I must apologise for not blogging to you all last weekend - after a 14 mile hike with my dad and his cronies I was a wee bit tired!
Yep, as always it's been all go. This weekend I compensated for my trek with a massage and facial followed by afternoon tea and shopping with my ma. I've also been keeping myself busy with my "hobbies"; swimming, writing, yoga-ing, sewing and painting.
Why? Well, I guess you could say I choose life.
Yes, I am quoting Renton's rant in Trainspotting, which I saw at the King's Head in Islington last week. It was a fantastic, brave production, which I strongly recommend you see if the company take it anywhere else.
But why choose life? What's the meaning of it all? Why bother with all these extra-curricular activities? Well, I admit, sometimes I wonder. But then I know that if I don't engage in the process, I'll never find out why I am really here.
And I guess I'd quite like to figure that out.
Yep, it's Sunday evening and I'm here as usual, blogging away. It's been a busy week, what with my frantic attempts to finish decorating the hall (STILL not quite done) and a visit from Mama and Papa Berry. It was lovely to see them both and show off my new abode to my ma, who had yet to visit, and to my pa, who has only seen it in the light of a decorator.
On Saturday I was treated to a West Show, this time The Lion King. Whilst I was impressed by the singing, dancing and puppetry, I admit I wasn't blown away. As my ma pointed out, the story was a little one-dimensional, but I think it was something else that really bugged me. I couldn't help but wonder how an African would see the Westernized, Disney-fied interpretation of their country. What would they make of the sanitized version of the vibrant outfits I saw when I visited Kenya, or the semi-clad actors and supporting dancers who seem to play to that tired, old stereotype that black people are, like women, little more than sex objects?
I wonder if my discomfort came from a conversation I had earlier that week about the way we describe people from different ethnic groups. Whilst I understand that to the older generation the label "coloured" was once much more acceptable than the term "black", I had to point out that it basically puts anyone who isn't "white" into the same ethnic group - essentially lumping together anyone who isn't Caucasian as the other. Whilst I accept that not all people mean to be derogatory when they use the word, when you look under the surface, it screams of notions of white supremacy. Not pretty.
But then, who am I to judge? In my day job, I spend a lot of time telling people how they should behave and what they should do to improve their lives - people who are often from a different class, ethnic background and generation to me. Whilst my colleagues and I work hard to make a positive difference, I wonder if we always listen to the people we are supposed to be helping - and whether we truly welcome and take on board their views.
So when I attend my evening meeting tomorrow, I'm going to make a conscious effort to really listen to what people are saying - and do my best to ensure that their views are taken into consideration in the follow-up work that we do. I like to think that I already do this. but if I'm brutally honest, I wonder if I'm just kidding myself, and I ask anyone who reads this to let me know if they think that I am - and perhaps to take stock of their own practice and views when dealing with people who are different from themselves.
Yes, it's another late-night blog after a pretty hectic weekend. In case you didn't already guess, I've been to see Evita and today went to a seminar about - wait for it - dating. Yes, really. In my defense, my main reason for going was for research (still working on my podcast/article/youtube piece on the subject) but admit that there was some personal benefit. Okay, so a lot of it was about men, but the basis of the talk was how to get what you want from life, whether that be a new career or a new relationship.
Eva Peron was a woman who did what she had to do to get where she wanted to be, morally or otherwise. According to the musical, she essentially used men to get to the top and her working-class background to gain the adoration of a nation - with the added benefit of the riches that came with being the first lady of Argentina. Having read a few books on finding Mr Right (research people, honest!), I have to say that some tactics suggested seem a little bit manipulative. I mean, asking a guy if you can use his phone just to start a conversation? Persuading him to help you pick a birthday present for an imaginary brother? Sorry, but no - if I'm going to find Mr Right, I'm going to do it my way. And that means cutting the crap.
So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to text that young man I met last week and remind him how fabulous I am. What I won't be telling him is that I've been singing Andrew Lloyd Webber songs all weekend...
Well, hello there...
I hope you're all feeling a bit better than me. A busy week at Out of Hours, a nasty cold and one too many Jaegerbombs last night (yes, really!) has left my energy levels rather depleted... but not so much that I can't tell you all about it. Well, my little exhibition has been and gone and, although I'm all a bit knackered, it was worth it - two pictures sold and interest shown in two others has left me chuffed to bits! A few people
have asked me if I'd do it again - or, indeed when I'll next be showing my work. Well, I may well do it again, but not for a while (I need to recuperate!) and will try to find a venue which is more used to exhibiting art - and share the load when it comes to promoting. A PR I aint... I'm pleased to say that it hasn't all be work and no play. I had Friday off and met a friend and her gorgeous 8 month old daughter at Ritzy cinema in Brixton for The Big Scream - screenings especially for mums with babies - and thoroughly enjoyed The Book Thief and a good natter over lunch afterwards.
My culturefest didn't end there. Yesterday Mama Berry came down to London and I took her to see Marti Webb in Tell Me On a Sunday - the soundtrack of which I was all but brought up on. Marti certainly hasn't lost it - and the lyrics definately struck a chord with my thirty-something year old self. It's only on until the 8th so I suggest you get your skates on and book a ticket pronto!
Sadly for my poor little head, my weekend of fun didn't end there. After putting my mum on a train full of Leeds supporters (sorry mum!) I met some chums for a few drinks... then a few more... and some random dancing in a basement bar somewhere in Shoreditch. The evening was rounded off with a trip to the Bavarian Beerhouse on City Road, somewhere I've been fascinated with for ages. Let's just say my curiosity has been satisfied and I don't feel the need to rush back...
So yes, you'd probably be right in saying I have no-one else to blame but myself for my sudden craving for full-fat Coke and crisps. But sometimes you just need to let your hair down and have a good giggle with the girlies. Which I certainly did this weekend. Now it's time so sit back, put on my Friends box set and relax... just as soon as I've had a little siesta. Zzzz....
See you next week!
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...