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Friday, February 18

A good week
As is usual for this blog, I have a fascinating and fabulous week and I'm too busy to write about it in any detail.

Let me see if I can offer the edited highlights. On Monday after work I had a rehearsal for South Pacific. I accidentally attended it late but nobody seemed to mind or care. As a rehearsal it went ok. I was then given a lift back into town (I'd cycled to work, realised I couldn't cycle home in time to pick up the car, so I'd taken the Metro to the rehearsal). My driver was most concerned about the onset of snow and rain and started mothering me, offering me umbrellas and a drop-off point that was increasingly closer to where I wanted to be, despite the fact that we'd agreed a drop-off at the place where she would normally turn away from my direction and head in hers. We compromised and I was given a 7 minute walk to my bike. The moment I was out of the car, sauntering along the streets in my usual way, the bad weather had a break and I was able to cycle home, albeit in a more laid back manner too (it was late, I was tired), unimpeded.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour on Monday night having spent a while willing the phone to ring for me or present me with a text message...

Waking up on Tuesday, there had been some text messages (and they say the art of conversation is dead) and I cheerfully drove to work with my guitar in the back seat and my contact with the outside world in a better state. I had planned to get the bus to work on Tuesday, but I was running late. It was simpler to drive in, leave the car overnight and bus in on Wednesday. I had the guitar with me, and I had the intention of not using the car because I was due to perform a gig that night and had a couple of friends coming to watch. It seemed to make sense to let my hair down in the fullest of senses (at least metaphorically, since the actual follicles aren't giving me much in the way of a Rapunzel-stylee these days). So, a few drinkies were partaken. I performed a gig under the influence of Australian beer (brewed in the UK) and had fun up there. one or two sparkling mineral waters (plus alcohol) later and I was hooting with laughter. All in all, it was a great relief from the stresses and pressures of the surrounding week or two. It was quite restorative and I'm glad I did it. I'm also pleased to have more comedy gigs lined up in the coming months. I miss the laughter of an audience.

I was also awaiting the outcome of an important decision at this stage in the week. I have to say that it was quite stressful and I needed a good laugh to get rid of some of the stress and to prepare myself for the outcome. I arrived home with plenty of beans and was suitably prepared. Laughter is good for the soul. If I lose the ability to laugh or make others laugh then I'll have had all my allotted time.

Wednesday morning, I was exhausted (such is the result of burning the candle at both ends and then throwing it in the furnace for good measure) but in a cheery mood. I went to work, did what I needed to and then went to my rehearsal. I picked up the costumes, which seemed to fit admirably (it IS a good idea to be measured just before losing a bunch of weight), and then ran through act 1. It's looking good. We're getting there. At home I went online for a bit, indulged in some late-night chat and then took myself to bed.

Sadly I overslept. I decided not to let it get me down and I rang in, explaining that I'd been delayed. With that sorted, I then cycled into work and had a reasonably productive day. After work, I took the Metro to Sunderland where I watched Miss Saigon with a friend. Despite the ludicrous behaviour of the fee-paying theatre-goers (how anyone can pay good money [£25+] for a ticket and then munch sweet through the show and spoil it, or talk over it, or grunt through it or whatever these bizarre animals do in that place, I've no idea), the show was really good. Some scenes were spectacular. One or two of the principals were slightly off and some of the chorus scenes felt wooden, like they were going through the motions, but as the atmosphere developed and the show won the audience, it proved to be a very good version of this musical. Better than when I saw it last. In particular, the Engineer, Kim and Ellen were outstanding.

Metro from Sunderland to Newcastle. A cycle ride back home (up the big hill, in 4th gear and above). Back into the sanctity of my computer room. All good stuff.

My mood has been up and down over the last couple of months. I've harped on about my own feelings of inadequacy and I've harped on about my excitement for the things I love to do. I started writing a long essay on Valentine's day on the subject of love and gave up - it looked too depressing. The truth is that I am a person who loves. I love my audience when I'm performing (in general). I love the various activities that I throw myself into. I love the friends that I have (in varying degrees and irrespective of gender - it's not that sort of love). I was designed for enthusiasm for other people and for what can be shared with them. I am also built to respond well to positive attention. This can make me an irritating puppy at times, but I'm genuine enough. There's a lovely lyric in the song "Nature Boy", as sung by Nat Cole (among others). "The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." I think I believe that above all else.

So, I'm feeling a lot more positive. I'm doing the things I love and I'm more successful in choosing company that complements me. I had a great time during last week's run of Guys and Dolls and this week of rehearsals and other distractions (including my forthcoming jaunt to London to see the last night of Jerry Springer The Opera) is proving to be most entertaining. Next week should be even better. All in all, I'm thriving at the minute.

I may be strolling around town, or panting when I cycle around it, but I'm doing it with my head held high and with a spring in my step (or pedal). February has often been a magical month for me and I think it's going pretty well so far.


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