10 good things about 2015

This is harder this year than it was last year because this year has been a bit of a struggle for self-identity. What should I be doing? What should I be working towards? What the hell am I doing? There’ve been motivation issues, some depression again but also some truly excellent times. Writing this from Australia though, I do feel rather cut off from my UK life and it’s hard to remember everything that happened. I’m sure I can come up with ten things though. In no particular order…

  1. Bastard Assignments. Great friends, great music, great inspiration and thanks for including me and also giving me excuses to get out of the house!
  2. Won my first grants! I applied for two grants – the Francis Chagrin Award from Sound and Music, and Grants for the Arts money from Arts Council England and was awarded money from both! This felt like a huge step forward
  3. Crossing Dartmoor. I’m so glad I did this show. I think I really needed to do it, and while things are a bit up in the air about where it’s going next, it was such a huge personal achievement, between the successful grant applications, setting up the rehearsals, organising props, etc. It’s by far the biggest thing I’ve done, and the Tête à Tête shows led on to another version for Bastard Assignments and all in all it’s been more than the sum of its parts. Also, I was totally thrilled with how the video turned out and how it worked in performance. Really glad I gave that a go. Plus this piece led to me taking the plunge to perform in a more substantial piece of my own, and as a solo singer. OK, so I made a hash of it, but it needed to be done, and while I’ve had a hard time recovering emotionally from the experience, I’m glad I did it. I’m also quite proud that, knowing I was fucking it up, I still kept going and managed to bring it home on pitch anyway. I didn’t think I could have done that but I did.
  4. Have got to spend lots of time with my parents. Between their 10-week trip to the UK and our 10-week trip to Australia, that’s a truckload of parental-time. Not always easy, but definitely worthwhile.
  5. I feel I’ve settled. At least for now. After 10 years of feeling like I’ve been living out of suitcases, the imminent prospect of doing a PhD has helped me to realise that I need to commit to being in the UK for at least the next five years and possibly forever. I think I’ll be torn between here and there my entire life, or at the very least while my parents are alive, but it feels better to not feel always like I need to be thinking about moving country again.
  6. Work! Actually getting some paying work. It’s not paying a lot, and it hasn’t been as smooth as I would have liked it to be, but it’s happening.
  7. The house, while not massively progressed, has started to feel a bit like home. We’re building friendships with our neighbours and starting to have some kind of tiny social life outside the bounds of college friendships, which is just so SO great. Lots more work to do both on the dwelling and the relationships, but it’s a good start and good progress was made this year on the spare room (now actually feeling like a proper room, not an ex-kitchen), box room (we patched all the holes when D left and painted it and it’s a very serviceable storage and laundry room now), lounge room (new rug, DVD shelf downstairs – astonishing how small things can change a room!) and my studio (vintage sideboard dragged upstairs at immense effort has really given the room some personality as well as a ton of great storage space).
  8. Richard III’s reinterrment! I’ve never been to any event even remotely historic before and we had such a great time. Never going to forget that weekend.
  9. D moved back to Australia. OK, so that sounds a bit mean but it was also an indicator that he was ready to start taking responsibility for his life, which is a great thing. As is an empty house 🙂
  10. As always, Djelibeybi. Hoping he can find less stressful work next year that will allow him to focus more on the things he wants to do.

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