Sunday, 23 September 2012
So after spotting the Creative Cutie at the NY Surf Film Festival* last week I'll admit that after the initial shock had worn off my first thought was "oh crap he's going to get back into my head again" and was concerned that I'd be back at the point immediately after I asked him out via Facebook when I would hopefully login and check for a response from him and answer all unidentifiable phone calls - I never do that - just on the off chance that it was him calling. Of course he never called or messaged and after about a month my hope dissipated, but it was a long month of dashed hopes and I really didn't want to go back to that point. I'll admit I did fleetingly think upon seeing him last week that having been reminded of my existence there was the possibility that he'd respond to my FB message, but reality quickly took hold and I realized that's not going to happen, because life is not a romantic comedy.
Not that I'm saying he's not on my mind at all, he's definitely managed to worm his way in there these last few days, but I feel like he'll be out of my head again sooner rather than later. Perhaps it's thanks to being on OkCupid again that I've gained a little more perspective on the situation. I know that there are other fish in the sea even if those fish aren't really biting, or maybe it's more that I'm throwing them back, but at least I recognize they are out there.
Not that much has happened dating wise in the few weeks my profile has been active again, in fact I was ready to jack it in after a week after a few guys had emailed me. In an effort to be open to new possibilities I had decided to respond to pretty much any email I received as long as the guys didn't obviously have a screw loose, plus I didn't want to be one of those people on OKC with "Replies very selectively" next to my name. For those of you that are unawares OkCupid categorizes you according to the proportion of emails you receive that you actually respond to. These labels appear in your profile when viewed by others. The categories are:
* Replies Often
* Replies Selectively
* Replies Very Selectively
A friend who is also using OkCupid thinks that someone who has "Replies Selectively" to the right of their profile photo is a positive thing. "It shows the guy's just not looking for anyone, that he's giving some thought about who to date. If he has 'replies often' next to his profile then he'll clearly date just anyone."
Really? I always assumed that the 'replies often' guys were more open to actually getting to know someone and not just rejecting people based on how photogenic they are in their profile photo.
"Well...you have a good point, that could be true too," agreed my friend. "There's one guy on there I think is cute who has 'replies selectively' next to his name."
"Are you going to send him a message?" I asked
"No, because he might not reply to me if he's selective about who he responds to."
My point exactly.
I suppose there are several reasons, both positive and negative, why someone might reply selectively, a male friend said that when he was on OkCupid he got a LOT of messages from women in the Philippines looking to bag a western man and not being down with a long distance relationship he never replied, so I can understand if that's not your thing you might not respond, but seeing replies selectively or very selectivity against someone's profile almost always deters me from emailing a guy, because I assume he won't find me attractive enough to respond to. Clearly I fear rejection by people who I don't even know and therefore shouldn't care less about, which is ridiculous, but true.
I have to say that my first week back on OkCupid didn't really instill me with the motivation to continue, but apathy and the feeling that I should probably give it more of a chance stopped me from deactivating my profile quite so soon after reactivating. Sometimes I find that being on OkCupid and seeing who is out there makes me appreciate the single life all the more, but I decided to hang on in there a bit longer.
The first guy that emailed me sent me a note saying "sweet smile and profile, nice and short -no drama indeed...hope you had a good weekend so far..?" A general message, that could have been sent to every single woman on the site but what the hell, I sent him a note back. He never responded. Then this morning I was going through my message history and noticed this guy had previously sent me the exact same message in February when I was last active on the site. Talk about recycling!!
I exchanged a few brief emails back and forth with the second guy that sent me a message, but I didn't get the feeling he was especially bright. He then sent me a note that said "do u want 2 talk?" Now maybe it's the wannabe writer in me that is immediately turned off by the use of 'u' instead of you and '2' instead of to, but it just really rubs me the wrong way. It's so damn lazy, I mean really how hard is it to type an extra one or two letters and write the sentence out properly. If I'd already met the guy and he texted me that message I would be less judgmental about the shorthand, but I think it has no place in an email to a woman you haven't met yet who you are potentially interested in dating. I just read it and thought "this guy's an idiot." Harsh perhaps and I did think "am I really so shallow as to reject someone for that?" and came to the conclusion that yes I am. I have a couple of friends who use that shorthand, but it doesn't bother me with them because I already know they are intelligent they're just doing it to be silly, but this guy should be trying to make a good impression and demonstrate his intelligence before demonstrating such an appalling grasp of basic spelling.
The third guy that wrote me a note sent a message that simply said "Beautiful :-) How are you?" Which is a something I imagine him copying and pasting to every single woman on the site to spread his net far and wide in the hope that his generic flattery would work on at least one woman. I didn't bother to respond, instead I started to think seriously about deactivating.
A few days later I checked my visitors and saw a guy that works in IT but who is learning to sculpt in his spare time had checked out my profile. I checked out his profile in return and liked what I saw, although held off emailing him as I was late for dinner with a friend. When I got back from dinner IT-Sculptor man had sent me a note. Yay!! He seems...well normal. Suspiciously so in fact, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. We've exchanged a few emails, but haven't made a plan to meet yet as we both have vacations coming up rapidly and have a lot going on to prepare - I really need to sort out my prescription for malaria pills - but maybe when we both get back. I have low expectations to be honest. So many men online seem to want a pen-pal and will email back and forth for months, but you never know, at least he seems interesting and engaged in having an actual dialog.
I also recently started emailing with a guy who sent me the following note in response to something I wrote in my profile, "OKC has me as more wealthy and more scientific. Which would be nice since my credit worthiness is about as good as my science grades in high school."
Hmmm, so you're telling me you have bad credit? Ballsy move on an online dating site don't you think? Especially with the reputation that some NYC women have of ferreting out a man's approximate salary with a few innocuous seeming questions in order to weed out the wealthy prospects from the not so wealthy. Not that I am one of those women, but a guy telling me he has bad credit, even if it's through no fault of his own, definitely gives me cause to wonder if he's irresponsible with money.
Outside of OkCupid I also got a text from Rob a couple of weeks ago. Rob is someone I met on my last foray into online dating who I dated between February and May of this year. Rob is a nice guy, but after a good start things went downhill fairly quickly and to be honest he seemed kind of bored and disinterested towards the end, so I stopped bothering too and the relationship quickly petered out. I last heard from him on May 20th, when we had an impromptu lunch and both seemed to struggle to make conversation, so I was extremely surprised to get an text from him a few Saturdays ago, sent around 5pm and asking me if I wanted to meet for a drink that night.
Hmmm, I haven't heard from you in months and now you're texting me at the last minute about meeting tonight? I was relaxing on my sofa dressed in my workout clothes and had just ordered "The Departed" on pay-per-view. It was an easy decision.
"No sorry I have plans, maybe next weekend."
I really didn't expect to hear from him again, but he texted me again yesterday, around 3pm, to see if I wanted to go for a drink. Since I was planning to go surfing this morning - planning being the operative word as I ended up struggling to leave my bed - and was supposed to meet the girls around 8.30am on the beach at Rockaway I was off the booze for the night, so again I declined, but asked him if he was interested in coming to the Brooklyn Surf Flea with me today. He had plans, but at least I showed myself willing to meet up. Truth be told I don't entirely trust his motives, but if he's calling to hang out as friends then I'm down with that, I just don't want him to be expecting to fall back into the way things were.
*Ugh how I wish I had the balls to have just looked him the eye and smiled. Why do I find that so hard with men I am attracted to? At work the other day I walked up to one of the creatives who'd joined the agency a few weeks ago, but who I recognized from my previous agency - he's hard to miss at 6-ft 8. We'd been introduced once before at my last job, but I can't say I knew him, nevertheless I just went straight up to him, told him who I was and welcomed him to the new place. We had a nice chat for a few minutes, he didn't remember me, but we talked of people we had in common and that was that. I had absolutely no problem going up to him. I wish it was always so easy!!
Friday, 21 September 2012
In case you are wondering a surf film festival does NOT play Point Break on a loop as pondered by my lovely friend Deesha!! Seriously Deesha!!! Eyeroll!! No, the films they show are more like documentaries with some amazing surfing and beautiful scenery thrown in. I think that I'd love them even if I wasn't a surfer in training. This trailer for Taylor Steele's Here And Now will give you an insight into what to expect from a surf film festival.
I went to the film festival with my friend Melissa, a non-surfer, and Kim, a member of my kook posse. We had tickets for 2 films, one a short and then a second hour long feature, which were both showing in the same theater. We asked the people in charge if there would be a problem staying put between movies. Not a problem for the film festival organizers although later when I popped out to the loo the cinema management got a bit overwrought about it. Lighten up people.
I held off the booze for the first film and had a ginger ale along with my fish tacos, but in the 30-minute wait between screenings it ran right through me and I knew I wouldn't make it through the second film without a trip to the loo, so I walked out to the bar/lobby area and saw that there was a 4-person long line for the loo - just one frigging bathroom what the hell is that about? It was quite busy out there and there was a guy in a checked shirt between me and the end of the line. I didn't realize initially but he was
taking a photo of his friends. I would have waited if I'd known, but I thought he was just stood there facing away from me so I said excuse me and did that squeeze by thing where you touch someone on the arm in a "sorry for squeezing through" maneuver to let them know you don't mean to be rude as you gently push by them. I join the end of the loo line 1-2 feet behind Checked Shirt Guy and he moves forward to stand near the bar with his back to me.
There was something familiar about that back.
He looks an awful lot like.....
He turns his head to talk to his friend and....
Omigod, the Creative FRIGGING Cutie!!!
Can you effing believe it!!!!!
I know, you are probably thinking "who"? So here's a somewhat quick recap of my history with the Creative Cutie.
Picture it, the summer of 2010 - I *KNOW* I've had this crush wayyyyy too long - there I am innocently walking to the bathrooms at work which were at the central area of the squared off c-shaped building I worked on. The central area had this massive picture window that looked out onto midtown Manhattan and just in front of this central area was a ping pong table. On this particular occasion there were two guys playing a game and as I walked passed them to the ladies room one of them stopped to turn around and stare at me.
"What the fuck is he staring at?" I thought, "do I have something on my face, do I have bird shit in my hair, has my mascara run down my face, is one of my buttons open? Oh God, are my boobs hanging out? Seriously, why is he staring?"
I know, it sounds ridiculous, but that's honestly the train of thought that goes through my head when a man stares at me. I've canvassed a number of my friends about this same situation and an unscientific poll leads me to believe that 50% of all women think "what's wrong with me?" when faced with a similar situation. I've heard men think differently when you stare at them, that they almost always assume you are staring because you are attracted to them. Not true. I stare at men for all sorts of reasons: they might remind me of someone I know, I think I know them but can't remember their name - this happens a lot more as you age - I like the shirt they are wearing and wonder where I could find one for my Dad. I was going to say that sometimes I stare because I find them attractive, but in those situations I find it hard to stare for long.
As soon as I made it passed them into the sanctuary of the ladies room I immediately scrutinized myself in the mirror for something amiss. Of course there was nothing wrong with me.
Over the next few weeks I would leave my desk to either pop to the loo or attend a meeting on the other side of the floor and nine times out of ten the same two guys would be there playing ping pong. As soon as I walked through the shorter of the two guys would turn and stare at me making me paranoid to all hell. He never smiled, he just stared and I really had no clue whether he only stared at me or whether he stared at every woman who walked through the door - my colleagues said that wasn't the case - but naturally he caught my attention and okay he may come across as a bit weird, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt here, maybe he's shy, because by God the man was as cute as all hell.
I know, I'm shallow ;-)
Of course about the same time I started to think he was cute and discovered from some light stalking via the office intranet that he was an art director whose desk was on the floor above and thought "hey, maybe he's staring because he likes you" he stopped coming down to stare at me while playing ping pong.
Regardless I decided I should try and find an opportunity to talk to him and attended every social event the office held with the hope that one or both of us would be sufficiently liquored up to actually have a conversation. There were many social events, with the agency was always celebrating something or other, the African American employees, the Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered, the Latin Americans, South By South West. Of course he rarely turned up, unlike his ping pong playing partner who would turn up to the opening of a frigging envelope. Every event I attended he was there and easy to spot being tall, extremely attractive with salt and pepper grey hair. I would look for him and then scan his entourage for the Creative Cutie. He was rarely there and on the random occasion he was there was no opportunity to approach.
After a while I gave up, although there were rare occasions where I ran into him in the hallway he would pretend to be inordinately interested in his iPhone and I my Blackberry. After a while I started to think that maybe I'd imagined the whole staring thing at the ping pong table and that he really had no interest in me at all, that is until the day in late 2011 when I had lunch with my friend Satvir and he exited the elevator we were waiting for. He saw me, froze, looked at Satvir, who he'd previously worked with and kind of knew, gave her a tight smile before walking off quickly to the cafeteria.
"Well that was weird," said Satvir at the time. "I didn't get the Hollywood smile that I usually get from him. He saw you, reacted and then saw me and sort of grimaced at me."
Vindicated at last, I KNEW he was being weird towards me and now I had a witness and what was that about the Hollywood smile? She got a Hollywood smile whereas he just stared at me and made me think there was something wrong with me.
He got let go shortly after that and I decided fuck it, I was going to satisfy my curiosity and ask him out. I sent a very innocuous note to him via Facebook - we weren't FB friends btw but this was the only way I had of reaching him. The note said something to the effect of "Hey CC, I heard recently that you're no longer at the agency. It's a shame I won't see you around, but give me a shout if you ever want to grab a drink" and left my mobile number.
I never heard a peep out of him. "Perhaps he didn't see your message," said a friend. "plenty of people have their Facebook messaging turned off." Perhaps, but it felt like one of those excuses women use when they like a guy and want the guy to like them in return. He just wasn't into me after all. At least not 18-months later.
Upon sighting him at the surf film festival I emailed my friend Deesha who responded as follows:
"Give me a sec as I silently scream "Whaaaaat" after reading the CC line. How can that be the 3rd thing you talk about in the email!!!
Wow what freaking randomness..When you started the whole, guess-who-I-saw, I thought it would Jake Gyllenhal or Keanu Reeves or Eric Northman or something. Believe me, this has me more gobsmacked (to use an expression of yours). I really think these are odder odds. Catching him in a surfing docu/film festival (hate to break it to you, thats kinda obscure for all but the most genuine hipsters. At least you share one common interest."
I dunno it wasn't that random given, I knew he surfed from the light online stalking of him I'd undertaken after finding out who he was, although contrary to what you may think I never took up surfing in the hope of bumping into him at the beach. Quite the opposite in fact, I really don't need a man I am interested in to see me in a wetsuit, it was more my friend Megan taking a few lessons in Costa Rica that inspired me to try it. Plus I knew he surfed in Montauk and I'd never bumped into him at previous NYC centric surf events I'd attended so I assumed his surf circumference didn't extend beyond Montauk. Funnily enough it was in his capacity as an art director within advertising that I braced myself for our paths being likely to cross and I imagined myself smiling confidently at him as we passed in the office hallway. Yeah right.
So back to my queuing for the loo at the NY Surf Film Festival, I have to say that upon realizing who I'd just squeezed by I was completely uncomfortable, I was on my own, he was with a pile of male friends, so I did what any mature 41-year old single woman would do and avoided any chance of accidentally meeting his gaze by fixating on the large screen across the room that was playing surf movies. I'm so brave!!
Truth be told I don't know if he even saw me, but I think there is a good chance because he was stood close to me at the bar and then he ended up seeing the same movie I saw, This Time Tomorrow, which I know because I was sat in the back row when he and his friends came in. They, and a few others, didn't take seats for a while as it was pretty busy and clustered at the back about 6-feet from where I was sat. Yup, out of a possible 12 features he chose the same one as me. In hindsight I wish I'd had the balls to go up to him and ask him once and for all what all the damn staring was about, but then that would be just a pinch confrontational eh!!
"It's fate," said Deesha, "It's meant to be!"
I don't know about that, but the coincidence that gets me is that he is the ONE person that I would squeeze by to line up for the loo. I saw on Facebook the next morning that Kristine and Cecilia were also there, acquaintances I knew from surf lessons last winter, as they posted a photo of themselves with pro-surfer Dave Rastovich, but I didn't see them at the event, so it's kind of random I would see the Creative Cutie. It's times like these that I feel that the Gods really are f**king with us from above and playing with little chess versions of us.
At least I knew he surfed, so much as it was a shock to see him there, it was not totally out of the realm of possibility, Deesha begs to differ pointing out that she speaks and likes French but the last time she went to a French film festival was 15-years ago. If he did see me then I derive a perverted satisfaction from the fact that he would have no idea I was learning to surf and therefore seeing me there was potentially a bit of a shock!! Well...at least I like to think that, in reality he's probably forgotten who I am.
Sunday, 16 September 2012
Perhaps more than a year and I've been missing my art fix lately, so when I saw there that NY Gallery Tours had a Best Exhibits tour scheduled for this Saturday I decided I would join rather than randomly wander the galleries myself. It's nice to have the collections of the 300+ galleries in Chelsea curated down to 7 good ones. I may not always love the 7 choices, but Rafael's picks are always interesting and give me food for thought. Our first stop was the Derek Eller Gallery to see Jeff Shore and John Fisher's collaboration, Trailer, a network of wall mounted sculptures which comprise of tiny intricate hand built models - including a tiny beating drum, what looked to be a tuba and a mechanical flower - housed in wooden boxes. The models have miniature cameras trained on then and as activity occurs in each box it's projected onto the walls of the gallery so that it all works together to create a live video. The piece was 4 years in the making and can be yours for $200,000.
|Jeff Shore & John Fisher at the Derek Eller Gallery Through Oct 6th, 2012|
The above photo is taken from the gallery's website and shows the exhibit in situ. It wasn't an exhibit I was able to get a good photo of since there were a good number of us on the tour and we were all scrunched into the gallery and the close ups I do have are grainy and just show the wooden boxes which were largely closed, although if you crouched down you could see through gaps in some of the boxes to the tiny models inside. To be honest it was kind of frustrating not to be able to see inside the boxes, I think if I'd been able to see the inner workings better I'd have appreciated it much more because there was clearly a lot of skill involved in making the piece.
Our second stop was at the Betty Cunningham Gallery on W 25th street where Nancy Davidson's inflatable sculpture Dustup is exhibited.
|Dustup by Nancy Davidson at the Betty Cunningham Gallery Until Oct 6th, 2012|
The artist was present at the exhibit and was able to speak to the group about the inspiration for her work. Apparently Nancy is known for exploring iconic American themes and gender issues and this work was inspired by cowgirls. She said that growing up in Chicago in the 50s, the cowgirls that she saw on TV in shows such as Annie get your gun, represented a different life to what was available to women at that time.
Matthew Cusick's map collages were on show at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery, which specializes in collage and assemblage work. I've seen some of my favorite work at this gallery and the current exhibit was one of my favorites from yesterday's tour. The artist creates 'paintings' by cutting pieces from maps and assembling them in a single layer collage fitting the pieces together as you would a jigsaw puzzle.
|Matthew Cusick at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery through Oct 6, 2012|
This stunning piece is composed entirely from the ocean sections of maps. The artist doesn't add any additional color to pieces relying only on the existing color of the maps he has at his disposal. Apparently the artist explores themes of beauty and danger. As a novice surfer I know all too well about the allure and dangers of the ocean, in fact I was supposed to go out this morning, but decided that after one too many chardonnays at dinner last night it's probably wise to steer clear of today's large and chunky waves. I am well aware of my limits and know that I probably have no business being out in 6-foot swells.
This next piece is of Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's filmmaker, composed of map pieces from Europe. Apparently Leni was a notable and innovative filmmaker, but her close association with Hitler destroyed her career after the defeat of Germany in World War II.
|Matthew Cusick at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery through Oct 6, 2012|
|A close up of Leni's hand and lower arm|
I wonder how long each one takes to put together. I never thought to ask, but I should have. The pieces were priced at $10-$25k, which at the lower end didn't feel entirely out of reach, not that I don't have other things I wouldn't spend $10k on first, but if I had that money at my disposal I might consider it. In 2006 I saw an exhibit at Pavel Zoubok called Alternating Currency which was a collaboration between artists Mark Wagner and C.K. Wilde who both use currency as a medium for their collages. One of the smaller pieces I loved was priced at $3,000. I kind of wish I'd snapped it up now. If Matt Cusick ever creates a small version of his wave pieces around that price point I'd definitely consider making a purchase.
Marcus Linnenbrink is a German artist based in Brooklyn. His latest exhibit, showing at the Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery, includes 4 pieces that are created through an interesting process of applying thick layers of epoxy paint onto a wooden frame, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. Once the layers are completely dried he drills through the surface creating the effect seen in the piece below.
I loved these pieces, as did everyone else on the tour. The group was so enamored by this large black piece that I had to wait a good while to to get a photo of the whole piece.
Markus Linnenbrink showing at Ameringer McEnery Yohe until Oct 6, 2012
A close up of the black piece aboveMr. Linnenbrinks works were priced between $9,500-$15K which again seemed surprisingly reasonable for Chelsea. Maybe I misheard and these prices referred only to the smaller pieces.Sarah Oppenheimer's D-33 is showing at PPOW, another of my favorite galleries. Apparently Ms. Oppenheimer is gaining a reputation in the art world for her portals and the Baltimore Museum of Art has commissioned her to develop a site-specific installation, an "architectural intervention" in the contemporary wing. You can see behind the scene photos of the installation's installation in the BMA's flickr stream here.
Personally I think it's hard to fully appreciate this work in a smaller gallery space and I'd be interested to see the work in Baltimore, but I do like the way the work plays with your perception dependent on the angle you view it from. Here's a photo of the installation from PPOW's website
|Sarah Oppenheimer showing at PPOW until Oct 6, 2012|
And here's a photo I took from a different angle of the piece on the left
It's worth mentioning that as we took the elevator up to PPOW on the 3rd floor Rafael instructed the group to "find the art." Apparently a lot of people walk into the gallery, see the empty white walls and think the gallery is closed and that there's no work up. The two pieces are going for $75,000, for the one on the left, and $60,000 for the piece on the right.
Leonardo Drew's site-specific installation at Sikkema Jenkins was by far the largest work we saw on the tour. The photo below of the primary piece shows only about a quarter of the work which winds it's way through the gallery's 3 rooms.
|Leonardo Drew at Sikkema Jenkins until Oct 12, 2012|
"It's not priced but its safe to say more than a million" said Rafael as he told us about the piece.
If that's too rich for your blood there are also a few individual pieces going for $40-$150k.
|Leonardo Drew at Sikkema Jenkins through Oct 12, 2012|
The last stop on our tour was the Haunch of Venison Gallery where Kevin Francis Gray's beautiful porcelain, bronze and marble sculptures are exhibited.
Apparently Mr Gray frequently uses the people he meets on the streets near his London studio as models/inspiration for his work. These subjects are often homeless and drug addicted who he renders in a classical form more often used for portraying important historical figures in order to bring out their dignity in spite of their less than elevated place in society.
|Kevin Francis Gray at Haunch of Venison through Sept 29, 2012|
|Kevin Francis Gray at Haunch of Venison through Sept 29, 2012|
|Kevin Francis Gray at Haunch of Venison through Sept 29, 2012|
The two female standing sculptures were my favorite pieces. The model for the Carrara Marble sculpture below was apparently a ballerina from the London Royal Academy. I was very impressed with the artist's sculpting skills in creating this delicate veil over the ballerina's body until I learned that the artist just came up with the vision, but hired master craftsmen from Italy to actually realize the figure.
|Kevin Francis Gray at Haunch of Venison through Sept 29, 2012|
Thursday, 6 September 2012
...but there is a woman on my list of recommended Linkedin connections with the last name "Dick-Rath"!!
If you were a bloke you'd definitely pause before considering a date with her, no?
Why did she hyphenate?
Speaking of dating I reactivated my OkCupid profile last night. I am not sure why, since every fiber of my being does not want to date at the moment, but I thought I'd follow the George Costanza approach and go against my instincts. As Jerry said to George "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."
I didn't realize that in reactivating my profile I'd have to keep it active for only a week. A week is nothing right? I thought it would be at least a month, but apparently not, so this time next week I may well have deactivated my profile again, but...we'll see!!
Almost the weekend!!
Sunday, 2 September 2012
WeWereMonkeys : Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks from WeWereMonkeys on Vimeo.
I finally worked out who it is. Well, okay, I Shazam'd it when I heard it on the radio. Don't you hate it when they don't tell you who sings the damn songs??
It kept me going as I rearranged the furniture in my bedroom today. I needed a change, but now I'm not sure I made the right decision moving everything, especially as moving things ended up creating less space and I had to get inventive about storage, not to mention ruthless about what should stay and what should go, but at least the place got a good dusting!!