Friday 31 October 2008

Not in the mood

On Wednesday, I took the 191 to meet P and go to the book reading by Neil Gaiman. I did enjoy it, but I wasn’t really in the right mood. I’ve been trying to write a story as my commuting project this week, and maybe I was hoping for words of inspiration from Mr Gaiman. I find it hard to write, and I’m not good with words and spelling, but I do amuse myself by thinking up stories. I suppose I’m trying to take that a step further.

And another reason I’ve been writing on the bus: I can’t remember how to crochet. My flower was a bit too free-form. So I need to find a how-to guide to stir the memory of what I was taught as a child.

Anyway, it was interesting to hear how Mr Gaiman read his work, using voices for characters that wouldn’t have been in my head if I had just picked up the book. I like to think I have a high level of literacy and cultural fluency, but I do often miss huge, important elements in books and stories. I tend to just see the surface and not look any deeper. I still enjoy reading and I find it very engrossing. But if you need to write a book review, don’t ask me for help.

And it was nice to sit in Whitworth Hall and admire its well-heated neo-gothic style.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

10,000 hours

As I was getting ready for work this morning, P was sipping tea and listening to the Today program. He told me that Thought for the Day mentioned something about how great achievers in sports and the arts all had around 10,000 odd hours of training before they were truly great at what they did. This would equate to 20,000 bus rides to/from work, or 10,000 working days, or 2,000 work weeks, or 44 and a half years of work. As I hope not to be working when I'm 81 years old, I think I can say that bus crafting will not make me one of the leading artists of our time. Especially as I haven't been organized enough to have a craft project with me since coming back from holiday.

foraged apple

I've been thinking that I've been living wrong. There have been good things: the holiday was brilliant, then a bit of urban foraging when I picked a delicious apple on the way home, and our successful small ikea-hack of adding a mirror to our wardrobe. But then there was the great mildew infestation (which P has dealt with), and we still don't have a fully functional space station, I mean kitchen. And though I did wash dished for 30 days straight, I’m still now back to letting them pile up again. So I’m feeling like my effort has been misdirected; not completely out of balance, not even teetering, but not right either.

Friday 17 October 2008

Notes about the cloth & culture NOW exhibit

Even though I wasn’t enthused and energized about walking to the Whitworth Art Gallery (my monthly bus pass expired while I was on holiday), I really enjoyed the exhibit. I may even go back and buy the catalogue.
Stuff I particularly liked:

  • Neat ‘maze’ of a string of wool staked out in a wood and a meadow- but wrote down the wrong information in my notes. I think it was one of the Estonian artists.

  • Lina Jonike’s Architectural Monument: lovely image, and the embroidery- satin stitch on only some of the flowers- contrasts and integrates. Could this be applied to printed t-shirts?

  • Krista Leesi quilted 007 logo, For Your Eyes Only. Interesting gender issues with the fabrics- did she design those too? Must tell Eleanor at the office.

  • Auste Jurgelionyte’s animation in felt, The Action. Very playful. Intention was to not make something solid.

  • Brilliant button leaves, Passage of Time by Mitsuo Toyazaki. I didn’t pick them up, but I did find 3 buttons on my way home. The seasons are changing.

  • Jun Mitsuhashi, Murmur of Rain, Shadow on the Water and Passing Rain. I would love to have breakfast at one of these tables. They are like Paul Klee’s They’re Biting (Sie beissen an) in 3D!

In other news, the tangle is now a ball of string. I took it on holiday and while P enjoyed the scenery on the train ride down to Ashurst, I sat and untangled. I finally finished it on the second day of our vacation. I have tried to crochet the flowers, but I’m finding it hard to do. I think I understand the instructions, but I’m not sure what I’m doing with the thread. This may take some time.

The holiday in the New Forest was fantastic! We had lovely sunshine for taking photos, and the Barn was a brilliant place to stay. We got weekly bus passes for the area, and combining the bus with long walks in the forest worked quite well. Still at the end of the days I was too tired to do any crafting or writing.

And then I get back home and see these crochet flowers by Linda Permann (from a link on In a Minute Ago). Grrr- so cute, but I don’t even understand the first bit of the instructions. I think I need to stick with something simple, or even more simple. Or extremely more simple. Keep it simple.

Thursday 2 October 2008


Getting off the bus this morning, a bus-wrangler called out to some
young women queuing to board a bus changing driver, to get them to
board the bus I was leaving instead. At least, I think that was the
meaning of what he said, as what I heard was "Ey bar zombiscuits!" My
hearing is a bit erratic, and there's a lot of traffic noise at peak
commute times, so please don't think the bus-wrangler was talking
nonsense. I simply mis-heard the phrase, and ended up thinking
'Zombiscuits- zombie themed biscuits with bits of dried cranberries.
Brilliant!' And just in time for Halloween, too. Now all I need is some
flour, margarine, mixing bowl, cookie cutter, oven ...