Sunday, 2 October 2016

September 2016

It has been a super intense month, but good on the whole (in part thanks to the ongoing unseasonal sunshine, which I'm enjoying in much the way someone might enjoy a beautiful sunset while sat on the deck of a very slowly sinking ship. Global warming, hey?)

Even though we're not moving away from Brighton until January, obviously we're starting to get mentally and practically prepared for this as much as we can at this stage. This is involving quite a bitt of touristing around Brighton and the south while we're still close by, which has been strange but fun, and is an ongoing process.
I am also taking on as much freelance work as I can get hold of, with a view to building up both additional savings and hopefully a client base, in readiness for dropping to a part time salary in January.

Do you need some design or some drawings? Email me! I want to help and you will be very much helping me.

So basically this month has been a lot of work in my evenings and weekends, a lot of touristing, and also trying to spend as much time with friends as we can while we're still here. Expect more of the same in the coming months...

I do wonder if my visual diary has suffered as a result of all this busyness, but hopefully there's still some good stuff.

Kind of bad stuff to start though. I’ve been suffering from back pain recently in a way I never really have in my life before. I’ve had to stop going to dance classes (hopefully temporarily) because I found they were aggravating it, which makes me very sad. It’s been coming and going but the GP couldn’t offer much apart from a 4 month wait for physio (by which point we’ll have moved away).
So I’m living with it and it seems to be gradually easing (with occasional flare ups again) so hopefully I’ll be dancing again before too long.
When I drew this I'd also hurt my ankle and was feeling thoroughly miserable.

“Getting good” is an exaggeration. I can now do basic plaits. But there are many plaiting skills I want to learn. Someone please teach me how to do French plaits!

I’m trying to spend less money in preparation for potential financial hard times in the new year. I’m not very good at it. Writing down what you spend is an interesting and sometimes guilt inducing process… (this was a particularly extravagant day)

Not the best drawing but interesting! Brighton has what I formerly thought was one giant cemetery/crematorium... But it's actually two separate cemeteries, each with their own crematorium. One of them is really beautiful, like a hidden valley full of fascinating historic graves, and a beautiful church building. The other one is kind of drab. It's quite a long walk from my house to get to them, and they're kind of confusing to get into/out of, and this particular time I made a mistake and ended up in the wrong one, and had a very disappointing walk.

I've finally nailed quesadillas you guys.

George has moved up to London which is kind of sad, but she came to stay with us for a few days which was lovely. We hung out and watched the Great British Bake Off together.

I’ve been trying to get better at drawing people, and I’m grateful to George (and all other willing participants) for letting me try and capture their likeness.

Some days I feel like the most obnoxious person in the world. Sorry to anyone who’s ever found me as incredibly annoying as I imagine I can be…

I went to stay with one of my oldest friends, Sarah. She’s having a baby… It was due on September 27th, but she’s still waiting as I write this (or maybe it’s happening RIGHT NOW, aaaaagh!)
She was pretty giant although weirdly not as giant as I’d expected! I wanted to spend some time with her before the baby comes because everything changes after babies come along. Not better, not worse, just different. It’s strange to think how much things will change for her, but I can’t wait to meet her little one!

I was also DELIGHTED to meet for the first time Sarah’s dog Charlie, who is just an absolute hero and I have totally fallen for him. I think he liked me too! He’s a rescue dog and a little crazy, but with just the biggest heart and he just wants to do the right thing all the time.
We took some pretty strong selfies together.

Trying to grab occasional moments of calm (but I usually just end up doing laundry or cleaning the house…)

Justin came back from a short time away, and bought Lydia with him to stay, just for one night, but it was really lovely to see her briefly.

As aforementioned, George and Wes have moved up to London, into a very nice house shaped like a cube. Once they'd settled in it was time for housewarming! Me and Alex and Justin travelled up there for it, and it was a super lovely evening with loads of incredibly interesting people.

Sometimes my life kind of feels like a series of perfectly intersecting jigsaw piece shaped tasks

Our friend Matt was briefly in between houses, so he came to stay for a week. I imagine Matt as being probably one of the most dreamy housemates imaginable, on the basis that he’s immaculately clean, cooks bangin’ meals, does his washing up immediately after eating, and is LOVELY.

More quick people drawing practice, Matt and Justin.

Have you heard of the French Revolutionary Calendar? It’s pretty ridiculous. We bought one at the beginning of the year thinking it would be interesting, not realising it didn’t start until September. (You should get one too, it's beautiful, fascinating and lasts for nearly 5 years!) We decided to have a French themed dinner to celebrate its beginning, and Tom and Harriet came over to share it with us. French food is not super easy to veganise, but a team effort of French Onion Soup with Baguettes, French Bean Cassoulet, and potatoes dauphinoise was a right treat.

For this Saturday, Alex and Justin decided it would be fun to visit the highest and lowest points in Brighton in one day. I opted out of the ‘sewer tour’, and instead went to the art fair with my mum, and then we all went up the i360 together.
Honestly, I was a bit cynical about it, although we have enjoyed watching it being built… But I am totally sold, it was SO MUCH FUN!

Only trouble with freelancing is that sometimes you can feel like you've not got much art-brain left for personal projects. Here's hoping I can stay inspired.

This last week I’ve spent a couple of days in Bournemouth on a work trip. I’ve been to Bournemouth quite a few times, but never got round to walking about a mile and a half along the coast to Boscombe Pier.
If you read my blog often you probably already know that I’ve got a very slow-running lifelong mission to visit all the UK’s 50+ pleasure piers. Boscombe was an absolute treat — a beautifully elegant, minimal pier with gorgeous lights all along the edges.

This isn’t a particularly good visual diary (I had a very busy day overseeing a signage install and doing some training with colleagues in Bournemouth), but I just wanted to say how AMAZING Zizzi’s new vegan pizza is. Seriously impressive, and so brilliant that it’s available in every branch. I honestly think it might be one of the best pizzas I’ve had — not even since going vegan, I mean EVER!

Very busy few days. It was nice to sit down at home for a bit and watch the Great British Bake Off.

Alex also wants it noted on the record that the only reason they say this is that they’re getting WORSE at cooking through lack of practice, so I’m effectively sapping their culinary strength :D

Our friend Tom came to stay. Him and his partner Nicola are moving down from Sheffield to Worthing (counter to the way we’d like it, as we’re heading up North, but we should overlap for a couple of months!)
He came to pick up the keys for his flat from the letting agent, and it was great to hang out with him for a couple of evenings. Hannah and Alex F came over and we played ‘Operation Red Planet’ and ‘Dead Last’ and had a wonderful vegan Chinese takeaway banquet.

That's a lot of people and a lot of stuff, and my October has so far been no less hectic, but I am very content to have such full, exciting days all the time at the moment.

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