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Showing posts from August, 2015

Notes from the mid-life crisis: body art edition

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I was 21 when I saw my first nose piercing. He was a blond god of a lorry driver and I couldn't take my eyes off his nose ring. I asked all the ignorant questions you'd expect from a sheltered Trinidadian girl and he was remarkably patient and polite. When I told my then-husband I wanted one, he threatened divorce. I still wanted one.

Fast-forward through to the divorce, Boy and I were living at the university in family quarters. There the lecturers and students were pierced and tattooed and I wanted both. I was lucky enough to hang around with a group of people who were willing to give good advice about body art. I wanted a tattoo but I could never make my mind up what and where. Then there was the rebound relationship with a straighter-than-straight financial adviser who loathed even henna tattoos and would rub off any I had. 

When that collapsed, I gathered my courage and had my nose pierced. I loved it. As soon as I could I had a nose stud popped in and contrary to the finge…

We cross three bridges

We cross three bridges
We cross three bridges brave the electric bites of nettles choose our picnic spot on prickly brown grass where cows come to drink
I wiggle bare toes in the same soft July breeze that brushes willow leaves from sky to dark green water. It sounds like rain gnarled trunks and branches squeak and crack like thunder
We unpack our small feast, dutifully eat cold meats and cold, pale melon chunks. It is the glossy red strawberries as big as tomatoes we are greedy for. Pinky red juice drips down our chins wind flicks drops onto my vest top
We could fall into endless sky fall into clouds that waft above if it wasn’t for the constant spin. A squadron of skylarks bomb a lazy hawk, until it flicks round wings and wheels off
He takes leftover bread rolls it in sticky palms, aims for the long, languid fish. They meander in the shadow of cigar shaped leaves. He watches this season’s batch dart in the shallows His thoughts carefully hoarded, I am alone.
At the top of the field cows come back after milking …

Attack of the 50 foot To Do List

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The last couple of weeks have focused on my wrangling my ambition with finite resources. The issues are quite simply: not enough time, not enough energy. I can't say I'm winning yet, but I am playing with a strategy that seems to be working. 

I have three different areas in my creative life I am working in at the moment: writing, poetry and art. I am clawing my way up the respective learning curves with dogged determination. This has meant journalling every day as part of the process, however when I do my art, I do a separate journal for that too. My morning pages comes out of an exercise made popular by Julia Cameron in her Writer's Way (which reminds me, I must source another copy of that and the Artist's Way). It is cheap therapy in that I get to dump all the day-to-day, boring shit that's in my head, onto paper where it stays out of the way and lets me get on with my creative stuff. Art journalling, is a more productive exercise in that I focus on what I will be…

Courage to be creative

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This week, I've been doing an art course through Norfolk Adult Education, it's called Skills & Methods and was basically an opportunity to play with as wide a variety of arty media as possible to squeeze into a five-day course.

Earlier this year, when I started exercising my atrophied creativity muscles, I began with adult colouring books. I moved on to painting shapes with watercolour and crayons. Dave raided his and his mum's art supplies and kitted me out with some fab stuff. A bit later on he suggested I do an art course. His reasoning came from years in a laboratory and getting surly PhD students to learn "why spend an afternoon in a library, when you can spend six months in a lab?" Exactly.

The course literature wasn't exactly clear about the level it was aimed at. I thought it was a beginner's course, but actually it required some basic artistic knowledge. The last time I did art was in high school (mumbles 1983). My creative writing degree focus…