Friday, 20 July 2012

Where's the fun in your week?

Its Friday again and as I look forward to the weekend there is not a lot of structure to it.  There'stwo things that strike me about this.  The first is simply that I need to start to get a bit more structure to my life.  I remember being in a training session, I cant remember what it was about but basically the guy was chatting about a work life balance and said "where is the fun in your week?"  That's the question you should be asking yourself and you should plan some fun in your week.  This serves to keep you motivated throughout the week and also makes you feel like you have actually achieved more than work in a week and that you have actually had some time which has been for you and not for others.

This takes my thoughts back to the days when Steve and I worked the cabaret circuit.  We had a very structured life.  Weekends were planned months in advance with shows and DJ bookings etc and often social weekends had to be blocked out of the diary or else we would fill it with work.  For us though our work was our fun too.  Every gig was like hosting a party which someone else was picking up the tab for and for which we got paid.  We got to wear fancy costumes and speak to lots of nice people and entertain too, feeding off the laughter and the banter around the room.  Spare time over the weekends was spent styling wigs, making costumes or researching new bits to put in to the act.  I never used to look at the weekend and wonder what to fill it with, I used to look at the weekend and wonder how we would fit everything in!

I've debated with myself over recent weeks whether I should go back to working the circuit, I was insistent that I wouldn't do it after Steve died but I guess I meant I wouldn't continue it as it was, it could never be the same but, I have been thinking about creating a new character.  I do miss thebanter, the interaction with the crowds etc as I am really a gregarious person, whilst I enjoy quiet nights in just me and a significant other I also enjoy a crowd.  I miss the costumes and the preparation that went in to creating a look, the hours spent styling wigs using several tins of hairspray trying to create gravity defying shapes and styles, trying to create a combo of glamour and volume and getting frustrated when it would never go quite right.  I miss the hour or so spent surrounded by makeup brushes, powders and paints, almost fighting with the eyelashes to stay where I needed them instead of sticking my eyes shut and then the annoyance of my lipsticksmudging after I've put layer upon layer of gloss, and lipshine over layers of colour.  Heaving and huffing and jumping around the dressing room trying to get two or three pairs of dance tights on to cover my hairy legs and then deciding how little to breathe as my corset is tightened and then counter balancing that with padding to create a bountiful bust and an hourglass figure that wasenviably Rubenesque.  Slipping in to a new sequinned gown and choosing which jewels would look best were all great fun and I took those for granted.  I don't miss the numbness in my toes which signified the passing of the first 30 minutes in 7 inch heels but I do miss the relief that came in the early hours of the morning as I stepped out of my torturous perspex stilts and tried to lay my foot flat on the ground before releasing my toes from the bind of the ridiculously restrictive dance tights.  The feeling of freedom as the eyelashes were torn from my eyes and I was able to see the room in it's entirety rather than seeing the room through a fuzzy black mascara letterbox, then thepleasure of feeling air against my skin as the mask of makeup was slowly but vigorously scrubbed away.

Perhaps I am only thinking of the fun bits and forgetting the tough bits.  When you walk on stage and the crowd are non responsive, trying to win the crowd over could be tough.  Carting the kit in and out of venues and having the worry of "what if", what if the kit doesn't work, what if a speaker blows, what if the laptop fails, what if we've forgot something.  There were lots of worries and lots of things that could have gone wrong and yes, I am sure we had many things that went wrong but, we worked around them.  We managed to not have any major disasters and the only minor ones I recollect are where we have forgotten to pack part of a costume.  There were often workarounds for these, whether that meant omitting the number or utilising something else we had in the case.  We always managed.

Was life simpler then?  Who knows?  Would I enjoy it as much if I started again?  Who knows?  I guess it's just one of those things.  Looking forward to a weekend full of opportunity has reminded me what a weekend which was scheduled to the last minute looked like.  I guess I need to find a happy medium and find a level of forward planning that suits me, this is all part of the re-adjustment necessary when all that remains is the remains of a perfect double act, hear the song here:

Oh and finally, the pic shows the many faces of me.. the old character and me, it's amazing what you can do with some coloured powder.

Whatever you're up to enjoy your weekend though.

xx Mark xx

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, 7 July 2012

A different Mark

Well I've not blogged for a bit. No real reason other than theres nothing significant to report. Yes there have been a few things that have appeared significant at the time but none worthy of a blog entry right now. Things at home are going OK. We're finally changing estate agents as those we had appeared to be doing nothing to market the property despite a fall in asking price of £45,000!!!

On reflection though I think my blog may now evolve and take on a new persona. It's changed a few times over the years. It started in the early days as a networking and advertising tool for 'Trouble', blogging then was still seen as a hugely effective way of generating interest in your business. I wasn't convinced but, to be honest I don't think either of us really understood what, where and why we were writing a blog. Back then both Steve and I would write posts and they were almost always about where we were performing or what new stuff we had to sell.

When Steve got I'll it seemed an obvious way of keeping friends and family up to date with treatments and what we were doing without having to make or receive lots of calls which were of course nice and well meaning but sometimes it was just difficult to be polite and keep giving the same updates over again. The blog meant out conversations with friends were less about treatment regimes as they had read about those and more about us, the people behind the cancer.

When Steve died it seemed natural to continue. The friend reading knew me as well as Steve so it was a no brainer. I struggled with being sociable so being able to give an update was great, friends understood more about me and where I was at.

As time has gone on I feel I wallow less in self pity or the shadow of Steves passing and I have started to reflect how my life has continued to improve and how I have been able to turn a negative an difficult time around and use it to see a new and exciting future full of hope and joy.

My new relationship and some of the feelings, thoughts and emotions it had brought have found their way to my blog. This isn't a bad thing as really by reading my blog you have witnessed my re-birth, the dawn of my new life. I don't want to appear to be a religious nut, I'm far from that but, you are now reading the blog of a different mark (incidentally if you are on twitter my user name is @adifferentmark ). This new me surprises me too sometimes with his thoughts and feelings but I am enjoying learning about him, I hope you are too.

I don't know where my blog will take me from here. I do hope to dwell less on the minutiae of my life and more about those things that make me happy and sad, those that make me laugh or fire me up with anger or just those things that make me sit and ponder for a while. Whatever it brings I am hope you enjoy reading.

In the meantime I hope you're enjoying your weekend and I hope to write soon


Sent from my iPhone