Saturday, 31 July 2010

Exciting times...

Yesterday I went to Birkbeck with my girlfriend and picked up my photo ID and the course guide/reading list. Have about 20 books that I now need to pick up and read before term starts, which isn't too bad really. I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth into it.

It feels like the year has dragged so much up to this point, and as the time to begin gradually gets closer, the excitement and anticipation is growing. I'm just ready for it!

Now it's READ, READ, READ for a few weeks.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Yes, I did get back from holiday...

Sorry, did I not say?

Well, I did get back alright. Greece was absolutely breathtaking. Despite the inevitable money troubles that have followed, I wouldn't change a second of it.

Not only that, I have just returned after TWO SIX hour coach journies, to and from Newcastle, where I got to see the beautiful Russian herself, performing. Obviously I'm talking about Regina Spektor. Despite the heavy rain on the day, and getting massively wet while finding the hotel, it was a great experience and well worth the trip. It was very sad though, as they ultimately dedicated the concert to their recently passed cellist, friend and band-mate Dan, who drowned in a swimming pool leaving behind a wife and daughter. Visit Regina's various fan-pages for ways you can help. There was a very real collective mourning in the concert hall as they left the stage last night, and I know I spared a thought or two for Dan and his family as I lay in bed in the dark. Still though, I have been listening to Regina since her first record when I was about 14, so I was just chuffed that I finally got to see her perform. If anything, the sombre atmosphere made me feel closer to her, and I definitely felt I could relate to what they were feeling. I was grateful that they would still perform under such testing circumstances, and share their grief with us.

The performance was still unbelievable though, which leads me on to something that's been rattling around my head for a while; inspiration, and where it comes from.

It dawned on me recently that my writing on various projects had bogged down, and I realised I was lacking motivation and inspiration. You find yourself making excuses not to write, or finding other things to do. I started digging around for magazines, searching the internet and re-reading favourite books, trying to find that inspirational source that would fuel my writing. It didn't come.

But as I watched Regina doing her thing on that stage, it came to me. I remembered why I love writing, and why I do it. It's the creating of something unique, that I know came from my head and my hands, that I want to share with other people and hopefully bring joy, or sadness, or whatever the piece demands, out of them. That's what Regina did to me last night, with her astonishing performance of many self-written fictitious songs. She took me through a range of emotions, and left me feeling inspired. I thought about how much love and effort she must put in to just one of her compositions; it's such a breath of fresh air to watch a real musician perform with her band. On my way home today, I had an endless pool of energy to draw from, and a fresh perspective on many ideas that I thought I had forgotten about. Inspiration can literally come from anywhere, it doesn't have to be relevant to what you're hoping to create. Next time you're stuck for ideas, or feeling like you just want to watch TV instead, think outside the box for inspiration.

Before going, I just want to say how much I appreciated Regina playing, along with her band, despite their loss. I know she won't ever read this, but I wanted to say it anyway. Not many would have done it, so I think they deserve recognition. Spare a thought for Dan and his family tonight.

Finally, check out her supporting artist, Nicole Atkins. What a voice!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Buh Bye

Well, the Great Gods of Greece have summoned me, and I am settling in the coastal town of Tolo tomorrow for a week! I haven't had a holiday in two years.

The hotel is right on the beach, and we're close enough to quite a few ancient sites to go exploring on foot or bikes. Corinth, Epidavros etc. We are so excited. In fact, I have to be up in three hours to go to the airport, but I can't sleep, so I'm sitting here writing this crappy message to anyone foolish enough to actually read it!

HA, I bet you thought this would be about films didn't you :]

Just for you then...This week I watched a couple of brilliant films. Well, one brilliant, and one was a bit meh (probably because i'm a bit older than its target audience).

The much raved-about 500 Days Of Summer, which I loved and can recommend. Not just because of the unique structure, but because the acting, score and cinematography are awesome! Plus, she is mad sexy.

Then last night I watched Ice Age 3, purely because it has dinosaurs in it, and I'm a closet fan of dino's. The story was botheringly predictable, but visually interesting and involving. The dinosaurs were predictably awesome!

Now, I have to catch a few zzz's before we leave. Peace and love fellow movie-watchers. Don't miss me too much.

Oh, before I go, check out FCRabs new short, Modern Gods. The fella knows how to make films.