Sodding glitter, it was everywhere this Christmas on the cards and on the wrapping paper and then all over the house. And now i read the recycling companies wont take the paper into their machines. Thats a wrap. What a year, Glastonbury was my high and being on tour in America with the band another. Im so lucky to have such a strong focus in my life, i think it keeps me swimming along the white line. How come these years come at me with such a force, i poke my head out in January and the next minute its Christmas and there is glitter everywhere. Time is an issue and the growing number of celebrities that have passed in 16 is astounding, its moving and awakening. The list is too long to go through but here is a great link to a wonderful piece i read this week, it covers a few.
In these few days between the two walls of Christmas and New Years im blessed with a beautiful view of the Sussex Downs, melting in cold foggy air like the stage of a Cliff Richard concert. Its peaceful and shaken in the colours of winter. Inside the barn its warm enough for a polo shirt and slippers, its too nice to be indoors but i have been up since 4am ferrying Riley, my son, and his lovely wife Natasha to the airport, only to find out on my way home that they changed their flight for 8pm instead of 8am, i was where i was meant to be. In other flight news, Nat my eldest has flown to India, and having a lovely time of it by the Ganges. Grace and Cissy left yesterday also for India, all three girls in India, next year me please. I have faith that they will all be safe, healthy and wise, and full of the best curry on the planet. Its all about the curry.
Touring this year has been another learning curve for me, even after all these years there is much to learn, like the chords, and how to get on with people on and off stage. Im so proud of all of that, and how we all survived the miles and miles of driving. Much documented. Next year more of the same, a UK tour which is selling fast, and then a US tour to follow like a pudding in a nice restaurant. Florida to New York this time. Also on the menu a new album yet to be written, next week we meet to discuss the direction and how it all works, it will be another creative time. The songs will speak loudly for themselves. Studio in March and beyond, all good news. Thank God im supported by Julian and Rachael at Rocket, and Suzanne over at 45. Its a tough job getting this show on the road.
More songwriters weeks are in the pipe, one in Glastonbury and the other in Sussex, details to follow on another page. Some dates with Jools as one of his guests, i sing a few songs and delight, i drive home and sleep, delightful. My book is near its cover, but i wonder why i have written it and who would want to read about me and this journey. Its there, and if it works and it gets past the lawyers then we shall see what people think. Its a kind read. For the most part its been a lesson in writing outside of the muddy waters of verse chorus verse chorus. Also in the pipe a box set on Demon Records of my solo albums, inspired much by my lovely brother Lew. A new loud and wonderful album by The Strypes is pressing against the window. Its everything it says it is on the tin. Some great new songs all recorded at Rockfield in three weeks last month. Lots to look forward too in the coming months, all sacredly one day at a time. How wonderful.
Home is here in the field and its warm and safe, three young adults vi for attention, sweets, Netflicks, clothes and mince pies, slamming doors and the great indoors. Lifts to and from the station and elsewhere. Dishwasher phobia and pants on the floor shocker. Children are always wonderful, they reflect the past with the present a pallet for mixed up paints waiting to become a picture of themselves in a life yet to be lived. Whats not to like, as mum makes great food and puts it on the table with a smile, she is understanding and patient to these young blossoms. The chickens are a great addition to the breakfast table, and Sid gets the occasional walk across the fields of old England. Louise is kind and loving, she is also so excited about 2017 and the new house, the new build the grand design before our very eyes. Another new build, the second in three years. I will be on the M25 but she will mastermind the view into the our future.
Once i get past 70 i may slow down just to look back and see where i have been and what i may have missed along the way. I will be 70 and the children will be older too, the simmering pots of life will not calm but will be settled in their own creativity i hope. In 2017 i will be 63 and Mr T reaches 60. We could i hope celebrate the 40th anniversary of our EP Packet Of Three, songs i still love and would beam with joy to play in the set. What fun, and thats what we need, fun and joy in music while the world sits on the fractured unsteady rock of the unknown. It would be perfect to wallow in the what if’s and shine bright lights on the way things are, as they are, and what they are is how it will be. Music Hall was the answer to the old grey days of my parents youth, a joke or two, some fun music to dance to and some hanky panky time. Turn up the amps im coming in. People want candy.
I feel as nervous about the future as the next person but to nappy up and weave a jumper of gloom would be far too easy, although i have had sleepless nights in the past few months. Trump is going to be a careful watch, not that i know much about politics but i know a lot about fear. Im hoping to ward off the darkness with some joy and love. Flowers in barrels, peace marches and bed ins. All we need is love, peace on earth and Woodstock in a can. Tweet life, Instagram conversations and pictures of passing strangers on a small screen. Was i liked? Nurse bring me the morphine please. I want to survive but with pretty colours and dreams of old England and glitter on the dance floor. And then i woke up. China, Russia and North Korea, America Israel and Iran, Syria Libya, Sudan. Deptford and the M25 and M4. Its all going to kick off at some point, just as i find my home just as a have a number one album, just as i bank some more happiness. Hilarious. I must first check my Facebook page, see whats going on, i must look out of the window, i must check my Twitter feed to see whats being said, i must look out of the window. Look, Instagram, there is a cat with a funny face, i must look out of the window.
Outside of my window above my desk where i sit i can see the mist as it perches on the downs, i see the still trees, i feel the cold and the effortless passing of time, only marked by the hourly beeps of the radio four news in the next room. No wind, no sky, nothing but heaven and optimism before me. I can grasp the shadows as they sit long in the day, and within them my story unravels like a carpet before me. A fly wakes up and buzzes past me, im inclined to open a window and by doing so let the thing out, and into the cold, where the fly will regret annoying me at my desk. And then it stops, it sits with its legs above its head licking itself like flies do. Outside of my window a calm silver frost turns to dew on the green grass of home. The fly is getting louder and circles my head one more time. I stand up to challenge the fly but its gone. For now. Outside the window the busy world is a few fields away, cars passing, delivery vans and buses, trains empty pass in the not too distant. 2017 hovers around me like the fly, it looms, it beckons, it tantalises me with its danger and hope, its calling from a new years eve not far away from here now. It has its legs above its head. A plane gently passes above the barn, what can he see from up there. The chickens shovel with their feet the ground away so they can find things to eat, and then eggs. Thats how it all works, one thing leads to another. Words and music, one thing leads to another, kisses and hugs, one thing leads to another. The beeps, one thing leads to another.
Today i have cleaned up my desk and my study ready for the New Year, its had a dust and move around, im ready to write and ready to let the new days in. Im so happy here at my desk, in this home with Louise, its a creative space only i can sit and numb, or disrespect. The fog i think is significant, it brings mystery to this day, within its gentle falling i feel safe, here at my desk i can grasp the nettle and figure out what tomorrow brings. I have so much to write, its always about the first verse, and the dedication to its journey beyond my conciseness. Somedays its treacle and other days its spring water flowing, today it feels like the taxi out, the long breath into the sky. As darkness falls i can almost see nothing peering into my window, with nothing there is bliss. I feel very lucky im loved by my wonderful family and friends, they are everything to me. So i wish everyone happiness and long nights of sleep, joy in music and food on the table. A fearless journey into the coming year, and all the love in the universe to hold. Keep coming back, it works if you work it.