Thursday, 10 November 2011

The return of some musical mojo....

I switched my work laptop off at 5.15 today which is unheard of. I have been distracted by a horrendous lurgy for most of the day so have really been battling to concentrate on all my number crunching activities. So I gave in, having decided I wasn't kidding anyone.

I normally leave for Brownies at 5.45 so I had half an hour with nothing to do. 5 til 6pm is one of my most productive times of the day, so I often do some housework if I am free at this time. Today I looked at all the piles of paperwork to sort and decided to do something else.

Instead, I sat at my harp and began to play. I didn't warm up, just began gently and eased into it. I had a fantastic time - wobbled my way through a lightly jazzy arrangement of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (My 2nd favourite Christmas song to play), then through a beautiful arrangement of a traditional Irish piece that makes my heart fold in on itself - the Limerick Lamentation.

Next I started on some chords for a song I am working on with my wonderful singer friend Frankie - Liza Minnelli's version of Use Me. Oh my, it was FUN. I adored the song when Frankie played it to me the other week, and I can hear in my head how I want it to be on the harp.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy my harp at times - sometimes it really is a soul-destroying battle of Have To vs. Want To.

But today it was good. I think it was inspired by a fantastic night out with some really wonderful friends last night (which probably brought on the lurgy a bit earlier than it would have come otherwise) - lots of chat and catching up, and some good music at an open mic night in town.

It was alcohol free for a variety of reasons (mainly because I was driving and utterly skint!), and this provoked some lively discussion as Frankie is currently on a mission to spend a year with no alcohol. Her adventures can be found here...

Best of all it looks like we have a gig coming up in January - nothing makes me work like a deadline so this has come at the perfect time!

Friday, 4 November 2011

What makes a house a Home?

I work from 'home' 2 days a week. I'm about to start a whole lot of renovation on my house and the place is a bit of a disaster area at the moment - reflective of other aspects of my life, where everything has been thrown up in the air, has landed and now needs some careful sorting and re-assembling.

I have moved 14 times in my life - 5 of those before my 12th birthday. I went to 3 different primary schools, 2 different secondary schools. I can settle quickly and make friends on the surface, but making deeper long lasting friendships is harder.

I bought my current house with my ex husband in 2005. We bought it as the house we would hopefully raise our family in over the long term, but it was first and foremost for our beautiful greyhound to stretch his legs in. Previously we had lived in a little Victorian end of terrace, and the garden was smaller than our kitchen. He loved sunbathing there in the yard but race track options were limited.

We separated shortly before Christmas 2006, and I bought him out of the house in August 2008. Since then I have lived here on my own, sharing the dog with my ex. In June this year, aged 12, our beloved Bubble had to go to sleep for the last time. It was an awful day but it had to be done as Bubble's body had had enough (even if his spirit was still going strong - stubborn boy!).

My house is huge! I am small and tend to rattle round it.... but I am very emotionally tied here and feel it's Home. Or rather, I did. Lately I am considering whether it is really my Home. The renovation needs doing regardless, it's an old house and needs caring for as a result.

How I decorate and plan the layout of the house rather depends on my long term plans. Do I set it out and decorate to suit me, or do I do it with a view to selling up? It's a lot of money to spend and make the wrong decision, but I can't put it off any longer.

Why is it that I am willing to commit to a person, to a relationship, but not to a place?

I love where I live. My bedroom faces east, and overlooks fields for some distance. Some weeks ago, this was what I opened my curtains to. I took photos on my phone and on my camera, only the phone really captured anything like the colours I saw.

When I look out of my bedroom window, I wonder why I would want to live anywhere else. (Mind you, parallel to this on the other side of the house is a reasonably busy road, otherwise I would never have been able to afford the house!)

But really, I am trying to pin down what means it's home. Things? People? Animals? A sense of peace? I'm really not sure but I hope to find out.