Thursday, April 29, 2021

Changing Gear

Life changes gear... I have been lecturing at three different Universities, different things at each of them; I'm trying to think of what direction to head in next. I am very tired, and that's why I'm doing a blog posting while I gather energy for my evening class, which is starting again tonight. How lovely to be taught something by someone else!

On Tuesday, I had to stay awake to take part in an online discussion, despite having a Tuesday bedtime of 9 p.m. (plus crime novel). I went out for a walk to shake off the day, and rounded a suburban corner to be hit in the face by the most beautiful aroma from a yellow flowered shrub. I actually tucked my nose into the blooms and inhaled, which is not wise for a woman with rampant hay fever, but the scent was just so completely gorgeous that I had to do it. The whole route was an eden of lovely smells, drifting hither and thither on the chilly breeze. You'd catch a sniff of something and think you'd imagined it, and then there it would be again teasing your senses. The next thing was the birds: a throbbing cacophony of tiny shrill sounds, with the occasional mellifluous song rising to the surface of it all. Not even the harsh scraping of a jet across the sky managed to intrude on the groundswell of spring joyfulness. Boy, it's cold and windy, but that's not bothering nature. In fact, I could swear the whole lot is laughing at us pathetic creatures who can't fly, who can't sleep in winter and wake up in spring, and who can't speak to bees by smelling beautiful. What clumsy, stinking oafs we are!

It's all still going on out there, but I've no energy for walking today. I've been rehearsing a set of songs for next Wednesday, mainly getting used to standing up to play my guitar. All of the muscles in my body have realigned: I'm a walker, a breather in of fresh air. I've been playing guitar a lot, but sitting down. Gravity has pulled me downwards and I have to push up against it, and in the words of Val Doonican, walk tall (or at least stand tall). 

I have new songs, but can only confidently remember the words of one of them. I've written a new song every week for Song Circle with Katy, Rowen and Nadya. Sometimes they disappear because there are bits obscured by stress and overwork that won't allow me to finish them. Lots of the half-songs winged their way over to Robert to be finished and we're still doing that; it reminds me of being in The Chefs: I finish Robert's songs and he finishes mine. It's very exciting when the song appears in the inbox or in a text: it's like having a personal storyteller or something. 

And one of the songs ended up being Fatberg. Our Song Circle task that week was to write a really awful song, and actually we wrote rather good ones. Mine was the worst, not because it was impressively bad, but because I could have done a much worse one, so I re-worded it and sent it to Willie Gibson for a 'B' side for the Cutty Wren EP. Willie did a great job of making an authentically drainy-sounding backing track and Ruth Tidmarsh has just made a fantastic video for it that made me laugh out loud. It's almost finished.

Ha ha! Music and art! Humans are not so bad, birds, bees and flowers. I'm coming to a field near you to play my guitar soon, so watch out- that'll put your cheeps at a peep!

Soon it will be the summer and I'll take a vacation form teaching. Music and art are waiting in the wings, sharpening their chops and their pencils impatiently. I can't wait!

1 comment:

Wilky of St Albans said...

one of the first actions on what used to be my annual trip to Holy Island was to bury my face in the wild wallflowers, which conveniently grow out of the walls at head height. That scent...