Monday, 2 March 2015

One Direction v Einaudi?

Firstly thank you for the lovely and supportive comments and messages after my last blog post that came to me via Facebook, texts, email, blogger and even a couple of phone calls. I am so glad to know that I'm not the only one feeling a bit wonky with things! 

When I write something that's a little more personal I do occasionally agonize about sharing. I wrote that last post in a little slot of time between the supermarket shop and waiting for Sibs to return from school. I didn't over think it as I can sometimes do, it was just a quick release.  I have many posts that once written never go any further than the drafts folder and this was almost one of them.  Then, for whatever reason I asked Sibs to read it as she was so involved in the content and with her approval I pressed publish.  I was quite taken aback with the big virtual hug that I felt - thank you, diolch.

So now back to something a little more frivolous and a little less soul sharing - a story for the memory bank.

A couple of Wednesdays ago I had a sort of double booking - I wanted to be in two places at the same time.

Let me tell you a bit more.

Some years ago friends back in the UK introduced me to the Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi.  Unfortunately I had never had the opportunity to hear him play live, so I was rather excited to find out he was coming to Brisbane and eagerly waited for the announcement of the date of his concert.  That date however seemed rather familiar....

Ah, yes, that would be the same night that 'One Direction' were in town. The night that Sibs had etched in her brain and on her calendar and that was on a countdown on her phone!

A part of me wanted to go and sit still in the quiet of QPAC Concert Hall and be mesmerised by Einaudi. Yet, I also wanted to be witness to the sheer joy that Sibs was bound to experience whilst she screamed her way through a few hours at Suncorp Stadium.

Could I choose the noise, the craziness, the hysteria over the brilliance of the Italian maestro?

I could possibly and probably have found a chaperon to take Sibs to Suncorp but I would have missed so much...
  • The excitement on the bus to the city where groups of girls and pairs of mothers and daughters were in various stages of anticipation.
  • The embarrassed giggles of my 12 year old when I pulled out some ham sandwiches from my bag. ( I had to sneakily eat one hidden under my seat as she was quite mortified!)
  • The funny "We love you Niall" that the two boys behind us shouted whenever the Irish one even remotely looked in our direction.
  • The scream that could possibly have perforated my left eardrum when Harry the one with the lovely hair walked close by and actually waved and blew kisses.
  • The little game we played to point out the best outfits. The two older ladies that had the skin tight 1D t-shirts and flashing headbands easily won, with the dad in the home decorated t-shirt a close second and the toddler in the white high heels came in third!
I have been fortunate to attend quite a few live music events and always have a good time but there is often a level of reserved enjoyment. Of course there are those who can really let it go but most hover on the side of enthusiastic toe tapping. Not long after moving to Australia one of my absolute favourite singers was touring with a farewell show. I treated myself to a good seat as this was it - the last opportunity to ever see him again....
The place was packed, the stage was ready, the music started, I got to my feet.....and I appeared to be the only one!
As the night went on, a few more managed to get up and join in with some rather unenthusiastic bopping, but I was less than impressed. (Sorry Mick)
There have been other bands that I have seen that have been more successful at getting the Brisbane crowds going, but I seriously doubt that any can get quite the same reaction as One Direction.

One Direction Suncop Stadium Brisbane Feb 2015
Whatever you may think of the commercialism that is the One Direction machine, their much anticipated live performances are pretty enjoyable.  Partly because of the energy that they have on stage but in the main because the audience is just happy to have a really good time.
If I'm to be a little over critical then they did appear to be slightly under rehearsed and surprisingly as this is the start of the tour they even looked a bit tired. The fun banter element between them that was in abundance in previous tours was not quite there but I suppose Suncorp Stadium is a little vast to really capture that. They did however still manage to flutter the hearts of those close to the stage with the constant waves and occasional short exchange of words.

The great thing was that they encouraged that wonderful spontaneity and lack of inhibition that we somehow lose a bit of as we age.  If the crowd felt like dancing, jumping, screaming, laughing or singing, then they just did it. No self conscious toe tapping bopping here!  Everyone lived the moment and it was hard not to get caught up in that. Ok, there was the one mum who sat down in the row in front - yes, sat in the row in front (maybe she wanted to be at the Einaudi concert?  Or maybe she was the same mum that sat with arms crossed behind me at the last 1D concert ??) but most people were on their feet. There were a few microphone and musical glitches but no-one seemed to notice and if they did, they just didn't care.

So I watched the crowd and it really made me smile. I watched Sibs and I was so happy to be next to her. So happy to be in that moment of experiencing her literally jumping for joy and just being twelve.

One Direction Suncorp Stadium Brisbane Feb 2015 

I later found out that the Einaudi concert was as I expected -  exceptionally good. There is no questioning the talent of the Italian pianist.  However, with his back almost to the people, Mr Einaudi apparently shared one mumbling "thank you Brisbane" with his audience.

Each member of One Direction thanked Brisbane and Australia over and over again. There were fireworks and streamers and laser lighting. They told their audience that they were beautiful and amazing and everyone felt the love. Us oldies even got a thank you for bringing whoever we brought to the concert. Tick!

I'm glad I made the choice that I made that night. I got to enjoy the performance for different reasons to the majority. Yes, I did appreciate the catchy songs but more than that I absolutely loved the atmosphere. I felt quite young and alive.....and happy.

A few days after the concert I was at home doing some housework and as usual I put the ipod on shuffle to help me along. Without a word of a lie out of almost 900 tracks the first track was "That's what makes you beautiful" by One Direction, but rather more disturbing was the fact that Ludovico Einaudi kept on popping up at a rather alarming regularity! It was almost as if he knew I had stood him up!
Ludovico, you'll just have to come back to Brisbane -  just make sure it's not the same day as a rather popular boy band!

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Monday, 23 February 2015

A bit of waffling on about parenting, ageing, wisdom and attitude!

This blog is about capturing the moments in life. It lets me write what's on my mind and then allows me to revisit. I do occasionally read back over the years and appreciate the memories that are here.
I think this piece is just about what's going on at the moment. I've just proof read it and it feels like I've just vomited words! 
I was going to scrap it or try and tidy it up, but for once I'm not exercising that control. I'll read it back in the future and see the confused jumble - because that's just how things are sometimes!

I've been watching a transition these last few weeks. A transition of my girl from a Primary School 12 year old to a High School 12 year old. In just under four short weeks the apron strings have most definitely slackened. Not quite been cut, but certainly looser!

I think my parenting is in a transition stage too. On the one hand I'm getting used to being slightly less in demand as she happily enjoys the independence of catching a bus to school, whilst on the other I'm calling on all my skills to help her manage some pretty big changes.

We recently experienced some friendship news that rocked Sibs's boat. (Actually it capsized for a bit but she came right!) She let me in and she shut me out.  I saw my beautiful girl struggle to manage the intensity of her emotions. I saw her retreat to her room and not want to show any vulnerability.

Gosh it took me back. Can you ever forget how insanely strong your emotions can be when you're twelve?

The end of the story is that we talked - albeit through a closed door at first, then through written notes, but we eventually got there.
When your heart is so invested and that's all you want to do is take the pain away, it's hard to be a parent...
She needs these bumps in her road to build her defences and resilience. I know that, but it's not what she wanted to hear.

I shared experiences with her. I recalled the angst of situations like this with the reassurances that we do get through them. I called on all the wisdom of age.

So just when you feel the lull in this parenting thing, out comes a whopper to test you! I guess life is just like that isn't it. The only thing that's constant is change....

I seem to have reached a stage where I've been thinking about age and ageing a bit recently.
This last year or so I have probably felt a bit older than I want to feel (or be!).  There have been some health challenges that only really become more apparent when I now feel better.  So I have just decided that being *cough, cough*  age isn't so bad after all and I should just be grateful and accept it.

I wonder if there is actually a 'best' age to be?
Would I go back to being a kid with no responsibilities and someone else making most of my decisions?
How about approaching my teenage years with all the uncertainties about absolutely everything ahead.
Do I want to be 17 or 18 again just on the cusp of independence and adventure?
Do I want to return to be in my early thirties, settled and secure?
Should I just be look forward to the next decade?

I remember turning 21 almost as if it was yesterday. My thirties were a bit of a blur and I missed the 'life begins at 40' memo. So here I am  - contemplating what feels like a bit of a see-saw age.

Are there any rules about what one should be like at a certain time in their life? Is this the time to bring out the A line skirts!?!

I hope not..... I'm enjoying the contradictions in my ways.

I can turn the volume up really high as I sing along to my Ed Sheeran CD in the car and then come home, make myself a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea and pick up my crochet! I quite like the fact that I don't feel the need to conform to any particular way of doing things. Don't ask me when that feeling happened though.

This 'accept me for who I am' attitude is getting more comfortable for me but is still a pretty shaky concept for a twelve year old.

I am parenting with the 'just trust and be yourself' theme like there's no tomorrow at the moment with a stern reminder to myself that it's taken me decades to get here!

Last week Sibs had an English assignment where she needed to write about someone who has influenced her to be who she is. She showed me her work and even though she warned me that I would probably cry, I wasn't quite prepared for the massive lump in my throat. It was a beautiful paragraph that captured so many things about acceptance, being true to yourself, finding your own beauty and following your dreams.

She gets it -  and I hope with all my heart she believes it.

Life is never perfect and as much as I think that I prepare myself with a way to parent to the best that I can, I know that the heat of the moment will sometimes overtake logic. That will be the time I re-read her assignment! I'll remind myself that it does go in....

So as we go through these bumps in the road I'll continue to try and remember back to those crazy overwhelming times. I'll be thankful that I got through them and thankful that I can hold Sibs's hand to steer her forward.

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