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#50Auction D&AD 50th

Fig. 1 The D & AD Auction

50 creatives – designers, art directors, illustrators, photographers, film makers and typographers offered 50 pieces of art for a special edition D&AD book.

(What is D&AD?)

An auction started online on Sunday went live today at The Hospital Club in Endell Street at 7.00pm.

A Paula Scher went for ever £2k. I needed to leave before the Terry Gilliam or Quentin Blake came under the hammer.

See them all here

If you had £10,000 to go on a good cause, which would you have bought? Would it have been selfish to bid for several?

Great work inspires. Great work for a good cause inspires even more. With the money raised D&AD will start a fund to support emerging creative talent in the early months of their career hoping to keep some of them in the business.


Fig. 2. Quentin Blake for D&AD 50 2012

There was additional inspiring work from:

David Adjaye – Architect

Miles Aldridge – Photographer

David Bailey @Kiosk – Designer and Art Director

Daniel Barber – Commercials Director (Film, TV idents … )

Paul Belford – An Art Director and Creative Head … with a PhD in Biochemistry

Quentin Blake – Illustrator

Derek Birdsall – Graphic Designer

Neville Brody – Graphic Designer and Font Designer

Wim Crouwel – Graphic Designer and Typographer

Neil Dawson – Urban Artist

Tony Davidson – Head of Big Ideas, WiedenKennedy London

Mark Denton – Designer, Director, Photographer … and he blogs

David Droga – Art Director

Dave Dye – Thinking up ideas. Problem solving. Making things look nice.

Daniel Eatock – Designer

Eine – Urban Artist

Fabrica – Sam Baron & Co ?

Bob Gill – Bob Gill

Stephen Gill – Photographer

Terry Gilliam – IMDB

John Hegarty – himself

Wayne Hemmingway – fashion designer

Nadav Kander – photographer

Peter Kennard – artist

Rich Kennedy – Senior Designer at BBH

Nick Knight – Fashion Photographer

Michael Johnson – Johnson Banks

Danny Kleinman – Director

Mary Lewis – Designer (Brand Packaging)

John Lloyd – Graphic Designer

Ed Morris – Creative Director

Nick Park – Well Aardman

Grant Parker – Head of Art DDB UK

Parra – Artist

Harry Pearce – Designer

Rob Reilly – Chief Creative Officer

Rankin – Photography

Mark Reddy – Head of Art BBH

Paula Scher – Graphic Designer

Richard Seymour – The Violence of the New

Paul Smith – Fashion Designer

Philippe Starck – S+ark

Daljit Singh – Digital Design

Alexandra Taylor – Art Director

Storm Thorgerson – ‘Legendary’ Graphic Designer

Justin Tindall – Executive Creative Director – Leo Burnett

Mark Tutssel – Global Creative Officer –  Leo Burnett

Simon Waterfall – Creative Director – Industrial Design and the language of all things.

Graham Watson – Art Director

Michael Wolff – Design

Who were the couple, say age 27 and 26 who hung and clung onto each other for the duration as if we were on a raft going through the Skull Rapids of the Westwater Canyon, Utah?

What is learning all about? Reading this? Then reading it again? And adding a comment?

I’ve been pondering this question for 14 years .. since our daughter was born.

I don’t think I gave it a moment’s thought at school, university, in further postgraduate studying or courses or even at work where we were producing training films (amongst other things).

Knowing and applying ‘stuff’ came into it.

Otherwise it was starting to get my head around the neurological processes that had me starting to understand what was going on. Simple really, you expose a person (your daughter, yourself) to something and it results in a stimuli that with repetition becomes embedded.

You cannot help yourself. You pick things up. At what stage have something been learnt though? When you apply it? Or simply knowing that the knowledge is ‘there.’

One key moment this last year was coming to an understanding of what ‘life-long learning’ entails. Even concluding that the less isolated we are the more we learn? Which hardly holds true of the bookworm (or should they now be called webworms?)

Did it help to play Mozart while she was developing in the womb?

Did it help that she was learning to play the piano, draw, type and read all at the same time?

How does she compare to her brother because she apparently has a ‘photographic’ memory … while he does not?

i.e. just because the input mechanism allows for good recall does she learn any better, or even less well, than someone who has to make more effort?

My own mind is made of Teflon – nothing sticks! And even if I get it into my head it slides all over the place producing most unusual combinations 🙁

Am I going to Google ‘learning’ or look it up in Wikipedia?

Probably not.

I’d prefer to find out what Quentin Blake makes of it … or Norman Mailer. What did learning mean to Vincent van Gogh? We can probably tell from the many letters he wrote to his brother.

I have read Ian Kershaw’s two volume biography of Adolf Hitler.

How did that monster acquire and develop his belief systems?

There is such thing as ‘The Google Generation’ – True or False?

Information behaviour of the researcher of the future. Written in 2007 (published 11 January 2008). Reviewed in 2011.

Part of the Week 1 jollies for H800.

(This picks up where I left off in the Forum Thread)

After a year of MAODE, a decade blogging and longer keeping journals (and old course work from both school and uni I might add) I feel I can tap into my own first, second, third or fourth take on a topic.

Increasingly, where this is digitised my preferred learning approach is to add to this information/knowledge, often turning my ideas inside out.

We are yet to have a ‘generation,’ (a spurious and loose term in this context) that has passed through primary, secondary and tertiary education ‘wired up’ to any consistent degree from which to gather empirical research. Indeed, I wonder when things will bottom out, when we’ve gone the equivalent journey of the first horseless-carriage on the Turnpikes of England to the 8 lanes in both directions on the M1 south of Leicester – or from the Wright Brothers to men on the moon.

I’d like to encourage learners to move on from copying, or cutting and pasting in any form, to generating drafts, and better drafts of their take on a topic, even if this is just a doodle, a podcast or cryptic set of messages in a synchronous or asynchronous discussion i.e. to originate.

I lapped up expressions such as Digital Natives, an expression/metaphor only that has been debunked as lacking any basis in fact.

I fear this is the same when it comes to talking about ‘Generation X, Y or Z.’ It isn’t generational, it is down to education, which is down to socio-economic background, wealth, access (technical, physical, geographic, as well as mental), culture, even your parent’s job and attitude.

My 85 year old Father-in-law is Mac ready and has been wired to the Internet its entire life; does this make him of this ‘Generation?’

If x billion struggle to find clean drinking water and a meal a day, where do they stand?

They’ve not been born on Planet Google, so don’t have this generational opportunity.

I find it short sighted of the authors not to go for a ‘longitudinal’ (sic) study. It strikes me as the perfect topic of a JISC, Open University, BBC tie in, the filming part funding the research that is then published every three years for the next thirty, for example.

Trying to decide who is Generation X, or Generation Y or the ‘Google Generation’ strikes me as fraught as trying to decide when the islands we inhabit became, or could have been called in turn England, Scotland, Wales, Great Britain or the United Kingdom.

We could spend an unwarranted amount of time deciding who is in and who is out and not agreed.

We can’t it’s like pouring water through a sieve. The creator of IMBD, a computer geek and film buff was born in the 60s (or 70s). Highly IT literate, then as now, he is not of the ‘Google Generation’ as defined as being born after 1993, but is surely of the type?

Personally I was introduced to computers as part of the School of Geography initiative at Oxford in 1982.

Admittedly my first computer was an Amstrad, followed by an early Apple, but I’ve not been without a computer for the best part of thirty years. I can still give my 12 year old a run for his money (though he does get called in to sought our browser problems).

And should this report be quoting Wikipedia?

Surely it is the author we should quote if something is to be correctly cited; anyone could have written this (anyone did).

Reading this I wonder if one day the Bodleian Library will be like a zoo?

The public will have access to view a few paid students who recreate the times of yore when they had to read from a book and take notes, and look up titles in a vast leather-bound tome into which we strips of paper were intermittently stuck. (not so long ago).

Is there indeed, any point in the campus based university gathered around a library when all his millions, or hundreds of millions of books have been Googliefied?

Will collegiate universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Durham (Edinburgh and Dublin? Harvard ?) become even more elite as they become hugely expensive compared to offerings such as the Open University?

There may be no limit to how much and how fast content can be transmitted … the entire Library of Congress in 3 seconds I am told, but there are severe limits to how much you can read and remember, let alone make sense of and store.

Is this not the next step?

To rewire our minds with apps and plug-ins? I smile at the idea of ‘power browsing’ or the new one for me ‘bouncing’ the horizontal drift across papers and references rather than drilling vertically, driven by a reading list no doubt.

I can give a name to something I did as an undergraduate 1981-1984. Reading Geography I began I the Map room (skipped all lectures) and then spent my morning, if necessary moving between libraries, particularly the Rhodes Library and Radcliffe Science Library, by way of the School of Geography Library, of course, and sometimes into the Radcliffe Camera or the PPE Reading Rooms.

I bounced physically.

I bounced digitally online as a preferred way of doing things. Though this often leaves me feeling overwhelmed by the things I could read, but haven’t read, that I’d like to read. Which is good reason ONLY to read the latest paper, to check even here if the paper we are asked to read has not already been superseded by this or fellow authors.

Old digitised news keeps like a nasty smell in the wind?

Users are promiscuous, diverse and volatile and it is clear that these behaviours represent a serious challenge for traditional information providers, nurtured in a hardcopy paradigm and, in many respects, still tied to it. (p9)

The problem with the short read and low tolerance of readers is the way papers have thus far gone from print version to digital version without, yet, thorough transmogrification.

We await new acceptable ways to write, and submit and share knowledge that is less formal and to anyone versed in reading online, digestible.

All authors for the web would do well to read Jakob Nielsen on web usability.

There is a way to do it. If it looks like it belongs in a journal or book, you are getting it wrong

Do the authors appreciate that labelling the behaviour ‘squirreling’ is self-fulfilling?

It normalises the behaviour if anyone reads about it. Whilst metaphors are a useful way to explain, in one person’s words, what is going on, such metaphors soon become accepted as fact.

There is a running debate across a series of article in the New Scientist on the way humans think in metaphors (good, can’t help it), and how ideas expressed as metaphors then set unfounded parameters on how we think (not so good, and includes things like the selfish gene, competition and so on).

This dipping, bouncing and squirreling, horizontal browsing, low attention span, four to eight minute viewing diverse ‘one size does not fit all’ individual would make for an interesting cartoon character. I wonder if Steven Appleby or Quentin Blake would oblige. ________________________________________________________________________________

Why ‘huge’ and why ‘very’ ? Qualify. Facts. Evidence. And why even, ‘very, very.’ This isn’t academic writing, it’s hear say and exaggeration.

There’s a category missing from the graph – branded information, such as Wikipedia, or Harvard Business Publication, Oxford or Cambridge University Press and Blackwell’s, to name put a few.

Where so much information is available, and so many offerings on the same topic, the key for anyone is to feel they are reading a reliable source.

The point being made later about ‘brand’ presence for BL … something we will see more of with the commercialisation of information. Even Wikipedia cannot be free for ever, while the likes of Wikileaks, for its mischief making and spy-value will always be funded from nefarious sources.

There are very very few controlled studies that account for age and information seeking behaviour systematically: as a result there is much mis-information and much speculation about how young people supposedly behave in cyberspace. (p14)

Observational studies have shown that young people scan online pages very rapidly (boys especially) and click extensively on hyperlinks – rather than reading sequentially. Users make very little use of advanced search facilities, assuming that search engines `understand’ their queries. They tend to move rapidly from page to page, spending little time reading or digesting information and they have difficulty making relevance judgements about the pages they retrieve. (p14)

Wikipedia and YouTube both exhibit a marked age separation between viewers of content (mainly 18-24s) and content generators (mainly 45-54s and 35-44s respectively). (p16, ref 17)

‘there is a considerable danger that younger users will resent the library invading what they regards as their space. There is a big difference between `being where our users are’ and `being USEFUL to our users where they are’.

Surely it would be easy to compare a population that have access and those who do not?

Simply take a group from a developed, rich Western nation and compare them to a group that are not, that don’t have the internet access, video games or mobile phones.

REFERENCE

Information behaviour of the researcher of the future. UCL 11 JAN 2008

Buzzing in Ga-Ga- Googleand – creativity on the fly

I’m not tired, which is the worry; it’ll catch up with me. When I wake up with a clear, original thought I’ve learnt to run with it. Time was I could have put on a light, scribbled a bit then drifted off again. 17 years of marriage (and 20 years together) I’ve learnt to get up. And once I’m up, then I know it’ll be a while before I can sleep again.

(I’ll sleep on the train into London; at least I can’t overshoot. I once got on the train at Oxford on the way into town and woke up in Cardiff).

I have the thought nailed, or rather sketched out, literally, with a Faber-Castell Artist Pen onto an A5 sheet of cartridge paper in Derwent hardback sketch book. This seems like a waste of good paper (and a good pen), but this doodle, more of a diagram, almost says it all. My vision, my argument, my persuasive thought. My revolution?

Almost enough, because I then show how I’ll animate my expression of this idea by drawing it out in a storyboard. I can do it in seven images (I thought it would take more). I hear myself presenting this without needing to do so, though, believing myself quite capable of forgetting this entire episode I’ll write it out too.

I once though of myself as an innovator, even an entrepreneur. I had some modest success too. Enough to think such ideas could make me. I realise at this moment that such ideas are the product of intense mental stimulation. To say that H808 has been stimulating would be to under value how it has tickled my synapses. The last time I felt I didn’t need to sleep I was an undergraduate; I won’t make that mistake. We bodies have needs. So, to write, then to bed.

(This undergraduate thing though, or graduate as I now am … however mature. There has to be something about the culture and context of studying that tips certain people into this mode).

You may get the full, animated, voice over podcast of the thing later in the week. I’ll create the animation myself using a magic drawing tool called ArtPad and do so using a stylus onto a Wacom board.

(Never before, using a plastic stylus on an a plastic ice-rink of a tablet have I had the sensation that I am using a drawing or painting tool using real ink or paint. I can’t wait ’til I can afford an A3 sized Wacom board … drawing comes from the shoulder, not the wrist and certainly not the finger tips. You need scale. Which reminds me, where is the book I have on Quentin Blake?)

Now where’s a Venture Capitalist when you need one at 04.07am. That and a plumber, the contents of the upstairs bathroom (loo, bath and sink) are flooding out underneath the downstairs loo. Pleasant. A venture capitalist who is a plumber. Now there’s something I doubt that can even be found if you search in Ga-Ga Googleland.

Creative visual e-tivities

I feel I compromised what I truly believed about the Creation of e-tivities, but have the Salmon book.

It has been leant on, like a crutch, become an answer for the unimaginative and non-committal. The first ‘How to design e-moderating.’

Whilst the thinking is sound, why are the cartoons that are meant to deliver the impressive thoughts so … weak? Publishers and authors would be surprised how inexpensive it is to hire a Stephen Appleby or a Quentin Blake.

Some of us study art, some of us are more tuned into visuals than words … so how can an author so compromise themselves in this way?

If the purpose is to communicate then the quality of the written word ought to be matched by a similar quality of graphics, art work and photography.

A BBC Radio 4 programme on maths and statistics introduced me to the work of David McCandless. Information is Beautiful (2009). This is how I think, as a ‘visualiser,’ what I would prefer to do, not mind maps, but design, graphics and intelligent single page expressions of complex ideas, facts, stats and links. The entire e-learning world needs to switch its emphasis away from the written word – lectures are the spoken word, tutorials and the spoken word and all the other stuff that goes on in tutor groups.

THIS is the way to illustrate the contents of your mind.

Why, why why do wordsmiths run academia? They aren’t better thinkers, they are restricted thinkers … their only way of expression is through words and they are so incapable of getting beyond the written word that when it comes to something as simple as an illustration they are paralysed.

If their purpose is to communicate, then like the ace communicators in advertising they should work in teams of two, copywriter and art director … two minds are better than one, especially is one can see what the other is thinking.

Where … how … can this component of VISUAL communication be put into learning, let alone e-learning

This isn’t about accessibility, brains are being disenfranchised because the tools, so far, are so limiting that many worthy bright minds are understandably being discombobulated (or something).

I need to be expressing this through a Wacom board, with diagrams and images, and a voice, possibly mine …

My mind has burst its banks and Diaryland will suffer

Titled ‘My mind bursts’ and first posted on 23/02/2002 in my Diaryland blog (which I started in September 1999)

A piece of writing has been well received and I’m locked into getting that to a publisher.

New ideas that could take six months each to fill and rushing in through the study door.

I just saw something at ‘nakedthought’ that wants me to drop everything and write a screenplay. (After five years abstinence).

All this:

All this and I may turn a piece into a one man play for the Edinburgh Fringe.

All this and I’ve started to do that ‘writer-ish’ thing of sticking scraps of paper up all over the room. (For lack of space they hang from beneath the shelves that run floor to ceiling on two sides of the room. The third wall is a fitted noticeboard – no space left. The fourth is a window. If I sit up I can keep an eye on the Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits ‘Midnight’ and ‘Foggy’ – kittens. And the extremely elderly guinea-pigs ‘Particle’ and ‘Harriet’).

All this and I’m on day two, week one of the ‘Artist’s Way’ (Am I allowed to tell you that?). What I can’t do is post up the 1,000 to 2,000 words I write each morning. Huh! Said enough yet?

Have to, have to, have to find £3,000 a month from somewhere. And heh! I don’t want to. My desire is to sell the house and move out of reach of London to somewhere far cheaper so I don’t feel I must climb into the ‘Hamster Wheel’ ever, ever, ever again. I fancy Cyprus, the north coast of Majorca, or the far South West of France. Cornwall would do. I suspect my darling other half will convince me that trying to buy a rabbit hutch in one of the most expensive, though lovely, towns in Britain, is what we should be doing. I’ve started to write about the county town of Lewes here the other day. Check out Southover Grange. Our eldest went to nursery in this 16th mansion. I digress.

Where was I? Another first

I’m writing directly into ‘Andrew’s Box’ (If I can put it that way). Do you do that? I hate the thought of all those typos, poor punctuation. Lack of spacing. Maybe I should keep this up. Or, eeeek! Abandon the thing for a few weeks.

Eeek!

And stop keeping a daily record in the Psion to post later? Huh! If you saw my entry for last Saturday you’ll see wherein the problem lies. 6,000 words for one day? Correction. That was Five hours! I took the Newhaven-Dieppe Ferry to France. I skated over who I met, what we did, where I went, what I bought. In passing I’ll point you to the soundtrack of the film ‘Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie’. The music by Yann Tiersen is both derivative and original. He pays homage (if not royalties) to Michael Nyman and Eric Satie. If you need a lift, listen to this. If you want to push your typing speed beyond 40 wpm, listen to this, there’s a haunting, driven, lilt to the thing.

Enough

I’m a dad. I have kids 3 and 5 in front of the TV upstairs. We have eggy-bread on Saturday mornings. I make intricate eggy-bread faces with the pieces. Think edible Quentin Blake! Later we will swim. Perhaps go to a zoo and wild life park on the South Downs called ‘Drusilla’s’.

Me?

There is a powerful south westerly gale beating its way up from the Bay of Biscay. The sun is out, low, sharp. Gulls occasionally interrupt the huff and puff of the wind. It is too early for them to be cracking the sky with their piercing calls. In the distance waves tumble onto the pebbles around the bay. Powerful waves, angry, subway rumbling waves. That’s where I’d like to be. Wrapped up for a ski trip in gloves, hat and goggles. Psion at my fingertips. Writing. Just writing. Losing myself in this invented adventure or that.

Life calls

Hungry people grumble. My tummy does too. And my dearest darling is feeling poorly. So I’ll make her a hot drink and take her breakfast in bed. Those rabbits and guinea-pigs need cleaning out. The aquarium needs some attention. The hamster needs some T.L.C. too ……….

O.H.I.O

I got this from the A.D.D. person’s guide to survival, ‘Driven to Distraction’ by Hallowell and Ratey. It is tip sixteen on my list of senty seven. ‘Only Handle It Once’. It is supposed to unblock the inclination to stack tasks and post in great piles the better to never deal with them. Diaryland bangs on the door every day as I wake; klong before. Sense it is becomign a problem?

My thinking was/is to apply this to Diaryland. I type it straight in, straight up. None of this notebook, Psion, into the PC, spell-check, edit, paste it into Filemaker Pro, change locations and names thing. Just stick in there. Give ‘Andrew’s Little Box’ all you have. (That’s what I did. Did, as in what you are now reading was copied from Diaryland, pasted into Word and is being reformatted and embellished0.

The weblog is bugging me. The order of events is screwy and I hate not having a html tag that means something. So what. Life isn’t perfect, neither is Diaryland.

We will not be swimming this morning. Swollen tonsils in a three year old

RE: My desire to live elsewhere (see above) my Darlingest describes a vivid dream.

I know the score. Listen, like a psychologist, let the story run, let her expose its detail and meaning.

We are in a large house. We invite 16 people over, 30 or more come. We are in the States. Huh! (So North America beckons once more). It is midday. A house warming party, we have friends from home too, with their kids. (Sounds fine to me). Then it turns into something else. A crying child who feels they only get their mothers attention if they cry.

I take her coffee and ‘pain au chocolat’. ‘I don’t eat chocolate in the morning’ comes the complaint. (Same rule applies with the kids, yet she bought the things and they are eaten for breakfast). She gets eggy bread too. Though she doesn’t get the ‘Eggy Bread Face’ treatment.

They weren’t Quentin Blake. Must be the ‘Artist’s Way’ catalyst. They get faces that are graphic.

I catch sight of the sea from the kids’ bedroom. The tide must he in. Foam and fluff from the top of broken waves wisps and curls up from the bank of pebbles 350 yards away like fiery plumes from a volcano with a grumbly tummy. I’ll go and fetch the binoculars, take a lingering look. I’ve been warned that guests bringing small children are due at 10.00.

adieu

On the Writers Group

I have buzzed and been angry since it left. Had the writer’s been Henry Miller, Jeffrey Archer, Salmun Rushdie, Michael Crichton, J K Rowling and Barbara Cartlan would I be so rattled now? Perhaps, perhaps not. You can learn more in a self-help group. Take what you want from it. I won’t be told. The frustration was in feeling gagged. There was a lot of awful writing presented. But what do you do? What do you say? Most offered bland white-wash approval. I thought, we aren’t here to pat each other on the back. I want to make money from writing. I fear some of them are just coming in out of the cold, one guy is certainly out to make ‘new friendships’ you could tell where his priorities were during the tea-break – he sidled over to the ‘new girl’, gave me the cold shoulder and concentrated his efforts on her. Not on her writing, but on her. Made me cringe. Made me angrier still. The group is run be a pro, a wonderful women, a performer, a former opera singer, playwright with work in the West End. Mum of two. She has the warmest of smiles. The kind that makes you feel loved and understood. I can see why she fell in love with her husband on site. They share the same calm warmth and expressive faces. He’s an actor. He was the year above me at school, the year above me at university. We had similar careers ‘til then. That’s when I started to ‘shadow’ my creative ambitions. Oxford Graduates are attracted by fat pay checks into all kinds of things. I had promised myself U.C.L.A to direct, promised myself R.A.D.A. to act. Promised to pursue ‘creative happiness’ only to turn my back on the BBC and wash up on the shores of a London advertising agency – that I loathed on touch.

Twisting the dial from jolly to sad to bonkers …

I’ve switched the jollity of Amelie for the dour drama and tragedy of Samuel Barber’s ‘adagio for string’. I guess I’m feeling tragic, like a tragic failure. I must make money from something soon. Even if it means taking the guitar into Brighton and busking in the Lanes. This cash will make no dent in the gargantuan debts I’ve built up, what I want is … I don’t even want the cash. Little notes popped in my guitar case saying ‘nice songs, nice voice’ would do. Smiles of appreciation. A small group taking a break from the shops to enjoy ballads I composed in my teens.

There’s something I just cannot do anymore

I can ‘get my hand in’ if I draw for a few hours, but I have not been able to click into a songwriting pattern at all. I play some chords, get the beginning of something but seem unable to marry the words to the music. Is it lack of passion? Do good songs only come from youth?

I digress, I digress. We slip into something that isn’t Adagio For Strings. Time for an anarchic pick me up. On goes …

Bjork: ‘Human Behaviour’

‘If you ever get close to a human

and a human behaviour

be ready to get confused

There’s definitely no logic

To human behaviour

But yet so irresistible

There’s no map

To human behaviour’

Did I know this is what I wanted? I might have taken one of several Bjork discs or remixes from the shelf behind me. This is what I got. This is what I’ll be for now.

Caffeine Buzz

I’m breaking a rule. I may be about to commit to ‘The Artist’s Way’ and do it by the book, but my New Year Dettox is being screwed ragged. I am sipping from a mug of espresso. The entire pot is mine. This is going into a body that that taken a month to come off a chemical mix of high dose paracetomol, caffeine and alcohol.

Someone just poured lighter fuel into the box of fireworks and lit the match

Wrong place, wrong time background music drives me insane with distraction. That was then, when I was bubbly over with caffeine. Now I need the music in order to concentrate – something has to suck away part of my concentration otherwise I would. I would. Not be able to sit here for more then ten minutes without being distracted.

Life bursts in over my shoulder

Something about something I said or didn’t say, explained or didn’t explain. Is the house a mess or not? I’d described it as ‘relative’, we have guests on our doorstep. They wouldn’t care too hoots. It is ‘relative’ – relatively tidy for a house where both parents work from home, where there are two small children and it is four hours into the morning of the weekend …

This must stop

It doesn’t. It was about to., I was about to. But Bjork will go on. Will come out with:

‘There’s More to Life Than This’

‘Come on girl

Let’s sneak out of this party

It’s getting boring

There’s more to life than this’.

If it is possible to be caffeine drunk that is me right now.

The Yoga Lady too

She’s a mum and she’s my ‘Yoga Lady’ from the Southover Grange piece. Her husband is here. I’m not embarrassed. I aske her to do something. To get down on the floor. Cor! Oops! Head flat, bum raised, arms out. I do a sketch. We get into a debate about where bits of Lewes would, could or should be placed on her torso. Hubby doesn’t like the idea that everyone drives into Lewes on her bum (butt).

And I need to get milk, and we are out of coffee … and I haven’t this or that ot ….

Oh Feck!!!

(As they say in ‘Father Ted’ Ace Brit Comedy)

Feck!! Feck!! Feck!!

 

On my desire to live elsewhere and a vivid dream described

I know the score.

Listen, like a psychologist, let the story run, let her expose its detail and meaning.

We are in a large house. We invite 16 people over, 30 or more come. We are in the States. Huh! (So North America beckons once more).

It is midday.

A house warming party, we have friends from home too, with their kids. (Sounds fine to me).

Then it turns into something else. A crying child who feels they only get their mothers attention if they cry.

I take her coffee and ‘pain au chocolat’. ‘I don’t eat chocolate in the morning’ comes the complaint. (Same rule applies with the kids, yet she bought the things and they are eaten for breakfast).

She gets eggy bread too. Though she doesn’t get the ‘Eggy Bread Face’ treatment.

They weren’t Quentin Blake. Must be the ‘Artist’s Way’ catalyst. They get faces that are graphic.

I catch sight of the sea from the kids’ bedroom. The tide must he in. Foam and fluff from the top of broken waves wisps and curls up from the bank of pebbles 350 yards away like fiery plumes from a volcano with a grumbly tummy. I’ll go and fetch the binoculars, take a lingering look. I’ve been warned that guests bringing small children are due at 10.00.

adieu

On the Writers Group

I have buzzed and been angry since it left. Had the writer’s been Henry Miller, Jeffrey Archer, Salmun Rushdie, Michael Crichton, J K Rowling and Barbara Cartlan would I be so rattled now?

Perhaps, perhaps not.

You can learn more in a self-help group. Take what you want from it. I won’t be told. The frustration was in feeling gagged. There was a lot of awful writing presented. But what do you do? What do you say? Most offered bland white-wash approval. I thought, we aren’t here to pat each other on the back. I want to make money from writing. I fear some of them are just coming in out of the cold, one guy is certainly out to make ‘new friendships’ you could tell where his priorities were during the tea-break – he sidled over to the ‘new girl’, gave me the cold shoulder and concentrated his efforts on her. Not on her writing, but on her. Made me cringe. Made me angrier still.

The group is run be a pro, a wonderful women, a performer, a former opera singer, playwright with work in the West End.

Mum of two. She has the warmest of smiles. The kind that makes you feel loved and understood. I can see why she fell in love with her husband on site. They share the same calm warmth and expressive faces. He’s an actor. He was the year above me at school, the year above me at university.

We had similar careers ‘til then.

That’s when I started to ‘shadow’ my creative ambitions. Oxford Graduates are attracted by fat pay checks into all kinds of things. I had promised myself U.C.L.A to direct, promised myself R.A.D.A. to act. Promised to pursue ‘creative happiness’ only to turn my back on the BBC and wash up on the shores of a London advertising agency – that I loathed on touch.

Twisting the dial from jolly to sad to bonkers …

I’ve switched the jollity of Amelie for the dour drama and tragedy of Samuel Barber’s ‘adagio for string’.

I guess I’m feeling tragic, like a tragic failure. I must make money from something soon. Even if it means taking the guitar into Brighton and busking in the Lanes. This cash will make no dent in the gargantuan debts I’ve built up, what I want is … I don’t even want the cash. Little notes popped in my guitar case saying ‘nice songs, nice voice’ would do. Smiles of appreciation. A small group taking a break from the shops to enjoy ballads I composed in my teens.

There’s something I just cannot do anymore

I can ‘get my hand in’ if I draw for a few hours, but I have not been able to click into a songwriting pattern at all. I play some chords, get the beginning of something but seem unable to marry the words to the music. Is it lack of passion? Do good songs only come from youth?

I digress, I digress. We slip into something that isn’t Adagio For Strings. Time for an anarchic pick me up. On goes …

Bjork: ‘Human Behaviour’

‘If you ever get close to a human

and a human behaviour

be ready to get confused

There’s definitely no logic

To human behaviour

But yet so irresistible

There’s no map

To human behaviour’

Did I know this is what I wanted? I might have taken one of several Bjork discs or remixes from the shelf behind me. This is what I got. This is what I’ll be for now.

Caffeine Buzz

I’m breaking a rule. I may be about to commit to ‘The Artist’s Way’ and do it by the book, but my New Year Dettox is being screwed ragged. I am sipping from a mug of espresso. The entire pot is mine. This is going into a body that that taken a month to come off a chemical mix of high dose paracetomol, caffeine and alcohol.

Someone just poured lighter fuel into the box of fireworks and lit the match

Wrong place, wrong time background music drives me insane with distraction. That was then, when I was bubbly over with caffeine. Now I need the music in order to concentrate – something has to suck away part of my concentration otherwise I would. I would. Not be able to sit here for more then ten minutes without being distracted.

Life bursts in over my shoulder

Something about something I said or didn’t say, explained or didn’t explain. Is the house a mess or not? I’d described it as ‘relative’, we have guests on our doorstep. They wouldn’t care too hoots. It is ‘relative’ – relatively tidy for a house where both parents work from home, where there are two small children and it is four hours into the morning of the weekend …

This must stop

It doesn’t. It was about to., I was about to. But Bjork will go on. Will come out with:

‘There’s More to Life Than This’

‘Come on girl

Let’s sneak out of this party

It’s getting boring

There’s more to life than this’.

If it is possible to be caffeine drunk that is me right now.

The Yoga Lady too

She’s a mum and she’s my ‘Yoga Lady’ from the Southover Grange piece. Her husband is here. I’m not embarrassed. I aske her to do something. To get down on the floor. Cor! Oops! Head flat, bum raised, arms out. I do a sketch. We get into a debate about where bits of Lewes would, could or should be placed on her torso. Hubby doesn’t like the idea that everyone drives into Lewes on her bum (butt).

And I need to get milk, and we are out of coffee … and I haven’t this or that ot ….

Oh Feck!!!

(As they say in ‘Father Ted’ Ace Brit Comedy)

Feck!! Feck!! Feck!!

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