Summertime and the livin’ is easy

June 12th, 2012 Comments 0

Buttercups 03Buttercups 01

Buttercups 02

When we walked in fields of gold…

Thoughts of summer, and a little magic

February 13th, 2012 Comments 0

This post is somewhat out of seasonal step – I made this last August.  The weather here yesterday was so beautiful, the cats were lazing in sun patches, and it reminded me that before we know it the heat of summer will have arrived.  Until then though, I am enjoying the February stillness.  It doesn’t yet feel like the year has quite started, instead the seeds are germinating under the surface of my self – all the work is happening underground, like duck’s feet underwater.

To remind you about summer then…

One green meadow,

pink grass spiral 03

some Red Valerian heading for compost,

pink grass spiral 00

take a line for a walk,pink grass spiral 02

follow the trail further and further with the Catstails bobbing in the wind,

pink grass spiral 04

sit and breathe for a while.pink grass spiral 05

After this, I lay down in the grass and reaching up above my head I absent-mindedly picked a clover leaf.   I brought it to my face and discovered it was a four leaf clover.  Yes.  The very first one I picked.  I sat up and straight away spotted another one -  and then another.  I had laid down in a whole patch of them -  some had six or seven leaves.  Magic!

Forwards and backwards

January 22nd, 2012 Comments 4

Cyclamen1

Last night would have been the closing night of WiLD at Chapter.  I’m not sad anymore, as I’ve had plenty of time to think and make new plans.  I’m actually really excited about this coming year.

Cyclamen2

When someone you love gets ill it definitely puts things into perspective.  Rob, my partner (in life, crime and theatre-making) was the team member who spent the New Year in hospital.  He is getting better, and we’re all in fine spirits.  Thanks to everyone who has offered their support during this time.  I sincerely wish you good health in 2012! 

snowdrop

January is a wonderful month!  I focus so strongly on re-aligning the tracks of my life, it feels like there’s an abundance of positivity and motivation to live well.  I’ve done more yoga in the past fortnight than I have in months.  The question is how long will it last?  I’ve given up writing resolutions, instead I’m making goals and then scheduling them.  Sometimes I wish we could have another January sooner than 2013, to stop the inexorable drift of good intentions.  Maybe one in May and one after August?  As it is I need to charge up a whole year’s worth of motivation right now to keep me going.  I might add a pretend January into my schedule.

blossom

Looking back, since starting working on this play in October 2010 I have gained more skills than I thought imaginable.  The habit of Getting-Things-Done is the best of them.  I wasn’t setting out to learn anything, I just wanted to make and perform a one-woman show (just!)  Nevertheless the learning kept coming.  Here is a list of what I learned last year making WiLD (since the end of the Aberystwyth performance):

How to video edit
How to use graphic design software
How to make a website (using Xara)
How to make and use my own font
How to scale down ambition when necessary
Knowing when to scale down ambition (having run out of time was the main reason)
How to set up a fundraising campaign
How to go busking for the first time despite The Fear
How to book a theatre tour (still have a lot more to learn!)
How to recruit a team and interview people
How to (successfully) apply for Arts Council funding
How to overcome my nerves about making important phone calls
How to be an employer
How to write contracts
How to draw animation storyboards and make an animatic
How to Get Things Done
and finally
How to re-make plans when they fall apart

That’s probably enough for now although there are many things in that list only half-learned and many more not on the list.  It has been an epic year, not what I expected at all and I feel good.  So onwards to those re-made plans (news of which to follow)!

Happy New Year!

two seagulls

Do the thing that scares you…

November 11th, 2011 Comments 0

Arti yawn

Observant readers of this article will notice that tomorrow I will be busking around and about Penarth Town Centre, to help fundraise for my show and to thank funders for giving generously.

Cue internal terror.  I’ve never busked before and I am mildly petrified.  Of course it’s my fault, I set myself up for the gig, I put the date in the paper, so what’s going on?

When I imagine myself busking I picture the positivity I can summon whilst performing or doing creative work.  Sometimes I have a great sense of love for the world, especially whilst singing – it seems to connect people from the heart.  I imagine it as a magical experience, where I turn up and don’t care what other people think, where I’m just happy.

Then the reality arrives, and suddenly I’m terrified of how other people will judge me.  I imagine people’s faces walking past with sneers or looks of incomprehension.  I imagine teenagers giggling and pointing.  I imagine not sounding good enough, of the whole thing just being a bit… odd.

There’s a big difference in my mind between performing in a space where you have been invited, where you are allowed or even expected to sing, and pushing yourself forwards when nobody has asked you to.  It implies some kind of confidence bordering on arrogance, which I’m not comfortable with.  Of course performers need that internal push or they’ll never get anywhere.  I’ve got push.  But I also have resistance – all the doubts and fears. 

The reason I’m sharing this is so I can abandon those fears and doubts.  Tomorrow I will be positive, I will do it for myself – to say “I turned up, I did it”.  I have a list of personal challenges that I wrote maybe a year and a half ago. The challenge at the top of the list is to go busking.  So at the end of tomorrow hopefully I will have done something I’m afraid of, that I really want to do, that represents climbing a personal mountain, and that I hope will help my show.

If you’re in Penarth tomorrow – I’d love to see you, so come and be my friendly audience.  And if you’re not, then just imagine me triumphantly slaying my busking demons (and then running home at the end to hide in bed after a traumatic day of being laughed at whilst completely alone and vulnerable, and then watching the X Factor where I’m sure they have it much, much worse). 

I’ll report back next week.

pink flowers

The Supernatural Daffodil, primroses and a hungry cat

April 6th, 2011 Comments 0

On a walk in the park today I discovered that there are many yellow flowers who all work together to make magnificence -

yellow flowers

and also that daffodils look good even from behind.  My cat came out to join me in the park which was unusual.  I naively did not suspect a motive behind this other than “cuddle me”. 

Arti tree magic primroses

However it soon became clear that all the rolling at my feet, following and leading me on ahead back home was in fact just “feed me”.  He doesn’t usually come to fetch me from the park for dinner.  I was dawdling in the flowers so he emitted a rare “Miaw” to let me know the urgency of the situation,

Arti miaw primroses and grape hyacinths

Dinner time.

But wait!  Behold the Great Supernatural Daffodil of Greatness!

the supernatural daffodil

See how he (she/it?) glows with the Light from Another Universe and how all the other daffodils avert their eyes from his (her/it’s?) Glory!

the supernatural daffodil up close

Never underestimate his (her/it’s?) powers!Q!!!!!11!!!

Practicing random acts of kindness

April 3rd, 2011 Comments 0

Ah the spring!  It’s so wonderful to have more warm pink snow to play with this year.  I watched this shrub dropping it’s first clean pink petals onto the back alley on the way into town.  Several days later and those petals had already gone brown, but the pink ones keep coming.petal1

I decided to leave something for people to see as they walked along.  My first instinct is always to do a heart, but I tried to do something else this time…

petal2petal3petal4petal5petal6petal heart 1petal heart 2

It just wasn’t complete without the heartpetal heart 3

Wanna try one?

Last Look

October 20th, 2010 Comments 0

Six months ago when I took these pictures I felt overwhelmed with the feeling of abundance that was pouring out of the blossom trees.  It looked like the Goddess of compassion was gently giving over and over.  I was reminded that every spring the trees make an incredible effort to transform, making the world intensely beautiful – they just do it, every year, and it’s so magnificent it could make you cry. 
Paradise here and now.

1 pink blossom 12 white blossom 13 blossom portrait 14 blossom mandala 15 blossom mandala tree 16 orange blossom 17 cow parsley carpet

You know I’ve been thinking about writing that ever since, in the back of my mind most of the time.  And now we’ve got Autumn…

Early Summer Meadow

October 18th, 2010 Comments 0

Still looking back, although not for long…

The meadow is just heaven,

a pilgrimage,meadow cows

purple,meadow purple yellow

yorkshire mist,meadow yorkshire mist 

yellow  meadow yellow

More Lovely Spring

September 14th, 2010 Comments 0

spring green trees

Here be hobbits, if you wait long enough…

hobbit river

Idyllic, but, in fact, real:

light through leaves

just checking back on the hobbit:

river hobbit

soon-to-be apples

 apple blossom

and a meeting with the Elf King! to be continued…

Why I am never mowing my lawn when I have one

September 13th, 2010 Comments 0

All the lawn flowers!  This lawn was getting mown, so I quickly plucked all the friends waving around.  Ah well, I can dream of my garden, until then, I’ll enjoy other peoples’.

Forget-me-nots, a microcosm of childhood,

lawn bouquet forget me nots

lawn bouquet mid

a royal weed,

lawn bouquet dandylion

medicine and heart-ache,

lawn bouquet violets

lawn bouquet violets hiding

something spiky, (I’m sure all good florists add something spiky),

lawn bouquet grasses

a blue tangle cloud,

lawn bouquet forget me nots 2

lawn bouquet

yes please, and thank you.

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