Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Celtic New Year, everyone!

Samhain greetings, and may peaceful spirits only haunt your path tonight.
Talking yesterday to Katie (next office along) I found that she too is an enthusiast for reworking second hand clothes. Yet another exciting (to me) scheme springs forth (hmm... fully armed from my brow, like Athene). A new fashion house! Operating out of Kew!(OK, perhaps not that last - or if so, then very much on the QT). Recycling second-hand clothes and producing amazing, tailor-made one-off garments. Call it Weaver and Dent? Or Weaverdent? Somehow I don't feel our names combine to great effect. If my surname were Bird that would work better - but on the other hand Weaverbird perhaps doesn't have quite the right connotations... Also maybe Katie is too busy to have a whole third career (on top of Kew and motherhood). Or how about calling it something rich and bizarre like Heartbreak House? "Polly's dress - unique piece by Heartbreak House, prices on request" - I can just see it in the picture credits to a magazine fashion photo shoot...
Down, girl. Too many new ideas and not enough follow-through. Not enough follow-through, of course, becasue not enough capital (ie none at all). And now is not the time to seek venture capital funding for my dream of a vegetarian bistro and guest house with artists' studios and artist-run gallery set in a private nature reserve and organic smallholding on a Greek island. Sadly.
There was a television programme about this (rehashed fashion, not my bistro/gallery/greek island fantasy) a couple of weeks ago, but I was pretty disappointed by it. I wanted serious how-to tips, not Twiggy cooing over how wonderful people looked.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Thursday before Samhain

I realise looking back over this that my enthusiasm has slackened somewhat over time. I suspect this is normal, but still a little embarrassing to reflect on how madly keen I was at first to strew my thoughts on the web. However life goes on and I'd always rather be busy than bored. I've been doing a bit more printmaking for greetings cards, and some more sewing - I'm now onto a shirt large enough for the late Luciano Pavarotti, which I am brutally cutting to make a shirt that fits me. I am rather enjoying this big clothes sewing binge. At times I wonder if I should take it further and run a business on the side producing interesting new clothes from old. There are so many wonderful things in charity shops, sitting doing nothing and getting dusty hems - beautiful fabrics crying out to be re-imagined, dated styles crying out to be pruned and jazzed up. What with charity shop buys and old things from my own cupboards, at the moment I have enough hand sewing jobs to last me all winter. But if I were to buy a sewing machine, that would mean I could whip through them in a few evenings...
I've also been having some totally non-creative but interesting fun with an online dating agency... A couple of guys have messaged me but nothing more; all rather bizarre. But I'm tired of waiting for interesting men to surface near me; face it, there aren't many at Kew and those there are seem to be either already taken, weird, or very weird.
Trying to describe oneself without sounding either big-headed or terrifyingly insecure and self-deprecating is tough going. At least I have a few pictures of myself - the same ones I have posted here at some point (Imogen the student radical beating her doumbek on a demo, Imogen on board a sleeper to Barcelona, Imogen looking quizzical in an orange suntop, Imogen drunk but very happy at her graduation ball.) I'd love a decent current picture of me on my bike, just to counter the decidedly indoor feel of most of those. When one has an old-fashioned 35 ml film camera and a mobile 'phone that predates mobiles having built-in cameras, getting photographs in an electronic form is surprisingly difficult.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


I'm a very happy woman today as I've just acquired a big packet of Merquén, the wonderful smoked chili and herb mixture a friend gave me from Chile, which I have become addicted to and almost run out of. And I'm going to see Cav&Pag at the ENO tonight. So altogether a pretty good day. Last night I finished what was in the end a very extensive amount of darning on one of my new-second-hand jumpers, which turned out to have had moth in it at some point. A real challenge to my skills in the old home front wartime field of "make-do-and-mend".

Monday, 13 October 2008


A busy weekend - running loads of washing (machine fixed, hurrah), going to British Museum, buying loads of nice things in charity shops, cooking, writing, turning out winter clothes and putting height-of-summer gear (flimsy cottons and suntops, etc) away for the winter. Sigh. Winter is coming. I know that if winter comes can spring be far behind, ect ect moleworth he sa, but as I look out of the office window at the thick grey sky I feel a certain mild depression creep in at the thought of HOW FAR spring is behind, as in a good four months from now. Boo hiss. The last few days with clear skies have been glorious, but now the autumn has struck back and we are deep in mist and dim gloom; it looks like dusk out there already. I am not a winter person, it's no good pretending. Boo hiss, boo hiss...
At least I have three new jumpers now - as well as a leather waistcoat, a new shirt and no less than four evening frocks (two of which need adjusting, so more sewing for me). All for the princely sum of £53 in total, going to the British Heart Foundation, the PDSA and Cancer research. I'd have been lucky to get one sweater from Marks and Sparks for that!
Going to reheat and eat my leftover stir-fry and then get back to work.

Friday, 10 October 2008

And it's Friday again already...

Actually my excuse this time is that I was off work sick (foul 'fluey bug) for several days. Very unwise of me as a new girl to be ill, but there was no way I was coming in to Kew - I could hardly make it as far as the kitchen (one floor down) last weekend. Greatly relieved to feel more or less myself again by today; I know one can take well over a week to recover from 'flu. Good news at work is that Julie has been replaced (well, in so far as the irreplaceable can ever be - oh, dear, no, that sounds as if she snuffed it whereas all she's really done is go to Durham). So when Roxana gets back from her long weekend off we'll have a full team in Visitor Info again.
However, my creative activities over the last week have been limited to sewing, which one can do sitting up in bed fairly easily. I've cannibalised a baggy sweater and made from it a sweater that fits me, and have nearly finished doing the same to a cotton suntop for next year. And I strung some beads. Strenuous stuff. Apart from that I have read a great deal, which is always good even when the circumstances are horrible; a Dorothy L Sayers I picked up for 50 pence at a Lifeboat Station Open Day books-and-junk-stall, a guide to Cuba and a fascinating book by a guy called Phil Cousineau about the philosophy of pilgrimage.
The washing machine still hadn't been fixed when I left for work this morning - that's three and a half weeks now of handwashing my socks and underwear - good thing I'm not squeamish (or leaky). I'm not used to it any more, though I've done plenty of it in my time, mostly many years ago when a student, in digs with no washing machine and no local laundrette.
Have drafted some material for my putative Creativity magazine but am now wondering if I was barking to moot the idea in the first place, as no-one I asked for input or suggestions has got back to me at all. Not even to say "You're barking." Hmmm. Watch this space. I'm sure every creative innovator has moments of terrible self doubt (says she, attempting to aggrandise a very unimportant issue). But after all, it may have been a really silly idea...
Hoping all are well; have a good weekend.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Friday lunchtime

I've just done a little game that a website I belong to sets its members once a month, and found it rather illuminating. I think I'll try to make a point of doing it fairly regularly, if only to remind myself of my blessings. I'll see if I can download it into here... It'll come complete with Aries' slightly idiosyncratic typing, if so, so brace yourselves.

hello family!
time to know where we are in our life right now...
answer this form to seeforyourself how well you really are!
peace and blessed be.
1. how is your life in general right now?
2. what are the good things that have happened? how do you feel about them? akawhat are you grateful for?
3. what are the things that have happened that you don't know whether or not itis really good or bad? lol.
4. compare numbers 2 and 3... which list is longer? do you like the parts thatyou are focusing more or not?
5. how is your physical health right now? why do you think it's like that? howdo you plan to improve it?
7. how is your spiritual health right now? are you more spiritually content ordisarranged?
8. on a scale of 1-10 how stressed are you? (ten being very extremelyhumungously lol stressed... and one being as peaceful as i can be)
9. goals achieved:
10. goals pending:
11. new goals:
12. notes to self:
13. praises to self:
14. how much do you love yourself? at a scale of 1-10 (ten being highest and 1being lowest)
15. did you treat yourself to something great within the month? what was it? didyou like it? would you do it again?
feel free to post this to the group or just answer and keep it to yourself. the end of the year, take a view on all of them and you'll see how far youhave grown as a person! lol.

And at this juncture, perhaps I should step up and reveal one of my big secret tips for keeping the creative flame alight: Self-help books.
Don't laugh - seriously, titter ye not; these things have their uses, and, to add clitch upon clitch (as my dad used to say), if it works for you don't knock it. There's plenty of idiocy, capitalist self-congratulation, and fluffy white-light-ism out there, but if you find a tip that works for you in a self help book, a magazine, a website, Woman's Own or anything else, use it and be unashamed about it.
What else has been going on? Got home late last night, found the washing machine still hasn't been fixed and now apparently won't be for at least another week to ten days. Sandra (landlady) so embarrassed as she had faithfully promised it would be operating by end of Thurs, she had been raiding all of our dirty-washing baskets and conducted the mother of all visits to a launderette in Southall. So alarmed was I at the thought of her seeing the pigsty my room is at present that I spent the rest of the evening tidying instead of doing some prints as I'd planned. >sigh<
Not much on the tele tonight, though, so maybe I'll get all inky this evening.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

A week later...

In fact more than a week later. Good grief, time flies etc etc. How depressing that we are into October already, though at least the weather is a lot better than it was for most of the summer. I went to another wonderful performance last night - Schoenberg and Mahler, this time, absolutely brilliantly played by the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer, with a couple of fantastic soloists; a sturdy, heroic tenor of somewhat wardrobe-like build, and a mezzo who sounded and surprisingly also looked like an angel.
I've had more thoughts re the possibility of launching a magazine. Clearly the tube journey home from the West End is conducive to same. It's going to be a quarterly, featuring new writing, both non-fiction and fiction, visual imagery, and poetry, with a strong Goddess/pagan focus, and a general remit of "Creation Spirituality and the Spirituality of Creativity".
I will sort out a snappier title, though.
And for those who are reeling at the above, if you haven't heard of Creation Spirituality, be not afraid; it has absolutely bugger all to do with Creationism. I do not believe god created the world in 7 days. Not my god, not yours, not any bally god. Why bypass a perfectly good process like evolution, and at enormous effort, expense and general trouble, just to show off the fact that you can? The gods have better things to do, I'm sure.
Anyway, I'll be preparing a first issue over the next few weeks, with an aim to launching at Samhein. If anyone wants to contribute, let me know!