Music, books, friends and the gym!

May 30, 2008

On Tuesday night I went to see Saul Williams and he was AMAZING. Unfortunately Paul wasn’t feeling well so he went home during the support act but I stayed because I really wanted to see him. I definitely need to get his albums now (Amethyst Rock Star, Saul Williams, the Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust) and check out his books of poetry, he’s fantastic.

Last night I went to a reading group at the Women’s Library and we discussed Beloved by Toni Morrison. I really enjoyed it and wish it was happening again soon (they’re not having another for a few months!).

I went to a class at the gym this morning (an aerobics class) which was good (but hard at times). Unfortunately I now have a blister on the sole of my foot! I was really hoping that after we moved I would go to the gym more often and I am. It takes so much will-power to get up before work and go but I did it once this week and once last week and I just need to get it up to twice a week (before work) and then once on the weekend and I’ll have reached my three-times-a-week gym target! Or if I went every Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning I could have the weekend off!

After I got back from the gym I got a phone called from Monica in Uganda! Her baby is due Monday which is exciting but I think she and (partner) Dave are both quite anxious about being parents but I don’t think they should be. They’ll both make great parents. Monica has recommended I read We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I’ve heard it has a lot to say on the expectations and experiences of motherhood.

Busy longweekend

May 27, 2008

On Saturday afternoon, Paul and I went to Bank then walked across the river to near the Tower Bridge and City Hall to see the Telectroscope! It was interesting. Kingsley came and met us and we lined up (suckers that we are) and paid a pound to wave at people in New York!
Telectroscope and Tower Bridge
Above, Telectroscope and Tower Bridge
Waving at and photographing people in New York through the Telectroscope
Above, you can see a reflection of me taking a photo of people in New York waving at us throught the ‘Telectroscope’.

After leaving there, we walked up to Tate Modern which had some great art on the outside and we went and had dinner in the restaurant (up on the seventh floor with big glass walls – very cool) before heading to the Turbine Hall for a Nan Goldin slideshow accompanied by music from John Kelly and Patrick Wolf. It was really good!
Graffiti on Tate Modern (24 May 2008)
Art on the outside of Tate Modern (I seriously thought the middle picture was a guy with a gun!)
Graffiti on Tate Modern (24 May 2008)
Nan Goldin, Patrick Wolf, John Kelly at Tate Modern, May 24, 2008
Nan Goldin slideshow accompanied by Patrick Wolf composition, Tate Modern, May 24, 2008
Above, Patrick Wolf, and others, performing an original composition of his to accompany Nan Goldin’s slideshow, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

On Sunday we stayed home, did some cleaning, some reading, brought up a bookshelf from the garage and had a roast. We now only have one more piece of furniture to bring up (our desk) and a few more boxes from our move six weeks ago!

On Monday afternoon we headed back to Tate Modern for Duchamp, Manray, Picabia (it was the last day of the exhibition), then into town to the National Portrait Gallery for cake at the cafe and Brilliant Women: Eighteenth Century Bluestockings. After the art we headed to the gym for a hardcore (for me) workout then a relax in the spa. Well done us for getting out and about as it rained quite heavily all day!

I finished reading Beloved by Toni Morrison on the weekend and I think Paul finished the Logic of Life by Tim Harford. We also watched one and a half Indiana Jones films (I had to stop watching Temple of Doom because the female character was soooo stupid and annoying).

I am excited about NASA’s Phoenix Mars Mission landing safely.

What a busy weekend.

Two years in a strange country!

May 21, 2008

Today marks exactly two years since Paul and I arrived in London. After a couple of months of travelling around we eventually made London our home and got jobs and a place to live. Although it took me quite a while to settle, when I look back over my blog, I see regular visits to galleries and museums and cool shops and I think we really do enjoy what London has to offer culturally. I often have a list in my diary of all the exhibitions that are on that I want to see. This weekend I’m planning to go to the Tate Modern for the Duchamp, Manray, Picabia exhibition (which ends Monday), and a bunch of other things that are on including a show there Saturday night where a slide show of Nan Golden’s photography will be accompanied by music by Patrick Wolf and John Kelly. Next Tuesday night we’re going to see Saul Williams and next Thursday I’m going to a bookclub at the Women’s library (I’ve got to finish Beloved by Toni Morrison before then!). We’re also thinking of going to see a show of Shaolin monks performing, with sets designed by Antony Gormley. London is cool! Now, I just have to take advantage of what London has to offer jobwise (I’m working on it).

Luce Irigiray at the ICA in June

May 20, 2008

Paul and I are going to see the French feminist theorist, Luce Irigaray give a talk at the ICA on 24 June. I’m not sure if I’ve read anything by her before but I’m planning to brush up on her thinking before the talk to try and get the most out of it. So if anyone can recommend any of her work to read before I go, I would appreciate it. I have already been recommended An Ethics of Sexual Difference and I Love to You. Irigaray will be speaking about the thinking behind her new book Sharing the World. She will be giving another talk at the ICA later in the year (9 September).

New shoes for me – like being barefoot!

May 18, 2008

my new Vivo Barefoot by Terra Plana shoes
A couple of weeks ago I finally got my own pair of Vivo Barefoot shoes by Terra Plana. Paul already has two pairs which he loves. My shoes are almost identical to Paul’s black pair (but his are quite worn out now).
Paul's Terra Plana shoes
I have flat feet and have had problems with them since puberty – I was always told that the answer to the problem lay in always wearing shoes with arch supports, so that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 15 or so years. Paul, a big fan of walking barefoot, has been trying to convince me that my problems lay in wearing shoes too much and that if I just went barefoot more often, my feet wouldn’t hurt as much. I’m not sure I believe him, but I have been wearing my arch supports less often recently. I think I can probably get away with it if I go to the gym regularly and stengthen the muscles in my feet and legs. The Vivo Barefoot shoes have very thin soles so it feels like you’re walking around barefoot – you can feel the ground through the soles – but the soles have kevlar in them to make them really tough. I really like their women’s shoes, but as is so often the case for me, they were too small so I had to buy a pair of the men’s. The insole of my shoes has a cool, London-tube-esque pattern on them!
my new Terra Plana shoes with London-tube-mapesque insoles

Whitechapel Gallery, Craze Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum

May 18, 2008

On Friday night Paul and I went to the Whitechapel gallery and saw a little bit of video art and we saw two bands play: An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (see clip above) and No Bra. I hadn’t seen No Bra play before but I’d been wanting to for ages. I think I’d describe her as electro-punk. She came onto the stage in very small pants (possibly just underwear) and a leather jacket and stood there speaking/singing into the microphone along to the backing electo music. After the first song she took off the jacket and she was standing there, topless! Needless to say, without a bra! I find it kinda cool to see ladies with saggy bosoms (kinda similar to mine) putting them out in public, not restricting them in some tight, ridiculous bra, pushing them up, but letting them be in all their natural glory. She also has really long hair – past her waist – which was actually covering one of her breasts for the whole performance; she didn’t move about much. I really like her song Munchausen and we laughed when she sang it, it’s very funny. Check it out on Youtube (the sound’s not that great) or listen to it on her Myspace page.

On Saturday we went to the Craze Gallery on Portobello Road and saw a bunch of guns and grenades made out of paper, then we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum and saw three exhibitions: China Design Now, Thomas Hope: Regency Designer, and Blood on Paper: the Art of the Book. We also had lunch in some nice rooms and Paul took some photos.

Paul recently shaved his head. Here he is, with new haircut, after a long day of London site-seeing.
Paul looking tired after a long day of walking and looking at art in London
He might be tired but he still has enough energy to play World of Warcraft!

My new favourite podcast: Indiefeed Performance Poetry

May 16, 2008

Since getting my ipod for Christmas I have been LOVING downloading and listening to podcasts. A lot of the podcasts I was downloading fit into the following categories: science/skeptical, book review/authors speaking, and poetry.

This past week I started listening to the Indiefeed: Performance Poetry podcast and I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve been introduced to a lot of amazing poetry and poets who I plan to look into more. I’ve even friended them on myspace! It is based in the New York area in the US so a lot of the poets are from around there.

Last year some time I joined the Poetry Society here in the UK and I have yet to go to their Poetry Cafe where they have lots of events, but I now feel inspired to seek out some local spoken word events and go along.

Who do I want to be?

May 16, 2008

I want to:

1) be someone who has read every book on her bookshelf.

2) have integrity: my actions will match my beliefs.

3) believe in myself no matter what.

4) be the kind of person who stands up for the right thing, who speaks out against injustice.

5) look after and cherish my body (this includes regular exercise!).

6) be an accomplished artist.

7) be inspired and be inspirational.

Who do you want to be?

Fun things to do this weekend in London

May 15, 2008

There are lots of arty things on at the moment which I’d like to go to.

Friday night:
Construction of Distance at the Whitechapel Gallery
Features bands and films showing.

Rest of weekend:

Paper Wars at Craze Gallery (on show till 21 May)
Guns and tanks and things made out of paper

Blood on Paper: the Art of the Book at Victoria and Albert Museum (till 29 June)

China Design Now at Victoria and Albert Museum (till 13 July)

Brilliant Women:18th Century Bluestockings at the Portrait Gallery (till 15 June)

Jack the Ripper exhibition at Museum of Docklands (till November 2)

Duchamp, Manray, Picabia at Tate Modern (till 26 May)

Paul's on Flickr

May 11, 2008

Paul now has his own flickr account and he’s started uploading from his phone on the move!