Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Zimmers

Today, I told Boy that when I'm old(er) and grey(er) I will be living with him and his family. Cackling in a corner, telling outrageous stories of my youth to his children and generally pissing off his wife.

I don't think he's impressed.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Calvin Klein ~ CKIN2U


This is my favourite of the new fragraces released over the spring. The blurb goes a bit like this: 'CK IN2U, a fragrance duo inspired by the connected generation "expressing its freedom thanks to new technologies"'. It goes on to describe the fragrance as: 'notes of pink grapefruit, bergamot, currant leaves, sugared orchid accord, white cactus, neon amber, vanilla souffle and red cedar'. It is partially laziness which has led to me cutting and pasting, but also I am falling in love with their PR's bullshitese. Especially since the people who have ended up buying this from me today all tended to be in their 30s and 40s - not the intended young, hip'n'groovy demographic.

Two of my colleagues were in London being trained up yesterday. I now know that when applying perfume, doing the wrist rub and spraying on your neck is a complete no-no. Rubbing the fragrance breaks down the constituents, disrupts the way it's supposed to smell and causes the fragrance to fade too quickly. Instead, one should spray your wrists separately, spray the perfume into the scallops between your shoulders and neck. Don't spray it onto your neck because the skin is very delicate there and the alcohol in the perfume can lead to wrinkles, sagging and general unpleasantness long term. If you find a fragrance you like, but when you put it on your skin, people are asking where you've hidden the dead cat, spray on the outer layer of your clothes. Also, don't put behind your ears, because ears get oily and it'll distort the fragrance. Apparently, a fragrance can be affected by your diet, hormonal changes and stress levels.

Today has been a touch stressful. The League of Shoplifters decided to come a-calling and tried to walk off with our profits. Fortunately, my colleagues are less trusting and more on the ball than I, and they got security to catch their dishonest asses. One lad was very apologetic and gave a practised puppy dog look and kept apologising, which worked until he was searched. He'd stopped off at a few other retail outlets before ours. Pops always said to me that when considering theft as a viable option, you need to consider the consequences of getting caught. Is it worth the hassle of being nicked, the fines/court appearance and doing time? Had the lad used this equation, nicking £40 worth of fragrance is going to turn into at least £80 worth of hassle. Also, if he was going to sell it black market-like, if he saw a tenner for his trouble he would have been lucky.

The only crime I thought 'yeah, I'd have risked it' was a city heist where a woman and her partner embezzled £21 million in the late 80s. Well, they say everyone has their price, now you know you'll never be able to trust me with more than £20 million.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Harry Enfield - Women Keep Your Virtue

Oh dear...I have no slippers or pipe to entrap a husband. What shall I do?

Hermes ~ Eau de Merveilles

Today's Perfume of the Day is ambergris based and is unusual in that it contains no floral notes at all. It comes in a sparkley bottle - what's not to like? I think my time in the perfume department is beginning to play havoc with my sense of smell. I can't smell the fragrances as well as I used to. Yesterday I ended up spraying myself with 3 different perfumes and I couldn't tell if they had lasted. The fact that people were giving me a wide berth suggests otherwise...or it could be my singing...I can't tell at the moment. Anyway, given that I thought I'd make sure and just apply one fragrance. And the Hermes was today's choice. I quite liked it, it seemed to smell pretty much the same throughout the day which is unusual. Perfumes tend to change as they warm up on the skin, and the longer they remain on the skin.

Today, I have been frustrated with my young, awfully sweet but dim work colleagues. She's really lovely, but bless her, she never worked in a pub. My dad H had a pub in North Norfolk, and when I was 18 I started working for him. After 2 years of working together we stopped talking to each other for 6 months and it was another 4 years before I would work with him again. Ours was a tempestuous relationship to say the least. Earlier this year when I was back in Trinidad I made certain I sat down and said what a difference his training made to my working practice. I can talk to customers, I can go into a strange and stressful situation and make myself useful with minimum supervision. And that was all down to him. He was so chuffed that we had that conversation.

The problem is, I think that everyone should attempt to be punctual, they should clean things that need dusting and re-arrange shelves when necessary, customers should be approached. Or at the very least, appear up for it. My colleague had no get up and go. She was willing, bless her and would happily do a task if asked. But I did get a bit frustrated with her staring into space, and her friend whose half hour break turned into 50 mins.

Writing this has been good for me. It reminded me that my working practice was learned. I'm only the 'as and when' person, so it doesn't matter what I think, it's not my place to train her up, or to even worry about her. I'm working a four day stretch and OMG my feet hurt. They want me to dress up tomorrow and there is no way I can. I can just about get away with my flat shoes at the moment; the thought of putting on heels, to stand up 7.5 hours...nope, it just ain't gonna happen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday Woes

Today has been about running around from pillar to post at frantic pace and achieving very little. I have managed to do pretty much everything I set out to do, I don't really have a sense of achievement. I just have an overwhelming need for a bottle of beer.

The good news is the college have recognised that the current space is not big enough for 6 people to exhitbit in. The bad news is that the spaces they have given us are all over the freaking show. Literally. Three people will be exhibiting in the college equivalent of a turet room, one person will be on the same level in a corridor just before a stairwell and I'm going to be in the basement. Now, I can't rant too much because although I have been given a broom cupboard, it's just me and A N Other, who only wants enough space for a monitor and some headphones. So it might be a broom cupboard...but it's my broom cupboard. The other good thing is that as we both need a dark room with no other light source and it's just the two of us, that's not going to be a problem.

I think the nicest thing has been working with the other people. I really was worried that it would be every art student for themselves, but people have been considerate and really sweet about the space allocation. I wasn't expecting it, and I am chuffed to be proved wrong.

I could have done without the stress of it. But c'est la vie. However, I do have a Viking who has kept me in cake and red wine and he has kept me sane through out. I've still got lots of work to do, my To Do list is scaring me, as it always does. The good thing is Gertie is coming to stay on Saturday (yay) and I'm hoping to hand her a paint brush...shhhh....don't tell her.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stress Bunny!

Regular readers of my blog will remember the procrastination pain I went through for my dissertation. Many posts were dedicated to the activities I did to avoid actually doing the damn thing. You may have noted that this has not been apparent in my creative work. My poetry and prose deadlines met with 10% of the stress experienced for the diss. I have been happily beavering away at my creative work, as well as occasionally sharing the bizarre experiences of doing an art project on bus journeys.

You may be wondering about the title of this text and thinking 'WTF?'

Bear with me a moment. My reality filter is currently set to cabernet sauvignon and the translation is a bit blurred around the edges at the moment. There is a point, and it is: I love my creative work. It is my raison d'etre.

Today's battle I thought was going to be with my fellow course mates for wall space. How wrong could I be? Today I found out that the space we had been told we've been allocated, has been given to another course. Not only that, but the creative writing course has been given the exhibition space equivalent to the size of a broom cupboard (slight exaggeration, but not by much).

I am gutted. The images I want to exhibit need to be seen large to be appreciated; the larger the better. My tutors have encouraged my expectations. The problem has arisen because of the lack of communication between my creative practice tutor and the Powers That Be. TPTB couldn't possibly talk to anyone other than the course leader. a) He doesn't get involved with the creative practice aspect of the course and b) he has been swimming against the tide of shite heading his way. Not only that, but the creative practice tutor didn't even find out that we didn't get the promised space and only found out from a course leader on Friday. The good news is that TPTB have admitted the broom cupboard isn't an acceptable option and they will re-consider their decision. The bad news is we don't have any idea what we'll be offered. The alternative will be give to us tomorrow (at some point during the day).

In the meantime, here's a bottle of red with my name on it. Bottoms up!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Week Ahead

Now that Taurus's month is over (well, by tomorrow morning), perhaps you can be less a magnet for dissent and people who try to push you round (which Bulls sooo dislike). When you are in a phase of change and achievement, however - which you should be - it's hard not to put a few noses out of joint. Just try to do it politely. The Observer

This is my horoscope for the week ahead. I tend to read horoscopes at the beginning of my day (it's embedded into my Google homepage) and then I read my weekly one courtesy of the Observer. I do find it erratic, but I can't resist it. So that's my week ahead.

Tomorrow I hand in my prose and then I will be attending a Group Crit, which will be very interesting. The 4 other people exhibiting for the Degree Show will be putting in their requirements for space and equipment. It should be an interesting meeting. We haven't seen each other for months, we don't particularly gel and there's only so much space and equipment to be had. One of the things I have learnt is to never underestimate my ability to piss people off. I used to worry about it. I don't enjoy pissing people off. I've offended people for giving feedback during a workshop. I've offended people for having an opinion. I've offended people for wanting to do well and being motivated.

This year I decided when someone has a Goddess-given talent, it should be embraced and honoured. This is what I managed to do when I don't even try. Imagine what I can achieve if I really put my mind to it? I will do as the horoscope suggested...I'll just do it politely.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Oops I did it Again

Yes, I did. I shared a bottle of wine with Gee who just got back from visiting her daughter in Boston. I still have my poetry critical appraisal to write: all 550 words of it. And I want to pick up the phone and make drunken phone calls, declaring undying love to all and sundry. Though, I keep ringing Sundry and he's refusing to answer. Smart man. I don't know why I want to speak to long lost friends only when I'm a bit tiddly. Why I suddenly need and must tell them I love them and miss them; when in fact it's been 2 years, 6 months and 3 days since our last conversation. How bizarre am I?

Boy has gone off to friends for the afternoon, leaving me to get on with my writing. I've caught up on the gossip with Gee instead. He's so lovely. He wants to stay this weekend, despite the fact he's not likely to get fed anything vaguely nutritional, or have any kind of civil conversation with me. Bless him.

As for the rest of it, I'll get round to it. As soon as I've finished making these phone calls and sobered up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Boing, boing

You might be wondering about the title of this post. Indeed. You might be thinking 'the woman's finally lost it'. You wouldn't be far wrong. It's official. I am a Stress Bunny.

It's not all bad. My poetry is due on Friday and it's all written, but for the 800 word critical appraisal. My prose is due on Monday and it needs some serious work doing to it. As in lose 630 words and re-write the ending. But at least I've got the weekend to do it. Boy has promised he'll ply me with coffee, won't complain when I'm going 'boing, boing, boing' around the flat and generally look the other way when I turn into Bitch from Hell.

Now all I need to do, is the work. What has amused me is that while there has been some stress and a bit of procrastination, generally speaking I've been writing regularly and doing my journeying project quite happily without the same level of OMG that the dissertation gave me. I might be going boing, but it's not a grrr...stress boing (if you see what I mean).

One thing I have noticed and I did say so to the God of Poetry at our last poetry tutorial, is that I no longer cringe when looking at my poetry. That is such a result. I could not bear my poetry before. While I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a poet, I'm not embarrassed by my attempts. That's got to be a step in the right direction. These 3 years have definitely been worth it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Meme Time!

This came through in an e-mail tonight, I thought I would share, cause we haven't memed for awhile.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
  • sales office administrative assistant
  • barmaid
  • economic development officer
  • retail assisstant

Four places I have lived:
  • Trinidad
  • Hunstanton
  • Wells-Next-the-Sea
  • Fakenham

Four television programmes I like to watch:
  • X-Files (series 1-4)
  • Star Trek (all versions thereof)
  • Carnivale (on DVD)
  • Babylon 5

Six places I've been on vacation:
  • Tobago
  • Singapore
  • Germany
  • Turkey
  • Scotland
  • England (I was here in '76 and then again in '87 and in '88 and never went back to Trinidad)

Four of my favourite foods:
  • olives
  • bacon
  • chips
  • prawns

Four places I would rather be right now:
  • Trinidad (hanging out with my brother on the beach)
  • oop North (snuggling with my hunny)
  • The Maldives (at the hotel which is a series of piers over the ocean)
  • New Zealand (travelling round in a camper van for 6 months)

Vera Wang ~ Truly Pink


I was told at work that Vera Wang - she who makes expensive designer wedding dresses - has produced Truly Pink for bridesmaids. It certainly is a 'pink' fragrance, quite floral. I quite liked it and wore it happily all day until I got home. When I sniffed my wrist, it smelt of chemicals. Not pleasant. So that's not going on my skin again. I'm not suggesting it's a fault with the perfume, far from it, it just could be the way it reacts with me. When I first sprayed it on, it smelt quite nice.

I've had a slow, but productive couple of days. Done a bit of editing on my poems. Harrassed G and her family to look through my submissions. Now about to look at their comments and see how I can integrate it into my work. I've also had another very positive Creative Practice tutorial. My tutor also said he would back me up as far as my getting the space to show off my work to it's potential. The images need to be BIG. The Creative Practice Tutor will call a meeting of the 3rd years, towards the end of this week to discuss how we allocate the space. So we shall see. I am anticipating a fight, perhaps I'm being unneccessarily pessimistic. I hope so.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Welcome to my new look blog. Blame it on Sanddancer. I have been happy with my blog and how it's looked since I set it up; and then I saw her changes. I thought, hmmm...so I had look in the templates, saw this and liked it much.

I have crawled out of my Pit of Despair and while I'm not exactly feeling on top form, I'm not curled up in the foetal position under my desk either. I've done my 3 poems and I might see if I can do a few more (it always pays to have extra). My prose is finished, but I'm still struggling with the ending. Lacks a bit of punch. At the moment I'm 600 words over my limit and I'm loathe to cut them, especially since I'll probably be adding to them a bit later today. It's all part of the craft. Editing has got to be the most tedious, but most necessary part of the process. As a writer, you have to be prepared to delete your most favourite bits of writing. Not for the faint hearted.

I realised that I hadn't appraised you on my work situation for some time now. I'm still working on a casual basis for the department store and still having fun. I find that selling perfumes and cosmetics is a frivolous and fun way to pay for my coffees and paninnis. The Great British Public are an endless sourse of amusement and material; and I must say I am very fond of them.

On Saturdays, the Perfumery dept discards the black and white uniform in favour of brightly coloured tops and lots of cleavage. Yesterday was a bit of an exception. In support of a local charity, they decided to host some activities which included a raffle, prize draw and the cosmetic houses were doing mini-makeovers. The regular girls were dressed in kaftans, I was dressed in pink. I had lots of fun acosting people and getting them to dip into their pockets for raffle tickets. I don't mean to boast, but towards the end of the day, my bucket was getting very heavy.

I did however, have an interesting encounter, with a very large lady. She had been asked to make a donation on one door and refused, and when she spotted me standing further in store, she pounced.

"Why do you feel it necessary to ask people for donations? I feel really uncomfortable saying 'no'. It put me in a really awkward position."

Whoa.

I explained what we were doing and why. It turns out the lady was also fundraising for the same organisation. At the end of the conversation, I still wasn't sure why she was so unhappy. People who take up a bucket, or leaflets, or samples, or any kind of traffic stopping work, expect rejection. It's nice when whoever approached is polite, or has a smile with the shake of the head; but that's the icing on the cake. The cake itself is people who just walk away, people who put their hand up in your face, people who ignore you. I wasn't worried about the rejection and I didn't think any worse of anyone who did. I myself don't support any particular charity on a regular basis, though I do voluntary work when I can. So I was a bit taken aback by this woman's discomfort.

However, this anecdote does have a happy ending. After quite a lengthy conversation and a few empathetic statements "I'm sorry you felt uncomfortable about saying 'no'", she dipped into her pockets and bought some raffle tickets.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Struggle

I had a long chat with someone yesterday, who had the unenviable task of reminding me I'm not Superwoman. We started off the conversation with me saying how stressed I feel, my body letting me know in no uncertain terms that it is actually stressed, despite my being chirpy la la la. I have a pile of laundry so high I can't see my bedroom window and the only reason I still have clean underwear is because I am a compulsive M&S 5-pack shopper. My garden which is my pride and joy, is a collection of pots with sticks. My flat desperately needs a skip and a shovel. Not to mention I'm trying to keep the wolf from the door and finish my degree. Yes. I do understand I have every right to be stressed.

But I just don't have TIME for it. I've got 3 poems to write between now and my last tutorial Tuesday, before my hand in next Friday. I've got another 1,000 words of a story to write and then I'm going to have to cut it by 500 words. My Journeying project is amazing. The images I've chosen are just stunning, but I'm not finished yet. The other artists and I need to get together and argue how we use the space allocated to us for our Degree Show. Then we'll have to prep the space, build partitions, plinths etc and then set things up. This with a bunch of people who don't particularly gel. Fun, fun, fun.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Good Intentions

It's no good. Over the last few months, I have ground to a physical halt. I have done no exercise except walking. Yes, I have put on weight, *mumbles* about half a stone. But it's not that which worries me so much. When I revert to Couch Potato, I find that my system becomes sluggish; my energy levels drop. Everything becomes so much of an effort. Rather than keep with this downward spiral of feeling physically bleugh, I've decided to take up an exercise regime again. Wish me luck. As I have the will power of spaghetti, I will be posting charts, targets, goals all over my flat to keep me motivated.

My regime will occur indoors, behind closed curtains, in the safety of my front room. I've got a good shelf-full of exercise DVDs, I have weights and an exercise mat. It's not that money is such an issue I can't join a gym, though the home exercise route is the cheaper option. It's just that I'm allergic to gyms. They are filled with skinny, fit people, with wide, toothy smiles. I once went to a gym for a course and in the changing room, while I was tying up my hair I saw this woman. Her work-out gear was smothered in labels and she was busy applying makeup before she exercised.

I will keep you informed on my progress with this lifestyle change. The biggest problem I envisage, is crawling out of bed at 6 am before work, to exercise. That may well be my downfall. But to my way of thinking, it's better to keep with the good intentions, than to not bother at all.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Festivals and Festivities

A little something from Monday night. Had loads of fun. It's a bit strange sharing that side of my life with the Viking. Previously, that part of my life was kept separate because my friends loathed and detested my then-partner (with good reason). So having the Viking welcomed and comfortable was just fabulous. We danced, told stories and jokes around the campfire and tucked into good drink and munchies. Note to self: next year bring baking potatoes and marshmallows.

My birthday started with coffee in bed. I passed on breakfast in bed, cause croissants crumbs are absolute buggers to get out of the bed clothes. I had pressies. A fabulous perfume which, to be honest is more like this. My day went from splendid to outstanding, when the God of Poetry declared my poetry is coming on; so much so that he didn't scrawl all over one of my offerings. In the evening, we were a small, and drunken bunch at the pub. This week has been so fantastic I'm beginning to think that I can cope with 37 as a number after all. Especially since today, work gave me the most amazing bag full of creams, potions and lippy. How lucky am I?

This weekend I will be filling out my application for the MA in Digital Art; and we shall see.