Thursday, 1 November 2018

October 2018

It's been a hard month in some ways. Has it felt that way to you too?

Somehow pushing through summer, and so much life, so much to do, moving house, travelling, working, creating, loving, making... it's been easier to push back the constant clamour of horrendous news. But the nights draw in, the cold comes, and with it, I can no longer hold back the tide of nightmares ever encroaching on every side. It's never felt like this before. Has it been like this before? Everyone I've spoken to about this is feeling it too. Not in a lifetime. I'm so scared, so powerless, about so much. Never has it felt like our lives as we know them could be destroyed in so many different ways. Who knows which it will be, but it seems increasingly unlikely that I will live the rest of my life at the quality of life I have become accustomed to (not to mention how much so many people in so many places are already suffering at the hands of governments and climate change and other forces beyond their control). Things are going to change. Things are going to crumble. To what extent, and when, and how we will cope, all unknown, but the knowledge of this is pressing on me heavily, and I feel like I'm viewing the world through a constant filter of it.

Anyway, that's kind of heavy huh?

Here's me doing ballet badly to lift the mood.

Arms eh? During ballet I find myself focussing very intently on what my legs are doing and then suddenly become aware that my arms are doing something entirely ridiculous.

Escaped to the city where everything feels better. Went to see Ross From Friends, who has an amazing/terrible name and makes great electronica. Weirdly, everyone at the show was at least 10 years younger than me, and high, which was kind of unexpected. I sat at the back and felt very old. Sounded great though.

Me and Alex have always watched the Apprentice together for as long as we've been in a relationship. It's horrible. Every year we ask why we do this to ourselves and yet still we persist. (Here's a self portrait with sleepy Charlie done while watching)

I can't control the world but I can control my immediate environement. I always feel better in a clean house.

Back at ballet again. Like a small child.

I persist in trying to draw Justin even though I can never draw Justin to look like Justin despite having lived with him and regularly looking at him for like... 5 years or something? This is one of the marginally better ones though.

I really love working in the Egg Factory, Hebden Bridge's creative co-working space. When I first moved here I joined so I could go to their communal Wednesday lunches, and honestly it's how I've made most of my friends here, and it's (sorry to get soppy) probably still one of the highlights of my week. Just a reliable, chill gathering of lovely people eating delicious food that we've all bought to share and chatting about local goss, creative ideas/dilemmas, collaboration, and cooing over the various dogs who've come to hang out with us that day.

My winter project is to help them sort/get up and running the letterpress collection they aquired a few years ago, so at the moment I'm sticking around there every Wednesday afternoon to do this. At the moment it's still sorting through things, which is very methodical and satisying and I'm getting a lot of joy out of it. This was a particularly nice Wednesday, with lots of other lovely people around me working on interesting things while I sat at the kitchen table working my way through drawers of letters.

I can't wait until it's up and running and we can actually start printing!

Had a meeting in Leeds near Cross Gates station. Enjoyed its very particular autumn-day bleakness.

Maybe TMI, but welcome to my thirties, aka, time for big pants. I am into it.

A gang of us at the Egg Factory have started running our own life drawing classes, with very kind (clothed) modelling from Sue. Unfortunately, it's on Mondays, right before ballet. I tried a life drawing/ballet back-to-back but it was TOO MUCH, and life drawing is way more fun than ballet, so I'm in a bit of a dilemma about which to choose.

Headed into Manchester to see Iglooghost at lovely new venue Yes. I'd seen him play before almost exactly a year ago, alongside Lapalux and Daedelus at Village Underground in London, but this was his own tour with accompanying incredible AV show, including costumes, stage props, an entire OS designed by him, and a whole world of utterly bizarre, amazing graphics. He's built an incredible visual world around his music and I have a huge amount of respect for him. He makes super hectic indescribable electronic music, so hectic that a crowdsurfer kicked the projector, temporarily knocking out his AV show in a way that must have been VERY STRESSFUL. Anyway, super fun, really glad I made it, go see him if you get the chance.

First time this year that I went for a walk and misjudged sunset time. By the time I was home it was pitch black, but I did get to see the beautiful wind turbines silouhetted in the last dying rays of the sun from the top of the hill by Heptonstall.

Here's a bit more of that FEELS TALK. I don't know. Everything just feels very intense at the moment. Like we're heading towards an end-of-season finale. Or like when you start rolling down a grassy slope but then it gets faster and faster and longer and longer and you realise you can't stop

So I made my first ever ANIMATED visual diary! Brave new world. Here are some of my workings...

And here's the actual animation. Inspired by... well, life?

Charlie's had slightly bad eyes this month, they were really oozy and gross with green bits, so we took him to the vet who gave him some antibiotic eye drops. It says in the instructions 'you may need a second person to restrain the animal, and/or to muzzle them for application', but Charlie is just the BEST BOY... For the first couple of times Justin held him and I dropped them in, and always did it right before his breakfast and dinner so he felt like he was getting a treat after, but now he knows what's happening, as soon as I get the eye drops out he comes and sits next to me on the sofa, I roll him onto his back and he lets me put them in so sweetly. He really is just the loveliest dog. (And his eyes are all better now!)

Went to an appropriately autumnal event at our local pub, their annual apple pressing. Helped out, got sticky, had fun.

A slip of the tongue

So for a really long time, Alex has been mithering that we should get a BIG FRIDGE. Alex is someone who doesn't generally get excited about new appliances, so this had always seemed very out of character to me (especially as it was an appliance that I could summon up absolutely zero enthusiasm for, given that we already had a perfectly decent functioning under-counter fridge). Alex was adamant that it would radically improve our lives, so we finally did it. One of their arguments was that 'you can't see what's in there because everything is stacked up in front of each other'. I argued back that I don't *need* to be able to see what's in there, as I KNOW, in fact, so confidently the contents of our fridge, that I could draw it from memory. So I did. (Mostly successfully.)

Around June, our friend Kier (who's currently living in Barcelona) bought a HAMMERED DULCIMER on eBay, which was 'collection only' in Manchester. I'd said I'd happily go and get it, and the guy on eBay didn't need to shift it urgently, but honestly I hadn't imagined it would take like 4 months before I could get over there to fetch it. (Mostly because it's so big that it wouldn't be practical to take it with me to a gig, which is usually the reason I'm in Manchester, and with the ongoing train strikes it's been a real struggle to get there over the weekends, and I'm not carrying the dulcimer on a rail replacement bus.)

Anyway, finally fetched it, learnt to (very dissonantly) play 'happy birthday' on it for a friend, and now I'm trying to figure out if I can somehow tune it...

Maybe November will be the month I learn to play hammered dulcimer.

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