I celebrated my 25th birthday last week. After having a Frozen themed party my partner and I went to London to see some of my childhood books come to life on the stage.
Goodnight Mr Tom was one of my favourite stories as a young child. I remember I used to dress up as an evacuee and carry this tattered old brown suit case around with me with a really old suede pouch hanging on my shoulder filled with my mums old marbles haha. I was always one for the details even then! The stage production of Goodnight Mr Tom left me with mixed feelings. Although it was a powerful story and the play was enjoyable, the acting felt somewhat false and amateur compared to other West End shows featuring young actors. Perhaps this amateur feeling was because the emotion wasn’t conveyed accurately from the young cast? That level of terror, fear, depression and sadness would be difficult for even an experienced actor to tap into and display on demand. That’s not to say I didn’t cry LOTS pretty much all the way through the second half!
The Railway Children was an absolutely brilliant stage adaptation, despite some negative reviews I thought it was brilliant entertainment – especially considering how dull the book is! The stage production was humourous, imaginative, engaging and exciting. The narration was very comical while keeping the integrity of the original novel. And the use of the stage – built around an actual rail track was brilliantly done. The star of the show of course was the REAL steam engine that powers onto centre stage multiple times throughout the production. In fact my only criticism would be that their seemed to be an excessive number of infant cast whom didn’t actually do or say anything.. Not really sure why they were there!
So with christmas and birthdays celebrated, I seem to have fallen back into my academic life for the final term of my degree.
All around me my peers are making plans for their futures and busily preparing applications for masters degrees or work experience. I find myself avoiding making commitments for what to do post-uni because honestly I don’t know what I WANT to do and there is absolutely NO point doing something just because I’m expected to have my shit together. I’m not one for living up to other peoples expectations.
Despite the fresh selection of looming deadlines approaching in the next few months, I find myself taking some time out to reflect and observe. I was given some really good advice recently to simply notice what makes me thrive and what makes me anxious and let that guide me in the direction I’m being pulled. Heeding that advice it’s much easier to bottom out what I don’t want which makes space for things that I enjoy to seep in.
Despite arguing that I miss having time to read for fun during term time, the truth is I have dedicated spare time to other things. Over the last week I have found myself logging off Netflix and closing the laptop. Instead of binge watching series and zombie-ing for hours in the evening, I’ve made that time available to engage my mind in fiction reading and it has felt GREAT to chomp my way through a book and start a brand new one last night. I got a bunch of great new reads for my birthday (see photo) and I find my energy feeling restored and my yearning for creativity reawakening as I make my way through them.