letter nineteen to rahel: and so it ends…

psnuuuuuki

it’s been a while. it truly has. it has been one of those fortnights where one is so busy, there’s not even time to stop for a second to check whether one is even still remembering to breathe.
first things first: i finished uni. i’m done. no longer a student. how on earth that happened, you ask? i do not know, oh love of mine. i truly hadn’t even gotten used to the thought of being a student and now you’re telling me i’m not anymore (that’s not you in specific. an abstract you). the past few weeks have been a blur of rehearsals and performances and helping people with their dissertations and hosting my family and parties and trying not to freak out. quite the challenging combination, let me assure you.

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i had to include this great picture of leo and barney looking insanely motivated on our first day of rehearsals
 
as you know, my final performance was monday the week passed, for which, because they’re the best people ever, my family flew in the sunday before that. on friday, my dearest tanika did the same, allowing us to spend some sweet alone time before the gerber/eichenwald/warnke tornado took over london town. tanika also met marco. which was absolutely nerve-wracking. i know you and him have spoken on skype at this point, but guurl, will i be shitting myself when you two meet. not literally, i hope. luckily, the got along splendidly, even fell asleep next to one another on my bed at some point (bless) and it was all breezy. on sunday it was time for my sugarplum (gotta love post-ironic sickeningly cheesy pet names) to meet mah folks. not a stressful situation at all. but again, it all went well. very well, really. everyone liked one another and made fun of each other and me (marco’s bouncy walk, my mum’s tininess, the fact that i can’t click my fingers), so it was all splendid. (also, i do apologise for the plethora of photos featuring myself that it about to follow.)
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gail’s. obvs.
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guess which ones are siblings…
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getting marco to prune face with us. the poor thing.
 
and then came monday. i shall try not to get all choked up and emotional about it, but in a way my performance was what i had been working towards for all of my musical life; performing my own music with a band signifies the ne plus ultra of musical achievements for me. and what an experience it was, let me tell ya. having studied at the institute for almost three years now, i know how disorganised that place can be and frankly, it would almost have felt wrong if everything had gone according to plan. luckily, it didn’t. for they had brought the wrong adapter for the piano to the venue. with my playing the piano and half of my songs being heavily piano based, there was no way i was going to play the set without it, resulting in a two hour delay whilst they had someone bring the missing adapter all the way from kilburn down to new cross. oddly enough, i was ridiculously relaxed (i think marco did the stressing out for all of us) and spent the extra time introducing everyone to everyone else and enjoying how they all got along. in fact, that evening made me realised yet again how lucky i am to have so many amazing people in my life who truly care for me. that’s not a given, and i am one lucky gal to have so many great friends and such a loving family. despite the delay, everyone who had come to see me play stayed, so when we were actually on sometime after nine, i endeavoured to make their patience worthwhile. and oh, how i enjoyed myself. i mean, i knew i’d love performing my own music (for the first time ever, too), seeing as singing is what brings me the most joy, and considering the fact that i quite literally had the best band ever, but i underestimated just how much i would stir up within me. it felt so natural. talking to the audience, leading the band, pouring my heart out and exposing my innermost thoughts to an audience consisting almost exclusively of people i really care about. it just felt right. it felt like what i should be doing. so all i can do now is give it my all to make that happen.
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a candid lil’ setting up shot from the first time we went on stage
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in action. i’m actually on this photo twice. sheesh.
the next few days were filled with more quality family and friend time, riddled with some more performances, the last of which taking place on friday, when i sang former “loveless”-songs with sam, george and calvin. what a great way to end my uni years other than standing on stage with three of my favourite people ever? friday and saturday night were occupied with some serious partying, the latter night of which marked the last ever bunch of guys extravaganza. even writing that is painful. i brought marco, so at least i’d have someone there when i started weeping inconsolably once i got back from the party. my pain was alleviated a bit when the guys invited me to a spontaneous bbq on sunday evening, where we grilled tons of marshmallows, made fun of benni for the last time in a long time (in his presence, at least), and tried taking photos of us all in their garden. getting to see them all in a smaller circle of people once more made the goodbye, although still surreal and bittersweet, somewhat easier.
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i think this summarises our night pretty well
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remember when we made s’mores over a candle in a kibbutz in israel?
yesterday i played yet another gig, with james’ band this time at the institute’s live and loud “festival” (i don’t really think it deserves to be called that) where i felt like there were more staff and performers than actual guests), which in no way lessened my enjoyment of singing with them. later tonight i shall attend a gig as a guest (yay), taking paulina to the servant jazz quarters, where dear leo is bassin’ it up for a guy called jack watts. we shall see.
in all those days i have barely had the time (and frankly, the patience) to fully dedicate myself to thomas, but finally today i had some proper time off and made up for that by reading about a quarter of the book in one go. woop woop. i immensely enjoyed watching half of the 2015 movie adaptation with you last night, swooning over how kind of a face gabriel has (who needs abs or pecs when you can have a kind face?), how we much prefer movie-bathsheba over book-bathsheba, how soldier troy should shave off that tache, but still has cheekbones to die for, and how the ewe-cliff-scene was just a bloody nightmare. literally. whilst we’re only halfway through the movie, book-bathsheba is yet again all over the place, having gotten married to frank/troy because basically “he found another girl who was prettier than she was so she had to get him committed to her” (i’m sorry, but even for the 19th century that seems like horrible reasoning). as i told you yesterday, i don’t actually know whom our leading lady ends up with, so i look forward to seeing what the last few pages hold.
i love you and miss you and i’ll see you soon and i’m so excited for summer and that’s all i’ve got ok bye.

gioia

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