My desk partner

In the days that followed my last post, I promised that my next post would be about being in the Loughborough Orchestra. Why? Well because for one thing, there aren’t many settings in which one can inadvertantly attract weird looks from about fifty people just by sending music flying with one page turn or by accidentally playing the wrong note very loudly. Oh and also because my friend and desk partner, Katy, has asked me to blog about her. As bluntly as I like. Hopefully not so that she can then tell people I’ve been saying mean things about her on the internet, as she (teasingly) threatened to. But hey ho, I guess there is only one way to find out.

For those of you who have never been in an orchestra, a desk partner is basically the person you share a music stand with. In my experience, they are also there to be accidentally nudged, poked, or in last week’s case, scratched across the arm when playing or page turning overenthusiastically. Not a rehearsal will go by without one of you helping the other to knock the music flying when you’re both trying to turn the page simultaneously. If your desk partnership is anything like the one I am in, the two of you will be able to express dismay at the (impossibly hard) music in front of you with just one glance. I occasionally get the feeling that our particular role in the orchestra has turned out to be more entertaining for the other members than functional, but I somehow doubt that this is the case for everyone who has ever shared a music stand.

As a joke, Katy suggested that I put that she is “very tall and annoying”. She’ll be pleased to know that I do not agree with the annoying part, but I cannot deny that she is taller than me. As someone who has grown up with a reputation for being the tall one and who has never until now lost a height competition to someone of a similar age, I am still coming to terms with this. It may be that at the grand old age of twenty it isn’t too late to hit another growth spurt – one can keep hoping!

Another of our many running jokes is my distinct lack of commitment before she joined the orchestra. Until that day, I sat next to a different person as often as each rehearsal. To make it more awkward, I never even remembered any of the names of my multiple desk partners. Unsurprisingly, Katy has frequently expressed disgust at my disGRACEful ways (her words, not mine) and is convinced that it is thanks to her that I have finally settled down after many months of promiscuity. I may have to agree to disagree with her on that one. Then again, if I join an orchestra at uni while still at the one in Loughborough, I might end up cheating on her with at least one other partner and slipping back into my old ways. In which case she could be on to something.

But don’t get me wrong, I have certainly had my moments of extreme generosity towards Katy, most notably on the Saturday before Christmas. I mean, who else in the orchestra have I been kind enough to give a Christmas present? Anyway, some of us had volunteered to spend an hour that morning in Carillon Court playing Christmas carols. Such is my luck that I arrived not only soaking wet after a walk in pouring rain but also full of cold. You know, the type that quickly uses up every paper tissue within a 100 mile radius and leaves you sleepless at night and asleep on your feet throughout the day.

I spent that hour complaining to Katy, blowing my nose and trying to remember whether or not I was playing the harmony. After spending the hours that followed at home and asleep, I then thought nothing more of that morning. Until Christmas Day, when I checked on Facebook to find a thank you message from my dearest desk partner, oozing gratitude for the delightful Christmas present I had given her that was my cold and saying how it had really made her week. Christmas is definitely a time for giving, and if there had not been a hint of sarcasm in the aforementioned message, I would say that my present to Katy had simply been a generous token of friendship on my part…



It has been a good nine days since my first and last blog post. First of all I would like to apologise for the extreme suspense I may or may not have caused those who have waited avidly for my next post. In my defense, the apparent success of my last post did not fill me to the brim with confidence in the next one – if anything, I had the internet equivalent of stage fright.

Last week I wasted hours of my life staring at the blank textbox on WordPress, convinced that after one vaguely entertaining post, all the rest would be a complete disappointment to whichever facebook friends/bloggers had enjoyed the first and were eagerly anticipating the next. I had also bypassed my not-very-short topic list and was waiting impatiently for something to happen that would be interesting enough to blog about. Which is why I am beginning to realise what a convenient time I chose to be only a few hours away from turning twenty.

In my limited experience, birthdays often mean social occasions. I have a love-hate relationship with social occasions, and continually like to think I am not the only person who believes that a successful one does not require alcohol. If there are others of you out there who share this belief, then I sincerely take my hat off to you. If not, then hey, it’s good to be different. As a small child with no social inhibitions whatsoever, I was quite a fan of birthday parties. The first one I can remember is my fourth. Whilst I still remember the food, music and general party atmosphere, I was unaware until today that it was that day that my mum learnt of my dad’s commitment issues.* But I digress.

Years later, I quickly grew tired of always being pushed to the back of the line when queueing for food or assembling for team games at other children’s parties. So to me it seemed perfectly logical, one year, to stick a sign on the living room door saying “me first because it’s my party”. In my weird autistic brain, it would be immediately obvious to every one of my guests what I was on about, and when queueing or assembling, they would defer to me without a doubt. Whether they actually did or not, I can’t remember. Probably no bad thing.

My eleventh birthday, as previously mentioned, saw me in Auckland, New Zealand, thanks to a work-related trip of my stepdad’s. You know you’re suffering from jetlag of the worst kind when not even the most chocolatey birthday cake is enough to keep you awake. New Zealand, by the way, is an amazing country. If you like peace and quiet, mountains and whalewatching-induced seasickness, then you should definitely go. However, if you have a birthday while there, do try and time it so that you are not falling asleep in your chair before 5:00pm. Trust me.

My last two birthday parties were basically social gatherings for the Christian youth group I was a member of at the time, CYFA.** This was my mum’s idea, and with the help of pizza, pancakes, cats and Just Dance, nothing could, or did, go wrong. The only downside to inviting so many people over was my inability to deal with being in the limelight without being forcibly dragged, the stress of not knowing who to invite and generally feeling a tad claustrophobic. On thinking about my twentieth, I decided that big parties aren’t really my cup of tea, and so have settled for chilling out with a couple of close friends. In fact, this birthday has already promised to be interesting, as amazon are apparently taking their time, meaning that many of my presents will probably arrive next week. C’est la vie.

Happy nearly-St Patrick’s Day!

*she gave me permission to mention this
**Christian Youth Fellowship Association


So I have somehow found my way onto the blogosphere. After months of reading other people’s blogs, wishing I was already an experienced writer and maybe a little procrastination. I’d recently come up with a long list of deep, philosophical blog post topics such as Asperger’s Syndrome, cats and how not to play Super Mario bros. Looking at my newly created blog I suddenly had an attack of writer’s block. Er, blogger’s block. I was also impressed by how my “Blogging for Dummies” book could make me feel like a complete dummy within the first few chapters. So to start it all off, here’s me.

I am half Chinese/Taiwanese, half English, and spent the first four years of my life in Taiwan. Since then, life has thrown many weird and…weirder things my way. I learnt to play the violin at a young age without ever being taught how to turn the page of a piece of orchestra music without knocking it off the stand. At age nine I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, to which my immediate reaction was “oh…can I have a piece of cheese?”. My eleventh birthday was spent in New Zealand and ended with us all jetlagged and in bed at 4:30pm. I spent the next few years blundering through school, college and home study and surviving with reasonable grades and an offer from De Montfort Uni. I now reside in the same HQ as a certain feline facebook celebrity, name of Lionel Arnold.

With my slightly autistic tendencies I am a perfectionist. I’m also an introvert, and love being with those I’m close to but will quickly start to flag if I can’t have my personal space from time to time. My memory allows me to remember tiny details from incidents of years ago, but not instructions that have just this second been given to me. I love cats, reading, writing, music and, if I’m honest, chocolate. What I’m not so keen on are stereotypes, not being able to do things, conflict, sport and people with unreasonable attitudes. I have many different interests, as you may soon find out, and have wanted to be a writer since before I started school. Hence me trying to hone my writing abilities by starting a blog.

As stated in my “about” section (among other things), this blog is basically the musings, memories and mishaps of a slightly autistic Christian wannabe writer. Obscure, I know, but I’m hoping to work on that, with a combination of reflections and amusing anecdotes. Enjoy!