The Ardent Student

I wish I could have finished my post from yesterday before the announcement of European mainland tour reschedules as I truly lost my train of thought as soon as I saw that. And my post was leading somewhere, even though it diverged off into one of my usual tangents.

I wanted to share this picture. I am tired of being embarrassed about having this cushion cover now. I’ve had it for seven years, FFS! Lol! What’s the point in being embarrassed or shameful?

Anyway…

It’s snowing here in Glasgow right now, and it’s freezing! I still have my blinds and curtains drawn to try and stop the cold coming in through my bedroom windows. I only drew the blinds and curtains long enough to take a photo of this morning’s scene. Even with the curtains and blinds drawn, the cold is permeating through.

I made my bed, gathered my things and was about to head off downstairs for my morning coffee and banana. Just as I gathered up my iPad, phone and reading glasses, my eyes took a final cursory glance at the bed. It looked so warm and inviting…even more so from the way my little array was huddled together.

I’m not sure I shared the tale of “Ellie and Nellie” here? Short version? Mother and baby elephants remind me of my mum, more to the point – me with mum. I saw this plush mother and baby elephant at Ikea early in the New Year and I had to buy them.

So, as my cursory glance falls upon the top of the bed, I see Ellie and Nellie huddled up next to [the cushion of] Jim. It was the ear of the elephant resting upon Jim’s that did it for me.

It took all my resolve not to want to join them and climb back into that bed.

And what does this have to do with being a student? Well, I am determined to complete my assignment today.

Again, thank you Scott, for knowing exactly what to say and to get my out of my doubtful and defeatist mindset. In all honesty, sometimes I don’t know where I’d be without you! If this blog ever only has one regular visitor and reader, I am so very grateful that it’s you.

And now, I am off to smash my first assignment! Ready to “fail better”.

UPDATE: My first assignment has been completed and submitted.

Goodbye To A Year

A year ago today was mum’s funeral. I don’t think anything has ever felt quite so alien.

My sister had arranged an open casket. I wasn’t prepared for it! I didn’t want the last time I saw my mum to be…her lying in state.

And it really, really hurts!

And I feel like the worst, most disappointing daughter in the world because she told me when I was there the last time that she wanted Autumn Leaves by Nat King Cole at her funeral and I forgot. I FUCKING FORGOT – because I’m just a useless fucking aresehole!

And when I remembered, it was too late.

My sister asked me if I wanted some of her ashes. I wasn’t sure at first. I believe that the body is a vessel and nothing more – so what would ashes mean?

My sister looked into getting them sent over in an appropriate urn but…

I don’t know. Things went nowhere and then it was Covid. And now…?

I ended up liking the idea that some small piece of mum would end up here. That…a bit of her would be in Scotland with me. That I could take her ashes to Loch Lomond or, geez, even the necropolis is beautiful. She’d have loved it here. She’d have loved Scotland, and Glasgow. I wish she could have seen it.

“And soon I’ll hear the winter’s song”…

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.

Interactivity Central

Well, I have to say, there was an incredible amount of interactivity from Mr Kerr today on Facebook! It was lovely, albeit not really anything for me personally.

Perhaps my own grief was hitting me a lot harder than I imagined? Because…I’m just dealing with it now. Trying not to have it feel like “rejection”. Applying all the logical things I should do to help to “not take it personally” – I am just one fan in many – and JUST A FAN … just … a fan – to him. He can’t show any kind of favouritism (but to be honest, it didn’t seem to stop him years back, that one)…etc, etc.

But a few months back, it was REALLY hurting. But I think it really was just grief for mum making it feel much worse. I guess because of last time I was in Oz, she was alive, I was doing the art…all of that converged. Jim was wonderful to me.

I suppose I was just wanting to reach out – WAS reaching out…but he was going through his own grief. I naively hoped that maybe it would mean that…affinity…the kind of kinship I was feeling last time in Oz I hoped would return “when I needed him”.

I was feeling like…I dunno, like he HATED me. Hoping for something at the Scottish Music Awards. Mum had passed just days before, on Charlie’s birthday. I was hoping for just a look…something. I was up in the rafters anyway. He probably didn’t even know where I was. His da wasn’t long passed, either. Selfish of me.

I was okay out in Oz, surrounded by friends and family. In spite of the circumstances – and the adverse weather conditions when I was out there, it was good to be home. I felt horrendously displaced though. Every time I travelled towards the city and then back again to my sister’s or to Gwenda’s, and the train went through Liverpool station, it felt strange not to be getting off the train there. There would be this kind of questioning inner voice “why aren’t we stopping here? Aren’t we going to see mum?” Like the previous time back home, when I was with her and I kept waiting for David to call, or to just walk in through the door.

I don’t think the grief started to hit until I got back here to Glasgow…and I didn’t know what to do with it. I still don’t think I felt it. Because you’re not there. You’re not around physically to be impacted upon with the loss.

My sister had arranged an open coffin at the funeral. I found it really incredibly upsetting. I didn’t want my last memory of mum to be lying dead in a coffin! I didn’t even want to look, really, but with family around me and them all going in…what was I meant to do? I stood there. I stood by her but…I couldn’t touch her. I couldn’t do things that my sister was doing…stroking her face, giving her a kiss. Her in the coffin was my first physical interaction (short of touching her) with her in over 3 years. I just don’t think I wanted that to be my end with her.

And it isn’t what David wanted me to experience with him. He implored me to stay here and not go back home to see him. It meant the last time I saw him was in 2007. And the last pictures I saw of him was when he still looked healthy – at his son’s wedding almost three years earlier. I didn’t see photos of how he looked in the months and weeks before he passed away. I never have. My memory of him is how he wished for it to be for me.

This is becoming maudlin central because – I wanted to explain that I am starting to…feel okay…and try not to give so many fucks, and learn not to “take it personally”.

I sound a fool, I know…but I adore this man. Jim felt like he gave me my life back…or at least made me feel like I could finally find purpose in why I was here. And…frigging hell…I had been searching for that for such a long time! Beyond the silly ogling and finding him physically attractive… He felt like…a saviour. I know! But it felt that profound.

So for a time there has been this…thing where…the interaction was amazing and I felt – most likely in a rather delusional way – an affinity, a kinship…call it what you will…just “liked” by Jim. And then things will die away and I would suddenly start thinking “oh, I’ve done something wrong. He’s pissed off. Oh, what have I done? Oh, why won’t he say anything to me?”

Oh, God! I sound so fucking paranoid! But…this is what happens.

By Copenhagen…yeah. Certain things happened to alleviate that feeling a little but others didn’t help. Not the band’s fault, heck! But…the cancelling of the soundcheck was a bummer. To be able to see the two shows was ssooo great! And I thought I got some interaction from Jim – that he poked his tongue out at me and later gave me a wink…but how do you ever know? He could be winking and poking his tongue out at someone behind me or beside me. The only time I know for sure about things is one-to-one interactions. Stage doors at Bridlington and Drury Lane – him talking to me from the stage at Bristol – the meet and greet at Colchester. Anything else is wishful thinking.

Yet…that look he gave me near the end of the Copenhagen gigs, I have no doubt was for me. Lol. Silly that I try to convince myself that positive things from him MUST be for someone else, yet negative things are DEFINITELY for me.

It feels like it has been hardest of all these past few months, so I am guessing it’s the grief for mum playing the biggest part. These feelings cycle round. They have done for years now.

I guess I’m never gonna stop wanting to be his friend, so while that hope remains ever present, this cycle will continue.

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Seeing Through The Eyes Of Love

It’s now 4 years since this happened and I know Jim will be utterly bloody bored with it, so I’ll just keep the memory here on the blog.

This anniversary I find myself back in Oz, so this year feels just a little more special, yet painfully sad.

Kyoto might well still be in snow, but most of the Eastern seaboard of Australia, as well as parts of Adelaide and Perth, have been aflame this summer.

Again for most of the outer suburbs of Sydney, up to Newcastle, and down to the south coast, past Wollongong (where regional coastal towns are on high alert as fires threaten to ravage the area again, having only just gone through the devastation just 72 hours ago) and into country areas of New South Wales, temps are set to be a minimum of 40 degrees Celsius – with the average being 44 tomorrrow.

After Saturday’s extremes, the temp. drops away and falls by 20+ degrees for a high of 25 in Sydney on Sunday and 22 on Monday.

Four years ago, the weather was unusually cool for the time of year – 21 degrees and drizzle. A rare overcast and rainy day.

Well the days I’ve had here I’ve hardly seen the sun but for vastly different reasons.

Also this time four years ago, I was spending – what I feared would turn out to be – my final months with mum.

And so I say it time and again, my Hunter And The Hunted piece will forever be the most special thing to me. I don’t know how much I can express all that is wrapped up in it.

The significance of the song… it really is just about the finest thing Simple Minds ever produced – and as a consequence how enamoured I am with Jim. He is just beautiful… the lyrics to the song and just him… body and mind. Intelligence. Beauty.

And I still feel that my piece on it compliments the beauty of the song.

And there’s mum and those precious final months with her. I never wanted those months to be the final ones😔💔

I knew time was running out.

This silly mind is still waiting for us to travel to Busby to go and see her… wondering why we haven’t been yet. Pulling into Liverpool Station on the train and not getting off the train there feels really wrong.

The anniversary will be more special every year.

Jim, thank you. I will love you always for this. 💕😚

Sign O’ The Times…

Okay. I know it’s Christmas and Sir has got to have his family time. And I know the tour needs to be pushed. But!!

FUCKING HELL – I MISS HIM! I miss how Simple Minds Official was.

What’s happened? Why has he stepped away from it so much? I thought it was because of his Da – and that I (obviously) understood. But I’m starting to think it wasn’t so much about his Da at all.

I dunno.

It’s a sad indictment on me if I miss him this much, I guess. Considering I just lost my mum and I’m worried about bloody Jim flipping Kerr!

Shit… says a lot about me, doesn’t it?

It feels like both ends of that beautiful tie is gone.

Four years ago when I was in Oz, I felt like I had both mum AND Jim. My time with mum was precious and Jim made it more special.

And now… both feel gone 😔😔😔

Well… mum is absolutely gone. And I can’t shake this feeling while being here of “When are we going to see mum? It’s been great staying at Gwenda’s, but can we go and stay with mum now? Aren’t we going to visit her?”

There was an open coffin at the funeral. I saw her there… laying in state! My mind refuses to accept it. There is a void. I miss her. So much! But I have hardly shed a tear. There’s a detachment from not being here in the final days before she passed. And so I am missing her and can’t grieve properly. It’s kind of awful.

A strange limbo…

Jim is linked to my final memories of mum… and I miss him.

I just miss how SMO used to be. Not so much corporate whoring. A human touch. And Jim very much at the centre of it.

I miss you so much, Jim, because I miss my mum.

Anyway… we better get our tour tickets. Well, I have 11 now. That’s more than enough.

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In Dreams We Are Helpless

I have been sleeping-in lately. Demanding dreams from my subconscious. Every night before I fall asleep, I pray that I’ll dream. Good dreams. Dreams that once awake and I have even just a fraction of lucidity of the dream, that it’ll turn to fruition.

This morning I had dreams.
In the first I was with Jim and Charlie. And we were sitting around, chatting and laughing. I cannot tell you how much I wish for that to be real! Or to continue to dream it over and over again every night.

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The other is a VERY rare occurrence (dreams of Jim – with or without Charlie – are rare enough these days). My mum. I couldn’t tell you the last time I dreamed of her. But this one will haunt me.

It was loaded with metaphor and symbolism. I had been contacted by what appeared to be government authorities and/or health professionals. She was meant to be in care…but she wasn’t. She was on her own in this remote, desolate place completely unfamiliar to me.

She was roaming around outside. I’m not sure how I was seeing this as I was, but these people were showing me video footage of her. Like…CCTV footage…but this place was so remote. Maybe it was being recorded from a drone? I don’t know. Certain things in dreams make no sense.

I digress. She was roaming around outside. Working. Walking around finding weeds and rubbish. She was carrying some kind of tool. Not a light thing. And she look as she did when I left in 2016. Thinner than I have ever seen her in my entire life. When I went home in 2015…I hadn’t seen her for eight years and she had became a shell of herself. I had never, ever seen her so thin. I don’t think she had been that thin since she was a child. The shock of it stunned me for days. It took days for me to get my head around this woman who looked like my mum but was waaaaay thinner than my mum had ever been was indeed my mum!

I digress again. These two people – a man and a woman – showing me her on the monitor (I sensed I was watching live footage, or very recent recorded footage…mere hours old) were saying “She won’t rest. She’s doing too much. She just wanders and wanders.” And I am sitting there thinking “habit of a lifetime, guys. She’s been like this since time immemorial. All the years I have known her.”

Even in 2015/16. Up and down like a yo-yo. Endless retorts of frustration from me “PLEASE SIT DOWN! I’M HERE NOW. PLEASE LET ME GET THAT FOR YOU!” Over and over. Every day. A person too used to being alone. Too used to just having to get up and do it herself. No one else there.

I’m watching her on the screen…and she just looks lost. Really lost. I’d never seen her look lost before. Determined. Focussed. Busy. Pre-occupied. Happy, even. But never lost. Never confused. Never unsure. Somehow still happy though.

Happy. But tired. And lost.
I awoke feeling further away from her than ever.

Limbo is hell.