Monday, 23 June 2008

Mourning the passing of an old friend....

So that's it, the final door has closed on a part of my life. I'm talking about the band "The Mission" who have finally played their last show in London. Now, some of you may remember them as a bunch of strangely dressed, overly melodramatic hippy-goths but to those of us who loved them it's like hearing that an old friend has croaked!

I now regret that I didn't go to the final show. I was on the cusp of buying a couple of tickets and heading to London for the weekend but decided that time, money, hassle etc. wasn't worth it. After all, there was only one original member left wasn't there? If the original guitarist Simon Hinkler had been with them I would have been there but no, not the same really. Of course, typical huh? Who turned up and played with them at the last shows? None other then Mr H himself. I was truly annoyed!

Anyway, they've packed it in once and for all. This may not seem like a big deal to most people but their music has been with me through all of my formative years and I love it! It conjures up memories of good times, memories of my youth! It carries with it pictures of people and places, experiences shared and secret. More than any other band I've listened to over the years The Mission did this for me. The time I saw them on their "Carved in Sand" tour in 1990, just before their big bust up with Mr Hinkler (he walked off in the middle of the tour) remains one of the best gigs I've ever been to!

Ah well, at least there's the DVD of the last show to look forward to. Cheers guys!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Old friends...

Following on from my last ramble....
I've been listening to some old music which has led me to reminisce about things, people etc. In particular I listened to a CD recently which was my companion in the summer of '89 (no, it wasn't Brian Adams) when I spent several weeks in Austria. I was part of a bunch of people doing some voluntary work with Eastern European refugees at the time and it was a tremendous experience.
As with these kind of things, one of the best parts was all the great people I met, not least of whom were the gang that I worked and lived with. A motley assortment of folks from all over the world - Canadians, Americans, South Africans, English and one solitary Scotsman (me)!

This is what I'm on about however. You meet people, you share everything with them, you form a bond of trust and friendship - really good friends - and then when you all split up and go back to your own lives and routines, you lose touch. How strange it is that these strong bonds between people can just fall by the wayside.

I remember my Dad telling me the same sort of thing about his days in the Army. There he lived, worked, trained and fought beside people who trusted you with their very lives! These guys would have died for each other if necessary. But as my Dad said - when he left the army, they all exchanged addresses, promised they would write and visit, keep in touch. And there would be one or two letters, maybe a Christmas card, but then they would stop.... and before you know it, years have gone past and you've completely lost touch.

My own experience? I can barely remember the names of some of those people I spent that summer with. I know it was 19 years ago but I'm not old and decrepit yet! Now of course, I feel nostalgic about the whole experience but I haven't kept in touch with anyone who I could share that nostalgia with and it does make me feel quite sad sometimes. We shared a lot of stuff, good and bad, and it would be nice to know if they feel the same way about it as I do, or even if it affected them the same way.

Ah well, such is the way of things I suppose. Mind you, if any of the OM Ternitz '89 crowd out there ever reads this and thinks that they have a vague memory of an 18 year old kid from Fife who spent the summer sleeping in a bass guitar case...... give us a shout. I'd be overjoyed to hear from you...

Monday, 10 March 2008

Music to remember!

Funny how things set off your memory isn't it? I've been revisiting some of my old CDs and reliving my musical past. Each time I resolve not to dwell on the past too much and to spend more time enjoying the present and looking forward to the future, something stirs up some memory and away I go again!
I'm very into my music. For me music is as much a marker for the various stages of my life as a photograph album would be for others. It's almost like my life has a soundtrack - you know how listening to certain songs can remind you of a certain holiday or person... The thing is that I listen to music pretty much constantly so practically everything I do has a musical accompaniment. What I find (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is that when I dig out old CDs that I haven't listened to for a while, quite often they have the ability to transport me to a particular place, time or even feeling. This leads me on to one particular CD which stirs up a particularly interesting summer, but I'll save that for another post.
Certain albums will always have a special something about them because of this. Some of them aren't even my favourite albums but because of their association they'll always make me smile or feel a certain way. Cool isn't it?

Oh yeah...
For interest's sake, it was "God's Own Medicine" by The Mission. I doubt it'll ever feature in the "100 bestest albums of the entire Universe ever, ever, ever..." but it's up there on my personal list. You should give it a go you know, it really is worth a listen. Especially if you wish you could regress into being a Gothic Hippy again! Yeah, man......

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Lightly perspiring....

What is going on with the weather at the moment? It's a beautiful day today and my south facing office was doing it's best impersonation of a greenhouse. It must have been 28 degrees in there today, and that was with all the windows open. I nearly passed out with heat exhaustion.

Hopefully it'll keep up for the weekend cos I've got Monday off next week - hurrah! Maybe get my mo-bike taxed by the weekend and go for the first proper spin of the year.


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

A shared thought about Winter....

I'm finding it really hard to wake up at the moment. I don't mean that I'm having trouble getting out of bed (I always feel like that) but actually waking up. My eyes just don't seem to want to open and I feel the artificial light in the house really intrusive.
I should explain that living, as I do, in the North East of Scotland, we're only getting about 6 hours of daylight at the moment. This should, of course, be balanced in the Summer by the fact that it doesn't really get totally dark at all, but you've still got to sleep eh?

Anyway, the point of all this is that I have had a revelation. I am now utterly convinced that Human Beings are meant to hibernate! If you think about it, there's no way that our Ice Age ancestors tried to maintain a full and active routine through the winter months is there? My somnolence can only be explained by a deep, instinctive need to huddle under a pile of furs at the back of a cave. I am simply not genetically equipped to be at full operational fitness between November and March!

I am therefore committed to spending as much time in bed as possible between now and Spring. It's a pity our employers couldn't realise this and let us adjust our working hours accordingly. If everyone worked from home, think of the good it would do the environment as well!

Maybe then the Summers wouldn't make me want to hibernate too......

Monday, 26 November 2007

And so it begins....

Some idiot suggested that I should start one of these blogs "for a laugh". I feel certain that the idiot in question was intending to laugh at me and not with me but if I can provide some entertainment value to others then I suppose it's not such a bad thing.
I've decided to take their advice anyway and use this to try and make sense of all the rubbish that swills around in my head. Maybe some textual outpourings will prove cathartic in the long run. Maybe I'll just be proving to the world how nonsensical the contents of my brain really are! Most of it doesn't make sense to me so why should it to anyone else eh?
Jings! It’s intimidating thinking about what to put in one of these things. It’s a strange thought that anyone on the planet (theoretically) will be able to read it. Of course, in reality, no-one is going to read it – why would they? I feel compelled though, to try and make some effort to join the Web 2.0 generation and at least show some interest, I do work in ICT after all...

Ah well.... watch this space eh? Guess I better try and think of something to say now......