Feb. 27th, 2007

jaala: (Default)
Now that I've had regular internet access for nearly a month, it's about time I started writing in my Livejournal again. I always get overwhelmed when I think how much catching up I ought to do, so I'll just go for a brief summary (for now at least).

I'd probably say Edinburgh is treating me pretty well. I enjoy my current jobs at Camera Obscura (which has virtually no website) and The Queen's Hall, I sing in a good (and quite social) church choir, and underlying friendliness usually smooths out turbulent episodes in my relationship with my housemates. And the days are actually longer now! It was crazy when it got dark at 3pm. Now that it's still light as I walk home from work, I often take at least half an hour extra walking through a scenic route. Quite possibly the most marvellous thing about Edinburgh is how extraordinarily beautiful and varied it is.

My major complaint is that I haven't been able to get out of Edinburgh or even out and about within the city to do much touristy stuff. My days off are almost never two in a row and everything is closed by the time I finish work. After having such an enjoyable time at the church Burns Supper and ceilidh, I'm bound and determined to start attending ceilidhs and/or ceilidh dance classes on some sort of regular basis; and the hope is that by writing it down here I will feel I've actually committed myself to the idea!
jaala: (music)
Oh yes, some musical news. The Old Saint Paul's church choir is probably the most exposed/frightening thing I have ever done vocally, and additionally probably the best learning experience. The amount of choral literature consumed each week has most certainly improved my sight-reading. I have to be quite vocally independent too. There are only two altos in the whole choir; we sat next to each other for a few months, but now we're on opposite sides so it basically sounds to me like I'm singing the part alone. There are times I get really frustrated and embarrassed when I just can't manage to makes things work properly physically--because it feels as if absolutely everybody can hear how terrible I sound--but I've also made some fascinating discoveries. The morale of the choir is apparently unusually low right now, mostly connected with various upheavals of personnel, but it's still one of the best with which I've sung. John made a lovely compliment the other day when he said that, even at our worst, we are still among the best parish choirs.

I'm growing quite attached to the Anglican repertoire and liturgy. On the other hand, I still don't entirely believe some of what I'm saying and I don't think I could abandon Sydenham Street United in Kingston. I've been thinking that perhaps a good compromise, if I can manage it, would be to join the Evensong Singers of St George's Cathedral.

I do get a sort of melancholy feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about oboes, flutes, pit orchestras or wind bands, unfortunately. Acquiring an instrument, teacher and practicing space just wasn't going to work. But I do hope I can resume activities in that field when I return to Queen's.

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