I have long subscribed to the adage that one should try and face the ups and downs of life with humour, grace or, when all else fails, retail therapy.
Context: a torrent of devastation and death has been splaying forth from the corner of my living room all morning. First there was the Christchurch earthquake, and now the poor people of Japan have been felled; it's hard to shake the feeling that someone, somewhere must have displeased the gods. In the end, it was all too much and I had to switch the telly off.
In a near-catatonic state, I agreed to head to South Bristol (as a card-carrying suburb snob, I don't 'do' south of the river) to check out the work of an artist who was recently interviewed by a colleague.
And while I felt compelled to still the terrible images coming out of Japan by cramming the Mini with every item in the gallery, instead we settled on a print of the Ultra Bristol Dinosaur (below) which artist Andy Council originally did on cardboard boxes. Cleverly, the whole beast is comprised of notable buildings from the city that's been my home for the past 10 months (eg check out the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge at the top of the dinosaur's neck).
Tonight we're having dinner with a very dear friend and her hilarious gay mates who are up from London; in some ways, it feels wrong to be having a good time when so many innocent folk have had their worlds torn asunder. But I fear I may have reached a point where my tear ducts are about to go on strike; they, and I, can't take any more pain.