Tuesday, 5 February 2013

My Weekend, the Booze-Ban, Editing, Glass flutes, and Chernobyl

In my glass: Full fat Coca-cola (The british version, with sugar - I needed a sugar-rush after a long day, and I've otherwise been reasonably good this last while)
From my iPod: Moving Hearts - Hiroshima Nagasaki Russion Roulette (A very good song written by Jim Page (I believe around the late '60s) about the WWII bombs on Japan, and the rise of Nuclear power.)
From my bookshelf: The Raven Boys was reasonably good. The writing was good, and the plot was exciting. I didn't quite feel like it finished, though I could see that if she had finished, it could very well have turned into the stereotypical romantic ending for those types of books. Perhaps it was better to leave us hanging, so to speak, as she did. For now, its right back to anatomy.
Outside: Today, we've had snow, rain, blazing sun, the works. Just now, its kinda dull
My mood: cheery enough
Todays hairstyle: Nautilus, with my 60th street fork for now. Will have to change for OTC though - probably some kind of cinnabun, or a knot-bun with my spin-pins, because I can't have my fork with my uniform.

Afternoon all!  i realise this is my first post in almost a week. Wow! Its been crazy. and its only the second week back. Well last thursday, I went to the NaNo meet, but there was only one othe person, and I missed him among the crowd (it was rather busy when I arrived), so I got a bit of editing and moving of stuff from my old computer done. I also finally got around to paying for the full version of Scrivener (You can try a free months download here) since I'm now using it for my uni notes as well as my writing stuff (yay for having all your lectures and modules in a single file!).
On friday, it was uni as per usual, then I bumbled down to the OTC with my black bag for the army barmy stuff, my mini hand-luggage-suitcase with my stuff for saturday night, and my violin case (which my music books are breaking and bursting out of). I left my suitcase in the building, and went off to do army-barmy stuff. Well that was fun. Thrown in at the deep end to do warning orders as soon as we arrived, when I've not been to the lessons on the tuesdays (band takes priority, though I usually find myself stuck for things to do, seeing as I play the same stuff for practically every tune, every year. It gets old after a while). Anyway, an upside of my time at the barracks was that I finally found out what the seven questions actually were. They've been going on about them for all the time I've managed to come to the lessons, but they never actually told me what they were until now.
Saturday night, it was the SUOTC Pipe band dinner. It was great fun, and nice to have us all together again (the bands dont get to get together very often outside of Northern Lights (which incidentally I have a bone to pick about, but thats a story for another occasion)). But it was good. It seemed our banter, which we all automatically "get" as pipe-band-people, thoroughly confused, and possibly offended some of the waiters and waitresses, but it carried on after the dinner at the mess of the hosting OTC. Those of us that had instruments with us had a go together, and there was a bit of dancing. Unfortunately, a little immaturity by some members  came close to ruining the night for some people, but I think (or at least hope) that thats all sorted out now. We all went home around midday on sunday, many people very, very hungover.

Now that that party is over, I'm going to have a go at a month-long personal ban on alcohol. I want to see how difficult it is to socialise with people when I'm going tee-total. You see, for most of us here, and at home, its not uncommon for people to just go out for a pint with their mates for a chat after a long day. I've found recently that I have a hard time not drinking when other people are, especially if its just for a chat in the evening. don't get me wrong - I don't drink on a regular basis, and I don't drink alone, and I don't regularly go over the RDA unless I'm at a major party, such as burns night, or the band dinner, or after a major competition. Its mostly one or two vodka and mixers after OTC, or on the weekends away. But the issue is the difficulty with trying to stay away from that one drink when you're already feeling down. I don't want to end up like my uncle, and I'm scared that I drink when I'm down, even just one. So until Northern Lights (the next probable "big party") I'm not drinking. Just to see what its like, and if I can do it.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I've been editing on thursday. And I mean editing my NaNo stuff. I no longer have missing chapters, and I'm fleshing out the rather empty parts and removing the utter rubbish here and there, and my word count is slowly, but surely rising. I know my NaNo bar won't be updating any more now that November is over, but my current word count is 51,050, and thats after removing a lot of stuff. But theres still a lot of work to do on it. The only question is if I'll get the time now that uni is back into fulll swing.

On a completely different tangent, I've always been kind of obsessed with the Irish Flute. They tend to be made of wood, and have this gorgeous soft sound compared to the regular orchestral metal flutes. You can get keys added to them, but the main notes are produced by plain holes in the wood that are covered by your fingers, with similar fingerings to a whistle. Anyway, since I'm was searching stuff on some celtic music, and google gives adverts based on what you recently searched (on my phone - my laptop has adblock), and I saw this website on glass instruments. Now I have a slight love for instruments, and glass is so unusual that I went to have a look. Now what do I come across but glass flutes! They're gorgeous. Sure, they have tin whistles, ocarinas, crystal guitar slides, crystal digeridoos, and crystal panpipes, but the crystal glass flutes really caught my eye. I'm so, so tempted to go and bust some of my savings on it. I think it might very well be a present to myself after spring or summer camp if I do well in my exams. The only issue I have is what size to get. I would love to get the D flute, because I always loved the sound of the D wooden flutes, and as far as I'm concerned, the price is amazing for what I would consider to be one of my dream instruments. I just hope my fingers can stretch to reach all the holes. I would be teaching myself of course, seeing as paying for music lessons, and even finding someone around here to teach me would be an impossibility, but I might be able to whittle a lesson or two out of a family friend if he isn't on tour/at a fastival etc, etc.
Website for the glass flutes: http://www.hallflutes.com/item/122.html They ship from the US, I believe, and I have no idea how much shipping would cost, but to be honest, I don't really care all that much. Its the equivalent of £55 for a GLASS FLUTE goddammit! I really want one.. :P

Now in my music section, it mentions Hiroshima Nagasaki Russion Roulette. Its a song sung by Moving Hearts on their first album from 1981, which I found randomly and downloaded after hearing a radio mention of the band. The song was one of the many commonly played ones in our household when I was a child (and probably didn't realise what it was about). Anyway, they released it on their album in 1981, 5 years before the Chernobyl disaster, and listening to it come around on my lengthy playlist a couple of times as I was going about today, I began thinking about Chernobyl. Its now more than 25 years since the disaster. The 30km area around the reactor is still abandoned, but for the animals and plants that have moved in and taken over the area. There is still defects and diseases seen in the people exposed to a large amount of radiation, and in their children, and in the livestock, even here in Britain, where initially thousands of farms had to be placed under restrictions.
I remember my mother once telling me how my grandparents lost more of their lambs on the farm that year, and my granny suddenly developed hyperthyroidism, for seemingly no known reason in the late '80s. My mother always thought it was because of Chernobyl, but in reality, no-one really knows. It could be related, it could not. But it got me wondering just how much the people of the UK were affected by the cloud of radiation that passed over and deposited on the country. Its practically impossible to find statistics for most health issues as far back as the early 1980s to get an idea. Believe me, I tried. I guess I don't know why I'm curious, I just am. Meh.

More on this later.
See you soon.

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