So I’ve just gotten home after the best part of 2 months’ worth of touring with a theatre production. We did a week in Sweden and then 5 weeks around the UK. Most of what I’m writing out is based on a bunch of notes I made somewhere between Edinburgh and Stirling sometime last week, and will mostly just be a bit of a ramble on various things that I thought a lot about. So yeah, on with it.
The route we ended up doing in the UK was, for a multitude of reasons, fairly travel intensive. It was between 3-6 hours of travel everyday depending on where we were with a few exceptions. The UK is a relatively small country as well, which meant that we were pinballing around a great deal. This might have exacerbated the feeling of distance more than had we done similar hours in a bigger country. The first observation (which is obvious to most people) is that the UK is a ridiculously nice place. Our date in Torquay was particularly memorable just for the weather we had alone, not to mention the area surrounding the theatre being a lovely marina I had time to explore. Then there was Scotland, where we passed small neighbourhoods that looked like they’d been perfectly preserved for hundreds of years, and the general natural beauty that you had from Cumbria upwards. That said, I find travel a weird thing, and I always have. I’ve attached a bit of a non-descript value to where I am, especially my home, and being away from that for any length of time, let alone a month at a time, always just feels like I’m displaced. I think, deep down, that has something to do with my constant desire for control over my situation. If I’m at home, or at least a place I’m deeply familiar with, I have far more autonomy and subconscious security than I do somewhere completely different. It’s why when I travel abroad, I love to just be a pedestrian for a bit. I want to take public transport and buy something from a supermarket. It makes me feel like I can get to grips with it feels like to really exist in those places. All that said, while some of the places we ended up in didn’t feel right like that, it was never a huge deal and it never overshadowed the fun of doing the work every night, which was the most important thing.
With nothing to do until midday every day, and then a big chunk of time in the van to follow that, I had to keep myself occupied fairly well. I like to think I’m a fairly resourceful person in that I have a multitude of things I could be getting on with at any one time, but what did start to feel weird was how hard it was to pick something to focus on. If it was a tossup between reading, video games, listening to music, or writing, none of these things had any kind of pull towards me because none of it was urgent. I just ended up picking something for the sake of picking something, not because I was really interested in anything at that particular time. I also had other bits of work to get done which helped provide structure, albeit add a bit too much stress to the pile on occasion. This led to a rather interesting discovery I made about myself; I’m not obsessed with anything. At least, I haven’t been since Game of Thrones ended and I ran out of Zelda games. I’ve not found anything that I can just be a fan of and jump headfirst into. And I like to think I tried on this trip. I tried tons of new music, books, podcasts, games, but everything just felt like I was consuming for the sake of consuming it. The closest I got was Mob Psycho 100 but even that felt like I was watching it out of obligation as opposed to pure enjoyment at points. I was just consuming while looking for the thing that I could be a fan of again. I’m still looking for that thing, and recommendations are definitely being taken right now.
I wanted to run so badly everyday, but when your hotel is on a motorway junction, heavy respiration will probably do you far more harm than good. I think I did a better job than last time at eating well and looking more carefully at what I was eating within reason. That does exclude the times where McDonalds was the only open food outlet within any reasonable radius, because I was definitely going to eat there over going hungry. At one point I was hit with a strong urge to go vegan, mainly because that was the only thing I could do to shift the guilt at how much petrol I was consuming to get around at this point, but that might have been unwise when petrol station food was the only option. Now I am home, I’m thinking of dabbling a bit more now though.
That’s kind of it? Other than those things, the shows were awesome fun, I got to play loads of music with some great people and see some wonderful places. And I’m very happy to be home and working on my music again.