Uninteresting List

Since 97.5% of the people who read this have no idea who I am, I thought it would be the decent thing to do if I revealed a few little known, but harmless facts about myself. Since I’m in a giving and sharing mood for once, here we go…

  • I can’t swim
  • I used to pull out grey hairs – no longer though, there are far too many
  • I’m frightened of butterflies and moths
  • I failed my driving test three times
  • I have inverted nipples! (Most of the time, and I have no idea why!)
  • I refused to eat the majority of vegetables until I  was about twenty
  • I’ve not eaten an egg since I was six years old, (that was in 1979 in case you wondered)
  • I’m not really a miserable bastard
  • I have an older 1/2 brother and sister that I’ve never met
  • I love gardening, and will have an allotment later this summer
  • I’m a hopeless romantic
  • I lost both my parents by the time I had reached twenty
  • No form of mushroom will ever pass my lips
  • I suffer fools badly
  • With no family left, my friends are the most important thing in the world to me
  • I have serious issues about getting older
  • I have an odd obsession with striped t-shirts
  • I try to read one book per week
  • I love cheese
  • I would love nothing more than to be able to live out in the countryside with lots of animals
  • I adopted a donkey called Timothy
  • I’ve been in love at least three times in my life, but only one was ‘the one’
  • At times, I get rather jealous, even when I know there’s no reason
  • I think too much, (I often drink too much as well, these two things often coincide)
  • I still want to stay out all night dancing
  • I’m often oblivious to whats going on around me
  • I’m very stubborn
  • I quite often stay in bed all day
  • I secretly would like to have children one day
  • I hate lists

Song of the day, or any other day….

Some would say that I have fairly dubious tastes in music, however, and how can I put this, those people are completely fucking wrong. What you will hear below is what happens when you combine the genius of the late, and very much missed Alex Chilton, alongside the national treasures that are otherwise known as Teenage Fanclub.

Pure pop perfection, this song completely sums up those first feelings that come crashing in when you fall in love; and unless you’ve somehow mislaid your soul along the way, you’ll be singing the chorus to this song for bloody ages. This song was never recorded or released, so all we have is this live recording. It’s a belter….!

Alex Chilton and Teenage Fanclub – You’re So Fine

No Words…..

I’m trying to post something everyday or so at the moment, even if it’s complete drivel. Tonight though, I’m just too tired; a week without much sleep has left me almost brain-dead, and I really need to go to bed and pass out.

So, tonight, I will communicate what’s going on in my head via the medium of music….

Teenage Fanclub – Don’t Hide

Paul Weller – Time Passes

Graham Coxon – Love You

Brett Anderson – The Wild Ones

Last of the Great Romantics

Here comes the last of the great romantics. A grand statement I know; and one that is deeply flawed. However fanciful and wayward my thoughts are though, I do realise this; so, in the spirit of self-depreciation, perhaps I’ll describe myself as a failed, or even a hopeless romantic. Personally, I prefer hopeless; I don’t think  that I’ve ever really failed where romantic notions and flights of fancy are concerned.

Never ridicule a lovesick fool, anyone brave enough to put their emotions on public show should be applauded, not scorned. Of course, if you’re a fairly restrained type of person, this sudden change of personality can come as a great shock, not only to other people, but also to yourself. There are many times when I wonder why on Earth I’ve done or said certain things; the voice of reason attempting to suppress some uncontrollable urge.

Beneath my sometimes, gruff exterior lies this hopeless romantic; a heart brim full of emotion, but one that I manage to keep under wraps. Only a few, perhaps unlucky people have ever seen this side to me; I guess it’s something that I’ve always liked to keep quiet about; being a deeply private person does that to you.

When you learn to accept and come to terms with that side of your personality, I think you become a much happier person. Some people are happy being unhappy; they take great comfort in unrequited love. These are the type of people who feel that it’s better to be in love, rather than not at all; even if the object of their desire has little or no interest in them whatsoever.

I have some sympathy for this, the feeling of being in love with someone is to my mind almost indescribable. I know all too well how utterly amazing that feels; however, I also know how painful, how heartbreaking  and truly awful it can be; and to be honest I don’t understand how anyone can take pleasure in that.

Actually, perhaps I can.

Obviously, the hopeless romantic battles on regardless. Facts are ignored, illusions are kept firmly intact. The truth, for what that’s worth, doesn’t really have any effect on ones feelings, they remain faithful and true, regardless of what’s thrown at them, ignoring the knock backs or the silences. They make the best of what they have, always hoping for something, or someone  wonderful, forgetting, or choosing to forget that the women he’s mad about simply does not care anymore. You convince yourself that you’re in control, that your judgement remains intact; never discouraged, even during the bleakest of days, forever fighting against the tide.

Random thoughts on the train to work, two

Feelings dip and spin. Squabbling children remind me of a lost time, of being young. I don’t know what happened to me; I lost myself somewhere along the way.  I don’t know where to begin. Frosty tracks, sun high in the sky. Days like this still begin so full of hope and promise. Steam rising from factories. Speeding through suburban estates into fields, trees bursting into life. The expectation of spring; of life renewing itself, the chance for a new start, of better things yet to come. This empty space remains, a future taking shape without you. An empty, ‘you’ shaped hole. Only you..

You can only hold onto a misguided notion for so long.

It’s never a pleasant experience when you finally realise what a fool you’ve been, or just what a gigantic, blind, shit for brains buffoon you really are. They say that the truth always hurts? Too fucking right it does, it hurts like Hell, and I wish I could find some way to snap myself out of it.

Unpleasant as this all is; a sudden moment of clarity really does act like a shock to the system, a real kick up the arse, a size twelve boot to the bollocks.

When you’re in love with someone, I mean really in love with them, this situation becomes unbearable. No matter how much of a fool you know you’re acting, it’s impossible to forget the one you want more than anything else in the world. Perhaps the easiest thing is to laugh it all off, put it down to experience and fuck the fuck off permanently out of her life for good?

No one likes to be made a fool of, even if the situation is of their own making. The temptation is to keep out-of-the-way; maintain a low profile until the dust has cleared, however long that takes. It’s surprising how a sudden flash of enlightenment, overdue from long ago, can help to paint a different picture. Sometimes, and however hard it might seem, you simply have to get over yourself. You can’t always change things and you definitely can’t change the way people feel. Sooner or later you have to let people go their own way, for better or worse. They either want you in their life or they don’t; it’s as simple as that really. If they don’t, just tell yourself that they’re happy, (even if you suspect that they’re not), and try to be happy for them. Oh, and try not to listen to, or be taken in by gossip. Even if it’s true, it’s certainly none of your fucking business. You no longer fucking exist in their mind…..

Let it go…..

Jealousy and bitterness are two very easy paths to end up on, both are bound to end in the same place, a broken heart. At some point you have to wonder why the fuck are you constantly putting yourself through such torture? For what reason? No fucking reason at all. Think about all the wasted hours, days, weeks and months spent holding onto something that never really existed. Only in your mind, no one elses.

Writing is a release. It doesn’t really matter if anyone actually reads this stream of misguided piss; although I apologise to those of you that do; but the simple fact is that you can’t hold these feelings in your battered fucking mind forever. I suppose like your typical English, repressed male, I have a tendency to bottle things up, however, to be honest, that ‘stiff upper lip’ bullshit wankathon can only take you so far. Hence, the recent outpouring of my broken heart on this ere’ blog. Fear not though dear reader, I might return to normal one day; I might return to writing about normal things, such as porn, excessive masturbation, perhaps about how David Cameron can shove his ‘Big Society’ up his big opening and cheese. Perhaps all at the same time.

Of course, if all else fails, (which I can assure you it will), I’ll simply remind myself  about what a complete idiot I’ve been and vow never to make the same mistake again.

Not until the next time anyway…….

Sometimes a kick in the balls does you good….

I’ve always been rather bad at reading emotional signs. Shit, in fact; if there were a theory test for this then I’d be stood at the back of the class, face to the wall and wearing a pointy hat. I’ve often been blind to what’s going on around me, sometimes right under my nose. This may be perceived as apathy, or a lack of understanding or caring. It was never thus though.

I’m just a bit thick.

I am stubborn though, and in some cases this is a virtue. At times in life your are faced with tough decisions. Sometimes you have to look at yourself, sometimes harshly, and think, do I give up and walk away?

Or, do I stick at it and fight for what I want or believe in?

I prefer to fight. Quite often with hopeless, disastrous effects, but still… Surely it’s better to stand and fight for what you want most or believe in? Give me a kick in the balls, or a bloody nose any day of the week over the alternative. We all go through such a huge range of emotions through time – better to feel and live those emotions rather than hide yourself away.

Walking away is easy, it might not seem it at first, but it is. The hard decision, and to my mind, the correct one, is to put yourself out on the metaphorical front line each and every time. Go out on a limb; life is one big, but very short gamble. You don’t get too many chances to get things right; so however hopeless the situation may seem, isn’t it better to take the risk? In the face of what may appear to be massive, fuck off sized odds, I know I’d risk everything I have or hold dear for that one shot at happiness; even if it meant losing all I have. Something’s and some people really are that important.

I’m the last man in the world to serve up advice, however, if I were talking to myself right now though, (as I guess I probably am, at this point). I would say this; “Don’t walk away from what you want. For as long as you have a single breath left in your body, always be prepared to stand and fight for the one you love. When all seems lost and hopeless, fuck it, get up off your sorry arse and go back for more; and keep going back until you’re told to stop, or you croak it.”

Far better to take that one chance, even if in the end it doesn’t work out, at least you tried – don’t ever make the mistake of letting someone go that you love; don’t be the fool that let’s that person disappear from your life.

One chance; don’t live life as a series of connected “what if’s”. I don’t believe in fate, or “what will be, will be”. You make your own luck in life; you can’t live your life in such a passive way, almost as a passenger, waiting to see what happens. Go after what you want in life, but go about it in the right way – don’t be a complete shit, try to have a wee bit of class.

Don’t just stand there and shout it…..

Do something about it….

For once, I’m going to listen to my own advice.

Mogwai – HMV Institute, Birmingham 24/2/11

How best to describe the performance from Mogwai last Thursday night at the Institute? It was the first time I’d seen them play live, however, I already had high expectations, and they didn’t disappoint me.

This turned out to be one of the most intense and moving musical performances that I have had the privilege of watching during the twenty odd years that I’ve been watching live music.

I was prepared for loudness, the Institutes acoustics are perfect for this, however as the evening progressed this became more like a prolonged attack on my central nervous system, like having your stomach jumped upon repeatedly by a very large, unforgiving man. Despite the gut wrenching sound attack, you cant help but be taken in by the sheer depth and beauty of their sound. To those who know and love their music, Mogwai are not your average band; they very rarely use vocals, and yet this seems perfectly normal.

Highlight of the evening for me was an amazing performance of  “How to be a werewolf”, (see below), however this was just one of many high points during what turned out to be an awesome night. Amazing sonic soundscapes, sometimes brutal, always beautiful.

This is a band not to be missed on any count. Hopefully their commercial success will soon match their critical reputation.

Their latest album, “Hardcore will never die, but you will” is out now.

Mogwai – “How to be a werewolf”

Mogwai – “Letters to the Metro”

All that I’ve lost, and all that could have been.

We’re all alone in the end.

I’ve always blamed myself for what happened. Impossible I know, but I’ve always felt responsible. The nagging doubt has always been there, eating away at me inside, refusing to budge, refusing to let me go.

This has always been a huge invisible barrier in my life; even though it’s entirely one of my own making. It has held me back in my career, and it has acted like a white elephant to any meaningful relationship I may have been involved in. It might sound odd to say that I have never minded, or been afraid of being alone. Being an only child makes one used to your own company, even if at times it becomes rather tiresome. After all, we’re all alone in the end.

Has this left me incapable of feeling or showing love? No, I’ve been lucky. There are those who entered my life, those that stayed for a while, whom I have loved. On the other hand, there were those who were never mine to love in the first place; they may have been the deepest, most heartbreaking love of all. The love of your life.

Those moments when the guard comes down are rare these days. I began to fill the empty space by other means; be it drink, meaningless sex or other ill-conceived relationships. This may provide you with some sort of temporary respite, a brief diversion; however the reality is always there waiting for you. You become cold, hard, cynical, almost machine like. Showing emotion becomes a sign of weakness, letting people become too close to you something to be avoided at all costs. You isolate yourself, become oblivious to those around you who care about you, and in time, forget what real happiness feels like.

No man is an island; but you can build a tall, unbreakable wall around that island, constantly checking for possible gaps. Over the years this is bound to take its inevitable toll. You become tired; not only of the constant effort required, but of yourself, and your own stupidity. Surely only a complete idiot would set out to screw up their own life? Who would actively make their existence cold and empty?

It all comes back to guilt; a debt to be paid for that event where the responsibility still hangs like a millstone around your neck.

As I sit and think and write about this, I’m fully aware as to how stupid and self-pitying this must sound. I know that in reality I was not responsible for my Mothers death at such a young age. I know that it was just a complete fluke that on a cold November week in 1993, she caught the flu, possibly off me, that caused what in the end was a sudden, quick and fatal asthma attack. I also know that there was nothing that I could have possibly done to change events. Nothing could have prevented such a tragic, wasteful loss of such a young life.

Stars have their moment and then they die.

I don’t look for sympathy. I’ve never wanted it, or expected it. I’ve never wanted people to feel sorry for me. Despite the words that have gone before, I do not wallow in a pool of self-pity. I have always tried to get on with my life in the best way that I can, quiet and with as much dignity and self-respect as was possible. There are many periods of my life when I do feel happiness. There are those in my life who provide me with support, laughter and unconditional love.

Perhaps that’s enough? Perhaps at the end of the end that is all that really matters.

Time passes, memories fade.

I’ve noticed something rather disturbing recently. In truth, I notice a lot of disturbing things, but this one thing has become very hard to fathom.

Those that know me, or have read previous posts will be aware that I lost both my parents by the time that I had reached the age of twenty. As I race towards the grand old age of forty, this seems longer ago than ever before, and this leads me onto my problem.

The longer that time pushes ahead, the less I remember what my parents actually looked like.

This might seem like an odd thing to say, after all, why don’t I don’t look at some old photos? The fact is, I don’t have any. Not one. All my family photos were lost when I was in the process of selling my late Mothers house following her death in 1993. I don’t know how they all got lost; the answer to that remains as lost as the photos themselves.

All I have left are memories, and it breaks my heart that these are becoming more fragmented and distant as time passes. As far as my Dad is concerned this presents less of a problem, after all, I only have to look in the mirror and he’s looking straight back at me. What breaks me up is the fact that my Mum is slipping from my mind; not my memories of her, they will always remain and there’s never been a single day when I’ve not thought about her, however the visual recollection is almost lost to me.

This is what upsets me the most, the one person in the world who was closest to me, and I can no longer remember her face. I don’t think I could possibly begin to describe to you the sorrow and emptiness that has filled those memories, and if I were talking to you face to face, I doubt if I could even try.

Every once in a while I see my Mum in dreams. I always remember them, and for that brief moment I see her how I once remembered her. In those few, short, fuzzy minutes when waking up this always comes as a nice, warm comforting moment. I’m always thankful for this when it happens, although it’s not that often. The worst part of this is the feeling that a whole part of my past is now lost to me; I started writing about my childhood last year in an effort to help me remember. This was a difficult decision to make, by my very nature I’m a very private man, I try to keep my most personal thoughts and feelings to myself. I’ve always tried to protect myself from heartbreak, and perhaps the end result of this is a misconception that I’m a rather cold individual. I guess that by writing about these things it makes it easier to say the things that I would be unable to say to people in person. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m wary of giving too much of myself away, or sadly of letting anyone get too close to the real me. Of course, there have been rare occasions when people have got past the facade; have caught a brief glimpse of the other me. I hope those people over the years realised how very special I thought they were, and of how much they meant or mean to me. I don’t know if they do or don’t, but the fact remains that it takes an amazing person to get inside my heart and more importantly, my mind. Unfortunately though, life is often a cruel mistress, hopes and dreams are often dashed. Even when those you want and love the most in life are out of reach to you.