the hugs and pecks

10 Oct

WEEK FORTY ( october 3-9)

It is early morning. I’m packed. We sit at our last lolly-filled breakfast table before we are set to fly again.

breakfast in Ulgii
This time it’s back to UB to spend a few hours free time before our final dinner.
A few of us take a taxi back to Mary & Martha and the State Department Store to spend the last of our Tughriks ….though I was sorely tempted to rush to the Fine Art Museum instead….

ferris wheel for our final night in UB

The highlight of our dinner was seeing the ‘turning’ of our beautiful young guide.
Her farewell speech was pushed out through tears. We ‘old folk’ have opened her eyes…and her tear ducts:).
Also joining us around the dinner table was our driver Dorjaw – he was always there to eat with us if there was space.
Despite the total language barrier we easily understood him when he passed around his phone. As burly blokes often do, he and his mates dressed up in evening gowns and sang Abba songs for fun. HILARIOUS!
Bad taste and cross-dressing has no cultural boundaries.

Tuesday starts early with yet another 4am exit from the hotel. This time it is our final bus trip to the airport where we hug our goodbyes and peck our heartfelt thanks onto the cheeks of our wonderful guide and our driver.

At each of my three flights home the hugs and pecks continue as various bods peel off to head another way. Some to continue traveling, most veer to the east coast. The unlucky ones from regional Australia have yet another night and another flight to toil through.

On Wednesday morn, at 8am, I tuck myself in my own bed.
I have two delicious hours of horizontal sleep in my soft bed before I ‘come to’.
I puddle around the house and acclimatize.
The fridge that was filled when I left is now empty. Task number one is set.
The case is emptied and piles made.

Thursday and Friday are catch-up days. I need to cook, to catch up with family and to start on the downloading of 80GB of photos from my ‘big’ camera. My back up camera – my iphone – the photos seen in the last posts, is thankfully instantly accessible.

It will take me weeks to delete the bad photos – and there will be many – taken from bouncy buses with dirty windows and excitedly clicked dull vistas from plane windows.
I will keep many bad photos because they immediately take me to a time and a place and help to tell the story of the trip.

I will have weeks of viewing and deleting and some sharing of photos within the group.
I hope to draw from some, to print some….on paper and fabric….in time.

returning to finished piecesThe rest of the week flies by in a blur.
I deliberately did not think of home or studio tasks whilst away.
I arrive with a clear mind and enthusiasm for the minutiae of my life.

I wander around my studio.
The ‘black feathers’ piece that I rushed to finish before I left was a welcome sight.
It now needs documentation and proper photography.
I am eager to glue it’s pale ‘twin’.

work for the next few weeks - task #2

I pull out the pile of six or so works in progress that I would like to complete soon.
In doing so I am easing myself back into my world….

work for the next few weeks - task #5

Only on Friday do I really start paying attention to ToDoist and to the raft of tasks, and the hopes and desires pending. I am in future mode only briefly only, as we need to scoot down south.work for the next few weeks - task #4?

We have company again this weekend – Miff, Esther and Flick – and we set to tasks in a fun-filled way. Esther and I weed dandelions and move wood from a shed construction zone to the firewood pile. Who knew that we could have so much fun with plodding tasks and that an almost three year old could really do her bit?
We all sleep very well that night.

work for the next few weeks - task #3?

Sunday night is family catch up as usual.
Chaos as usual.
It is great to be home.

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Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Act/Craft (Textiles/ Sculpture)
Living in Perth, Western Australia
Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher.