Holding back the hour hand

With considerable surprise, I realise I’m days away from my first anniversary of TWP employ. The last year has flown by, despite a few months of what felt like swimming through mud in the spring. It’s probably time to gather some stats and make some new goals, but a bit of breathing space might be necessary for that.

It’s been an exceptionally frantic few weeks, and the tell-tale sign of my hectic life is that I still haven’t shifted the final cubic metre of soil to finish the back garden. It’s been sat there so long that the local cats are now using it as a toilet. Grr.

Anyway, have had some exquisite experiences lately – will summarise, but promise to be brief:

A and I went to a wedding during the weekend just gone. It was a humanist service, filled with readings and talented musicians. Thirty-two countries were represented among the two hundred guests, and there had been a pre-emptory tree planting to offset the carbon footprint. The band were from Zimbabwe (called Harare Now) and one of the fields turned into Glastonbury for guests. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a couple enjoy their own wedding so much, which was a marvellous sight, but best of all were beautiful lanterns set aflame and released into the darkening sky.

I attended a theatre and technology conference in York – twenty six speakers, over one hundred and fifty delegates, and numerous tweeters… it was absolutely mind boggling. I feel something of a luddite – with all these new technologies and tools at our disposal, there are so many ways to connect, get news, speak and learn. Admittedly, I’m a newbie on twitter, so that was the focus of my attention – and I find it totally alarming how much some people are able to tweet. My favourite quote from the people I’m following came from @granumentally: “There are so many people talking on the Internet. Do people not work anymore?”

During the weekend directly preceeding the conference, I was at a new writing festival, Hotbed, in Cambridge (four days, two beautiful cities). Was delighted with myself because a) I was brave and did that networking thing and b) I nipped an intellectual crush in the bud by talking to the potential object of my mental affection. Saw some incredible work, and came home feeling really connected with that weird world of theatre.

Finally visited Warwick Arts Centre (three times in ten days, no less). Had a meeting with the very cool Stan’s Cafe (Craig was telling me about his recent acquisition of a vinyl printer!!) and then attended the British Theatre Conference. That was hard going, but squeezed in there was a half hour audience in The Caravan – a docu-drama about the floods, a year on, which was phenomenal. I was one of eight audience in an actual caravan, and the performers were up close and personal, doing a wonderful variety of yorkshire dialects. Also managed to see Afterwards at the Mead Gallery, featuring the three people I had my first intellectual crushes on: Sharon Kivland, Pavel Buchler and Simon Morris.

Finally – some exciting news. I’ve registered with the Open University to start another degree: Modern Language Studies. I’ve yet to decide which pathway (French and Spanish, or Spanish and English). First module Beginner’s French starts in November!

That’s a bit of news, and very little reflection. Just how some people like it, I suspect.


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