Monday, 28 July 2014

King Lear

Yesterday P & I went into Oxford for our annual Shakespeare trip.  That's not to say we don't watch Shakespeare at any other time during the year - I do love the Bard! - but ever summer there is a production in the Bodleian Library quad.  This year was King Lear which I last saw live in 1988 at Birmingham Rep with Richard Briers as Lear.

The Bodleian Library quad is a beautiful setting for a play. 

It is in the English Gothic style, rising to three floors with the doors to the various teaching rooms around the sides.  In the summer sun the stone seems to glow and it is a real sun trap, sometimes almost too hot to bear until the shade rolls slowly around the quad.  It is one of my favourite places in Oxford so the chance to watch a bit of Shakespeare there is a real treat.

The production this year was wonderful (as they have all been so far).  A cast of 8 actors played all the parts, which led to some amusement when the actor playing Edmund had to skip across the stage and don a hat to play the servant Oswald. The 'name' this year was Joseph Marcell who played Geoffrey the butler in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  It was the first time I'd sat in the audience waiting for the play to start humming the theme tune to a 1990s American sit-com!

He gave a powerful, moving performance, switching effortlessly from calm gravitas to howling anger.  His portrayal of Lear's madness was truly moving and it was deathly quiet when he entered at the end of the play carrying Cordelia's body.

There was the usual mix of music and singing which is a feature of the summer plays in the Bodleian quad.  In the case of Lear it helped to lighten the mood at the end of the play when we were all feeling a bit emotionally drained.

   All the actors put on fine performances but Bethan Cullinane as Cordelia and the Fool ably handled two contrasting characters, Alex Mugnaioni was superb as Edgar and Daniel Pirrie as Edmund was very easy on the eye with a cheeky twinkle.  I was also very impressed with the gravitas Bill Nash gave to the role of Kent.

A most enjoyable afternoon of 'kultcha' and I for one can't wait to learn what they're performing next year.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Word of the Week

It rolls round with monotonous regularity and I'm never ready!

This week I have been mostly

For some reason I've found it hard to concentrate on anything practical this week (blooming humid weather not helping; I'm melting!).  It started on a low note when I didn't get a job I'd applied for.  This set me to thinking about why, what was wrong with me - see previous post where I rant (in a civilised way!) about that - so I spent the majority of the week thinking about where my life would go from now and what I could do to get things back on track.

I've not come to any conclusions yet so there may be more thinking next week too! 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Am I allowed an angry rant?

I don't usually do this - I mean, blogs are supposed to be fun, right? - but I think it's time to get all this off my chest.  It may do me some good.

As the title of the blog tells you, I'm in my fifty's.  Not over the hill but not in the first flush of youth either. I would say I'm between jobs but that would be more positive than it really is.  I don't have a job and I'm starting to think I've no realistic hope of ever getting one.  I applied for a job recently which would have been great for me - not too far from home, in an environment where I would have flourished and I have the right experience for the job.  But I didn't get it.  Now that's OK; I understand why another candidate was successful and I accept that.  It did however get me thinking.  Why am I finding it so hard to get a new job?  What are the reasons that I often can't get as far as an interview?

Much as I hate to admit it, my age is bound to be a factor.  There are many people looking for jobs and maybe I'm just not what they want but maybe I don't even get to the top of the pile once they cop how ancient I am!  There's nothing I can do about being fifty something.  If this is the reason I'm not getting lucky then I'm stuck!

The thought that I may have 30 more years to go and they stretch out before me filled with nothing is terrible.  I think I still have things to contribute but I may never get  the chance again.  This is really depressing and the more I think about it the more depressed I get.  What am I going to do with all that time?  There's only so much knitting I can do after all!

So what do I do?  How do I get my life back on track?  I do apply for jobs, lots of jobs, all sorts of jobs ... and nothing.  Often there's no acknowledgement of the application or it's progress.  Now I do know that every job vacancy gets loads of applications but an email would be nice.

So again I ask - what do I do?  I have vague ideas of writing but don't have any idea how to do that or what I could do to turn it into some form of career.  I've also thought of doing some from of crafting and selling but again I lack the knowledge and the confidence in my ability to do it.

Now that's interesting.  'Confidence in my ability' - something that I think may well be holding me back.  And that's a far harder nut to crack.  I've always struggled with confidence; not the sort that allows you to march into a pub and buy a drink or approach and chat to a stranger but the sort that lets you push yourself forward and say 'Me, I can do that, give me a go, I can do it'.  I feel uncomfortable blowing my own trumpet.  I always think I'm going to get found out and fail.  Mind you I'm good at failing so maybe that could be my approach!  Look at me, I'll give it a whirl and then fail, you can all laugh at my failure and thank God you're not me!

So that's where I am at the moment.  I'm spending far too much time worrying that I'll never feel useful and wanted again, that I'm now doomed to faff about applying for jobs, not getting them and trying to fill my time with something meaningful.  All sounds very depressing and not how I want to spend the next 10, 20, 30 years.

Sorry if this is a depressing read.  But I hope I feel better for it; I actually feel emotionally drained from writing this but sometimes you need to go down before you can get up.


Friday, 11 July 2014

Word of the Week

Every Friday I balk at Word of the Week.  Having to think back over my week and decide on one word to encapsulate the last seven days is often daunting.  This week has been no different.  How do I choose a single word that sums up the week so far?

This week's word is ... drum roll please ...

Yet again I'm wasting time dithering about.  My mind has been like a really flighty butterfly, whizzing about all over the place.  I've been unable to settle at anything - knitting, sewing, reading, writing.  The outcome of this is that I've accomplished very little this week.  All my hopes of being organised and planning out what I wanted to do each week/day have fallen by the wayside.  Now in the past this would have sent me spiralling out of control, beating myself up about my failure and inability to 'get sorted'.  However this Friday I've decided that I'm going to be kind to myself and forgive the dithering.  Next week I will try to  do better, to finally finish sewing up that sweater, to write something everyday, to make the most of my time and end the week feeling fulfilled and pleased with myself.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

World Cup Fever

I don't usually write about sport, which is odd as I spend far too long watching it! But the World Cup has gripped the house (not husband obviously; he's not into footie!)  My son, who previously showed no interest in football, has got into this World Cup and it's been fun watching the matches with him.  He's making intelligent and informed comments about the teams and their tactics, I even think he's getting the hang of the offside rule!

As an England supporter it's always a good idea to pick a second team to support for when England get knocked out of the competition - which happened at the group stage this time round!  I chose The Netherlands as my club's captain plays for them, the mighty Ron Vlaar!  So I'm cheering for them now and have enjoyed being part of the Orange Army (no I don't wear an orange onsie or paint my face, I'm a grown up for goodness sake!)

Last night the first semi final was played between Brazil and Germany.  Naturally we were supporting Germany - I always support the European team and wanted to see a European team win in South America and kill that particular demon. 

At the beginning of the week I saw a poster in a bookies window offering odds on Germany winning 2-1 and I thought 'That might be worth a tenner' but I don't bet so didn't act on it.

Well there's no way I was prepared for what happened.  Germany were awesome and at half time they were 5-0 up!  They looked as if they could score whenever they wanted and their defence was rock solid.  By the time the final whistle went they had won 7-1, the heaviest World Cup defeat for Brazil.  Tears all round in the Brazilian camp and German smiles wider than the Rhine!

Now tonight Argentina play Netherlands.  We're supporting the boys in orange but I'm seriously worried that if they do get through  to the final they'll get hammered by Germany who look unstoppable. 

I'm not sure I can bear the thought of Ron Vlaar in tears!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

This is not Word of the Week

I know it's too early for Word of the Week but there is a word looming large this week and that word is ...


I have a job interview on Thursday.  So I'm already starting to obsess and panic.

I don't do well with interviews.  I start to get worked up about a week before the actual interview date - I start to worry about what I'll be asked at the interview; I worry about how I'll get there, will I be too early or, heaven forfend, too late; what shall I wear and will I look presentable.  You get the picture.

I'm also concerned that I won't come over well in the interview because I've got in such a state.  At my last interview I could hardly speak when it was time to do my presentation as I was hyperventilating so much!  Thankfully I managed to get through it in one piece.

I'm trying to stay calm this time round but have already started to obsess about what I'm going to wear and which bus to catch.

Hopefully when the real Word of the Week comes around I'll have good news to share ...