I FEEL GOOD!
Thursday, 2 August 2012
What I FELT on my Holidays
Theatre: When Mandy and I were in Scarborough, we went to the theatre to see Alan Ayckbourn's new play "Surprises". Scarborough is the home of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, the cradle of his play writing and directing for many years now. I was totally caught up in the drama and humour of the piece, totally engaged with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed the faultless performances of the ensemble cast. The three acts flew past. At the end of the piece, as the cast took their bows, I found myself applauding enthusiastically, but with tears streaming down my cheeks. I was moved and sad at the same time. Why? Because - if you didn't know this already - I used to be a professional actor. I went to Drama College and graduated with the intention of becoming a Drama Teacher. However, I elected to follow the theatrical path and became an actor, a career I pursued for some 12 years, until other priorities (like earning a decent wage, being able to pay the rent, save for a house, start a family - you know, that stuff), became more important and I stepped away and moved into training. But I remember the feeling of performing, being part of an ensemble, interacting emotionally, exercising and developing my first choice craft, and, yes, soaking up the applause at the end. I still miss it. I need to find that passion and inspiration again in my work life.
I FELT torn - enthralled and energised by the play, but sad that my first choice career never worked out.
Trains: We spent a day on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, travelling from Goathland to Grosmont, then all the way to Pickering and back. This is without a doubt the best working 'heritage' railway I have ever visited. Mainline steam trains travelling through stunning scenery for up to an hour-long journey. The trainspotter geek, the inner free child and the nostalgia fan in me were all fully immersed and satisfied in the joy of a day with steam trains. Mandy said that half of her enjoyment of the day was the pleasure of seeing me enjoying myself so much, and in fact, she tweeted a photo of me expressing my excitement, which I reproduce here, for your enjoyment/amusement. You can see the pictures of the day, as well as the rest of our holiday, on my new Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/niallgavinuk/sets/72157630821521698/
I FELT unalloyed 'free child' joy and happiness.
Marriage: Throughout our holiday, Mandy and I are spending quality time together, without considering the day-to-day issues of work/life imbalance, financial worries, managing the household, etc. We walk, we talk, we laugh, we dine out, we drink, we read, we argue, we smooch...
I FEEL a deeper love for and connection with my wife.
Olympics: During the home-based week of our UK staycation, I am watching a lot of the London 2012 Olympics, and am genuinely and pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying the experience. I have watched so many different sports, and really got caught up in the excitement and the emotion of each and every one of them. I am so impressed and inspired by the passion, commitment, strength and athleticism of these young people - and, having been a bit of an Olympics sceptic beforehand (impact on London commuters, G4S, ticket lottery and empty seats), have been completely won round by the logistics and the organisation of the whole event. It's a pleasure to see the athletes and the public united in enjoying this unique event in London.
I FEEL proud to be British.
(On further reflection, that Olympics paragraph ties in with the concluding contrary remarks of my last, rather downbeat, blog, "We're only little - and our time is short"- "I actually think that there is much to love about us humans; that we can do remarkable things and show astonishing creativity, compassion, generosity, mindfulness and tenacity. That's why I'm in Learning and Development.")
So, why are all these experiences resonating? Because in each case, I was/am caught up in the emotional, sensed moment - not intellectualising, not over-analysing, just being. And that's a damn good reason for making sure that we have a lot more holidays and tune-out time, in the gift I have been given of the time that my Dad never got to enjoy. So, to conclude...
I FEEL GOOD!
I FEEL GOOD!