Tuesday 23 March 2010

We’re all going to the zoo … yesterday…?

You may remember that in January for my birthday ‘im outdoors adopted a pair of aardvarks for me at London Zoo. We wanted to go and visit them but it was cold and wet and really not weather to be outside.
So yesterday we finally went up to meet them.
Typical English spring weather – sunshine and showers, but that was fine.
London Zoo is surprisingly small so it was easy to walk round and see everything in a day. We saw monkeys and zebras and macaws and of course the aardvarks Kiyo and Misha. When we first got there they were asleep, after all they are nocturnal, but then they got woken up for their lunch and came outside. As the keeper said they do kinda look like they got all the left over bits from all the other animals but I have to say I think they are very cute and if I didn’t think they would destroy the garden I’d have one instead of a dog. Wonder what they are like at keeping cats out?
Thanks ‘im outdoors. A great present, I expect to be boring people with the photos for a while now.

Sunday 21 March 2010

The Artist in the Office – part 2

It’s finally arrived – or rather I’ve finally been able to pick it up from the post office, and I have to admit I’ve read it through already.
And it was just as good as I’d hoped. I’ll be going back and reading it all again, and this time I’ll stop and do all the things she suggests.
Summer uses the word artist very broadly to cover anyone who paints, draws, writes, makes music etc.
It’s aimed at those of us who do the above but have a full time job too. I don’t know about you, but on those slow days in the office where I just pretend to be busy, I wish I could be home creating stuff or at least have photoshop on my PC so I could mess with my photos.
Summer looks at how we can use our time better. Do you commute to work? Why not try a little Commuter Bingo. Rather than sit and eat your lunch at your desk while you surf the net, why not have a lunchtime adventure?
But its not just about how to be creative in your time at work (without getting fired!). She makes some very good points about jobs/work too.
Reading this I’ve realised that I resent my job. I hate the fact I’m administrator. When I was younger I wanted to be a vet, an artist, a writer. I mean really, who dreams of being an administrator when they grow up.
So I’m going to do all of her exercises and 1. See if that helps me appreciate my job a bit more, 2. Work out what changes (if any) I need to make, to make 9 to 5 a great part of my life and 3. See if I can come up with a plan (just a little one) to take me forward in a creative way.
Exciting huh?

Wednesday 17 March 2010


We had the writers group yesterday.
Although I’d set the homework – 'She wore a red dress… to be continued in single syllables', in the end I didn’t do it as I’ve been working instead on TMA05 – due in on Friday and TMA06 due in after Easter.
So I read the first part of my TMA and received not only some good comments but some useful comments too. Which is lucky as I need another 144 words to hit the word limit.
Not sure if I should post this before submitting it but here is the first bit anyway.

In the end the banging becomes too much and she gets out of bed.
With her dressing gowned pulled tight round her she stops at the living room door and watches Adam and two work men.
She doesn’t know what they are doing; doesn’t really care. Just wishes they would leave her in peace.
They’ve done something to the window although she can’t work out what.
‘Darling; I didn’t know you were up.’ Says Adam as he turns and spots her watching them.
‘Couldn’t really help it with all the racket you were making.’ she says.
Adam says something quickly to the work men, her Finnish isn’t good enough to work out what, then ushers her out of the room.
Seated at the breakfast bar he pours her a glass of juice.
‘What are they doing?’ she asks.
‘It’s a surprise. I thought you could do with cheering up.’
‘It would cheer me up if they went away.’
‘They’ll be going soon, they’re nearly finished. Anyway you’ll love it.’
‘So what is it?’
‘You’ll see in a minute. Do you want some breakfast?’
‘I don’t know. I can’t work out what bloody time of day it is here. It’s always dark. When can we go home?’ She plays with the condensation on her glass of juice. Adam comes over and hugs her.
‘Jenny we talked about this. I’ve got to be here for the whole nine months. You were excited then.’
‘Yes, but that was before I found out it’s always bloody dark here.’ She wiggles out of his embrace.
‘Give it another couple of months and it’ll never get dark.’
‘That’s another couple of months that I don’t think I can deal with.’ As she looks up Adam sees the tears in her eyes.
‘Well that’s why I got you a surprise.’ He takes her hand and leads her back into the living room. The work men have gone and you would never know they had been there. But there is still something odd about the window.
She can’t work it out. The potted plant is still sitting on the window sill along with a large wooden sculpture and the stripy curtains which she thinks clash with the sofa.
And then she does get it.
‘How did you do that?’ She’s gone right up to the window now to look out, and she’s grinning like a child. Adam is grinning too.
Where the window before has shown a few houses and the start of a forest all encased in darkness and snow, except for a short time round midday when the sun shows its light on the horizon, now it is full of day light and summer.
‘I knew you were powerful but that’s ridiculous’ Jenny says never taking her eyes off the houses and trees outside.
‘Is it a photo?’
‘A painting?’
‘Some sort of computer thingy?’
‘Nearly. It’s a video.’
‘But how does it change when I move?’ Jenny is now pacing back and forth in front of the window,
watching as the houses retreat and the sky enlarges. Now the sky retreats and the houses enlarge.
‘I won’t pretend to know the details, but this is cutting edge technology. Officially we’re testing this for the company – only a few have been made. It’s pretty amazing hey?’
Jenny’s not really listening. She has her hands on the glass and can feel the warmth of summer on her palms.

p.s excitingly I’ve got a red card from the postman to say he couldn’t deliver a package for me as it was too big for our post box. Fingers crossed that it’s the 'Artist in the Office'.

Sunday 7 March 2010

Blue Tit House

I know it’s not a great photo, but this is evidence that someone is using one of the bird boxes that ‘im outdoors made. In the depths of winter while everything was covered in a foot of snow, ‘im outdoors kept him self busy in the garage and made two bird boxes.
We’ve put them at either end of the garden, one designed for blue tits and one for great tits. (the holes are different sizes)
We’ve seen birds looking at both and this box is getting a lot of attention. Hopefully they will decide its up to scratch.