Monday, February 26, 2007

Kitchen Beatbox

Found this trawling Moby's site. This is the best resolution I could find on YouTube, but it is still excellent.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Budapest

I think I'm in love. Billy Collins has managed to pin down the writer's moment, with a deftness of which I am deeply envious.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Getting Back into Gear

The last week has been about displacement activity. Which of course didn't work because I knew it was displacement activity and therefore was just another form of denial. Knowing that I was indulging in displacement activity also meant I was feeling guilty about my indulgencies and then led to feeling inadequate because I couldn't stop doing the displacement activities. This has been the interesting little loop of my internal landscape. Frustration.

I'm not convinced I feel any better this week, but I'm back at college. I had my tutorial with my Creative Practice tutor who was really sweet and very supportive. I'm going print out all of the images I've taken on the buses and in Trinidad to show both himself and the other tutor who's been roped in to be the second marker. For my tutorials next week I'll prepare them for a slide show so we can judge the impact of the images.

We had a long chat about how I'm doing and where I'm at in the creative process. My CP basically said that the problem with my work at the moment is that it's clear I haven't really got a handle on what I'm trying to bring across, there are too many mixed messages. He also feels that I'm too removed from my images; I need to be more present, the way I'm present in my blog. Yes, he actually has been reading it! Yay! How I address these shortcomings I don't really know yet. Hopefully, the review next week will help.

Oh and that's a picture of The Rock; which was placed there by God for my mother. Or so she said. I'm inclined to believe her.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

On the Need to Slap Someone

How am I? Weird. It's probably the only answer that covers how I feel at the moment. This week I've spent quite a lot of money (thank you Visa). I bought a new sofa (Viking-sized), had a facial and today I had my hair coloured and cut (no, it isn't really a pink, short back and sides). These are things that really should be rocking my world. My world is still stationary. After some navel gazing I've come to the conclusion that it's really okay for me to feel weird and the most appropriate response is to be weird and everything will work around it. That way when I do something silly at least I will enjoy it.

This time the title of the post really does relate to the content. It's been a slow re-introduction to life in Norwich. I've pretty much done bugger all. Hung out with Boy while he's cheerfully killed things on the X-Box 360, hacking his way through his cold. I've read a few blogs, waded through my e-mails. The delete button looks a bit worn out at the moment, I suspect I'll have to get another one. I thought it was a good idea to have a look on the BBC website to catch up with the news. Yeah. Right. Then came the need to slap someone. Hard.

I understand that violence begets violence. I understand that if I really did hit someone, I'd get to experience handcuffs for real. I understand that police station tea sucks and they don't give you bickies. But damn it; after reading this and this, I'm just left with the need to inflict pain.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Denial - not the river in Egypt

As far as I can make out, not much has changed in Norwich, apart from the chippy down the road changing hands. People seem to be the same. Busy, stressed, working, loving, living. Boy is continuing to be 13, the cat is continuing to be odd. But everything has changed.

I don't know how to write about it without being bleak or depressing. This is actually the third time I've written this paragraph. Despite it all, it isn't really about pain. It's about hope. The realisation that this life we've been given is so precious, that every decision about how we spend our time, ought to be weighed more carefully. Whatever your spiritual leanings, you'll never really know what waits on the other side until the very end. Therefore, it makes sense to live this life well and hope for the best. If it is pointless and death is a void into which we fall and are lost to eternity, then at least these moments spent together will not be wasted time.

I really don't believe this is the case. I have attended the deaths of both my mother and my step-father; after their deaths, their bodies were like the clothes I leave on my bedroom floor. I believe there is something more. Knowing that, I still don't want to lose the chance to live well.

I know St Valentines Day is a commercialised event, to up the sales of gooey cards, roses and chocolates. But quite frankly, there is so much pain and suffering in this world that any day dedicated to the people we love has got to be good.

Money no longer is the be all and end all to me. It's now about time. Time is precious. I want to spend it with the people who I care about, and the people who care about me. I want my time to be spent doing fun things, nice things, creative things.

I now want to take the time to tell you how much I appreciate your dropping by. You've been an important part of my life for the last 8 or so months. Thanks. Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Homesick

I made it back into Norwich eventually last night. Was reunited with Boy at Gee's, which was lovely. By the way, he lied to me, you will be shocked to discover. He had grown while I was away, despite his reasurrences to the contrary. Humpf. Britwitch has looked after flat, cat and Boy so well, I'm thinking of asking her to move in to look after me as well. Hehehe. Poor woman, she was probably relieved to get back to a less chaotic household. Last night, I went with a caffeine induced burst of energy and unpacked my bags, sorted through the 132 e-mails, and post waiting for me.

What I do find disconcerting is the silence. In Trinidad, there is so much noise. Birds, insects, humans, vehicles. There is very little in the way of wildlife noises round here or traffic. I'm trying to find a way to describe it without descending into cliche and I must confess, I'm struggling.
This morning, despite feeling like I've been running marathons, I'm wide awake and my mind is filled with a thousand different thoughts, ranging from home and lifestyle improvements to employment and my favourite pastime - shopping. It's probably better that you don't ask how I am doing, I don't know.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Final Journey

It never ceases to amaze me, the way life can change in a matter of hours. Or rather, the way life can end in a short space of time.

I had made plans to see my birth father, N, on Thursday. We were going to buy some Chinese food and spend the day with his wife who’s recovering from surgery at his home. His boss decided that morning, he needed him for a fairly important meeting. Which left me at a bit of a loose end. Atlas and Sil were at work. So, I invited myself up to Pops so I could use his PC and internet connection.

The day before, he talked about finishing the radiation treatment. The waiting was driving him nuts. Both Atlas and I agreed if those were his wishes, so be it. The consultant convinced him to keep attending as he only had 6 more sessions. The meds were making him feel weak, giving him insomnia.

He had gone for radiation Thursday morning, but for the first time needed a wheelchair. After a month of only sleeping 2-3 hours, he slept the night before, and after breakfast. We were pleased that he was able to sleep, but worried that he wasn’t eating. As a diabetic, it’s really important that he had regular meals.

When I came over that afternoon, I brought him some chocolate cake to tempt him. He was having a snooze, so rather than disturb him, I went online, chatted to various people, thought nothing of it.

I heard a noise at about 4pm. I found him standing up by a light switch. I helped him back to bed, with some help, sponged him down and changed his shirt. Made him comfortable. I then rang Atlas. He rang me back with instructions to feed Pops chocolate and sweetdrinks, he thought he was having a hypo – a drastic drop in his blood sugar. I was trying to get Pops to have some juice when both Sil and Atlas arrived. Sil got him to have some chocolate. Pops was embarrased at the fuss, but smiling at our attempts at humour. He dozed off.

We left to have showers and eat, we returned within an hour and a half. Pops was snoring away. Atlas, unhappy at his still lowered blood sugar, sought medical advice and went off to get the means to do a dextrose drip. Pops was adamant that he did not want to end up in hospital, he did not want medical intervention. Atlas is a vet and is capable of putting in a drip. He intended to call by for a GP on his way back.

I sat with Pops. Tried to get him to drink some honeyed water. He was no longer focussing on me. I opened the window to let some air in. At one point I got up and held his hand. And then, he just stopped breathing. He just slipped away. What journey he has gone onto I don’t know. I don’t believe he went on his own though. I think that must be a post for another day.

We are still in shock. I had been making plans for Boy and I to come out and see him again in Easter and again during the summer hols. The consultant had said 12 months.

I don’t feel acute grief. I just can’t be sorry that he’s gone this way. Pops was adamant that he wanted minimal medical intervention and was not looking forward to final progression of the cancer:, unable to communicate, move about and 24 hour nursing. He was spared the indignity and suffering of that outcome. In fact, he could not have timed it any better really. The cremation is Monday morning, his service is Wednesday. I fly back to England on Thursday evening.

I really miss him.