Wednesday, 21 August 2013

too many men in the house again........... the renovation continues

self portrait with 'brighton'

House renovation progresses slowly but surely. Men in the house again..........

The schedule of works goes something like this........

empty rooms and put furniture in storage

rewire whole house

get cracks repaired

get quote for new carpet

get painter in to paint rooms that had cracks; nearly every room in the house.

lay new carpet

Get furniture back.

Today it is the crack repairer and the carpet measurer.

I spoke to a man about his stress at work yesterday; he told me that he can make million pound decisions at work, yet can't make a simple decision about whether to go for a new job. The attempted decision making was making him feel ill.

I felt for him. Daily I make many decisions about other people, yet ask me to choose a paint colour for my hall walls, and I am a mess. I am too embarrassed to tell you how many match pots I have purchased in the last month. All the colours have wonderful names, and the little pots of paint are irresistible, but the proof of the pudding is in the testing.

My grand plan was a bright shade of yellow or an airy turquoise for the hall, and other shades for the rooms that are currently devoid of furniture due to the need to repair the large cracks in the walls.

matchpots and curtain hooks


So far we have rejected

  • custard; too custardy
  • sunlight; too dingy.........does not do what it says on the tin
  • ivory; too creamy
  • rolling fog ; too brown and muddy
  • rolling fog mid; can't tell the difference between that and rolling fog
  • clay pale; too cold
  • white lead; too white
  • brighton; fabulous colour in my view, but other half hates it
  • gentle sky; too blue and the pictures look weird against it
  • natural calico; doesn't match the curtains

rolling fog is rapidly ruled out

Other half doesn't know whether to speak his mind or keep quiet, knowing how these decisions are beginning to affect my health.

Having ruled out all bright colours in favour of calming neutrals, I proposed a splash of colour for the fireplace. OH let slip this week that 'he is not sure about the blue'. I am not sure whether we are ever going to agree about anything related to interior decorating. If he had his way I'd be living in a Victorian melodrama, whereas I would prefer something a touch more contemporary and possibly even 21st century.

Lest you think I am wittering on about some small is the repair in action

the crack

crack with ladder in shades of yellow and blue
mesh repair

The good news is that the crack repairer man is one of the tidiest workmen that I have ever come across.

Last night I came across him washing my floor. I have never before seen this sort of behaviour from a builder. He gets a gold star.

By tomorrow the cracks will be sorted.

The bad news is that the painter can't start work for another month. And my back up painter can't either.

So the tax dodging dodgy man that put all our worldy belongings into a store somewhere between here and the Dartford tunnel gets more cash on a weekly basis, and I do extra work to pay for the privilege.

It might be finished by Christmas.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

My art is going to be in a silo and my memory is going to pot

reeds © caroline fraser

Other half and I seem to be suffering with early signs of dementia.

He keeps asking me the same questions and I keep burning saucepans.

I am burning saucepans because I keep trying to cook and work on my photography at the same time. Nothing to do with memory really; just the fact that the cooker and my computer are not in the same room, and that photography is far more enthralling than chicken stock. But twice in a week is not good. My youngest may have to do without the set of pans that I was planning to give him when he eventually owns his own kitchen.

I am also a littel concerned that my typing skills are going to pot; all the words come out jumbled up, with up to four letters in the wrong order. This happens all the time at owrk, and less so at home. Is this a sign of dementia too?

I have just goolge d it and it seems to be a commmon problem; fortunately the main cause seems to be dyspraxia, or I can even blame it on the keyboard; something I woudl prefer to do. Either that, or to tiredness, which is certainly a problem some days. Time will tell whther my random errors are a sign of something more serious; for now, I prefer not to knw, as I have lots to do and so little time to do it.

Good things are happening in Japan.

I have a new solo show coming up at Parabola , a wine bar in the art silo, Tokyo.

Nigel Coates 1990 Art Silo building, Nishi Azabu,Tokyo, Japan

The show will feature work from my Impressions series, including 'Hebrides 1', one of which resides in the residence of the US ambassador in Tokyo.

Hebrides 1 © Caroline Fraser

The new ambassador Caroline Kennedy will see it when she takes up her position. Something to smile about, and so much more uplifting than the state of my chicken stock.

Her appointment was announced by Obama see here for the New York Times article in July

and the residence looks really rather beautiful.

US embassy in Tokyo

May be she will invite me to visit.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

low light photography excuse for a few fuzzy photos using intentional camera movement.

blue grass © caroline fraser

At the end of a lovely sunny weekend at the beach I dragged myself once more up the dunes to the beach to see what the end of the day would bring.

Standing on the dunes as the sun goes down is always a treat, when all the visitors of the day have packed up and gone home.

No bright colours tonight, and no spectacular light. But instead a beautifully subtle mackerel sky.

evening light over the dunes at Camber Sands

The light was too low to take any photos without a tripod, so I indulged in a little intentional camera movement photography. Keeping the iso low I shut down to f22 to create exposures between 2 and 6 seconds. This is photography as I like it; experimental and unpredictable. Focusing on the dunes and then moving the camera up or down towards the end of the exposure I experimented until the light was gone.

shades of grey © caroline fraser

Most of the images had a blue tinge due to the reflections from the sky.  To create a little variety I allowed myself a little artistic licence when processing the images, opting for colours that I felt work best, using  minor curves adjustments.

Hence the three shades of grey above.

dunes © caroline fraser

I got stuck in the dunes until I ran out of light, never making it down onto the beach.

ship on the horizon © caroline fraser

The ship on the horizon sailed on into the night, destination unknown.

I strolled home and ate some cake.