The Noble Art of ProcrastinationPosted: 22 January 2012
Hello! It’s me – the epic procrastinating blogger.
(Boy does she mean that)
Yesterday I left work in the best of moods; a light rain and a frosty wind had blown the clouds away, leaving the sun to shine down on me as I headed to the bus stop. The air smelled so clean and fresh. I thought, ‘Marie, you’re finally on the right track’. The last few months have been exciting, life changing and blessed; packed with good memories to replace the bad ones and personal fulfilment. It of course hasn’t been plain sailing (when could anyone say that about life?), but I feel stronger, more confident and more able to deal with the crap that life throws at me.
I’ve decided I no longer need to apologise for long gaps in between posting. It’s part of a whole new mindset for me. I’ve realised that my normal habit of apologising to everyone and about everything – from going through a doorway first to holding my bus pass the wrong way up – needs to stop. My friends would agree it’s possibly the most annoying characteristic I have, and the ironic thing is – it’s NOT part of me. It’s part of the ‘black dog’ which is, even as I type, being beaten into submission with the aid of Citalopram, job satisfaction and the company of the most amazing friends on the planet.
So – what have I been up to?
In November, the long absence of work at the Library ceased, and ever since I’ve had a steady flow of hours, a total godsend against the financial problems which have been dogging me. I don’t know how many times in the past few weeks that I’ve told colleagues, family and friends that I LOVE MY JOB, but it’s true, and the wonder of it never leaves me.
Libraries in the UK are very much still under threat from government and council cuts and we library assistants are hanging in a kind of limbo, waiting for the hammer to fall. It’s all we talk about. No one knows what is going to happen. One of my colleagues in particular is extremely pessimistic about the future – will libraries even exist in five years time? He thinks not. The popularisation of ebooks, the quite baffling habit of readers preferring to buy their own books rather than reading them for free, the refusal of the government to see the library for what it is – the cornerstone of education and font of knowledge which has been part of civilisation since ancient times… it could be so easy to get depressed about it all.
If I was a poet, I would describe the bittersweet transience I sense in the air. I’m not taking these beautiful weeks for granted, the moments of fulfilment which I see now every day. Maybe it is naïve of me to remain positive, but I am so, enjoying the moment and refusing to prophesy the future. Like the storm clouds, or like the sun, it will come unbidden. I’m powerless to stop it; so why burden myself with worries before it comes?
At the end of November I travelled down south to once again join my friends in Wincanton for Hogswatch, the Discworld celebration of Christmas. Though my home life is getting better, Hogswatch is still the absolute highlight of my year and this one was the best ever! I spent the weekend staying at my friend’s beautiful 15th century house with seven friends, old and new (and two cats).
After a lot of faff I’d managed to put together my seamstress costume, complete with corset and a magnificent red velvet bustle skirt (which had to stay behind in Wincanton due to one of said cats peeing on it overnight). I took part in a very silly Discworld parody of Chicago’s ‘When You’re Good to Mama’, with the resplendent Beth as Rosie Palm and four of us nutters playing her seamstress daughters.
I got the chance to talk to Sir Terry Pratchett again and this time I said something vaugely intelligent! OK, it was me being very geeky about book sale statistics (to my credit, his latest novel Snuff had been two weeks at the top of the fiction bestseller’s list and then stayed quite stubbornly at #2, watching other authors pass it by). He seemed quite pleased and was extremely kind to pose for photographs with me! He also gave a very moving speech during the weekend.
I received some absolutely beautiful presents. My talented jeweller friend Vicky made me a necklace and bracelet with green and hand-blown glass beads and Jean gave me some real hobbit coins from the Shire (geekery overload)!!! Surprisingly enough, I was called up twice to receive anonymous Secret Hogfather (like Secret Santa, only with bony knees) gifts from the Hogfather – the first of which was a Beathty bear whom I’ve named Peventhie (after the four children from the Narnia books). The lady who made these cute hotchpotch bears unfortunately passed away last year from cancer. She was an especially kind and generous woman and very missed. I had been saving up to buy a beathty and missed the chance to buy one… so was especially touched by this present and carried him around with me all day to show him off in the hope that my mysterious benefactor would see how happy I was 🙂 I hope they did! 🙂
I had a little detour on the way back home from Wincanton. Word reached my ears that my favourite singer Beth Hart was doing a gig in Camden Lock on the Tuesday after Hogswatch weekend… perfect timing! So I decided to go with my lovely friend Kris, spending the day beforehand shopping in Camden market with the very lovely Ruth 😀
The show was AMAZING. I got a spot right at the front on stage left, which was right next to Beth’s keyboard – so I was literally only a foot away when she was performing some of my favourites. It was really something to be there to witness her singing ‘Leave the Light On’. She puts so much of herself into her performance, it was truly amazing to watch. And, of course, she sounds even more amazing singing live.
As the show went on I wondered about the possibility of getting to meet Beth at the end of the night, and having pestered Beth’s husband, P.A. and various band members I and a growing number of people were ushered into a side room of Dingwalls. The long(ish) wait was worth it though, because a much more soberly dressed Beth came in later, beaming at us all. She must have been there long after I was, as she made sure to spend good time talking to each person who had waited so long to see her. When I told her I had come a long way, she hugged me! I told her how much her song ‘Am I The One’ meant to me and my friend Colly, whom introduced me to her music what must be 3 years ago now, and she told me that she’d written the song aged FIFTEEN. Wow. To top the weekend off completely, we had our photo taken together and I disappeared off into the darkened Camden high street knowing that this had been definitely one of the best nights of my life.