Fortunately there's been a lot of positive goings-on as well to offset the hassle. In the last couple of weeks we've been to 3 gigs, 2 clubs and 3 plays, most of which have been great (and the rest of which have at least been interesting in one way or another) so it's small wonder I haven't had time to write them up! I'm not actually trying to beat last year's gig-a-week average, but October's a good time for it: lots of stuff happening to convince freshers that Cambridge is great; my finances picking up again after the summer; the weather grey enough outside that hiding away in dark smoky venues full of beer and guitars seems like a good idea; warm enough to not mind being poured out onto the street late at night with sweaty t-shirts, aching feet and ringing ears.
I've also been pretending (in my head, at least) that I'm a fresher, and signing up for loads of new stuff. Last month I started going to tap-dancing classes again (I did it for a while at university but let it lapse), and I'm loving it. There's something about the sound of tap-dancing that just picks me up and makes my feet dance; even the simplest little tappity-tap step that we learn makes me feel all excited to think that I'm making that magical noise with my own feet! I'm not very good at it yet but I'm picking up the steps again quickly and trying to keep focused on getting the technique right as well -- it's like with all (other) languages, I've got a flypaper memory for the vocabulary which tends to make me lazy at putting in the groundwork with the grammar, and then further down the line I suddenly find I'm floundering.
Then earlier this week I auditioned for Peterhouse College choir. Singing in a chapel choir is something I've really missed since leaving Oxford, and I've been meaning to do something about that ever since coming to Cambridge, but it's taken me 5 years to get round to it. I was fairly nervous about the audition -- it was the first time I'd done any kind of audition since freshers' week in 1996, and that was for Hertford College choir, and I didn't get in. (Pembroke Choir didn't bother auditioning, though they probably should have tested the drinking ability of prospective choir members.) But the organ scholar at Peterhouse was friendly and made me feel a bit more at ease as he put me through the sort of aural tests that you get in music exams (again, something I hadn't done since the mid-90s) and got me to do a bit of sight-reading. I thought my sight-reading was messy, particularly in terms of getting the words/underlay right (though, bah, if you get "Praise him, the hea- [page-turn]" you can be forgiven for guessing "heavens"; but then when you realise the word is actually "heathens" you find yourself midway through entirely the wrong vowel-sound), but when I'd finished he looked at me and said "Well, sight-reading obviously isn't a problem for you!" Which was reassuring. Anyway, they're happy to take me if I can keep up with their rehearsal schedule; it's going to be a bit busy, but I'd like to try it for a term and see how it goes.
[Things I meant to write about at some point: gigs, patterns, work, spots, lost songs, and flapjacks. Don't hold your breath.]