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Life with Lavendar in London town

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Working Hard for (No) Money....

When I was studying economics in high school, my then teacher told us how the work of women at home, ie housewife, mother etc was not included in the GDP of the nation. He said that this seemed an inaccurate reflection of the population's real productivity as so much work goes on in the home and in the rearing of kinder. He asked what we thought the real value of such work would be?

He was an unlikely feminist with his Fair Isle knit cardigans and combover hair but what he said has stuck with me all these years.

A lovely selection of Fair Isle sweaters

And now it is time for me to stick my toe back into the dirty waters of paid work. It is time to take a break (yes, many women consider going back to work a break as child rearing is like non stop, unpaid domestic slavery) from my beloved 14 month old dictator and rejoin the masses.

But who'll have me?

Well I have a job interview next week; my first in years.  I like job interviews. I see them as little ethnographic field trips into the inner workings of industry. Although I am the one being summoned to be assessed as to whether they should hire me to work like a slave for £10 an hour (I work in the arts and hey, it's more than I'm getting at home); I always enjoy job interviews because I am very much also, interviewing THEM.

I like meeting a a panel of strangers who have dedicated questions in front of them to ask me. The same questions it seems that all potential employees ask their interviewees.  I like assessing what their work personalities might be like and whether I would like to work with  them. Would we clash or would we become work buddies? Did they dress up for this interview or do they always wear such stiff clothes?

It's so much fun for that hour or two.

If you get the job, well that's when the fun stops.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

International Dance Festival Birmingham

A few weekends ago I travelled up to Birmingham to attend the International Dance Festival Birmingham. I was on a mission to see a woman perform.  A woman who is fifty three years old and the mother of twins.

Her name is Louise Lecavalier; a prominent contemporary dance artist from Canada. Formerly of the company La La  La Human Steps. Well known for her kinetic, feral energy on stage and her triple barrel horizontal spins.

Does she look 53 to you?

I travelled alone, feeling the gap widen between myself and the demands of a 13 month toddler. I luxuriated in the ability to read, think, dream, gaze unhindered. I stayed in Birmingham the entire weekend, during which I read books and papers and magazines. I read as if I was starving for words.

Before the show, I enjoyed the time in the foyer alone; people watching over a glass of wine. Inside the theatre, the dancer from Canada showed that age and artistry are excellent companions. Her partner onstage was Patrick Lamothe who had a bit of a pot belly and looked like he'd been up drinking all night. He looked like a regular guy. I like it when dancers look real and then surprise you with what they can do on stage with their real looking bodies.

Where did his pot belly go in this photo? Photoshopped?
When the weekend was over, I returned to the squalling embrace of my pissed-off toddler and my relieved husband. We were all exhausted. He was exhausted by our child. She was exhausted (not really) because she is a non stop machine. I was exhausted by all the freedom I'd had .

Yet the outcome of all this exhaustion was that something in me had been reclaimed.  Through my trip to Birmingham, I had also made a trip back to me.