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The Little Chimp Society are having an exhibition of their latest collection of Mail Art.

The Opening reception is on Friday 30th of July 2010 – 6.00pm to 11.00pm at Red Gate Gallery in London.

You can find out more details and perhaps pledge support here

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Current Music: Mumford & Sons

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Which song lyrics send shivers down your spine and really hit you emotionally?


There are two songs that do this to me. 'Song to the Siren' and 'Martha's Harbour' get me every time. I only need to hear the opening bars of these two songs and tears roll down my face.

My first exposure to 'Song to the Siren' was on the Janice Long [1] show on Radio One back in the 80s. She played Tim Buckley's version, but at the time I didn't catch who it was (it wasn't until much later that I re-discovered the Tim Buckley version). She followed it up with This Mortal Coil's version which I instantly loved because it was Elizabeth Fraser. I think I could listen to Elizabeth Fraser sing 'The Cat in the Hat' and it would still send shivers down my spine.



This version is a little more haunting with the added effects. I doesn't sound like Buckley (although many folks have commented that it is, on Youtube) although it does bridge the gap between the 'unplugged' Buckley and This Mortal Coil.






This was a period in my life when I was obsessed with the sea/water. I can't swim and am absolutely terrified of water, but I went through a phase that was, shall we say, tidal. [2] ;) I was learning about traditional folk music too and was inspired by things related to the sea, fishing industry, or coastal living. This was probably a reason why 'Martha's Harbour' also has a strong effect on me. Well, that and I loved All About Eve. Julianne Raegan's voice is beautiful, especially on this.





[1] or perhaps it was Annie Nightingale, they both played awesome tracks and I was a fanatic about both their shows.

[2] of course I was in my late teens so obviously extremely hormonal.

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Current Music: Song to the Siren - Tim Buckley

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Our number is supposedly de-listed to avoid pesky marketing/sales calls, obviously it makes no difference and they still call us. I've been called today by some guy who claimed that it was a 'local area survey' and assured me it was NOT a sales call. Ok, I grudgingly said, "carry on." He asks "if you were to make home improvements to your house, would it be windows and doors, a new kitchen or a conservatory?"

I replied "We did the kitchen just over a year ago, had the windows refurbished at the same time, and we can't have a conservatory as I very much doubt the woman who lives below us would approve!"

"Oh ok then, thanks for your time."

So what part of this is NOT a sales call masquerading under the pretense of a survey?

This goes along with the pre-recorded messages which start "Please listen carefully this is not a sales call, this is an information broadcast..." Yes I know all about the bank charges, but no I am not giving you my bank details so you can 'investigate' how much I'm due. You can fvck right off, along with your mate who is trying to sell me glazing services!

/rant

Current Mood: bitchy bitchy

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I'm now in my 6th year of trying to fight M.E., that is, the 6th year from diagnosis. The first 'real' symptoms began in 2002, but it may have in fact taken hold even earlier than that. I remain determined to carry on fighting and hopefully not let it break me. Admittedly some days are very frustrating, but I refuse to let my spirit be quashed. The last few weeks have been very difficult - especially after a period of relative stability - and I again find myself with the frustration that is all too familiar. Of course, I am not alone. There are many others who fight on, trying to make the best they can of a very bad situation. I have a great admiration for all of them, many of whom have it far worse than I do. We are all blogging for Awareness Day.

I often wish I was in a better position to do more. Not just more in aspects of my personal life, but more importantly doing more for awareness of the issues of M.E/C.F.S and Fibromyalgia and to help others who suffer. Yet the willingness of mind is most often thwarted by the ability of the body. A simple blog post does not seem nearly enough, yet if my whisper helps to raise the profile of this debilitating illness, then hopefully a collection of whispers can become a shout for greater understanding.

Many of us are subjected to the stigma of this illness, an illness that is grossly misunderstood and shrugged off as 'laziness'. We often hear '...but you look fine' as our illness is mostly invisible, with very little outward signs. Our GPs largely do nothing to help besides prescribe Anti Depressants and book appointments with Cognitive Behavioural Therapists. Many of us struggle financially, being unable to maintain employment and receive little, if any, Benefits or financial support for our condition, relying mostly on the assistance of loved ones. I have been extremely lucky to have fantastic support from a loving partner, our families and fantastic friends both at home and online. Others however are not so lucky and are extremely isolated. We're 'forgotten' members of the population, not just in the UK, but the world over.

My story, like many others, is one of painful muscles, 'spongy' limbs, blurred vision, slurred speech, disturbed balance, cognitive dysfunction, visual migraines, headaches, exhaustion and more recently digestion issues are now added to the mix. This list barely even scratches the surface for many more sufferers who struggle daily. But don't take my word for it! Take a moment to read some of the great blogs out there; perhaps participate and blog about yourself or a sufferer you know; if you believe it to be 'yuppie flu', take a moment please, to find out more about the illness.

More awareness will help our whispers become a deafening noise.

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I've been pre-occupied with all sorts of things in the last little while that I've not been posting much; busy when I'm well, and relaxing afk when I'm not feeling so good; but everyone should be used to this ;)

I really need to get art stuff/photos sorted out and I have a bunch of pics that are long overdue to be uploaded somewhere. I've been doing printmaking (Intaglio/Drypoint etching) this term, and the pics are on Flickr. I plan to gradually work through all my stuff in the process of sorting things out for my Portfolio (yes, I'm trying to get my arse in gear) so there will probably be more pics on Flickr soon if you feel inclined to have a gander ;)

I have 8 Lo-fi films to develop (Lomo/Holga/Action Sampler) - not saying there will be any decent pics to come out of that mind you - but I need to get the films developed so the Tutor at our Lomo workshop doesn't think I've been completely slacking while he was in Vietnam!

I've also started to work on visual/art journals (properly) this year. I'm hoping this helps me use sketchbooks more often [1]. After admiring other people's journals for so long [2] I've decided to do more work on my own books and also to scan in the M.E. pages I made when I first became ill. I'm hoping to do this in time for Awareness Day, but college commitments, house renovations [3] and health will obviously dictate my ability to see this through. My best intentions are there tho!

I joined the Creative for a Second group this year and participated in the Journal project that Kirrily Anderson founded. Scarily I was the first person on the Journal's Journey through the UK and I only managed to do two pages (despite having ideas for many more!) Not sure if the pics on the CFS facebook group are publicly available, but I have uploaded pics of my pages on Flickr as well. If anyone is interested in more info on the CFS group (or if you know someone else who might be); then this is a good place to start ;)


[1] I really have a huge problem with them and I don't know why this is. I tend to do things on separate bits of paper and then stick them in. I don't know why I have such huge problems with actually using the damned pages in the book! I also do this with experiments of different techniques/processes, it all goes on separate little bits of paper and gets stuck in. Its insane really when I think about it but can't seem to stop doing it this way - despite the protestations of many of my Tutors :/

[2] Dan Eldon, Lynne Perrella, 1000 Journals Project to name just a few resources in an ever increasing list.

[3]alnya and I have big plans for painting, decorating and DIY. We're desperate to get on with this house - despite the attic delays - bring on the bathroom demolition!

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Current Location: Mission Control
Current Mood: creative creative
Current Music: Radio 6 - Nemone's slot

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A generous, nameless, someone has sent a belated Birthday Gift via buyagift.com which contains a voucher for a Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two and Edinburgh Castle visit.

The message says "Hope you had a great Birthday, sorry our gifts a little bit late."

I'm not at all sure who this is from (buyagift wouldn't tell me obviously due to data protection) but thank you very much, whomever you are, for the lovely surprise! xx

edit: Ah ha! discovered who! Thank you guys!

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Oh my gosh! So many lovely wishes, I'm truly blessed to be surrounded by you all. I am completely overwhelmed. Thanks to everyone for all the fab birthday wishes and deliveries that ran from Saturday right through to yesterday! I have so many thank yous to write!

I was delighted that offensive_mango was able to come up at the weekend and that so many other fab people were able to come along on Saturday. I can't think of any nicer way to spend a birthday <3 alnya is also the most fabulous better half a gal could ever hope for. From birthday treats to surprise cakes and a brand new digital SLR (Nikon D3000 should enquiring minds need to know :P ) I have been utterly spoiled!

I share my birthday with two other lovely ladies and I hope that both Mrs O and Mrs F had a lovely day yesterday too. Looking forward to celebrating Mrs O's 30th birthday with her on Saturday night.


edit There are some pics of birthday treats on Facebook. I don't have any pics of the evening, the cake, nor the fizzling lava cocktail that Mrs M and offensive_mango shared, but I'm sure other folks will be able to fill in the blanks ;)

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redtoffee posted this link on FB yesterday, proving yet again how abhorrent this rag is.

I know its just a trivial poll, but it does touch a rather raw nerve. Those of us who suffer from this horrible infliction know just how genuine it is.

Current Mood: blah blah

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A slightly late Happy New Year to you all :)

So here we are in 2010, with no hovercars yet and what appears to be a proper winter. Its been snowing since 17th December (on-and-off) and apparently its to continue this way for another 2 weeks. Does this mean we'll also get a proper summer where we can yanno sit in the garden without a jacket and brolly?

Yay for the snow tho. I like that it snows at night with sunshine during the day. I know not many people share my enthusiasm for our precipitation, but it does make for awesome photography sessions ;) Although not in the last 2 days since I seem to have that Winter Throat Thing TM I always get and have been stuck indoors. Boo! However not content with resting on my laurels and doing nowt after a few days of zippy energy (which was awesome albeit short-lived) I've been happily Wrecking a Journal [1] instead.

Wot I did on my holidays and other storiesCollapse )

Definite happenings in 2010: Starting my printing course in a couple of weeks, followed by more photography and natural world classes after Easter. There are also quite a few friends getting married this year, which of course is awesome news :D The rest of 2010 is open for adventure! (at least lets hope so).


[1] A guilty pleasure and Christmas present to myself. Attempting to be less scared of a blank page and just going for it, even if I have no creative process in mind. So far it looks like something a 9 year old would probably do (complete with the tongue sticking out the side of my mouth, oh yes!) but then thats probably about my artistic age anyway!

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This morning I awoke to cat activity and a swearing man tromping around the house. Unaware of quite what was going on, I stumbled into the bathroom, which contained a very angry male balancing a contact lens on the tip of his finger like a tiny faerie crown. Once I had the bathroom to myself, I realised what might have been contributory to this mornings harrassment... a very chilled spider (of undetermined gender).

"Good morning" I said to the spider as it waved two of its right legs at me in greeting. "He's not best impressed with you" I whispered apologetically to our new bathroom inhabitant whilst nodding my head towards the bathroom door. "You're new here, aren't you? Haven't seen you on the ceiling or the wall before. Did you arrive via the extractor fan portal?" It regarded me for a second, before commencing cleaning all eight feet. "I'll come back for a chat in a bit, I think there's some contact lens issues going on outside. Foot creme is on the shelves tho if you need some" and shut the bathroom door, firmly, behind me.

"Gosh you shared the shower with our visitor?" I said to alnya.
"Did I fvck! I washed in the sink, all the while eying it suspiciously" he replied.
"Why didn't you send Sofi in?" I questioned, trying to helpful.
"You're kidding right? She looked in and ran off. She prolly thought "fuck that! its nearly as big as me!" Useless." he replied, blinking hard with tears rolling down his face as the contact lens scratched his eyeball.
"Oh I see" I wearily replied. All this of course means that I have to do something with the squatter.

Waiting until the whirling dervish of fury had left the house and the cats had settled back down, I went back into the bathroom, clutching the widest rimmed glass I could find and a handy show flyer. "Hi again, you look comfy" I cheerfully said to the spider. "As you might have guessed, you're not exactly welcome here by some. If you wouldn't mind climbing into this glass, we can have you outside in a jiffy." I nervously said. Nervous not because I'm frightened of spiders, but because I didn't want to break any of its legs while negotiating it into the see-through transportation device. I'd normally have taken it out in my hands, but even I have to admit that it was just a little too big for me to want to get that close and intimate with.

Once outside, I stuck our new friend (with all legs still intact) on a bush which is currently covered in aphids. It should be happy there. alnya might even get a cheerful wave from a few legs when he returns home this evening ;)

edit Since starting this earlier today (and interrupting it by having to go out) I've just come back to finish it off and noticed that alnya has since posted about it too. So I guess you could say this is MY version of the story ;)

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