On Sunday morning, at about 5am, I was in the bathroom taking my contact lenses out and brushing my teeth (the benefits of being a contact lens wearer are that I NEVER go to bed without taking them out, taking my makeup off and brushing my teeth, no matter what state I’m in). I had been thinking about potential blog subjects all day but not really settled on anything. For some reason, as I was reaching for my toothpaste, I had the type of epiphany that you only really have at 5am when you’re wasted and about to go to bed, i.e. the type that when you wake up the next day does not seem so much like an epiphany after all. Anyway, what I thought in my semi-conscious inebriated state was: I know: I’ll just write about what I’ve done this week. Boom. Insightful or what.
Revisiting this epiphany the next morning through the haze of my hangover, it seemed decidedly underwhelming and un-epiphanic – but it’s the best I’ve got, so I’m going to run with it.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in London, as usual, with Tuesday being a non-stop, crazy running around kind of day. It’s nice to have such a hands-on element to the job, but it’s made me realise that perhaps I am a little bit of a desk bunny after all. My comfort zone is definitely the do-not-disturb, headphones-on stillness that is conducive to thinking and writing. I am most contented when such a desk day yields something tangible like a report or paper, with words and phrases carefully arranged and rearranged to form a coherent whole.
I’m still no better at spending my evenings productively when I come home from work. I find that, by the time I’ve cooked and eaten something (when I’m home by myself, as I was for most of the past week), my default is to slip into a semi-vegetative state under a blanket on the sofa, with only television and a pile of chocolate as external stimuli. I wish I could rouse myself into some kind of activity that is more useful or intellectually stimulating, but much as I intend to, I can’t quite make it happen. It’s partly to do with the cold, dark evenings: hibernation and building a layer of insulating fat appear to be instinctual. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
It’s been a relief these past few weeks to get on my bike on Thursday and Friday mornings and cycle to Blast Theory’s studios in Portslade. When I’m lucky and there is no wind, the ride is delightful: hazy winter sunlight on the sea, the rushing sound of the water against the pebbles. But even when the strong coastal wind is right in my face and I have to struggle to propel myself forward rather than backwards or sideways, it’s so good to be outside and not on a train that I still try to enjoy it. Like most people I find it genuinely hard to try and exert control over my moods and feelings, but I have found myself recently making more of an effort in putting things into perspective. It doesn’t always work, but it feels worthwhile all the same. I suppose it’s a type of mindfulness.
Generally, it’s been great to be back with Blast Theory, even if it’s only for a short period. I feel very much at home there and I love the way they work. I really hope that the work I am doing for them on fundraising will translate into something tangible for them – not just because it would be great for my CV, but mainly because it’s a tough world out there for arts organisations.
On Saturday night we went up to London for a night out in Hackney Wick. The night wasn’t particularly good: a weird and slightly misjudged mishmash of live music, art and DJs, hampered mainly by a godawful sound system and the dynamics of the space itself. We decided to cut our losses at around midnight and headed home to our friends’ house where we spent the rest of the night drinking gin, eating marshmallows and cheese on toast and playing Cards Against Humanity until 4.30am. After which, I headed upstairs to take out my contact lenses and brush my teeth.
So, that was my week, for what it’s worth. I am currently on my way to work and writing the above means this has been my most productive train journey for some time. I’m now going to reward myself with five minutes of staring out the window before I throw myself headlong into the week ahead.