Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Giant Poo

What a week its been.

Fast, slow and a bit in between too. Today's the first I've seen my husband in a week as he's been working afternoon shift so we get to exchange hello/cheerios as I leave for work in the morning, as I'm in bed by the time he gets home.

Luckily its been packed with enough activity to help the time along. Rehearsals for All Shook Up are coming along well. Can't remember having so much fun in a show. Its a great cast and a lot of lovely people. The music is brilliant (Well, it is all Elvis songs)and the script is funny.

Had my sis-in-law's birthday too, and then last night the wonderful and lovely Kimberley Clark open in They're Playing Our Song - get along and see it if you can get a ticket!

The one thing that's wrong with being so busy is that I miss my Wednesday night dose of Ashes to Ashes with Philip Glenister as the enigmatic Gene Hunt. I haven't come across such great writing for a tv series for a while, and Glenister as Hunt walks the line between flawed hero and supernatural being. You never quite know if he's innocently living his life in the 80s where heroine Alex Drake is trapped or if he has knowledge of Drake's life in the 2000s, as he may have had of Sam Tyler's life in the previous series, Life on Mars.

I realise this all sounds like the mad ramblings of a fan, but as I said, the writing is brilliant, the portrayal of the roles - especially in Glenister's case, is brilliant - total quality TV. Apparently the third and final series will tell us exactly who Gene Hunt is - can't wait!

Rehearsals tomorrow and then helping out with the Lest We Forget Anzac Day concert at the Scott Theatre doing the job I'm least suited for - front of house. I have to continually resist the urge to tell people to get themselves organised and have the right change. The sense of relief when the last bum lands on seat and the first few bars of music start up as we close the house doors is enormous and wonderful. Almost akin to doing a giant poo.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pretty Short

I'm breaking a tradition - writing this Saturday night instead of Sunday morning, as we have rehearsals on a Sunday morning. I've got a part in an upcoming show, a musical called All Shook Up. Its got a plot from Shakespeare and music from Elvis Presley. Its a funny show with glorious gospel-inspired arrangements for the numbers and is heaps of fun to do. More on that in future blogs.
In any case, I have a pre-dinner beer to hand so the writing will probably improve as we go along.
Been thinking about the pressure we have to be pretty all the time. Well, women anyway. Its one of those things that's so all pervading and internalised, its not something we actually talk about or acknowledge. Its just treated as a 'given', to the extent that I've seen women go to ridiculous lengths to stop their partner realising that they're not really blonde, or refusing to leave the house without full makeup.
I've realised this only recently. I got my long-ish blonde hair cut a few months ago and then about a month ago covered my highlights with a wash-out brown colour. The results were enlightening. People commented with more or less enthusiasm, depending on how they felt about it, but suddenly I felt free. Without the hair about my face and shoulders, I started to forget myself. I wasn't constantly reminded of the 'pretty pressure' and it got to feeling like I remembered as a child, when I didn't have any idea that I should look a certain way.
I can go an entire day without checking my hair or even combing it. Feeling the breeze on my neck is brilliant and its washed and dried in minutes.
One interesting reaction to the short cut was the reaction of other women - particularly married women who said 'I'd love to get my hair cut short but my husband won't let me'. What? Sorry? Won't let you? Are you a member of The Bretheren? Or the Wee Frees? Or from the 1950s? What kind of mentality has that as an excuse? If you really want to get your hair cut then do it. If a bloke chucks you because of short hair he wasn't worth it in the first place. Its always a good measure to weed out the wheat from the chaff and a short hair cut is as good a way as any. You're not giving anything up except the duff relationship - the hair will always grow back!
Or is it, as I suspect, that those women, while enjoying the idea of a short hair cut, are actually too frightened to, succumbing to the 'pretty pressure' and using their husbands as an excuse?
Its a good feeling, the short hair, but already it's growing again and I've been asked not to get it cut til after the show finishes in July. So maybe I'll end up with the long blondes again, but its been a lovely excursion to the short side!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Good Man

Stuff is happening.

Weirdy stuff. Stuff that shouldn't happen in the normal course of daily life. But it is. Happening, that is. I get this periodically. I'm not a religious person but I am familar with some of the more spiritual aspects of life.

I know some people don't believe in all this stuff so I'll say this first: I fully support your position not to believe in stuff. Just also please support my position that this weirdy stuff tends to happen pretty often to me and my family that we tend to view it as more natural than supernatural.

The conditions were all there for it to be happening again. Fertile ground, so to speak. A major upset in routine by our big trip, an opening of new horizons that shook accepted norms and hence an opening of the mind, a loosening of the grip on the routines of daily life and a questioning of 'what next?.

I've been an advocate of Taoism for the past 13 years, and to feel oneself in the flow of life, in both spiritual and temporal ways is often a precursor of events. Of course one must be a willing partner in this, to have the position of being prepared to be in the flow and to trust in the Universe. Ideally, we'd be in the flow all the time, but we're human and the world has many distractions. However from time to time clarity breaks through.

I guess this is all a lead up to telling you that this week my dad came to see me. Not unusual until you know that my dad died in 2008.

It was during a lucid dream that echoed ones that had happened after my mum died, but this was way clearer. I was surprised to see him, but he told me that he wanted to come see me, to let me know that he was doing just fine and that he is very happy. I could see that. He was smiling so much - he never smiled that much before - and he looked so well. I could smell his familiar scent as he sat next to me.

Suddenly I felt like that little kid who spent so many evenings watching Morecambe and Wise, Dick Emery, the Goodies and all those familiar tv programs from her dad's lap. His arms around me and my head resting on his shoulders that seemed to be as wide as the Clyde, I would feel so secure and loved. And when I fell asleep he would carry me to my bed and tuck me in. Even on the nights I was awake at bed time, I'd get a piggy back 'coal carry'.

When my mum was too tired after tea, my dad would help me do stuff like wash my socks so I had clean white socks for school the next day, or show me how to bake bread, and make a fancy loaf when you braided three strands of bread together.

He'd take me to the pictures, and to the Saturday afternoon cartoons at the Classic cinema. He'd bring me candy ball sweeties when he came home from nightshift and make me cups of hot tea and buttered toast before I went to bed, and always buy me a toy when we went past Guthries toy shop when we went to see Granda in Maryhill.

When my first marriage was a shambles and I was stuck in a one bedroom flat with not a blade of grass in sight and a one year old son who wanted to go out to play he, widowed by now, opened his home to us. And when we moved to Australia he came too and I had the privilege of looking after him until he passed, although he was still helping me up until then.

All through my childhood, first marriage, divorce and fourteen years of motherhood my Dad was there to help me, and my son.

When I met Steven, Dad, who was always down on everyone, never had a bad word to say about him. The night he passed it was after a few minutes of discomfort and Steven and I were there helping him get settled, and he just took a deep sigh as he lay down and I tucked him in, and he was gone.

Perhaps he knew I'd met the man that was from now on to be my helper in life, and felt settled enough to let go. His health hadn't been great for a long time but he'd held on til now.

And so he came to see me on Wednesday night. I knew I could have asked him anything I wanted to and he would have told me, but just to see his face, his smile, his shining eyes and his once-stooped shoulders broad again was enough to fill my heart with everything I needed to know.

He wasn't always easy, but he was a good man, my Dad.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Little Book of F*&k Calm, I'm Angry

It's been an interesting week, one in which I've been angry on no less than three separate occasions.

It's interesting because I rarely feel anger - true anger - but as I get older, a combination of not caring what others think of me and not being able to hold my tongue when I see an injustice or deliberate misdirection is leading me to be more outspoken than in previous years.

One of the occasions for anger blew over when was when I was able to say 'enough' over a situation that's been going on for quite some time, and realise that I had had enough of buying into the discrete group/majority's way of dealing with. It posed an unhealthy level of stress for me, so I decided that was it, enough. It might upset some people's applecarts along the way but they'll survive. I wasn't allowing myself to deal with the situation honestly, and once I did, well, stress was relieved and anger dissipated.

Occasion two was on seeing a public figure being admired who I see as a bit of a 'false prophet', and whose faults don't need much digging to uncover. I was forthright in my views on that one and may have offended a new friend, for which I'm sorry. But again, the option of not being able to be honest - or just holding my tongue - didn't feel like a stress-free option. It says something about my new friend that he let me say my piece in full on his Facebook page and left it up. Sir, if you are reading this, you are a gentleman and I thank you for your indulgence.

Occasion three was a gut reaction after seeing a friend verbally attacked in quite a horrible way. Her other friends responded in reasonably sophisticated ways but I just kicked off Glasgow-style. I was talked down from the aggression ledge by someone else who is now a Facebook friend and who is also a gentleman, and who seems to have dealt with the problems very stylishly behind the scenes. Kudos, sir.

Interestingly, all of these occurred in my personal life rather than working life.

Ah, maybe it’s just me getting older, and crankier. Get me a walking stick so I can shake it at teenagers in the street!