Internationally Unavailable


It’s strange how these things happen. I have been a stranger in the town in which I live, just about hanging onto a peripheral status in terms of social involvement. Reliable (ish) in terms of musical attendance, the odd organised mass social event, but never really fully connected, never part of anything. I visit Berlin, do the same sort of thing, but feel more brought in, more included. If it’s still rather floaty, it feels like that is purely because I am not there so often. Then I come back – and end up, by some oddity, just about getting a little sense of belonging. Or at least the possibility.

I decide to be conventional about my finances and (re)borrow some money – they knock me back and I am then happier being self-financing. I gained strength from realising what I do have, in the darkest depths of considering what I don’t (thanks, in part, to some real kindness). I succumb to cold, hard world syndrome, walk a path that should just reinforce that – and somehow, it goes the road less travelled, not over a cliff, not into a barrier – becomes a stroll in the countryside with friends.

Somehow, out of random chance, of where everyone else is with life, it’s almost, almost getting to feel like I might be part of a wider life. At least a little, at least for a little while. That I can know a bit about people’s lives and they a little of mine, that there’s friendship beyond Utility Friends (where it’s purely that you have a common hobby), but short of Bestest Buddies 4-Eva. LOL.

Out of vulnerability is coming strength. Out of uncertainty, surety.

I am living MY life, no matter what. With compassion and consideration for others, with empathy, sure. But mine. What I want. There’s a core of good, and it may just be part of me. Maybe integrity, real honesty, real truth (in all its scary glory) – all of that is paying off now, big style. Life is not shit. It doesn’t just happen to you. It is what you make it. What you make of all the random things, what skills and knowledge and experience you bring to Plans C, D and W. What creative and joyous solutions you find when it’s improvisation time. If it’s done in full heart, with decent intent, driven by the positive emotions – with care and time and space for others (whilst never forgetting that you yourself are also human and deserving), then, then it has a chance to be a life, not just existence.

A chance at the very least.


My I Don’t Have To Run Day


Managed quite a chilled day today, unpacked car of gig gear (so much less without the PA!) wander into town, coffee, gossip and general conversation, getting myself prepped for another working week. Well, I say week, but it’s 3 days as I am off to Denmark again on Weds night. I have, I think, worked precisely one full 5 day week since I started. It can’t last … but then there is May Day Bank Holiday, I am off on the mid-may Friday back out to Berlin to pick up the apartment keys … 🙂 Maybe it can!

I really needed whatever distractions today could bring me, so they were all gratefully accepted, from funny books to kitchen accessory destruction. From torrential rainshowers to musical amusements and tales of truly terrible houseguests who overstay their welcome whist having spectacular personal meltdowns untainted by any thought that anyone else in the world might exist… As a specator sport – absolutely top. Not so good if you have to live it… My advice was harsh but practical, my prediction of the next probable phases cheerfully depressingly grim. It all kept me well occupied and well away from my own thoughts, which was all to the good this particular Sunday.

But somehow, later, all was well and more than well. Life. You never can tell.



[All photos by Chris Nevard]

The show must go on – even if my head and heart’s to shit – and most especially if the gig was mysteriously cancelled mid week by forces unknown… Mistake, wrong band, wrong pub? Malice by secret enemies? If so – mine, the pub’s, the rest of the band’s? Who knows. It’s a bit of mystery, but to be totally honest, also a bit of a strange ego boost, to think that someone might care enough to try to sabotage us…

It seemed to make no difference, people were there, rock was played. I couldn’t hear my guitar at all, so had to play by look and feel, the mixer desk didn’t get on with the pub’s dirty power and cut out a few times. My own desk, brought as spare, had been left set up wrong… we didn’t care, didn’t panic, just got on with it.

Good night, good people, good comments, they want us back, I survived my 2nd gig as a guitarist – just more good things in life. More good things. Even in the secret heart of disaster, good triumphs. Hope. Future. Light and life. Goodnight folks.

What a difference a day makes


That and doing it my way, playing it by ear. Powered through the day. Told the bank to go f..k themselves (not in so many words) and sorted it out myself. Choice is evil – they gave me none, and that made it simple. Got apparently excellent references from my reasonable ex-employers, going above and beyond. Did a ton of work. Came up with a good idea that was less work or cost. Farmed off the boat visits to the broker. Realised I have a balance with music – enough ambition, not too much.  Agreed let’s be friends – and had it actually meant. Amazing.

Got on with life. I’ve got a lot. I have good friends. can and do DO a lot. I have got it together and got it going on.



Here I am, bundled up on the sofa, where I have been most of the day. Cumulative fatigue and stress, insomnia – it’s let the bugs in and brought me down sick. Or at least in no fit state to ride a motorbike. I’m not doing enough, but still it’s too much. I need the financial stuff sorted. I need the boat to sell. I need to find a rhythm with work. I need to get rid of my excess possessions.

I’m in a materially good position, but a personally rather isolated one. Maybe I just want too much. Not possessions, you understand, but a sense of belonging. Can’t buy that. Still, I know some good people, some interesting ones. I hope I give back enough.

Maybe I should just bury it all in music, if I can. Now there’s a thought…

Bank Holiday

I took not a single photo all weekend – shocking, I know.

Bike got new tyre. I spent time hanging in Guildford, unusually, in the pub. Friends over from Cheshire via Reading. Make Music in the King’s Head. Showing someone the boat, band practice and an unexpected big screen Game Of Thrones Monday. Almost felt part of the town for a bit. Unusual.

Tuesday and work rolls round again. One of these weeks, I’ll work a full one.



Getting really slack about this blog, life’s been the kind of busy that’s designed to fill emptiness. Pics are from Thursday down at The Star. White Pigeon, 80s style goodness, followed by Hornet – appeal to the part of me that likes Motorhead. I barely made it out, tired, but glad I did.

The gig was also notable for the sound being pretty decent for once (it’s an infamously crap room). Better yet I know the young man who did it (at least for 2 of the bands,  White Pigeon brought their own, apparently he does Lionel Richie? Or someone equally as unlikely).

I left when the music stopped. 3 more days of weekend to go.