Saturday, January 28, 2006

How Do You Measure A Year In The Life?

How Do You Measure A Year In The Life?

It is probably fair to say that this time last year as I sat down at my computer, looking out at the view down Woodstock Road and clicking a couple of buttons on Blogger I didn't expect to have the relationship with DA that I now have. There are undoubtedly lots of statistics about how many people start blogs and then give up, usually in the first six months. It's not that I thought that I might become one of those statistics - though I can be as flakey as the next person - but I don't think I envisaged I'd still feel as compelled as I do now.

A few weeks ago, knowing that I'd have to write this blog, I started a re-read of DA. Which is not a task for the faint hearted given that brevity has never been one of my strong points. It took me a few days to wade through the 280 posts, but it was a rather wonderful experience. Because the year stretched out before me, with things that had long since slipped from my mind, jokes I'd forgotten, emotions that I didn't realise I'd had.

During DA's first year I've lived in Oxford and Leeds, finally gotten my 2:1, seen SSoB on stage, written The Four Right Chords and ended up working at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. I've written about going to Dublin, Cardiff, London (more times than I probably should have), Stratford, Newcastle, Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Ilkley, Whitby, Castleton, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Bradford, Billingham, Scarborough and, of course, the centre of the known Universe, York. I've blogged about Robin Gibb's pub, The Bedford, the Eagle and Child, The Melbourne, The Living Room and, most of all, the Evil Eye. There have been fountains, sixty second Hamlets, pub quizes, borrowed guitars, cowboy boots and more than a little Byron. I've been inside - and indeed at the stage door - of more theatres than is probably morally right for any one person. I've danced my legs off at band gigs. I've wanted to cry my heart out at acoustic gigs. I've been on crutches, complained about flu and got more than the odd Titanic headache from watching Neighbours. And it all stands within the folds of DA.

Of course there are things that aren't in DA; issues - and people - I've skirted around, either for their privacy or my own (I broke this rule once in a fit of pique but don't intend to do so again). I was worried that when I read the contents of DA there would be a point at which I was less emotionally honest than I was at the beginning. Because I would be lying if I said it didn't knock me sideways slightly when I discovered my readership was slightly bigger amongst my aquaintances than I had expected. I'd say that I'm slightly more emotionally obtuse than I used to be, and less likely to blog in the midst of some overwhelming emotion - though I am glad to say that I seem to have retained the ability to blog when I'm not at my nicest. I'd hate for it to become sanitised around here because of my own vanity. So I was rather happy to discover the air of balance there's been in DA for quite a long while. And - most importantly for my own ego - I made myself laugh. Which is both intensely sad and rather heart warming.

I think in reading DA I've discovered that I've tied up a lot of loose ends in my life in the last year - I've closed a couple of doors, but opened a few more. And it makes me excited. Because, if only so that I have lots to talk about this time next year, I've got to do even more exciting, scary things. And then come back and blog all about them.


Val said...

Happy Birthday DA! I've enjoyed reading (and featuring in)you for the last year.
Here's to the next year and to more shamelessly nicked photos ;-)

Nik said...

Happy Birthday DA! Also rather worrying, I was going to blog about all the stuff you've done in the past year since DA started but settled for a picture of cookies instead. So I raise my glass and thank DA because otherwise I wouldn't have a clue what you were up to since YOU NEVER ANSWER YOUR PHONE! :P