Hear You Next Tuesday!

Okay, that makes the acronym of ‘HUNT’ – but hey, it’s Friday and I am in a jovial mood!

The Minds will be performing exclusively for Radio 2 as part of the “Piano Room” sessions at Maida Vale studios in London. That’s bloody exciting within itself! (I will share the link to BBC Sounds after broadcast.)

Also, yesterday, Cherisse mentioned on her social media that she’d be here in Glasgow over the weekend doing rehearsals. Yay! And GG (Olivier Gerard – sound engineer) shared a photo of the plane he had arrived on landing at Glasgow Airport last night. It’s all stepping up a level! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Finally, on a personal note, I am ecstatic to have been able to get a swap of my meet and greet from the Bordeaux gig (which we now cannot attend) to the Paris gig. And I am PRAYING also that it means those meet and greets WILL go ahead. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

I had been reading on Gary Numan’s FB page of how he was going to be conducting his meet and greets and have been praying that SM’s M&Gs will take a similar line – ensuring you have your vaccines and booster(s), making sure you’ve taken a negative LF test prior to arriving, wearing a mask, maintaining a social distance from the band – all fair enough under current circumstances. Okay, It means no (snogging…ahem) hugging…but hey ho. A few precious minutes with them in a room, albeit socially distanced, is worth it as far as I am concerned. I’d have not been in a room with them for TWO years so…I will be more than happy with that. Jim will probably be VERY thankful for the physical distance! Lol. And at least my mask will hide all the shame and embarrassment that would otherwise be visible on my face.

It’s getting exciting, but kind of scary too. I’m still worried about all the logistics of the travel to Paris. Still. And I’ve not been on a plane for two years, either. Last flight I was on was our massively delayed flight from Copenhagen back to Edinburgh.

Anyway, I am waffling with nervous anticipation of just how close it is all getting! Before I let myself run away with all that though, I have my first uni assignment to hand in! Still cannae believe I’m a uni student and I am about to hand in an assignment!! Fuuuuuck!

Exciting days to come!

The Circadian Rhythm Method

It’s this exact point within any given year in the northern hemisphere that plunges me into the effects of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). 

I usually start to feel the effects towards the end of October, coinciding with my birthday. It’s that wonderful convergence of the changing of the seasons and the sense of mortality that another birthday brings. 

The clocks go back an hour. This year they went back on the morning of my birthday. There’s some rather obvious symbolism there! Turning the clock back on my birthday. I am forever wanting to “turn the clock back” on my life. Reviewing the litany of mistakes, doubt and apathy. Getting too stuck in the past to move forward. I am going to change that in 2022! 

I can’t rewrite history. I can’t go back and change what has passed, but I can alter my future. I can change where I am headed. Give myself purpose and direction.

Sunrise over Glasgow 21/11/2021

The weather really does affect my mood at this time of year as well. As soon as that changing of the clocks happens it heightens the awareness of the shortening of the days. 

In a little under three weeks it will be the winter solstice. The shortest day. Sunrise around 8.50am and sunset approximately 3.40pm – roughly seven hours of daylight. It really doesn’t feel like it! The light is so dull in the winter months  – although on a sunny day it has a beauty and majesty to it. But otherwise it is, to use the title of my favourite Magazine album, “secondhand daylight”. 

I feel the days drawing in. The sunrise is incrementally later and later each morning. The sun rose at 8.26 this morning, and on the 20th it’ll rise around 8.48-8.50. Over 20 minutes of daylight lost in less than three weeks! It’s stark! 

And it mucks up my circadian rhythm too. I feel like I just can’t get enough sleep and waking up and getting out of bed in darkness feels SSOO unnatural to me – even now, after over 20 years of living in the UK. 

The past two years have been another readjustment because compared to southern England, Scotland and Glasgow get less daylight in the winter months. Most notable is the later sunrise. At the moment, compared to London, it is some 40 minutes later in difference. 

I never noticed or felt I suffered the effects of SAD when I lived in Australia. Living so much closer to the equator, and having the Tropic of Capricorn running through the top third of the country through Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia means that there isn’t as marked a difference in the length of days between the seasons. That also means that winter doesn’t feel any less bright than it does in summer. The difference is all felt in temperature extremes rather than changes in day length. Winter is comfortably mild with very few extremely cold days and summer is, on the whole, extremely hot and oppressive. And so you don’t feel the seasons changing so starkly in Australia – possibly with the exception of Tasmania as they are that much further south and that much more temperate in climate.  

The seasonal changes never affected my body’s circadian rhythm. 

Here in the UK my sleeping patterns can alter considerably. Summer brings the other extreme which is very, very long days. Again, the move to Glasgow means that the days are longer in summer than they are in southern England. 

I feel like I need less sleep in the summer. The almost perpetual dusk that happens between May and July means dawn feels like it’s breaking around 3.30am and the sun isn’t setting until after 10.30pm. That kind of pattern of daylight brings more alertness. It literally feels like things are “brighter”. The days are warmer. At least warm enough not to feel like you need to be in layers of clothes to keep warm. 

The sun brings a natural optimism with it. Things feel better when the sun is shining. 

I feel like I can manage with about 6 hours of sleep most of the time. I am also a natural night owl, so not only am I trying to adjust to the winter solstice and SAD symptoms, I have also been trying to alter my sleep pattern. My natural sleep pattern for a long while here in the UK was to stay up quite late – 2.30am/3.30am and sleep until around 9-9.30am. I am now sleeping between around 12.30am-1am til … I am waking up through the night. And the time I get out of bed alters. Some nights I just don’t sleep very well. I awake around 3am and just can’t get back to sleep and can be awake until 5.30am. If that happens then I don’t wake again until my alarm wakes me at 7.45am. I am usually knackered and hit the snooze button a few times. I will try and drag myself out of bed by 8.15am at the very latest. 

There can be good nights where I sleep better. I still awake through the night, but I drift back off to sleep quite easily. If that happens, I will usually awake before the alarm goes off and I can be out of bed by 7.30am. Or as it was this morning, I was out of bed by 7am. 

But it is difficult at this time of year. At 7am it is still dark. Not even a sign of dawn breaking. Whereas at 7am in the summer months, from April til September, the sun is out and that usually means I can spring out of bed, unless I have had a particularly restless night of sleep, or a late night out. 

Typing and describing the conditions in real time – I have been typing out this post since about 8.15 this morning. It is now a few minutes to 11am and only NOW does the day feel bright enough to turn the lamp light off in the room. 

The dark of the winter months really does alter my mood. I find it a very depressing time of year and it is almost entirely down to the reduced amount of daylight. Perhaps it is time for me to invest in a SAD lamp? 

I feel all the things one feels. “Blue Monday” and that the month of January lasts for what feels like about 75 days rather than the actual 31 days it has. The cold also brings with it the desire to want to snuggle up in bed under one’s covers and remain there until the sun starts to make itself better known once again.

I think hibernating animals like hedgehogs and bears have the best way of overcoming the “bleak midwinter”. 

I am not looking forward to three more months of SAD. Usually it isn’t until the end of March, when Daylight Savings comes into being do I start to feel the subsidence of the effects of SAD. It takes a bit of adjustment again. As when the clocks move forward it means once again the sun rises later than it had been a few days before, but the evening is longer. I adjust to that far quicker than I do the clocks going back at the end of October. 

Do you feel SAD symptoms? What ways do you try to combat it?

There’s A Minds Music Monday In There Somewhere! – Destin(ation)y Glasgow

We read what we want to read, don’t we? Even with the text there written out in black and white, we can still end up interpreting things as we want to – can’t we? 

It’s really great to have Jim posting daily again. I actually can’t quite believe he’s posted THREE DAYS IN A ROW now!

Why is it that when you just start to feel like you’re ready to move on with things – when you finally get to the point where you know you have to quelle the desire for something. When you’ve finally lost all sense of hope for anything….that the one thing that you wanted begins again? Refreshes. Resets. 

Jim now posting again every day. Is it a test? 

I can’t deal with the ebb and flow. I can’t deal with the constant emotional rollercoaster. 

The post today. I think I misread a bit of it. I thought he was saying he was back in Glasgow. My stomach did somersaults! My heart pounded away in my chest. 

WHY SHOULD IT MATTER? 

It doesn’t matter. He might as well be on the moon. It means nothing. But just the idea of him being in closer proximity. Just, physically feeling nearer. 

I’m only sharing this so I can write things down. So I can keep my mind active. I can flex my brain and try and keep the creativity from synapsis to fingers on keyboard typing away. To try and say something. But I get scared over the things I share. I get petrified as to how I come across. 

My mind always goes back to a time in 2017. Towards the end of the Acoustic tour. Me and Birdy waiting outside the stage doors of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Patiently waiting for Jim to appear. 

I had some gifts, you see? We had been to the Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum that day and I bought some things that I wanted to give to Jim. Little trinkets. Tokens of…

Anyway, when he finally appeared, he said he couldn’t stop. That he had to go. But I just wanted to hand him the gifts. Literally just hand him the bag and go. I regret what I did because I felt what I fear I seem to everybody – the mad stalker woman. I chased him down. Implored him to stop, tugged at his jacket sleeve when he was within reach. 

To this day it fills me with dread, his reaction. I have never felt like he was joking or being flippant (perhaps he was? I pray he was!). He looked around and he said “I’m scared, I’m scared.” 

I tried to think really fast. I was somewhat out of breath and I just said. “I have something to give you.” “What is it?” I didn’t want to give away what it was – silly, eh? And it would have been time consuming to explain, so I said in my haste to allow him to move swiftly on, “Gifts. They’re just gifts.” I held out the tote bag the things were in. Noth thinking the encounter would play out like this, I had actually brought the tote bag for myself. He looked at the bag, saw the British Museum logo on it and said “Now, this I like to see.” 

“I went to a Hokusai exhibition today”, I said. By way of giving him a hint as to what was inside the bag without revealing exactly what was in there. “How was it?”

“Wonderful. It was wonderful.”

And that was it. 

I remember it all because I remember mostly his initial reaction. “Here comes the psycho stalker fangirl.” I don’t even want to be deemed that! Ever. 

So, I feel guilt for the butterflies and the somersaults and the palpitations that the thought of him being back in Glasgow brings. That thought of proximity and closeness. Nearness. Because…he may as well be a million miles away. It actually makes no difference at all. 

I should be writing a Minds Music Monday post. I was formulating an idea of what I was going to do for MMM this week, but it all flew out the window. 

I need to remain positive! Those butterflies and somersaults? They quickly turn to nausea. The thoughts of his reaction and thoughts of me turn me to sickness. I used to feel liked. Now I just feel reviled. All the time. I can’t change it so I have to overcome it. I have to know that I am better than that! If somebody thinks that way of me, then that is just how they feel and I am not in control of that. 

He spoke of destiny today. I have to be in control of mine. I need to be optimistic and positive. To believe in myself. There are so many who show faith and belief in me. I don’t know how they do it when I can’t even believe in myself!

Today my application to the OU took another step forward. I should know by the end of the week if I can go ahead and enrol in my course. If I can’t, then we’ll have to go back to the drawing board. If not the OU, then somewhere. I WILL be studying next year! I WILL be a student somewhere! Gaining skills. Honing my (at the moment) tenuous craft. 

I’ll continue to make preparations. Work out a study plan. Form a routine and have it functioning before the academic year begins. 

It’s time to put an end to squandered chances! 

“I don’t want this destiny.” Not the one that means I give up on another chance. I want to grab it with both hands and give it all I have. Redirect the butterflies and somersaults. Use the nausea for good. MAKE IT WORK! 

Believe in better. (That’s some bloody company slogan, isn’t it? Samsung? Who uses that? Answers on a postcard.)

Here’s to destiny and all that it may hold.

The Battersea Poltergeist – And Other Podcasts

Want something SPOOKY to get your teeth into for Halloween? Then may I suggest the Battersea Poltergeist?

I have spent the past week freaking myself out listening to this podcast at night…in bed…in the dark. Literally shitting myself! Lol. It is really creepy – well I found it creepy. The story centres around a house on number 63 Wycliffe Road, Clapham, home of the Hitchings family. It’s the winter of 1956. Strange things are happening and they seem to centre on 15 year old Shirley, daughter of Wally and Kitty Hitchings. Are the family being haunted by a poltergeist? You can listen HERE

Another podcast I listened to before that was the sad and harrowing story of missing 6 year old Mary Boyle. She disappeared when walking back to her grandparents house in Donegal in 1977. She has never been found. Over the past 44 years suspicion and accusations abound, leading to family relationship breakdowns. The podcast is called No Body Recovered. And you can listen to it by clicking the link HERE

The latest one I have started just last night is called Limelight: The House That Vanished. It’s the story of Neville Presho and his family. After starting a new life in New Zealand, Neville and his wife Fiona decide to return to Ireland with their young family to the remote island of Tory, located nine miles of the north coast of Ireland, off the coast of Donegal. When he moved to New Zealand, Neville left a house on the island, but when he returns to the island to live there with his family, his house is gone! Where did it go? How does a whole house just disappear without anyone on the island seemingly noticing or caring? The link to this podcast is HERE

Sunshine On A Rainy Day

It started last night with another piece of “art”…

And then there was joy in the post this morning. This man and the music he helps to make is the biggest bit of sunshine Glasgow has.

I held off buying the 40 Silver vinyl edition and then when it was being sold at a reduced price, I was never quick enough to grab a copy before it sold out. I had been watching several on eBay…biding my time. Some were being sold with some cosmetic flaws to the packaging but the price wasn’t in any way reduced so I just kept waiting…

In the end I got it for £24 with free postage and it seemed a pretty pristine copy. No cosmetic damage and still new and sealed.

As for the photos of Jim – these are ones I have been coveting for some time. Taken in April, 1982, Virginia seemed to have the most wonderful photo session with Jim in Kensington Gardens that day. I never really ask her anything about the photoshoots. One) I know she’ll never really remember much, and two) I don’t want to drive the poor woman crazy going on and on and on AND ON about Jim. 😂😂😂😂😂

She already endures so much from me as is.

Anyway, I actually better wind this post up now! There’s a Minds Music Monday post to come. Worry not!

Glasgow is ALWAYS sunny with a bit of Jim Kerr around ❤️😊

New Treasures On Kerrsday

I know I showed these in the video yesterday but…

What little I know of both of them – the Harry Goodwin, as far as I know was taken when SM were recording an episode of Top Of The Pops. I might have that wrong. It certainly seems to date from 1982. Certainly is Jim’s look of the time and he was wearing that Nefertiti shirt around then. The David Corio was taken at The Venue, I think, in early 1980, and has been a long time favourite of mine. I love the atmosphere of it.

What I Miss In Lockdown – Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul

Viewing art with my own eyes. Exhibitions. Galleries.

Being able to see this.

I think I’d have flown down south to get to London to see this exhibition.

A virtual tour is not the same. But it will have to do. Even as a virtual tour, I find this deeply moving. I can only imagine how I’d have felt in the exhibition space. I know how I was at the last Tracey Emin exhibition I went to.

I never thought that visual art would affect me like that.

Click the image below to see the virtual tour…

Magazine Malcolm

“It isn’t creating art. It’s a job in the service of information.”

A great interview with Malcolm Garrett in the latest edition of Electronic Sound magazine. (And who knew he’d produced music?! I didn’t! You learn something new every day, folks!)

Click the “Assorted iMaGes” (you see what I did there? Lol) for a better view of the individual pages.

And GEEZ, I’M SLOW! I’ve only JUST taken in why the “iMaGes” part of the name is written that way. Duh!!! Lol

Its’s No (Mug’s) Game

Over 21 years I’ve had this. It was one of the first things I bought when I arrived in the UK. A souvenir of my first ever visit to London, in the summer of 1999.

It has been the mug I have used first every day ever since. Either for tea (I wasn’t a coffee drinker when I moved over here) or latterly for my first cup of coffee of the day (unless away from home. Obvs).

I currently have five Simple Minds themed mugs, including the most recent wonderful birthday gift. Several others have been broken over the past few years, but this Bowie mug just keeps on keeping on. It even survived the move to Glasgow in tact.

It’s a little chipped around the lip. After 21 years it would be doing well to be in perfect nick!

David is part of my daily ritual. Coffee and banana. That’s “breakfast” for me – a frothy milky coffee and a banana.

The only thing about the mug that makes me sad is – like with a TON of other things – it’s right-hand centric and the the images of David are only visible to right-handed drinkers.

Being somewhat ambidextrous himself (Bowie was left-handed when writing) I’d like to think he’d be pissed off that I, as a fellow kack-hander, can’t see the images when I’m drinking my bevvie each morning.

Here’s to another 21 years of a mug’s life!