The Princess's Diaries

Friday, July 21, 2006

Strange Behaviour

Today on the bus home from town was a woman carrying a broom in a Wilkinson bag. Well, the head of the broom was in the bag, while the broom handle remained free from plastic constraint. I found this very amusing. The bag didn’t appear have a purpose other than to hide part of the broom (it was being carried by the handle rather than the bag, of course.) I’ve seen this before, and the only explanation I can think of is a psychological need to ‘excuse’ the lugging-around of a large and unwieldy item. The plastic bag seems defensively to say, “I just bought this, okay, and I’m taking it home; it’s not like I’m just carrying it around for no good reason.” I’m an installation artist; in the last term I’ve taken more than my share of strange objects on the bus: two clothes horses, several big plastic boxes, buckets, rolls of carpet, carpet inner-tubes two-and-a-half meters long…the list goes on. I did get odd looks from people. Sometimes I’ve wished I could have an ‘Art Student’ badge to excuse my behaviour. It’s funny that anyone should feel daft or defensive about doing something that they know is perfectly reasonable!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ready, Steady, Read!

The summer is a funny time for a person making their way through education. It’s a large but delineated expanse during which the onward progress of the normal way cannot continue, so it needs to be filled with something else.

For me, the normal way – university life – didn’t permit much time for leisurely reading, something which I missed an awful lot. Last summer such was my need that I ended up overdosing –I spent about two and half weeks solidly reading, interrupted only by the need for sleep (taken between the hours of 3am and 11am) and food and occasional human contact. It was an enjoyable but utterly surreal existence and now that I once again have time to read I intend to do things rather more sensibly.

Indeed, since my journey through education has now come to an end, the normal way will hopefully include time for reading. So, inspired by Jude, I’m going to attempt to read a certain number of books in this, my first year of post-education life. To read 100 books in a year seems overly ambitious at the moment so I’m going to try for 25 fiction and 25 non-fiction.

I’ve already got one of each on the go; await reviews with anticipation!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

*Stop the Press!* Alina Dances!

Amusingly, you can watch me dancing online! Just visit and go to 'Roses' then 'Beginners Quickstep' and there you shall find me! The video shows a practice session on the day of the Roses competition where Greg and I won second place out of six for our dance and I got my first ever sporting trophy :) My topline is particuarly poor in this practice but we kept in time beautifully I as far as I can tell!

Ballroom dancing has been one of my absoute favourite things about my final year at uni and I was very sad to say goodbye to the society and my dance partner Greg. We had a special last dance when my mum came up for a weekend. She really came to see my art show but we did a little run through the routines we could remember (by this point hadn't danced the regualr ballroom and latin routines for about 7 weeks) so that she could watch us! It was lots of fun and a good end to our dancing relationship!

Now that I'm back in Luton I shall have to find somewhere and someone else to dance with!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Wow! How exciting was the storm this afternoon?! As I walked home from the bus stop the black clouds were gathering, literally following me as i walked down the road, quickening my pace, the tension building. Kids leaving the primary school stopped to stare and point into the sky behind me - it was like being in a thriller film (except that they were only pointing at the lightning, rather than alien spaceships or an approaching meteor)! Once home i dashed out into the back garden to take in the laundry on the line, and i just stood there for a minute in the wind and the rain and the thunder; it was awesome! Soon after returning to the shelter of the kitchen, my mother and I watched as all of a sudden the wind picked up and torrents of rain and huge fat hailstones absolutely lashed down as the thunder roared all around. It just took my breath away! It only lasted a minute or so but it was uttely awesome - there I something really wild and a bit exotic, I think, about thunderstorms. I suppose I always relate them back to my days in Singapore, whose great-big-roaring-lion thunderstorms make ours sound like the mews of little kittens, but nevertheless my memories of these have imbued all storms with a sense of the tropical. Our garden did look particularly rainforest-like afterwards :)