16 September 2008

Holiday from Online

River Mouth

I'm going to take a little break from blogging. Because of a combination of being lost for words and wanting to spend a bit more time offline.

Edited to add:

I probably could have explained a bit better.

I was talking to a friend the other day about how she doesn't carry a camera because she believes it comes between her and the experience of whatever she's doing. I've been feeling lately that I want to experience things more and think about them less - just soak up the experience of being here before it is time to move on. I'm doing a screen printing course, have become a member of the Tate gallery, have been painting a lot, the new teaching job is keeping me busy and there are, like, a million things to do in London.

So. For a while I will be out there doing stuff and not writing about it. But I will still be taking the odd photo because I love photos and I think often they capture experiences in ways that we are only able to see after time has passed.

Forever is composed of nows.
- Emily Dickinson

15 September 2008


Oxford StreetOxford Street Bus
Oxford Street at night

13 September 2008

late friday night

Oxford St at NightIn Progress Number 3

Kimchi tonight with Andrew and Lauchlin at a Korean restaurant near Oxford Street; another painting in progress. Maybe you're wondering if any of them are finished. They aren't. There's something nice about having a zillion things on the go at once.

9 September 2008

in progress: toe-sock nude

Ironwork, VeniceIn Progress
ironwork, Venice; unfinished toe-sock painting by me

Painting. Massaman curry cooking on the stove. Cloudy days. And amazing Venetian ironwork curling away in the back of my mind.

6 September 2008

rain on the roof, laptop on the table

Photo of a PhotoIn Progress
photo of trees by Lauchlin; half-finished painting by me

I am sitting on a cushion on the floor, listening to the rain on the roof, dreaming of rich indigo paint and stitching and one day having a pet daschund.

This week in my new class of five-year-olds, somebody sat on a banana. I have never seen a banana so flat. I would have screamed with laughter if I wasn't a teacher with a bewildered-looking five-year-old standing in front of me, bereft of her banana. I got her a new, three-dimensional banana.

It has been a good week.

2 September 2008

Do Not Forget the Knobbly Dumplings

Old Town Square, Prague
Old Town Square, Prague

The problem with travel is that the details are often lost. Somebody will ask you "How was your trip?" and if you're not careful, you end up giving answers like "It was nice." But what does "nice" tell you? It shares nothing of what it was like to be there.

"Nice" is sometimes all that people want to hear. We don't often have time to hear about every detail of everyone's holidays. But sometimes I want to ask someone about their holiday and hear about how it was different. What little things were there that showed a different culture's way of looking at the world?

Here, then. I give you three little things that were different in Prague. In case you might be interested in the details, too.

* There are knobbly potato dumplings. They come served with a big clump of stinky half-melted cheese and nothing else on top. They are interesting in their cheesy knobbliness.

* This is how you order a chocolate icecream: "Jedna shockolade prosim." (Pronounced "yed-nah shoc-o-lada pro-seem." I can now order a chocolate icecream in German, Italian, French and Czech. Ahem. And I might have eaten a few icecreams in all of those countries. Maybe I had one every day.

Falconry Area, Prague Castle
Falconer holding a bird, Prague Castle

* If you explore the Prague Castle grounds, you might find the little part that is home to the falconry. At the falconry there is a peregrine falcon (fastest bird in the world, apparently it dives at up to 400km/hr) and an owl with the cutest ears and a lady who holds a bird on her arm that you can pat. As long as you pat it where it can see your hand. Its feathers are soft and... feathery. I do not want to imagine what its beak would do to my finger if I tried to pat the back of its head.