JOURNAL

The River

14/02/2024

These are words I spoke into my phone while I sat on the riverbank. I was going to upload the audio as the sounds of the river tripping over the stones and the birdsong was beautiful. Unfortunately, I was, as ever, very rambling so instead I've written more concisely what my thoughts were: 


The river flows, and sometimes there are high rains, and bad or ferocious weather. 

Sometimes it gets rough, and things come gushing down; big logs, broken things like tiles, bicycle parts and bones; plastic and debris, the stones pile up when they hit an obstacle, and it slightly changes its journey. I enjoy the river just the way it is. I come to different beaches, and sometimes difficult spots. Something will happen that's very turbulent, and it will change not exactly the course of the river, not in my lifetime anyway. But within my own time, how I experience the river is always changing too. There will be new beaches created, and other beaches submerged. There will be deeper parts made for swimming and parts that become shallow and stony that I can cross in bare feet. Sometimes, the banks will get carved into and open up, and sometimes they get so grown over that I can no longer access those spots anymore. 

No wonder humans are drawn to the symbolism and metaphor of the river. It's like our lives, daily and yet also over our lifetime, our human history, since we first crawled out of the water and onto dry land. Long after I am gone, after WE are gone, the river will continue to flow, course correcting, changing, taking life and birthing new life.

Starting Again

02/02/2024

 I'm hopping in the time machine and setting the dials to, well, anytime in the early to mid 2010s.

My very first blog post was in 2009. Actually in that post I said it was my 4th attempt at blogging.

I loved that place and for the next 6 years I wrote it regularly. It's actually a really good document of my wilderness years. Sculpture is both what I gained my degree in and my abiding love, but at that time in my life I'd convinced myself that sculpture wasn't viable for income. So began a journey. 

Someone suggested Etsy in 2010 (I'd never heard of it) and I experimented with what I could sell - I tried prints, cards, original art, tiny sculptures, photography, and the thing that seemed to work the best for me, artist's books. Business was ok if not brisk, I sold quite a few and kept making sculpture  for exhibitions on the side.

Black Eyed Angel (I was a massive Radiohead fan back then - RIP to the goat) documented all my experiments and travails, what worked and what didn't, what I enjoyed and didn't, places I went, what inspired me. And I made many online friends too. We would often have long conversations over email, send each other snail mail and I even met a few in real life.

In 2015 I finally learned my way round Wordpress, set my website up, said goodbye to Black-eyed Angel and started blogging on my site. I'd given up my Etsy shop, Instagram was the new Flickr and people were no longer chatting on blogs anymore. I was taking printmaking classes and also setting up a home darkroom. I thought the future for me would be in the shape of an analog, black and white darkroom portrait business. Well, that tanked. Partly because I actually didn't enjoy it, and partly because most people would rather pay less and have digital portraits. I couldn't really compete. But I stumbled along anyway, frustrated with myself and my inability to stick to anything. Side note: in 2021 I found out I'm neurodivergent so I've learned to be much kinder to myself. But that's a story for another day.

Now we're up to 2017. Days locked in a darkroom, huffing toxic chemicals, hustling my butt off, frustrated and misguided and consuming ALL the advice online. But suddenly and unexpectedly I was diagnosed with breast cancer and my world collapsed. I documented my cancer experience on my blog but unfortunately the archive was deleted when I switched over to this site. I have the files on my laptop but they don't exist online for me to point you to if your interested. I might try to put them back online, one day.

After a harrowing period of my life and a very long recovery, we had a fricking pandemic. In the middle of this I answered the urge to make a sculpture again, rather than perfect my sourdough or tiktok dancing. Cue heavenly choir. I'm back, baby!

Since then I've stuck my flag firmly in the sculpture soil. Is it hard to sell? It's not easy,  but I may as well be making what brings me deep joy, what I'm bloody good at, and where I truly find my voice. I'm tired of all the shoulds and would rather work hard at what instinctively feels good and right.

And that brings me neatly round to blogging. I've noodled around Substack, I've tried microblogging on Instagram, none of which scratches the itch properly. I send long email newsletters but there's a limit to how much I can write before readers may potentially get bored and unsubscribe. So here I am. Birthing my blog 3.0 into the world, with no expectation but just to enjoy the process.

Welcome to my world. I can't say what to expect because I honestly don't know so if you want to join me while this unravels, I'm delighted. Let me know who you are, what makes you tick? Get in touch!