DAY 87: ALMOST…

DAY 87: ALMOST…

We’re at Day 87. 13 to go. It’s a little weird to think how fast 100 days have gone. I don’t think I could reel off to you what I’ve written about on 86 other occasions. Which means that I’ve generated an impressive amount of bullshit off the top of my head.

Most days I’m tired and can’t really be bothered. But I still do. And I always find something. And that’s what’s been cool. I said at the start “it’s about the journey not the content” but only really said it because I felt it was the right thing to say. But actually, its now the truth. What I’ve written feels irrelevant. What matters is that even when I’m not in the mood, I can generate 250+ words, with relative ease, in half the time and effort that it took on day 1. That repetition, it really gets you somewhere, huh.

And I don’t want to lose that.

I feel like I want to make these last 10 or so days count. I want to write brutal, honest, raw stuff that takes guts and heart and feeling.

I thought about dong it tonight. A dark, sad, vulnerable, insecure, tearful, mood clouded over me earlier this evening leaving me feeling like a lonely, loveless, hopeless fuck up who is incapable of making good life choices, and beating myself up for shitty relationships, emotionally bankrupt men and situations where I should have known better.

But I don’t think you need to read all of that. Well. Not until the novel.

But I might do a mini exercise in it. Go out with a bang..how about I pick ten of the BIG life subjects and write about one each day? I reckon those, with a couple of tarot readings and a Day 100 emotional splurge might just get me over the line in a way I can feel proud and valid.

So here goes. Let's reel them off now…in no particular order of how I’ll write them:

1. Jobs
2. Money
3. Lust
4. Love
5. Marriage
6. Babies
7. Death
8. God
9. Regret
10. Body

See you at 100.

x

DAY 84: BABY DRIVER…

DAY 84: BABY DRIVER…

I finally got around to seeing Baby Driver today.

I’d heard only good things about it. No, that’s an understatement. I’d heard only exceptional, exhilarating, things about it. Literally everyone I know who has seen it has said that either 1) it’s their favourite film of 2017 so far or 2) it was so good they went to see it a second time in the space of a week.
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DAY 80: VINTAGE UNICORNS…

DAY 80: VINTAGE UNICORNS…

Is there anything better than a vintage garment that you feel was made for you?

You scan the rail and your eyes lock on it’s bright colour and pattern. It’s lust at first sight. You’ve been doing this long enough to know what you like and you can spot it within a 0.2 second scan. You skim your hand over and feel the quality and weight of the fabric. Not cheap, not polyester, not itchy or likely to make you sweat buckets. You pick it up and pull it out. No unexpected surprises in the form of ugly faux zippers, or cut outs. You eye it up and down, the width of the arms, the breadth of the shoulders, and you reckon, you just reckon it might fit. Maybe. Fingers crossed. So you take yourself away into the changing room. Slip off your current jacket. And slide your new crush off it’s hanger. You take a big breath and hope for the best. This is the moment of truth. Fingers, wrist, arm, elbow, all though the first sleeve. That’s a start. Keep sliding up past your fleshy upper arm, which so often is an issue on old garments – but before you even think about it too much, it’s up and on. Second sleeve. You panic as you feel a slight tightness and restriction across the shoulders. But you give the lapels a little outwards tug, releasing a wee bunch up and ta-dah. You’re sorted. It fits like a glove. Check your angles in the mirror. Do a little turn. As David says, Fashion, turn to the left! Fashion, turn to the right! As you do this you do a quick scan through the rest of your wardrobe – what will this go with, will it go with anything at all? Skirts and hats, necklaces and dresses flash before your eyes. You hit six matches and you stop. You’re safe. It’s a match. It’s better than that. It’s the vintage unicorn. Perfect in every way, to the point that you swear it was made for you in a past life and fate has now realigned the two of you. Swipe of a card. And now you are as one. Fashion soulmates.

x

DAY 77: KEYS…

DAY 77: KEYS…

Around my neck I carry the keys to the world.

Antique keys that I seek out whenever I’m in another city that speaks to my soul. Old and rusty, strange and curious shapes, from eras and possibly buildings, belonging to people, that are long gone.

An intricate and ornate, swirling, gold plated key from the sprawling and labyrinth like Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen in Paris, fit for a mistress of Napoleon.

A slender and minimalist one with Bauhaus like, rectangular,  grid design from Berlin, from a surly stall holder, on the coldest and greyest of days.

A skeleton key for Brooklyn, bought on the banks of the East River, the Empire State building glittering across the water on a clear, bright, Autumnal Sunday.

A stout and rusty brass key from a glass cabinet, buried in the depths of New Orleans French Quarter.

And the smallest key of them all, rounded and gold, with Northeast engraved on it in cursive font, from a Christchurch building that did not see out the day on 22 February, a building that I will carry with me for my entire life. Now a part of our own history.

I like to imagine what kind of building each key opened. An apartment building, a bakery, a factory, a bank safe, a storage unit full of a thousand secrets.

I like to imagine who lived there, or occupied it. Who held that key? Where did it go with them? For How long? And how did it end? What life events and circumstances happened to make it end up on a table at a flea market, in my hands and around my neck, on the other side of the world.

And I wonder what will happen to these keys when I die. Will they end up in someone else hands? Will they look at them think they correlate to the buildings in my life story? Will they realise the journey and stories of hundreds of years, and hundreds of people before me, that I never met, that they represent? Or will they just go in the bin.

When I wear them, I jangle.
It’s a reminder of how big the world is.
How many came before me.
And how many more keys there are left to collect.

x

DAY 76: WALLS…

DAY 76: WALLS…

I don’t understand how you can just have two or three pictures on your wall.

Picture. Gap. Gap. Picture. Gap. Clock. Gap. Gap. Gap. Picture.

How do you look at all that…space? How does your mind and imagination drift as you get sucked into the imagery, the fantasy of the art, the memories of the origins of the print – the holiday, the event, the people, the story. A blank space has no story. Where do you daydream?

But I know I am in the minority. And most will probably look at my cluttered (but orderly, I must stress how ordered they are) walls and wonder how I concentrate. How I don’t get a headache every time I sit down in my lounge.

My house is my life and my life is my soul and in my soul is what’s in my heart and in my heart is history and colour and art and places and people and stories and I live and breathe these things and so I want my home to be a reflection of my soul. After all, it’s where you spend the most time and if your home can’t be a manifestation of the essence of you, then where else in the world can be?

My wall space is getting limited, but by no means exhausted. People always proclaim “you need a bigger house!” But to that I say NEVER. There is always room. I love the mental arithmetic and puzzle of having to hang new additions to my gallery (that’s how I see it, a gallery). You swap and juggle. Something moves up. Another things moves over. You swap the bigger thing with a smaller thing from the other wall. You move a couple more things over to join it to create a little theme. And within ten minutes you have created a nook so perfect in size, and it’s surrounding items, so similar in style or theme, that you’d have sworn this patch of wall had been pre-determined and planned like this years in advance.

Much like our own heart and soul. You always think you can’t take on more or fit in something new, that you can’t cope with the change. But you adjust and shuffle and in no time at all, you wonder how you ever did without it being that way. That, maybe, it was meant to be like this all along.

There's always room.

x

TRAVELOGUE: DAY 14 – HOUSTON…

TRAVELOGUE: DAY 14 – HOUSTON…

For photos of this post, click here.

And so here we are. The final day of this current adventure. Another 9 hour train ride has landed me back in Houston, where I have 24 hours until my departure.

My hurried quest to find a cheap but reasonably decent hotel has placed me in chain food, main road, middle of nowhere…which I think isn't far from the medical schools, but to be honest, when you’re as tired as I am, and its 37 degrees out, you may as well be on the moon because getting yourself 100m up the road feels like the most impossible mission.
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NEW ORLEANS: DAY 11…

NEW ORLEANS: DAY 11…

Fore corresponding photos click here.

My final day in this gift of a city. Let’s make it a good one.

My first mission of the day was a little shopping errand, via breakfast. Back to Bywater to collect as many Mexican Folk items as my budget and luggage capacity will allow. The shop, the Bargain Centre, a huge junk shop with 1/3 dedicated to the best collection of Mexican Folk that I’ve ever seen. I visited last week, and swore to return. I collected my tin and clay treasures, painted with bright emblems of hope, of sin, or death – skulls and devils, body parts, and full breasted women, dogs and flaming hearts, crosses nailed with lucky tokens. These will live on my wall and remind me of this trip, and also of all of these things that make up life – the joys and the pain, and the beauty. Much like this city. There has been pain, but there is joy too.
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