ten:three

1. Re-entry into my everyday after being away is harsh.
2. The sun glows low.
3. We walk the shore alone and smell the waves.
4. My everyday life is full of kinks.
5. The terns dance within the foam.
6. Strong black coffee steams.
7. Luther Vandross ‘Searching’ on the radio.
8. Emails plying up as is the washing.
9. Box set bingeing late into the night.
10. Not ready to start it all again tomorrow.

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savouring the moments 

Even though the last few days have been full on with the house move ( and we haven’t finished yet), I am pleased to say that I have managed to find the time and space within each day to stop and admire my surroundings. I can recall moments of stillness when I have been present; catching myself smiling into the season, noticing the changing light, sensing the coming chill. Relishing the ruby richness of the berries. 
It really has been a gift to experience these moments of clarity, these moments of bliss in the sheer speed of passing time, and the sheer frenzy of activities. 
Time is running out in terms of getting the house cleared as well as for my favourite season being here in all her golden edges.
Tonight while driving back from the council dump, high up in the sky in front of me is a sliver of the moon. She moves out from the dark, slowly revealing a pale silver cheek. I feel blessed in so many ways,  to be living this life now. Thank you.

Countdown Deals

 

Just popping in quickly to let you know that rubedo, the memoir I self-published in 2016 is on a countdown deal with Amazon this week. Totally forgot all about it, as I set it up a couple of weeks ago and then time got in the way. This is probably the only time I’ll be offering any discount deals on this title, as I work on the next instalment.

Get your copy while it’s cheap. Happy reading. 

flâneuse

She is the wanderer, bum, émigré, deportee, rambler, strolling player.  Sometimes she would like to be a settler, but curiosity, grief, and disaffection forbid it.” – Deborah Levy, Swallowing Geography.

When I come to think about it, I’ve always been a flâneuse. I’ve always enjoyed travelling to new places and part of my process of getting to know a new city is to walk it. Walking the streets aimlessly, eyes wide open, taking in the newness, the dark corners, the urban green spaces. I usually have less responsibilities while away so I can stroll, wander really till my heart’s content. And I observe the life of the place, observe from the sidelines; an outsider, an ‘other’.

I didn’t see myself as doing anything special, as someone who gets to know the city by wandering its streets, but apparently it is special.  As I am a woman. A black woman.

From the French verb flâner, the person doing the walking is usually male, well to do with time and leisure on his hands.  Born out of the beginning of the 19th century, women walking out in the city streets alone was not possible. And if they did so, they would pass unnoticed, to a certain degree.

I’m interested in why I am a flâneuse. Why I do it? What are the benefits? I’m interested in exploring the streets of my neighourhood with these questions in mind. I would like to get lost down streets that I might have taken for granted or never really noticed before. What would I find I wonder while I wander? And what could I stand to lose in the process?

I begin a new photography series around this practice. Why? Because this is a revolutionary act.

“These women came to the city ( or perhaps they were born there,
or came from other cities) to pass unnoticed, but also to be free to
do what they liked, or as they liked.” – Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City.


Photowalks

PhotoWalks, care of Vivienne McMasters, keep me sane. All I do is walk out there, with no aim in my feet, with my iPhone. And I pay attention. It takes me outside of me as well as inside of me. It sits me into my body. And I love them.

This morning took me towards the sea. My favourite walks are always by the sea.

 

 

Paying Attention

As I travel to work, again I am paying attention to my surroundings. Now it is the sea as I take the ferry across the Tyne, from one shields to the next. The light always makes me relax into the moment. It is ever changing as time passes. But then when I look down upon the water, I see patterns, I see movement, I see beauty.
I’m collecting images each journey. I’m doing the work and not looking back at what I’ve created. I’m saving that until I have more time and space to reflect and move the project forward somehow. At the moment, I’ve just capturing what I see. And this makes me happy. This brings me joy and the flutter of excitement in my gut. And that’s enough for now.

Autumn – Pause, Reflect, Rebalance


This is my time of year. I’ve always loved Autumn since I was a child and taking as many different routes to school as possible to kick through the leaves.

There’s a crisp freshness to the air. Yes you can see your breath as you breathe out but you can also feel your fingers and toes getting cold. Your nose feeling the chill. There’s nothing like this time of year to bring you into the present moment.

October is my birthday month. The Black Moon in Libra was at the end of September marking the mid-point in the annual horoscope cycle. Libra, my sign, the sign of beauty and balance, is totally me as I seek both within my life with a passion.

This is a time when I will spend weighing up what has happened, what I have done so far along my path of enlightenment and authenticity. I intend to savour these moments of chill and beauty. Not rush off and make new plans for the future ( although I did make a couple yesterday. More to follow here!!). I try to refrain from doing and instead being.

This is a starting point, yes, but to pause, reflect, rebalance.

Update: Artist on Hiatus Residency


To say that the aim of this residency is to not engage in any artistic activities from September to December inclusive, I would have to confess that things are not going to plan.
I’m finding that making something, doing something creative; be it cooking a meal, baking, knitting, reading about art, playing with paints, these little moments of colour in my day are my highlights. These moments of play energise me, bring me back to me and how I want to spend my time.
I suppose I’m not learning anything new from undertaking this residency. I always knew that creativity was my life force. I suppose it is only reinforcing my self-knowledge.
I know I devised this residency to ease the pressure off myself, while having to work full-time. But I’m finding that these moments of creativity are what gives me the strength and energy to carry on with the full-time work. Without these pockets of colour and joy my life would be grey and nothing. I would be so unhappy and lost that I would worry how to carry on.
I know frustrations are creeping in as I wish I had more than just pockets of time to devote to my creativity and future projects. But I’m allowing myself the space to rest and dream. Not pushing myself but also not denying myself the time to plan and imagine.

‘Super Flats’

Still walking to work, I am drawn to these buildings. Apparently these were termed ‘super flats’. Part of the St. Mark’s Redevelopment program, these flats were built in the 1950s to replace the old terrace houses within the Laygate area of South Shields.These flat, centrally heated, were three stories high. These flats of the future split up communities that had lived together for generations.  Close families and friends were distributed between different new developments of the area.

Further research is needed, but while passing by this week, it looked like at either side of this glass passageway doors had been opened. Doors I hadn’t noticed before.

I’ve also going in for a closer look by exploring the doorways, steps and the concrete underpass/bridge under this glass passageway. This building holds my attention and curiosity and make a monotonous walk more enjoyable. The work will continue.