Sunday, May 20, 2012

On Thirty

Alternative titles for this post:

Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon Now

(Crow's) Feat of Strength

The Wise Contemplations of a Grown Up Human Who Still Collects Stickers

My thirtieth birthday was ages ago now. Nearly a month! Crikey, I am well thirty. The celebrations (note the plural) involved the following:, champagne, kiwi cocktails, clinique, cake, cards, kisses, green dresses, tapas, paella, flowers, paintings, plastic frogs, cocktail umbrellas, white wine, leather shorts, obscene heels, being the one to leave the celebrations in the staff room, taking the malteasers out of the celebrations box first, sambucca roulette, scrap books, homemade presents, manicures, pedicures, family, friends, singing, first-time Manchester visitors, brilliantness, excellence and much, much more...

I have made a few resolutions upon turning thirty. Although I am a firm believer that Age Is Just A Number and You Are Only As Young As You Feel, it seems as good a time as any to decide to be an intrinsically better person. My resolutions are basically to not mind my profile (as in the side of my face, rather than any social media jazz), particularly seeing as quite a few people who I happen to respect and think are quite clever about things and the world don't seem to mind it half as much as I do. So, there's that. There are also other ones involving career and stuff, but they're too long winded and clichéd to go into.

My Grandma turned eighty a few days after I hit thirty. Lots of family members all went to the Lake District and stayed for a few days. It's quite a place to contemplate aging: all that rock heaving itself through millenia as our human geology moves at lightning speeds. We went for a walk, did scree-scrambling and false peaks and mexican waving to a paraglider who raised a laconic, gloved hand in response. We got to the real top and lay on the wind-flattened grass, some people doing gymnastics as the sunlight rested on patches of the hillside. Then the wind began snuffling through clothing cracks, so we started our long descent, then round the lake and back for foamy pints of ale in the pub garden. Grandma had a great time. Family from all around the world, a sunny weekend, watching a football match in the pub and lots of food and drink. On the Sunday evening we played a rounders game in the last dregs of sunlight, which quickly became alarmingly competitive, as grown men launched themselves into unwitting nieces, boyfriends aimed tennis balls at the backs of their girlfriends' heads, and every point was vehemently argued. Eventually we decided to call it a day, call it a draw ("Oh, so this is a FRIENDLY now, is it?!") and retire to the house for pomegranate martinis. The whole weekend was fantastic, really.

Since then, well. I have done some gigs. One at home, with tealights and wine, and lovely friends. One was a wedding, which felt like being in another world for a weekend. It felt so far away from Manchester, so other, that it made me miss another life, made me wonder where I would be if I had never moved up North. It occured to me that I have never thought of it like that before, so certain have I been that I made the right choice back in 2008. It shook me a bit, that idea. That small, sneaky what if. I'm not sure whether it was a slight delayed reaction to turing thirty, that feeling of suddenly being confronted with my choices, but it was weird. All week I have been spiralling down that road which, combined with deadlines and job applications and boring, indoor stuff (as well as a cruel head cold) has made me a bit shaky on my feet. Now, though, after a weekend of proper sleep and conversation, I feel a bit more solid.

This week is Eggs-orientated. We are doing a residency at Islington Mill for their Off With Their Heads Jubilee Event, curated by totally insane and brilliant New York-based performance collective CHERYL. Lydia has been at the Mill all last week creating wonder, and I can't wait to get down there. Did I show you our teaser trailer? No? It's here, if you want to look. (Oh and I made a website for my WORK with some songs on it and a video clip and some weird writing in the third person which I might go and change to the first person or something. Anyway, it's here.) I am excited to get cracking (pun INTENDED) on all this Eggs stuff, I think the Jubilee party is going to be amazing and we have the space to stretch out into proper ludicrous excellence.

Then in a few weeks it's Ben's show at the Royal Exchange which I am playing cello for. God, I am sorry but here is another link, this time to the trailer of the show. I am in it - they made me drink wine those monsters. It's also me on cello, the introduction to the show that Dan and I wrote, I kind of love that piece of music.

So, clearly thirty is going OK so far! I am sort of glad a had a bit of a crisis, it's not good for everything to be too good all the time, I might get complacent and start thinking I don't have to try anymore. I think it just sort of hit me that this is my life now, not some kind of extended run up period. (That's philosophy, right there! Move over, de Botton.) I think I am still a bit, kind of "really?!" about the whole 'you're a grown up, now' endeavour, but then I consider the fact that this week I am going to spend most of my time in a studio making weird art and I start thinking perhaps I am doing grown up alright, for me. It reminds me of that bit in Spaced where Daisy says to Tim, horrified "they're younger than us!" and Tim snorts and replies "only physically!".

Yeah, that, really. Bring on the mental art.


Blogger Miss Devylish said...

Oh.. I hate that you're 10 yrs younger than me, but I do remember thirty.. It was lovely. And maybe when I started to do the hard growing up. Sorta. Don't start too soon. It sounds perfect tho and I hope it was wonderful and you'll love it. 31 was much harder for me because I was IN my thirties officially. I don't know. Just had to be there I guess. Also, what is mexican waving? Do you wave in Spanish? I don't get it. But I'm old. ;) xo

1:55 am

Blogger Ellie said...

I don't know Daisy or Tim or Spaced, but Tim is my new hero. That is precisely the attitude I like to take! I am always truthful about my age except when I am at the gym and the machine asks. I figure there's a way I can be 36 forever.

1:36 am

Blogger Léonie said...

Miss D - Mexican waving is where you all stand in a line and swoosh your arms up one at a time, so the wave kind of flows along the line. Not sure why it's Mexican, perhaps the South American people love group greetings? Thirty is pretty good so far, not sure about the hard growing up, though, that doesn't appeal. I think I will opt out of that one... xx

Ellie - YOU HAVE TO WATCH SPACED. I order you to. At once. I will brook no argument. xx

2:51 pm

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

I think we just call it 'the wave' here.. it's good at sporting events like football or baseball games. There's no ethnicity to it. Someone would certainly call 'racist' if so.. and that's not very sporty.

As mentioned, skip the hard parts of 30.. I highly recommend that. xo

9:06 pm

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