New Old things

Thank you to everyone who sent me lovely words yesterday about my post. It has been a pleasure to be a part of all your lives, however small.

My part in it. Not your lives. They are all excellent and massive and whatnot.

I went to my first ukulele lesson since mid December this morning.

It is fair to say that I have in no way improved since starting the lessons. This is entirely and absolutely my own fault. I do no practice at all. None. I occasionally watch a video of someone playing the ukulele extremely well, and go; ‘Blimey! That was good!’ but it turns out that that is not enough if you wish to become mistress of the strings.

For ten minutes this morning as the lesson commenced I found myself going into old, self-destructive patterns. ‘I am crap’ Well yes. You haven’t practiced. ‘I should be brilliant.’ Er. No. You haven’t practiced and you’ve been to about four lessons. ‘I should leave now and take my crapness with me.’ Um. No. Because you know you would have a lovely time if you just stopped beating yourself up and went with it.

Which is how I came to be strumming along with everyone else to ‘I’m a Believer’ and enjoying it even though I only played two notes to everyone else’s twenty seven.

And I still held the uke in the wrong hand for the first few minutes, because I am useless at left and right unless I really really concentrate and I can play as badly with left as right. So hooray!

I have decided to do some practicing, as I would like to get better at ukeing this year. I have no intentions of taking it up professionally but it would be nice to a) pick up the thing and play it with the right hands, and b) occasionally hit more than the C chord in the right way.

If I don’t ever achieve either of those things though, it doesn’t really matter. Sometimes it’s nice to do stuff just because you like it, even though you might be utterly pooh at it. This is a thing I have learned. It is a good thing to have learned. It is amazing how easy it is to forget though, so sometimes I have to learn it again, several times a week.

As well as massacring the ukulele, another thing I went back to this week was the pub quiz. We came second, by the way. By one point, which the other team got because they won best team name. No. I can’t remember what they were called. They were not called the Mischievous Mice, which is totally the team name I would have picked, but there you go. Our team name was: ‘There are no calories in a quiz’. No. I wouldn’t have picked that as best team name either, and I was the one who came up with it.

I would normally find it quite galling to have lost by one point in a quiz, but I didn’t. I just felt pretty pleased that we had managed to come second. There were some tough rounds last night. The classical music one, for instance, melted my head for a start. Luckily I have very clever team mates who do not listen to Absolute Eighties and try to recreate ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ by Duran Duran using kitchen implements. They listen to Debussy and Chopin, and can tell the difference between the two as well.

See. Proper clever.

It was a good night. It was a good morning.

Lunch with my mum and brother was also good.

The rest of the afternoon and early evening not so good, but then you can’t have everything. I am in the midst of a steep learning curve in one area of my life. An area of my life that I would like to be comprised of savannah, mostly, rather than vertiginous, jabby things that I am prone to hurl myself upon.

I am fully aware that I am torturing myself unnecessarily over this particular thing, and life would be much smoother if I would just learn whatever it is I need to learn and then move on. Rationally I know this. It is a shame that 95% of me, in this situation is made up of irrationality and more than a hint of rage. Mostly towards myself for being such a blithering idiot.

It is also a shame that I have no clue whatsoever about how to learn or do whatever it is I need to learn or do, even though I suspect that it will turn out to be tremendously easy, and after what will seem an enternity of futile arsing around I will just do the whatever it is and then go ‘oh’ and probably ‘doh’. It will be at this point that all of my loved ones will come out from under whichever handy rock they’ve been hiding under and pat me gently on the shoulder before going: ‘I fucking told you so, you great ninny’.

Then we will put the kettle on and eat cake.

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