what weekend

The weekend somehow didn’t feel very much like a weekend. On Friday night I made it to the 6pm Focus60 Bikram class — a 60-minute variant that flows some of the postures together to condense it from its 90-minute format. Sometimes I like Focus60 more, although mostly because it’s a great incentive to squeeze in yoga on a Friday night (1- I have to leave the office by 5:30pm, 2- I know I’ll be done early and theoretically home by 7:30pm).

But after yoga I had to dash to South Melbourne to meet darling Fiona who had kindly curated a selection of dresses for me, and then by the time I got home, it was 8:55pm. Just too late for my weekly laundry as our building’s machines cut out at 9pm.

Victory was mine the next morning as I dragged myself out of bed and washed all my gross Bikram gear at 7am. Then I went and got my hair cut at Minka’s, who is my favourite hair stylist ever:

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The aforementioned dresses were for me to find something to wear to a corporate event on Saturday, as one of our clients had invited us to the Grand Prix. Daytime corporate is hard to get right. I probably ended up slightly overdressed, but this is because my boss was adamant I should frock up.

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I didn’t enjoy the event much (a lot of forced smiling and the aircon was not working in our marquee, this on a 30-degree day, leaving me sweating in someone else’s silk dress) although there was a lot of delicious food. I ate all kinds of things that were full of fructans and fructose. Then I escaped towards the end of the day and caught up with my friend Adrian who had also been dragged there for work. So that was something nice for me too.

Today Sunday I had planned yoga before catching up with Justin to see the Yang Fudong Filmscapes exhibition. Yoga didn’t happen because I am feeling broken, exhausted and worn down in a way I haven’t for months now — I don’t know if it is the antidepressant I have to take for my nerve damage, or eating rather badly recently, but I’m just wiped out. So I was in bed till midday, and then managed to muster the energy to see this exhibition which was ending today. We walked and talked for a few hours but by 5pm I was back in bed and slept again until 9pm, and I still feel cruddy now.

Yang Fudong was always kind of a big deal to me because of researching his influences in traditional Chinese painting when I did my bachelors degree; Justin is a film buff and very knowledgeable on cinema and Chinese history. I thought it would be the perfect show for us, but it was rather underwhelming and I think Justin probably enjoyed it even less than I did. A consistent theme for Yang Fudong’s work is how he “frustrates by denying a narrative”; that’s okay by me, but it is a bit exhausting watching 4 film pieces that are 10-20 minutes long and are, in the words of the curator, “laden with filmic, artistic and literary meanings but surrender to none”. I had experienced a huge Yang Fudong retrospective in Amsterdam back in 2006, but don’t recall finding it as difficult to watch as this.

I still am glad I went, but I felt it also highlighted my current disconnection from Chinese art history. So often I felt I was grasping at symbols and allegories that were just out of my reach; kind of like trying to remember a dream, or experiencing déjà-vu. I find it hard to accept that I may have been across cutting-edge contemporary Chinese art 10 years ago, but now I lack the connection because my knowledge of Chinese history, art, society and language have fallen into disuse. My mandarin is rusting away…

Still, I am as always comforted to look back at the positive things I did for me this weekend. May the coming week be positive also! I plan yoga on Monday and Tuesday nights, although I have frustrating work events on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Then there’s Focus60 on Friday night — oh and two doctor appointment$ on Friday morning. Then it’s the weekend again! And in 2 weeks, James will be here (insh’allah, as he says, given the current atmosphere in Iraq) and we will run away to Port Campbell.


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