Archive for the ‘Moose’ Category

Moosie Thursday 18 August

Hi all! I’ve been meaning to write this update for ages and started a couple of times and then something else major would happen and get in the way. 

The biggest thing is that B and I have decided to separate. Well actually we’ve been separated since the start of June and he’s been camping out on the living room floor since. Mostly it’s to do with him wanting a baby right now and me not being ready, but there’s a strong sense that we’ve grown apart and we’re heading towards different things. It’s all been very amicable and respectful and caring even, we both want each other to have what we each want and to be happy. It is very sad at times of course, because we thought we’d stay married our whole lives, and we love each other. But it’s ok. He’s flying out next week to initiate divorce proceedings, it seems like this is more straightforward where we married than it would be here, and then I think he’s planning to move out in September. 

Right after that I got approached by my boss about a new job, because we lost a load of key admin and HR people in the voluntary redundancy scheme in June. It’s turned into a massive promotion for me and I’m now Office Manager with responsibility for payroll as well as the entire practical running of the office, a receptionist line reporting to me and I’m reporting directly into the new head of HR who is a wonderful, down to earth and very efficient woman about ten years older than me. I’m in an office with someone I’ve been really good friends with for ages and the three/four of us make an ace team. It’s great to suddenly be at the centre of things and feel like what I’m doing makes a difference – it’s very busy but I love it and there’s a great energy around. Thankfully there was a 20% salary bump as well which is perfect timing with moving back to being a single income household, and means I won’t have to move out straight away – you couldn’t make up the timing of it all and I feel like I’m being looked after by the universe. Also not a bad time to be super busy and have a lot to learn! 

Music continues to move along, it’s been a busy summer, I’ve had gigs every weekend for three months and did an interview for BBC local radio which was really exciting. Been doing some recording, making some videos, and a lot of collaborating. Hopefully in the autumn once things are settled at home I’ll be able to dedicate more time and focus to this again. 

Then just to top it all off, a couple of weeks ago I met a guy. Like a really incredible guy, who really likes me. He’s a musician too and an excellent one at that. It’s too soon, I know, but we’re getting on too well to just leave it and let it pass by, though there are challenges and we’re taking it a day at a time. We went away last weekend just to get out of town and had a wonderful time just getting to know each other and jamming songs together. I’ve never had this kind of thing with another musician and it’s so, so lovely – like another language that’s just ours. And obviously a great interlude at a time when things could have been quite stressful. We’ll see what happens I guess. 

So that’s it – new job, new living situation, new romance, and always new music – very busy and a lot of change, but all good in the end I think. 

Moosie Tuesday 17 May

Hello everyone! Been continuing to read your updates avidly! I should post lists here more often but I find that the days are quite haphazard, I’ll either have days booked out with work or rehearsals with no real chance to address the to-do list, or there’ll be a haphazard collection of things that need prioritizing – the latter is the type of day to make a list I guess!

Just spent a whole ten minutes in an appraisal meeting with my boss – job seems very easy but that’s in comparison to having been studying for so many papers last year. A year ago I was in the last month of prep for exam season hell and I am still so much enjoying not having to do that! Not got very far with thinking about future career prospects, but a couple of musicians have asked for help on their taxes so that might be an area I can build into organically over the long term.

All things music continue to go well, it always feels like there’s a lot in the pipeline, I’m writing a lot and working on recordings for various projects but not working hard enough on the publicity side of things. Got a string of good gigs coming up through June and July, so hoping that’ll raise my profile, get me into bigger gigs, and that I’ll be able to record some stuff to release around the same time. Still playing it largely by ear (ha) and taking all the opportunities that come.

One big thing that happened yesterday was that I left therapy, for good. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I’ve only been going sporadically since February but it just suddenly hit me a couple of nights ago that I was ready. It was an incredibly sweet final meeting and it’s very strange and a little sad to think I may well not see him again, after spending so much of this crucial life-changing period under his wing, but I feel ready to take care of myself and it’s exciting that I feel able to do that after having really felt like I needed the support for two years. It was an invaluable process, and although I’m not leaving with the “perfect” life I suppose I envisaged, I am leaving with a life that feels like my own, and is very much worth living. Above all I learned how to build relationships where I can be myself and feel how I want to feel about myself, and that was what made the most difference – I feel quietly convinced that I will find my own solutions for everything else.

So if that was day zero, this is day 1, out on my own in the big wide world. I couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of the year how I would get to this point, and it is a big deal – nothing’s changed, but everything’s shifted, very slightly. I have an ongoing self-esteem project alongside my practical projects and guess I’ll be focused on nurturing my relationships – with myself, and others – with as much focus as I apply to my “real life” goals.

For today, I have work to finish up, a new kanji project that I started last week, and tonight there’s a big gig happening with a bunch of people I know, so it’ll be a lovely evening hanging out, enjoying friendships and some excellent music at the same time! Tend self-esteem further on the train home and leave myself some overnight motivation to get up for swimming tomorrow!

Moosie Thursday 14 April

This week has felt odd, like I had my head under water for the first half of it. We had a fun session at R’s yesterday, less rehearsing as voices are still not completely back, and more planning and looking at website stuff, which was all very good fun. We’re full of ideas at the moment, just lacking on days! At the moment the big goal is to see if we can get a CD together for our next headline gig in mid-June, which is certainly going to be shaping our priorities through to the latter stages of May.

Tonight he’s away with family so I am gigging on my own – solo gigs are few and far between now, which makes them feel special, after slogging away at them week-in week-out last year. Spent the day navel-gazing at work and had a few nice chats with various people. Managed to get up for a run before work after crashing early last night. Looking forward to seeing some friends and hanging out, hopefully singing decently, learning more about live streaming (apparently it’s the latest thing!) and find something reasonable to eat without spending a fortune or hitting the fridge at home later! Try not to stay out too late, and if I’m wired then prep stuff for the morning while I wind down.

And tomorrow is Friday! Yay!

Moosie Wednesday 13 April

Hi everyone! *waves* Thought I’d check in with an ad hoc update! Things were going pretty swimmingly with work and workouts and we’ve been gigging and recording with the duo and starting to get various online things set up and then out of nowhere… both came down with massive colds! Was completely out of action over the weekend and just in the process of picking everything back up – first gig last night, first swim this morning, first rehearsal for a week this afternoon (we had been getting together 3-4 times a week!)

It was so annoying being sick! In the past I’ve not minded the opportunity to take a couple of deserved days’ bed-rest but this time it was really hard, and the wasted time feels like a massive loss! It was also very clear to me how lack of singing, lack of social interaction, and lack of exercise combined to bring me down dramatically and plunge me into the depths of what would have felt “normal” just a few months ago! Can’t believe I spent so much time just accepting living like that, when improving it was so much within my own power.

Anyway things are picking up with a vengeance – in the past 24 hours we’ve had our first finished track back from the studio, a really good lead on a radio station state-side, promotion getting underway for some gigs coming up, and I got live-streamed for the first time when I was playing solo last night! Brilliant and fairly terrifying at the same time!

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B flies home on Monday, and the house has a roof! The in-progress shot shows how the plot is situated, it really is out in the wilds at the moment while the other owners bide their time!

The summer is lining up quite nicely with a whole bunch of gigs, the possibility of releasing some kind of CD, video work to come, and hopefully things taking off for us a bit. Also some happy plans for my birthday (thanks Leopard!) and hopefully the chance to make the most of whatever we have in terms of good weather here. There’s a continuing process of working out how to throw more at the things I most love, and being delighted with what comes back.

Moosie Thursday 17 March

Happy St. Patrick’s day from me (or rather from R, the only legitimately Irish person on our floor!) I’m hoping there will be some Guiness crisps on offer at lunchtime!

A bit ahead of myself today so thought I’d use some of this time to post an update as it’s been a little while. Here we are in mid-March; it’s chilly but spring-like in London and when I came round at 5:30 this morning it was already getting light. I find myself questioning how we got here so fast and then am struck by how losing T really swallowed up the whole of February. It’s been a long process of adjusting to not having her around and equally to the ever-deepening friendships I now have with her husband, dad, and other friends we had in common. And so here we are in spring.

On Tuesday R and I had our first official gig as a duo. It went really well – I have next to no nerves when there’s company on stage and we really put a lot into prepping the set (which is the other answer to the question of where the last two months have gone!) A whole load of our friends came out to see us debut and we’ve had tonnes of positive feedback, so there’s a lot of hope and excitement that we can make something great out of this and we have a lot of plans to move forwards. I’ve also bought a banjo! Which is terrific fun even though I can barely play it yet! And have broken the fiddle out of its case once or twice. I’m writing a lot of songs and am hoping to do a solo album this year too, with several offers of help so far.

We have another gig in early April so the next couple of weeks, what with Easter as well, promise to be a massive string of socialising and rehearsing. B leaves for the Gambia next week to have the roof put on the house (!!) and he’ll be gone for the best part of a month, so it’ll be a challenge for me to keep myself busy and happy on my own, but I’m also hoping to do a bit of a “detox” (or at least get a grip and make lighter meals at home and more of them!) and clear up the flat some, before he comes back and throws himself into end of year exams.

So that’s life just now, I have had zero motivation to do anything at all about my work situation beyond keep my head above water and I really should at least make some baby steps in this area. There’s enough else going on right now though.

Today’s list will be:
* clear through list of jobs at work
* talk schedules & plans with R
* be sociable for St. P’s day
* sort out my own plans & projects

Tonight I need to:
* play a bit of banjo!
* do a bit of cleaning – I cleared out a load of clothes last night and that felt great
* get on top of the scrapbooking situation

Hope everyone’s keeping well – Calypte you’ve been particularly in my thoughts and Wren I hope you’re on the mend! xx

Moosie Wednesday 17 February

First off, Wren! So sorry to hear about your further surgery and cast and everything – hope it all heals properly and quickly this time xx

I’ve been away because there’s been too much going on to really process into an FTF. My friend in hospital passed away, two weeks ago today – four days after I went to see her. They broke the news that she was probably in terminal decline that day when I was there with her husband, which meant I had an inkling (though she didn’t) that it might be the the last time I would see her. They’re both so incredibly brave. The past two weeks have had a very strange trance-like quality; it’s my first real experience of losing someone really close to me and on the whole I think grief has let me off fairly easy so far, I have been unbelievably sad at times, but I have a lot to be grateful for as well. It’s been an interesting time for deepening friendships, learning to lean on and support people, reflecting on life and priorities and I’ve had one focus that’s been getting me through it: music, of course. Yesterday we held a service in celebration of her life (not a funeral and not goodbye) and there was a choir that sang an arrangement I’d written of this song: https://youtu.be/h-6iyxsvAfY – it was a great opportunity to do something meaningful, and working with the choir was really uplifting, they’re all so lovely!

So I guess though the process of getting used to life without T is just beginning, the immediate focus of making sure everything went as well as it could for her memorial is over and rightly or wrongly today feels like getting back to life and picking up the loose ends of the things that I was doing in January. It feels like some of the things that mattered then may not matter as much now, and I have a lot of therapy-type material to work through (though I’m doing more of that in my actual relationships and less in therapy, which is a good trend). Taking it one day at a time and working things out as  I go.

Today:
* Easy start to the morning, lie in (absolutely wiped after yesterday!) printed scrapbook pics, played a couple of songs
* sort out what’s going on at work and try to make sure I’m vaguely on top of things
* start to make a list of all the other things and see what feels important
* home, music, dinner with B

Moosie Tuesday 2 February

Thought I’d do a random month-end-ish status update (started writing this on Saturday) as it’s been a while! A few random developments to report – in general I had a bit of a sleepy slump in the middle of the month, my to-do lists got our of control and I got a bit overwhelmed, but I’m feeling more on top of things now. I’m using my flexidays and some holiday to work alternate three-day and four-day weeks, I’ve taken my workouts down from 6 to 5 a week, and that’s allowed me to gig 2-3 times a week and time to write and record, so I feel like the right things are getting done.

One if my meta-goals for this year was to experiment more with collaborating with other musicians, and on my first attempt I seem to have found a pretty good fit with a country-ish Oregon-born almost-cowboy. We’re only a couple of weeks in but we’ve been playing each other’s songs and gigged together twice and it really seems to work, so it’s looking like we’re forming a duo and there may well be some recording in the offing. It’s also MASSES of fun! more fun than I’ve had/let myself have in a really really long time. Bit of a revelation there.

The weekend was a mixed one, one of the open mics I started going to a lot last year is closing down and it was the last night on Sunday and we made a bit of a night of it. It’s a bit sad but also a big reminder of the friendships made – so many great people – and we’re all going to keep in touch and find other places to play. Saturday I was up at the hospital with my friend and her husband, and that was quite tough but I’m glad to have been there. So a mix of very good things on one hand to balance out some quite distressing things on the other.

Heading back in to work now! Quite busy with projects going on there and trying to work out what my next move is going to be – music very much the main focus at the moment.

Hope you’re all doing well and that January has treated you well. I saw daffodils yesterday! Is it OK to get excited about spring now?!