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Birthdays and Sad Times

Published February 24, 2013 by crazyinpink

My re-launch into the world has not gone exactly to plan.  The infection I mentioned in my last post is ugly and the two strong antibiotics I’m on have been messing me about with all kinds of side effects.

Thursday was my birthday and I spent it conference organising and then dining with a bunch of academics.  Then Friday was taken up with a workshop all day and a cinema trip with two of my girlfriends.  I arrived home after midnight to find my mum still awake in the living room.

I instantly knew something was wrong. My mum is always in bed by 11pm at the latest.

I unlocked the front door nervously, fear building up behind my eyes and nose. Tears were already threatening to escape. Seeing the look on my face, she immediately assured me that my grandparents were fine. I am very close to my granny and granddad. She then sat me down to tell me that Gus, our guinea-pig, was gone.

We got Gus, or Gustav, five years ago. I was in my first year of university, my brother was finding it rough being a teenager minus a father. He wanted a pet and my mum agreed that he could have a small one. And so came Gus.

I didn’t really take to him for a while. I’m not a big animal person but his wee personality won me over. He loved music and would squeak and leap about to songs he liked. Anything with a heavy bass beat, however, drove him to burrow into his hay. He became my companion as I am the one at home the most. I would chat away to him, practice my presentations to him, even turning my laptop towards his cage so he could see my powerpoint.

Because we’ve never had a pet before, we didn’t expect it to be so sad when he was gone. He was getting old and we had given him a life full of love and spoilt him rotten. 

He was put own early on Friday morning and, stuck in a workshop, I had no knowledge of him even being sick. Mum considered contacting Best Friend and telling him to look after me but then decided against it. She wanted me to enjoy my time with the girls that night.

Then came the sad news that our past minister’s wife had also passed away. While we aren’t particularly fond of our last minister, seeing how he ignored us after my dad walked out and turned the church against us when divorce was mentioned, his wife was a big part of my teenage years. She taught me how to knit, how to sew, how to do things like make trifle for hundreds of people and arrange flowers as centrepieces. She was practical and motherly in that country farmyard kind of way.

My heart feels full.  My lack of sleep since on the medication isn’t helping matters. I just feel so sad and helpless. Best Friend is continuing to amaze me with his support, understanding why I’m foregoing tomorrow’s meeting to go to the funeral.  With so much happening this week in the run up to our big conference, I’ll be kept busy at least. In the meantime, I’m just clinging on to my faith.

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It’s alive! It’s alive! My thoughts on a strange, Frankenstein-filled week

Published June 16, 2012 by crazyinpink

This week has been quite strange.  I was able to do quite a lot. Yay!

On Monday, I spontaneously went pirate golfing and for dinner with a group of people I don’t know just ’cause my crush invited me.

On Tuesday, I went out after work for dinner with some co-workers, again just ’cause someone randomly invited me.

On Wednesday, I tutored in the afternoon and in the evening I headed over to church for a music rehearsal (I’m leading the worship in church tomorrow).

On Thursday, I finished reading all the source for the project I’m working on. I popped into the office to use the microwave and visit my Fairy Godmother.  Then after another hour or two in the library I went out for dinner with the girls from my endo support group. I was the first to leave and was given a yellow rose (well, I was given two, one for me and one for my mum). I walked up to the train station in the rain with my giant uni bag carrying two roses. I must’ve looked so strange.

I met my friend at the train station and we went round to see the National Theatre Live screening of Frankenstein.  When it was screened last year I was in hospital so I was not going to miss these encore screenings! The two lead roles of Dr Frankenstein and The Creature were played by Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch. Each night they switched roles.  Both versions are being shown, and I wouldn’t be a true Cumberbitch unless I went to see both!  So Thursday night was Miller as the Creature and Cumberbatch was the Dr. The first fifteen minutes or so were a bit odd as the Creature came to life and learnt to walk and move.  It reminded me of those awful GCSE Drama classes when the teacher obviously couldn’t be bothered and used to make us pretend we’d just been born and were experiencing everything for the first time.

Anyway, it picked up and soon, I was hooked.  Watching a recording of a play is a strange experience but it was such a beautiful production.  The lighting was utterly astounding (I never thought there would be a day when I would be commenting on lighting of all things but it was pretty amazing).  The two actors were unbelievably good.  JLM’s Creature was so vulnerable it was nearly heart-breaking. Cumberbatch’s Victor was detached and cool without being cruel.  It was easy to see certain Sherlock-esque characteristics in his delivery of deduction-style lines but he was very convincing as the tortured genius.   The supporting cast were…interesting. Naomie Harris as Victor’s fiance was brilliant. I am a big fan of hers anyway but she was quietly dignified and gentle. Confusingly, Victor’s family were all black when Cumberbatch is as pale as I am (and I am so pale I can’t find foundation that matches my skin tone – they don’t have a shade called ‘Vampire’).  His little brother was brilliant but the father was a strange portrayal.  There were other stand-out supporting roles; the blind man was easily my favourite character and the Scottish assistants Victor hired to grave-rob provided much-needed comic relief.  My friend and I left feeling that we had spent a very intellectual evening in the company of this play as it questions the origins of good and evil.

Friday I spent in the company of my missionary letters, chipping away at my project due next week before heading out to a graduation party last night.  My friend (the same one from Frankenstein) is graduating next week so had a little party, mostly her family and a few friends.  I ended up watching the football discussing Belfast industries from the 19th century with her Welsh great-uncle.

Today I’m working away on my project and tonight going to a party in church.  A guy from church is 40 this week, he has Downs and is the nicest guy ever. We’re having a surprise for him and sending him to Liverpool to see his favourite team play next season. Tonight we’re having a bit of a feed and a dance, it should be good fun.

Then tomorrow I’m leading the worship as the young adults take our morning service. I’m also doing a solo during the service.  My grandparents are coming up for lunch for Fathers Day and then tomorrow night I’m back at the cinema to watch the other version of Frankenstein with a Cumberbatch Creature. Can’t wait!! (and not just because he comes to life wearing only a dainty loincloth) 😉