August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Well, the past week has been rather a full on one.
For starters, I travelled down to London with my brother to meet our dad and his wife to see the Olympic women’s football final at Wembley stadium. The atmosphere was, of course, electric! Never having been to Wembley, nor ever having attended a football match, it was a very new experience. Double-exciting because it was the Olympics. And in London. And sunny. So, that’s like, quadruple-exciting.
The US-of-A won against Japan, but it was a tense match. We were surrounding by US supporters and my brother, ever-sociable, started up some banter with a particularly (over-)zealous American cheerleader. There was facepaint, stars and stripes, red, white and blue everywhere. Plus quite a number of Japanese flags and traditional dress, thankfully injecting a bit of alternative culture into the proceedings. We were (quietly) supporting Japan – always root for the underdogs. Still, silver ain’t bad at all!
The next day, my brother and I had free in London. So, going our separate ways to meet our own respective friends, I set off for St Paul’s, the wibbly-wobbly bridge and the Tate Modern. Michael and I went round the Damien Hirst exhibition, after my mum’s rave review. It was fascinating, intense and slightly barmy. I was sometimes left perplexed by his work – particularly the beach ball buoyed up by air. Apparently this represents ‘love’ and ‘desire’, their simultaneous precariousness natures and respective constancy. Most bizarre of all was the rotting decapitated head of a cow, its blood spreading from the opening, resembling a crimson carpet, with flies swarming and a horrible horrible smell that wafted out of the ventilators every so often. It was oddly captivating. My other favourite pieces were the butterfly canvases in the form of stain-glass windows. Then, the room of canvases that had pupae attached, from which butterflies had hatched and now fly around the room. One landed on Michael – to be fair, his shirt had an optical-illusion quality. Or perhaps I’m just not fragrant enough for them. The theme of incongruity was woven throughout his work, such as bringing together medicine and art, religion and nature. Overall, a weird but wonderful aura, plus a very enjoyable level of shock-factor.
(The rest of the day confirmed my suspicions: I want to live in London. Very badly.)
Aaaand then it was back to work! Which I am still doing! And it’s fun!
“FASHION” UPDATE: I also purchased a mid-calf skirt which is a lacquered Baileys colour with a faint leopard print on – for £11! Topshop, naturally. That shop is slowly growing on me again, especially when it has a sale. Plus some nose-bleed-high orange leather with cork heels shoes – for £20! From Moda in Pele! It’s a revelation! I am attending a friend’s early 21st birthday party on Saturday and have mentally arranged my outfit: my palm tree dress; coral necklace courtesy of my lovely mum; those new high orange heels; perhaps some coral lipstick (exotic); leopard print belt (a neutral, according to Caitlin Moran; so it must be); pale blue nails by Chanel, courtesy once more of my lovely thoughtful mum. God knows what my hair will do. There is too much of it. What does one do with long, thick hair? I resemble a Cocker Spaniel!
August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve just finished reading Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman after many months of wanting to read it and finally getting round to it after my friend told me she was reading it for the second time (it’s that good). It took me three days, in between that thing called work. Which is going well, by the way; more on that later.
Well, apart from now being able to confidently declare I AM A FEMINIST whilst standing on a chair, the book has also awakened me to myself. Whilst reading her fast, tumbling prose, I found myself nodding along, agreeing with pretty much everything she said (a bit like her reaction to Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch, which sounds pretty strident).
However, the most potent thing for me was her exclamation that we are all dying and there is no after-life; the sooner we realise that this, life, is not a waiting-room to the ‘next world’, the sooner we actually do something with ourselves. Ever since I got to university, I suppose I was simply waiting for things to happen, to begin. Other than my academia and a few other achievements, I often feel as though I have not done anything. This is completely false and stems from ridiculous feelings of inadequacy, as a result of looking around at everyone else and wondering how they became so happy/slim/confident/attached to numerous men. In fact, these feelings, whilst difficult to suppress, seem ungrateful, particularly when my life is really rather jammy.
The book has made me consider my own (often, lack of) beliefs. It has also propelled me to evaluate my true ambitions. I know I am ambitious; but I do not know why or for what. I strive for success; yet, I have no real aim or goal.
I watched Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech to the Class of 2012 at the University of the Arts. Once again, someone who has fulfilled – and continues to fulfil – their ambitions provides the kind of advice I wish I’d had heard years ago. He tells us to ‘Make Good Art’ – to keep making good art, through the shitty points in life, and through the euphoric ones. He says, ‘If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easy to do’.
Perhaps it is the Olympics. Perhaps it is summer cabin-fever hitting in, later than usual. Or perhaps I should take these brilliant peoples’ advice, remember that I am dying, go out and Make Good Art.
August 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
Well that was bloody exciting! Three golds in one night – six golds in one day. Third in the medal leader board. I just read someone’s status on Facebook (yes, I recognise how dully unoriginal that makes me) – “SNP take a hike!” as a result of Team GB’s successes. I could not agree more! Come on, Great Britain!
It really does make you feel more inclined to get out there and run or jump or throw a big boulder across a field (though, there is certainly more to shot put). I am now looking into purchasing a bike that will take me to and from the gym in St Andrews (perhaps that is wishful thinking), or at least allow me to amble along to Crail at a faster rate than a walk would – three hours last time!
Off to the bike shop I go…