Our first full day in London started early. Like, “Why are you up?! It’s not even 7am!” kinda early. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I’d forgotten to draw the curtains in the room, which got the morning sun. I learnt that lesson quickly. For two kids who didn’t get their requisite amount of sleep, they sure were perky. Lucas and I were probably much less so. But no matter, because we were in frigging London!!!!!!!!!!
Lucas and I finished the muesli we’d brought, mixed with the granola we’d gotten the day before. Raspberry decided she only wanted the granola because clusters are where it’s at. Ares thrived on strawberries, because he’s a fruit fiend. Breakfasts for him have been complicated lately, as he doesn’t seem interested in what we have to offer, especially when there’s berries available. He took a couple of bites of our cereal, but mostly wanted the berries. We didn’t know it yet, but feeding him on this trip would prove to be a bit of a challenge.
It was a rare sunny day today and after having been out in the morning to get some groceries, I desperately wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather for rest of the day. Raspberry wanted to go to the climbing rope structure just off Everton Park, but parts of the ground were still wet from the rain yesterday and I feared the playground might be wet too. Instead, I concocted the idea that we could go to Albert Dock with her camera, sketchbook and some snacks and enjoy an afternoon by the water.
But of course, the best-laid plans often go awry and that’s precisely what happened. There was a crazy tantrum at lunch, all over yogurt. Raspberry likes eating out of the big container and scraping the remnants and today, I offered it to Lucas instead since she often gets it. Naturally she wanted it and when she didn’t get what she wanted, she launched into full-out tantrum mode, complete with crying-screaming and stomping. She’s been having more meltdowns lately, after having been through a long stretch when they were rare. Lucas and I are clueless as to why but some of the reasons we’ve speculated include a recent increase in processed sugar (due to more treats and more store samples), dehydration (she’s been a total camel the past few months and some days barely drinks a cup of fluid), or a slight change in routine due to Lucas having to be at school more often. We don’t know, she doesn’t know, it’s driving all of us crazy. On the weekend, Lucas said some of the things she was doing were really pushing his buttons and he was getting rather annoyed with her. Interestingly, I don’t really get this button-pushing with her and we generally coast through our days with little issue. I can’t help but wonder if she’s sort of reacting to his increased absence and they’re out of sync and having to reacquaint with each other on he weekends. Hmmm.
With the tantrum, my original plans were thrown off a bit. Lucas thought that we should go somewhere closer like the library and St John’s Gardens, since it takes us about forty to fifty minutes to walk to the docks. I didn’t feel like majorly altering our plans because I still wanted to be outside enjoying the sunshine and had planned for the library tomorrow anyway. Miraculously, it didn’t take us very long to get to the docks and I’m glad we went instead of the alternative.
Raspberry climbed the sculptures, like she usually does, and we took a walk along the water toward King’s Dock. I’ve always wanted to take that route but have always had a reluctant kid with me. She was intrigued by all the locks hung upon the chains and held each one to read the inscriptions, pretty much all of them declarations of love for a significant other. There were a couple of ribbons too, and I said we could write our own names on a ribbon and attach it to the chains if she wanted, which she did. I’d forgotten her camera as I’d been caught up in the throes of her tantrum, and it was a little too chilly to sit and draw, so we just took a walk along the water toward the Echo Arena and back again. Despite the fact that the sun would occasionally dart behind the clouds, it was still gorgeous. I absolutely love the evening sun, especially the rich orangey glow it has. It seems to be more prevalent in the fall than any other season and honestly, I love photographing in that light.
We went into the Tate to warm up after (also part of my original plan). A new exhibition opened last weekend, and new exhibitions mean that the Art Dock (the creative space for kids) undergoes a makeover. I wasn’t really a fan of the last activity there, which involved inscriptions on gift tags tied upon plastic tubes — it seemed too basic and not very engaging for a younger kid — so I was looking forward to seeing what they’d come up with this time. This one was based on Palle Nielsen’s The Model and revolved around the idea of creating imaginary worlds or spaces. As with most things new, Raspberry was quickly absorbed into making her drawing on graph paper (of cats, of course), and manipulated wire, rubber tubing and plasticine into a structure of sorts. If we didn’t have to get home at a specific time (because Lucas had volleyball tonight), I’m sure she’d have gladly worked at her structure until the gallery closed. She loves working with her hands and making things (two nights ago, she made a dress for Hippo Hippo out of paper) and I love that she has the opportunity to try out different materials that we don’t ordinarily have, to come up with something imaginative. I think the novelty of the activity certainly helps too. Who knows if she’ll be as engaged with it the next time we’re there, but I’m just glad she enjoyed it this time around. Our next visit to the Tate though, I definitely want to revisit some of the exhibitions we’ve seen, as well as check out the documentation of The Model so maybe that’ll help spur some creativity when we make it to the Art Dock thereafter.
Dear National Gallery,
I miss you lots. I’ll be back one day. I don’t suppose you miss me too, since I hardly ever paid to visit you. Write soon.
+ I need a mental health day, even though I really don’t believe fully in those — something about the overuse and abuse of the term “mental health” these days. Anyway. I was in the shower for over half-an-hour this morning… unusual for someone who takes seven minute showers. I just had to sit under the waterfall to cry. Girls can cry for no reason; boys can’t. I’ve been feeling that I’m overly needy and that’s a major fault. Everything has felt unnecessarily overwhelming even though I’m barely doing anything, in comparision to everyone who’s in school. March is also a terrible time of year, or has been for the past four years. It’s the busiest time of year (next to November), with all midterms and assignments piled on before the exam wave comes. I think I’m just feeling a bit useless, after having had to deal with such things for four years straight. And having Lucas bust his ass on school day in and day out… well, this is where the unnecessary needy feeling, unfortunately, has to kick in.
+ Avy the kitty has a mullet.
+ So far this week, I’ve made 432 phone calls at work. I’ve begun keeping track just to see how productive I actually am and also ’cause I like doing the four little vertical lines and the fifth one across. I work the night shift tonight… line pencilings to look forward to, and the hopefully a later night of unsuckiful volleyball.
+ What can you do with about twenty tins of salmon?
+ What can you do with a rattling heart?
I spent the duration of the day on-campus today, for the first time in weeks. (Spending the day on-campus while Lucas was in class became a sore point for both me and him several weeks back — for one, campus can get boring if you have no exact destination or purpose there. And for another, I think Lucas felt smothered by my consistent presence. [but I didn’t say anything to him when he went with me almost everywhere last year… double-standards yay.])
But. It was definitely refereshing, especially since I’d spent the bulk of last week being weepy and mopey cooped up at home under my own doing. I hopped over to Chapters while Lucas was in class, in search of the latest issue of RicePaper but all they had was a mangled last copy that I rejected. I’ve flipped through the magazine a few times back at Titles but I think the fact that it was an Asian magazine (albeit, Asian-Canadian) made me cringe a little. There’s just something incredibly stereotypical about an Asian girl purchasing an Asian[-Canadian] magazine, that I prefer to steer myself away from. The latest issue (it was June this year but I suppose that would still be considered the most recent) is about the disappearance of the pure race due to interracial marriages and such. I have this fascination with interracial, specifically eurasian relationships and outcomes, perhaps because I’m in one?
Oh well, to be positive, the walk did me good.
It’s so odd to see people jetting around wearing tank-tops and shorts in twenty-six degree weather as the ground is a crunchy carpet of yellow leaves.
Lucas and I had lunch with a new friend of his, Andy. Nice guy. Although I didn’t entirely appreciate his thumbs-down critique of durians (he’s got an Asian girlfriend), which pretty much convinced Lucas never to ever try it. Ah well. It’s not something to hold against the guy.
It’s so nice to have some interaction other than Lucas and Avy (no offense to either of them). I’m glad he’s making friends. Both Lucas and I aren’t extraordinarily social people and being in a brand-new city knowing no one doesn’t make either of us more social. The reverse if anything. I’ve still yet to meet people on a friend basis but I suppose that will come soon. Hopefully. I’m jealous (or on a less severe level, envious) of Lucas in that he gets the chance to interact with people by going to school. Meanwhile, I have to place myself in situations to achieve the same effect. It gets tiring.
I need something fun to do for tomorrow. Writing cover letters does not count.