Saturday, 29 October 2011

Life certainly is peaches

I am recovering from looking into the eyes of sheer terror more times that I had imagined in a small passing of time this week.

After completing a significant amount of work in my week away whilst supposedly 'resting', the guilt ridden and quite honestly exhausted friend the laptop, mysteriously found itself immersed in a sticky liquid of peach juice one dark and quiet evening probably through overuse on one hand and under use abuse on the other.

With guilt therefore comes shame.

Please now imagine the scenario of being woken from a restful slumber of contentment, by being stared at hard in the face with a fast and tear heavy confessional from an distraughtly engulfed juice thrower, and then (much sooner rather ordinarily expected) having an outer body experience listening to the sounds of the self from a more neanderthal unexpected kind with sounds of gnou and mongolian throat singer wrapped up in choral rhapsody with pain and anguish.

I now diverge.
The next day was spent busying ourselves in an attempt to divert mayhem (and quite possibly a crime scene) that involved travelling across hot deserted plains in taxi's that should have been condemned many times over. That said, a different type of terror passed our eyes at scaring speeds and a sense of heightened danger clearly put everything else in perspective.

We are now home, all is well and the laptop has forgiven us of all our sins.

Monday, 24 October 2011


The last post was a while ago as I headed into a foray of work, keeping up with all things A La Ronde, research for a new proposal, presentations and talks at Dr Johnsons. With extremely tight deadlines there was very little room for manoeuvre before heading off for a week's rest in Essaouira, Morocco, which is where I am writing from now. I have had a couple of days rest and have now completed a written piece up in the terrace room, an ochre coloured hideaway which has been ideal to get away from the hub bub of daily Moroccan life. This place is rich with trade, colour and boys that say 'hello' at every opportunity. It is refreshing to think that places like this still exist away from the homogenised feel of the UK with its wall to wall failing retail outlets and branding of the most banal kind.
I am completing a couple of last minute things for A La Ronde as well as working on this exciting proposal and it seems fitting with each of these tasks to be researching ideologies of magic, class, travel and race whilst residing for a very short time in a coastal town of foreign origins. This seems like the most appropriate way to get away from the norm although not particularly chosen for those reasons at the outset.
With this in mind I travel back in my mind to 18th century travel and wonder at how it must have felt living and discovering new things amongst foreign locations at such a time. I doubt if things have changed that much.

Friday, 7 October 2011

I move on

We were very lucky to have caught good weather for the PV's of Treasure and Dr Johnson's before what is now a distinctly chilly autumn air outside. I have a list as long as anyone else's arm of things to achieve over the next few days but with teaching over with this week, the rest of my time has been free to put my head down and work.

I have been wrapped up with a group presentation mainly this week, to which I have finally and rather exhaustedly wrestled to the ground. The thought of sitting down and doing it was as ever bigger than actually getting on with it but as I have mentioned before, I like to stick my head in the sand until I HAVE to address things. Whether it's an excuse to not face the inevitable, or whether its the thrill of working right up to the edges of sanity, I have never known, but it is definitely an inherent trait to accumulate black circles under the eyes and a distant persona to boot.

What I do know is that it's stressful and the idea of sleeping under a heavy book is much more attractive yet rarely achieved. I am pulling a few favours and involving others in this one too.

I move on.

Work for A La Ronde is about to properly commence with research started and ideas starting to flow. The writing, as ever is beautiful, and working with a science fiction writer for the first time is particularly exciting. The text is broken down into eight due to the nature of the building and other factors and there are ghostly references throughout as well as nods to black magic and whispering girls. A La Ronde itself is a particular favourite with its upstair shell grotto and Point-In-View chapel that housed girls for a 'decent' education.

I haven't got long as I am slipping away for a well earned rest towards the end of October, so things will need to be together and moving forward quite soon.

(Now that would be) Telling is 3/5's of the way in with three houses opened and two more to go. I will be giving a talk at Dr Johnson's with Hallie Rubenhold on the 20th October to talk about the project, the work and our practices as well as work in the future. It's free, so come along if you can to experience the house, the garret and what we have both been up to.

I am waiting on another couple of things, but cannot reveal them as yet. I will when I can, I promise.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

What an odd lot?

I have had a fraught week of meetings, teaching and finishing off trails of titles, photographs and things for the media for the next leg of (Now that would be) Telling at Dr Johnson's House in London as well as complete works for "Treasure', the next chapter of 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. It was a mad dash late of Thursday afternoon that I set off in the heat towards London to deliver the works to both venues. One huge job done.

The next morning was a bus journey to Fleet Street, stopping off to find the printer of the brochure for NTWBT. I was rather relieved in retrospect that we had decided to instal first at Dr Johnson's House early on Friday morning as with the unexpected rise in temperature over the last few days, it meant that by the time I would complete and then wind over to Peckham for the installation of Treasure then most of the work would be done before I melted into a puddle. The pressures of this however took their toll a bit with me as I was in a complete daze mid evening at Treasures opening and showing signs of odd behaviour (I apparently moved a light that was highlighting Mimei's painting and placed it over a triangle of treasure that we had created on the floor over the day. Such an action to my thinking, should have resulted in a big slap from Mimei, but she was thankfully too polite to tell me off). Other fellows like Annabel fainted on Friday which resulted in her not making the PV and later on Alex also had the collywobbles, pre private view, en route to talking at TAP in Southend. What an odd lot? I move on....

Sunday proved to be move relaxed after sleeping in the comatosed shape of a crucifix at Cathy's house on Saturday night. After a day of not eating or drinking enough, I needed the rest. We had a few visitors over the day some of which we knew and some one which we didn't. Alex headed over in the afternoon to keep me safe (apparently) after leaving Annabel to sleep off her exhaustion. We ate biscuits and drank gallons in order to keep our strength up and somehow we managed to find our way home.

Today I have been writing.
Tomorrow is the private view of (Now that would be) Telling, Dr Johnsons.

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