Saturday, 30 June 2012

Stuff happens

© TsukiMizu
It's been a funny time recently. And time has flown, which isn't exactly a surprise now that I realise time flies when you're doing the mundane and not adding new memories. I went in to something of a semi-hiatus, sometimes visible, sometimes very much under a rock. The visibility would come and go according to the sheer volume of issues that were being flung at me.

And goodness there was been some stuff.

Last Thursday I went to see my flatmate performing with her choir, one of the highlights of the year and, the moment when all her hard work and practice comes to fruition. Whilst I don't sing, except to scare cats, the choir is also a big part of my life as Wednesday evenings are worked around the sacrosanct practice. It's important. I was looking forward to it. And... I was in a state. It had been something of a crunch day, a number of things happened, I won't list them, but the big practical one was that it was confirmed that my contract would not be renewed post the 22nd of July. This wasn't a surprise. The project was part of the large-sporting-event-in-East-London-that-shall-not-be-named and as I had completed everything some six weeks earlier than planned (including the extras), it was time to go.

Which is good, as I really don't like Notting Hill.

So there it was, another, more pressing issue. I lost myself in the music in the first half. The EC4 rendition of Zadok was quite epic, the sensations created by the opening words were as close as you can get to orgasm without the sweatiness. Not that I can really remember you understand. Anyway. Epic. But as the music drifted away and the interval started my heart rate went through the roof. I'd been sitting for 45 minutes and yet had a rate of 128. Ouch. I needed to focus. So I listed all the major issues. It came to twelve.


I went straight home after the concert. Which I felt very bad about, but was also for the best on a number of levels. Which I won't list. I was being stupid, emotional and deeply stressy. I really needed to sort myself out, not just for me, but because I didn't want anything to upset our relatively happy home. Contrary Towers really is my oasis of calm, one of the few places I feel incredibly, genuinely happy, nothing can be allowed to upset that. I didn't sleep much that night as I the issues circled in ever tighter spirals

In the morning, I got a hug. And we talked. My lovely flatmate confirmed in seconds what it had taken me all night to work out, I needed to focus on the things I could actually do something about. And then, even simpler, I needed to focus on what mattered the most. And this was work. Yes I know many of the other things mattered, but, actually, everything else can be dealt with once the income thing is solved.

I am incredibly lucky to have such a sensible, straight talking, friend.

With that in my head I could then think of the next problem. I've become a little, or lottle, reclusive. Introspection is a nasty thing, it can be all consuming and not at all productive. I'd already loosely agreed to doing things this week and decided that unless I was seriously stressing I'd do them. I needed to break the cycle of hiding.

Friday evening we went to see Evelyn Glennie performing at Wigmore Hall. Which was amazing. And to think I had decided the evening before that I would give up my ticket and head to Norfolk. I'd, needless to say, changed my mind after I thought about it and realised that this was about the most pointless and destructive thing I could do. I'm so glad I went.

It did mean that the trip to Norfolk was even shorter than usual, which, given the circumstances, was not a bad thing. During the weekend I got thinking about the words of Shakespeare in Henry V...

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;

How apt. And, in a weird way, how I felt. I wanted to face things head on. Not necessarily with rage, duh, but it was time to reclaim me from the mire.

Monday. I'd arranged to join my bezzie for the pub quiz. We used to go regularly, but this had fallen off as I was finding it increasingly difficult to socialise without fear of bringing my feelings meh to the fore. And I have missed her terribly, also there were two other dear friends. Which was a fabulous bonus! There were maudlin moments and, at times, a flashback to when a year earlier three of us had sat together in the same place on a far darker evening. I did slightly break the diet, but what the hell. It was a truly lovely evening and if I could hug all three of my friends again now to thank them, I would. Fact.

Tuesday. I was out again. This time to visit a dear friend in Surrey. I was a little more concerned about this as it was time to come clean and tell her about me. I'd held off telling her before for various reasons and, actually, I wanted to talk face-to-face. I needn't have worried. She was as lovely as she always is and I felt I could kick myself for my stupidity at being so nervous about explaining all. Plus she cooked a lovely meal! We talked for hours and it was all too soon before I had to head to the station and back to Contrary Towers. The next morning I received an email from my friend. I cried a little. On the underground. But it was for the right reasons because what she said was just lovely.

It was a fabulous way to start the day.

Wednesday. I was supposed to be going to the Royal Institute for a talk, but as we'd arranged to see Dr Dee at the ENO on Thursday (my flatmate had seen it on Monday), I felt I needed one night at home. Plus it meant I could cook as I had a feeling that after practicing Verdi's Requiem my flatmate would be somewhere past exhausted. It's a piece I know well, and just thinking about it exhausts me. I listened to the Sir Colin Davis/LSO/LSC version of Requiem I have as I cooked. I know that recorded music is no match for live, but still a good version. When she came in she looked utterly exhausted. So it was food, the briefest of chats and then I chased her off to bed.

Notting Hill. Pfft.
Thursday. By now I'm starting to get a little twitchy in the client's dungeon. I know they are paying me to be there just in case, but jeez it's dull. It has though given me time to think about what I want to do next. And I'm working on that. Fortunately I wasn't in total isolation as, in common with most days, I could be silly on messenger with my flatmate. So I spent much of the day sorting out an account creation system for a different client. At dead on 6pm I skipped out of the office in to... Blazing sunshine. WTAF? It reminded me of Fuerteventura, windy but really warm. Meanwhile in the rest of the country there was floods, hailstones and general meh. Britain really does have mental weather.

As we sat in the Dress Circle waiting area of the the ENO, drinking fizz, we talked. I said I'd decided I'd had enough of being in hiding, or words to that effect. I had not meant to take the hiatus, it was simply a result of too many things happening that were too difficult to resolve in my own head. It was time to begin living again. As Shakespeare wrote, once more unto the breach. My lovely flatmate was far more succinct, she simply said...


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