Seeing Through The Eyes Of Love

It’s now 4 years since this happened and I know Jim will be utterly bloody bored with it, so I’ll just keep the memory here on the blog.

This anniversary I find myself back in Oz, so this year feels just a little more special, yet painfully sad.

Kyoto might well still be in snow, but most of the Eastern seaboard of Australia, as well as parts of Adelaide and Perth, have been aflame this summer.

Again for most of the outer suburbs of Sydney, up to Newcastle, and down to the south coast, past Wollongong (where regional coastal towns are on high alert as fires threaten to ravage the area again, having only just gone through the devastation just 72 hours ago) and into country areas of New South Wales, temps are set to be a minimum of 40 degrees Celsius – with the average being 44 tomorrrow.

After Saturday’s extremes, the temp. drops away and falls by 20+ degrees for a high of 25 in Sydney on Sunday and 22 on Monday.

Four years ago, the weather was unusually cool for the time of year – 21 degrees and drizzle. A rare overcast and rainy day.

Well the days I’ve had here I’ve hardly seen the sun but for vastly different reasons.

Also this time four years ago, I was spending – what I feared would turn out to be – my final months with mum.

And so I say it time and again, my Hunter And The Hunted piece will forever be the most special thing to me. I don’t know how much I can express all that is wrapped up in it.

The significance of the song… it really is just about the finest thing Simple Minds ever produced – and as a consequence how enamoured I am with Jim. He is just beautiful… the lyrics to the song and just him… body and mind. Intelligence. Beauty.

And I still feel that my piece on it compliments the beauty of the song.

And there’s mum and those precious final months with her. I never wanted those months to be the final ones😔💔

I knew time was running out.

This silly mind is still waiting for us to travel to Busby to go and see her… wondering why we haven’t been yet. Pulling into Liverpool Station on the train and not getting off the train there feels really wrong.

The anniversary will be more special every year.

Jim, thank you. I will love you always for this. 💕😚

New Year In Melbourne

With now just one week left to go here in Australia, time and the opportunities of spending time with them – friends (as well as the money required for destinations to travel to/back from) – are precious.

I was really hoping I could get to visit friends in Melbourne and Adelaide whilst here. Sadly I had to forego the Adelaide trip early on as fares weren’t as affordable as I was hoping… just that time of year, you know? And even Melbourne wasn’t looking great, but after days of trying to work out a time to fit it in, I booked a flight to Melbourne to go down on New Year’s Eve and return the following day on New Year’s Day.

Ally met me at Avalon Airport. We hugged for the longest time. We drove in towards the city centre and stopped for coffee along the way to her home. And cake…

I met two little tubby tornadoes in the form of the pet bulldogs.

Ally soon had me labelled ‘the dog whisperer’. Lol

New Year’s Eve was low key and quiet. I drove Ally and her husband, Steve, nuts with my endless squeals of delight as the trams went by as we made our way to a vegan restaurant in Fitzroy for our evening meal.

Mushroom ‘squid’, spicy tofu bao buns and vegetable gyoza on the menu for starters and a katsu (which really didn’t resemble a katsu much to me) for main.

A stop off at a local pub on the way back – I had a beautiful tasting Four Pillars g&t – and we were back home about 9pm.

We talked and watched some SM. We brought in the New Year watching Jim and having a wee dram (an actual drambuie) at midnight.

A relaxing start to the morning on New Year’s day. Coffee and breakfast in bed.

A trip to the city centre, a stroll along the banks of the Yarra, lunch, a short tram ride and then it was time to get to Avalon for the flight back to Sydney.

A very fleeting visit – just on 30 hours and it was over. But it was worth it for that precious time with my beautiful friend.

Ally – I love you to the moon and back!

Happy New Year to all who read this silly old fan blog. Thank you x

Sign O’ The Times…

Okay. I know it’s Christmas and Sir has got to have his family time. And I know the tour needs to be pushed. But!!

FUCKING HELL – I MISS HIM! I miss how Simple Minds Official was.

What’s happened? Why has he stepped away from it so much? I thought it was because of his Da – and that I (obviously) understood. But I’m starting to think it wasn’t so much about his Da at all.

I dunno.

It’s a sad indictment on me if I miss him this much, I guess. Considering I just lost my mum and I’m worried about bloody Jim flipping Kerr!

Shit… says a lot about me, doesn’t it?

It feels like both ends of that beautiful tie is gone.

Four years ago when I was in Oz, I felt like I had both mum AND Jim. My time with mum was precious and Jim made it more special.

And now… both feel gone 😔😔😔

Well… mum is absolutely gone. And I can’t shake this feeling while being here of “When are we going to see mum? It’s been great staying at Gwenda’s, but can we go and stay with mum now? Aren’t we going to visit her?”

There was an open coffin at the funeral. I saw her there… laying in state! My mind refuses to accept it. There is a void. I miss her. So much! But I have hardly shed a tear. There’s a detachment from not being here in the final days before she passed. And so I am missing her and can’t grieve properly. It’s kind of awful.

A strange limbo…

Jim is linked to my final memories of mum… and I miss him.

I just miss how SMO used to be. Not so much corporate whoring. A human touch. And Jim very much at the centre of it.

I miss you so much, Jim, because I miss my mum.

Anyway… we better get our tour tickets. Well, I have 11 now. That’s more than enough.

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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.

Going Home…

Today I booked a Lufthansa flight home. From newest home to first home…

Glasgow to Frankfurt
Frankfurt to Hong Kong
Hong Kong to Sydney

A total of around 28 hours travel time with 22 and a half hours of flying time.

I leave on December 8th – which is now cancelling my trip to Germany and my two Stranglers gigs. It also means what should be my first Christmas in Glasgow will be spent roasting away in hell.

And I want to go back NEXT YEAR just to see a few Simple Minds gigs? I must have fucking rocks in my head!

And so while I try to deal with both a house move AND a flight to the other side of the world in the space of three weeks… I’ll be needing the music of this amazing band and the beauty of this beautiful, beautiful man (sorry, Jim…you’ll just have to deal with the endless adoration, buddy!) to keep me calm, (relatively) sane and tranquil.

I owe him so much from last time. I’ll need him again…