I’ll get the the acronym. 

It feels like years since I last posted – I’ve been quite busy. Final year university and all that jazz… A lot has happened, a lot has gone on, and if I’m honest I’ve needed to write before now but I just haven’t. This has the potential to be a long one.

I can’t remember an order of events so I’ll just write as I remember them.

I’ll start with the areas yesterday. The brass band world has a series of contests and the major one is the Nationals. They have regional heats and ours was yesterday and we came stone. Dead. Last. The review on one of the major magazines right after we played (they do live comments) was damning so we were under no illusion as to what was about to happen, but we honestly thought that the band who got the comments of ‘Percussion… busking?’ might have just found a place beneath us. 

But we came last, and so we’ll most likely be getting relegated (not definitely, it’s a complicated system and I am not going into it…) down to first section which is a bit of a blow (huh, potential pun). It’s just disappointing, especially as the adjudicators comments weren’t that bad. I’m not feeling as bad as I could because the adjudicator who I most look up to (principal with leading bands, tutor at leading music college, all round amazing player and good guy) gave one comment specific to me about one of the trombone solo bits and it was quite simply ‘solo trombone – bravo ✔️’. I’m happily taking that. 

I’ll stay on playing for a bit. Music students have a choice of final year projects to do and I chose (stupidly) a recital and dissertation. The dissertation is fine. Choosing to play in very stressful conditions, for half an hour, under hot lights, however, was a stupid decision. Oh well. It happened.

It bombed. The run up week was stressful, my pianist backed out leaving me in a complete panic so I had to get a last minute replacement meaning we had very little time to practise and they could tell (it was on the comments). I made several stupid mistakes and it just bombed. Pieces I could play backwards. It was almost humiliating. If I hadn’t prepared, hadn’t practised, went in there thinking ‘it may or may not go well’, then I’d have to accept my poor playing, but I can play those pieces backwards, standing on my head whilst I’m asleep. That’s why I’m frustrated. There wasn’t a reason for them to go so badly. 
Incredibly I got a 2:1. They were most definitely being generous. 

What else, what else… 

Hmm.

I’ve forgotten. Oh well.

Oh yes.

Rescue boat seems to be going well. I’m enjoying it anyway, and the guys are great fun. One little snag though… there was someone who, when I met him, I was so so certain I knew but I couldn’t place him. Anyway, Wednesday’s training he asked if I’d figured it out yet… nope. The comment he then said;

‘I’ve dealt with you enough times’

Panic mode activated. Anyone who’s had to ‘deal’ with me is generally someone to avoid. He’s on the security team at the university. The guys who have dealt with heart and mental health problems from me for the last 2.5 years. I’m now enlisted on an emergency service with one. 

Anyway, that was at the start of the session. I asked him for a word afterwards and he was very reassuring; he didn’t want to know what had gone on, he didn’t want to know an explanation, and he said that, despite everything, I was a trustworthy and careful person who wouldn’t want to potentially risk someone’s life by being unfit for duty. Nobody was going to hear anything from him and if something did go wrong then I’d have the support of the whole crew behind me as anyone else has before. 

Unsurprisingly, I felt a lot better after that. 

So, M.E.T.H.A.N.E

M – major incident

E – exact location: my brain

T – type: mental health

H – hazards: spiralling out of control

A – access: letting someone know

N – number and type: 1, and who knows

E – emergency services: everyone I need
I’m spiralling out of control and it is not circumstantial. 

S***.

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