Today is the summer solstice, and as I write, the rain is pelting against my windowpane. But apparently, hidden up there behind the clouds, lurks a 'strawberry moon'. I find this notion rather delicious - I have visions of star-strewn clouds bathed in the rosy glow of a giant pink moon. But I've done a Google search and sadly, no, the moon won't be looking pink tonight. According to The Independent, a strawberry moon 'is a full moon, which occurs in June, named by early Native American tribes. It is a full moon like any other, but marks the beginning of the strawberry season.' And it coincides with the summer solstice once every 70 years - so if you were looking for an excuse to splurge, celebrate or just eat those strawberries with cream - you now have one.
I have mixed feelings about the colour pink - although I absolutely love a lush, blowsy, gloriously pink peony, part of me thinks the colour pink should man the f*ck up and stop wimping about. But a friend of mine, a colour therapist, says pink is actually one of the most powerful colours. 'It is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. In using pink, you are striving for balance - and when you're balanced, you can trust in others, take risks, and can give and receive love.'
'I have always been a romantic, one of those people who believes that a woman in pink circus tights contains all the secrets of the universe.'
My theatre-themed cards are now available from my shop (or from the stage door at Glyndebourne Opera House, if you happen to be passing). Many of my favourite people are showbiz types - from the quintessential luvvies to tattoo-smothered tecchies, and it's been really fun to work on capturing the fun, magic and heart-stopping terror of working in the theatre through drawings. It's not always easy to find greetings cards that fit in with a niche, so hopefully theatre people - both professionals and fans - will enjoy these. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Robert Poulton Foundation. Set up in memory of the much-loved British baritone Robert Poulton, the foundation aims to 'ignite a love of singing to improve lives'.
There are ten designs to choose from - let me know if you have any ideas you'd like me to try!
I've also been prop-making this week for a friend's theatre company - I can't disclose exactly what I was making as that would give away an element of the design for the performance, but once the show is up and running I'll share it with you.
I randomly found a book recently by Michel Faber - I'm not sure where I've been really, since it came out in 2002, but I've been tearing my way through the (quite literally) endless pages ever since. Set in London in 1874, The Crimson Petal and The White is basically about a prostitute and the man who falls in love with her. I am relishing Faber's dazzling characters, the dark humour, the modern allusions, and his almost gleeful revelry in Victorian London's squalid and seedy underbelly. A TV show based on the book came out in 2010 - I found this 3-minute clip of the opening scene on Youtube, and I just love the imagery.
Ah - the clouds are clearing - perhaps we'll catch a glimpse of the moon tonight, after all. Meanwhile, I have a couple of commissions waiting for me - so, my friends - until next time... xx