Category: PRESENT DAY

Looking ahead.

I have just had a quick flick through the next batch of diaries. I think it will be almost impossible to stick to describing a journey, in a sensible sort of way, but as it was in no way a sensible kind of journey, I guess that is fitting!

I will, however, try and keep the chronological line, but sometimes pieces of paper fall out of my book, that I realise I have forgotten…huge periods of time are not covered and my memories fill in, calling to be shared. As I have described before, I came back to the U.K. every year and visited Scotland (my parents), Edinburgh Festival, Glastonbury festival and London….these times are rarely covered in the following diaries. So I think the next entry will be pictures from a handmade book I kept on our family visit to Skye in the summer of 1991…closely followed by a remembered trip to Paris that definitely happened in my 2nd year at college and has to be related for this archive for various reasons!

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Filling In Again. 2013.

And  now, it seems, there is another notable gap.

Obviously I performed my degree performance and showed my visual exhibition and left Brighton.

There might be a diary missing that might turn up later? Or with my intermittent spells in hospital, writing a 10,000 word dissertation on a ‘Fascination with Ugliness.’ (which I will not bore the world with sharing here!), producing and displaying my degree work, a complicated social life, (we moved flats 3 times over the 3 year period), always work (yes, throughout all my time in Brighton I worked as a barmaid/landscape gardeners lackey/life model among other things..) I might not have had the time to keep a diary at all.

I feel sad that two of my performances at college are not documented. ‘Me-ma-me’ and an extraordinary production involving a prop telephone box and a talented cast, all about break downs in communication. Perhaps it would be good to squeeze a description of that in before I show the main body of degree work? I cannot, at present, even remember its name!!

I also have not covered the extraordinary visit I experienced from Mum. It did not go well. Her behaviour was appalling and very confusing for all involved. At least I tried!

My social life revolved at this time mainly around pubs and funk and dance clubs. The Zap. I worked at the ‘Basement’, the student union bar which was also a popular, indie live music venue. In fact, by default (one of few female staff!) I became a bouncer, every Wednesday, on the women’s only nights there. I was friends with several D.J’s and loads of musicians. Busking became a regular money earner. Met, and still love, ‘Tragic Roundabout’, was around the young ‘Levellers’ (before they hit the big time), loved the Irish pub session scene, ‘McDermotts 2 Hours’ were a band I went to see regularly, had my first tattoo done (designed it myself. It looks very rubbish now, but I still love it for the time it represents.) I was good friends with a bunch of guys who were heavily into Latin music and enjoyed many sessions with them and Portuguese and Brazilian connections. They then went on to form the basis, under the leadership of Luke Creswell (‘Urban Warriors’), of ‘Stomp.’ In fact quite a few of my college peers went on to be successful. Salsa Celtica are a group I bumped into years later, only to discover that two old friends were the brains behind that! This probably comes across as one big name drop. That is not my intention. These connections simply help put me in a place and time and I did enjoy supporting them on their journey , they became part of mine! I began to be interested in circus skills and occasionally dabbled in the jazz world. I took up saxophone and went to jazz workshops, but found all the key changes etc. too challenging!  I saw ‘Public Enemy’ live (and then had the extraordinary experience of moving a tree that was blocking the road with them all!!), saw the band ‘Galliano‘ and became a fan, watched ‘The Exorcist’ for the first time, the film ‘Tin Drum’ had a massive effect on me and began to be very interested in the work of Jan Svankmajer and other experimental animators.

My dress code changed significantly over this period. I had already begun making a lot of my own clothes and in first year adopted an ‘Oliver’ orphan kind of style. I loved big velvet cap/hats and always wore my oxblood Doctor Martins. Over the next year I became more and more colourful…on an evening I wore huge earrings and massive false eyelashes. My hats became bigger and crazier and it all stopped one night when catching the bus into town I saw myself reflected in the window. I saw a freakish man/woman in a straw top hat, massive lashes and pillar box red lips. I burst into tears and ran back to get changed into a T-shirt and jeans with no make up and went out like that. For a while my style became much ‘quieter’……

I was probably already drinking far too much, smoked weed on a daily basis and I clearly remember trying my first ecstasy in my last year there.

I had many romances, but they never developed into anything much. Caught one boyfriend in bed with another woman…fell apart a bit over that. My best friend was nearly raped and only just got away. A good friend came out as a lesbian….I guess too much happened to be able to share it all. I have been very careful not to go into my day to day, social life in any way and not to mention any names. I must avoid the temptation to fill in too much. The purpose of this blog is to discover why a creature such as myself could have ever ended up doing the lunatic things that I chose to later on this journey and share the poems, sections of neutral writing and artwork that I made on the way. I do, however, trace the family events as I believe the lack of any real family support meant I became the ‘lost girl’ that I did and heavily influenced my work.

And that is all.

Mind the Gap. 1986 – 1990.

There follows four years with no diary.

Formative years in which a lot happened.

I had hoped, when I began this, that these years were recorded somewhere, but having organised the journals into some kind of order, it appears that there was simply so much going on that there was no time to record events! The diaries begin again in my second year at art college in Brighton and start to be used not as a record only, but also as a workbook for my degree work.

Again, I am plagued by a need to “fill in” the story, but there is so much missing already I wonder what purpose that would serve? This was never intended to be an autobiography, but rather an exploration of a life, half-lived, always with one foot in a dream, the other in a bog of overwhelming appreciation for others work and lives that left me feeling impotent and often left me contemplating  the sheer ‘why?’ of it all through my diaries.  I hope I can also gain a better perspective on my present, creative frustration as a mother and housewife. Perhaps see a clearer path develop as a template for NOW. The sharing these journals is, hopefully, helping to cut out the ‘dead wood’ that stops me from moving forward creatively.

When discussing how to present all this, one friend felt that I could do a bit of something ‘old’ something ‘new’ – in an attempt to fill this gap I have decided to ‘scrapbook’ key events from this time and stick them in some kind of order. Hope I can work this!!

Struggling with going back in time.

I make no apologies for the lack of sparkling brilliance in the early diaries. I am finding it very tricky just learning how to type out long sections of teenage prose!

I discussed, a lot, with myself and friends what the best way to share this “body of work” would be. I knew that the early diaries were not the mass of sprawling ideas, poems and drawings that the later ones became. I knew they would not hold the attention of any reader in the same way, but it seems absolutely necessary, to me, that I include them in this blog as they go along way to explaining later works and moods. I need, personally, to explore ‘the journey’ from there to here and find a place for it all to ‘sit’ together.

I almost went for the complete random approach. Pick a diary, open it and share.

I decided not to as, despite my constant wrestling with “line breaks” in WordPress and my own boredom in typing out my teenage psyche, every journey has a beginning. Obviously there is so much more outside of these lines I wrote that I feel a strong desire to explain or “fill in” . (My mother was Finnish, we lived in a very remote farmhouse in Scotland while they were divorcing (I had no escape!), I was sent from state school to boarding school to keep me out of the ‘war zone’ effectively….) I will try and avoid doing this though as I believe the journey is held in the writing itself.

Hang on in there.

This story is only just beginning. Some of which I am intensely proud of, much of which I would rather not have any moral stance on at all….all of which seems like a nonsensical dream to me now, full of bad choices and lack of concrete ability to concentrate on life. My father used to call me his “little butterfly”….boy did I fly. I often say that I “careered” rather than I “had/have a career”. Headlong, head strong and head often ‘wrong’ ….. eager to find a life worth living.

Tommorrow.

Tomorrow is the beginning of my new work regime. The books aren’t going anywhere! Between the kids and all that other stuff….I will enjoy the nonsense that is my journey…..so far….and share it with you here.