Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cometh the hour..........cometh the woman

Anticipating the arrival into Saigon - next week
It has been 372 days since I made the decision to give up my job and move to Vietnam to do all the painting and drawing that is bursting to get out of my head and onto the canvas and paper. And on that  372nd day, I finally plucked up the courage to book a flight. 

That's it. 
The deed is done. 
It's time to go. 
The farewells have all been shared.
I am ready.

Out of interest, I thought I would Google 372 to see what I could find.372 is the international dialing code for Estonia, the bus route from Almondbury to Lindley via Huddersfield (sounds picturesque) and the bonnie fishing trawler 'Shangri-La' thought to have been commissioned in Pittenweem. This blog is worth having a look at - it's like a conversations overheard on any night in the East Neuk pub in Crail !!

372 is also the number of crimes committed in Hartlepool in April 2012 (my mother would turn in her grave), a sinkhole of 372 ft in diameter is currentlyswallowing ancient cypress trees 100 feet tall near Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou communities in south Louisiana and some say there are 372 pressure points on the human body but that seems to vary from 11 -380 depending on your point of view.

The inspirational ring tone 'BAMM!' by Joachim Miller lasts 372 seconds. Have a listen -!-(Original-Mix)-JOCHEN-MILLER

The repeating Angel Number 372 is a message from the angels, Archangels and Ascended Masters  that you are on the right path.  You have been following your intuition and inner-wisdom  exactly as Divined. (

It's amazing what you find out when you have an hour to do some open-ended Googling!

Now is the time to do all the final little jobs, tie up the loose ends and take that leap!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Saigon weather

I thought I had better have a look at the forecast to see what to pack for the Vietnam sojourn. 

Here is yesterday's regional temperatures. Saigon is right underneath one of those '31' figures in the middle. 

You might think ............ 'oooh luvverly' but the local attire for these temperatures at this time of year can be seen below!

So, I am packing tropical gear complete with my Scafell Rock PVC poncho is a delicate shade of navy blue.

I looked at one chart today and it describes the level of discomfort you can expect to experience as a result of seasonal weather conditions. There was six months of 'high' and six months of 'extreme' !

Oh boy.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A possible new residence in Vietnam?

My boat still isn't sold. I wonder if I could get a part exchange deal on one of these character vessels spotted on the Meekong delta last summer.

This model comes complete with open air living on the stern and compact living accommodation for the whole family. There is a roof garden, and large sun deck for non-monsoon days. Solidly built out of teak, and blue polypropylene tarpaulin and powered by a reconditioned jeep engine, this is the 'must have' vessel for the intrepid traveller who wants to blend with their environment.

The bow is painted in the traditional fashion with two brightly coloured eyes to ward off evil sea spirits. I don't have any details on the plumbing or bathroom facilities but the washing hanging out to dry might be an indication of a laundry room aboard.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

I have been making an annual pilgrimage to this exhibition every year for about seven years and I always come away feeling inspired and somehow replete. But this year's show surpassed all the previous one I attended.

 As soon as we walked in, there was something new, fresh and sparkling about the Academy. Have some of the cornices been re-gilded? Is it the gorgeous red they have chosen for the central hall this year? Whatever it is; the effect was stunning and, as we walked through the exhibition room by room , there seemed to a freshness to the way the pictures had been hung which made one of my favourite days out even more delightful!

Albert Irvin - Greet

Albert's paintings are a recent discovery. Normally they are huge canvasses but this one was only 40x40 and yet still had the power and weight of larger ones.

The work, below, by Will Maclean is not actually the one he exhibited but it has the same ingredients. It's a mixture of found objects, paint, cabinetmaking and collage. The piece at the Academy was called 'Boatman' and had me transfixed.

Will Maclean - Northwest passage

Of course, the other thing going on in London is the Summer Olympics which was in evidence everywhere we went. The window displays of shops large and small picked up the theme and there were some pleasant surprises such as free public toilets everywhere and open ticket barriers at Kings Cross Station.  

Well, that dose of inspiration will have to last for a long time because it's unlikely that I will be back next year. I expect I will have lots of other, new things to inspire me. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Parting is such ....... fun!

After the leaving party with my lovely colleagues and friends at the art college, there was the party for my oldest and my closest friends. 

Two or three of them took over the boat in the afternoon and turned the wheelhouse into into a tropical wonderland for the 'West meets East' floating party at the beginning of July. It was a sparkling event!

This month we created an informal antidote to Creative Networks so I could say thank you and goodbye to some of the people who have helped and supported me during the past 4 years of Creative Networks. The 'dream team' came together one last time for a 'one night only' event entitled Creative Nitwits.  We took La Duena up to Granary Wharf and moored right outside The Hop in the Dark Arches. Some of the gang took the cruise back down the river as you can see.  

This ' leaving' thing is a lot of fun!