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Another few weeks and I'm back at work and feeling more comfy. My secondment has been extended for another eight weeks which pushes it back to the end of August and the call centre is feeling very very remote. This is a good thing. Call volumes are out of control and the atmosphere in there is feeling rather toxic to the point where I'm feeling it from 9 floors up and through some rather remote channels.

I bought myself a cello last weekend. This is an amazing instrument and one of the most deliciously tactile things I own. It is huggable in a way that I don't expect from a musical instrument and rewards pretty much any kind of touch. It resonates and responds makes complex noises no matter what I do with it. My left hand kind of knows what's going on but the bow is a challenge. If I play it pizzicato the level of concentration needed is less than half of what I need with the bow and it engages me in an exhausting way. I like this. I like it a lot. I'll like it even more when I learn to make deep, sweet, toffee-coated sounds with it.

I'm finding that I can walk more and I'm starting to want to reclaim this body that I like so so much more than I ever have before. I still can't cycle or skate and that will take some time. I'm undertaking a detox diet with my housemate which was something she wanted to do and that dovetails with the intention I already had not to drink alcohol over the course of July. This might pull some of this excess weight off and give me a head start on doing some kind of real exercise heading into August. In the meantime I still have the opportunity to get to know this body in an awful lot of ways. Derby is receding into the background although I still have a lot of wonderful people in my life as a result of it but the resulting gap left by its absence and the fact that surgery no longer occupies so much space in my thoughts gives me a chance to introduce new things to myself. Cello is definitely one. Defining relationships with people and the communities in which I exist is another. The myriad mental projects which all seem to be converging on the notions surrounding the ways in which we see and treat those who are not like ourselves is yet another.

I have a big blank canvas to play with. There's lots that's already defined but I have lots and lots of wriggle room. I *knew* this was coming and I knew full well that I was only going to be able to start the process of filling in the gaps once those gaps appeared. This is going to be fascinating.
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An odd few days and I think I'm trying to resolve far too many things at once. An otherwise lovely day at the Krae Glas invest was marred by multiple triggers turning me into a wibbling mess who had to go off and hide in the corner several times, not always successfully. Many thanks to those who found me and made the right noises and most particularly walked me in circles until I settled. That aside, it was fantastic to be at an SCA event again and not only to catch up with people who haven't seen me for some time but to be received so warmly. It was also fantastic to sing again even if it did feel peculiar every now and then to be singing the bottom line of the score. Given that I'll never be an alto, it's either rumble out the counter-contralto part or not sing. I am so not not NOT giving up singing!

I didn't get the expected therapy session on Saturday morning. Apparently my therapist had a sudden onset of something bad with his appendix which was severe enough to warrant emergency surgery. Given that, I really don't feel like I got the worse end of the exercise in this but it's a little ironic that the one time I actually really wanted to vent at him, it all fell through.

Sunday, I had plans for the afternoon but in the end I slept in (after not sleeping much at all during the night) and pottered. Laundry was done and experimental stuff comprising shallots, bacon, Swiss mushrooms, fennel, butternut pumpkin and blue cheese was baked and pureed into a ridiculously rich mess and spooned over gnocchi. I'm working my way through a fairly generous serve for dinner as I type this and I do rather like it.

So I shall progress gently for a bit. I have social engagements which will prod me here and there but which will also make me happy in some important ways. The tricky part with dealing with everything at the moment is that I can't compartmentalise things, they're all far too incestuously interwoven. So I can only tease out knots here and there until things start to look coherent again. Well at least I can't complain about being bored. It might be a bit fraught sometimes but if nothing else, it's awfully interesting.

Right, bed and a book. Incidentally, Judith Butler writes awfully densely, even for someone producing an academic rather than popular work. Worth persisting with though methinks, even though I'm already piling up quite a assumptions in the text that I'm waiting for her to resolve.
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Well that was a fun weekend. Yesterday was a Kerry Greenwood book launch for 'Medea' which was fun, as those usually are. I know she turns these things out as fast as is humanly possible but I could wish to see them more often. This was followed (as they usually are) with a meal across the road which included a glass of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Porter, one of the more chewable beverages I've had of late. This was followed by a lovely afternoon/evening with [personal profile] montjoye which involved a trip to Spotlight mostly to get lace trim to help with the lining of the utterly spectacular coat that she's nearly finished and partly to get thread to suit the cloth which she so generously gave me. We then had yummy corn and ham and vegetablish soup while watching Sherlock Holmes and in her case, hemming her coat.

I got home to discover that [personal profile] tenbears's old van had vanished from where it had been parked out the front of my place for the past few weeks. I called him, he called me, the police called me and the matter was resolved this morning by 10B locating it parked up the other end of my street. This didn't really surprise anyone. The clutch pedal doesn't work, and it is therefore something of a challenge to drive any great distance if you don't know how to manage a manual gearbox without touching the clutch. We stripped it of everything of value, something the thieves made a complete non-attempt at it seems, and left it parked there as the battery is completely flat. Roll starting it is theoretically possible but I'm not sure I want to play that game in a narrow street with cars parked on both sides.

After that I immediately showered and changed as I had to be in Camberwell for a rather fun concert in which the soprano was a recently met friend who I suspect I'm going to see more of and who accompanied myself and [personal profile] montjoye and Ms J for a nice dinner afterwards. Music and dinner and conversation is a great way to round off a weekend.

On a slightly less pleasing note, it seems that people will still drop in "he", "him" and "his" when referring to me if they're not actively paying attention. This isn't a complaint per se because in every other respect people have been respectful and lovely. It does illustrate how I'm perceived though when that's the reflexive construction used. I'm guessing it's primarily the voice that's the culprit but it shows that I have a long way to go.
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A nice evening yesterday. A nice evening today too, as it happens but only in the gently pottering relaxed way.

I went to see La Compania last night. I got there just early enough to comfortably collect my ticket (in the name of Forth, which was sort of fun, seeing it on the ticket) and relax with a nice pilsener and some peanuts before they opened the doors. Everyone seemed curiously reticient about sitting in the front row. I wasn't. The music was 16thC Venetian and was marvellous. I was hoping for some tasty tasty viol da gamba but it was a bit buried under everything else, sadly. The cornetto though...wow! I want one now, what a fantastic solo instrument. Definitely a brass instrument but so mellow and delicate although it can get shouty if it wants to. I think I also want to find some sheet music for Adrian Willaert. Stuff like "Madonna mia famme bon'offerta" are interesting pieces for lute and voice and could be fun SCA performance pieces.

I bounced out feeling generally good and called the ever delightful [livejournal.com profile] tenbears who had messaged me earlier to tell me that there was a gathering at Nova Cranham. The rest of the evening was spent with good food (nice home made lasagne, excellent home made lemon souffle and cake of which I ate more than I should have) and more importantly, good company. I got home a little late, given the obscene o'clock start this morning but completely worth it.

Just about bedtime now...I think I want a good night's sleep for a change. Here's hoping i actually spend the time in bed asleep.

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