HobbyHarri











{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

 

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{January 21, 2012}   Bout of Freedom

Had my last exam yesterday & now I have 9 (now 8) days of total freedom before lectures start. It’s amazing how revitalising that concept is to me. I’ve made a big list of things I want to do & have spent most of today reading in my favourite café & playing guitar, which is really the basic model of my week coming. My guitar playing’s a bit funny, because I really enjoy it normally as well, but I’ve had a series of fantasies recently that some time soon, my guitar playing skills will be called upon by someone – the most normal fantasy is the very reasonable taking it down to the Bay with my friend to casually practice & maybe teach her some chords, the least normal fantasy… well it’s complete fantasy except it stays in Cardiff and I’m still the protagonist. Anyway, should anything between A & B be about to occur, I don’t want to become the instant klutz I usually do when performing guitar to others or to a computer that’s recording me, so that’s all been making my practice a little more intent & frequent.

 

One thing I really appreciated on the morning of exams was fun videos. Each exam day I got up early & went through revision notes & then got high nerves in some form or another (1st day I was feeling ill & anxious, 2nd day just generally a bit depressed). What really cured me was watching funny videos on Youtube – in particular, ones with lovely famous people in them. I’ve always found they boost bad moods more because, with famous people you like, you can really identify, empathise, go ‘Oh, they’re so lovely/silly/witty/brilliant/funny and they’re having such a good time!’ and that can trick you into feeling contented, much, much faster than videos of people flinging themselves at walls & footballs being kicked, quite brilliantly/accidently into the goalie’s face after rebounding off the goal posts. Anyway, here’s a few of the videos that cheered me up. Mostly from Doctor Who Confidential (please don’t go). Not in any particular order, except that I saved the best for last.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Barrowman…



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