Budapest Blues

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It’s Sunday and I’m in the most beautiful city in the world.

Cigarette butts crushed into broken tiles.

At my feet is another death, in the street,

Broken buildings and hollow dreams.

I’m in her arms like a stillborn child.

Feeling nothing, it seems,

But old.

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The Journey

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I’m on a bus. Denmark has faded into the distance and now I’m passing through wind generator infested fields on the way to Berlin.  You know I care about climate change.  I’ve even vowed not to get on a plane again so that could very bad news for anyone expecting me back soon. I guess there’s always sea travel but I can’t decide what worries me more… pirates or seasickness.  I’ll start by doing laps of the sauna. (I know that doesn’t make sense but they’re great).
News trickles through to the remote corners of the world where I’ve been thigh deep in snow, that Australia has been experiencing a heatwave. When I was in Russia someone told me that Sydney had 48 degrees that day. He wasn’t Russian. In general, they’re not friendly with foreigners, unless one is in a sparse, white-tiled community bathhouse with a crowd of large, naked women. Trust me, it was fabulous. If only I had my sketchbook and charcoal.
Along with breathtaking architecture and cheap hostels that were once palaces,  and some photo opportunities that were golden, the lack of smiles was a constant during my three weeks in post Soviet Russia.
When I arrived in Stockholm,  laughter surprised me and the variety of different backgrounds were striking. What a relief to be amongst other humans who could laugh even when life isn’t perfect. It was still minus 5, the metro crowded and I was a foreigner. Of course I loved Russia but a huge thank you to the Swedes, Norwegians and Danish people for being you. I had a fabulous time and I’m sure I’ll go back for my friend’s wedding in August, assuming I manage the next round of paperwork in France.
I’m making my way back to France slowly.  There’s a whole mini series in my dental tourism escapades that happen before I get there. Hello Budapest.. I don’t require being picked up at the airport or help with a discounted hotel but bus and hostel will be fine to get me to your lovely dental suites. 12 February. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, Berlin with its politics, art, contact improvisation and some lovely friends are less than an hour away. I’m excited! The bus is approaching Frankfurt and it’s time I started looking out the window.
Take care, smile and give hugs. It’s a wonderful gift.
PS I didn’t pose naked in the snow but I did take the photograph.

The Rush

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I have no idea if the French Consulate will approve my long-stay visa, apart from an inkling that the rendezvous was positive. In a reckless sort of way, I’ve been preparing to leave anyway. At least for three months. If my application pleases the administration I’m off for a year, with the option to renew. Holy shit! there’s a mountain of ends to tie off.

Being a visual artist is heart-poundingly beautiful. I spend my days soaking up images then pouring my passion onto canvas, computers and sketchbooks. I get to run around in the forest, chase clouds down the coast and occasionally throw my clothes to the wind. But there are some drawbacks. Stuff. The walls are disappearing behind mountains of artwork. Fortunately my housemates are tolerant.

I was dreaming up possibilities for art shows when there was a loud knock at the door. I assumed it was another parcel for New Housemate but the floppy plastic envelope looked oddly familiar. It was only a week since my interview in Sydney and I expected to wait two months. Was this a quick refusal or the long-awaited ticket to Europe? I opened it up… and I haven’t stopped smiling!

PS I really do need to move my paintings. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Commitment issues

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I committed to Winter this year. It’s a marriage of convenience, considering my heart is elsewhere. Like any relationship, it has a few problems. The iced windscreen at 7pm was rather unsettling. I tried to turn on the defroster but received a cold shoulder. I think we need counseling because it’s going to snow.

 

Original Photo: Eva Culek

Photo Art: Jeni McMillan

Return of the Sun God

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Sometimes there’s just magic. Nothing easily explained, yet so easily understood. It begins like a tiny drop of water tumbling earthwards, touching leaves, fronds, petals. Sliding with consummate grace down blades of grass to ground with a sigh. Over time the water table fills. Each space between now plump with possibilities. A bone-dry drought broken. Birds flock from distant lands and rest on the surface. Thus, the Sun God returns and the Goddess awakens.