WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? My father bellowed down the phone.
Here, talking to you, I answer.
WHY AREN'T YOU BLOGGING? YOU HAVEN'T WRITTEN ANYTHING SINCE TUESDAY. ALL YOU'VE LEFT US WITH IS TWO CATS WEARING HATS! WHAT ABOUT THE RESPONSIBILITY TO YOUR READERS? WE'RE DYING HERE!
Sheesh, talk about parental pressure. You'd think this was my homework or something. I've been busy, ok? Osteopath appointments, voluntary newsletters, paid work, studio setting up, movies to watch, partner to woo, overhaul to attempt. It's been a busy time.
The Studio is as set up as it can be until I have the muscle strength to have the press in the same room as me. I'm not even going to put my letterpress gear in there until I can comfortably lift a half-empty typecase, it's just too tempting. So here's a quick tour of Studio Duck, phase one:
Bottom left corner, the 'reading room'.
Top left corner, the 'clean working room'
Top right corner, the 'print room', yet to be established...
The bottom right corner, the 'homework room', later to be part of the printing area.
If you are studio-buffs and want to know more, click on the images to go back to Flickr and read my notes. Basically, one side will be clean work, the other dirty work, and I hope to have a central bench with drying racks underneath to divide the two spaces.
So I got to the point of getting out some actual pages and folding them on Friday afternoon, and then had to stop and go to meet Best Beloved for a movie. And I haven't been back all weekend! So today will be my first proper working session ever. I've decided that until art school goes back, I will work on the computer in for the first half of the morning (or all morning if I have to) and go to the studio in the afternoon. Hooray!
I knew I had a lot of computer work to do over the weekend, so Best Beloved and I made a commitment to go to a number of movies over the long weekend. We decided to go to the first session of the day, since these seem to be the least crowded, and then you come out of the cinema with the rest of the day ahead of you, which we love.
Friday was the exception, we went in the afternoon to see Frost and Nixon. Loved it.
Saturday we didn't see a movie, but I managed to get BB to drive over to Gunghalin with me and look at a Display Home Village. Miracle! BB is very cautious about debt, but now that I have a 6-year tenancy for a studio, we're starting to think about what to do at the end of it: move house to something with a studio? Extend? knock down and build again? We haven't got the finances yet, but if we start planning and budgeting, we may well have in the next few years.
Well. What a load of crap is out there. Project homes range from scummy badly-designed tiny boxes on tiny blocks up to enormous bloated badly-designed McMansions on tiny blocks. We found one we liked, and that is because it actually had some wall space for bookshelves and pictures. Obviously no-one likes books or gardening anymore. We are hoping that Penny and Kevin can push a few more mandatory green features onto these designs over the next few years. And we've been pointed in the direction (by friends) of some affordable eco-designers who may be able to help when we're ready.
Sigh. Anyway, it was a first step. And they're important.
Saturday night I went to a Girl's Night with some art school mates. Traditionally these consist of nice food, a bottle of champagne each (bare minimum) and some home hairdressing and beauty treatments, accompanied by lashings of gossip. This one wasn't much different, except that usually I'm the odd one out, not liking nail polish or hairdye. I usually sit and watch them play with each other. This time one of them had hit upon a less permanent plaything and brought along her curling tongs. I got thoroughly tonged and sprayed, and ended up looking like an aging 1920s flapper...
Which is all good and well (besides bringing back memories of years of bad perms in my yoof), but then I drunkenly rode home on my bike sometime after midnight, flopped into bed, and woke the next morning with a crazy halo of tortured hair that made Best Beloved (who had been asleep when I got back) do a double take when he opened his eyes. Thank Ceiling Cat it washed out, which is something that never happens when you do drunken girlie perm nights.
Sunday morning we saw Seven Pounds. I hadn't heard much about this, apart from friendly mentions about letterpress scenes. The first half of the movie was extremely frustrating; I knew they were teasing out strands that would be pulled together by whatever fantastic climax we were heading for, but it just felt TOO bitsy. Then the letterpress scenes started, and I stopped thinking about anything but what I was seeing right then and there. By the end I was very impressed by whomever thought about using letterpress technology as a perfect way of showing how that character's working life could be disrupted by a heart problem (not a spoiler!). It just wouldn't have worked if she'd been a computer designer, and it tapped into the recent explosion of letterpress stationery designers, so it wasn't way out in left field for an American film (since that is where the explosion is mostly happening). I loved that line about impression (or embossing) being the only way to prove something isn't digitally printed. Although the idea of her press sitting there ready-inked waiting for her to trot out and demonstrate the process is ludicrous, isn't it, Printing Grrrls?
And Monday morning we saw Slumdog Millionaire, which I think is one of the best movies I've ever seen. I loved everything about it, and spent the rest of the day listening to Indian music on my computer just to keep myself in the mood it had left me with.
And the rest of the time I've been working on the computer, finishing paid jobs, working on voluntary jobs, and eating BB's excellent cooking, including a dinner of goat vindaloo and a lunch of poached eggs Florentine, my favorite.
So there you go, Colonel Duck, that's what I've been up to. And sex. Lots of sex. (well, not lots, but enough to get back in the saddle.) Blushing? Heh.