wildeabandon: A silhouette in the dark, with the text "So tired of being here" (tired)
The last couple of days I've been trying to fit some chin-ups into my exercise routine, to start building strength again, and probably not unrelatedly I've had a bit more upper back/neck/shoulder pain than I sometimes do. I'm currently hoping that reason I'm awake after only about three hours sleep is that pain waking me up and not insomnia brought on by the increased dose of my ADHD meds. (I do think this is reasonably likely, since I got off to sleep with very little difficulty).

I shall hold off on doing any more chin-ups for a while and see if the sleep gets better once the aches fade, and in the meantime I shall start doing some pilates again, which I've been neglecting, and then try again once I've built up a bit more core strength.

I did feel quite a lot more focused and productive yesterday, so whilst that may just be normal fluctuations or placebo effect, if it is the result of the drugs I would really like it if the effective dose wasn't also a dose that gives me ongoing insomnia...
wildeabandon: writing an appointment in a diary (scheduling)
Further to the last post, I am trying to remind myself that even with reduced executive function I have managed to achieve quite a bit of stuff in the last few weeks. Cheerleading and affirming comments would be appreciated :)
  • Organised a Thronescamp
  • Organised a group trip to see Richard II on Saturday
  • Organised [personal profile] leonato's birthday weekend
  • Run a training session for new servers
  • Planned and led three singing rehearsals
  • Run a couple of hundred miles, including knocking a minute and a half off my Parkrun PB
  • Done a bunch of wedding organisation
  • Delivered the church annual accounts
  • Made a plan and booked flights to go and visit [personal profile] danohu next month
  • Done this whilst travelling up and down the country every week, and mostly managing not to leave anything vital at the wrong end

I am still managing to come up with all the reasons why this is insufficient or doesn't count, but I mostly think this is my jerkbrain being a jerk and it can go do one.
wildeabandon: A silhouette in the dark, with the text "So tired of being here" (tired)
As I think I've already mentioned, I started on new brain meds for ADHD a few weeks ago. The good news is that I'm not noticing any unpleasant side effects. The less good news is that the theraputic effect is so far pretty minimal. I think it's greater than zero, but less than the effect of the Modafinil which I had been buying on the grey market and self-prescribing for the last few years, and came off a week or so before I started on the new meds.

It's really difficult to judge though, because basically what's happening is that I'm finding it harder to get up in the morning, and being more inclined to procrastinate and more forgetful and disorganised, and one part of me is going "yep, those are ADHD symptoms becoming more pronounced" and another part is going "don't be ridiculous, you're just being lazy and rubbish and making excuses for it". It's also the case that since I observed that the new meds are less effective than the moda they seem to have become even less so, and now I can't figure out how much of that is psychosomatic, because it gives me an excuse to be lazy. Ugh. Brains.

I've got an appointment with the specialist on Monday, when I shall be asking her to increase the dose, and I think it's probably sensible to just carry on as I am until then rather than experimenting with taking moda alongside or instead of the new meds. I don't have any major deadlines between now and then, so I can actually get away with being less productive than usual, and should just be reasonably compassionate towards myself for not achieving a huge amount but that's always easier said than done.
wildeabandon: Comedy tragedy masks (drama)
Last weekend was Thronescamp, a readthrough of two seasons of Game of Thrones. This year was seasons 5 and 6. I organise it, along with [personal profile] cm, and although it's become a lot easier three years in, as I get the hang of what needs doing, there's still quite a lot to be done. Between formatting files of subtitles into useable scripts, working out meals and groceries for 16 people, planning logistics and sorting out the casting, it's been taking up quite a lot of my tuits for the last few months, but as always the end result has been extremely worth it.

We hold it at the Old Baptist Chapel in Belper, a rather eccentric aging holiday home, where we've been hosting one readthrough or another for years. I arrived at just after three on Thursday evening, to find [personal profile] bella_luugosi and [personal profile] fluffymark already waiting for me to turn up with the keys. The first evening was a fairly relaxed settling in. I cooked dinner, and we learned a couple of bits of music that would be used in the readthrough, but mostly just sat around talking and drinking and singing and saunaing.

Friday was the day with most reading, starting around nine am, and going through to half ten in the evening, albeit at a far more gentle pace with more breaks than Bardcamps of old, where we would slightly crazily cram five Shakespeare plays into a single day. There were lots of fabulous and moving performances, interspersed with just about the right amount of readthrough ridiculousness. I had very greedily cast myself as both Varys and Littlefinger, and really enjoyed both parts; also, I played Theon to [personal profile] leonato's Ramsay Bolton, which was hot in all the wrong ways.

Saturday was a later start to the reading, allowing a nice lie in for all the sensible people who didn't get up to go to Parkrun. Spoiler - I was not one of those sensible people. I had been nursing a slightly tight calf, and having smashed my PB a couple of weeks previously the plan was to run at a reasonably sedate pace. [personal profile] robert_jones was intending to run 20 miles the following day, so had a similar plan. The trouble with plans like that is that now we're about the same speed, and maybe just a teensy smidge competitive, so neither of us was going to let the other get ahead, which means we completely failed at running slowly, and both got new PBs. (And very importantly, mine was 9 seconds ahead of his ;)

After another fairly long day of reading I was glad to get a lie in for myself on Sunday, and woke up about 20 minutes before my 10.00 alarm. There's a nice anglo-catholic church just down the road, so a bunch of us went to Mass, and were pleased to be recognised with the comment, "Oh hello again, we'll enjoy some good singing today then!" Back at the chapel the atheists had been hard at work cooking brunch, so we got back to giant piles of eggs, halloumi, pig in various forms, and other delicious fried things, before bringing season six to its conclusion. Another evening of drinking and talking and singing in extremely convivial company followed, until we all sloped off to bed much earlier than we used to at these things... I had the Monday off work, and so went back to York for a few hours before leaving Mark to rest and recover, which made for much less of a wrench than saying goodbye in a few minutes as our trains go in different directions.

It is quite a relief to have the organising and admin over and done with, but I'm a bit sad that it's a whole year (or thereabouts) until the next one. I had such a good time, and a couple of people said that it's been one of the highlights of their year, which makes me feel all squiggly and warm inside.
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
Okay, we're almost getting caught up now, and it helps that the following week was fairly quiet. There was another Lent Evening at Mirfield, this one about Discernment, which had a bit more discussion, and also clips from Harry Potter, which was rather sweet, but again, the real highlight of the evening was Compline. Then on the Thursday I headed over to Sheffield to catch up with [personal profile] sfred which was fantastic. For the last couple of months we've both been doing the weekend commute thing in the opposite direction, so I was in Yorkshire when they were in London and vice versa, which felt a bit silly. It was a splendid evening, particularly seeing how well life is treating them at the moment.

Back to London for the weekend, and spending as much time as I could with [personal profile] obandsoller whenever he managed to climb out from under the giant pile of marking. We spent some time on wedding planning (squeeeee!), and then went out to the cinema to see Us, the new Jordan Peele film. I thought it was pretty good, but it did come up against the fundamental issue that I don't like horror films very much. I didn't find it quite as powerful as Get Out, but it still had some interesting things to say, and did a good job of finding light-hearted moments, whilst still being very firmly horror, not horror-comedy.

Sunday was a very full day of church. I started with a training session for our new adult servers, then Mass itself, then our Lent discussion group, a quick soup & bread lunch, and then a rehearsal for St John's Singers. Phew! All of these things were rewarding and enjoyable and interesting, but I was pretty knackered by the end of it. So obviously then instead of going home to rest I went over to [personal profile] borusa and [personal profile] cm's place to help with printing and binding Thronescamp scripts. Fortunately that was a fairly relaxing evening, despite Prospero's* determined attempts to "help" with the binding, and it was good to catch up with them.

Another Oh God o'clock start on Monday was followed by another trip to Sheffield in the evening, this time to have dinner with [personal profile] feanelwa, whom I hadn't seen for nigh on a decade - where does the time go? It was great to catch up - it's always interesting seeing how people have changed, and how they've stayed the same. Tuesday was a third installment of the Mirfield course, this time about Mission. This was the most challenging one so far - probably the best speaker, but also the only one to say things I flat out disagreed with. And then on Wednesday I finished my working week, and headed over to York for an evening with [personal profile] leonato, and thence to Derbyshire and Thronescamp...

*their cat
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
Perhaps this getting caught up malarky will work better if I can manage to post more frequently.

Back in Yorkshire after my Cambridge weekend, I took advantage of the fact that I'm only a 20 minutes bus journey from Mirfield to go to the Lenten Evenings at the Community of the Resurrection. These are a series of talks on the overarching subject of Vocation, and the first one was about Baptism. It was a reasonably interesting talk, looking at various biblical discussions of baptism, and what that means for us as a church and as individual Christians, but I'm not very good at absorbing by listening so I may not have got as much out of it as some people. What I absolutely loved though, was getting to stay for Compline afterwards. It's probably my favourite office at the best of times, and the acoustic at Mirfield is just extraordinary.

On the Wednesday I went over to York to see Mark. One of the lovely things about being closer to him is getting to spend time just quietly together, cooking, watching Netflix, snuggling. Until recently most of when we've seen each other has been for events and holidays or exciting meals out or big social things, all of which are generally great fun, but don't leave much downtime for just low key being together, and I've really enjoyed finding this new and different type of intimacy.

On Thursday I went for dinner at my parents', now that they've returned from spending all of February on holiday in Spain. It sounds like they'd had a marvellous time, and despite some ongoing health problems for my Dad, they're generally filling their lives with good things. I feel very grateful to have such excellent parents, and to have such a good relationship with them, knowing how fraught it can be for a lot of people.

Back then to London for a moderately low-key weekend. I had an excellent Parkrun on the Saturday morning - I'd started doing some interval training during the week, so I thought it might be worth shooting for a PB, and slightly optimistically decided to aim for taking about 25-30 seconds off. This was about a minute behind [personal profile] robert_jones's PB, and because he was planning on running 18 miles the next day he was quite happy to take it a little bit easy and help me pace. Having someone to run alongside clearly did help, and then I pushed a bit harder at the end and beat him for the first time, knocking a whopping 59 seconds off my previous best time!

Later that evening [personal profile] bunnypip and [personal profile] cuddlyviking came to stay, as they were going to a matinee the next day. I cooked a french onion soup and bacon, broccoli and blue cheese risotto, neither of which came out quite as well as I'd hoped, but were pleasant enough. (And having troubleshot the risotto the next iteration was amazing). On Sunday morning Kaye very kindly came with me to help with the first rehearsal of St John's singers for our Holy Week services, which I think went pretty well. Sadly she had to disappear to the theatre after the rehearsal, but I stayed for Mass, and then we had the first meeting of our Lent discussion group, where we discussing Timothy Radcliffe's "Why Go to Church: The Drama of the Eucharist", which is excellent, and I shall write about at more length in is own post.

Later that afternoon, I was also going to the theatre, with [personal profile] the_alchemist, to a slightly later matinee, specifically Six, a musical about the wives of Henry VIII, which was bloody brilliant. I was expecting it to be a lot of rather silly fun, which it was, but I was pleasantly surprised by the intertwining of that silliness with some serious commentary on the gendered lens we view history through. I was also very impressed with the quality of the music, the singing, the dancing, the costumes - just very high production values throughout. It might not be for absolutely everyone, but if you're interested in history and/or feminism, or a Spice Girls fan, then I'd recommend it very highly indeed.
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
Goals. January. February

I'm still liking todoist, which I think means it's been more successful for me than any other productivity app so far. I think I'll stop commenting on it now unless that changes. I have not only managed to refrain from taking on anything new, but now that both my piano exam is done and Thronescamp is over, I'm starting to free up more time. Shortly I'll also be handing over the reins as church treasurer. I think at that point I might be able to relax the "nothing new" rule a little bit, but I should probably make sure that I'm very on top of wedding planning first. Writing these monthly updates is definitely proving helpful in continuing to make progress against my goals - even the ones I'm not quite achieving, I think I'm getting closer to because I'm keeping an awareness of them in my mind.

March was another not-brilliant month in terms of spending, coming in about 10% over budget, which puts the running total over for the first time this year. Read more... )
wildeabandon: (cambridge)
The trouble with this trying to get caught up writing about all the things I've been doing, is that I seem to be doing things faster than I can write about them, so I just keep getting further behind. I guess as problems go it's a good one to have :D

So a few weeks ago I went to Cambridge for the weekend. I was staying with [personal profile] emperor and [personal profile] atreic, and seeing them was the main purpose of the visit. I turned up fairly late on Friday evening, and spent a while putting the world to rights with Matthew whilst we waited for Sally to get home, and then the three of us stayed up perhaps a bit later than was sensible, but it was so very very good to catch up, and sometimes when the conversation is determined not to stop flowing you just have to run with it.

On Saturday morning, after a certain amount of logistical faff Sally and I made it to Parkrun, and despite arriving about 20 minutes late she made it in time to do her volunteering stint handing out tokens, and I overtook the tail-walker with a respectable amount of time to spare. Afterwards there was cake to celebrate various people's 100th and 250th Parkrun and general merriment, before I went off to have lunch with [personal profile] the_elyan at Restaurant 22. It's under new management since the last time I went, and although the decor is now a bit more classic restaurant and less "you've accidentally wandered into someone's living room" the food remains excellent and remarkably good value.

That evening I went back to Girton for more delicious food. I had forgotten to mention to my gracious hosts that I was not having puddings for Lent, which led to adding a cheese-board to an already cheese heavy menu, but it was all utterly delicious, and I'm very grateful to them for indulging me :D After dinner they introduced me to the game Azul, which I'd heard good things about, and definitely lived up to them - one to add to our collection, I think.

Sunday morning involved running from Girton to LSM carrying all my luggage (including a leather trenchcoat) on my back. This was a plan that made sense logistically, but may in retrospect have been a bit daft. I got in to church with a little over an hour to kill, so I dropped off my bag in the sacristy, and enjoyed the feeling of lightness for the rest of my run. Being back at LSM for Mass was delightful as ever, and I had a nice chat with Fr Bishop over coffee. From thence I went to the Pint Shop for lunch with Matthew (Sally had gone off to run a marathon), and Roger (winodw). It is very pleasing how much better the mid-range dining options have become since I left Cambridge.

After lunch I made my way back to London for our house date night, where we played a couple of very enjoyable games of Ticket to Ride, before a nice early night to prepare me for heading back to Huddersfield at Oh God o'clock the next morning.
wildeabandon: musical notes on a stave (music)
So where was I? Yes, we'd just celebrated Mark's birthday weekend and got through the Archdeacon's visitation - it's hard to believe that that was only a couple of weeks ago! So the following week I was staying in London, and working from home amongst various appointments and events.

On the Monday I had the ADHD clinic in the morning, where they gave me a prescription for exciting brain drugs, and then in the afternoon I had my Grade 5 piano exam. I'd felt really unprepared for the exam, despite having in some sense been working on it for well over a year, mostly because that work has been frequently interrupted by working away from home and having limited access to a piano. I had spent quite a lot of Sunday (and Monday morning) cramming quite hard, and I came out of the exam thinking that I'd done reasonably well considering, and been fairly lucky with the scales I was asked for. I thought I was more likely to scrape a pass than not, but that failure was a realistic possibility. So when the results came out yesterday and I hadn't just scraped a pass, I'd scraped a Merit, I was pretty much gobsmacked, and very very pleased indeed.

On the Tuesday I actually managed to do some work in the morning, as well as a bit of Thronescamp script-fettling, and then in the afternoon went to church to help out at our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party. I had been hoping that I'd be able to mostly hide in the kitchen and make pancakes, but the vicar had reasonably enough taken that role for herself, so I had to actually *gasp* interact with small children and their parents. This was slightly terrifying, but I managed for a little while, I think without coming across as too standoffish through nervousness, until it reached the point where it was genuinely helpful to hide myself in the kitchen and deal with the incoming washing up. That evening I went home and made more pancakes for dinner for me and [personal profile] robert_jones, but these ones were less multicoloured, and filled with bacon and mushroom and asparagus and two different cheese sauces, rather than more sweet and sticky toppings than the willy wonka factory.

On Wednesday I had another morning of lots of productivity, and then for the afternoon headed to Brixton to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] plumsbitch whom I hadn't seen for Far Too Long(tm), and their fabulous fluffy mistress, Gurpreet. It was such a good afternoon - one of those times when you sit down and start chatting and suddenly it's five hours later and you've barely scratched the surface of the conversations you wanted to have. That evening it was back to church for the Ash Wednesday service, which I both love and struggle with, and each year find that I'm getting a little closer to understanding how to resolve the conflict between the Gospel reading (about fasting in secret with no outward signs) and the ashing.

Thursday was mostly spent working, and then in the evening I had dinner with [personal profile] borusa at Xi'an Biang Biang Noodles which was very good indeed. Apparently cheap and cheerful Asian restaurants with repeated words in the name are where it's at, since this was the third in a row to be really impressive. We had dumplings in soup, cold sliced chilli beef, and a pork bun to start, followed by hand-pulled belt noodles with cumin lamb and beef respectively as our main courses. The starters were all good, especially the chilli beef, but the noodles were the real star - so much richness and umami, with enough heat to slow you down and stop you vacuuming up the whole plate in seconds, but not so much as to blow your head off. We'd booked a table for 6.30, and were glad that we had, as it was already almost full - by the time we left there was a queue out the door.

Friday was another productive work day, and then off to Cambridge in the evening, where I'll pick up next time...
wildeabandon: crucifix necklace on a purple background (religion)
I started reading this on the recommendation of my spiritual director, and finished it today. It's fairly short and easy to read, but packs quite a lot in. It starts by talking about different ways of looking at the world, and introduces the idea that the Bible's perspective is rooted in a covenantal understanding of history. Looking at the Hebrew Scriptures through that lens centres the Exodus, and the New Testament the Resurrection. He then goes on to talk about different kinds of writing in the Bible - those two core narratives, expanded narratives which surround them and explores the history of keeping and not-keeping the covenant (Judges through Nehemiah, Acts), what he calls the literature of institution - the history of community and religious organisation (later parts of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus), theological reflection (Deuteronomy, Romans), and finally instruction and Vocation (the prophets, Job to Ecclesiastes, Hebrews, most of the Epistles).

He goes on to discuss the strange and unusual nature of God as a promise-keeper, that God is with us and for us, that God keeps renewing God's covenant with us, despite our repeated failure to keep up our side of the bargain. It talks about the way that Jesus acts, again with a focus on the fulfillment of promises, and argues that as we see promises being kept again and again we can have faith that they will continue to be in the future and in our lives. He talks about God as Freedom-giver, Exile-ender, and Home-bringer. The last one in particular gets returned to throughout the book, and hit me, as they say, right in the feels. He spends some time talking about conversion and repentance as a central theme of the bible, and how that relates to the covenantal perspective, as well as how it can and should be seen through both an individual and a communal lens. He talks about life and death, and how more that the simple biological reality, in the Bible life is about relatedness and community, and death is exclusion from community, with each other, and also when we exclude ourselves from community with God. He talks further about life as both task and gift, and how these two aspects cannot be separated from one another.

He discusses the ways in which being invited into the covenant of God is an entry into a familial relationship, and he various ways this is illustrated throughout the bible, with langugage about slaves becoming sons and daughters, orphans becoming adopted children, and what that means in terms of having both a future and a vocation as part of God's family. In his final chapters, he talks about the communities of the bible - the Hebrews and the early Christians from whom in came, and the various ways in which later Christian communities have learned from and interacted with and commented on it, and the ways we continue to do so today. (Notably missing is discussion of later Jewish exegesis, which I suspect is outside his expertise.)

I read the book fairly quickly, but it has definitely already given me a sense of common thread which I think will help me as I return to the scriptures myself. It had recommendations for passages for reflection in each chapter, which I didn't spend any time with, and which I intend to return to when time allows.
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
Gosh, there's been a lot going on since I last updated. I popped over to Manchester to catch up with Richard de Valmont, an old friend from my Cambridge days whom I'd not seen for a couple of years. It's always nice to find that people have grown into lives which aren't entirely what you'd have expected of them, but seem to suit them very well.

The weekend before last [personal profile] leonato came down to London to celebrate his birthday. On the Friday afternoon we spent a while in the British Museum and National Gallery, then met up with [personal profile] mostlyacat, [personal profile] robert_jones and [personal profile] obandsoller for a very fine dinner at Bali Bali before going to see Company at the Gielgud. Other than having given the soundtrack a quick listen beforehand, I wasn't at all familiar with the show, but it's an awful lot of fun. It's more a series of vignettes than a coherent plot, and has a nicely ambiguous feel, uplifting in parts, bittersweet in others, which I like. The music was fantastic, the singers were all really strong, and the setting was clever and worked really well. The best thing though, was watching [personal profile] leonato's reaction - I don't think I've ever seen him enjoy something so much.

On the Saturday afternoon [personal profile] smhwpf and [personal profile] cm came over for a readthrough of Checkov's Uncle Vanya. I was again, completely unfamiliar with the material, but it was good fun with some fabulous interpretations. Almost everyone in the play is basically horrible and makes one another miserable, but in a way that's quite entertaining to watch. We were then joined by [personal profile] borusa for another excellent dinner, this time at Yaalu Yalu, which has just opened a branch on Green Lanes. The waiting staff were still learning the ropes, and we were a table of seven that had turned up unexpectedly, so perhaps unsurprisingly the service was a little chaotic, but it all came together eventually and the food was very good.

On Sunday morning Mark set off home, and I headed to church a little early where we had the Archdeacon's Visitation (basically an audit of our processes and finances). That was a bit nerve-wracking, but seemed to go okay, albeit with a few notes of things we could do with tightening up.
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
Goals. January

Todoist still seems to be suiting me. In particular, it seems to be quite easy to get back on top of if I ignore it for a few days and then come back to, which is absolutely vital if something's going to work for me. Have resisted the temptation to take on two new things this month. Well done me!

I didn't do brilliantly in February. Read more... )
wildeabandon: a plate of rare steak (steak)
Last week involved lots of restaurants. On Tuesday I went to Arras with [personal profile] leonato to celebrate his birthday. It's opened fairly recently, and seems to have got off to an excellent start. I was particularly impressed that when we ordered one wine pairing, and asked what non-alcoholic drinks they did, they offered to make up a pairing on the spot. I was even more impressed that they then came up with five delicious drinks, all of them very distinct from one another, well matched to the food, and not once falling into the "this is just a mixture of fruit juices" trap that so many inferior non-alcoholic "cocktails" succumb to. I was frankly gobsmacked when the bill arrived, and they had charged a mere £15 for all five drinks.

What about the food? )On the whole, it was an excellent meal; the high points were really really high, and I was absolutely delighted with my drinks pairing. Six courses and drinks for two came to £220 including service.

On Saturday [personal profile] obandsoller & I went to 12:51 in Islington, which rather suffered in comparison to Arras. The best courses were decent, but most were merely okay, and a couple downright mediocre. The service was also a bit confusing and chaotic, and the ambience didn't quite gel for me. Not a terrible meal by any means, and I think perhaps it might work better for a laid back lunch, but I wouldn't leap to recommend it.

On Sunday I went with [personal profile] borusa to Monsieur Le Duck near Liverpool Street. They serve duck, and frites. That's it*. We had "Le Grand Jeu", which gives you, to share, one duck burger, 200g of breast meat, half pan-roasted, half grilled over coals, and best of all, a leg of confit. It also includes a couple of sides, including truffle oil frites, which I think we will both be trying to replicate at home. Including a couple of drinks, cheese, and service, it came to around £70. Highly recommended.

*Technically there is a vegetarian option, which we didn't try. Jay Rayner describes it thus "The non-meat option is described as a grilled winter vegetable tart, but could just as easily be listed under “will this do?”. It is a dense platform of just undercooked puff pastry, ungenerously hidden under some flaccidly roasted vegetable. In the sense that it represents perfectly a Gallic shrug of disdain for non-meat eaters, it is just as authentic as everything else here. Look, I am merely the reporter."

Ten years!

Feb. 19th, 2019 10:29 am
wildeabandon: me kissing my beloved boy (pretty boys kissing)
This Saturday was the tenth anniversary of me asking [personal profile] obandsoller to be my "It's Complicated" on Facebook. Ten years! There's a part of me that can't quite believe anyone could put up with me for that long, but when I'm not being self-deprecating, I know that actually we're really good together, and that both of us have done the work to make that happen. There are many things I love about him - how thoughtful and observant he is, the way he appreciates art and words and games and brings things out of them that I'd never notice, his engagement with the world and his passion for justice, his playfulness, his stylishness... I could go on.

But alongside that, there's a lot I really love about the relationship, which is a slightly different thing. I love how safe and secure it makes me feel - the absolute bone deep certainty that he will always be on my side, helping me up when I screw up, and cheering me on when I try to do difficult things. I love how affectionate we are, constantly cuddling and nibbling and reaching out and squeezing each others hands. I love that we like each other very much, and that we tell each other, and why. I love that we do little things for one another - he rubs my neck and shoulders when they're tense, and I bring him tea in the mornings. I love that even when we argue, which doesn't happen all that often, we both try really hard to do so constructively even when we're feeling frustrated, and that we continue to affirm our affection even as we argue. We are both lucky to have such a wonderful partnership, but it isn't just luck, and I think we can both be justly proud of what we've built together.

We celebrated our anniversary with a romantic meal at home - much like the weekend we first got together.

Photos of food and us looking adorable behind the cut )
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
It's been a relatively uneventful week. Last weekend [personal profile] smhwpf came over so I could show him how I do the church bookkeeping, which he is very nobly taking off my hands, and on Sunday evening we had our monthly "House Date Night", and played Dominion, of which we very egalitarianly* won one game each. I went to another rehearsal of the university choir, which feels like it's going quite well. In particular, when the director made us get all mixed up and stand with the other parts, I was a lot more able to hold to the tenor line without following the people next to me than I expected to be.

On Thursday I took myself to the cinema to see All Is True, a heavily fictionalised biopic about Shakespeare's later life. It's got fairly variable reviews, and I think that's probably fair - the plot is a bit meandering, and some of the characters are a bit two-dimensional, but there's some stellar acting, and I very much appreciated the bi representation.

Friday Five on grocery shopping
1. Do you make up a dinner plan for the coming week?
Read more... )
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
I went to see Kiss Me Kate at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York last night. I enjoyed it a great deal - I like all of musicals and Shakespeare and show-within-a-show meta narratives, so was definitely the target audience. I thought it didn't have enough [personal profile] leonato in, but it's possible that I'm slightly biased on that score. Of the four leads there was a bit of a gender imbalance. Petruchio and Lucentio both gave decent, if somewhat workmanlike performances, but they were thoroughly eclipsed by Bianca and (especially) Kate, who were absolutely stupendous.

From: https://thefridayfive.dreamwidth.org/86197.html

1. What size (twin, full, etc.) is your bed?
I generally can't remember what size is what, but I bought a new mattress relatively recently, so my order history tells me that it's a UK King (150 by 200 cm). Big enough that when I'm sharing it we can both sprawl a reasonable amount without landing on top of one another. The bed in my Huddersfield flat is a double, but there's generally only me sleeping on it.

2. How many pillows do you sleep with?Read more... )
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
I got some bad news yesterday. We found out a couple of months ago that my brother out-law has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He had the thyroid removed a couple of weeks ago, which appeared to go well, but they've now got the results of the biopsy, and they didn't get it all. I don't yet have any more details of the prognosis, but it's pretty worrying.

In the face of that it seems a bit churlish to complain that I'm feeling under the weather, but still... I don't actually seem to have any symptoms of anything, but I've been sleeping loads - last night I went to bed at half past nine, thinking "when I wake up ridiculously early I can just use the time to get on with stuff", and then the next thing I know is my alarm going off ten hours later. Also running has felt rather harder than it should for the last couple of days.

On a more cheering note, I am quite pleased with myself for managing to drag myself out and go for a run anyway, despite really really not feeling like it. It was both shorter and slower than planned, but I think good for habit forming anyway. I've got choir practice this afternoon, which I'm looking forward to, and then I'm seeing Nathan this evening, and [personal profile] leonato on stage on Thursday, and then this weekend [personal profile] obandsoller and I are going out for a transferred Valentines Day dinner, since a)I'm in Huddersfield, and b)we want to avoid the overpriced set menus on the day itself. So lots of good stuff to look forward to.
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
Update against my goals for the year.

To-doist seems to be working for me, but most new systems lead to some improvements intitially, so I'll be more impressed if it's continuing to work in another couple of months.
Monthly update - check
No new projects - qualified success; I haven't taken on any new projects, but starting to work away from home is using a lot of energy and time, which would otherwise go on existing projects

Read more... )


Jan. 30th, 2019 11:38 am
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
I have joined the Huddersfield University Choir, which is helpfully unauditioned. I'm singing with the tenors, which is a little bit outside my comfort zone, but not too much, and will help me to work on strengthening the top of my range.

Having been a bit disappointed with "The Favourite", last weekend we went to see another film in the "queer women's period drama" genre, 'Collette'. I enjoyed this one a lot more. It helps that I quite fancy Keira Knightley, as well as rating her as an actress. I liked that they manage to make her husband, whilst the antagonist and a terrible person in many ways, still sympathetic and not a pantomime villain.

I'm now mostly settled into my flat in Huddersfield. I've only got enough crockery for one person, but there's not really enough space for entertaining anyway, so I'm quite tempted to just leave the rest of my spares in London, so that I'm forced to stay on top of the washing up. I'm very close to the canal, and not only that, but to a 2.5 mile stretch which isn't muddy, so doing that out and back makes a fairly sensible run for most days. I still haven't managed to source a piano to practice on, which is a bit of a pain, but I shall keep chasing, and once that's sorted I think I should have everything I need to keep a routine going on all the things I want to be doing here.
wildeabandon: musical notes on a stave (music)
This week I auditioned for a new choir. I've got an enormous amount out of singing with the LGMC and I love the community very much, but I feel as though I've reached a bit of a plateau musically with them, and wanted to find a smaller group that did more challenging rep at a faster pace. The obvious candidate here was Diversity, London's LGBT chamber choir, who conveniently had an open rehearsal and intake day coming up just after I'd decided I'd like to give them a try.

The open rehearsal was last week, and I enjoyed it a lot - they were learning Verdi's Requiem, and it felt challenging, but at the 'just outside my comfort zone' level, rather than 'I'll never be able to keep up in a million years'. This week I went to another rehearsal followed by an audition. At which I felt that despite being hella nervous, I gave a reasonable, if not absolutely optimal, demonstration of my capabilities. And was unsuccessful, so that kinda sucks.

The feedback was "The musical director considers that you have a decent instrument, but your register is a little unconfident and unsure, seeming to fall between bass and tenor and would not really fit in with our musical requirements. He feels sure this could be solved if you have some singing lessons." Which is at least useful and reasonably actionable, and I think will give me the motivation to actually keep up daily vocal exercises to extend my range.

I'd already taken this term off from the LGMC, because whilst I'm working in Huddersfield it's not really practical to attend rehearsals, but I'm now thinking that I'll probably just leave, spend some time working on improving my range and confidence, and then when I'm back in London, reaudition for Diversity, and if I fail again, look for another choir that will tick more of the same boxes than the Chorus does.

In the meantime we're planning a few more outings of the St John's Singers, and introducing sung psalmody at Mass which should help with the confidence, and give me fun things to sing as well as exercises. I'm feeling a bit deflated and disappointed, but having a plan for what to do next does help.


wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)

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