Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Ritual And Regalia

It has been a long year. And yet, the year’s end seems to have arrived swiftly; a contradiction? Not really; it all depends which part of you is doing the talking

The light at the end of the tunnel is almost blinding, but for some reason the last few steps always feel the longest. I suspect I’m way too busy trying to get things over with - too preoccupied with the idea of the ‘result’ rather than the ‘journey’. The key, I believe, is to enjoy the journey, whether it be a tour, or maybe one’s journey through life. I’m working on that one.

Before I know it I’ll be at home, sat there wondering when the next day off is. To make the transition a little easier I’ll get a ‘do not disturb’ - ‘clean my room now’ sign for the bedroom door - oh, and a telephone in there too so I can call down for room service. It might be difficult though finding someone to clean, vacuum, slam doors and talk loudly in the hallway outside at 8 a.m.

I don’t actually mind Christmas too much; but I absolutely loathe–what I typically think of as–the alcohol fuelled over-sentimentality of New Year. Rituals of any kind raise some kind of question mark for me; obviously we humans seem to need them - otherwise we’d not have so many, but I can’t help but wonder why. I have seen no evidence that ritual and regalia does anything to influence what is or isn’t already in the heart. And it may even serve as a distraction. Perhaps that’s the point?

How many sing about remembering old acquaintance, only to–once having sobered up–can’t even remember where they were the night before? How many–for any longer than the duration of the song–as they tearfully link hands, really do care about those around them? 
Look, if you actually care about people you don’t need to do this. 
I think the same about the ceremony of marriage also, but I’m sure it’ll come as some relief when I say that I’ll leave that topic alone for the time being.

Wednesday 9th December. The Borough Theatre, Abergavenny. 

Accommodation: The Kings Arms, Abergavenny. 


Not one of the larger venues, and one that on previous encounters we’ve played twice in consecutive nights. It seats something like 350, sits above a market, and has, as the title perhaps suggests, a municipal feel to it. If I’m making it sound a bit ‘cold’, that’s not at all the intention; when inside the hall it’s warm, and friendly - as the general population here seem to be from my experience.

It’s difficult to get lost here in the town centre, it’s quaint and similarly small - falling somewhere in between the prosperous, and the typically austere nature of what one finds in quite a lot of Welsh towns - usually due to their dependence on obsolete industries such as coal. 
Each time I come here it looks slightly trendier - now there’s even a newly opened Café Nero - maybe the new measure of a growing economy?
All-in-all a very fine evening I’d say, and with only only one small blemish, which was when the theatre manager walked into Maddy’s dressing room at a very inopportune moment. I don’t know the details, all I heard were the screams.


  1. Pleased to see that I'm not the only one who hates New Year and all the falseness that goes with it! In my younger years, I got swept along with 'ritual', doing the marriage thing and all that goes with it:-) Why? I think the answer to that one is because it was what society expected and I was too weak then to rebel (parental influence).Over the last few years, I've done a lot of thinking and am slowly discovering the real 'me'. I now know why I can't settle in one place for too long and why I find the whole 'relationship' thing difficult!
    Maybe I'm just discovering my lifepath. Life is a constant learning experience.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Wendy. You were too weak? I think you're being just a little hard on yourself; it's not easy to break out of the shackles of convention, and I guess we don't start to do it until we're ready to.
    Sounds as though you're on the right road.
    Good luck, Ken.