Over the past two weeks I’ve developed a crush on the entire Costa coffee staff at my local train station. In the way that a really good musician, or someone really good with words (or, combine the two, a bloody good lyricist – oh WHAT I’m a cliché and a pushover, I know it) can get my heart thumping, apparently so can anyone who hands me coffee with a smile in the morning – at the moment, anyway. And it doesn’t even need to be with a smile. It can be the nervous shrug of the girl who’s still learning the ropes; the slight scowl of the dude in the beanie who is clearly a rock star when he’s not working; the super efficiency of the fellow with the beard who reminds me a bit of one of my uncles; or the jitteriness of the skinny raver who calls me petal.
Just, coffee please. Thank you.
I don’t even request a syrupy flavour anymore. I barely need milk. I just need the caffeine, and then I stick Jack White or Metric on repeat and blast my head into wakefulness, and my mantra is… two more weeks, and then I get a break. Two more weeks and then I can chill out a bit.
I’ve dropped out of the London Marathon this year. Not yet officially, because I can’t find my race number, but as soon as I do, I will. Just making the decision to leave it until 2017 has lifted a metric tonne of pressure, because I no longer worry that I’m not running enough and I no longer worry about when I’m going to fit the running in. My new daily game is looking for other things that are wearing me out and stressing me out, and that I can easily make Not Important if I so decide. It’s very satisfying to metaphorically balance them on the end of my finger and flick them into the bin. Things that have gone that way: a trip to London at the end of February; sorting out my cluttered boxes and drawers any time soon; getting a haircut; social norms and politeness within reason.
Today I spent the morning train ride looking at reviews of electro-acoustic guitars. At lunchtime I went into a self-proclaimed Largest Music Shop in the Country, and wandered aimlessly looking at guitars and deciding I could and would get one soonish, and that certain other things (new shoes, for example. I walk a lot and the soles are wearing thin, that previously mentioned haircut) can wait another month or so. Then I wandered into the piano-filled basement of the place and stared at the £20k grand piano that I Didn’t Dare Touch, and then wibbled over to one that was a lot less, but still a lot, and seriously considered renaming my Car Fund the Piano Fund. I figure if we ditch the bed, we could put a grand piano in our bedroom and then sleep under it.
The sad truth to this is that if I lived alone, I’d actually do this. Piano playing has been satisfying recently. I feel as though some spill over from concentrating on music in general has woken up ability I had when I was younger, but that hasn’t shown up for a while. Arguably this is because I’m sort of practising more, even if I’m not practising. It’s nice, though.
I wrote/finished writing and Very Roughly recorded another song. It’s called Monster Food. I posted it on Twitter with the comment that I imagine synths and a bass line and drums with it, and got a lovely message from someone telling me that they liked it and to keep working on it until I had it how I hear it in my head. Relevant: I also sang it to my singing teacher (using her guitar, which is what convinced me I need to get a decent acoustic) and she liked it I think. There’s a songwriting/jam group starting, and I’m going to go along and learn from people who know way more than me about this stuff. That’s the plan.
The next song will maybe be happier, because my mum has specifically requested a more cheerful one. I’m working on it.
I got grant application #1 in. I almost got grant application #2 in – frantically finishing my entry while checking the application form, which closed at an arbitrary-seeming time, so I missed it by about three minutes. Never mind.
Currently reading: River of Ink by Paul MM Cooper. I’ve been looking forward to this one a lot, but may have ruined it slightly by reading Han Kang’s Human Acts right before it. It’s a very good book, but I might be a bit brutality-ed out. Not loving the world very much at the moment, or people in general, or certain governments specifically.