Doodles and Digression

What it says on the tin

New new toy.

I’ve been intending to learn the guitar since I was around 13.  It’s not enough for me that I can play piano, electric organ, keyboards, trumpet, cornet, baritone, euphonium, tuba, BBflat Bass, tenor horn, french horn, violin, oboe, clarinet, flute, various recorders, harmonica, percussion, bagpipes, and accordion at various stages from twinkle twinkle little star to grade 8 etc.   Er.. which makes me sound more musical and srs than I actually am.  I’m just able to pick things like that up very quickly.  Of course I was always very anti practice, so I was never as good at them as I should have been, and I haven’t played anything in around 7 years, because the Depression just made me not want to.  But I always wanted to play the guitar.  I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to pick it up.  

Anyway, my shiny new guitar arrived this afternoon, which I was very yay about.

So I switched on Youtube, and browsed some of the teaching vids.

I found this guy, whose style is a total match for me -

It took me an hour to tune the damn thing, I gave up on the electronic tuner and did it manually, because I was struggling.  Although, once it was tuned, I did manage to get the electronic thingy to fine tune me a bit more.

But I am now able to play 3 chords and 2 strumming patterns, which is all I’ve managed because little ‘un is complaining about the noise, and that I’m not “rock” enough.

But I have sore fingers as proof of my achievement.  So Yay.

The Girl from my dream

Even dreaming about writing is exhausting

So I’ve been plagued with weird dreams lately.  I’d love to blame my medication, but I think they’re just a reflection of what’s going on around me.

The other night, I dreamed I was writing a book, about slavery, and the American Civil War, which got interrupted by well, I couldn’t decide whether an invasion by China, or aliens.  In my dream I’d already got 50k word of it down by that point, and so was a bit stuck.  It was all so vivid, that when I woke up, my first thought was “OMG I MUST FINISH BOOK”.   And then I woke up a bit more, realised that I am not a writer.. that I have absolutely no desire to write a book.  That I’m not very good at sticking to things, and writing a book would be exhausting.  Not to mention everything I know about the American Civil War comes from Gone with the Wind and a TV series from the 80s.   

I know where the dream came from - my bff had been talking about slavery due to a book he reviewed, and ofc he is an incredibly talented writer, so my subconscious mashed the two up.

It was stuck in my head though, and although there was no way in the world I wanted to attempt a book, instead, I started a series of pictures.  I’m not sure I’ll finish them, because I feel quite satisfied for having got the first one down on paper, but it was weird to have some subconscious inspiration.

Mike Ward vs Emma Jade Garbutt, The Voice UK battle rounds.

The Voice : UK results

So, results are in for The Voice UK.

First up, I’m rather annoyed that they didn’t announce 2nd and 3rd places.

I have to say that the winner was a bit of a shocker for me.

While my favorite, since the blinds, has been the surprising Mike Ward, because I just love his voice, his style, and his song choices, I genuinely thought Leah McFall was going to win, because her voice is just crazy, her range and tone are amazing..  just not my cup of tea, and I hate her pronunciation, but there is no denying how she kills everything she sings.

But Andrea Begley won!  And while she does indeed have a beautiful tone, and pure, clear voice which gives me shivers.. part of me is a bit surprised. Yes, I know lots of people might buy her CD because her song choices seem to have all been things that people will like.  But would you go and watch her in concert?  

I wish all 3 of them well, but I’d love to see Mike Ward really have a long, bright career, either bringing country to Britain, or going to the US where I think they would genuinely appreciate his talent.

Star Wars over the dining table

The little un is finally at the age where we can sit him down at gunpoint and force him to wach Star Wars.  Fortunately he’s into it, well, with two major geek parents I would have been worried if not.

We have been teaching little un to have “combersations” at the dinner table, so recently these have been Star Wars related.

Little Un asked who my favorite characters were, and so I said Han Solo and Leia.

Whereupon husband piped  up with “but Leia is rubbish!! She doesn’t do anything!!!”

So, I said, okay.  It’s not necessarily about her.  But she is one of the strongest characters in the whole bloody thing.  And was forced to back that up, so here it is.

First up, according to the script because I don’t think this is actually mentioned in the film, when Star Wars: A New Hope begins, Leia is just 17.  At this time in her life, she is already a senator, a diplomat and also clearly very high up in rebel command.  She is respected and listened to.  That’s quite an achievement in itself.

I mean when I think back to when I was 17, my major concerns were trying to hide that I felt awkward and laughed at at school, passing my music exams, and my driving test, trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life, and whether I’d be allowed into a club, because I kind of looked nearer 13 than 18.

The first thing we see Leia do, is make sure that no matter what happens to her, that the information she is carrying gets away.  That is self sacrifice for the greater good /Chants “The Greater Good”.

The next thing we see is that she’s pretty damn accurate with a blaster.  You go girl.

She is tortured, and doesn’t crack under it.  In fact remaining feisty to the end, brave and defiant.

And, let’s not forget that when she is “rescued” by Luke and Han, she is actually the one who saves them all, showing she is smart, has the ability to think on her feet and make snap decisions.

She does very many brave things throughout - lying to the face of one of the most feared men in the universe, and attaching a bomb to herself and walk into Jabba’s palace being only two of them.  She kills Jabba, for slave girls everywhere.

When she falls in love, she does it because she sees the good in someone, without being blind to their less admirable qualities.

In my opinion, as much as the Emperor is the truest force for Evil in the book, Leia is the only consistant force for Good. She alone never wavers to the dark side, is never selfish, never makes it about her.  

And not only that, she manages to keep all her white outfits pristine, and the Ewoks love her.  What more could you possibly want in a heroine.

Michelle Chamuel, 2nd place, The Voice
Danielle Bradbery, Winner, The Volce US.

The Voice: The results are in!

So we have our winners for The Voice AU, and The Voice US.

Australia’s top 4 are:

1. Harrison Jones

2. Luke Kennedy

3. Celia Pavey

4. Danny Ross

I guess Harrison had such great press that he was always the favorite.  And in fairness, he looks like a really nice kid, as well as having a lovely voice. My favorite was Celia, Luke and Danny are really awesome, and I wish all 4 of them great careers.  

America’s top 3 are

1. Danielle Bradbery

2. Michelle Chamuel

3. The Swon Brothers

I loved all 3, I genuinely didn’t have a clue who the winner was going to be.  I am sure that all 3 will be successful, and wish them well.

Really looking forward to hearing about the Swoncerts in particular.

Snoozing and shopping

Yet another medical update.  I saw my lovely psychotherapist again today, and I don’t know where he fits this in between wall to wall patients, starting earlier and finishing later than he is supposed to, but he has done yet more research into trying to make me better.

And also, he totally snaffled me out of the queue and straight into his office when I piled through the door at opening time.  Yay.  And made a new appointment for me himself so I wouldn’t have to queue again on the way out.   I don’t think that it’s quite occurred to him yet that I am British, and could queue for um.. I’d say Germany, but they do this kind of wedge thing, so yes, I could queue for Britain!

I’ve been off the evil Lamotrigin for 10 days now, and the difference has been noticable.  I don’t know if it’s that I’ve stopped the Lamotrigin, or started the Quetiapin, but I’ve had no panic attacks in the last 10 days, and I’ve been sleeping really great.  I still have wobbles of downs and being upset, but generally I am feeling so much better.

My doctor’s latest research, has shown that the Mirtazapin I take daily, can actually be a cause of the mood swings which were the reason I started taking Lamotrigin in the first place.   So my doctor wants to get me off that and has a few ideas of things to try in its place.  He’s a bit worried that I’m tired a lot, as 2/3 of my current medication contains a sleeping component. I sleep great, but don’t want to get up in the mornings.  I’m not sure I can attribute 100% of that to my medication, because I do rather like my bed.

But today, I was really proud of myself, because despite still being in a tiny bit of a down, I managed to go clothes shopping by myself in town. Ok, I was only supposed to buy a new belt, because I have kind of shredded my current one due to making holes where there weren’t supposed to be holes for much too long.  But I ended up with a few other things too.  Normally I am not mad keen on clothes shopping, but recently I’ve found some really comfortable clothing, that makes me look and feel a lot better. Yay, go retail therapy. 

Most significantly, I managed to get myself home on the Ubahn and tram though.  It’s been about 6 years since I was confident enough to do that by myself.  It’s little things like that which give me a tiny glimmer of hope, that I’ll one day get back to being the independent, self-sufficient person that I remember being, who can do all of the tiny things that most people take for granted.