“What I did with my summer vacation”, a topic that is explored by many unhappy students of all ages. It always seemed like a boring type of writing assignment that didn’t mean anything. But really, it forces us to reflect on how we spent our time. Everyone knew that come September, they would have to, either through an essay, small presentation, painting, or other, share with their peers their adventures and development. No one wants to reflect on their past and say that have accomplished nothing, or did nothing with their time. Nothing encourages activity more than summer in Canada, with the looming winter always ahead, summer time feels like the time to have fun and do crazy things. Another reason why I think this topic is proposed to school children year after year. Now, as an adult, I don’t have a “summer vacation” in the same sense, but I am still affected by the “Canadian ambition” of “using summer to its fullest”. But, as an adult it becomes increasingly difficult to decide exactly what constitutes “productivity”, or development. I think it is hard to be honest with yourself, and it is easy to occupy yourself with things that may appear to be productive but are really just a waste of time (or worse you consider something personal growth when really you have changed nothing at all). Kids, when they talk about their summers, tend to exaggerate, to make their summers seem *special* or more exciting than their previous summers (or the summers of their peers).
This summer did not turn out how we planned, or initially wanted. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade (actually, I’ve made lime-ade, but it’s still the same idea). I really tried to disconnect from the computer this summer. My partner and I spent a lot of time together, exploring London’s parks and environment, the downtown festivals and events, local museums and art galleries, biking, picnics and sleeping under the stars. We made a real effort to get out of the house a lot more often, and do more things out of the house that didn’t involve shopping. It made us a lot closer, and it made us appreciate these moments in between work and chores. It feels great to pack a day as full as possible and be able to plop on the couch at the end of it exhausted (but happy).
I think it was a good idea for me to take a step back from everything I’ve been doing online, and business wise. It gave me time to re-evaluate exactly what I want and exactly where I want to go.
I’ve read so many books, that when I wanted to gather them together to take a photo of them, I actually can’t remember them all (plus, some of them were borrowed from friends, and some were borrowed from the library). I have mostly read retro sci-fi and graphic novels. Here is a rough list of books I’ve read:
- the Day of the Triffids (John Wyndham)
- the Midwich Cuckoos (John Wyndham)
- Nebula Award Stories 8 (edited and introduced by Isaac Asimov, includes a great novella by Arthur C. Clarke)
- the Umbrella Academy: the Apocalypse Suite (written by Gerard Way with art by Gabriel Ba)
- the Umbrella Academy: Dallas (written by Gerard Way with art by Gabriel Ba)
- Mice Templar Volume 2.1: Destiny Part 1 (created by Bryan J.L. Glass, and Michael Avon Oeming with art by Victor Santos)
- the Possibility of an Island (Michel Houellbecq)
- Coraline (Neil Gaiman)
- Janet Marsh’s Nature Diary (Janet Marsh)
- Atomic Robo: Volume 1 (written by Brian Clevinger and art by Scott Wegener
- Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (written by Bill Willingham and art by a variety of artists)
- Weirdling (Mike Dubisch)
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep V1 (written by Philip K. Dick and art by Tony Parker)
I have been working on new art. I have a few new sketches, I’m just not sure what direction I want to go in right now. Too many ideas and not enough time. I want to focus on dolls and on a few detailed, small art pieces. So that is what I plan on working on and posting in the coming weeks. My partner and I have also been doing some space painting together, which is fun way to spend an afternoon. I have also been doing a lot of writing off-line, and I want to keep working on that, but I think it is okay to keep that there until it a little more cohesive. I plan on having one more recipe post, for my Hobo Summer Cake (name still in lingo), it is based off of a World War II cake recipe I found, but WWII Cake just doesn’t have a cheery ring to it. I made a lot of these cakes, and since I would change some of the ingredients every time, not a single one tasted the same.
Another goal I had this summer was to expand my diet. I have always been a picky eater, and I’ve never really pushed myself to eat different foods. I wanted to include a lot more vegetables. I learned that I actually *like* red peppers and zucchini. We’ve also tried a few different types of mushrooms, including King Oyster and Enoki. I’ve made soup using tomato sauce (made by my sister). Personally, this is a huge accomplishment. I have refused to eat all of those thing, basically my entire life. Our diet is much more balanced now, and a lot healthier. I’ve also learned how to make a variety of bread type items, I seem to be collecting flat bread and pita recipes. It makes me look forward to Winter’s weather that longs for hot soup and fresh bread.
So, enjoy this gallery of photos, various cooking, the Monsters of Schlock, Critical Mass, space art, the North East London Community Market and SPIDERS. I am also still updating both my gardening and urban explorers albums on my facebook page here.
Thanks for reading,