Back To The Here And Now
London is very big and with fewer mountains than I have become used to. More people get my name right on a day to day basis. I have been told that I have lost weight and that my hair has changed colour. I do not believe either of these statements.
(An aside: I coloured my hair in April. I bought a packet of hair dye from Superdrug for a fiver, which claimed to be 'Chocolate Brown'. I have brown hair anyway, so I was more doing it for fun than to make any dramatic changes. Anyway, to cut a boring story shorter but not to actually cut any of the boringness out of it, my hair is now a (glowy) (I like to imagine) auburn colour. Some people say ginger, but only because they are jealous, although I have yet to find out precisely what of. Now at least one person a day claims that my hair has changed colour, and I have reached the conclusion that it reacts to things like sunlight and oxygen, and is sensitive to mood, carb intake and the ever changing tides.)
The jet lag is manifesting itself in extreme forgetfulness and doing things in the wrong order, which explains why I very nearly put my shoes on before my underwear this morning and couldn't remember why that was a bad thing. All in all, though, I feel pretty good.
I have perfected my response to the 'how was your holiday?' question. It is very important to perfect this quickly, particularly for the workplace, as if you overshare people start to twitch uncomfortably and their appreciative nods become unconvincing, and if you are too reticent people don't have anything to nod appreciatively at and the 'so do you feel rested?' question comes too soon. Both situations are embarrassing, so I was pleased to have honed my response within the first couple of goes.
(I am a horrible, cynical person. I do not deserve to be asked about my holiday.)
EXCITING NEWS (POTENTIALLY) (WE ARE NOT GETTING TOO EXCITED):
I sent a copy of my demo to a producer I have been talking to. My songs that I wrote. I spoke to him today and he said they were, and I quote, "stunning". Which I think means that there is some potential, but that is absolutely good enough.
I am going to the studio at the weekend, and we are starting to get going on making the album. The only annoying thing is that the studio is in Eastbourne, so I have to get there on the train, which is a bit of a hassle. Except that I don't care, I just want to record my album, and if Eastbourne is where I must go to make that happen then so bloody be it.
I can't really believe that I'm actually going to be working on, recording and performing material that came solely from my head. The very same head that wakes up in the middle of the night last week desperate to tell someone a joke about a toucan (poor Tom), and that genuinely believes that Charmed is good television. It seems improbable that I might be beginning to get something I have wanted for so long.
There is so much more to say about New Zealand. I had such a wonderful time. I managed to get through forty eight hours of flights without once having to watch anything with Tom Cruise in it, although I did experience some flying delirium which induced me to watch Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Luckily I recovered and switched it off after twenty minutes of an experience that might be more accurately titled Your Brain: The Meltdown.
Tom and I travelled about six million kilometres in a small white car with a unassuming tow bar. He was the driver and I was the navigatrix. We only had one directions-related argument, and it has since been agreed that neither of us were at fault, but instead the directions themselves were dodgy, comprised as they were of things like "count six lamposts on your right, then after the second hairpin bend follow the lane and then stop at the sea" and not of handy things like visible landmarks and road names.
We took a similarly enormous number of photographs, some of which I might post up here at some point. We did plenty of outdoorsy things and plenty of indoorsy things. I met hundreds of family and family friends, and had to be on best behaviour for literally minutes on end, which was exhausting but best for everybody. We went skiing, at which I am good for an amateur person who has skiied a bit but not loads and Tom is good for a REALLY REALLY good person who can do jumpy turny things and ski backwards on purpose. I fell over once, and Tom wisely waited until he could see that I was laughing before laughing himself.
I really am not sure which bit of the holiday was my favourite. I loved the couple of days in Abel Tasman National Park. Sea kayaking, staying in a hut on the beach that night and then hiking the next day. We stood together on the beach just after the sun had gone down, holding hands and drinking Red Label whiskey from plastic camping cups, and in the shallows just in front of us we saw a small seal frolicking, splashing and diving in the water. After watching him until he playfully swam away, we sat and huddled together against the cold, and it was perfect. It was all so wonderful, the whole time.
Now it is back to life. The thing is, though, that life and reality seem like they might be about to get fairly exciting, and I am not sure I mind the here and now so much.