Something is different around these parts.
Outwardly, not much has changed - life still consists of too many rehearsals, not enough sleep, wintery weather and grouchy colleagues, but I've got a smile on my face.
I've been a very, very whingey Bette in the past months. I'm surprised I have any friends left at all! I don't know what was wrong with me; I don't know where I went and I don't know why, but somehow, after a bout of January Blues that lasted from the autumn until March, I think I might be better. I think I might be back.
It's the Easter holidays, you see. It's been a short half-term, but it seems to have done me a power of good. I'm off down to Grandparentville to see the family tomorrow, and, whilst I am looking forward to it, it's been a sort of pleasant surprise every time I remember how close Easter is. At Christmas I was desperate. For all of December, I yearned and pined (I am a G&S alto, we're good at those things!) and counted down the days until I could leave Newcastle far behind me. I was sick, sick, sick of the place and everyone in it. I hated work, and I hated rehearsals. I was sick of the dark, and I was sick of the cold, and I was even sick of my bicycle. I had nothing whatever to mope about, but I moped about everything. Above all I was sick of maudlin, miserable me.
I've been trying to find the nerve to post this for a couple of weeks now. I know it's a bit attention-seeky, and I hope I'm not the type to air my dirty washing on The Internet, but it seems I am doing so anyway, so here it all is! Writing things down helps me remember 'em, and I don't want to forget.
I was cycling home one Friday afternoon in January, with no weekend plans and no Friday feeling, and I went straight past my street because I could not bear the thought of going into that cold, dark, messy, empty flat and staring at Facebook until bedtime. I went to a cafe down the road, installed myself with a book and a pot of tea and stayed there until they shut.
That was a desperate measure, but I started repeating that little adventure quite regularly, as a little Friday treat to myself - not out of desperation but because I realised it was something that made me smile. And I began to notice other things that made me smile, like having flowers in the house, and reading, and my very patient friends, and plinking out tunes on the plonky old school piano. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that I'm smiling rather a lot these days. I thought about December and that Friday evening in the cafe, and couldn't believe I'd ever felt like that. It was quite scary, actually.
So, I reckon I'm me again. Oh, I'm sure I can still whinge with the best of them, and you can be sure I'll find something to complain about as soon as I post this, but, for now, I've got my smile on.
Bugger off, self-pity. The sun came out today, school's shut and I'm makin' hot cross buns. Happy Easter, everyone!