It has been a mixed week so far. These are some of the good things which have happened in it:
I bought myself a really excellent new cardigan.
The sun has come out! You could almost suspect it is summer.
I found out that I got a distinction for an essay I wrote about some brain-melting cultural theory things (I am feeling pretty disgustingly smug about this one, actually).
Tomorrow I get to go to Newcastle to visit the Seven Stories Centre, which in case you don’t know, is an arts centre devoted entirely to children’s literature. I am so excited. The fact that is actually part of my job makes it even better.
…. and some less good things which have also happened:
Now that it is hot, my beautiful sun-allergy blisters are back, decorating my face with their loveliness. Yes, I am allergic to the sun. I am very, very special.
My throat of doom has returned. it is like an uber villain from an action film, possibly The Terminator. Every time you think you have well and truly destroyed it, it is back with a vengeance, seemingly more hell-bent on evil than ever before.
The electronic council tax robots forced me to pay them £956 of council tax. Why the streets are not paved with actual gold here in Didsbury, I truly cannot imagine.
I missed out on this lovely event yesterday which I really wanted to go to, because I was tired and felt ill (see doom, throat of) after a particularly exhausting day at work. It was rubbish.
Still, in spite of all this, the sun has been shining, and I do get to go and see an exhibition tomorrow entitled ‘From Toad Hall to Pooh Corner’.
On balance, I think life is okay.
It’s been another week of madness. On Wednesday night, I was at Manchester Art Gallery for the launch of the b.tween conference. Wandering through the beautiful pre-Raphaelite and Victorian galleries with my glass of wine whilst we waited for things to kick off made for an interesting contrast with the main event – pitches from five creatives for the exploding narratives project, which uses cutting-edge technology.
On Thursday, I headed over to Liverpool for the Design Show at the Contemporary Urban Centre. I am quite impressed that I managed not to spend any money (except for buying a quite disgusting tuna panini – though that, as they say, is really another story). I did take quite a fancy to Rachel Eardley‘s pretty dove earrings, but sadly they were rather out of my price range. The dangerous Tatty Devine stand was also quite difficult to resist. Oh the gorgeousness of the black cat bangle! Oh how covetable is the petite antler pendant! I think the Tatty Devine people could see me drooling because they kindly gave me a rather fabulous heart-shaped lolly and and this most excellent badge which I love. (Secretly, I am still only about 5 years old.)
Today, I was back in Manchester for day two of the b.tween conference at MoSI. I felt like a total wally when I arrived this morning because I was (literally) the only one there without a laptop (specifically, a shiny new mac book), a blackberry or an iphone. Instead, I had a pen. A pen. My god, I like pre-Raphaelite oil paintings and I use a pen. I am practically analogue. I am surprised some kind of digital police force didn’t come and forcibly eject me from the auditorium because I wasn’t Web 2.0 enough to make the grade. However, I did start to feel better when someone made a cheezburger joke on the webchat screen and I actually understood it. (Is that a good thing?)
It was an interesting day – I enjoyed listening to this guy whilst watching my neighbour’s rather impressive doodling. I got another free badge! And then there was Bill Tidy – the highlight of the day. His slightly nonsensical but entertaining talk, which took in everything from coathangers to Lady Godiva, was illustrated not by boring old powerpoint slides, but by his own rapid-fire illustrations. The audience loved it: the glossy meeja type sitting next to me was audibly snorting with laughter at one point and on the webchat screen a whole “bill tidy rocks, death to powerpoint” movement was rapidly gaining momentum. I felt a lot better after that: clearly analogue has still got it after all.
… And now the week is over! It’s Friday night and my plan for the weekend is for sunshine, artlessness, and sleep!
What do masking tape, sandwich bags and Derrida have in common? You may well ask…
At the weekend some of us from the Salford Restoration Office Reading Group got together with the intention of making a publication in two days. The feeling was that we wanted to do something more as a group beyond our activity so far, which has been largely reading and discussing texts and inviting speakers to the fortnightly Open Sessions. When we talked about possible ideas and projects, making a publication was a popular suggestion which we all felt would be interesting for the group to explore. The plan was to make something deliberately low-tech with only very minimal forward planning: we would just turn up on Saturday morning and get stuck in!
Well, I think we may have been a little optimistic with our plans: our final ‘publication’ wasn’t perhaps quite what I had expected (and yes, it did involve masking tape, sandwich bags and Derrida!) but we did have some fun in the process, including experimenting with an old letter press, reading about Collage Party, the odd trip to the pub and making a pinhole camera from a cardboard box, taking photographs and developing them in our very own improvised dark room. The picture above is one of the photographs taken in the office as we’re all working: I like how ghostly and mysterious everything looks.
I’d been really looking forward to getting stuck in after a long and tiring week at work. Since I started my current job three months ago, I have had very little time or energy to do anything creative for myself, so it was great to put a weekend aside to play, even if the end result wasn’t quite what I had anticipated! I was also supposed to be attending a two-day writing course this week, but disappointingly, it got cancelled at the last minute. I didn’t know whether to be sorry or relieved when I found out: I have never taken any kind of writing course or class before, and I was quite terrified at the prospect of showing others my work, though I do think it would have been very good for me. I am trying hard to find a way to kick myself back into writing regularly at the moment but it’s surprisingly difficult! But hopefully writing here will be a good start.