Instructions for Dancing

Thursday December 31, 2009

and everything starts today

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 6:00 pm

Hi, I realise I never introduced you to my favourite Christmas present ever.

(explanation for the uninitiated lies here.)


Wednesday December 30, 2009

i owned the set of shoulders

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 12:30 pm

“Yes, everything is possible.”

I don’t rec much music here, but I’m listening to this album right now and I feel like talking about it. It’s called Young Machines, and it’s something like the fifth album by Her Space Holiday, one of Marc Bianchi’s musical projects. He was also in the band Indian Summer, which was a 90s band that involved a lot of screaming. so obviously HSH continues in the same vein, making music that’s pleasant, undemanding and sortof sparkly. exhibit A, first song on the album:

Her Space Holiday – The Young Machines

I am really keen on stories about reinvention. I’m not past the point of using them to excuse/condone breaking up my first successful longterm relationship. But it was so successful and longterm! Driving back to Chris J’s last night, I struggled to explain myself beyond “I just didn’t want to be in it anymore”. he pointed out that this in itself is a legitimate reason.

I am also keen on Something to Do With My Hands, which is a catchy and rather sexy song about morally dubious activity. As with most music ever, it’s on youtube.

The rest of the album is not quite as good as these two songs, but it’s pleasant listening. The only thing I really regret is that they didn’t get a violinist who could play third position in tune for the riff sustained throughout Tech Romance. seriously.

Wednesday December 23, 2009

hope is currency

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 11:59 pm

I’ve been home about a week. I can’t really wrap my head around that; everything here feels so safe and peaceful. It feels like I’ve always been here.

No news; I’ve been spending my days fake-working and playing the Sims and cooking and hanging out with Sam. Death Note is amazing and we both really love it. Monday, Paul and Susannah and I went to see New Moon, which was hugely entertaining and a lovely evening all-round. (<3) I’ve been seeing a lot of Suuz during the days, too, as she’s been bringing her laptop round and we’ve been trying to motivate each other. Mixed success. we’ve also watched Merlin and sung along to a lot of classical favourites on Youtube. Yesterday I saw a fox in the garden. I have been getting up early and eating too much chocolate and laughing a lot.

If you don’t hear much of me in the next few weeks, it’s because everything is easy and I am okay. Happy Christmas.

Friday December 18, 2009

hold your hand all day

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 11:30 pm

It’s me! and the Parthenon.

This feels like a very long time ago now. Being home is great and I still can’t stop saying this. My parents are more unintentionally amusing than ever, and it’s great spending time with Sam again, and I’ve got into healthy habits like getting up and going to bed earlier, which is making me feel surprisingly good (and has the added bonus of shocking my family).

Two things are facilitating earlytimes: firstly, leaving my laptop downstairs in the kitchen, which is where I am now (I love wireless). it’s more public, which means I read less fic, watch less Merlin and get much more work done. Secondly (because God knows self-control alone doesn’t get me out of bed in the morning), I’ve picked up a painful sickbug which wakes me up stupidly early and stops me from falling back to sleep again. silver linings are great.

Now that I’ve been back for a bit and downloaded my photos, I wanted to reflect on independent adultlike holidaymaking (hah) and the things I learnt while doing it. Actually, it boils down to just the one:


It is my intention never to go on another adventure holiday without taking a shiny shiny notebook with me. For many years it’ll probably be this very one. this is the most beautiful notebook I have ever seen (hallucinogenic cats and butterflies <333) and Ev gave it me for Christmas, because she is Marvellous. obviously I had to do something special with it. Keeping a travel journal makes a great souvenir, obv, but if you’re slightly antisocial and travelling with slightly antisocial friends, it’s also a great way of communicating better. Em and I preferred to do our own thing while wandering sites and museums, but we’d come back and write about them in the same book, so we got to share things that way. it was a great, non-confrontational way of discussing what we’d done and what else we’d like to do. it was also something nice to do at mealtimes when we were too tired to keep up regular conversation.

lest our diligence impress you, I should admit that our entries were more a study in one-upmanship and rude diagrams than anything particularly intellectual. but then, that probably says more about our holiday than any serious account would. as I said, it makes a great souvenir. it’s just not one that I’m ever going to show my parents.

Thursday December 17, 2009

and i owe it all

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 2:35 am

2:30 in the morning and I’m sitting at the kitchen table, dishwasher going off behind me and a empty mug quickly cooling next to me. I got back from York maybe an hour ago, and, yesterday evening, I got back from Athens. four days before that, I got back from London, and I guess four days before that, I left Cambridge. I can’t say how good it feels finally to be back at home, version original and best, and to know that I don’t have to leave again for three weeks.

You don’t really appreciate things until you’re going without. I’ve had a really good week, but not many of those memories match up to how nice it feels to be here now.

There are a few, though. Thursday, 7pm, and second cutest choir boy sat down next to me in our rehearsal room and sheepishly asked me to join a Charpentier consort. We’ve got to know each other a bit better this term, and I know he’s not normally unsure of himself. I’m not normally so sarcastic anymore, but I defaulted and gave him a hard time about this, mainly because I could see he was working himself up to ask me something and I was trying not to get butterflies wondering what it could be.

Then there was Sunday, 4pm, sitting on the Pnyx and looking out over Athens, listening to a guitarist and trumpeter improvising lazily. The sun was setting behind me and the shadows moved far in just an hour. Emily fell asleep on my left leg.

In Athens especially, it’s way past my bedtime.

Sunday December 6, 2009

no more halos on evergreens

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 11:59 pm

Term’s over!

I… think I did good? It’s a little hard to qualify when you haven’t handed any work in or got any reports back from supervisors. But, um, I’m still alive. I navigated a breakup. I wrote a novel. I fell in love with my library. I did some brave things. I slowly got back to being happy again. I also discovered again how none of these cool things are really my own doing, and how I am really a big wuss who has to rely on her excellent friends and her excellent God. and her excellent teddy bear. no comment.

Monday, choir goes to London and I get to stay with Ev for a few days. fwee! Tomorrow night we’re singing in St John’s Smith Square, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Apsley House, Thursday night, St Martin’s again, and Friday I’m HOME. (Then uh, Saturday 7:30am, I’m off to Greece with Emily. Back Tuesday night…)

Right now I’m thinking longingly of home and actually feeling envious of my luggage which got taken there on Saturday. this is probably a new low. But I’d be an idiot to regret having the chance to do all these awesome things, and I need to remember that as I get to do them. London and Athens at Christmas, both not being paid for by me, and I’m a lucky girl. Besides, somehow all this stuff only makes up eight days. then it’s back to homecooked meals and dishwashers and proper central heating.

Thursday December 3, 2009

beautiful secret lives

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 11:59 pm

This morning was probably one of the best of my life.

If you know me, you’ll know not to be too impressed. I hate mornings. And nothing amazing happened in this one except for another singing lesson that went (surprisingly) well: highlights included my terrifying teacher saying “You have a beautiful larynx” and noting that my jaw doesn’t have its normal problem of moving sideways when I set up my breathing properly. As she told me a few weeks ago that I’d probably have to see an osteopath later in life (“But don’t worry, it doesn’t seem to affect your singing!”), this is very good news.

But no, nothing amazing. After my lesson I took cover in my favourite coffeeshop, working on an essay and waiting for the rain to let up a little, and once it did I set off for the library with laptop in bag, dodging bicycles on King’s Parade. The sun was out but it was still raining gently; the streets were wet and reflecting the light. I stepped over puddles and rounded the corner onto Silver Street, and a really lovely song by Copeland came through my headphones. I thought about where and who I am right now and I felt supremely okay about both.

This is going to sound weird, but my singing and my faith seem to operate in fairly similar ways. This morning we made a small breakthrough and I found myself singing like I have never before. I have been singing for years but today everything¬† suddenly got a little bit easier and clearer and I had no idea it could be like that. Sometimes it feels like there’s not enough joy, like you’re going through the motions and you don’t quite know why, and then at the most unexpected times there are flashes of shocking clarity and you think oh, that’s what it’s meant to feel like. That is ‘why’. That’s what happened to me this morning.

And now I need to carry on writing that essay.

edit: also, amused by my parents. The mental image this description presents is so true of my family’s dynamic, I can’t even say. Behold:

We've just watched the last Star Trek film that
we missed at the cinema and really enjoyed it. Those characters are the
only ones we really know and it was fun recognising each younger version.
I didn't quite get the alternative reality bit but Sam has explained it.

Tuesday December 1, 2009

charlie’s making me smile

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 6:48 pm

Sometimes I feel like my inner life is escaping and setting up camp in the real world.

POINT ONE, I just got home and the girl living underneath me is playing Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have at full volume.

POINT TWO, I discovered today that cute guy with ridiculous fashion sense also moonlights as a mildly incompetent librarian.¬†(Clearly I’m suffering withdrawal, because upon discovery of this I immediately thought what a good fictional character he’d make.) Life, why are you owning me so hard today.

edit: Okay, not quite so hard. Life has actually been rather good to me today, full of little happinesses. Tonight I went to Compline, or rather, dragged myself there because it was the last one of term and I felt like I needed a chance to reflect on things and hang out with God. I did that. Then I stayed in the chaplain’s room until midnight, talking about organ jokes, crossbar challenge and Edwin’s minor sexual crisis over Gareth Bale. <3

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