Friday, 20 July 2012

Normality is returning

I set the clock for an hour later this morning and slept like a baby, although where that analogy came from I don't know, since none of my babies ever slept much at all until they hit their late teens at which point they became positively Somnambulant, but I digress. I slept in and woke up feeling almost normal, I've had two weeks of unmitigated hell, punctuated with a bit of a 'do' in York, which convinced me that I’m clearly an irascible recluse who struggles to find a skerrick of small talk in such a contrived situation such as a gathering to celebrate my mother’s birthday.
It was 20 years since the last such gathering and this time I remembered to make sure the guests were happy, or rather made sure Leyla oozed her generous charm whilst I cringed in a corner. Sadly it went on all weekend with little respite, Mother was so grumpy I really did not understand how the weekend was a celebration; to me celebrating something is doing something fun. I guess she enjoyed the glow afterwards, who knows?
20 years ago she raged at me for over an hour at my inept ability to make sure her friends were suitably oiled, a scolding I have nurtured as a bitter grudge ever since. It should be noted that the day after I returned home from her diatribe I gave birth to Daisy, so my ineffectual social smoozing was clearly due to the fact was in labour and was lucky not to give birth on the York to London train.
This grudge is very typical of my relationship with Mother, were I to discuss it she would deny it had happened and if acknowledged would deny it was important, and yet after this weekend I see very little mellowing has taken place.
But the hell is over; less than two hours from now I will leave this building and plan to not return for at least a week. Instead I will be in search of some sanity saving domesticated bliss instead, which I can guarantee will last less than a week before I ache to challenge my brain a little bit more.
I spent last night catching up with a BBC series The Hollow Crown, quite the best thing you'll ever watch, I have never particularly enjoyed Shakespeare filmed but these have been sublime; my favourite so far is Henry IV part 2, so moving I cried like a baby.
The second part of my sanity saver will be to pop up to a couple of galleries after school closes today solo, as the last few weeks have entailed trailing around with anything from 1 truculent 11 years old to 65 apathetic 15 year olds, and this weekend sees yet more gallivanting with sisters and mothers, hard to feel any sympathy I know, but hopefully I can blog a little more frequently over the summer.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The view from here

It is all fun, fun, fun in London at the moment, or rather it would be if it would a) stop raining and b) the entire city wasn't being dug up in time for the BIG event. Of which I am participating in, having procured very early on tickets for the final of the 3 day equestrian eventing in Greenwich park. I was sent a free travel card to go with my tickets laughable since the park is almost in walking distance from where I live. But it was the thought that counted.

These phone boxes are scattered across London, I love them particularly the one with the pigeon on top.
 The rather bizarre and wholly inclement weather has raised sartorial challenges I didn't know existed. Freezing cold to hot and sunny in a day and more recently humid, raining and very overcast, which when you are going through the menopause is beyond cruel. Hot sweats and SAD, London's summer, the gift that just keeps on giving.
The trick is to layer up and I managed to assemble some combinations that have seen me through. Particularly pleasing was I finally managed to pair up my stripy cardies which have lain loved but unworn for a year, but I managed to spend a day trying on different ideas and they are very much my favourites this year.
 And so the view from here.
If you were to stand and stare from this very spot only looking down not across, you would see where my focus has been centred for the last few weeks. There have been highs and lows and it was the lows that brought me back to college last night.
A couple of weeks ago we were charged with curating a small show to exhibit our work, we sadly failed that task, because we were oh so busy being terribly polite to each other, and so not treading on peoples toe's. This does not make for a good exhibition, and so we were all told that we had not navigated the space effectively enough  and I had allowed another student to dominate the room preventing access to my work.
I edited a very short film which caused me untold stress. I am someone who lives in there comfort zone, easing me out has to be done very slowly as I like to remain in control but I had only a couple of weeks to do it and on a computer with no right click!. I projected the video onto a door as a symbol of my contested space but it was felt the presentation was slightly amateurish. In hindsight I agree, so last night I went to the MA Fine Art show , and I have learnt many lessons from it, and I am very, very prepared for next years exhibition. 
If you love art I highly recommend it, Goldsmiths has a great reputation and going to see it made up for my missing this years RCA show, due to the fact I was busy with my own exhibition.
Emin was surprisingly great throughout, and even stunned me by saying he not only understood but enjoyed the film!
As I walked around the exhibition spaces I was struck by just how proud the parents were of their sons and daughters, we had a private view too, but I told no one about it. I have issues clearly, why, I don't know.
What was really strange for me was part of the Fine Art show is in the old swimming baths, a beautiful Victorian building that  25 years ago I used to swim in, Now I was walking through the old pools instead and felt quite old.
In the midst of the chaos I have seen not one but three plays in London. Democracy @ Old Vic is great, I think it would be better in a smaller more intimate venue, but so well written. Next up was Birthday @ Royal Court, the coarse nature of the play and language was not flagged up, but Leyla has probably heard it all before at home! As she said it was all a bit too shouty!
Finally it was Meet the Haussmans @ National Theatre, a complete rip off since the play managed to merge Meet the Conway's with The Cherry Orchard. Yet it has had rave reviews. I went with my sister who has to be the grumpiest person to see a play with, she said she felt robbed, it was not that bad, just not that good either.
She is having a bit of a 'Do' tomorrow, so I have ordered her favourite cake from Konditor & Cook. Coffee and Walnut. I just hope I get a slice!
Work? Work is total SHIT, I have been royally shafted into organising activities with people who really don't want to, plus we are having to start the new term now! So life is full of  data bashing and planning plus dealing with a recalcitrant teacher coming back from a lengthy maternity leave, I feel her pain but dealing with her moods is depressing. However next week I am in York and I will be with Daisy so have plenty to see me through next week.