Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Musical Yoof to a not so Old Grey Whistler!

Funny isn't it, but whatever my mood, be it happy or sad, up or down or even just plain grumpy and fecked off.  Apart from writing there's only one thing that I can ever turn to, that without fail, is guaranteed to lift my mood. The relief and buzz of it may only be temporary, but just for that moment and in that precise moment it works for me. Some may use drugs, alcohol or cigarettes as their crutch and to lighten their mood or raise their spirits but for me it's so much more simple.. it's music!!

I love music, always have and probably always will. It is without doubt the single most wonderful thing I know. Lyrics that tickle your mind or stir your thoughts, words that give inspiration or invoke deep feelings of love or hate, happiness or frustration. Tunes and rhythm’s that pump your veins, stir your soul and make you want to dance, move or simply just smile. When I think about it, I love all types of music, from Indie, to Pop, from Drum and Bass to Jazz! The fact that my 'taste' dictates that I don't always listen to them all, doesn't actually detract from the fact that music is truly wonderful in any form and can inspire your mind and lift your spirits.

From an early age it's been like this, growing up in the seventies and with the advent of Punk, the Mod revival, the emegerence of New Wave! My first single was 'Into the Valley' by The Skids (well if you don't count, ‘Give a little whistle' by Jiminy Cricket), my first album 'Tonic for the Troops' by Boomtown Rats. Sundays spent clued to the Top 40, fingers poised over the casette player, ready to hit record and trying hard to avoid the DJ's intro. As a child I was educated to the sounds of Bowie during 'Art' lessons and saw The Jam and The Smiths live on countless occasions. I remember well, rushing home from the music shop (remember them, those real places where you actually bought vinyl?) to play Ian Dury's 'New Boots and Panties' and the look on my mum’s face when the stereo exploded with the words... 'arseholes, barstards, fuckin, cunts and pricks' ... so by fourteen, music was so etched upon and ingrained in my very being, that for me there can never be anything else quite like it. 

This love has never faded, although the recipients of my affections may have changed over the years, with many new beaus and suitors having shared their souls, cast a smile in my direction and a note in my ear. For most, as soon as they arrive, they are as quickly gone and only a few remain as long term friends. I know I've been blessed to listen, read and appreciate many modern day lyrical poets, albeit it there work is presented through music rather than book or scripture. But their potency and poignancy is as inspirational, emotive or controversial. Their words capture my mood; they reflect my thoughts and almost transcribe my life. In a single twist of words, or the painting of clever verbal imagery or even the twanging and jangling of chords do I feel at peace, removed to a nicer place and at one with my inner self! 

It's funny, but over the past couple of months I've been to a number of gigs, varying from those in huge vacuous clinical arena's, to old fashioned theatres and to the spit and sawdust and almost claustrophobic feel of small academies. I've been asked by people whether I think I'm a bit old for all this and whether I feel I should stop going, I mean, feck me, the cheek of it, after all I'm still only reasonably young and I even have my own teeth and hair? So occasionally I question myself momentarily, but then as soon as I do, I get in and any self doubt is erased and my conscience is again clear. For as the lights dim and the surge of the crowd begins, the crackle of the amps ignite and 'piss and beer' filled glasses are thrown upwards, crowd swaying, singing and bowing to the musical gods, I realise that there is indeed no other feeling quite like this.

So as I sit here today, or in fact any day and whether I feel happy or sad, lost or found, I know it doesn't matter really too much. I can turn on my music, find the right song and for a moment, that sweet moment, I'll be lost from the reality of daily life!

You know, I think it was Shakespeare that once said 'If music be the food of love.. play on' Well I guess he may have a point, but for me it's more than just that, no for me it's not just 'love' that music is the food of. No for me, instead it is my 'life' and my very soul that it feeds!

So ... Let the band play on!!

Monday, 23 January 2012

To reality and beyond ... 9 'Toy's Story

You may not think so but it’s been a busy kind of week for me and blogging. I know, I know, I can see you looking around my blog to see where all this hard work is being hidden (well apart from 80 words for SAHD's new linky!) Has Fingers created a new secret tab or section somewhere that contains some new work, or is it indeed cunningly hidden behind that piece of cake on the table next to you? So no you’re not mistaken, nothing new to see here... no all this hard work has been for others, my blogging journey has seen me writing verses in the theme of a wandering minstrel about cake and Buffy and a bit of ghost writing

So with all that done, my thoughts turned to me and what I should write about next, I was tired and uninspired and lacking in any real ideas. As I sat messing on my laptop, the 6th finger also sat flicking through the dirge of television to find something to keep her occupied. She flicked endlessly from channel to channel, reality show to soap and back to reality shows (god I hate soaps and reality show). It was at that point I drifted slowly to a virtual world somewhere else... at least I think it was virtual...

As my eyes focused again I saw the strangest of sights on the TV... I rubbed them again but it was still there, it was true..... I found myself watching, Celebri-toy Big Brother!!

Picture the scene .... the opening shot pans across Cambelwick Green Locks and onto the newly updated Lego house, home of the Big Brother Toy House, crowds of small toys gather out front and the voiceover man utters those somehow famous words 

The CTBB House
‘Good evening and welcome to Celebri-toy Big Brother ... as nine toys enter the house all competing to win this years star prize!  This year the top toy will win the opportunity of a lifetime to re-launch their flagging career with Disney & Pixar creating the very latest 3D film featuring the CTBB winner. With the film due for an October 2012 release date, merchandising and sponsorship deals are sure to be bountiful and the winner could easily become ‘Christmas Toy ‘ of the year for 2012. ! For the lucky toy,winning CTBB will not only change their life, it could actually ‘save’ their life (from being stuck in the loft, or the indignity of being sold at a local car boot)! So come with me and let’s meet the toys competing this year as they arrive at the house’ 

Cue.. matchbox limosines pulling up and a stream of toy contestents making there way to the door of the house...

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Around The World in 80 Words - Venice

Ok so having seen SAHD's new linky challenging us to write a post in less than 80 words I was intriuged. Not intrigued because of the subject but to see if I could actually write anything in less than 80 words. So here we go .. my attempt to for once to be succinct and meaningful, in a handfull rather than a bucketful of words...

So here you go, my brief guide to... Venice:

Venice - Take your Wellies
Venice, great as there's no roads but not great if you get sea sick or in heavy rain or storms. Piazza San Marco, beautiful Basilica and expensive coffee, pretty if you look up but literally shit if you look down.  Sigh at the Bridge of Sighs and buy just one costly Corneto from a singing grumpy gondolier or get taken for an absolute ride by water taxi.  Birthplace of Vivaldi and place of romance, take the OH and enjoy a ride!

Ok, so it was brief, quick and maybe a bit rough but then I guess that was my challenge.. !! So come on why don't you have a go and see if you can do it?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Vintage Threads...

Ok so as a new blogger I may be naive, but the reality is that before the past couple of days, I had no idea what tagging was. For me it was something that lightweight criminals got instead of a prison sentence and something that involved some kind of weird bondage appliance strapped firmly to one leg that set off an alarm if you were out in the dark.

Then, all of a sudden, there was I minding my own business, finishing off my next blog and wammo... unbeknown to me I get tagged by the lovely The Last Slayer along with Margot and Barbara and Dorky Mum!!!  That’s ok I hear you shout, it’s not like you don’t do this sort of this for fun anyway, but here’s the rub! It couldn’t just have been a nice topic, you know one that I could easily think up, write and post ... something up my street!  Oh no, it had to be on the one thing I know very little about, yep vintage clothes. Now I ask you, is there more of a challenge that you could set a bloke, let alone one that’s actually just a hand, other than to ask them to write about what’s in their wardrobe.

Ok so being one who’s never afraid of a challenge (well maybe... possibly... ok probably then.. depending on what it is) here is my tale of my Vintage ‘Handy’ Wardrobe!

 #1 – The Paisley Romancers
So yep it’s true, I was born in the sixties albeit at the very end of the sixties. A decade of free love; Mods and Rockers, Jimmy Hendrix, 1966 and of course paisley patterns. Now these little beauts above are Father Fingers romancing gloves, it was with these gorgeous finger fettlers that he managed to snare Mother Fingers back in the day.  It was a match made in heaven; he was a right hand and she the left... and these gloves brought them together to a point of togetherness that saw little old me enter this world. Who’d have realised that such a simple act of unity, such as clapping hands at the final whistle of a victorious world cup win would have ‘climaxed’  (and I do obviously mean climaxed) in 9 months later the birth of ‘onlyfivefingers’. To this day we keep them unwashed and festering in their loving embrace as a sign of my beginning (for H&S purposes they are obviously in a Tupperware box now!).

#2 – My Wedding Glove
Fashionable, functional and feisty, I present you my wedding glove (or gauntlet as you may see), pretty apt thinking about it as I’ve been running the gauntlet in my marriage ever since.  I came across these hanging amongst the many gloves in my wardrobe while looking to see what to include in this post. They epitomise everything about me.. as you can see they are strong, reliable, fashionable and functional... ok, so you're right that’s nothing like me, but then in reality they were only bought with one thing in mind and that was to stop Mrs Fingers from squeezing that little bit tight when I was asked the vital question on my wedding day (so as you can see they don’t work) but hey I still like them and they do come in handy sometimes ;-)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Go straight to hell, do not pass 'Go' not lose 200 lbs

January, oh feckin January, a month of good intentions, false hopes and faint optimism! Most of which are in reality just bollox and only verbalised by us because we feel that we should try to say that we're going to do something different or better in our lives that year.

So should I pack in booze? Err no (how else would I remain sane?) should I eat better, well I can try but the reality is that the crisps and pork scratching’s that accompany the booze will put paid to that idea. I mean, so what if it was Christmas and then the New Year, so what if you’ve put on a few pounds of cake and turkey or just aren't as fit as you were before the festive period? Why does January have to lay the guilt on so heavy? Pressure mounting, I finally succumb; you know maybe, just maybe, I could go for something straight forward?? I know I'll go back to the Gym; after all I may as well actually use that membership card that now lies dog-eared on the floor, its sole purpose to stop the table from rocking.

So with this moment of madness in mind, I got to thinking about the ‘gym’, the ‘studio’, the ‘workout zone’! So come on, who ever thought these were a good idea? What possesses people to spend good time and money at these pain delivery centres? Now me, I say I go for medical reasons, because I have a bad knee, well in fact two bad knees, oh and maybe a pound or two extra... and ok... some may even say that I have a fat head? but in all honesty, why do we really bother, for what purpose, it’s certainly not for fun?

Now gyms, they are funny places when you think about it, there can be no argument with that, they come in all shapes and sizes, all with their own personalities, some big and brash, some small and select, some with a reputation for being hard and some that would plain scare the shit out of you! Funny really, it’s a bit like their clients; they too come in all sizes and all types, all trying to find their niche, all trying to look special!! They all have one common goal though, to entice you with images of the body beautiful, the special deal and a shot at releasing your inner Adonis!!

So there you are, you’ve bitten the bullet, signed your DD, now it’s time to take the first steps on the path to the body beautiful. You enter the ‘house of pain’ and suddenly you realise that the reality is far removed from pictures on the adverts. The glamour that once enticed you, the one where a nubile young lady exercises with a grin that would light up the room! Or a perfectly muscled man lifts weights without effort or even breaking a sweat. No, all of this has gone now and been replaced with a stark reality. The reality that bites now, is a room of extremes, of cliques, of stereotypes, of lycra clad people and banging music, a room from Hades, a room that strikes fear into your already strained and pumping heart.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

And now for something completley different !!!

Now this is a first for me, never did I think when I started blogging that I would write anything that wasn’t based even slightly on observation or humour, but that was sensible and heartfelt. A tale of beauty, amazement and unconditional love... but hey, have pen, will write (or in fact, have keyboard will type, to be more accurate). Anyway, this is for me rather than for anyone else, so indulge me if you will and once done I’ll return to my usual irreverence again.

Three Hearts – One Love

So here we are again... it’s January, for most people that’s a time of getting over Christmas, fighting to keep resolutions, strained waistbands, frazzled forelocks and probably just that feeling of being a bit down in the dumps after the festive season.  But in the ‘Fingers’ house it’s very much a case of no rest for the wicked, instead it’s straight from one celebration into another and then yet another, without even time to dust the mantelpiece or a chance to straighten the debris from the floor (well leave it to me, what do you expect?) or even for me to get paid again. 

Anyway, as you know, today is January 4th 2012 and 8 years ago on this very evening, a truly remarkable thing happened for me, (no not that before you start, that’s annually in April! But we’ll come onto that later ;-). ..) Yes, on that night, I welcomed into this world my second daughter to join her sister, two years her junior.  Now, there’s nothing remarkable in how it happened, no great tales of good fortune or emergency delivery just that it did.  For me and the sixth finger it was a straight forward birth (I suspect more so for me), contractions in the afternoon, despatch to hospital delayed until after I’d managed to get through my Sunday roast dinner, well it might have been a long night? (oh and I hadn’t packed the picnic that the midwife had suggested, so always better safe than sorry) However, it was a short labour, one spent mainly on a bouncy ball, not so sure how that helped, but I enjoyed it all the same and then out she popped, good as gold and as beautiful a sight as I’d ever seen ! That was it for me, my family complete, I had two gorgeous girls for me to adore and look after! People have often asked me if I’d have wanted boys, given that I play football, ride motorbikes and can be pretty laddish, but never once to this day have I ever wished I had. In fact, I wouldn’t change them one iota!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A man with no resolve ...

So Christmas is almost done, presents are opened, waistbands expanded and the dust has started to settle. Floors are once again clear of discarded wrapping paper (and those plastic tags that seem to be on every corner of every toy?) and the sound of children bickering fills the air. So in this haze of relief and sadness at the passing of Christmas, our head’s start to clear and we move onto New Year unabated.

And so, there I was, lay in bed this morning, thinking about the New Year and about what resolutions I may be considering. What would be the good intentions that I would / could / maybe set off with into 2012.

So here they are ... but for a man with no resolve, what’s the odds of any of the following happening??

Farts and burps – so apparently it’s not good practice to break wind loudly in front of the kids or teach them to burp ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ on demand??  Now I see these as essential life skills and ones that should be actively encouraged during their formative years, however now that they’ve been trained I suppose there’s no problem with trying to stop it myself.  

Abstinence – ha ha… I may say this while drunk at midnight on the 31st December, but in reality, as if this is possible. The best intentions of a ‘dry January’ will be sadly thrown out of the window by the time I arrive for a family New Year Dinner and have spent 10 minutes in a world of ‘outlaw’ madness.

Television – this year I may reclaim the TV!!!  Ah.. I remember a time, a time before children (yes I have a good memory) it was a lovely time, one where I could get up and read the papers while casually sipping on coffee and watching the news in peace and tranquillity. Then along came my two gorgeous girls and since then my world has moved from Cbeebies through to Nick Jnr and with it my disengagement with my own TV.  Now, I did try to solve this last year with an new extension and a shiny new televsion, but instead now I have two rooms with two different kids channels on.