Tuesday, 26 April 2011

what's that about global warming?

Hasn't it been marvellous!  Sun every day in the Easter holidays.  I can't remember one like it.  It usuallly pours and I look out of my kitchen window on the sorry looking allotment wondering about doing some weeding.  This year, there are onions and gladiolis and parsnips and potatoes and weeds (of course) but no rain sodden nettles or puddles on the path.  It looks like July but with a slight nip in the air.

Here are two of my favourite people on Charmouth beach.  We were there for just a couple of hours (apologies to Mrs P - I'm pretty sure you were away, now I know I can get there, we'll be coming again!)  When we arrived there were six cars in the car park, when we left, there was a queue to get in.  I wouldn't say it was the most beautiful beach but it was the nearest and two hours by the sea left me wide awake and fulll of summer spirit.

I want to live by the sea sometime soon.  Not necessarily all the time.  I can't be doing with the upheaval but I would really like a little place by a beach, even a town beach.  What I would like most of all is a month by a beach.  The Worker and I went travelling a long time ago and one of my favourite bits was the month by the beach that I'd exchanged for two weeks of trekking in Nepal - lots of lying down in exchange for too much yomping about.  Bliss.  I think it might have to be a sandy beach although pebbles appeal as they're quite clean and I can convince myself I'm having a hot stone massage at the same time.  I'm easily pleased.

However, as funds are limited being a student and all that, I think my seaside retreat will have to wait, at least in reality.  There may be a little online time wasting around the north Devon coast a little later today when I should be on the laptop making some cash not spending it in in an imaginary manner.


Well, from all accounts Catherine the Slim has done a lot better on the wedding diet front than myself.  I have lost precisely 1lb since I challenged myself to get in to my wedding suitt.  I am delighted to announce however, that I can get the jacket and shoes on.  I can also get the skirt on, I just can't do it up.  This means that I have a 66% success rate, which in many examinations rates as an 'A' - as you can imagine, I'm thrilled.

I have also been inspired by an article in the Sunday Times Style magazine announcing that curves are cool.  Hurrah!  I suspect, unfortunately, that this article is in the same vein as those that suggest military fashion is cool - every year, around March.  Never mind - I take some comfort in my temporary coolness.  Finally - I'm in fashion.


Did you make bunting this weekend?  I had a lovely time and have strung some festively across the front of the house.  We are now a three string bunting house - two from Poundland (new favourite shopping - great doilies) and one from my very own sewing machine.  Roll on Friday....

Monday, 18 April 2011

third time lucky....

...this is the third time I've tried to post today.  Hurrah - I finally made it!

What have we been doing?  It's the Easter holidays you know - too cold for sunbathing, too warm for knitting (already!), too chilly for picnics.  This is the not quite right school holidays.  Easter is inbetweeny, not quite long enough holidays. not quite sunny enough holidays.

This holiday, I have stuck to my guns about one day in, one day out.  The day out might not be very exciting and there have been complaints but J has spent a lot less time in his pyjamas which can only be a GOOD thing.  February half term was a fug of hot tea, toast and slippers.  I can't live like that for a fortnight.  There are things to be done and places to go.  There are days out to be had and by gum, we're going to enjoy them.

Last week we had some firsts:
- we had a snack in Greggs (you should have seen the size of the buns), now entitled 'E's favourite new shop'
- we visited Marlborough's Rabley Drawing Centre to see this which was great and required the wearing of white cotton gloves
- we took a trip to Avebury and bought a crystal each for a £1

Cake, culture and crystals.  Not a combination you experience every week.  We like to find entertainment in the simplest of things - obviously!

E & I had a weekend with 'the girls'.  Lots of shopping, a walk along the Thames, a most delicious burger from a place called Byron and a girls' night in watching Britain's Got Talent.  We took the train which was very relaxing and easy peasy.  A proper weekend away.  The boys played football, watched football, talked about football and ate curry and breakfast.

I am hoping to get to the Sculpture Trail here but time is already filtering through our fingers.  Tomorrow we're out and about on another first - we holidaymakers are having our eyes tested (again - simple pleasures).  The last time I had mine looked at was, I think, when I was pregnant and it was free.  The optician informed me that I could have glasses 'if I liked'.  I didn't. 

E has seen a nice purple pair she fancies and J doesn't understand why we need to go.  The reason, I'm afraid is guilt.  The last time I took J to the doctor's because of a persistent headache, the doctor informed me that I should have had J&E's eyes tested every year since starting school.  It hadn't even occurred to me and I'm very obedient on the health front - always in the queue for vaccines or whatnots.  So, whoops, we should have gone to Specsavers so we're going - I hope Greggs is shut.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I love Paddington station - the smell, the noise, the sound of wheelie suitcases, the screech of the whistles and the general mutterings of all those arriving and departing.

The heat had already proved too much for some.

My first stop?  The Nancy Spero exhibition at The Serpentine. 

Something lovely on the stroll there.

It was difficult to contemplate Spero's dark, haunting work when confronted with Hyde Park and London at their glorious, spring best.  I should have gone in February.  I went because of a review I'd seen lying around at college - feminist, anti-war, philosopher, text were the words that inspired my trip.  The work was full of angst and repeated images.  I'm no art critic, however.  I can't describe the exhibition beyond those terms - ask me next year, maybe, when I'm steeped in art lingo.

Spero wasn't the main attraction though, I'd booked a ticket to see Julie Mehretu speak about her work at the British Museum.  I've been writing about her in my first year essay so was intrigued to hear her description of her work and how it feels to be included in the latest drawing exhibition at the Museum.  She was very engaging and very open about how she works and what her process is and how it has developed.  She is feted as a global artist - not only because of her own personal background but in terms of her visual imagery and use of architectural drawings and marks. 

Apart from speakers who come to college, it was the first artists' talk I'd ever attended.  I think I'll go to more.  It made me think about whether it is important to be based in London - especially as one of the main themes of the discussion was about the move from rural to urban settings that has meant more people now live in cities than in the countryside across the world.

After the talk it was time to get Paddington and the bonus of some glorious music played by these people.

Friday, 8 April 2011

can't stop now....

...am swapping fields for pavements and I'm taking my camera.

I've finished this term's college work and, at this stage of events, have a whole month stretching before me.  Am going to use my train journey to plan the weeks ahead.

Enjoy the sunshine!  Don't forget your sunscreen.

Friday, 1 April 2011

try something new every day....

...whilst Mrs No-Knickers was rambling through clay (see yesterday's post), I decided to give painting a try.  I can't say whether it went well or not, having never painted with a brush before.  I have, of course, dropped watercolour onto wet paper to behold the burst of colour that ensues and I did have a go scraping acrylic with an old credit card, just to see what happened, about four years ago. 

One thing I have learnt this year is that most of an art degree is about showing the process of decision making involved in almost everything I do.  It's a bit of a leap.  I'm not allowed to say I 'like', 'enjoy' or 'dislike' something without following that word with a long explanation or argument for that decision or choice.  That something can be another artist's work, it can be the media I choose to draw in, it could be the point of view expressed by an art critic.  Everything is up for discussion.

This is how a previously rational person starts to draw suitcases and continues to draw suitcases for nearly four months of her life.  And then, inexplicably picks up a paintbrush and tries to paint suitcases - so far, for three weeks of her life. 

Now, you might look at this (as I do) and say, oooh, there's a WIP, there's a bit of an attempt at suitcase painting.  Well, you're mistaken.  This is a collection of marks, describing distortions of shape and line, inspired by a blurred photograph of a selection of suitcases.  There you go....something new every day.