Monday, February 27, 2006


I have to re-begin this by saying that I have just written for the last 40 minutes and lost everything that I wrote.... This is a common frustration, and one that, in the most positive light I can spin, gives real tangible meaning to the impermanence of everything.
So, I will begin again and try not to mourn too much what is now gone.
I am writing this from my bed in Toronto. It is Saturday morning the 25th of Feb. and it is now 5:40am (was 5am when I first began)..... This is a secret. Most people think I am not back until Monday the 27th and I am keeping it that way, having returned on Wed. (5 days early) specifically to re-adjust without the pressures of work and demands squashing me immediately.

Ah, tiredness is beginning to set in again, and I'm not sure if I'm up for this re-composition, but I will try because the reason I had wanted to write this specifically is to track a bit the crazy whirlwind journey of re-entry herself especially when in combination with jet-lag.
I thought I had escaped them.... ah but that was just part of their evil plan to send me through hoola hoops of emotional gymnastics.

I have been reading Carlos Castenada's account of his time with don Juan, learning the ways of mescalito, devil's weed, and little smoke and I can't help but think that this current state I am in is also an entity.

And so I shall give her a name: re-entrada jet-laggeenish.

Not very imaginative, I know, but after all it is pre-dawn and as objective as I am attempting to be, I am very much under her spell.

This early return kept a secret is a new thing for me... creating concrete boundaries of time and space to give room to needs that have nothing to do with never-ending demands of schedule. This need for space is actually incredibly human and every-day, I am discovering. I feel like I have been fooled into believing that it is a luxury one cannot possibly afford or claim..... I'm learning, though.

Much like I am learning that taking the time to really indulge in the pleasure and sensuality of basic home things (like cooking a really good meal and making sure there's wine in the house) is more of a personal necessity than I had ever imagined or bought into. This comes partly from being incredibly inspired by staying in the homes of some very good cooks in the latter part of my journey. And now along with some other delicious bits, this inspiration is still floating quite strongly in my imagination.

Funny that, how I always come home feeling so renewed and committed and brimming with the huge possible... and then there is that awkward adjustment of trying to integrate these free floating ideas with the seemingly solid gravity of my everyday set-in-its-ways life that has been here waiting for me... heavy concrete blocks grumbling and ready to pounce.

Now of course, some of this dark view is just re-entrada jet-laggeenish, and this is precisely why I am writing... to catch her at her tricks. But, that being said, there is some truth to the experience of the formless dream putting on her gravity boots and trying to assume her shape in the "real world". It's a bit heart-breaking,no? As she struggles to fit in and those boots are much too big for her and no one smiles here...

And me, thinking that I had brilliantly evaded re-entrada.... enticed into thinking that I could spin away painlessly and get so many things done in this "extra" time. No, she will take her time and I will need to face the very every dayness of my own humanity.... what I had anticipated, and why I came back early in the first place: needing to rest and do nothing. why is that so hard?

ok. so let's do a bit of tracking here, and then I think I'm back off to bed for a little bit.

I arrive Wed. afternoon. Tired, but not unduly. My wonderful parents have come to escort me home. Quite ready to lay down, once here, my energy level does that weird second-wind spurt when I see Jasna, who has been staying at my house while I'm gone. Suddenly I am full of stories and I putter around unpacking. My one hour nap doesn't really pull me into sleep until it needs to end and then I'm out of the house doing some grocery shopping in order to cook the long awaited simple meal of kale, rice, and fish that I have been dreaming of for weeks now.... no bread, no extravagant sauce, and cooked and consumed in my own home listening to Johnny and Emre's Cd's, dancing in-between stirs. Then off to hear Joanne Brakeen at the Montreal Bistro with my Dad until a fit of yawns sends me back home. She was fantastic, though.

And then a fairly uninterrupted sleep of 9 hours! I wake, feeling rejuvanated and convinced that I have single-handedly beaten re-entrada jet-laggeenish. I spaciously and confidently bite into my day, eating a leisurely breakfast, going for a much needed run, doing a luxurious shop at the st. lawrence market, getting my hair cut, going to mamo chants at the Shambhala centre, picking up some videos, preparing and sharing a lovely meal and bottle of wine with Jasna and going to bed very late......

"See, it's so easy! "I am fooled into thinking. I really AM super-woman. Think of how much I can get done in this extra time! I am fully and painlessly re-integrated into my "new" life and I will never feel a shred of doubt or fear again!

Really, it's kinda cute when I look now at myself in that spin. The delusion really comes out of an incredibly hopeful place.

But of course, I don't sleep so well that second night. Things move much more slowly in day two. I try to nap and all I do is get frustrated. I feel like I can't quite connect with anything or anyone.... common occurence in the land of not-enough-sleep. I try to make it to my friend Lisa's surprise birthday party and somehow I completely miss the boat (this moment feels strangely familiar to the dance roads curse of just- missed connections).

And now I am up again, and who knows how the day will go.... up and down and all over the place I'm sure. Tears and laughter, moments of really feeling my feet on the ground and the lingering sense of the huge possible right alongside moments of that strange despair that feels so real while you're in it.

To be honest, it's strange writing down all the highlights of the last few weeks. All these stories told in good humour are real. But they are just snap-shots. This unfolding emotional roller-coaster has been very much part of the landscape the whole time... not just the landscape of re-entrada. Very dark moments that would unbelievably resurface into hillarity, only to plummet again, leaving me very unsure of who or where I was. I did really long to come home for that reason. Longed to remember something tangible. Longed to rest.

Makes me wonder about the nature of home.
Yes, there is the very physical place full of all the stuff you want to run away from and then which you miss when you're gone.
But, I think I will just keep running until I actually move into that elastic home that travels with me everywhere.
I am really hoping that there is something of knowing how to begin making that move, that I have brought back with me from what, in a lot of ways, was a time of shaken expectations and upheaval. My suspicion is that shaken expectations, frustration, upheaval, groundlessness, were all disguises for growth. That is my hope.

And so I've got my eye on that hope....
I'm not looking at her too directly because she'll get self-conscious.
She's slowly slipping into her gravity boots right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have the most beautiful incling that she's got a good chance of making her place here.

whadaya know... the sun's coming up, and I'm going to try sleeping again.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

on my own

See, i kept my promise. Only 12 hours later and I'm back. A little sleepless but here.
I'm sure i will have many more things to say as time goes by, but I wanted to at least get down the basics.

So, first I'm going to cheat a bit because earlier on I had written an e-mail to the danceroads contingent detailing the beginnings of my time away and I think I'm just going to copy and paste that here, as it really says it all:

"I had a good long bus ride myself: from Cardiff to Birmingham and then
from Birmingham to Leeds. And when I wasn't chatting with people (which
I'll tell you about in a minute) I was also letting images and memories of
the last month drift in and out of focus as the countryside whizzed by.

I thought of our first meal together (although Emre wasn't there that
night).... how polite we all were, but now looking back I can recognize
the small glimpses given into the eventual personalities that I would get
to know. Dusan spilling his beer and blushing, Freida fishing the ice
cubes out of her water, Gareth and Meg admiring my large beer and
re-ordering for themselves, Nilan and I squabbling over menu items, Gian
so so so enjoying his food, and Johnny sitting quietly at the end of the
table taking it all in.

Nilan, Freida and I dancing like crazy banshees at the Akron family
concert as Gian and Emre slowly got pulled in.... there are so many
images, and I feel so thankful and blessed that through everything we
really came together... this strange makeshift family... and it seems
strange now not to be able to sit and laugh about my day with all of
you... all of a sudden.

It occurs to me that there is mapping to be done just of our relationship
to each other... How our individual lines merge and weave and divert and
become thicker with retracing... a knot unfurling across the world now but
with this very tangible centre that exists in some place outside of
physical geography... or does it have a home? if we placed the map of each
of our cities on top of each other would the our individual lines weave
themselves into a knot.... floating, invisible, internal like veins and
arteries... essential.

ok, I'm getting kind of nostalgic... but I do think it's a potent image
and it feels true to me.... you feel under my skin.

It seems strange now that you never came to Nilan and my city. That I was
never able to invite you into my home. When I get back I think I will need
to throw a virtual party for you all... take you to the parts of my city
that resonate for me, like the redpath sugar factory down on the lake
shore that smells of raw sugar and has mountains of sugar that you can see
through the warehouse door. Like cherry beach, where I go to clear my
head. Like our island... small oasis from concrete. Like the grit of
Kensington market, the swing that someone built down a dark alley, like
the upright base someone made by drilling stings into a lamp-post, like
the smell of china town where if you're lucky you can find a piece of
chopped-up fish with it's heart still beating (sorry Ga and Meg), like the
field of cow sculptures in the middle of the business district.

Another time....

Anyway, my day.
I met three very distinct and chatty people on my travels.
On the first bus trip, I sat next to Ivor. Ivor is probably about 65 or
70. He is retired from the telecommunications business. He was travelling
with his with Margery to visit their daughter and grandchidren. Among
other things, Ivor really likes the new "Billy Elliot" musical.... he
highly recomends it. He was recovering from a feeding frenzy at this
restaurant in Newport (where he lives) where they have a "10 on the 10th"
policy: the 10th of every month you can get 10 desserts for the price of
one. Mind you, only one person in the history of this tradition has ever
actually eaten 10 desserts. Ivor only had two, and still he didn't sleep
so well last night. He thinks I should go into acting and he's going to
try to promote me in Newport.

Then in the Birmingham bus station, I sat down next to Hughie who just
launched right into a conversation like we'd known each other for ever.
Hughie is a Scott, although he doesn't live there anymore. He was heading
for North Wales because ten years ago he took up running races and there's
a race there this weekend. Keep in mind that Hughie is at least 70 years
old. He was a soldier when he was young, he danced highland dancing for
the Queen at Royal Albert's Hall, and he used to be a baker. He's a
pensioner now and is skeptical of the system. Sometimes he does volunteer
gardening. I had to lean in very close to hear him and his accent was
quite strong so there are many things that I missed, but nodded and smiled
and tried to follow as best I could. He carries a little note-pad that he
bought at a Pound store. It has the pop-up face of a bear on the cover and
he gets everyone he meets to sign it and to write "All the best Hughie,
keep running" and then put down the place that he met them. I gave him my
address so that he can send me some of his poetry.

Then on the bus to Leeds, I slept for a good two hours. When I woke,
Dillon asked me where my accent was from. Dillon is a thirty-year old
newly reformed drug dealer from Leeds. He has spent the last 8 months in
Wales in a rehab program and he has found Jesus. Now he's part of a
program to help turn people like him around and find God. He is quite
inspiring, really. Has completely turned his life around and really
believes in what he's saying. Whether or not you believe in God, you can
see that this experience has been profoundly positive and life altering
for him. When we arrived in Leeds he helped me figure out where I was
going and carried my bag to the taxi stand. He's staying with his Mum here
in Leeds. He asked me if I knew how special I am... made me think about
how we can all be, all ARE special. No more or less than each other....
but special non the less.

I got to my hotel.... the fucking poshest place I have ever stayed. WAY
over my budget, but I'm considering it a birthday present to myself. It's
strange not to have any of you down the hall. We could have a party in my
ultra-chick bathroom. The television screen said "Welcome Susanna" when I
entered the room!

I got myself all together for a night of schmoozing here at the festival.
Arrived at the theatre and it was truly overwhelming.... TEEMING with
obviously the whole UK dance who's who scene... of course I don't know who
any of them are so I had the freedom of this sort of strange anonymity. I
downed some wine and planted myself a still point and the centre of the
storm of networking fiends.

The show was not so good... fantastic dancers but just really a bunch of
dancy-shmancy stuff.... I'm realizing more and more what I want from
performance, and basically if it doesn't grab me by the balls or perhaps
the fica, then I just can't get that excited.

As coincidence would have it, the people I was set to meet from Birmingham
(but didn't know how in the middle of this mass) were sitting right beside
me in the theatre. Went out for an amazing indian dinner with these
Quebecois people who were also there in affiliation with Birmingham...
there are a lot of Canadians here and a bunch of NYC people too.

But then I got locked out of the big after festival party.... i didn't
have a pass and I got behind the people I was tagging with... so now after
a wander through the drunken streets of Leeds I'm back in my hotel.

Feel a bit like I missed the boat with the schmooze thing but part of me
doesn't care, although I have paid a pretty penny to get up here and
stay... ah well, the Dance Roads curse of shaken expectations
continues.... doesn't matter.... I feel that this tour has taught me a bit
about trusting that things happen as they do because that's how they're
meant to go... and if you keep your eyes open, eventually you'll see the
open doors and the reasons why.

I know I have lots to digest about this hazy-potent time we have shared...
it will continue to unwind and trickle its meaning till we meet again....
scattering threads spreading round the world and then spinning in together
once more..."

Ok. now we are back to me looking back and speaking from a distance.
I spent a second day in Leeds, discovered that it is home to the Henry Moore Institute so I wandered the streets and eventually found myself there, looking at art from the 50's by Brazillians protesting the regime. Also wandered around following a treasure map of window art installations hidden in unsuspecting places around the city. It was a rainy day and I spoke to almost no one save for the woman from whom I bought a cornish pasty. I holed myself up in my very expensive hotel room, watched some very bad tv for the first time in 5 weeks and ordered the most expensive fish and chips of my life as room service.... hey, I was about to turn 36 and figured I deserved a treat.

Next day, my birthday. And in Birmingham at that! Received all sorts of lovely e-mails which I could hold secretly to myself as I walked anonymously through my day. Met with the DanceXchange people who very generously gave me the scoop on all the people in the UK I should be contacting about touring, etc. (found out the party i missed was not really that much of an opportunity anyway) and saw a rather bad hip-hop rendition of Romeo and Juliet. Not the worst thing I've ever seen, by far, and I am quite amazed at people's physical ability.

Then, off to Dublin for a day.... the cheapest way for me to fly from Birmingham to Brussels was to fly to Dublin first, which gave me the perfect to excuse to visit my friend Sonia, her delightful Mum, and her two twin 7-year old daughters. So much joy pouring out of these two! Even when they woke me earlier than I would have liked, there was no way anyone could have stayed irritated..... they quite litterally laugh from the moment they wake till the moment they sleep. Everything is a game and there is pleasure in every crack in the sidewalk.... so good to be reminded of that!

Went to an art opening (sonia's a painter) and had what I was assured was my first Guinness (it being my first one in Ireland) in the company of her art friends. One in particular, who would just hate that I was writing this, has a site that I think is worth checking out:
Nevan is opperating at 100miles an hour at every moment of the day. He chastized me for not getting as drunk as everyone else and accused me of taking notes on the scene from my perch of sobriety. Well, he was sort of right.... although I honestly would never have been able to keep up with the drinking even if i'd been in any shape to do so. I won't say that much here, just that you should visit the site... it's a bit nuts to navigate, but it's worth it.

A talk with Sonia about this feeling of something creatively needing to break inside me got her egging me on to apply to the Irish Museum of Modern Art for a residency. We made a pact to be aggressively bitchy rather than regressively bitchy and I now have to hold to the commitment that one day a week I will devote to sound. I'll leave that ambiguous for now and we'll see what that means over time.

This vow came in perfect time for what was one of the true highlights of my time away: Brussels. And more specifically Brussels in the inspired company of Bob and Liz.

Bob is a composer that I met briefly when I was last in Brussels two years ago touring with John Oswald. He approached me after our show and invited me to come and do a wee bit of recording at his home studio. I was a little apprehensious at the time... I mean, who IS this guy, and why am going over to his house? (then again, based on pure instinct, I got into a car with Andy in Cardiff and drove 40 minutes out of town to a beach..... I may be too sure of myself, but thus far I have managed to distinguish the good leeds from potential serial killers).

Anyway, two years later, Bob sends me what he's done with what was a very casual recording session of me improvising with text that his parter Liz had wrtten. And this is the starting point for what I think will be a very exciting collaboration.

So I spent a few days in the home of these wonderful people. My own attic apartment. A great big kitchen in which Liz gave me my first bread-making lesson (made for foccacia...yummmy!), walks down old cannals, dinners in the homes of other friends, and lots and lots of talks with Bob about art and music and science, and comix... listening to what we'd created so far, dreaming, taking notes and doing another 5 hours of recording.... a little more focussed, but in the same spirit of exploration.

You know, I love this work. This work that doesn't feel like work. When I find myself in it, I'm almost always surprised at how not like work it feels. Of course it's not always like that. But when you're actually doing something that you love, even when it's incredibly challenging, there is some element, some quiet strain of pleasure to it. Then I think, "this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And I'm so lucky!" I felt this, too, when we actually got on stage during the tour. It's very affirming, and so clear. Just when you thought you were completely lost and unable to locate anything anymore.... there it is. There you are.

This time was very precious. I feel like I've made two very good new friends in both these people, and I feel quite committed to finding my way back there.

In general, even though there is much about the trip that needs still to come into focus for me, and I think this may take a few months, there is something about shaking up perspective that I can already see has been very valuable.

Seeing Meg Stuart's "Replacement" in Berlin.... seeing a wholly different aesthetic in general, of artists unapologetically taking up space and being given the space or taking the space to do so: Gob Squad, Ausland.... Just being somewhere else, surrounded by many different points of view and not being known. I feel like I need to "break my eye" as Claire would say in "Six feet under". And I feel hungry to do it. Not to smash everything that I've done before, but to allow myself to break it a bit..... nothing is so solid, nor should it be, I'm beginning to think.... as scary as that feels.

Perhaps to build, I need to break, too. Any structure needs spaces to breathe, as well as wild detours and surprises..... something to keep it always in a state of beginning on some level.... some level of inexperience, just learning.... I guess this is what they call "Beginner mind".

Anyway, with all this feeling of limitless potential I took myself off to Paris. Staying with one of my few friends for High School, Claude and her boyfriend Eric. Both artists: paint, video, word, and FOOD. Claude is gearing up to open her own cooking school, so we have feasted on duck and crepes and wine and cream and I am getting fatter and fatter. Paris is stunning as always, even on piss rain days.

After all this time, still have trouble with phone cards and figuring out country codes. Still have to look very closely at my money to distinguish how much change I am actually holding. But in a swing of travelling that has hit its stride, just as it's time to come home. But, yes, it IS time to come home.


Friday, February 24, 2006

ok so i'm a really bad blogger

Alright, so way too much time has gone by.
I am almost at the end of my trip and there are so very many things to report on, some of which are no longer so fresh in my head.
It has truly surprised me all along how dificult it's been to keep up with any sense of normal routine when changing geographical space so often. I have found when I have had moments where I could be writing, I have chosen instead to just let my mind wander.... so much new information to absorb and engage with.
Anyway, I did actually try to begin writing a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps I shall begin from those thoughts and then gab away on highlights from the last few weeks.

So, I actually spent a good deal of my time in Ljubljana writing the most complex grant of my life and dealing with the frustration of a 6 hour time-lag with my diligent adminsitrator, Katie, and the fact that small town Slovenia is not the easiest place to find an internet cafe at just any hour. This stress certainly flavoured my time there and I missed out on a day at the lake in the mountains.
Took a walk up to the castle (in the centre of the city on top of great big hill) and wandered through its underpinnings, befriending two hungry cats on the way the up. I have to say, I have never consistently eaten so much shwarma in my life.... it's the staple food of late nights and last-minute eating in strange lands.
So strange to realize that already three weeks on the road and our performance there was only our third. I think we were pretty well received, although someone did walk out.... I sort of consider that a compliment though... would rather provoke a strong negative response rather than no response at all. Hard to tell what other audience thought exactly because our one "talk back" session was momopolized by a very nervous presenter who gave a half hour monologue in Slovenian as we all wilted and waited to eat.
As a whole, it was odd and a bit discombobulating to perform so little with such large gaps between shows. Amazing to feel the instant sense of place and purpose when we find ourselves in the theatre. All of a sudden I would remember who I was again, making both tech rehearsal and show the least stressful moments of the trip... these little islands of gravity.

Trip from Ljubljana to Luxembourg
Ok. Now this was crazy... as was the trip from Luxembourg to Cardiff... although I think this first one takes the cake! Now, I highly recommend that before you read on you go get an atlas and look at the distance between these two places.

ok, brace yourself.... it took us 12 hours to make this journey:
at 7am we checked out of our lovely Cellica hostel, saying goodbye to nights of bad europop blasting up from the bar on the first floor and we all piled into two vans. I was in van # 1, driven by Igor (who had picked us up at the airport days before) with Emre, Johnny, Freide, Gianfranco, and Nilan. We drove to the airport in Venice... all along the way Nilan and I sang everything we could think of from Queen to traditional blues to "I want it that way". We stopped at the first gas station over the Italian border for a cappucino and to pick up the paper.... Gian reading for real and Freide and I phonetically reading every Italian word we could see, both inside and outside the car. Johnny kept quite quiet throughout... these long days were not favorites of his.
Then at the airport we all had to pay crazy extra luggage charges because Ryan air charges you for every extra thought you might carry on the plane with you.... great cheap way to fly if you're naked and you have no luggage.
So, flight to Brussels Charleroi airport, followed by bus to train station (belgian waffles quickly downed), followed by two trains to Luxembourg city, followed by mini-bus to Esch. Arrivel time: 7pm.

Luxembourg (well actually Esch sur Alzette)
Esch. What a strange and kind of unwelcoming place. Definitely a weird vibe, but pretty non-the-less. Here, I had the best room.... a double bed, my own bathroom with a bathtub! I elicited much envy.
Poor Johnny had to deal with yet another grumpy tech crew. In fact, the presenters had brought in a guy from Austria who had a way of making these guys actually work. This special power was due to the fact that years ago he had come there and threatened to physically beat them like they had never been beaten before... so now they're scared of him and they will actually do what he says.... which is to work.
Also encountered the biggest diva I have yet met. Gian, Freide and I thought it might be nice to finally have a real dance class, so we took the train into Lux. city (gotta say, I really love this taking the train thing... makes me get all dreamy and begin thinking that I could live in any small European town and commute into my fabulous quaint imaginary life in some slightly large small European town) - i digress - This class had been previously arranged and we thought it was all fine. Finally a real dance studio with heat and the promise of someone else making up the excercises... sometimes I so long to be a student again.... So, dude shows up ( I won't use his name, in fact I don't think I can remember it) and he gets in a huff because he doesn't think we said "hello" to him properly and he refuses to teach. Freide and I go to try and make peace and he starts moaning about how tired he is and how class for three people just really isn't worth it. Whe we press him a bit, he starts storming around and says "Well, you know, I do a really hard class! None of this yoga or releasing stuff... I teach really hard tendus!" (Can you fucking believe it? "Really hard tendus" - I was almost curious enough to beg him to teach the class, just to know what the hell a "really hard tendu" is.) But instead, we just told him that if he was really not into it, it probably was better that he not teach.
It took a good half hour to disperse the yukky energy in that room.
What else?
Went to see a great exhibit at the "Casino" gallery in Lux city called "Joy". Room filled to the top with green balloons, video of woman smashing car windows with the biggest smile on her face, an intricate system of tubes down which you could send marbles and follow the progress from the top floor back to the entrance.
Also, the city is divided by this huge gorge that you can walk down into and follow along a wooded walk-way.... a lazy day of wandering, laughing, whistling, and learning some very important german phrases: "Do bist ein poopooloch" (you are an asshole, said in the most sweetest of ways).
I have to stop here and say, that it's funny to write about the things that are possible to describe in words to someone who wasn't there. There are so many moments between, filled with the intimate silliness that begins to develop between people when you put them together for 5 weeks of consecutive days... things I could never really describe here well, but things that make up the fabric of friendship... like barking like dogs and purposely bumping into poles while walking down the street, like being able to thread your arm through that of anyone else's and pat each other on the belly. See, it doesn't translate that well, but these are the things that really give the sould wings.

Back to business... so of course we performed, and our night was full of kids who I had to scare out of laughing. Well, that's not really accurate, but there is something about dealing with nervous laughter as audience response that turns the fire on under my ass, filling me with an incredible performance energy bent on grabbing their attention. And they did come with us eventually.... they quieted right down, which is quite an amazing feeling.
Nilan and I gave our first full workshop together. Of course I felt like throwing up before we started, and these things are always a working experience, but I think people had a good time and Gian even came out to support us and to add a second male energy to the room.

Beautiful couscous dinner at Emre's home and off we were to Cardiff....

Another 12 hour journey (can you believe it? I think perhaps they wanted us to experience as many different modes of transpoartation as possible... surprised we didn't ride ponies part of the way): car to Lux city, bus to Frankfurt airport, 4 hour wait in Frankfurt airport (in which every one spent at least a few moments in the sex shop - the one real highlight of the airport - i discoverd toys I never knew about, like the vagina sucker), flight to Stanstead (with a bit of no-working-papers angst on the part of us Canadians.... but we went through smooth as silk), and then a 4 hour car ride from Johnny's amazing friend Felix who saved us from having to wait for a train that would have got us to our destination at 2am. Oh, and it was Gian's birthday.... happy 35 Pavarotti!

Caerdidd (welsh for Cardiff and pronouced kay-er-deeth)
I have to say, after Montreal, this was really the smoothest theatre experience we had. Wonderful crew, extra warm-up space, office where we could use the internet and just all around general good feeling.
An absolutely beautiful sunny day that I spent hijacking a very beautiful and lovely native who drove me out of town to sand dunes and beach.
Another day where Nilan and I did a whirlwind of London: meeting the cultural attache at the Canadain Consulate, checking out exhibits at both the ICA and the Tate Modern ( very cool installation by Martin Kippenberger of a room full of every different kind of chair you can imagine in a one-on-one meeting with other chairs..... there is an inspiring idea here that has not yet formulated inside me.... i love it when that happens), and then dinner in the west end with our friends Rose and Nick (LAL, toronto), eating delicious jerk chicken and sweet potato dessert. It's always good to reconnect with home in some way.
Of course in the middle of this one-day extravaganza I got incredibly grumpy and tired and in order not to continue to be the biggest passive bitch in the world, I threw a small tantrum outside the Tate and took Nilan up on his very generous offer to punch him two times in the stomach.... rattled a few Londoner passerbys.... felt kinda good. You know, sometimes you need to scream and stomp until you can't help laughing at yourself in order to be able to be a decent human being again. Thank god for a good friend who can understand and whether these diabolic moments of mine.
And then it was all over..... so fast all of a sudden. A great feast at Meg and Ga's, a last night of drinking and dancing and completely taking over the dance floor.... and then off into the world in our separate ways.
I will write more about this separte journey later... I promise, really really this time.... like tomorrow at the latest.