“Everything happens to everyboody sooner or later if there is time enough.” George Bernard Shaw
If anything becomes in short supply, you tend to use it with a bit more care. At 60+ my tendency is to allocate time more ruthlessly than I used to. If Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom as someone somewhere once said* then it’s certainly too precious to waste on doing things that are tedious and / or pointless. Looking back ( always a high risk activity) I can’t believe how much time I spent asleep when a student the first time round; likewise, a disproportionate amount of my life has been spent in meetings, both formal work-related ones and fuzzy-edged social ones, that ultimately have achieved diddly squat apart from some seriously impressive headaches. However, nowadays I no longer feel obliged to stay with an event, film or book if I’m bored. This attitude can tend to manifest itself as an unattractive and grumpy egotism like that of a young child: Come on, you’ve only got 5 minutes! Interest me. Entertain me. Now!
So why am I at Culture Lab on a Thursday evening moving pieces of glass around an OHP and then poking them with a pair of scissors to replicate the IVP process? Or miming being a fly on a cow pat? Or, in synchronised slow motion with the rest of the group, replicating Andy Murray’s reactions after he won Wimbledon? The simple answer is I don’t really know ( though it must be emphasised that I am a latecomer to the group and have not been part of the process since the beginning) but it’s that not knowing that has proved so liberating and enjoyable. In a totally unexpected way the performance workshops mirror the creative excitement I feel about starting my PhD but minus the niggling anxiety of being unable to contemplate how my work will get to wherever it might, or might not, be going. But why intellectualise?** Basically Thursday evenings are a load of fun with a group of friendly and interesting people, the two hours fly by and when push comes to shove ( as we don’t say in Yorkshire) what better way to spend one’s time?
*Note to self: try and nail referencing.
** Because you think you need to appear clever – Ed.