It's the last day of our winter holiday and I was thinking to myself that I ought to have done a Year Notes, like all the cool kids, but I just couldn't be bothered. Much like weeknotes, I've lost the joy of making little updates recently, so I've decided not to push it.
Quick recap, though:
Omicron arrived, and I count myself forever lucky to have a good, local, group of friends who immediately decided to cut out all the indoor restaurant and bar trips and all the fun stuff, and return to only gathering inside if everyone tested first, within our little social bubble. Consequently, I was able to have Christmas Eve at our house with a couple folks, and Christmas dinner at someone else's and be at a very small NYE gathering.
Still haven't caught COVID!
Monica invited me to an event a few weeks back - a popup at a friend of hers' bar where a few local makers were selling their wares, one of whom ended up being me. First time selling art in person! What I learned is: Framed prints sell best, people will be really sweet and nice and I won't know how to react in any way except with a lot of self-deprecation, and selling originals is much more psychologically challenging than anticipated.
A couple of original paintings at the pop-up went to friends, so I know roughly where they are in the world, but I sold an original watercolour of a crow to a stranger and I actually feel a weird sense of loss about it. Like, it's gone and I'll never see it again? Completely unexpected emotional attachment to a thing I made explicitly for the purpose of selling.
Finished another semester of Japanese and am putting that down for a little while, but ikebana is still going well (grade 6 now!) and I've got enough paid contract work to keep me off the streets.
Not much else to note. I think I'm probably done with week notes for a while. I got back into them at the start of 2020 thinking it would be a way to pass the year of corona, but it feels like too much drudgery wrapping up a second year in this state. Maybe I'll switch to monthly notes for a bit. Anyway - I make it 553 weeks of my life living in this place they definitely misnamed the United States of America! Who knew it would be so long.
Just minutes after hitting publish on last week's notes, my mum emailed me to inform me that my dad had been rushed to hospital with severe pancreatitis. Pretty sure it was our fault for encouraing a week of eating cheese, cake, icecream and red wine. He's home again now on bed rest, minus his gallbladder. Sorry, dad!
This week I did a little experiment on myself and vlogged a week of doing art. I'm incredibly self-conscious about it, but if you want to go have a laugh at me, it's over here.
That's about it. The video covers most of the week, but if you can't bear to hear my voice, it goes: finished 3 paintings, started a new semester of Japanese lessons, went to ikebana and did some meetings.
When I last left off, we were in Anderson Valley. The work-from-airbnb with friends experiment was a success, but we learned that next time we need to bring lumbar support for everyone because we're weak nerds with no core strength and kitchen chairs just don't cut it.
I did a few plein air paintings while there. Nothing I'm excited about, but good practice.
On Sunday, we got home from 2 weeks in the UK! They let us in! We didn't contract covid!
The UK appears to have abandoned all covid measures, which was very disconcerting. We had to have a negative test before we flew, and because we're vaccinated we didn't have to quarantine. We did have to have a day-2 after-arrival test, but the results for that took 5 days to come back, so I've no idea why they bothered.
It was a very nice trip! We spent a week in Cornwall, staying in my home town, and spent as much time as possible with my mum and dad, who we hadn't seen since 2019. It was perfect weather and we had a lovely time.
The train back to London had the most British hiccup - a Tesco lorry drove into a bridge that supported the only train-line in and out of Cornwall. Consequently, we decided to do a last minute overnight in Plympton in an old Tudor manor. Pretty cool, actually.
The London week was a mixture of work, lunches and coffees with friends and late nights in pubs. Business as usual.
Jetlag since then. Went to ikebana and did a quite good rikka, and then yesterday went to see the Judy Chicago exhibition at the de Young with Monica. It's not really my cup of tea, but I appreciate the messaging and the huge range of mediums.
I think I've miscalculated what week I'm on again, but who cares.
A day late for actually Week 531 and I could have waited until the end of this week, but I'm procrastinating.
I'm procrastinating because I have my last Japanese class of this semester, and therefore I have a test tonight I should be revising for.
On Monday, I went to the new teamLab: Continuity exhibit with Monica at the Asian Art Museum. I've been to the ones on Japan, and it's the same people, but on a smaller scale. Think dark rooms with generative art projections of flowers, weather, fish and butterflies that subtley interact with you if you pay attention. Very nice afternoon out.
The UK has finally decided to let folks in with vaccinations and not make them quarantine, so we've booked to go at the end of August. Alex has some busines in London, so it's fortuitous timing. I think mum and dad are... trepidatious... however, even if they are not excited to see me, I miss seeing them and am glad to be coming before the weather turns. I'm also severely out of good biscuits.
I'm currently in an airbnb myself and some friends booked, somewhere near Philo. It's a working trip - everyone in the house is currently on a laptop working/on a call. We're considering starting our very own, very boring, reality show.
Except for the aforementioned procrastination reason, it's really hard to get anything done when you're overlooking a beautiful vineyard with no less than 3 to 8 turkey vultures sailing overhead at any given time.
Had a brief covid mini-scare and stress tested how easy and quick it is to get a test in San Francisco. Sort of easy, but a pain in the ass to locate if you're not web-savvy. A lot of "wtf, why is it like this".
Consequently bought a bunch of these home tests. My British pals are surprised we don't have home lateral testing. I'm sorry - did you forget where we live? The FDA has not given us access to such sanity changing devices.