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!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Another ten on stage


Closing doors and opening windows and all of that. I received the jolly news today that my play Eruption has been selected for a short play evening at the end of May. (Hurrah!)

It's going to be part of the opening program for a brand new fringe theatre, Theatre N16. (Those of you who know your London post codes will recognise that as Stoke Newington.) More specifically my play is one of six plays performed on May 25th and the event is hosted by Paint Dry Theatre Company. I look forward to meeting lots of new people and also working with some that I know and trust from previous projects.
Writing is always this idyllic, right?
If you're keen on seeing my play (or any of the other plays) do come along! Tickets can be bought through . It's a very intimate space so it might be good to book early.

I hope your week has gone well so far!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Tourist in my own city


My flatmates went on a day trip to Oxford this morning but I couldn't join them because I had to teach. So instead I decided to be a bit of a tourist in my own city (yes, I have the audacity to call London mine after 2 years and 7 months).

Having taught close to London Bridge, I skipped and hopped through Borough Market, with their tanning salons for pigs, and turned west along the river.
I suddenly felt very vegetarian ...
London likes oddly shaped glass structures. I like London. I like oddly shaped glass structures?
One is the "The Gherkin" and the other two look like cheese graters.
And cranes. There are lots and lots of cranes. Cranes and planes, that's what London skies are made of.
Don't ask. I don't know why he was running. 
Another very Londony thing is contrasts. Old and new. Tate Modern can loom high and heavy, it doesn't bother this seasoned dwelling.
I know the sky looks different in all the photos, but it's hard to take pictures when the sun's out. 
And there's never a shortage of red double deckers on Waterloo Bridge.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ...
I quite happily walked along the sunny South Bank thinking it was all rather vibrant and jolly with lots of people, buskers, street artists and proper scammers.
One day ... One day. 
Then I arrived at Westminster Bridge and thought Holy hat and bathing cap I might never make it across. The throng of tourists was almost impenetrable and I literally had to walk on the street, in the bike lane, to get through. It was nothing like when I was filming in Westminster last year and walked along empty streets at 5 am. I'm still quite chuffed about the fact that I was part of the first ever feature film allowed to film in actual Parliament.
Big Ben is a continuity pain. 
It was a great relief to enter the relative tranquility of St James Park. The chairs were out! And the Royal Swans knew what to do with tourists.
Feed us or we'll tell the Queen.
When I reached Buckingham Palace I was surprised to see NBC and some other TV channel parked up outside the castle. I'm not quite sure why ... The next Royal Baby? I did once spend a whole night filming outside Buckingham Palace, almost a year ago now. It was freezing cold and I had the most uncomfortable shoes ever. On the upside, I met some nice people.
Having made it this far, I took a leisurely stroll through Green Park before jumping on the tube. I didn't manage more than a couple of hours as a London tourist, but at least I got some sun and reached my 10 000 daily steps with good margin.
He's not dead. He's just sleeping. I think ...
I'm now set on enjoying the rest of this Saturday slightly further away from all those people. I've certainly had enough of large groups of people. Give me a hermit's cave and I shall happily stay in it.

I hope your weekend has started off well!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Nära skjuter ingen hare (Something about shooting rabbits ...)


How are you?

Today I was told I'd been shortlisted for an event. Shortlistings are good! But this time I'd hoped to get a little bit further ... Oh well, you can't let these things get you down or you might as well dig yourself a pit.

Since today was one of my weekly writing days, I pushed on. First I tried out the local park's running track which was ace, before doing a bit of editing at home and then doing a bit more editing at one of my favourite cafés in the area. And I met a new friend!
My new writing buddy! For more cute London cats, check out my Instagram account "Cats in London".
I'm not sure what health and safety has to say about it, but I think cats in cafés are brilliant. Especially when the cats are sociable and think your bag makes an excellent cushion. I need to get better at one-handed typing though so I can write and stroke at the same time. 

So, despite "bad" news, it's been a pretty good day. And what does Nära skjuter ingen hare mean, you ask. It's a Swedish idiom which literally means (badly translated) Close shoots no hare and it tells you that it's not enough to almost succeed, however close you get. It won't put food on your table (and it won't get your play staged). Us Nordic people are eternal rays of sunshine. 

Anywho, another writing day tomorrow and I'm hoping for more excellent company! I hope you've had a good day too. 


Friday, 10 April 2015

A London cat in your feed

Happy Friday!

What better time to follow my brand new Instagram account Cats in London? (Is it called follow? I don't really know the Instagram lingo yet.)

I know, it might seem a bit silly to create a whole feed just for cats, but since I really like cats and I enjoy taking photos of them, why not collect everything in one place? And who doesn't love a cat? (If you don't love cats, this particular account might not be for you. Maybe just stick to my blog, which has a bit more variety?)
These Three Musketeers live in Angel.
There's only a couple of photos so far, which you might have seen before, but there will be more as I encounter new feline friends in and around London. So if you have Instagram and would like to see a British cat or two, why not look me up?

I hope you all have a brilliant weekend!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Isn't it gorgeous

Hurrah! Spring is finally here! I changed into my spring jacket this morning and the slightly bonkers Londoners are all running around in t-shirts and shorts. No, it's really not that warm yet but we are getting there!
 Having worked all weekend in slightly chilling temperatures, I was very happy to spend my day off writing in a café, reading in the park and just generally enjoying the beginning of what will hopefully be a warm and lovely summer.

The local swans were building their nest.

I sat long enough for the urban wolves to begin to circle ...
On my way home I met a new feline neighbour. He wasn't too interested in me but granted me a little pic. I've repeatedly been told I need to get Instagram and I've kept saying I don't want more social media. But considering my tendency to photograph cats, maybe I should open an account and dedicate it to the "Cats of London" or something ... Yes? No?

I hope you've had a lovely Easter weekend, whether or not the sun's been shining!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Tackling the Beast

... or re-drafting my play, whatever you want to call it. I had a costume fitting this morning so I didn't go to the office, instead I spent the afternoon tentatively getting to know my script again, pondering how to make it into what we want it to be. Exciting things might lie ahead! But there's a lot of work to do ...
Sometimes you have to feed your stomach to feed your creativity ...
I bribed myself by working in a cafe I hadn't visited before, trying to find new writing spots close to home. Thumbs up! I'm also in love with nature around here right now. Spring is really pushing the pretty and the parks and gardens are alive with colour. I'm just waiting for our own little garden to catch up. I can feel some summer BBQs coming ...

I hope your week has started off well!