Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Editing's For Losers

A few days (weeks? months?) ago I started to write a post, then, in a total departure from character, I got distracted and wandered off. This is what I had written then:

"The plumber is back.

(Not a euphemism, although I am enjoyed considering what it would be a euphemism for, if a euphemism it indeed was. Perhaps... no, I don't know. Answers on a worrying postcard sent anonymously to someone in authority, please.)

It isn't very exciting news that the plumber has returned. It's just that last time he did a thing then the tap leaked and now he has to do another thing. This time I didn't stockpile water or do anything weird like that, I just talked to him about stuff. Mainly tap-based stuff, to be honest. I tried to tell him something about the boiler that Ben had told me earlier but I got it wrong and forgot what it was halfway through my sentence and then the plumber asked me a question about it and I longed as usual for a verbal backspace button. I think I just got carried away because I was feeling all confident after having correctly identified a tap. It was a lesson in knowing one's limits.

Today is my Day of Working For Myself, At Home, Being All Well Creative And Excellent.

It is a pretty intimidating title for a day. I have already done all my planning and boring work, so now I am strapping on my wings and preparing to soar through the skies of art until I need a wee or get hungry or someone uploads an amusing cat video to youtube.

I met up with my friend Lowri the other day in order to make plans for this year. We sat in the café bit of Royal Northern College of Music and wrote importantly in our diaries. As we were discussing our imminent world takeover some music students started singing"

And that's it. That's as far as I got. Now I read it back I can identify that, rather than distraction being the problem, what most likely happened was that I started writing about Stuff And Plans and got so overwhelmed by even the idea of it all that I had to go and lie face down in a darkened room until I could breathe normally again. Anyway the upshot of it all was that the music students started singing Happy Birthday but in a proper way, with vibrato and harmony, exactly the way my friend Daniel hates it most of all, and we laughed a bit. As they reached the second to last line (ha-ppy BIIIIIR-thday dear who-eeeeveeeer...) and the windows in my head smashed one by one, it occurred to me that this is what I feel like I'm doing every time I sing. Showing off. Smashing people's inner windows. Being, basically, really unnecessary and annoying.

And it occurs to me now, when I write this down, that this probably isn't the correct attitude for someone who claims to be a singer.

I haven't got some big epiphany-type solution to this problem, I just thought I would share how ludicrous I am with you. Feel free to share your own idiosyncratic lunacies with me (I know you have some), it would make me feel better.

Today the hills are pinkly tinged with snow, and the sun is bright and low. I have cycled into the wind, dodging buses and worries. Now I have work to do if I am ever going to feel like I am not screeching into the wilderness like a opera student with something to prove.

I am also boringly resolving to write more blog posts (for the writing ritual of it, rather than to sate the hoards of drivel-hungry readers who clamour daily at my virtual door). So expect more agonisingly painful navel-gazing and self-indulgent crap in the very near future.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Wow! This year is going to be good! I am going to be such an excellent person this year.

This year is the one in which I turn thirty, so it has to be magnificent. I am going to be thin and well-dressed. Busy but not stressed. (Rhyming but not all the time.) I am going to wear just the right amount of make up and only drink up until the point just before I start to have very strong opinions about everyone else's life. I am going to achieve quite staggering amounts of stuff, including, but not exclusively, world peace. I am going to stop hating my speaking voice. I am going to stop worrying about everything. I am going to stop grinding my teeth and inspecting my profile woefully. I will go to bed at a reasonable hour. I will do exercise. I will be insufferably zen. All my relationships will be honest and not alcohol-dependent.

Imagine how annoyingly confident I am going to become! Sure, I will lose friends. Yes, you will hate me and want to kick me in my toned shins (can shins be toned?) (mine will be!). I will begin to have normal pastimes instead of my current ones ("Imaginary Counting" is the best - you sit on public transport and pretend to be counting stuff on your fingers, but really you aren't counting anything! Ha ha! Everyone is always fooled.)

And wow, my productivity. We haven't even touched on that yet but it is going to be through the ROOF, my friends. So far through the roof that the roof will look like a tiny ant roof from where my productivity will be. And I will not mind failure. Not this year. I will learn from my mistakes, have some green tea and reflect on things, pausing only to jot something profound in my recycled notebook with the pen that I will keep on me at all times. Then I will practice my cello and go to a life-drawing class.

I will not eat crisps, even in secret.

I bet you're going to have this sort of year, too. See you at yoga!