I have lost the plot recently to some extent. The usual fight with depression and anxiety. I looked back to see what I was doing recording and writing wise last Autumn and Winter. It was quite a lot of material. Some times 8 tracks a month or more. An insane amount really. Now emotionally things have calmed down and I have stopped frantic though actually quite productive activity. So I need to take a few chances with regard to other people and influences, with other ideas. I need people to bounce ideas off. I think I could have handled the bereavements OK if we hadn’t suffered the covid lockdowns. That was the one step beyond I think. Previously when I have felt like this the routine obligations have kept me going but now there are none. Everything is on tap and if I were to order food to be delivered I would not have any reason to leave the premises. That might work for some folks. The paradox is I need to connect with people but I am rubbish at that sort of thing. I am having to try to improve those skills now of necessity as I always relied on have one or two friends that were a gateway to a social life. So a weird combination of events has lead me to this. I grant that it may be the case that its me and a million others in manys of course.
So I know what’s up, but I can’t see how to fix it. I have found a few more useful strengthening exercises for my arms, which are weak due to my back problems. Just started them and they do hurt a bit but long term they should help get me back on track with a bit of luck..
Here’s a bit of a catch up blog post for August 2020
It’s proved very difficult to try and keep the act going. So much of it was created by the personalities of those involved as much as anything else. Whilst I had tried to keep the band going there has not really been anyone that so far was the right fit. Not for peoples lack of trying I hasten to add. Often simply because of we had always been a “let’s see what happens on the night” sort of band with a lot of freedom in what we played. Often Vicky would chuck in a number we had not played for months at random and not always in the same key that we had played it in before. On another occasion Vicky came up with a tune on the dulcimer that was sort of Scottish sounding slow air and we played it at a gig having not heard it before that evening. Sadly we did not even have a demo recording of it so its lost to the world That’s not in everybody’s comfort zone which is quite understandable. Its not just about playing or performing ability, it’s about practical issues. Being in the right place and having the time to be involved without it clashing too much with other commitments. I had hoped to restart this year when of course Covid -19 and lockdown hit. That was a real blow as I had just got myself back up off the floor after Vicky’s death and was beginning to feel a little more confidence again.
I am still plowing on with the other music I make and record in various forms as much as possible, but that’s a rather solitary pursuit in the main at present. I am lucky that I have what I need to create. It’s useful to be able to play the range of instruments that I do. I released two albums of some of my most recent material which you can find here.
I have had a lot of bother with my back and related conditions which I am working on improving but it’s been a bit up hill. I have also got quite depressed primarily because of lack of face to face contact with people I know are quite a distance away from where I live so I don’t tend to be able to meet people casually.
I don’t regret moving from London as the countryside here is wonderful and only a mere 5 minute stroll from my front door. Our next door neighbor even has ducks in his back garden. I haven’t really got properly integrated locally for all sorts of reasons and Covid-19 has not helped much either with that.
Being a somewhat introvert depressive makes life a bit uphill too.
Yep, it would seem that I am complete out of touch and yet all my crusty and ancient mates seem to think they same way as me with regard to most subjects. So many people seem to think that everything is a race to be won or lost and that just over the horizon there is the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. I think they may have been misinformed. That sort of thinking may cause you to miss an awful lot of the good lot of the good stuff along the way.
For me everything is a perpetual effort to do what I do just a little bit better and it takes more and more effort just to move forward an inch or so. But not bothering is really not an option at all and still on the worst days is a real effort to do anything with a backdrop of depression that it would be easy sink back into again. The reality is we do what we do, and then like the song says “you go back Jack, do it again, wheel turning round & round” because the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.
I do feel like an alien creature stranded in a strange land with odd unfathomable customs half the time,more and more I realise its not the place that’s changed its me. Like many others I have spent a fair portion of my adult life being told what to do and when to do it, but when those certainty’s and patterns dissolve what are we left with?
Much of modern politics is based on a series of confidence tricks. After Thursday’s “better than expected” (by 0.2 percentage points) growth figures, the mood around Westminster has changed. George Osborne claims the economy is “healing” and Tory MPs feel more convinced that, with a triple-dip recession avoided, the economy is on its way up. Only 0.4 percentage points the other way and it would have been a disaster. But Conservatives shouldn’t be so self-assured because, outside the Westminster bubble, they are much more unpopular than they realise or accept.
A few weeks ago, on the eve of the budget, a flurry of polls showed Labour had drawn level with the Conservatives on economic competence, and voters were losing faith in the chancellor. In another poll, people were more likely to reject an argument on the economy if Osborne advocated it.
This kind of unpopularity is extraordinary for a chancellor who has been in the job for less than three years. Most leftwingers think they know why (“they’re Tories”), but it’s curious that even conventional Westminster wisdom says Labour should be doing better on economic matters.
But there is no historical precedent for this; in fact Labour should be languishing way behind in the polls.
The key reason is that they were in power during the biggest economic crash of the past 80 years. Voters always blame the party in power for not preventing such big crashes, and take years to forget. The Conservatives were in power when Britain crashed out of the ERM in 1992, and it took the calamity of 2007 for them to be seen as better at managing the economy – a full 15 years later.
So why have people forgiven Labour so quickly? This question is more perplexing, as Labour has made two unpopular accusations against George Osborne since 2010: first that cuts to spending are too hard and too fast, and hit the poor hardest; secondly that austerity is hurting our economic growth and leading to stagnation. Neither of those arguments were popular for Labour to make.
Osborne has argued since 2009 that cuts need to be made to public spending to reduce Britain’s debts. Voters have not liked the cuts but a majority have always accepted their need. In fact more voters have consistently blamed Labour for the cuts than the coalition government. Voters have also mostly preferred more austerity over extra spending on growth. Similarly, on UK’s economic stagnation, most voters blame the previous Labour government, the Eurozone, banks or even higher oil prices for our mess.
If Labour are making arguments that voters don’t agree with, why aren’t more rejecting the party? Maybe the Tories are just feeling midterm blues? But this explanation does not make much sense either: Labour’s reputation for managing the economy increased after they were elected in 1997, and stayed high even during the midterm.
In other words, Labour has pushed ahead with unpopular (if true) arguments in the face of a very hostile media press. Plus, voters very clearly remember they were in charge when the economy crashed in 2007. And yet the Conservative record on economic competence is just barely ahead of Labour. It’s astounding that Labour aren’t languishing in obscurity in the polls.
This suggests to me that the issue here isn’t just the economy but something wider. The speed at which the Conservatives have become so unpopular says less about the cuts they’ve implemented and more about their overall brand. This is the practical impact of the failure of Cameron’s detoxification process, which died in the face of a weak leader unable to take on his own backbenchers. Westminster wisdom downplays Tory unpopularity to mask a hostility so deep that, as Ed Miliband cuttingly said at PMQs a few weeks ago, we were united when Osborne is booed at the Paralympics. It’s only a matter of time before the latest confidence trick also falls apart.
North London â€“ thatâ€™s Crouch End, Haringey, Hornsey, Stroud Green and the surrounding area was once home to a thriving music & arts scene â€“ famous names from the arts who lived and worked in the area abound â€“ they include -The Kinks, Pete Brown of â€˜Sunshine of Your Loveâ€™ & Cream fame, Mick Kidd (Biff of the Guardian), Anthony Minghella, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) Laurie Morgan (legendary Jazz drummer) , Tim Healy, Denise Welch, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth; Bob Dylan â€“ yes he resided in Crouch End for a while. In recent years some of the areaâ€™s best loved venues, theatre, cinemas and arts centres have gone â€“ recession, corporate Gastro Pubs and the like have taken over. A once thriving area feels like a cultural wasteland.
But not any more if entrepreneur Jonny Rogers has anything to do with it. Jonnyâ€™s vision of a community arts & music centre based in Stroud Green and serving North Londonâ€™s creative community is gathering momentum â€“ read on…
BRAND NEW START
A home for community arts and music in North London
With recession devastating the arts & music scene, a single individual has come up with an exciting plan to launch a creative complex within the community.
BRAND NEW START (BNS) envisages the realisation of an ongoing â€˜creative village lifeâ€™ in the heart of North London. BNS would enable a multifunction network channelling independent creative practice into the community and vice-versa. It would harness music, visual & performing arts, film-making, fashion, craft and other disciplines, with particular care taken to accommodate the disadvantaged. All this would be in the confines of a 10,000ftÂ² live-work complex.
BNS seeks thosewith an interest in this project, investors or donors, who possess material assets that they are willing to contribute. Financial investments will go into a co-operative fund held in trust to facilitate the instigation and day to day running of the centre.
At a time when one of North Londonâ€™s iconic buildings â€“ Church Studios in Crouch End is in imminent danger of conversion to flats â€“ BNS offers those with a vision a brand new oasis in the present cultural desert.
Jonny is an established successful Â professional antique & furniture restorer who specialises in prestige period property renovations. He has wide experience and connections with the local creative and charitable community and previous experience of involvement with creative premises. Further information on application to email@example.com
ABOUT THE PROJECT
BNS envisages offering space, support services and facilities to those believing in developing local creativity. Its core principleswould be justice, community, equal opportunity and creative expression, as well as creating a level playing-field for individuals coming from vulnerable or under-privileged circumstances and who are in a position to benefit dramatically from its services.With music as one of its core creative areas, BNS would provide stage, recording and rehearsal settings, as well as a touchstone for shared musical contact, dialogue and interaction.
BRAND NEW START will consist in self-sustaining and community-dependent artists, musicians, tradespersons and other people of relevant profession, who will occupy live-work space and help to run the continual flow of workshops and events that make up the BNS scheme.
THE SITE The project is presently is pitching for is a 10,000ftÂ², A1-status premises in Stroud Green, N4. This would be occupied by project contributors and sub-let to other artists. Work has been done to secure a series of pre-let guarantees for the property.