Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Different Time and Space

Ok, so its been a week or so since my last blog....

My last ramblings had over 700 views, so I figured that maybe, despite my ever present insecurities people weren't in fact just being polite and may actually be inquisitive regarding my inane babblings.

You remember that feeling you had when you'd finished all your exams but still had to go to school for like two more weeks before the summer holidays began? Well my last week in Plymouth was a little like that.... Having said that it was a wonderful last week and the sun shone on the blood spattered pavements and green parks of our beloved home town. I managed to reconnect with many of my dearest friends before I legged it, and was even lucky enough to be at a house party with the PJP boys (minus PJP) the night before I left town. A proper dance party too....the kind with broken ankles, broken glass and broken hearts all round.....A real hummdinger!!!

I got a very strange feeling at about 10 o'clock that night. I just needed to be on my own. With Blondie cranked up to 11 in the front room I ambled upstairs and sat with cigarette and head in hands, smoke and mind whirling. I felt the weight of the moment, tangibly. A real shift was occuring, the last time I felt that so keenly I was asking out the girl who was to become my wife. It really felt, as the heart of glass screamed from downstairs, that my life had once again reached a crossroads. One thing was ending and another starting. Not really melancholy, but something very close. Sometimes, no matter how much fun you are having, you need to be on your own to let your brain reach its own conclusions. Anyway, after an hour of goodbyes, especially to my new Plymouth comrades, the lovely Rach, Butters and Jono (3 hugs) I hit the hay and promised myself i'd get up in time for the big off.

I didn't.....

However, after a rushed breakfast with some of my family I split and finally felt on my way.

I met my good friend Thom Allard in London for ice cream and frisbee, then waited for my flight. T'was on one o'them big bugger airbus 5million things.....a doubledecker plane.....as if!!!! 
After a take-off (during which I felt a truly genuine smile of liberation spreading across my stupid mug) the flights took 22 hours, and despite the service being great, sleep was almost impossible, especially since a pretty big guy sat and snored next to me and was sleep breathing on my arm (oh gaaaaaaaaad!!!), anyhow I got totally under the free blanket, head to toe, and at least thought about how blissful sleep would be. After a brief Tramadol tinged mooch around singapore airport we were off again and suddenly were landing at Melbourne airport.

I was so tired by this point that I thought I was in the future and last wednesday all at the same time... life was in slow mo, but I got through customs and only had to declare my conducting batons (they're made of wood.....dodgy ground when coming into Oz). Sweet......I'm through. Buy big bottle of rum and meet Doug! 

There he stands grinning like an idiot and having had a cold, honking like a goose. Still, nothing at all has changed. So great to see him again. Put on a coat, he says, its freezing. It wasn't....it was a little bit chilly, but then I routinely work in -17 in Oslo....Aussie winter don't scare me!!! 

Doug goes off to work and i'm left with his trusty sidekick and beautiful gal, Sienna Doll. We drank coffee at the local in Fitzroy, 'Atomica'. Holy shit, the coffee here is amazing. The cigarettes are expensive, so I'll choose coffee as my vice instead. Much better than the UK (sorry, but you didn't really think that coffee was good in blighty right?). We then walked all around this area that i'll be calling home, until I decide what comes next. Its so cool.... bohemian and gritty. Loadsa good bars and juke joints. I'll post pics to my FB soon, dont panic (I know you'll all be panicking about that huh?!).

I think i'm gonna like it here.....a lot. Some of my new house mates work at a coffee house 100 yards from the house called 'The Black Cat', and its here I sit to pen this ponderous tome. Its a local hub, so much going on and a great vibe. More hipsters than you can shake a fully analogue, vinyl playing, type-written, organic stick at. Loads of good graff to (again, pix to come) and i'm trying my best to be super friendly and outgoing. Not always the easiest thing, when you're me. Aussie's are super friendly though and its not difficult to imagine being part of the local scene already.

So what have I done......I've eaten Kangaroo.....it tastes wonderful. Like gamier steak....ish.
Oh and i've got a new tattoo already, courtesy of Doug, one needle, a quarter or rum and quite a lot of pain. Its a tribute to my best mates in the PJP band......OUF! 

With no small amount of caution I would say that I think I may have beaten the jet-lag into submission after but one day! I stayed up all the first day here until I was literally delirious and slept through to 9 the next morning. I'd say that the cider, beer and hardcore painkillers helped, but I figure if I can keep that up for a few more days i'll be over the worst of it (and pickled too, but....meh!?).

And so to the grizzly arena of true feelings and emotions....
Its true to say that time and space are the best healers, but they are essentially mere distractions. Its hard work despite the 12'000 miles to forget the turbulence of the last few months. I'm trying though, and am regaining my stolen confidence inch my inch. I do feel displaced and am keeping the pangs of true reality at bay by indulging the non-reality of my current situation. Its hard to know how to be selfish, look after number one and live life in the moment, with no plan, if you ain't done it for years and years. Once again, i'm trying though. I'm fooling myself for my own good. Like my little sis says, 'We ARE who we pretend to be'. Maybe i'll pretend to be sorted and confident and on it eh?!

This might not mean much to most of y'all, but my closest will know where this comes from. Today I ate breakfast outside a cafe in a busy street....ON MY OWN, with no book, iphone or headphones to hide my obvious discomfort. Baby steps eh? Still, having finished and being still in somewhat of a daze.....I left without paying.....just been back. "No Dramas" they shout as I leave.....Oz is cool :)

This week i'm gonna go to a few gigs and hopefully meet up with friends of friends of friends to get to know the area from a different perspective. I'm almost certainly gonna drink too much coffee and ride a bike out to a field where i'm told 'things' grow. Nuff said. I also plan to get involved in a long running late night jazz session as part of the Melbourne international jazz festival. Good times. Oh, and I booked my skydive today.....score! August the 18th. 10'000 feet......sweet.

Once again i've really enjoyed writing this blog. I'll try to keep it up.....once a week, unless anything majorly exciting happens, in which case i'll just post randomly.

Until next time, much love, oh brothers and sisters.

...And so it goes.....


Friday, 18 May 2012

Time and Space. One week to go....

So, this is my first blog.....ever. I'll try to write like I am, so please forgive the endless lists of superlatives and unceasing (dots)....

Up until a few months ago I had begun to form the slightly presumptuous and perhaps arrogant viewpoint that although my life was never perfect, I was starting to understand it. My social life, love life and career, whilst never completely smooth were things I felt I had a degree control over and with a bit of careful consideration and guidance I might learn to shape and colour my time here, muddling through the confusing treacle we call....it.

Control and guidance are bullshit. Life threw me a hand grenade and I caught the fucker and held on to it as long as possible. Obviously it blew up and took with it my life as I had come to know it. I guess shit happens huh?....when life gives you lemons....squeeze the bastards into your eyes and cry....HARD. Without going into too much detail, all the things I mentioned earlier (social life, love, career) have sort of disentangled themselves from my knowledge of how things work and I find myself kind of floating around inside a cosmic tumble dryer waiting for someone to press stop and slowly coming to the conclusion that perhaps I never had any control, but had been lucky....for a while.

In order to get my head straight and find out who in the sweet fucking world I am, i'm scooting off to Australia for 3 months. I've never been traveling before....certainly not on my own and certainly not to the opposite side of this green and blue mess. So this, right here, wot you are reading with your eyes and brains is to become my account of my travels, reflections, growth, stupidity and hopefully clarity and strength. I've called it 'Time and Space', cos...

1) That shit governs us all,
2) I need it more now than ever,
3) Since a particularly interesting experience at a festival a few years back, i'm not entirely sure either exists, so expect some inane drivelings on various philiosphies and stuff, or whatever.

I've started my packing up now. Bought a new bag, check. Bought a new gig bag for the 'Fascist killer', check. Camera, check. Ipod, check. Flights, Visa, money (or lack there of), insurance, CHECK!

I'm going to be staying in Melbourne for the first 3 weeks with my wonderful friend of old, Mr Douglas Pope (who coincidentally and somewhat woefully, may, it turns out, have managed to have missed the entirety of my marriage!)....from there who knows what will happen. I will be writing a new piece for brass/wind band during my travels and hope to do some conducting too.... batons and manuscript are never normally far from me, but even thinking about work for the last 6 weeks has been a headfuck!

So, a word to the hypoctrical punk poet! (i've been very good so far and have kept this shit away from the internet, but I believe i'm owed a few words at least, and the person in question could never be so lowly as to read a blog by yours truly anyhow!)....
In a really fucked up way, I guess I have to thank you. Your arrogant, manipulative and morally bankrupt ways have put me on a path I could not have predicted and certainly not one I would have chosen. But, perhaps they have also put me on the first step to taking the power back and going on what might just very well turn out to be the trip of a life time. I would like to say to you that I GOT more LOVE, and for that matter talent, in my little finger than you could ever dream of having. I have integrity and at least the very ability to love, which, it seems, you do not. I, unlike you, see the best in people and do not simply feed off those too innocent or foolish to get too close. 
I could list things people 'should' know about you....terrible things....criminal things....(sucks in breath.....thinks better of it and lets breath out again)....but you'll ruin yourself i'm sure. Karma is strong. 

So a word to my friends and family, and especially the PJP band (my three oldest friends). I could never thank you all enough for the support, energy and love that has been heaped my way for the last few months. Angelique, you are a genki princess, and have brightened my days no end. I aint gonna name too many names, but many people have given me a shoulder as I have ranted lyrical in the key of E minor, and I love you all. Remember however....i'm not the only one who needs support.

Mikey....once again you have proved yourself to be the best friend a dude could have. Your a real life saver x

So.....ONWARDS and UPWARDS.....to Oz and dont spare the economy class, 22 hour flight, badgers.

Although, this really wasn't something i'd thought about or had planned to do....I know it can only be good for me. I shall keep everyone who's interested (no pressure) up to date on my life and head skills and will try too keep in touch.....I hope y'all do too.

Much love, oh brothers and sisters.

....And So It Goes