I've had an artistic side ever since I was excluded from most of the proper lessons at the Dutch kindergarten and instead spent most of my time drawing pictures of the A Team (specifically, BA's black and red van). Since then, I've tried a full range of artistic pursuits. In high school, I tried to design and build a home entertainment cabinet, which was really a box made out of pine boards, which now holds up my Dad's worm farm. I tried creative writing in university and had pretensions of writing an Australian of Catcher in the Rye (just replacing the word "phoneys" with "wankers"). And when I started work, I bought an acoustic guitar and a book called "How to Play Acoustic Guitar", though I never really made it much beyond the contents page and that shows in my (non-existent) playing ability. More recently I've been drawing elephants and attending life drawing classes.
The point is, despite my artistic nature, I've struggled to find a consistent outlet. Elephants was promising for a while. But let's face it, there's only so many elephants you can draw in one lifetime. Part of the problem is that I can only handle one activity at a time - my creative energy doesn't stretch far enough. So when I've come home from life drawing classes, I'm just too exhausted to write this blog. Luckily, classes are over for a little while, and I can get back to business. I'd better try and knock out this post before I get distracted by that new pottery wheel I've just bought ... (I'm kidding, though I would really like to try pottery - once I considered it the lowest form of art, alongside modern dance, however I now have a growing appreciation of a well-thrown fruit bowl).
As I write, the rats are leaving the sinking ship of England in vast numbers. Just taking a quick poll of my friends (Tim, not sure if the sample size is sufficient, but we'll run with it). Tim, Jen, Brendan, Joyce and Tina have all left or are planning to leave. And this has all taken place in the last 6 months or so. Sure, given the number of friends I have, this number may seem like a drop in the ocean, but it is very significant. London won't be nearly as much fun without them. In any case, the vibe in London isn't at all like when I arrived - there's a general lack of optimism about the future (unlike 2 years ago, when the city was on a high that it hadn't experienced since Queen Victoria tried to take over the world). It's definitely a sobering thought to be at work worrying about getting a tap on the shoulder and 30 minutes to clear your desk and be out the door. Luckily my office has good feng shui and I have an excellent view of the door, so redundancy can't creep up on me that easily.
Nonetheless, despite the lack of friends and job prospects, London is still a great place to live. It's an artistic city, you know, and I'm sure the economic crisis will lead to some good art. I wonder how I could best capture the crisis in clay? Maybe a fruit bowl covered in pound signs and then broken into little pieces? Or filled with orange peelings? That's deep. I'm back!