Saturday, 27 May 2006


I was getting a bit cross about the fact that after June I will have used up nearly all of my annual leave, and there are so many places I want to go and it's all SO unfair. But then I started working out how much of the world I have been lucky enough to see, and I felt really rather guilty.

Here is a list:
France - more times than I can remember, lots of different places
Spain - mainland, and all four of the Balearics (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera)
Italy - la Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Elba
Amsterdam a couple of times
America - a lot of the USA. 3 months driving across 32 states and clocking up over 7000 miles. But also separate holidays to San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Santa Fe, Boston.
Toronto, Canada
Mexico twice - Juarez and the Yucatan peninsular
Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi
India - Kerala

And here is where I still want to go:

I think my carbon footprint might already be that of a giant, so those exotic destinations will have to wait. Exploring our own fair island is the priority for now. And getting rid of the car too.

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Just like a little girl

I walked through the park on the way to work this morning, and it seems to be that time of year when all the plants that I remember as a little girl are out in force. Dandelion clocks, buttercups and that sticky vine you can throw at people's clothes and it sticks.

At this moment in time I wish I was a little girl, that someone else was in charge of sorting out all the shit that comes with life and that I was blissfully unaware, skipping through the grass and counting what time it is on a weed.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Happy birthday

Today is my boy's birthday, although I probably can't call him that anymore considering that for the next 7 months we will inhabit different decades - me in my 20s and he in his 30s. Very strange indeed.

I was so excited about seeing whether he liked his presents that I didn't really sleep very well - a bit like Christmas Eve - and woke him up at 7am with gifts, cake and sparklers. The cake was a brownie with raspberries, and presents were: Penguin by Design, a 1920s easel for him to resume drawing and painting in our new attic garret, sorry, bedroom, and a commissioned piece from Alys Paterson, who is a genius. Royal Mail let me down though, and there are two more presents to come that remain secret.

Tonight we'll be dining as a family (Joyner side) at Cafe Maitreya which we're both looking forward to tremendously. Ah, birthdays... sometimes I think other people's birthdays are more fun than your own.

Happy Birthday Benny V! Can I see some ID please?

Monday, 15 May 2006

The Waughs

The BBC and its various incarnations have had a mini-Waugh season, with a couple of brilliant programmes about the prolific literary dynasty. All very interesting and I want to know and read more. I have a copy of 'Vile Bodies' and one of 'Brideshead Revisited' but haven't read more than a few pages of each. When they are unpacked, they'll be the first books I pick up.

Shame there wasn't more about Nancy Mitford in the programmes though.

Friday, 12 May 2006


I shall be very sad to leave this house. 13 days now until that moment will be here. I do love our house so much, especially at this time of year with the blossom in the garden.

I know our new house will be great but it's a stranger at the moment, which is kind of scary. And it doesn't have perfect little frames for air guitar solo performances.

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

My exhibition... up and running now, and looks pretty good. There are things I'd do differently and lots I've learnt, but the main thing is that it's done. The private view was great - around 175 people came and it felt full and bustling all evening. Snaps to my family who came and saw and supported, and to my lovely friends Ali, Ian and John who all came too. So nice to see everyone and a nice chat really took my mind of the stress of it all. That, and the lovely Severnshed cocktails.

And oh my god, Ben is amazing. He's been so brilliant to me - advising me on curating the exhibition, helping with the install itself, popping air bubbles in the floor, nursing me off the sofa when I got home late at night wired, tired and hungry. And the beautiful flowers he bought for me yesterday were sublime. Peonies. My very favourites. What a catch. I'll have to make his birthday next week an extra special one. It is the big 3-0, after all.
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