Friday, February 27, 2009

Fatigued. Chronically.

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I want to lie down.

I want to rest.

I want to shut my eyes for just a few minutes

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


If I lie down I might drop off to sleep.

But it will not be refreshing.

I will be constantly drifting in and out. Never properly asleep. Never properly awake.

I will feel like shit.

At some point I will have to get up again.

Maybe I’ll be hungry. Maybe I’ll need the bathroom. Maybe I’ll need to see someone or do something.

Maybe I’ll just get too achy and uncomfortable.

So I’ll have to get up.


But my body tells me I should just shut my eyes for a little bit longer.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


At some point I will have to get up.


But my body tells me I should just shut my eyes for a little bit longer.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


So I fight it.


I force myself to get up, despite the physical, mental and emotional screams of protest.

I move through the day.

Constantly wanting to lie back down and shut my eyes.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


At some point I’ll give in and lie down.


I might drop off to sleep.

But it will not be refreshing.

I will be constantly drifting in and out. Never properly asleep. Never properly awake.

I will feel like shit.

At some point I will have to get up again.


But my body tells me I should just shut my eyes for a little bit longer.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


So I fight it.


I force myself to get up, despite the physical, mental and emotional screams of protest.

I move through the rest of the day.

Constantly wanting to lie back down and shut my eyes.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

There are some things you cannot ignore

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Outside the front door is a skip.

Next door, they have taken down an old brick outhouse and are building a conservatory.

The skip is only full of rubble.

Every single person who walks past can't help but take a look in though

UPDATE
By popular demand...


Personally I have no idea why Sarah, Kanani or anyone else would be desperate to see a photo of a skip with rubble, but I try to accommodate...
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Home again home again jiggity jig

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Rogan is home from his school skiing trip. They left on the coaches from Northern Italy at 1pm on Saturday and arrived in Dumfries to be collected by parents around 4.30pm Sunday. He thinks he might have had up to an hour’s sleep.

During his time away, he came very close to breaking his leg.

Apparently 4 or 5 kids were flown home partway through the week, at their parent’s expense, for being caught out abusing alcohol, and possibly smokey stuff too.

And one of his friends had his eyebrows shaved by his roommates.

It seems kids will be kids no matter what decade we live in.

Fortunately Rogan has returned eyebrows intact and no letters from teachers. So either he has managed to stay out of trouble, or has successfully covered his tracks.

Either way I’m proud of him.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Busy

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Can't stop. Must dash. Busy building myself a photography website.






Well, when I say dash...
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Déjà vu

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“Kim. Kim. It’s 3 o’clock.”

“Nnnnngggghhhh”

“Are you awake?”

“Yeeennnnngggghhhh”

Then my alarm goes off. I switch it off and attempt to focus my eyes on the figures displayed under the small but incredibly bright light, which threatens to fry my eyeballs in their sockets.

3.01am

I have half an hour to get up, get dressed, drink coffee and get Rogan and his bags into the car. It’s then another half an hour drive to Dumfries where the coaches are leaving.

“But I’m Fatigued, don’t you know?” I mumble into the pillow, but Maggie’s already back downstairs, making sandwiches for his journey.

This is the school skiing trip to the Italian Alps Rogan began his Cakes Business to help pay for. Although he didn’t manage to earn enough to cover it entirely, he did eventually put £350 towards it, which was nearly half.

He’s heading for a resort called Aprica where, oddly enough, I went on my first school skiing trip back when I was just 6 months younger than Rogan is now, about 2 months after my 13th birthday.

I remember it as a time of chatting up Italian waitresses; roommates getting drunk; and trying to steal a Christmas kiss from the eminently fanciable PE mistress.

Can I imagine Rogan getting up to these kinds of things?

Not really.

Perhaps it’s because I’m his Dad and so he seems so much younger than I remember being at that age. But then I also get the feeling he’s not quite as, quite as... [insert appropriate word]... as I was.

Which is probably a good thing.

Either that, or he’s particularly good at covering his tracks. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

5am. I’m climbing back into bed. Maggie’s fast asleep, but thankfully very warm.

Getting up a 2nd time this morning certainly felt a bit odd.

It’s a strange day of mixed emotions.

My stepdaughter, Holly, is down to visit for a few days, and it’s always wonderful to see her.

And it’s Meg’s 11th birthday today. I’m sure she was only 8 the last time I looked.

And there seems to be a Rogan sized hole in the family.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Woman Was Accused...

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Sometimes I'm flicking through the local paper and a line leaps out; a line almost sublime in it's ability to open up an entire story of mood, events and characterisation, and yet reveal nothing further.

I saw such a line in the Dumfries Courier under the Court Files section, which said,
A woman was accused at Dumfries Sheriff court of wiping blood from her nose and flicking it at a policeman..
You could spend years trying to come up with a line like that.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Missed Anniversary

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Febuary 8th just past, was the 6th anniversary of the death of my mother, from a rare form of cancer of the ear. Who knew such things existed? She was 65.

For the first 3 years or so, every time it was coming up towards the anniversary, I would be overcome with grief from a couple of weeks before to several weeks afterwards.

Last year I only remembered on the evening of the anniversary itself.

This year I forgot all about it until last night, 2 days after.

Does this mean I care less about her? Of course not. I still miss her profoundly, and always will, but I have a greater level of acceptance she is no longer here.

I take this as a good sign.

Perhaps it's like the fact I always find an overgrown grave more comforting than a well attended one with fresh flowers.

I don't believe in any kind of afterlife - gods, spirits or ghosts - so a gravestone is not about the person who died, it's about the people who lived on afterwards.

A well attended grave indicates relatives who have not yet been able to find a way to move on enough to leave it.

When I die, like my mother I'd prefer to be cremated. I'd hate to feel those who survive me feel they need to maintain a plot of land out of a sense of obligation.
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Monday, February 09, 2009

Snow at last...

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Finally snow has made it to this corner of SW Scotland and by late yesterday afternoon had begun to settle.

I felt it would be chancing it too much to wait and see if it would still be there by morning, so in the evening I went out with the camera and took Rogan along to carry my tripod (I'm chronically fatigued if you remember. Not that I'd play on that or anything...).

Because it was dark, I had to use long exposures to boost the amount of light coming into the camera. However, because of the street lights, everything was yellow.

Back home on the computer, I took a couple of the better ones and dropped them into black and white, then played around with the brightness and contrast (and curves and levels for anyone who uses photoshop).

I was really quite pleased with these two. You can click on them for larger versions:





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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Canadian Exhibition Autumn 2009

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This October(ish) we’re planning to go to Nova Scotia, Canada to exhibit Maggie’s artwork.

I’ve not been there for 16 years, since I was an exchange student from Dundee University, although I still have a few friends I’m in contact with from that time.

One very good friend from my time in NS has decided to help us try and create an exhibition there.

I thought I’d better scribble out a rough list of things we need to investigate, plan and implement in order to make it happen:

Purposes
- Make sales, open new markets, make more money than it costs to stage.
- Publicise Maggie’s name in Canada
- Boost credibility in Scotland
- Generate more signups for the online newsletter
- Create template for potential exhibitions in other countries
- Visit Canada and see old friends
- Photography opportunities for my own business?

Venue
- Existing gallery; or
- Space geared up for exhibitions, but not owned by a gallery; or
- Find own venue, like a hall, empty shop or large room

Events
- Exhibition
- Workshops
- Talks

Taking payments
- Cheques
- Cash
- Credit cards via online systems such as Paypal

Getting there
- Flights
- Visas?
- Luggage weight restrictions
- Taking camera, laptop and mandolin

Shipping Artworks
- International shipping company
- Packing
- Costs
- Timing

Narrative
- Exploring emotional constraints laid down by parents, teachers, peers, cultural and social pressures
- Scottish connection with Nova Scotia
- Use of textiles and the connection back to older textile industries

Narrative Explanations
- 5 second sound bite
- 30 second outline
- 1 minute interview
- 5 minute interview
- In-depth write-up

Publicity
- Word of mouth
- Website & Newsletter
- Leaflets / posters
- Local radio interviews
- Local TV interviews
- Art organisations in Nova Scotia
- Nova Scotia tourist board
- Venue owner’s own publicity machine

Timings
- Exhibition dates
- Booking flights
- Shipping artworks
- Setting up online payment schemes

Paying for it
- Savings (hahahahahahaha)
- Any shipping, travelling or exporting grants available?
- Sponsorship

So, if you, or anyone you know might be interested in sponsoring this event, or buying/commissioning some of Maggie’s artwork to help us pay for this, or visiting or getting involved in the Canadian side of things, do be sure to get in contact.

My email address is on my profile and Maggie’s web address is: www.maggieayres.co.uk

Thoughts, suggestions or general nods of encouragement are welcome :)
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