This is my favourite song EVER

I went to a gig last night. I go to a lot of gigs. Generally, I enjoy them. Generally, I go to small gigs, attended to by avid music fans, who enjoy and respect the music, and the musicians. 

Sometimes, I go to gigs that I don’t enjoy as much. This is never due to the musicians, or the music being played. Of course, sometimes the music is not my taste, or not something I would listen to again, but I always respect the musicianship and care these individuals have taken to practice and prepare a set. Hell, sometimes I think some singers purposefully sing out of tune, but do I behave like a stroppy teenager and moan about it throughout their performance? I do not. 

I wanted to vent really, about gig etiquette, and sometimes the lack thereof. Let me break this down to my top pet peeves. 

Talking. OK. This one will be controversial, I know this straight off. But you do not talk during gigs. You just don’t. Especially if it’s a queieter gig, a gig that does not have a loud drum kit, or screaming singer. Especially not if there are not many people at the venue and we can hear every word you say. This is what happened last night. The band in question last night, was unfortunately a drummer down, so they committed to playing a beautifully toned down set; just two guitars and a singer. It was bloody glorious. Until this chick started talking about her dinner choices to her pal. 

I always wear ear plugs at gigs, I go to far too many not to protect my ears. I could still hear them, even with the music, and my ear plugs. I could still I’ll hear their incessant chatter. Don’t do it. This goes for massive venue gigs too. If you’re going to talk, go to the very back where you won’t piss people off. The only time it’s ok, is to proclmain how much you are loving the music, or to have a quick, “oh my god this is my favourite one” fan girl moment. That’s it. And it should never take more than 20 seconds, if that. If you come to a gig with me, and talk, you will be ignored until the music has stopped. 

If you must, talk in between songs. 

Dancing. Just don’t do it in a small gathering when no other soul is dancing. I love to bob as much as the next person, but as soon as you start invading someone’s personal space, you’ve gone too far. I remember going to see Jimmy Eat World play at the Barras in Glasgow last year, a gig I had been waiting years for. I had the perfect spot, the perfect company, and the perfect beer in my hand. Then, tweedle dee and tweedle dum started dancing. She had hair down to her waist, of which nearly whipped me in the face when she head banged (also, Jimmy Eat World is not head banging music). Her brother (they looked waaay too similar to be dating) proceeded to dance in a circle, arms flailing, standing on my toes about eight times. Nobody else was dancing. I stood my ground, literally, and refused to move. Oh I’m sorry, did I bump into you? Too bloody right I did you annoying twit. 

Ordering drinks. Decide who is buying, what you’re buying, and if you have cash, before the music starts. Have a system in place. Rounds, buy your own, kitty? I don’t care. I just don’t want to hear your negotiation with each other about who bought the chips because then they shouldn’t have to buy a drink. In your own time people. 

Cameras. Who doesn’t have a camera phone? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own a smartphone with a camera. They’re great. Capture the moment, relive a cool experience. I get it. I really do. I love a wee gig snap as much as the next person. But I limit this to one or two. I once went to a gig at which the lady in front of me took a photo approximately every thirty seconds. Maybe more. She watched the whole show through a lens. And it meant that I practically did too. I actually resorted to asking (politely telling) her to put it down, twice. This goes for flashes on cameras. Do you really think musicians want to be blinded, and put off their jam by your flash? For you to then, undoubtedly, turn around with a hand over your mouth, a smirk and say “oh I’m so sorry”. Buuuullshit. Check the flash is off. Please, for their sake and mine. 

Phones in general. It’s like using your phone at the cinema. You will feel eyes bore into the back of your head when your super bright screen (hello, do you not know how to turn this down? Also, night mode) is catching everyone’s eye and distracting from the beautiful sound. We survived without them for YEARS. You can survive two hours. I promise. 

Am I alone in this? Am I being overly sensitive? 

.

This is my favourite song EVER

From my window

My window is large. It’s wide and short, a landscaped pigeon hole to the world outside.

In front of me lie two white, crickety tables. They’re dirty, old plates sat upon them; coffee cups with the remnants of that flat white. Above the tables, I can see the pavement. It’s dysfunctional, gaping with cracks and cigarette buts. But it’s busy. At this time of day, on a Wednesday, there’s a mix of people. There are old ladies, with their clear rain caps on, shielding their perfectly permed hair from the elements. She’s thinking about the meal she’ll eat tonight, probably alone. The over-50 men; they carry canvas tote bags, sometimes have a satchel, always with a newspaper tucked under their elbow, walking with such purpose. He’s preparing for a date tonight; buying the nice wine. The students, in crowds of five or six, with rucksacks and converse. They buy exotic salads and complain that they contain only one grain. I wonder what they study; arts, maybe literature.

Waitrose sits across the road, a steady stream of customers pouring in, and out. Some with coffee cups in their hands; we both know that coffee was free. I’m never in this spot, at this time, on this day. I wonder if these people are usually here too? I usually sit at a desk, in a high office building, at the mercy of my telephone, my email account. If my phone rings, I must answer. If an email appears in my inbox, I must respond. It’s tiresome.

Today though, I sit with no plans. Nowhere to be. No one to see. It’s refreshing. I ate a breakfast of french toast with bacon, and maple syrup. On my own. My phone was face down on the table, my laptop only showing the news websites I subscribe to. I hated asking for the wifi password; I feel cheeky. And instantly ashamed that I need an electronic device to be able to sit alone. Next time, I’m not taking anything with me. Maybe just a newspaper. I really miss newspapers.

What can you see from your window?

From my window

Where’s my stuff?

I read an article today. I also watched a movie. I then raided some websites. They were all about minimalism.

They all taught the lesson of living with less. Examining every aspect of your life, of your possession, of you connections, and thinking, does this bring me joy? I was shocked to find that I completely agreed with everything they were saying; I buy more than I should, I own more than I should, I want more than I need and i’m rarely satisfied with what I have.

I thought about this in relation to social media specifically, and tried to answer the question of joy for each channel.

Facebook; does it bring me joy? No. Not really. It’s a time sucking, self promotional platform that always leaves me feeling angry, self conscious and frankly, fed up. Of course, it’s lovely to see photos and status updates from friends of past lives, but for the most part, it reminds me of things I don’t have. It also allows me to be mean, to look at other people’s lives and feel proud and arrogant that I’m better, or have done better. To me, that’s not a good thing.

Instagram; does it bring me joy? Hell to the no. I have deleted it from my phone this evening. It’s a perfect, two second grab of someones life. My own profile paints a beautiful picture of my life; the primed positions, and pretty filters. I try and post real life; i’ll post an image of me sweaty, and red int he face having just finished a workout. I feel empowered; this is my life. This is my real, raw life. Then I get a message from a friend saying it won’t get many likes, people don’t like to see that.

I also watched a vlog on YouTube in which the star asked you to go through the list of people you follow, and ask yourself if you enjoy their images. Do you feel good when you saw them? Do they make you want to better yourself? Or, did they make you feel small? Do they make you feel inadequate? I resonate with the latter.

Twitter; does it bring you joy? Nope. It’s too fast. It’s based on your ability to be witty in 140 characters. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m fucking hilarious. But not in 140 characters. It’s gone from my phone too.

I haven’t deleted my profiles from these platforms; I’m going to try 21 days without the apps/websites on my devices. After 21 days I’ll reassess.

I miss writing so, so friggin much. Instead of writing, I spend 30 mins in my bed scrolling through Instagram. I then go to sleep counting out all the things I wish I had, or the things I wish I could do. What does that achieve?

My plan? No Instagram/Twitter/Facebook on my mobile and no mobiles 1 hour before sleep. For 21 days.

Where’s my stuff?

I never finish

A project. I never finish a project. I bet you all thought I meant orgasm. You can think it. The title was clickbait. I hope it worked. Don’t you worry your pretty little heads; I am very satisfied, sexually. Onto the projects.

I can half play about eight instruments; I can kinda use about five different specialist computer softwares; I have qualifications in random, completely non-related disciplines; I have one big ball (now now…) of very nice grey wool that once had a destiny of becoming a crocheted blanket; about four half read books (yes I fold over the corners and always write in the margins); one box of paint pens, un-used aside from the underside of one wine glass (pintrest, your fault); a tin of very expensive chalk paint, along with two packets of sanding paper, dust sheets and six paint brushes and a commitment to running any distance farther than 6k that is about as loyal as my commitment to dieting and flossing. I think that’s all. I even got Mr K to proof this paragraph in case I missed anything; he was proudly anxious that this might be the day I decide to restart everything.

I just don’t have any patience. I am the most impatient person I know. I can’t even wait for toast to toast; seriously, I will pop the toaster about four times before letting it do it’s sole purpose and toast my toast. (Side note: should it be toast my bread? Possibly).

Pasta is stressful. So are baths. You turn your back for one minute and there’s water everywhere. Kettles are pretty much my arch enemy. Why do things take so fucking long? Don’t even get me started on self service machines in supermarkets. IF YOU TELL ME TO REMOVE THE LAST ITEM FROM MY BASKET ONE MORE TIME.

I have so many grand ideas. Really, you should hear inside this redhead; it’s bloody wonderful. I’m going to cure inequality; climate change; the problem with self service machines; digitally inept companies; Britains urge to queue; cash machines asking if you want a receipt when you clearly selected cash no receipt.

Many of these (none of the above) come to fruition. I plough time, money and my poor friends attention spans into each and every one; buying the tools, learning the knowledge and making the connections that I need to. But I really don’t like being bad at things. It makes me so sad. I bought a 300 quid banjo and upon my first try realised it was going to be really hard. I picked it up two more times, then sold it on a Facebook buy, swap and sell group.

I don’t think I’m a bad loser. I just don’t like being bad at something. Learning to drive was fucking torture. My angel of a driving instructor had the patience of a saint; I told him the wrong date for my final test. He didn’t even swear at me when we turned up on the wrong day, at the wrong time, after he had cancelled three other pupils to hold my test…

My brother is the same. We’re not good at being ok. Ok; mediocre; average; moderate; regular. We were brought up by parents who thought we walked on water (I’m scared to tell them that might not be quite accurate) and by golly we believe it too. Anything less than perfect and it’s not good enough. Millennial they say; my feelings about the whole millennial movement and it’s angels could fill the pages of a book, so let’s not. My motto? If you’re not instantly good at something, move on. (It’s so shit, I know. It’s how I justify my flakey ass behaviour).

Ask my how my crochet blanket is going. I dare you.

I never finish

Ready, Set, Dance

I have never really been able to dance. Not in the way that I think dancing should be. But I love to dance so friggin much. Over the years, there have been many different forms of dancing in my life; generally based on my goal for that night. Let me talk you through my dancing/partying journey. 

Young ‘uns

Dancing was for being foolish. Who remebers the cha cha slide? Who remebers the Macarena? I do. I still remember every single move. We used to dance so hard when we were kids; arms flailing, legs kicking, hair not swaying due to the glitter spray you coated it in, no makeup going shiny on your face and no beating toes from heels that were squeezing too hard. It was wonderful.

There were usually cakes, non alcoholic punch bowls, cocktail sausages, cubes of cheese on sticks (actually who the hell decided we needed sticks to eat cheese?), banners, balloons, confetti, mums and dads watching intently. Their little one was so grown up.

House parties 

This is when things started going downhill. House parties, free house, empties, rager, sesh, whatever you call them. When your parents left you in the house, assuming no wrong doing would be taking place and when you proceeded to have too many people in your very clean house with far too many sticky alcopops. Blue WKD I’m looking at you. 

Those parties brought on a whole new attitude. Gone were the cocktail sausages, replaced with bottles upon bottles of mixers, cheap spirits and usually a hefty amount of 3l cider bottles. Lots of low cut tops and no tights. Lots of fake tan, lots of lines in your fake tan from your friend who spilt glens vodka all over you. It’s happened the best of us. 

You would move between the living room, hallway and kitchen generally. Different groups of people occupy each room. Sometimes arch enemies occupying each room. I was a floater, ever the social butterfly I would go between them all, determined to make everyone friends. Man, I must have been a pain in the fucking ass. We used to drink cheap spirits from the bottle, dancing in the middle of the living floor to Kelly Rolland, a pile of New Look heels discarded in a pile on the floor. 

UNAAY

Being a total goodie two shoes, and having a very limited selection of clubs in my hometown, moving out to the big city was my initiation to the world of clubs. Oh clubs. And pres. That was new to me too. Buying whatever was on offer, mixing it into a big mixing bowl and drinking it until you couldn’t see two feet in front of you. When you were suitably lubricated, it was only then you make the decision to go out into the mindfield that is a nightclub.

What time did you go to clubs? We never went before 1am. If you went before then, it was only because you were a looser. Or at least that’s what me and my new found gal pals thought. Until we had a break through. Most clubs have free entry before 12pm, after which the price rockets to roughly 7 quid. We decided to go to the club at 11pm. Stay with me… We would go to the club at 11pm, go in, get the all important stamp on your hand, then leave. Then, when we wanted to dance at 2am we would totter back, and waltz straight in. No queues for us. We scored. 

Clubs are weird places. They are so, so loud. Dark. Smelly. Instantly give an animalistic were only here to fuck vibe, and generally are filled with two kinds of people. People who genuinely want to have a dance, and those who would never dream of dancing and are there purely to pay too much for drinks and not being able to hear their pals talking. I was always the former.

I have never, ever pulled in a club. It’s a total mystery to me. I tried. Oh man I tried so hard. I tried the sexy dance. And when Crank That came on, I was a slut drop queen. But I couldn’t hear anything. I have extremely bad hearing, and if anyone tried to talk to me I would wave my hands in a ‘I can’t fucking hear you’ motion. We would then ensue in a dance of whispering while still trying to move your hips in a way that they guy by the bar might think your ass looked good. What a fucking shitshow. 

Fuck it 

Thank goodness I made it out the other side; to this stage. I have a super hot boyfriend, and although I’m pretty sure he would find my salsa worthy hip dancing sexy, I just don’t need to do it anymore. I don’t need to wear stupidly uncomfortable clothing in a bid to attract men, or show off to my fellow gals. Now, I wear jeans, trainers, demand we only go to dive bars where I will be left alone, and dance to my hearts content. I was out at an Aberdeen club called Exodus last weekend. I hadn’t been there in about 4 years. It wasn’t the kind of place that was deemed glamorous enough to justify our body con dresses and fake eyelashes. 

It was bloody wonderful. I have never danced so happily. There is photographic evidence of this, which I will not share, but it was wonderful. I’m sure Mr K would find me the sexiest woman alive if he had only witnessed my moshing style head moves, threatening to whip all 4 dance floor occupants with my hair. 

I wish I could go back and tell younger me to ditch the heels. You will only wear them once or twice in your twenties because they are the fucking devil. You shouldn’t care about fake eyelashes, they’re shit anyway. It’s ok to only shave the bits of you that will come into contact with people, or to not shave your legs at all (refer to jean wearing).  Wear jeans all the time and be comfortable all the time. Nothing is worth feeling awkward and uncomfortable. You will then feel like a smug arse when you see girls tottering down cobbled streets in tiny skirts and stilletoes whilst you glide, run, kart wheel or dance your way past them, trust me.

There have been some spectacular moves, some tumbles, a couple sprained ankles, and a lot of photos in my time. But for me, it’s all part and parcel of realising what actually counts. 

And for me? Dancing is important. Trainers are important. And not giving a fuck is above all. 

Ready, Set, Dance

Where to now?

I listened to a very interesting podcast this morning on my way to work. It’s called Beautiful Anonymous.
It’s an American podcast in which the host invites a caller each week to call in and talk about anything they wish for an hour; no names or personal identifiers are given. That’s the beauty of it. These anonymous callers are free to talk to the host, Chris Gethard, about their topic of choice, and quite literally just chat about it. It’s bloody lovely. And the host’s voice is pretty incredible; he’s also very inters testing to listen to.

This week, Chris talked to a chap who was torn between leaving his well paid, secure job in Tech to buy a local record store and sell vinyl records; a passion of his.

It got me thinking. What would I do if money was no object? If I didn’t need money, or want money to fund a lifestyle. I have no idea. There are lots of jobs that I think would be cool, or would allow me to meet interesting people, but what job would I actually enjoy?

Who out there has a job that they can wholehearted say they love and they want to spend the rest of their lives committed to? You are very lucky. And I’m very jealous. I love my job; but do I want to be a recruiter my whole life? Nada. I pump my mind full of podcasts, books and YouTube videos all about entrepreneurism, voyaging out on your own, doing a job you love and living the most content life you can. They rarely leave me feeling positive. Instead, they make me question what I’m doing, where I’m going, and what I should, or shouldn’t be doing to be happy. [Disclaimer – I’m not unhappy in relationships just pondering the question in regards to careers…] 

Is it too much to want the perfect job? Does it set unrealistic expectations? I’m not sure. I will always strive to be better, to want more, to do more; it makes me slightly hard to manage. I’m constantly training or completing educational courses in my own time to make my toolbox fatter; to what end? I have extremely high expectations of myself, I’m constantly disappointed by my efforts and continually looking for more in all aspects of my life.

I’m going to start keeping a note in my telephone of ideas, opinions, comments, epiphany’s that come to me about my future and where I want to be. Maybe once I identify that, I can start looking for the brick wall I need to climb over to get there.

 I am so excited to find my ‘thing’. I just hope it doesn’t take too long.

 What do you do? How do you manage your expectations and your impatience for what’s to come?

Where to now?

A gazelle

I did a very cool thing today. Cool by my standards.

I cycled to work. And then ran home from work.

Yes, you read it right. CYCLED to work, and RAN home. I’ll say it again, just in case you missed it. I cycled to work. And then ran home from work. Go fucking me. Hell yeah. I have found my perfect routine. A 13 minute cycle to work using the ever so fashionable Next Bikes (think Borris bikes in London), casual 9 hours in the office, then a 20 min run home.

Before a few weeks ago, I hadn’t been on a bike in about six years. That first time, with my super hot boyfriend in front of me in very tight shorts, I nearly fell over, crashed into a post, and narrowly avoided knocking over a small child. It was not good. I blame the shorts.

But now? Four attempts later, I am THE QUEEEN OF THE BIKE. I just glide. You know the way you glide when you have newly shaved every part of your body within an inch of your life? Glideeeeee. I glided to work. Sun in the sky, sunglasses slipping down my nose, bright red running trainers paired ever so effortlessly with my very smart office clothes, runny eyes (thanks wind), bright red freezing knuckles and a nervous twitch at every traffic light. Glided to work I did. Like a shiny smooth leg. Glided.

I had a running bag. Like a zippy, colourful, multi-pocketed (like who uses all of them anyway?) bag. A running bag. It held approximately one bra cup, a pair of leggings and a running top. But, it made me feel like a TOTAL BOSS. I felt like if someone was chasing after me, I could outrun them AND show off my fancy new bag at the same time. They would be dazzled by my running bag. BOSS GIRL.

It chaffed a bit. When I ran home. *Side note: I would like to point out that when I say I went for a run, I really mean a jog. A 10 min mile jog.* It bounced a lot and rubbed against my neck a bit. As I was running, like a glorious fucking gazelle might I add, I found myself wishing I had some vaseline for my neck. Just a wee tin, maybe the green one with Aloe. Next time, next time.

I got home and felt like the fittest person in the whole entire world. Like, I could run a marathon. I should have been at London Marathon. I should be on the Olympic running team. Seriously, you should have seen my gazelle like movement. Beautiful strides, barely out of breath (I think I wasn’t breathing, that was it), not a drop of sweat (it was highlighter I swear). I sat down to a big bowl of pasta, because you need to refuel after a tough workout (2 miles…),  and ate seven Oreos. I still haven’t moved and it’s been 3 hours. My legs hurt. My back hurts. My feet feel like I’ve walked over hot coals for years. BUT I WAS A FUCKING QUEEN TODAY.

Exercise done for the week? You betcha.

How’s your running? Do you even run bro?

Your redhead.

A gazelle