My friends and family care a lot about me and I care a lot about them. I love my closest friend, Liz, who inspires me to be so much more.
I love singing and those that hear me love it as well. But nothing seems to really happen. I was in one band and we were invited to play at Ronnie Scot's jazz club in London... but then the drummer broke the band up.
Then I was writing and recording music with a guy who had been in a band that had been signed. Our music was great... but he had had enough so nothing happened.
I was in another band that was exciting and different. We played at the Witchwood. A member of different band saw me perform and he was mesmerised by my performance. My closest friend had booked gigs for us but the guitarists only had bitchy remarks about her... The bass player and his girlfriend (he also had a wife) stirred up problems in the band and it broke up. And, unfairly, Liz was their scapegoat.
My next band just played covers but I wanted more than that. The new bass player didn't. Then during one gig the lead guitarist left the stage part way through a song and that broke the band up.
The drummer for both bands is an amazing drummer and guitarist. We recorded several original songs together (CoRuiM HiDe)... but nothing happened. Record companies only wanted touring bands.
During that time I did a job in a chemical plant. Within a couple of years I was promoted from a works chemist to the QC Manager. I was planning a purpose built lab for my department. Then the owner of the company took my budget away on a whim and fired the company's managing director that I was getting on with.
My grandma died around that time. Soon after I started having difficulties with my balance. I went to my doctors and it was initially thought I had an inner ear infection. When my balance was actually getting worse I had several brain scans. A specialist in neurology told me dispassionately that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I was on a drip for a week. Two nurses taught me how to walk again.
People at my chemical company didn't seem to care. I asked to be given less responsibilities and suggested that I became the Quality Assurance Officer. One other manager assumed I'd been demoted. Eventually it was offered that I take a small pension to leave the company. I eagerly took that.
Then I took another degree in media studies at Salford University. I made two short films. One I wrote (The Devil's Ring) and the other (Ascension Day) written by Liz. Apparently, The Devil's Ring was repeatedly shown on Channel M. I directed bands playing in a recording studio and was complimented for that. But I knew that since I was in my thirties I'd have to compete with people ten years younger than me.
So I took an MA in Gender Studies at the suggestion of a lecturer at Salford. I delayed that by a year because I was writing my first novel. It was inspired by a short story Liz wrote. She'd passed it to me asking if I could expand upon it. I don't why she did that but I created a novel from that short story with her blessing.
During that time I started going out with a girl. That was a weird one. I was besotted by her and troubled by her. We fell out just before I began my MA at the University of Leeds but didn't break up.
I began writing my second novel at that time, inspired by the Devil's Ring short film I wrote and directed during my media studies degree.
During my part time MA, I did my first presentation using PowerPoint and a film clip where, while I was presenting, I seemed to be having a conversation with a recording of myself on the screen (yes, this was before the Doctor Who episode 'Blink').
This MA changed my life. I became a more even person, understanding myself more.
Immediately after my MA I began a part time PhD. At the same time my girlfriend moved in with me again but it wasn't to be. While I made complaints to the university about some of my work being mis-marked (I won) my girlfriend was being bullied at work. She eventually got erroneously fired. Around that time she began having a virtual affair online. Not surprisingly we broke up.
I found out the company she worked for re-hired her and the manager apologised. I know that the company should have paid her thousands in compensation but they fobbed her off ... However it wasn't my problem anymore.
A year after she phoned me to say sorry. Apparently she'd had counselling.
The PhD wasn't going well. I was supposed to have two supervisors. One left the university and after three months I found out. The other had lots of behind the scenes problems so she didn't guide me a lot. After two years I had my 50 page assessment document examined by two academics. They felt was wasn't on track and felt my PhD was still 'provisional' but promised to give me feedback why. I got the feedback three months late and only 8 lines long.
I left that university.
By that time it was late 2007. I turned 40. I began eagerly making art pieces using fragments of CDs and DVDs plus I turned my attention to completing that second novel....