I got a disposable camera developed today which contained many forgotten about happy good times. There were photos of melon smiles, bear hugs, mountains, feet dangling over water, much missed friends, road trips and a man with a perm and fancy waistcoat. And a few of the inside of my bag. I am starting to worry about all the other hidden away times that are stored inside my head but are only brought forward and remembered when triggered by a specific symbol. What if something incredible happens which is swept to the corner by a higher density of other less amazing occurrences? I guess it's that age-old debate of quality vs quantity. One amazing memory may take up the same amount of space as six less brilliant memories. But maybe what we value at the time isn't the true value. Maybe hindsight and time allows us to re-evaluate and re-order our experiences. Like in The Five People You Will Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. If you haven't read it, I would strongly recommend it. It is one of those books you read and tell people about but keep your copy for yourself on your bookshelf as you know that at some point in the future, you will want/ need to re-read it.
When I was 12 years old and pretty much living in an ice-rink, I took part in my first National Team challenge which saw Teams of over-energetic youngsters skate their (our) little socks off in order to win a super-shiny medal to proudly hang up at home. This debut saw 12 of us appear from the inside of a giant 1920's car made of mdf with wooden splurge guns in hand. There was also feather bowers, spats, braces and badly drawn eyeliner moustaches. The early morning Sunday rehearsals definitely ruined my love for the film, Bugsy Malone, but 14 years on I am ready to curl up and watch it again. Although now I am older than all the actors, a sense of inadequacy and some what lack of accomplishment is present as opposed to young aspiration and inspiration.
Bristol cycle festival started last weekend and was seen in by the opening of the Bicycle Exhibition initiated by Boneshaker at howies...so on my day off I went back to my place of work for a beer and a good look around some brilliant bike artwork. The walls are still full of all these treasures so go along and have a look. Above you can see some of the hand sewn cycle caps by Jen Harrison, a pinboard of work from the guys at Boneshaker and collection of images from 45rpm. Come and have a peek abce howies on Queens Rd, Bristol.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of staying with a very great friend in the middle of nowhere in Devon. It was super good. Her house was the most wonderful homely space I have ever been lucky enough to spend time in. We slept in the summer house which looked straight out on to the richest green field with sheep happily munching away. We went to Slapton sands in the evening and drank ginger beer on the pebbles. We ate homegrown vegetables for dinner and fresh-from-the-chicken eggs for breakfast. We went surfing. We had an indulgent picnic. We laughed. And the sun kissed all of our cheeks.
Here are some excerpts from my "Bad Photo" album. To be honest, I had forgotten I had it...it was an album created at uni for all the 'bad' photos to go into. But it seems that they aren't as bad as I thought they were when I condemned them. They must just not have been right for the purpose they were taken for. Now I don't have to take photos for a purpose or to fulfill a brief. I just take them because I want to. Of what I want. When I want. Can you tell I am an only child?
The mornings are get chillier and the evenings getting shorter. Its the time of year when we start to rummage for big cosy jumpers, not leaving the house without a coat and feel less guilty about staying indoors infront of the TV at night. It is also the time of year when I go on a bit of a knitting rampage, convinced I can knit myself a whole new wardrobe and save the world in my determined mission. More realistic in my achievements this year, I have given myself one scarf to polish up rusty skills before attempting the hat. Having spent the passed few evenings clicking the points of my needles and redecorating my bedroom with wool, I feel I have gotten to a level of competence where I am now comfortable to take on the challenge of creating a piece of headwear. Maybe not to Philip Treacy's standards. But it will hopefully keep my head warm and my dark nights in more interesting.
Whilst browsing the bookshelf at work last week I came across this beauty. Not only is it an absolute treat to look at, but it is surprisingly educational in it;s content. Initially picked up and flicked through in jest, it quickly became apparent that the term 'housewife' described a completely different role in 1963 (the year it was published) than it does nowadays. This book features an array of everyday crisis solutions: quick party canapes, how to re-grout tiles, treating poisoned patients, fixing a broken pipe, how to love animals, making a dress and how to make your home a loving, welcoming one. Im pretty sure if there was an equivalent now it would focus more on personal grooming and the use of a microwave and mobile phone to delegate all household problems to others.
Last night I watched a documentary on Christopher Wheeldon; one of the youngest and most successful choreographers of contemporary ballet. The Bolshoi Ballet (one of the oldest and most traditional companys) invited him to create a new piece for them. He takes two of his closest dancers/ friends with him to document the experience who prove to be more useful in the creative process than he planned. The way in which Wheeldon works as an artist is highly organic and exploratative, whereas the dancers he is working with are used to being taught predesigned sequences from previously established pieces. This is made evident right from the start and causes quite a ripple amongst the company and within Wheeldon's creative process.
Watching this documentary was a pleasure as well as inspiring. Not least because my childhood dream was to be a Prima Ballerina, but also to see that even the most successful, high-profile artists are often challenged by their own routine and processes and still have to adapt to ever-evolving situations. Just because you are a national star or prodigy, does not mean that performing and creating at the same pace and in the same way will hold your success status. Being successful is about constant challenge and development.
Having my memory stirred by remembering my childhood dream resulted in a late night trawl through youtube to find footage of a German TV series aired in the late 80's called Anna. My life after the discovery of this series was changed forever. Mainly with my questionable fashion taste being based on that of Anna's. Actually, it probably still has a glimpse of influence still now. Despite the original being as badly dubbed as The Moomins and the German version now only available, I can still remember nearly ever word. Especially from this scene...one which was recreated hundreds of times in my living room with the sofas pushed back and the carpet rolled up. Which I am off to do right now. Enjoy.
- ▼ September (11)