HobbyHarri











{February 29, 2012}   An Apology & An Update

Lesson of the day: Know what it is you can do before you promise to do it.

From now on the Doctor Who story instalments will posted every second day, with the next instalment tomorrow at 7:00. I must also emphasise that this time I am only saying this in hope – I am not promising. Each part takes up, at the very least, 3 hours of solid work and every idle thought before then in brainstorming ideas. It’s a wonderful idea to do 1 story in a week in daily instalments, but at the moment it’s just too much for me. I have so many other things praying on my mind, like the essay I have due on Tuesday, the wish I made (more on that in another blog), and I’ve been sleeping really light… and I can’t believe it but all that is making me wish that the next instalment will be the last! And I’ve only done 2 so far. I know things are bad when I go to the Bay, my favourite place, to think about Doctor Who, my favourite show, and quickly end up with an unshakeable migraine.

Whenever I do post a new instalment, it’ll be at 7:00pm. I can promise the time at least if not the date.

So… the time is 4:54. I’m off to bed with BBCiPlayer – finally I can watch “The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff”.

Good night & best wishes xox

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{February 23, 2012}   Topophilia*

I don’t know why I keep going to the Bay. It’s beautiful and calm and happy people have a tendency to show off their happiness there, but…

I went again today. Never planned on it but the sun was out and I was fixed with the compulsion. I ended up walking to town, buying a wind & rain resistant coat and walking to the Bay, despite the sun then having gone in, the cold wind picking up and the constant but minute, dripping rain. It takes maybe 30 minutes to walk there from my flat, I spent maybe 40 minutes there today and then another 30 walking back. Then when I’m there, the wind makes thinking to any purpose substantially less productive than anywhere else, and the beauty keeps making me forget that I had things I needed to think about. The Bay just calls to me. Not vocally – I’m not that mad.

I just sat there staring at the water as I always do, switching between total distraction, wind-hampered thinking & listening intently to my ipod. It was cold, and harsh, my feet hurt and I think I’m getting a cold, and I want to go again. It just doesn’t make sense.

 

I’m going home tomorrow after my morning seminar for the weekend – and I mean proper home, back with my family. I’m going to have lots of tea, warm blankets, lit fireplaces, TV shows on an actual TV, restaurant-grade home cooking (gravy-doused chips with lamb and mint sauce, mmm…) a velvety-soft bed and, of course, I get to see my family again. Now this topophilia I can understand.

 

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Note 1: Topophilia means “Love of place”. Refers to affection felt for a certain location, usually a patriotic feeling. A sports fan may experience this with their local stadium, an actor may feel it when standing on a stage. I’d say it’s like a sense of grand belonging. Why I feel this for Cardiff Bay however I have no idea. Like I say, beautiful & peaceful & all, but this is just silly.

Note 2: “-philia” means ‘love of’, not ‘sexual interest for’ – I am not having it off with various Bay landmarks. Just so no one’s worrying/creepily interested.



While Valentine’s was uneventful (except for the incident), today was delicious. After my morning lecture I wrapped up in 5 torso layers plus two sets of skinny jeans and 2 pairs of socks, filled a thermos with tea and headed to the Bay again…

 

Cardiff is finally warm! Summer’s coming! The sun was out! They were selling ice-cream! I had one with a flake and strawberry sauce – at the Bay in February! Kids everywhere, laughing and running and staring at me (I probably did look a bit funny all wrapped up with my coat, scarf & leather hat)! And, ok, there were a few annoying youths out & about on their scooters (are those cool now?) who use their speedy entrances & speedy exits from your zone of attention to get away with being rude to strangers. But most everyone was lovely, and that was only a few of the many young people. Ah. Maybe I really could bring my guitar next time.

I’m going to avoid the Bay for the time being – the half-term busyness plus the fact that I don’t have many guitar tunes memorised makes me think I should stay back here & blitz the practice. You know what? I’ll promise – if there are any days next week that are as good weather-wise as it was today, I will take my guitar down on one of them. Regardless of how good or bad I think I am at it or how many things I have memorised or whether I’d have the confidence to sing along to anything, I am gonna do it. Yeah.

 

While I was down there, I came up with a good basic premise for next week’s creative writing project: I’ve decided to write a short story (not script) in the Doctor Who world. I’m keeping things simple so that it’s the storytelling I’m focusing on rather than inventing believable, original characters and entire alien societies and so on, so here’s the brief I’ve made for myself:

  • Write every day of next week
  • Minimum of 500 words per day (you don’t get words off the next day if you go over the limit (I know you too well…)
  • Doctor: 11th
  • Companion: **** (an own character (OC) I’m very familiar with)
  • Setting: Present day Cardiff
  • Situation: Haunted House
  • Additional Characters: Small group of kids/teens, challenged to spend a night there.

I figured out a bunch of important things like the nature of the Haunted House and why they go there, and playing through the scenarios it looks like my OC actually complements the Doctor really well. I was kind of nervous about the idea this morning, but I’m really looking forward to it now. I might even get started early… No! Get to guitar practice!

 

And lastly, the casting website I’m signed up to has started to pay off. While I haven’t heard anything back from the acting jobs I’ve applied to (probably due to my profile picture not being a professional headshot), I have received an offer for modelling. I’ve been offered a free photoshoot with a genuine (I’m good with research) & fairly experienced photographer. He gets to increase his portfolio & practice his art, I get a professional headshot and full-length photos for my acting portfolio – it’s win-win!

 

I’m on the up.

 

Night night. xox



{February 13, 2012}   Catching Up & Valentine’s

My world has been lagging a bit recently – but no more! *Superhero pose*

 

I’m training myself to have more energy and drive during the days by gradually setting my alarm earlier & earlier. I’m only getting up at 8:30 at the moment, but it shouldn’t be too long before I’m back into my school routine of getting up at 6 and doing yoga or something for an hour before going about being generally proactive. If you find yourself feeling like you’re on a low ebb on a daily basis, try this (at least the alarm part) –  it really works wonders for me.

Also, I thought I was getting ill, so I took the ultimate precaution and stayed in bed pretty much all day on Saturday eating 12 of my 5-a-day. Sorted. My skin has a healthy glow besides the tired eyes & unexplainable spots (maybe if I ate more fruit…).

And Uni work? Well thankfully there’s not much yet – coursework begins later, but we do have lecture & seminar work, which has been a bit of an uphill struggle this time. In journalism, we’re learning how to deconstruct media to see how everything is designed to manipulate people into buying the product. I love it – practical psychology. But I’m really struggling to get the terminology right and analyse media properly, which is tiring because analysis is the sort of thing I really want to do well in and usually would… Wanting and trying but not succeeding is such a depressing experience. But I’m gonna get through it! Yeah!

 

Anyway, I noticed that I haven’t done a lot of writing recently (besides the blog) despite the fact that I want to write screenplays and books for a living. I think I’ll design a writing exercise for next week. Something like I have to write a short story next week and post it on the blog… I make no promise, but I will definitely have a proper writing project on the go.

 

 

Valentine’s day is rolling round tomorrow, so I’ll let my friends have their… fun, and I’m going to spend my day at the place I love – bonny Cardiff Bay! I’d bring my guitar but I’m sure it’s still to cold to sit & play, so my notebook & my thermos of tea will be my companions. Maybe I’ll have an early night too, just in case one of my flatmates & their love want to… have their fun. Whatever, I think it’s going to be a lovely day for me. Cafés, tea, lovely snacks, a notebook and some scenic beauty – what more could I ask for?

 

A house there I suppose. And lots of money. And a job with Doctor Who – Oo! Can I help with a new series of Doctor Who Confidential? Yeah, those are the unreasonable extras I’d ask for.



{January 24, 2012}   While My Guitar Happily Hums

It feels simultaneously like the days are flying by and slowly dragging on & on. The only way that I can convince myself that it was yesterday that I most recently went to the Bay is to look at the calendar good & hard & try to let the thoughts sort themselves out. Wow. I’ve done an awful lot these past few days, but at the same time, it feels like nothing. My latent perfectionism wants to convince me I’ve wasted my time, just because I’ve spent loads of time practicing guitar and yet only have 2 simple tunes memorised. It expects immediate excellence wherever there is effort. The rest of me knows I’ve done good.

 

While I’ve only memorised 2 out of the 20 or so that I’m interested in, my general proficiency has gone WAY up. I can actually pick up a piece and play it so it’s recognisable, and even adequate, without prior practice! It feels great. My friend’s given me an unwanted acoustic guitar, which is much lighter than my electric & I’m sure will sound a lot better than it (without the aid of amps) when I’ve re-stringed it. A bit more practice, some more tunes memorised and some good weather, and it won’t be long till I’m taking my music out with me. I’m feeling accomplished, and sounding pretty good.

 

Oh yeah, and a couple of interesting things happened on Sunday.

1) I discovered that the best day to visit Cardiff Bay (as a local anyway) is on Sundays, because that’s when everyone goes & the place feels most alive. Go any other day to clear your head, get some peace & focus on the beauty of the place, but go on Sunday for beauty with a bit of buzz. While passing by the front door of Torchwood, I overheard some confused non-fans, so stepped in to become the helpful informer & tell them about the TV show & why it’s decorated the way it is right now. Might strategically loiter around there next time & see if I can’t enlighten any more people.

2) That night I had a dream in which I sang an original song. I dreamt it was a song by Kate Bush which she sung & orchestrated in the style of Florence & the Machine. To make sure I remembered it I wrote down all of the song I could remember… while I was still dreaming. I tricked myself into forgetting the original song that I composed in my sleep by writing it down (& therefore stopping it praying on my mind) in an imaginary notebook! Agh, self-deception is wonderfully bizarre. I have the tune to the chorus at least & some lyrics that fit but I know aren’t the original ones. I should keep working at it though.

 

All good. Was going to watch something before bed but think I’m too worn out after a long day of errands (and aching back from guitar usage). Will read my bedtime book, ‘Gods Behaving Badly‘. Wish I had some proper bedtime tea – peppermint’s good for clearing the mind & Earl Grey’s good for focus… but will do in a pinch for bedtime. God I’m Tired. Must’ve worked hard today. Clap.

 

Goodnight o

 



{November 12, 2011}   Britain Today

It’s Saturday, 6:55pm. Which means it’s time that I wrote Friday’s blog.

 

Britain in a Day is a project in which the BBC ask the general public to go out and record their day. It’s going to be a documentary film, a piece of social history, etc. etc. In the adverts for it, famous faces try to convince others to take part. They say how important it is and how everybody is interesting at some time. The thing is, I just don’t believe it. For some crazy reason I just don’t believe that I am that interesting. Which is exactly why I need to do it.

 

I thought I’d go out and catch the sunset at Cardiff Bay. They said you should do something… personal to you, something creative. I wanted to show off how I feel about the beauty of life. I had a script and everything all about how I feel kind of alienated by seeing so much beauty, and not seeing anyone else seeing it! I keep seeing these incredible things and being in awe, practically every day, I just start to think, “Am I the only one who sees this?” I know that’s not true, but… I just really want more people to see it – to appreciate life, every day of it, because it is just … magnificent. Anyway I got distracted somehow and missed it.

 

I was walking back to the flat, trying to get ideas for what I’d write about tonight that would be worth filming. I was plugged in to the walkman, walking to the beat, looking around  the streets at the christmas lights and the trees and shops… and I was getting close to the end of the street, when I heard something, rumbling below the track. I uplugged myself and looked around.

It was the most bizarre sound, like a field full of crickets… with cats. And in surround-sound too.

 

Finally, I looked up into the tree above, and saw it was filled with hundreds, literally, of tiny birds, chirping and bouncing around and fluttering about, making this incredible noise! I don’t how long I stood there staring. The orange street lights backlit the leaves so that they glowed green, strong against the vivid, deep blue sky that you sometimes get when the sun hasn’t been long gone. And in this tree in the middle of it all, this mad puzzle! It was like some great magic trick… except you replace most of the surprise with buckets of pure beauty!

 

So I was standing there – the only person standing there, most everyone else could at least hear the noise but it didn’t go any further than that. But then someone came up to me and said “Can you hear that sound, or am I going mad?” I pointed out the birds in the trees and he joined me to stare. I told him about the project, and we got to talking. Lots of talking… about university, school, hobbies, travelling, mad teachers, food and fitness… “It all sounds terribly mundane now that I write it” says the perfectionist in me, despite knowing that she’s on my hit-list (perfectionism is a damn CURSE). But, it was amazing, we just stood there by the tree, talking for ages about all sorts, and even from inside my own head, I was sounding intelligent.

 

He asked for my number.

 

 

I was interesting.

 

Or just very attractive, but I find that harder to believe. Wrongly? I don’t know. A problem for another day.

 

 

Even if I’m not interesting enough on my own, unprompted, to be a part of that project… I know now. I’m interesting. Or at least I can be. That’s good enough.

 

The time is now 10:07. And I am obviously a very slow writer. Gotta go now, it’s time I treated myself to pasta in a bowl in bed with a movie, and tea. Go treat yourself too.

 

xox



{October 4, 2011}   Bay II: Return To The Bay

Well today was great. The 1st lectures of my life were on today so I had to set the alarm this morning. I left it on the table again and, because the walls are quite thin here and I care about my flatmates’ sleep, I shot out of bed as soon as I heard it. I managed to shut it off before ‘La Bamba’ got too loud and annoying, but because I was still actually half asleep I had to fall over. Luckily I was awake enough to direct myself to fall on the bed. Very strange experience.

Oh, also I’ve decided that I am most certainly not a clubbing person. If I feel ill to physically be in a certain place… If I’m in a place that has music so loud that it feels like it’s turning my skeleton into jelly, and then shaking the jelly, then I don’t want to be there. So far as I know there was no magician, but even if there was I just did not care. Oo, real downer last night. Apparently, for the clubbing-type the Freshers’ Ball experience was quite mixed, either being ‘Amazing!’ or ‘Crap’. So I guess I’ve even got some of them on my side.

Today fixed that though, as while yesternight was weird and lonely, today I had the company of a friend and a trip to the bay to clear our muddled minds – wow. The clocktower has just donged for midnight. I really need to adjust my body clock, or if not at least to stop starting these blogs just before I plan to go to bed. Back to the story though… There’s not much to say really beyond how great it felt to be sharing that experience and acting as tour guide. I went inside the Millennium Centre for the first time and had a peep in the gift shop. Don’t know why but it was called Portmeirion, which is where classic Brit TV show ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed, so naturally they had a small section of wall devoted to related gifts. I also noted  they sell books on welsh language, Doctor Who notebooks and abnormal playing cards (for example, 1 deck they sell has blank sides). I probably won’t buy any of those things, but nice to know that they’re there.

I’ve really got into the student head-space now, it’s great. I just walk around everywhere looking at amazing goodies and then complaining to my friend or shopkeeper that it’s very expensive and that I have no money (even though as a student I actually have bags at the moment but am playing it safe to last me through the term (even though I’ve probably saved a few small bags already by only going out once during Freshers and then not buying anything there)).

I’m still feeling a bit blue for some reason. It just came back to me. I think it’s because outside of my room the flat corridor smells so strongly of smoke that I’m less keen on hanging out there. I certainly won’t prop my door open anymore – it’ll damage my sanctuary. The kitchen’s pretty darn clear because of the window & all the food that gets made/heated there, but it’s just the threat of inhaling any of that vile stuff on the way there that bugs me. I mean jeez, cig smoke is just the smell of degenerating health, isn’t it? I don’t know if it’s been properly proven that 2nd-hand smoke hurts people but I don’t really care, because I just can’t bear to have to smell daily the smell of gradual hurt, pain and death. I may be exaggerating but I really feel I have the right to be if his mindless self-harm is starting to harm my life too.

Argh. I shouldn’t get myself riled up before bed. I need to relax and tune the world out.

I wish I had some good headphones. Then I could block out the rest of the world’s noise at night, and, if I wanted to, really immerse myself in my music or a film! Had a look around ‘David & Goliath’ today and they had loads of good looking ones. Maybe that’ll be a really worthwhile investment to flush away my midnight blues.

Oh yes, and I’ve learnt a simple rope escape trick. Like a lot of magic tricks it’s more of a brain teaser than a trick really. I mean if you covered my hands so you couldn’t see how I was doing it, I’d say it was magic, but not a trick. But then also if you put someone else in the same situation and left them long enough, they could probably work out the logical solution.

Now I’m in puzzle mode. Damn. No winning this game, is there? Next Aim is to just go to sleep. Go on. Stop typing. THat’s ri-no, stpo…



It’s been 2 nights sleep since I left home and I’m almost out of new things to do. This half week before Freshers starts properly is pretty uneventful, so I’m just filling it up with trips to the shops for essentials, figuring out how to go to get to certain places and of course catching up on my hobbies. Today I thought a day-trip to Cardiff Bay would be a nice way to mix up my currently very flat-based life. I love the Bay.

I scoped out a route using google maps. It’s a long way. I think I walked for ~30 minutes to get there from the flat. I don’t think I could do that trip without my ipod, but then there’s always the bus.

Anyway, Cardiff Bay is one of the most serene, arty, relaxing and generally nice places in the UK. Very satisfying to walk to too, because once you get close you see the great golden dome of the Millennium Centre over the trees, and then finally you get there and the trees aren’t in the way anymore and you can see the centre in all it’s magnificent magnitude and the… giant fountain-thing next to it and the whole of the Roald Dahl plaza and beyond that the glimmering sea…

I really do love this area though, it has such a summer-holdiay vibe to it without being noisy or crowded. I did absolutely nothing besides walking and the one cone of ice-cream, but just being there was really rejuvenating. Loads of restaurants, plus a comedy club… great place to go if you have money or a sugar-daddy. Also, if you’re a fan of Torchwood, well this is where Torchwood actually is so if you want to have a go at the front door, then remember this: 1. The front door is past the plaza, down to the right. 2. The door is covered by fan-decorations. 3. The door is locked. 4. Vandalism is wrong.

So that’s the Bay for you.

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I decided my whiteboard is best used for To-Do lists and random portraits, so I had a go drawing. I didn’t try to draw anyone in particular, but guess who I ended up drawing? Derren Brown. Seriously, get out of my head man. Must’ve been because I thought about doing another dream-control experiment but didn’t go through with it, so instead of him being in my dream he’s on my whiteboard. The picture’s really annoying me though, I just keep on looking round at it and getting miffed. I don’t know if that’s because he appears to be looking at me when I’m sitting at my desk, or just because I’m such a perfectionist that its imperfection calls to me and says I’m crap. I think I’ll rub it out. That’ll solve whatever it is, but before it goes, here it is:

I do like this picture though. I think this is just the way I am with all pictures I do, particularly of real people, particularly people I admire. His mouth’s too long here – argh crud. I’m so proud and yet so not.

Also, I kinda nervous about Uni now. I’m pretty darn sure that I’m just totally not a party person, at least the typical parties you get at this age  in University. All the typical fuddy-duddy reasons – music too loud, dancing not so fun, crowded = not fun, can’t hear others = how am I supposed to be making friends at these things if all I can do is pretend & nod along?, etc. It’s just not me and I’d be lying to myself & everyone if I just went along with it. But then again this is all about new experiences. Maybe some of them aren’t so bad? I’ll go to Freshers Ball at least, and definitely to other events, but no, clubs & me don’t mix, and I’m very happy doing other – I feel low. I just erased Derren Brown from the whiteboard and now I feel like I’ve betrayed him. Damn those starey eyes. Better draw someone fictional to blot him out. But no, I’m going to take a stand for my individuality – if people try to pressure me into going & I don’t want to, I won’t. Simple as. So weird that that should be such a hard thing for me, but now that I’m starting fresh I can get into the habit of being true to me.

I should go to the Bay again soon. Going to the Bay gets rid of all these thoughts.



et cetera