say is their wives must really hate them, to let them leave the house looking like that. Eewww!

So, anyway, I defoliate myself which is a major undertaking at the best of times. Once that was done and I was washed and dressed I thought about nail polish. I 'oopsed' yesterday with some rah-rah pink polish for all of £1.00, which I have to say looks just fabulous on my toes. When I left the house I was sassy and brassy and ready to impress.

Except the manager was about 5 years older than my boy, was reluctant to even shake my hand and he started to stammer a lot. He said he'd ring me next week once he'd interviewed some other candidates. *sigh*.

So that's a 'no' then?

PS. People have said that they've tried to leave comments on the site but they've never been published. Can you try and leave a testing message so I can check if the technology is working?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pro-activia

I'm giving myself a good pat on the back. I'm feeling very pleased with myself. I did another shift in the NEAD shop this morning, I treated boy to deep fried cholesterol and we went shopping for some bits and pieces. On the way home I saw a notice in a jeweller's window and picked up an application form. When I got home I was busy-busy.

I rang the charity about boy's uniform and school trip and I was told that our application was successful! Yeah! I then rang up about a couple of jobs and I've got an interview at a local pub tomorrow. The hours aren't likely to be sociable, but, they are looking for top up staff for functions and emergencies and as Christmas grows closer there will be office parties galore. So, if I can get a job at the local shop and use the pub job as top up, it should work out quite well.

It looks like my ex-husband will lose his job, which is completely dire for our already dodgy circumstances. If I think about it for too long my hands go cold and my sphincter starts twitching. This is why I tend to stick my head in the sand, it's nice and dark down there. I know I'll be okay. I can pay my course fees in installments, and if necessary I'll stick it on my credit card. As long as I don't think about it, and just get on with it, I'll be fine. Nobody made me give up my well-paid job. It's my own damn fault. I will come out of this with a brilliant degree. I am determined, if a bit terrified.

For Hottie's amusement I read her some of the personals from the Grauniad and Craigslist. We had a bloody good laugh, which I think we both needed. But as I was going through the details of some of the guys (some of whom sounded really nice), I realised I've got bugger all to offer anyone at this point. I'm still getting over the last heavy relationship, I'm so completely flat broke, I don't know what I want to do when I grow up and I've got a bordering on teenage son. I think someone would have to be mad to want to have anything to do with me, I feel like such a mess.

It amazes me how much my confidence swings. It goes from one extreme to another. A bit like my life. But damn, I'd kill for a cuddle. Someone to lie and tell me it'll be okay, I haven't really fucked up my life chasing foolish dreams that aren't ever going to come true. Trouble is I'd know they were lying. My apologies for the self-pity. Fortunately, it's a new day tomorrow.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Financial Planning

Got today's paper, there are a couple of jobs in there which I'm going to go for, including bar work and an office type job. I've been enterprising and enquired at the local shop, the manager gave me an application form. I've also got to send off my CV to the lead I picked up yesterday.

So I've got lots to be getting on with. Hopefully, I'll find out tomorrow whether my application to the local charity has been successful, they should be helping me meet the cost of boy's school uniform which goes to hundreds of pounds plus a school trip. My fingers are still very crossed. And I'm still very stressed about it all.

Job Hunting

Tomorrow I start job hunting seriously. I am getting seriously freaked about not having some regular paid employment. I think it's the thought of not being able to finish my degree that's doing it. I'm back working at St Stephen's Practice for a few days, which is great, but it is only a casual thing and there are no hours going in September. I got a lead on another job, but it's only 8 hours a week, which on minimum wage is no good to man nor beast.

Thursdays is jobs day in the paper and there are some vacancies up at UEA to go for, plus there are the agencies to start badgering. I'm just hoping I can find something interesting enough, that pays enough with flexible hours. I suspect I'm asking way too much. So I'm willing to ammend the interesting.

In between clients, I've been spending sometime chewing over the concept of relationships. After I split up with my Significant Other I had an interesting chat with someone. In the same conversation she said we'd get back together after some time had passed, we were just angry with each other; the next part of the conversation she said I needed to be in a relationship, because I didn't know who I was, or could spend time on my own.

Now, I will freely own up to my neuroses, but I was a bit taken aback by this. I read some self-help books, thought a bit more about it. Being on your own is the 'way forward', you learn to love yourself that way. Apparently. Actually, being on your own requires a whole different skill set than making a relationship work on a day to day basis. Compromise, patience, understanding, good humour, acceptance...these are skills which can only be gained through a relationship. They need to be excercised and tested. By yourself it's easy to say 'I'm patient', especially if there isn't anyone there to say 'yeah right'. Intimate relationships bring vulnerabilities to the forefront, they involve an element of risk. An openess to another human being with the potential to reject you. A life without risk, how dull would that be? True no pain, but no real joy either. Nothing can flourish in a sterile environment.

I realise now a few months have passed, that I really like my own company. I like being able to sit for long periods of time and stare at nothing. I love my home. It's my hidey-hole. I've discovered that I need a lot of space in my relationships. I recognise I can be clingy and needy, but that comes from insecurity, it's not my base position.

I am hopeful for the future in a way that I've never been before. I am learning to accept today for what it is, the beginning of tomorrow. Of course there are some days that just plain suck, days I don't move off my futon, but they hold less power over me.

I think, all being said and done, I'm doing okay.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Clubbing in Liverpool

I thought I'd return to the Liverpool clubbing scene as it provided me with endless entertainment. Don't ask me the names of the clubs we went to, I was just following the person in front of me. Which was fine as I didn't get lost, but it did mean that when he went into the loo, I got a funny look.

The first bar we went into was a trendy aluminium and silver affair with industrial flooring and a draught like a hurricane. No seats, no cloak room, no tables. I propped myself up on the bar and made eyes at the barman who was just old enough to serve me. Bless him. He agreed to put my coat round the back and kept me in doctored fruit cocktails. I'm amazed, got drunk with Hottie and didn't offend any bar staff. It was really nice being able to chat to all of Hottie's work colleagues, who are very sweet and genuinely nice individulals who love Hottie to bits. How she's going to leave them I have no idea.

Then we were off. The next place was less trendy and pretentious. A packed bar with loud music and very predatory males. They must have had bladders like hamster's purses, they kept on pushing past, brushing past and pinching past. In the end I found that if I turned and faced them as they inched by, it kept their hands off. I wouldn't have minded but for 2 reasons. 1. They did it to every woman and 2. they could not be described in any way shape or form as cute, goodlooking or vaguely interesting.

The next bar we went to was playing the Best of the 80s and oh boy did I know all the words to the songs. We put our coats and bags in the middle of the floor and boogied all around them. It was great fun. I love dancing. I don't do it well, but it's never stopped me before. When I dance I don't drink so I don't even have that excuse. This bar was run by girl band rejects who refused to serve me, I got ignored at the bar for 15 mins, in the end I gave up. During the lift home I was told that all the Liverpool barmaids are like that. They don't like women customers. Fine.

Walking from that bar to where our ride was waiting I was surprised what a good atmosphere the city centre had. Lots of drunken people (of which we certainly were) but in the main it was a good vibe drunk. A guy who couldn't stand up straight stroking the nose of a patient police horse, his girlfriend holding him up and laughing with the other copper. The door supervisors smiling as we went past. I think if Norwich would be more like that, I'd certainly be tempted to go out more. It's got such undercurrents that the dancing isn't worth the hassle. Which is a real shame.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Quick Catch-up

This posting is going to be a bit abrupt. I'm pretty knackered and it's late and I can hear my bed calling me. I've done something silly with my shoulder and feeling hormonal on top of things is more than enough to be getting on with.

The journey to Liverpool was great. The train trip was direct and fascinating. I observed loads of different people and landscapes. I ended up making lists of everything that caught my eye. I wish I had a digital camera, I could have taken stills and motion film, so please note: my digital camera fund is now open, don't worry about Yule presents this year, all cheques, notes and coins gratefully accepted.

Met up with Hottie and trekked across Liverpool to the Tate gallery there. Saw Henry Moore and Bruce Nauman. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. We had to walk around with our hands in our pockets, the Henry Moore sculpture was so tactile. The Nauman was just amazing, because we'd got there late, they let us in for free and that was long enough. It was amazing seeing some of the pieces 'in the flesh' that I'd seen in books and on the internet. Got more arty cards and Hottie treated me to the exhibition book. She is fabulous and looks stunning with her new flirty-girl hair-cut. She rocks!

Needless to say we polished off 2 bottles of red that night, put the world to rights. Note to Self: remove mobile phone and any communicating devices when drinking. Too many silly texts flying around too late at night. Please Goddess, let my friends not be offended by my drunken communiques!

Spend Saturday in posh Tudor Chester. I would have loved it more had I not been feeling a tad fragile. Hottie, the cow, was bright and chirpy from 8.30. I had to go back to bed to prepare myself for the night out. I got invited to a work leaving do, of one of Hottie's colleagues. Good food, good company and then we went clubbing.

It's been years since I'd been clubbing and clubbing in Liverpool is different to Norwich. We had fun dancing up a storm. Liverpool doesn't seem to do cloakrooms, so we dumped bags and coats in the middle and danced around them. We dodged the drunken hens and stag nights, laden with blown up condoms and all wearing matching t-shirts. I think I'll have to dedicate another post just for the night out. oooo the suspence. But we had fun. Lots of it.

But it was good to be home. Especially after the trip back. Had to change at Nuneaton and Peterborough. I ended up in the middle leg of the journey, in the corridor, leaning against the train loo, squashed up next to a group of boys who looked like they were trying out for boy band of the year. All blonde, wearing the latest street gear, flashing their boxers and i-Pods. Not a fun way to spend an hour and a half.

Anyway, got home. Bliss! Got boy back, he's grown in the last 2 weeks. I'm working the next few days, the shock of it. Still waiting for feedback on my draft CV and begging letters. Fingers crossed.

Quick Catch-up

This posting is going to be a bit abrupt. I'm pretty knackered and it's late and I can hear my bed calling me. I've done something silly with my shoulder and feeling hormonal on top of things is more than enough to be getting on with.

The journey to Liverpool was great. The train trip was direct and fascinating. I observed loads of different people and landscapes. I ended up making lists of everything that caught my eye. I wish I had a digital camera, I could have taken stills and motion film, so please note: my digital camera fund is now open, don't worry about Yule presents this year, all cheques, notes and coins gratefully accepted.

Met up with Hottie and trekked across Liverpool to the Tate gallery there. Saw Henry Moore and Bruce Nauman. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. We had to walk around with our hands in our pockets, the Henry Moore sculpture was so tactile. The Nauman was just amazing, because we'd got there late, they let us in for free and that was long enough. It was amazing seeing some of the pieces 'in the flesh' that I'd seen in books and on the internet. Got more arty cards and Hottie treated me to the exhibition book. She is fabulous and looks stunning with her new flirty-girl hair-cut. She rocks!

Needless to say we polished off 2 bottles of red that night, put the world to rights. Note to Self: remove mobile phone and any communicating devices when drinking. Too many silly texts flying around too late at night. Please Goddess, let my friends not be offended by my drunken communiques!

Spend Saturday in posh Tudor Chester. I would have loved it more had I not been feeling a tad fragile. Hottie, the cow, was bright and chirpy from 8.30. I had to go back to bed to prepare myself for the night out. I got invited to a work leaving do, of one of Hottie's colleagues. Good food, good company and then we went clubbing.

It's been years since I'd been clubbing and clubbing in Liverpool is different to Norwich. We had fun dancing up a storm. Liverpool doesn't seem to do cloakrooms, so we dumped bags and coats in the middle and danced around them. We dodged the drunken hens and stag nights, laden with blown up condoms and all wearing matching t-shirts. I think I'll have to dedicate another post just for the night out. oooo the suspence. But we had fun. Lots of it.

But it was good to be home. Especially after the trip back. Had to change at Nuneaton and Peterborough. I ended up in the middle bit, leaning against the train loo, squashed up next to a group of boys who looked like they were trying out for boy band of the year. All blonde, wearing the latest street gear, flashing their boxers and i-Pods. Not a fun way to spend an hour and a half.

Anyway, got home. Bliss! Got boy back, he's grown in the last 2 weeks. I'm working the next few days, the shock of it. Still waiting for feedback on my draft CV and begging letters. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Muppet Moments

Today, has been an interesting mix of success and ranting, and a muppet moment I've got to share. I got my CV sorted and wrote my introductory letter, I've asked Alix if she wouldn't mind giving both a once over as she works in retail and I could do with the feedback before I start putting myself out there. Got an e-mail through about a writer's bursary that I knew G would be interested in. I intended just to drop it through the door, instead 3 hours of catching up later I head off to the library.

When I got back, she came around and looked over some writing I submitted last term. I desperately needed nitpick feedback. I was so frustrated. Last term, I wrote and wrote and worked really hard and I only ended up with a 2:1 for my efforts. Considering I had 2 tutorials and I was attending all of the class, and I was keeping my journal, I was pissed off. It didn't help much that the tutor's comments got lost in the post. So having G look over my work was just what I needed.

G is busy writing her own novel and is really good about taking pieces line by line and her feedback is excellent. She went through my pieces and her comments were just brilliant. I'm at the stage where I don't need my ego stroked, I need to know how to improve the piece of writing. I don't mind if someone shreds my work to bits, as long as it means the writing will be better, so be it. I am just so grateful that I have supportive friends and tutors routing for me. The general consensus is that my work is improving, so thank the Goddess, this heartache is worthwhile.

Anyway, I go to the College library, return my books. I look up the books my DS suggested. I try to find the first one. I can't find it. I check other shelves, other piles of books. I go ask for help. They can't find it either. I look for the second book. I can't find it. I check other shelves, other piles of books. I go ask for help. They can't find it either. The assistant says 'are you sure you don't have it?' He knows I have some books at home. He checks the computer. Oh yes. I have the wretched book sitting on my fecking bookshelf. I am such a muppet! Honestly. I apologised and apologised. Someone else I owe coffee. D'oh!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rewards

So I haven't quite done everything I intended, but I've pretty much done the important bits.

I wrote one begging letter to the bus company. I prostrated myself asking for sponsorship for this project and my CP says he will also write to them on my behalf. It would mean so much to be able to have a travel pass. My cash flow can't cope with any other expenses at the moment. So, fingers crossed. I'm hoping to get the letters in the post tomorrow. Watch this space. If it doesn't succeed I'm going to be rattling my tin cup at you.

I also wrote a project proposal. Well, actually, it is more of a project outline. It currently lacks a budget and a risk assessment, but as I'm doing it for my own edification, I'm not fussed. Doing the proposal was a brilliant exercise in focussing. I am now starting to build a framework from which the dissertation and project will be hung. Actually that's not right. I'm getting together a list to take to the hardware store. But that's okay, I've got lots of time still, even if it nearly is the end of bloody August.

An e-mail is now winging it's way to Mike Carter (him of the Observer Uneasy Rider series I've been going on about). I'm going to try and wangle an interview with him. See if riding around Europe on a BMW motorbike sorted out his mid-life crisis, or whether it merely postponed it. I must admit I think he's been extraordinarily honest in the first few articles. So, we'll see if he'll be interested in talking to me.

I'm going to have a shower, try and gather some energy together and polish up my CV. Next on the To Do List: job. I'm a great believer in rewards, I treated myself to a fish and chip supper, very greasy, way too tasty. I'm so naughty! A woman has to have some vices, such a shame that one will hang around my hips and bum for the next millenia.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Incoherent with Excitement

Before I go any further, can I just say 'I love my tutors'! My Dissertation Supervisor and my Creative Practice tutor, like totally rock. Totally!

I had a few minutes with my Super and he was interested about my idea to research the power behind Journeying. He gave me a couple of references and basically said go away and read. He wasn't at all concerned that my original idea bore no resemblance whatsoever to this idea, he said it sounds plausible, especially if I tie it in with an interesting context like the Motorcycle Diaries. So as far as that is concerned, I have to get off my butt and start reading like mad. Tomorrow is Library Day!

After that positive meeting, I then trouped down to see my CP and then he completely blew me away. He was enthusiastic about the ideas I've been playing with. I've come away from the tutorial with a mass of references, photocopies, a video and a promise to help me try to secure funding for my travel costs for the next year. He said to stick with what I'm doing. I've got to stop being such a control freak and give the idea the room to grow and develop within its own space. He's given me the name of a French artist who works with everyday experiences and the video is about her. He said it was such a good idea to link the dissertation and studio work, as it means that I'll have an excellent basis for my studio work, and my studio work will add more creative drive to the dissertation. Oh, he also liked the idea of me getting in touch with Mike Carter of the Observer's Uneasy Rider series that I've been following.

It is so good, being able to have direction and support. I have been feeling so lost in the wilderness. But having both tutors back my ideas, and even better, be enthusiastic and engaged in my project has given me such a boost. I feel like I've been given a cape and tights and I'm flying off to pulverise that plummetting asteroid.

Next on today's To Do List: write two begging letters, work on CV, and write project proposal. I've found a charity that might be willing to help me meet the cost of my books and materials for my dissertation and my CP suggested I should write to the bus company to ask whether they would consider giving me free reign of their Norwich service. My mate down South also suggested that I might write to Norwich Prison to see if they have any pagan clients, who I perhaps could work with. All in all I have a lot of things to be getting on with.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Lifting of the Fog

Somewhere between last night and this morning, the fog and darkness that has surrounded me for a month has lifted. It has given way to inspiration and energy, and oh boy does it feel good to be able to breathe freely again.

Tomorrow, I go to see my Creative Practice tutor and (I hope) my dissertation supervisor. I'm going to have to swap things around a bit. Journeying is taking such a cerebral route that I don't think I could find a way to convey it physically; it therefore makes sense to do a proper exploration as a dissertation. Which leaves me short of a Creative Practice project. I was writing an e-mail to my mate SW in Sri Lanka and my mind must have wandered because suddenly I had a Eureka moment. Somewhere in the depths of my subconsciouness little thoughts and ideas suddenly bumped into each other and there it was. Bang!

In my second term of Year 2, my prose submission was a monologue based on Gustav Klimt's Judith. Given that I really enjoyed the performance module last year, why don't I perform the monologue? How cool would that be?! It means I'd have to get to grips with lighting, sets, costume, props, camera work, not to mention being able to memorise an 8 page monologue. Oh and act it out.

I then started to think about what style to do it in. If I did it as an homage to Klimt, I would want to present it as a sumptuous, sensuous piece. Swathes of rich fabric, lots of bangles and jewelry, heavy on the khol. A bit like the character of Sybilla in Kingdom of Heaven. I'd also have the joy of finding out how to fake love-bites and scratches. Hmmm...I wonder who I could ask to help out? :-)

The other alternative would be to modernise the Judith myth. So that she would have to kill Holofernes the CEO. Costume would have to be PVC and leather, boots and suspenders (but not fish net stockings) the set would be an office. A bit Angelina Jolie from Mr and Mrs Smith. Both ideas would be fun. I can do most of the work myself, but I would need help with filming and the editing. Anyone free sometime during this and the early part of next year?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Junk Food and the Meaning of Life

Today I can honestly say, I haven't had anything resembling a normal meal. Mother Hubbard's cupboards are packed compared to mine. In the end I just gathered together foods I liked and hoped for the best. Yes, I did cut the mould off the tomato first. And anyway, everything was stir fried in olive oil, so obviously that process killed all things dodgy.

Last night I watched The Ice House. A faithfully TV serialisation of the Minnette Walters novel of the same name. It was great. Really enjoyed it. The adaptation kept to the atmosphere and wit of the novel. Today I watched The Sculptress. A less enjoyable experience. The screenwriter cut out a major character and the pacing was awful. It dragged it's concrete boots from scene to scene, the really interesting parts got left out and they shuffled events, so the impact was watered down. Minnette Walter's subtlety got completely stomped on, so the twist in the tale became a chinese burn.

Found this really thought provoking article from The Observer Woman on women and their preoccupation with their weight by Mimi Spence. Definitely worth a look. One of the points she makes is that fashion designers want skinny models because they make their clothes look good. My jaw dropped. I had been taught through my various snore-worthy economics classes, that there was an inexorable link between Supply and Demand, and that we were in the Consumer Age. No more Fordism where we can have any colour car we want as long as it's black. We the consumer are supposed to rule; here we have the ridiculous situation that these fashion producers are setting the agenda to what a 'normal' size woman should be. Thus, fashion designers are so lazy, they can't design clothes to fit real women. Or perhaps they're just badly trained?

Not being funny or anything, but I really can't go the whole Victoria Beckham route to skinniness. I really can't work up the energy to be that obsessive. And as for that whole sticking your fingers down your throat business. Eeewww!! What a miserable way to live. I like food. I really like junk food. If I would exercise more, I suspect I'd be a lot happier, but as for the misery of a constant diet? Not me.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Art of Blogging

It's a grim Saturday in August. It's windy and wet. It's the 4th time I've been rained on in 12 hours. I refuse to go out anymore. I now have tickets to Liverpool, I'm off to paint that city purple-with-pink-polka dots with Hottie next weekend. I now also have my vital supplies of Coffeemate, ran out yesterday, complete disaster especially given the milk is 5 days over and I could cut it with a knife.

Apart from that, I have hoovered. Tomorrow, the dishes. Unfortunately, that will entail me actually walking into the kitchen for more than 5 mins. But once the dishes are done, I might be tempted to stay a bit longer in there. Those of you more domestically minded than I will no doubt be shuddering with horror. Maybe I should just have more visitors, that way I'm forced to tidy up regularly. I'm just not big on spending time on dusting thing. Hey, the only people I share my space with are a 12 year old boy and a cat. Both are only bothered that they get fed regularly, and neither pay rent.

On a slightly different note. I was ordering my groceries on-line from Mr Tesco and thought I'd just have a quick look in the book section. I found an academic section, eager to find out what they might have and always up for a good bargain I clicked. Well. Their definition of academic and my definition of academic clearly do not match. No way is Jade Goodey's (auto)biography academic. Not in my middle-class, quasi-intellectual universe. But there it is. I've included the link, so you can see I'm not lying, but you may not be able to get in because it may be registered users only. But give it a go, have a laugh.

I also found a really interesting article in The Guardian today. Just to goes to show how bland I really must be, it never occurred to me that there were sex blogs out there. But there are. Ranging from Belle du Jour to Spank Me Now. Yes, I clicked around. For the most part, they were actually quite ordinary, as in they were about ordinary women keeping an on-line diary about their normal day, with a bit of erotica thrown in for good measure.

I must admit, I am fascinated by it all. It's the nosey person in me. It amazes me what people get up to. Makes me realise how dull and boring I must be. What it does show is that women are still exploring their sexuality in the so-called era of post-feminism, and sexuality has become commoditised and commercialised in the print press. Has the sexual revolution and feminism really improved women's relationship with their bodies and their significant others? Given the reaction of the British Tabloids to Girl With a One-Track Mind, I don't think so.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Nite's Alright for Theatre

I was desperate to blog last night, and the site was down for 'essential maintenance. Typical. On the recommendation of my sub-editor I watched The Motorcycle Diaries, the story of Che Guevara and his buddy who would go on to found Cuba's medical school. It was brilliant. Fitted right in with what I'm working on. What starts out as a couple of lads on the back of a clapped out bike riding round Southern America, turns into a thoughtful exploration of the inequalities that existed at the time. The inequalites that turned a young medical student into a revolutionary. I think I've now got my dissertation sussed. Next week I meet with my CP tutor and I intend to pick his brains so I can get this project off the bloody ground. It's beginning to drive me nuts.

Tonight, I was out with the girlies. We went to see Return to the Forbidden Planet which was just fabulous. If I say it is a musical Sci-Fi version of The Tempest, you'll start scratching your heads and questioning my sanity. Trust me when I say it is great fun. The music is pulled from 50s and 60s rock'n'roll and the actors are such talented musicians that they swap from instrument to instrument with ease. At the end of the performance everyone was dancing along, clapping and singing badly. Okay, so it was me doing the singing badly, but no one heard me over and above the clapping.

All in all a good night out. Life is good.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hi Hoooo!

It's official. I'm fed-up with being flat broke. Though it's truer to say I'm panicking because I'm so brassic. I found myself unable and unwilling to pester innocent family members, so have come to the conclusion it's off to work I go.

The problem is doing what? Giving up my course is not an option, so it'll have to be part-time stuff which isn't known for paying well. I have been looking for work similar to that which I did before, but because I no longer have a proper job, no one wants to give me proper job anymore. Fortunately, Norwich is blessed with many a shop, so I'm busy adjusting my CV accordingly and am about to do a huge mailout. Statistically speaking, someone will be desperate to have me eventually (FYI I'm talking about employment here).

Meanwhile, boy is off with his dad doing exciting man-like things for the week. I get him back next Monday. I'm not sure how normal 2 parent families cope with having their kids around all the time. Boy and I get bored with each other after a week solid in the holidays, we then start to drive each other nuts. The normal stuff sure is hard work.

Apart from that, I'm doing okay. Still butting my head against a brick wall about journeying. But that would change if I actually did some of the reading I've been recommended. Instead, I've been reading the Devil's Feather by Minnette Walters. I've enjoyed it thoroughly. She's back on form after Fox Evil and Disordered Minds. Would definitely recommend it. I'm also re-reading Barbara Vine's A Dark Adapted Eye, she writes a bloody good sentence. John Banville's The Sea continues to beckon, that's definitely next.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lammas Blessings

Today we count our blessings, it is the festival of Lammas, the first harvest festival. Today, we give thanks for the fruits of our labours. This evening was filled with wine, pagans and song! I'm hoping the chant photographer will provide incriminating evidence shortly. But I have to say, it was a lovely evening. I made chilli and West Indian peas and rice, which met with general approval; even though it didn't make anyone cry.

Tonight, as I go to bed, slightly tiddly, a tummy full of good food, filled with the joys given by good company, my prayers go to those who aren't so lucky. Those whose nights are filled with fear, and days with despair. I pray the peacemakers are blessed with short memories, a deep love of children and hope for the future.

So mote it be.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lazy Days and Tuesdays

This has been a very, very sore day. When I woke up this morning, I couldn't laugh it hurt so much. So tomorrow, I'm going back to the easier Nell McAndrew workouts, definitely. My goal tomorrow is a whole push up. Wish me luck.

My boy and I have been watching some serious hero stuff. Yesterday, we watched The 13th Warrior, with Antonio Banderas. Today, it was Kingdom of Heaven. Of course, I was researching journeys. After all, the 13th Warrior is a re-telling of Beowulf, based on Michael Crighton's Eaters of the Dead. In this instance the film is way better than the book.

Hmmm...I think I'm going to have to watch both movies again, next time I'll have to try and apply some cultural theory to them.