Artsy fartsy

I have nearly been here a month and a half now. Soon I’ll be going to Scotland and also to my birthplace Watford but for now I am in London. Life is busy and fast. Honestly a day in bed with a book and some time in the bathtub was one of the best days I had. I think it is more common in England to own a bathtub. I might be wrong about that but I am not complaining.

I made a first version of my photo book. I must say it worked out in the end. It took me two hours to make in Indesign and then it crashed. That didn’t get me down but after using the cutting machine wrong at nine pm I lost it a bit but luckily my housemate was there for good company and always coming up with solutions and so I carried on and finally finished a first version of my photo book.

Last week I also did a project on pink. I do not consider myself as the most feminine person and actually got confronted by the way females dress her to go out and had several conversations about make up and femininity and masculinity with friends and since pink interests me I decided to make a doable project out of it.

We have also pitched our ideas for documentary. I have no idea if someone voted for my idea and if it will go through. My idea was on playfulness and doing something active. I wanted to interview a magician who is playful and mysterious and ask them why performing or rehearsing is important to them and hopefully inspire others to find playfulness in their life.

During another class I decided to go all out on the topic of fun but knew I wouldn’t get any votes.

Surprisingly it got one vote. I felt a bit ashamed of my idea since everyone was being so serious and actually I heard one classmate thought it was a joke. I am actually glad I dared to put my idea out there. I was allowed to put another idea up but that didn’t get any votes at all. It has to do with a key. trickery and a world map. Who knows this idea might come true one day.

Instead the idea is now to photograph and film models surrounded by flowers. It might become too superficial and our teacher feels like it needs a story. Let’s see if we can make it happen. Flowers do fit well with my project of the photo book. I think the audience of the photo book would be females mostly and the purpose of the photo book is a gift. I want cards to be in there and a poster so that the gift keeps on giving. The project in the gallery with the models could actually be for everyone. If the models, female and male get a voice and can talk about femininity and masculinity or their sexual preference it might become interesting to both sexes and all ages.

This time I shared some cultural insights and some schoolwork. Next time more and maybe some interesting places to visit in London. Another friend will be visiting this weekend and I think we’ll have enough to discover together in the big city. Keep you posted!

A world filled with new

This week I have been to a vegan place and got a burger. Not really my taste but the one my friend had was pretty good and I had chips which is the best with a good garlic mayo. Can’t wait to have my sweet Dutch mayo since that is also really great! The company was really good and with four girls we enjoyed our Valentine’s day. We also sat at a weird pub where it was very quiet except from two older guys who kept on wanting to impress us with their music taste. They did put on music from our countries such as 99 luftballons for Germany and some country singer for Holland.

We had a few bits of rain but overall the weather has been really nice. It can get a bit windy. In other words, stormy but we’re all good. Sometimes you travel an hour to get somewhere while in the Netherlands I would already be in the next city. I feel like you can travel forever here. It also means there is a lot to see. Such as Notting Hill with very cute coloured houses. Crossing bridges over the river Thames is always a spectacular view and Borough Market is one of the highlights. Having food you have never tried before is very exciting to me. You might discover something you really enjoy and sometimes not but that is a risk I am willing to take. People are really nice at Borough Market. They take their time and have a chat with you. Markets have a good atmosphere. Back in the Netherlands it is very relaxed and I have heard good things about Spanish markets as well. Here you have a lot more options and you can get warm food but it doesn’t stay open after 6.

Soho is also a great place for food and drinks. I have been to the same jazzy cellar again where me and my housemate enjoyed live jazz/bossa nova. While the bossa nova was played the singer made use of a kind of egg shaker. This weekend my friend from the Netherlands is over and together we will discover more and I will also meet up with a childhood friend from Watford. Next week I might have more recommendations for you! I’ll keep you posted!

I found what brings me joy

I am learning a lot in one week. I had never used Indesign before and now I have. I must say creating art isn’t as easy as it seems. Photography and switching between lenses, seeing what works and not finding the correct subject you came for. It is a process. Honestly, it was pretty tiring putting all my energy and efforts into it. Also the printing and using Indesign. I think my teacher taught me a good lesson: don’t be negative, don’t blame it on others, go with the mistakes and accidents and be positive. I really needed to hear that. I did more work than was required but I discovered I also learned a lot. At the end of this page I will include some pictures.

We all have setbacks but to quote Gregory Porter: pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. That is what I did. I felt sad in this big concrete city with tall and modern buildings and subconsciously noticed in the film I made that I needed green surrounding me. I bought quite a large plant and am still enjoying its presence. I also needed a bit more of a homework/life balance and I found it. I found what brings me joy.

I went to the hairdresser and enjoyed the massage, the attention she gave to me and my hair. I could feel my body letting some tension go while my hair was being washed. Once I sat in front of the mirror the conversation started. She was half Spanish and half Mexican. Somehow the conversation went in the direction of salsa. I have had a few lessons in the Netherlands. She told me about this great place. Salsa temple just by the river. After that I only played salsa music and my housemate said: ‘Go put a dress on and go!’ And so I did.

I had my friend for back-up but I felt the excitement, fear and adrenaline rising whilst going on my own. I bumped into a bachata class and just paid on the spot and could join. After that I drank a cocktail with my partner and met others who also came on their own. There was a huge dance floor, colourful lights and couples dancing. I was asked to dance to salsa, bachata and even merengue. I smiled enjoying every bit of it. I know where I am hanging out on Thursday evenings.

New hair!
A day in the life of Frances

Finding out…

Currently I am listening to jazz music. You could say it is my favourite kind of music even though I enjoy various genres. I have been to Trisha’s. It’s a place you wouldn’t find that easily. Nothing on the facade. Only a bouncer who asked us for money. The band would only play for another fifteen minutes he said. Ten pounds each. I paid for my friend’s ticket as well. I needed to see the live jazz. I absolutely don’t regret it. I enjoyed myself so much. I was ecstatic. You could actually dance to the live jazz. Two of my favourite things combined: dancing and jazz. The band even carried on for a bit longer. It was a good way to celebrate I passed my exam. If I could dance every day I would. Maybe I should…

I am still finding out what I want to do here and who I want to do it with. There is so much to do and new people to meet. Going out for dinner was a really good choice too. I could recommend going to Paladar, Alexander The Great and a cute bao place in Waterloo where you first need to go through a really cool graffiti tunnel. There was rap music playing and people spraying paint. I really liked the atmosphere. In the near future I am looking forward to dance classes and going to parks.

Talking about parks. I am sitting inside a lot. Working on photography or film or sitting in class with all the lights switched off because they want to show us films or photography. Every time I think of the sun and how much I miss it. However, it is nice to get to know my classmates and see new things such as a documentary called ‘Humans’. A recommendation I must say. I have also made a film and you might want to check it out. It was just a little project for the week and today I will be filming myself from my perspective. Even going to the toilet! Let’s see if that shot stays in.

See if you get it!