Saturday, 30 May 2009

O hai, I can haz life now kkthnx?

It's the beginning of summer, it's over 23 degrees outside (this stops only slightly short of a North Eastern miracle) and University is nearly done for the year. Already. Unbelievable. There have now been three days in a row where except from having to go to work occasionally in the evenings, there has been nothing to do. This is not a complaint, merely an observation. A person with limited funds can only achieve so much fun in a city designed to cater for students with an obscenely-sized disposable income, and hen parties visiting the bright lights of the Travelodge and Vodka Revolutions for the weekend. Mostly this new-found "down time" has been used to carry out several important viewings of seminal TV shows, and social networking to within an inch of my life. Sometimes I wish it was the olden days so that to speak to the interesting, funny and generally nice people I have met one way or another I'd have to write them a letter. Or phone them. Or even send them a text. As it stands, a lot of time is spent sat at my desk in my pyjamas, which is generally not the glamorous or professional image I'd like to portray of myself.

Some of this time however, has been spent rather usefully in the back of my wardrobe, trying to find interesting items to flog to unsuspecting crap-collectors. It is truly amazing how much stuff I hoard. It's borderline obsessive - there are boxes of bank statements from three years ago, and train tickets so old the ink has worn off, but which I can only assume have some sort of sentimental attachment to me. As well as all the detritus though, (and there is a lot of that) I've found some really quite brilliant things. On top of old school textbooks, I've found diaries, and half-finished scarves, and perhaps best of all, old notebooks with stories and songs I wrote almost two years ago. These books are the last remaining pieces of evidence of my previous life as a "musician". There was a time, and bear with me on this one, that rather than be a writer, I wanted with all my heart to be a music producer. I went to Hull University in Scarborough (makes sense, right?) to study Music Production, and it was here I developed my love for the British Seaside, and my deep unstable hatred for Apple Mac computers. Most of the songs are, of course, self-important bum-gazing nonsense (I was still a teenager after all) but some of my best work by far has to be some tunes I wrote late one night with a good friend of mine, Mr Paul Kelly (or Mr Cube, as his stage persona prefers to be acknowledged as). As part of a fictitious spooky surf rock band named "Dang, Blast and the Smithereens", our sound stemmed mainly from the inspiration given to us by a Halloween mug with a picture of a zombie on it. This band is being reincarnated as of yesterday, as some of the lyrics simply cannot afford not to be immortalised forever in song.

I found other things too. Other musical mysteries that I can't bear to throw away, but don't like to look at - who enjoys being reminded of failure? Not me, that's for sure! Inside a cardboard box packed carefully with children's picture books (I have a love for picture book artwork. Janet and Allan Ahlberg were saints) there was a record by a band who never made it to the big time like they promised, who I was a member of for a very short period of time. Next to a bag of wool and half-started clothes making projects there is a violin, which I have not played properly for over a year, despite having a talent for it while I was at school. This seems like a waste to me, and is a constant source of guilt; as is my bass guitar, which leans uselessly in the corner of the room, packed tightly away as though about to be taken somewhere, but in truth is actually living out the retirement of it's days becoming more and more out of tune, whilst it's owner moves further and further away from being the musically-talented youngster she once was. Not that I am not a youngster. Just that I can't play any instruments anymore. And not to blow my own trumpet (horribly musically-related phrase, I know) but I used to be good. It just doesn't interest me in the way it used to. Music used to be a channel for all my creativity, it used to make me feel important and useful. Now it makes me feel guilty and ashamed, as though somehow not having the impetus to play anymore makes me a bad person. I prefer writing these days. And not songs. I like descriptions and silliness. But I still don't think I can sell the old things. Maybe I just like to torture myself.

[My "Amazing" Kinder Egg Cake]

I feel guilty like this about everything I own. Just like everybody's favourite fictional worrier Mark Corrigan, I feel guilty when I don't wear my socks on strict rotation in case I wear some more than others. I feel guilty when I talk to some of my friends more than others. I even feel guilty when I realise some of my books have got dust on, so that means I haven't been reading as much as I want to/should be. If it wasn't for guilt, I'd never do anything. A lot of the time, the only reason I write is because I feel like I should - I enjoy it, of course I do - but if procrastination was a sport, then I would definitely be a self-satisfied mansion-living winnerprick, with enough fizzy drinks and clothing endorsements to keep me in fibre-optic broadband and chocolate digestives for life. I have taken procrastination to another level. I have recently made a video about making a cake, and had it posted on the internet by a fellow partner in procrastination crime. The only thing more tragic than this, is the fact that the video had received more than 750 views when I checked it last. At least when I was making it I was learning how to use some new video editing software (and if you do decide to watch it, you can tell I didn't quite get the hang of it.) What was everyone else doing, eh? Sitting around clicking on shiny links, knowing they should be doing something else, most probably. We should all be very ashamed of ourselves.


M ooseOnTheRoof said...

I myself have been recently clearing out my cupboards, though my excuse is mainly due to boredom as I don't have much intention of throwing the stuff out. I found an ancient Cluedo box with all the pieces inside and the added bonus of an old scabby cornflake stuck to the underside of the Cluedo board. I haven't touched the box for well over 6/7 years so god knows how the dear cornflake has survived.
And nothing like finding an embarrassingly shoddy lyric/poetry book. I found my old jotter full of low-grade writings (i don't think i could call it peotry tbh)and scribbled ideas for a novel. Pfft.

And can I just say that the Kinder Egg cake looks amazing.

Katie said...

Old novel ideas. WIN. I've kept all mine. They make me laugh and then feel sick with shame.

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