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"well that was a fun year wasn't it!

... you even made to Munich for fuck's sake!"
-marcus brown, the kaiser edition, contributor

i don't know if i ever did one of these last year, but i kind of feel the need to do a recap post at the end of this year. probably because it has been one of the most intense learning experiences of my entire life:

1. i turned 30

thanks to sesom on flickr

the first major thing that happened to me in 2007 was that i turned 30. i'm grateful that i didn't really avoid or have a huge breakdown around it, in fact, i had a massive rooftop party that almost all my friends came to [including 3 separate surprise guests!], but it was still kind of a major deal. on the down side i found myself feeling incredibly single and suddenly stressing about how/when i was going to have children [WTF!! where the hell did that came from??], but on the up side, i realised that i'm getting too old to worry about petty shit, and started rockin' the "i'm too old for this shit" line, regularly.

2. i moved to london for 6 months

a while ago i realised that, in the whole scheme of things, that i knew fuck all about what was really happening in the art world and the world in general. i mean, i read a lot, kept up to date with the news, engaged in discussion and was interested in life, but i just felt like there was a certain kind of experience that comes from travelling, for an extended time, away from one's comfort zones. i chose london because, for me, the london art/architecture/design scene is SO HOT RIGHT NOW and i wanted a piece of it and loads of my all-time favourite artists are english (as opposed to americans from the NYC hood).

in that time, i discovered some amazing things about myself:
★ that i am actually much more of an anxious person than i originally thought (especially if i don't have a place to live or if i don't have a job);
★ that i do, actually, have quite a good sense of humour;
★ that i can make friends easily;
★ that i relish the honesty and forthright-ness, a dominant gene in most australians (and a recessive ones in most brits);
★ in that time i wrote and drew a lot, developed a keener eye, and hung out with a lot of creative/thinkin' types (and stoke fans... ha!) and doing that i realised that i do know a little bit about this art business.

i also did some amazing and cool things in london, including:

★ had a solo exhibition/residency-of-sorts in london;

★ went to interesting 2007 and coffee mornings
★ met a whole bunch of bloggery/twittery types who i now consider friends. in fact, meeting these people and having them as friends was actually the highlight of my trip. my time would not have been the same without them;

★ went to [pretty much] a gallery every day, including the national gallery and the tate modern once a week
★ went to swan lake, performed by the english national ballet, at royal albert hall;
★ danced to banghra and indie brit pop in the middle of the night and jungle drum'n'bass in the middle of the day;
★ walked along the moors of west yorkshire and visited the graveyard where sylvia plath is buried!
★ visited almost every place on the monopoly board (except vine st, whitehall and fenchurch station). [ok, well that was more as a bonus of actually living and checking out london, but hey, it's a cool thing to be able to have done!]

3. visited dubai.
i did this on the way to and the return from london and as i posted here, it was an amazing experience that gave me a level of experience, empathy and cultural insight that i really did not expect. in fact i relish the time i got to spend here. it was only a small amount of time, but it was incredibly meaningful to me. one of my best mate's lives there, which helped, and i would easily go back there for a visit.

4. did a 5.5 week mega art grand tour around europe.
i documented this trip on this blog (here, here, and here - actually pretty extensively, really), but it was the most amazing thing to happen to me this year. i visited munich (for fuck's sake), hamburg, berlin (briefly, but enough to have a pic featured on a schmap guide!), prague, linz, vienna, venice, milan, athens, turin, lyon and paris. i can't really articulate in this post what a fucking amazing time i had, but it was life-changing. i also went to 3 biennales in that time, an electronic arts festival and a swag of great galleries.

5. moved back to melbourne (and lived with my folks) for the first time since i was 17...
and spent just a little bit more time being poor and looking for work (ha!). i love my folks. my mum and i are like two peas in a pod, but after having had a huge level of independence and a sense of my own identity for such a long time, going back to live with my folks, in an area where the buses often only run once every 2 hours, has been intense. revisiting areas i used to live as a kid has been eery, and it's yet another time of discovery and making new/regaining old friends. i'm still in the process of this and it's still kind of nutty (eased when i finally get into melbourne in the new year), so it's hard to write about it with a level of pragmatism just yet, but i do know that it has highlighted some of my core character traits, good and bad.

despite some of the difficulties, i am getting to hang out on the aussie coastline, with country skies, the smell of eucalypt and sound of magpies and cicadas, in a beautiful house with a view. now that #6 has happened, i'm better able to enjoy this time and take advantage of my good fortune.

6. got a great job at an arts org and accepted into a post-grad course for next year.
talk about a great way to end an intense year. i'm looking forward to settling in a little this year, putting on an exhibition, studying, maybe doing a wee bit of a travel, but generally having a nice and relaxed year.

thanks to everyone who read this pile of drivel this year, put up with the slight madness and who even came back more than once. love and kisses to those regular commenting-types and you gorgeous people that i met through this and other blogs.

happy new year and have a great 2008!

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At 28 December, 2007 14:21, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did a lot more than me.

At 28 December, 2007 22:42, Blogger Unknown said...

Dude, I'm exhausted just reading that! Fuck you've done a lot. What an awesome awesome year. Good on you. Can't wait to read about a year of adventures in Melbourne now. I must come to Melbourne next time I come to Australia.

(Magpies... I'm loving it...)

At 29 December, 2007 00:14, Blogger lauren said...

hey paul! merry christmas and happy new year to you kind sir.. and surely you've had a bumber year too - 2 new jobs, interesting, romania, reigining crown of 'most hated man on the internet' and a return to running/cycling form! huge!

angus - how good are the magpies! you definitely have to come to melbourne when you're back here next time - it'll be a blast. have a great new year's lovely and a safe trip back.

At 29 December, 2007 06:55, Blogger Stanley Johnson said...

Wow! Hell of a 12 months Lauren. It's been great fun following your adventures via the interweb. Look forward to finally meeting in person sometime soon. Happy New Year...Stan x

At 29 December, 2007 09:21, Blogger Jadedism said...

Three Decades down...! And what a 2007 you've had!

Cheers' to 2008...!

At 31 December, 2007 02:32, Blogger Charles Edward Frith said...

It was an amazing year Lauren and meeting you made me realise that I could have spent weeks hanging out with you and still not know a tenth of all the wonderful and admirable sides of your amazing abilities and personality without reading your blog or comments. Lets keep on motoring. We got work to do.

At 01 January, 2008 07:38, Blogger lauren said...

thanks stan, jade and charles!

charles, i'm serious about coming to beijing in 2008 somehow, so i promise there'll be time to properly check out my neuroses then :) until then, keep reading - ha!

At 02 January, 2008 09:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Lauren - Happy New Year.

Can I have a land address for you ? I have a card to send...call it an EARLY 2008 Christmas card.

It can go to no other than you, this one...

Email to: tomlewisreynier@hotmail.com if poss...

At 02 January, 2008 19:11, Blogger charlie gower said...

my, you did do a lot. I think I've forgotten most of the stuff I did.
I think I need to re-read my blog which is quite tragic really.

At 06 January, 2008 14:20, Blogger Will said...

And Stoke fans? Boo... ;)

It was a helluva year Lauren - it was bloody good to hang around with you.

At 06 January, 2008 23:40, Blogger lauren said...

hey charlie! i didn't feel like a lot until i wrote it all down. perhaps that's why we do it, so we can launch into a new year with a sense of perspective and accomplishment. i reckon your twitters will give you a good idea of what you did this year!

i was wondering how long it would take you to react to that will :) it was a helluva year and i'm so glad that i spent most of at least half of it hanging out with you too :)


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