Sunday, March 28, 2010

Name, Address, Date of Birth.

I'm drowning in paperwork this week. See you on the other side, I hope.

It's not all bad though. I have procured some minutes from my non-existent stash of time and made some sketchbooks. It's been on the list for an eternity, there really was no more ignoring it. The fruits of my labour are, I must admit quite pleasing. There is nothing like a handmade sketchbook. Nothing in the world. The fabric spines are my old pyjamas, a long-suffering bookbag, and a square of mystery fabric that I have no recollection of ever acquiring. Perfecto-mundo.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A visit to The Smoke.

I like London. Really I do. Y'know- the busy streets and secret alleyways and the coffee shops and the landmarks. That big city feeling- you know the one.
I didn't notice any of that last Thursday though. I woke up at 3am. Showered at 5. Tried to swallow some breakfast at 6. Gave up and got on the Tube at 7. Took a deep breath in front of the US Embassy at 9. The rest is a blur. More so than you'd imagine.
The last 7 months have panned out well and I have much to be grateful for. But life has been in limbo and I'm more than ready to be back in the States with the boy. The weight of that had my stomach in a tangle on Thursday morning, to say the very least.

After three hours of watching a screen for my number to appear, I managed to exchange afew pleasantries with the immigration officer before my body said 'nope' and well... I fainted. Right in the middle. of. the. embassy.
I don't remember much other than opening my eyes wondering why I was lying star-shaped on the floor. Almost a week later, I can giggle with the best of them about how it all played out. At the time, I was seeing stars, being offered cookies and saying 'I feel a bit silly' while having my blood pressure taken and being assessed as looking 'very grey'. oh good. This was not how I'd planned it.

Replaying this incident in my mind makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and hum loudly. It's hard to look that memory in the face. But on the upside, despite missing a form which will delay my departure, my application was approved! I get to marry the boy. 
I should express my gratitude to the people at the Embassy who were very sweet to me during this little drama. They will never read this, but they deserve a mention, as kindness must be recognised, I think. Thanks also to my Mum and sister who both took days off work to jolly me along (...thanks also to my dog, and my lucky socks and....). Ok, that is all :)
This was a big deal for me, I'm excited for the future.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tea and Travel

After four magnificent months, my current job (illustrating Christmas books for Philo Trust) is almost wrapped up. Like all roller coasters it has to finish, and like all roller coasters, I wish it didn't. I'm a glutton for the fever of it.

So it's time to tread that promotional trail once more. Cards and emails and "look at me, I'm over here"....(hi!).
I must prod the noodle into gear. How can I present my work simply, but with impact? How do I adequately communicate my love and energy for what I do? How should I show who I am, what inspires me, what I do best, what I can do for you (oh gracious art director, editor, publisher...). So many questions, too many answers, so lets start where I always start: tea and travel. The Cutty Sark; human form (but don't rely on my sea legs)!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

When one is a Worrywart.

Life is not without it's concerns. Did I fill out all 5 million forms correctly? Will my prayers be answered? Is it too soon to start stockpiling English tea?
Once upon a Christmas time, my Auntie gave me a little box of Guatemalan Worry Dolls. I thought they were marvelous. I'd sleep with them under my pillow and Mum would laugh when she'd find them in the washing, on the stairs, in the garden. 'How did this get inside Dad's shoe?!' etc.
Tonight I'll put my favourite doll inside my pillow case. The girl wearing the pink onesy. I know she'll help me out. In a month, I sincerely hope I will feel silly and be able to laugh. In a month I hope to be with Forrest and our little puppy, missing my family, but becoming a new one.