Sunday, 27 October 2013

Barbie Halloween

Hello all!!!

This last month I have had very few days off. Work during the day, rehearsals in the evening. If it isn't rehearsals, it is seeing friends. 
Weekends - the same. Rehearsals, friends, no time to do work around the house. And life admin just had to be done at midnight.

So, today was one of my first days off in a while. I seem to find it difficult to just sit and relax, so I embarked on a particularly big job - cleaning my bedroom, top to bottom. When I say, top to bottom, I really mean it. I moved my huge bed (which is no mean feat), cleaned everything underneath, hoovered every inch of my room and dusted every nook and cranny. I also sorted out my summer clothes into vacuum bags and took out winter wardrobe. I collected a huge bag of clothes for charity (that feels so good - now I can see exactly what I have). I am pretty good at doing it every season anyway, but this time I was more ruthless than usual. It feels so good. My room is so lovely and clean now and I feel very good about myself too.

And then, I finally threw away all the props and costumes from previous theatre performances I was in, in the past five years. Two bags full of stuff. I have no idea why I still kept it, but I did. I suppose I thought, I might need it again, just as I throw it away, so I have to keep it. Now, I don't care if I do, I'll go and source the new stuff if I need it.

And then, in the corner of my closet, I found these "beauties". I bought them for a performance three years ago, but in the end, decided not to use them. I actually forgot about them until today.
Here they are:

How creepy are they? Halloween creepy, but,... I now can't part with them. 15 minutes out of the bag, and I sort of fell for them. I have put them on my writing desk in my bedroom until I decide what to do with them. There is something satisfyingly disturbing about them, so for now, they are staying put.

This coming Friday, I am performing a one woman show at the Manchester Museum, called Welcome to Dreamland. The performance is about rejected asylum seekers in the UK, barely struggling to survive. It will be part of a big conference called Platforma, where immigrants as well as artists working on the subject will get together and exchange ideas. I cannot wait although I am pretty nervous as I am going on my own, without the support of my director (she has another show in London at the same time). 

I'll do a post on the performance and the conference on my next day off, next Sunday. With lots of pictures and good stories, I am sure.

In the mean time, share with me this week's flowers on my coffee table:

So, have you been busy lately? And most importantly, have you changed the clothes in your wardrobe for the coming autumn/ winter season?

Have a lovely week everyone.

Red xx

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Hello all!!

I've had a very good and productive week. Work during the day, rehearsals in the evening and weekend spent with friends, eating good food, watching bad telly and reading some seriously good books.

So currently I am:

enjoying this book:

It is a book by a leading Moroccan feminist writer, Fatima Mernissi. It is a memoir of her childhood growing up in a Harem in the 1940's. It is an easy read but it is filled with charming stories. It also recounts the struggle of women living in closed off quarters with no public life at all. It is one of those books that charm you into reading it for hours without noticing the time flying by.

Loving wearing this:

My aunt crocheted this collar for me this summer. She found a very old one that my grandmother did decades ago and as it was tattered she decide to save the pattern and make a new one. When I saw it, I was in love with it. In fact, I had a very similar one when I was a girl that my grandmother did for me. I remember wearing it with a colourful, flowery dress. These days, I wear this one with jumpers, shirts and dresses. It is very versatile and I can't get enough of it. 


Home made lemon cake. 

My home made lemon cake. For a recipe, visit my post here 
It was so moist and soft and delicious. The best thing was that I knew exactly what went into it. I had mine served with vanilla ice cream. It goes very well with coffee or tea.

I am also loving friends coming over with delicious take away and wine for a night in, reading at home under a warm blanket while it's raining outside and of course, I am loving the autumn colours.

What have you enjoyed in this past week? Have a fab week.

Red xx

Sunday, 13 October 2013

An Army of Me

Hello all!!

I have to admit, I photograph very well. In fact, I look better on pictures than I do in real life. :-)

Over the years, I have been lucky to have had people paint or draw pictures of me quite a few times. These days, children from my school feel compelled to draw a picture of me on a very regular basis. I love their impressions of me. They are always spot on. These are just a few. I have many, many more, but can't find them at the moment. This first one was done in a rush. Nonetheless, I love it (click on the image to see it better and to see the detail):

These next two are my favourite ones. They've been done last year when I had a bob haircut. I look slightly different now as I have a pixie haircut, but essentially, this is still me. I am smiling in all of them, so I am happy that that is how they see me.

Don't you think they are fabulous? I do. I'll probably keep them for the rest of my life.

The next one is a cartoon of me. Someone I got on very well with gave me this as a Xmas present. Until he gave it to me, I didn't know, how much he liked me. In fact, I didn't know he knew me as well as he did. But I guess, he watched from afar and commissioned someone to do his impression of me. All the details are there: I am standing on a stage, wearing my heels and my fairy skirt. There is even a Bosnian flag on my coat. The necklace I am wearing is exactly the same, and he even included a big flowery hat I had. In fact, down to the shirt, coat and the bag - he got me in one! This cartoon has a proud place on my bookshelf with all my theatre books and I think of this person very often: 

And then, there is a puppet of me!!! I did a performance a few years ago where I played an older woman, wearing my mum's vintage coat. My scenes were off stage. Everything I did was transmitted on the video projection on stage while this little one was on stage the whole time, being me. At the end of the performance I come on stage and we two meet for the first time. We acknowledge each other and the play ends. At the end of the run, the girl who made me, gave me "myself" as a present. One of my favourite presents of all time. She has the same costume as I did in the play, but I can't find any pictures from the performance. She now sits at the top of my bookshelf, looking over everything I do and everything that happens in there. Here is how I look in the miniature:

And here is us together on the bus posing. As you can see from my smile, I am very, very happy:

I now need a painter to paint me. My life long wish was to be painted by Lucien Freud, but that is never going to happen now that he is no longer with us (as if that was going to happen anyway?!), so I have to look for someone else. In fact, I won't look, I'll wait until someone gets inspired and paints me. A girl can dream, right?

Have you got pictures/ puppets/ cartoons/ paintings of yourself done by other people? What kind of impression do you think you make on people on a daily basis?

Whatever you do, enjoy it and have a lovely week.

Red xx

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Countryside - Not All It's Cracked Up To Be. London is Better!!!

Hello all!

How has your week been?

As I wrote in my last post, I was away in Wales, beautiful, green countryside. 
It was great, it was green,... but I am really not a country girl. I am so out of my comfort zone when I don't see concrete, or inhale exhaust fumes :-)
I just could not relax. There might be a reason for it - together with three other adults, I had a responsibility for thirty-eight  hyper active children. As you can imagine, it was not the most relaxing of the trips.
But, we did go on a 3 hour hike that I enjoyed and I took some photos of nature and greenery (got to find a silver lining in everything):

Lovely? I agree, but that's as far as I'll go.
I cannot tell you how happy I was when we drove into London. So happy!!! 
So, I kind of celebrated the whole weekend. I had the best sleepovers (two nights in a row!!!), lots of wine and good chat and then a barbecue today (when you live in the UK you need one ray of sunshine for an excuse to set up a barbecue). I also spent hours shopping in charity shops and of course got myself my favourite flowers, carnations:

Living in London, you get tired of it; after six months you need to get out for at least a month. This time, I left for five days and could not wait to get back. 
So, I am back home, enjoying the grayness (although, it seems to be sunny and warm here these days. Queer!!), the concrete, the big buildings, the houses that look like sardines,...  I fell in love with London twenty two years ago and I keep falling in love with it, over and over again. Welcome home!!! London, you are tough, but you are bloody amazing, concrete and all!

I'll leave you with a quote that has been running around in my head for the last few days:

"You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway."
That's definitely how I felt for the last five days.

So, wherever you are, I hope you feel you are at home. I know I am.
Have a good week everyone. Enjoy everything you do!!!

Red xx