I take Sid out for a walk for his daily internet, many wee transfers and a few downloads leave for a happy dog. He likes to run ahead darting around as if he has a scent for something delicious. He often will roll in Sheep shit and […]
I take Sid out for a walk for his daily internet, many wee transfers and a few downloads leave for a happy dog. He likes to run ahead darting around as if he has a scent for something delicious. He often will roll in Sheep shit and he loves a puddle, or a lake, lapping up the muddy water, the cold cold water of winter. Once we get back to the garden gate his grin and panting slows to a stubborn stop as he knows its shower time, mud and more mud is sprayed from his undercarriage before he can come back into the house and his bed. It’s a dogs life. He sees the World is from his cosy corner underneath the stairs where he has his bowls, water, clean, and dog food, biscuits. There he sleeps like a teenager all day curled up only looking up to give you the eye as you walk past into the beyond of his day. Because he is a small dog if he sees a bigger dog on a walk he will puff up his coat so he looks like he is in the hairdressers. For a moment while he snarls and pulls up to look menacing he must feel ten feet tall, yet his is just a small dog and like all dogs can bite, and can be an arsehole but mostly loveable, at least to the kids and people who visit our house. His routine is perfect. He comes alive mostly at night, he loves to prowl around the garden looking and hearing, being there to catch the misunderstood of the darkness. Possibly Rabbits. He can do a good impression of a starving dog too, sitting correctly at the table with his eager nose towards the food, his paws all in a row. He can do a good sleep, but sometimes he creeps upstairs to the whispered words, ‘get back down’. He does, tail between his furry legs. We leave the radio on for him when we go out, FIP he loves, and he likes a digital clock at night while he sleeps. As we all leave for our beds up the wooded hills he sighs and turns in on his dirty white towel and pillow upon his nice whicker basket, his home. Sid is a silly sod he spends his day wanting, like all of us.
The year ahead looks like Sids, a routine of touring and being in a band, turning up and being that bloke in Squeeze, thats me, and thats the life I love. It has its rewards for sure, and as I get older the more respectful I become for them. Shaving off hours on buses between shows and being on the A this and M that in my Audi is how the year will pan out. There is lots of work on the horizon, tours mostly all year with Squash and then some on my todd, some with friends. All to be announced very shortly, and it will be my turn to go out for walks and get my internet, cases pulled from under the bed, shirts shoes and suits, guitars and socks. It’s all coming down the pipe at a rate of knots. Four more weeks and then whizz, off again. I did my first solo show of the year in Broadstairs the other week, I was lifted, it was a wonderful night, thanks to Melvin for his support and love, and to Arcelia who are spot on with harmonies and hugs. Thanks also to the moment that was the show, thanks to the people in the audience they seemed very happy with my banter, the songs, and the way I managed to just get to the end without falling apart. I was on a thin wire, but without this in my life I would be just the bloke in Squeeze, doing these shows gives me firm foundation, the me that came along before all of that, all that has been before, for better, for worse. I never thought I would find me this late in life, although it’s not that late in dog years. Five hours in the car, a curry and some laughs, thats all you need in life, it’s as simple as that. Broadstairs was such a song, such a great start to the year giving me the balance that I needed after feeling bruised from one thing and another, possibly a bigger dog with bones to bury. The drive home was on icy roads, cold and empty across the Kentish countryside, which I love, through T Wells and down the underpants of the A22 into Lewes and home with young Mel as co pilot we listen to Something Understood on Radio Four, a show I love to listen to on a Sunday night, this episode was about arguments and negotiations and what that means. The goodness you can find in discussion, the rights the wrongs and the bits unsaid. Our truth, our perception our own reality within. Mark Tully has a voice that lulls me into each word as if it’s my home.
Talking and talking, it’s all about finding a place where one can tell the truth and in this month there be, it’s often hard to release those feelings which come with gallons of misunderstanding and under negotiated sentences. Over many many years of being in therapy I enjoy the wording, the digging deep, the hollow hull of belief that by saying and feeling you might ever get to the bottom of who you are and why, it’s a lifetimes work, at least for me. I have little by way of friends so talking to someone who is in a comfy chair feels safe and gives me the space to be who I am. This year has started like last year with trips to the comfy chairs for exchanges of feelings hoping to find the similarity’s in relationships and unearthing the truth about life, love and all of the above. Finding trust in friendships has left some trauma, enough to eat for now, all you can eat. It’s never easy when it’s easy. Some people perform well in the past, they pull a bow and release the arrow, it hits you in the chest and you have to defend yourself, I cant be like that but I can defend myself, often in silence. The past is the reason why we are all here and I have to acknowledge my part in that, the now is the place where all reality and trust becomes itself, and thats where bridges are built fences mended. Hit me with your rhythm stick and all that. Each January is thrilled to host these hours of often painful reflection, but the healthy me survives, just, and can only sing for his supper when the chips are down, and the fish too. Without the discussions, mediation, therapy, without the feelings without the fear where would I be, in the care home of tomorrow where I will end up for sure. Looking back from a tartan blanket into the past where all of this sits like silt at the bottom of a good bottle of wine no good for anyone, a vintage though indeed, I will be there. Within all of this nothing is more calming than the peace of night, in bed thinking and praying, seeing the darkness as it falls, sleep covers me in its love and I feel at one with the me that can only ever be allowed to shine in the self preservation of my own soul. The comfy chair is the perhaps the grandmother I never had, the comfy chair is where for the last 26 years I have sat and revealed most of the misunderstood most of the person who walks upon the stage and sings the song that paid for my therapy. January is very much a month to get the boat out of the water and see what needs doing, remove barnacles from that hull and touch up the paint work, it’s a good month for the spirit and the soul. Also a good month for writing. The lemon always needs squeezing.
Each morning an ear worm, today was Bonnie M yesterday was Joni Mitchel and the day before that Donovan, the very first thing I hear in my head when I wake up is unplanned and comes from a jukebox hidden away at the bottom of the sleepy stairs. It’s swift and never lasts long but it leaves me asking so many questions about why did Bonnie M suddenly pop into my head like that, uninvited. A secret Lemonade drinker almost sent me over the edge. Broken sleep from normally four or five ups in the night, standing asleep trying hard not to let the committee into my head, I want no words at that moment just fulfilment. Back to the covers, back to the womb and then up again a few hours later, and then to top it all off the sun comes through the blinds to the sound of Bonny M. Why? Downstairs I can hear old Sid in his basket huffing, turning and sleeping, I hear the kids going to school peeing like horses in the toilet next door. Morning has broken like the first morning, and Louise always being ever so lovely.
Outside my study the birds flock to the bird feeder in a tree, its Squirrel proof. So far there is no sign of them, they normally arrive like a bunch of skinheads and beat up the garden with their attitude with a need to be fed, birds fly away as they try to knock the feeder to the ground. Not this one though, fresh from Amazon. Sid likes a Squirrel, he bolts after them and looks completely miffed as they leap up the side of a tree, he stands tail rigid to the sky as if to scratch his head, how could this be! The garden is cold looking full of silver frost, hard like a skinhead, soft like the vision in my morning eyes. I procrastinate in my study as I move things around trying to nest, trying to find the peace in me to write, but it’s not there. So I move things around some more. I watch the garden for action. It’s getting colder. January is when nature sleeps and goes to ground, it must have its own therapy as it wrestles with the seasons the changes and the growth of tomorrow. But there is no comfy chair out in my garden just the bench by the greenhouse, from here I can see the little birds in my new feeder noshing away on the seed, how come when I was younger this had no meaning for me, the garden was a place I sat in the summer or kicked a ball. I can now afford to take it all in as I see the year heading towards me with its marvel, its warmth and ambition which I hope will serve me well. It takes time to know who you are and where you are going, to say I’m sorry, to move on and to feed the birds walk the dog and believe in nature as the power of all things. Last week at the show another penny started to drop for me, it will spin for a few more months. A few months and then it will fall flat on its side, head of tails I will not gamble upon, today for me I seek nothing more than the first word on the next page.