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Life

Losing Myself in Music

It’s the final night of my staycation. I return to work in the morning – if you can call it returning. I’ll be sitting in the same chair I’m sitting in now, in the same room – just with a different computer in front of me.

I didn’t go running much during the staycation. I didn’t read any books. I didn’t do a lot of things.

It’s weird – bringing yourself back up to speed after slowing down for so long. I wouldn’t say there’s really a fear of what I might walk into tomorrow, but there’s certainly a good amount of trepidation. I’m trying not to think too much about it – I have at least a couple of hours left to bury my head in the sand.

I’m thinking a couple of hours losing myself in Spotify might help somehow. I deleted all of my playlists some time ago – thinking it was time to discover something new – to stop living in a 1980s bubble. I’m thinking it might be time to visit again though – to listen to the music that made me who I am, and probably continues to do so.

Heart, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones, Starship, John Parr, Mr Mister, Wang Chung, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Thompson Twins, Go West, Rush, Thomas Dolby, OMD, Tears for Fears, Simple Minds, Peter Gabriel, Ultravox… the list goes on.

Feel free to reach out and distract me – the contact page tells you how 🙂

Categories
Life

Ray and Marijne

I meant to write a blog post yesterday, but somehow the day got away from me. The days have been doing that a lot recently. I started writing, but got no further than the first paragraph.

I ran yesterday morning – another five kilometres around town. There is no record of it happening this time though, because I bought a little MP3 player to use while running instead of carrying my mobile phone. I had been recording runs on “Strava” (a free running app), but realised I was beginning to think too much about how far, and how fast I have been running. I’m not training to win anything – I’m just trying to keep fit.

I filled the MP3 player with a running compilation album, and immediately regretted it. I need to fill it with all my favourite, most cheesy songs. Songs that take my mind off running instead of “how long is left of this horrific rubbish?”. I’m thinking a huge collection of 70s and 80s tracks from the likes of Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Go West, Ultravox, Fleetwood Mac, and whoever else springs to mind.

While writing this, I have some music on in the background – “Rush Hour” just started playing by Jane Weildlin – apparently she was a guitarist with the Go Gos (the band that Belinda Carlisle started out with). There’s something about music from that era. I’m not sure if it’s just because I was an impressionable teen back then, and the music is burned into my subconscious. I have no doubt every generation thinks their music is the best for the same reasons.

I can still remember MTV banning rap – this was of course back when MTV was ubiquitous across satellite and cable television networks, and played music videos all day instead of a non-stop stream of reality shows. My late teens and early twenties were spent listening to and watching MTV Europe – with Ray Cokes and Marijne van der Vlugt introducing the various videos. Oh my word how I laughed at Ray, and adored Marijne.

Categories
Life

Lunchtime Thoughts

It’s Monday lunchtime, and you find me sitting in the junk room at home. I’ve been here on weekdays since the middle of March. Nearly four months now. The only places I have visited in town during that time have been the grocery store, and the pharmacy. I’ve been on a few long walks (even with a broken toe), which we have dubbed “mental health walks”.

This weekend we visited a national trust property called “Basildon Park”, and wandered around the grounds of the estate for a few hours. We took a picnic, and met my in-laws there. While walking, we viewed any and all strangers with suspicion.

Work has slowed down ever-so-slightly this week. Owing to shortened working hours, and various co-workers being furloughed, I’ve found my days pretty full. Busy is good though. Busy stops you looking at the world around you too much and being horrified at the ignorance, division, and idiocy going on seemingly everywhere.

I’ve quickly learned that it’s best not to have balanced opinions about anything at the moment – there’s a strong sense from the most vocal on social media platforms that if you’re not with them, you are against them – there is no middle ground. Facts, opinions, truth, and lies have been stirred into a toxic stew that is fashioned into whatever narrative people wish to subscribe to or promote. It doesn’t help that “defence of self” is such a strong instinct in the wilfully ignorant.

Anyway.

I’m listening to the “Mellow Morning” playlist on Spotify, complete with adverts every few minutes. Music has been one of the huge benefits of working from home – filling the room with an endless stream of songs and stories. I tent to pick playlists completely at random – and rarely know the names of any of the bands, artists, or tracks. If one of the kids were to walk in and ask after a track (which they will not, because it’s Dad music), I typically wouldn’t be able to tell them.

Time for another coffee perhaps.

p.s. I cut all my hair off again.