Thursday, 11 June 2015

Too cool for school


How are you?

I just received my super pink Race for Life laces and my running shoes are now even more neon than usual! They're also a bit grotty because I've been running in the rain a few times. I'm coming to the conclusion that I perform so much better in cool (bad) weather than in the summer sun. Maybe that's how my body works, or maybe I'm just not used to it yet, either way I'm hoping for a record cool July 4th!
While we're on the subject, does anyone have some great tips and tricks for blisters? (Sexy, I know.) I seem quite prone to them even though my shoes are fine, I have proper running socks and it's not like I run half a marathon each time. What can I do so I don't have to take breaks in between runs?

That's all for now. If you feel like supporting cancer research then you can still sponsor my charity run by clicking here. It's fast, easy, no amount is too small and it is very very much appreciated! Thank you. (I've written more about the race here.)

I hope you've had a good week so far and look forward to the weekend!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Bird babies!


As a Friday treat I wanted to share some cuteness. My local ponds are full of bird babies right now; ducks, geese and swans. I think H.C. Andersen was way off in writing that baby swans, (apparently called cygnets), are ugly. I think they are absolutely adorable!

The swan couple had seven cygnets in total and they were very protective of them. Apparently they didn't manage to get any babies last year so this time around they are extra careful. The black plastic things floating around aren't very pretty, but they help birds find a resting place and also get onto land where the edge is otherwise too high up.

I hope you have some cuteness in your life and look forward to a lovely weekend!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Please help me

Hello everyone!

I have a favour to ask. In January I mentioned I'm going to take part in one of Cancer Research UK's charity races; Race for Life. The race is now 5 weeks away and to support the great research that is being done, us racers try and raise extra money that can go towards more life saving work.
It's a 5k race. For seasoned runners that might sound like a pitiful distance. But I'm not a seasoned runner so for me it's a reasonable challenge and the point of the race is not to win a medal or beat a clock, it's to raise awareness and allow any woman, no matter what her body is currently going through, to take part.
Most of us will have some personal connection to the dreaded disease. I will be racing for my mum, who died 5 years ago. I will also be running for anyone else who has suffered, as a patient or a loved one. And finally I'm going to race for myself, because one day I might be in need of life saving treatment and hopefully, through research, it will have been discovered by then.
I know most of us are strapped for cash and there are so many good causes out there that it's hard to help everyone. This is my first ever charity race so it does feel a bit strange to ask, but if you do have an extra pound/dollar/euro, then I would be eternally grateful for your donation.

The race is at Hampstead Heath (London) on July 4th, 11am, if you'd like to come along and cheers us on! More info and the online donation page can be found HERE.

Thank you so much and have a great week!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Was it something I said?


How are you?

Last Sunday was all about The Play, so today I've made sure to enjoy a rainy run (I prefer it rainy), lunch in good company and reading a new book about English accents. It's written by a father and son (linguist & actor) in a fun and interesting way, and I'm learning all about the history of certain accents, the attitudes towards them, why more and more people have "mixed" accents, and for example why lots of Hollywood villains are Brits speaking RP.
"And most importantly of all: what went wrong in Birmingham?"
I often get asked about my accent. I don't sound Swedish. I don't sound Finnish (listen to some Finnish F1 drivers if you want an example). On rare occasions I've passed for English (maybe from a slightly odd part of the country?). There are words and phrases I really used to struggle with, like bottle of water and thirty (which is inconvenient since that's my current age). I have been accused of sounding posh, because apparently I articulate very carefully. Of course it has nothing to do with being posh or not, I just have to concentrate when I speak. I'm using different vocal muscles than the ones I grew up with and if I get sloppy, if I'm tired or feeling nervous, my speech can easily turn into gobbledygook. It's a bit like sport, I need to launch myself into it with confidence and gusto or the results will be less than satisfactory.
A nutty lunch. 
I'm about halfway through the book now and it's all rather fascinating. So far I've realised that although I don't sound American, I do pronounce a lot of things the "American way", like address and advertisement and schedule and concrete. I shouldn't feel bad though, so do a lot of English people these days. Accents change with time and some of it can be "blamed" on TV and travel. Blame it on Friends!

Anywho, no matter what accent/s you speak, I hope you're having an excellent weekend!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Playing in the dark

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who came and saw my play yesterday, it was great having you! And an equally massive thank you to Claire, Lydia and Chris who took my pieces of paper and made it into a performance. I'm very happy with how it turned out, the play itself was set in almost complete darkness which encouraged you to really listen and sense what was going on. (It also made it nearly impossible to get any photos of the actual show.)
Warming up before tech. 
If you would like to know a little bit more about some of my writing, I've finally created a new page for the blog called "Writing and Productions". You can find it above the blog archive. It's very much a work in progress (just like my writing), and it won't win any web design competitions that's for sure, but you get the idea ...
Not a bad place to run lines in ...
When I wasn't inflating or deflating air mattresses, speed walking through the night or hoping the sun would set just a little bit faster, I spent quite a few pleasant hours in the beer garden below the theatre. Not a bad Bank Holiday Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend too!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

My writing puts actors to sleep


How are you? First off I'm going to blame the radio silence on a busy week with early mornings and changing plans. Today however, I had the great pleasure of hosting a full day rehearsal for tomorrow's performance of my short play Eruption.
The actors had prepared for this part of the play their entire lives ...
It really is amazing fun (and a little bit scary) to watch a piece of writing come to life. While the director and actors worked with incredible energy, my self-assigned task was mainly to sit in a corner and eat grapes. (Which I think I did rather well, at one point my tongue turned blue ...)
I really nailed that bowl of grapes, and I had a few satsumas too ...
The short is one of five plays performed tomorrow evening at TheatreN16 in Stoke Newington. Why not buy yourself a ticket and pop along? I promise the sleeping is scripted! (And there's also beer and food in the pub ...). And while I'd like to write something more, I think my brain just had a mind melt and that will have to be all for now.

Hope you've had a great week!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Creative Spaces

I had some time to kill between teaching and a meeting today and took refuge from the rain and the wind at Tate Modern. Having walked around for a bit, I spent a good hour watching videos in which artists showed off their studios and offices, the spaces where they create. Some were messy. Some were pristine. All of them were utterly inspiring.
Dorothy Bohm - photographer 
When I imagine my dream home, the style might change, from sleek and modern to a cottage with a rose garden, but it always, always has a study, a spare room where I can write. My place to create. I'm sure it would be quite cluttered, although I like to think I'd keep it tidy. A tidy desk, a tidy mind and all of that ... Except my mind is never tidy.
The view from the Tate's espresso bar.
I doubt I'll get my home office any time soon, it's not quite within my budget, and that's why I consider myself extra lucky to live in a city where I can just pop in (for free!) at some of the world's best museums, galleries and libraries and be inspired. For a few hours they become my study and I scribble away between the paintings and the artifacts. I might have to pay for a coffee in the café, but that's a pretty fair deal I think.
Two odd pots, us and the tea.
The meeting went well! We discussed casting for my short in May, and also chatted about my full-length play, which I'm currently re-drafting. So far I've done a pretty heavy handed edit, cutting out dead weight before I get too attached to it again, and now it's time to look closer at the details. I'm lucky to be surrounded by such a talented and supportive team!  

Anyway, that was my day, I hope your week has gone well so far!