as a boy the film oliver had a huge impact upon me – especially fagin played by ron moody.  i would spend hours doing the actions with my hands – i was told this when i was older.  as we draw close to february it is with great joy i recall a small detail from my formative years.

so what has my january been like ?


post dinner now and sitting feeling great after sampling the outcome from the first full meal attempt in the newly acquired slow cooker accompanied by my garlic mash – oh so yummy.


if i guage january by how i feel now and the day i’ve experienced  i’d say january has been good with me getting the balance between aspects of my life about right.



following the let’s get real conference from london today via the hashtag has been another good experience of being part of something while staying at home.  my participation being informal of course – however i have ended up connecting with the drive time host of london greek radio – i hope to tweet him while out with the makory !



for many years i’ve enjoyed a week of darts from the lakeside, the bdo world finals.  in my annual post about this i reflected about how i didn’t see any darts this year and the impending certainty that brexit is slowly drawing  more and more and more into focus.



more local to me is my own re-emerging focus upon the silk mill.  the building work is now starting to get to the more interesting bits and the associated volunteering opportunities connected to the development of stuff to go into the museum have all got a new found focus.

i do seem to be focussing alot !

in amongst that is the arrival of my contract for the commission i have – like standing on the dockside of the port of corpus christi.



yes i wandered a bit there – i remain positive.

i remained positive last friday.  artist stevie davis hosted an open session in the surface details project space in derby.  i think the space is leased through east side projects, i don’t actually know if that’s the same one as in birmingham.

at the session i took along the bits and pieces that i’m using as i reconsider the snee snaw as some sort of desk top work.



i rather took over one of the two tables and stevie was really kind about me doing so.

i’d gone there with the intention to extend some cables so i could start to work with a longer form than previously.



i left the session with more questions than i had begun with.  mainly about the physical form of the work.  when using a see saw as a basis the work really encapsulates the spirit and essence of what i want to achieve.  i am so with doubt about when i try to use something else as a donor base.

i’ve been at this point before when trying to stage the work.  i did manage to have some physicality within the 2016 re-imagined snee snaw.  maybe i need to go back to the beginning of this iteration.  it was originally thinking to be for fore fingers – after my experience of seeing the work being played with the work has taken a bit of a dark turn – i’m literally in a cul de sac not knowing where to go next.  time to get out a piece of paper and draw a map methinks.



back in the seat of volunteering at the silk mill i’ve joined up with the tertiary interpretation group.  during our session i had such a great time and between you and me if what i was part of (the idea) doesn’t go any further i don’t care because i had an enjoyable time away from home and met some new people.  yes i might be getting to a point of not caring about the time that follows.  this is actually a vital part aspect of being a co producer within the co production process.  i note that one needs to be in an incredibly secure place in one’s own life for this to be the case.

i sit up for a moment and look at the dog asleep on the sofa.



we’re nearing the final stages of the royal academy funded joe wright interpretation project at derby museum and art gallery.  i’ve learnt alot throughout this project and with a new head of interpretation newly started from the british museum am looking forward to how we conclude our work to discover what we might put into the gallery.

that seems a little out of left field – it’s that we’ve had a break in january and will be picking it up very soon.  in reconnecting with the project i have been reflecting how i feel a little in the middle of two bodies of people and have felt i have had something missing to help both sides get over the line.  there’s help coming.



i’ve recently listened to red saunders present his hidden project to the arts and heritage volunteers at the silk mill.    looking at these pictures the thing that strikes me is light at all the windows.  the building for so long was limited to where the light could be seen.


so when i review the situation what do i see ?  well its more a feeling, i like the feeling i have right now.  january has had many feelings and of those there are definitely some that i do not want to feel again.

i feel i want to have a go at making a statement about my work.  the idea of making a statement is one i struggle to consider because it’s so fixed – feelings alter, they are dynamic.  oh look there’s a thing – i’ve not made that connection before.  therefore … do i actually need a statement that is dynamic ?  it would fit better with where i see myself.

i’m so glad i reviewed the situation. x





motivation this evening to write is to attempt to reflect about what happens for me prior to having dinner.  in an atmosphere of #itsoktotalk i feel the need to continue to be brave and speak about the times when all looks looks s***e.

something happens within my physiology on the cusp of low energy before eating.  despite things in my life being good and with prospects of things to do in the future in those 10’s of minutes prior to eating my world is a dark place.

i think today something has clicked to write a little bit more about it as i’ve seen a tweet from a school showing that mental health is being discussed in school and a short video from the creator of one of the software applications i use.


in the video mark coniglio talks about how artists are people who feel different  – they don’t fit into the mainstream somehow. this leads to a feeling of difference and alone – being without community.  he continues about how making work leads to solving this problem through sharing of work with people who get them and their work.  i’ve posted the video below, i hope you can view it.


i’ve eaten now but the feeling left by going into the dark place remains, not as strong but enough to leave me with a doubt.  the doubt is the legacy of something that is not now real – it never was actually real but in the moments i experienced the thoughts felt very real.  it takes effort  to pull up and out of the decline.  i find eventually drawing on some mindful practice helps to remain real and in the moment.

it leaves me feeling i need to find other coping strategies for these times – getting up, moving around, interfering with the cooking process.



in other news i’ve begun removing the old skirting board ahead of renewing it in time for a new carpet.  net result is a lot of disruption in the house while continuing with all the day to day stuff.



just dropping back into reflecting about the pre dinner thought implosion – it’s made me realise tonight that i push myself maybe a little too hard.  by this i mean that each time i begin something i want it to be of such a quality that loads of people want to see it.  not sure i’ve explained that well enough to be honest.

this evening i’ve had to have a word with myself about actually there is only so many top notch things i can do at any one time and actually its ok to have things that are just for fun.  they can go nowhere or develop later.  listening to mark has made me question myself about what i’m doing and who i connect with.  on friday i’m going to an event in derby to share where the snee snaw(for 4)  is currently.   am i being sucked into the here and now wanting it brigade ?  maybe.

i’ve made a new musical discovery on tube tonight and i’ve been enjoying it while typing.



another little revisit to the pre dinner thing.  it sets up a physical tension in me that is confusing because the thoughts about something that aren’t real manifest into physical feelings that are real so the physical self is backing up the mental self to the point of being detrimental – confusing.

i think there’s stigma about sharing these kind of dark moments.  i back the #it’soktotalk and #itsoktobeok – it’s ok.


there’s a hub bub of activity in the kitchen as pizza friday is in full swing – i’m waiting for the crowd to ebb before venturing in.

i feel in a very reflective mood tonight as earlier we all were present when we laid piglet the rat to rest in the garden.  it had rounded out a hugely emotional and life affirming week.

on tuesday i was involved in something that shook me to the core and it took a couple of other happenings in belper to keep my thing in perspective.

in belper there had been two massive accidents – an over turned car in a supermarket car park and a monumental water mains failure.

as details emerged of both i learnt that the water main was the result of a farmer’s interaction with the main while trying put up a new fence.  the car was being driven by an individual who had had a heart attack at the wheel and the vehicle hitting something so it cleared a wall and turned upside down in the car park.

on wednesday i watched the end of the 268 mile run won for the first time by a woman who beat both the men and women’s previous records.

this evening i’ve cried at the news about our rat.





i get easily drawn into the intensity of the situation and this week has had it’s fair share.  what i need to remember is balancing the external intensity with the what i do at home.  the week began with an order being placed for a new carpet in the house – this decision has launched the need to do some renovation of the skirting and to sort some wall paint out.  time to apply the intensity i’m capable of to improve our living environment.



something from earlier i forgot to include, formal qualities.  i think i missed the lecture or the memo that told me or taught me about the formal qualities.

i think i need some help understanding the formal qualities.  maybe just maybe if i can grasp what they are, why they are important and how to use them i might begin to feel i’m getting somewhere.

does getting somewhere have formal qualities ?

when i work at the dining room table?

there’s another thing i forgot to mention.  i went to an a-n event a few years ago and an artist  there was running a huge project in birmingham from her kitchen table.  she really inspired me that day because she was saying what i had been thinking – no matter what your situation if you need to create / make / express something there’s always a way.



this evening i’ve been moved to tears by the achievement tonight by jasmin paris





i begin writing while dinner preparation is happening in the kitchen.  i’ve been treated to an eclectic selection all with the low drone of the cooker hob extraction fan.  as i write i hear the inspirational voice of freddie mercury belting out a tune i really love yet can’t think what the title is – it’ll come to me … oh there it is someone to love – correction – somebody to love.

sounds of potato mashing.  i take a moment to save and prepare for dinner.



my plan for today didn’t involve what actually happened so this evening i’m feeling good and at one with the world.

today i’ve spoken with sue ball about the silk mill non linear project and the beginnings of the third tranche and contemplating what follows that.  can you contemplate something that is yet to happen ?

alongside this i’ve been doing a little more work on the next iteration of the snee snaw.  this one is much small than the previous two and a bit like the tour that followed pop mart by u2, it gives me somewhere to grow into.

this afternoon i started to figure out what this iteration might look like.  i looked for items around the house and eventually settled ( for now ) on a form that really pleases me.




there’s a lot of talk about work life balance and for me this also includes work practice balance.  i think at the end of 2018 i wrote something keeping hold of my own practice while doing work for others.  today has been a good day for this.

i take a moment to listen to our neighbours shouting, an unwelcome feature for over a year now.

the two projects i’ve spoken about have points in time associated with them.  i contemplate what this means for me.




it means a lot for my own self esteem and confidence in myself.  it means a lot for my thinking and my making.  writing these now they seem so naive and this awareness pulls against what i’ve just described.  i start to wonder why is this ?

i can’t actually answer that question because the question is related to a deep routed feeling and one that i work to manage.  i’ve mentioned recently the intervention in a project that affected me and again to some extent that feeling is amongst the other stuff.


  part of my coping strategy is music – this is what i’m listening to at the moment (19mins in).

i find the need to talk about or at least be honest about how i’m feeling when things get a little the wrong side of the line.  i feel at ease talking about this within the context of my own practice as there isn’t any immediate reliance place upon me by others.  i feel this is why it’s so difficult to talk about one’s current mental health state  in any workplace.

changes in feeling and mood are part of what it means to be alive.  i find it interesting how in our formative years those around us have such an impact.  is this why they are the formative years ?