Friday, 17 May 2013

Saying goodbye to Oxford

It has finally hit me that after living here, on and off, for around 8 years, I am leaving Oxford for good.
It has been an amazing place, both in happiness and grief; the place where I went to university, met and married my husband, made beautiful friends, had adventures, gained and lost a baby, and became fully an adult.

Over the last couple of days, as well as sorting and packing, I've had the chance to say goodbye...

... to the meadow near our flat...

And to a dear friend and her floating home... the Oxfordshire countryside and canals.... all the joys and sorrows that have made up my life here. I feel a little wistful sadness at the ending of a chapter, but mostly I feel excitement at the starting of something new. I know that I can navigate myself through all that is to come.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Artists Books - eyes...

Whilst I was in Snowdonia recently, I made some new books.
This is the second one I made on that trip.

I started with just some drawings I made of eyes in pencil and biro, on various types of paper...

...Which I then bound up. This type of binding is called a Japanese stab binding. It is good for binding lose sheets of paper, and is simple to do.

Then I added text. This is another short book, containing some of my reflections on life modelling.

I'm looking forward to making more books like this, as I'm pleased with how this one turned out. A good, still way to spend sleepy summer evenings. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

May Day 2013

May Day 2013, was a much anticipated date for me last year. I imagined that I would be heavily pregnant and getting ready to meet my first baby.
Of course, that was not the day I found myself facing.

May Day is a big party in Oxford. People stay up all night, the morning sees the cafes opening for breakfast at 6am, Morris Men dance, samba bands play in the streets, and my Beloved fronts a rather mad, raggle-taggle bunch of musicians on the steps of the Bod library. We all dress up in green and dance and celebrate.

As I'm sure you can imagine - especially if you have ever gone through what me and my partner have this year - I did not feel much like celebrating.

When I woke up that morning, (at 4am) I half intended to stay in bed. But the sky gradually turned a deep, clear blue, the birds began to sing and I could sense the atmosphere outside.

This is the scene that greeted me in the street outside my flat:   


Encouraged, I cycled into town.. 

Here are my friends, all playing happy tunes to a crowd of Oxfordites - some of whom were a little worse for wear after an all-nighter fuelled by drink etc...I bumped into a lovely old friend of mine who I haven't seen in ages, and we snuck off for a sneaky fry-up.

Later, me and my beloved went out onto Port Meadow. It was warm! Spring is really here.

And that was my last May Day in Oxford.

I've lived in the city for eight years (with a 6 month gap living in London - urgh! And a Summer spent living in Canada - wow!) but at the end of this month we are moving away to Devon.
I'm very, very excited...It feel very right to start a new chapter this Spring, and hope for better, more beautiful times to come.

And finally, I have been working on a couple of new, special drawings over the last week. Here is a sneaky, partial look...More soon.