Thursday, 14 July 2011


I have had a month of adventures. It has been a very special time indeed. First and foremost, I am the horribly proud director of a fantastic show that had its first performance just the other day. After two weeks of frantic rehearsals which saw us all descend into the murky depths of insanity, we have somehow managed to pull a pretty brilliant show together. 'The Spectacular Tales of Grinburrell' was all but an idealistic pipe-dream just a few wee months ago and now it is a living breathing spectacle. And a spectacle which people actually enjoyed, to my humbled relief. Bring on Edinburgh: 22 days, 18 members of cast and crew, 17 performances, 12 hours in a minibus (x2), 3 hostel rooms, infinite hangovers and 1 glorious city. My excitement is boundless.

I also finished the second year of my degree this month; I thought that this would mean my workload would decrease significantly but alas no, I seem to be busier than ever. Further proof that I don't do much in my degree? Possibly. I actually rather enjoyed revising for my exam, as horribly nerdy and eager as that sounds. Though when your exam is on Ulysses, The Great Gatsby, The Waste Land and Mrs. Dalloway, you're hardly likely of becoming submerged by boredom. Come on now, it's not like I study Chemistry. Anyway, my keenness obviously paid off as I have been awarded a juicy 2:1 for the year, despite a certain one Kos Ring attempting to sabotage me with a rogue 57. YOU WILL NOT BE MY DOWNFALL, OH MIGHTY OPPRESSOR! And breath.

As a special treat before the "hard work" of Edinburgh commences (ahem), I thought I should like to take a wee holiday. This manifested as a week of various National Express bus journeys and general debauchery in the shape of Amy's 21st in Aylesbury which lead to four days in Cornwall with the EngSoc massive which seamlessly carried me into Canterbury's festival of delights Lounge on the Farm. I say 'seamlessly' - it actually transpired that I spent approximately 12 hours travelling to the other side of the country, but on arriving at aforementioned festival the sun was shining and the tent had been erected (ooh err) so I could just continue to bloody well enjoy myself. And that I certainly did. What a week! Cornwall was absolutely glorious: the eight of us were staying in a beautiful house 120 seconds away from Polzeath's lovely beach and between those two locations, we were entirely satisfied for the best part of a week. I tried my hand - and strained lymph nodes - at surfing, much to my amusement. I know the object of the endeavour is to stand upon your eponymous board but after several hours over two days and uncountable flailings later, I felt very proud to have achieved this all of about twice for all of about seven seconds in all. Small victories, eh. Apart from being thrown about at sea in gale force winds on a piece of yellow polystyrene, I did nothing remotely strenuous for the entire time: I read To Kill a Mocking Bird, I drank copious amounts of cider, I laughed until I thought I might have an accident at a Chinese lantern based incident... What bliss.

The festival allowed me to continue such a week of relaxation: the food was incredible and the atmosphere was like no other festival I've ever been to. Despite a few 14 year old Lary Larrys who clearly came only to see The Vaccines and Ellie Goulding and who occasionally disturbed the peace, the 'lounging' on said farm was actually very easy to achieve. I spent my days pottering between the Playhouse where one could expect to hear poetry, see the odd pint-sized Shakespearean tragedy, watch some cracking stand-up, partake in a belly dancing workshop or experience the Lord of Lobsters (don't ask); the Tea Teepee for a cheeky chai; the falafel tent and various low-key folk stages where it was the done thing to listen while laying down. What a bizarre experience for a musician to walk onto stage at a festival and be greeted not by throngs of bopping individuals but a sea of lethargically lolling loungers. I wasn't complaining - my lymph nodes by this point, having been forced to endure belly dancing, had well and truly thrown in the towel and I found it almost impossible to lift my arms, rendering me somewhat static. I fit in a treat. Speaking of treats, I discovered some complete gems while reclining at the festival - if you're looking for some excellent new tunes, I point you in the direction of: Kyla La Grange, Daughter, Bucket Boyz (though you really have to be there to appreciate their brilliance), Boot Lagoon, Chad Valley ... Aaron, have I forgotten any?

Had I not written a complete dissertation of a blog, I'd spend a moment or two to reflect on all these Murdoch shenanigans that went on around me during the week. Not that there's much to be said but you know, I usually feel the need to express a liberal-bordering-socialist/ often under-researched opinion on such matters. So here goes: C*nts, the lot of them. Let them rot in jail. And don't even allow them a gym or an X Box. ... Done.

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