More art and a job interview

April 2, 2009

Today I had an interview with an architecture firm right next to Tate Modern. Here’s hoping I get it! After the interview I wandered around the Tate for a bit and I saw the Reckless Sleeper and The Annunciation by Rene Magritte, Three Dancers by Pablo Picasso, Mountain Lake and Forgotten Horizon by Salvador Dali and The Fig-Leaf by Francis Picabia. I also had a very rich hot chocolate with the BIGGEST mound of cream on top and a rhubarb crumble dessert (and then I spent a whole hour on a treadmill this afternoon!).

Yesterday I went to the Mythologies exhibition at Haunch of Venison, now situated in the old Museum of Mankind space behind the Royal Academy. It was very cool – lots of art, some boring and mediocre and some really good (this is often how I feel about big shows like this). Here are reviews from the Independent and the Guardian – they’re not very flattering reviews. This blog post has lots of pictures of some of the art.

Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the art I see here. Sometimes I think I should stop going to see it and should maybe just stay home and make it.

On my way into town yesterday I sat near a group of teenage boys on the train – they were doing what teenagers do, talking and laughing and paying each other out, when one of them practically screamed in surprise – I looked over and saw sitting opposite him was a guy with a rather large split in his crotch – much to his horror. As he made claims of ‘why didn’t any of you tell me.’ I started laughing and couldn’t stop. Poor boy. I didn’t mean to laugh at him – and as all his schoolmates saw that I was laughing they just laughed more. So after I managed to stop laughing a different one of them mentioned to his friends that we had just gone past Turminem Green station. And they all started laughing at him because it is Turnham Green, not Turminem Green and I started laughing again. Luckily they all got off at the next stop.

Paul has another of his Microsoft exams on Saturday. After he’s done we’re planning on going to the Collection at the Victoria Miro gallery to see some dance exhibition they have on there at the moment:

This spring Victoria Miro collaborates with Siobhan Davies to present The Collection. For three weeks, performers and artists present specially commissioned dance and artworks at Victoria Miro Gallery in North London and Siobhan Davies Studios in South London.

The Collection is a series of ambitious collaborations that look at the interfaces of contemporary art and dance, where these worlds intersect and how they might inform one another. At the heart of the project is a mutual curiosity for potential exchanges across both art forms, and an exploration of the connections and disconnections within them.

It could be really interesting or it could be a boring wank!

Oh and our gas bill for winter was MASSIVE – it was twice the bill from the previous quarter. No more heating! For many, many months. Even if it’s cold.


Your luggage, your laptop, your lunchbox, your loved ones and your litter!

March 14, 2009

Catching the District Line yesterday from Ealing to central London I had a lovely commentary from the train driver which made a lot of the passengers smile. In addition to the ‘please take all your belongings with you when you leave the train’ announcements, he told us that we wouldn’t believe the kinds of things that get left behind on the tube. And he said ‘Don’t forget to take your luggage, your laptop, your lunchbox, your loved ones and your litter. That’s lovely.’ In addition to the ‘the next station is..’ announcements, we had ‘The next station is Chiswick Park. How many parks are there on the District Line?’ After the station he announced ‘There are six parks on the district line.’ Then there was ‘The next station is Turnham Green. How many greens are there on the District Line?’ After the station: ‘There are three greens on the District Line. With six parks, three greens and a common, it is small wonder the District Line is colour-coded green.’ He also told us that the District Line is 140 years old but he wasn’t a train driver back then, the Bakerloo Line turned 103 last week, the Northern Line is 101 years old and the Victoria Line is only 40 years old and he remembers when it opened.

I was actually heading to the Strand to vote in the Queensland election. I tried the other day but after waiting for half an hour while they restarted their computer twice, I gave up. And today it turned out I wasn’t on the electoral role! I had emailed the Australian Electoral Commission to keep my enrollment updated while I’m overseas and they had replied saying they would pass it on to the Electoral Commission of Queensland. Doesn’t look like they did. Anyway, I still got to vote but as I’m enrolled in quite a safe seat I don’t feel like my vote will make much difference. I don’t think I’ve ever voted in a marginal electorate! I was supposed to have dinner last weekend with a friend from back home and I was really looking forward to discussing the Queensland election with him. Alas, he was too hungover. I don’t really have anyone else here that is as interested in the nitty gritty of elections as I am (and is also from Queensland). We did get an email from Paul’s mum with her commentary on it and I really liked that (thanks, Paul’s mum!). I remember last year when I found out the Liberals had won in Western Australia so the states (in Australia) were no longer all Labor governments – as they’d been for a little while. I turned to the Australians I worked with and I really wanted to comment on it but I knew none of them really cared about that stuff! Where are my fellow politics nerds?

Last night I went to Helen’s house and I met a really friendly guy called Stephen and we talked about politics and art: two things I love. It was great!

I am working all of next week – sounds like a boring admin job (a lot of filing) and the pay is not much but it’s better than not earning any money! Hopefully it will lead to something else.

Today Paul has an exam for his Microsoft Certification.


Work Christmas Party

December 18, 2007

Last night I went to my work Christmas Party. It was good but the venue was small so we were very squashed in. The canapes were good but there didn’t seem to be much of the promised fish and chips. I think they should have had enough food for everyone, especially if they’re giving out free alcohol.
Paul and me at my work Christmas party
Me and Paul
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Flatmate needed, long weekend and new job.

May 28, 2007

We need a new flatmate because our housemate B is moving out. If you know anyone interesting who would like to live in West London with three people for £382 per month, get in contact! 🙂

Last night Paul and I had dinner with Thomas, who lives in Exeter, and his brother Daniel, who lives in London and Reading. It was nice to catch up as we hadn’t seen them in a long, long time.

My first week of my new job went off well. I am doing administrative support for architects who are working on the St Pancras international train station. I went onsite on Thursday and had a look around. It was pretty cool. They are using the old building and keeping heaps of the original brickwork and steel supports so I think it will look really nice. I found some articles about it from the BBC and Eurostar and the BBC have a heap of photos of it too.

This weekend was a long weekend and we’ve spent most of it inside because of rain! We did go into Covent Garden and Charing Cross Road on Saturday and bought some books. We also looked at laptops because we’re going to buy another one so we can have one each! Yesterday we watched the Hunt for Red October, and today I watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD.

I have to get going now because our flatmate Will’s brother Rich has brought around the cartoon movie of the Transformers and I might go watch it now.


Springtime in London: Friends, zines, art, picnics

April 23, 2007

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Sitting in Russell Square after going to the London Zine Symposium nearby.
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Lucy N and Tina chatting.
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(left to right) Adam, Di and Lucy N.
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Lucy R and my flatmate Will.
I have had a fantastic last few days of hanging out with friends, going to events and enjoying London. It’s been good.
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August 15, 2006

What a busy couple of weeks I’ve had. I have found a new house in Ealing which is on the Western side of London (public transport zone 3!) and will be sleeping there from tonight. It’s quite exciting to have our own room after two months. We’ll be living in a 3-bedroom flat with two other women in a rather large, lovely-looking old house (it has 6 flats altogether). There is a park, and lots of shops close by and hopefully I won’t feel too far away from things after living in Islington (which is inner North in London).

I spent a bit of time going around estate agents looking at flats because Paul and I were thinking of getting our own place – a one- or two-bedroom flat – but they charge so many exhorbitant, nonrefundable fees. They charge you money to “draw up” the lease. Now, surely they just have a form they can fill in! I think it’s a total rort! So after realising we really couldn’t afford to do that we decided to find a share house. It’s close to Paul’s work so let’s just hope that I get a job soon.

Last Friday, I had a job interview with an organisation that would have been really cool to work for. Unfortunately they gave the job to someone with more experience. I was one of only three people interviewed and they gave the recruitment agency good feedback about me.

A couple of weekends ago I went to Brighton for (Queer) Pride which was fun. There was a parade with lots of floats and heaps of people obviously had come to town for the weekend. I told Paul I wanted to go without him and he took it quite well. It was good to get away and meet some new people (since being here for two months, Paul and I have spent nearly all our time together).

Lately I’ve been having an Alan Moore bonanza reading three of his books/graphic novels/comics/whatever you want to call them. I am halfway through the Watchman which he did with Dave Gibbons and have really had to persevere with it. It is about retired superheroes (well, people who used to dress up in costumes and fight crime). I’m not sure if I’ll finish it because it just isn’t doing much for me. I have also read V for Vendetta which he did with David Lloyd and I really liked it but had already seen the film so new the general gist of what was happening. I think I’d recommend reading the book first (although I did really like the film. I saw it on the Imax screen in Brisbane and it looked hella cool). Now I’m currently reading From Hell which he did with Eddie Campbell and it’s about Jack the Ripper. It’s so great to be reading books set in London while I’m here (From Hell and V for Vendetta are both set in London) especially as I now actually know where all these streets and places are – well, most of them. I liked the film From Hell (Johnny Depp was in it) but was adamantly told by an Alan Moore fan that the films From Hell and V for Vendetta were shit compared to the books! I think I’m about a third of the way through From Hell and am enjoying its gritty, black-and-white depictions of Victorian London as it explores the theory that Jack the Ripper was actually the Royal family’s surgeon/doctor. It’s quite interesting.Will report more when I’ve finished it.

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That’s about all for now. Have to go call an agency back and tell them I went them to put me forward for a job they’ve emailed me about and then I’m taking more stuff over to my new house! Yay!

Carmen


DIY publishing

July 31, 2006

I should have my website back online soon (www.zinegeek.com). I certainly hope so. It’s just taking a while to get it uploaded here at the internet cafe. It’s being hosted by halftheory which is owned by a friend of mine and he likes to help out artists. Hopefully the site will be online soon but I actually want to redesign it and change it anyway.

Yesterday I went to Publish and Be Damned which was an independent publishing fair. It was cool – a lot like the zine fair at This Is Not Art in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, but not as big and with more books and music. I only spent £10. I could have spent heaps more.

I have another interview with a temping agency on Wednesday but this agency just deals with charities and non-profits so I think I might like their jobs a bit more. I hope they have some work for me. I need to start earning some pounds! It seems to be way out in the middle of nowhere – I have to get the national rail cus the tube doesn’t go there! They said most of their jobs are in Central London.

Paul starts his job tomorrow and although it will be a shock for him getting up so early EVERY DAY I think he is looking forward to the job and the company. The job is way out on the west side of London so we’ll probably look at getting a place out that way. We got the tube out there on the weekend and got some buses around the place to see what is was like. It seemed ok.

We recently borrowed the whole first season of Lost from the library. We are nearly through it. I’m really enjoying it. Don’t watch it though if you don’t like flashbacks!

Anyway, better get back to checking on my uploading!


Food for thought

July 25, 2006

Have joined the library here in Islington which is great as I love reading. If only I could be paid to sit around and read books! Just got a call from a temping agency; they might have work for me on Friday! Let’s hope so.

I am currently reading the Watchmen by Alan Moore, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (he wrote Fight Club) and Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson. I have to drag myself to the internet cafe to look for work. I just want to sit in a cafe all day reading! But I seem to have given up caffeine and gone vegan in the last week so it’s harder to justify doing that now – and we’re broke.

I did buy a decaf soy caramel cappuccino on the weekend (really). I’ve never liked soy milk but I figured if i’m going to give up dairy then I’ve gotta get myself onto the soy and what better way than with caramel and coffee flavouring. I know I’m going to miss dairy products more than meat. It’s funny, a friend of mine who is vegan will probably be very happy that I’m doing this but I haven’t rushed to tell her in case I don’t keep it up. I mean, I’m still finishing off food at home that contains animal products and I was planning to ease myself into it anyway. I’m sure there will be occasional lapses. And, I don’t actually have a problem with humans eating animals. I have a problem with the waste and cruelty in factory farming methods. And also the environmental cost of excessive meat consumption worries me. Paul and I were discussing it yesterday and part of the problem with decisions such as this (going vegan) is that we don’t know where all our food comes from, how it is made, who makes it, etc. If I’m buying soy products and an area was cleared to grow it and a heap of animals lost their habitat then maybe it’s as bad as meat consumption. If our vegetable diet is full of plants grown in monocultures that strip the land and don’t leave time for renewal then that’s not something we want to be supporting. I guess we just gotta try to buy food directly from the farmer!


To Brighton for a lesbian wedding

July 13, 2006

Today I got the megabus to Brighton with Paul and am now sitting at Lucy’s house watching a television show about bores (tides that go up rivers!). Megabus tickets are really cheap if you book ahead so our return tickets, London to Brighton, for the two of us were £9.50! The bus does take two and a half hours when the train takes an hour but it’s so much cheaper.

When we got to Brighton, Paul and I met Lucy at the Cowley Club, an anarchist club where she volunteers regularly cooking vegan food that is sold to the public at lowcost. I also caught up with Kirk (who is also from Brisbane and lives in Brighton).

Lucy, Paul and I bought dinner from a Lebanese restaurant and ate it on the (pebbly) beach which was lovely till the wind got too cold so we headed home.

Tomorrow we are going to the wedding, well, civil union ceremony of two women I know through Lucy – Lauren, who is from Australia, and Ros who is English. Paul and I had been thinking of getting matching outfits for the wedding (to go with the whole couple theme of the day) but we couldn’t agree so we’re being boring: he’s wearing black pants, white shirt and tie and I’m wearing a dress (yes, it’s THE Dogstar dress, worn to my uni graduation, Nicky and Kini’s wedding, Lily’s christening, Joel and Chantelle’s wedding, so Mum – who paid for it – I’m more than getting your money’s worth).

We head back to London on Saturday morning (Lucy’s going to Romania to visit her Mum then too). On Sunday we’re planning to go to an Eco-day in Hackney where there are supposed to be 50 stalls of vintage and recycled clothes and other cool stuff. I think Justine – also from brisbane – may be coming too. We went to Justine’s for dinner last night which was really nice. We’re thinking of taking a room in her house (in Brixton) which would be cool but we don’t want to take a room until we get jobs. Also, I’d like to rent two rooms so we’d have a bedroom and a study/reading/studio/chilling room as well.

Yesterday Paul had a job interview but he’s not sure if he even wants the job. I need to really get down to finding a job.

Lucy needs to look for jobs on the internet so I’d better go.

If you want to see our holiday snaps, go to:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/90695302@N00/

Carmen


Looking for work in London

July 11, 2006

Well I’ve been in Britain for more than a month now and the debt on my visa card far outweighs the cash I have in the bank so it’s time to get a job! Boo hoo. I would much rather continue my life of the last month – travelling around, staying with friends/family, going to galleries, bookshops, cafes and museums, reading books and making art. But alas, no-one will pay me to do that. Yesterday I put in a job application to work in the Press Office of the Tate. I really really want it and I could totally do the job. Let’s just hope they can see that from my application and come calling for an interview!

I also recently found out that a friend died and another friend had a healthy new baby…The circle of life and all that stuff. It’s a bit of a spin out really, the woman who died was the same age as my mother (56) and it seems she died in her sleep. At least it was peaceful (I hope). She took lots and lots of photos of people (including me) and now I will probably never see her again. It’s freaky. I got an email from a couple of women I know who were very close to her so I’m sure there are a lot of very sad people out there.
*Update: The woman who died was actually a lot younger than I thought. Only in her early 40s. Such a shame*

London has good and bad points to it. It doesn’t seem anywhere near as exciting as I’d hoped it would be but I’m not entirely sure what I was looking for. I am going to a lot more galleries here than I did in Brisbane and I have seen some really cool inspiring art. I went to an exhibition at the Whitechapel gallery that was focussed on Outsider art and I absolutely loved it. I just had to buy the (£10) catalogue but it has so much inspiring art in it – Henry Darger and Madge Gill were amazing.

I also saw some great stuff by Grayson Perry – a heap of old things from Lincolnshire with art by him inspired by the old stuff!

I’ve also been reading some good (and not so good) books. More on them later. really gotta go look for jobs!