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Twelve unconnected things November 30, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Durham, Knitting, Law, Literature, Small things, University.
3 comments

1.  I’ve just reinstated writing a diary, after eighteen months absence.  I say this partly because it’s arguably interesting and it’s definitely recent, but also as explanation for the lack of contact recently.  The writing of diary itself may or may not be a success – at the moment we’re just at the Getting To Know You Stage and it’s still a bit awkward, so we’ve been having a bit of alone time over the last few days, y’know, just to see how things work out.  All in all, it’s going alright, but I still think we might have more luck with the absence of lined paper.  But there we go.

2.  I really do think I am the sort of person who falls in love with people on public transport.

3.  I also appear to be the sort of person who gets chatted up on public transport.  Particularly the Durham-Home railway line.  I know it’s a long journey, but seriously, the number of times it happens.  Especially since it never happens anywhere else in the world these days.

4.  Relatedly, there is definitely something to be said for having a ball of yarn, and a notebook and pencil, and a long time on a train, and thinking well yes I would like to make such and such for so and so, and doing the maths a bit, and discovering that actually, the best thing you could be doing is actually making it.  And so you do.  And then, when you get off the train quite a long time later you have three or so inches of it and it looks amazing.  I’ve just got into designing my own things recently – and honestly, it gives me a buzz like few other things.  You know when I get excited because something is pretty and I did it?  Well, it’s pretty, and I did it, from scratch, with nobody holding my hand or showing me what to do next, it’s like knitting for big girls.  And I can sod about with all the cabley goodness to my heart’s content.

5.  Any ills that are not cured by six hours, a pair of headphones and some knitting needles can most definitely be cured by a 30-degree slice of my mum’s cheesecake.  Especially when it’s eaten at home, with the whole family, half a bottle of rose and the Independent on Sunday crossword.  Fact.

6.  I went out shopping with my sister on Saturday, and after her coming up to Durham not long ago I feel like I’ve got my sister back.  I missed her when she was busy getting to sixteen.

7.  I don’t care if I stopped being Young And Ethereal long ago, there’s something about candlelight that puts me in the mood for writing stories.

8.  I can’t write stories for toffee any more.  Or poetry.  I can’t write fiction any more.  This crept up on me a bit; I used to do it for fun.  I’m slowly getting used to the fact that being a published author, for me, was something I wanted to do when I was grown up.  Like being a fairy, or the prime minister.  Or an actor.  Or Stella Rimington.  I still have the short stories in my head – but I can’t write them any more.

9.  On Thursday, I am going somewhere other than here, to meet someone I haven’t seen in a good few months.  And I decided it this afternoon: I don’t care about the weather.  I’m going to dress up.  It’s an occasion, I shall damned well treat it so.

10.  I have the greatest respect for stay at home mums but I am coming rapidly to the conclusion that I could never, ever, do-it-or-die ever be one.

11.  The inside of the library is really quite endearing when you see it enough.

12.  I am knitting this hat and it is the most exciting thing in the world.  Seriously.  You should make something from scratch.  It makes you feel so grown-up.  I’ve been bouncing up and down with excitement for the last two days.  I invite you to do something, anything you like, to feel the same sort of way.  Poetry.  Watercolours.  Cake.  Oh go on, it’s just so sparkly and wonderful.

Courting too slow November 26, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Law, Sheer bloody-mindedness.
5 comments

‘So come all you bold fellows and pray take my advice
And when you go a-courting now don’t you be too nice
But you kiss all them pretty girls and you let them for to know
That you don’t mean to lose them by courting too slow
That you don’t mean to lose them by courting too slow’

-Spiers and Boden

The last two days, I have ignored my essaying completely.  (This is a stupid thing to do.)  I have instead been looking at the graduate websites, getting a bit intimate with Milkround (ooh) and looking for internships over the summer.  This is by no means fun, if you have no idea what you want to do ‘except for not that’ every time you find something possible.  It’s interesting to see the difference between specifically legal graduate websites and miscellaneous business ones: who sells their business to you, who clearly takes pains to make their image and ethos clear, to emphasis the variety of things to do, the support you’ll have… and who mentions that they have a swimming pool.

But you know the thing is that I’m scared.  I’m scared that I haven’t done enough work – my marks last year weren’t the best, it must be said; I’m not going to get a good job on the strength of them.  I’m scared I haven’t got enough experience (which, apparently, you seem to need a bit of for a lot of the graduate placements I’m looking at – does this seem a bit counterintuitive to you?), and that I don’t have the almost manic enthusiasm that a lot of them seem to be looking for.  I don’t live and breathe law, or economics, and I only have one language.  It turns out this is a Bad Thing.  I worry so much that I’ve missed the boat on all the things I could have done.

But what I’m most terrified of is that I’m just not a good enough lawyer, because that means it’s out of my hands entirely and, quite frankly, when it comes down to it I can read the FT as many times as I care to mention but if I really am just not very good, it’s all just pissing in the wind.

Blah.  I’m sorry.  This has turned all a bit self-indulgent recently.  I shall leave it at this list then: Price Waterhouse Coopers, John Lewis, Deutsche Bank, BAA, the Government Legal Service, DLA Piper.  Headdesk.  Also, for anyone who’s ever met my mum (who did a business degree, is a HR consultant working in recruitment and and generally consulting for about five different companies on employment law… about which she knows a vast amount and gets over-enthusiastic when anyone shows an interest) …I hate to say it but I think I’m turning into her.

There are other things I want to say but I’m turning into a broken record at the moment.  However: West Side Story at the Gala.  Next term.  Props list.  FINALLY.  I’m so looking forward to this.  And they’re not even making me find dress forms.  JOY.

It’s me again. November 23, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Breaking the fourth wall, Lovely people, Really good day, Small things.
3 comments

Hello.

I got home about an hour and a half ago.  On the train, I read two articles, then stuck my headphones in and knitted for the rest of the journey.  And it was blissful.

I got back home to discover… more metaphorical hugs than I could have hoped or wished for.  It made me grin from ear to ear – exactly as it did when I checked my blog at His Nibs’ earlier, and discovered some of the comments here.  I think you ought to know that it made up for the fact that the floor space in the living room is nil, and that in the hall is rapidly diminishing.  It made up for the distinct lack of heat in my bedroom and all the textbooks and bits of paper and folders and washing dumped on my bed that I hadn’t had time to sort on Friday.  It almost – not quite – made up for the fact that the kitchen is a biological warzone and nobody appears to have done any washing up since I left.  But all in all, you know, feeling like you have a bit of back-up, a safety net if you will, makes all the difference.  (And, I have to say, discovering a new lurker always cheers me up!  Fantastic!)

I’ve also realised how very much I’m looking forward to going home for a bit next week.  And to having these essays finished.  These are the thoughts that are pushing me through at the moment.

Anyway, it’s been a wonderful weekend.  And you’re all just as responsible for that as purple sock yarn, lemon drizzle cake, Coraline, charity shopping and nearly black tights.  So thank you.

Look after yourself November 20, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Breaking the fourth wall, Small things.
6 comments

One night, you are out late.  Until half past three, to be precise, helping people you care about a lot clear up the detritus of people you couldn’t tell from Adam, and then you get home, have your dinner – which has been waiting on the kitchen table since six the previous evening, nine and a half hours since dinner time and you can’t even tell – and fall straight into bed at just gone four.

You are up at half past nine because you have a careers talk – sitting in a lecture theatre while people tell you how hard you’re going to have to work to have a chance of doing something so very prestigious, all the research and preparation you’ll have to do, even though you don’t want to do it anyway.  (My options appear to be thus: Barrister.  If not; solicitor.  If not; finance.  Or You Could Go Into The EU, That’s A Bit Different, We’ve Had People Do That Before.)  You start to worry a bit about why you are where you are, and what you’re trying to achieve.  Who thought something you enjoy for the time being could only serve to push you in directions you don’t want to go?  I chose Law over Maths because I thought I could do what I want to do with it.  Now I don’t know what I want to do, just that it isn’t this.

Ignore it.  Pull yourself together and spend the next five hours in the library, solidly.  Try and understand what you’re doing, you’ve got an essay due on it soon.  You might want to start writing that too, if you’ve done enough work for it.  Your call.

You’re supposed to be half an hour’s walk away at eight o’clock.  Do the maths.  Eat beans on toast in an empty house, and set off at nine.  Ring home while you’re walking and find out how everyone is, because God knows when you’ll get another chance to do it.

Excuse yourself early, start walking home about a quarter to midnight.  Look neither left nor right because if you see anyone, or any drunken students start a conversation with you, you’re just going to burst into tears.  (I wonder if they’ll remember, and if they’re paranoid it’s their fault now.)

Your fingernails have been full of muck for a good twenty-four hours and you haven’t brushed your hair in coming up to a week now.  It ought to be disgusting, and it used to be something you’d never do.  Isn’t that interesting?

This is a request to everyone at the moment.  The nights are drawing in, the workload is getting longer, the stress is creeping up on all of us.  Please, it’s not much, but I’m asking you to ask people how they are.  They might be people you see every day, you live with, you work with, or people miles away, counties away, that you ought to share things with a bit.  Just, when you see them, or speak to them, say, “How are you?”  It’s not a big thing.  They might say, “I’m fine,” and leave it at that, and just feel a bit closer to fine.  They might say, “I’m really busy,” and being busy feels just that bit more legitimate, for once.  Or they might tell you they’re feeling worn down, or they had a really good lecture earlier, or that they have a hundred and one things to think about.  Bu please, please ask them, because if someone starts to go a while without switching off or shutting down, if they turn into an automaton for a bit without really realising it, and nobody stops them for a second and just gently reminds them that they have emotions too and that’s okay, and they’re interested, even if they’re only slightly interested… they might find themselves wandering through the middle of town at nothing o’clock in the morning with their hands stuffed in their pockets and just bursting into tears with the emptiness of switching off and finding there’s nothing inside themselves to fall back on.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I’m not about the next few days.  See you on Sunday night or more likely Monday.  Sorry to everyone if this was a bit gut-spewy but I haven’t anywhere else to put it and blogging is all the vanity I have at the moment.  I’m still a teenager technically so I’m afraid it’s going to have to be okay.

On swing dancing and GCSEs November 16, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Lovely people, Really good day, Small things, University.
3 comments

Tonight I went swing dancing, for the second time in my life.  For reference, the first time in my life was an hour’s beginner lesson yesterday afternoon in which we learned the Charleston and one or two variations on same, and basically hopped about being enthusiastic.  For further reference, I have since discovered that the Charleston bears no resemblance to the basic Lindy Hop step in the slightest, which, also for the reference, goes a bit like this: ‘one, two, YUNK-a-tunk, five, six, YUNK-a-tunk…’ which differs from the Jive (which I’ve been doing for years) in one beat somewhere about the five and six and means I keep getting hopelessly lost every other bar.

On the other hand… well, it was really good fun.  The thing about being a girl dancing with a man who’s leading is that you spin where you’re spun, you move where you’re moved and you follow where you’re led.  You concentrate on where the signs lead you but other than that, it’s not your dance – it’s his dance and he’s making it up as he goes along.  Which is half the fun – like a game, if he sends you into three consecutive spins, can you keep going?  I’m not one for the clubbing at all, and this is very much my kind of losing yourself in the music.  (Which, I might add, is excellent.  And only occasionally foxtrot music.)

One of the things I love about swing dancing – and about social partnered dancing in general – is being asked to dance.  It is excellent.  There is something kind of tingly about being stood at the edge of a ballroom, and being asked to dance, and dancing, and saying thank you, and then being asked to dance by someone else and dancing with them.  I’m very lucky that my ordinary Ballroom partner and I have our own signals in terms of ‘I’m going to go in that direction now, you’d probably better come too or you’re going to be trodden on’, and we’ve been dancing together long enough and learned enough together that the leading and the following comes pretty naturally most of the time.  So even though I’d barely done it before I had no trouble getting up on the dance floor, letting him show me the basic rhythm, and then just going for it.  This is a pretty big thing, and a credit to him more than anything else: me a year ago would have under no circumstances agreed to start dancing a rhythm I’d only ever tried once, with steps I’d never tried before (although I’ve tried similar ones, so I suppose it wasn’t too bad), in front of a whole lot of people I’d met for the first time that evening.

This year, I’ve learned the gentle art of muddling through, pretending you know what’s going on, and making an arse out of yourself in front of people you don’t know with some degree of grace.  It doesn’t always work.  There is so much to be said for trusting someone to lead you, and being trusted to follow them.  There is so much to be said for asking someone to dance, and so much to be said for accepting it.  If you’ve never done it before, I very much recommend taking social partnered dance classes – I like salsa, but Swing/Lindy Hop is my new favourite.  There is so much to be said for spending four minutes not talking but being in it together.

Anyone who knew me at the age of about fifteen is probably staring with eyebrows raised at the moment.  Being asked to dance is akin to being bought a drink, and following the lead of some unknown male is akin to denying the revolution!  Well, sod it.  I’d only done it once, this evening.  I’m missing the next two lots of classes, for various reasons.  But by the end of this term, when I have a bit more confidence in my own ability to dance the right dance at the right time, I’ll be asking people for dances too, and probably learning the man’s steps and everything.  You see if I don’t.

As for the GCSEs, I wrote my CV yesterday.  I’m sure nobody’s interested, they can’t be, can they?  CV-writing always makes me worry.  Argh.

A Hint of Sticks and String November 13, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Knitting, Lovely people.
2 comments

It’s been a while since the old sticks and string got a post to itself so I thought I’d give you a bit of an update on what’s been happening when I’ve not been in the library and/or theatre.  (I’m not going to lie, I’ve been knitting in lectures.  Lawyerly Housemate finds this very amusing.)

Yesterday, I was horribly ill and missed my first tutorial ever (bugger), and generally spent the day sleeping, watching Criminal Justice and feeling sorry for myself.  I’m therefore taking it as a sign that Linguist Housemate is in fact a saint, that she provided me with lemon tea, sympathy, and the best piece of post, possibly, that I’ve received all term.  (Close second is the little book of Winnie the Pooh quotations Mum sent me up last week with my post from home because she knew I was in the theatre, which made me smile all day, and is currently residing tucked in my Filofax to remind me not to panic when I see what I have to catch up on.)

Said post turned out to be my copy of Whimsical Little Knits 2 by Ysolda Teague.  For those who haven’t come across it before, this is a booklet (the second in a series, surprisingly) with twelve small projects in it – each of which has come out online once a week for the last few months.  And I’ve been so excited by them.  This came from there (the shawl not the sister):

damson1

…which you may remember from way back when.  Also the brown hat she’s wearing (of which I made another lovely green one for her birthday because I just loved the pattern so much):

DSC00724

(Isn’t it beautiful?  Suits Midge so well – although I didn’t get a photo before she left to go home.  Shall probably get some over Christmas.)  There are also several other patterns I fully intend to have a go at/have already earmarked for Christmas presents for various people.  I can honestly say – and this is rare for books of knitting patterns – that there is only one in there that I wouldn’t knit.  Every single design is so well thought out, beautifully executed, with such attention to detail.  So when I saw she’d signed it (-homigod-) I decided there was no point in denying it, for everyone must indulge in a little fangirling at some point in their careers.

DSC00742

In terms of the projects I’m doing at the moment, well, here is another snippet of the cardigan (which you may or may not have guessed is another Ysolda design.  You can probably find out very easily what it is, now.  But what the heck, I can only see bits of it at the moment, so can you!):

DSC00744

Garter stitch!  Lots of it!  Yay for garter stitch, I love garter stitch.  And I love the colour of the yarn!  Still undecided about the cotton, though.  It’s not got the smooshiness of wool blends.  The cardigan’s gone on hold for a bit though, because the deadline for this is coming up:

DSC00737

(I’m sorry it’s a bit wonky, I promise it’ll look far better when it’s blocked!)  This is the makings of a shawl that I’m test-knitting for this lovely lady on Ravelry.  The pattern’s called Haze, and it’s beautiful and drapey and the fact that the yarn I’m using is laceweight wool/silk mix, which is so very soft, in such a glorious dark purple, makes me unspeakably happy.  So it’s all guns blazing on this one at the moment.  It’s a complicated pattern, and involves a lot of counting, but I’ve just got this feeling that the finished object is going to be so worth it.

“But Fiona,” you may well say, “something is missing!  Surely there is something that you are always knitting, something that you don’t feel complete without having at least one of on the needles at any given moment!  Where is your comfort knitting?”  The answer to this question lies with this very blue mystery:

DSC00735

It’s also linked somewhat to the revelation that, if there’s something that irritates me even more than miles of 2×2 ribbing, then it’s 3×1 ribbing.  I can’t get into a rhythm and I’ve discovered, to my own disappointment, that I hate it beyond all rationality.  The blue’s nice, though.  I might have to get some more for myself.

Note on a well-rounded education November 12, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Breaking the fourth wall.
3 comments

I’ve just spent the last hour on fanlore.com – I found it via a Google search, if you’re wondering – with my mouth wide open clicking link after link.  Honestly, it’s just as engrossing as Wikipedia.  Only… I feel kind of dirty now.

At one point in my life, at about the age of fourteen, I made The Decision as to which route of geekiness I was going to go down.  At the time I chose the maths route; probably this has now been amended to yarn.  But I was so close you would not believe to going down the fanfiction route.  So close that now, I’m always just that little bit fascinated in a “If I wasn’t cringeing so hard I might get to like this” kind of way.

I’m not going to lie, I thought ‘slash’ was either indicative of violence, or what you did in an alley at two in the morning on the way back from the pub.  I think I’ve been reading The Internet wrong for years.

Anyway, I just thought you’d like to know.

To Remember November 9, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Breaking the fourth wall.
1 comment so far

‘Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love… And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man… A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.’ – V for Vendetta

This makes me uneasy, mainly for the reason of confusion between speaking up, and speaking up for the greater good.  Obviously in V for Vendetta, the implication is for the latter, but questioning and not automatically doing what someone tells you to do is very much seen as a positive thing, in theory – Disney’s all for telling small children to break the mould (in the most conventional way possible, of course), and it’s a massive part of marketing to people of all ages.

Freedom of expression is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and as a society, luckily, for the most part we’ve embraced it.  But, leaving the governmental conspiracy theories aside, Guy Fawkes’s idea was not the overthrowing of a totalitarian government for the good of the populace in general, it was the overthrowing of a Protestant government for the good of Catholics.  To say that it’s a wonderful idea worthy of people’s lives is, well, romanticising it a bit.  It’s also cheering the underdog to a great degree.  That’s not to say that it’s not a wonderful idea, just that it gets overemphasised a bit.

Equally, these days, freedom of expression is not always something we agree with.  I’m not talking about high-level cover-ups, I’m talking about things like this website here, which while very amusing always unsettles me slightly – everyone’s entitled to their freedom of expression and ideas, unless they’re too stupid to have proper ideas.  Or to be informed.  If you’re not informed, you can’t tell us what you think, and if you do, we will lampoon you because we have the superiority here.  It’s very fashionable these days.

There has to be a line drawn somewhere, of course.  Unlimited freedom of expression can be overwhelming, to start off with, never mind potentially damaging in a myriad of ways.  I think what I particularly want to say is that really, I object to people not just sitting down, shutting up and listening for a bit.  Everyone is entitled to my opinion.  They are also fully entitled to disregard it entirely.  The romanticising of speaking out for the greater good (but only with a certain point of view, otherwise you’ll get ripped to shreds) strikes me as a bit on the unhealthy side.

Probably unrelatedly, I had a dream last night, that I was in a flat about four storeys up with seven or eight  people I know relatively well from university.  My housemates were all there, for a start, and a few others.  And two others were coming to visit us.  (Does this sound a bit familiar to anyone, if my housemates are reading this?)  So one of these two others rang me to say they were downstairs and could I come and get them, so off I went, down this spiral staircase to go and find them, and there they were out in the street and as we’re coming back up the stairs I said something jokingly about something awful I did last year.  They laughed, and started to insult me.  When we got up to the flat they mentioned it and the others started to join in – even the ones who never join in with that sort of thing.  Eventually it got to the stage where one of the people I respect most wouldn’t even look at me, and they were telling me to get my things and move out.  Now.  So I stood up, and told the one who had started it exactly what I thought of him – he was a bully, picking on people he thought he could he could get away with picking on, and he needed to grow up and get over himself.  But they all looked at me, and I think some of them sympathised, but none of them said anything.  So I left, and I was walking down the street in the cold and pitch black with a cardboard box of my things when I woke up.

This also makes me uneasy.

Eleven o’clock November 5, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Bwargh, Craftiness, Theatre.
2 comments

Last night was the first night of Iolanthe.  I’ve now spent three consecutive thirteen-hour days in that theatre.  It went well, I think, far better than the tech and marginally better than the dress run (which was alright, actually).  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of actors’ pre-show nerves – does that make me a bit weird?  It’s not in a vindictive way, it’s sort of like seeing other people concentrating in the library, and sort of that it reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing.  Essentially my job in the theatre is to make them look good, and make people take them seriously.  Actors’ pre-show nerves remind me that I might work bloody hard but that my job is supplementary and that my reward is when they take it seriously, and look good from it.  I think they looked good.  There’s tweaking to do, but I think they looked good.  (Thank you Lucy, by the way, glad you enjoyed it!)

I didn’t set an alarm last night because I was shattered and until about half past five this afternoon I don’t have a set timetable.  So I woke up at a quarter to nine, decided to have another twenty minutes and now it’s eleven o’clock.  I don’t know where it went.  My housemate says clearly I needed the extra sleep.  I did, but you know, I think I might have needed the extra working time more.  Never mind, onwards and upwards.

First picture of cardigan-related joy:

cotton jeans

This is the yarn I’m using (picture shamelessly pilfered from the internet, sorry, I couldn’t get the saturation right – credited to yarnandfiber.com) – it’s Rowan Cotton Jeans in Sailcloth and I bought it in Liberty in London when I was up with Marcus over the summer (remember this stuff, love?) in a sale (£15 for ten 50g balls of Rowan? I should say so!).  It’s now, I believe, most of the way to discontinued.  It’s a bit weird, the twist is funny and, um, I know a lot of people who’ve seen me knit it are a bit dubious about the colour.  But I assure you when it’s knitted up it looks FAB, and it works with blue jeans like nobody’s business.  I’m usually not so much a fan of the cotton, I’m a wool blend girl myself, but you know, it’s definitely growing on me.  And I’m using up the stash as well, so It’s All Good, really.

Speaking of the stash, I direct any lurking knitters to http://www.laughingyaffle.com – it’s full of inexpensive luxury handdyed sock yarn.  Yes it exists.  I… haven’t just bought two colourways.  Nor have I got my eye on about a dozen more.  That would just be shallow.

I think I just love colour, you know.

The unexpected ‘woe is me’ post November 3, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Bwargh, Sheer bloody-mindedness, Theatre.
3 comments

It’s a quarter past one in the morning.  I got back from the tech run for Iolanthe about twenty minutes ago.

To say it went well would be probably true, in a roundabout kind of way, although it was bloody hard work.  Some things never fail to amaze me, like the inability of people to see outside the tunnel vision of directly what affects them, the seeming propensity of actors to be really lovely people and yet trample on your feelings, patience and intentions so effectively (what does the sentence, ‘This is my rehearsal, you’ve had yours and I listened to you and told you how well you were doing and paid you attention and let you work things out at your pace, so can’t you shut up for five minutes while I try and recover this train wreck of a stage?’ mean to you?), and of course that innate ability of people in production teams to chuck every single issue they’ve had in the last week at you in the space of five minutes.

And of course, the way some people manage to realise that what you’d love most in the world after doing one of the bits of a show you most hate is a cup of coffee, a bourbon biscuit, a bit of a confidence boost and a natter.  Maybe it’s the sort of thing you notice in people when you’ve worked with them for a year or so, or maybe it’s just that some people are destined to sainthood.  Particularly the man who made me a cup of coffee at half past eleven when I’d shouted myself hoarse, and the girl who turned up mid-afternoon with a hug, an excess of enthusiasm and a carrier bag of chocolate doughnuts.  When sanctimonious people tell you to ‘pay it forward’, this is presumably what they mean.  It’s got to be.

Tech rehearsals over which I have to preside are absolute anathema to me.  I can’t stand them.  Especially with a large cast, where they don’t do as they’re told, and then moan that it’s taking forever.  I turn into a Guider and that’s bad.  These people are some of them older than me and I’m treating them like eleven year olds.  I hate it.  But it has to be done because if you don’t do that you get walked over.  Tech rehearsals make me resigned to the fact that yes, at heart, I am a pushover.  I just want other people to enjoy themselves.  It makes me sick that I can’t do that, and it makes me sick that I feel the worse because I can’t do that.

Hopefully, though, there’ll be a good show.  Hopefully it’ll be successful.  Hopefully things will go well and then at the aftershow party all the tech team will be ignored because if it’s good tech you won’t know it’s there.  And hopefully – I can’t believe this still matters to me, it makes me sicker than all the rest put together – I’ll get asked back.