Friday, 13 August 2010

the date

Just noticed the date.....Friday 13th......

desert island discs.......

A few weeks ago I was listening to Dame Fanny Waterman who teaches piano here in Leeds talking about her desert island discs.

I have listened to these programmes for years, and it is interesting that people choose items to reflect the people they have known or to remind them of events in their lives. Sometimes the programmes are just a vehicle for people's egos - a who's who of people they have known and who are also famous. Whatever the criteria, I don;t know where or how I could begin to choose eight discs to come on a desert island with me.

Would I choose music that reminded me of people or places or times in my life?
Would I choose my favourite classical composers, or my favourite pop pieces that I grew up with?
What criteria would I choose? And would they make a convincing programme? I would love them to do this with people who are not in the public eye so that we could see what ordinary people who don;t know the composer or his wife etc etc might choose. Somedays I would choose Beethoven and Mahler, somedays I might choose Micheal Jackson, somedays I might say that the music I am listening to this minute on Chillfm is the best - I choose it to write to, as it blocks out my critical voice and enables me to type away with no inhibitions. Something about right and left side of the brain apparently.

My son sorted my Ipod out today - I have had it for years and never knew how to make it work, and he has finally given me a tutorial, so I have a great source of music now for travelling with and will surely use it. Why should the kids have all the fun!! So it is nice to reacquaint myself with some of the music I thought I had lost on my old laptop. Most of that is rubbish but it has resonances and the tracks come with their attendant we are back to desert island discs.

I think that because it would be so hard I would take nothing with me and live in silence and listen to the music of the waves. How could I value one thing over another? Some days I want Bach, other days pop music.

I used to think we could use music to bring peace into the world. How naive I was when I was young. How very naive but what a lovely idealistic thought. Now I just want it to bring peace into my world.

By the way - I can strongly recommend Chillfm to anyone who reads this blog for a very different kind of musical experience. I think its available on DAB as well.

today's the day

I have had so many thoughts about possible blog postings over the last few weeks - months - and I am not sure why I have not posted them. A feeling of hopelessness seems to have overcome me. There are many many reasons for this.
1. Politics.....the state of the nation and all of that. I can't believe we are in such a financial mess and from what I read the world is going to look very very different soon as we in the west watch our sphere of influence decline and we see another set of peoples with their very different cultures, ideas, values take over. I don;t mind that. Its just the uncertainty - the not knowing. I read tonight about how the US is $4trillion dollars in debt - that is its financial black hole, so when it loses its power, then what will happen in the Middle East and everywhere else for that matter. The rise of fantaticism means that all rational thinking people might not have a voice in the future and those of us who have wanted nothing more than a place to live out our lives in relative peace will be squeezed out - or forced into making decisions against our wills.

2. Global warming issues. This summer has proved beyond doubt that whatever this is, we are in a period of climate change and we are doing nothing to stop it. Consumption is now the name of the game, more, sooner, better, more and more......the floods in Pakistan, the fires raging around Moscow, the floods and landslides in China....even the weather here has been warm and wet and muggy. I love this kind of weather as it leaves me relatively pain free, any slight breeze being warm and the temperature generally above 19 degrees so I am comfortable. But that proves what a selfish person I am - I am thinking about myself when so many people are starving in Pakistan. I think there is compassion fatigue - when will all of this end, and when will governments and companies start a fund for dealing properly for global emergencies. I noted with interest that Tesco had donated £20,000 to the Flood Appeal. Thats like me giving 1p. Shame on them.

3. Family issues. Trying to get my head round my kids and allowing them to cause trouble between myself and J which has almost - at times - felt as though our relationship will not survive. But I love him and he loves me and we have worked it through so hopefully we have sorted things out between us, so that we can get on with our marriage at last! And of course losing my mum earlier this year was awful and brought up a lot of bad memories, and I have had to put all the skeletons behind their door again. If I write a memoir as I want to do, it means taking them out, but at least I can do a little at a time and walk away if its too much.

4. Medical stuff. YUCK! I had a nice time not going to the doctors, but they finally caught up with me a couple of months ago and called me in to get my BP checked. It had bounced very high and the kidney function tests had gone down rather too fast so I am now back in harness - more bloods, more doctors appointments, more worry. Its not fun when the GP does his little trick online to find out how likely you are to have a stroke or heart attack within 10 years and it flashes up blood ran cold. I don;t mind dying if its quick, but I dread - I so dread - a stroke, and will do what it takes to avoid one. I am hoping that this kidney function test will be better or I will ask to see a nephrologist. Its hard to deal with all the neuropathic pain and have this as well. Just keeping moving takes a lot of energy some days. It is so hard to try and do anything when you feel as though you are running on an empty battery.

5. I want to do some good writing and feel as though it is beyond my capacity to do so. I don;t know why I lost so much confidence. I would love to belong to a supportive small female writing group but whether I will find one is questionable. I might look for an Adult Ed course here in Leeds for September. I just need a kick start.

6. I have read a lot lately - I need to update my reading blog. It is so depressing as a wannabe writer to go to shops selling remaindered books, see second hand copies of books everywhere - even this is now a throwaway commodity and I find it depressing and downright daunting to think that even if I managed to get a book out of myself it would never be read - and I could not bear to do so much work for nothing. I have little to show for all the hours I put into practicing the piano and to do something again that requires so much input and be left with so very little at the end would be heartbreaking.

So thats why the long gap. Lots of reasons and they don;t feel like excuses.