Archive

(un)productivity

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Standing infront of a Fringe hoarding tonight in Edinburgh with a friend guesticulating rudely at the sight of 3 male comics advertised infront of us. Where are the women? And frankly Edinburgh’s pretty well over the comics too. ( You can tell the festival is coming a sleugh of London types are starting to follow me on twitter.)

Leith is full of young men cycling on pavements. They are drug couriers – a friend of mine yells after them ‘Ya mammy no let you on the road’ to try and embarrass them. Leith Polis in the style of getting Al Capone via tax – make the wee buggers bloody walk.

I’ve spent 24 hours trying to get the Fat Black Cat to pee into a litter tray to get a sample for the vet – she is most affronted and plotting to phone Catline.

I went on holiday to Galway and hurrah! the last vestiges of the desire to achieve have left and spent it pottering around quietly mostly in this awesome bookshop.

While I was having lunch at Ard Bia the owner came up and showed me a photo of a lady with a crocheted shawl and asked if I could make one (I was crocheting a shawl for the person I was going on to stay with) which lead me to look at photos of shawls on the Arran Islands.  I’m definately going to rock the shawl, scarf, black dress and sensible shoe look this year.

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Two kinds of Enough. One is Enough Stuff the other is Enough Doing.  And today I was planning to get rid of lots of Stuff. And do the washing up backlog and make the house a minimalist paradise. Instead… well I’ve gone two loads of washing up and I’ve surfed a LOT.  The shouty voices of beration are well very SHOUTY.

But is that true? It is true that I did not turn the house into a spick and span minimalist paradise but I did 1. dash up town to go to demo outside the City Chambers for a planning committee meeting 2 return home and listen to a live feed of it 3. develop apoplexy 4. speak to a friend who’s dog was in for an op. 5. Listen to an edited version of my talk at the (un) productivity  conference to ok it before it goes out this weekend (sign up here to hear my dulcet duchess like tones). 6. write a fairly long email to a friend in the north 7. move a light bulb from one room to another (long story) 8. cook twice 9. get another phonecall update on dog op 10.  make a mini banana loaf 11 finish a square for an orphan. 12 throw out one bag of rubbish and 13 put out and bring in a load of washing.

Humm… yes I did spend WAY too much time online… and have that itchy unsatisfied feeling as a result but it wasn’t a total washout of a day – just not the one I was planning.

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Granny Square Baby Blankets Holga

It’s Friday night and I’m about to settle down to a rocking evening of crochet + something undemanding on the iplayer. I’ve spent a day wrestling with gatekeepers in the accounts / finance departments  of UK industry and a server which kept on conveniently breaking down (Crochet break yay!) So tonight I’m aiming for the Joy of Completion. Many years ago I was hell bent on becoming the most awesome filmmaker in the history of film and spent years writing scripts, proposals, going to beg for funding! occasionally making a film! (working for free on other people’s films! ) but only probably twice and occasionally had fleeting experience of the Joy of Completion. The first time I had it after an edit at STV studios in Cowcaddens Glasgow I walked down to Sauchiehall Street and had what I can only say was a mystical experience. Seriously. I looked at all the rag tag of people walking down that road and felt  complete, whole and totally at one with the world. Of course I then fought like hell to replicate that amazing feeling with little success. It is only now as I have become a MAKER I realise I can now access that feeling on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for someone to allow me to make something or wait for permission I just go right ahead and do it. All I need is to regularly turn up ( or in my case lie down as a huge percentage of my making is done in bed) and do the next stitch. I’ve completed  7 blankets this year, contributed to 2 collaborative blankets, I scarf  and made 10 textile art works and its only half way through the year. (I cannot help but wonder if it is precisely that craft has few gatekeepers is why it is so despised? )

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On Friday last I went to Glasgow to stay over night before the yarn dyeing adventures. I waited outside this cafe for a friend coming from work. Luckily I didn’t overload myself with a long list of things to do and see beforehand so I sat for an hour with my crochet just enjoying the passing bussle. Loads of hipsters, dogs, teenagers coming from school, students, babies in push chairs. It was just lovely to enjoy the passing theatre.

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So I just did a guest podcast for Michael Nobb’s One Thing Today on the subject of creativity. I talk about doing it stitch by stitch. This blanket was started about two years ago. I just made a whole pile of circles. Then stopped when I ran out of the right kind of black yarn to border them. Then a few months ago pulled all the squares together, counted them, made a few more and hunted out the right kind of black yarn to crochet them together. Pattern is one I made up myself but the circle is explained at Purl Bee.

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The garden at Gladstones Library. Each day we fell into the delightful habit of doing Chi Kung under the guidance of Lourenço de Azevedo out in the grounds. Its a relaxing but energising form of exercise and unlike most did not make me want to lie down and have a nap after! Though I’m sure that at the Library half of the benefit was standing outside enjoying the breeze and the twittering bird song. If you sign up here to get notifications of the next  (un)productivity summit a free 20 min video running through a basic set of exercises will be sent to you. I’ve been doing it each morning in my garden here in Edinburgh before going to work this week… causing much puzzlement from the Fat Black Cat as I wave my arms about, shake like a monkey , miaws of concern.