Friday, January 28, 2011

Obviously I didn't actually buy a bun for my blog...

I have begun to wonder how quickly this seems to come around. Possibly it worries more than my actual birthday (a week ago exactly, should you be wondering, though you most likely weren’t and, anyway, your complete ignorance of this probably makes you better off than the person who had me explain to them that whilst Christmas and my birthday might be relatively close and they might have made me an awesome and time consuming Christmas present this DOES NOT COUNT AS A PRESENT FOR BOTH. Unless, y’know, I’ve expressly stated/been told in advance of the 25th of December that this is the deal. And then they wonder why I HAVE A FACE ON.*). But it remains – today DA is six.

As it's traditional I now have to look back at the past year (realising in the process all the things I didn't blog). Last year, however, already has a blurry quality about it. There were some wonderful things: our little shop in Brixton, being in the Sunday Times, a blog post I wrote going mind-bendingly global and ending up in the Guardian (no, I did not mention that enough: it is a "brilliant corrective" people), possibly my favourite Latitude Festival ever (Daniel Kitson alone might have clinched it for me), the whole of August and Edinburgh Fringe and how emotional and brilliant and liver-busting that was, in general all of the theatre I saw (and there was a lot, I’ve not added up but I think I ended up around the 120 mark). I made some lovely new friends this year, possibly chief amongst them being BillyTheKid who I see so much of that Breakfast Club Boy has commented that if he were to die now at the very least he could say he’d achieved something by introducing us**.

There were momentous and yet unpleasant things. I stayed up all night with Arsenal Fan watching the election results in May. A few days later I cried when Gordon Brown resigned (as I tweeted at the time, history may or may not judge me but I liked him) and forced me to accept what I hoped was not coming. A few months later I stood outside Downing Street with hundreds of others on the day Osborne revealed the budget that is an ideological attack disguised as economic necessity. A month or so after that I was outside Milbank when the first protestors broke in. A month or so later still I was part of the crowd in Parliament Square who were charged at by Police Horses. The morning after that, as I sat on a packed commuter train headed for London Bridge and everyone sat reading the papers and their novels and listening to their music I wanted to scream and shout. Did they not realise what had happened? Did they not see children and young people being kettled on a bridge over the Thames in minus temperatures until almost midnight? Did they not realise how utterly betrayed we had been and how my world, in the most unexpected of ways, had shifted slightly.

Six weeks or so later a good friend told me, as we sat in the comfort of a warm pub in Leeds, that what had happened was hardly on his radar. That he certainly didn’t agree with why we had been there and, maybe, he didn’t really care. And I saw the faultline, mixed with my still raw autumn hurt, righteous anger and hardly concealed pride.

“How would I ever look at myself in the mirror if I don’t stand up for what I believe?” I said when what I really meant was – that I thought much less of him.

It almost rounded the year off in some neat way. Working in Brixton actually changed me slightly. It got me thinking about community and choice and our responsibilities as individuals. My fledgling quest to shop as independently a possible (I stopped buying books from chains or Amazon a couple of years ago) found its natural home with the UK Uncut movement (y’know I don’t miss TopShop at all. I miss Dotty Ps if we’re honest).

Then, because obviously the bad bits of 2010 weren’t just about my ideals (altruistic and selfless as I would like to claim I am****), there was the downright crappy bit of spending most of 2010 unsettled since I spent the grand total of five weeks of the year living in properties which weren’t either up-for-sale or sold. Let us be clear: it got REALLY SUCKY around March/April because of this, as well as making me really poor.

And I’d be lying if I didn’t mention how rubbishy it was at times with the stuff I almost got this year or the stuff that almost happened.

For the record, though, my getting an iPhone in July actually has changed my life a little bit. This may be both a positive and a negative.

And since we’re here and it’s nice to end a review of the year on a high note: I saw David Tennant manhandle a microphone stand whilst I sat mere inches away from him.

It’s odd, however, writing a review of the last year in DA’s life at this moment in time when I’m so firmly committed to what’s happening in the future. 2011 is already starting to take some sort of shape and there’s a big August shaped project that I’m both hugely excited by and rather a little flattered about being asked to be involved in (shush, don’t tell them I said that. I am aloof and professional and busy and important). I’ve a meeting next week about something I’ve written possibly being staged in the Autumn. I’m in the throes of a first draft of something very different to that project that I don’t yet hate. Plus – I have Liberty fabric to make my new computer cover out of and a ticket to see David Tennant in Much Ado.

It would be wrong of me, if only for posterity, not to mention that I sit writing this in my living room on the South Bank. Admittedly there’s going to be another move (sadly to somewhere that most likely won’t have a 24 hour porter who calls me “Madam”) but I’m rather content about that.

*Okay, so I wasn’t quite that bad. But I was bad enough that I felt the need to apologise the morning after. Repeatedly. The high maintenance badge I have is not entirely a joke.

**I’m not entirely sure he did introduce us (knowing the components at play I imagine BillyTheKid and I introduced ourselves) but it felt churlish to undermine the sentiment.***

***Which, obviously I have now done. Sorry.

****Stop laughing.

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