Monday, 15 October 2012

Strawberry Switchblade


Today I inched a little further forward with the 100 Faces project. I’m slightly concerned that the music I’m writing is beginning to sound like Sibelius 5 (the symphony, not the music software programme) but I guess if it was good enough for Strawberry Switchblade, it’s good enough for me! That said, Sibelius is actually responsible for my failing a tenth of my degree at York University. I didn’t get on with my Sibelius tutor. I didn’t understand him. I didn’t see his point and was completely out of my depth when it came to analysis. I didn’t know why we were pulling the wonderful music of Sibelius to pieces in a quest to find out which mathematical formula he was using to write. I once put my hand up and asked, “do you think Sibelius may actually have just written this because it simply sounded good to his ears?” It went down like a mug of sick at a party. In my final essay, I compared the trilogy of symphonies from 4-6 with a “lettuce sandwich” an analogy which seemed to cause the tutor to almost explode.

Speaking of explosions, I went to the gym for the first time in 6 months this afternoon and had the mother of all realisations. I have become a fat chocolate froosler! You can spend way too long in denial thinking it’s just the photograph which makes you look bloated, or an ill-fitting T-shirt which gives you the double chins but when you stand on the scales and realise you are 4 kilos heavier than you’ve been in your entire life, the penny finally drops.

I am now 11 kilos heavier than my target weight. It’s almost hysterical. I am a beached whale. A roly poly. A duvet stuffed with pillows. All this will change, of course. It’s how my life works. A project takes everything out of me. I stop looking after myself. I stop caring. I look in the mirror. I get the wake up call. I lose the weight. I’m like Oprah. Except a man. And white. And poor. This particular cycle is not exactly healthy and beyond the age of 40 it’s not something I ought to be inflicting on myself. So, once again, I make the vow to remember what it feels like to be the size of a house, and promise never to eat myself into oblivion again.

Problem is, pasta tastes so nice. As does cheese and chocolate and sometimes, when everything is complicated or troubling, food is a lovely thing to contemplate.

350 years ago, Pepys was in Cambridge preparing for his journey back to London. He was staying in an inn where Cromwell had apparently done much of his pre-interregnum plotting. The journey home was troubled. They set off from Cambridge at 9am, but got lost on the Royston Road, and Pepys’ brother (who was riding along) had a lame horse. They ditched the brother and the lame horse somewhere near Ware, and made relatively fast progress along the terrible roads. They contemplated stopping the night near Cheshunt, but “finding our horses in good case and the night being pretty light, though by reason of clouds the moon did not shine out, we even made shift from one place to another to reach London, though both of us very weary.” Pepys was thrilled to have done the journey from Cambridge to London in a day, and felt that his good fortune in this respect was down to God, who was looking kindly on his diligence in matters of business.  

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