The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Three)

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On this very day, at this very time, exactly four years ago, I self-starred in the auto-bio play “Ryan’s World.”

If you fancy reading the other parts, you can see the links underneath.^^/

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-one/ 

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-two/

  1. DECISION

Choosing the right songs and implementing them into the show was tricky. However, Mr P and Mum suggested certain songs for me to use.

For the intro, and the audience coming in and settle their bums to the floor, I opted to use Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.” We all thought that this would be an ideal way to start the performance as that song is about individuality and self-confidence. For good measure I added a picture of me when I was 5 holding a Thomas the Tank Engine train. Whilst I was incredibly embarrassed I wanted to give everyone an idea what I looked like when I was young. That and I think it adds to the realism of the performance.

I was behind the stage of the intro and the first video scene. Nerves started to grow up inside me, but I felt myself getting into the moment of my youth. The first video scene is the doctor diagnosing my condition and explained to my Mum (the character) what to expect of me in the future. It would be highly unlikely that I would ever come out of my own bubble. Listening to this really helped me to get into the moment as it set as a reminder of what I was like when I was young.

  1. SCENES YOUNGER THAN TEN

I walked into the open space and parked myself on the outer edge of the gazebo. I used the gazebo for the purpose of holding up the screen which showed the videos. I was very conscious that I was going to knock the whole thing down so I took great care not to bump into it. Haha.

These few scenes were all about me when I was a toddler. The video showed scenes whilst I held up phrases on the cards to show what I was thinking at that time. I couldn’t explain myself at that time but I was aware what was happening. I held up a cue card that said “I know you’re talking about me, I’m not stupid.” I also held up a few sad faces to show the audience that I was feeling sad in certain moments.

On stage I kept my face and body language neutral to reinforce how I would have been feeling at the time. However, I did feel trickles of tears running down my face. “That’s not supposed to happen,” I thought. That was the first time ever that I genuinely cried during a performance. I cringed every time I heard myself scream or cry out. It felt like a stab in the heart. I wanted to hide my face behind the big cards as I didn’t really want the audience to see tears running down my face. Haha. I spontaneously took a few deep breaths to regain my composure.

I did receive a few laughs when I got kissed with a lipstick in the video and when I showed my sad face for the first time. I think everyone laughed at first probably because they thought the face was drawn in a funny way. I put up a smiling face when the lady at the school residential read me a Thomas story.

I think the audience were very touched by this. I even added the song “Thomas, You’re the Leader.” I felt this was very appropriate as I was trying to tell the audience that Thomas was my saviour in many unhappy moments.

Eventually, I went off stage, gearing myself up to reappear in a certain scene.

  1. SCENES OLDER THAN TEN

On the video it showed the actual footage of me being the mascot for Charlton Athletic when they played Bolton in 2000.

I came onto the stage feeling excited as I gained confidence and started to understand the surroundings outside my bubble.

I spoke only basic words at that time. In hindsight I wonder if I should have spoken in a monotone voice because I used to be expressionless with my words. However, in the live performance I was representing my thoughts. So I figured it would be appropriate to speak with emotion.

The most important scene involves the Football School. I was pretty nervous about this. It was important to get this right. We filmed the parts where all the lads were making fun of me and showed a huge lack of understanding. The coach was no different. I was too meek and polite to not stick up for myself as I didn’t want to “upset” anyone. It went to the point where I started to get changed in front of the other lads, something which I was very uncomfortable with.

On the video I actually did get changed but my back was to the audience so only my back was visible. Haha. That was another big moment as I don’t like getting changed in front of other people. I think if the scene wasn’t so serious the audience would have had a good chuckle at this.

The video was pretty emotional as I kept on making mistakes and kept on being the victim of “being different.” I tried to be strong and be tough but I kept on making mistakes, especially when I missed the penalty and ran the full length of the pitch to score an own goal… My spirit eventually wavered and I broke down in the middle of the pitch, all alone… On cue- Girls Aloud’s cover of “I’ll Stand by You,” plays as the video zooms out and fades.

This was definitely challenging to perform on film. I was caught up in the emotion of that part of my life. The Football scene and hanging out with “normal people” was the main reason why I started to become insecure about being Autistic. Was it ok to be different? I made my feelings known at that very moment how I felt about the world.

“I hate normal people. I hate special needs… and I hate myself.”

And it was at that very moment that I started to become insecure about myself. I had a long string that kept me from the audience. When my confidence grew, I’d pull the string back, allowing the audience nearer. If my confidence was knocked, I would push the string back and push the audience away. The strings were held up by three stools. When I said “I hate special needs…” I started to push the stools back.

However, I managed to compose myself enough not to charge into Mr Ian who was right behind the stool that I was pushing. This was quite reassuring as I’ve never felt this emotional during a performance. It showed me that even though I was in the zone I was still aware of my surroundings. That was quite a proud moment. =)

  1. INDIVIDUALITY

From that moment on I tried to fight for individuality and to be accepted for whom I was and I tried this tactic in different situations. I bought a Thomas DVD at school but my teacher disapproved as she thought that it was “too childish” and so she took it back. Why wasn’t I allowed to express the things I like? Why couldn’t I get the things I like? What was wrong with being myself?

  1. REACHING COLLEGE

I had the option of attending two different colleges. One was my local college and the other was the college that I eventually went to. I was very determined not to go to this certain college as I knew that I would have to start in the Supported Learning Department. I really, really didn’t want that to happen.

I expressed my anger and stubbornness thoughts to the audience. Was it fate that I would never progress? On the video it showed the letter that I would be in the SLD department. It also said in the letter how it would have been “too much for me” to be in the actual Performing Arts course with the “normal” mainstream students.

It turns out that college has treated me very kindly and the SLD department was actually a good stepping stone for me to study and perform with the “normal” mainstream students. I went from expressing my anger on stage feeling to expressing my pride and happiness.

  1. I AM RYAN

On film, I spoke about the overview of my time on the course. I learned that my biggest achievement from this University Course wasn’t the high marks on paper. It was learning how to be myself. In those last couple of months I completely let myself go and allowed everyone to get to know the real me and who I really was.

I’m not Autistic, I’m Ryan who just so happens to have Autism.

Being Ryan was my identity. After this revelation I stopped acting at this point and I was genuinely myself. It was definitely natural as I completely forgot my line at that moment. Haha!

I changed clothes into a more casual outfit, cut the tap and invited the audience into “my space”. This was to signify that I now felt more comfortable with how I was. I personally am not comfortable with physical contact but it’s my way of letting everyone know that I’m opening myself up to them.

At this moment I walked out of the room and the video of me, wearing the same casual outfit, came up. This was the scene where I said my “THANKYOUS” to all my friends, colleagues and tutors for treating me kindly for all these years. I would be too embarrassed to say it to their faces so I coped out and made them watch the video instead. Haha. Ironically, this was actually the very first thing that I and Mr P did, shooting this video of “THANKYOUS.”

In this video I played the soundtrack “The Island Song” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” These songs are very poignant to me as I used to severely dislike music. However, these were the very first songs that I liked and they were the platform for me to open myself up to all kinds of music. Now, whilst I still don’t like noise, I can handle music better and I’m very open-minded about it. Once again, Thomas the Tank Engine helped as The Island Song was actually a soundtrack from Thomas the Tank Engine. Haha.

  1. POST SHOW

I came out and took a bow. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the loud clapping and I literally couldn’t look at any of them in the face. After the bow I ran as fast as I could so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I was a little caught up in the moment. Well, that’s a fib. I was VERY caught up in the moment. Haha.

I actually get very embarrassed when I’m the centre of attention or if everyone is looking at me, which is among the reasons why I ran off. If I had spoken to people straightaway I probably would have been too caught up and cried and I really didn’t want that to happen.

After calming down I spoke with my friends one by one and had a good chin-wag with all of them. It was a strange moment as I was talking with them as if I had never performed the piece. It felt natural, very natural. I really did like that feeling and it was at that moment that I realised that all my Uni friends were actually my friends.

By revealing my autism to everyone has turned out to be one of the best moments in my life. I can now say that I have autism without feeling ashamed or insecure.

THANKS FOR READING

Thomas and Gordon 2

Since this day, four years ago, life has been great and for the first time I felt free of doubt. I have never looked back… and I never will.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Two)

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  1. DECISION

Right! I’m now going to do this Autobio play starring as myself, but… what on earth do I do? How do I execute this piece? How do I act it? How do I direct it? What parts of my life are most significant and what might people be interested in? Do I do live or film or a mixture of both?

I discussed the key parts of my life with my co-director Mr P as well as my family. After much discussion we decided that my life before Uni was the way to go. Obviously, people at Uni only knew me as I was then. They had no idea about my life prior to the Uni course.

At that point I had a rough idea how I was going to perform this piece. I decided to make this mostly live theatre but to include multimedia and film. I felt that I could express my thoughts live but portray certain aspects on film. To me that was the most practical and sensible solution. Realistically speaking, I don’t think there was any way I could have done it. Mr Ian came up with great artistic ideas but I needed to do what I was comfortable with. Well… everything I was doing at that point was far from comfortable! Haha.

I decided what scenes I was going to film, what characters to use and who I would ask to play those parts.

With the cast chosen I then had to think about which scenes I would film and which I would perform live.

  1. OVER-ACTING

In the first two weeks I did find it difficult to play my character. I learned that I kept holding back when I was rehearsing so I decided to stop rehearsing altogether, choosing to act and improvise when I was being filmed.

I did this one scene where I was playing with my biro trains and Thomas trains where I would scream and get upset if my brother tried to join in the fun. I think I was ok but I wasn’t natural… I was extremely uncomfortable and I think because of this I started to over-act. It’s not easy when you’re 22 and you’re trying to act as you did when you were 4.

Acting as my younger self playing with my trains was probably the most difficult part of the whole performance. The scene wasn’t really done right. I couldn’t rehearse it as it was a challenge to keep it up. If I was going to do this then I had to do it in one take. My family members watched my scene back and they felt that I wasn’t being natural either. They watched me grow up so they could remember how I acted and behaved.

With much reluctance but being sensible, I decided that I should do this scene again, but in a more natural setting…I chose to do this, for the second time, at my sister’s house.

  1. EPIPHANY

There was a period where my confidence was low. I did start to doubt myself and my capabilities of being able to pull this off. Could I do it? I needed an inspiration from somewhere…

My university is actually based in a college. The correct term of studying that I did was Foundation Degree. Basically, you do two years of university work at a college but you do the final third year at an actual university. The third year is only optional though. I decided to take a look at my local university, with the thought of carrying on the third year, to obtain my full degree. It sounded ideal to me at that time. So, I went along to the open day and spoke to one of the course tutors with my Mum. We explained to her about my individual needs and what my strengths and needs were.

Her reaction to everything that we said was quite peculiar. She pulled a lot of funny faces and she especially made a quirky face when I said that I don’t understand generalisation. From that moment she started to discourage me from the course as she didn’t think I could handle it. There were going to be many social gatherings and she didn’t think that I could adapt enough to meet the course requirements. I was rather speechless at that moment…

I was a bit shocked on how quickly she discouraged me, and even went so far to suggest a writing course as no social interaction was required. Haha… I decided from that moment that I was not going to go on that course as the tutor didn’t seem open-minded and she did not understand people like me. Even if I did join the course I think I would have dropped out because of her. I was unimpressed with her attitude, and to be honest, I was unimpressed with the SLD facilities that that particular university had to offer.

After I spoke about my thoughts to my family and I had the chance for all this to sink in…a fire started to ignite in my stomach. I started to get annoyed that someone would pre-judge me and my capabilities without even getting the time to know me first. There have been people in my life who have doubted my capabilities, and I was always determined to prove those people wrong.

The only people who doubted me were the people who did not know me. They just judged my capabilities through papers, reports and assessments and probably what they’ve researched about autism on the internet. I wasn’t going to let anyone doubt me ever again. I was going to prove to everyone that I shouldn’t limit my capabilities just because of pre-judgement. I especially was going to prove to everyone and to myself that I shouldn’t limit my capabilities just because I’m Autistic.

I was angry. I was determined. I was motivated.

This was the answer. This was the epiphany that I was looking for. The confidence that I had lost came back and it was stronger than ever before.

And now, back to the Performance.

  1. NEW FOUND CONFIDENCE

I asked the National Certificate group to paint me a wall of a mountain that represents my personal journey. Me and Mr P went to their class and explained what we were looking for. At that moment Mrs V turned to me and said, “Are you going to tell everyone about you?” and I was like “oh my…”

I was so focus on proving a point to my doubters and to myself that I completely forgot that I was going to share with everyone about my Autism. Was this going to be a first time? Initially, I was very hesitant. I’ve never openly told this side of me to anyone, only a close group of people. I knew the National Certificates by their faces but I didn’t know any of them personally. How would they react? I took a deep breath and said, “I am autistic.”

I got a positive response. I was asked a lot of questions regarding Autism and how I cope with autism. It really warmed my heart and boosted my confidence. I even got a round of applauds.

It boosted my morale even more and for the first time in my life I wasn’t afraid to say that I have autism. I became much more open about myself and I generally became chattier with people who I didn’t know very well, which used to be an enormous challenge for me.

  1. FILMING THE SCENES

What was initially daunting turned out to be a lot of fun.

The football guys were wonderful to work with. I explained to them what my condition was and how I cope with it. Coincidentally, they were doing a course about bullying so I was actually called into that class to talk about being different. I never thought I would speak about my autism in front a bunch of strangers! And like the National Certificates, I got a positive response.

The football students acted out their parts very well but I must say that Chris, the tutor, was particularly outstanding. His sister has learning difficulties so I think he was able to relate to my problems to some degree.

I decided to include some of my family/family friends in certain film scenes. They were fun to work with.

The scene I did with Nat and Mr Andy was not very loud on film so I went to Mr M, who is a record producer that I know and a good friend. He had a studio so offered to help with the sound on the film. He was kind enough to help me out so I went over to his house and did the over dubbing. What should have taken a few hours took all night. We worked on it from 4 O’clock in the afternoon until 5 O’clock in the morning! It took me 58 goes to get the speech pattern right! Haha! We experienced all kinds of emotions that night but it was definitely an amazing night and one of the best that I’ve experienced. =)

  1. SHOW TIME

There was a lot that I wanted to talk about as this had been a really good experience. I had a lot of fun with many people during the filming. I decided to only talk about significant parts of the rehearsals and filming and how I over-came problems.

Next time, I will share my thoughts with you about going into the performance, during the performance, and after the performance.

Show time!

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part One)

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It’s show blog time!^^/

  1. INTRODUCTION

This blog is all about a play I wrote and starred in. This play is about my life when I was small. I showed everyone what it’s like to live with Autism and explained how I saw the world from my point of view. However, before I talk about the performance itself I feel that it’s necessary to dig further into the past. By doing so, it will explain a lot of things and my past going into the performance. It won’t take long. I promise. =)

  1. BEING DIAGNOSED / NOT SPEAKING

I was diagnosed with Autism around the age of 2, when I was attending nursery education unit. It was usual for children to attend the nursery for one year. However, since I was part of the special needs area I stayed there for 2 years. The doctor who diagnosed me with Autism said that I my quality of life will probably never improve. I will never look anyone in the eye, I will never engage in a conversation and I will more or less be trapped in my own world. For a few years, he was right…

When I turned 5 I started to attend a SEN school. It was literally just up the road from my old nursery, so that was a bit of good fortune.

In my school days, especially when I was younger, I was extremely quiet. Because I was quiet and was unable to communicate, the teachers found it hard to understand me. Not necessarily because to be mean, more likely through lack of knowledge/experience. They would often talk about me and my “problems” in front of me, assuming that I didn’t know what they were talking about. However, I could usually read the situation by their facial expression and tone of their voice.

The majority of my school life was frustration. The frustration of not being able to talk. I think I was probably capable of speaking but I didn’t know how to. I think my subconscious held me back from speaking and interacting with others. I was able to string sentences together when I was 10 or 11. Before then I just spoke words every once in a while. I even started to open up my bubble a little bit. I somewhat started to understand how the wide world works.

Being able to speak was good and it did feel like a massive personal achievement. However, since I started to speak, it did cause some troubles every now and again. I could speak, but I didn’t realise the words that came out of my mouth. From a teacher’s point of view, whatever I said, I must mean. I have said a lot of rude things that I didn’t realise were rude or inappropriate. I never meant to be rude or upset anyone so it was a big deal if I did this. This is where the frustration came in. The teachers took what I said at face value. If I said it, I meant it. I could never explain my words or what I meant. So, I had to end up apologising even if it was all a misunderstanding. Situations like this knocked my confidence completely and discouraged me from talking.

That was all just one part of the problem.

  1. QUESTIONING MYSELF

I went to the Bobby Charlton’s School of Excellence that one time, and I must say that it wasn’t a happy experience. It was the first time that I interacted with people who were “mainstream” i.e., secondary school students. Out of everyone in the local area I was the only “special needs” student that attended the whole programme. It was a big problem for me. As I was the only “special needs” student attending, there was a lack of understanding, I feel, for people like me. It seemed that the coaches in general were more used to secondary students rather than special needs students and so they didn’t really bear this in mind. The secondary students were not very understanding towards me either. They often whispered about me under their breath and called me “weird”, even when they were right next to me.

By lunch time I really wanted to go home. However, my pride kind of kept me there. In my eyes I refused to be defeated even if I did feel everyone there was against me. I strived to be as good as they were. That special needs students like myself could cope on the same stage as them. My hopes were dashed when I scored an own goal…

We all laugh about it now, especially me. However, it was a very humiliating experience at that time. It was also from that minute on that I started to question myself as a human being. Why was I being treated that way? Was it because I made that mistake? Was it because I was weird? Was it because that I had “special needs”? I started to dislike being in an SEN school, I started to dislike the mainstream people and I started to dislike myself. Why was I born like this? Why couldn’t I’ve been “normal?” I saw everyone who went to mainstream school as “normal” and myself as not normal. Haha.

  1. COLLEGE SUMMARY

I left my school when I was 18.

I went to a college that specifically catered to people with “special needs”. It went under the title of Supported Learning Department. I severely disliked being part of that department. I was determined not to go to that college because I didn’t want to go to that department. Haha. However, my local college didn’t offer the support that I needed. I was then offered a place at a different college which had an SLD department. I attended the SLD department for one year. I was lacking a lot of confidence and spent the rest of my experience being reserved.

However, I attended a Mainstream programme on a part-time basis, within the same college. It was the Performing Arts class. I felt happy yet very anxious. Was history going to repeat itself? Is this a chance for me to “redeem” myself? My thoughts were very conflicting and it was a constant battle with my own thoughts. In the end, I decided to be quiet and neutral when I attended these classes. If I didn’t say anything, then I wouldn’t get on the wrong side of anyone. I promised myself to not tell anyone about my Autism. I maintained that persona for most of my college life, even later when I started to attend that Mainstream programme full time.

  1. OPENING UP

Things got easier when I started University, which was based at that same college. Usually, I would have to attend the follow up course to prepare for University. However, all the tutors deemed that I was ready to start a full University programme, and I accepted a place on the foundation degree course. =)

On the first day, with a fresh new faces joining the course, I decided to tell everyone that I had Autism. With discussions with my tutor we decided that it would be best to tell them, and strangely, I felt ok with it. It’s probably the first time that I didn’t hesitate telling anyone about my Autism. I opened up to everyone and to my surprise no one isolated themselves from me. That was odd, I thought. Was I perhaps worrying for no reason? Or, is it because some of the Uni students were adults and they were more open-minded? Whilst I opened up to my fellow classmates and gradually started to be myself, I still kept my guard up.

  1. FINAL PERFORMANCE PIECE

It was March and we, the Uni second year students, were discussing what we could do, as individuals, for our “Final Performance” module. I was struggling for ideas myself.

All I could think to do was to do these bunch of comedy sketches that I had written myself. However, I wanted a decent mark and doing these little sketches wouldn’t constitute a high mark. Do I turn these sketches into a lengthy play? It was a concern. Comedy is my forte, I think, since it’s a style of play that I am most relaxed in. Although I was aware that this was my forte and it’s for my final performance piece, I anticipated that it was going to be a disaster. I would probably have been over the top when acting out the sketches and too energetic.

I spoke with my tutor about my concerns. I then spoke with him privately about an idea that I came up with on the spur of the moment. I did have some difficult times at Uni but I did remain mentally strong in most of situations. I appreciated my classmates and everyone I spoke to for making my Uni life easier and happier.

I’m not one for being sentimental so I wanted to thank everyone but cop out at the same time. So, I thought, what if I did a video to say “thankyou” to my classmates and to everyone else who had supported me. I was prepared to open up about all my worries and doubts and how everyone’s support had made my Uni experience much easier.

It was at that moment, Mr Ian said:

“I think it would be amazing if you did an Auto-Biographical Performance of your life with Autism.”

 

…there was a bit of silence. It took me a long time for this suggestion to sink in. An Auto-bio performance? Like an auto-bio book but in play form?

“Like, talk about my life?”

 

I asked, but deep down I knew full well what he meant.

“Absolutely. It has been done before.”

 

It really was a surreal moment. A bunch of things entered my head. It wasn’t that long ago that I revealed to my classmates about my Autism. I was still iffy about revealing more of my Autistic quirks. Could I manage to talk about my past and experiences? Thinking about my past is difficult, let alone talking about it. How would I fair?

Part of me was screaming “go for it!” but there was still doubt in my mind. I decided to ask for family and classmates opinions; somewhat hoping that some of them would oppose the idea. I asked… all of them thought it was a great idea. The votes were unanimous. Haha.

I had to think about this for a week. I did get stress thinking about it. Was this a good idea? In one way, this may be a good chance to get a lot of things off my chest. Then again, was this going to break me? Doing a performance about my life was certainly a lot easier than forcing comedy sketches to be funny.

  1. DECISION

A week went by and I made my decision…. Am I going to do a performance based on my life with Autism?

…yes.

A New Yoga Place

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Peace Tidings.^^/

Ever since my Yogi instructor opened her new studio I’ve been determined to go. I didn’t know when, but I knew I wanted to go. After months of thinking I decided, in an impromptu moment, that I was going to attend her class on the upcoming Wednesday morning. I was kindly informed that the Wednesday morning class did not have many participants. That was more than an ideal class to start in. However, that did mean that I attended by myself rather than with my sister. My sister works full time.

The only place I go to by myself is the hairdressers, and that took me many years to do independently. I became familiar with the hairdressers as I’ve known one of them since my school days. I didn’t know exactly where the yoga studio was and I haven’t known the instructor for very long but my gut instinct was telling me to go alone. My Dad walked me towards the building but I entered it by myself.

I think that was the first time I did something like that without much supervision. Usually it takes me time, like with the hair salon. But here, I just entered the building and found the yoga studio just as I did when I went to the other studio with my sister. I had a rough idea what it looked like since I saw the photos on Facebook. It was a bit of a weird experience in more ways than one. It was the first time that I did Yoga without the company of my sister, but especially weird since I did it on my own. I didn’t feel as self-conscious as I normally would. I did get somewhat anxious before I left  home as that’s what happens every time I go out. But I was ok.

I tried to watch Non Non Biyori before I left as that always makes my mind relax. I couldn’t fully relax but it certainly took the sting out of it before I went out.

Ahem-

I made pleasantries when someone looked my way or someone was talking to me. I was probably a little bit stiff to tell you the truth but not so stiff that I talked like a robot. The session itself was good as well. As it was morning we did Gentle Yoga. We did balance moves so I was expecting for us to do my favourite pose, Warrior Three, but we didn’t. I was slightly gutted about that but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I did learn something from this session… no matter how many times I do yoga poses I can never remember the names of any of them, with the exception of down facing dog and Warrior Three… I know there’s a move called the “Mermaid” but I don’t know what’s supposed to be bent and what isn’t. I will probably never memorise any of them. Haha.

THANKS FOR READING

 Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I would call this day an achievement. I entered in a building, on the first go, on my own. It took me years to achieve that when I went to the Hair Salon but I did this on the first go. I’m not sure if I can get to the place by myself per se just yet but I know I can enter one by myself. So yes, all is good. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Applewood Farm: Half-Term Pub Quiz

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Good Tidings.^^/
I decided the week before that I was going to go to the Pub Quiz and thought no more about it. If I dwelled on it, then it would have become a big issue. And so I didn’t… One week later, Monday morning, I remembered that on that night I was quizzing… I was still going to go regardless.

I went there and became a guest participant in Team Densa. Hoho. All was well, but it only just occurred to me whilst in the pub that it was half-term. That meant that there were plenty of people about, and the whole place was rocking and lively. That’s good because it means that the atmosphere is vibrant and happy, however, it wasn’t so good for me.

I ended up getting a massive headache and felt closed in, and it wasn’t because I hit my head in the car. It did leave a ringing in my ear though…

Ahem-

In one way I can see it as unfortunate because it does feel like I can never enjoy being in a big crowd. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt not being in big crowds as I see it more as a preference. Socialising in big crowds can be a good change of pace from time to time but I wouldn’t like it if it became a regular occurrence. I always do tend to get headaches and a massive head mush when I go out, especially if there were a lot of people around. My headache did get worse as we were sat right next to the speakers. This caused me to miss a lot of cheesy, ahem- I mean hilarious jokes made by my team. I suppose, looking at it like this, I ought to be thankful. Haha.

All in all we came 6th out of 57 teams with 68 points. I was mightily impressed I must say. I got three answers right. “Excalibur” (I’m quite knowledgeable about fantasy and myths) Stranger on the Shore (Famous album) and Baby Jane (my Mum likes all of Rod Stewart’s songs). I did know about the answer to Victoria Secret though but I convinced myself that I was going to be wrong, so I let it go. It’s quite typical, because it was the only time when I didn’t shout out a random answer. Haha.

Despite my uneasiness I did take away some enjoyment from that night…I always do.

THANKS FOR READING

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I whole heartedly believe that we should have a “Thomas the Tank Engine Round”…just because I know I’ll waltz through it all. Haha. Then again…wouldn’t that be unfair to the other teams? Well, I think that’s more of the Quiz Master’s problem, not mine, so I won’t bother give that another thought. Haha. =D

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Power Yoga

Rose

Happy Valentine’s Day.^^/

Does anyone have any romantic plans? I spent the morning attending the usual Saturday yoga class. I struggled to get a place for the past few weeks but I managed to get a place this week and I’m super happy about that. =)

Today I did Vin…yasa? I think that’s another term for Power Yoga. It’s very physical and more fluid then the other types of yoga classes. The moves are more or less the same but from my point of view it feels more of a workout then a regular yoga class. It’s not that I can’t do the positions it’s just that I don’t like going fast. I found that I was subconsciously trying to match the fast pace of the yoga instructor instead of taking my own time. I thought that if I lacked behind I would miss out on certain moves. So, at times I found myself getting a little frustrated instead of relaxing.

It did help though when the new yogi instructor reminded us that this is our practice and that there’s no need to go at the same pace as everyone else, just as long as we’re applying the moves safely. With this in mind I slowed down my rhythm a little bit and didn’t rush to get into the appropriate positions. I found myself feeling better after that. I also discovered that I became more energetic towards the end of the class. That usually what happens every time I jog or do yoga.

To my surprise at the end of the session I realised how little it bothered me that we had a new instructor this week. I usually don’t like to meet new people without warning. Nowadays I think I worry more about the anticipation rather than worrying about what is happening in the moment. I deal with situations better like that. Of course I’m always going to get nervous and anxious every time I go out, but I’m getting better when it comes to thinking in the moment rather than anticipate the future. =)

THANKS FOR READING

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On this lovely day I’m going to spend the time reading the Light Novel “Is It Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon.” Phew, that was a mouthful. It’s the first time that I read a Light Novel before I read the manga version or indeed watch the anime version. I’m really getting into it and I can’t wait to read the latest chapter. =D

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Joining Tumblr

Tumblr logo

Good Tidings.^^/

On a spur of the moment I decided to open a Tumblr account.

Usually when I take action I have to think things over and make sure that I’m happy with what I’m doing. However, I decided that it would be a nice idea to become part of the Tumblr world as they seem to offer a different kind of vibe from WordPress. Admittedly, I was a little nervous at first because I usually never do anything bold without thinking it over. However, I think in the long run this was a good decision.

By what I’ve browsed so far it seems that users prefer to share pictures and animated GIFS more than posting blog posts. There are plenty of pictures I checked out, like characters from my favourite manga and Thomas the Tank Engine. =) I set it up so that whatever I post on my blogging site it will automatically post up on Tumblr.

Here is the link to my Tumblr account. I go by the same username:

ryanspeak.

THANKS FOR READING

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I’m not really sure how the world of Tumblr works but I’ll have fun finding out. =D

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Feeling Lucky

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Good Tidings.^^/

It’s been an awfully long time since I attended a yoga class. It’s both due to the Christmas period and coming down with a cold. I’m going to yoga tomorrow for the first time and I’m feeling somewhat anxious. I enjoy yoga but because I’ve not been for a good while I started to feel anxious as it’s currently out of routine. However, this evening, I felt a sudden ray of happiness.

I was cleaning my room and I suddenly realised what a lucky life I have. Apart from the minor cold, I have good health. I have a nice family and good friends. I also have a bunch of manga and anime goodies, including drama CDs, manga, a few figures and a heap of Thomas the Tank Engine memorabilia. I also have a bunch of DVDs and blu-rays of Iron Man and Captain America. I have a bunch of games from Super Mario to Atelier Escha and Logy to Senran Kagura. I also have the Non Non Biyori calendar 2015, which I’m especially thankful about. =D

What I’m especially thankful for is my own creativity. I can draw any time, write any time, and come up with the next story as I see fit. I can also use this opportunity to write a bunch of haikus whenever I feel inspired. The world is my oyster when it comes to being creative. =D

What I’m trying to say is that sometimes when I become familiar with everyday life I sometimes forget that I’m in a very good position in life. I would have said that I probably take things for granted but I don’t take things for granted, I just forget how lucky I am. So, next time I’m I’m feeling anxious, which will always occur every time I go out, I will remind myself the life that I’m living. And that is a happy one. =)

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Dating

Issei and Asia

Winter Tidings.^^/

The Undateables is coming back on Channel 4 very soon. A few close peeps have mentioned in passing that it might be worth considering going on that show to meet up with someone. I appreciate their thoughts for me and considering my happiness. However, I have no plans to use these types of dating services.

My main reason is that it would just feel too forced and formal. I get anxious and nervous just meeting someone new at my brother’s and sister’s gatherings. I feel that meeting someone new by myself would put me under unnecessary pressure. Plus, the TV coverage wouldn’t really help ease my nerves. I make many mistakes in social situations and if I embarrass myself only a few people would see it. However, if I make mistakes and be quirky on TV then three million plus viewers would see it, not just a handful of people. Haha.

Really, being in a relationship has never really entered my mind. I did go on a date when I was 11 years old but that’s another story to tell in another blog. 😉 Really, what’s important is for me to meet new people and gain experience by meeting a variety of people. Of course, having a female partner would, I’m sure, be a valuable and wonderful experience. However, I’m in no rush. I never have been and I never will be. My priorities are my family and friends, meeting new people and making new friends through the art that is socialising. =)

I’m not worried about finding someone because I know I have a soul mate out there. It’s just that I haven’t met her yet, cue Michael Buble… I don’t know when, I don’t know how, and I don’t know where but I know that fate will assist me into finding that one special lady. Some of you may not believe in fate, but I’m a huge believer in fate and that two people are destined to be together. Some find each other through neighbours, some find each other through schools and some even find each other in pubs and train stations. Haha.

THANKS FOR READING

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It will happen for me it’s just all about living in the present and not worry about what the future holds.

Just right now, I just finished watching a film about Glenn Miller starring James Stewart, it was really cool. Mr Miller is quite the pioneer in his time and a very positive gentleman. I would have like to have met him.

I’m now going to read heaps of manga that I got over Christmas, but not before going out for a long walk. The sky is golden and beautiful where I am right now. =D

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Applewood Farm Pub Quiz 2014

Applewood Farm

Ho, Ho, Ho.^^/

Coincidentally, it was around this time last year that I blogged about the Applewood Farm pub quiz. This time was more special than the time from last year.

A dear friend of ours came to visit from Norway. He’s really my brother’s friend but I said ‘ours’ because I consider him a friend of mine too.^^/ Since he was over here we decided that we were going to the Applewood Farm pub quiz. I was invited out on this occasion. Usually I would have to think about it for days. Instead, I said that I would go and deal with my anxiety when the time came.

*

I did get into a little bit of a head mush for a couple of hours before the outing. I had a lot of decorations to sort out, house chores and wrapping presents. I tried to think rationally. It then came to my attention that a completely new person was going to come and join our outing. I started to get apprehensive. I was not prepared to meet someone new. It wasn’t long ago that I had just got over the whole London trip so how was I going to fare going to the quiz with someone new?

This nearly swayed me out of the trip. I then remembered that our friend from Norway was attending. It isn’t often that he comes over and he was going back the following day. This would really be my last opportunity to see him for a while so I decided to go, despite my sudden rush of worries.

*

The taxi with my brother and co arrived. A strange wave of anxiety then rose up in my chest and stomach. The taxi he ordered was… let’s call them Taxi Company X. Now, this was a big problem for me. Taxi Company X gave me a hard time during my college/university days. They often made me late, they crashed into posts, they nearly crashed into other cars and they deliberately left me stranded. My parents complained about them at the time and I was switched to another transportation company to get to college/university.

I promised myself that I will never travel with them again. And I kept that promise…but my brother made me break it. Bro, if you’re reading, shame on you! (The fact that my brother knew nothing about my silent promise is neither here or there. Haha.)

In all seriousness, I understand that things could have changed since my university days. For all I know the evening service might be a lot more efficient then the contract service. Letting things go can be difficult depending on your own experience. On this occasion I needed to grit my teeth hard. Fortunately for me Taxi Company X were ok and they didn’t leave me stranded. Of course I won’t forget about the times when they made my life difficult but this was a good barrier for me to overcome. They still wouldn’t be my first choice of transportation.

*

In the taxi I tried to distract myself by making conversation. We talked about rubbish and I was sort of ok.^^/

The pub quiz was quite fun, our team were the Volvo Brothers, Volbros for short. 🙂 The puzzle round was mighty difficult. I’m not even sure if I can explain it… so I won’t. Haha.

I was debuting my new jumper and silky T-shirt too. It was a proud moment… until it was cut short. It came to light that I dropped bits of chocolate flakes down my jumper. “Oh no!” was my instant cry. I then pulled up my jumper to find more chocolate flakes on my pants. “Oooooh nooooo!” was my bigger cry.

You may have gathered, but I get somewhat careless when I eat. I even found one on my forehead. I have no idea how that got there! I don’t eat like Cookie Monster though. Honest!

*

The socialising side was much better than I anticipated. There was a chance that another lady was going to join in with the quiz on our team too. It was too short noticed for me to react or worry so I decided to just take it in my stride. I was adamant that I wanted to be on the end of the table as I sensed that I needed to dash off a couple of times.

Our team were placed 8th out of 37 with 61 points. I was most pleased. We originally counted up the score to 48 points. When we didn’t hear our names I suspected that we might have been disqualified. If you’re caught using your phone during the quiz or google the answers then you’re automatically disqualified. I know I used my phone once replying back to a friend but no more than that. I was concerned that we might have been disqualified due to a misunderstanding. Thankfully, I was wrong. =)

I bought my brother a pint of…carling, I think? I’m a tea total by nature and never touch anything alcoholic. His birthday is coming up so I figured I should treat him. It’s probably the second time that I bought him a pint, but I was on my own in this case so I was unsure if I was going to get an I.D. check. It turned out, I didn’t.

I seem to forget that I’m not as young as I used to be. In my head, I feel no different now than when I was 17. It’s weird yet fascinating how we age. I digress.

*

I somewhat interacted with other people. I grinned at the quiz master and he winked at me back. I smiled back at a random lady who was smiling when I was at the bar, getting hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate flakes. Yes, these are the exact same chocolate flakes that went down my pants and top. Haha.

I was somewhat caught up in the crowd and sort of backed off so I let everyone get through the door first. I don’t like heaps of crowd as some of you may know, so I decided to wait until the crowd died down to get out. This random chap asked me “where did you come?” I replied “eighth.” He then mumbled a couple of words, but I believe he was paying me and my team a compliment.

A young cute lady then said to me that they came in second. I beamed up and offered my congratulations when Mr Drunk interrupted and said that she was lying out of her…backside. Now that I think about it, she probably said thirty second and he misunderstood her. Then, when we were outside he offered up a fist gesture so someone would bump with him. So, I stretched out my arm and gave him a fist bump. Haha. Then he walked away…

I think that was probably the first ever time I gave someone a fist-bump. Haha.

THANKS FOR READING

It was certainly an eventful evening from my point of view, but in a way, it’s a good change of pace and most certainly a valuable experience, especially when handling people who have had a little bit too much to drink.

Jingle Bells until next time.

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.