A Little Peace…

Recently I have been told by a few people that I write very well. One suggested I contact a music magazine and lodge an application to work for them. This person had written articles themselves for the magazine in question and they gave me the email address of the editor.

I didn’t do anything about it. I would fear pursuing it. It is one thing to write at one’s own leisure your own thoughts and feelings or to write your own musical reviews and share that content on a blog that you have sole say over. It’s quite a different thing to work for someone else and work to a deadline. I’m not sure I could do it.

Just today a person asked me if I write professionally. The answer is no I don’t. There is one minor thing I do in which I write small pieces of text, but I don’t work to a deadline and my “boss” for the most part gives me free rein over what is written.

But could I ever write like this?

That, I strongly doubt. Granted, I have not spent over 40 years of my life writing professionally. And for many years prior to that most likely being quite good at English, enjoying the language and writing stories. Jim did.

I never had the imagination to create imaginary places. Never felt I had “the gift” for that kind of thing. Compared to what I’d hear from others in class, my stories sucked. So as a consequence I guess I felt like writing was just “not my bag”.

Until I read Anne Frank’s diary. To read her diary is to find that, no matter how insular you feel. No matter how insignificant your world may feel to you, you are living a life and you have your own dramas, hopes, fears and dreams. And yes, ultimately her story was so much bigger than what was going on in that tiny annex…but the way she made the minutiae of that circumstance feel is just SSOOO compelling!

Could I have worded how I felt about her diary like that as a 13 year old reading it for the first time? NO WAY! But it was an impetus for me to keep a diary myself. And YES, my life was far, FAR more insignificant (in no way suggesting Frank’s was). BUT…I was writing. I was using language. Trying hard to teach myself a level of expression that was escaping me from not being at school. I just kept wanting to teach myself.

I read books. Not sweeping epics of prose, just regular novels. I tried with Shakespeare. Lord knows I tried. But I attached myself more to James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. I read the poetry of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson and children’s books by May Gibbs and read the 87th Precinct detective novels of Ed McBain. I read “trash” too. Sidney Sheldon novels and Anne Rice vampire novels. I went from Anne Frank to Anne Rice.

I asked for a concise dictionary for my 15th birthday and read it like a novel.

At the library, I would look at the encyclopaedias and VOLUMES of dictionaries and wish to have them at home. You weren’t allowed to borrow reference books. I could never understand why.

To be asked in recent times whether I write for a living is amazing. To be told by others that I have some kind of “flair” or “way” is wonderful. And just maybe on the odd occasion I allow myself to accept such compliments and think I am worthy of them. But for the most part? No.

Beyond Jim’s beautiful way with words and expressing himself was this…

How could someone believe “an eye for an eye” is good? Because, isn’t that ultimately what war is? An eye for an eye? Fighting fire with fire? Two wrongs don’t make a right, do they?

Why is it such a childish thought to want peace? Not to have wars? And why do we never learn? Why are we destined to make the same mistakes over and over?

How is pacifism NOT the answer? How is love not the answer?

I want to end with this. Because it is just so beautiful in its simplicity. No big words. Just the basics and the question of “why”?

In Here The Sun Shines So Bright – From The “Burning Gold” Memories.

Looking in from the outer, I see some tentative improvement on “The Group”. At least a few more memories are filtering through and the admins at SMOG (well, more accurately, the admins at SMO via SMOG…same admins? Dunno) at least asked for some participation and contributions from fans yesterday.

It may have legs yet. I still need convincing.

In the meantime, the memories shared by the North American fans and by those who travelled to the USA and Canada to see a gig or gigs have been great to see. Some wonderful phots and videos shared.

In amongst the ones I saw yesterday was this amazing snap of Jim by Cody Fulfer. Wonderful stuff.

Burning Gold Memories…

Well maybe SMOG will get better. But I fear it’ll be VERY selective and VERY exclusive.

And…I have no memories from a lifetime ago…nothing of any significance to contribute so I’ll keep schtum. My memories will probably just be shared here on the blog.

This post from Carol Loudon deserved its posting to SMOG. It’s beautiful. The note from Jim is wonderful. And to have a setlist handwritten by him is just…wow!

And here I can express just how lovely it is, how much envy I have of it…how much it kind of stings with regret…how much I wish for things…and all from the comfort of my own blog. No one to tell me what a sad, pathetic creature I am. No one to spread scorn upon my feelings.

As for Carol not having met them still? Oh, I do get it. I get this thing about not wanting the myth shattered. Not wanting that…exalted image you have of someone be tainted. But having met Jim several times now, albeit them all very briefly, I would never want it any differently. He’s beautiful. What else can I say? I feel absolutely inferior in his presence. I always will. But…just to be there. I adore him.

Aside from Jim? They are all so lovely. Charlie at the meet and greet last year tried to engage with me…get me talking..and I was just a clam. Lol. But he’s lovely. At Bridlington in 2017, there was a man who was so, so nervous! He wanted to get his tour program signed but was too scared to ask. As Charlie was leaving to get on the tour bus, I stopped him. “Charlie, this man (pointing to the man in question) would love to have his tour program signed, but he’s too nervous to ask. Would you please sign it for him?” Of course he did! The irony of ME stopping Charlie to ask if he’d sign a tour program for a nervous fan was not lost on me. But…I just knew how that guy was feeling. And he was right there! He’d have regretted not asking all the rest of his days.

I’m pretty sure Jim signed it too. But once Jim appeared, my memory turned into a haze. Lol. Such a silly mess of a girl I am.

Meeting Brian McGee last year. And Bruce Findlay too. Having my drumming lessons with Cherisse. And meeting Mick MacNeil just last month. They are all so lovely, patient and kind.

So, yes, I see some good in SMOG…but I’m worried about just HOW exclusive it’ll feel and I feel somewhat immediately ostracised from things. Time will tell.

SMOG – You Can Sense It In The Air…

Well, what the Simple Minds fandom really needed was yet ANOTHER Facebook group.

Sigh.

I’m already in f*** knows how many. But the latest is “official”. Excuse my initial cynicism but…what’s the objective?

Simple Minds Official for band news only? Jim posts there. Fuck all the wonderful interactivity that used to happen? No more visitor wall? All that is now meant to happen at Simple Minds Official Group (aka SMOG…aka Fans In The Mist)?

Only today did I look on my blog as to what I am pretty sure was my last piece of interactivity with Jim. I’d posted on the visitor wall about a review of a gig from back in the day from a guy called Johnny Waller. Jim had responded and talked about Johnny, saying he’d run a local fanzine and also mentioned Lindsay Hutton too. He said he’d wondered what happened to them. Of course, like a good little researcher/investigative journalist I went on a search and found out for him.

As always, it was a lovely exchange that I’m always so appreciative of. That was in February. It’s now nearly September.

I know he has his dad’s health to consider. I am always mindful of it.

But even at his most busy times, Jim always seemed to take the time to interact. I mean hell, one exchange we had he was in the middle of the Night Of The Proms stuff in Germany leading up to Christmas 2016. I had mentioned an interview in which Noel Gallagher sang the praises of David Bowie’s latter work. Something Jim has rarely expressed being a fan of.

He replied to me…with a rather extensive response, and it was amazing. Those exchanges I absolutely cherish!

I worry that SMOG is the signalling of change…and not necessarily for the better.

It feels like the magic is being slowly sucked out of things.

I shall see how things go…but unlike when I first started to be around the fanbase and Jim was around and as he got more aware of me things just…evolved and there was that great chunk of interactivity…it has all but dried up. Yesterday’s news is now today’s fish supper wrapping.

Adios amigos…

Flown off on those angel wings.

As for me interacting with fellow fans? Well…there’s…oh, take your pick…SMI, New Gold Dreamers, Fans, Fans Club, Fans Club Italia, Sardinia, Spain…on and on and on…

Not to mention fan pages just for Jim…

And one on one and private chat, etc, etc.

It’s Oh So Quiet

I have to say…things is quiet on the SM front, and I do miss Mr Kerr.

I hope things are okay. One can’t help but worry. I guess it isn’t our place to be concerned.

It’s one year to the day since the opening Grandslam gig at Maidstone in Kent. Mixed feelings still of the gig, only having been allowed back on to SMO the week prior. The cynic in me can never help but think it was just tactics (having my block from SMO revoked). I wish for more than anything in the world that it wasn’t.

My lasting memory of the day will be of meeting my beautiful friend, Ally, and us in an embrace singing along to Someone Somewhere In Summertime together. A magic memory. ❤️❤️❤️

I obviously didn’t film it at Maidstone. I was swept up enjoying the moment with Ally, but I recorded them doing it at Leeds the following weekend.

A Walkman?

I never had one. Not a genuine Sony Walkman anyway. And when I finally got a generic “portable cassette player” I just used it at home, for listening to music on the quiet.

I never really went anywhere much. There was no need for me to want to listen to music “on the go”. Where the hell was I going? I never went anywhere! And for me, music was a private listening experience to be enjoyed at home, not while travelling out and about. Music getting polluted by external noises. Traffic, people talking, dogs barking. All noise and chaos disturbing the music.

And I hated the sound of cassettes. I much preferred vinyl. And playing music LOUD!

I was that lonely teen girl. No friends. No boyfriend. When I got my own music equipment, it was hi-fi equipment for my bedroom.

So, Jim talks about listening to Autobahn on German freeways and hearing “Heroes” by the Berlin Wall. Well I was in my bedroom, going nowhere, listening to Low. “You’re just a little girl with grey eyes…deep in your room / you never leave your room”.

History is beginning to repeat itself. No passport. No money…guess where I am right now?

But the thing that allowed me to travel. My escape…was the music itself. I might have been in my bedroom listening…but in a way, I was in Berlin too. At Hansa Studios, eavesdropping in on Bowie and Iggy singing What In The World.

I could travel anywhere from the comfort of my bedroom just using my ears and my imagination…

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.