Last night was the first She Grrrowls at Catford Mews, and despite a few teething issues, it was a great night. Although it can be hard to be present when running an event, it was such that I was able to really listen and be with the words, with incredible features Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson and Marianella Lopez, such glorious open mic acts and audience members. You can see the joy emanating from the picture below.
My work schedule is changing again, and with this I’m considering that I need to make more rules for myself. These rules are to help me balance and avoid over-working. At the moment, I’m not handling stress well, and I’m currently writing this in the bath, fully aware I need to work on all sorts of boundaries. I only have Tuesday evenings consistently off. It’s not enough. I’m using tomorrow’s extra-long train journeys to read course material and write a book review.
I have committed to Sundays until mid-June, but I think I need to either just do one weekend day of tutoring, or continue to do the Lego Parties as my only fortnightly weekend work commitment. But to do that, I need a consistent amount of weekday work. I have my first totally solo party tomorrow, so I think that will be a deciding factor going forward, weighing up whether the fun factor and variety is worth the increased risk of germs when I could tutor at a nearby location. I’ve also scattered my language learning goals throughout the week in order to protect my Sunday afternoons for art making. It’s all still trial and error.
Living amongst boxes and furniture everywhere is making things difficult at the moment. On paper, I thought I could cope, but in reality, passing the month-mark soon, it does put a strain on your mental health, not to mention struggling with issues to do with being neurodivergent, where it’s coming to light that I find certain social conventions difficult to understand, and particular situations overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. Still, we move. All I can do is try to offer what I feel I can to those in my life, and try to be more present, knowing that this too shall pass. I’ve been using films a lot to escape, using my Everyman membership, attending free film previews, and the CPIFF (Crystal Palace International Film Festival).
A fellow Art Therapist Trainee has organised the above exhibition, so I thought I would share the private view information. With a slight change of running, we will have Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson and Marianella Lopez both sharing new work at She Grrrowls at Catford Mews on Thursday 16th March, plus the short film screening. Buy tickets to the Catford Mews She Grrrowls here. To sign up for the open mic (there’s just two spots left), email email@example.com with your name, pronouns, and short bio / sentence to introduce you with. In other news, I’ve been long/short listed for a couple of competitions, so I’m excited about the potential of that!
Last weekend I got to see the Tate Modern’s Yayoi Kusama exhibition. Although the exhibition itself was a smaller scale than I imagined, consisting of only two rooms, I was gifted the experience for Christmas and it was combined with a lunch. The food of her namesake was Japanese-inspired and it all felt so special. Amongst the chaos of everyday life, I felt I could be present.
With the news of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, it’s been a personally challenging week, with my partner being Turkish. The destruction is unimaginable and the death toll is currently over 22,765 across both countries. It has been a massive shock to process, yet with gratitude that his immediate family were not more so impacted.
Work this week has been disjointed; lots of cancellations for various reasons, tuition taking place in an exclusion centre rather than school, days moved, and I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of students in need of alternative education placements.
After a young girl told me in an emotional and dramatic state that she would never draw flowers again, it seemed poignant that she incorporated them into her work as we made a colour-coded key to label different parts of speech in a sentence. Education is hugely important to me, but a lot of the time I feel more drawn to working with children in a therapeutic way, because otherwise there are so many barriers that many face in their learning.
In other news, I’ve got two events in March – the Forest Hill Poetry Stanza at Mozart London in Anerley on Friday 3rd March, and She Grrrrowls is back for International Women’s Day with a spoken word event at Catford Mews on Thursday 16th March. Watch this space for news on acts and tickets! The Stanza open mic is available to book for free on Eventbrite.
It’s been a month since I’ve written, and another busy one at that! My room is a mess with big stacks of papers, I’m behind on my record keeping for finances, and I haven’t had proper dedication writing time towards the three main projects I want to focus on in what feels like an age, so this weekend I plan to do a lot of that boring admin stuff, as well as a bit of personal writing today (including this blog!) I’ve worked five days already this week, yet it’s still difficult to reassure myself that doing this today is worthwhile, and I’m going to take some time to de-stress by going to a swimming class after writing this.
I have deadlines looming over me for content writing, and last night I did a last minute job working with a university student from Malta to help with their English. I have an almost full time table of students, which includes a couple of days where I’m out 2.30-9.30pm, including the travel time. It means I’m able to get into more of a routine, but planning and marking takes so much time at the moment that it’s quite difficult to fit in the content writing and meet the deadlines. On top of that I’m doing events and tour management and yesterday I did a big chunk of this once I’d finished my lesson planning.
There are now only two tour dates left for the She Grrrowls Autumn 2018 Book Tour! In October, we went to Norwich and Cambridge and both dates were lovely. The next two are in Bristol and London. I’ve also been trying to run some informal workshops, but because the tickets are free, I’m getting a lot of dropouts on the day. The workshops are called ‘Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better’ and I managed to meet up with a poet who is local to me called Rachel Sambrooks, and it was honestly so refreshing to actually talk about our work. We both found it incredibly valuable… now to find the time to go back to those poems to make those edits!
Last month’s regular She Grrrowls event went really well again, and I’m so happy to be at The Poetry Cafe. It ended up being a rather northern evening, featuring Sophie Sparham, Fran Isherwood, and Sarah Crutwell. It was particularly enjoyable to see Sarah Crutwell as I had never seen her before and I could really relate to her poetry, plus she gave me this cool POWER pin! I can’t believe that it’s just over a week until the next date and soon enough it will be over! Amongst all the work, I’ve also found time to have fun socialising, plus go to Spanish lessons and salsa classes!