Monday, November 26, 2007

What I am listening to at the moment

It was just over two years ago that I bought my first MP3 player and I still have it and use it as well, although mainly these days for listening to the radio. My latest player is of course the ubiquitous Apple iPod, which seems to be everywhere you look. Why did I succumb to this badge of consumerism? Oh, I don't know, it just looked nice, is very small and holds loads of songs! There, I was sucked in by the advertising! The only disappointment is that it doesn't have a radio. Ideally what I wanted was a portable digital radio player with MP3 as well but my search for anything that amply fulfilled both categories was fruitless. So my trusty 2-year old and ridiculously bulky original MP3 fills in the radio role.

It might sound strange but I don't often use my iPod when I am 'out and about.' Mainly it is a portable player for when I am at home and want to just choose some music instantly to suit a particular mood rather than heading through my collection of CD's. I have to say the iPod proved its usefulness when I was working in London as an accompaniment on the train, although personally I do find the prolific use of iPods and MP3s in public rather rude! Not so much the considerate ones and I hope I am amongst them who listen to their music at a level that doesn't deafen everyone else in the carriage.What really irritates me though is when people will attempt to hold a conversation with you while shoved in one or both ears are their iPod headphones. It's as bad as someone chewing gum while they're talking.

Anyhows before I get started on another rant, these are twenty of my favourite tracks, which I am listening to at the moment on my iPod (in no particular order).

1/. Babylon - David Gray
2/. Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
3/. Crown Imperial - William Walton
4/. Adagio for Spartacus & Phrygia (from the ballet suite, Spartacus) - Aram Khachaturian
5/. Red Light Spells Danger - Billy Ocean
6/. The Ashokan Farewell - Jay Unger
7/. Elegy for Dunkirk (from the soundtrack to the film Atonement) - Dario Marianelli
8/. Benedictus (from The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace) - Karl Jenkins
9/. Live Like Horses (Live) - Elton John & Luciano Pavarotti
10/. Original Sin - Elton John
11/. Seize the Night - Meat Loaf
12/. Nella Fantasia - Il Divo
13/. Summon the Heroes - John Williams
14/. Happy Heart - Andy Williams
15/. Back for Good - Take That
16/. Sinnerman - Nina Simone
17/. First Essay for Orchestra - Samuel Barber
18/. Forever Young - Meat Loaf
19/. Anakin's Betrayal (from the soundtrack of the film Revenge of the Sith) - John Williams
20/. Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Back again!

Jamie does have a point when he asks why I haven't updated this blog in a long time especially when I now have so much time on my hands. Sadly the last part is true as I lost my job two weeks ago. Not one of the highlights of the year but perhaps like Steve McClaren today my disappointment was balanced with relief. It wasn't that unexpected either. I'd felt for some weeks that I had been working on borrowed time, so to speak. I could be very harsh on myself and the company I worked for and I could indulge/wallow in regrets but there is no point in any of that. I've done enough of that in my life. In simple terms I wasn't suited to the job and the job wasn't suited to me. With the capricious gift of hindsight I can clearly see what I knew all along, that this was a job that had no future for me.

I like to believe that I have a very strong intuition. I often know whether something is going to work out right or not. Trouble is, I am careless in my attention to these instincts and often ignore my gut feeling altogether. Sometimes it works out fine that way but all too often it doesn't. The same with the job in London. Looking back it is clear to me that I knew at the time that it wasn't right for me. I put on a brave face, pretended it was what I wanted and that it was the new challenge I had been looking for yet knowing all along that I had deep reservations. In my desperation to leave where I was and my stubborn refusal to look back and reconsider, I took the job and thought I was doing the right thing.

It was only a matter of weeks before I realised the error of my ways and it was clear to me that I just wasn't cut out for this new working environment. It didn't suit me at all. That is not a criticism of where I was working nor a character assassination of myself. I see it that we are all different. We have different ways of coping, temperament, attitudes and values and I found that all of mine were at odds with both the people and the company I was working with. It wasn't the kind of environment where I felt safe and settled. I probably worked harder in that job than I had done so for a long time and partly I felt rewarded by working in London and for a while that was enough to satisfy me. But I was only deluding myself really, putting a 'brave face' on when really the courageous thing to have done would have been to admit to myself that it wasn't right for me and I should have taken an active decision to look for something else. That I didn't do, so I faced the mild humiliation, as I see it, of being dismissed.

There we go, that's that. I can learn from this experience and move on or I can endlessly dwell and self-analyse what it all means. I've been tempted to do the latter and have consciously forced myself to stop when my thoughts start down that path. It will do no good to keep analysing what happened. I need now to keep focused on the days and weeks ahead and on the next job that comes and this time I really need to make sure it is right for me.