Tuesday, 31 March 2009

B.E.D.A starts tomorrow!

Are you excited? I am!

Anyway, 'till then, here's a little something to keep you going:

Allegri's Miserere
: (I always forget how many e's and r's!). I woke up to hear this piece echoing through my house this morning. It's chilling, and beautiful, and everything a-cappella music should be (plus I totally sang the uber high bit back when I was still a treble)!

Monty Halls' Great Escape
: Apart from the appalling bit of bad grammar in the title ("s'" should only be used with plurals, not with names.. It should be "Halls's"), this is a great show! It's about a very manly bloke, who went up to Scotland to start crofting, and how he fares setting up a self-sufficient life. It's a bit like 'The Good Life' meets 'Ray Mears', and it's fabby. Plus his dog is lovely.

I will see you tomorrow, fair lovelies!


Sunday, 29 March 2009

Two Blog Sunday!

Well hello there.

This will probably be a long, rambley, updatey type post. I know how much you all love the rambles! Anyway, forgive me for its length and any odd feelings it may cause you (if I don't see at least one 'That's what she said' in the comments, I will cry).

As some of you may or may not know, I was cruelly (I kid!) rejected from Goldsmiths. They said, however, in the follow up letter, that they recommended I got more experience playing live and in a band, and then tried again with an early application. As yet, I'm still unsure about the meaning of the 'early application' bit, but it's the 'garnering more experience' part of their recommendation that's really screwing me up.

My reaction to this was to start planning another year out, and travel all kinds of places, learning and playing with other musicians as I went. However, the problem comes when people try and help. I've had a letter (?!?!?!) from my Dad offering me advice, my Mom keeps descending on my piano practices to suggest possible strategies, my brother wants me to telephone Goldsmiths, and as yet, although we've no official message from Gordon Brown, I'm sure we can expect one soon. The fact is, that although well-meaning, all of these opinions are just screwing me up and are making this decision impossible. I know they all really care about me, but if I hear one more 'If you don't mind me suggesting...', I will scream. I'm actually getting close to just quitting music, applying for an English course and resigning myself to becoming a teacher.

Anyway, it's not all doom and gloom! I got a new jumper!

I'm also starting to hate 'JobCenter'. I really appreciate getting the extra financial support that I do, I need it, because for an unexperienced, poorly qualified (in things that matter, anyway), straight-from-school 'writer/musician', getting a job is next to impossible. No shops want staff, I can't use my LifeGuard qualification as they all need verifiable experience, and I'm not supposed to look for jobs more than an hours journey from my doorstep.

However, the way they treat you in the JobCenters just makes you want to give up. They measure your success not on your qualifications, your potential, or any real level, it is simply measured on whether or not you're employed.

Job = Win
Unemployed = Fail.

It's a simple and as ruthless as that. And on top of that, there's the processes and the hoops they make you jump through to get the payment. Normally, it's okayish, you just fill out the sheet they provide you with how you've looked for jobs, make sure you say you've used the government website and it's done. But say you've had a fortnight like I have just passed. I actually worked once, broke down twice, and then my future was thrown into jeopardy. To be honest, the last thing I was thinking about was how to fill up my days, let alone how brilliant the government JobSeekers website is.

I know what you're all thinking, and you're right. For £100 every fortnight, for hardly any work except emailing off my CV, I do have little right to complain. That's why I'm not really complaining. Tomorrow, I will walk into that place, give them my sheet and walk away having done my bit for statisticians. I guess I'm just ranting, really. You okay with that?

Anyways, life isn't all that bad at the moment. Ryan did eventually make it over, and stayed for a few days, which was fun. We got very drunk, spoke a lot of German, and learnt a couple new songs. My [other] brother, Adrian came over yesterday for tea. Was nice to catch up, and see how mature he is now. He's recently changed jobs and seems to be enjoying life a lot more now, which is always good. For those of you that know my parents, the village hall is doing well, and I believe there's a 'Painting Party' of some sort going on today. The committee sends their regards.

That's all from me and 'Two Blog Sunday', really. As you can see here, I'm joining Maureen Johnson and blogging every day this April, so that should be fun. I'm also just starting to use AdSense, so I'm trying to get to grips with that at the moment, so apologies if it's a bit 'in your face' at the moment (although that is, I believe, the point of adverts). Don't judge me for selling out.

Hope you're well, missing all of you tonnes.


Well that was fun.

If I didn't believe in keeping everything you put in the public eye where you put it, so that people can forever read and judge your mistakes, I would remove that last post. However, I do, and so I won't. However, consider me well and truly proven wrong.

I'm writing this on my Dad's laptop, looking out of the window at a gorgeous summer (can we say 'Summer' yet? Maybe Spring. Has Spring sprung?) day, whilst waiting for my friend Ryan to come over. Due to certain circumstances, I will not be posting this for a while, so when you read this, Ryan should have arrived, merriment will have ensued, and Wizard Rock songs will have been played. Hopefully. He hasn't actually called to say when he's coming yet.

Radio Four just had a play about the disciples of Jesus, which mainly starred northern actors. There's something so special about hearing the Sermon on the Mount being told in a Geordie accent ("The poour shall be furst"). It did, however, have a more serious undertone, in that it simply reinforces the Western ideal that Jesus was a ginger white bloke, with designer stubble and a sexy voice.

It was exactly the kind of thing I love to use Twitter for, apart from the fact that I can't log in to my account. I forgot my password, and all of my attempts to get Twitter to email me the password reset details have been so far, futile. I would encourage all of you to email Twitter and petition them to email me, but I doubt it would help, and hopefully, by the time this goes out, I will be back on and tweeting up for lost time.

Anyway, for the moment, my Dad's laptop is my only form of internet, as mine is still quite dead. He seems to have a pathological phobia of downloading programmes (convinced as he is that everything apart from Internet Explorer and MSN are chock full of viruses), which has the horribly real ramifications of causing me to miss 'Free Agents'. I also miss Twhirl (pointless although it is atm), Chrome, and Skype (granted I never use it, but I like having it on my Desktop). As a result I am throwing myself at iPlayer and YouTube with a renewed energy, and when they let me down (which they do often), I turn to the rather fabby world of blogs. At the moment, I am loving John Green's blog, as it provides me with over three years worth of witty material. However, any other entertaining, free, internet material would be much appreciated.. Link me in the comments.

I can't help but notice that this is quite a disjointed update, and for that I can only apologise, and link you to the 'Waiting for Godot' website, without trying to find a way to seamlessly work it in. It looks bloody fantastic, and I'd love to go see it (not just because I'm a McKellen fanboy). So yeah.. Check it out.

Hope you're all okay, and doing much better than me right now.

Rate, Comment, and Follow!


Saturday, 28 March 2009


As those of you that follow me on Twitter will know, this April I am taking part in 'Blog Every Day April', which was founded by Maureen Johnson. For the clinically stupid this means I'll be writing a blog every day this April. Weekends included.

Activity on my Project Read blog will remain as tragically slow as ever, and for that I make no apologies. Suck it. :P

Also, I am now starting to shamelessly make money from this blog. Whooop!

You be well.


Friday, 20 March 2009

People say friends don't destroy one another..

I know there's at least three people that will read this, and think it's aimed at them, so I'd like to point out now something that should become even clearer as we move on. This is not aimed at any one person. If anything, like all my blogs on here, it is really aimed at me.

I've reached one of those stages in life, where a question hangs on your mind so heavily, and of such great importance to you, that the only way you can move forward is to answer it. Not because the answer is important, but because hopefully, in your quest for the truth, you will have developed as a human in some way. Ideally we would change so that the actual outcome of the question proposed becomes irrelevant, but that sort of thing only happens in books.

The question weighing on my mind now, is: 'Is it me?'. Is the reason I feel so neglected (for actual want of a better word) by so many of my friends due to my fallibilities, or is it simply that I've chosen to surround myself with people that just don't care? Now, I understand that I have already placed myself on shaky ground, anyway, simply by questioning the motives and morals of my friends. I'm a twat, you won't like me by the end of this post, let's move past that.

I am deeply insecure. Terribly, disgustingly paranoid, of so many things. My talent (across the board), how I look, how I sound, and how others perceive me. You can blame this on a mental illness if you wish (I do), or you can just call me self-aware. Unfortunately, one of the more shocking aspects of this paranoia is that I find it nearly impossible to believe anyone really likes me. This, it seems, is a self-fulfilling fear, as my insecurities tend to lead to a self-depreciative attitude, that pisses most people right off. Therefore, they don't actually like me. So maybe it is me, and I'm slowly turning all of my circle of friends against me.

But then there is also those niggling little facts, that tend to water the seeds of doubt. The times that I reach out for some reassurance and my hand is slapped away. The times I'm feeling happy and jocular and I'm sarcastically put down. The times I tell my secrets and I hear about them the next day at school.

There are some who would argue that all of these are just parts of friendship. That friends cannot always be there for you, and that taking the piss is just a part of companionship we all must learn to love. I agree, but not at the point of relationship stability. If the laughed-off abuse, or the 'he can fend for himself's are getting too much for the friendship to bear, then something needs to change. Either the jokes need to slow down, or the friendship needs to stop.

Now, I'm not saying I'm black and white the wronged party here. I am, as many, many people will attest to, a cunt. That's not self-deprecation, that's eighteen years of arrogance, ego, stupidity, and a rotten streak that comes with the family name. I don't think there's one person I'm close to that I haven't hurt or angered in some way. In fact, I don't think I'd go so far as to say I'm even a wronged party at all, if you look at everything in context. I probably have it pretty good.

So really, we're back where we started. 'Is it me?'. If it is me, then I can't help but feel that I'm fucked. If it is me, I will never have a close friendship without this thinly veiled layer of pretence, and where I feel that straying even one vowel away from the set path will result in sleepless nights with heavy souls. If it's not me, then I have every right to say if you really are my friend, treat me like one, or fuck off and let me mourn what could have been. And if, as is most likely, it's both of our faults, then maybe I can try harder to believe in myself, in you and us, and you can try and remember that I need a bit more of a structure of happy friendship to lean on before the jokes begin again.


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Forgive me?

Well hello.

So I realise I've been terribly slack in updating this recently: My bad. I don't really have any excuses, apart from semi-valid mumblings about business, trips to London, and illness. However, I figured that I'm dressed up like an author today, so I might as well act like one.

My guilt was compounded by a good, more-thorough-than-usual perusal of Alan Lastufka's blog. It's one of those blogs where you really want to go back and read from the start, and where you feel all sad when you reach the last entry. There are quite a few really good written blogs like Alan's out there, and Lord knows I love nothing more than a good blog. I'd quite like to compile some sort of shortlist of all of my favourites for you sometime (if I'm feeling really pro-active I may even do it today).

So, as many of you may know, I went to London last week, to present myself to Goldsmiths and show them what I have. I'd pretty much spent all my time leading up to it preparing three recorded demos to show them, and hardly any on my performance, and when it came to it, they wanted more from the performance and only listened to one demo. Lucky, when you consider that one of my demos was a complete rip-off of the Doctor Who theme. Still, the interview went well, and I was able to convince them that I'm not just another 'original' indie spit-out. The interviewer hadn't actually heard the pieces I performed before, which I'm seeing as a positive thing. The group activity wasn't so great, mainly due to overconfidence and thirst to prove myself on my part (how very Slytherin of me), and the faltering confidence of the rest of my group. Hopefully the interviews will even it all out.. Fingers crossed.

The rest of my time in London was lovely. It was really nice seeing Casey again, I've really missed her. Plus, I got myself an Oyster Card, so I don't feel like so much of a tourist anymore. At the end of the week, Amy came down , and we went to go see Patrick Wolf together. Oh, dear lord, was he good. It was easily the best gig I've ever been to, not least because of that unbeatable feeling of seeing your favourite artist and, well, idol do what he does best four metres in front of you. On top of that though, it was a performance the likes of which I'd never seen. He came out in brilliant costumes, slowly each of them stripping off throughout the performances. New songs were interspersed with old favourites, all of which sounded simply amazing. The megamix worked in his favour, as most people seemed to know the choruses to each of the new songs. I think, howvever, that Patrick's going to need a review of his own, so I'll get onto that. I'll probably throw some pictures in too, so I'll grab some off Amy, and I'll see if Jess wants to lend a hand writing it, too. Aside from Patrick it was really nice being in London with Amy. Last time we didn't get much of a chance to see it, so we made up for that by spending lots of time getting lost in Chinatown and Soho.. Always fun! :D

In other, less fabby news, my laptop's broken. Again. I think that this says more about my Dad's trust of eBay than it does about my treatment of my property, although I am the first to admit I give things a bit of abuse. However, it's [hopefully] fixable, and, if not, there's a chance my Medion (my old, old, laptop I had at the beginning of this blog) is.

And finally, after making a big broohaha (you know I love them!) about putting this blog onto Facebook last time, I'm now taking it off. The latest changes they've made has meant that all of the irksome idiots I'm friends with on there can see my every move, whilst I'm informed of all twenty of their inane status updates. The obvious answer to this would be to delete some friends, but I like being popular. So as from now, neither my YouTube favouritings, or my blog posts will appear on my profile. Not until I am once more enamoured with Facebook, anyway.

Hope you're all well.

Rate, Comment, and Follow!


*Edit: I just couldn't get enough links into this, so have a funny sketch!