Happy Sunday everyone!
Yes, I know, it's Monday tomorrow, which means we all have to go back to work. I'm relieved to say that I'm only in for two days before taking some annual leave - a much needed break from what often feels like Groundhog Day.
But whilst work has been rather tiresome, this week I've noticed a few firsts. Okay. maybe they aren't anything major, but little things that, when I think about it, show that, whilst making the most of life, I might actually be getting somewhere...
It's been a while since I last blogged, but life has been even more manic than normal - and the lack of broadband in my bachelorette pad has made blogging even trickier. But I'm now connected, back in London - and trying to chill. Because I think moving wiped the ability to do so from my memory...
In all honesty I can't really say that I've been completely wrapped up in unpacking and decorating. There was a little foray to a house-party in Yorkshire over the last Bank Holiday, followed by a much needed holiday in Split, Croatia. The trials and tribulations of being a new homeowner were getting the
better of me (think leaks, lack of hot water and more leaks) and I desperately needed to escape. It was on our last day when we were sat on the beach at Marjan Park and I was bemoaning the amount of things I needed to do to my flat that my friend asked me if I could remember what my New Years' Resolution had been. She had a point; it was to do less. So, after an epic unpack and an overwhelming trip to B&Q, I am having a beer and writing this blog before heading down to my old stomping ground Islington for a party.
The thing is... it's easier said than done. When in Yorkshire I was trying to convince my friends who had just bought a four bedroom house with land up there (read: Mansion) to chill out.
"Take it easy - and enjoy doing it up." I advised.
"Yes - but we want it all done now so we can really appreciate it." They whined. Fast forward two weeks and I completely understand. Whilst things are slowly coming together, I can't wait to get the place painted, some proper curtains up and my pictures on the walls. Even today I was chatting to my dad about what kind of ladder to get for my loft.
"There's no hurry is there?" He asked. "I mean, you only need it for storage." Wise words, but... I want them NOW so I can clear away the excess clutter for my housewarming party - where everything needs to look perfect - PERFECT, do you hear??!!
Okay, so maybe I need to take a chill pill here and try to pace myself. At the end of the day, there is plenty of other good stuff going on in my life which I am in danger of neglecting if I get carried away - including my writing and art - which is really more important than having a flat worthy of a spread in Home and Gardens. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get glammed up for this party. Just as soon as I've cleaned the extractor fan and put up the caddy in my bathroom...
Well, I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather. Sadly I haven't really been able to - because I have been busy moving into my new flat. And I say "my" because I bought the bugger! Yep, it finally happened! HURRAH!
I admit that the whole flat buying and moving situation has made me a little preoccupied - in life and online. For this I apologise, but I promise to write about something else next week. But, in the meantime...
Exciting fact number one: I have an abundance of storgae space (well, comparatively speaking!). Not only do I have
three (yes - THREE!) drawers in my kitchen, I also have three large storage cupboards - one of which I have dedicated to my art, craft and music (yep, I still have my clarinet and sax from my younger days along with my recently acquired ukulele) and one that is tall enough to fit my easel in! And then there's the loft... Exciting fact number two: today I have bought a bargainous chest of drawers and washing machine from the British Heart Foundation - which, along with the fridge freezer I picked up from a cheapy shop in Holloway last week, means I am pretty much there with the bits I really need. Now I just need a plumber... And exciting fact number three: I am now free to decorate my own place how I really want - and can't wait until my summer leave to do so.
So there you go. I am officially one of those sad cases that is obsessed with their new abode... and their finances. Which reminds me, I better check when my first mortgage payment goes out...
Folks, I have made a decision.
After three days of packing, I have decided that, assuming all goes well next week, I am never going to move again. Ever - unless I am rich enough to pay someone to do my packing and cleaning for me. Not only am I bloody knackered, my flat is in complete disarray and my hands have gone from Fairy soft to those of a seasoned builder. As for my nails... one is not amused!
Ah! Which brings me nicely on to my night at the theatre on Friday night (my only real break from the mad house). I went to see Handbagged with my mate Marie and thoroughly enjoyed the rather tongue-in-cheek exploration of Maggie Thatcher's relationship with the Queen. It made me think about Madge's legacy - and how it has impacted on the lives and attitudes of people today. Nothing illustrated this better than, whilst waiting for the bus home afterwards, I witnessed a homeless guy beg another homeless man for some cardboard to sleep under. Whilst Maggie may have thought that we should all work to lift ourselves out of poverty, some people have absolutely nothing to do that with. Something that is still forgotten by the Tories today.
Anyway, minor political rant over, I'm gonna make this blog short and sweet - I think I need a nap before I venture out for my Scrabble date and want to finish Captain Corelli's Mandolin before I go out too - after seeing the movie years ago I was a bit put off, but am really enjoying it. Give it a go if you haven't already.
Oh, and wish me luck for the moving madness heading my way...
Ah, don't you love that feeling we only ever get to indulge in a handful of times a year - you know, that one when it's a Sunday and you don't have to be up at the crack of dawn in the morning to go to work? Bliss!
I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and headed up to my hometown to see the folks - and catch up with an old school friend for her birthday. Her dad's band Moonshine were playing on the five year anniversary of their first gig, which I was apparently present at, so it seemed fitting that I tag along. They didn't disappoint, with covers of tunes from the sixties onwards, with a preference for rocky numbers with melodies that made full use of my mate's bro's ever-improving vocals. Needless to say I was impressed, and had a good old boogie too (anyone who doesn't dance to "Play That Funky Music," in my humble opinion, may as well be dead), much to the amusement of the band and the more conservative residents of Lincoln.
It seems that, despite my disappointment at not getting Glasto tickets AGAIN (yep, still not over that!), new, live music is cropping up in the most surprising of places. On Friday, after a quick glass of wine after work, I went home to make my Peru collage Pacha Mama whilst listening to the Global Psychedelic Sound-system, a very funky DJ I discovered at the Isle of Wight festival last year, courtesy of the island radio station's website. As always, I loved his set but, as it drew to a close and my collage became close to completion, I found myself at a bit of a loss as to how to spend the rest of my evening. After resorting to my fail-safe option (a bath with a glass of red on the side), I found myself listening to yet another talented musician, Jace Thompson, via the wonder of Twitter and YouTube. I was mighty impressed and, after nattering over social media for a bit, was delighted to hear that he has a gig in my hood next weekend. Well, that's Sunday night sorted...
You see, I do love my music - and I love discovering new artists who, behind all the popularist crap that plagues our airwaves, have something really important say - and real talent when it comes to saying it. Being an undiscovered "artist" myself, whilst I get why they do it and the joy that it gives them, I feel their frustration and celebrate their successes, which although often small in comparison to those headlining Glastonbury this year, are perhaps the things that keep them going.
Something I can wholeheartedly relate to.
Well I trust you are all having a super Sunday. I set my alarm this morning in an attempt to get Glastonbury tickets. Needless to say I wasn't successful, but I'm not going to dwell on it. Sniff...
So, how was your week? I managed to finish off the two collages I made a start on last week - and here they are! I might play with another today - the truth is I really want to do a bit of painting but, as I work in slow-drying oils, I'm putting this off until after I move. Which, incidentally, I'm no further along with. Don't get me started...
I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this, but buying a flat is not easy in London, yet is something that, when you get to my age (34 - yes, I lied last week when I suggested I was a touch younger...) is almost expected of you. Last night my friend Vicky and I bemoaned all the Facebook posts reminding us of our friend's and aquaintances achievements, from buying houses, getting engaged and having children. But then, after further discussion (and a bit more wine) we came to the conclusion that, whilst for some people reaching these milestones was a natural progression, the rest of us want to make our own rules. In London this is a lot easier, and folk are more accepting of an alternative. This week I was out until 3am two nights in a row and have been more than a little consumed with thoughts of music festivals - quite normal to me, but apparently not so to others. I'll never forget clubbing in Birmingham before Christmas and noting that, apart from one rogue couple, everyone else was younger than 25. Even more amusing was when a lad barely able to shave suggested I was only there to pull a younger man. No, I'm not kidding...
So, whist I'm not married with kids (estate agents; please note that such assumptions are NOT acceptable) and object to being referred to as "madam", I'm embracing certain aspects of grown up living - but for me, not because I think I should or other people expect me too. I'm going to buy my flat and am in the process of rediscovering my love of cooking (Roquamole, anyone?) but can't wait to hit the festival season this summer - and my next night on the dance floor. Where I'll be shaking my bootie for me and no one else.
Happy Easter Monday everyone!
Whether you're religious or not, you can't help but love Easter - never mind all the chocolate, for me it's all about the four day weekend!
My Easter Sunday ended up being quite traditional - with an alternative edge. In the morning I went to the Sunday Assembly, a Godless congregation which, rather than banging on about a higher power, makes its mission to help people realise their full potential. It was quite fun, with singing (strictly secular) songs, a poetry reading, a personal memoir on giving up things for lent (no alcohol? For 40 days? Respect!) with tips on how you can help people in this predicament, and talks on optimism and how important is is if you want to succeed. All in all, very thought provoking with some useful reminders on the power of positive thinking - something I am now making a conscious effort to put into practice.
One of the things that was pointed out to us during the talk on optimism is that, if you want to be something, you have to take action - and keep going, even when you feel like giving up. So, with that in mind, I'm chuffed to say that this weekend I've made a start on two collages which, after a little titivation, will be good to go. I've also sent a "pen portrait" to Mslexia magazine in the hope that they will consider it for their next edition. The theme was "Caged Animal" and you can see my (very short) interpretation of this subject here. I hope you like!
Anyway, I digress. After the Assembly I ended up having a traditional Sunday Roast before winning a big bag of Maltesers in an Easter egg hunt - all in the pub, of course! Today I am going to keep the Bank Holiday tradition alive with a spot of mattress and fridge shopping (Middle aged, me? Well, maybe getting there...) as, although things have stalled, I am still hopeful that I will be moving into my little flat in two weeks time. Assuming the tenants in the place I'm trying to buy eventually move out...
So, without further aplomb, I shall wish you adieu. Enjoy the rest of the holiday!
Yep, you guessed it - I've been to Italy. At the grand old age of, erm, 21, I finally got to the country that has fascinated me ever since I saw Helena Bonham-Carter in A Room With A View as a teenager - and it didn't disappoint.
I stayed in the small city of Trieste, near the borders of Croatia and Slovenia, with my mate Lisa and her Italian Stallion (ahem!) Simone. It was beautiful, with two castles, a Roman ampitheatre and the largest public square on a sea front in Europe. And, after a two hour train journey, I found myself in Venice too and, whilst I was very impressed by San Marco piazza, it was the tiny streets and meandering canals that blew me away.
The food and drink wasn't half bad either - I had some of the best seafood I've ever tasted, amazing pizza and glelato, and discovered Faranghina wine and the local tipple, Aperol Spritz. Nom....
So, this week, I thought I'd share with you lovely people my favourite pics from my foray. I hope you like...
So, back here in the UK, I'm feeling refreshed and inspired - if a little bit anxious about my impending move to Walthamstow - and becoming a home owner for the first time. Gulp! Now I just need the vendor's solicitor to get his butt in gear so I can move in before my current landlord chucks me out...
Anyway, I'd love to stay and talk, but I have to go on Freecycle to find some packing boxes to move all my tut. It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks...
P.S. Read more about my travels (this time in the UK) on my Underground Overground blog here!
Well, the wind is blowing, the rain is falling, and I am glad to be indoors with my trusty netbook and my Friends box set. It's been a busy week planning my exhibition (did I mention I have an exhibition coming up? :)) and I'm enjoying putting my feet up for once.
Today I pounded the streets of Clerkenwell distributing flyers for my exhibition and was overwhelmed by the number of businesses who were more than happy to advertise Out of Hours on their premises. You see, Londoners have a bad rep, but they aren't all meanies. In fact, one really surprised me the other day when, whilst stood at the traffic lights in the pouring rain, I suddenly found myself covered by a complete stranger's umbrella.
I'll never forget my English teacher drumming it in to me that "nice" was an inadequate adjective and, I admit, it isn't one that is always flattering. But, you know what? I think that I'm going to reclaim it. Nice is good. Nice is what to aim for, because, you know what? Quite often in this world, nice is missing. But when it rears it's pretty head, it can make a grey, miserable day suddenly a little brighter, your mood a little lighter.
Now, I don't know about you lot, but I'm off to pour myself a nice glass of wine before I settle down to a nice movie.
Have a nice day!
Well I hope you are all having a lovely restful day. Those of you who dip into this blog on a regular basis will know that, this year, I have vowed to take it all a little bit easier. You will also be aware that, last week, I had an offer accepted on a flat. AND arranged to have a wee art exhibition in Farringdon. If you know me personally you will also know what I'm not so good at taking it nice and slow and, even with the best of intentions, my New Years Resolution was always going to be something I would struggle with. And events over the last 14 days have not made it any easier...
It doesn't help that I can't say no to a little bit of fun too. This week I've started choir again, caught up with some art friends over mushroom and stilton pie and wine (as it LOTS of wine) and indulged in a bit of girly time oggling Jude Law in Henry V and dissecting his, er, "performance" over pizza and, yep, more wine. Which means that it is Sunday afternoon and, despite my best intentions, I'm starting to feel a bit antsy about all the stuff I should have done - and not quite managed.
I think I need help.
Anyway, on that note, I'm going to crack on with a bit of writing, research my trip to Bristol next weekend (I WILL have a mini-break, I WILL!) and do my knee strengthening exercises before making a veggie stew for my lunches next week and a spot of dinner. As Virginia Woolf said, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well..."
Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it...
Here you will find my latest news, including what I have been up to and what I have been writing (and making). Hopefully you'll like what I have to say - and perhaps I will motivate you to get creative too...