Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Feasts, Friends and a New Year...

Last weekend I took my first step into autocrating SCA events, running a Winter Feast at the marvellously-named Place House Hall in Ware, Hertfordshire. It's a medieval hall, small but picturesque inside, and it makes a lovely venue. My best mate A was my feast cook and mentored me through the autocrating process admirably. We had a couple of food stuff-ups along the way, but between the two of us we put an elegant and extensive repast on the table in a fantastic location. I also introduced my Thamesreach Singers group with great pride - we sang six period pieces very competently, to the general approval of the attending populace. It was a great night, and a successful start to event-running for me. Yay :)

Term has been underway for a little over two weeks now. I'm so glad to have my own class again, and I've had compliments from every quarter about how quiet and settled they are under my guidance. I feel competent and confident, quite unlike a lot of my earlier teaching experiences! My class are lovely, and I can have a giggle with them and still get them to work, which is great. I am really enjoying myself, and never go to work feeling any apprehension. What a lovely change from so many past workplaces.

These past few weeks I've been struck with joy and gratitude for the friendships I have. E, of course, first and foremost, who is best friend and lover and everything in between. I had never, ever imagined that a relationship could feel like this! Every day I relish it a little bit more for its marvellous perfection, and each day I'm a little more convinced that trying to be in relationships with men was a big part of what I was getting wrong all these years. Being with E just works.

As well as E, I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of people who know the real me, nothing hidden and nothing to hide. And they love me, and care for me, and look out for me, and appreciate me. And beyond them, a wider group of people who perhaps don't know me as well, but nonetheless care for me greatly and will always be there for me. I had the strange experience before Christmas of walking into a pub where a corner was filled with these people, and seeing every face in the group of about 15 light up as I walked in, just because I was there. How bizarre and heady for someone whose deepest demon is invisibility!  I feel so secure in myself these days, and it shows in the quality of my friendships.

These wonderful relationships stand in stark contrast to the negatives, backhanded positives and subtle undermining I was used to from various family members and a few extinct friendships. Every now and then something of that behaviour will intrude from people from my past, and it's amazing how poisonous it feels when once it was normal. I am finding myself better able to ignore it now ... a few peoples' email addresses have been blocked so that I need only read their communications if I feel like it! And I have learned not to react, and only to respond if absolutely necessary. Poison and misery are not things I choose to engage with these days.

So generally... I'm busy, and happy, and loving my life more with every week that passes. It feels good!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Greetings from Vienna!

I'm currently sitting in the net lounge at a youth hostel in Austria. I won't do a long post now as typing is awkward on a German keyboard (the y and z are interchanged, for a start!) but just wanted to drop in and say hello.

I'm stoked that I've finally managed to make it to continental Europe, to a non-English-speaking country. Luckily for hapless travellers like myself, most people do speak English to a degree, but I've been making an effort to use the German words and phrases I know as often as possible. I now have a burning desire to learn German properly! It's fun pushing my knowledge and understanding of the language (which is minimal) through exposure rather than through books and CDs. I'm definitely going to invest in some better language learning things though and see if I can learn it properly over the next few years.

Vienna is very pretty and has lots of interesting buildings and a great collection of cultural heritage objects. I've been to see the Schönbrunn Palace, which had a lot of imperial artefacts and historic paintings in it, and an unintentionally funny English audio guide hehe. Today we're going on a photography ramble through the city centre, visiting a traditional market, and sticking our heads into multiple souvenir shops. Should be a pleasant, quiet day after yesterday's high-energy festivities!

I hope everyone is having a lovely start to 2011. I have such good feelings about this year. E and I have many plans and dreams, and I intend to see them come through. A year ago I was nervous about the upcoming move to London, unsure of what I wanted in life and full of unsated longing. Today I feel secure, satisfied and strong, with a clear path ahead of me. It's all rather wonderful, really!