I loved this year’s Edinburgh Festival & Fringe. It felt like mine as well as everyone else’s, for the first time. My annual bout of imposter syndrome somehow didn’t arrive. As my kids start to think of futures outside the city I’ve grown in mindfulness of what we have while we’re here because, as an accidental rolling stone, the sense that change is doing warm-up stretches is a twinkle in my eye. The idea that I’ll return one day to the fringe as a tourist, sparking with happy memories, is fuel and shelter.
I’ve been trying out listening to classical music after enjoying the dancing fingers of piano playing guests this summer. I wondered out loud what it was about classical music that makes it so relaxing. ‘It’s the lack of beat’, answered my husband, ‘it’s arrhythmic’.
I think there’s a surrender and engagement with classical music when you’re hearing it for the first time; a bit like watching an unreviewed, intriguing performance.
Maybe when time’s unmarked by a beat I keep myself uncharacteristically still, so I can mentally lean in a little more.
I sang a solo in assembly at primary school. I was not to sing with my accent. I was to smooth it out, press it, make it like the ones on telly. Stop it from being harsh, hard, common, comical and broad. To make it more beautiful, for the song.
My Mum taught me to use a posh voice if you needed to be taken seriously; at work, returning something to a shop, parent’s night, church and politicians.
The song was called All Alone. Nowadays I have one voice for everything.