30.04.2021 | “And the images that fucked ya, were a patriarchal structure…”

Lyrics: “Black Tie” ~ Grace Petrie, 2018

Two unrelated moments this week made me ponder my skewed perception of myself. And of parts of the world.

I. I was on the panel of an online conference this week, speaking in English for a few minutes to about 150 people all over Europe. It all went well, no big deal. My first and foremost reaction should have been one of achievement and maybe even pride. And I did feel those emotions and still do. And I try to not dwell too much on the fact that I accidentally switched on my microphone later while I was listening to other speakers, while rummaging through my apartment. Oops. The moderator asked me to please turn off my sound and it was all fine. But I was pretty embarrassed, because as far as I know I was the only one with this tiny mistake in the whole 3 hour conference. My mind is so tuned in to focusing on these tiny bits that might have not gone well, instead of me acing my two speaking parts. Oh well, I consider it progress that I can distinguish between those emotions and take the worrying about the open mic with a grain of salt. Nobody will remember that. I shouldn’t either.

II. The other moment when I realized my ingrained views are rather messed up – through no fault of mine, I think, but rather a result of the patriarchal misogynistic world we live in – happened this morning. When I had to to check my first reaction to reading the Guardian article about the allegations of sexual harassment and bullying against Noel Clarke. I had no idea how that guy was. Still don’t really. But I started reading it on Twitter this morning and my first impulse was to give him the benefit of the doubt. Which consequently of course means: doubting the reports of the 20 women. I caught myself quickly and was a bit appalled by myself. I mean, how could my first reaction as a woman be to doubt other women and to rather want to believe that the guy can’t be “that bad”? Like I said I don’t even have any idea who he is. I have no reason at all (sympathy, fangirling whatever) to put more trust in him than in the women. That’s so messed up and to me only shows again how much I have to train myself to overcome all those century old beliefs instilled in probably all of us about women’s worth and all.

Mostly Happy Thoughts… This morning Frank Turner’s new song “The Gathering” accidentally showed up on Spotify. With a release date of May 7th. But still available to listen to. I only managed to do that once though, before it got pulled. Bummer. He played the acoustic version a few times during live streams this year and I loved that. The full band version blows your head off in the best way possible. That’s the happy thought. The “mostly happy” bit… I assume with the new song next Friday there will be an announcement for live shows in the UK this summer. And I’m happy for all my friends in the UK, but… I doubt I’ll be able to – as in be allowed to either from German or UK government – to come over for that. Makes me sound like public enemy #1. I’m not. Fuck Covid.

My show here in Germany to see Frank and the Souls supporting NOFX for Punk in Drublic was postponed from early June to late August. I knew it wouldn’t happen in June. At the moment I honestly doubt it will happen in August, as I have no idea how travel restrictions will be by then. They also changed the venue to one in the city I work in, which gives me all the feels. For obvious reasons, because it would be cool to just drive down 10 minutes from my office to the venue. But like I said at the moment I still doubt it will happen in four months time and that just makes me sad.

Fragmented Travel Memory: My Frank Turner mix started with “The Graveyard of the Outcast Dead” this evening, when I sat down to write this post. Another London memory, back then in January 2020 when we were all so oblivous of times to come….

“The Graveyard of the Outcast Dead”, London, January 2020

28.04.2021 | “Lately I’ve Been Feeling All Worn Out…”

Lyrics: “Faithful Son” ~ Frank Turner, 2009

State of mind: Exhausted. I’m trying to get a decent amount of sleep, because otherwise I’d probably not make it through the week. Yes, drama queen here. But I haven’t really felt this tired recently. And I don’t really know what causes it. My (latest) theory is, that I need all my physical and mental energy to deal with the constant onslaught of worrying. About work, where I still feel more overwhelmed than I probably need to feel. The pandemic and everything of course. Worrying myself in circles over rather insignifcant things. Trying to be a function adult during a pandemic is hard. Not just for me though, I think, which makes it a bit more bearable. But knowing a lot of other people feel the same doesn’t really help a lot either. I’m so sluggish and every other day I make plans and new resolutions to do this or that or change this or that and then every day tasks of work and life seems to pile up and I’m not following through on either. Pathetic, I know. Not fishing for sympathies here. Trying not to beat myself up too much.

I’m taking a few days off from work mid-May and maybe the time off will help me to get back on track with some routine to help me deal with this funk a bit better.

Positive Thoughts 4 Negative People:
Being grateful for having had my first Covid vax jab, when I read how much longer other folks with pre-conditions might have to wait. โ˜† The dress-rehearsal (pre-recording) for my speech at a big international online conference went well yesterday. โ˜† Humpday is almost over. One day closer to the weekend.

Fragmented (Travel) Memory: This morning while I was preparing my coffee I was reminded of doing the same thing in the flat I shared with my friend Amanda during Lost Evenings II in London in 2018. So many happy memories. I could share some of the festival and the amazing gigs, but I picked one of our strolls along Regent’s Canal in Camden instead. Gosh, I miss travelling. London. Spending time with friends…

Regent's Canal, Camden 2018
Regent’s Canal, Camden 2018

25.04.2021 | “Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of fragile”

Lyrics: “Faithful Son” ~ Frank Turner, 2009

It’s been a weird couple of days again. Feeling properly overwhelmed with work stuff. Being overly sensitive and emotional in a way that made me feel like I was being criticised with every tiny interaction, work-wise mostly. Always looking for a fault on my side. Being close to tears too often and without cause.

On the other hand I think I might just need a good proper cry and howl about the dreadful times we live through at the moment and I might feel better. Then I feel guilty for thinking that, because I’m one of the lucky privileged ones these days, so what do I have to complain about?

I seem to be having a hard time dealing with a lot of life in general at the moment. If that makes sense. I fill my days with fiction on TV or in books. Over and over again, to keep my mind occupied and keep me from thinking too much about real life. Real thoughts. Not think about myself too much as well. I feel like I really don’t want to be “in my head” at the moment, so I fill my head with fictional characters and plots. Probably not the wisest decision. I don’t know. I’m recognizing I might have a bit of problem here at least, right? Let’s see how it will pan out over the next few days weeks.

For half a day on Friday I considered writing my 2 cents about the 50+ German actors who lent their voice and face to a campaign which… seems to want to criticise the German government’s Covid policies. They also called it a “piece of art” so you couldn’t really know. I retweeted a lot about that on Friday, because I considered the campaign misguided and wrong (and stupid and cynical and so many other things). But then I realized I have (and still am to some extent) been spending too much time reading about it and what other people said about it and I just couldn’t / shouldn’t bother any more with it. Deutsche Welle has a good English summary on it all. The article is from Friday and by now about 15 more actors have withdrawn their videos and/or apologized.

What else? It was my birthday yesterday. The 2nd one in lockdown. Yay! Or not. I mean, it was alright and compared to last year more relaxed, because I had a friend come over in the afternoon, which was lovely. I got lots of messages on various channels which was also very nice. No one released a live album as present for me this year though ๐Ÿ™‚

In one of the novels, I mentioned above a bit of the story takes place in Kent, not in East Sussex, but I was reminded of my few days there by the coast either way. So here’s the my latest “Fragmented Travel Memories” picture….

Seven Sisters, Sussex, 2017
Seven Sisters, Sussex, 2017

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