doing things for me

My Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday went by so fast. I worked a lot and then went home and laid on the floor and ate and internetted.

But yesterday I did spend an hour colour-matching whilst listening to podcasts. Colour-matching is a skill that is quite valuable in art conservation, and I was advised by a conservator I met at the Plastics course to get some paint chips and some basic acrylics, and just practice getting my eye in, since I’m about to spend 6 months nowhere near a conservation lab. I thought this was brilliant advice as it’s quite affordable and easy to do at home.

I looked forward to getting into this for days and days; I ordered the paints online as a birthday gift to myself — nothing but the best for Rosie, I got Golden heavy acrylics in 8 colours (two of which are black and white, so the challenge is working from your very standard red, yellow, green, blue, brown and ochre). I found a cheap set of white porcelain dishes at the op-shop, for mixing my colours. I ordered Resene paint chips from New Zealand (and they are beautiful!). I bought paintbrushes and I even found this lovely wooden tray at the op-shop, for $5, which proudly proclaims itself as “Langva, Made in Denmark, Water Wine Spirit and Heat Proof”, so I could easily move my painting gear around in my tiny cramped flat.

Finally the day came where I could collect my paints, take them home and begin! I finished work at 7pm so I’m pretty proud of myself for giving it a go when I got home (AND doing laundry, worr check me out).

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It was really fun, for an hour, but then the reality of the artificial lighting under my desk lamp made me grumpy. You can get a colour to match just great under yellow light, but of course in white light it will look ridiculous.

I came home this evening and looked at the paints and was just too tired to bother. I hope that when work relents a little, and summer approaches, I will feel more enthusiastic. As it is, I’m heading to Guizhou in 4 days — Guizhou being the land of this…


— and climbing up this mountain


to reach this ruined fort


Sorry if the resolution is terrible, I’m updating from the “new” WordPress page instead of my usual old-fashioned one and I can’t check (really: can’t be bothered). Anyway, so that is part of my work these days, and I’m jolly excited about it, but I haven’t got much energy to do things for me. Must try harder.

Tomorrow maybe, I’ll succeed in doing something that isn’t work related!


distractions at yoga

I always get to yoga 10 minutes earlier than necessary. This gives me time to drink a glass of water and get changed but above all it allows me to “save” the place at the front of the class, right up next to the teacher’s mat, while the classroom is still empty. I set myself up with my blankets and mats and get into vajrasana to wait for the class to begin, but looking a lot less elegant than this lady does, obviously:

I always work at the front of the studio. This is because I can’t hear very well, and because I want a good view when the teacher is demonstrating, but most of all because this way I can zone out from the rest of the room. It’s just me, the teacher, some candles and a mandala, with a few arms waving out the corner of my eye. Other people are a huge distraction, because I watch them, I worry about them watching me, and I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing.

Today we were already 15 minutes into the 90 minute class when two girls slipped into the room. As the studio is generally quite full, they had to come right to the front, on either side of me. They quickly introduced themselves to the teacher, who was welcoming but obviously struggled to hide her annoyance when one of the girls admitted she had never done any yoga — this is a specific course and we’re already half-way through the 5 weeks it lasts.

The girl who had never practiced was clearly in my line of view, and I was absolutely dismayed to see she was doing beautifully. She was obviously very flexible and strong, and she did so well — far better than most of us, although she was out of sight of the teacher who barely noticed her. I tried to overcome my jealousy and insecurities and smiled when our eyes met but she didn’t react. It’s silly how the combination of all of this has stuck in my head. But I am happy to say that most of the time, I forgot she was there — out of sight, out of mind — and I still enjoyed my practice this morning. I just wish I wasn’t so easily distracted.

Oh and I’m delighted to say my Dover colouring books have turned up already! Only a couple of days since I ordered them…


I am going absolutely crazy with the Dover website. I’ve ordered these 6 books, for just under $40 AUD including shipping. Not bad! Of course, it’s more than I could colour in a year considering the time I have available for such noble pursuits, but I inherited my mother’s colouring books along with her taste for colouring, so I’m happy to think I will pass them on to a child one day.

(I had this one as a child and I’m sure it shaped my interest in Asian art!)