My Tiny Dancer

And…speaking of survivors. Here’s a little heroine I’d like you to meet. My great niece, Alex, preparing for her end-of-year dance recital.

The photo was taken by her mum, my niece, Madeline.

Both of them make me so proud. They have more courage than I have in my pinky finger.

Both escaped an abusive relationship. Both have gone through medical conditions and procedures women and girls of their age shouldn’t have to.

This photo is just so beautiful. It’s a piece of art. It is shared here with Madeline’s permission.

The Thread Of Memories

So…my Facebook feed tonight threw this one up at me. A piece of poetry I wrote.

It was based on going out for a meal in Sydney’s northern suburbs with my sister to a place called Sambal.

There we are outside it. One of my favourite dishes is laksa and this place were doing a vegetarian laksa. I HAD to try it. It was bloody delicious!

Anyway. I found out about this place in the most unusual way. Jim had posted on the SM Facebook page about being a “domestic god” lol, and his like for sambal. I’d never heard of it! Looked it up on Google and it showed me this restaurant in Sydney among the search results. I replied to his post with all this – and this happened…

Obviously some time later I must have been reminded of the poem as several months later, I made this…and used the last line of the poem as part of the piece.

I thought of it all. Remembered it all just from seeing the poem in my “memories” earlier.

All these little insignificant things are all lovely little tokens for me. They’re all lovely little mementos of a special time.

Being home with mum. Feeling an affinity to Jim. Having a fun time with my sis. The art burgeoning and being special.

I guess it is one of my more “sycophancy Nancy” pieces. I had it printed years ago, and it’s still up on my wall now. I think it’s another of Sheila Rock’s. She always seemed to get him with his tits out. Lol

And the poetry? Well, it was all early days of my fandom. Been around barely a year. Had only just started to get snippets of interaction with Jim at that stage. Had only been to TWO Simple Minds gigs and was still another 18 months off meeting him.

I dreamed of him a lot back then.

The Icing On The Cake…

Oh, but I am still missing the “cherry on top” – the reply comments. I miss that element. It feels like a positive reinforcement when it happens. When it stops or doesn’t happen for a while I tend to think “Oh, he’s as sick of me as everyone else is! Lol.” And then I tend to take it personally, because I am a needy, clingy idiot. (Just being an honest, gov)

This springs to mind…

Though perhaps this is more appropriate?

Pondering on the idea of what kind of person I am….lips wise? You know…bizarrely – my lips have only ever been the only part of my body of I have been…”proud” of? If I can phrase it that way. The only part of my body I thought was any good, anyway. Do I overuse them? I guess, maybe. I dunno. I’m probably a self-centred blow hard. I’m sure I come across as loving the sound of my own voice!

A negative result of me wanting to express positivity and enthusiasm, no doubt. Bore people fucking shitless. Lol. The thing is…I feel much more expressive with the written word. Face to face, I tend to clam up.

The last time I was out in Oz and at a family gathering at my sister’s house…after a while she said to me, “God, you’re so quiet! Why aren’t you talking?” I was kind of taken aback that it seemed strange to her that I was so quiet. Was I really that much of a gobby kid? Perhaps I was at home.

My response to her? “I dunno. It’s just how I am. I’m just happy being here and just being with you guys.” And that really was it. I didn’t have much to say. Nothing really to input or discuss and was just happy to be with my family. It had been a long time at that point. Some eight years since my previous trip home.

Anyway…there we go. Time to shut up! I wouldn’t have mentioned any of this talking to anybody face to face.

What type of person am I? One who tries to have a positive outlook (but with recurring bouts of mental illness, it’s not always easy) and tries to have a positive effect on those around her. I just try to be the best I can be…and I probably do woefully at it.

But, I am who I am…warts and all. My foibles are many, but I hope I am a good person…even if I send everyone crazy.

Laughing In The Face Of Adversity

I try to limit the personal content on here. I try to keep it much more about Simple Minds, music in general, my art and my own musical journey.

But this…this just made me laugh so much and just…what a woman she is! No…not the Queen or Kate (though…you know…hmmm), but the tit-grab offender. That’s my niece, Madeline. And she’s doing it real tough and having to face things that no 25 year old woman should.

And she’s beautiful. And I love her to the moon and back. So, that laughter thing? Oh, yeah. She does it in spades.

My family. We’re all class!

P.S. Tit obsessions run in the family…

Why Lostboy! May Now Forever Be “Missing In Action”

It’s coming up to 9 years since Jim Kerr released his first solo album, under the moniker “Lostboy! AKA”. And it appears as if it will be destined to remain Lostboy’s only solo venture.

There was a promise of more to come for 2011 with a follow up album earmarked. Sadly personal family issues took precedence and a quick follow up was put on the backburner (as was some of the Lostboy electroset tour).

I would seriously love to ask Jim why he thinks the impetus he had and that more prolific period that he found when embarking on the Lostboy! project seemed to fall away, not to be regained (it would seem…well not in as a prolific a state, as he was in SMs early days – on a par with that)? It may be a tough question to answer, as the number one assumption would be the loss of his mum, Irene, playing the largest part of that.

There has been times when he has posted on SMO about the anniversary of the release of Lostboy! AKA and seemed to suggest that he may return. Or at the very least there is still a desire there sometimes to resurrect him.

But Jim has subsequently “stolen” material from Lostboy! for Simple Minds. Kill Or Cure on Big Music is one obvious one – released initially as a Lostboy! track. And last year on the Walk Between Worlds album, Sense Of Discovery was also “reimagined” for Simple Minds.

I do fear poor Lostboy!, with all his drive, passion and enthusiasm (and his potential for proliferation of material) is destined to be a “fly by night”, a “flash in the pan”. To me he held much, much promise. It was a very strong start in 2010.

I don’t get the sense Jim wanted to put him to bed…but he hasn’t really mentioned “The Boy” since last year and the reworking and inclusion of Sense Of Discovery on the WBW album. And he didn’t much register a post for a while before that. Just a fleeting mention, or as I say, and anniversary of album release acknowledgement.

Maybe he is happy to have now “been there, done that” and worn the T-shirt?

Can’t say he never tried in the first place, can oor Jim? (Trying out the solo career.)

I don’t know why…but when I ponder whether Lostboy! will return, I lament that he may never see the light of day again.

I Wish You Were Here

Is *not* a thing I imagine Jim is thinking right now of me. Lol. He’s probably relishing being 12,000 miles away! If there is even a thought about it at all.

In the story of the Kerr family’s ALMOST emmigration to Australia, I am also glad his mum had a change of heart, because there very well may have been no Simple Minds had the move Down Under taken place.

And I can well understand his mum’s change of heart. It’s no easy thing to do! It’s a life-changing and life-long commitment to up sticks and move half-way round the world. Esp. back in the 1960’s. Little chance of you ever flying back home to visit family for a couple of weeks a year, or every couple of years back then. One, plane travel would have been damn expensive and, even then, it would have taken at least double the amount of time it takes to fly to and fro now. It still isn’t THAT cheap, but it is far more affordable if you have a place to stay once there. These days it’s the accommodation rather than the price of the flight that is the biggest expense.

My own story of emmigration to the UK was not an easy one. When I got with my partner, the plan was for us to stay in Australia. But…for several reasons, it became apparant that was not going to work. What’s a person to do? I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…so as much as it pained me to leave my family, I took the move. They were the options – end it wth the love of my life and stay with my family, or leave my family to be with the one I love. Being an Anglophile helped that decision immeasurably.

So, here I am, some 20 years down the line. Did I ever regret that decision? In recent times? Perhaps maybe a little. But…only a little. For the distance it takes to travel. For the past 10 years only having had one opportunity to return home, instead of the serveral times I travelled back during my first 10 years in Blighty. I could continue with the personal aspect of this, but pefer not to. All I will say is…on the whole…no regrets. The past 10 years have been much harder than the first. And…I missed David. My brother, David…lost to liver cancer in 2014. Mum is aging, getting more and more decrepit. Those aspects about being so distant by geography are hard on the old emotions. Anyway…enough of the maudlin personal stuff. There’s wonderful stuff happening down there. Simple Minds have arrived! Well, Jim has at least…seemingly. I get the impression he’s been there a number of days already…possibly swinging down via Bali (as he was pondering to do half-way through the SM North American tour).

Let the Oz fans rejoice! How I wish that Gillian could have returned the favour and put me up at her place for a week. She was more than willing to do so! To be reunited with her and Nicola would have been grand. Have Ally join us on the day. Perhaps have met a few more of the Oz SM fans I’ve yet to meet. Had I not met Gwenda at the gig, we’d have had the chance to have met at some point, as she doesn’t live far from my sister. In a stupid small world, it was Simple Minds that got us knowing each other. We grew up living only one mile apart, but had never met!

Then there is the chance of seeing my best mate, Steven. Well, if I am out there next year, and I am sure that is on the cards, no matter what…we can celebrate 30 years of friendship! The life I’ve had…I never expected I would ever have a friend for 30 years. Lasting friendships were hard to come by for me. And, well, Steven and I have had our ups and downs too, but there is an amazing bond there and I absolutely love him with all my heart. That person you can be fully, totally, wholly yourself with. That “no filter” friend. Worts and all. Thick and thin. He’s it.

And, this time had I made it out, I couldn’t have gone to Adelaide and Janis. But now when I *do* go…the Hills will be alive with th sound of us chomping on the best food in the world! And if I am there to see Simple Minds, then GODDAMN, Janis is coming too! I doubt they’d do her favourite (Somebody Up There Likes You), but they SHOULD (hopefully, fingers crossed…Jim, if you’re reading this – Lol – as if – I am putting this request in early – next gig in Adelaide, PLEASE do Let There Be Love) do her second favourite song.

Anyway! Enjoy your fleeting visit to Oz, SM. At least PRETEND to be a bit gutted that I didn’t make it out there to see you, Sir. Lol. Yeah, I know…you were secretly thanking the almighty (Buddha) that I didn’t make it. I’ll delude myself anyway.

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The link in the post is this one – and a memory for me of every journey I took into the city on the train from mum’s. Sons And Fascination on the way in, Sister Feelings Call on the way back. Images of train tracks and the landscape of the inner city suburbs of Sydney now synonymous with the title track.And artwork I do for it that contains a skewed view I took from mum’s kitchen window in it.

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Sister Feelings Call…

A really heavy conversation on the phone with my sister last night. Again, something that is better for me to say here rather than on FB (my nieces and nephews never visit here).

She told me of the times when I was a kid when she’d by laying in the bath…languishing in the water…looking at the shaving equipment of our brothers and…

I don’t need to elaborate further. “The only thing that would stop me, sis, was the worry you would find me. I didn’t care about David and Quince (our brothers). I didn’t care about mum. I would just think, ‘what if Loz found me? I can’t do that to her’.”

I NEED TO GET HOME! To my sis. To my mum.

A lot of my friends on FB are thinking this drive to go home is just all down to SM. I know I can be obsessive…but all this for one gig? No! A select few know. The others I am happy to think it’s this one-track mind. It’s a distraction. And…it’s not what FB is for, really, is it? To tell people, “Well, yes, to have my dream of seeing Simple Minds out in Oz would be grand, but a few days before the Newcastle gig was announced, my mum tried to commit suicide and my sister is at breaking point.” No…best to keep it as it is…with the distraction it is. Play my part…continue as the Court Jester. There’s not a lot else I am good at. And I feel almost purposeful in that role.

Until such time I am out there being a support to my sister and wishing that I had the magic wand to alleviate Miss Trouble (mum) from her years of pain.

And I won’t discuss it here any further, either. This is just one final post to say…the need to get home could not be any stronger.

And I Thought “Joe Kerr” Was A Joke!

Some time back, I’d read a reference to a “Joe Kerr” and I was like “Pffft! As if! His parents wouldn’t be so cruel to have a son and name him Joe!”

And Jim would make references about a house of FOUR boys…and I would think “you…Paul…Mark…unless you’re counting your dad in…who’s the fourth boy?”

I would never have dared ask! That’s his personal, private life. Nowt to do with me. But, it had me intrigued none the less. Natural curiosity. But, well…here we are! The pieces to the puzzle solved!

A shame they got his mum’s name wrong…but we all make mistakes…but it’s a glaring one. But, what an amazing thing his parents did.

And…HE COULD HAVE TOLD ME JOE LIVES IN WINDSOR NOW! Lol. Just so I could have been more informed that MAYBE a Caezar gig would take place down here in southern England. Oh, well…never mind. I like to spend more money than I have. And TWO Caezar gigs will be better than one…