Sunday, 18 December 2016

Tigger has returned!

Tigger has returned!


Thank goodness because I was starting to feel a bit Eeyore. 

I couldn’t shake off the blues but now I'm back in my bouncy flouncy LED shoes, literally.

The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is
I'm the only one
Tiggers are cuddly fellas
Tiggers are awfully sweet
Ev'ryone el-us is jealous
That's why I repeat... and repeat
The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are marvelous claps!
They're loaded with vim and vigor
They love to leap in your laps!
They're jumpy, bumpy, clumpy, thumpy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is
I'm the only one
I-I-I'm , the only... oof!
Purr.

CREDIT TO:
SONGWRITERS
RICHARD SHERMAN;ROBERT SHERMAN

PUBLISHED BY
WONDERLAND MUSIC COMPANY INC

Video version courtesy of Dirk Mental 

Imagine waking up to this every morning. 
Kudos the GF for putting up with me. 






Saturday, 17 December 2016

Being ill sucks, being ill now REALLY sucks

I am full of a cold that the GF kindly shared with me.
She is soooo considerate.
So I cannot think about Christmas, shopping or anything with long words like...well shopping.

What I can think about are:

Is this pillow soft enough?
Why must i sneeze six times?
Where is my mum...oh. (then I cry)
What are you doing? Why are you not mopping my brow?
When will that drilling noise stop?
Where is my chicken noodle soup?
What time is it?
Why is it so dark?
Oh! I can find my way out of a blanket!
Why must I stand up?
Why does my head hurt?
When is it bedtime?
Why am i thinking?
When will this end?

Friday, 16 December 2016

Notes on car windows

I watched a middle aged man today, confidently pull into a really large space in front of our campervan. I was approaching from behind on foot having been wandering our neighbourhood for some fresh air and to acknowledge all of the fantastic renovations on the roads, paths and artistic installation. The place is really starting to look nice. A real pleasure to live round here.

Anyway this grown man, who could clearly manoeuvre a car by his deft pull in, proximity to the path and minimum correction moves. This man edged back in his car to place himself IN THE MIDDLE OF A TWO CAR SPACE!

He even got out checked his placement and as he walked away towards town, he absent-mindedly clicked his key fob and the car flashed locked.

Not one to cause a scene I let myself into my house, found a large yellow post it note and wrote on it:

UNBELIEVABLY INCONSIDERATE PARKING!!
Two spaces, really?

And smugly left it under his front window. I curtain twitched all afternoon, just waiting to see the reaction but alas I missed it.

It may not be very considerate, compassionate or christamassy.
But it made me feel good to stand up for something that day.
No matter how small and utterly insignificant.
To me it was a symbol of sticking to my boundaries and standing up for what I believe.

Even if today the only strength I could muster was to comment on my considerate parking expectations in an undercover way.
I felt it was enough for today.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Vulnerability is the new me

Feeling better than yesterday.
How come?
Coz I meditated, thats how come.

I was able to disconnect from the global horrors of the state of this world, put them aside because I cannot fix it all, not all at once, not in real time, not just me. so I am going to only think about the small things I can do in the mean time. The allocated time I may or may not have to attend to world environmental concerns.

Worry wont solve tomorrows problems,
 but it will ruin todays happiness.

During my mediation I sent out unconditional love to the world.
Yes I did. You are most welcome, no worries.
And I gave myself unconditional love for having integrity to my morals and compassion.
Especially self compassion.


Consequently my head is back in the real world, grounded, being heartfelt and meaningful.
I am fully focused on the here and now of today and really enjoying it.
I feel less vulnerable and more supported.

I took time out to relax and unwind. I slept well. I ate well. I nourished my soul with short walks in the frosty biting fresh air, took a hot bath, stoked a roaring fire and enjoyed good company.
Sometimes it is hard.
Putting your self before others can feel alien, wrong, self centred.
But I recognise I have to recover from illness, from exhaustion, but mostly from poor boundaries.
I am worthy of good self care. To be so good to myself I can be larger than life in the love and joy I bring.

I dislike the anxiety of uncertainty but I am learning to embrace it by believing when the moment comes I will dare greatly.
My new understanding about boundaries are helping me to understand and be sure about what I feel is wrong for me and right for me.

This realisation makes me happy. My courage to be me.
And from that place, hopefully help others too.

And therefore today, has been a wonderfully free and liberating day.
Learn to be kind to yourself. Keep doing it.
Be kind, rewind.


Brene Brown say it all much better than I do.
And actually has research findings to back her up!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Trying not to remember

Thirteenth of December.

Nothing to report.
no witty festive retort.
The world is still in crisis.
We aint fighting ISIS.
We are fighting each other
Corporate powers want blanket cover
Dissecting profits from our mother
They do not care for not us nor other
They seek to smother, our sisters and brothers
all these events bring on the fear
bring on the tears
dissolve my cheer

People are dying.
From starvation and greed.
Crippled from the inequity, down on our knees
We must rethink this system of need
And share our food, power, resources equally
Water is contaminated.
from land sea and sky
Our basic needs up for sale
to the man with pound signs in his eye
Oil leaking, burning, coating, the black slick slime of our decay
driving companies to harm everywhere, in every way, on every single sacred day.
all these events bring on the fear
bring on the tears
dissolve my cheer

The reefs are dead
toxic fish
oceans full of plastic
floating spoons and disposable dishes
the situation tragic
seismic blasting
illegal fishing
Maming sharks
all for the kitchen
eating creatures
their existence don’t feature
Everything driven to extinction
to enrich humanities taste bud
The humble bumble so at threat
Aint sure if its the point of no return yet
all these events bring on the fear
bring on the tears
dissolve my cheer

The land raped and ruined.
So are our people.
Poverty.
Hate crimes.
disrespected sacred lines.
Isolation.
systemic depression
inter connectivity under global suppression
repeating mistakes, not learning the lesson
On the brink to fuck up our own eco system
all these events bring on the fear
bring on the tears
dissolve my cheer
Particularly distressing at this time of year
All I can hope is we can help change the world next year.


Monday, 12 December 2016

The Mean of Monday

Its Monday.
Its not THE last Monday before Christmas when everyone suddenly goes into seasonal delirium and bares their best tinsel teeth smiles. 
It’s just a Monday.  Near Christmas. 
Near enough to see the panic in every parents eyes. Close enough to smell the Christmas cakes getting their final soak of booze. close enough for people to genuinely be wishing for snow. yes close enough for people to start saying to you, ‘last week to go’!

I for one was full of Christmas cheer. Beaming from ear to ear. 
Until I looked at my bank balance. Then I was definitely more on the side of pass me a beer to sooth my Christmas tears. 

The finances don’t have anything to do with Christmas either. As I said in a previous blog, I have been doing this one on a budget and so far it’s been going well.

No. The finances are due to a massive overspend during the months of October and November on such things as birthdays, birthday weekend aways but mostly the house. 
Always the god damned house. It’s never ending. But lets not go there. The whole world is aware our bathroom is fast approaching one year of incompletion  and if you don’t know about that, then you must be one of the only people left on the planet that doesnt. 
So I shall leave it that way. Good for you. 

However it leaves me with an unfinished Christmas list. Gifts unpurchased. An unsettled feeling of imbalance and the threat of possibly having to make things for those left on the list to buy for. 
Out of dead bra’s, pine cones, garden frost and almost definitely glitter. 
And annoyingly this includes the GF. MY GOD is she hard to buy for. On a budget anyway. If money wasn’t an issue it would be gadget central or clothes carousel but money clearly is an issue. 
However, I have a plan.

God bless her beautiful pink fluffy cotton socks but she isn’t the most observant individual. Not around the house anyway. And I don’t mind. It’s cute. Sometimes I enjoy the waiting of when she will notice, all surprised and innocent in her discovery. Others times I am very impatient and point and demand after mere seconds of her walking in the door - “haven’t you noticed that yet????”

But I’m not sure she will actually notice if I recycle something of hers. Maybe? Call it a Christmas experiment! What fun!
I just happened to notice that there are loads of items in her wardrobe she hasn’t worn yet. Perhaps I could wrap them for this year? In fact the skirt I got her for Christmas last year, with sequins and all things slinky and shiney, has not been worn. GASP!
I could, if I felt like it, take this as a sign that she does not like it. I could. 
Orrrrrrr 
I could wrap it up again and feign her familiarity for 'connectivity' and state that she must have really really already wanted it, Imagined she had it in fact. Ta-da!

By this kindness I have decided to give away some of my stuff too. After all as Bill Nichols says...


Ha! BUT, as I was looking for the author of this often cited quote I also found this one from David Deida, whoever he is...

So with that in mind, I clearly need to give away some money, a working bathroom or a shopping trolley of Christmas food for five. 
Because that is what I really want. 

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Count down is progressing



11th December means...
Its just two weeks today until Christmas.
One weekend left before its Christmas Day.
Waahaaaay. I think.

Just going to leave that there with you...

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Speed Shopping Success Ten Fold

Observing the mass hysteria of the shopping frenzie puts me right off Christmas.
Seeing people without a home or lonely at home, puts me off Christmas.
Thinking of the loss we will all feel, of those no longer with us, puts me off Christmas.
Seeing the overpriced deals thrown in your face every day, puts me off Christmas.
Listening to Kylies new Christmas song, puts me right off Christmas.
The inconsiderate parking of the ‘church brigade’ goers in our street, also puts me off Christmas.
But I WILL not submit and be put off Christmas. Not this year.

So on the 10th day of December I carried out my Christmas shopping on a strict time limit.
While up in Glasgow for a day at university, I decided to squeeze it in.
30 minutes at lunchtime and 45 minutes at the end of the day before catching my train home.
I managed to buy gifts for ALL our friends, in a pressurised decision making frenzy.
All for £10 each. Chuffed.
I conclude that on a budget, panic shopping is the way to go.


Friday, 9 December 2016

December the ninth

Number 9!
Behind my minds door today is an old school dance track. Over and over...
I’m sure they were singing about the Number Nine! Your mission today is to find this song, listen to nine others on the way and dance like you have nine new moves to cut. 
Let me know how you get on. 
Happy Christmas to all those fine nine's out there. 
We eights think you are great x

Thursday, 8 December 2016

The great power of eight

Today
It is number eight
It has been great
A fact needed to state
I started the day with a short meditate
The power I cannot under relate
The force of contentment not to under-estimate


I blessed the world
Then I blessed myself
I left all my worries, with the elf on the shelf
I found peace and joy in my heart all day
Gonna start with meditation every day
You would not believe how different I feel today
May the smile on my face never go away
Love to you all on this eighth wondrous day


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Potting my seventh heaven

Just wondering...
Strange Christmas related blog for me, especially as I don't blog about food...but...

Does anyone else ban roast dinners during the month of December?
I do. Usually.
But I forgot that I meant to test out my nut roast!


Well actually its my wonderful friends vegan nut roast recipe. Last year she made it and it was ruddy delicious. But she is a vegetarian cooking genius. So I have even purchased a back up nut roast which has been languishing in the freezer for three weeks.

So this Sunday is the last roast until Christmas day. 
Cant have our guests eating something that's not tried and tested, especially as they are not vegetarians!

By Christmas I will be desperate for crispy roast vegetables and all the trimmings.

Practice your new stuff people, because practice makes perfect. 
Nut cracking completely potty roasty toasty perfection.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The more you spend the richer you become.

So the teeth are officially driving me mad now.

Not being able to speak for long is not something I am getting used to.
But I am looking after myself as best as possible and they are getting slowly better.
Day 10 of being a no smoker should help along with the super treatments the dentist is inflicting on me.

I came to realise that keeping my spirits up, well more importantly being kind and joyful and loving to myself is really important right now.

But that's not what is behind my magical mind advent door today.
Its just part of what is making my hinges squeak...
Today I wish to blog quite simply about the best thing about Christmas.
Generosity.

I don’t mean spending lots of money.
I mean giving love, joy, forgiveness, compassion and kindness generously.
We all have it within our power to give people something of the most precious value.
Something that no money can buy.
Your time. Your consideration.
Your friendship, kindness and love.
Well, maybe you don’t have to go around giving everyone your lurve per see, but you know what I mean.

This Christmas try and make it about spending time, showing compassion, offering forgiveness, being there for someone you lost touch with, showing someone that you care.

You will find that the more you spend, the richer you become.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Remember the best day of December

Remember remember the 5th of December,
For it is Madeleine’s birthday today
Its so unfair surely?
For the dear soul to be poorly
Taking her celebration away.

No tinsel in sight
And thats quite alright
Coz Maddies birthday is sparkly on its own
But shes poorly and weak
Only wants to sleep
Spending her birthday at home

So remember remember the best of December
Is not the big day near the end
Its the day near the beginning
When we all started grinning
Over the birth of the beautiful Madeleine

Happy Birthday Maddie, the best day of December is all yours. LOVE YOU

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The first Sunday of Christmas (the 4th)

So hungover...
If this is the pre run for Christmas then I am out!

I’m choosing to learn from this aftermath reminder that although it ‘tis the season to be merry’, being too merry, for too long may be fun in the short term but the wipe out for the rest of the days I need to recover (in my old age) are a sure sign that I would like to love my liver just a little bit longer.

I feel compelled to enjoy EVERY SINGLE day of my life with the feeling of full health and more importantly full ability to function. Which includes full lung capacity and mental capacity.
After this weekends escapades, my teeth are worse, my head is lost and my stamina is out the window. Although I clearly put the fun in function this weekend, I am now embracing the FEAR.
Lesson well and truly learnt.
And its only the 3rd of December!!!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Unconditional eternal love on the 3rd day of Christmas

I try my best to focus on the here and now.

Looking back can make you sad and gloomy, looking forward anxious of uncertainty.

Yet the festival season always makes me remember good times of the past.
All those wonderful festive memories.
All the people we wish were here.
And those we love who are, for what ever reason too far out of reach.
They are in my heart and mind.

So today, the third day of Christmas, I dedicate my blog to the spirits gone to other dimensions
and to distant friends and family who I wish I could hug as we make our Christmas plans.
I hope to see and hug as many of you as possible.

If not, please know I think of you all so much at this time of year and wish you were here.

Those of you in the other dimensions, will feel the warmth of my love through my prayers.

May everyone around the world and throughout the universe be blessed with peace.
And unconditional eternal love from me.
For the past, the future and right now.


Friday, 2 December 2016

2nd day of Christmas

Happy Christmas prepping to all my friends and family.


May all you wish for is a smile on your face and love in your hearts. It is all we need.


If you need to shop until you drop, don’t forget to shop responsibly, buy ethical and up-cycle or re-purpose as much as possible.

It ain’t half price if you don’t really need it!


Thursday, 1 December 2016

My Christmas Advent Calender


The first of December
 and all I can think
is why have my teeth gone on the blink?


They throb and they twine
 with great sensitivity

They better be fixed for my Christmas tea!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Destination Star Trek




So this year, as our birthday’s approached we arrived at a dilemma.
GF's birthday is November, mine is October.

Lucky for me, my birthday falls on a Saturday this year. Not so lucky for me it is the same weekend that GF wants to submerge herself in all things Star Trek.

At the three day Destination Star Trek convention no less.

Its 50 years that Star Trek has been running. Can you believe that? How awesome is that? Apart from the fact it makes you realise how long you have been around and possibly watching repeat episodes more than you should admit but my answer to that is fuck off.

I love Star Trek. I have grown up with it, learnt from it and embraced it. The idea when I was young sitting with dinner on my lap, watching cool looking people going across unimaginable distances to planets where they would save the day in under half an hour by either flirting, fighting or fixing something always made my mothers bland cooking edible and life up there in the sky really intriguing.

I can also remember more recent viewings when I vividly recall learning from Star Trek.
I was struggling with some internalised issues at the same time as I became immobilised on the couch with an incredibly painful ankle from tearing all the ligaments in it (jumped over a three inch high bush). I mean… it was more painful than when I broke my leg. Anyway, I digress…

I recall watching episodes of Star Trek as I tried to learn HTML code (that’s how bored I was) and I was very troubled by something. It kept popping up in my mind, bugging my self esteem, my inner peace. Something I had done wrong, done wrong before and that I needed to face up to. And then Spock spoke to me:

“If you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them.”

Well….
Quickest I’d moved all week to book myself into reflective therapy! And he was bloody right.

So I have a lot of life, time and love for Star Trek.

But I would not choose to immerse myself in its total geekyness for a whole weekend. Na-aaaah.

Yet I would love to go to the convention, would love to see GFs face light up every five minutes. Accepting that every five minutes and 30 seconds I am going to internally roll my eyes as I realise (again) I have no idea what language people are speaking, what episode people are talking about, what generation costumes people are wearing and will likely show up my GF by making many social trekkie faux pas. I am absolutely sure of this.

So, we decided to swap birthday weekends.

That way, when GF runs ecstatically towards something pointing and screeching and says, “OH MY GOD, look it’s a mock up of the Klingon battleship IKS Koraga  K’vort Class 2375, can we go, can we go and look inside please please please?”
I can laugh at her adorable nerdiness and say, “sure thing honey, if that’s what you want to do.”
Instead of laughing at her and stating  “hmmmm, like NO! But theres a bar!!!”

Get my drift?

So between us we have swapped birthdays. We don’t expect anyone else to understand this or worry about when they are going to bring all our gifts round, or which day to post the birthday cards. That doesn’t matter.

It matters to me that the GF, myself and friends get to spend this time being really immersed in something we have followed since sci-fi became our favourite escapism.

It matters to me that we all get to be children for the weekend. And that we can have a bloody good laugh. Or at least I will be, until I get chucked out.

There is now much to plan and much making, gluing and costuming to take place.

Live long and prosper my friends!!!



Thursday, 21 July 2016

There's no such place as far away

Some song lyrics that appeared in my head last night. If only i could play the guitar and get the tune laid down to go with them....

I think of you more when I know you sleep
Because in my head you are vulnerable and weak
I need to hold you tight, from any danger keep
But also your nipples I would tweak & never let it go

When you sleep, you will never go away
When you sleep there is nothing more to say
When you sleep, when you sleep
There’s no such place as far away

I like to think of you when you are asleep
Into your bed I imagine I creep
And into your dreams my mind would sneak
Writhe in ecstasy make your body leap, never let you go

When you sleep, you never go away
When you sleep there is nothing more to say
When you sleep, when you sleep
There’s no such place as far away

I like to think of you mostly in the dead of night
Because in my head you are back in my sights
And into your world I don’t have to fight
And into your arms is my place that’s right  

When you sleep, you will never go away
When you sleep there is nothing more to say
There’s no such place as far away
There’s no such place as far away
There’s no such place as far away


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Dub Pistols - the interview!

So I'm lucky enough to be doing these festival reviews for festivalsforall.com

This year among other festies, I asked to go to Beatherder, as I had heard so many great things about it. It certainly did not disappoint. It was mega immense adn a spectacular festival.

I had an absolute privilege of being asked if I wanted to interview anyone and requested two bands:
Good Foxy - a young rock and roll band, very much up & coming.
Dub Pistols - an established jungle dance ska mentalist band I have followed for almost twenty years.

I was ecstatic to get a yes to both requests. It turned my sual organised festival antics upside down.
And led to a #40newthings experience i did not expect.
It led to the time of my life.
It led to that euphoric feeling of living the absolute dream

You can find the Good Foxy full interview here.

But this one is all about the outstanding Dub Pistols...



Barry Ashworth was so cool and focused, and Seanie Tee who was so gentle and kind yet had no idea what I was asking at times and Andreas Jensen who just laughed at me, were the most accommodating hosts. It might not have been the best interview of my short career so far, but it was by far the best conversation I've had with a band as yet.

Kudos to the band for making me feel like my usual nutty self and not throwing me out of the luxurious hospitality tepee. It was a heart pumping, heart racing experience for me that I will never forget, even the cringe moments.

After a little bit of back stage organisation and check point passing, we were officially escorted towards a beautiful large tee pee. As I bent in, with excitement soaring through my bones, I looked up into the cigarette smoking face of none other than Mr Barry Ashworth.

I kissed him and hugged him and reminded myself to let go quick!

We had an easy-osey chat with Barry about festivals, fun and their journey to Beatherder (Bulgaria, Macedonia and then Clitheroe) and were quickly joined by Seanie T and Andreas.

Barry got all serious on me so I went for my note book while I tried not to get my knickers in a twist and Barry openely admired my beautiful assistants kinky fluffy knickers!
Naturally she wiggled her ass in his direction.

Lou: Can I have my pen please darling?

Nin: (pulling pen from between her corset cleavage) You certainly can! (turns to band), my job here is done

Lou: so why Beatherder? You do so many festivals, whats special about here?

Barry: Well they ask us back! We feel really welcome here and its practically been built up around us really. But we love going back to the festivals. We understand we are as much a punter and as much part of the culture.

Seanie T: We feed off the energy of all the people, likeFrankenstein'ss monster, you come alive.

Barry: Yeah what people give us out in the crowd, we give them back, we get a real high from it.

Lou: are you aware of how much the crowd want to hear Messy Weekend?

Barry: Its MUCKY Weekend!! 

Lou: (hangs head in shame) I know, I’m sorry. I’m a bit mucky already, truth be told

Barry: Ha ha! Well its one of our anthems innit? We can relate to it and everyone knows the words, its sets off their weekend.

Andreas: The thing about playing at festivals and being in Dubs is that once you check it, you cant check out. You just miss it too much.

Lou: You have so much energy on the stage, you give it everything and its clear you are larging it up for the crowd. They love it, we love it. How on earth do you prepare for that, or get over that? 

Seanie T: We just want to go back and do it all again.

Lou: So you’ve been all round the world, you are a festival must have, what are your hopes and dreams with the band going forward?

Barry: Well we try and keep it fresh and always try and mutate our sound towards the popular dance sounds we love, and that people love. 

Lou: I agree you have certainly evolved over the years. When I think of the song I played in Rome at the Coliseum, from the album Six Million Ways to Die…

Barry & Seanie: Its Live!! 

Barry: FFS! How many of our song titles are you gonna get wrong luv ha ha ha? Six million ways to live!

All band members are laughing at me.

Lou: (bangs head off table) alright, alright, I’m so sorry. Im not exactly in music encyclopaedia mode right now, giza break, I’m a bit mucky!

Barry: ha ha getting back to your question, Worshipping the Dollar would be the album when we changed from creating songs for an album, to creating songs to sing live. And then we really got into touring

Lou: But you so rarely come up to Scotland!

Barry: Well its our 20th Anniversary next year, and we will be releasing tour dates in March, including Scotland.

Lou: Yes! Well that’s me lads. Thanks so much. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and I am sure I will enjoy the set even more now. Thank you so much. 

We all shook hands and went outside for a quick photo shoot.
I demanded a kiss from Barry which came with a hug and a compliment.

Another bonkers Beatherder memory I will never forget. Absolutely living the dream.
Needless to say, I absolutely floated about for the rest of the day. Sunday was Pistolero’s day. There was nothing else I cared about doing,  other than see them play live and show them my love and support and have a bloody good dance.

We caught up with the rest of our gang who were very disappointed in my blag skills, to see us on grass and not later on stage with the Dubs. But I suspect the Dub Pistols get that all the time, and who are we but two star struck, slightly mucky, inept reviewers? So we all caught up on each others news, sat in sun, explored a little more madness and pitched our selves centre stage at the front.

They came out big and  with a bang. Immediately everyone was on their feet. We were surrounded by professional cameras in the pit in front of us and yet not one of us could be bothered to stop dancing and get the pro cameras out! No crowd surfing from bad boy barry, which was very unusual. Perhaps a little travel weiry, or the crowd wasn’t thick enough to confidently support him. Who knows, but he came and shook hands while in the middle of a song.






Bass player Dave Budgen came out and got in on some quality posing action whilst strumming the bassline right through out chests.





And after the obligatory ‘Mucky’ Weekend, not many of us had our voices left and some of us were a bit bruised from the incredible jkangaroo man who used the front barrier to bounce into the air, for every beat, like he clearly didn’t care. He was fascinating and hilarious!

All in all, a typically banging set from the undoubtedly incredible Dub Pistiolero boys. My heart is still all a flutter.

Good Foxy - the interview

So I'm lucky enough to be doing these festival reviews for festivalsforall.com

This year among other festies, I asked to go to Beatherder, as I had heard so many great things about it. It certainly did not disappoint. It was mega immense and a spectacular festival.

I had an absolute privilege of being asked if I wanted to interview anyone and requested two bands: Good Foxy - a young rock and roll band, very much up & coming.
Dub Pistols - an established jungle dance ska mentalist band I have followed for almost twenty years.

I was ecstatic to get a yes to both requests. It turned my usual organised festival antics upside down. And led to a #40newthings experience i did not expect.
It led to the time of my life.
It led to that euphoric feeling of living the absolute dream

You can find the Dub Pistol full interview here.

But this one is all about the incredible Good Foxy...


Finally in the right venue for Good Foxy we were not surprised at how quickly the place filled up. I knew the band were local lads from Clitheroe, so were bound to have a local following at their gig. And I was not wrong.


When they came on their long sultry bass line immediately lifted everyone and the whole place surged to the front. Smiles galore and an electric atmosphere, when they launched into ‘Down the Rabbit hole’ with the carnival intro lyrics sung by bass guitarist Freddie, the place cheered and jumped about like crazy. George's range on his voice is incredible and he can captivate you like Jim Morrison and scream like Zed.


Again such a mixed crowd, which I think is down to their fantastic rock and roll old school sound, mixed in with the originality and quirky style that you soon come to know can only be Good Foxy. The skills of all the guitarists, the vocals they all add in at different places gives every song a depth and intrigue you dont get with a single front man. James ability on both keyboards and the harmonica are amazing. And its just drums drums drums all the way through from Calum.


I lost all sense of concentration when they played one of my favourites, Gone West, as it has such an incredible heavy bass opening and the young crowd were mosh pitting all over the place. They even got split up by security, which I thought was a damn shame as they were just having a jolly good time.

In no time at all, the set was over, the lads managing to squeeze a beautiful instrumental piece into their last three minutes before the plug was pulled. And then it was time for me to jump over the stage and meet the band back stage with my lovely assistant!

So first up we spoke to Henry Crabtree on lead guitar and vocals, who spends most of the set shaking his luscious locks in big sweeping head banging circles, clearly enjoying himself. We shake hands and he is clearly beaming from ear to ear.

Lou: Very well done, that was an incredible performance; you must be feeling really high right now. Can you explain that feeling?

Henry: Its awesome! We get just the best vibes from the audience.

Lou: Have you ever performed at a gig where the mosh pit got split up?

Henry: NO! I didn’t realise it did. Ha ha

Lou: What are your hopes and dreams for you and the band going forward?

Henry: Keep credible, keep having fun, keep stepping up.

Next up we spoke with the calm and collected lead vocalist and guitarist George Banks. His style and verve was dripping off his cool exterior and charming manner.

Lou: Very well done, the range in your voice is amazing, such a wonderful sound and a brilliant entrancing performance; you must be feeling really high right now. Can you explain that feeling?

George: Thank you, that was a great feeling. It really is like nothing else. I feel pretty euphoric. It really is the best drug.

Lou: I can imagine. Are you aware that the stewards split up the mosh pit?

George: No way! Ha ha ha

Lou: So what are your hopes going forward?

George: I just wanna play all around the world and not have a job!

Lou: Best of luck with that, you are doing something right because you all have such an energy on stage, you are all clearly having fun together and you already have a great following. Good luck.

George: Yeah that’s awesome thanks, we just all enjoy it.

Next up we caught up with James Robinson - Keyboards and Vocals stealing him away from helping pack away the bands equipment. Smiling and charming as he promised to be back and continue carrying drums to their van.

Lou: Thanks James for giving us some time. Great performance, outstanding skills on the harmonica, you must be sky high right now. Can you tell me how that feels for you?

James: Aww man thank you, that’s really kind. Glad you enjoyed it. Yeah well, we have great people, it creates a good energy.

Lou: It really does, I wish you all the best and expect you all to go as far as you dream.

James: Its just this really. What more could you want?

Finally we spoke to Callum Sykora who plays the drums and percussion. Another talented lad with a happy moon face and manners you could woo your granny with. He was a delight to speak to, gracious and down to earth.

Lou: So Calum, that was an awesome performance, you look like you enjoyed it immensely and must be flying quite high right now. How are you feeling?

Calum: Absolutely buzzing! This is a great festival for the energy and the people here. We are dead chuffed that we got asked back.

Lou: I am so in love with the sound that you guys produce. i was recommended your debut album at another festival a few months ago and since I acquired it I have been listening to it over and over. It’s an amazing sound you all create.

Calum: well thanks so much, that’s so nice, great to hear. We all have such different ideas really but we are great friends and we just put all our ideas together to make this sound.

Lou: Well it is definitely working for you all. What do you do then if you disagree about something?

Calum: we just have a row! Row it out, then hug and make up and sort the rest out from there.

Lou: Brilliant, row it out and get on. What are your hopes and dreams going forward Calum?

Calum: I just want to carry on doing what we are doing, having fun, make a living from it.

Lou: I'm pretty sure you will. Its been an absolute pleasure. I’m delighted that seeing you live is more impressive than listening to the album, and I shall keep my eye out on the circuit for you and definitely hope to catch you all again somewhere in another field. Say thank you to Freddie Bruhin-Price on bass and vocals for me. (He was buried in the back of a yurt surrounded by friends but we managed to pry him away for a quick photoshoot.)


The overall feeling when you listen to Good Foxy is how polished and eclectic they sound. Yet when you watch them they look like they are doing nothing other than having fun doing something they each individually love.

When you speak with each lad, it is clear that they all have their own ideas, they all have their own distinct characteristics, yet somehow they make it all come together in an incredible sound we will all soon come to know and love as the one and only Good Foxy, One of the only solo artists in the world with five heads.

My recommendation for the band to watch because they are going to soar. Or perhaps scamper foxily from field to field.

The Good Foxy debut album is available on their website at www.goodfoxy.co.uk

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Time is precious, but passing quickly.

My clock is ticking. 
It is driving me mad, consuming my thoughts and making me feel unfulfilled in my every day life. It’s been ticking for quite a while but I have sedated it with interesting life activities, with journeys and wanderings, with charitable donations, building meaningful friendships and adventurous frolics. Yet it ticks on, louder and louder in my ear.

It is not the tick tock you would think. 
Yes, I am forty and I have already chosen not to have any children of my own. I have stated my reasons for this before. But the tick tock clock I hear every day is the ticking clock of my own mortality and the calling, the NEED I have to get out of this rut and bloody well do something of meaning.

The world is a sad and terrible place right now. A place I am glad my mother did not live to see. A place where all her efforts of taking aid packages to war torn countries, working as a nurse in A&E, volunteering to support those suffering from the loss of family to addiction, a place where all the good work she did has resulted in the world being in a worse state. She would be distraught. I feel her dismay from beyond the grave.

Our political systems are fucked, we are too greatly influenced by the lies of people we cant relate to, by the lies of the TV, the media and social networks. People actively show hatred and ignorance daily, not just in their personal circles but in public, in people’s faces and online where their putrid opinions circulate and re-circulate the world.

We are polluting this beautiful planet and ultimately our food source, we are mass farming animals for slaughter, we are killing bumble bees, illegally fishing tuna from oceans with increasing radiation levels. And the food we do provide we pump full of chemicals, to make it last longer, to make it more profitable, to make us develop cravings and withdrawals and habits that we feed feed feed.

We are making love to money and taking love right out of everything.

People are swapping common sense and integrity for possessions and belongings.

No one is grateful for their daily bread, they all say thanks to the supermarket instead.

We do not work for the right things, strive for the right things or respect and praise the right things for which we are lucky enough to receive.

People increasingly don’t know how to build a fire, cook in the wild, get through each day on the bare minimum. And more than that, there is so little respect for diversity, individuality, for being unique, different and a singular part of a collective whole.

As a human race, we are missing the point and I am at the point of despair. And my clock is ticking.

I feel responsible for my part in this rat race, I want to do more. I am caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, a rock and a hard place. When all I actually want is to live simply, to be wholesome and content, ultimately contribute in some way to make a difference towards the plight of the human being and the saving of mother earth.

I watch the clock from my kingsize bed, as I get up for work, filled with nothing but dread. I watch the clock on my pc from my office chair, the slowest place for time passing, trying to do my best to make a difference but really no one cares. I watch the clock on my mobile as I eagerly leave to go home, a whole load of strategic meaningless nothing completed today that prevents nothing, helps nothing, and actually means nothing. I do a meaningless job and I feel it too.

I am just two days back from two weeks off and I couldn’t be more distressed at the months ahead.

I need to figure out fast what I should be doing instead.


Time is precious.

Apparently stress is caused by being here and wanting to be there, I am not present in my own presence. I am thinking forward. And I feel stress. My mind is projecting two years ahead when I will qualify and can leave this job. When I will feel more in control of my own destiny. Once time is my own, once bills are less, once uni is over, once life costs less. My mind is projecting forward to an unknown time when my GF will be fully en femme, fully confident and we can then attack life, go places, do things, travel, help, donate, live without the looming worries of prejudice, inequality and discrimination. Maybe as women we will never fully experience that level of freedom and acceptance but in my mind it is out there, ahead. I project to a time when we live on our country land, with sustainable food sources, generating our own energy, when we are off grid and low impact living.

But if I was there now, would I be content? I am unsure. The state of the world troubles me deeply. The hatred I hear nudges me to get up, step out of my protected space and shout back, LOVE LOVE LOVE you fools! We are all one! These are your brothers and sisters. We share a home with these ur creatures and these beautiful diverse humans.
When you harm them, you harm yourselves!

What I want to be doing right now is helping, preparing, building, giving, learning how on earth we can survive this attack from all sides, suppressed from the top down and literally blown apart from the bottom up. How do we override these lords and ladies who think they are our voice? These structures that govern us in ways we do not agree, with weapons we do not want.

I need to be travelling the world and helping war orphans, bringing clean water devices to far flung third world villages, campaigning against arctic fuel drilling, against arctic blasting, fighting against killing the Bee’s with GMO crops, protecting endangered species and standing against those who abuse the vulnerable. Campaigning for more renewable energy use, for better green policy in our governments. Working abroad where these things are better implemented and learning to bring back home. Making chutney, digging emergency shelters, moving to a region where the Green party exist.
Doing a damn sight more than I am doing sitting here.

As I ponder my discontent I hear the clock tick tocking. The clock of once upon a time: ‘once I have the money’, ‘once we have moved’, ‘once I have qualified’, ‘once the family has…’

BOOM

Before you know it, it will be the end of time, no more once’s to consider before I do something bigger. No more time to help. The waiting is over. It is over. Not enough people rose to the occasion, there was no revolution, everyone was too busy trying to survive, the end is…well it is the end.

Or BOOM I will have died. And it is still the end. My sixty three years foretold and gone, my contribution nothing but a wasted hope and dream left for me to repent in the next life.


If there is such a thing.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Glastonbury Glastonbeeeeeeee

Dont worry, Beeeeeee happeeeeeeeee....

So it's that time of year! When our preparation for Glastonbury begins. 

This year our creative madness is coupled with working on the body work of a VW Campervan...

The rust and decay has finally needed addressed if she is to last a lifetime. She wants a brand new jacket for the summer and she shall have it. 

Both of which we seem to be enjoying so far! 

We have decided that our Glasto project this year will be 'Save the Bee's' theme. Its going to have natural hemp rope, heart shaped tree trunk splices, pyrographed Bumblers, rainbow fencing and lots of big flowers! We are really enjoying this one.

So we thought we would try and hook up with Friends of the Earth, to see if we could offer any additional support for this most important campaign. 

Friends of Earth Homepage here

I thought I would share with you all the project as we go along.

We will soon be putting a dedicated page up on my website so you can keep updated!

Have a wonderful summer my friend's of the earth.

We are thinking of you all.

Loving life, loving Bee's.


Letter to FOE -

Hi there Protectors of Bee's!

I am a Glastonbury festival contributing artist, who has worked in the Healing Field with my partner for over 15 years.

Every year we have to erect a decorative fence and archway for a walkway that leads from the Healing Field to Pennard Hill (it's a beautiful spot).

This year we have chosen to make our design, 'Save the Bee's, save the planet'. It is an earth protecting campaign close to our heart & incredibly important.

We are currently building lots of Bee related creations to make it look Bee-autiful.

It would be amazing if we could do anything for you, to show our support and further the reach of your campaign.

Perhaps collaborate if you have any Bee related activities going on at the festival if you are going to be there?

Or we could have some resources to pass on to people, keep you updated with ‘Glasgtonbee’ fence news through my twitter feed and if you are on site it would be really helpful to know where you are, so we are able to signpost people who may ask about the campaign.

We would like to do our part in reaching out to more people, to help others understand the political action required to protect our Bee's and ultimately Mother Earth.

If there is anything that we can do to further your campaign, while we are at Glastonbury festival making our fence to raise awareness of the flight of the Bee, please do let us know!

It would be great to hear from you in the next 5 working days, as we are already working on the project and head on site of the festival on the 18th June!

We look forward to your response with eager support.

Bee happy!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Reply from Pandora

So I had a reply from Pandora, as I suspected, they cant make exceptions, not even for me.
But thats ok.
The reply is perfectly respectful and I particularly like the first and last paragraph.
So thanks to Simone.

But I do owe my brother an apology.....


Simone Johannsen (PANDORA EDC)
May 13, 12:53

Dear Lou,

alright thank you so much for your e-mail and the attached link. We are always happy to hear our customer's stories and memories with our charms and bracelets. Your bracelet looks beautiful and the memories which are within each charm is impressive. It truly warms our hearts, please be aware of this.

Regarding your gift card, unfortunately, we are unable to re-active or extend any expired gift card. I understand that this is frustrating, and I know this is not the answer you were looking for. The terms and condition is stated at our webpage, as well as the date of purchase is either shown at the back of the card or at the receipt of purchase. I am sorry that you were not able to use your gift card, and I am sorry, that we are unable to assist you further.

We are crossing our fingers, you will still let your memories be represented by our charms in the future.
Thank you for reaching out to us, and have a great weekend, Lou!



Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Kind Regards / Med venlig hilsen
Simone Johannsen
Customer Relations Assistant, EDC


At least it was sunny

I wake up because the sun rays are bursting
Shining through the curtains first thing
It makes me think of the colour yellow & happiness
I think ‘that’s nice’ and smile while I rest

But I’m tired, its so early, I’m not strong
And I remember how yesterday was so long
How hard it was and how much my heart ached
And I think ‘that’s a shame’ and I frown while I berate

My alarm sounds, I don’t want to go to work
I can’t face the fake, can’t make it not hurt
I want to pretend the race to the rats doesn’t exist
The hamster wheel for me, I want to resist

But responsibilities, self worth, put one foot in front of another
Feel like a miserable mother fucker
Suppress the dread in my gut
Don’t like being stuck in this rut

Focus, focus on what comes at the end of the day
Free from societal norm, to go your own way
And I think to myself, just one small motivational thing
‘At least the sun is shining.’

I shower too long, I move to slow
No interest in bringing on my mo-jo
I dress to impress
Especially when under duress
Outside look my best, when inside I feel a mess
Let them guess!
That all I do is work at a desk
But at least, the sun is shining

Meetings, conference calls, management drills
Employing the best of my organisational skills
All done with a sunny smile
Going the extra mile
Feel like my capabilities, my capacity is on trial
All the while
Pushing down the bile
Of this vile corporate bullshit style

Lunchtime feels like a day has gone by
Haven’t stopped for a minute but time here does not fly
The snail’s pace of this place, making a powerful woman cry

I take my salad outside, go sit on warm ground
Try to quiet my minds corporate to-do list going round and round
Literally use my fists to give my temples a pound
Feel actual pain but I don’t make a sound

Lay back, grass, sky, bumble bees, bird song, sunshine
Transportation, liberation, exultation, relaxation
Meditation, infiltration of this natural quiet placation
The sun is shining, I smile a lot
My place in that soulless rat race is momentarily forgot

I think ‘what a waste’, of my awesomeness in this boring place,
A fucking disgrace,
How did I get to this state?
I need to change this pace
Find me some style and grace, soon
But at least, the sun is shining.

Lunchtime over in a flash
Back to the building I mope not dash,
Leave the sunshine behind with my hopes and dreams
And my will power to concentrate it seems

I step back into the corporate gloom
The same day happens all afternoon
Eventually when all my energy is dispersed
And I am feeling my worse
When I’ve nothing else to give
Except the breath to live
I leave this hole
That drains my soul

Walk home in the sunshine, ridding work from my head
It takes so much effort when I get there I just climb into bed
And I sleep away my misery instead
And I think, ‘at least it was sunny today.’