The start of the year is always like this, lots of thinking and planning, bedding in the mental plants and reaching out for ideas. I love it. A few weeks in the studio with Mr T planning talking eating and getting closer to that reason. We have compiled a list of songs we intend to record for our new album, we have list of over 15 but it will whittle down to the standard size. Being up in the studio has its drawbacks the long drives from home often wears me out, every album we have recorded in the last 20 years has been the same, but its my choice to live in paradise, and its at the end of a very long rainbow. The barn has been floating in the rain that falls from the winter sky and the heating has struggled to warm up all of the rooms, its not easy to warm such a big old barn. Iv started staying at The Grazing Goat when im in London, a small tidy pub, its cheaper than Home House where i used to stay and the food is much better. I stayed at GG’s on route to Leeds to see the studio that Bob Bradley has in the heart of the city, its clean tidy and wonderful, an inspiration indeed. Peter Bradley and i have been helping Dom to write some new songs, he is 16 years old and very smart, a good actor, now in the West End and a good songwriter too. Cissy turn 20 and we had some food in London, Tom her boyfriend came along and he seems really nice, a gentle soul like Cissy and i hope he treats her well and keeps her happy and she him too. Its lovely to see. Grace came back from her holiday in Sri Lanker, all tanned up and ready to work. Riley got married in New York to the beautiful Natasha, so pleased for them both and my old mate Chalkie Davis sent me some great pictures of the big day. So sad not to be there. It seems like only minutes ago that Riley was in the bath with his Thomas The Tank Engine toys and speaking in a tiny voice, he was cute and lost inside the not knowing of family life. I miss him.Two big events for me this month were signing my publishing deal with Nettwork, it was so great to be back in bed, as it were, with the great Steve Lewes. The other being a writers workshop at the Idler Book Shop, two Sundays in a row. I really enjoyed the gentle days roll with it, and cake. I met some really nice people as i always do at these events. January, sick and tired you been hanging on me, don’t go don’t go…. And then back around the M25 for more writing with T. We have some lovely ones to work with and it seems like a shared experience for the first time in many years. My book now closes with a chapter about the joining of the circle in life in happiness and home. As i crawl through the deepness of age i wonder in to the woods where i can see nothing but trees but if i keep looking i can see the sky above and a gap where tomorrow seems to be. The woods is where you will always find me, there on the path looking for sunlight walking on fallen leaves and holding on to the air as it streams past me with its winter chill. Its refreshing and fills my life with lovely feelings. So this is the beginning of the year and i believe it will be a good year, there is no point living if you think any different. I ur towards to deep and the negative some times, but as i get older i say give a toss about the future, there may not be too much of it left. Expressing the wilt of imagination as it wains is normally a tender place, im not there. Its a happy cold winter but there is so much to feel warm about. The barn looks sunken on a field of mud under the brown of the downs, where sheep waltz and rest, here we sleep like ants in a nest waiting for the summer to drag us all outside to reach for twigs and storage.
Archives for January 2015
Its been a good year for the roses and a good year for the nettles too, here in this field sits the sound of another year crunching by. But to review for me here, just a gentle breeze across a muddy paddock, From whence we came and back again distant shrinking ideas. A promise of a blue sky with a sunset Shepard’s would warn of, and they can lurch. This incredible dreaming that wakes only the dawn, and the snoring of the lad as he lay there weighted down by his years, passing like bees on over a garden delighted by bloom and flower. From number 18 to the barn, the sun shone down on us as we moved our lives, the fields were bursting with crop and colour it was a magical moment.
The removal men came down the track in those vans, and the furniture of two lives fell onto floors and hung upon walls. It was here where it all begun where the wind licks each day like a lolly. The remarkable milage of work, up the A23 and on and on, and then back like a fox into his lair. Each stage another mile deeper and another day longer in light. How could it ever be anything more than this. Words thick with ambition and with hope, how can i spare the words from this mouth where so much is said without attachment. Every other hair, grey. Chins fold like a purse out onto the counter of universal thinking.
Its another day here on the corner of the page. The raked stages of the tour served us well, and the bed we woke up in we woke up in together, it was a fine addition to the year, and thank you again to all who took part. Thank you Glenn. The boys from Cavan, they wrote they played they recorded and all will be revealed in the coming months, talent is younger than it imagines, its an ego worth watching as it grows into the butterfly of late teenage years. Wonderful stuff Dorris. From within the Rocket ship i can feel the excitement and muted vale, it rings my name on an email where i balance like a spoon on a bowl of soup, tomato soup from a can, like Mum used to make. The taste of the time always made me feel welcome and at home. The old days, they seem closer than the new days. True intelligence operates silently.
Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found. Stillness suites me. And in other news my year rolled over like a dog begging for a bone, as i sat in the waiting room for another scan, another trip to see the Doc, but all is well in the health neighbourhood, just a few creeping doors to fix and a leaking roof or two. Its a long road this one, i remember well the age of stupidity and charm, the calmness in being pickled in larger. Those days seem 24 years back along the track, where once i came, but was it so bad and will it change. Change is not for the feint hearted and for me im sure that day by day im right where i need to be, confused by the rope ladder but certain of the one. I need not use myself as a drain in that way, but food it sits heavy on my belt, the veranda above the toy shop is laden with comfort, nice in dreams nice in reality, the food of love the food of thought.
My book you say, yes my book it nears its completion in a slow cooked kind of way, when it comes out of the over the meat will just fall off the bone and all will be revealed. Im so blessed with the words i have laid, like stones on a path. Revealing as it may be nothing there is found without thought and care, there are times when i skip from one year to the next, sometimes four of five years, i move like a fog across all of my life, a low mist if you like on the rolling hills where time shelters. This time next year so much may have changed, moved on, settled and revealed. Hard work sits in the top drawer, flying will come back into my pants, America, and beyond, it will all seem like only yesterday when that pain laid me to waste. Fear it bites me on the emotional bum, but i have had a good run at it, no sky this year. no baggage claim looking relieved and victorious.
A year ahead, it sits there in its shell an illusion much like the past, but love cradles my joy with wonderful smiles and giving heart. I reach out of my inside pocket to grab the cashmere jumper which covers the body of the one i love, in that warm embrace the childlike snakes and ladders of words with emotions, as the days roll by. Darkness now with its dagger like claws with a sky full of stars, this is the country, this is the rooftop where the stars shine, no light will disturb this view. The stars, the crescent Moon. The cold lick of night where daylight feeds into the black, the hungry black night with its winter winds of turning covers, the frost of grey from the beard of old man weather. Shrunken here like nuggets of gold, they sleep, one silver one stone, the obtuse teenage exaggeration into man, into the next room where it all waits like a train coming through a tunnel.
Here it comes. Here it goes at my age, the tunnel is lit with the passing steam, the train has rattled through the wind of days gone by brushes my face, the last carriage has a seat for me, if only i can climb on board to feel the journey, i will make it onto that train, as the New Year kicks me into the long cold grass. Where can i find my Mother to say goodnight to, she is gone some years and Dad, for he was Dad, a tall man, he is in my thoughts too, as he too has his won train to catch, from this Eden to the next to the heaven where we all must go. Are they there waiting for me like in the fairytale books, does the light simply go out, the feelings stop, thats that, nothing more, spent like meat. This year has passed too with its wonderful feelings, its joy and laughter, its love its hope. Calm. You “get” there by realizing that you are there already.
But wait, those five minutes of peace, when the lights go out and all is calm, the dog in its basket, children in bed the Owl on the Barn and beside me gently sleeps. The light goes out and there is this five minute gap in the day when darkness holds me, quite shocks me and the sense of tomorrow seems distant by some degree. Eight hours or so, and there i go where i know not where but there i go, off into the dream field where i win prizes, i see strangers i hold on to trees and climb mountains only to fall, jolt and wake. Those few golden moments are a treat. The shutters roll down very quickly theses days and counting sheep seems far away, but sometimes, normally after a late pudding, i wake around 3am, the head fills with people and problems we sit around the Oak table and natter like fish wives, but nothing seems resolved, i swear in my head to sleep, but it feels out of reach, im nervous of ruining my day with feelings of tiredness and then the meeting is closed, the room empties and im lost in a deep slumber just before the dawn.
And its New Year, 2015, all good and all happy like sheep in sunshine. There is much to do, it feels like the calm before the. We will be into the new album shortly, the book, The Strypes phase two and onwards. Some Jazz between the slices a possible Pantomime. Plans, and tours a foot too, America, planes, and hotels, UK tour in October, catering and Gordon in the car with me, A this and B that roads. What else. More Buddy Holly friendships this year coming soon. Writers weeks and weekends teaching what can’t always be taught. But its being there. Kids getting older, Nat bags 34 no less. Riley still 15. Grace and Cissy racing through the years. I feel like im standing in a wind tunnel trying to keep standing all the while, but here i am and there i should be. 2015 is such a great sounding year, it looks good on paper and im feeling full of optimism and happiness about its arrival. 365 days all one at a time, all different but the same. The weather, the sun and the rain. Here we go round the Mulberry Bush, Circle Game, Send in The Clowns. All in my head like tin soldiers marching upon my memory banks, there in the corner of each flashing shot.
Streaming music grew a remarkable 54 percent in 2014, moving from 106 billion songs in 2013 to 164 billion in 2014. That growth contrasts with traditional song downloads that dropped off significantly from 2013. Paid downloads for full music albums declined 9 percent in 2014, with individual song downloads seeing an even larger 12 percent drop-off. Overall, according to SoundScan, Americans bought 257 million albums in 2014, 106.5 million of which were downloaded digitally. So how do we get paid, how do we get paid. We are about to see the biggest change in our lives, the old way is in the history books now today its all about streaming, its all about having your music for free. The hippies are right on. Free for all. Im lucky i have been paid through the years in fine form but how do the young survive the change, bums on seats, but to get them there you need radio and you need streaming. Ed has it about right, he sells out around the world and he sells millions of records too. Bring back Top Of The Pops and stream that too.
Grace is in Kandy Sri Lanka keeping safe, Cissy is in London, Nat is in New York, Riley is in love and im not sure where that is. Glenn is in Thailand playing a gig with his family, me and her in the doors are here in a field. Mum and Dad are in heaven finding each other. Les is up there too. Lew very much in my life as ever and for ever will be. A guardian an angel too. Me, i look in the mirror and i see the roof garden is getting thin on top, i can see the curve of my head like a full Moon above me and if i should lose my hair, on top of wearing glasses, will the next stop be a hearing aid?
So its New Years, its 15 not 14 and all to play for much love to share much chords to learn and so many words to write. A journey so unique only i can really know what life is all about, as i am. The cusp of two years joining like clouds in the sky, like lips across white sheets. Two Apples in a bowl touching. I feel so lucky and although im not a clown i do feel the laughter of all, the heads that must hang low today, New Years day, the hearts resolved, matched by love, embraced by the movement of time. A clock whispers the hour and outside a bird looks into the mirror on the car, it thinks it has found its soul mate as it taps on the glass perched on the side of the drivers door. A glance into the next World where that bird will sing. Happy days to you all, happy hours of music laughter and love, happy images of art and nature. Resolutions are hard to abide by but, write more, walk more, be more and be a lucky man. One year supersedes another and thats why I truly am a Lucky Man. Lucky Man!