As another year of the global pandemic comes to an end, with the UK in political turmoil, with a completely incompetent prime minister, and still no sign of any #ExcludedUK financial support, there's a strange mix of hope and underlying despair.
We ended the year with a funeral for Uncle Paul, a final farewell to a well respected chemistry teacher known to many in Peterborough, although we mainly remember him for constantly listening to opera and classical music, and his baritone choral singing will be missed at church services.
It was the first time many family had gathered together since the pandemic and lockdowns, and he had a good send off. I thought of Sophie Calle again.
Last year, I was very grateful for some welfare support that prevented us from dropping off a financial cliff edge into God knows where, but that's been withdrawn with nothing to replace it, certainly not wages.
Of course, the Business Revival Grant has meant I've been able to continue to work, with several other grant applications, despite the ongoing discrimination I face as both a single parent and carer - which arts orgs are still keen to evade any responsibility for.
I suggest that if you're a funder of arts commissions, opportunities and open calls, and continue to reject applications by single parents or carers, and can't handle the guilt of your discrimination, then please do resign from your job!!
I'm not responsible for your guilt, you must own it yourself. In the same way that the prime minister bears the responsibility for his poor leadership.
I don't apply for arts applications as an artist to get rejection after rejection. I only apply to be accepted - every time I apply. So that rejection is completely on the rejector, not me. And I do take it personally, as I'm the one that has to bear the punishment of living on £54 a week instead.
I now invoice for my time taken to apply for these, whether or not they're successful, as that's admin time I could use better otherwise.
My youngest son, who was made destitute in 2019, and whose destitution has caused some of the severe debts that I still can't recover from, has now got a job, so that's a relief.
I started to gain a few commissions, but still not enough to cover all the bills or clear debts.
My latest application is DYCP for Lost Dreams. I have been asked by musicians if I'm going to make it into a full album. I was only paid £50 to produce the EP, so I am hoping to make it into a performance art piece.
So for next year, I am trying to keep positive, which is hard to do under the current circumstances!
I am hoping that at least one grant application (preferably more than one!) is successful.
I am hoping to sell NFT artwork to earn a living.