Thursday, 29 October 2009

Belgium Again

Last time I said Belgium was the land of beer and bikes, this time it's more like bellies and breast-feeding. Seriously, everyone we know there is expecting a baby or has recently had at least one. It's the capital of the european union.... and reproduction.

The reason for the trip is hard to explain, (not least because it would involve the explanation of my partner's PHD research, and believe me, you don't want to hear that from me).

But let me say this:

There were clowns, musicians, and dancers. Professional and amateur entertainers who were so passionate about their belonging to this project.

There was a wild dancing fairy dressed in red and glitter, and an angular, slow-moving Scandanavian angel with a blunt fringe and enormous white feathered wings, who bent down to speak to most people, cupping her hand over her mouth and whispering into their ears.

There were children painting T-shirts with the project's logo in one corner, and learning to walk along a tight-rope in another.

A documentary about the healing in South Africa as a result of this project.

and me, hanging back feverishly, smiling, observing, documenting.

Friday, 23 October 2009


The fireplace and the smell of cold
Re-sewing buttons
Jazz Blaring
Getting a parking fine (but avoiding that the car is towed away. This is positive.)
Spaghetti for lunch
Packing a suitcase, cos' we're going back here

Hope this weekend is merry for all...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Monday, 19 October 2009

It's Cold

When I lived with my cousin in Melbourne, we would celebrate the beginning of each new season by listing the things we loved about that particular one on a chalkboard. (all seasons included cinnamon for reasons unexplained, and sex, for reasons that don't need explaining. Sometimes we couldn't think of enough season specific things to fill the chalkboard).

This is quite a common thing to do, I'm not claiming any kind of originality at all here. I see this on blogs all the time, in magazines, and just everywhere.

This is the kind of thing people really usually only do for autumn and winter though, have you noticed? -I get that. This is because that's when we need the most convincing. After living with real seasons* for the last few years, I've noticed that real seasons means that summer is everybody's friend. Everybody greets summer with open, pasty, (but finally bare) arms.

It's when it starts to cool off that I notice people start listing.

"Falling Leaves, Soup...Crusty bread...Woollen Socks...Mick Malthouse...Oh God please help me through to September/April**". I too am trying to be positive, but the truth is that all I can think about is how much I hate feeling cold, and this is only just the beginning.

While I was complaining once that a Melbourne summer was coming to an end, my friend Israel said, in a yeah-well-that's-life kind of tone, that summer and spring are for being inspired, and autumn is for being creative.

To me it seems like summer is for doing, and autumn is for thinking about it.

In Morocco one day, we were flustered and feeling out of control, we both missed our brushes/instruments and Salva put it down to feeling uncomfortable with a life solely lived, and not reflected on. We were missing our creative time, which I guess is, as Israel says, Autumn.

But in Morocco the days rolled by slowly, one at a time and a few weeks felt like months. Now somebody has gone and sped everything up.

Summer was a whirlwind of food, beaches, driving, selling, maps, and Morrocco. Now the vibe at home is pure business. Emails and photographs and event organising.

Here is the latest piece I did for MiradaSonoras.

There is another one of mine too that you can see on their blog.

I'm working on more, and an exhibition in mid-November. So I'm being autumnal, and talking myself into liking it.

*Real seasons, now, means a difference of at least 25ÂȘc between Summer and Winter. You win, Melbourne. You too, Bologna, London, and Valladolid. Northern NSW, and Southern California, you do not fit into this category.
**Depends on your hemisphere, obviously.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


Red Wine.
Art Galleries.
Apple Pie.
Walking/Bike Riding.
Staying in.
Going out.
Pasta From Scratch.
Collecting wood.
Lighting the fire. (soon).
The Library.

The World Through a Pair of Vintage-Coloured Glasses

Monday, 5 October 2009


Nothing has been going on here, except that I've been skittishly throwing paint around and making quick, crazy paintings, brooding about the really big, slow ones and wishing they turned out as good as the little crazies.

This painting is called Brazil, which is a place where I have never been. I used to really want to go there to live, but I don't anymore, it's moved down my list. Perhaps I'm travel fickle.

I used to be so excited by the idea of learning another language and culture, but right now the thought of learning Portuguese and trying to decipher Brazilian culture codes is exhausting.

Actually the north of Europe is calling me. I've been all about the latin cultures for 5 years now, which is a fair percentage of my life. I feel like bikes and recycled toilet paper* and super efficient bureaucratic systems, and Dutch/Flemish or Swedish/Danish**... but also, now that I'm sharing:

The place where I really want to go soon is San Francisco. I like the idea of making some new friends, (maybe artists who will talk to me about painting?) and speaking English to such arty, english-speaking friends. The other day Mum asked me if i ever speak English to anyone and I when I said no, she said "That's weird". I 'spose it is weird.

*I mean the toilet paper made from recycled paper, usually unbleached. Spanish residents do not have access to such toilet paper.

**Given the opportunity, I would learn a hybrid version of these languages to spread their utility as far as possible.