Friday, 12 August 2011

All quiet on the Western Front

I've been totally lax and absent for the last month or so, and in the meantime the world has gone to hell. Phone hacking scandals, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, famine, polar bears and now riots on the streets of England. I'm glad things are relatively normal here in Scotland.

I haven't been entirely idle, however. Just mostly idle.

Last week I popped down to Southampton on the south coast of England for my friend Ken's wedding. I've known Ken since first year of uni, when he lived in the room next door, and we subsequently lived together for the following three years as well. He's half Japanese, and he visited me three times over the course of my stay in Japan.

The wedding was all lovely except for a minor(?) faux-pas on my part. I, along with some other of Ken's friends, was designated an usher - an honour which came with a buttonhole rose and special handkerchiefs and ties. We were stood at the entrance to the church, asking people if they were bride or groom, and checking their names off the list of special types who got their own seats. At one point a grinning man and his wife came over, I asked, "Bride or groom?" and he responded by saying he wasn't a guest, he was just there for the service. He had a big smile on his face as he said this, and I sort of assumed he was having a laugh with me, so I told him he could probably, "stand at the back somewhere", in a manner I thought to be fittingly ironic. I was slightly alarmed when he gave me a confused look and walked on. I'd assumed he would have admitted to being a guest really, and given me his name. A sense of horror started to wind its way around my chest as I realised I'd accidentally been rude to a wedding guest, after receiving explicit instructions from Ken to be good. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe people just show up to other people's weddings. This was, after all, a church, and therefore a place meant to be open to the whole community. My upbringing in a fairly religiously-apathetic environment led me to forget that there are actually still a fair few religious folk about. It hadn't occurred to me that people would choose to go to church on a Saturday. Major fail.

I heard the guy bitching about me to the frumpy woman who worked in the church later on. Suffice to say I steered as clear of him as I could for the duration.

In other news, I continue to write, despair about being awful, get over it, write, despair a bit more, and basically continue ad infinitum. But yesterday, after meeting a friend who abandoned our fair land for the ravaged London to be a part of that acting 'biz', I'm feeling a bit better about things. He's up for the Edinburgh Fringe - his theatre company, Made from Scratch - formed by him and his university peers as a way to create their own opportunities, are putting on a play called Body of Water, which you should totally see if you're in the area. Anyway, my friend read my first chapter, gave me some pointers, and is going to badger me to get things done. Cos that's what friends are for!