01.05.2022 | “The Only Thing That’s Left To Do Is Live…”

Lyrics: I Knew Prufrock Before I Got Famous – Frank Turner, 2008

*taps microphone* Is this still on?

That’s been a loooong time without a blog post. I was on such a “oversharing” roll two weeks ago and then my life just got so busy. Which is a good thing! And I knew it would be and in all the crazy business I thought on occasion I should try to write a few things down and by that work through it, but then I was too tired or too busy and such. Let’s try a short recap of the madness though.

New (?) Life in the Pandemic | The pandemic is not over. Far from it, I’d say. But for the first time in a long time I can understand the impulse to just not care as much and maybe act like we all did in the “before times”. These past two weeks I’ve been out and about and in crowds and interacting with lots of other people for the first time since March 2020. And it felt great! Of course.

In crowds – like at gigs, on the train, even walking around the breakfast room at a hotel – I still wore a mask. Often enough as the only person, which made me feel quite self-conscious at times and embarrassed to stand out. But then I remembered the “you were in close contact with someone / had distanced encounter with a few people who tested positive” notifications popping up on the German Track&Trace App quickly after the two gigs in Germany. And I resisted the temptation to take off the mask and blend in. So what, if I stood out with my white mask in the front row? It made me recognizable to the support band and provided me with thumbs up and smiles and waves from two of the band during the last gig, so… I can’t complain.

I did take off the mask during the gigs for brief moments, like when people came to say Hi or for the rare photo op with the artists. All in all, I still think I’ve been quite safe. I tested negative for a period of ten days and took a test on Friday before I set off for the last two gigs on the weekend. I will need to test on Wednesday anyway as I head into the office, which fits with a possible incubation time. But I’m not too worried.

Being a Frank Turner Fangirl | I have so missed this! Not necessarily the exhaustion that come with the travelling and the exercise and the lack of sleep. But the live music from my favourite band. The atmosphere. The singing and dancing and jumping up and down. The people. The familiar faces from previous gigs. The friends I’ve made and finally saw again. The new folks I met. It’s been too long indeed. Thinking back to my first two years going to gigs on my own because I was too shy and scared and felt too alien to what I thought was a typical “cool” Frank fan to make a connection with anyone. In Tilburg several people I have met online or at gigs and then connected on social media came by to say Hello and it felt so good to be a part of this community. Again. It does replenish my heart and soul and I really hope I will never again have to go without it for such a long time.

I missed being scream at from stage 🙂

Travelling to the UK | The other crazy thing I did in the past two weeks was to travel to Shropshire for four days to celebrate my friend Amanda’s 50th birthday. I had to drive to Brussels after two Frank Turner gigs on too little sleep to catch the Eurostar there. Travelling abroad for the first time in two years was exciting but not as nerve racking as I had feared. It was lovely to see my friends again and spend time with new people and just talk and be in company of friends and to do new things. It does help when the friend works in an amazing museum, which provides plenty of lovely things to do. She had asked all her guests to take a test before coming to the party which was spread out through several rooms, which all in all made me feel quite safe as well. And it worked as none of us caught anything from it. Well done, Amanda and David!

Handmade Tile
My first handmade tile

Therapy | I had the first two sessions with my therapist and I think it went quite well. I like her, she’s very easy to talk to and at the moment it still feels like just chatting about stuff. I’m a bit behind with my “homework” though and need to get on with that next week. It still feels a bit weird, as I have no idea how it will evolve and what it will do with me. But I think it’s a very good thing that I started it.

Entertainment | Of course I came home from the UK with a few new books. I can’t help it. One was a birthday present and another was a loan/gift, so I only bought three more, which is not too bad, is it? On the trip back from the UK I started reading the non-fiction “Bodies – Life and Death in Music” by Ian Winwood whose honest and open, but always also warm and funny style got me hooked right away. But it is a bit of a dark subject matter and after my work week started again on Tuesday I realized I need something lighter for a few days. So I switched to Mhari MacFarlane’s “Mad About You”, which might turn out a bit darker than I expected as well. But still not as dark as I will put it away, because it’s very entertaining otherwise. I’ve also started watching “Heartstopper” on Netflix, after I read about it on Twitter and enjoyed the trailer. Such a lovely show. Only eight episodes so I need to pace myself a bit to prolong the ending…

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