Reflections in 2016 – April

Things were winding up in several ways.

I seemed to have had my run with the Minds art…well, at least Jim’s attention with it. Such a mercurial man. I think I quickly bored him. Maybe I got a little too heavily invested? I’m sure I am very guilty of that. It was the most amazing ride though. And how special it made me feel. It will leave an indelible mark on my first trip back to Oz in 8 years. I mourned it gradually and naturally winding itself down. I missed those highs. It all started out of my love for them. The music. Jim’s amazing song-writing. It was my way of showing my love and devotion. Expressing just what these songs mean to me. I did have the goal of making one for every single song in the Minds canon, and I got about one third of the way there…maybe I’ll take the challenge back up in the New Year? We shall see.

I wanted to cram in some other special experiences before I left as well. I didn’t want to leave mum too much in those final 3 weeks, so my two very special things were…taking in a ballet at the Opera House! That was real “bucket list” material! And one final gig at The Metro – my favourite concert venue in Sydney, seeing The Stranglers, no less! And going with my best mate, Steven. It was wonderful having the time with him that I had this time round. And meeting his two beautiful daughters, Kristen and Jessica. We’d been mates for 25 years. Amazing! We’d had our ups and downs, but our friendship survived and is stronger than ever.

The ballet was AMAZING! I love ballet but have only ever seen it on TV. This was my first ever live ballet…and what a venue! The SYDNEY BLOODY OPERA HOUSE!!! I’d seen a couple of plays in there…but not anything musical…no pop concert, no opera or ballet. I saw Swan Lake and it was wonderful! I was fighting off a cold when I went, but still had the most wonderful time.

And The Stranglers!!!! What a gig that was!!! You can read my review of it if you use the search bar on the blog and look for The Stranglers. Suffice it to say here, they were FUCKING AMAZING!! Steven really only just came along for company…but we both had a whale! He loved it as much as I did. It was a fab night out to end on.

I had just a few days left to go and I didn’t want to leave mum. I didn’t want to come back home yet…but I thought I needed to. I thought I was going to be needed for something here. As it turned out, I wasn’t, and could have extended my stay out in Oz like I had wanted to. I was going to extend my stay until at least June. Hindsight, eh? It’s a bugger! The shitty thing is, I knew it was going to happen…but I couldn’t chance it. Oh, well.

My goodbye with mum was painful. As much as we drove each other nuts, she didn’t want me to go…and I really didn’t want to leave! She had a lovely lady caring for her, coming to see her 3/4 times a week, and so I consoled myself and convinced myself she’d be ok (not so).

By April 25th I was back home and worrying about her while being back to being 12,000 miles away. I felt helpless enough BEING WITH HER, let alone being back on the other side of the world.

The end of April felt like it had all the goodness sucked out of it, but I took comfort in it being (apart from the odd slip – a BIG one, losing Bowie) one of the most amazing starts to a year I had ever experienced.

Song of the month? Skin Deep!

Reflections In 2016 – February and March

(Images are of various bits of interactivity on the SM Facebook page. Click the images to enlarge and view.)

February started out OK, from memory. The weather was still mild at times. Of course there were some hot days through January and into the early part of Feb, but there were good spells of relief with cooler days in between.

As for the Minds interactivity with my art? It just kept going on! It actually ramped up! Jim shared several of my lyric pieces on the main SMO page. He also replied to lots of comments and things. It was amazing! Every day there seemed to be something new. Something that would make my day and put me on a cloud. It was WONDERFUL.

Most of February, and into the middle of March, I stayed home with mum. I ventured out to my second visit to Catmosphere, a cat cafe in the centre of Sydney.

My first visit was on January 5th…the afternoon of the day Jim shared the Hunter And The Hunted art piece. My second visit become just as auspicious, for the printed copy of the HATH piece I had my OH to print up and send to SM management, had come back personally signed by Jim.

The weather turned by mid Feb and was stinking hot. Day after day after day. It just seemed to go on and on. It made for some touch, tetchy times between myself and mum. Mum kept having fainting spells and trouble with food, and she’s so bloody stubborn, I couldn’t suggest anything. I was being a mother’s daughter and doing as I was told rather than standing up to her and making her do things that would have been best for her. But, I just wanted to be with her and enjoy the time I had left with her…so maybe I was being selfish too?

I finally got a proper bed to sleep on too. I’d been sleeping on a sofa bed the whole time I’d been there (mid Sept.) and although it seemed comfy enough at first…after a few weeks, OUCH!

The hot weather continued into March, as did all the wonderful interactivity with Jim on the Minds FB page.

I had a really bad day in early March. I still can’t go into the why. I do not want to give the person concerned ammunition, or a sense that they made me feel very threatened and scared at times…but it was a bad day. And so to put my mind off it, I did a piece for Spaceface. I wrote a message to Jim about the bad day I was having, that I almost didn’t work on a lyric piece that day and just what Spaceface meant to me. That it lifted me. That it was my happy song. And I’ve talked about this several times this year already…but it meant everything. He shared the piece on the wall…and I cried and cried.

My “Spaceface” moment as I now refer to it. My Spaceface moment happened.

I visited Adelaide for a second time on my trip out to Oz. My first visit (my very first visit to Adelaide, ever!) was in the October. My return trip was highly anticipated. Mum and I needed a break from each other.
My second time with Janis and the rest of her family was again, wonderful. Janis herself, her husband, Jim and their three kids are just the most beautiful people. And Adelaide is a beautiful place. I really did fall in love with it. A lovely city. Not a huge place. Just right. Oh, and the hills!!! The Adelaide Hills where Janis lives! The food! The countryside! Just beautiful.

I had new tattoos done while I was over there, in a town called Hahndorf. Established by German settlers. What a lovely place! Janis held my hand as I got “inked up” with my Simple Minds tattoo and had my original rosebud tattoo I’d had done 23 years earlier, re-inked. Plus a late, impromptu addition of a bluebird flying away from the rosebud on my left shoulder, in homage to David Bowie. One of his final recorded songs, Lazarus, contains the line “I’ll be free, just like that bluebird.”

A few days later, my second real “wow” moment of the year. Sharing yet another art piece on the SMO wall…and Jim REQUESTING a copy of it to hang on his studio wall. The Hunter And The Hunted thing was one thing…and a very beautiful thing it was. And it will always be special…but to have Jim, without me ever suggesting it, make a personal request for a printed copy of my “Somebody Up There Likes You/Waterfront” piece just…took my breath away.

I’m forever having to label it like that. Lol. I did the piece as a visual interpretation for Somebody Up There Likes You, but beautiful Sir saw it as Waterfront, because of the image of the band I used and from me placing them on the beach. So, it has a duel title. 🙂

Song of this part of the year has to be Spaceface…