Foggy City Orphan

I arrived in Sydney nearly 24 hours ago. The smoke haze on the approach stretched on for miles. It started long before the plane’s descent.

Of course I arrived on a scorching hot day. I got some rest on the plane. I had my first (and what will probably be my only) experience as a business class traveller.

I flew out with Lufthansa under a Star Alliance co-airline flight. Glasgow to Frankfurt – Frankfurt to Hong Kong – Hong Kong to Sydney.

At Frankfurt there was announcement at the departure gate that some business class seats were available for ecomonmy/economy plus travellers to buy at a discounted rate. I thought… well, I can just enquire and see. If it’s stupid money, I won’t. So… I upgraded. Wow! The seats actually FULLY recline prostrate! It was amazing. The leg room. Wow. A MENU of food. I slept properly for about 4-5 hours. Even laid on my stomach at one point. I mean… when do you get to do THAT on a plane!?

Back to economy for the final leg, which was with Cathay Pacific. It was my first experience with Cathay Pacific and I have to say their economy class is VERY good.

We landed almost an hour ahead of schedule. Sydney was humid but cool when I arrived. I took my time. Alighted the plane last. Tidied myself up in the first toilet I saw. Took a seat and filled out the immigration form.

The e-passport thing blows my mind. All electronic. No 20 questions of why I’m the country, etc, etc. Scan and go.

My poor suitcase had hardly any friends left when I got to baggage reclaim.

Going through customs was fun. Some of us weary travellers were guinea pigs for trainee sniffer dogs, so it took a little time to get through there.

Out in arrivals I got myself a coffee and a bite to eat. I got a local SIM for my phone and then went to the train station and got myself to Central to get a connecting train to Liverpool – which still leaves from trusty old platform 19.

On the way through we passed Lidcombe Station. Lidcombe is where my mum grew up – not too far from the station itself. Two stops down is a tiny station – mostly it served workers for the big rail depot there. The station is called Clyde. And… all the time I lived in Sydney, the link never really occurred to me! I know! Silly. But how it hit me yesterday. My mum starting out in Lidcombe, just a short stop away from Clyde… and here I was, home to say goodbye to her. Never being able to say “Oh, mum, guess what? I live near Clyde too now.”

We say goodbye later today. To have been able to talk to her one last time… I wish.

Jinky’s Chinwag – Bruce Findlay

I only just got round to listening to this last night (listened to the podcast rather than watching the YouTube video). It’s 2 hours long and I started listening to it late last night. I expected to eventually drift off to sleep as tiredness came upon me… but I was riveted. Enthralled. Bruce’s life story is fascinating and he went into quite some detail into his formative years. How he started out with the record shops and all the different jobs he had apart from buying the records, the travel he did as a young man (and I could see how there would have been in instant kinship between he and Jim with those hitchhiking travelling stories). It was absolutely fascinating. Not without its more sombre parts too, it has to be said.

It all leading on to Bruce’s Records, and to the Zoom label and, of course, managing Simple Minds.

If you have a spare two hours, give it a watch (or listen to the podcast). Bruce doesn’t have legendary status among us Minds fans for nowt, you know!

A lovely man. Always so warm and gregarious.

Practising What I Preach?

I’ve lost my way with this blog, partly due to … someone being much quieter this year, for one. And now my muse has escaped me.

The past several weeks has been all change, on a personal note.

I fly out to Sydney in two weeks time. We move to Glasgow on Friday. And if I don’t have enough with those two things going on, I’m still conscious of the blog just…lagging.

I don’t really have any kind of regular thing happening with it. In the past I’d have something going on, be it Kerrsday Thursday, the Weekend WhirliGIG, the “Why I Love…” special posts, Lyric Of the Day – when the art was happening on a regular basis. There was also some kind of weekly or regular post. I’ve even let my weekly Spotify listening stats (posted under Tweekly FM) slip by at times lately.

So, I might find it a little awkward until the New Year to commit to something fully regularly, I will at least commit to putting a little more life into the blog at least in the next couple of weeks.

As I say, as if I haven’t enough to be getting on with!

I do want this blog to be an interesting thing. I had such plans for it at the beginning of the year. And it really started well with my interviews with Jaine Henderson and Bruce Findlay, and then it kind of fizzled. All the best laid plans, eh?

Let’s see what I can salvage to end 2019 with a bang!
(P.S. He isn’t convinced 👇🏻)

Jim (and Charlie – for a little bit) Speaks!

Talking about political activism in the 1980s and the Minds part in it. This…washing away of its relevance now. “It’s all been said.” That may be so, Jim. But…no one’s learning! So we need to keep fighting the good fight! Please! Don’t just wash it away with “it’s all been said”. Well…don’t bloody bother writing anything as poignant and relevant as Walk Between Worlds then, eh? Just…you know…”nae bother”.

Please, Sir! YOU HAVE A VOICE! USE IT! IT’S STILL RELEVANT!

Anyway…that’s my peace. As a fan. Who loves you. And loves you even more when you express some political cut and thrust. I’m not telling you to go all Bono. By any means, just…don’t be afraid to nail your colours to the mast, okay?

EDIT:

So…it was on YouTube this video…and then Reuters took it down and embedded it onto a page on their website. Thanks, Reuters!

A link to view the video is here: https://www.reuters.com/video/2019/11/22/simple-minds-look-back-at-political-acti?videoId=630401340