The Best of 2020?

Of course, the “Best Photographer” award for 2020 COULD go to someone for their work that had to wait 40 years to be seen – Mr Ronald Gurr…and the offering below….

But I jest…at least on offering up the award – but the photo is still just absolutely fabulous!

In response to his post today (his “Best of 2020”), here is…part my response to his choices, and part a broader explanation of mine.

And here is my response to him of my choices that I left in the comments of his post. (With replies to him kept in.)

Best Album : In Memory Of My Feelings – Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler
Best Single : Fools Tomorrow – Warm Digits (with a VERY close runner up being Bitter Tang by Michael Rother)
Best Cover Version : Absolute Beginners – Steve Harley
Most listened to song : New Gold Dream 12” German Mix (HONESTLY! Played usually 3 times over most mornings for the past several months)

Best Book : I haven’t read any new books other than…the obvious – but I really, REALLY want to read Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Best Photographer : Chris Leslie/Disappearing Glasgow – DITTO!
Best Podcast : The MainMan podcast (Mr Francis Gallagher’s a very close second!)

Best Film : Haven’t seen a film all year – apart from one documentary (see Best Docu)
Best Series : Not watched a series, either (how does a man who doesn’t like telly watch a TV series? *confused face*)
Best Documentary : Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm
Best Gig : Oh, Jim! Don’t do this to me!!! Let me pre-empt it by saying Copenhagen was BRAW! And…you know…I’m a very lucky girl for seeing both shows, I know! But I saw Bryan Ferry the week before! And…well, that was amazing too! But…for, venue, setting…uniqueness of the experience, band performance – it has to be Field Music at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (sorry, Jim! It was REALLY close though)

Best Journey: COPENHAGEN!
Best Decision : To go to Copenhagen – ALMOST decided against it.
Best Meal : Cafe Andaluz, Edinburgh
Best Drink : IRN BRU (I’ve got the taste for it now)

Worst Moment : How long you got?
Biggest Disappointment : The halting of the 40 Years+ Tour WITHOUT A DOUBT!
Person I’d Most Like To Have A Drink With : My brother, David. (He’d drink me under the table and I’d love every second of it!)
Person I’d Least Like To Have a Drink With : The EX president.

Biggest Thrill: Seeing Loch Lomond with my own eyes.

That’s it…on the spot, without much time to think. 

Happy New Year, Sir 😘😘

Hurray For Scotland!

“They’ll be coming” – not exactly the three little words most people will get filled with an overriding sense of joy and the HUGEST avalanche of relief from but…you know…I think we’ve established I’m not “most people”. Lol

But those words on Friday? That’s how they made me feel.

I wasn’t going to go into detail on Friday. I just wanted to put up my own three little words in response and have that be that. But, if any of you reading this is a regular visitor here – you have been witness to what complete and utter angst I have been going through these past months. Tying myself up in knots. Never being able to get past and move on. Having little niggles gnaw away at me constantly.

I have to say I have NEVER been so thankful for football, and more to the point, Scotland winning a match! And making it into the Euros.

I had been counting the days myself, for a completely different reason and thing. It took seven months. SEVEN MONTHS from “Jalopy” to the “Tartan Army”. Seven months that with each passing day, week, month just seemed to get progressively worse.

God knows I tried to brush it aside! But sometimes the more I tried, the worse it got. I honestly don’t need to explain. LOOK AT THE BLOG!

I already feel the little niggles creeping back. “But did he know it was me? I had changed my profile pic to one of me as a ten year old – so if he looks for visual clues for fans then mine wouldn’t have been obvious.” But then I think, “but who else is called LARELLE, you div?! He knew it was you. Stop being an idiot. JUST BE HAPPY.” And I allow the relief to fill me again.

Yep. It’s all very stupid and irrational, I know. But all I could see was him looking at me with that face in Copenhagen. And yes, “Jalopy” happened about a month after the gig. But as time moved on, I kept believing that the jalopy reply was a kind of “sign off”.

I genuinely cannot express enough the amount of relief I had on Friday. I almost couldn’t believe it happened. And then I kept waiting for it to disappear…like I had just dreamed it or imagined it. I just went to have a look again and – it’s still there. I didn’t just imagine it. It actually happened.

And I am so, so happy and relieved. But I still hope you stay around a bit more, Jim. Us fans, we all love you so much! You’ve read the book now. You know how much you mean to us all! Yes, okay, for quite a number it is all essentially about the music and its effects – but you are the man that helped to make it. All of the effect springs from you! And while you are reeling from having to remain grounded from there having been a ton of rescheduling and touring put on hold, we’re all missing it too as fans. But just a small booster. One little antidote to things is you just being around. That we can bounce off each other and keep each other all feeling upbeat and hopeful of things getting better.

I know there are whiney shits. Hell, I’m one of them! But I love knowing that you’re here and you’re with us and that you’re okay. So, please. Don’t be a stranger, Jim. And please talk if you can. To some of us in replies to comments. Or to all of us with a video message or something. We’d take any little morsels you’re willing to offer!

But, finally, personally…one last time. THANK YOU! I absolutely adore you. You know. I mean, geez, I used to say it – long before the book – that if you ever needed a boost to your ego and confidence, just come here. Look at my blog! Look how much you are loved and adored just by me alone.

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.

Seeing Your Way Through

What a beautiful thing! A comment from a SM fan that I don’t know on SMOG in regards to a post I put up of the “the light shines brightest in the darkest places” fan art.

Restores my faith in humanity. Just when you feel the world is at its worst – there are still beautiful people here.

I feel so much better than I did this time last week. So much better.

And as much as I still wish for Jim’s love, friendship and acceptance. The person I really need to feel love from more than anyone else is…me.

That’s the crux of it.

Acceptance. Self-love. Recovery.

Thank you to this person. I didn’t feel it was right for me to share your identity here, but I wanted to thank you here all the same.

Today has been a very good and very positive day.

I Wanna Go To Mars (Bar) – Caught (Out) In A Dream

I have tentatively started to work on revising my Top 50 list of SM songs. Probably a good thing to do before finishing my “Why I love…” posts that I started over 5 years ago. Where the fork has that time gone? Us humans have the most bizarre relationship with time, don’t you think? On one hand, a certain passage of time feels so much longer than it has been – on the other, it can disappear within the blink of an eye.
I can’t believe it has been 5 years since I was last spending time with mum.

Back to last night. There was a song I had in my memory. A song that I had asked Jim about and he (it already becoming a rarer thing by that point) replied to me about it. And I wanted to find that bit of “conversation” with him. Me in that eternal need to feel like…I could talk to him…that it meant something – not just to me, but to him too. Albeit just as the singer and songwriter of the band I fervently follow most passionately to all others. It just being that and nothing more to him.

But I couldn’t for the life of me remember what the song was called! And I knew I had written about it on my blog. Well, I would assumed I had – because I’d have been over the moon that he replied to me. I would have made something of it! But without remembering the song’s name, how the heck was I going to find it?

I had other songs in me head – Take Me To The Angels and Sweet Things. I listened to Take Me To The Angels – not entirely convinced it was that. It lead nowhere on a search of my blog. Had it been that, it would have unearthed my “tete-a-tete” with Jim about it. Nada. The song is great though.

Sweet Things I was even less convinced about as I know before listening to it, it became the track Destiny on the Life In A Day album. And I knew the conversation I had with Jim was about a song that never made it on Life In A Day – it was my premise for asking him about it – why hadn’t this song made the cut? What happened to it?

Although I was doubtful, I listened to Sweet Things too. Again, great. Although Jim’s lyrics are hard to decipher on a rather worn out old bootleg, obviously the song’s melody and tune is there – its musical structure in tact (albeit with a MUCH longer intro than what Destiny ended up with on the album). I guess Jim just wore his heart on his sleeve a bit more then? That he was fine with completely rewriting songs . The songs he’s rewritten? They obviously all work…but I canne help feel something gets lost along the way. Even if just the matter-of-fact notion that the previous words are discarded.

I am still no closer at this point. My search took me to Flickr as well, and my old catalogue of things. Art that I saved. Endless screengrabs of snippets of things that happened on SMO (what was THEN Simple Minds Official – no need for officialdom now, it seems). Bits of interactions with Jim. I quickly combed through it but I really couldn’t see anything that was relevant. Perhaps I hadn’t saved it? Hmmm. That would be odd!

So…how the heck was a going to find this thing?!

A theme became apparent to me from the other tracks I had just listened to. Both Sweet Things and Take Me To The Angels came from live recordings. I was working a bit blind last night (in bed, glasses off) so in my mind they had both come from the same gig at the Mars Bar. It is only looking again this morning that I see that Sweet Things came from a recording at Grangemouth at the end of 1978.

But I had a tentative thread in my mind – Simple Minds at the Mars Bar in 1978. That search on YouTube finally came up trumps!

Caught (Out) In A Dream! That’s the one! I listened to it again last night. It meanders a bit. It’s a bit drawn out. But…it’s band history. It still has its own bit of importance. If nobody else wants to champion discarded songs – esp. Jim (I have only just in these past few minutes read over his reply to me), then I will! Even if just for band history sake.

I’m sure there are a few songs that never even got recorded that are truly lost for good. That makes me feel sad. It’s kind of tragic. Jim may not see it this way…but everything Simple Minds has made and produced…it all has its special kind of magic. And, well, it might not all be magical to me…but I appreciate that certain things that don’t mean much to me can mean a heck of a lot to others. I’m sure he’d scoff at the notion but just…what if Caught (Out) In A Dream (I always add the “out” in brackets because I am sure he sings “caught out in a dream” which would then make more sense it was titled that way rather than dropping the word “out” in the song’s title?) was the song that cemented a person’s early fandom? Who knows? Yes, perhaps the band didn’t miss it but…you guys knew all the songs! Duh!

Anyway…I awoke this morning dreaming of a TARDIS and of the Mars Bar – a just turned 19 year old Jim in that David Bowie shirt he is wearing when Laurie Evans takes photos of the band outside – what I believe *is* the Mars Bar in 1978. Oh, he just looks glorious even then. And I hear the words from John Grant’s song…

“I wanna go to Marz (Mars Bar)
Where green rivers flow
And your sweet sixteen
Is waiting for you after the show
I wanna go to Marz
You’ll meet the gold dust twins tonight
You’ll get your heart’s desire
I will meet you under the lights”

I can never help but think of Jim with those lines. And me wishing I could time travel, and be that “sweet sixteen” waiting for him after the show. That he would meet me “under the lights”.

Dreaming of a life never lived….

P.S. It was so much further back in time than I had anticipated. Nearly three years ago was his reply to me! And I hold on to them so tightly…it felt to me like it was maybe a year ago, two years at most. Oh…I hold on to every little morsel SSSOOO tightly. I miss this SSSOOOOOO much!

Jim Kerr Likes It (But Not Any More…)

He posted today. And comments being liked on this post are being liked by “Jim Kerr”. And no, not the namesake fan but the “official” FB page of Jim himself. I have seen this happen just one other time recently.

Intriguing.

Well, I would hunt a “Jim Kerr” like… but I’ll live if I don’t get it.

He knows how much I crave affirmation as is.

Time to apply even more “self-love” than normal! Lol

Speaking of which (in a very round about way) – my friend Stephen left this comment on said post…

I know you mean well, Stephen. It is funny…but hugely embarrassing also. And it just makes me think that Jim couldn’t be more repelled…honestly.

I used to kid myself that maybe he thought I was silly and quirky and that was “my thing”? That was the thing he liked, or got him to engage. I dunno. I never understood it. I could never work out why. But I bloody loved it all the same. How could I not?! It turns a girl’s head. And…I hadn’t had my head turned in a very long time.

Anyway…I’ll just end up like I was yesterday morning if I dwell on it. And I am airing this stuff in public…and despite how it might look, I really am uncomfortable about that.

And I had left such a short succinct comment about CaVa Studios today, hoping against hope that maybe he’d even reply saying “yes, that’s the place. Nice powers of deduction!” or some such.

Dreaming of the affirmation.

*sigh*

What did I do? Tell me what I’ve done? Am I just too much “me” now?

I wish it didn’t matter.