Too Long To Proof Read, Sorry
Right, so, I went to Australia, then came back, now I am in Devon, which is like Australia in many ways (climate, kangaroo population, shrimps, barbies, etc).
We did attempt to get upgraded on the plane by brushing our hair before going to the airport and then telling them about my prolapsed disc and trapped hip nerve, but the conversation didn't quite go as planned. In my head I imagined myself swanning elegantly up to the desk and exchanging a few pleasantries with the airline person behind it. If it was a straight woman I would compliment her hair and ask her where she got her teeth done (or something) then show her Ben's pretty eyes, if it was a straight man/gay woman I would flirt gently but harmlessly, if it was a gay man I would (GENERALIZATION ALERT) sing a show tune. After a small amount of delicate bonding the conversation would no doubt turn to my health, at which point I would modestly but sadly mention my crippling agony, downplaying it enough to seem brave but not so much that it actually seemed somewhere in the region of a moderately stubbed toe. At this point I would gaze wistfully into the distance for a bit while Ben would explain in a whisper that I was possibly the most courageous person he had ever met. The airline person by this point would be wiping the tears from their cheeks, marvelling at this lionhearted (but ravishing) vision before them. After a quick tiptap on the keyboard, she/he would, with hands quivering with emotion, hand over our boarding passes, with the words FIRST CLASS emblazoned across the top.
As it happened, I managed to say "um, excuse me, but I have got a really sore back" before we were turfed into Economy with the rest of the blithering plebs.
Apart from the flights (which were actually better than expected, apart from the cold, barely-restrained fury of the stewardesses at every request. As I said to Ben, I just wanted to write "I'm sorry" on my face to save having to say it every time I requested some extra gin) it was a fantastic trip.
We went round Tasmania! After Laura and Rob's lovely wedding we did a road trip, which was brilliant. Tassie is apparently the butt of many jokes down there in the under, but we thought it beautiful. Lush and gorgeous with beaches that laughed in the face of our camera ("do not think you can capture my splendour with that thing, fools"). I cannot possibly summarize it properly, so I will do it like this:
It was fantastic, as you can tell from my lyrical and expressive turn of phrase. The one thing I will say is that, if you are ever lucky enough to go to Hobart, I must insist that you visit MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art). Ben and I were there for about four hours and we saw about two thirds of it. Some of the art I saw there made my brain somersault and my heart trip up. Some of it was fucking disgusting, some of it weird, some of it beautiful. I loved it so much. When you go in you get given an 'O' phone, which is basically an iPhone. It locates you and then finds which pieces you are near, so you then click on a piece and it comes up with information about that piece (there are no signs in the whole place). You can then press the 'artwank' symbol, and it will come up with an article or two about that piece, or 'ideas' and it will give you an (often irreverent)fact or idea or 'audio', at which point you plug in your earphones and you can listen to an interview with the artist. But you don't have to do any of this, you can just experience it. There was work by Jenny Saville, Marina Abramovic, Kandinsky, Damien Hirst and just loads and loads of insane and fantastic stuff. God, I loved it. You get on a boat from Hobart there and back, and on the way back I couldn't stop talking, I felt like my little horizons had just been stretched apart with a satisfying creak.
There were loads of other things I loved about the trip but I must stop gushing like a twat. Melbourne is delightful. People kept assuming we must be really excited about the royal stupid wedding and it kept being a bit awkward when we weren't. (I didn't watch it. I think it was a shameful waste of money, and any benefit it has for 'the country' is lessened because we are a country with no libraries, youth services, allotments, etc. At the very least I think every tax payer should be allowed to wear Kate's dress once, seeing as we all paid for it.)
It was my 29th birthday, so I am now considerably more mature and less prone to whimsy (and political, see above). On the way back we didn't get upgraded in much the same manner as we didn't get upgraded on the way there, only this time we weren't upgraded with two stopovers and more screaming children than I have ever seen in one place, and I work in schools. Seriously, I considered putting on a production of Oliver! to warm the frozen, be-lipsticked hearts of the stewardesses.
So we went there, then came back. My back was awful for a bit, but is now better. Ben's sister Laura is a physio and so had the dubious pleasure of watching me bend in various directions saying things like "that hurts slightly more than the other time but not as much as the time on the other side", but she was lovely and gave me lots of pilates things for my rehabilitation process. I am no longer walking like an incontinent crab.
Now we are in Devon. Totnes! We are doing a project which culminates in a performance on the 14th May, so if you are in the area you may attend. I cannot promise free wine or quality (on my part) but I can promise enthusiasm and a degree of love. We bought a cello pick-up, which is basically a thing that attaches to my cello and picks up the sound. We have plugged this in to the loop pedal along with a microphone, and I have barely been able to stop playing with it since, it's bloody incredible. Ben is writing furiously. The other music guy, Dan, is coming down on Wednesday, and the director, Cheryl, is coming on Friday. I have no idea what it's all going to look like, but I do know that my whole way of musicking has just been blown wide open. It's brilliant and terrifying and kind of makes me want to go and sit in a corner and read a book for a bit, just to calm down.
We are in a bar as our accommodation doesn't have wifi. People are beginning to come in and drink heavily, so we must depart and stop bringing the mood down with our relentless tapping and frowny concentration. Also I am starting to find it difficult not to eavesdrop and laugh at the jokes of strangers, which is always a signal to leave.
Happy May Bank Holiday, everyone.