Apologies for recent radio silence. It's been one of those "glamorous" weeks. Glamorous in the sense that many people unconnected with the arts think that these rootless, restless travels are somewhat more enjoyable than they often appear from the inside. As an example, I have stuck a picture of beautiful Munich up there. Yes, it does look like an ice floe. Because that's what I was concentrating on whilst trying to cross the road, rather than looking up at the fabulous architecture. Seriously. The snow was melting and many of the streets were inches deep in running water mixed with ice. Not easy to find a decent crossing place, bearing in mind that frozen paws are NOT going to add to one's performance at an audition, on the whole.
I will admit, however, to succumbing, occasionally and in giggles, to the "oh lord, it's Tuesday, is this Düsseldorf?" syndrome. Thank goodness for online calendars and for good friends around the world who put up with me when travelling!
While I think about it, a few pointers for those embarking on similar journeys:
- modern phones are terrible wimps when it comes to running out of juice. Chargers are a MUST when travelling.
- saving copies of all your arias in PDF format on a gmail account or similar is a life-saver. Unexpected auditions can be hellishly stressful without the additional worry of not being able to find copies of your (in my case) non-standard repertoire for the pianist.
- the effect of repeated journeys will be to concertina the time you have available to do stuff like, say, Christmas shopping. You will suddenly and heart-stoppingly realise that you only have two hours to buy thoughtful and individual presents for all your loved ones... and you're in the middle of nowhere and what's more, all the darned shops are shut because it's Sunday.
- whilst wearing all your clothes on a Ryanair flight saves hand-luggage weight and sticks one in the eye of the Irish cheapskate, if you are then seated next to a sweaty drunkard on the flight, following a four-hour delay in which he's taken full advantage of the bar, you will spend a horribly uncomfortable flight worrying about when he will vomit over every single item of clothing (bar underwear) you have brought with you. Leave one dress in the case!! (It didn't happen, by the way. Phew.)
- slithering sideways to a half-hour Thai massage on impulse is never a bad thing. Especially relaxing when one's masseuse has a terribly talkative stomach, causing her first to apologise and later to fall flat over one in a fit of giggles, which are naturally catching...
Like most situations in life, I suppose, the thing that helps the most when one is belting around like a mad thing is to retain one's sense of humour. I am hanging on to mine with scratched and bloody nails, but it hasn't got away yet...