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December 2011

Season's greetings

I offer you this cartoon of mine in a spirit of bonhomie and festive cheer, and I wish you all tremendously good times, my friends, for the season and 2012.


PS. Oooh! Star-spotting: Colm Me@ney was in the local pub last night, all apparently nice and dead normal. Irish people like to be all cool with stars in their midst. It's funny: No big deal, man! Hollywood, pfft. I choose not to be a celebrity, myself.

Seen anyone, recently? I know London and NYC are positively littered with stars. You're falling over them, aren't you?


I have been finding myself very silly.

The first occasion of embarrassment happened like this: I applied for a show, sort of a voluntary community-ish affair, that has as its theme mental well-being and is to run in a few weeks. Time passed, the show approached, and no response was received from the curator.

Grr, I said, earlier this week, bloody curators! They don't even let you know that you haven't been selected! And it's for mental health! The irony of making people depressed by denying their application to a mental health awareness event! THE IRONY.

 All fired up and dangerously intoxicated by my own pique, feeling I was striking a blow for all artists everywhere and anyone in the world who hasn't Been Got Back To In Timely Fashion, I flamed off an email to the curator:

Dear whosit,

I didn't get an email saying my work wasn't chosen for Your Festival - I wonder did it go missing or something, as I am sure you wanted to acknowledge all entries, and the work that went into them?

Blah blah, good luck with the show anyway, etc.

And she replied immediately: The reason you have not yet received an email is because your work has been shortlisted. As an artist I completely understand the time and consideration each proposal takes...

Oh! CRINGE. And:
Our festival is run by six volunteers, we organise all events in our spare time, we appreciate your patience.

I DIED on the spot, even as I was leaping to the ground off my high horse and apologising profusely for the jumping of the gun. And then, when I met her, (of course) she turned out to be a) terribly nice and b) friends with loads of my art world friends.

The second thing: something seemed different about the front of the house on Monday morning. Like something.. lacking.
I told the JB: My bike! It's just like.. gone. It's not there, I tell you! Someone must have taken it!

Two or three days flew by. Then Sister 1 texted me: Your bike is outside the wine shop. Which made me so happy! And yet, annoyed! Because what kind of hooligan does that? A drunk one? But no, (you'll be amazed to hear) the penny didn't drop. I texted Sister 1 back: The cheeky beggers! Is the lock broken? and she: No, it's securely locked, by you? And I, (finally twigging it): OH. Oh! O-oh.

I do remember leaving it outside the shop, though, it must be said that I also remember leaving it outside the house. But what with the physical evidence to the contrary, I have to accept the reality of the situation. Which is that I am a twit.

Your ridiculous,

ps. Have a good weekend.


Love my magnets! LOVE. HFF sent me these, you know.

Well, my darlings! I'm in that awkward state of mind for which there should be a long composite German word - I have left it so long, that I don't know where to start, and the longer I leave it, the more I feel I have omitted Vital Stuff, and go into a further state of avoidance. And yet, I sincerely love my long-cherished blog-comrades and miss the interaction I find through this blog. I feel like the lovely Belgian Waffle, whose first paragraph here says it so much better than I could. That happens to me a lot. People expressing my thoughts better than I can. Thank Gawd for 'em.

Let's barge ahead, here. Nothing else for it:

  • I've been singing, in the choir. Every night this goes on, for the season, including one bizzarro combo performance with Another Choir, composed of undergraduates, this time. On one occasion, I was late. I disapprove greatly of myself for this, not least because I had missed by minutes the meeting at the gate, where we were to be ushered to the appropriate room in the college to rehearse, and had a frantic Indiana Jones-like run-and-search down long lino-ed corridors, under arches, through courtyards, trying doors and stopping to listen intently for choir sounds. I needn't have worried, when I finally burst in to the room, there was a kindly Robert Hardy-look-a-like banging away at the piano, and the room was filled with The Young People all whispering, giggling, and singing, just a little. Robert Hardy looked at me over his glasses and said "Welcome" and the whole thing was like a three way cross between a seminary musical, a boarding school and a Harry Potter book, all set in the 1960's.

  • I've teaching unemployed people with the State Training Body. This happens, weirdly, in a hotel in a peripheral suburb of west Dublin. It's all very Sign of the Times. I sit for an hour on a tram to be launched into this alternative reality, where you must travel on lifts and know codes and finally be delivered into an abandoned office building, where we occupy the one heated room on the fifth floor, to light a fire under the unemployed people, or at least offer them some hope, or so I hope. They are, so far, a dream to teach, getting on with their work, and only stopping to ask me intelligent questions.

  • Also, steady money! Hurray.

  • Which reminds me, I made a wonderful discovery out there yesterday. Near the hotel, there is a large 1990's style shopping centre, through which one can take a shortcut on the way back to the tram. There was a line of unlikely looking wooden huts in a line at the back of the centre, full of Christmas gift "ideas", personalised mouse pads and slippers, each presided over by a frozen but hopeful retail hutter, the type you feel sorry for. But then! A hut of The Most Beautiful Etchings, like a gleaming jewel amongst the dross. Like this! My eyes nearly fell out of my head:

    As thus it was that the problem of five Christmas gifts was solved on the spot. Well, I thought to myself, Suchandsuch should like this, and frankly, if he/she doesn't, I have no truck with him/her!
    (This is the artist/hut retailer: Jan Goede.)

  • Ermmmm.

  • Oh. Yes. Many applications for Art Stuff have been made, including a frightening one, which (life being like that) I might get. The application process is itself an art, I am realising. If I get that one, it'll be shown for an entire month in a public place on a huge wall. No pressure then. Gulp.

  • I have been making art with a group of Other Young People, this time ones affected to varying degrees by cerebral palsy. They are great fun. I have discovered exactly how bad I am (appallingly) at boccia with them, and made some stop-motion animation with them as actors. It's cool.

  • Kittaloo, who has been living here for what seems like a century, continues to hold us in her thrall, stroll inconveniently on my keyboard and hog the nearest source of heat. She is exactly as clever as she needs to be, the little maggot. When she feels slightly peckish/bored/cold, her latest thing is to sit beside me and put her heavy paw coercively on my arm, as if to whisper, threateningly: I will not allow you to forget me. Feline mafia tactics! Chilling.

  • The spa was salutary, mostly because of the redemptive presence of my dear friend R, with whom I had a long debriefing session on the subject of the JB. She recommended counselling, and is going to get me the name of Someone. At least I can go, and the JB may feel encouraged to go at a later stage if I break the ice, so to speak.
    Other than that, the spa was as if conceived by the people who made those Philadelphia ads set in Heaven, all muted colours and nice candles - deliberately unstimulating and cocoon-like. Which was lovely for a day. After that, it started to feel a tiny bit like a psychiatric hospital, what with everyone being reduced to a white uniform and floating about. Just a bit edgeless and suffocating. However, no doubt this is me, and my Methodist background, again, making me uncomfortable with .. er.. comfort.

I've gone on, haven't I? Better stop now, before you lose the will to live entirely.

I have missed this.

Back soon.