Wonderful Memories

There are some nights when finding myself alone I end up walking the pages of Youtube. Its a veritable memory lane really and it brings back such powerful and emotional memories.

There is the video of Sandie Shaw that reminds me of our black and white TV with curtains in the small living room of the two up two down that was home in Westlands Road, Hull. I would sneek down to watch Top of the Pops and I do remember how I hated the Rolling Stones but adored Ms. Shaw. Cuddled in beside my Mum on the sofa watching the black and white box in the corner. How innocent I was… we all seemed to be back in the 1960s.

Later we moved to Willerby…. it was a ‘posh’ neighbourhood on the outskirts of Hull. We had a huge backyard with veggie patch and a lawn we could play football on. I actually had my own room – you could barely swing a cat in it but it was mine…..

I grew up in the 70’s and what a time that was…. TRextasy swept me up and I can still remember buying used singles for 50p in the market and then playing them in the front room over and over and over again until my poor parents were ready to scream. I really liked Jeepster among the singles but it was usually the B-sides that captivated me – Jitterbug Love, Sunken Rags, Thunderwing and more…. My first LP was Ride A White Swan, a compilation of T.Rex. When others moved on to Slade and The Sweet, I stayed loyal…. T. Rex all the way. I was gutted when Marc Bolan died in 1978 just a few months after I decided not to go to Hornsea to see him because I would have plenty of time…..

Of course, my tastes did change…. I was in awe of David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars (who were actually, like me, from Hull…. though to some folk, that is more or less Mars). The Jean Genie – what a song! I listen to that and I am instantly transported to that era when singles sold by the thousands a day and dreams were real.

Back then, I was in a band. We met every thursday night and strummed acoustic guitars and dreamed while playing records….. when we got a little older my Dad would furnish his home brew and lemonade and make sure his ear plugs were in because we had gone electric… Our name was NEMO – not like the fish but like Captain Nemo. We thought it was funny that Nemo was no one in latin…. No one in concert! I wrote our biggest song – Norma Jean – and we recorded it in the local studio. I will never forget my Dad and how impressed he was and how he got us on Radio Humberside.

Of course, the local tarot lady told me back then I had a choice…. books or guitar. If I chose guitar I would enjoy only mediocre success on the other hand books would get me my dreams… I listened. I wonder why. Guitar would have been so much more fun.

But its impossible to capture the magic of the 70’s. Next I got urned on to the Quo. It was a Frenchman that did it but thats another story.

Of course, our generation lucked out again with punk. I mean I was right there when the Pistols, Clash, Cure, Blondie, the list is endless, exploded on the scene. As stage manager at Aston University I actually got to meet many of them including the Police, Wreckless Eric, Lene Lovitch and I snogged Rachel Sweet…Can’t be bad now can it. The Police asked me to join them. That story appears elsewhere on this blog and I said NO…. why?

Back in those days I hitched everywhere. I recall my Dad dropping me off on the M1 so I could hitch back to Aston on a Sunday night! Back in Birmingham, a young lady by the name of Paula waited for me in a warm place….. she knitted me gloves for Xmas complete with fingers. My Mum said she must love me…LOL!

In time Paula went by the wayside but the first true love always has a place….

By this time, I was getting cocky along with the music… I recall meeting an absolute doll the night I graduated. She asked me how I did, I told her I got a first and the next thing I know … well probably best not said…. Life was dangerous and edgy just like the music.

Leaving Aston I was lucky enough to get a PhD topic that involved flying to North America for fieldwork -Nova Scotia. I arrived in the summer of 1978 looking like a copy of Sting. White T-Shirt with safety pins, black leather trousers, sneakers, spikey blonde hair and not an inch of fat anywhere… It took me all of two days to hook up with the town belle who thought she had found a pop star…. what fun! Of course, by then I was listening to Bryan Adams….

Memories. What a life.

I took my eldest son to Wembley to see Mr. Adams when he was what 4? Wonder if he remembers….

Me, I’m off to bed recalling what a lucky sod I have been….with a tear in my eye.

The One Star

The one star
What does that mean?
Is it a teacher’s kiss
Or are you being mean?

A one star
Signals more than dislike
It’s a slap in the face
For even trying to write

Single solitary star
Twinkling not so bright
Certainly no hexagram
You must think its pure shite

That Time of The Year

Usually, as the cold leaden skies of February march onwards and inexorably towards spring, I find myself at the doctors. It could be a chest infection, some non-specific but painful ache or indeed any number of ailments. I know this because last year, my doctor noticed it. Every year, around March time, there is a spike in doctor visits from me. His diagnosis was that I suffer from SAD. Yep – Seasonal Affective Disorder….. otherwise known as seasonal depression.

At first, I was a bit taken aback by this diagnosis but there it was right in front of me as the Doctor showed me how I am rarely if ever at the Doctor at all until the February-April period and then I am there frequently moaning about something. By the end of April, my mood improves and I am OK again. I need sunlight apparently and I am not alone. SAD is an epidemic.

So its no surprise that suddenly I feel down. I mean really down. I don’t want to go out, can’t be bothered to do anything or see anybody. I have no interest in anything at all. I feel tired.. no, exhausted and I just want to sleep. Its SAD and I know its SAD this year so I am pleased that the weather is warmer and even sunnier than most years. Perhaps, that will help and lessen the effects.

Seasonal-affective-disorder

If I get SAD after seeing less of the Sun during the winter months I wonder can I get a form of SAD on Mondays too? I think a lot of people hate Mondays and come to loathe them unable to sleep on a Sunday night and not really knowing why. I shall call this syndrome MAD from now. It strikes me that there may even be MAD and SAD people out there that barely function on February Mondays…..

For now, I’m going to dream of the beach and summer……

I Used To Dream

I used to dream
Imagine how things might be
Created thousands of lives for me
As singer, sailor, spy
Conceivably, I have done everything
That one could ever do
But none of it was true.

I used to dream
Imagine strange places off afar
And the long leisurely drives there by car
In BMW, Mercedes, Porsche
I have driven everything
Far and wide and at some speed too
But none of it was true

I used to dream
Imagine how things had once been
History lived, experienced and seen
As King, Prince, Earl
I have charmed and dined
Fought and loved, but right on cue
I knew none of it was true

I once had a dream
Lived it every day and every night
It didn’t work out quite right
In London, Houston, Prague
I worked hard and played
Though none of it seemed true
I guess this one will just have to do.

The Importance of Asking Questions

Some days I wonder. About everything. I mean, there is a lot to wonder about isn’t there?

Why do men have nipples?

Why don’t Czech men know about deodorant?

Why is GOD DOG spelt backwards?

Why does Wayne Rooney get paid so much money?

What happened to Trilobites?

That sort of question. Questions to which there are really no definitive answers.

next-big-question

My favorite question is ‘What am I?’ I see and interact with a world that I sense but I at times of perhaps total lunacy entertain the idea that it is My world. There is only me. Everything is me. It maybe sounds arrogant but I don’t mean it that way. There is just a gulf between the real (me) and what seems to be real (the world) that confounds me.

I have always thought like this and asked those questions. Even as a child. ‘What am I?’ ‘Why am I here?’

Not being able to answer these questions literally drives me mad. I cannot stand the not knowing what the hell everything is. It must be something surely but why? See! Questions and questions.

We must always ask questions and contemplate even if there is no answer. In the quiet contemplation of the question, images and thoughts arise spontaneously as insights. We may not ever answer the question itself but we can prise open some other secrets along the way.

Finding an Audience

How do you find an audience? Some people manage it. Others don’t. Is it luck? I don’t think it is necessarily talent – although my perceptions of talent my not be your view. I have blogged and written pretty much twice or more a week on this and other blogs since about 2004 or around 10-years. I don’t have much of an audience. My books don’t sell well. I have failed to find an audience. The hint though on how to build an audience was always right there. My single blog post about sex in the Czech Republic still gets more traffic than all my other writings put together. Is that a sad indictment of me or just a sad indictment full stop? Maybe I should give up? When I first started blogging there were many millions fewer blogs less than there are today so it has become much more competitive hasn’t it. The same goes with books… it is hugely competitive.

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Which really brings you to a couple of questions. The first is why do I bother? You know I don’t really know but I don’t think I could stop writing articles about life and the world as I see it even if I wanted to. A few people read the articles. You never know, I may still find an audience. More importantly, I probably enjoy talking to myself and better I do it this way than in public where people might believe me to be a nutter. The second is why haven’t I found an audience? Well, in some ways I have. On the energy and commodities side, my writings do sell and are somewhat in demand. I am recognized as an expert and I make a reasonable living talking, writing about and discussing the energy and commodities industry. Its a niche and its quiet small but I have an audience and I have a voice. As for my view on what’s right and wrong with the world – well, maybe I’m old fashioned and out of step. I still believe in manners, politeness and decorum. My poetry may sometimes be good and rarely if ever better than that but everyone writes poetry and poetry doesn’t sell – not anymore. As for writing about the esoteric – well, if you take it seriously as opposed to sensationalizing it into something its not, its also a very small niche. If the truth be told, its a whole group of related niches that are all very small.

On the other hand, maybe I am simply kidding myself. Maybe my blinkers simply don’t let me see that no one is really interested in what I think – about anything. Everyone is so full of themselves they have no interest in anyone else. Maybe I am just the same pushing myself relentlessly to a bunch of others who are pushing themselves and on and on. If so, then plainly, I have yet to identify my audience because there are consumers out there – masses of them. People who take what is put in front of them and consume it. So how do I get my stuff in front of them? Are we back to blogging about sex again I wonder……