So today I was in my studio room, newly fettled and came up with an idea for a tune. I wrote it out so I would not forget it, but started recording it anyway for and came up with something I was not expecting. So here it is.
Well, it been a bit of a week. My anxiety levels are creeping up and there does not seem to be much I can do about them, other than just try and chill out as much as possible. Yep, its hard work for sure. I guess there are a lot of other people who are feeling much the same right now of course. I have been trying to carry on doing stuff. I have tried doing a little drawing and sketching to get my mind into a different place and it helps a little but the bizarre intrusive thoughts are quite overwhelming at times, as they often are even at the best of times. I have had a good crack at all the usual techniques for this over the years so I do have ways of trying to keep the demons tied down sufficiently. But I feel trapped. Actually I am not really as I have open spaces to visit and space to do stuff but I really do miss social contact with people other than my partner. We are people with very different interests and under normal conditions that actually works quite well for us. But right now it’s not. I do phone calls and video chats and stuff and that helps but it is often not really enough I find.
There is a big difference between being face to face with someone and seeing and hearing them on a screen.
It’s looking likely that we will not be seeing anything remotely normal for 18 months or so. Perhaps by August, the pubs will be open again. At least some of them. It’s not likely to be the sort of places that I have played music at though as these do not allow for social distancing sadly.
Also its difficult to tell if any weird symptoms are the bug or just anxiety and other stuff. I have had headaches which might be stress or hay fever or maybe just not sleeping well. My back has been playing up a lot and making it very difficult to use the PC so one way and another its not going too well. I find myself getting very irritable too.
Audio version below.
All live music has stopped so that has reduced my income by about a third.
I have had one or two bits of freelance session work. Recording can be done remotely quite easily now. That kind of work is unusual for me (as in decent pay), but there may be more in future.
A couple of low-level bits of programming work. So basically a few odd jobs.
My mental health is somewhat poor, so I have to work within limits. I suffer from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and Bi-polar 2 which most manifests as depression with occasional mania. Moving to a rural area has helped considerably with all this, and it would be very uncomfortable for me if we were still living in central London in the present circumstances.
I have just about enough to live on with pensions and savings. I have a small pension from the Civil Service but was only there for 11 years and if it had not been for some very rapid promotion I would be in very dire straights now. My state pension starts at 66 so a couple of years and a bit to go, assuming I am still around to collect I will be OK. as it will double my income.
Lockdown has cut me off from most people I know that I could casually meet and chat with. I have a lot of casual acquaintances that I have worked with are in music and arts but they are not close friends. I am not great at small talk so sometimes it’s difficult for me too. I am also not a natural with the phone, though I am much improved in that respect. Also, many people I know have health problems, (most are late 60’s to 70’s age range and many are considered to be vulnerable medically). Musicians tend not to be fitness fanatics at the best of times of course
I do have video chats with people. My partner takes a lot of classes including painting and these are all done via zoom or similar apps and also keeps in touch with her sisters and friends that way.
I video call my sister in Colne, Lancs, she can show me how her garden and cats are getting on.
So I practice my instruments, write music, record it, put on websites (work on one or two collaborative music projects). I do sell a bit of music via amazon and other sites too.
Occasionally it makes me a bit of extra money which is handy, mostly songwriting and recording royalties via PRS and PPL though these are not huge amounts.
Today if my back behaves I shall take a stroll in the sun or if it does not I shall sit on the veranda and watch the world go by.
So not much to report really. Creatively I seem to have ground to a halt now. The weather is pleasant at least for the moment. I seem to be spending a lot of time staring out the window now and watching our quite varied local avians gadding about skyward. I have spent some time making efforts to get better organised though to quite what purpose I am not really sure. The last couple of days have been pretty much getting up and eating then waiting a while to eat again and going to bed.
Exciting stuff. 🙂