Its been a good year, i married the woman who travels with me in my heart everywhere i go, its been a good year. It was a wild wet April wedding with horizontal rain, but we were in heaven and thank you everyone who came and made our day very special. 2013 has been all about sowing seeds and planting roots, marriage brings with it so many issues and dreams, words and ambitions. Its a learning curve. Love resides in the very soul of each day, its a wonderful thing to not understand this journey but to just take part. My brother Lew was funny at my wedding and remains the last link in the chain to my family roots, i love his humour and his constant adoration for everything i do in life. Gordon was my very best man, a man who links me with another part of my past, and with his great shoulders to lean on what could ever go wrong. The wedding was a success. Its been a good year.
Family, its all about family and roots they say, im learning all about family. Im lucky to have three lovely daughters, Natalie who is living in New York and so happy with her work. Grace who is never with a dull moment and also so busy and happy in her work, happy as Larry in London and on route to India for two months. Cissy is at Goldsmiths in London and graduated from Brighton Collage with top marks, so proud. Riley is as ever doing his best to be Riley and enjoy his own life journey, the life of Riley one might say, with fine art at Richmond Collage in London he wends his way. 33 and 30 years old, followed by a 22 and an 18 year old. That makes me 59! Then there are step’s Linus who enjoys the mother board of life, Mitzi who is a excelling at her school and lastly Pebbles who is unique and curious fun and dangerous. All seven children in their very different ways are happy. Louise is bedding us all into the future. A nest of Gemini satellites always in orbit always doing and being, its the calm and the storm all in one. Firle is still our home and its heaven on earth, our cottage is too small for us but we all somehow survive the shouting and constant demands to turn it down, put it in the dish washer, close the door, pick up your shoes, clean your room and walk the dog! Its like being on the doghams. Thats home and thats the kids on the fun fair.
Work has been all about The Strypes this year and how great they are, its been so amazing for them they should be so grateful for the journey they are on, supplied by song laughter and hard work. Niall is a wonderful man who cares and loves his job as Father and chaperone, we have become close friends. Josh is a gifted guitarist and a great songwriter who is expanding all the time, and so he should. Pete is the bass player of all bass players, a very funny chap and a great person with songs on the inside. Ross is the lead singer and is so in command of the aloof and the style. If only he wrote songs too. Evan is a great young drummer, very knowledgeable and with full opinion which is great. They have sold over 100,000 albums been to Japan twice and over to Hong Kong, all over Europe and with The Arctic Monkeys all over the UK, next year America. The songs and the energy rises every time i see them and im so grateful to be part of their journey. New songs have come to the fore and ‘Still gonna Drive You Home’ is a possible single for early 2104. Rocket management provide a warm embrace a place to fall, with Julian and Will, and his nibs, who cares so much about us all its quite incredible. Its been a good year.
Its funny but the young Strypes remind me if the young Squeeze when we were 18 years old, the same kind of issues are beginning to brew. Its family like no other, family that you marry in to and then at some point look around and wonder who everyone is. Its quizzical but it has to be. Speaking of, Squeeze (the older) played a handful of summer shows which was fun, being with the band was like being in a comfortable suit, it fitted well and kept me warm. Our concert performance from the previous year seemed to work at the festival, i was miffed but happy. Glenn got married this year, a small event and very secret, i wish Glenn and Suzanne many more years of love and happiness. Glenn’s solo album turned up on my doorstep, and i really liked it, i hope you will when it comes out soon. There are magical plans afoot for 2014, im optimistic about these plans, this time next year i will know more about how they went. Writing has been a struggle but im getting there slowly, my wick needs waxing, and time needs healing. Im working on some songs with Glenn which im excited about. A TV series based on the life of Danny Baker will have at least one of our new songs in each show, this is incredible for us and it brings us closer together i hope in many ways. I have also been writing with Boo Hewerdine for a pantomime called ‘Its Behind You’. The plot is based on the mid life crises of a man living on his own, X Prog rock star (Colin) and cross dresser unique, so lots to prepare for. Then there’s the writing of the book, of the same name, a small chapter at a time, and i love this part of my day. Writing is where my head is best placed, my heart follows swiftly behind.
2014 will see the completion of the Barn, we hope to move in around July and spend about 500 years there, we will be further into the National Park, but still in Firle. Life in the country is rich with experience, time and tradition are everything. Seasons are notable and fill the sky with change hope and sometimes joy. Each day has come so quickly, my head hits the pillow and my eyes close like the sweet shop shutters, the very next minute and im open for business once again. Same old sweets. Life treats me well as I tenderly stick my toe in the cold waters of my 60th year. It’s a landmark in numbers. A bus pass? a step closer to the great unknown. Who knows not me. So as New Year springs in around the World and fireworks crack open dark skies, i will be strapped into a Fender Guitar playing songs on stage at a convention of addicts in a hall down the M3 in Winchester. It will be another year to be wiser, another year to stretch the belt and another year to work out what this is all about. 2014 will be all it has to be, all it needs to be and i will be ever so grateful and have nothing to complain about. Its been a good year.