A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Leaving, yet again...

Can I just say, "Aaaaaaaargh!"?
I'm leaving for Bradford in a few weeks - I still have to get lots sorted here, like packing, and what the hell I can do with all my Biochemistry notes. I feel I ought to hang onto them since I might, perhaps if it's chilly in Hades one day, get a job in science at some point. On the other hand there are lots of them and they live in the shed. Recycling!!

I've also acquired a bike which I may some day figure out how to ride. Why did I have to spend my childhood attempting to write my first novel?

And I haven't yet got a proper plan for how I'm moving...

But I do at least have a leaving party planned. Thanks to Facebook lots of people are invited, probably more than I've ever invited to any party, leaving me with the slightly ambivalent feeling that, although I would like to see them all, I'm sort of hoping that not everyone wants to come... Still, I'm sure it'll work out, the house is quite big and July will hopefully be sunny.

I've handed in my notice at work - my last day is July 15th. Meh. I shall miss all my people. I love care work. I still (tsk, tsk, lazy Helen!) haven't sorted out a job in Bradford. I feel a bit ambivalent about this too because I love care work but I find the hours annoying. It might be nice to have a Mon-Fri 9-5 job, especially if I can get in some volunteering and, if all goes well, apply for the Social Work MA with a bit more experience.

My internet access is still sketchy. I'm in the Evil Eye at the moment. I liiiike the Evil Eye. Even though they're playing a Dark Side of the Moon cover album. For heaven's sake, despite being subjected to it endlessly as a teenager, even I know that it's a great album that should not be tampered with.

So, all I have to do is move all my worldly possessions (except for the ones still in Kent) to Bradford, contact everyone to change my address, hopefully complete my vocations course, get a new job sorted, clean and tidy the house, have a party, clean and tidy the house, contact the landlord to get my deposit and not go mad. Well, very. I think I can do it.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pressing concerns

My show is over. Meep. It was wonderful. And I lasted the entirety of the post-show party. Really great bacon sandwiches too. Actually I did arrive a bit late to the party thanks to to heading with my friend Bunny to see Doctor Who beforehand. Then yesterday I was very cultured and went to see the Tempest. It was very good. Probably not my favourite Shakespeare play ever, but Prospero (who also played the Sergeant in Pirates of Penzance but a few months since) was sooo good, and I also thought Caliban, Sebastian and Antonio were particularly good.

I have been off work for so long that I now want to go back. This is good. This is why I continue to be in favour of six week summer holidays for schoolchildren. At the end of it, even the teachers will be glad to return.

Oh, sigh. My main aim this morning was to head into town to buy a cheap digital decoder for my television, mainly so that I can watch previous episodes of Doctor Who without getting a DVD recorder.
And then I thought, I lead a sad, sad life which can be enriched by watching previous episodes of Doctor Who.

I would quite like to go have a talk with the Methodist Chaplain despite being neither Methodist nor a student. As my friend James put it, "Rory can't be a Chaplain, he actually talks to me." (not sure whether to put a smiley or a frowny). My housemate has started trying to claim me for a Quaker. She may have a point. I joked about burning the copies of Songs of Fellowship which mysteriously turned up in our house and when the other housemate told me that was a bit fanatical, my response was, "Well, I'm a Liberal Christian Agnostic Universalist... I have to be fanatical about something." She said, "Oh, become a Quaker!"

I have a joke that my other religion is Gilbert and Sullivan. At least I hope it's a joke; an obsession with 19th century operettas might be even sadder than my obsession with Babylon 5 was. G&S is so much simpler than Christianity, though. I don't feel that my excessively quoting HMS Pinafore is anything other than geeky amusement and perhaps some sort of group bonding behaviour ("I never..." "What never?" "No, never!" "What never?" "Well, hardly ever!"), it is not designed to make me look spiritual, it is merely me having a good memory for quotes. If I am not in the mood to sing "Climbing over Rocky Mountain", I don't feel that I am being insufficiently joyful or unfaithful to the memories of W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, I can just sing "Dance a Cachuca" or The Nightmare Song or something. If I want to reject G&S canon, eg. the Grand Duke which is notoriously bizarre, I can do so without fear of retribution. If my friends reject the good news of The Pirates of Penzance, then they could always give Iolanthe a try or perhaps come and see the summer show which features musicals by other composers. They are never (what, never?) in danger of eternal flame for their inability to believe that the Lord Chancellor can't recognise his own wife or that Bunthorne really has that much charisma.

It's funny, I was trying to explain Greenbelt to someone yesterday... I always find it interesting how people react to Christianity... and I explained that it was generally more liberal than, say, the Christian Union. "Liberalism" is a funny thing. Actually like most "nice" things it is associated with weakness - a sort of laissez-faire, we just can't be bothered forming an opinion... But I don't think it has to be, and really, Greenbelt is a prime example. I feel it really does challenge people to engage with their faith while forcing nothing. I feel I should question all that I believe, at least about the important stuff. I mean, I believe that the Co-op's reduced fat mature cheese is rubbish enough to call up and complain (they sent me vouchers! I used them to buy good cheese!) but if someone else loves it I still don't feel the need to call into question my own beliefs because cheddar will still do on most occasions.

I want to believe in God and Jesus, but I'm not sure I do... In James it says,
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

But how is one supposed to believe without evidence? I heard it suggested that the failed Tube bombing on July 21st 2005 was due to all the prayers for London after the successful boming on July 7th 2005, which is a nice theory, but by the same theory, Madeleine McCann should have been found by now. Little Madeleine really bothers me actually. Jesus loves little children, doesn't he? It is one thing for adults to suffer - we do at least have some capability to fight back - but letting wicked things happen to children really goes beyond the pale for what I'd hope a respectable (let alone worshipable) Deity would allow. Cue chorus of White Ribbon Day.

I even get the impression that Victor Hugo's uber-compassionate Bishop of Digne sometimes got impatient with God for the plight of the poor.

I don't make a good atheist. I don't want to be an atheist. I want to believe there is purpose, good will triumph against evil etc., but I'm not sure I have any reason to believe that...

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Caution: Writer's block ahead

I am a computer-illiterate hick who can't connect her stupid laptop to the internet. Sigh. It is very frustrating.

So I'm back at the wonder that is the Evil Eye Lounge.

I'm on holiday from work, although not a proper holiday, more a "I'm fed up with work and want a break" holiday. And I have another show at the end of the week! Last dress rehearsal tomorrow! I have a whole solo line! Bah. Last night I went through, in my brain, all the men that have parts; they all seem to have two parts and they all have more lines than me. One of my friends wants to write a musical in which women have good parts and the female chorus gets to do the best songs.

I have been vaguely planning for some time to write a musical of "A Little Princess" (by Frances Hodgson Burnett)... but not only would the entire chorus be pre-pubescent girls, I have another problem. Sara Crewe (the "Princess") has a friendship with a young scullery maid called Becky. Sara tells Becky that they are just two little girls, just the same, only they aren't. Even when Sara and Becky are equals in the eyes of society (Sara's father dies and she ends up a penniless orphan) I never get the feeling that Burnett quite considers them equals. She seems rather smug to have created a character so brilliant that she considers even scullery maids equals... I long for someone to come in and rescue Becky, possibly to reassure her that she has greater worth than just as a random peripheral peasant for Sara to practise her goodness on. It would have been nice, for instance, if Sara's friends had come to recognise Becky as their friend too. Am I asking too much from a Victorian author?

I wanted to write... all these intentions, tsk! ...I wanted to write a different sort of Sara-and-Becky story in which the maid and the princess become genuine friends and at the end, "Sara" gets to properly rescue "Becky", only it wouldn't work, in my head at least. I had this wonderful vision of the young princess storming into the palace and demanding they adopt her friend as their daughter too, only I don't credit royalty with being that nice and I didn't think "Becky" would be especially eager to accept anyway, because my Becky would be extremely sensible and have a touch of spirit. She wouldn't want to be patronised her whole life. So maybe I haven't given Burnett enough credit. Besides, everything works out with a bit more equality in "The Secret Garden".

Writing is so frustrating. I swear it was much simpler when I had no standards. Why do I have to want to write well? Isn't just writing enough? There is so much to think about. Hopefully when I have worked out how to connect my poor little laptop to the internet I can get back to using writing websites like Fictionpress.com etc, which means getting feedback from people I don't know. And hopefully some encouragement. I have attempted to get a novel started only there is just sooo much to write, and already I'm getting that angsty "But what if it's rubbish?" feeling. It's stupid. I'm fairly sure I have a plot with potential, but I want lovable characters, I want sizzling dialogue, I want zeitgeist, dammit!

Anyway, that's me done for now, thank you for reading :)

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