It’s summer again and I have no idea how that happened – two weeks ago I was wearing fluffy socks after a shoot at the start of June and sulking about it 😂 Today my car read 32 degrees celsius when I got back into it after networking and it’s only now at almost midnight that it’s starting to feel bearably cool enough to sleep.
As ever, I logged in impulsively to write a big life update and now can’t remember any of what I wanted to write.
Kittens are wonderful – still doing slightly weird things with poo (Luna) and puking (Clovie) but on the whole they are glorious. I have hit peak cat lady and bought a baby sling (rainbow, obviously) to attempt to get some use of my hands and arms back in the evenings when Luna gets super cuddly. Obviously the day it arrived, a heatwave hit, so no one wants cuddles at all at the moment because it’s too damn hot!
Friends and family are amazing – we celebrated Gran’s 94th birthday last week which was mad but lovely, and I’ve had a difficult-to-navigate situation that lots of people have been very helpful with. I am regularly extremely grateful for the people in my life, and this season is no exception!
The house is definitely having a seven year itch – it’s actually 8 since I bought it this summer, but I have a few flickering lights, an oven bulb, the extractor fan overhead bulb, a slightly wobbly tap and a couple of other small bits that all need fixing at some point. The garden is doing brilliantly considering how little I manage to water it, and Dad’s rose is abundantly blooming which makes me happy. I think I might even be able to train it to grow round my window in time.
Other stuff that definitely needs doing before winter, somehow, is oiling the decking, restoring the bar, and replacing the greenery on the side fence. And probably also cleaning the BBQ and figuring out how to tell if I have any gas left or not.
I saw my first enormous spider of the season today which I’m not thrilled about, especially as I’d like to spend more time outside during this lovely part of the year where it’s both warm enough and light enough to still be outdoors at 9.30pm.
Had a gorgeous picnic in the woods for J’s half birthday which made me very happy – we all forgot about the mozzies so there were some bites, but on the whole it was beautiful. And all the girls turned up in pretty dresses so I wasn’t the only one in a medieval-style maxi dress on a casual Friday night!
I’ve discovered the Whering app for cataloguing and tracking my wardrobe – this is both delightful and dangerous. And I’ve got a small Vinted addiction… one of my major summer goals is listing all the stuff that I need to part with so I can make more space for beautiful things in my wardrobe!
In treats, I’ve had Sponge Red Velvet cake, all kinds of TEMPRD, Teisseire lemon syrup and a massive box of Fruit Salad sweets – I really do have a sweet tooth, don’t I?! I’m having a cheese savouries and garlic croutons moment too, with my usual beloved breadsticks relegated to the back shelf.
Two new recipes have joined my firm favourites and regular rotations – Vietnamese curry and garlic one pot chicken. Recipes adapted and changed so far from where they started, and they started with several different recipes combined, that I might just have to publish them separately.
I’m slooooowly getting braver at social media including tiktok, and surprising myself by really enjoying the video creation process. I took myself out one Sunday evening for some self portraits on campus and although it was a massive effort, it was also completely and utterly worth it and I felt fabulous afterwards. Must remember to do more of that!
AI is creeping into every conversation – I’ve been experimenting with the words stuff since January this year, but avoiding the imagery because of the uncertainty about how it was trained and whether it was on stolen art.
When Adobe released a Photoshop Beta based on Firefly, with rights managed images forming the basis of how its AI was trained, I decided to give it a go – with distinctly mixed results. It kind of blew my mind, and it kind of made me properly lol – I’ll write in more depth on the art photography blog shortly.
I still think humans are going to balls up AI as a revolution – I can see so much possibility for it to automate and deal with some of the digital muggle tasks, so we can get on with creating and connecting and being humans properly. But I suspect we’ll somehow fuck it up so we make more work for ourselves – we shall see.
I’m reading Chill and Prosper and it’s taking me longer than any other book I’ve ever read because it’s hitting me over the head with realisations every time I pick it up. It’s both unnerving and actually quite exciting!
ADHD wise I’m ok, definitely really noticing the difference when I skip meds, but also wanting the odd day where I do skip them so I can actually eat like a normal person. Allergies are still bollocks – the meds do help and I can’t imagine my life without them now, but as I type I am definitely reaching the part of the day where they wear off and I am snotty and my eyes itch and my nose is blocked and I keep sneezing. Not much fun!
Have had some wonderful networking events and new connections recently which is nice, and work is as manic as it always is – juggling brand shoots, marketing, new fantasy stuff, everyone being obsessed with mermaids, Ink Drops and TEMPRD and the podcast is A Lot. It’s a good lot, but I am definitely still trying to strike a balance that isn’t going to end in burnout again.
I had an emotional moment watching the Merpeople documentary on Netflix – I can’t quite believe that eight years after I got my first tail, and after eight years of talking about it, suddenly we’re mainstream enough to have our own documentary, it’s mad. Again, proper thoughts on that on the art blog soonish.
On that same subject I’ve had some lovely press recently – a whole page in the i newspaper about mermaiding, and with all my pics, a BBC Essex appearance about having cats instead of children, and a cameo piece on WUNC about singlehood by choice. And the big one, finding I’m a star of Bella’s book on singlehood, coming out later on this year. I cried when I read the proofs – it’s surreal but also huge to be part of this very important conversation and what feels a bit like a mini revolution. Like – it’s ok to be single and for that to be the end goal, not the in between state.
And I’m accidentally growing my hair out – haven’t had the time and the money at the same time to get my colours redone for the past 18 months, and now it’s summer and I want to swim and paddle – so I can see a lot more of my natural colour than I usually do. And the unexpected joy of that is that my greys are FINALLY coming through! I know I’m weird – but I’m so excited and have waited for them for so long.
Right – I need to go to bed and had no actual intention of blogging this evening, so am going to find a photo and hit publish and I’ll try for some more stream of consciousness updating soon. I suspect no one reads this any more, which is totally fine – but it’s been the place I deposit my thoughts and ideas and feels and musings for nearly twenty years, so I’m keeping it for me. And if my word waffle is helpful or interesting to anyone else, that’s a glorious bonus!
Most of what I’ve written will get expanded posts of its own on my other sites, so come nose at carlawatkins.com and carlawatkinsphotography.com if you’re curious!