white dove

Posted in journal on November 12th, 2011 by george

Yesterday was Remembrance Day, or Veteran’s Day as it is known in the US. I chose to go and sing in the street in Kettering, Northants. I set my alarm on my ‘smart’ phone for 11am, so as to be sure to observe the customary 2 minutes silence at that time.

I glanced at my phone some 10 seconds early, and turned off the alarm as I leant my guitar against a nearby tree. Turning to see how people in the fairly busy market were behaving, I could see that most people had come to a halt, some it seemed frozen mid-action, and a definite hush had descended on the town. To be sure, some people carried on regardless, apparently oblivious of the stillness around them. Mostly though, small groups, couples and single figures alike remained still and absorbed in silent reflection.

A small group of pigeons were bustling around each other in front of the town hall. At almost exactly 11.02am, a white dove swooped in low across the square and landed among the pigeons. A second later, a trader shouted, “…apples 49p a pound…”, and everyone resumed talking and moving.

None of us could have scripted such a scene.

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , ,

banality & disaster

Posted in journal on March 11th, 2011 by george

This morning, I logged on to Facebook to see what was up. Half way down the news feed was a post from a journalist friend with a link to a live BBC news feed about a 8.8 earthquake in Japan. Clicking on the link I quickly discovered the enormity of the tragedy. Several minutes later I returned to Facebook.

There were a few sympathetic messages about the Japanese disaster. The rest were as follows; invitations to gigs, dinner plans, complaints about partners, “I’m so lonely….”, an offer of ukelele lessons….you get the picture.

Its hard to say if this is reassuring or deeply disturbing. A bit of both I guess. Life goes on, as I’m sure we would all want it to. What can we do? If you think prayer makes a difference, as I do, then a few minutes praying for the many people affected would be time well spent.

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , , , , ,

Ash Wednesday

Posted in journal on March 9th, 2011 by george

First day of Lent today. Went to mass this morning and had ashes smeared on my forehead. I have signed up for 40 days of no coffee or tea. Also no meat, cheese, alcohol or TV!

Not for the first time I am aware that what I am denying myself is all stuff I’m better off without anyway. So apart from all this detox, I am planning to spend more time praying or helping other people. Which it has to be said, will also improve my well being.

In some ways, Lent is a time to get a glimpse of a better life one could enjoy all year round.

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , , ,

my spiritual home

Posted in journal on January 2nd, 2011 by george

Why, in this city that never sleeps, do I always feel at home? I lived here for 9 years in the 80s but that was a long time ago. Still, now as then, I love this town and the way it seems to take me to its heart.

Much has changed. Then it was cheaper, more dangerous, funkier….The likes of me could afford to live here. Today it is very different. Yet much of its unfathomable centre remains unchanged. A friend once described it as ‘….like a big old snake….regularly shedding its skin, but continuing to crawl and slither on…’.

I’m sure I have nothing original to say about it. But it continues to affect me, whether I’m here or not. To me it represents a tumultuous crossroads between the old and the new, a resounding now that includes yesterday and tomorrow, but is bogged down in neither.

In a way I cannot begin to explain, I am more able to be myself here than anywhere I have ever been. This may seem fanciful and sentimental. So be it. I am grateful to the town and its wonderful people for helping me feel this way.

I have been in the US since November 20, and in New York since December 6. I fly home to Cambridge England on Wednesday Jan 5.

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: ,

not feeling great

Posted in journal on August 25th, 2010 by george

This morning finds me less than 100%. Nonetheless, I am able to perform various tasks. In fact the more I do, the less I dwell on how half-assed I feel! So I will not bore you with the details, but carry on doing the deeds with gusto, until I can no longer stay awake. By which time the way I feel will be of zero importance. I might even feel better!

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

I don’t want to die here

Posted in journal on August 22nd, 2010 by george

Last night, over a most enjoyable dinner, some of us fell to talking about plans to find somewhere else to live. Our outlooks and intended courses of action were quite varied, but our motivation and reasons for thinking this way were very similar.

At different times, two of us said, “I dont want to die in….”, followed by our current places of residences. I have lived in the same town on and off for many years. Its a town I know too(?) well, and don’t like living in very much. Several times I have been geared up to take my leave, and something has happened to postpone my departure. Still I remain convinced that the day will come.

I am not at all convinced that leaving will be the antidote to my dissatisfaction. Although there are a number of places I believe I would be happier in, I don’t know that I will ever find somewhere to settle. Perhaps I am doomed to wander back and forth until the time and place of my demise present themselves.

What seems clearer than ever this morning is that for all of us the location is not the problem. If we were living our lives to the best of our ability, doing only the things most important to us, then where we were wouldn’t concern us. I am loathe to admit it, but I remain up to my neck in procrastination.

So although I remain as determined as ever to move, in the mean time I pray for the resolve to change my life right where I am. I can do better, and that being the case, there is no excuse for not doing so.

When death comes to claim me, I pray my house is in order, and I am in the middle of doing things I believe to be good. Then where I am at that time really wont matter.

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , ,

Maud

Posted in announcements, journal on August 2nd, 2010 by george

MaudMaud is the name coined by my son for our recently purchased car. Maud is an automatic diesel Mercedes, and is a dream come true.

In these dire times it may seem both foolhardy and a little sick to covet and own such a thing. Like many people, despite serious reservations, I have accepted that for the moment I cannot do my thing without a car.

Throughout my life, I have owned old cars. Usually I am the final owner. That being the case, I have mostly had decent old cars. Why drive an old Ford when you can drive an old Volvo? An automatic diesel Mercedes has always seemed to me the very best car I could ever hope for. Now I have one!

So welcome, Maud, into our family. Your superior engineering and the very comfortable ride you provide are much appreciated. We shall do our best to maintain and care for you in the times to come. Long may you run.

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , , , ,

to drink or not to drink

Posted in journal, opinion on June 10th, 2010 by george

Throughout my life, it is music that has been my number one preoccupation. However during some periods of my life, drink has run a close second. Since I was a teenager, I have had a long and turbulent relationship with the demon alcohol.

My family moved to Cambridge in 1967, the summer of love(!). At seventeen and fresh out of boarding school into a student town full of pubs, my drinking career took off without a hitch. For the next several years, despite passionate affairs with most of the available recreational drugs, drink remained the undisputed protagonist in my hedonistic heart.

I moved to London, then the streets of Paris, where hours of playing music every day began in earnest. Still a drink of some kind was never far away. Life’s essentials were reduced to a minimum as all surplus funds were offered up at the altar of Bacchus. Fortified with ‘Dutch courage’, I embarked on one adventure after another throughout my 20s. Having lived to tell the tale, I cannot honestly say I regret my alcoholic exuberance. Without the booze, I may never summoned up the nerve to do many of the things I did. Read more »

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , , , , ,

fear of flying

Posted in journal, opinion on April 23rd, 2010 by george

Recent events have seen an Icelandic volcano bring much of the world’s air traffic to a standstill. For six days the skies above Europe have been quiet. It has given us a glimpse of how the world might be if or when the planes stop flying altogether.

As the aviation industry lurches tentatively back into action, its future seems more than ever suspended between desire and reality. How much longer can we expect to zip around the world with such ease? Read more »

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , , , ,

wounded knee

Posted in announcements, journal on April 13th, 2010 by george

Last Tuesday morning, I damaged my knee. Cycling back from church, at some considerable speed, I went off the path, slipped on some mud and lost control.

I remember flying through the air, then the next thing I recall is yelling in pain. Almost immediately, a woman with her young daughter and small dog came to my assistance. They were so nice. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask their names, but thank you whoever you are. How often it is that something bad happens and almost immediately something good happens too.

They helped me to my feet, and after assuring them several times that I was OK, I hobbled slowly home. I spent the rest of the day doing very little except putting off going to the hospital in the hope that I really was OK, but I wasn’t. Read more »

Click to share this post with friends.

For more great content, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed. Subscribe

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Get Adobe Flash player