Snape reeds

10 things to be grateful for in 2018

2018’s been a pretty rubbish year for me, to be honest. The first half of the year was filled with shit stuff happening to me (months of dental trauma, the worst flu + chest infection I think I’ve ever had, a uni deadline unexpectedly turning out to be effectively 6 months earlier than the official deadline) and the second half of the year has been characterised by shit stuff happening either directly or indirectly to many, many people I care about. But there’a always stuff to be grateful for, and in may ways this has been an amazing year in among the crappy stuff. So here goes. In 2018 I am grateful:

  1. that I thought ahead about my uni deadline, taking into account all the stuff that was going on so that when I lost those 6 months I thought I had, it actually only meant a couple of months because I’d realised that I’d need to submit early because of everything that was planned for the year. I’m still not totally thrilled with what I submitted, but I got through and am on to the next stage of the degree. Hurrah!
  2. for the patience of my Bastard Assignments colleagues. The first half of the year was awful for me and at one point I thought I might need to resign from the group, but they supported me and pushed me on to ever-further heights and I feel I’m the stronger for it.
  3. that I have worked hard to to explore my identity as a performer, and particularly as a composer-performer. There’a been a lot we’ve done with Bastard Assignments this year that has really challenged me and made me aware of my own boundaries. In particular, I discovered while at Darmstadt that I actually really wanted to perform there. Up to that point, I think I’d always felt that performance was secondary, that it was something I did which was kind of enjoyable but optional. At Darmstadt I discovered that I actually really enjoy it and realised that it really is part of who I am and how I work.
  4. for Snape Maltings, both for our amazing residency there and the support of the incredible Snape staff who have worked so hard on our behalf and who have been so supportive of my needing to take time away at the end of this year. It’s really been an incredible experience and I’m looking forward to what we’re going to do with the rest of our time at Snape. Oh, and they sent all of us to Darmstadt! Which deserves its own item…
  5. for the opportunity to attend the Darmstadt Summer Course for the first time. I was able to go for the full two weeks, thanks to support from Snape Maltings and Bath Spa University. I made a ton of new friends, participated in a workshop on collaborative composing, went to a bunch of lectures and loads of amazing concerts. Nearly melted away in the heatwave of the second week (I actually passed out in one unairconditioned concert) but finally came to terms with wearing shorts as a result (something I’ve avoided where possible for years). Waked for miles, ate a lot of ice cream and pizza, swam in a lake with an eel and water birds (didn’t have a personal encounter with the eel but Edward did so I know he’s actually in there). As a result of Darmstadt I’ve already had a performance of Community of Objects in New Zealand, and have a projected performance of Cake Piece there, plus we’ve got an exciting collaboration coming up that was helped along by conversations we had there – hurrah!
  6. for our first US tour and the chance to spend more time with the lovely Mocrepians after our November collaboration. I was vastly jetlagged the entire trip and got to see very little of the city, but it was a great trip and we performed Aides Memoire in a basement gig which was a really nice contrast with the version we did in our own series in Asylum.
  7. for my parents, and particularly my mama who has paid for me to come out to Australia (and then back home to record the Bastards album and do some uni stuff, and then back again for Christmas) and for John to join me on this second round. It’s meant I’ve been able to support both her and my father while they’ve both been unwell, which while it’s been very hard, I would have been miserable had I not beeen able to come due to my finances being practically non-existent.
  8. for John, of course and as always. He’s been amazing this year. I know. I say that every year, but he just is. Even when things get really tough as they have this year, when I’m doubting myself and wondering if I should chuck it all, he’s an absolute rock, even when he’s having his own shit year.
  9. for having learned to sew. I’ve bought hardly any clothes this year – I think the only things I’ve bought, really, have been for gigs where there was no time given to make stuff or have been shoes. Most of the clothes I turn to now when I’m going out are me-mades which is a great place to be, really. I feel so much more comfortable and in control of how I look and how I present to others. I’ve even had me-mades feature as gigwear on multiple occasions this year! There’ll be a separate post about sewing soon so I won’t go into more detail here.
  10. for all the great relationships my PhD has brought me. I’m loving the work itself but the people it’s connected me to are even more amazing – my brilliant supervisors, my Trio partners-in-crime Misha and Leona, Maria whose piece I performed at BSU at the start of December, the lovely MA students Robert has introduced me to. It’s just a whole new world of lovely, lovely delightful people who make me so SO happy 🙂

Wow. That was pretty easy, actually. Now onto trying to work out my plans and/or goals for 2019…