Sunday, 1 June 2014


Themes this month:
  • Trying to get better at drawing individuals and groups of people really quickly from observation or from memory.
  • Having days really full of action packed exciting stuff that tire me out so much I get a bit terrified that this is what old age is going to be like only WORSE
  • Watercolours and oil pastels.
Without further ado...

Very excited about my new and improved desk setup. DIGITAL DESK! ANALOUGE DESK! However in practice it seems like digital desk = almost everything desk, and analouge desk = sewing and general dumping stuff desk. Still, it's good to have a system, and I'm lucky enough that my system now involves TWO DESKS!

My friend Lucy from uni came down to Brighton for the day with her boyfriend Josh. We had Pompoko in Pavillion Gardens in the sunshine and talked about adulthood.

I’m not sure whether these ‘comic strip’ style diaries are good for my creativity/improving drawing skills or not, but I mostly do them when I have a day that’s super busy and full of stuff, and nice (or occasionally not nice — see 31st) in a way that I want to remember.
This was a nice day. A long cycle over to Saltdean for a lovely garden party with friends, followed by a long cycle back and dinner out with some of our new housemate Justin's friends.

Sometimes when I’m stressed and grumpy, having to do the washing up just makes me even more stressed and grumpy. Other times, I find the process oddly calming and methodical, and if there’s a particularly large amount of awkwardly shaped dishes, correctly loading up the rack is an oddly cathartic process. I wonder if my love of cleaning/tidying is symbolic of restoring order inside my brain as well as in my external physical spaces. Or maybe I’m just terrified of germs.

Justin is great. We’ve so lucky to have him living with us. One of his strongest points (amongst many) is that he’s one of the best listeners I think I’ve ever met. Must try not to take too much advantage of him by TALKING AT HIM ALL THE TIME but it’s just so hard not to when he’s so good at listening faces/wise words.


For Eurovision I went over to Jonny and Kris’s house in Peacehaven, with Elly and Kitty, and we had a Euro-tastic party. Where the European elections of later in the month were a show of depressing right wing bigotry, the European pop music elections (as I like to think of Eurovision) were a sparkling, LGBTQ friendly, European community delight. I decided I was going to try and draw every act. They’re pretty terrible drawings but I had fun, and they proved quite useful during the points section when we kept having to remind ourselves what various countries had done.

As always, May heralds a ridiculous flurry of Brighton funtimes, The Brighton Festival, the Fringe Festival, The Great Escape, and Artists Open Houses. I haven’t taken nearly enough advantage of any of them, especially the Artists Open Houses, which are basically just an awesome way to get some exercise walking around Brighton and looking at people’s beautiful expensive houses. This was the only weekend I managed to go and see a few.

Part of the reason I was so low on money by the end of this month was because I spent over £50 on art materials. I decided to invest in a big box of watercolours, some water-soluble oil pastels, and some nice paint brushes. The rest of the month features quite a few days of me trying to get good at using them. Here was my first go with watercolours (well, in a few years, anyway). Moshimo!

Justin’s friend Adam came to stay. He’s from Portland in America which I found exciting. He cooked us great chilli and we all ended up using the word ‘infrastructure’ a lot. I'm still terrified of doing faces and him and Justin are so cool I didn't want to risk messing up their faces while they were watching me so I just didn't do them.

As payback for avoiding faces the day before I tried my own face in oil pastels. I’ve done far worse self-portraits, even if it still doesn't reeeally look like me.

I don’t ever tell people these to their face because I think they might hate me, but it’s becoming apparent to me that when washing up needs doing I’m probably better off just doing it myself because I’m just too fussy.

Made some pretty bangin' salads.

Trying out the oil pastels with water while watching the European election results with Alex and Justin and getting upset about UKIP. Still terrible at faces.

From a terrible drawing of Alex to possibly the best drawing of Alex I’ve ever done. (If a drawing where he’s mostly facing away counts)

There are just too many invertebrates in my life right now. So far today I’ve evicted three woodlice, cleaned up slug trails in the kitchen, sprayed washing up liquid on aphids to try and kill them, found two moths dead in the bottom of an empty mug of tea (note to self, catch more moths using Alex’s old sugary tea mugs), flicked a money spider out of my hair and squished like 20 flour beetles that were living behind the toaster. THIS HOUSE.

One of the Fringe events I did make it to was our wonderful friend Chris aka oneoneoneone aka that guy who posted the walrus gumtree ad poetry night. It was a delight.

This is not how Friday evenings are meant to be! Sometimes circumstances do conspire to make life stressful. We'll be okay though.

So I’m sharing this because after I told Justin about my day he mostly just said he was relieved to know he’s not the only one who has days like this. You know those days? Where everything just seems like TOO MUCH?
So as well as a slight cramping IBS flare-up, I had that old curse of womankind, cystitis, coupled with a fairly hefty dose of PMT. All conditions which make you basically just want to curl up in a ball and not go anywhere. Sadly, that wasn’t an option, with the wedding of some close friends of Alex’s up in London, I somehow managed to squeeze myself into some semblance of a wedding outfit and flump onto a train. Only to have a crying breakdown in Victoria because I NEED TO WEE AGAIN AND I JUST WENT LIKE FIVE MINUTES AGO AND IT HURTS AND I CAN’T GO ON THE UNDERGROUND LIKE THIS. (Look, if you’ve had cystitis really badly, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) Then I somehow flung myself into a room full of many of Alex’s favourite old friends and mostly managed to function well enough that hopefully none of them thought he’d made a terrible choice of girlfriend… And even managed to entirely hold my fragile self together when I went to the bathroom and a girl in the stall next to me was noisily vomiting (new readers, I have emetophobia and that is MASSIVE progress)…And then we came home and I drunk loads of fluids and had the best sleep ever and now everything is OKAY! Bodies, eh?

Anyway. Onwards to June. Alex is 30 this week and I'm currently preoccupied with making sure that everything is lovely for him. Because 30! That's a lot of years! And also because he's great and still loves me and looks after me even when I'm having a hormonal cry in the middle of Victoria Station. :)

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