The Books of Love

I’ve been a bit quiet on the old blog front recently but I have managed to do some nice colouring…

I read an article about the work of Tom Phillips, an artist who uses pages from one particular book to create an ongoing story, called A Humument, which is a ‘meditation on unrequited love and the struggle to create and appreciate art’ (apparently).  He began it in the 1960s and is still producing updated editions of the same book.  Lots of other artists do similar works, which is often called Found Poetry, to create poems or an entirely new story.

The basic idea is to take an old book, circle all the words that take your fancy and do some nice pictures over the words you don’t like.  I remember doing something similar as a child, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  It goes without saying that I endured much artistic angst and suffering during the creative process and, obviously, there is an underlying deep meaning behind each piece of work.  Plus, it’s something nice to do with your hands in front of the telly if, like me, you’ve got five seasons of Breaking Bad to catch up on.

I call this piece Love & Meth in Miami in homage to Walter White
I call this piece Love & Meth in Miami in homage to Walter White
Coffee for an Angel is a political comment on the lack of refreshment opportunities for heavenly beings
Coffee for an Angel makes a political comment on the appalling lack of refreshment opportunities for heavenly beings
United Love examines the correlation between the decline in sales of traditional tea-bags such as PG tips and rising divorce rates in the UK
Cheer Up Missus is an ironic work on the futility of life and ironing
Cheer Up Missus is an ironic statement on the futility of life and ironing

You CAN Always Get What You Want

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of gratitude and kindness on our health, happiness and getting what you want out of life.  I used to be a bit of a Cynical Cynthia and poo-poo any hippy dippy ideas about the power of positive thinking or the law of attraction.  It was all too Oprah for me.   But, gradually I’ve come to see the light and, like a Cyberman, I’ve been converted and now I’m Barb the Believer.   So, as part of my commitment to happiness, I am attempting to speak more (barbed) words of kindness and be grateful for all the wonderful things in life.  Here’s my thanks for the weekend:

Thank you…to the bar in central Rome that allowed us to take a welcome break from the heat of the day.  It was so good of you to allow us to sit undisturbed for twenty minutes, without hassling us about ordering drinks or food.  In fact, you were so determined to make us feel comfortable that you firmly ignored all our attempts to catch your attention.  What a pain it was when we were rested enough to move to another bar where the waiter greeted us warmly within 30 seconds of taking a seat.  What’s his problem??

Thank you…to the Rolling Stones for an amazing show at Circus Maximus last night.  I am seriously in awe of Mick’s fitness; he hardly stood still for two hours.  I don’t know where he gets the energy.  Also, I don’t know where he gets his hair – surely it can’t be real??

Thank you…to the audience, who not only smoked incessantly but also filmed the entire concert on their iPhones/iPads, thus obscuring what would have been an awesome view of the main stage.  Fortunately, we were next to the bridge and mini stage so, despite the sea of technology, I was able to get a close up look at ol’ craggy face Mick.

Thank you…to the lovely group of Italians next to us, who told us how much they disliked English people and that, ‘You fucking English break my balls’. Really? Why have you just forked out €100 to watch a fucking English band then?

Thank you…to the lax parking rules in Rome which enabled us to park directly in front of the venue.  Usually I complain about the ‘Park anywhere you like/don’t worry if you’re blocking another car or driveway/double parking is fine, why not try triple parking for a change?’ attitude but last night, as we drove off ten minutes after the concert had finished, I was all for it.

Thank you…to the builders who are scaffolding our apartment block in preparation for repairs to the building.  I particularly appreciated the scaffolding being delivered by tossing it from the lorry onto the road at 7am this morning, thus waking me up on one of the very rare mornings when both my children were at sleepovers so I didn’t have to be up early.  Mind you, I should probably be more concerned that half the building is now being held up with steel supports, which makes me a tad nervous to step onto my balcony.

Not sure if I’ve quite got the hang of this gratitude thing…I’ll try harder next time.  Will I become too annoying if I become too grateful for everything?? Anyway, thank you…to you for reading my blog and just, y’know, being you 🙂