Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I know a Sugarman.

Photograph courtesy of a very tall man.
A performance by Rodriguez last week thoroughly warmed the cockles of my heart. By song number two, tears were rolling down my cheeks. Around us people young and old sang along. A man behind me yelled: you can do anything - we love you man!
Because, you see, it wasn't just an old man
singing his songs.

It was my eight-year-old self playing with the family hound, a grumpy daschund, outside my brother's bedroom window, listening to Cold Fact.
It was my eighteen-year-old self, leaving home, taping that vinyl record to take with me to university. On the other side of Moondance.
It was my nineteen-year-old self posing my boyfriend cross-legged in a hat and a purple vest, for Photography 101.
(He told me I looked fat
in my favourite cheesecloth dress)
It was countless parties and barbeques and trips
in a car.
It was hours of sulking on my bed.

It was wondering, wondering... is there someone who will understand me, is he listening too?

In this job I do, I have built up a network of people and many have become loved ones. I visited a couple yesterday, both in their late seventies. They own a small antique shop and often help me to find the things that I need. Now and then I am invited to their beautiful home - a large stone house next to the sea, with very high ceilings. It is filled with two lifetimes of collecting.

They have recently lost a good friend - a young artist. His self-portrait is on display in the living room and music spills through the house. Was it a huntsman or a player that made you pay the cost...
Rodriguez again. She has her own memories - we were driving to the coast and playing this song, we were laughing so much. And then she winks at me and says: oh that man - he has such a sexy voice - ahhhhh!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The noise in my head.

The whirring of a fan swallows the things that normally wake me in the night. The demented cuckoo clock next door, drunken stumblings in the road, gates slamming shut, the creaking and cracking of old roof timber... but also the good sounds - the gentle whinnying of the horses on the farm, the krr krr of the guinea fowl in their midnight roosts.

I've spent the past two days in a blizzard of paper, a snow squall of pictures, preparing for a presentation. Things were a lot rougher in 1840 than you would imagine.
There were cautions attached to this job and I tread carefully. Unable to sleep last night for worry, I tried my other sure thing. There's a house far away from here - in Shoreditch, London. Victorian terrace, mosaic tiles, black front door. I flatten my troubles one by one and post them through a brass letter slot in that glossy black door. (Some of them take refolding, reposting, more than once.)
Last night, without thinking, I turned the doorknob.
The troubles were words and they were all there, rendered larger than life in a font called Carnivalee Freakshow, designed by a guy called... Livin Hell.

With spiteful little highlights and towering spiky shadows.
Why is everything so much worse in the deep dark night?

  The night passed, the presentation was a breeze, the feared person not an ogre after all.
Perhaps the new parking machines at Canal Walk know of what they speak.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine.

My Valentine is a man
who stops traffic on a winding mountain pass
to guide a snake to safety.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Lady Of The Lake.

On a location recce yesterday at the Castle, I looked forward to visiting my favourite place - the Dolphin Pool. Imagine my surprise to find not the resident ducks, but a lady swimming there.
A nymph in a turquoise bathing suit and
black ballet pumps.

When you work for the Castle, you are granted birthday wishes. For her fiftieth birthday this lady requested to swim in the pool and remove all of the rubbish that the South Easter had deposited on the bottom of the pool over the past few weeks.
Cardboard boxes, crisp packets, a milk carton or two...

The other apples of my eye, the giant white horses, were nowhere to be seen.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Show Business.

People often think that this is a glamorous industry. There's very little of that, in the art department. But we get around, we see extraordinary things, we meet a plethora of people. The last few weeks have been a right old merry-go-round.

A director who greets one in the mornings, by name. A production designer turned friend, with endless amounts of compassion and understanding. (I wiped away a tear to see him fly away)
A forty meter long Chinese dragon with yellow panted operators. Acrobats. A man soaring through the air in a harness. A prop master's tales of his miniature horse named Geoffrey - we rooted for him through a case of lockjaw. A Japanese director of photography who bent spoons at the breakfast table, claiming that it depleted him so, he was sad over his supper.
A beautiful young contortionist.
World weariness with spangles.

(Photograph courtesy of the Gedi)

Cape Town is dry and dusty. There have been fires in the veldt and at night a dark pumpkin moon hangs over the city. On Monday I travel back in time to the 1840's. Old Texas, the world of the Comanche, horses, tipis and the wild, wild West.
Then it will be Winter and whatever follows that, still a mystery.