SUNDAY #80 – SHOUT

Number of stomach aches in the last 48 hours: 0
Number of gigs missed in the last 2 weeks due to food poisoning: 4
Number of colonoscopy tests: 1
Eating your Mum’s homemade curry after 2 weeks of living on biscuits: Priceless.

I’ve only gone and survived that bout of infection/food poisoning (don’t think I’ve mentioned it?) As I stuff my face with warm buttery toast this morning, I can tell you that as soon as I’m off these antibiotics, I am ready to throw myself in to winter party season.

Keep that Baileys (or Aldi equivalent ‘Ballycastle’) chilling in the fridge, and assemble the Ferrero Rochers in to a pyramid. I’ll be round to demolish both as soon as I’ve stopped dancing to this…

and I’ll write something with more substance ASAP…

SUNDAY #79 – Karmacoma

Massive Attack’s Collected should be prescribed to everyone who uses the train line between Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street. The duo’s trip-hop sound will sedate commuters to what is medically known as the ‘cooler than a God damn cucumber’ level, so they’ll be able to cope better when their train is inevitably delayed or cancelled.

Collected is my musical salvation, and it keeps me ‘Safe From Harm’ on my daily commute. If you’re not feeling better by the time you reach second track ‘Karmacoma’, then (no offence) you’re beyond help mate.

I’ve missed two gigs this week because last week’s food poisoning might actually be something a bit more serious. Rather than get sad about it though, I put Jeff Buckley’s Grace on and…got a bit sad about it whilst listening to a seminal 90’s record.

I really want everything to go back to normal, and the best way to do that is to blindly carry on typing these blogs and listening to more seminal 90s records. If anyone’s got any listening suggestions, fire them my way.

I’ll be semi-conscious listening to this in the mean time…

SUNDAY #78 -Grim(es)

Whoever said “sleep it off, you’ll feel better in the morning” obviously never had food poisoning. Well, I’m assuming that’s what I’ve got. I’ve spent the last 48 hours crawling in and out of the foetal position with my eyes screwed shut, breathing through crippling gut pain. I won’t go in to detail, but let’s just say my stomach is as flat as a pancake and everything else has been grim with a capital ‘G’. Fucking seafood.

As with all things though, the bad can be accompanied by the good. I had a blinding Friday night watching The Wytches at Electric Ballroom with my beautiful friend Shauna, so at least the weekend wasn’t a total write off. She also took expert care of me yesterday when last night’s dinner decided to wreak havoc on me. Bless her heart.

When I (eventually) feel better, I’ll put this bad boy on and dance around a bit, and write something a bit more interesting.

SUNDAY #75 -Secret Smile

Can’t really begin this post without acknowledging that I haven’t written a blog for a while.

Three weeks ago I was in a bit of a dire situation with my ulcerative colitis and it was affecting everything (even though I carried on pretending everything was fine). I’m finally feeling better (thank you prescription drugs) and I’ve been making the most of this bright spell by meeting new people and talking a lot of talk about my favourite new music, so I’m not going to apologise for my tardiness.

I keep finding myself in situations where I genuinely have to pinch myself because I feel so overwhelmed by how bloody nice people can be. I watched my friend Hollie get the surprise of her life at her birthday/surprise engagement party last week, and for the first time in two years, watching people who genuinely love each other share that love didn’t make me want to tear my own heart out. It was so bloody nice and it’s turned me a bit soft.

Then there’s me new mate Kelly who I’ve only known for two weeks, but through a mutual love of music and quoting Bridget Jones we’ve managed to become each others go-to-girls for gigs.

Then there’s all the great bands I’ve seen and spoken to over the last few weeks. I’ve said it before, but watching and talking to the people who make the music that shapes your days really is an absolute eye-opening joy.

I’m going to stop bleedin’ gloating now and leave you with Semisonic’s ‘Secret Smile’. I remember hearing this on the radio in my cousin’s car when I was eight years old. Feels like a smug and relevant little tune to share on a Sunday…

SUNDAY #74 – Awake

Last Sunday, I woke up. That’s a remarkable feat for a someone who usually shuns Sunday’s sunlight because she’s been dancing around in Saturday’s moonlight.

It wasn’t just the physical act of waking though; when I opened my eyes it felt like someone had swept the cobwebs out from behind the sockets.

I could put it down to the recent change in the weather (I have never been so happy to be cold in my entire life, that heatwave was murder), but it’s something more.

Last Saturday I covered Gary Numan’s performance at Bush Hall for Gigslutz and I spoke to Tim Muddiman (producer/musician) before the show. I took my Brother with me as my +1, and we spent 90% of the day pinching ourselves asking “Is this actually happening? Are we watching Gary Numan & his band sound check in an empty venue? Are we talking to Tim Muddiman who’s toured with NIN and Pop Will Eat Itself? Are we out of our minds on happiness instead of Peroni?”

Talking to, and witnessing people do the things that fascinate and inspire you is the social equivalent of fresh air. It clears out all the stale oxygen you’ve been choking on, and it makes you focus on what you need to do to get to where you want to be.

The clean, precise, electric nature of the sounds and sights we saw at Bush Hall made me feel an inexhaustible gratitude towards Gigslutz, my family, to…well, everything. It’s woken me up, and the strange thing is I didn’t even know I was sleeping in the first place.

SUNDAY #73 -“Thank you for existing”

I visited the David Bowie mural in Brixton this weekend and it’s left me a bit choked.

My friend Rachel and I spent some time reading the messages left by fans and amidst the lyrics and expressions of love and sadness, there was a simple message that warmed my little walnut heart: “Thank you for existing”.

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English teachers tell you to avoid using the word ‘nice’ but sometimes it’s the perfect word to describe acts of kindness. I think this message is ‘nice’ because it rings true whether you’re as extraordinarily well known as David Bowie, or if you’re only known to a small but important minority of people.

Your existence might be small, but it’s powerful and it matters. Sometimes it takes something as shocking and sad as the death of David Bowie to remind you of that.

SUNDAY #72 – Bestival?

I’ll be honest with you guys, whilst my Bestival review made it sound like I had a top notch time last weekend, I actually spent a lot of time wandering around on my own (sometimes in the pissing rain) feeling a bit low.

I spent a lot of time watching some of my favourite bands wondering why I still haven’t learned to play an instrument, and consequently why I’m still not in a fucking band.

I also spent a lot of time lying in my tent with some serious ulcerative colitis gut aches, wondering why I didn’t ask my doctor for a dose of steroids when I was at my routine hospital appointment last week.

I didn’t really tell my friends about any of this, but I’m pretty sure they figured it out. They’re a perceptive bunch who would probably just try to help me if I actually gave them the slightest chance.

I suppose I could’ve brought the steroids bit up. Festivals are the most appropriate place to talk about drugs so I could’ve indulged in some banter with the chemical loving Geordies who camped next to us, but alas, another opportunity missed.

I also didn’t want to be a bloody miser, so it was safer for me to wander off and see all my favourite bands whilst they did the same. It was easy to meet up after and chat, so I don’t think anyone got too offended by my absence (if you did, soz mate).

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I also wasted a lot of time wondering what other people thought of me as I trudged about with no eyeliner on, and last night’s glitter smeared across my face. When I was standing alone in my dungarees and sunglasses rocking my shabby chic blonde bob watching Wolf Alice for the sixth time, people probably made the mistake of thinking I was at best ‘cool’ and at worst ‘brave’ for standing on my own.

I am optimistic in my low moments though. I had a bit of a Mark Corrigan Peep Show moment when a nice man spoke to me in the crowd waiting for Wolf Alice. Don’t panic, I didn’t tell him he was “the one” or ask him to marry me, I just told him how much I loved Wolf Alice and I thought his job as a festival technician sounded cool. Then Ellie Rowsell came on stage and I lost all interest in conversation.

The optimism is there though because a) it’s genetic, my Mum is a chronic optimist, and b) music always makes me feel better. The right song rarely fails to help me out of whatever self-indulgent hole I’ve crawled in to. I am a creature of habit, and hearing my favourite songs again and again rarely bores me.

I love music (and most musicians) with an adolescent intensity. I’m waaaaay past my teens, but I still feel the same urgency when I hear a new band that I originally felt when I first discovered there was an alternative music chart (which was embarrassingly late, but I’ll save that for another blog).

Bestival 2016 had a lot of flaws (I heard a rumour Prince was supposed to headline Sunday, which is why the line-up/organisation was screwed) but it reminded me that it’s okay to feel low, even if everyone else is feeling high. What makes it alright is the comfort I took from Robert Smith’s voice, Wolf Alice’s lyrics, and VANT’s topless frontman.

I am having the time of my life, but I’m also having a hard time trying to do it when my faulty body constantly keeps trying to stop me from having one.

ANYWAY. The Cure reaffirmed my ability to fall madly in love with music again, so below is a song about the undying nature of that love…

Side note: Turns out, if I’d just checked my emails one last time before I left…I could’ve met up with at least two people at the same stages across the weekend. It’s like I bring it on myself, honestly…