Life in a Suitcase: Atlanta to Scotland

Time of writing: around 5am
Date: 25th July 2015
Reason for delay: Prep school WiFi makes WordPress go all funny. I posted this blog via email.

24 hours ago I was in a plane across the Atlantic ocean. In three hours I will be in transit to my next destination, Perth, Scotland, and three hours later I will be in a rehearsal room. The dizzying side effects of cross-continental travel bring to mind the scene of a jubilant ceilidh, with a live folk band and hundreds of people on the dance floor. The night is coming to a close, the people are drenched in sweat and bruises, though feel nothing for the current dance, Strip the Willow is numbing these sensations from their consciousness. There are spinning couples everywhere, accompanied by foot stomps and vigorous clapping, the kind that give you muscles aches and tender skin the next morning. You’re either watching people get dizzy or in vertigo yourself holding hands with your other half, desperate not to let your sweaty hands slip out of grip.

After 32 beats you are launched into the skies. Where to land? You see a man and grab his arm, only to be launched again into the clouds. Then you fall again into another spin, with a new man, who pulls your arm so fiercely your feet merely brush the floor. Some twirls seem to last forever, others whip you forward like a car passing on the motorway. You feel not only excited and exasperated, but your face wears an expression of constant disbelief and astonishment at the number of spins your own body is capable of enduring. But suddenly the body stops and the music keeps going. All that is moving of you is your own rapid breath. Filled with despair, having reached the bottom of the line, there is nothing you desire more than climbing back up and do it all again. But you know that it will be a year before that happens.

I am 20 years old. I am not at all used to this number describing something about me. My eyes go funny looking at the left digit, now 2 instead of 1, as if it were suffering from a millisecond long astigmatism. Every day since July 11th I have wondered why time moves so fast and I have to grow older. Such thoughts lead me into a deep, existential space where I remain motionless. Perhaps I am in a vacuum because my mind is definitely experiencing implosions. Incessantly.

Another emotion I have been feeling of late, which I also attach to the new age, is broodiness. I have always loved children, but this summer I don’t know how I will survive without having a 18-month old baby in the house. The baby I speak of is my darling sister, Emma.

I will write about her in detail in a few weeks. All I really wanted to tell you was that I spent my 20th birthday with – guess what – babies. Emma is friends with two half-Chinese twins, whose family hosted a pool-BBQ party. Like a day I’d celebrate with my peers, it was messy. The twins put corn cobs in plastic tumblers of Sunny D and spilt them of course. A tub of ice-cream, which we had provided, was at such temperature that no-one, not even an adult, could consume it elegantly.

On other normal days, I enjoyed a super boring, lazy lifestyle. I practised a lot actually, at least 5 hours a day on most days, though never seeming to get through all the repertoire I have. This is extremely unsatisfying, but I know that I shouldn’t over-practise and make myself stop.

I have also tried to practise my French and teach myself German(!) a bit every day in preparation for Strasbourg this September. How am I feeling, you ask me. I am bricking it. It feels like Freshers’ Week all over again and there are countless admin things I must do ASAP, amid the relentless rehearsals I must attend from 9:30 till 21:30. I have to confirm my accommodation and buy insurance.

This is the first time I am posting by email, and I have no idea what the finished piece looks like, or where my photo attachments will sit amongst the words. Sorry if they’re all squished at the bottom. I like to coordinate each one, as you know. Hopefully by the time we are travelling to China (!) I’ll be back to normal.

Until then. xo

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