Sunday, 31 January 2010

Friedel Dzubas

Time for a break from photographs. I have just finished putting together 20 different thematic PowerPoint's in order to kick start the exam season which is now upon us. During my virtual travels I came across a Lehman Brothers auction catalogue, clearly flogging their extensive collection of art in order to balance the books.
What I found quite sad was the collection was really interesting. It was full of young talented artists and together came across as a really well put together collection. I felt it was a shame to split up after the effort that went into buying it clearly at a speculative level.
I wondered if the artwork ever found it's way onto any walls and if not how weird it must be as an artist to sell something knowing it will rarely be seen again.
My mother is always banging on at me to sell my work, yet it is that side that gives me no pleasure. The stress of someone picking fault I find so irritating, I am happier to put the work away for now.
My photographs are a slightly different story and if I had the time I would like to put the most recent ones into a book of some description but I am currently so into painting it may take some time.
Talking of painting how wonderful are these by Friedel Dzubas? Very spare yet perfectly formed.
images from here

Friday, 29 January 2010

The Leyla Monster

Chatting on the veranda with Turkan's dad
Whilst Daisy and Kitty enjoyed a traditional Christmas at home Leyla, to my surprise enjoyed 2 weeks in the sun without Internet, radio or television.
There appeared to be no children to play with in the village and there are certainly no shops for miles. It was to cold for the beach although we made it for one day, instead she had to make do with myself, an aunt and a really badly behaved spoilt cousin (20 going on 12)
The day we left she sat in the car and said she did not want to go home she loved it there so much.
I find it hard to believe that of an 8 year old, but she meant it. The village fulfils the needs that being at home cannot. Leyla LOVES to be outside, we would walk, play football and chat with the locals.
This image above is amazing because what you see is a child enjoying the company of someone she has never met and she is talking to him in her second language. I am so proud, although it has taken 5 Au-pairs and 4 long years to do it.
The gentleman she is chatting to is Turkan's father. Turkan lived nearby our old house in London and when Leyla started primary school she offered to drop her off and collect her with her youngest daughter. Turkan lasted less than a term, Leyla brawled with her daughter and was frequently uncooperative with Turkan. I found this mortifying especially considering how compliant my eldest two have always been with their childminders. In the end after a succession of favours with various other cousins had dried up the Au-pairs began.

Turkan's mother

Selvrinas's kitchen

When Selvrinas brought this baby rabbit into the kitchen in a bucket I honestly thought she was going to prepare it for supper! anything with a pulse is regarded as food and they all keep chickens, sheep, goats and rabbits to that end. Luckily she had brought it in for Leyla to play with.

Breakfast in the house

Leyla eating her favourite breakfast of peasant bread toasted smeared with honey from Kantara along with haloumi cheese, olives,tomato's and cucumber all grown locally.

On top of Kantara Castle
Before you go ahhh..5 minutes previous to this photograph they had just had a HUGE bust up, I was amazed she would even go near him. He of course is posing, he always, always pulls that stupid face and looks away from the camera.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

North Cyprus: The people and their homes

I have tried to start this post so many times, Do I explain the history? If I do I feel that a political element creeps in, I decided that was not the direction I wanted this blog to go in.
Sadly this for the moment negates the long but ultimately amazing first hand experience Emin had during the fateful attempted coup in 1974. There are numerous books you can read, but the facts are that the country was divided and remains so although somewhat less so than before.
Northern Cyprus since 1974 does not officially exist, it is not recognised by the international community and has until recently languished unloved, but kept alive by Turkish aid and intervention. So many photographers visit counties like Cuba and India but to my knowledge no one has ever recorded the lives of Northern Cyprus.
I have been many time up to and when Leyla was a baby, but for many reasons we both agreed that I should stop going and arrange my own holidays. Emin continued to visit and would report back on the slow but creeping changes that will start to spoil the peace. Hotels built on deserted beaches, houses where olive groves once stood, it is slow, but it is happening.
Then we decided after last years excessively expensive winter break we should try to have a couple of cheaper years so we can save up for Damascus. So I found my self back and this time I was determined to make a record of life on the Island, specifically the Karpas peninsular where Emin has a house.
It was built by his mother before she tragically died of breast cancer, it is a money pit but it sits on top of the spine of the peninsular away from the manic mainstream, in English his village is called 'hunters mountain top' and it is a rural idly. I initially wanted to focus on the people, but I can tell you it is not easy poking your camera into a strangers face, in the end I spread my net and the following are a small taste of what will appear on Flickr over the following weeks.
I must thank Emin's sister who was a diamond and helped me get many photographs, Leyla too charmed the villagers into letting me take their photographs.

Leyla called her Nene (Turkish for Granny) In actual fact she is Leyla's 'great step nene', This amazing woman was Emin's granddad's second wife, his first was Emin's Nan whom he unceremoniously abandoned. Nene went on to have seven children, she is a really lovely and very funny lady. Just before I took this photograph I had taken Leyla for a walk and we had found and picked some Narcissus, they smelt so divine Leyla gave a bunch to Nene.
I just love the joy she got from the smell.

She was so funny, I laughed every time we met, she was so random and was so typical of the village women who just say it as it is. She often came to visit and was suitably horrified at my lack of Turkish.
The scarf she is wearing defines a Turkish Cypriot woman, The decorative edge and the way it's tied is something only they do. Turkish women tie their scarves very differently. It was this I wanted to record and I managed to get 13 women's portraits.
I really hope I can get more next year. You have very little time to take the photograph and it is very difficult to ask them to move to a more appropriate location, so I often zoomed in, so thank God for my zoom lens.

Emin's neighbours house
I love the complete and utter clash to match, and being close ended up taking numerous photographs, but this was my favourite.

Cansil's House & Garden
Emin has many many cousins and one of my favourites lives here, Cansil is a keen gardener and propagates a lot which is good for Emin as she has supplied him with quite a few fruit trees.

her veranda is always slightly chaotic...

and so is her kitchen, but the minute she caught me taking photographs she ran in and pushed me into her showpiece living room before cleaning the whole lot up, I was so gutted because it was such a great shot and I missed it, so here is the proof that Cansil does sometimes clear up!

Selvrinas's house
Cansil's sister, chalk and cheese they are, this house is so clean you could eat off the floor. She is so house proud and what I really love is the wonderful mix of patterns she has everywhere.

The photographs below were taken on a walk I did with Emin's sister. I love the way they live on their porches. The back yard is primarily for animals and all things mechanical so the front is for drying washing before occasionally sitting down to watch the world go by.

There were lemon tress everywhere.
I am currently rereading Bitter lemons by Laurence Durrell which describes village life just before the British left the island.

More peeking
Just how random is this garden? Are they tree kennels?

These two photographs were taken in Emin's village
as you can see we had glorious weather.

The bread shop
This looks like a typical bread shop, it sits miles from no where yet people from miles around drive to it, much of what we bought from there didn't make it back to the house! we ate the olive bread warm from the oven. The people who run it are really lovely and let us walk round the back to see the bread ovens. What makes this place unique is that it is entirely self sufficient. Despite sitting under a junction of pylons it is fuelled by energy from a wind turbine and photovoltaic cells, trust me this is an amazing step forward, it is not a cheap solution and yet the whole country could do it and leave no carbon footprint.

The men all drive up to small cafes on their tractors and drink and chat. Never ever would you see a woman do this (drink in a bar that is, they all drive tractors) and I struggled to get closer photographs as Emin was always occupied elsewhere and I was afraid they would take offence

We went to the capital city once, I really wanted to photograph the shopkeepers, but his bloody cousin demanded we go back to her flat instead. It was a glorious day and all I got was this passing shot taken from the car window, I could have wept.
If you have got this far well done.
I have lots of landscapes waiting to be sorted.. but they can wait.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I Heart Kitty

Kitty is nothing if not entertaining, which for prolonged periods of time can be a little wearing, on the whole though we are going through some good times at the moment. I have convinced her that enduring the slob that is her elder sister is good practise for when she has to make compromises as she gets older. She of course gets the sucker end of this deal whereas Daisy just gets;

  • her own way
  • access to the unlimited funds of 'Bank of Kitty'
  • a stylist
  • a tidy room
  • and on many occasions her school bag prepared for her in the morning.
Kitty of course has EVERYTHING ready the night before, leaving her time to walk the dog and watch some television.
Daisy left me speechless last week having paid Kitty a derisory £4 to clear the slum that is her bedroom at her nan's so she could entertain her new beau. (Kitty even changed the sheets and hoovered before styling the junk into some semblance of a bedroom as opposed to a doss house.)
She then borrowed £10 to pay back a friend and then... asked whether I had paid Kitty back the money SHE had borrowed!

Daisy has taken to staying at a friends house Monday nights to rehearse a piece of improvisation, I am of course living the dream at The Slade, so I returned home to a shoe cupboard transformed into a heaven of order and logic as opposed to the 5 feet shoe mountain that I have to use my arse to shut the door on.
Kitty had then cleaned the bathroom, and tidied every one of her draws removing the flotsam and jetsum that what too small.
Leyla scooped up the lot!

Kitty is available for a small fee of which of course I will take a commission of!

One of the reasons she does this is that it acts as a kind of therapy, the other reason is she is sooo happy because the huge looming cloud called Work Experience has lifted. I and my sister had tried to get her a place somewhere that befitted her rather snobby attitude to what construed work, sadly we failed. But her school came up trumps and gave her a placement at Oasis in Canary Wharf. She was over the moon, nice shop, posh place, not the expected "Skanky high street"
I was recently in Canary Wharf, Emin in his infinite wisdom thought it would be a nice place to go for a coffee whilst I was supposed to be resting, we arrived during the lunch break a scene not dissimilar to the one you get if you pour boiling water down an ants nest.
Wading through a sea of teeny, tiny, little girls all looking lovely in their tribal uniform of short black skirt, top, camel cashmere cardie and Chanel pumps, whilst I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man which did not really have the desired recuperative effect.
I slunk home cursing, but Kitty will fit in perfectly.

How old?

Read it and weep

Monday, 25 January 2010

A brush with Van Gogh

I grew up with Van Gogh's 'Starry Starry Night' some where on an upstairs wall,I preferred the Modigliani and the Utrillo prints more but was then very very lucky to be taken to London in 1979 to see the Post Impressionist show at The Royal Academy.
It was my grandad who took me, he loved art and I think although we never discussed it he sensed a kindred spirit in me. So we made the journey from Cambridge and it was the Van Goghs that seared themselves into my memory. The colours, the rich textures, the sheer 'dive on in' quality of them.
My favourites were the landscapes and I have been very lucky to have not only visited Arles but also the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. I was I confess a little hung over having stayed up most of the night drinking cheap red wine in a jazz club and so missed the organised visit to a local school. I, (always the loner) slunk off to nurse my hang over in a gallery instead. Probably not the best place but the images were enough to wake me up and lust to own one of the smaller landscapes.

Now this exhibition is on again at the Royal Academy, and despite some unfair criticism I loved it, I loved the juxtaposition of letters, with studies in pen & ink, with the paintings. I even loved the ginky colours they had painted the walls to match the colours in his paintings.
Best of all, I loved the fact that both Leyla and Kitty managed to walk around the entire exhibition without brawling. I was aided by the fact that I had the foresight to feed them first. Can you believe two tiny girls polished of a bowl of olives (Not Kitty) dough balls dipped in garlic butter, a full sized pizza and a huge ice cream sundae...each?
At the gallery because Leyla had hurt her back the previous night she hobbled around and sat down. Kitty was great, she managed in the same breath to comment on a sub standard image in one of the letters (it was by Gauguin!) tell me her arm itched and ask what the humidifier did. Oh to be in that head.
I escaped the shop with a catalogue and an origami set, nope I don't know either ask Leyla.
Kitty begged for a £17 jigsaw puzzle, but her list of others needs is to long for such fripperies. on the way out Kitty proclaimed the exhibition "Really rather good" rare praise indeed.

Friday, 22 January 2010

What price a voucher?

William Eggleston now on at the Victoria Miro Gallery

One of the many problem when you take time off work, forced or otherwise, is that you still need to do the work. So I returned to a 2 week backlog, reports, exam preparation, to name but two. To this end I have been lashed to the computer catching up, very slowly. Added to this heady mix a bit of an overstuffed calender and I am struggling to keep up. Yesterday I was lucky/unlucky enough to have to endure a teachers exam meeting yesterday. All day incarcerated in a hotel near Old Street, bad, because they never answer the important questions. Good, because at least I get to have a good moan with all the other photography teachers about the ridiculous subjective marking photography in particular has to endure.

The very very good news was the hotel was but a 10 minute walk from Victoria Miro Gallery, or 25 minutes if like me you take a wrong turn back out of the hotel. This too had good and bad points. Good because the exhibition was brilliant, bad because it was so humbling, just when I though I had 'cracked it' I realise I still have a long way to go.
I then mooched back to the tube via Angel and Toast
seduced by a rather lovely necklace which time willing I will photograph next week. On the way I walked past this rather startling window, fuelling my desire to go back to my pre Christmas peeping tom ways!
Tonight Van Gogh, that is the good bit, the bad? Yeah, Leyla and Kitty are coming too...not because they want to see the exhibition, but to fleece me for a Pizza, as I have a half price Pizza Express voucher, the money saved of course will go towards drinking enough wine to numb the pain of those two brawling and then running to and from the toilets all night, which is quite frankly one of Leyla's favourite sports.
More laughable is that I am meeting my sister to see a play at the National Theatre tomorrow lunchtime and she emailed me to say we should meet ...yes you guessed it at Pizza Express because....she has a voucher. Oh Joy!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Art School

Monday is commonly known as Black Monday because it is the last week before payday mixed up with post Christmas blues. I am nothing if not resourceful and have learnt that to limp through these cold, dark, wet, cold miserable months you need something to look forward too. Like a child starting a new school I checked my list 5 times and then set of for art school.
There was good, there was bad, nothing is perfect, but I can tell you that for 2 1/2 hours my mind emptied of all but exercising the demons of my past hideous experiences with oil paint.
I have only used oils once at college, it was not pretty. However I hate acrylic and the desire to paint has increased the older I get. recent efforts have ended up with me fumbling like a teenager at a school disco, so decided I needed to get some lessons.
Was it good? Yes it was great, imagine a large white studio easel palette all ready for action, the down side was the tutor appears unable to construct a coherent sentence and he brought in for us to paint a box of bloody Swan Vesta matches! Hell that took some thought. If I am teaching tone I give the students plain white objects and at least attempt to control the light source ( yes I am an arrogant bitch) Despite this I diligently set forth and set myself up a still life to paint.
Crime number two, he told us to outline with a sign writers brush over 2 inches long, as someone who struggles to cope with a normal brush I quietly eschewed that option.
We are a merry band of 16, mostly students with myself and another golden oldie.
I pushed and pulled the paint and finally managed to resolve some areas. I was mortified to realise that my perspective was 'out' and then at the end even more mortified to see I had centralised the composition, oh the shame, after all I say to the students. All said though an amazing experience.
I learnt a lot about painting, the tutor was far more comfortable teaching one to one, but regards teaching I would never survive as a college tutor, how do I know this? Well at the end quite frankly I would a begged the question as to;
  • WHY having been told to paint the outline did someone draw it?
  • WHY were half the compositions floating in space?
  • WHY when given an A4 sheet of paper students drew the matchboxes smaller than the original in some cases?
  • WHY were so many students so obsessed with drawing the stupid swan when the class was about tonal planes?
  • WHY did two students choose to paint the whole thing one shade of grey?
  • WHY did so many students use the paint as if it were watercolour?
You see I could not have kept my big mouth closed, I would have railed against these crimes, the tutor on the other hand looked only for the good, but my year 9 students would have eaten him as a light snack and spat his bones out in less than it takes to open their sketch books!
Next week we get to use yellow ochre...whopee.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A coat for Kitty

Well not a coat per se but I did it, I fulfilled my brief. It started very badly. We arrived in Bromley very early and withing seconds she was bristling with irritation. I went to Zara of course, her favourite shop I thought I found the perfect coat but it got short shrift and a frustrated and very irritated sigh before I caught her wandering into the children's department.
"Kitty you're too big for those clothes now"
"O....K....eeerr" by now she was limpet like, I suggested we visit other shops and whilst walking managed to ascertain that she did not want a coat, she wanted something waterproof, she did not want a mac or God forbid ANYTHING remotely padded. She can only wear blue or black so that rules out the two faux leather bomber jackets she has, so I asked her to describe in as much detail WHAT she wanted.
It had to be;
  • Shower proof
  • Long enough to cover her bum
  • No longer than her bum
  • warm, but not thick and bulky
  • have a hood
  • have lots of 'those' toggles that dangle down.
Ha, I cried you have just described a 'Parka', her face lit up with relief. I hate Debenhams but I do know they sell parka's so off we went, this was the second one she tried on The RELIEF I tell you was very, very great. LOTS of dangly bits, the right colour but lacked a hood, by now that was OK and unbelievably she got a slightly larger size since she is growing almost daily.
Anyone else need a personal shopper?

Monday, 18 January 2010

I shop therefore I am

image from here

There are no reasons to shop when in Cyprus, the choice of clothes shops are pretty poor, so much so that a quick way to make money is to fill a suitcase full of goods from Primark and sell them at a hefty 50% profit.
Then of course hospitals are free of any avenue to part with cash and then the snow and so after 4 weeks I had yet to spend a penny.
Now I would have thought that this would have presented a golden opportunity to stop spending, the cold turkey had been done for me so all I had to do was keep going. I had reorganised my wardrobe I needed very little, so why did I go and spend £100 on Friday? Afterwards I realised I seem to have an almost pathological desire to buy clothes. I do get pleasure from buying books and music, but nothing and I mean nothing gives me the self satisfied karma that a well chosen selection of clothes brings.
Because we were having to take an air bed, sheets and towels to Cyprus my clothes were minimal pared down to 3 tops 5 cardies plus the chunky one and 3 pairs of jeans. After 2 weeks I really missed having a choice, which suggests to me that clothes are not about impressing others but in some strange way make me feel good. To wear a uniform of jeans top and cardie was really beginning to pall and once home the relief of pulling on some different clothes was tangible.
Does this make me shallow?
Why is it that some people care so little about what they wear yet other care so much? I wish I knew and I wish I could just give it up. I have an inkling that if I worked from home more I would shift my focus from clothes to creating a better environment to live in, but for now I am trying hard to cut back, just a little.
What did I buy? Well I had less than a couple of hours before I met Daisy so I tortured myself with a visit to Uniqlo to see if there was anything left of the +J collection. Despite having the display space of half the store very little remained and worse still pile after pile was size S or worse XS.
If that is the case why do they not adjust the quantities they order in each size? Clearly M & L are the most popular and they will never sell the other stuff because girls that small want more bodycon clothes. I had not missed much really, but the chance not to buy would have been nice.
Thwarted I slunk over to Zara the sale was still on and quite frankly it all looked pretty grim. I stood wondering if I had the energy to walk to Covent Garden to COS as I really dislike the Regent Street branch it is just too busy. Then I saw a branch of Massimo Dutti, I have never ever even been in one, I have always been put off by the faux Ralph Lauren shop front and nothing has ever tempted me in, but recently someone whose images on this site I really like mentioned clothes from there on numerous occasions so curious I went in.
Well it was love at first sight. WHY have I not done this before? For my £100 I have now got;
  • 2 pairs of trousers, one narrow blue mole skin and a mid grey pair of cords both really well cut and comfortable.
  • 1 grey jumper wool and cashmere very thin so easily layered under cardies (so lovely I have it on today)
  • 1 very very fine wool mix sleeveless top neither black nor grey, it is THE top I have searched for to wear with skirts as the hem is nipped in.
  • 1 heavy slinky mandigan in the most lovely gold colour.
All but the latter were in the sale, and clearly chunky monkeys do not shop there as I had a good selection to choose from in my size. I am now officially a huge fan and will return, well maybe just once a month!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Pulling myself back together again

A post in which I take my hat off to anyone who works from home. How do you do it?

I have elected to return to work tomorrow, yes it is too early, but quite frankly I am a little stir crazy here. As well as starved of conversation, I am unable to access the bulk of my files needed to work from home and so I end up pottering.
I walk the dog, cook, wash, fold washing, put washing away, you know the stuff dreary, dreary mundanities that need doing but stop me from sitting down. So I figured I would rest more at work, I can sit at my computer and bark instructions at the students as is my wont.
I was also quite shocked at how easy it is to slip into default slob mode. I do get dressed but pretty much in the same thing every day, by the time the layers have been piled on I gave up caring about anything other than being warm. This house has good old Edwardian glazing, I hate the thought of ripping it out for new windows, I have become very fond of the beautiful almost water like shadows the glass casts on the wall when the sun goes down. So we freeze for my aesthetic and Emin's one man crusade to save the planet.
The same sartorial sloth emerged after I had Daisy, you wander about trance like with no structure to the day, you go to bed realising that not only have you no need to remove your make up because your not wearing any, but worse still you didn't even moisturise. So I have taken my self in hand. I emptied my wardrobe AGAIN, I do this A LOT. I halved the contents, it is still full! and plan what to wear that what will comfort me and keep me warm for the next 4 weeks. Sounds sad I know but 6 am starts after 4 weeks off work is going to kill me and so I need not to think, but to just grab and go.
So far I have constructed 17 outfits that virtually do not replicate, shocking really and they mostly revolve around skirts, bring in the trousers and I could double that. It will come as no surprise that I don't need any cardies.... quelle surprise.. or knitwear of any description. In fact my list of needs as opposed to wants and desires is surprisingly small.
  • 2-3 heavy/floppy jersey tops, long enough to belt not so long as a shroud, black and anthracite would be perfect, but I am open to other shades. I need these to wear over at least 2 Uniqlo thermal tops and under the knitwear
  • A very very soft thin floppy belt. This one is a shock for me, I did not think I could wear belts having kissed my waist goodbye, but without wishing to brag it has crept back this last year, a combination of waist crunches at the gym and eating less because am bloody miles from the canteen at work.
  • 2 pairs of cashmere knee high socks, I have quite a few old tights that the feet have 'gone' in but the rest is still good I figured that I could cut off the bottoms and then wear with the socks. However plans were scuppered when even half price the Falke ones are £31! The problem is cotton feels horrible after 2 washes and wool is a bit too thick, although Daisy bought me some lovely men's wool knee highs from M&S which are currently doing the trick, so may just manages with them. Lets face it it will be spring soon won't it?
  • Finally and I wish to GOD I had taken some with me to Cyprus then I would not be in the mess I am now...Wellington boots. I am going to invest in some proper ones and will take them with me next year.
My list is small but the girls have plans to fleece me rotten over this weekend. Kitty is growing, it is SOOO annoying. STOP, so she needs a new coat. Leyla needs new shoes and Daisy wants a new phone, hey who doesn't?

Monday, 11 January 2010

I am slowly losing my mind....

I am currently coveting a maxi cashmere dress, I realise this is barely one degree of separation from a 'slanket' and will make me look like a yurt, but it looks soo lovely, I would show you a photograph but I am on Daisy's Apple and I cannot for the life of me remember how to copy and paste pictures, but I think she may find her home page is curiously defiled by a William Eggleston slide show!!

Times Emin I work soo hard from home Hassan has been down and pestered me? 5, it is not even midday.

We transferred our uber long bedroom curtains to cover the front door which was hemorrhaging 90% of the heat in this house, too ill to care I bought a set of curtains from B&Q which Leyla told me regale Phil Mitchell's house on East Enders, I am officially ashamed and blame the drugs.

The upside of staying in has been the lack of tumbles the downside has been I have taken no sweet icky pretty photographs, the nation sighs with relief, I know. Now where are those Cyprus photos? well I need to be sat at a proper desk with some natural daylight with my mind just a teeny bit sharper than it is currently so instead you will suffer the inane wittering's of a stir crazy mad woman.

Thank you

Thank you all for your messages you are all very kind and yes Emin has been surprisingly compliant having had a taste of life without me!, the girls took BOTH laptops this weekend forcing me to watch the tele' and catch up with some DVD's, well in the end just the one which was about to be on the tele' anyway so that was pretty pointless. Yes folks I am the one person left on this planet that had not seen Slumdog Millionaire. Kitty got the DVD for Christmas so finally I saw it, and heard about half of it as most of the dialogue fights Danny Boyle style with the soundtrack. Cinematography was excellent, beautifully shot and I think that, and the soundtrack carry the film.

My cannula is finally out so I can move more freely, but I am very sluggish and get tired easily.
I have spent far too long staring into space, as you do. I was gutted I missed the new +J launch at Uniqlo, yet after the initial irritation it is quite liberating not shopping, maybe I will break the cycle who knows. Do I NEED another cardie? NO, my bank manager must wonder what has happened as I have not used my account since before the holiday, I always let Emin deal with the money whilst we are away as his bank charges far less than mine for using card abroad, now I am stuck indoors and have, nor bizarrely been, inspired to shop online let alone even try eBay again.
I have indulged in a couple of glossies, my excuse is that Kitty loves them too so they feel less of an extravagance, slightly disconcerting to think about wearing less than eight layers when it is below zero outside, I guess it will happen.

I do desperately want to see the William Eggleston on at Victoria Miro, a gallery which is a triumph of space over location. Luckily for me it is on until half term so I can go then.
Because I dread January so much I made sure I had some things booked months ago, and so for my delight and delectation I have the following to kick away my winter blues.
  • 'Six degrees of separation' on at the Old Vic, this Friday with Daisy
  • 'Van Gogh and his letters' private view the following Friday
  • 'The Habit of Art' on at The National, a matinee which is my Xmas pressie from my sister
  • 6 whole wonderful weeks of evening classes at The Slade school of art, I am particularly pleased I booked them and better still got the school to pay as a reward for my awesome exam results. There is nothing, I tell you like the buzz of walking into art school and being able to work, even if it is just an evening class.
So that will get me through this month and then I will be wrapped up in the frenetic exam season until Easter.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

It's the morphine talking

if I EVER EVER complain about needing peace and quiet EVER again.....shoot me.

Seriously go get a gun pull the trigger, I will sign a organ donor card and you can get it over and done with because quite honestly I have had enough navel gazing to last me a lie time.

So there I was gently bronzed and relatively rested boarding flight 'how old is that plane?' home. I tell you so much can be achieved with a roll of gaffer tape these days, but it does the job. The air quality was less satisfactory however, 2 liters of air having been recycled since 2008. Still slap on a bit of Estee Lauder and I should survive no?
I felt SO ill, really poorly, I assumed it was motion sickness but I just got worse and worse, by the time we landed I was shivering with an astronomically high temperature. Emin called for help and in 20 mins I was in an ambulance bound for Harlow A&E. 8 hours on a trolley later I was rolled into a bed high on morphine having been used as an experimental pin cushion with little left in my stomach but the lining.

The next day I was diagnosed with Cellulitis, which unluckily for me had spread to the lymph nodes in my groin.
So I am stuck high on morphine miles from home no tele, no books, no music, no laptop nothing ,for 6 WHOLE DAYS I begged and pleaded for my release and were it not for some incredible dogged persuasion from the nurses I would be there for another 4 days. But I am now an out patient at my local hospital and will visit daily for 4 days instead.
Ergo hot bath and finally a good nights sleep in my own bed.
I had over the 6 days
  • 3 saline drips
  • 3 lots of morphine
  • 2 lots of antibiotics 4 times a day IV
  • 2 lots of blood thinner injected into my jelly belly
  • more paracetamol than I can count
  • swabs for MRSA
  • blood tests
  • blood sugar tests
  • oh and laxatives
I could not sleep at all, not that deep comforting sleep you get at home for 3 days I just seemed to hallucinate, the rest were sporadic naps
I got Emin to leave me some money and by day 4 I could just hobble down to the shop, with no other form of entertainment I was reduced to a paper, a magazine and one of those awful puzzle mag's you see at airports with crosswords and Suduko which It could be said saved my sanity!

My mother came down and played havoc with Emin's sanity. They ended up having their usual full and frank exchange of opinions before I persuaded mum to return home.
I kept getting told NOT to cross my legs and DRINK lots of water. The former is impossible the later even more so. Emin thinks I am the worst patient ever, I reminded him I was in PAIN
I learnt that the first sign of illness in me is a sudden desire NOT to drink alcohol, I went of it 4 days before the end of the holiday. Meme to self 'read the signs'

On the day of my prospective release it snows five inches the care plan put in place falls apart because of my local surgery THANK YOU I now hate them ALL, a bunch of overpaid WANKERS who are too pathetic to administer a drug intravenously, so now I am an out patient and have to schlepp over to the nearest hospital once a day for the next 4 days.
I now know this much....
The nurses were and will for ever be Saints to be one you need the following attributes;

  • To know instantly where the doctor has hidden his to do list, invariably in his back pocket
  • To have the nose of a gun dog in order to find misplaced patient files and notes by the aforementioned doctor.
  • Deal with a constant source of disorientated staff sent up from other wards to help out.
  • Spend 90% of your time on the phone negotiating patient release with district nurses, social services, Physiotherapists, chasing the pharmacy for drugs. as well as answering the phone to recalcitrant relatives
The other 10% is divided between pushing copious drugs and trying to avoid lengthy incoherent ramblings from the lonely old lady at the end of the ward.

So now you know why tumbleweed rolls around this blog. I am going to read all of yours and catch up before regaling you with events from Cyprus, suffice it to say it was a success and I have 100's of photos to whittle, down keeping me busy next week. catch you later!