Imagine their reaction when I told them everything is fine between Goldfinch and I!
The Jolly Flatboatmen, George Caleb Bingham, 1846. National Gallery of Art.
With the elation and relief on realizing Goldfinch was abroad and had not seen any of my messages…was I going to cancel the karaoke night? Not on your nelly!!!
Now…I have to admit I was struggling to think of a story when I saw this picture prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith, but after making a show of myself just like the chappy in this picture, I thought I would share with you the secret of success of being a singer on stage, the key to being a karaoke king or queen:
HAVE NO SHAME!
DO NOT BE EASILY EMBARRASSED
I used to work for a record company…and I know, it is not necessarily the idyllically harmonious and melodic tones that are going to win the karaoke contest…it is the performer – the person who puts their heart and soul into their performance. They jump up on the table and belt it out, completely unapologetic for their off-key notes! These are the real entertainers, the raw, imperfect but full of charisma performers that an audience absolutely adores!
As Cameron Diaz demonstrated only too well, when love for her beau moves her to abandon all fear and give it her all in what turns out to be a terrible yet triumphant turn on the karaoke microphone!
Just like Cameron Diaz…I do believe I heard the crowds tonight shouting “MORE, MORE, MORE!!!”
I only came home early, because I have so much to do tomorrow! But believe me…I gave London something to remember tonight!
When I was sick, (well, I am still sick, but not as sick as I was, after a very good night’s sleep) Jack decided to send me some videos via email. Wow!
He obviously knew I would appreciate these videos. One word: KARAOKE!
Jack and I both love it. Jack was at a party earlier this year. Karaoke was part of the evening. Obviously Jack would have performed, but he did not send me a video of himself. He sent me videos of other people at that party singing (and orders to watch and delete, because the muppet knows he shouldn’t be sending them to anyone else). He is always taking photos and videos on his phone. It was obvious by the angles he has filmed the performers that he was trying to be discreet when filming them. I think he could end up in hot water because of his phone. Muppet muppet muppet! Jack Jack Jack!
There was some wonderfully terrible singing (we love people who cannot sing giving their all with the karaoke microphone – nothing better in life!) and some very bizarre song choices from people you would not expect to be singing those songs.
Notable was Rapper’s Delight chosen by three – let’s say “vintage” actresses. I laughed and laughed.
I love karaoke!..and I love people who are willing to get up and make a fool of themselves, by singing something totally out of their genre…or way beyond their singing ability!
Well…I hope you are well. I hope you are having a great week. (Weekend is nearly here – yaaaaaay!) I would be in hot water, as would Jack, if I had kept those videos…so you are going to have to be content with the muppets. Can you imagine being at a karaoke night with the muppets???
She sounded a bit frustrated. 😦 If you haven’t already please do send some love via her post.
I had a funny day today (various reasons), but a few things almost pushed me to have a wobbley. But I didn’t! I kept it together and just kept focused on reaching the end of the day.
A certain song came to mind today. It came to mind because I just kept on telling myself to shake it off. And then…came a memory. A memory that added to my general feeling of “about to crack up”. The memory is the last time I was at a karaoke party with Jack.
Jack and me were both famed for loving karaoke. We have often been at karaoke parties. We have been cajoled by others who wanted us to sing duets together. Around twelve days before I was attacked, a friend of mine sent a round robin message to lots of friends asking if anyone was free that night (it was a Wednesday evening) for an impromptu karaoke party. Around forty of us turned up.
I arrived late because after work I used to go every Wednesday to help a lady who had severe physical illness. When I arrived at the karaoke party there was no sign of Jack. Phew! So I threw myself into the singing with gusto. After I had been there for about an hour my friend decided to tell me Jack had been one of the first to arrive at the party. Apparently he had got the singing going and then had left. My friend commented that he left just after she told him I was going to come, but I would be late.
This was something I did not want to know. It was provoking on so many counts. Why did my friend think I needed to hear that? And then there was the mixed feelings: Does Jack really want to avoid me as much as I want to avoid him? What would others say about him and I after that night? Why couldn’t Jack and I just sit down and work out our rift? When would this ever end?
Well…I was so wound up that I picked a song that is not in my normal karaoke repertoire – Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. I was so wound up that I let it go on the little stage. I was belting it out. I was dancing my crazy weird dance – shaking it!
Right then and there I cared about nothing! I was so ready to burst with the frustration and pain of the whole Jack situation, that I was jumping about and dancing like some kind of fruitcake. I remember there were a bunch of girls who were about eighteen who thought I was cool! Another of my friends accused me of twerking – I was not! However, I was pretty full on, not a care in the world, crazy dancing.
And then…as I turned around after doing my crazy shaky dance…there he was! Jack was stood there watching me. Ugggghhhhh! Grrrrrrrrr!
What a memory! The last person I wanted to see me making a fool of myself. And it was all because of him that I did it! Anyway…it still works on many levels, when everyone is pushing your buttons and you feel yourself about to explode…let it go. Just promise yourself that as soon as you reach home you will YouTube Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and do your crazy shaky dance in the privacy of your own home.
Kristian, the creator of Life Lessons From Around the Dinner Table, has tagged me to take part in The TELL THE STORY Challenge. As far as I understand I am able to think up any fictional story in response to the photo prompt that Kristian has sent me. Have a look at Kristian’s post below to see her own story:
Holidays with a bunch of friends are always fun, but my summer holiday last year was one of the best I have had. We went to Mexico!!
Our friend Janet had just become engaged to be married. We wanted to spoil her so much. Janet has always been a bit on the quiet side and we were determined to drag her into the party spirit. But Janet evaded our efforts by calling her fiancé every evening after dinner so she could tell him about all the sites we had seen during the day. Oh those in love – so blinkered to the rest of the world!
So that left Lauren and her fourteen year old daughter Rachael, and Joanne and her eleven year old son Toby. We had to make sure that every venue we went to was suitable for children, but we still found some fantastic places to have a dance, compete in team quizzes, and Lauren was even called up onto the stage by a ventriloquist to take part in his act.
But the last night of the holiday, we did not have time to go out anywhere. Our bus to the airport was due to arrive at the hotel at 10pm. So we just chose to have dinner within the hotel and then lollop in the lounge area with a suitcases nearby.
All of a sudden we heard a man’s voice announcing the start of a karaoke contest to be held in the stage near the swimming pool area that evening. Then came a few beats of a familiar tune, made famous by the British band Right Said Fred. You may recognize the song:
We looked out over the balcony towards the pool area and viewed the hotel manager on stage. His dire droning was almost disturbing to listen to, but in another sense, I wanted to cheer him for his bravery. However, there were only a few people sitting at tables around the pool and they looked as if they were dismayed at his singing and were going to leave.
Joanne whispered to me, “This is your fault!”
She was right. The hotel manager had joined us for a drink one evening and he had asked what we thought of the entertainment the hotel provided. My reply was “diabolical”. I explained that it was not suitable for families with children, and there was nothing that encouraged the holiday makers to join in the fun. I had made a few suggestions that I was convinced British holiday makers would enjoy and I told him that karaoke would probably be the best option. So he had taken my word and advertised a karaoke contest.
Some of the waiters approached us and asked us to go and support the karaoke. Lauren and Joanne said I was obligated to, since this was my suggestion. Two of the waiters even grabbed my hands and started to pull me towards the staircase that led down to the pool area.
Once the microphone was in my hand, all my reservations and reluctance, all my insecurities and inhibitions – they all melted away. I was loving every moment! There is something about a karaoke microphone that makes all my worries fade far from my mind.
I started the night with my favourite karaoke song:
As every karaoke enthusiast will confirm, it’s not the quality of your voice that matters when you take the microphone into your hands – it is the enjoyment level that matters. How much are you enjoying yourself? Are your audience enjoying watching you?
That was the perfect way to end our dream summer holiday in Mexico. The entire pool area packed with crowds of holiday makers all cheering me on, as I warbled and shrieked for the rest of the evening. After I had finished one song they would erupt into celebrations, and then start stamping their feet and chanting: “More, more, more, more.”
How could I fail to oblige their requests? I sang and sang until my voice was quite hoarse, but I was still enjoying myself, swinging my hips and waving my arms and getting the crowds to join in for each chorus. They forgave all of my off-tune moments and rejoiced when I tried to hold my breath long enough to match the note in the song.
It all ended when my friends started waving urgently from the balcony, and the hotel manager yelled to me that the bus to the airport had arrived. The crowds moaned as I made my way off the stage and ran towards the stairs up to the balcony and foyer area.
“Party’s over Senorita!” the hotel manager called out into the microphone, “please come back next summer!”
Now I believe I am supposed to supply a photograph and tag three bloggers to write a story based on the picture???
Well, here is the photo:
Who should I tag??? Oooooooh decisions, decisions!!! This is the part so many of us find hard.
There are so many great story-tellers out there, so I am going to tag three bloggers, but if anyone else wants to tell a story, please feel free to do so 🙂
Well…I enjoy music – A LOT!!!!! How important is it in my life? I think it is like pudding…I can go without it to be honest. But I enjoy it so much and look forward to it…it sweetens my life and makes me a very happy bunny.
But I keep it in it’s place – I will explain that remark a bit later in the post.
I had singing lessons from a fairly young age and did a year at stage school (acting, singing and dancing). I have sung and danced in front of various audiences. So music has been something I have had a lot a lot of fun with. But I also had a handful of negative experiences.
Q2] What is most favourite type of music and what is your least favourite?
I love variety. It is really hard to choose a favourite. There are some pieces of classical music which absolutely take my breath away and make me feel such an exquisite rainbow of profound emotions.
But I chop and change my musical mood all the time and I like a bit of everything – right across the musical spectrum. Pop, golden oldies, all sorts of genres…I like a diverse array of music.
The only music I don’t like is music which doesn’t sound like music, it just sounds like a lot of noise and shouting. I don’t like any music with profanity and obnoxious lyrics.
And I have a prejudice against a small number of bands. One of my older siblings (who was an absolute delight until they started hanging round with “the wrong crowd”) started listening to music/lyrics that I came to feel were like poison – a happy child turned into a miserable, grumpy, disrespectful, rebellious so-and-so. My sibling left home under a cloud (because my parents were not going to allow us little ones to see someone come home drunk or under the influence of other substances) and went and carved a name in the hall of fame for them-self (and made a lorra lorra cash on the side lot of which has been spent on harmful practices).
I never ever wanted to like the bands my sibling became wrapped up in. If their songs start playing on the radio, I turn them off. All I can do is associate them with the horrible change in my beloved sibling that took them away from our adorable family for twenty five years.
My sibling has fallen (I am not sure I will ever write about it because it hurts so much) like Humpty Dumpty and currently it’s my parents and the rest of us who are gluing my kin back together again. All the famous rich “friends” they used to have seem to have vanished. It seems like the world he was striving after was just an illusion. (As you can tell, there is a lot I am not telling you here, it’s all a bit raw.)
Can I just say at this point…I have mentioned some of the bands I used to like and even linked to some of their songs…but I want to make something clear: I can’t abide harmful practices…drugs, excessive consumption of alcohol, (and tobacco of course) and cheap casual relationships are often promoted in the music industry, as well as a disdainful, arrogant attitude. I don’t like any of that, in fact I detest it.. It is frankly annoying that some amazing guitar anthems are linked with lyrics which are plainly about taking drugs.
Q3] Do you own a music collection or do you simply listen to whatever on whatever?
I used to have a huge music collection. I worked for a record company when I was a teenager and I became pretty obsessed with music! Literally obsessed. I used to study NME, Melody Maker, Kerrang!, Smash Hits. I would listen to radio stations every moment I could. I would climb into bed with my head phones on, still listening to Radio One presenters like Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley, and Mark and Lard (I know not many of you may know who I am talking about – but they were of note back in the day).
All my money went on buying singles and albums and tickets to go and see bands performing live (mainly in Manchester). I met a lot of musicians at a young age. I had a couple of horrid experiences (voluptuous blonde teenager hanging around arrogant hedonistic apes) and I decided I was repulsed by seeing things that made me feel sick. You know the old phrase about the music world “sex, drugs, rock & roll”…I saw things that still make me feel sick twenty years later!
There came a point where I realized I didn’t like the effect that some song lyrics and the attitude promoted by a lot of the music culture at the time were having on me. My parents were deeply anxious about my change in personality when I became devoted to music. Especially after what they had already seen happen with my older sibling. They tried so hard to reach my heart. Little Miss Sunshine was becoming Little Miss Obnoxious. But my parents’ loving appeal won me over. The excitement of meeting musicians I thought were cool (before I saw them up close) evapourated, the illusion melted away.
I wanted to escape, I wanted to breath fresh air. It was really hard for me to get my addiction to music and bands (and I don’t use that term lightly) under control. I really struggled to win my mind back. Eventually I went “cold turkey” and threw my entire music collection away. I started to read again. I started to spend more time outdoors running and hiking and spending time with my family and friends. Gradually, my joyful personality and sunny disposition started to blossom and flourish again.
So…I no longer have a music collection. I do have a few different playlists on Youtube though – a classical one, a dance one, beautiful songs, melodies for maladies, and one just for Kristina Train – because that woman could sing anything to me and I am convinced I would love it – I love her voice.
But I can enjoy music in a much more balanced way now. It is like pudding. I don’t let myself have too much. When I do indulge, I savour all the flavour. My attitude to music now is cautious in the same way that someone who had a problem with binging on cakes and chocolates, and then became very sick and had to work hard to win their battle, has to be cautious. They may have to exercise balance for many years. Even years later, I have to be a bit careful and keep an eye on myself when it comes to the amount of music I listen to, the effect it is having on me and keep control of my own mind.
Q4] Are you a singer, a hummer or a whistler?
I am a singer! Oh yes, no doubt about it!
PQ5] Show through links your five best songs?
So hard!!!! Oh Rory- how could you!!!! I am going to try to give you five, but five is not enough!
Ask me tomorrow and you will get a different five!
Q6] Have you ever been to an outdoor concert?
Oh yes. Many.
PQ7] Do you ever go out to listen to music live? When was the last time you went to a concert/gig?
Not anywhere near as often as when I worked for a record company. But I do go, mainly when friends say “do you fancy going to see…?”
In August Goldfinch and I went to the Godiva Music Festival in Coventry.
Q8] Do you sometimes feel like dancing when you hear music? Under what circumstances do you dance?
Oh yes, I often feel like dancing when I hear music. I don’t need a lot of encouragement. I will dance both at home on my own and in front of workmates, friends and strangers.
I know I am always guaranteed an invitation to parties because I will be one of the first to be up there on the dance floor and making sure everyone joins in.
In London, I still receive lots of invitations to Salsa parties – and I am hopeless at Salsa! But any other dancing/music I love. Michael Jackson, Whitney and a lot of modern pop is sure to get me up on the dance-floor. At least twice a year I go to huge reels…or ceilidhs – Scottish country dancing – oh my goodness – so much fun…but it’s a sweaty business!
Q9] When do you listen to music?
Funny enough, I don’t often switch music on when I am on my own. I always have things to do, things on my mind, people to call.
When I arrive at work someone has always turned the radio on already. My friends often have music playing at their homes or in their cars. Most venues we go to for drinks or dinner have music playing.
Q10] If you answered yes to Questions 6 & 7 – who did you go and see?
Long long list…here goes:
Manic Street Preachers
Ok…I am getting bored with this, and I am sure you are too!
I have seen many many others…I feel terrible because I have heard so many small bands, acts, solo singers or musicians – and I cannot always remember them. I have heard a lot of Asian music live, but I am a bit foggy about who I have seen. I have seen a lot of bands playing Scottish or Irish folk music. I have seen lots of independent rock bands and singers who work really hard and have never had “a big hit” or been nurtured by a big record label.
Q11] Is there a song that makes you emotional?
Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares To You
Ask me tomorrow and I might have said one of these:
I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston
Can’t Live If Living Is Without You – Harry Nilsson or Mariah Carey
Sometimes All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe And To Love You – The Hollies
Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Eva Cassidy or Isreal IZ
Tears I Heaven – Eric Clapton
PQ12] Do you feel that you have a special connection with some types of music? Which types?
I am not sure of a special connection as such…
The era when I worked for the record company was Britpop era. I published a post this summer about my job and the music I used to listen to:
Q13] Have you ever tried singing in a karaoke bar? What was the experience like?
I am a Karaoke Queen – not many bars…more hotels and parties. If you have been involved in singing/performing professionally in front of a paying audience, it can be a very pressured environment with lots of critique, which can take a little out of the enjoyment. Karaoke is just fun – sheer fun!
The funny thing is, you get an amazing reaction when you perform in front of complete strangers…more so than in front of your friends who have heard you a hundred times before.
I love it. Adrenaline ripples through me when I am singing with a microphone. I love a crowd cheering me on. I have many karaoke experiences that I intend to write more about one day.
Q14] Do you listen to music when writing? If so which?
Not often…only when the post I am working on is featuring a song that has inspired me to write. I do publish a lot of posts with a song attached. Often hearing a song on the radio gives me ideas for a post…especially love-songs – they make me think of Goldfinch of course!
PQ15] Have you even gone to see a musical? What was it, provide link please.
Phantom Of The Opera
Love Never Dies
The King & I
The Sound Of Music
The Lion King
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
Beauty And The Beast
Singing In The Rain
Love’s Labours Lost
…and more…I can’t remember all of them…
(a lot of opera too)
We have tickets for Hamilton – looking forward to that!
Q16] Do you know the lyrics to all the songs you like?
I think I pick up some of the lyrics, but not all. In fact sometimes my sister Mandy gets really annoyed with me for singing the wrong lyrics.
For years I have been singing “Upside Down” instead of “Uptown Girl”.
I also sing “Portaloo” instead of “Waterloo” (one day I will post the full version of the song we re-wrote to the famous ABBA tune and explain how it came into existence).
Q17] When you are listening to music – are you listening just to the music itself or the lyrics too?
I think a bit of both…depending on the song. Some modern pop music songs have awful lyrics but are really well produced and have a fantastic beat, rhythm, arrangement etc and they can get away with pathetic lyrics because the team that work on the final production are so clever.
Q18] Do you listen to music when you go cycling/jogging or when you’re working out at the gym? [or any other physical activity]
I love sport and outdoor activity (I am not keen on the gym at all)…I have rarely brought music into my enjoyment of running or cycling. Partly for security reasons (scared of being grabbed by someone with very bad intentions), partly because of practical reasons (I am going to trip over and break my music device) and partly because I just love being outdoors and being active.
When I run I often sing in my head and use different songs to vary my pace, depending on whether I am running on the flat or uphill or needing to get my breathing under control. Running to a beat can be very helpful.
Q19] Many operas are in French, Italian or German. If you listen to opera, do you understand the libretto (text) or are you happy to get the gist (main idea)?
I am often lost with operas…I have stopped worrying about it. It’s just an exciting night out where you can get dressed up – I do love my gorgeous dresses. I love the whole experience. Normally…it’s dinner before the opera…and pre-ordered drinks at the intermission and at times we have finished the evening with a walk along the Thames – weather -permitting!
I liked The Merry Widow – that is easy to follow and Carmen of course is easy to follow. I prefer the more well known operas – Puccini etc.
I have been at the opera (or classical recitals) and half-wished I had brought ear-plugs because I wasn’t enjoying myself at some points, but then suddenly a really well-known song or piece begins and I start enjoying it again.
I have some friends who play instruments in professional orchestras and they have “educated” me a little bit when it comes to being a member of an audience at one of their performances.
PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?
No…I don’t believe I am…
I was half thinking of posting a link to “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no…” 2 Unlimited…but it is sooooooo annoying!
Q21]Do you enjoy watching music videos? What sort of music videos do you enjoy most?
…at times I have fallen in love with a song and then been really disappointed in the video. Others have the opposite effect. Sometimes, it is the video that has made me like the song. But nowadays, I rarely see videos. It’s been over twenty years since I last saw MTV.
I am going to say something controversial…I think Blur beat Oasis to the Number One spot because they had a better video. The video for Oasis’ “Roll With It” was the band on stage. At the time, I think my allegiance was to Oasis, but looking back, I can see that an unbiased audience would probably opt for the Blur it.
At that time I liked Oasis, Blur and Pulp…and a whole load of other bands…and I watched their videos over and over. That is over twenty years ago my friend!
Well…this has been a treat…a bit like a naughty pudding. But that is enough for me. I am already feeling a bit sickly after thinking back to the atmosphere I was immersed in as a teenager. I want to breathe some fresh air and clear my mind of this fog. Time for sleep!
I have been saving this one for a day when I felt like singing and dancing on tables and cheering and skipping and buying every blogger a drink!!! It feels great to be able to include it after my first day at work…my other choice was a lament by some Benedictine monks (just in case I came home full of lamentations). How great it feels to be able to go with my celebration song!
My first day at work at my new job – WAS GRRRRRRREAT!!!
I lolloped down the hill for a whole 8 minutes and strolled back up the hill this evening with a great spring in my step. And here I am, back on time to read everyone’s comments and posts in The Meet The Bloggers Swimmers Forum.
To speak with candour about my new job – I am a newbie…and everyone knows more about the job than I do, but I think I am going to be alright. The manager I am being trained by is also the area manager. She is so on the ball and perfectly eloquent and super duper friendly with everyone – superb communicator. She has a very organized way of training and working. I am delighted she will be training me. The staff were all really friendly. One of the boys made me coffee and bought me a muffin – what a sweetie!
There is a lot to learn…but already today I was able to be somewhat useful and helpful. I am looking forward to learning more. What can I say? I feel like celebrating
Well…when I feel like celebrating there is a song, and not just the song, but one particular person performing the song, that sums up what it’s like to have a ferocious appetite for life and to always be ready for a karaoke microphone. You just never know when someone might need you to get up on a stage or jump up on a float and sing to the entire city.
Now I am not just saying it to please you…I did enjoy the art class on Sunday. The thing is I have normally spent all my free-time from childhood onward on sports and hiking where I can push myself or just run around having fun…noisy events – karaoke, parties, dancing, live music, loud friends. I do also like museums and historical houses and sites. Even though I am not all that noisy in myself I am attracted to noisy, loud, energetic people. But it was nice to sit and feel calm and concentrate and try to produce something respectable with a pencil. I was more relaxed than I expected, and I was pleased I was starting to make a bit of progress. Not that I have any aspirations for even attempting to accomplish something worthy of praise. But the point is…I enjoyed it. And I was very impressed by what you and some of the others in the class were able to produce. I told my workmates on Monday I had been to an art class, but I was too much of a wimp to tell them what I was drawing. In fact, when they asked me what we drew I said “oh, all sorts of things.”
I do like trying to please you Goldfinch. I am mushy…I know…and if it annoys you I will try to reign it in. It’s not just because I am female…I am sure you and I both know many women who are not sentimental at all. I am sentimental I guess. I think I am realistic too. I am a big believer that each person is going to think and feel differently…and in some respects it is a miracle that people meet and decide they will try to build something together…except for hormones, they take the miracle out of it. However, when it comes to love, you can’t force anything…there is no door handle on the outside of the human heart. On a realistic (maybe pessimistic) note…I don’t believe that I “float your boat” anywhere near as much as you float mine. I don’t think you like me saying that.
I cannot concern myself with the way every single other person thinks and feels – and trying to generalize is futile (even if most men are from Mars). But generalities aside, I do try to understand those close to me….as in where are they coming from mentally and emotionally? Sometimes, it’s enough to try to keep an eye on my own mind and heart, and try to figure out why I am doing things. It is ingrained in me to want to love (and be loved I guess). So much of what I might say and do is just inclination formed by years of past experience. I can’t see myself changing drastically unless I was changed by a major event. To me…well, as I have mentioned, many men are from Mars…and frankly I don’t think I would have much motivation if it was hormones alone that were impelling me. I love thinking of you in a sentimental frame of mind, maybe romantic. My head is in a very happy place when I am trying to think of little things to please you. It feels great to be sweet and kindly and homely and lovely and giving. It makes me feel like my mum…and I mean that in a very good way. But if you find you are not enjoying it, I will listen and adjust.
It is not difficult to feel fondness and affection for you…it would be difficult to try to repress it. You do make me feel happy…and you bring me great pleasure. Mentally I know…if you were not going to leave England, I guess I know where my thoughts would collide with yours and there would be challenges to any lasting connection. We would probably drift apart naturally. We would not have the desire to spend time with someone who deep down we realized was from a different planet. Maybe it is because you are not going to be here for long that I am switching my mind off and following my feelings of happiness and pleasure and excitement.
I don’t know what I am doing long term anymore. Life has not worked out the way I expected it to. I was thinking back to a little 5 or 6-year-old me. This is me back then. Please excuse the absence of front teeth. I had eaten a banana one of my dad’s customers gave to me and by the time I finished it I had accidentally swallowed my two front teeth which had been very wobbly. As you can see I already had an impeccable sense of style, sunglasses, leather jacket…and although I would never become a rock star, I was well on the way to becoming a karaoke queen.
One of my school mates was a boy named Ian Prime. He was like a miniature jolly farmer. I was too young to have a crush on Ian Prime, but I think I knew that he and I were a match. We were on the same level. I could see Ian Prime as the farmer, and me as the farmer’s wife. I think that is how I thought life would turn out when I was a little girl. I am not sure really what else it is all about. There was never any issue about meeting parents. I knew Ian Prime’s mum and he knew my mum. A man and a woman start a team, they build together a home, they plant veggies and harvest them, she cooks meals and makes curtains, he carves out furniture and fixes fences, there are cows to milk and all sorts of animals to feed, then there might be children…although at the age of 5 or 6 I could not see myself having children and I still can’t imagine it now. But that might be because I feel as if I am still a child myself and can’t take on the responsibility of a child. But the rest I can see. I still don’t understand how the system we live in does not seem to allow for that. I don’t think I have goals or ambitions because the world is so shaky and unreliable and even basic human desires seem unattainable.
Each year at school our teachers would record each member of our class saying “When I grow up I want to be a…” Our ideas changed from year to year. My teacher’s favourite goal in my case, was when I was seven. I claimed “When I grow up I want to be a sculpture.” I had not realized I meant a sculptor. But prior to that, I had stated with conviction, “When I grow up I want to be a farmer’s wife”. My view of how my life would turn out all changed when I was 15 and stepped onto a construction site and enrolled as a volunteer for local charities for the first time. I suddenly realized I had no desire to be a Mrs Prime…I wanted freedom to come and go as I pleased. I didn’t want to be tied to anyone or anything, not even an employer. I had to find a balance of course. And the balance for me was first part-time employment and then self-employment so that I could be free to travel on voluntary projects all over the country and then all over the world. As a result, I actually became a slave to the work I was doing on a voluntary basis. A voluntary slavery that I truly loved.
It frightens me that in the summer it will be three years since I have been separated from my life, my world. Will I be back by then? My hope is fading. Which makes me wonder…if I will never make it back to the life that I love…should I start thinking in terms of the way I previously thought the world worked. Find an Ian Prime?…or wait for an Ian Prime? I might be waiting until my dying day.
Anyway…I don’t think you see yourself as an Ian Prime type. I don’t want to presume anything. But you have told me things along the lines of that you just want to enjoy life and pleasures. You seem willing to try almost any new experience. You seem kind of fearless as if you have nothing to lose.
It does kind of scare me that if I don’t make it back to my life and my world (which I am terrified might never happen) then I have nothing to live for. I just have to take one day at a time and appreciate everything and everyone in my life here and be open minded and adventurous about the future. Sometimes all I want is an Ian Prime…I wouldn’t need to be swept off my feet by him. But I do need to belong to him. But if he could just give me a list of jobs to be getting on with, and if he could touch base with me regularly to tell me if I was doing well or if I needed to learn to do things in a better way. I like a little pleasure. But I crave purpose. I need occupation, I need work, I need to have things to do for people I love, or even those I don’t love, I need activity and purpose and a lot of it. I don’t mind how repetitive or mundane that work is. And of course, I thrive when I feel secure and appreciated and loved. How could I not? Yes, it makes me try even harder.
I am waffling Darling….I don’t think you want to be bored with all this. I am not sure even what I am trying to say…except…and please don’t take offence, I don’t think you are an Ian Prime. But I am very grateful that you are letting me be in your life right now. Goodness I am grateful to you. I am loving every moment with you. Yes, just thank you Goldfinch. I don’t think you would have picked me off the shelf in the supermarket, but I am so grateful we both happened to be alone one October evening and had the courage to start a friendly conversation. It has led to many months of joy. I don’t think you want to be my Ian Prime, perhaps you don’t want to be any other woman’s Ian Prime.
Maybe you prefer the James Bond-ness of being a single footloose 40-something, fine figure of a man. But anyway…you are doing what you want to…but you are bringing me great pleasure and happiness.
I would love to be taking you to all the amazing places my family and friends have explored in North Wales, the Lake District and Scotland.
Lots of thoughts in my head I am getting out on the page here…and I am frightened you might not like these thoughts. I have no desire to ever hurt, offend, or annoy you.
Anyway…for now…I will just keep taking one day at a time with you…keep enjoying every moment with you…and try not to worry that I am boring to you because my head does not particularly see beyond a world where I am devoted to volunteering or else to an Ian Prime, who will be the centre of my universe.