You are probably already aware that I do orchestras. Last night was my second concert with the Royal Holloway Chamber Orchestra, this time in second violins. This means that last weekend was an intensive rehearsal weekend with just over 13 hours of rehearsals. Add to that the two and a half hour sectional on Monday and a 3 hour rehearsal prior to yesterday’s concert and you may notice the potential for a fair amount of back pain. Almost 6 hours in a day definitely was taxing on my back but I did thoroughly enjoy it.
The day of the concert itself brought a couple of problems – namely stress and pain. Stress because of the nervousness that comes from performing and arranging eating around the rehearsals and concert itself (the latter failed in some respects because my stomach started rumbling in the second half). Pain also occurred because of the postural stress I placed on myself in trying to sit and stand up straight. The first piece we played was the third Brandenburg Concerto, which was performed standing, and by the end of it I was desperate to sit down!
The standing for Brandenburg also flagged up to me another point, which is actually the title of this post. My flatmate was sat in the audience (with his mum so it was especially lovely of them to come) and had a view of my back. Now I spoke to him later in the day about how it was the first time I had worn a dress that revealed my scar and he said that he saw me and thought ‘Oh she’s wearing something backless, can you see a scar?’. Now, first things first, not actually a backless dress. You can see from the image below: (taken from boohoo.com)
Now, the dress does technically cover my whole back, but the upper area is covered by black mesh rather than thick fabric. There is a degree of transparency and my scar is visible if you know to look. My flatmate did not notice it, which was reassuring. It may have actually been covered by my hair though. But from my perspective I was OK with wearing this dress because I could satisfy myself that my back was covered with clothing rather than wearing something with an open back. Although I can’t touch my own scar I’m not that fussed about others seeing it really, apart from the fact that it’s not in a place where it would be seen in everyday life.
So why did I end up wearing this particular dress (in black of course)? Well it is a lovely dress for starters. But it was an intense search to find a dress that fitted requirements – it not only had to be long but also have sleeves of some description. It seems like these two aspects are incompatible – the other potential dresses already in my wardrobe were either too short or without sleeves. So I trawled through New Look (where my other dresses were from), BHS, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, other clothing brands that stock women’s clothes, and eventually came to boohoo.com. This has been a recent discovery since starting university and in the end it came up trumps with this dress. I actually bought this three separate times – in one size then in another, and then the exact same but £10 cheaper (sending the previous one back). BUT I FINALLY FOUND THE PERFECT CONCERT DRESS!
A quick extra word on concert dresses. Last year I was in the band for the school production of Oliver, which required me to wear the same black dress three nights (and a day) in a row. That’s never a good idea, invest in a second black dress for occasions like these! Finding dresses personally, with my back as I’ve touched upon, I also have to consider how the back of the dress falls and how it sits with my hips, although the latter is less of a problem now my hips have evened out.
Anyway, I should stop typing now! Thanks for ploughing through and do comment – especially if you have found a secret treasure trove of concert dresses!
A word on the title. I couldn’t think of one. But the permalink address is /29944 so I added that bit on.
When I went home last week something happened. Someone was rushed to hospital. And as a church family we rallied to support them. Except obviously that altered our plans somewhat. And, as things do, it all worked out fine in the end and I didn’t miss out on anything that I went home to do. The patient is also on the mend.
Anyway, by 2:45 on the Saturday it was time for me to head back to university, as I had a job induction on the Sunday. And I walked off to the train station up the road, and I really felt like I was escaping. Like everyone else had to live with the disruption and worry while I could just get on a train, steam away, and forget about it all.
University is a bit of a different world. Good for us. Bad for everyone who isn’t in it. And when things happen away from university it can be hard to bring those issues into your university life. I can think of at least two examples of this right off the top of my head.
Not sure how to end this post, it has kind of just been spontaneous ramblings. But yeah, thoughts on this might be interesting to hear.
I don’t often reblog. I don’t actually know if this will work at all. But this post really resonated with me and the tips are very appropriate for the times when you feel overwhelmed. Thanks to Dan Jones who I’ve met once (and he probably won’t remember) for writing this and sharing it with the world!
Originally posted on Daniel Jones:
When I feel down, sometimes seemingly for no reason, I get kind of scared. I get worried about what might have triggered my mood, and when I can’t figure it out it makes me worried and stressed. I know full well that doing this is just an endless cycle that can’t end well, but still this happens. I don’t know about you, but my mood can switch from ecstatic to almost depressed in a matter of minutes, but it’s just something you have to learn to deal with. The reality is that sometimes life really does just get a little bit too much. There have been far too many times in my 18 years of existence when I’ve dealt with this in the wrong way, ending up far worse after the low than I was before. It’s so vital to cope with emotions in the right way, and I’m going to share…
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The above link will take you to the article I wrote on the lack of uptake of free stuff amongst my peers at university. Yes, it didn’t make it to the print edition, but it’s linked to from the home page of the Orbital website, so I’m pleased with that!
That’s all I really have to say on this! I hope you also notice the subtle plug for Club Mission (although awkwardly we now do not have red t-shirts!)
Today I was theoretically meant to be out of the house for over 11 hours. I had just about space to write everything down in my diary, and had to meticulously schedule each portion of my day in order to cope with where I was meant to be at each time. I sorted out a packed lunch including cold chicken goujons and potato wedges cooked yesterday. I got my tea ready in the morning.
And so it began, brisk walk to Founders to get a lift to Virginia Water to sign a tenancy agreement to drive back to have coffee in Crosslands to go on to my seminar to go to a skills workshop to go to an induction to grab some more food to head out to Orchestra to come back home and cook and eat to then Skype my friend and go to bed. Much stress, yes?
Except it wasn’t. I was stressed on Tuesday, I was a bit stressed this morning, but once I got going I just wasn’t. I could cope with the day and the busyness. And I think I have worked out why. You see, I was praying last night. Yes, PRAYING to God for the ability to cope and succeed with my day, not to stress and be calm. And it worked. It really worked. And that was something I wanted to explain to the people who saw me full of energy earlier despite my complaints of potential stress made on Tuesday. (Also God fixed it so that my schedule was not quite as full on!)
I don’t know if you have ever heard the song Titanium by David Guetta, but I particularly like it. It’s probably under the genre of dance/house music, but not massive bass or anything – the sort of music I would like to hear when I’m out (which is barely ever). BUT, I did go out last night with Jess and Amie, for the History and Classics takeover at the Student Union – ALTHOUGH NO ONE WAS IN COSTUME! So, lesson for you, people don’t take notice of themed nights…
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the SU, and we initially were going out for the History Society Pub Crawl beforehand (but due to lateness, slow speed at eating food, and general lack of interest, we didn’t make it). We then planned to join the pub crawl at the final venue, but in the end just went straight to the Union, mainly cos it was cheaper before half 10 and quite empty. The crowding of the venue is what really gets me; I’m not great with crowds of people even without having a scar on my back. “Oh but your scar doesn’t hurt” is a true statement, but I’m more worried about people bumping it and also my nerves are still a bit messed up so a tiny spot or something can spread discomfort over an entire area. And then you have the bass. The music when we arrived was absolutely rubbish, basically all bass, and you can REALLY feel it. Luckily in getting there early we managed to claim a sofa and just sat down for a fair while, as well as actually being able to go to the bar (and coming from Brighton, drinking at the SU is VERY cheap comparatively, although they seem to have a problem with non-alcoholic drinks supposedly).
Anyway, back to feeling the bass. Having had surgery at 16, I have absolutely no idea how a normal person feels when in a crowded room with heavy bass, but I can really feel it in my spine. To be honest it is more in my lower back, where I don’t think I have any metal, but I wonder whether the metal has an effect. Because, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I am literally Titanium, the other reason why I love the song. I have Titanium rods in my back. I am Titanium.
That would’ve been a great place to end my blog, but I feel I should briefly summarise the rest of yesterday evening. We did manage to find Clem in costume when we arrived, which made four of us! One of my flatmates arrived a hour or so after we got there, another one arrived about an hour after that, bumped into another one as we left. Jess’ flatmates arrived at some point, we saw some other people on the course, and said hello to the CU setting up for Club Mission. And of course we ended the night with free water and doughnuts courtesy of them! Even though none of us were drunk, we were thirsty and hungry (with it being the middle of the night), and we were able to chat about our experiences of Club Mission and how cold it is! After all that, we returned to mine, had cups of tea, and then gratefully went our separate ways and climbed into our respective beds. And let me tell you, curling up in bed was great.
Oh, and here’s Titanium!