Archive for January, 2012

Wish #10 – to visit Dartmouth

January 19, 2012 2 comments


Photo: Matthew Verso

As a child, many of my family summer holidays were in Devon, generally staying in Dartmouth. I have fantastic memories of the steep streets, harbour, crabbing, Dartmoor and the Red Arrows and fireworks during the regatta.

I’ve not been back for years – not for any particular reason, but mainly due to the length of the drive and the holiday traffic. But now that I don’t have to go during the holidays, this might be the year to go and explore for a long weekend…

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Wish #9 – to learn to code

January 17, 2012 2 comments

When I was 10 I was given my first computer – a Commodore VIC 20 (20 meaning it had 20k of memory…!) that plugged into the TV. As well as enjoying playing a few games on it (loaded up from its tape cassette drive of course, although a couple were cartridges that plugged in the back) I learned some very simple BASIC programming.

I never got very far with that, but I do remember enjoying getting the computer to ask me what my name was and getting it to create pretty text patterns using the repeat command.

So now I’ve enrolled with the free online Code Academy and have completed the first few sessions. I thoroughly recommend it.

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Wish #8 – to get control over my daily body clock

January 8, 2012 2 comments

Photo: Myphotosshare

Well this one links with Wish #5 but it’s part of a bigger picture.

I think the real issue here is that my body clock is far too firmly aligned with natural light. It doesn’t want to start till its properly morning and it’s pretty much ready to shut down my dusk. My sunrise alarm clock definitely helps with the waking up, but it’s not a real solution.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated but I think I might just have to grin and bear it…

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Wish #7 – to reawaken my love for piano playing

January 7, 2012 2 comments

Photo: Fire Bird Flame

Now this one has been on my list for many a year. I’ve never been an amazing pianist, but I have loved playing, I do have a very underused piano and I did pass Grade 7 with distinction about 20 years ago!

Probably what would make the difference is to have some new repertoire to learn – not so tricky that I’ll never get there, but not so easy that I can do a decent job of sight reading it so there’s not much incentive to work at it properly.

Fortunately/unfortunately (I really haven’t decided which yet…) I’m going to have to work at it a bit over the next couple of weeks as I may be needed to cover for one of the pantomime performances in two weeks time so will need to be prepared. Kill or cure I guess!

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Wish #6 – to make sensible decisions about sleep

January 6, 2012 5 comments

I know I need a decent amount of sleep, so why do I put off going to bed some nights until I cam barely keep my eyes open…

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Wish #5 – to write a song

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

For my music GCSE and A level I had to do modules on composition. And again for my degree. I wrote songs, instrumental pieces, even an orchestral piece.

One of my degree modules was ‘how to write for the musical theatre’ and the professor teaching the module had written a book on Sondheim’s musicals. I have had lots of experience of song writing but I don’t do it any more.

And I should.

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Wish #4 – to teach abroad

January 4, 2012 2 comments

Every so often over the past few years I’ve considered teaching abroad. When I was younger I didn’t feel I had the confidence to leave my support network, but I’ve come to realise that if I’m put into a situation then I’ll rise to the challenge.

Conversations with teachers in many countries have strengthened my wish to experience other education systems. As has research, documentaries (thank you Teachers TV) and – although clearly idealised – films and dramas.

Particularly strange is the realisation that I’d be interested in working in the US, somewhere that my younger self would never have wanted to visit let alone live.

I’ll stick with the current job for the time being though…

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