Tag Archives: progress

There And Back Again

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Hello, lovely reader.  How are you doing?  

I have now returned from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, exhausted and a bit bemused, but very happy.  I also feel more than usually hobbitish: I took something important to a faraway land; my friends were all there but a lot of us had to do our own thing (and wear different costumes); I climbed a massive hill, and I have even returned to a flat called Bag End.  Elijah Wood, eat your heart out.

Coming home after a big adventure is always tricky, even though there are always people and home comforts we miss on our travels.  It’s tricky because of two things: firstly, once we’re back the adventure starts to fade and feel like either a distant memory or a seriously elaborate daydream, and secondly because we feel like we’ve gone backwards.  Weird, isn’t it?  

For example, I’ve spent two years working on Chris is Dead, and a year working towards this specific production.  There have been countless emails, dozens of meetings, hundreds of rehearsals and a lot of rewrites.  The show went down really well at the Fringe: we had great audiences and lots of nice feedback, and we all had a blast performing it.  So why do I now feel like coming home is taking a step backwards?  Is it just because Jon and I sat in backwards-facing seats on the train yesterday?

Seriously, though – the big experiences in our lives make huge impressions on us, partly because they are important, but also because they are transitory.  When our eye-opening adventures are over we are understandably confused and a bit shell-shocked.  The trick is to appreciate what was good about the experience, but has to be transitory in order to always be a good thing in our minds.  For instance, I love being on the Royal Mile for two or three weeks of madness every year, but that would become hell for everyone if it carried on indefinitely.  Think Alfred Hitchcock but with flyers instead of birds.

The other trick is to find the things that aren’t transitory about your experience, and keep hold of them.  Whether they are physical objects (tour hoodies, photographs, souvenirs and suchlike) or nebulous ideas (a sense of well-being, a feeling of achievement, increased confidence etc.), there is always something from our transitory times that we get to keep.  In my case, this year I made new friends and reconnected with some very dear old ones, so I will hopefully be keeping hold of them for a while.

Last but not least, make sure you have something nice to come home to when your travels or adventures are over.  I will be spending today with the glorious Laura Lexx, so that’s me completely sorted.

Have a beautiful day.  Make sure you have some vitamins and drink lots of water.

The End is Nigh

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Good morning, my dear and lovely reader.  I hope that you’ve got some excellent and relaxing activities planned for your weekend.

Today is my final day of working front of house on a kids’ show in Greenwich.  In a week the show starts up again in Richmond, so I’ll be back to keeping ludicrous hours pretty soon, but for now it’s so long and thanks for all the prams.  Unfortunately, not all of my beloved colleagues are coming with the show to Surrey, so it’s goodbye to a few of them today.  After three weeks of early starts, tantrums, in jokes and camaraderie, we will be sad to see each other go.

Even though today is a bit sad, it’s also very positive: we are moving on to other things, we have all made friends whom we will keep for long time, and we are freaking knackered, so we need a break.  Like most people I am not massively fond of change, but in this case it’s ok that the end is nigh.

We don’t like the idea in general though, do we?  We don’t like to close a door on something and say that it is over.  Especially when it comes to our relationships with other people, the idea of categorically stating that we are finished feels weird, wrong and difficult.

Do you remember when you were about to leave school/college/uni?  Do you remember feeling that your time had come, that you were ready to get out there and do your own thing?  That you had taken as much as you could from a situation, and that you were now prepared to go out and do things your own way?  Right.  It’s the same with people, bizarrely.  We know when we are truly ready to end a friendship or relationship that is not good for us or has reached its natural end.  When we make a friend we tend to assume that they will be around for a long time, possibly for the rest of our lives, but it doesn’t always work out that way.  It’s nice to think that everyone in your life is there for a reason, but sometimes it seems that that reason is to give you a short, sharp shock, and then skidaddle.

I won’t tell you to live every day as though it were your last, or to treasure the people who matter to you: not because those aren’t worthy sentiments, but because you’ve heard them already.  If you’re not adhering to them by now, there’s nothing I can say to change that (except possibly bribe you with biscuits).  What I’m going to suggest is that we try to embrace the endings of things, because we never know where these endings are going to take us.  I’m also going to suggest that we make an effort to be nice to the people we care about, because we probably don’t want to face change and endings without them.

Have a spectacular Saturday.