Friday, February 18, 2011

Repotting without tearing too many roots
As our move to Denmark gets closer a very Scandinavian melancholy is creeping in and mixes with hopes, so I figured it would be sobering to write these thoughts down, you see, wherever you are, there are things that bug you - here it's stuff like the quality of bread, housing standards, the government and rush hour travel, it's watching people letting crisp bags fall from their hands when they're done and the realisation that you might get knifed if you say something. In Denmark, it's the selfishness of people, the quality of art, the government and people littering, but I want to focus on the good stuff, because going away from your native culture for a bit is the best thing you can do to your brain, I have learned so much in these few London years and what I will miss from London is:

The edge. There is so much of it here, it's a hard place sometimes, but accept that and London opens up.
Victorian/Edwardian/bodged aesthetics. I cannot yet full explain this. I've sometimes tried to tell students that "Things decay differently here." and gotten blank stares. Fretwork is a part of it, handwriting a sign instead of printing it in Comic Sans and laminating it is another.
Connectivity. Whatever you do here, there's someone who will understand

What I will appreciate more than I used to in Denmark will be stuff like:
Roots/Tradition There is some crazy stuff there that I've taken for granted.
The sea I'm baffled by the fact that we have all this sea and very few of us seem to use it.
Quality of life. It's the little things, heating that works, a fridge that can hold more than 4 pints of milk, a small town where you can walk anywhere in 30 minutes.

So there you have it. It looks like I'm giving up on inspiration for comfort, maybe a bit, but in doing that I am forcing myself to bring some London to the table, I must be the edge, I must be a driving force of an interesting aesthetic, I must connect.

The cool thing about these two lists, is that it wouldn't work the other way around, I couldn't bring the sea, a Scandinavian quality of life and folk traditions here to the same extent.

a secret club badges, if you'd like one, it's yours.

A secret club will be a major part of this, we will continue and expand our work with playful communication, collaborative play, memory and alternative teaching and this will have to happen in whichever way possible, both on an official level but also in more guerrilla ways.

We will not sever our roots in London, Aarhus is not far away and we have some brilliant projects lined up, so I will be seeing you.

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