Tag Archives: university of aberdeen

Aerials at Crathes Enchanted Castle

26 Nov

 

University started back up with a bang. 3 months ago, I was in Peru with plenty of time to blog, structure Qayqa and social-medialise.  Since my return to Aberdeen, however, I’ve been living a demanding, well-structured life full of exercise and aerials. I teach 4 times a week.

 

Mondays, 7-9 pm:  Acrobatics at the University of Aberdeen

Tuesdays, 7-9 pm:  Flexibility class for working professionals at Studio 202

Thursdays, 6-9 pm:  Aerial Silks & Trapeze for students at Studio 202

Fridays, 7-9 pm:  Aerial Silks & Trapeze for working professionals at Studio 202

 

I’ve had a few people tell me they stumbled over this blog when they were looking up aerial classes in Aberdeen, and either accidentally bump into me at Studio 202 and make the connection later; or write me and join my classes. So if you’re out there, eager to start aerials or have a good stretch, this is my routine. Come to my classes!

Last week, however, all my classes went on hold because the Circus Society had been booked by Crathes Enchanted Castle to perform for 5 days – and I had been booked with them, on my aerial silks for the very first time in Scotland.

4 performances a night… for 5 days… In November.

I agreed to this in July, when I couldn’t imagine what “cold” felt like. By October, I was terrified. I woke up the morning of the performance at 6am, genuinely scared. I went to an Outdoor Adventure Clothing store and paid a ridiculously high price for thermal underwear.

I’ll philosophise about the Role of the Cold in my life in a bit, but first I would like to show you some pictures of the event. Here are a few I took, but I also strongly encourage you to visit the website of the event’s official photographer, Martin Parker, here. He has some stunning photographs of the castle and its grounds all magically lit up, like this:

Crathes Castle. Photograph by Martin Parker

Crathes Castle. Photograph by Martin Parker

Crathes Castle Grounds. Photograph by Martin Parker.

Crathes Castle Grounds. Photograph by Martin Parker.

Meanwhile, here are a few I took of our team on the first night. Missing only is a picture of Sandra, but you’ll find her in Martin Parker’s collection.

Big Man Barnaby

Big Man Barny

Hannah firebreathing while Emma hoola-hooped

Hannah firebreathing while Emma hoola-hooped

Emma's Mysterious Frolicking Creature, anything from Gollum to... a goat

Emma’s Mysterious Frolicking Creature, anything from Gollum to… a goat

the view to my office

where I danced

My area had Talking Trees, who discussed one another’s growth spurts, the fashion of the audience, and spiderwebs. This was the first time I didn’t have music for my performance, but the conversation of trees instead. It was a challenge. I spent the first 2 days fighting for music, but by the end of the 2nd day, friends assured me that not having music added a somewhat mystical value to my performance. I remembered that a lot of circus performances have begun to take place in total silence, and I accepted the challenge.

did get feedback that it would have been even more surreal had the trees stopped talking entirely while I performed. Personally, I have to agree. Total silence would have been nice. But towards the end of 5 days, I barely even heard them anymore.

I’ll let YOU decide, dear ayllu, and tell me what you think. Here is a video of my performance amongst slight raindrops, courtesy of My Special Man:

There’s a brilliant anecdote to this video.

This evening was was the very first time my man saw me perform live on the silks, so afterwards, I ran to hug him and hear all about it. I was so eager to hear his thoughts. “Did I scare you, in the end?” I asked excitedly, “When I dropped suddenly, did I scare you?”

“Oh, I knew you were always in control,” he bluffed.

“Seriously?” I was so annoyed with myself. “I didn’t scare you?”

“Well, the truth is…” he slowly began to admit, “I kinda missed the drop…”

“What? Why? What were you doing?”

You see, in the seconds before my final drop, my proud boyfriend had turned his back in order to take a selfie with his aerial girlfriend. . .

. . .When suddenly, the crowd shouted in surprise, and he turned, wondering: What? What did I miss??? 

The Selfie

The Selfie

This performance was not only my very first aerial performance in Scotland… It is also my goodbye to my red silks. Over the last 5 years, we’ve worked so well together: in short films, hanging from a 10 meter crane, teaching my very first students in Aberdeen how to fly… They are well over their retirement age and have certainly lost a lot of elasticity. Silks are usually used for 2-3 years; mine are over 5 years old. It is time to say goodbye to my darlings.

I think this was a more than worthy farewell.

During the performance, knowing that this will be the last time we work together, I became aware of how much I trust them. How I reach for them without looking, because I know they are where my hands expect them to be. Before every performance, I touch them gently, look up at their securing point and whisper Please take care of me. We’ll do this together. And they’ve never let me fall.

This is the most beautiful, heart-stopping view to me.

Photo 20-11-2014 00 44 06

Here are a few more images from the nights at Crathes Enchanted Castle:

Photo 21-11-2014 23 15 56

my favourite by Elsie Liontou

 

And favourites by Martin Parker:

copyright Martin Parker

copyright Martin Parker Photography

copyright Martin Parker

copyright Martin Parker Photography

copyright Martin Parker

copyright Martin Parker Photography

Now I wasn’t too delighted at performing in the cold. If anything, most aspects of my life in Scotland revolve around The Art Of Not Feeling Cold. I arrived in Scotland complete with a UV light therapy gadget. My man has nicknamed me “the Firefighter” because of my winter fashion.

Other girls and me

The cold usually makes me very bad-tempered, unhappy and generally super bitchy.

Photo 21-11-2014 13 31 13

And if you’re wondering where I’m getting all these pictures from, check out this great page: 27 Things Girls Who Are Always Cold Know To Be True. Story of my life.

So I find it interesting that the one time I perform on the aerial silks in Scotland, it’s in the dead of winter. Barefoot. Or that the one time I decide to go to university, it’s in the north of Scotland. Etc etc ad infinitum.

You have to admit that Life really is throwing almost a lot of the things at me which I happen to despise the most. And yet, I’m enjoying my time in Scotland so much.

Life, in its Infinite Wisdom, is throwing the things at me that will challenge me the most. And thanks to that, I am learning.

Learning how to stay warm for 5 days and not get sick afterwards.

Finally buying thermal underwear so I don’t freeze.

Finding the strength within me to suck it up and perform barefoot.

Maybe living in a country that has four seasons (my main complaint) isn’t so bad for the value of the lessons I’m learning. Because after the 3rd night of performing, when it was windy and freezing, I heard myself say on the 4th night: “8 degrees? Wow, it’s warm!”

This is how we change.

Or maybe Life just has a sadistic sense of humour and loves picking on me. I prefer to believe the former!

Yes We Can!

We Can Do It!

Dear ayllu, in 2 weeks, we university students have our winter exams. After this, we’re away on our Christmas break and I will be able to blog more and tell you all about Qayqa. I skyped with Mark today, who is in Cologne, also performing, and we quickly discussed the last bits and pieces. I’ll keep you informed on the process.

Finally, I would like to leave you with a short clip I shot just for you, for this blog. I’ll explain: for 5 long nights, opera music was put in an endless 5-hour-long loop to accompany the hoola hoop fire performances. Pleasant as it was, it didn’t take very long to exhaust everyone’s eardrums. I once did the entire walk through the Enchanted Forest, looking at the lit-up trees, hearing the bizarre and spooky sound effects, and I commented to the sound technician: “If you took LSD then walked through that forest, it would the trip of your life!”

He joked back: “Then maybe on the last night we should have a rave!”

On the last night, after the audience had left, the gates had closed and everyone was taking down their stuff, he put on delicious trance beats that fit remarkably well to the projections on the castle. I just had to film it.

So here it is, from me to you, sending you love from Scotland.

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In Which I Doubt Occasionally

20 May
obviously paying close attention in class

obviously paying close attention in class

University life is quickly coming to an end for the summer, which means I will be more active on my blog in the next few months. Hurray! University has been great to me and just earlier, walking through the quiet campus, I felt very happy to be a part of this place. I think it was definitely the right decision to come here.

But I am not without my doubts. Truth be told – especially when I hear about how amazingly well my friend Ben is doing. He moved to Berlin a year ago to do an internship with a StartUp and has been doing amazingly for himself since then. He sends me all his updates and I am overwhelmed and proudly happy for him – with a human tinge of envy. If you want to know what Ben’s been up, check out this great interview he gave for Die Zeit, which really explains it best: http://www.zeit.de/studium/uni-leben/2014-04/selbststudium-education-hacking

I know it’s normal to ask myself if, maybe, just maybe, I couldn’t be using this time better: What if I were focussing on my writing instead of being at university? What if I were giving readings night after night instead?

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Where would I be instead? Could I achieve more?

These are very normal doubts and I am filled with them occasionally – but they are never strong enough for me to consider packing my bags. I love everything my university life has to offer, from the studying to the carefree enjoyment of life (which, if we’re calling a duck a duck, is terribly relaxing after constantly worrying how to pay the rent… suffer the antagonism of being the black sheep in the family who just won’t get a normal job… wonder how to get more gigs… and how I’m going to buy food).

My greatest joy in Aberdeen is the Aerials & Acrobatics group I founded.

silks hanging

A few weeks ago, I invited my friend Philipp (who I met at the EJC in France last summer) to give an acrobatics workshop to my acrobats. As chance would have it, the hall we had (thought we had) booked wasn’t open to us on the weekend, which forced us to look around Aberdeen for a quick alternative.

We got lucky. Philipp had spotted something on his way in to Aberdeen – something I had seen, and forgotten.

studio 202

A studio promising trapeze and aerial hoops… I gave the owner, Sandi, a call, and asked if we could super spontaneously host our workshop at her studio. She asked when. I said: “In an hour?”

Sandi said yes.

There’s photographic evidence of this moment:

us

 

Thanks to this happy blessing-in-disguise, we had a home for our acrobatics workshop and, as it would turn out, we would have a new place to train every week. This is perfect because the hall where we sometimes train aerials isn’t always available to us – whereas Sandi has made Studio 202 always available to us.

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Sandi on the far right, recognisable thanks to her blue hair

Thanks to Philipp from Codarts Circus School in Rotterdam for coming and giving us such excellent teaching!

photo 2

 

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Seeing as acrobatics and aerials has become such a big part of the society, we recently had a meeting concerning the name of the society we are operating under: Juggling & Slacklining Society. We voted to change it. I was voted into the committee as Aerials & Acrobatics president. Yesterday, we met on King’s Lawn at the university and had an official photo shoot for our new society.

The CIRCUS ARTS & FIRE SKILLS society!

photograph by Jamie Hughes

photograph by Jamie Hughes

This photograph will go into the Freshers’ Manual for next year so we can advertise our society to all new students. I think we look like a very fun society!

The people in this society have become my family. I now also have a regular job teaching acrobatics to adults in Studio 202. Things are really coming together.

With all the colours in my life in Aberdeen, I still look wistfully across the water at the Other Life I could be living – but I’ve lived it, haven’t I? Now it’s time for this.

a studious writer

(but like everyone else, I need occasional reminding)

So summer is coming and I’m back on Skype a lot with Mark. I post the occasional picture of our digital conversations, which must be completely fascinating (ah, the sarcasm) but I have no other way of letting you know that we’re hard at work!

this is the one I mean

this is the one I mean

Mark is magical. I don’t know if I have said that enough: we have had our share of ups and downs concerning the ILLUSTRATIONS. Then, last week, he sent me a DROPBOX LINK. “Here it is. Have fun.”

dropbox

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I might have gone crazy that day. All the illustrations were in there. ALL! (Except the cover.)

I can’t publish any spoilers but I do want to share one or two illustrations with you, because you have been so wonderfully patient and supportive all these years. This share is just for my beautiful ayllu – and you know who you are. Here are a few, not-photoshopped.

I once knew a group of flying men and women, and although they were born with their gifts, they worked very hard to perfect it and be graceful in the air. I met them at a time when my head was in a muddle and I walked around looking like a baba, all my thoughts in confused knots on top of my head. After making love to one of the flying women, I agreed to travel with their caravans for a while and see if I could do something about my knots…

IMG_7664

by Mark Klawikowski for “Qayqa” by Ritti Soncco

by Mark Klawikowski for "Qayqa" by Ritti Soncco

by Mark Klawikowski for “Qayqa” by Ritti Soncco

by Mark Klawikowski for "Qayqa" by Ritti Soncco

by Mark Klawikowski for “Qayqa” by Ritti Soncco

I called him to congratulate him – and we ended up discussing the cover for an hour. This is what it’s not going to be, but a rough idea of what it will look like. If you’ll remember, this was the sketch I gave Mark:

photo 3

And this is what Mark transformed it into:

rough sketch by Mark Klawikowski

rough sketch by Mark Klawikowski

 

It won’t be this one because he’s messing around with what kind of water colours / ink to use. Why did we spend one hour talking about it? We discussed if Damian should stand still (as he does in my sketch) or if he should be walking (as in Mark’s). We agreed immediately that he should be walking. We discussed the edges of the words, which I want to be natural, organic and full of rough edges. I wouldn’t want them to be clean & clear. Mark said you couldn’t see it, but he had already started giving them rough edges. We discussed if you could see the desert behind Damian, and if not, how to hint at it. We discussed what Damian is carrying in his hand.

You know, details.

Well, my dearest ayllu, I must be off. This week, I’ll be studying for my exams next week and, during my breaks, I’ll do the last digital editing on the illustrations and begin to lay them into the book.

The final stages are upon us… Soon, I’ll blog about the BOOK TOUR.

So please stay tuned.

And thank you for your continuous support, dearest ayllu. This dialogue has been my continuous support to continue fighting for my work to be published – and to fight off my snide little doubts. Some of my occasional Skype chats with Ben have been about our doubts, and yet we continue fighting. As long as we support each other, there’s no need to give up, is there?

Congratulations, once again, dear Ben, for everything you are doing. For not giving up, for believing in your voice, and – above all – for staying so humble. You’re doing a damn fucking amazing thing, and you can really give yourself more pats on the back! There’s a part of me that really believes that everything you touch becomes gold.

 

Love, Ritti

1st Crowdfunding Party, or: The Pixie Who Reminded Me To Laugh

4 Jun
 My dearest ayllu,

Last Friday, 24th May, I held my 1st Crowdfunding Party. All were invited to hear my reading of Qayqa and watch the premiere of my Crowdfunding Video. I am delighted to begin this blog post with these beautiful pictures… and many beautiful videos!

all photographs of the Crowdfunding Party courtesy of Ben Paul

all photographs of the Crowdfunding Party courtesy of Ben Paul

Premiere being over, I would love to begin this blog post with the Crowdfunding Video, filmed to promote my upcoming novel Qayqa

When I was writing the concept for my crowdfunding video, I began looking for something to make it a bit unique, give it an eye-catcher. I also knew I would be editing it myself, therefore looked for something to challenge me. I considered the things I find especially interesting in filmmaking.

Simple answer:  split-screens!

Now there are several ideas behind the concept of the Two Rittis:

  • There are two Rittis: there is the bubbly, happy, easily excitable one, who will dance around while she tells you about her book. Then there is the quiet, sombre, observant Ritti, who, after giving a reading is more of a listener. She’s the one the audience come to, to talk about their impressions of & thought on the reading. She’ll listen quietly, actually shyly, take it all backstage with her and have a Long Hard Think. She’s a bit cheeky, but it’s all in her head
  • Being a very typical Gemini. Btw, Mark is also Gemini, and when we worked together, we used to sure: “We can easily do all this work. After all, there are four of us.”
  • Being an only child and always wishing for a sibling
  • There’s a painting I adore by my favourite painter, and this is a little hommage to it, and the things it stands for:
"The Two Fridas" by Frida Kahlo

“The Two Fridas” by Frida Kahlo

Ofcourse the scenes of me on the black silks allude to what inspired the “flying people” of Qayqa: when I joined Circus Serrando, befriending aerialists and discovering a second home at the circus.

I want to thank Fabiano “the Fab Fab” Nitsch for filming this beautiful video with me; for his patience & kindness & red wine. The amazing thing about Fabiano is, no matter what you say to him, his reply will be: “We’ll get that done! No problem!”

It was a beautiful night at the Fort Unterer Kuhberg. We presented our video to the premiere crowd of the 24th May, right after I read Qayqa for the first time in a very long time… And this is what my reading looked like:

The place was beautifully decorated, lit up with candles. The guests mingled to Ray LaMontagne, looked at Mark’s beautiful illustrations, and at 9 pm, all moved to the main room, where I read a few poems and then read several sections from my upcoming novel Qayqa.

IMG_6668

IMG_6670

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Thanks to the incredibly fabulous Fabiano Nitsch (therefore known on my blog as “the Fab Fab”), I can present you a beautiful short film from that night! The Fab spent the entire night crawling among the audience with 3 different cameras, filming everything he could, and then spent the following days editing this beautiful short video. 

the Fab Fab at work

the Fab Fab at work

For those of you who couldn’t come in person… and for those who asked for a video (hello Hannah!), this is for you…

IMG_6675

As I said, I read a few poems…

… Such as The Backpacker Poem. Of this, there is also a video, thanks to Fabiano:

Looking back, it was a beautiful night – but at the time, I was nervous. I hadn’t really slept. Pixie and I ran around all day organising last minute things, and I don’t know how prepared I really was. Personally, I wasn’t 100% satisfied with my performance.

I received very helpful feedback from friends, and have spent the last week thinking about what I should do differently. Change within myself, not the setting. The setting was beautiful; the decorations made it homey, romantic and dreamy. I loved it so much. There were blankets for cuddling, and there was an abundance of red wine, beer and pisco sour, which the audience enjoyed in elegant quantities.

IMG_6680

Gerhard brought THE BIGGEST HUNK OF CHEESE in the world. It was bigger than my torso! Does anyone have a picture of it??? It was AMAZING. And it was a parmesan that I, being lactose-intolerant, could actually eat. Thank you Gerhard!

And yet I felt I wasn’t entirely focussed. There was a personal development that caught me off-balance, and as a performing artist knows: the show must go on! But I think I had a hard time really letting myself fall into my own words – and when that happens, I feel as though I were cheating my audience. Ofcourse, after reading Qayqa for the 100th time, you don’t feel the same excitement as at the first time, and what you might never guess is that while I read, I am actually very observant of my audience – and I have a thousand thoughts running through my head. All of this disabled me from really feeling what I read, and that isn’t a nice feeling when you’re performing…

 Thankfully, the feedback from my audience was that all had a great time, enjoyed the reading – even enjoying my singing – and are now looking forward to supporting my crowdfunding project. THANK YOU!

it's a good face

it’s a good face

So there are some things I want to do differently for the 2nd Crowdfunding Reading on the 6th June. There was great feedback for the singing: I sang Somos, the Chavela Vargas way. This time, I want to have a greater variety of songs, each placed in a certain chapter. I have a little list…

Before I began reading, I told some stories about how Qayqa developed. This time, I’d like to get more into that. This time, I’ll say you’re welcome to ask questions. This time, Mark wants to give a little tour through his exhibition of illustrations.

Planning what I’d do differently is making me very excited for the 2nd Crowdfunding Party on the 2nd June! So if you’re reading this, and you came to the 1st, might I encourage you to come to the 2nd too? Each reading is a further stage of blossoming. Re-come, re-join, and re-party with us! There will be pisco sour, brought especially by my mother from Perú (she arrives tomorrow!).

your invitation to the 2nd Crowdfunding Reading!

your invitation to the 2nd Crowdfunding Reading!

After the Crowdfunding Party, I fell into an exhausted little hole. I spent the entire weekend in bed, barely moving a muscle. Pixie and I waved at each other from our beds, we watched films and spoke in mumbles. Then on Sunday, I somehow managed to sleep until 4 pm, I missed my shift at the Café Naschkatze, and subsequently got fired.

Damnit…!

A side of me was intensely shocked; I have never ever missed work like that before. I was ashamed that I had let my co-workers down, so I called everyone to apologise; apologised to the boss, and, in the end, left the café on very good terms. Sorry, people, no more cappuccini from me!

On the other hand, this is a – feeling cheeky as I say this – somewhat welcome step. I had announced at the café that I’d be leaving end of June, because (here it comes) I am giving up my apartment in the end of June. I’ll be travelling all of July & August. And why?

I announced it on Facebook last week:

this is why

this is why! 

The cat’s out of the bag!

That’s why I flew to Aberdeen in May: I was visiting the University of Aberdeen, where I have been accepted to the Masters course of Anthropology with Hispanic Studies. … !

Aberdeen beach

Aberdeen beach

Yes, I already applied, but I didn’t want to announce it until a) the university accepted me; b) I visited it to see if I liked it. And like it I did! Shortly beforehand, I got searched the university’s societies to see if there was a circus society, in touch with the Juggling Society, stayed on their sofa, got drunk with them, danced with them, and in the middle of the night, got out my computer and accepted the university’s offer!

impression of Aberdeen University

impression of Aberdeen University

As of September 2013, I will be a student, and I am terribly excited about it. The decision to go to university has nothing to do with “giving up” my life as an artist. I could never do that. I was born to do this, and although it is certainly challenging sometimes, it is what I love.

The decision to go to university came out of the desire to learn more. I have been passionately reading essays and biographies on anthropology and ethnobotany for a few years now. Their influence can certainly be felt in my writing. By going to university, I am filling up my glass again, for I am deeply thirsty for more knowledge. I am also hoping to acquire additional means of financial income, and, ofcourse, added freedom to travel, investigate, learn and write down. Going to university is a step I need to take as a woman, and as a writer. While studying anthropology, I hope to specialise in Latin American and Caribbean studies, so that I may travel there more often – dive deeper into their magic realism, and swim to shore with more ideas for more books.

courtesy of Chris Marshall

courtesy of Chris Marshall

What will happen to the blog?

It will continue, ofcourse! I’m not going to stop writing. In the future, I will continue to dedicate my blog to my artistic endeavors, perhaps occasionally mentioning which part of my studies are influencing my writing. We’ll see what happens. But this I promise you, ayllu: as long as I continue breathing, I will continue writing.

Seeing as my book planning has been pushed back a few months, it also looks like I’ll be book-touring in spring / summer 2014. So don’t worry, my dearest ayllu: our adventure together is far from over… This I promise you.

Therefore losing the job at the café, while sad, and giving me some financial instability this month, is … well … actually alright. So thank you Naschkatze for all the wonderful mornings and afternoons! It was beautiful while it lasted. I’ll come again – as a guest. 

After I lost my job, I realised I could now concentrate fully on Qayqa! So I hit the StartNext website to promote it, because you need 25 fans for the project to be official. Over the space of 3 hours I bugged everyone on Facebook and we quickly made over 25 fans!

O how I celebrated.

Seeing as my best lamp is still at the Crowdfunding Party, we moved the celebration to the bathroom. You can just about see my shower in the background.

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I had to stand on the toilet to do this, and yes, I was really shouting and celebrating. I was in an exceptional mood. While I was shouting, my lovely Pixie started quietly filming me – and this is the video that she made:

Now, I’m just waiting for the final verifications on the StartNext website, so that we can officially begin supporting Qayqa. This is where you’ll find her: http://www.startnext.de/qayqa

Hopefully the page will be up and running by tomorrow. I’ve sent off an email asking for the final verification, because, truth be told, you have to give these StartNext people a lot of things, including scanned copies of your passport, and then they need a few days to verify that you really are who you say you are. That’s why all this has taken a bit of time to get online… But hopefully, hopefully… tomorrow…

Now, HERE IS WHERE I NEED YOUR HELP: 

For my upcoming book-tour, I want to come to YOU. I want to come to the cities YOU tell me to. If you know a good café, a friendly pub, a lovely library … or if you’d like to open up your living room & invite all of your friends: WRITE ME.

I have a team. I’ve never had this before, so these times are truly amazing. I actually have a PR Woman! She wants to remain anonymous (but she won’t manage for long) so for my love of nicknames I have called my PR lady: POWER RANGER. This is her Facebook page.

So if you know of a lovely place where you think I should perform Qayqa… Or you think I should read in your living room…

Please write:   pr.rittisoncco@gmail.com

Power Ranger might just be at the 2nd Crowdfunding Party on the 6th June… So if you can make it, tell all your friends to make it too, and join us! You saw the pictures! I promise you it will be beautiful. You can ask all your questions, we’ll drink pisco sour together, and I will sing in tune, I promise.

And now, for one last Other Something…

a mysterious occurrence in the kitchen

a mysterious occurrence in the kitchen, caused by a pixie

Shortly before my first Crowdfunding Party on the 24th May, a young backpacker lady called Richelle moved in with me, into my 1-bedroom apartment. I nicknamed her “Pixie”, because ever since I first met her in Cusco, Perú, she had a pixie nature.

There’s a lot I can say about pixie natures, but there’s one important thing I really want to say. Her stay with me was MEDICINE.

If you want to know what I mean, THIS is MEDICINE:

  • Spend a winter alone, bordering on depression, not getting any work done and wondering what the whole point of it is. Along comes a pixie, and I’m laughing all day
  • Not eating very well, because you’re (see above). Along comes a pixie, who not only insists on cooking, but also cooks only the healthiest of things for you, and suddenly eating is a celebration again
  • Demanding silence, only to realise that I had 5 months of silence and laughing with her is that much better
  • Discovering a lot of things about yourself; things you can only discover when someone close to you holds up a mirror

my favourite picture

She was an amazing help for my Crowdfunding Party. Not only did she cut all of the flyers (because I can’t cut a straight line to save my life. I’m amazed they let me out of kindergarten)… she also helped set up the entire party… stayed up working with me until 4 am… Drank too much coffee and threatened me with a sock… Helped me think my organising through, and then helped me organise…

Above all: she made me laugh.

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There’s a problem when you make a living doing something you love. Maybe this is something other freelancers will nod at; maybe this is just me: You forget to laugh.

You get so caught up in all the organising, all the structure, all the pulling of all strings – that when someone asks me a simple question while I’m mid-thought, I give a curt & unpleasant response. Richelle, however, reminded me to laugh. Those of you who met her at the Crowdfunding Party will know she’s a hilarious young lady. Just by being how she is, she reminded me to stop worrying; stop biting too hard onto problems; to step back and think about her questions, answer things calmly, instead of being annoyed at being disturbed mid-thought again.

Do this – and you’ll laugh a lot more.

Because – seriously – WHY are we doing this, if we’re not having fun doing it??? Why all the work, all the phone calls, all the press-contacting, all the people-emailing, all the Making of Lists – IF WE’RE NOT HAVING A LAUGH???

photo 5

After a long grey winter of staring at the wall, Richelle made me laugh & enjoy my work again. She came into my life, turned all the paintings in my apartment upside down, fattened me up … and now she’s saying her farewells. Is the road calling? She came at the right time. Wherever she goes, I’m sure she’ll arrive there at the right time too. I hope she’ll be back. She was an epic companion, and a friend when I most needed one.

So much happening, dear ayllu. I hope to see you at the 2nd Crowdfunding Party on the 6th June! Come meet us all in person (Ritti, Mark, the Fab Fab, Pixie, Power Ranger), celebrate with us, and let me whisk you away when I read…

and again

and again

I want to leave you with this beautiful song, sent to me by the Pixie while she was in Malaysia. I got it at a time when life was still pretty hard, and I must have listened to it 10 times over. Now I want to pass it on.

Thank you, ayllu, for cheering me up – for supporting Qayqa – for listening. Have a wonderful night. See you on the 6th June.

Love, Ritti