Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vibes and Scribes

My amazingly fantastic and beautiful bookshelves. Back when it was new and i didn't want to overburden it.

On Tuesday I met my friend Martha for Coffee in Cork Coffee Roasters. That's irrelevant (but nice!) When we were finished I insisted we went into Vibes and Scribes, the bookshop next door because it's literally against the law to be near a Vibes and Scribes and not go in.

Let me just explain a little bit about Vibes and Scribes...

IT'S BEAUTIFUL! It's kind of like the bookshop of your dreams. Kind of. Not only do the have the best selection of cookery and bakery books in Cork, they also sell CUTE FABRIC for dressmaking and crafts. They have three branches in the city.

1: The craft shop.

2: The new books and fabric shop.
So many books on art, photography, cooking and baking, classics, young children's books, Irish writers, novels and random kitchen equipment.

3: The new and second hand book shop.
YAY SECOND HAND BOOKS AND DVDS AND ALSO MORE COOKERY BOOKS! There's a really heartbreakingly beautiful gardening section and a humour section and a young adult section.

And on top of that they have craft demonstrations for FREE every week in bookbinding, sewing, jewellery making and more. AND they hold weekly knitting groups and book clubs for children and adults.

Right, back to the story.

Martha saw a notice in the window that said they wanted full time staff. Suddenly my eyes grew as large as my head and filled with stars, just like an anime! And now I've completely convinced myself that I will work in Vibes and Scribes and it will be beautiful. I stayed up stupidly late last night editing my CV and even later just fantasizing about what life willwould be like if I worked there full time.

Now I have this weird pain in my chest that probably won't go away until I know that I don't have the job. D:

D: D: D:

Monday, September 20, 2010


I'd like to be a productive, successful person. If only I could find a way of using the internet to help me.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yaaaay singing! Well, it's all extremely confusing at the moment. I've signed up to sing with a new teacher and I'm not sure how we're going to click. Open mind! :)

Apart from the teacher-finding problem I'm in a much better mental place. I'm reading a great book about technique and tips for coping with being sick and things. (Steam inhalation!) And it's really good to just go back to basics and think about things like diaphragmatic tension in a different way. I definitely pushed through too much air when I was with Hilary. Like, I'm breathy. I hate it. So in my practice at the moment I'm focusing a lot on regulation the flow of breath, keeping my throat open and not holding tension in the stem of my tongue, or in my upper body.

Even just having adjusted a few elements of my posture and the way I use my tongue, I'm able to keep singing for soooo much longer. I think I did a straight 40minute practice earlier. It did include breathing, but I totally think that's a worthwhile investment and it was mostly singing.

Another thing I'd like to change is my visualisation. Definitely with Hilary, the way she's taught me to visualise makes me inclined to be flat. She has always told me to think down when I'm singing up, because the larynx goes down when the pitch goes up.

So I used an exercise from the book I'm reading. It's one we used before in a speech module I did at college. You hum at a low pitch and feel the resonance with your fingers, then change the pitch and feel how the resonance moves. To be honest, I can never feel it with my fingers, but it always alerts me to where the resonance is actually going. So now, I'm imagining the different areas of my face, hairline, top of my head. It seems that when I do this I really do get a more resonant sound on my top notes. And for some reason it encourages me to open my mouth more at the top.

Just going back to the stem of my tongue, it's something that was pointed out in the book. When I studied with Hilary, she taught quite a complicated system of tongue positions. I understood it to an extent and it helped me a lot in my middle register but once I had to go up my upper register I found it constricted my throat. And I realise now it's because I was too focused on what my tongue was doing, and as a result I just tensed the bejesus out of it, which tightened my throat.

It is quite disheartening to come from five years of training to think that you have to go back to the start in many ways. Honestly, I'm relieved this is happening now rather than going on being afraid to sing because of sore throats and just STRESS. I learned a lot from Hilary and I can definitely sing. It's just that I think it's time for some new perspectives.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wine Lady?

It's nice having neighbours. It's nice to know that if anyone tries to break into your house or murder you there will be people around to call the police or find your body. However, most people will have at least one set or family of neighbours who endlessly amaze with their level of inconsideration.

I have one such family of neighbours.

Last winter we were woken every morning by such trilling beauties as jackhammers and pneumatic drills right outside our window. For four seemingly endless months the house next door was effectively shelled out and rebuilt. In the end we were rewarded with an extension window which faced directly into our living room window. Hello new neighbours.

So, that's all in the past and forgotten, obviously. However, this family has a little boy. He's about five years old and likes to play in front of his house, which is totally fine. He also likes to play in our garden, which is not totally fine. Last week he was playing hurling right next to my car with indiscriminate force. I watched this from inside and the fourth time the ball narrowly missed my dad's car I decided to go out and tell them very sweetly to feck off.

Out I went and in my most teachery voice I said:

"Boys, make sure you stay off the grass here. Go and play in your own garden."


Me: "Nnnoo. This is my garden. That is your garden."


Me: "Play on the green or play in your garden. Don't play here."

Then something quite unexpected happened.

His little friend was mortified and started trying to explain. It just didn't make any sense.

So I was just watching them pick up their toys and move off the lawn when the child turned around and said

I mean, I could understand if he'd actually seen me carrying a bottle of wine or drinking wine. But I don't drink.

My conclusion is that this kid is mad.