Another weird old week, if I write out my ‘Have Done’ list, I can be reasonably pleased with what I have done so that minor reality check is valuable. New sculptures under way, the slow process of hand building larger works is both calming and frustrating, depending on the temperature in my little clay space and how focussed I can allow my mind to become. I like to listen to books while I do clay work, usually non-fiction or else ‘classic’ or famous novels. Ulysses, as mentioned last week, continues to engage me but it requires darkness and 100% attention to follow at all. I started a new historical commentary, more of that one later, suffice it to say that its one of those topics that is immensely important, but also so confronting and horrifying, that its not an energy I want in my ceramics work, nor in my mind at the moment. Even a cursory glance at the headlines is enough to squash and sparks of positivity at the moment, alas, and I’m not sure it will get much better anytime soon. Even HM da Q hasn’t been able to inspire this week, which is an enormous shame as both the UK media and to an even slightly greater extent, the local German media, is in a bit of a frenzy about ‘dee Kween’, gawd bless you, ma’am. 70 years since she ‘took power’, as the beloved President Obama said, is something to notice in any case, I just wish the official jubilee pudding was something slightly more manageable to recreate, I’m wondering if a Jaffa cake and a tub of custard might suffice? Sounds good, thanks your Majesty.
So, can’t deny my status as an Elizabethan, not a Monarchist, nice to live in a society where you can pick and choose. As a kid who grew up starting every school morning singing God Save The Queen, its sort of reassuring to have something that basically stays the same in these crazy times.
I have been filling my free mental space with other people’s creative output again too, and can only recommend watching Russell Howard’s special Lubricant on Netflix, so funny and so many insightful observations (probably because I agree with them!), about society, the media, and the world. Love it, thanks Russell.
I’ve also been listening to some radio plays featuring the voice of the most excellent Mathew Baynton who has one of the most gentle and soothing voices in existence, even when being a pirate. I don’t think there could be a man so physically my anti-doppelganger, and I guess I find that intriguing too, even though we are both non-blondes. Anyway, anything with Mathew is a hit with me, and I recently finished his reading the audio book of Rob Temple’s Born To Be Mild. Some hilarious parts, some heart breaking these a well. But my main point is that the search for books performed by MB led me to discovering the work of Very British Problems, which is amusing to be sure, but its also very helpful I find to find ways to recognise that some of the parts of our own personalities or thinking patterns are pretty much normal and not a sign of delirium. Almost every single attitude or observation in this series is exactly what I’m like! I suspect its great for all of us to look around as much as possible and be open to looking beyond the slick marketing and the perfect projected appearances, and just feel normal and chuckle at the absurdity of everything and move on to something using our energy in better ways. “We CAN be amused”. Thanks Mathew, thanks problematic British people.