Archive for the ‘work’ Category

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Without fanfare

March 13, 2012

It almost passed by without notice, but yesterday marked the 5th anniversary of our arrival in London. Half a decade, just like that. Well, almost just like that, as much as any five years can be said to be.

For my part, during that time I’ve worked on something like 14 feature films (most of which you’ll happily never see) in two countries and a stack of episodes of various TV shows, both high- and low-budget (yay, Doctor Who!) I’ve done a ton of drawing, leading to an exhibition last year, which was fun. Not lucrative, but fun. I might try that again one day.

The weather has been one of the weirdest things to try to get used to. Five years on and it still doesn’t feel right on my skin. The differences between the seasons were a fun novelty to begin with, but after most of five sets of them what I really want is for them to settle down and be reasonable more of the year; none of this bipolar ‘ now everything’s sprouting, now everything has to die’ rubbish. I understand it, but the animal living at the bottom of my brain still doesn’t.

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Something I’ve been meaning to do (besides blog more often…)

June 19, 2010

I’ve finally done it!

I have dozens, if not scores – possibly even hundreds – of drawings that have accumulated over the last three and a half years, from my habitual life-drawing sessions, and I think a few of them are quite good (some other people agree, even!) so I’ve taken the plunge, and asked a local café/gallery if they would let me festoon their walls with tasteful nudity.

Thankfully they said yes (they seemed pretty keen when I mentioned ‘tasteful nudity’ actually!) and I’m to have a show, in November! A little way off yet, but that gives me time to get two things done – framing, and selecting. The selection process is going to be the hard bit, I think, but I’ve come up with a tentative shortlist. I’m open to suggestions, though, if anyone has time and/or inclination to trawl through the collection on Flickr and let me know if you think another drawing might deserve a place on the wall.

I’m going to whittle it down to about a dozen in the end, so some of them just aren’t going to make the cut, but maybe they’ll be fodder for the next show, whenever that might be.

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Brussels – not always boring!

March 25, 2009

easily excited

I’m working, at the moment, at the arse-end of Evere, on the north-eastern fringe of Brussels, just shy of NATO headquarters, and halfway between the city and the airport.
At least the locals, Flemish, Walloon, Moroccan, Turkish, whatever, seem friendly enough. I visited a small pub with a cow orker, and it’s the only place I’ve ever been where everyone in the place bought a round for everyone else. There were only about 6 of us, but still…

And then there was the ‘manifestation.’ No, Belgium is not noticeably haunted – it’s apparently the word they use when Something Important is happening at NATO, just around the corner from where I’ve been working.

I noticed a lot of police activity in the morning, convoys of (mostly empty) police buses, but that happens. I thought nothing of it, until I tried to go to work. I unlocked the gate to the driveway – the building I work in is set in a largeish yard with lawn (kept tidy by bunnies) and trees and a car-park – and locked it behind me. Suddenly a small car with four un-uniformed but very efficient looking men pulled into the drive. They got out, and the driver came forward. “How did you get in there?” he asked. “I have a key,” I replied. I could see lots of heavy-duty equipment bristling under his jacket. This is where I learnt about the ‘manifestation.’ “Manifestation?” I asked, wondering if Belgium really took its ghostbusting that seriously. He explained briefly that it was a term that was used in the context of NATO ‘security,’ then asked me to prove that I actually let myself in with the key I had brandished. So I opened the gate, not having seen any form of ID from these fairly threatening-looking dudes, and a little voice in the back of my head said “this a the part where they rush the gate, kick the crap out of you and cut off your thumb for the biometric front door lock.” Luckily that little voice had been watching too many Hollywood movies. The men thanked me and went about their other business.
But this is the kind of security that, a couple of hours later, had 5 mounted (heavily armed) police come into the company’s premises because my colleague, who is a lightly-built blonde Kiwi girl (that day wearing a miniskirt, presumably that’s interpreted as terrorist chic here), wanted to go home. 100 metres around the corner. They came onto the company’s privaat eigendom (what they call private property in Belgium) and bailed her up against a hedge, and told her that she needed to go back inside – forbidding her to leave work, or indeed be on the streets at all!
Our manager was not pleased when he heard about it, but that was an hour later and the ‘manifestation’ was more or less all over by then, save for the constant drone of helicopters…

Note to self: stay the hell away from centres of bureaucracy, military or otherwise, and other hotbeds of security theatre. They do nothing to reinforce ones faith in humanity.