A dad's journey into health



My Soundtrack

For me music has always been there in the background, but as far as I can remember it’s never been front and centre in my life. I have always loved music and the culture (90s indie kid and for that matter also a rocker and hip-hopper, I like to experiment) but I never thought it defined me, I always focused more on books, games and friends for that.

It’s only recently, whilst revisiting these songs (looking for old favourites to attempt on the guitar) that it has occurred to me that music has always followed me, like a soundtrack in the background elegantly framing my experiences. Without realising it music does define me. It plays out like a map of my life. Each and every song sending me right back to a specific time and location and all the thoughts feelings and experiences of that place, good and bad, light or dark, young and old.

So I am going to create my own album here, a snapshot of me and my life, each song belongs on the album for a reason and has a special memory, they may not be my most favourite songs but they certainly are justified. I am going to limit it to ten tracks as I could literally be here all day.

1. Guns n Roses – Welcome To The Jungle. I think this was my first steps in having my own musical personality, rock on.

2. Iron Maiden – Run To The Hills. This is a nod to my brother and a thanks for introducing me to so much great music, Prince, Stone Roses and many more, far too many to mention.

3. Ice-T – Home Invasion. My first steps into the world of Hip-Hop. So much followed this. A new way of expressing yourself and story telling. Thanks Iceberg.

4. Percy Sledge – When A Man Loves A Woman. This is an acknowledgement of my parents taste in music and I am eternally grateful for them introducing me to Soul and Motown. This was the first soul song I remember loving.

5. The Charlatans – Just When Your Thinking Things Over. This fires me back to sixth form and reminds me of when I started dating my good lady wife.

6. Oasis – Cigarettes And Alcohol. What is there to say, they exploded onto the music landscape encapsulating the feelings of the UK youth at the time. They did for Britain what Nirvana did for the US. They will always be the epitome of Rock And Roll for me.

7. Bob Dylan – Just Like A Woman. Heard this for the first time whilst working in a shop. Fell in love with the voice of Dylan (after previously dismissing it) and how he changes from adoration to hatred in the space of one song.

8. The Pogues – Sally Maclennane. My friends and I playing pool on a Friday night before heading into town for teenage ladishness. Great Days.

9. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop That Feeling. This is just a great tune that reminds me of all the kids just dancing round together having fun.

10. The Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love. Thus one is easy, simply the best song ever written.

So there it is. I am sure that I will soon be releasing a Vol II.

What would be on your soundtrack?

Stay lucky people, kisses.

Those Damn Barre Chords

So I am about six months into my rise to rock stardom. I just need to get younger by about twenty years, lose 5 stone, grow my hair back and develop some form of musical talent, but other than that I am right on track.

My most recent problem is getting my hands and my head in the right place to tackle them aforementioned ‘damn barre chords’. I get them in theory, it’s just my brain can’t translate them for my hands.

Don’t get me wrong I am definitely getting better at them than I was, just making quite slow progress. I have watched endless YouTube clips on the best way to execute them, and because of these I have developed my own theory on Barre Chords and to my mind the most accurate. It’s called the Enoughseneough model: and the gist is this; shut-up get on with it, it will hurt, and sound bad for a while till you start to get it. If you still can’t do it just practice more. This is my Mantra when learning Barre Chords, it seems to work for me and I think should be adopted by more teachers.

OK maybe not as harsh as that but from what I can see there are no quick fixes, just tweaks to improve technique.

Wow that feels better having a good old rant.

I will get better at guitar, with luck, fingers crossed, and touching wood (but actually touching my head in the comical, time honoured tradition)

Keep trying folks, we could all be on top of the pops next year, that’s still a thing right?

The Learner Me

Successfully completing university is a huge achievement for me, however It has left a bit of a chasm within me.  I think it needs to be filled up with something, but what,  more blogs? Sure but I’m not that convinced that I have that much to say (no room for negative self talk…..stop it). Reading? Ah reading my old friend, I would love to do more reading but as the three yr old twins seem to have a sleeping allergy I get about two pages in before the inevitable dozy head bobbing starts.

No I definitely need to learn, so I have settled on a bucket list item – Learn to play the guitar (sounds crazy but it could work).  I wanted to learn earlier on in life, when in sixth form and all impressionable, when the future was still an optimistic adventure full of fame and possible impossibilities, I bought myself a lovely blue, albeit  cheap guitar and started to strum around, she’s called Lucy.




The good lady wife (girlfriend then) even bought me a lovely deep red semi-acoustic number, unfortunately shortly after I shelved my plectrums, vowing to return some day.  Well like the hardened battle scarred warrior I am (or more likely delusional old Don Quixote figure) I return to pick up the quest to rock stardom or possibly part time folkie type player, in my front room, on weekends, when I’ve been drinking.

That said I’m booked in and game ready for the first lesson, its more than a month away yet but still booked.  It’s strange, there were about three or four music shops in Blackpool a while ago and now there be only one.  This country eh? Shame we’re losing stuff, specialised, niche things just disappearing and when the chance arises in the future will they come back? I hope so, but this is a whole other blog waiting to happen.

Back to the topic in hand, me being the new Bob Dylan.  I do feel I need something and learning the guitar seems the perfect thing, lets hope I can stick to it this time.  I am sure to keep you updated on my progress, any other learners out there I would love to hear from you.


Stay strong, stay beautiful and don’t ever give up – Don’t you dare!!!

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