Multidimensional identities / Katrina Douglas (2014)

I have been reading ‘On ( writing) families
Autoethnographies of presence and absence, love and loss’
Jonathan Wyatt and Tony E Adams
(Eds) Sense Rotterdam 2014 as part of my research into what home means to me

Katrina Douglas has written a multilayered account of a summer with her mum. Page 105-114

She says” there will plenty of time to be at home when you are old”

Douglas leaves a golf tournament and goes home, her mother was very pleased to see her and didn’t ask┬áher any questions
Word associations/ brain storming,
Home is a place to go to if you are miserable
Do you need blood relations/ relatives? My Dad, is my stepdad, home is not quite the same as before my Mum died, but I know I will always be welcome.

Both sets of our parents have moved out of ‘the family home’ as have Jon and I. I know my daughter found it very difficult as a concept initially when we moved up to Edinburgh. I will have to ask here what it feels like now, a year on.

When Jon’s Parents moved our son was small and I remember him wandering around their house saying good bye to objects, like the swimming pool and the patio, where he had played .

Douglas continues that at home multidimensional identities of hers were able to develop including – golf pro, singer, fruit picker, tea drinker and cake eater.

And on the golf course ( when she was miserable) something was missing from her body that only going home would fill.

When Jon was away and I was home alone, this did not apply, I wonder if Douglas’ holes would have been filled by an empty home?

I have multidimensional identities, I think I don’t have to be at home for them to develop. Teacher is definitely ‘out there’. She feels like someone who is switched off when I get home.

Maybe I picked her up through observing my mother the primary head teacher? However, after my primary education I rarely saw Mum the teacher in action. I saw ‘ill at the end of term’, ‘tired at the end of the day’,’ sitting on the sofa reading’ gardener, sewing Mum, decorator and coking Mum etc. All who have definitely influenced me and have a place ‘at home’ with me .

‘Sitting at the table looking out’ is alien me, but becoming a nice habit





In my own skin / earthaddictart

I am on my own for a week whilst Jon is in America on a conference. I wrote recently about what ‘home’ means. It feels something different this week. I am not working at the moment, I have a routine which is punctuated by Jon’s rhythms- getting up, making tea, leaving, maybe we meet up, cooking eating, watching something together at 9pm, bed.

While he is not here, I feel slightly disembodied with the amount of time and space I can inhabit. His rhythms are gone, so I don’t have to get up or be awake at 6.30am, (today I am still in bed at 12.30pm) I am cut loose, free.

It feels odd, I have my own repetitive embodied experiences that I do when he is around, wake up check my IG account, Facebook and email, see Krysten for art Tuesday, skype my Oxford friends on Wednesday, am voluntary Receptionist wed pm.

I have done all those things this week but the time is muddled, I have been making art, had my hair cut, been out for coffee, but it feels like it is different, quieter, I am happy in my own skin. I open and shut the shutters, leaving the cushions on the floor, I leave my art equipment out and my crotchet squares can stay put as I leave the pattern to evolve rather than tidy up at 5pm.

I miss the physical contact and the verbal interaction, but I am not bored or lonely. I would hate it if he was away longer and would need to seek out more other regular contact .I think I could easily become a recluse.

One thing I do miss is the intellectual stimuli I got from doing my MA. But that would be there if Jon was around . My friend Deb is working on some pieces for an exhibition based on WW1 artefacts and a poem. She has been posting images and some text this morning which moved me. I made a WW1 kaleidoscope and poppy jewellery but is feels shallow in comparison to her barbed wire hearts

I think the thing I gain from being on my own is the time to be completely me and it is very quiet at the moment with a ringing in my ears.




Crotchet baby blankets and granny squares

I have been able to crotchet since junior school when the teachers decided that my class was all going to learn how to knit or crotchet. I loved it and it is part if me

Over the years I have made scarfs, soft toys and blankets. A baby in the family usually heralds a spate of making.

Once Jon suggested that made the Eiffel Tower and a Bugatti car as a bit of competitive play.( It was great fun, I think I was stuck in bed loosing babies at the time , it kept me occupied for hours ).

When I crotchet, I seem to knit the time or what ever is happening on the news or TV into the patterns, when I think about making, I can see where I was, in colour. I suspect it is because I have to sit still. The process reflects my art character, I love mixing bright colours and textures and I can’t read word based patterns so I make things up as it go along or copy from made items. Straight narrow scarfs are a nightmare because I can’t count.

I made rainbow blankets for Islah as a baby and then recently pink squares for her 3rd birthday. My friend Krysten loved Islah’s so much that I made her one. People seem to appreciate the home made aspect and my colour mixing. One friend said that it was so neat and tidy …..anyone that knows me will be amused that anything I have made is neat and tidy

I find it very addictive and love the fact that doing art everyday has strengthen ed my hands, so that I can make for hours again. Before we moved I thought my making days were over really, but now I am back. Below is my latest colour mixing for a blanket for me




Photographs out of the window

I have been taking lots of pictures through the windows of the flat lately. The light hadn’t been very good over the winter, so spring has been a revelation. I like how the light has been changing. I always wanted a period home and the proportion of the windows is pleasing. I like this aspect of my new home. I don’t know if I had become complacent about the windows in Abingdon, used to the view. Or didn’t find them aesthetically pleasing .The image through the windows didn’t feature large. I like windows and I particularly like the Georgian proportions, they have featured quite regularly in my doodles




Making Edinburgh ATC’s

Continuing the theme of home from an earlier post this week . I was excited to join a country/state themed ATC swap. It has been fun thinking up a way to represent my new home in a way that wasn’t too stereotypical.

Yesterday at a yard sale I found a couple of 1960’s ribbon catalogues


One page was full of clan ribbons, so I made copies and printed them out as an A4 sheet. I have a collection of letters cut out from magazines and I used these to collage words on to spaces. For example ‘Edinburgh’ is in ‘Midlothian’ , (which I didn’t know existed until I moved up) . ‘Haggis’ has become a regular weekly meal, especially the vegetation version with tatties, neeps and gravy.


I cut the pages to size, some layouts worked better than others, I added little versions of the Saltire or St Andrew’s flag and some have a silouhette of a highland terrier on! (Not tooo many stereotypes then ….)

After writing about how Scotland could never be home like Oxfordshire, I got a kick out of messing about with Scottish imagery, and words . I write Edinburgh and Scotland down all the time because of all the snail mail I send, it felt nice making and being repetitive with themes but not making 25 copies of exactly the same piece