A Friend Of Frank

What a difference a week can make, eh?

I tried to shield the blog from it as much as possible, although it didn’t escape unscathed as my mood last weekend was probably at the worst it had been all year – culminating in a complete anxiety attack and me considering chucking in the whole uni thing.

A combination of things, really. My appalling low self-opinion of myself, and my capabilities and the massive comedown from Paris… just all the things I do to myself combined with the PGD (Post Gig Depression). Just how ‘anti’ ME I am. If there happens to be any haters out there visiting this blog right now and are reading these words – TRUST ME – you could not hate me any more than I hate myself. Rest assured!

But this time I battled through it. Sunday and Monday were the worst days. Sunday I was feeling the worst anxiety I have had when approaching an assignment. I looked over the two options I felt I had for my assignment – The Blues or Writing Stories (ie: Creative Writing). I kept dismissing the writing stories topic because I am petrified of it. It was a hard week of study and only towards the end of it did I begin to enjoy it. I really enjoyed the blues week so it had always been the much stronger contender.

Anyway, I can’t go into too much more detail about it but suffice it to say that I was wracked with indecision and felt frozen with anxiety to even begin the assignment.

Things didn’t improve on Monday. I emailed my tutor in a cry for help. I explained all that was going on. A prompt reply with reassurance was the first step. A phone call followed the next day. That helped further.

I made a start on Tuesday. It all still felt so overwhelming but I was tackling it head on. Trying to look at it positively. Reassured by words from good friends. A good day of progress on Wednesday. A tutor session on Wednesday evening. More headway on Thursday. Inspiration from Graeme Thomson at the Mitchell Library on Thursday night. A lot more headway on Friday – all of this, slowly but surely lifted the weight and the clouds to now where I can clearly see and breathe, more relaxed yet still focused. Still apprehensive about the assignment – but at a point where if I really DO get a crap mark from it, it wasn’t through lack of trying!

ANYWAY! Short story is, as the week has progressed well and my mood has lifted day by day. We are halfway through the course, so I guess that was the time to have that massive ‘crisis of (no) confidence’ point nearly every student goes through.

I was smart enough to cry for help. To contact my tutor, instead of just trying to be this person who lets the blackness, anxiety and pressure overwhelm them.

Last night I had some fun. I won TWO Scrabble games – one pretty resoundingly – and just allowed myself to properly relax for the first time in … more than two weeks.

Frank’s hot pal.

Frank Gallagher posted this photo of Jim with the words “Sent ma pal some swag. He seems to be enjoying it.” It’s a nice pic. In an exercise in fun and frivolity and letting my hair down, I left a comment…

“Hey, your pal is hot – can I have his number?” with a couple of cheeky grinning winking emojis. Ah, why not? It’s not as if I am confessing anything new that NOBODY knows! Lol. I’m sure even that hermit guy they made that film about knows that I am a bit ‘gone’ on His Kerrness.

Frank is always up for a fun response anyway…and he didn’t disappoint… “Aye. How much you got $$$$”

Serious note…don’t I wish I could actually TALK to this man for longer than a constrained two minute window in the middle of a meet and greet? I guess I can just keep on wishing with that one…oh, well.

And…that smile! I wish that was for me too. I’ll pretend it is. “Good job on getting that assignment done, Larrrrrelllllle – you can do anything you put your mind to. Nae danger. Dinnae fash yersel!”

Fake it til you make it…

Reading Between The Lines…

Or am I reading the ACTUAL lines?

Contradictions? Oxymorons? Paradoxes?

I’m no longer sure what it is now…or what I do with it? 

Everything in life is always open to our own interpretations of it and of course many things affect our interpretation of things – our own mental state being the biggest contributing factor on that. 

I have discussed in the past how much I (over) analyse Jim’s posts. This morning was no exception. 

“Don’t take things so seriously” seemed to be the first focus of the post. Well, that’s all good! Have you SEEN this blog?! Lol. But I know I’ve lost my way with that lately. The more confident you are, you more you are able to shirk off any doubts and that makes humour easier. 

The self-deprecating humour I can exude is deeply steeped in actual self-loathing. I can brush it off as me just taking the piss out of myself when I know deep down the reality of it is VERY different. 

Take last week in Paris for example. I met up with a person in the fandom that I was absolutely petrified to meet. Just the day before they had joked that they were going to leave Paris now they were aware that I was turning up. As much as I wanted to believe they were piss-taking and pulling my leg, the feeling that they were being genuine in their feeling of this (that they were dreading bumping into me and would leave Paris) had overridden.

I saw them on the day of the gig. I recognised them from the moderate distance I was located from them when first seeing them on the day. I stayed ‘incognito’. Not wanting to alert them of my presence. Fear of the reaction I would conjure up within them. That what I was feeling would manifest and they’d repel at seeing me. 

We then did bump into each other. I was close enough to swallow down my self-loathing enough to say hello. They reacted much as I had feared – but it soon became apparent to me it was meant entirely in jest as they then asked for a hug. 

Did that hug wash away everything else within me? I’d like to say ‘yes’…but not entirely. It quelled it, but it didn’t eradicate it.

The more I am aware that confident people radiate a kind of self-love that makes them attractive, the more I see how much self-loathing I have and how very unattractive I am. And I don’t know how to get myself out of that.

For a time it was working. I just…gave myself a break. And I forced myself to…love myself…for want of a better term. I could start to love myself then because I felt so much love! Well…not so much ‘love’ but I felt…worthy. If I didn’t have ‘self-love’ per se, I had ‘self-worth’. I allowed myself to believe that I mattered. 

I can feel that I have lost a lot of what I had gained in recent years. That woman who stood in front of Jim at the Walk Between Worlds album signing – as nervous and sick with dread as she was? – she’s as gallus as they come compared to where I am now. That one in 2018 that stood in a crappy brown coat because she was too nervous to take it off and look good. Too many things in her hands. Too much else to concentrate on. Too preoccupied with not trying to boak on the floor. Throwing down a bag of sherbet straws, smiling, asking for something else to be signed – gallus! – conversing with Jim! Recording a bloody quiz show just a couple of weeks before that! Where the hell did THAT come from? The woman who actually went on TV to participate in one of the toughest quiz shows on telly! Where did she come from? Where did she go?

That ‘Gallus Girl’ of 2018.

I genuinely marvel at someone like Sarah. To hear her talk, of how she was, of her upbringing in Aylesbury – how she does what she does night after night astounds me. Then again, I can feel that thing she gets from Jim. Well…it was something that I used to get anyway.

I described it once as a phial of…magic. This wee bottle of elixir that gave me all the strength, drive and purpose (well, if not actual purpose, the drive to at least SEE if I could FIND WTF my purpose is meant to be!)…the GALLUS I had in 2017 and 2018…vestiges of it in 2019. But I got greedy with it. I didn’t take from that wee phail of goodness moderately. I took and took from it. I overdosed on it. I think I had been ssooo starved of it that I just wanted it all. All the time. Every day. So often. 

Now it has all be sucked dry and nothing is left. In fact, it might be worse than it was at the start. 

I don’t know how to rebuild it. I don’t know how…

I’m trying to work past it with my university study. I am actually doing something that I had wanted to do for so very long doing this study. And I keep trying to justify WHY I am doing it. I’m trying to press home to myself that I am allowed to do this! That there is a purpose to it but I am finding it hard to actually see that. 

“I’m sure you’d agree that there are some people who just make you feel good when they are around”, says Jim in his post today. I wish more than anything in the world I could be that person! 

Back to the person I met on Friday…they said to me that they had been anticipating meeting me. That they actually think I’m pretty awesome and talented and what not and I am trying hold back tears when they’re saying this stuff to me because I don’t want to cry in front of them…but the tears are welling up in my eyes now because….they didn’t have to say those things and I never expected in a million years for them to say those things to me – AND I DON’T FEEL WORTHY!! And because I feel that way about myself, I expect everyone else to feel that way about me. And when they don’t, I am astounded.

Icarus and The Sun.written in 2016

How I am with Jim – I feel like Icarus. Jim is the sun and I, as Icarus, fly too close and my wings melt. And I keep on trying to grow new wings and they get singed too. I want to bask in that warmth so much, I risk endless signed wings for just a few tantalising moments. Fleeting glipses. It’s never enough.

I try too hard. But I don’t try enough. I’m persistent…but a quitter. Ignorant – but overly alert and overly analysing. I am my own oxymoron. I am a paradox. And I feel that everyone hates me as much as I hate myself. 

Actually, I feel like only one person hates me more than I hate myself – Jim. And it shouldn’t matter. But it does.

I’m Okay, You’re So-So – The Ups And Downs Of Study

This week has been an iffy week with study. But that’s nothing new. It seems to be a trend. 

My first week, the introductory week – I felt I had a handle on things. I knew my way around the OU site well enough, as I had been familiarising myself with it as much as I could before study began. 

At the end of the introductory week I felt optimistic about things and eager to get under way. 

Then, Cleopatra happened! I was really enthusiastic about the first week of study and learning about Cleopatra. Well, more learning about Cleopatra’s “reputations”. The last time I studied academically was… in 1990 – a loooong time ago (I had studied vocationally on and off during the 1990s). I studied what was the equivalent of the GCSE, which in New South Wales at that time was referred to as the GCE (General Certificate of Education). I had left school at 14 with no qualifications. This is not how I wanted things to be. 

So, in 1990, aged 19 (turning 20 towards the end of the year) I decided that I actually DID want SOMETHING to my name. I wanted SOME academic level of education. 

As usual, it was the more scientific elements of the course that I enjoyed more – mathematics, biology, chemistry – I wasn’t very good at them. I got by. I think I achieved a pass. English was always a struggle for me. But I just about managed a pass in that too. But my really good result – my A pass was in history. And my pass was achieved with an exam on ancient Egypt. 

With that in mind, I had really high hopes that I would enjoy the week on Cleopatra. Well, no one was more surprised than me to find that the week on Cleopatra to me felt like pulling teeth! 

I think because the week involved…the whole module actually is more about teaching you HOW to study well. Really making you focus on academic study and how to be a great, resourceful and researching student, it sent me on a spiral. 

I want to do well. I want to achieve an objective! I have my own goals for this diploma. I want it to take me down the creative writing path. Again, my years of feeling like I barely have a grasp on the English language at all has me absolutely flabbergasted and astonished that this is now the course of academic study I am taking. 

At the end of week two, I was full of doubt. Questioning if I even had it in me to do this. 

I had to learn to look at it and myself objectively. I am LEARNING. I have this crazy notion in my mind that I should know this stuff already. When I have the inner dialogue with myself about why I was feeling so low and disheartened at the end of week two, it was because I expected myself to know how to answer things.

It’s a lifetime of picking up bad habits and doing things in the way you know how that is acceptable and gets you through. I have to learn so much again, not just academically but intellectually, emotionally, philosophically. To learn to live with the emotions that come with “Yes! You are going to get things wrong. You literally cannot know EVERYTHING. You are LEARNING. And you will grow. And you will get better.”

So, I gave myself a talking to. “It’s week TWO. WEEK. TWO! Stop being so hard on yourself! And stop thinking you should know EVERYTHING already!!”

Week three was studying the reputations of Mary, mother of Jesus (as she is being described in the study module). Again, no one was more surprised than me that I would enjoy an element of Religious Studies so much. There were a few little downs over the course of the week. I obviously didn’t start out feeling terribly optimistic, despite the talk I gave myself, and reassurances from friends telling me to give myself a break and not to be so hard on myself. Overall the week on Mary was a much better one. 

This week we’re looking at Elizabeth I and over the past 20 years I have in my own time and at my own pace studied Tudor history. 

My study is now feeling more balanced. It’s a true rollercoaster. One day great, the next day… not so great. But I am learning to take the rough with the smooth. 

The bad day was Tuesday. A thing happened on Tuesday afternoon here. What I had assumed was an attempted break-in because the door was trying to be forced with such strength and effort, I was convinced someone had tried to break their way in through the side kitchen door. I was in the kitchen at the time and it really shook me up. I was a complete nervous wreck for the rest of the day.

That evening we had a group tutorial session. I was buoyed by that. My fellow students and my tutor are good people. I felt nervous but willing to interact and be involved. We were left with some exercises to do the next day, which then had me spiralling down again.

I put ssooo much pressure on myself. And on Wednesday I had a real wobble. In retrospect, the aftermath of what happened the previous afternoon playing its part combined with me just being far too hard on myself yet again. I got teary-eyed. Full-on emotional wobble. 

But Monday felt great. And Tuesday felt really good academically as well. And I really enjoyed the group tutorial. So I took those good feelings and wiped Wednesday away. A fellow student got in contact with me and told me not to put added pressure on myself. So, there shows how much I am trying to run before I can walk when even a fellow student in my module is telling me to be kind to myself! 

And so…I am learning! I am learning to ride the rollercoaster of academic learning again. That like with most things in life there are good days and bad days. And the good days ALWAYS make up for the bad ones. And yesterday was, again, a good day. I am enjoying Elizabeth I as I thought I would do. 

I like being a student. And I love the study. I love learning. And I am wanting to “fail better”. I think I am starting to “fail better”. These first few weeks of study are proof of that to me.

My Week So Far

Sunday – study good, but slightly doubtful.

Monday – study better, buoyant and full of optimism.

Tuesday – study free day. Went for a walk. Felt good. Attempted break-in of our home in the afternoon shook me up badly. Online uni tutorial last night was nerve-wracking but ended positively.

Wednesday – after effects of attempted break-in brought me down. Tutor room student quiz exercise and information “scavenger hunt” has me left me full of self-doubt and very low.

The week started out so well.

Sunshine And Darkness

The only thing that seems to make me happy right now is to endlessly listen to Jonathan Richman. It’s these kind of things that make me wonder whether I am on the spectrum because of my silly, confused traits.

I need an outlet. I need to vent. This is what this place is for, for me personally, beyond it being a tenuous Simple Minds blog, and more broadly a general music blog, and even broader still, a review, interview and generalised art and creative space – it’s a personal space too.

A space for me. When wanting to be insular is too unhealthy. I can bottle things up and let things fester.

Anyway…where am I going with this? I don’t know.

I guess I was just…I was travelling along okay, you know? Not on the highest of highs…but at a fairly decent equilibrium. The odd dip through the day. One’s mood can change from minute to minute, can’t it? But on the whole, as of Saturday, October 23rd, I was … “stable”.

Then I got a message which arrived during one of those little “dips”…and that was it. 

I can’t go into detail about it. But I probably should. I have not spoken to the sender of the message since then. So upset and angry by it as to just dismiss it and them. So, how do I explain it without going into detail? How do I explain my mood and slide downwards if I can’t elaborate? I don’t know. 

I feel unable to confront the persons/people concerned. 

To be honest, the person I am most angry with is myself. I should have been more upfront about my feelings and fears. And here lies the paradox! 

But…I was quiet, because I felt as though my feelings and my fears would not be considered or would be dismissed. People were putting faith in me to do something that I didn’t feel equipped to handle and didn’t really know much about to be honest. I was happy to do the groundwork and try and do something with it – but it put the fear of god into me! If it went shit, if it fucked up, it would be MY head on the chopping block – not theirs! And if I did fuck up…who would be hardest on me for my fuck up? ME!

Jim’s post about “Absolute Beginners” was timely…but a little too late. 

I don’t feel as though I learn anything. I just constantly make mistakes I never learn from. I see all my faults and all my foibles and I never know how to make them right! 

Okay…let’s start over.

People put their faith in me. Some people who do that I get genuine good feelings from and never question why they do it. They are just good, virtuous people who see the inherent good in everyone. I used to think I was like that too. Believed the inherent good in people.

But others I find myself questioning why they put their faith in me, why they would want to have dealings with me, or associate with me because I feel I have nothing to offer them in return. So then I believe they must have motives. WHY are they being nice to me? For what purpose? Perhaps they are just…a different type of person? So, I use my “inherent good” glasses and dismiss any doubts or niggles I may have. Anything that is otherwise screaming “PROCEED WITH CAUTION!” at me. 

It was around mid July. We had been going through the saga with the cats and both of us (myself and my OH) were going through ill mental health. My OH has been going through mental health issues for…nearly the whole time we’ve been together. Prior to that. A long time. I didn’t start to recognise my own mental health issues until we had been together almost 10 years. 

To cut it to the quick – both of us had suffered with varying degrees of mental ill health for quite some time now. 

In mid July, we were both at breaking point. Several factors compounded the issue.

Right at this point in proceedings, I was “bestowed” (for want of a better term) a task. This task seemed absolutely MONUMENTAL to me! Did I confess this to the bestower? No! Heaven forbid I should seem weak and incapable – the things I believe this person thinks of me. So I put on my guise. Made a joke of it “hey, I can’t even organise a piss-up in a brewery, but if you want me to give it a go, I’ll give it a go.”

I’m in tears writing this just reliving how on earth I was going to execute this thing!

No other input. Nothing else came my way…just a “here’s this. See what you can do. There’s a good girl. Cheerio!” And because it came to me when it did, it just sent me spiralling down further. So I sat on it. I sat on it, petrified to speak out and say “I can’t do this!” – fear of being weak. Fear of compounding everything I think these people think of me. 

Some weeks back, some clarity came my way. A deadline. I felt I had a bit of breathing space. The past couple of weeks I started to feel able to at least try and tackle it. Make tentative steps as to what I needed to do to get this thing under way.

And then, I get this message. The message that tells me “thanks, but we’re doing something else with this now. All the best.” Was I relieved? Not really. What I was was devastated. And what I have been for the past 4 days is…gutted and angry. 

Had I wish I’d been upfront? Had I wish I’d been brave enough to say “Woah! Thanks, but I can’t do this.” Maybe. But…we’re told to push ourselves, to take ourselves out of our comfort zone to achieve things, right? Well, here I was, trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. And just when I was getting prepared to make inroads into it – BAM!! Rug pulled from under me. 

The past 4 days I have been sick. Sick, upset and angry. And I know those involved around it will be dismissive, because that is how it has always felt. I’m “oversensitive”. Or I’m “overthinking”. No! You know what I am? A HUMAN FUCKING BEING, WITH FEELINGS – WHO IS SICK OF HAVING THEIR FEELINGS DISMISSED!

I did this to myself – because I was too scared to stand up to what I would think was another dismissive waving of the hand. Either made to feel weak for admitting that at the point it came to me it was too much for me to handle, or a shirking of responsibility or a dismissal of concerns with a “ah, come on, you can do this in your sleep” denial.

And I know I need to let go of it. I now need to just…be Zen and let it go. Let it drift off away and not think about it any more. 

There is so much more I want to say and wish I could say…but I am best to keep the rest within. It would only be dismissed – so I might as well be the one to dismiss it. 

I still don’t know where I am going with this post. 

The title? Because I wanted to talk about the only thing filling my days with light right now is Jonathan. Dear, sweet Jonathan. 

Jim is there too, of course. Some things never change. So, there has been Halloween themed fan “art”…with Mr Kerr in varying dark roles, usually the devil – I think DraKERRla may be to come (my erogenous zone has always been my neck – I find vampire films highly erotic).

Last night’s music was a mix of sunshine and darkness. Sunshine from Jonathan and the Modern Lovers. “Monologue About Bermuda” from the album “Having A Party With Jonathan Richman” is just about my most favourite thing in the world right now. I can’t stop smiling every time I hear it – even through the tears.

Before that I played Roadrunner (Twice) and then Roadrunner (Once). I think I prefer once to twice. There’s a rawness to “Once” that I prefer.

After having my mood lifted for that little bit of time – I shifted to Magazine and listened to Secondhand Daylight. I bloody LOOOOOVE this album. All of it, but particularly the end block of Permafrost, Give Me Everything and I Love You You Big Dummy. That I can listen to something so dark and wallow yet be equally uplifted I find magical. And I am laying in bed, listening away and thinking at certain intervals “Man, how great is John McGeoch?!” And then it’s “Man, how great is Barry Adamson?!” and then for Howard, and for Dave Formula.

And I eventually fell asleep hours later, still wishing I could have seen Magazine and Simple Minds touring together. 

“To sleep, perchance to dream.”

Minds Music Monday – Disconnected

I have been back listening to a random shuffle mode playlist of Minds songs over the past couple of nights. Perhaps my “Seven Year Itch” has been quelled? 

Sometimes I get distracted. My thoughts wander. As I am so familiar with some of the tunes, and this will sound awful – but….you can “zone out”, if you know what I mean? Definitely not confined to Simple Minds songs! Mostly they just insight a thought or a memory and the mind wanders off in thought.

As it did last night. 

I admit to not being the biggest fan of the album Cry. I find it hit and miss. Many fans see it as the first “return to form”, yet bizarrely for me, I see it more as the dip … almost like they are trying too hard to get back to fluid creativity. It feels … forced. Which makes sense, given where we are in the Simple Minds timeline. For me, the next album (Black And white 050505) is the “return to form” that exponentially builds up to Walk Between Worlds.

As for the Cry album, there are exceptions – I ADORE Spaceface. It is my “go to” happy song. That should have been my “drugs song” choice for Billy’s show last weekend. I’m sure Jim would say it actually isn’t about drugs…but the lines within “she don’t need no rocket ship / just close(s) her eyes and takes a trip / baby’s big on aviation / baby loves a levitation” and the chorus, “she’s a spaceface floating round / she’s never coming down” NEVER COMING DOWN (ie: she’s as high as the proverbial kite, man)

Spaceface makes ME “high”. It’s awesome. 

The other song on the album I have grown to love is Disconnected. 

So, last night it plays and I am listening to the words, thinking “everybody needs to feel respected / not disconnected” – I wish! I do wish…Mr Kerr. “I don’t wanna hear the sound of your wide world when it comes crashing down” – okay then. Block your ears, Kerr! “I can only help you if you’re sure you wanna keep me hanging round” DUH!!!!! Like you have to ask, boy-o! 

And then I start thinking … this is all a bit of a contradiction, isn’t it? “Everybody needs to feel respected” – but then “I don’t wanna hear the sound of your wide world when it comes crashing down”…??? What happened to “Everybody needs to feel respected”???? 

I ended up thinking about it quite philosophically in the end. And came away from it feeling like the “Everybody needs to feel respected / not disconnected” line was a MASSIVE oxymoron compared to the rest of the lyrics. 

I guess I’m not meant to take them LITERALLY – us overthinkers tend to do that kind of shit, eh? We’re a bit of a drain and a drag like that. 

So…the only line I feel I can take from it is “Only in my dreams I feel protected / this is reflected in all that I believe” – not even sure I can take the second part of the line  – just that first bit. And when I talk of “dreams”, I think I mean the word very differently to how Jim interprets it and uses it. Dreams are on a par with ambitions for him, I think. Whereas for me? Dreams are “pie in the sky” wishes that will never come to fruition – or those actual “nocturnal visions” that happen to many of us somewhere, some time in our lives (as I appreciate that not everyone believes they dream, or feels they have dreams…as in actual visions during sleep).

Would I be “respected” for my own definition of dreams, I wonder? 

I am still pondering the “meek and unambitious” post as well. That left a mark. I felt the same things happening when listening to Disconnected, as the feelings that happened with the “Ambition” post. 

Ambition isn’t a dirty word. And I fully understand why the word “ruthless” is placed with it. To be “unambitious” may indeed be “unsavoury” – but it is usually, as far as I see it…a side effect of ill mental health. I don’t know anyone who sets out to be DELIBERATELY “unambitious” …. but hey ho. What do I know? I’m not a psychiatrist. 

Anyway, this is getting overly-philosophical for a MMM post. Let’s just enjoy Disconnected.

The Quiet Side Of Midnight – Priptona Art

The “art” very much comes and goes in waves these days. I must be needing some visual therapy as I have found myself working on the visual side of things again these past few days.

I don’t feel anywhere near as depressed and “affected” as I did this time last year leading up to my birthday (thank God!). Last year I was in a VERY bad place – but the “art” has me on the lookout.

All the talk of “it’s okay not to be okay” – that is NEVER how I feel. It is how I feel for everybody else….not for myself. Never have done. I am NEVER okay with not being okay.

But! For today, at least, I am okay.

He helps. He always helps. (Shhh! Don’t tell him. Lol)

It Was All For You – But It Was For Me Too

Let’s try and reset the clock and think of the good things.

Before I start that – thank you to Sage, who commented on a previous post with some rather apt – as her name suggests – sage words.

I’d like to think I am intelligent enough, and I know what needs to be done but I am obviously very emotionally stunted. So, I can have all the analytical, rational and lateral intelligence in all the world but if I can’t keep my emotions in check, or I struggle to rationalise my emotional wellbeing, that’s when it all falls apart.

I will post below here what Sage has written to me. They are words I know are true and right. I wish I had the emotional intelligence and resolve I need right now.

I need to apologise to Jim.

For one final time I am going to try to explain this as best I can. I don’t know why I feel so compelled to explain this, I just do. Maybe somehow to just rationalise it for myself as much as anything? I don’t know.

I hate for it to be misconstrued that I am IN LOVE with Jim and that I wish to be with him. IT IS NOT THAT! It really is not that! I do love him, yes. But it is a love of adulation, not of lust or desire (and lust and desire isn’t love anyway). Any notion like that is tied up with Jim in the past. The young Jim. The 22/23 year old Jim that I confess to being visually and aesthetically drawn to.

It is not how I feel about the Jim of the present. The Jim of the present is more where the emotions lay. It’s a romantic love, but not in a way that means I wish to be with him. I will never claim to know him. I don’t. And I never will. That’s the bitter pill. That’s the thing that causes the pain. That I would like to actually know him and have him be fond of me and see me as a dear friend. A friend. Nothing more! Not a lover. Not a girlfriend. Just someone that he would like to talk to on occasion. Someone who he’d think of during the day, pondering “I wonder how she’s doing? I hope she’s okay?” and then would get in contact to see how I was. That’s it.

But I am aware that even that is A LOT. That it’s a lot to ask and I can wish for that as much as I like but if he doesn’t feel that way, if there is no element of him liking me or trusting me or wanting to allow me in, then…it can’t be forced. I can wish for it all I like – until I make myself sick with it.

I am sorry, Jim, if it seemed or felt as though I was endlessly making demands of you. My naivety in thinking that positivity between us would have us feed each other. But it can’t work like that when only one person is providing the positivity. And I guess you have given me plenty of explanations as to why you are where you are and I am where I am.

You radiate light and warm, generosity and humour, wit and charm. You’re articulate and a lot of the time erudite. But maybe that is all public persona? I never felt that it was. One can only act for so long.

I am just me. Just one person. Just one fan in… how many fans? How many people wanting your attention? Wanting – and I hate this term, but I guess it applies – a piece of you? And you as one man, JUST “a man” (as several people like to remind me time and again), can only spread yourself so far.

I started typing out this post downstairs in the dining area of the living room, but I have now moved upstairs to my bedroom. The little bit of “office” area of my bedroom. Where I am hoping to keep looking after this blog. I look up just over and above the screen of my PC and this is what I see.

Sunshine. He is sunshine. He just radiates it. Warmth and beauty. And I just want to bask in it – constantly! I want to bask in the glow of him. And that should be enough. To look at the beauty of him. To bask in the sunshine of him. For it to be what it was when I wrote this that follows…

“…You are tantalisingly tangible
Yet I don’t really know who you are.

I find you intoxicating
And will be happy
Spending all the rest of my days
Drinking you in from afar.”

I need to find that place again. The place in which I never made demands. The place before Hunter And The Hunted. The place before he knew my name. Knew who I was. Knew what a stupid, pathetic creature I am.

I need to stop beating myself up. And I need to stop wanting him to be things he can’t be.

Right about this time seven years ago I’d be making those tentative steps again (after trying in 2006 and it not really going anywhere) to try and get a handle on the Simple Minds back catalogue. Listening to Life In A Day. It really was a slow burn (“stay – I’m burning slow”) but of the handful of songs that seeped their way in…the first to take hold was All For You. I loved the guitar riff. It’s a rather more “traditional rock” piece from them, with a standard verse/chorus song structure, which is actually fairly unusual for Jim to write that way during those early years. I love the backing vocals also. His voice is a higher register at that point but I find it soft and sultry on that song.

It was the seed that germinated what I was to become as a Simple Minds fan.

I wish I could start again. Wipe the slate clean. Not get so…invested in it. Perhaps have stayed away from going anywhere near the band’s Facebook page? Oh, but had I done that? Well, I wouldn’t have met the beautiful people I have met. I wouldn’t have some of the friends I have now. Including the one whose pictures of “Mr Sunshine” are on the wall just above.

And I wouldn’t have the good and wonderful and happy memories I have of Jim. Perhaps for a time he actually DID like me? He made a fuss enough. But was it actually of me? Of Larelle, or just “the new fan”. That I was just an object of curiosity and intrigue for a time until I shared everything about myself and there was no intrigue left. No “enigma”.

And…I do this too. I do this far too much. I overanylise and “overthink”. I read too much into things and I put into them a degree of importance that just doesn’t exist, or only exists for me alone.

But I feel like Jim gave me a strength. He gave me a strength and a belief in myself that I had never had. And the things it allowed me to do no doubt seem minuscule to many, but for me they were momentous and profound. And I loved him for it. I loved him for freeing me from the things I felt restricted by.

But I guess it has come full circle and now I feel somewhat imprisoned by those feelings that at one time felt so freeing and liberating. Because I keep craving those things.

He has NEVER bored me. He has never made me tired and he has never stopped being a curiosity to me.

I live in hope that my awareness of my emotional stupidity is the thing that sees me through it. But I also fear a feeling of a loss. That I need to walk away from it all. That before I drown, I should try and get myself out of the water. Instead of just praying he’ll reach out to me with a hand, with a fingertip to say “I won’t let you drown.”

It’s like… I want permission. I want permission to love him. I want to know that it’s okay that I do. And that he doesn’t see me as odd or strange, or thinks I’m weird or an idiot, or worst of all – pities me. That he understands. That he cares that I care! But how can I expect that of him?

I don’t know where I go from here. I feel I should talk about it because… because supposedly it helps to talk? I worry about “exposing” myself.

I don’t know how to end this post.

Cherisse And Mel On Drumathon Live

Well, think this has to be the charity event of the year, so far – Drumathon Live. Both Cherisse Osei and Mel Gaynor took part. I watched both their stints at the kit and both were awesome.

But I have to that Cherisse’s set up really gave the feel of being at a gig. She was in a darkened room, with golden lights beaming in. It looked really great and sounded fabulous.

Here are some screenshots of both of them drumming away.

The drumathon ends tomorrow evening, so there is still time to watch some amazing drummers and also to make a donation. It’s what it’s all about after all! The donation you make will go to several mental health charities in the UK. Please give if you can! Go to www.drumathon.live to view the drummers and make a donation.

Cherisse Osei – BBC Radio 5 Live Interview For Drumathon Live

As highlighted on Cherisse’s social media accounts as well as the Simple Minds social media accounts, Cherisse took part in Drumathon Live last night.

The Drumathon is a 264 hour non-stop drumming session, featuring drummers from all different bands from all around the globe. It’s all for charity, raising funds for the NHS and mental health charities, including the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK Trauma Council, Mind, NHS Charities Together, and Child Bereavement UK.

Yesterday morning, Cherisse was interviewed for BBC Radio 5 Live about the Drumathon. She also performed a little snippet of Alive And Kicking during the interview.

Mel Gaynor will also be taking part with his drumming slot taking place between 10am and 10pm on Thursday, May 20th.

You can tune into the live stream and donate by visiting drumathon.live

You can hear Cherisse’s interview below.