Archived entries for Logs

The Weekend Edition – part two (aka Day 7)

Sunday. Lovely Sunday.

Managed to keep my routine of reading first thing in the morning. Finished reading through Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings, and which was worth the time invested. The protagonist is a thoroughly disagreeable character, with few if any redeeming features, but really, he’s trapped in the straight-jacket of his own personality. Loved the final few panels as the world outside the airplane window dropped away into nothing. It’s subtle and understated work, particularly bearing the medium in mind – reading a graphic novel, I’ve certainly been trained to expect more visual fx, even in the more adult (less spandex and superpowers) kind of graphic novels I prefer to read these days. I’ll be looking out for more Tomine in the future…

To maintain my reading schedule, I picked a few more books from the ‘To Read’ pile. There’s a lot there to choose from, but while I had my reasons for buying everything that’s there, I’m not currently excited by everything that’s in “the tower that threatens to collapse and drown me every time I look at it.” I pulled the 2009 edition of Rhino, Josh Waitzkin’s Art of Learning, and The Best American Essays 2006, which should keep me going until my next Amazon delivery.

For the rest of the morning, I wrote a journal entry, read a few articles that my RSS subscriptions turned up, and blogged a bit. Sorted through and archived photos from the past few months (lots of photographic work to post-process and post on the blog…) Drafted a rough idea for a poem inspired by watching CSI with the missus yesterday (Saturday) evening. Cleaned up the hard drive on my Macbook Pro (1GB left on a 250GB drive – not healthy…)

Early afternoon, I took myself to the National Portrait Gallery to check in on the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize. Picked out a number of names of photographers to follow up on, but I wanted a little more about the story behind each image.

Handled a little shopping on Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road in the rain (knitwear and stationery), then schlepped down to the Southbank. From the lack of impassioned “I’ll be there” messages, I didn’t think I’d be joined by any WHWDers, so I took the time out to plan 2010, plan the reboot of the Vineyard website in a bit more detail, read (Rhino 2009) and draft another poem. Then home to spend some quality time with the missus.

The Weekend Edition – part one (aka Day 6)

It occurs to me that I didn’t post anything over the weekend. When I invited people to join the blog, I presumed that they wouldn’t want to post “productivity journals” over the weekend. Tsk. Bearing in mind the kind of people I invited, I really should have known better.

Saturday, there wasn’t much to speak of. In the morning, I took care of the flat. Domestics, glorious domestics. That done, I moved on to some planning and reviewing. Notes taken on the kind of week I had in comparison to what I was hoping for, and the week ahead. One of the good things that’s I’ve observed from this week is the way my scheduling is heading in (what for me is) a good direction. A little more space in between things. Less manic activity. There are always busy periods and less busy periods, and I’m winding down for the end of the year, but I feel as if I have a pretty good relationship with the systems I use to manage incoming “stuff” and that can only be a good thing. Of course, such systems need to be stress tested…

Post-planning, I wrote the rest of Saturday off for quality time with mum. I took her to the V&A, where we ambled through the Fashion, Silverwork and Jewellery exhibitions. The only negative came when we tried to get something to eat at Kwality Tandoori on Thurloe Place. After 45 minutes without any indication of our ordered mango lassis arriving, and watching other guests abandon their tables in disgust with the quality of the service, we decided to jump ship.

Ended the day feeling good, ‘Kwality’ notwithstanding.

Day 7 — Samera

Sunday was a tricky day. I tried to do too much. I went to Church in the morning, I did the family thing and then I tried to attend two events. Didn’t quite squeeze it all in…

Church is always good. Though I try to skip my Sunday sessions, I more or less always end up going and more or less always leave feeling refreshed. I love being in Church. It’s a place where there’s always something bigger than you, more important than you, more senior than you, more in control than you, and that’s fine. There’s no power struggle here. There’s no shame in my reliance.

Then there’s all the routine; the Eucharistic prayer, communion, the repetition, much like mantras. You can just slip in and be carried along by the familiarity. It’s meditation at it’s highest form. Great stuff.

My Sundays are about blowing a big cozy bubble (church) and seeing how long I go before something bursts it (the world). The family thing went fine really, it just overran somewhat. It left me in a position where I couldn’t attend both of my evening functions. Both were important in different ways. I inevitably had to pick one but didn’t really enjoy being there as much as I should have because I had let down the side at the other place. The moment I was 10 minutes behind with my family stuff I had entered into loose loose territory.

I’m actually writing this entry on Monday night; I didn’t have the heart to write it on Sunday. I’ve very much enjoyed the process and I’m a bit gutted it’s coming to an end! I’ve learned so much about myself and others. Hooray for Jacob I say :o)

Day 7 – Heather

Spend most of my free day in Belgrade in Dragana’s apartment.  I don’t wake up until 12 and then get dressed and read the script for 40 year old Virgin.  The ending of the actual film is so much better than it’s written – I’m glad they ended up doing the version we all know and love.  It’s breakfast/ lunch as we watch the news –  toast, Ajvar, tuna paste, pickles, homemade jams, muesli, and coffee. We hang out, get ready, phone calls are made and then it’s time to venture out.  4 o’clock and the day is already turning into night.  We visit the new book shop at the student centre and they have my book!  It takes a picture with Walt Whitman and Edgar Allen Poe’s books and me of course.  As we walk through town, Dejan and Dragana point out the world around us and they don’t mind me stopping every so often (i.e. every couple of steps) to take photos.  We go to St. Stava’s (the biggest church in Belgrade – maybe even Serbia).  It’s not finished yet but further along than I saw it 2 years ago.

We hoped on a trolley and headed further into town.  My friend Milan said that the trolleys in Belgrade are mainly old Russian or Czech trolleys that were given a bit of polish before being given for free to Serbia.  They were excited to have them but the trolleys are all old and have a habit of breaking.  Not good when there is already a problem with traffic congestion. Dejan wanted to take me to the writers centre in the same building as the Association of Literary Translators but the gates were shut. 

Dinner was at “?” which is a traditional Serbian restaurant that’s been around since the beginning of the 1800s.  We shared pickled cabbage, vegetables, squid, carp and tasty bread.  All accompanied with Serbian Wine.  We finished eating and headed to my last gig of the trip.  Here is a little something from that night: Poetry, wine, laughs and a bus ride home at 1 am to pack my bags. 

Home again, home again, jiggitty jig.

Naomi – Day 6 (written on day 7)

It’s Sunday morning and I am in bed on my lap top. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, it means there’s a fudged edge between work and play and perhaps my bed should be sacred and technology free, but it’s cold and I am quite enjoying this 21st Century version of a lie-in.

Yesterday met Richard Tyrone Jones (he of flaming red hair) for a photoshoot. We walked along the canal and then had a potter around Camden Passage. I am still a digital SLR novice. In my film SLR days I used an OM1 which I still have. I shot in Black and White, mostly HP5 and my interaction with the camera was about the relationship between shutter speed and aperture. In simple terms I often worked with a very shallow depth of field (ie, only a few things in sharp focus and, in my case, the background being a blur) and, in this way, I could concentrate on the framing of the picture and how I developed a relationship with my subject.

Since buying the Canon from Jacob it’s all changed. For a start I am shooting in colour and I have to adjust my vision to understand this, to know how this translates to a digital image. This is my biggest learning curve and one I am enjoying, although I have to admit my heart is still loyal to black and white images. I also have so much more choice which means I can change ISO speed from shot to shot. I know this is standard for anyone with a digital camera but for someone who learnt her craft on a Zenit it still feels like an incredible luxury. I am also learning how to see again, how to take the actual photographs as it has been a good ten years since I’ve done this.

But why mention all this – Samera said something about freelancers working in isolation but us often having similar concerns. I think the digital photography thing serves as a fitting metaphor of what I have learnt this week. When I first starting taking photographs I had to master the camera, and the darkroom. I spent many hours there perfecting my prints. The process was long and thoughtful. Today it’s much quicker and I can share the image within minutes of taking the shot. The camera offers me more choices and in many ways the whole process is more interactive and less isolating. I’m not saying it’s better (I will always love film photography, what it requires and what comes out of it), but it serves as a reminder for my very personal need for interaction.

Not much else to say about Saturday, the shoot was good albeit freezing. The meeting I was supposed to be having with Agnes and Kamaria about a poetry anthology did not happen as Kamaria got the wrong address and could not be reached on the phone. It gave me some catch up time with Agnes and we went back to hers to eat quiche and watch Star Trek Next Generation. I cycled home under an unappetising shower of cold rain. At home I hopped on my old lady of a mac and began looking for photos of Richard that had real bite, an edge which will make the viewer want to linger on the picture. I think I have one, taken in front of a shop selling monochrome prints of the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, taken on film of course.

Day 6 – Denrele

Wake up late (almost 10). Have to be in North London for 12 for a Christmas crafts day/saturday lunch with friends.

Am now very aware that I am yet to pack and a sort of low level panic has set in. I really hate packing. I really hate moving and yet this seems to be the only thing I’ve been doing this year. I have moved 3 times this year already and I still can’t get the hang of it.

I’m too distracted to even remember to do my morning pages and abandoning my usual routine at weekends doesn’t help. Instead I’m straight to faffing on the computer. Then I head towards North London. It’s a cold day but sunny. I left the bike at work last night so I’m taking public transport.

Crafts and lunch go well but I’m a bit distracted and jittery. Nothing feels right today and I cannot settle. Head back to South London around 5.30, stop along the way to pick up the bike from work and am back home before 7.

I start pulling things together and packing them away. I realise I have no empty boxes but I decide I’ll just chuck things in bin bags instead. I don’t care. I just want to clear the room.

I am such a hoarder. No matter how empty handed I am when I enter a space I always leave feeling that I have filled the space with junk. This is no different. I don’t understand why I am constantly surrounding myself with junk. I don’t even like clutter and I’m forever admiring those people who keep a clear desk and somehow manage to be tidy and organised. I decide that once I’ve moved into the new space, I will be better at keeping it clear. But I always say that. Sigh.

Pack some more then take a break to watch Spooks on the iplayer.

Feel really sleepy. Switch off computer and get to bed. It’s 12.30. I’ve not done any writing today. No meditation.

Day 5- Denrele

Another early morning start as am meeting up for send off breakfast with work colleagues. Do my usual morning stuff then head out to Cafe. It’s a nice thing to do on a Friday morning before work. It would be great if we did this every week but this is a special occasion as someone on the team is leaving for a different job.

Breakfast is done by about 9.30 and the work day begins. It’s a really slow day. I’m not much in the mood for work. I’m moving on Sunday and I’m preoccupied with all the stuff I need to do. I haven’t even called the van man yet to confirm moving times and I haven’t even begun to pack. Too much to do and my procrastination reflex is kicking in.

After work I head out to an observatory in Mill Hill. A friend who is into astronomy has arranged this and I’m looking forward to looking through huge telescopes and seeing some stars.

As it turns out, the night sky is so cloudy today that we only get to see the surface of the moon. Mildly disappointing but I’m in good company.

We grab dinner and talk about life, the universe and everything. Head back home.

I usually like Friday night because with weekends come the luxury of bucking my routine, catching up on programmes, sleeping late. Today, I’m bone tired but determined to just spend time in tv fantasy land.

All in all Friday is a bit of a write-off. Nothing get’s done. No packing, no daily discipline, no meditation. Bit blah really.

Day 6 – Paula Small

Saturday isn’t over for me yet, but as it’s Sunday in most of the world, I think it’ll be ok for me to be ahead of the game for once.

Today, there wasn’t an abundance of creativity (oh the horror!). I awoke at ~8:30 am and set an alarm for 9:45 am. I wouldn’t be asleep, but I also didn’t want to watch the clock as I lazily pulled the covers back over me.

Got a phone call, so I was up and chattin’ and disabled my alarm. I watched a bit of a DVD, then got ready to “hit the bricks”. I arrived at my haircut appointment on-time & even found parking right outside. My stylist was workin’ on another client & I had a few minutes wait, so I flipped through a magazine. Could’ve scribbled in my li’l journal I carry with me at all times, but I didn’t. Less than an hour later, my hair was cut & washed. I keep my hair low, even in the Autumn & Winter, which surprises people. But, with the really dry air here, I won’t even fuss with much hair. I can barely tolerate having what I call a mini ‘fro, let alone a head full of hair. I dunno how people do it.

I reserved a production studio at the station for 2 pm, so I could research, prepare and record my audio for the Tuesday Community Calendar. Instead of headin’ back home, I decide to swing by the station, in case the room’s available, so I could start & finish earlier. I arrived at the station & unlike my last visit there, I wait only a few seconds before I’m buzzed in … yea!

I grab a cup o’ coffee and half ‘n’ half & head to the room; it’s completely open. I checked the schedule & see that someone’s reserved it at 1 pm, but not at noon, so I jump right on the computer & power things on. I have about 30 minutes before the room’s to be claimed, but that gives me enough time to acclimate to this production room, since we used a different one for the Calendar. It also gave me time to research the events I wanted to include.

I pull up my text from the last recording and select 3 events to include, but I also find over 3 more and decide on 2 of those to include on this Tuesday’s calendar. As I complete the updated text, the person who reserved the room arrives. She graciously tells me that she only needs it for maybe 15 minutes and then I can get it back. I tell her no worries that I had it reserved at 2 pm, so I was fine for the time being.

I move to another workstation to read through my text silently, as I edit & then aloud. True to form, she walks over to me & tells me the room is free. Woo hoo!

I return to the room to record the audio. It’s during the recording that I remember I hadn’t eaten more than a coupla ginger snap cookies. I stumble over a coupla names and resort to phonin’ friends to find the correct pronunciation for a town’s name. Oregon has several towns with names that aren’t pronounced as their spelled or even pronounced in other parts of the country. It’s not unique to Oregon; every state has some exception to the rule.

After I get confirmation of the town’s name, I edit my text once again, since I copy & paste it onto the website, so that anyone can view the information on-line. The audio file will accompany the text.

I laugh a few times into the mic & start and stop again & again. I play with levels, enunciation and amount of information to include. Finally, I get an edit that’s website ready and I set it up. The website uploading is done & then I transfer the audio to the air room, from where it’ll run 4 times throughout Tuesday.

I almost bounce out of the room, I’m so happy to be done. To be fair, I would’ve been done sooner, but I checked e-mail and played a bit of Facebook, as I waited for the audio to upload. It didn’t help that I changed my text a few times either.

Returned home and did quite a bit of household chores, then prepared some food. I had intentions to catch up on the rental DVDs, so I could return them by 7 pm, but once again, I didn’t. I arrived home at a li’l after 4 pm and that pretty much killed the plan. I did finish watchin’ a Netflix rental that I plan to loan a friend, when I see her tonite, before we head to karaoke.

I took time to play on Facebook, catch up on e-mail and then update these posts. The only plan left for this nite is karaoke. I’m not leavin’ here ’til ~10:30 pm, so it’ll be another late nite.

The only plan I have for tomorrow is to finish watchin’ the rental DVDs or at least return them, then meet up with a friend for poker at a venue. It’s his birthday, so I’m hopin’ that’ll bring us both some luck.

I haven’t any plans for the daytime, so I actually plan to focus on writing, so I can end this project on a much more creative note! Thanks to everyone for the posts; they’ve been interestin’ reads and I have a bit of a poem rustlin’ about the ol’ grey matter, inspired by the posts.


Day 5 – Paula Small (written on Day 6)

I caught up on the other posts and I found m’self smiling and nodding along. I’m amazed at how much everyone manages to cram into his/her life. “Manages” probably not the correct verb, but onwards & upwards …

I’m always behind in posting (time zone-wise), which has been a funny thing to ponder as I read others’ adventures in the writing juggling act.

This post is for Friday and I’m the first to admit that I’m surprised I got any writing done. I didn’t have to work, because my office observes Friday as an extension of the Thursday holiday. Yea!

As I had a late nite on Thursday, I awoke at my usual time and then lolled about in bed. Finally, at ~9:30 am, I got myself out of bed and … onto the sofa. I ate and looked about my apartment to consider whether I should actually *do* anything. I played on Facebook, e-mailed and talked on the phone with others who didn’t have to work that day.

To avoid housework, I typed out an intro paragraph that popped into my head. I’ve so many “starts” and not enough “finishes” it ain’t even funny.

I did a bit of a job search, as well as a search for a TV, bookcase and desk. Touched base with friends, as they decided to shop tomorrow instead of today. That worked for me, because I was enjoyin’ my lazy day. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to join ’em on Saturday, as I had a coupla things to do – a haircut appt and some audio work.

Watched a DVD, but not one of the ones I rented, because I figured I had time. Oops! After a few phone convos and some food, time started slippin’ away. I’ve no idea what happened, but soon, it was time for me to get ready for a friend’s 40th birthday party.

I was on Facebook on/off, when a friend messaged me to ask about the party. Told her I was goin’ & could give her a ride there. That’s why I have a car, to make life a li’l simpler.

Finally decide I can peel m’self away from my notebook, since I couldn’t bear to stare at a blank page any longer. As I start to get dressed for the party, another verse to a song in progress pops into my head. Oh goodness, then there’s a hook! I repeat both until I can scramble to my notebook. I don’t dare try to type onto my computer, because I’ve lost the rhythm/words that way before & now I’m a tad superstitious.

Finish gettin’ ready, grab a coupla bottles of Martinelli’s Cider for the party, text my friend that I’m on my way & head out.

I pick up my friend & say hi/give hugs to a coupla other friends who live with her, as well as a bit of a scratch to the pup. We get to the party and find yummy food – I eye the falafel balls straight away & the tabbouleh. One of the guests brings some vegan chocolate oatmeal cranberry brownie-type things. I don’t even like chocolate, but I try one and find my tastebuds delighted!

There’s some drinkin’, some more eatin’, tons of laughter & new folks to meet! I’m engaged in convos with folk I’ve only just met that night, but felt as if I could’ve known some of them longer. More laughter & I head away from the fireplaces to the backyard fire pit. I catch up with some more folk – familiar and not so familiar – ’round the fire. It gets to be a bit too brisk, even with the fire and I return inside. Notice the time & it’s a quarter after midnite. We’d been at the house since ~8 pm!

Start to get ready to head home, but only make it into the kitchen, where there’s more convo and laughter. Resume a convo about a movie that neither one of the guests nor I can quite capture, even though we both can recall the plot. We share our frustration with others, to no avail & finally she makes a call & awakens her partner. I’m only slightly sorry for her partner, because I’m more concerned with gettin’ this movie title riddle solved.

Her partner names the title & we rejoice! No, really, I do a li’l dance & there’s hi-fives all around. It was silly yet fun & a great end to the night.

Our departure that began at ~12:15 pm was delayed to 1:15 pm and we finally hug everyone again and leave. I drop off my friend and head home. I arrive at just a li’l after 2 am and attempt to watch one of the DVDs, since I didn’t return either one. I start to fall asleep and decide to switch to music instead. It’s almost 3 am and I have an appointment to cut my hair at 11 am. I’m glad that it’s only Saturday and that makes me happy and I drift off to sleep.


Day 6 — Samera

Today I read all of Naomi’s posts back to back. You can form more of a story when the posts are read back to back. It was really interesting. One thing this experience has highlighted to me is how insular freelance work is. I always comment on the rat race and how people are all kind of pulled along in this work moat; just dragged around and around. Well, working freelance is like being dragged around that moat with a blindfold on. We have such similar issues and hang-ups, but the work practice leaves you feeling like an island.


It’s common knowledge among my friends that I am scared of my email. I don’t mind to send stuff but I have an aversion to addressing the reems of sent messages. I thought about attempting this task today, solely because I’m being watched. Then I decided that it wouldn’t be a true representation of my working week if I did such a thing. Entourage was left open all day though.

(For any worried souls who have sent me messages, I consistently check my gmail. I have managed to fool myself with a lie; in my head that’s my ‘personal’ email, so that gets checked at least twice an hour.)

As I’ve been sick, I spent most of today playing catch-up. That included more listings, picking a playlist for my radio show and some interview research.

I was rubbed up the wrong way today by an acquaintance, which led to a mini outburst on facebook and me turning off my phone. I’ve never done that before (turn of my phone I mean; the mini outbursts are a far more regular occurrence than I care to admit). I think this is still part of the resonance of my Birmingham trip. It was mildly liberating, but more so it was a disappointment. As silly as it sounds, I definitely felt less vital with the phone off, or more accurately, with the phone not needing to be on.

I watched a bit of telly today, whilst chowing down on Penguins. I finished the whole pack of 6, so once I’ve posted this, I’ll hop on the Wii. (I would get on my pilates chair, but come on! It’s like 10 to midnight!)

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