Friday, June 23, 2006

Dream jobs

I unashamedly have stolen this idea from a conversation I had with friends recently. (who incidently are the sum total of my regular blog readers, so they'll just have to put up with a moment of deja vous)

Music, It's a powerful medium. We use it to create, elevate and reflect mood. For me it is also the foundation of my alternative career. The one i'd do if only..... (well I don't know if only what).

I defy anyone to say that they don't have a dream job. Just think for a few minutes and you'll surely be able to think of a job that you wished you had the opportunity to do. For the most part it's totally unattainable, like for instance being a supermodel. Or, at the very least impractical. But that's almost the point, it's a pipedream, an indulgence, something you don't have to take responsibility for. You know that this dream won't result in endless rounds of job interviews.

My early teenage years were spend pouring over Stage magazine in the vague hope I'd see open auditions for my dream job. To sing on stage in the West End. I gave it a lot of thought, too much thought probably. The reality is that such jobs probably did come up, but I chose not to see them. Hence I'm a nurse!

However, should someone come up to me today and offer me the part of Cosette in Les Miserables I'd be there in a shot. But therein lies the crux of the matter. Someone will not just wander up to me on the street and offer me this job. I will not be talent spotted as I make up little songs to sing to the patients. If I truely wanted to change career I'd be out there attending endless auditions and tracking down the opportunity.

So, i've figured on a compromise - open mic session. Okay, so I won't be there performing showtunes in a pub. But I'm sure I can find a suitable alternative. So now rather than pouring over Stage magazine, I'm sat trawling through itunes searching for inspiration! Any ideas gratefully received!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The River Thames

I love the River Thames, well all rivers I guess (except some parts of the River Severn, where is not so much river than thick mud) But there is something about the River Thames. As it meanders through the various counties it attracts a diverse array of visitors. All of which makes for fantastic people watching. That is how I spend my time. I take a book, sometimes I read, sometimes I write and other times I just watch.

The pace of life seems different down by the river, people make eye contact and acknowledge each other as you pass on the towpaths. Strangers even talk to you. I don't mean a cursory "morning" I mean proper conversations.

So today I decided to go for a walk, donned my shorts, rucksack etc (Tshirt, socks, shoes, even underwear!!) and headed off, mentally tossed a coin (Henley won). Got there for about half 9, walked about 50paces and encountered the friendliness that is the river Thames. So 15mins later after a lengthy discussion with 2 elderly men about Boris Johnson and racism in the UK (obviously talking about the weather is now passe, plus one was Australian so obviously had little interest in the weather) I continued for another half hr. Stopped for quick read (for the first time in 2 weeks I was not reading erotica) and returned.

...(Incidently the penchant for reading erotica is less of a penchant more of an obligation, as suggested as a book club book. Though having said that I now rave about the book and would recommend it to anyone to help them break away from their normal genres, ok well maybe not elderly ladies!).....

Anyway, back to the Thames. On the return leg now feeling partially innorgorated into the River Thames Towpath gang I stopped again to continue the discussion. Passing comment on the neatness of the boat pensioner number 1 was painting (as in the actual boat, not art) I was offered a drink and the conversation continued. Somehow got onto groundsheets (well bearing in mind by this point I had already discussed current affairs, it seemed a natural progression). Pensioner number 1 mentioned he had one he'd never used, so after much polite muttering about how much would he like for it etc it was foisted upon me, with protestations that it would make the boat less cluttered!

Maybe it's the sun, but I doubt it. There is something liberating about the River. I very much doubt that the high street would ever bear witness to such exchanges between total strangers.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Guilty pleasures

It's 11am and I have just spent a blissful half hour induging in my guilty pleasure..... intrigued? Well, picture the scene. A glorious sunny day, (23.5 degrees according to the car),driving through beautiful tree clad country lanes with the windows down, feeling the warmth of the sun on my arm (warmth which has now turned it a lovely shade of pink). Perfect.... except that was just pleasure. The guilty part........ the music I'm listening to ....The Black Eyed Peas. Ok, hardly a crime and indeed guilt may be the wrong word. But everytime I select CD 4 on the player I feel it's slightly wrong, slightly inappropriate. That I should be listening to music more suitable to someone my age - whatever that may be.

I defy anyone to look inside themselves and not find such a pleasure lurking somewhere! The key thing is realising it, then you can enjoy it all the more.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Racing & resolutions

Positivity in bucketloads today! I ran the 5km Race for Life. Everyone knows the statistics, but somehow seeing people running in celebration of their own fight, or in memory of someone, or for someone who has fought and overcome cancer hits home more. A pretty sobering thought to see all the dedications on peoples backs as they ran.

On a personal level I have finally achieved 2 New Years Resolutions. (Though I refuse to call them that as it all sounds so trite, so make that "Things I plan to do this year!!") These being to enter a competitive race and to raise money for charity. Fantastic - so all I have to do now is publish an academic piece of work and write a novel. Oh and get a flat stomach/thin thighs/pert bum etc etc etc. All of which sound pretty inconsequential and self absorbed when you think about today and the reason for the race.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Self limiting self fulfillment

Sometimes it takes conversations with friends to help you realise certain aspects of your personality. Except half the time they are traits you are subconsciously aware of. For me this is my desire, or should I say need to achieve a sense of self fulfillment. For years I've harboured the same dreams, to swim the channel, to run a marathon, well to complete a competitive run of any distance, to get an entry in the Guninness Book of Records, to win/earn a medal/trophy/certificate. Plus of course, not forgetting the most recent addition - to be a member of the olympic archery/handball team! Anything that shows I have progressed beyond the three legged race at the age of 6! It's funny though the ease in which you can push these desires to the back of your mind.

So why haven't I achieved any of these? Fear and lack of self belief I guess. I'm skilled in finding numerous excuses for why not to achieve these goals. But this doesn't make my desire to achieve them any less. It's just that it is overwhelmed by my fear - of failure? or maybe a fear of achieving. Afterall, then what?

It's now time though to stop hiding behind feeble excuses. On Sunday I'm running 5km. Not far I know, but for me the challenge is not primarily about the distance, simply the fact that instead of talking about it, I'm doing it.

What next? Well if summer really is on its way, a bit of swimming sounds idillic!!!

Goodbyes and erotica

Today I am sad. I have just taken my friend to the airport - nothing particularly sad about that I know, especially as she is coming back in 4 weeks. (We live 100 miles apart, so several thousand extra miles shouldn't make that much difference). But this trip is different, she is taking her 2 and a half yr old daughter on holiday, back to the Phillipines to see her parents. Having a lovely holiday and then having to do the hardest thing she has ever done. Leave her daughter, whom she adores with her parents for 6 months so that she can get her life back on track. It just puts everything into perspective.

So needless to say the resolve to not cry has gone out of the window, but everyone's allowed to cry at airports.

Onto more light hearted things - well the erotica is evoking plenty of emotion, but ironically hilarity rather than sensuality. I haven't laughed so much in ages!!