THANKS TO YOUR AMAZZZING SUPPORT, WE RAISED £1520 FOR SHELTER AND COMPLETED THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON IN 4Hours 24Mins 37secs WITH A PLACE POSITION OF 2132.
An open letter to the 47 sponsors of Kaidie’s run for Shelter at the 2011 Nondon Marathon:
Dear Trespasser, Benson, Emmanuel, Wee San, Zadoc, Andy, Umi, Anonymous, Hapless, Veronica, Ateen, Sarah, Chin Hwee, Kelvin, Caroline, Paul, Chris, Michael, Michael, Anonymous, Tim, Marc, Ying Yan, Anonymous, Shea, Laura, Sze Wee, Mirabelle, Christina, Daniel, Yentri, Stephen, Cristian, Diego, Cliff, Laura, Andrew, Sonia, Fernando, Patricia, Kian Chow, Eric, Pei Chi, Hillary, Pei Shan, ‘Your favourite Russian’, and Ben,
Who doesn’t have nights of tossing and turning, flossing and gurning, cold sweat and stiff muscles, sharp pain racing through the knees, swollen fat feet populated by misshapened black and broken toenails (if you are a foot-fetishist, you’re advised to NOT date a runner, or, if you insist on dating runners, you’d better develop other healthier fetishes) and absolutely-not-wanting-to-get-out-of-bed, especially when it is grey and cold, slippery and murky? We do too, and certainly did, but YOUR financial blackmail left us with no choice but to get up on our hefty-dimpled-cellulited- very-very-reluctant arse, and run. Afterall what’s a wee bit of cajoling our toes to stepstepstep on the pavement one step at a time (typical conversation with our toes and feet: ‘Please??? Prettttyyyyyy puuuulllleaasse!?!!! OH GET ON WITH IT WON’T YOU!’), compared to what people without a shelter have to face and live, day in, day out? Trans-dimensional runners as we are (which is our task for the 1000-days of our existence), running is the least we can do, to help raise money for Shelter for its meaningful fight against homelessness and poor housing in the UK.
So, with your generous support, we raised a total of GBP £1520, and on 17 April 2011, had the honour to participate in one of the biggest gigs on earth on our favourite city on earth, the 2011 Nondon Marathon. At a sweltering 16 degrees celsius, we completed the 42km course in 4 hours 24 minutes 37 seconds (which is 1 hour 5 minutes less than the time we took for our first full marathon last year in the hilly offroad course at the very very lovely Farnham Pilgrims’ Marathon, with battered shins), measured on our Garmin Forerunner 405 loaned to us by Urbantick. We are ranked 3484 in a total of 12,229 (lycra-clad and dimpled) female participants, and an WHOPPING 14,914 overall (of a total of 34,656 male, female and other-gendered participants)! Our position for our category (aged 18-39, although we are only 500 days-old in reality) is 2132.
Given that it was a flat route, it felt easy and not sluggish, generally-speaking. The crowd was wonderful, with people shouting our (DIY-marker-penned-NON-water-resistant) name to support us along the route (one girl shouted: ‘Shelter lady! Looking good!’ We shouted – presuming it was us she was referring to??? – ‘Thanks! You don’t look too bad yourself!’), as well as feeding us with jelly babies, oranges, chopped bananas, home-baked cookies and cakes, chocolates and other candies. There were even 2 priests who sprayed holy water (we presume? or some other unidentified liquid) at runners (which we went for and basked in, non-believers as we are, although always opportunistic for a bonus)! Memorable too was a (drunk?) man who positioned himself at the kerb and held out a large plate of CHIPS goading us ‘GO ON, YOU KNOW YOU WANT SOME CARBS!’) We also slapped the extended hands of several kids (SOME OF WHOSE LOOKED REALLY FILTHY!!! What had they been handling!? Eeeeewwwwwww) as well as a couple of adults (Eeeeeewwwwww!). For the first half we kept up at a good speed, and the first 2 ten-kms were completed around 60 minutes, while the last 2 took a little longer, as we worked-in a timeout/lull session, before we went for a faster final 2km (of the 42km route). Our time at half-marathon distance (13.1 miles) read 2 hours 08 minutes (which is 20 minutes faster than our first attempt in a half-marathon in a previous life; we are hence now certain that a next half-marathon can be completed in around 1 hour 55 minutes). We burnt a total of 3186 kcals, and did not take any loo breaks (‘So what?’ you may snigger, but a record for our tiny bladder [and oversized brain, as you our dear reader are well aware]). We ran as a ‘GBR’ person (instead of ‘SIN’), not to mention the ‘Virgin’ (and ‘Money’) tag all over us… It felt HOT HOT HOT for us – imagine what the fancy-costumers had to endure!!! We kept running into one of the Rhinos- and we had read that their costume was more than 18kg. Not one time did that Rhino, or many of the other costumed runners, stopped. They got on with it, step by step. Seeing that, we switched off our pain button for our supercramps that had haunted us the entire week, and got on with it.
What spurred us during the course? 1) Our anger at the enforced feeding and reduced training in the past week (as advised by ‘experts’: ‘taper and carbo-load!’). For 7 days we were so restless we were completely dysfunctional, not to say insonmiac (fearing that we’d oversleep and miss the gig) and murderous (wanting to slaughter runners we run into, out of pure envy) as well. The forcefeeding -of CARBOHYDRATES, NO LESS!- was most unpleasant and traumatic. 2) We found the sight of other wobbly, thunderous cellulite-cum-dimples in hips wider than 62-inch-wide plasma-TV sets IN LYCRA slightly offensive. AND THERE WERE MILLIONS, UNABASHED. Also to spare runners behind us of THEIR eyesore of OUR cellulited plasma TVs (although we were wearing shorts, NOT lycra), we huffed and puffed and kept moving. Like jellies. And the godmother of jelly, baby.
After the race, we attended the party thrown for us by Shelter at the Strand. We enjoyed a most lovely massage given to us by a most lovely Phil (who told us that he was a ‘functional therapist’. ‘As opposed to a dysfunctional one?’, we asked; Phil also said that our ‘IT band’ was tight. Techhy as we are, we are proud to hear that a band – an information-technological one, no less, inhabits our body), had a few glasses of prosecco (of course we would have preferred Champagne, but darling, it’s alright, as we do love bubbles), as well as linguini WITH FOUR meatballs (The race has brought out the carnivore in us!!! The waiter gave us 6 but we donated 2 back. ‘Are you sure??’ ‘YES!’ we cried, and threw his balls back at him, while we rolled ourselves back to our seat)!!! (All these benefits of our £100 entry fee!)
What did we do when we went home? Watch the BBC’s coverage of the event on iPlayer, of course. It is always always moving to watch endurance athletes do their thing. The show put up by this year’s winners was, to say the least, incredible. They were not running 42km – THEY WERE SPRINTING. Those large long strides – powered by their tiny, leanmeanmighty bodies. So you think that only us mortals suffer? As soon as the elegant Emmanuel Mutai came home through the finishers’ line, he stooped, to puke. Bright, yellow, stuffs. Who would have guessed? For, like fellow Kenyan and female champion Mary Keitany, his was a face of resilience and pure focus, from beginning to end. He held court, and got on with it, and won – gracefully. TALK ABOUT ENDURANCE.
After a day of rest and unsettling sleep (pierced intermittently by foreign pains in our knees - and IT bands????), we resumed running (we mean limping) on Tuesday. We have also signed up for 2 races: the Kilomathon (26.2km – YES in our favourite METRIC system!!) on 23 October 2011 in Nondon, and the Bath Half Marathon (21km, or 13 miles) in March 2012. We do enjoy the full slap of 42km / 26 miles, but we think that the twenties are the most suitable. Afterall, we do not have all that much time left in our 1000-day lifespan for hours and hours of training, and we still need to run not only in Life 1.0 (in the primary world), but Life 2.0 (online) as well. We intend to go for a couple more within our lifetime: a warm one, during Winter (Marakkech!) and a midnight sun run (in Norway! Aha!).
All in all, the 2011 Nondon Marathon was a pleasant race. We were fully focused on our given task – the task that you have entrusted us!! We feel honoured and humbled to have been given the chance to run such a big gig in our favourite city on earth, and to have done so for a meaningful cause. THANK YOU to all our sponsors for your generous support for our donation drive for Shelter!!! THANK YOU ALL for your lovely messages of support!
PS For our other readers reading this, should you wish to show your support for Shelter, YOU CAN STILL MAKE A DONATION! Click a few clicks here!!
PPS: Dear ‘Trespasser’, if you are reading this, please write us to tell us who you are, for, how could we possibly thank you properly if you do not reveal yourself?
WE JOIN 40,000 TO RUN THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON ON SUNDAY! But NO, THIS IS NOT A RICHARD-BRANSON PRODUCT-PLACEMENT BLOG POST!
1) Running is an immensely popular sport today all over the world, since it can be done anytime, anywhere, and by nearly anybody. 2) Any marathon is a big gig/performance/show (a show of human determination, although nowadays marathons, and even triathlons is such an achievable feat that the genuinely fit ones go for and invent ever more ultra- and extreme races, in impossible landscapes, over impossible periods of time, etc, etc. 4) Nondon is an amazing stage to live/work/play/be (we’ve gone through this before) 5) The Nondon Marathon is a big show on earth alright (Biggest fundraising event on earth! 40,000 runners! Records to be broken The most scenic marathon routes! … …) 6) Nothing – no thing in this world today escapes the supermarket, corporatised treatment/makeover. 7) Richard Branson has never, ever been known to be subtle.
HENCE. Look at these images. Richard Branson’s Virgin has been running the Nondon Marathon in the past years. It’s a huge gig alright – a large advertisement for itself. Yes, do yell it loud and clear, in every which way possible, leftrightcentre, brand us and co-opt us into your game, your rules. Thanks Sir Richard. If the Nondon Marathon Expo at the Excel Centre (MILLIONS OF FIT [healthy] AND FIT [goodlooking] runners, lean and mean and powerpacked in lycra!) is just a small indication of what’s to come on Sunday 17 April at the Nondon Marathon, we are prepared to be even more branded (‘Virgin’ no less!), and be seen with even more products. ‘Pure’ as it is or can be, running, like any other activity today, can be coated in much gunk that threaten to make us forget why we run. (We are not being cynical and dismissing the good work that such a big gig does (raising much fund for charities for one, and we are running for a charity as well), but there are always questions to ask in any such large-scale hyped-up enterprises [Bono, Geldof et al]). It does not have to be like this- our last (and first!) marathon was a much smaller event. The Farnham Pilgrims Marathon in Surrey was quirky and intimate, highly praised by all runners of varying experiences, and was not dunked in excessive institutionalised/corporatised distractions. We have signed up for the Bath Half Marathon in March 2012 (provided if we live till then?), but there are certainly questions to be asked and issues to think about, with regards to the institutionalisation of running – an activity that is, for us, essentially an act of gentle anarchism, a personal act of resistance. It’s an interesting tension. In this day and age no one is not co-opted in one way or another, but the question, we suppose, is how we run (navigate, negotiate, manage) that tension (like we do many things in life, unless we are hermits living in caves). Before we become (hairy/smelly) hermits in caves, we scribble a message on the wall at the Expo. (Thanks ADIDAS!!!!)
UPDATE: THANKS TO MS CHUN WEE SAN, WE HAVE HIT OUR TARGET DONATION OF £1500! This is Wee San’s SECOND donation for our Nondon Marathon effort for Shelter, the homelessness charity! Wee San, an art teacher, has previously also supported our run for the Friends of Medecin Sans Frontieres! THANK YOU WEE SAN! We also want to thank Jackie Claxton for her support, even after we have reached our target! Having reached our target, we have slightly raised the bar to £1600, so keep your donations coming! Click some clicks here to donate, today! We will close our donation page 1 week after the marathon, on 24 April 2011 Sunday.
AFTER WEEKS OF PRE-RACE ANXIETY, SUPERCRAMPS, FORCEFEEDING BUT TAPERING, IRRITABILITY, WE ARE MORE THAN READY FOR OUR RUN. TO FIND OUT HOW WE HAVE DONE on 17 APRIL 2011 AT THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON, COME BACK TO THIS RUNNING BLOG IN A COUPLE OF DAYS. BUILDING IN 1 LOO BREAK (INCLUDING QUEUING UP – no we won’t do a Paula Radcliffe!) WE ARE HOPING TO COMPLETE OUR 42KM BY WEDNESDAY MORNING, OR, IF WE ARE OPTIMISTIC, TUESDAY EVENING. SEE YOU SOON(ER OR MUCH MUCH MUCH LATER)!
To conform to the jolliness of the new year spirit, we had compiled a list of things that quicken the heart. Now that we are past all that intoxicated partying and feelgoodness, we now share a list of some of our pet peeves as Nondoners / Nondon runners, which include:
1. Young and / or bad and self-righteous parents with strollers in tow, and obese-people blocking our paths when we are running; 2. Anything flapping from our body when we run (hair, clothes, flesh etc); 3. Having to run as Michelin Men in Winter; 4. Why we have to pay so much for good crisp bubbly in this isle; 5. Why we have to pay so much for seafood in this isle (and it is an isle!); 6. Pollution from the traffic 7. The taste of Nondon tap water; 8. Dogs and more so, dog-owners who, like parents, have the stench of smugness (‘I am sure the whole world ALSO adore my cute dogs/kids! Look at their envy!’) when we want to shout to them: ‘Leash up your bloody poodles and please wipe up their poo and your silly smile when you let them run after runners’; 9. Short men aggressively pumping iron in the gym; 10. Middle-aged men.
This post is about the final point. Specifically, we are drawing your attention to 3 exceptions from the media world to this final point: they are our beloved, in no particular order: 1) Jon Snow 2) Jeremy Paxman 3) Clive Anderson. (Actually, 3.5, if we include 3.5: Ken Livingston since he appears often enough in our favoured Have I Got News For You, we can consider him as a media figure and hence save our arses and stay clear of politics).
Hence, when the opportunity came up for a chance to catch THE UBER-BRILLIANT Clive Anderson in the flesh, we jumped at it. On 20 December 2010, Monday 11am, in conditions described over and over again as ‘arctic’ by the media, we visited the BBC Radio Theatre in Central Nondon, to be ‘live’ audiences of the Radio 4 programme Loose Ends. (This is not the first time we attended BBC events – previously we had risked ill health and visited BBC to catch a glimpse of another middle-aged man we fancy, Grayson Perry, with CFTE [Companion For The Evening]).
As expected Clive Anderson was bantering, at top speed, first thing he stepped onto the stage. As expected in a way as well, Clive was not 6feet4 (and we say this being seated in the second row, but at least he was not pumping iron). As this recording was to be broadcast on New Years day, Anderson urged us to sound merry. So we did, clapping and cheering wildly. We were treated to music by a ukulele band, and appearances by guests from television and theatre. It was good fun, compactly packed in a single hour. Watching the superbly intelligent and witty ex-lawyer ‘live’, unedited yet ever-so-brilliantly sharp, reminded us why we admire him.
At the end of the show, we wanted to approach Anderson – while he was still lingering on stage, and we a couple of yards (whatever a yard is) away, yet not close (or civilised for us) enough for us to shout. Unfortunately, one of the ushers -in black of course- prevented us from doing that, in a firm tone. We repeated our requests, and the usher did too, in a firm voice ‘of authority’. This unleashed an unpleasant memory from a previous life, when we had an experience of our lifetimes when we underwent layer after layer of interrogation (and patting down, and ransacking of our bags inside out, et al) when we were boarding and leaving the El Al to attend a lovely film festival. We glared at the lady, silently. We left the studio and stomped our icy feet on the icy ground.
Meeting, yet not quite meeting -is that not what Nondon excels in?
The following is a set of response we received from Hapless Stevedore to our LONDON QUIZ 2. THANK YOU Hapless for the terrific feedback! Thanks for your advice too! We will check out London Barrier, for instance, and thank you for naming us your favourite Fictional Character/Personality of London. All your answers are brilliant no doubt, but it is because of this single outstanding response, that makes you a winner of the quiz. Here, we have attached a photograph that we took at one of our favourite roads on London, Farringdon Road. We hope that you like it!
As for the rest of YOU, DO participate in the rolling/running quiz, and you can be a winner too, and receive another SECRET PRIZE from us! Our secret prize is so secretive that we cannot reveal it just yet…
SO , HERE ARE HAPLESS’ RESPONSES:
1. WHAT DO YOU DO DURING WEEKENDS IN LONDON?
Walk around dreamily looking at things, get asked the way by strangers, get lost. Get home again somehow.
2. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEANINGFUL PURSUITS FOR KAIDIE IN LONDON? WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE YOU GOT FOR KAIDIE TO DO IN LONDON?
Arise early with coffee and bacon sandwiches, go see the Thames Barrier rise from the waves.
3.HOW AND WHERE IN LONDON DO YOU WANT TO DIE (WHEN YOU DIE)? Tip: Mugged, at UCH(’s waiting list) with swine flu, run over by the tube, hit by a taser gun, etc.
I imagine I will be mugged by a Euston Zombie, taken to UCH where I am infected by swine flu, stagger out of the ward to try have a cigarette at the very moment that a disgruntled tube train emerges from mouth of Euston Square station running me over as it careers south, staggering back into the hospital to get even more medical treatment (I love it!) I am hit by a taser gun wielded by red-eyed Peelers mistaking me for another of the Euston Zombies out to lunch on human flesh.
By this point I die happily, knowing that if life is unfair, death is just as bad.
So, Euston Road, outside UCH tasered in a case of mistaken identity after a series of calamities.
4. WOULD YOU WISH TO BE BACK IN LONDON THE NEXT TIME ROUND? (IN YOUR NEXT LIFE, THAT IS)
5. IF YOU WERE THE MAYOR OF LONDON, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT YOU WOULD CHANGE?
I would give free transport (Oyster, Congestion Charge, the Works!) to all flamboyantly dressed people.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FILM/BOOK/SONG/ARTISTIC REPRESENTATION OF LONDON, AND WHY?
Oooooooh, so many delicious tings.
Frenzy by Hitchcock. Sailing ships moored by Tower Bridge and Covent Garden as a flower market.
Plus, lots and lots of ‘orrible murder!
7. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE LONDON PERSONALITY/FICTITIOUS CHARACTER, AND WHY?
Kaidie Nondon. Because she is both a personality and fictitious and she was and is unexpected.
8. DO YOU DRINK LONDON’S TAP WATER? WHY / WHY NOT?
Yes. Unfiltered and straight from the tap.
Why? Why not? There are no health benefits, or even, most of the time, flavour benefits to drinking bottled water. It costs a lot and you have to carry it home from the supermarche. Why would I drink anything but good old London Tap?
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FESTIVAL/HOLIDAY IN LONDON? WHERE DO CELEBRATIONS TAKE PLACE?
Every night we celebrate the end of the working day.
Every Friday we celebrate the end of the working week.
This takes place in a pubilc house, eg the Dog and Duck or a bar, eg Bar Italia. Often it takes place at home. The end of the working week is my favourite celebration.
10. WHERE WOULD YOU BE/ WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING DURING THE 2012 OLYMPICS?
I will travelling in foreign lands. I will be travelling through Nepal, China, Vietnam and aim to be in Singapore on the closing day so that I will be on the opposite side of the world from Kaidie. That day I will bake a cake.
Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. FILL THIS UP AND SUBMIT TO KAIDIE, NOW! There are more than 5 different quizzes. Do complete them all! And you can fill up as many as you wish. I will publish the most interesting ones! THOSE WITH THE BEST ANSWERS WILL WIN A SPECIAL, SECRET PRIZE FROM KAIDIE!
Now that it is October, now that we have to start replacing our running singlets and shorts with running tights and over our dri-fit singlet a long sleeved T-shirt that is removable mid-run when we are sufficiently warmed up, now that the humidity is fading, now that the sweating has ceased, now that hot soups provide more comfort than raw food, now that we are layering ourselves with jumpers and scarfs, now that we wear socks again, now that the sandals are put away because the toes are cold in those, now that we do not want to commit the fashion faux pas of teaming socks with sandals (even in matching or interesting colour combinations), now that when we go out we put our fingers in our pockets, now that we have moved, now that we have moved on, now that Kings Kross, and photographs of Kings Kross captured on our memory machines are but things of a/the past, now that these people captured one August afternoon on a Sunday have left, now that Sundays have no sun, now that there is no difference between Sundays, Saturdays, Fridays, ThursWedsTuesMondays, now that there is no difference between day/night, now that the windows are shut, now that the duvets are out, now that when we wash our hands we turn on the tap with the red mark too and then because water from it is always too hot as if 60 degrees celsius or so we have to do a to-&-fro-ing between this and the other tap with a blue mark, now that we want to run more so that we stop feeling cold, now that we are entering our 10th month of existence, even though being afloat at the the outdoor heated pool feels like being in an oasis even more than before perhaps in defiance of the changing weather, even though the clocks are still on British Summer Time, even though our Summer and Summery restlessness is still around perhaps more again in defiance or because it really is season-and-weather-resistant, even though Regents Fark remains our Favourite Fark, even though we may say this till the cows come home, even though our relationship with cows are limited to the supermarket and sometimes with human animals whom we may not favour and hence call them by that name, even though we are reluctant, we hereby officially declare (our) official Summer as officially over, and welcome Fall.
Unofficially, however, we are open for negotiations.
If you think you’ve got a good deal.
Water running in the city form their own lines of life, of thriving economic and cultural pasts and presence. When we follow the water when we run, we superimpose yet other lines in the city. Prior to our roaring (sic) success (sic) at the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon in Surrey on Sunday, and prior to acquiring our ugly injuries in the final month of training, we were training hard. The map above documents our runs along the Regents Park canal (15km Kings Kross-Victoria Park and back; 20km Kings Kross to Harrow Road and back) and River Thames (30km on a Sunday morning). For the trans-dimensional runner, running is extended beyond Life 1.0, to other layers of lives, including the realms of imagination, as well as the Web 2.0 worlds. Here are a couple of maps showing our trans-dimensional desire lines. These desire lines are ours – unique and subjective. Changeable as they are, they register our marks, our presence, our existence and our being in our technologically-layered multiverse.
WANNA APPEAR ON THIS AMAZING BLOG? COME TO THE PRIVATE VIEW of BLACKED OUT, THURSDAY 19 AUGUST 18:30 onwards. LIVE MUSIC, WINE – AND GREAT ART, OF COURSE. KAIDIE WILL SHOOT YOU!
Curated by artist-curator-educator Jennifer Hankin, Blacked Out is an exhibition in which 9 artists explore light in a blacked out urban setting. This group show is held at Arch 897, Holyrood St, Nondon SE1 2EL. The show opens this Thursday, and lasts for the next few days.
We will share a video loop, its Nondon/ London premiere. In a parallel world, Kaidie is ‘Desyphus’ (Sisyphus + Decipher), riding infinitely in the Circle Line in an island. This clip, filmed by professional diver William Ong, is a edited variation of a chapter from the 29-chapter The Amazing Neverending Underwater Adventures!, a large-scale permanent video installation in the Bras Basah Station, commissioned by the Land Transport Authority in Singapore. The music is composed by Philip Tan.
As usual, we will be there with the memory trapper of a camera. So please remember to say and smell of cheese. Please self-invite. Bring friends – if you have any. If you haven’t, employ some. Otherwise, bring your partner, husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, lover, lovers, ex-lovers, concurrent lovers, children, grandchildren, cousins, nephews, nieces, grand nieces, longlost grand nephews, father, mother, father and mother-like figures in your life, stepparents, foster parents, step sister, distant brother, halfdaughter, pets, etc, and claim that they are your mates. We will be busy snapping amazing shots away, and publish the more amazing ones on this amazing blog over the weekend. So if you wish to have the gratification of seeing yourself appear on this amazing blog, COME! We look forward to running into you.
** Currently #5 in the War of Films contest: CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S film about KAIDIE AND HER MEANING OF LIFE 3.0. VOTE NOW!** Vote by clicking on + sign at the top of video player. ** Don’t forget to vote for Episode 2, Run Kaidie Run, too!**
NONDON ON THE RUN: SUMMER 2010 #1. NORTH BY NORTHWEST, AND SOUTHEAST, AND SO ON. 25 July – 1 August.
** Breaking news: Currently #6 in the War of Films contest: CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S film about KAIDIE AND HER MEANING OF LIFE 3.0. VOTE NOW!** Vote by clicking on + sign at the top of screen. ** Don’t forget to vote for Episode 2, Run Kaidie Run, too!**
Restlessness is a stubborn dis-ease of ours , but if there is any season that makes one itch more than usual, it has to be Summer. As we crave for a respite from our beloved Nondon , even our loyalty for our dearest Regents Fark is wonky. The comfort of familiarity becomes repulsive. Also, only running at our favourite fark shields us from other textures, tastes and terrains.
In our continuing effort to train for our first marathon in September, as well as to find means to run away from Nondon without physically being able to do that just yet, we have been using running to explore different parts of Nondon, to see Nondon in new ways that we would not have had. And as temporary respites – quickies, if you will. In these runs, we work on distance and terrain, and put speed aside, especially since we often have to stop several times to ask for directions, or stop to read one of those map boards (or whatever they may be called?) installed in the streets. This being Summer, we plan some of our runs heading towards lidos, and have a dip as well.
We made several trips last week, in all directions. On 25 July Sunday, we ran 20.01km along the canal heading westwards. On Monday, we did 9.01km at our usual Regents Fark. On Tuesday, we walked 13.39km South, to the London Bridge area, to survey the space that we will exhibit in a couple of weeks. On Wednesday, we went North, running 24.06km to the rather ravishing Hampstead Heath, including a freaking %$£££^%X# freezing 1.1km swim at the Parliament Pill lido. On Friday, we ran our first ever 30km, heading westwards to and from Kew Bridge. On Sunday, we hit the canal again, this time heading towards the exotic east, but missing exactly 98% of Victoria Fark (15km).
How nice, and how different it was, and hence it was nice. We went to places that we would never have imagined to be Nondon, and ran on terrain that were different, difficult. If you would accept the argument that Nondon is generous enough a city to accomodate and indeed celebrate many variations of itself, then the existence of non-Nondons within Nondon, makes complete sense. In the same line of logic, Nondon, ie Non-London, is completely London at the same time. In Kaidie’s cosmology of the world, that ‘A’ co-exists with not-’A’ - and often in the same freaking %$£££^%X# space – is perfectly logical. There is (some times frustratingly) no conflict.
‘Fresh sensations, new emotions, are valuable. Can we experience this in everyday life, without endless novelty, which in itself becomes pointless? […] We need that freedom’, as Jeanette Winterson says. ‘Life is too short to save for the holidays’. Indeed.
Serpentine Lido and Hampstead pond, here we come next. [Perhaps even Richmond and Tooting Bec, but we will have to budget getting there (on foot), getting back here (on foot), and having a dip (as aromatic slices of duck sandwiched in slim slices of pancake) as well. Would we have enough energy? ...] We need to plan another 5 sessions of long runs, of 30-37km each, and 1 session of 42km. Would you, my Dear Conspirators of Pleasure, have any recommendation of which way we could possibly head next? Some where not too polluted. Somewhere fresh. Somewhere that would excite us. And you, of course.
CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S TRAVELOGUE
On 15 June, Kaidie walked to Great Eastern Street to attend Bring Your Own Shorts I, organised by Christopher Birdman Dent, and had the privilege of watching filmmaker/artist/activist/writer/DJ/performance artist Claudia Tomaz’s poetically-layered film Travelogue (2008) in its entirety – sitting right next to the filmmaker! Travelogue is a beautiful 12-minute film-poem. In the place of dialogue, this is an intricate conversation, a delicate dance, between sound and images. Filmed by the filmmaker on seductive Super 8 as she journeyed from Portugal to Morocco, the film is a spellbinding. One of the most enchanting passages of the film is that of a montage of faces; the camera -and us- come face to face with the people, sometimes lingering on, other times looking away. (At this point, we think of great filmic moments that haunt: Chris Marker’s opening and closing sequences of Sans Soleil with 3 children on a road in Iceland; when the tiger speaks to the soldier in Apichatpong’s Tropical Malady, the opening dream sequence of Wild Strawberries and when fire fights rain in Mirror.)
Although we had promised Claudia to reach there early for a chat, we ended up being quite rudely late! That was because we got rather lost at the Old Street roundabout. Kaidie has a love-hate relationship with roundabouts, as she never fails to get disoriented at one, but we do love their Sisyphian loopiness (as usual). It is not as if we have never been to Great Eastern Street – but perhaps it is that we like getting lost (at the expense of our manners). This GPS track is slightly distorted, as we switched it off before we reached the venue, mistakenly believing that we had ‘arrived’. You can look at this map, and other GPS tracks of Kaidie’s Life 1.0 travels on GPSies.
THE OVERLAPPING TRAVELOGUES OF KAIDIE AND CLAUDIA
Kaidie and Claudia Tomaz first met 5 March 2010 at the Late at Tate Britain’s Game Play, at the Blast Theory booth, but have been meeting frequently in Life 2.0. Multi-hyphenate Claudia has a wide body of works that look at technology, landscape, the city and most of all the people in them, in a manner that is sensitive, spirited and never distancing. Her ‘mutant paintings’, Transient Forms are most tactile. The very giving artist has contributed many times to Kaidie’s running blog, and recently made not one but two films about Kaidie as part of her LONDON GROUND series. In spite of our individual paths/journeys, Claudia and Kaidie always have meeting points that are meaningful and striking. Claudia and Kaidie certainly have many common grounds of interests and have been keen running partners, and will most certainly continue to be. Run Claudia Run!
Do continue to watch and vote for the 2 films by Claudia Tomaz about Kaidie! Episode 1 (12 minutes): Kaidie talks about her endeavour. WATCH AND VOTE for KAIDIE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE 3.0 NOW! Episode 2 (10 minutes): focuses on Kaidie’s running. WATCH AND VOTE for RUN KAIDIE RUN NOW!
WATCH EPISODE 2 OF CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S FILM ABOUT KAIDIE! And COME ATTEND KAIDIE’S OTHER GIGS SUMMER-FALL 2010 (Nondon, Sao Paulo, Surrey, Singapore, Online)!
Episode 2 of a film by Kaidie’s running buddy, the wonderful Claudia Tomaz, is uploaded! WATCH AND VOTE for RUN KAIDIE RUN NOW! And if you haven’t already watched Episode 1, WATCH AND VOTE for KAIDIE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE 3.0 NOW! Thank you Claudia for the hard work! We feel sorry for Claudia for having to go through a couple of hours of footage of Kaidie’s yakking. And this is certainly not the last of collaborations between Kaidie and Claudia! Do support Claudia’s ongoing London Ground project!!
And thank you all My Dear Readers/ Collaborators for writing in to advise us about places we could run to for a day or 2 away from Nondon. Some of you also wrote directly to Kaidie to share some fabulous hideouts. We respect your instruction to keep these places top secret! But if you (ie, everyone else except those who wrote to tell us about these secret hideouts) want to be tipped off about these places, do one or all of the following and we may consider giving you a hint or two: 1) send us an intense chocolate cake, 2) buy us a carton of lovely dry bubbly 3) tell us a place we can get authentic sashimi at affordable prices here in Nondon 4) share with us a lovely route to run in Nondon 5) Be Kaidie’s training buddy and run 27-35km with Kaidie as part of her training for her first Life 1.0 marathon (We are now up to 26.7km so far but alas, a marathon is 26.2 MILES, not km. The heat does not help with the physical and mental exhaustion, burning our soles/souls/sows. And, to rub in with t.m.i., at least two of our toenails are falling off)… If you find this repulsive (fallen toenails and tmis), don’t worry, we do too.
The following is our itinerary for the next few months, in a few places. YOU ARE INVITED! Or please invite yourselves. Don’t be shy. It’s easier for us too… Nearer said dates of gigs please come back to this running blog of ours (and click on the category of itinerary and gigs) to check details. See you sooner/later.
UPCOMING ITINERARY (LONDON, BRAZIL, SURREY, SINGAPORE, ONLINE)
* 5 August, LONDON UK: Presentation about Kaidie’s travels all these lives in Dr Nick Grindle’s Art, Activity, Environment course, Slade Summer School.
* 21- 28 August, LONDON, UK: Blacked Out group show at Arch 897, Holyrood St, London SE1 2EL. Curated by Jennifer Hankin. Kaidie will be sharing a video projection, its London premiere. Private View: Thursday 19 August 18:30-21:30 hrs, WITH FREE BOOZE AND LIVE MUSIC! Invite yourself and your mates (if you have any?) on the evil Facebook. Or just come, but do wear something that befits the theme of lightness and dark. Why? Just because.
* 1 day trip away from Nondon! Yay! In a bid to travel light, we will NOT bring the memory trapper of a camera. But we will wear our Garmin to track our routes, and share that with you later. Currently we are giving each option a serious thinking through and have not decided where to go.
* 5-8 September LONDON, UK: DRHA 2010 conference (Digital Resources for Humanities and the Arts) Brunel University. Kaidie will be interviewed by a member of the audience, played by Kai Syng Tan, in A Rough guide to (The Meaning of A) Life 3.0: Author Slash Actor Slash Audience: A lecture performance, on Tuesday 7th September from 5.30-6.30pm AA109. Prominent figures like Stelarc and Steve Dixon will be present. Again, go ahead and invite yourself on the evil Facebook (This event is NOT free-of-charge to attend, however).
* September: Trip to Belfast?? We will bring the memory trapper.
* 19 September, SURREY, UK, and ONLINE: Kaidie runs her first ever Life 1.0 marathon on the historical Pilgrim’s Route, in the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon, Surrey, UK. Kaidie will be raising money for a charity, and you can follow Kaidie’s progress (or regress?) of her 42km race as she tweets segments from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales ‘live’! Kaidie might run dressing up as a monk (thank you Duncan for your suggestion!), nun or horse, but we will have to watch the erratic bowel movement if the latter (unless of course, we do an impromptu Paula Radcliffe). As this is our first ever Life 1.0 marathon, there is always the possibility of things screwing up (perhaps more so than if we have done this before, though experience does not guarantee perfection, of course). So, if we do not see you again, it has been nice knowing you, see you in our next lives, same time, same place, etc etc.
* 7-11 October, SINGAPORE: Skype performance + exhibition of images and maps from Kaidie’s journey + film screening at ArtSingapore: The Contemporary Asian Art Fair. Curated by Meena Mylvaganam.
* 18-21 October SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Soft Borders conference. Kaidie will be presenting a lecture-performance. Her paper will be published in a publication.
* November, LONDON, UK: PhD upgrade presentation, Slade School of Dine Art.
* 3-5 December, LONDON, UK: Performance at Sexuate Subjects: Politics, Poetics and Ethics, University College London, UK.
* December, INDIA: Curating a South East Asian Film programme at a Film Festival.
* Winter: ‘Live’ GPS-Twitter-Nondon run: a locative performance event with Urbantick.
ONGOING (ONLINE, SINGAPORE)
* ONLINE: 22 minute film about Kaidie by award-winning filmmaker CLAUDIA TOMAZ (Venice, Locarno):
- Episode 1 (12 minutes): Kaidie talks about this in general. WATCH AND VOTE for KAIDIE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE 3.0 NOW!
- Episode 2 (10 minutes): focuses on Kaidie’s running. WATCH AND VOTE for RUN KAIDIE RUN NOW!
* SINGAPORE: From 17 April 2010 until forever and ever (theoretically-speaking): Nightly from 19:29hours. Permanent public display: large video projections, The Amazing Neverending Underwater Adventures, at the Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit station (subway) of the Circle Line. Commissioned by the Land Transport Authority, this is the only station with a video art work. The 29-minute video cycle with 29-chapters and 29 riddles stars Desyphus (Sisyphus+deceive+decipher, geddit?), a predecessor of 3rdlifeKaidie, who swims perpetually in the looped line. Music composition by Philip Tan. Mayo Martin of Today newspaper has named this his favourite artwork of the Circle Line. Wacky Singapore filmmaker Chew Tze Chuan has also uploaded a clip of the work in action. Kaidie will discuss this work in here in the weeks to come. Look out for it!
Images on this page are screenshots from respective sites.
In the previous post, Kaidie asked where she could go for a day or two, away from Nondon. As Chatwin says in his Anatomy of Restlessness, there exists an innate need in us to undertake ‘journeys of the mind and body’. Even while travelling, as we are, being on the journey from life to death, in Nondon. Reprinted here are some of the advice we have received so far. Thank you Susan, Miss Nim (a sponsor of Kaidie’s charity run in March 2010), Chuthatip aka Chutha Indigo aka The Good Pirate aka Fisherman, Aaron and Meena (who had previously helped to look for Kaidie when she was missing)! Kaidie’s running buddy, Claudia Tomaz, is also itching to have a little respite. So, do keep the advice coming in!
* Walking around Woolwich and Greenwich for 3.5 hours this afternoon, Kaidie realised that Nondon is the one city she is not felt strange, or different, or is foreign (one of the reasons being simply that nearly every other person is strange, different and foreign, too), or out of place (what an evocative expression), or that she shouldn’t be. This is not necessarily the case of the 102 other cities in 32 countries that Kaidie has visited or lived in her previous lives, not even the one that she first arrived in. (All that said, one of the reasons why we are employing running as a navigational tactic for our 21st century reality is precisely because we do want to always feel foreign, strange, different and never settled down. We are never at home, but are out of our comfort zones at all times, and are instead invariably homesick, yearning for a ‘home’ - or an idea, or idealisation of a home. This ‘home’ is yet to be defined, and we resist and put off and postpone calling any place ‘home’, including Nondon).
** Do continue to watch and vote for CLAUDIA TOMAZ’s film, Kaidie and The Meaning of Life 3.0, Episode 1. Episode 2 coming up!
In Life 1.0, Kaidie lives in Nondon. Yet, as we know, any peripetetic runner must deny herself allegiances, and must attach herself to the ethos of non-attachment. Instead, she traverses multiple terrains at the same time, double-triple-crossing, happily crisscrossing her eyes, splitending her hair and curling her toes while dipping curly fries in pig’s cheeks at the same time. So, while Kaidie always insists that she loves Nondon (and that Nondon loves her?), every so often, she must run away from her, to an other place in Life 1.0 that is non-Nondon, non-non-London. We love the city, but the task of the trans-dimensional runner is to resist liking any one place or thing too much. Also, it is Summer just now. Kaidie and her all-consuming love affair with Nondon could do with a little break.
Hence, our Dear Reader, where can Kaidie run away to, for just a day trip, this Summer? Somewhere nearby, but somewhere that looks/sounds/smells/feels different enough from our lovely Nondon. A different terrain to run, with a different scenary, that would give Kaidie a different gait and different rhythm of breathing, and to urge – ever so gently – that stubborn flu of 3 weeks to please leave her system, if not for good, for a little while.
Kaidie recalls a particularly invigorating Summer in a previous life, during which she spent a month in Suomenlinna, in Helsinki, Finland. The weather was extremely crisp, dry and sunny, the flat splendidly spacious and bright (Kaidie was retrospectively told that that was an especially brilliant Nordic Summer). Upon arrival, she was filled with a dread, assuming at once that as a lifelong urban denizen across many lifespans, the fortress island would be unbearable and boring. What arrogance. For, within a couple of days, Kaidie began a month-long routine of walking along the coasts for hours at length, as well as exploring the many tunnels. Although a tiny island, the place opened up the more Kaidie walked it, as if an endless Escher print full of surprising rabbit holes. She would return to the studio to type some notes with no particular intention. In the heady mixture of liqourice ice-cream, squeaky cheese, canons facing generations of enemies, picnics at sloping hills, dipping into the sea, rocking in ferries, blond hair, blue eyes, green eyes, blue-green eyes, and midnight suns, the seeds of Kaidie’s current life, and life story, and task, were planted.
This, of course, was before Kaidie became ‘Kaidie’.
Travelling to Stockholm from Helsinki on the trashy Viking Line that Summer, Kaidie recalled Ingmar Bergman’s Summer With Monika (1953). (Kaidie’s favourite work of the great auteur, however, is the shattering Wild Strawberries). This summer, one of Kaidie’s virtual running buddies, James Odling-Smee, tells Kaidie about another Summer with Monika, by Roger McGough (Liverpool, 1967). That summer, Kaidie’s hair was slightly longer than it is now. After she left Suomenlinna, to return home, or ‘home’, she had much of it cut.
In the spirit of summer, with Monika, Monikas, in Stockholm, Suomenlinna, Liverpool, London, Non-London, Nondon, Non-Nondon, Non-non-London, 1953, 1967, 2006, 2010, we reprint McGough’s poem here.
Summer With Monika
They say the sun shone now and again
but it was probably cloudy with far too much rain.
They say the greatest train robbery in history took place,
who else wants to steal a train.
They say cabinet ministers and osteopaths
were particularly vulgar about this time,
they say babies were born,
married couples made love,
often with each other
and people died, sometimes violently.
They say it was an average, ordinary, moderate,
run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden summer,
but it wasn’t.
For I locked a yellow door
and I threw away the key
and I spent summer with Monica
and Monica spent summer with me.
Unlike everybody else we made friends with the weather,
most days the sun called and sprawled all over the place,
or the wind blew in as breezily as ever
and ran its fingers through our hair.
But usually it was the moon that kept us company.
Some days we thought about the sea-side
and built sandcastles on the blankets
and paddled in the pillows
or swam in the sink,
and played with the shoals of dishes.
Other days we went for long walks around the table
And picnicked on the banks of the settee.
Or just sun-bathed lazily in front of the fire
Until the shilling set on the horizon.
We danced a lot that summer
bosa nova-ed by the bookcase,
or Madisoned instead,
Hulli-gullied by the oven,
or did the twist in bed.
At first we kept birds in a transistor box to sing for us,
but sadly they died,
we being too embraced in each other to feed them.
But it didn’t really matter
because we made love songs with our bodies.
I became the words and she put me to music.
They say it was just like any other summer,
but it wasn’t.
For we had love and each other and the moon for company,
when I spent summer with Monica
and Monica spent summer with me.
Ten milk bottles standing in the hall,
ten milk bottles up against the wall,
next door neighbour thinks we’re dead,
hasn’t heard a sound he said,
doesn’t know we’ve been in bed,
the ten whole days since we were wed.
No one knows and no one sees
we lovers doing as we please
but people stop and point at these
ten milk bottles a-turning into cheese.
Ten milk bottles standing day and night,
ten different thicknesses and different shades of white.
Persistent carol singers without a note to utter
silent carol singers,
a-turning into butter.
Now she’s run out of passion
and there’s not much left in me
so maybe we’ll get up and make a cup of tea.
then people can stop wondering what they’re waiting for
those ten milk bottles a queuing at our door.
I have lately learned to swim
and feel more at home in the ebb and flow
of your slim rhythmic tide
than in the fully dressed,
couldn’t care less
restless world outside.
You squeeze my hand and cry a little
You cannot comprehend the raggle taggle of living
and think it unfair that death
should be the only one
who knows what he’s doing.
You are afraid of the big bad dark
which loiters in our room
the night it prowls about the yard
the wind howls in distress
The Tom-moon peeps through the window
waiting for the table to undress.
It will soon be tomorrow
there’s nothing to fear
‘ever leave me?’
and put your tongue in my ear.
don’t open it,
it can only be
Said I trusted you, spoke too soon
heard of your affair with the man in the moon,
You say that it’s all over, then if you’re right
why does he call at the house every night.
Once I paid the piper and called the tune,
but one afternoon returning home early from the office
I found you in bed with the piper.
You call the last waltz
and now I dance sadly out of your life.
Monica who’s been eating my porridge
while I’ve been away?
My Quaker oats are nearly gone, what have you got to say?
Someone’s been at the whisky,
taken the jaguar keys
and Monica another thing
who’s trousers are these.
I love and trust you darling
can’t really believe you’d flirt
but there’s a strange man under the table
wearing only a shirt.
There’s someone in the bathroom,
someone behind the door,
the house is full of sexy men,
Don’t you love me anymore?
You are a woman of many faces
and the one that suits you best I fear
is the one you wear when I’m not here,
for when you wear your marriage face
boredom lounges round the place
Your finger sadly has a familiar ring about it.
Last night was your night out
and just before you went
you put your scowls in a tumbler
half filled with Sterodent
so they’d keep nice and fresh for me.
the tea things are taking over,
the cups are as big as bubble cars
they throttle round the room,
the tin-openers skate on the greasy plates
by the light of the silvery moon.
The biscuits are having a party
they’re necking in our bread bin,
that’s jazz you hear in the salt cellars
but they don’t let non-members in.
The egg spoons had our eggs for breakfast,
the sauce bottle’s asleep in our bed,
I overheard the knives and forks
it won’t be long, they said
it won’t be long, they said,
and it wasn’t.
It all started yesterday evening
as I was helping the potatoes off with their jackets
I heard you making a date with the kettle,
I distinctly heard you making a date with the kettle,
Then at midnight,
In the half light,
When I was polishing the blue speckles in a famous soap powder,
I saw you fondling the frying-pan,
I distinctly saw you fondling the frying-pan,
Finally at mid-dawn,
In the half light
While waiting in the cool shadows beneath the sink,
I saw you making love with the gas cooker,
I distinctly saw you making love with the gas cooker,
My gas cooker.
My mistake was to leap upon you crying,
Monica, spare the saucers.
For now I’m alone,
you having left me for someone with a bigger kitchen.
In, October, when winter the lodger the sod,
came a-knocking at our door,
I set in a store of biscuits and whisky
you filled the hot-water bottle with tears
and we went to bed until spring.
In April we arose,
warm and smelling of morning,
we kissed the sleep from each others eyes,
and went out into the world,
and now summers here again regular as the rent man,
but our lives are now more ordered, more arranged.
The kissing, wily, carefree times are changed.
We no longer stroll along the beaches of the bed,
or snuggle in the long grass of the carpets,
the room no longer a world for make believing in
but a ceiling and four walls that are for living in.
We no longer eat our dinner holding hands
or neck in the back stalls of the television
the room no longer a place for hide and seeking in
but a container that we use for eat and sleeping in.
Our love has become as comfortable
as the jeans you lounge about in
as my old green coat
as necessary as the change you get from the milkman
for a ten bob note.
Our love has become as nice as a cup of tea in bed,
as simple as something the baby said.
Monica, the sky is blue, the leaves are green,
The birds are singing, the bells are ringing,
For me and my gal.
The suns as big as an ice cream factory,
the corns as high as an elephants eye
could go on for hours about the lovely weather
we are having,
they don’t make summers like they used to.
- Roger McGough
KAIDIE PAYS HOMAGE TO SOME OF HER VIRTUAL RUNNING BUDDIES AT HER LIFE 1.0 SHOW! #8 YOU CAN BE KAIDIE’S COLLABORATOR TOO!
These are but a handful of Kaidie’s running buddies – real, virtual, imagined - so far, whom Kaidie has met in her Life 3.0 in the past 7 months. There are many, many more! YOU can play a role in Kaidie’s life/ lives! Kaidie’s is a collaborative, open(-ended?) quest for The Meaning of Life 3.0! RUN with her for the rest of the 790 days! Here are just a handful of outcomes Kaidie has created with YOU, My Dear Reader/Contributer/Collaborator/Conspirator of Pleasure, so far, including by some of these amazing Nondoners photographed here!. Contribute, by writing in, sending her feedback here, giving her suggestions, sending her images and sounds and ideas for her to jam with, with you! Add ‘Kaidie Nondon’ as your best Facebook Friend Forever! Friend ‘Kaidie3rdlife’ on Youtube! Follow Kaidie ‘live’ on Twitter! Track her Life 1.0 tracks on GPSies! Friend ‘Kaidie Absent’ in Second Life! Help us make this the best run of our lives!
DOCUMENTATION OF 3.0, 2.0, 1.0! READY, GET SET, GO! RUN FOR (Y)OUR LIVES! 22 March 2010 performance.
8 minute lecture-performance by Kailives, standing in for Kaidie, on the eve of Kaidie’s 100th day birthday and her continued dis-location. Kailives discusses the philosophy of Life 3.0, and the gap between theory (of Life 3.0) and (Kaidie’s) practice (of her semblance of life). Unbeknownst to Kailives, however, towards the end of the performance, Kaidie makes a brief appearance – right behind Kailives back, on screen!
The performance was filmed by the wonderful performance artist/filmmaker Jayne Parker. Off The Shelf, a 1-night word-image event, was curated by Sharon Morris and Jon Thomson, at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, UK, 22 March 2010, Monday. Kaidie’s segment came on at around 2130hrs.
**There was a gap in documentation towards the end of the performance due to tape change**
One of Kaidie’s guidebooks in Life 3.0 is George Orwell’s 1984, for several reasons. Like Life 3.0, the city of London is the novel’s mise-en-scene. In Orwell’s universe, reality is seen through an inverted lens, where the Ministry of Defence fights permanent wars, and the Ministry of Love (I love this- ‘miniluv’) operates through the mechanism of fear. That deep parallels can be drawn with our reality today can not be emphasised enough. And, like the notion of doublethink, Life 3.0 embodies contradictions without contradiction, with no apology. Like Smith, Kaidie is an experiment; while Smith’s choices may seem limited compared to Kaidie’s in Life 3.0, like Kaidie, Smith contrives to seek spaces within which he could exist/live/be. Orwell’s depiction of Smith’s process of torture through to reeducation and final love of Big Brother, is so slowburning that the final inevitable explosion – or, more accurately, implosion - resembles fingernails scratching a chalkboard, largo, breaking in the process and the small sharp bits scratching and incising the pink raw skin where the nail once was itself, a procedure so calculated and clinical as to be chilling, heartbreaking, repulsive and devastating as it is sublimely beautiful, a la Pasolini’s 120 Days of Sodom, Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange or a Gould’s rendition of the slow movement of the Emperor concerto. Yet another reason why 1984 resonates with Kaidie is of course, how it has been said that the circumstances of one of her previous lives was ‘Orwellian’.
THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING AND HENRY DARGER (many thanks to JO & ROB for this wonderful recommendation!)
At Jo and Roy’s recommendation, I visited the Museum of Everything last Sunday. (DO GET YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS POURING IN! I will take them up and report back!! This blog entry is proof!) I walked to and from the museum (about 7km) at a temperature not fit for humans. Fortunately I was a hamster then (and now). Unfortunately, my little hands/feet (call them what you will – ok, limbs) could not have a good grip of the icy ground, so I slipped and landed on my ass. In Life 3.0, being the smart ass that I am, I turned my accident into a positive experience, and instead of trying to stand up and confront the chuckling spectators, I rolled myself on the ground, all the way to the Museum at Sharples Hall Street, which is right next to Primprose Hill.
How glad I am to have visited. I quite like the show (though I must say that I find the term ‘Outsider Art’ – which the show has been described as – slightly problematic, the way all forms of ghetto-isation are, and also dangerous, to an extent, for a sort of mythologisation and romanticisation of artists and their processes. This is interesting also especially if the curators of a show are NOT outside but on the contrary, inside inside. Or perhaps this is meant to be an other of those clever contemporary self-reflexive joke?).
Anyways. I like the space, narrow even for me (I have been invariably described as ‘diminutive’ – yes yes, compared to you human beings I am vertically challenged, but please note that while I am a hamster, I am NOT a dwarf hamster – that’s an other breed altogether. Kindly note that I am much taller than them). Being the last day of the show (20 Dec), the place was jam-packed. What a surprise. A very tall (nearly 200cm) young man with very arresting green eyes tells me that the space used to be a dairy. The way the artworks are arranged is quite clever, efficient and intimate. For the uninitiated (like this writer for instance), this might have even appeared to be a show by a single artist. Which goes to show, either that the selection of artists/artworks is a result of their similar aesthetic approaches, or that the curators have done a good job in unifying the entire show in a sharp and coherent manner, or both.
My favourite, favourite is Henry Darger. I stared for some time at his large superwidescreen drawings of toddlers in what looks like edens. There is as much violence as there is beauty, transience as there is timelessness, comehither -ness as there is repugnance and repulsion. The drawings are highly restrained as they are too much.
This concoction of emotions is rather powerful. I quickly travel back in time and cycle through my bank of memory and knowledge, and immediately many names, images and sounds jump up for my attention: Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Chagall, El Greco, Elsie Beckmann and Hans Beckert/Peter Lorre in Lang’s M, Chapman Brothers, the muse of Lewis Carroll and imaginations of Nabokov, AES+F’s Last Riot, and of course, the Great Pretender Takashi Murakami and his faux naif approach. I also recall that I had felt this surge of feelings only a few times before in my previous life: when I saw Boltanski’s solo exhibition in France, a Mark Rothko painting in Chicago, and Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.
I came back, and tell myself that I must, must go and find out more about Darger.
Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. FILL THIS UP AND SUBMIT TO KAIDIE, NOW! There are several different quizzes. Do complete them all! And you can fill up as many as you wish. I will publish the most interesting ones! THOSE WITH THE BEST ANSWERS WILL WIN A SPECIAL, SECRET PRIZE FROM KAIDIE!
There are many exquisite maps at the British Library. (Like the British Museum, there are many, many, many things in the British Library. One of the reasons as we all know quite well is that they, well, ‘appropriated’ many things from all over the world during the glorious days of imperialism, but Kaidie, a 3rdlifer, while aware and conscious of course of these discourses, is free from the baggage and burden of history/histories. As well as taste, some might say, looking at my map, above).
After the workshop, I walk down the Euston Road, which leads to Marylebone Road. Opposite the Madam Tussaud’s Museum (which is full of my impersonator friends), is a pub named the Globe (see below). As a true-blue cosmopolitan Nondoner, I down 9 pints in quick succession in 6 minutes, of Hoegaarden, Asahi, 3 Moët et Chandon Brut Impérial, 2 Mojitos, washed down with 2 straight vodkas. Burp. (In Life 3.0, there is no legal age-limit. Nothing is illegal, or nothing is legal either.) Refreshed from my small drink, I go home and make my own map (see above).
We are told that there will be a big map show in April 2010 – either the show is a big show, or that the maps that are shown there are big, or it is a big show that shows big maps. Magnificent! I must go! I must put it down in my diary.
I MUST, MUST go as well to look at The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam show which closes 21 Feb 2010! I have just signed up to receive online newsletters. I must register to be a Reader as well.
SO MUCH TO DO, AND SO MUCH TIME TO DO THEM ALL! How I adore Nondon! My Life 3.0 is a bed of roses. And fragrant proses. Sigh.
Do not, my dear Readers, envy me please. Inequality is life. Such is life. Accept it!
Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. So don’t be shy. Come on in. Here are questions that I have come up, with to get us started. FILL THIS UP, AND SEND IT BACK TO ME. IN RETURN, YOU CAN ASK ME ANY QUESTION THAT YOU HAVE IN MIND. ANY – APART FROM THOSE ALREADY ADDRESSED IN THE FAQ – ANY, ANY, ANY. If you do not fill it up, I will not talk to you. Simple. You do not, of course, have to answer ALL of them (though it will so please me if you would). Just go for the ones you fancy. For the trickier questions, I have even provided some tips to help you! See, Life 3.0 is nice like this.
- SCREEN NAME / STAGE NAME:
- CITY OF ORIGIN:
- LANGUAGES SPOKEN/WRITTEN:
- WHY ARE YOU IN LONDON?
- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN LONDON?
- WHERE DO YOU LIVE? DO YOU LIKE THE AREA YOU LIVE?
- WHAT KIND OF SPACE DO YOU DWELL? HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Tip: Bedsit, studio-apartment, dorm, hut, straw house, council block, cave etc
- WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LONDON? COMPARED TO THE CITY YOU HAVE COME FROM? COMPARED TO OTHER CITIES?
- WOULD YOU LIVE IN LONDON FOREVER? WHY? WHY NOT?
- WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LONDONERS IN GENERAL?
- DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A ‘LONDONER’?
- WHAT CAN KAIDIE DO TO BE A ‘LONDONER’?
- WHAT CAN KAIDIE DO TO BE A ‘TYPICAL’ LONDONER? ‘GOOD’ LONDONER?
- WHAT DO YOU LIKE/LOVE ABOUT LONDON?
- WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE/HATE ABOUT LONDON?
- WHAT DO YOU DO DURING WEEKENDS IN LONDON?
- WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEANINGFUL PURSUITS FOR KAIDIE IN LONDON? WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE YOU GOT FOR KAIDIE TO DO IN LONDON?
- WHERE CAN SHE GO TO CHECK OUT DURING WEEKENDS?
- DO YOU THINK THERE IS ALWAYS NOT ENOUGH TIME, OR IS TIME JUST RIGHT?
- IF YOU ARE TO DIE TOMORROW, WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY?
- IF YOU HAVE 1 HOUR TO LIVE, WHAT WILL YOU DO?
- WHAT WILL YOU EAT AT YOUR LAST MEAL?
- TILL HOW OLD DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?
- HOW IN LONDON DO YOU WANT TO DIE? Tip: Mugged, at UCH(’s waiting list) with swine flu, run over by the tube, hit by a taser gun, etc
- WHERE IN LONDON DO YOU WANT TO DIE?
- WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE BEFORE YOU WERE ‘YOU’?
- WHAT DO YOU WISH TO BECOME IN YOUR NEXT LIFE?
- WOULD YOU WISH TO REPEAT THIS LIFE?
- WOULD YOU BE BACK IN LONDON THE NEXT TIME ROUND?
- IF YOU COULD LIVE YOUR LIFE ALL OVER AGAIN, HOW WOULD YOU CHANGE IT?
- IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
- IF YOU WERE MAYOR OF LONDON, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT YOU WOULD DO?
- WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BECOME IN YOUR NEXT LIFE?
- ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT YOUR LIFE NOW?
- ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT OUR LIFE IN GENERAL NOW?
- IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH TO CHANGE?
- IF YOU WERE A SUPERHERO, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
- IF YOU HAD A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
- IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
- DO YOU HAVE A WISH FOR YOURSELF OR FOR ‘MANKIND’ IN GENERAL Tip: Imagine yourself as Ms Universe when you answer this question.
- RIGHT NOW, IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH TO DO THAT YOU CANNOT?
- IS THERE SOMETHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED OF, THAT YOU CANNOT ACCOMPLISH, FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER?
- IF YOU ARE GIVEN A CHANCE TO REINVENT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD YOU BECOME? Tip: A famous personality, a not famous personality, a famous non-personality, a person with a different occupation/gender/class/accent/appearance, or not even a person, but perhaps something useful, like a falafel or curtains, etc.
- WHAT GOOD PERSONALITY TRAITS DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD HAVE?
- WHAT GOOD HABITS SHOULD KAIDIE DEVELOP?
- WHAT BAD HABITS DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD NOT DEVELOP?
- FROM YOUR PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KAIDIE’S QUEST?
- DO YOU HAVE TIPS FOR KAIDIE FOR HER TO LOOK FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE?
- ANY TIPS FOR KAIDIE TO BE HAPPY? BE HEALTHY? EAT WELL, HAVE A LOVING RELATIONSHIP, WORK-LIFE BALANCE, BE OPTIMISTIC ETC.
- WHAT OTHER ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE KAIDIE?
- WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE IF YOU MEET HER?
- WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE HERE?
- WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE IN A PRIVATE CONVERSATION?
- WHAT ARE YOUR LAST WORDS TO KAIDIE?
- WHAT ARE YOUR LAST WORDS BEFORE YOU DIE?
- WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE ON YOUR TOMBSTONE (IF YOU COULD DO THAT JUST BEFORE YOU GO, THAT IS)?
- WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE AS YOUR LAST BLOG ENTRY TO US EARTHLINGS?
- WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE ON YOUR WALL AS A PARTING SHOT?
- WHAT IS YOUR LAST TWIT? (BE CONCISE NOW! ONLY 140 CHARACTERS!)
- FINALLY, ONE ADJECTIVE TO DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE. JUST ONE. Tip: fab, amazing, shite, so-so, what-life? etc
GLOSSARY/ WIKI ABOUT THE UNIVERSE OF KAIDIE / LIFE 3.0, AND THE THEATRE OF CHARACTERS (ongoing). SEEKING DEFINITIONS AND MULTIPLE+ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS! CONTRIBUTE NOW!
VARIATIONS OF LONDON:
* London, UK:
* London A-Z:
1) Following KathyMartens’ definition, one that carries an A-Z.
1) Question from Michiko 12.12.2009: Is Kaidie the only inhabitant of Nondon?
* At least 12 Londons in USA:
* Little Londons all over the UK, and Serbia, and Jamaica:
* Quite a few Londons in Canada:
* ‘London’ according to Patrick Keiller, Will Self, Woody Allen, Rowling/Potter, Loach, Gilliam, Neil Gaiman, Dickens, Wilde, Woolf, Kureishi, Rushdie, Hitchcock and Bond – James Bond:
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE VERSION? HAVE YOU YOUR OWN VERSION OF LONDON TO SHARE WITH ME? OR, ARE THERE COPIES OF YOUR CITY OUT THERE? HAVE YOU YOUR PERSONALISED VERSION OF YOUR CITY?