Flicking the Switch

When our kids were young, they experimented and learned about cause and effect with a light switch.

It may seem like a simple thing but hitting the switch and watching the lights come on was a great thing to experience as they cottoned on to how doing something would make something else happen.

 

But what if there is no switch?

 

My most recent blog before this one (https://wp.me/p8spCk-dB) highlighted exactly how well life was going, new job, ripper house, kids settled at school and the like, but for some reason it all derailed on Saturday.

 

It’s one of those unfortunate parts of mental illness, the element that problems can strike at any time, without warning and suddenly you are in a tailspin.

We’ve heard it all before that mental illness can strike anybody at any time – male, female, tall, short, happy, sad, rich or poor.

 Depression

I am lucky, my depressive phases are usually few and far between but this week has been a tough one for no apparent reason.

It all kicked off on Saturday, waking up feeling like bed was the safest place to be and not wanting to get out. We had a wedding to go for which seemed like the worst idea in the world and leaving the house was going to be a challenge. Sunday was a write off and the last three days at work, my bright and shiny new job, have been a fight.

I still love the job, it’s been challenging, rewarding and the staff I work with have made me feel so welcome and have helped me settle in remarkably well, it’s just this dark haze that is masking the shine and sanding back the lustre.

I’ve had some difficult clients this week, a couple of drug addicts, one who will be staying at Her Majesty’s pleasure in the near future and a couple of absolute rippers. I can’t talk to much about them due to privacy reasons, but this week has been confronting on a couple of counts, not helped by feeling as flat a tack.

 

So how does one deal with it when the haze descends?

This time, I hibernated.

Tuesday night after work I put on my most comfortable trackies and hoodie and curled up in front of a movie I had not seen for a long time, like since before I met Sarah long time – Austin Powers, the Spy Who Shagged Me.

It was an interesting twist on a depressive phase, I was able to smile and laugh even though I was feeling down.

It did remind me of a conversation I had with one of my good mates this week who is battling depression. You are allowed to have fun was the theme of the chat.

Just because you have no motivation, feeling blue and lacking the desire to deal with people doesn’t mean something isn’t funny.Fat B

For example, when Fat Bastard sings the line, “Sexy man, sexy man, eat a lion a sexy man can,” it’s still funny.

 

The hardest part of a phase, manic or depressive, is putting on the suit. I’ve spoken about this before.
While something that is funny is still funny, it’s the dealing with the general public trying to maintain your regular enthusiasm levels, ability to interact and be part of decent society is the battle.

The suit can be like a reverse force field, protecting the general public from what is really going on in my mind. It prevents friends, family and the populous at large from having my thoughts and comments thrust upon them. For example, I wanted to say a few things at the wedding we went to based on my mood at the time, but by putting the suit on, I refrained from expressing an opinion that might not have fully reflected me on a “normal” day.

 

I wrote this mostly last night, when it seemed at its worst and planned to finish it tonight, which I have done. It might seem strange, it did to me, but just like the switch the kids played with, it seems this phased passed as inexplicably as it started.

Tonight I am writing, putting together some uni exam prep and enjoying life again.

 

It will pass if you let it.

 

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Settling in at Two Fat Ladies

It’s been a little while and with a uni break on I thought I’d touch base and report back to all those who have offered support over the last six weeks.
Since leaving Bellerive its been a whole new start, as touched on in my last blog (See here https://wp.me/p8spCk-du).
But since then the wheels have turned quickly. I’ve played my first game of hockey, Snuffo and Oodn are playing too along with settling into a new school, Sarah has had the chance to catch up with old mates and family, as have I and The Moose is just Moose.

The biggest change and thing to report is we have moved into Two Fat Ladies Retreat, our little name for our flash house we have secured to rent.
For those who don’t like bingo or have heard the term before, our house is number 88.
We laboured hard trying to find a place with three bedrooms, was comfortable, dog friendly for our oversize lab, Niall, and was close to where the kids are at school and my work.Boxes
We moved in on the weekend. It was one hell of an effort but, just like the move of our gear from Carlton to Devonport, we knuckled down and got it done. This time we finished ahead of schedule. I thought we would have our rings out getting everything out of the storage locker by the time 5:00pm rolled around. Fear allayed when we took the fridge out of the container before lunch!
The house is amazing.
Moose has taken to it so much that when Sarah took the kids out for a bit of school holiday fun on Tuesday afternoon, it was the first time since Saturday morning he had left the premises.

Before I get into what is next for us, I need to send a shout out to George, Jimmy, Jack, Mum, Dad and my boss Jase for helping shift us on the weekend. One Crewman ute, one dual cab Triton, one cruiser (which now has a big black eye from a tree that came down on it on Sunday) and a trailer plus filling mine and Sarah’s buses to the eye balls to get stuff moved. We spent most of Saturday organising everything leaving us not much to do Sunday apart from flake out knackered on the couch with the kids and watch A Bug’s Life and Cars.

So, what’s next?
Apart from getting eight correct in the footy tipping and getting the Bullies wrong most weeks, we now have WiFi at the house and a whole new start begins.
The WiFi thing is a big one. We have been without it for the last six weeks, It even drew Moose to proclaim, “I like going to Pam-ma’s house, she’s got WiFI”.

It has begun for all of us already and we are loving it. My work is challenging, rewarding and I am working with a great team. The best way to describe my work is I help people without work to find a job and, by extension, make their lives better. That might sound like an idealistic and rose coloured glasses way to look at it, particularly in the honeymoon period of a new job but I firmly believe I can settle into the role and grow in it as I help people who have various issues change their lives for the better.
Sarah’s new start has been getting into this new house and making it our own. We had five weeks or so living with her Dad which was a challenge at times and Sarah worked her arse off trying to find us a great place to live. This ripper of a house is a great reward for her given we have lived in a lot of places without this level of comfort, space and liveability.

Snuffo’s new start is almost complete. He has a new Playstation game which he has Hockeywanted for ages but, more impressively, he has been invited to a birthday party for one of his little mates from school. He was the one we had the most worry about. He’s a shy and gentle kid, smarter than he lets on and we were concerned he might take a while to find his feet in a new school of about 500 students. We’ve been surprised and proud that he has settled in well, made some good cobbers and has been accepted into the school so well.
Oodn has found herself in the top group for study in her class. We always knew she would but were worried that in a straight grade one class she wouldn’t be stretched as much as needed. She’s doing really well at school and started playing hockey. This resulted in goals being scored and fun being had. Of course, fun is the only reason to play any sport at any level. Just look at the current Australian ODI skipper, Tim Paine. I doubt he had a great deal of fun in England.
As for The Moose, his new beginning started a few weeks ago when we took the dog for a walk. We dodged by the Latrobe market and, among all the shite being sold there, he found a Matchbox Lightning McQueen. His little head nearly exploded with excitement. He has a new car, a new house and a driveway where he can ride his bike. So apart from being one of the cheekiest little sods about, he’s one of the happiest too.

Quick mental health check before I sign off on what seems like a bit of an epic.
In the last six weeks, I have not experienced any phases – manic, depressive, mixed or otherwise.
I often wondered if the pressure I was putting on myself to be a certain person in Hobart caused fluctuations in mood.

Bipolar

I was wearing a mask so often. Happy, laughing and ready to help anybody and everybody.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy helping people which is why I’m in the industry I’m in now but at times, all I felt like doing was sitting in a corner and doing nothing.
I also think that pushing as hard as I did to earn as much as I could with sometimes little regard for my health, mental health or family unity led me down a path toward episodes. The moral of the story is to do what you know will make you a better person.
Working seven days a week was not making me a better person. Working five days and spending time with my growing family is.
I’ve been able to integrate into Coastal life well and have grand plans for the next 12 months. Earning enough to save a bit, I want to get a new bike, play cricket, take the kids fishing and enjoy being around family so much more than we were able to down south.

I promise it won’t be a month between blogs this time! We have WiFi on at Two Fat Ladies Retreat now so I have no excuse!

All That’s Old is New Again

Wow, what a whirlwind couple of weeks. It’s been a while since I had the chance to blog due to all the fun and games of quitting a job, moving house, finding a new job and finding somewhere to live.

Have you missed me?
It’s OK to say no. Just like when the gun player in your team offers you a Marlboro Red which led to smoking nearly half your life. No is OK.

But to those who have missed my ramblings, thank you.

I’ve got a fair bit to cover but wanted to start with something I have never experienced before. Exams.

It’s been a bit of a disaster story. One subject had a take home exam which I spent four hours on only to have the computer gobble it up and make my work disappear like Donald Trump’s credibility. I was gutted. This was on top of the stress of moving which meant I had to apply for a deferred exam which I’ll sit in mid-July.
The other exam was something like I have never seen before. I drove to Hobart and, after being completely lost, found the room and stood nervously to head in. The roomExam 1 was sterile. The invigilators were militant and the whole thing seemed like I was being ushered like a sheep heading to the Middle East into a place I was not prepared for.
The exam was meant to take two hours and 15 minutes. I scribbled away and was dusted in about 75 minutes. Not sure if that is a good thing or not but hey, I’ll find out when the marks are distributed.

Thanks to everyone who sent messages of support and encouragement heading into these exams.

For regular readers you might remember I blogged a few weeks ago about backing your ability. Read here > https://wp.me/p8spCk-d6
That’s what we did and it seems that everything is coming up Millhouse.
There have been a few hiccups along the way but nothing insurmountable. We packed up the house, this required and extra trip to Hobart with Mum to get all the cleaning done, Sarah’s sister, her husband, her Dad and my Dad helping load the truck, five cars, one trailer unload again.

We took a big risk leaving a stable job with no house or job to go to but what has happened since has been amazing.

I was offered two jobs. If you put yourself out there enough you are bound to get something based on sheer weight of numbers. I had about a dozen applications in along the North West Coast and was fast tracked through two different sets of application processes which came to a head with two Salvosoffers on the table. I can happily reveal I will be starting work with Salvation Army Employment Plus on Monday based in the Devonport office, which I’ve discovered is short kick away from two coffee joints. Happy days.
Again, thanks for all the messages of support and also to Gerry O’Dea and Roy Loh who, as my referees, proved they don’t really know me that well by giving me references what might have landed me a job as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom!

In other great news, the kids have started school. When we left south we were very nervous about what school we wanted the kids to go to. We applied for an out of area enrolment at Spreyton, knowing that this school has a tremendous reputation and that we were reSpreyton Primary.JPGally keen to settle into this area. After a phone call from the Principal, Mrs Douglas, we were accepted and Snuffo (9) and Oodn (7) started there earlier this week. The Moose has been to his first play group today and pre-kinder will start in couple of weeks’ time for him.
They have made friends and we have, fortuitously, discovered parents and teacher who we either went to school with, swam with, worked with, played cricket and hockey with and against and the whole school seems like such a great community.
I must admit, we were a little worried about Snuffo. He is a quiet soul and pretty shy so we were concerned about him settling in and being bold enough to make friends. All those fear were allayed when, on his second day, he walked into the school unaccompanied and disappeared after school to climb trees with a nice young fella in his class. RESULT!

The kids will be starting hockey next week in the junior program in Devonport and after I get a stick and some shin guards I’ll be lining up with West Devonport again. My last game for the Dragons was in 2011 in Launceston and my last actual game was in 2014 when I broke my foot in Burnie and still owe Dale Foster a beer for looking after me!

The title of this blog is “all that’s old is new again” for a real reason.
We are seeing the area through fresh eyes.

So far we have taken the kids to parks, walked the dog regularly and had the chance to hang out with family, three things that we probably would not have done as much of if we were still in the Moose Cafe.JPGSouth, particularly the family thing.
There has also been a chance to have a coffee run with The Moose.

Last night we went to a birthday party for our nephew, Doug. We would have missed that if we had not been on the Coast.
The mantra for moving “home” was to move closer to family and we are already reaping the benefits, most noticeably with The Moose who informed us the Pam-ma (my Mum) is his best friend. Such a sweet little man

We feel like we might have not appreciated what we really had when we left here to move to Hobart.
Don’t get me wrong, Hobart gave us a chance to learn some great life lessons which has made us the people we are coming back. I mean, the yokel version of me would have never considered having lunch with a transsexual vegan! We have evolved into better people and it’s now a chance for us to give our kids the kind of upbringing we had on the Coast.

One question that is constantly being asked is if I will umpire cricket on the Coast, or get involved in Cricket Tasmania Premier League games involving the new Greater North Team.
All I can say is that I have spoken to the President of Nook Cricket Club and I’m sold on playing up there again next season. I’ve had eight years as an umpire and at the age of 33 realise that I can umpire for a lot more years ahead of me than I can play so I need to make the most of my body while it holds out.

In all this, how has my mental health been?
Well, largely good.
Since making the decision to move I have found that I have had no depressive cycles and only a slight manic blip heading into the exam which was slight and only lasted a day. Life is grand, as an old boss of mine said.

If you liked this blog, drop me a line. I’ll be getting a new computer for home shortly so this update might have to carry you over for a few weeks but please like, share, comment if you took anything from this.

 

 

Pulling Stumps?

If you tally you tally up the two stints I’ve had working for Cricket Tasmania it comes to about four and half years. The last 32 months have been in the match officials department.

Ever since I was a kid I have lived and breathed cricket.

I’d stay up watching Michael Bevan score a boundary off the last ball of

Ray Read

an ODI in Sydney against the West Indies, would watch test cricket while learning how to score, loving watching David Boon bat on tele and started playing as early as I possible could in a competition in Latrobe run by one of club cricket’s great gentleman, Ray Read.
I’ve played for four clubs, never won a flag and in the end an injured hip made me turn to umpiring. For the last eight years, I’ve been ruining the days of fast bowlers and batsman alike with my various out and not out decision while trying to have as much fun as I possibly could. So, working at CT was, for me, a pinnacle of my professional life although not always as glamourous as it seems.
It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve done heaps of stuff outside my position description to help umpires and umpiring bodies around Tasmania with training, guidance and advice. There has also been the long hours working during the summer. Some days could stretch out to 12 hours (this was not isolated to just what I do but common among CT staff during the summer). This coupled with umpiring Saturday and Sunday (39 games in all last season) meaning I needed a name tag so the kids who knew who I was when I got home.
I’ve only just started telling the story publicly but my hardest day umpiring cricket happened when I was at the CA Under 17 National Championships in Adelaide. It was a rest day which was great as the temperature that week barely dipped below 40 degrees. I was in a museum and art gallery with a couple of other umpires looking at weird and whacky installations. This might sound like a great way to spend a ret day but it was the hardest day of my cricket experience as it was Zara’s third birthday. I remember crying that night in the safety of my room knowing that I had missed an important milestone in here development, for the sake of cricket. It didn’t seem right. Luckily she has forgiven me and still, at seven years, asks me to lay down with her every night when she goes to bed so she can tell me about her day.
Cricket is a selfish pur

ketts.jpg

suit. No more than footy, hockey, swimming, rugby or any other sport. As you get better at any role you perform, be it batsman, full forward, left inner, butterfly, tight head prop or officiating, more and more time is required taking you away from home. Working in sport while trying to pursue a pathway is very difficult because the time constraints of working and playing/officiating in the busy period stretch you.

I don’t envy, like I used to, the guys and girls who do this. Those select few who can balance family, work and cricket to take it to the highest level. Reminds me of a panel Q&A question I asked English test umpire Richard Kettleborough who said the hardest part of being a professional umpire, jetting all around the world is waving at his kids when he’s sitting in the back of a taxi heading to the airport for a tour.
So, while I have hard challenges working at CT, there have also been a heap great memories I’ll take away from my time.
I don’t want this to be a negative piece about working in sport because it really is great.

I got to wake up every day, travel to an international standard sporting facility with modern technology for work and do my bit to make the game that outlasted one marriage better.

I got to help people start umpiring, get better at umpiring and watch from inside, players and umpires do their level best to the best player they could be.
Far removed from the desire to be the best was the lunch time quiz. Particularly featuring Dutch, Moose, Dicky and Dan, it was a staple for a few years and always brought the best out in people who needed an outlet for their competitive urges.
Working with some great people. I won’t name them for fear I’ll miss someone out but there have been some great times.

There has also been the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the greatest names of the game. I’ve

Sangakkara_9214.JPG

been lucky enough to meet and/or umpire Ponting, Boon, Sangakkara, Bailey, Paine, Short, Doherty and then some of the young players coming through who I hope do really well in Doran, Jewell and Silk.
Been also lucky enough to stand with contracted umpires Mike Graham-Smith, Sam Nogajski and Darren Close.
This valedictorian styled blog would not be complete with two very important thanks yous.
Roy Loh was my manager when I started back at CT and was one of the best managers I’ve had. He encouraged me to start university studies, giving me all the help I could ask for. I was sad when Roy left but have been lucky enough to catch up with him very regularly since. Cheers Roy.
Gerry Cropped.jpg

 

The other is my current manager, Gerry O’Dea. Gerry came from yachting WA to take over from Roy. I also applied for that job and missed out. I did have a little tantrum when I missed out and thought “What the bloody hell does Ben Lexcen know about cricket?” but Gerry has been brilliant.
On his second day he did something I will never forget. He took be down to Hurricanes Café for a coffee, sat me down and gave me this line, “I don’t know much about cricket and you don’t know much about management but together we can learn off each other and we will go well.” His honesty in that moment had me sold and I thought straight away that I could follow this bloke into battle.

In leaving CT and the umpiring fraternity in Hobart, I don’t know what my involvement in the game will be in 2018/19. I’m interested in playing and will be contacting Nook to see what sort of match fee they pay, don’t really plan to umpire, could be talked into some sort of writing about the game, but at the same time, I’ve been umpiring for eight years and that means there is eight years’ worth of fish to catch.
Thanks once again to CT and thanks Tasmanian umpiring community.
That’s stumps?

I’ll be taking a little break from writing for a few weeks while we move and get settled. I hope to be up and running again by mid June. Stay tuned!

Totally Freaking Out

It’s getting close to exam time and my head is spinning.

This has me freaking out. Not just because I’m moving house, unemployed as of next Friday and will not have a computer to study on, but because I have not sat any exams in the history of my life.

Well, unless you count the Laws of cricket exam for the first three years of my career before I started writing it (a great way to get out of taking it!)

One exam is a take home exam. That is, the exam content is released online and you have four days to bPeg + Cat.jpgash away at a keyboard before you need to submit it for marking. It’s open book which is lucky because the subject is ethics. I thought I was ethically sound until the lecturer started talking and for the last 12 weeks I have left the lecture theatre with my head feeling like it was in a washing machine. I’ve known this particular lecturer for seven years and he did promise to “muck me up” <substitute one letter where you see fit>.

So, I’m not too worried about this one. I have my books, notes and can go back on past assignments and example from the course material so I should be OK. I’ve got a fairly decent grasp on what is expected of me and the mark I need to achieve to pass the whole course.

The second exam is causing more stress.

It’s the 1928 style, invigilated exam where you walk in with a pen and away yoExam.jpgu go. No phones, no computer, not sure about notes but I’d suggest not and it’s all done in a couple of hours.
My biggest stress is I’m not quite sure I know enough about the subject. I think I do and will be reflecting on feedback from past assignments and discussions with the lecturer and hope for the best. Cramming won’t help I don’t think because I will have next to no time for that in the next few weeks with the big move, finding a job, getting the kids into a school. This has left my head feeling like a spinning top.

I guess the best thing is that once I have sat these two exams I can say that, after 33 years, I have sat an exam.

It’s a bit of a badge of honour having seen so many makes freak out over exams over the years.
I never used to get the stress that people would put on themselves heading into exams but I think I’m starting to understand. I
apologise to all my mates who I suggested “take a moment away from the books and play cricket” or words to that effect. I think I get it.

So, my head is spinning with uni (including exams), finding a job, packing up a house, where will the cat sleep when we move, cleaning the house so we get our bond back, arranging a social catch up with mates we will be leaving behind and keeping on top of my mental health through a busy period (sometimes a trigger for manic episodes).Yaralla

It could be worse I guess, despite the rental prices being so cheap and the chance at a good job, we won’t be moving interstate.

300 clicks is enough of a change for this little black duck with his head on a lazy Susan.

The Big Change

When have you needed to back your abilities?

You do it every day. It might only be in a small way like putting the wipers on driving to the shops or making a decision in your workplace. Sometimes, as has happened to us this week, you need to look down the barrel of something that is a little scary and just say, “bugger it, I’m in.”

The ability I’m backing, with my whole family behind me, is my ability to find a job on the North West Danny Ricc.pngCoast of Tasmania. Sounds like an easy task but with an unemployment rate of 7.5%, the highest of any region in Tasmania, it could be challenge. I’m not unfamiliar with getting a job on The Coast having done it what seems a million times with second hand dealers, newspaper, service stations, call centres, irrigation firms and the like but, this time, there is something riding on it.

Almost each and every job change has not had four people needing my income to survive. So, to head to back the Coast with no job knowing that kids need shoes and they have to get fed (thanks Corb Lund for that line) is a worry.

We’ve spend the last 6-8 weeks debating the merits of packing up our life in the South and returning to where we met, one of the happiest times in my life. We looked at what opportunities there were for me, Sarah and the kids with work, school and lifestyle and compared it to what we have down here.

Verona Sands.JPGIt’s funny, we left the Coast for opportunities for me at work and the kids at school and sport and found that, other than the chance for me to umpire at a high level, everything we need for the kids to excel is available at “home.”
There is schools, pools, cricket clubs, Little Athletics and rivers for fishing all on the Coast plus the added bonus of having all our family within arm’s reach. This was the clincher. Since Mum and Dad moved back up the Coast from Hobart we have been living in a vacuum, void of family.

When the fit hits the shan, family around will make life a heap easier. That’s not to day we will be living in their pockets, we will still have the half hour rule (give us half hours’ notice before dropping in), but the chance for the kids to open their presents I their own house and play with them on Christmas morning instead of staying at someone’s house and being whisked off to the next place is just one huge bonus.

So now to business. I’ve got three applications in which I’m excited about and hopefully one comes back or a couple so I get a choice would be prime. That said, I’m not going to sit back and wait for work to come bashing my door down.
I’ll be stalking Seek, The Advocate Newspaper and any other job finding platform there is…and that’s where you can help.

If you think you know of a job going that would suit an office professional who is currently studying to get a degree in what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years, hit me up. I’m not scared to call whoever you suggest. Looking mainly in the Devonport/Latrobe/Ulverstone area.Back Yourself.png

In summary, I’m backing my ability to find work, Sarah is backing my ability to find work and the kids are just happy to be living with their grandparents.
Leaving work to move home for family reasons with no job or home to go to. Sounds like an average Friday to me.

 

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Join in the Chorus….or not

Been a big couple of weeks with some heavy topics and some light ones. I wasn’t massively inspired to write about uni this week, nor a sporting thing. In fact, this whole 6-8 weeks has been filled with heavy conversations, stress, psychologist visits and new ideas and plans that have been so big and hard to deal with at time

Loverama.png

s. We’re still running a couple of scenarios which I’ll bring to you in the next couple of weeks as things develop.

What did inspire me this week was a song.

Release on the Loverama album of 1999, Custard recorded the song, Hit Song. See song here – https://open.spotify.com/track/5psZk80swP0KgmgUH78D88?si=XRV1SkiFRsSC93BtIjZSMQ

It wasn’t about any hit song that they had, their biggest was a minor hit called Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us). Instead it talked about the obsession with writing a hit song which goes “chorus, verse, chorus.” The North Melbourne Football Club Song (https://open.spotify.com/track/3MHP35U5w6GnbX9vD4JSJL?si=qb8uNnuUTZOZ6s2cmgZH8g) encourages us to “join in the chorus, and sing it one and all.” While it’s the fourth best song in the AFL it, along with Custard, got me thinking about those songs without a chorus.

So, here are my top three favourites. In no particular order.

The song t

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hat inspired me and got me thinking about this topic is the Eagles Classic, Desperado. https://open.spotify.com/track/3Xk0R3TxjeXgtTf2GHC8Pl?si=SG6267a1QEmKadhoyBfJ7w As mentioned, this isn’t a particularly inspirational song but it meanders away in such an easy listening way and tells the story beautifully. The lack of a chorus in this song turns it into a poem to music which seems like a real challenge form modern day artists. I challenge you to find, and comment on this post, a song in the last ten years which can be looked at a poem set to music. I don’t care what genre it is.

The second favourite is the song I believe to the magnum opus of U2, their classic One. https://open.spotify.com/track/28BRbc0uO1WY7eFrkwaP2U?

Achtung Baby

si=UczoLBrdRUGRVKmpHs6nvQ Musically it has all the hallmarks of a U2 song but it’s Bono’s delivery of the lyrics which sets this apart from all other U2 songs. Say what you like about Bono and his finger snapping, this song was an instant classic.

On these two songs, do you like a cover version? Or do you simply just (as I do) love the work of Johnny Cash? Some bloke in a big hat said to do yourself a favour and I echo these words. Hit the links below to hear one of the greatest voices of all time remaking these songs.

Desperado – https://open.spotify.com/track/3HkbN0nqB2nOEwJYTkYMeL?si=t1glqfvbQXapOLaEj_vrlQ

One – https://open.spotify.com/track/4vdV2Eua6RkUoUM51jdH56?si=EG_MCZg8TJagaP6wW7RgVA

The final song in my trilogy of favourites without a chorus is a lot newer. Released on the “Small Town Big Shot” album in 2015, Fanny Lumsden brought us a great story and excellent clip with her tune Land of Gold. https://open.spotify.com/track/5vWWrwuusjMx2iOdxcxrfQ?si=gHosyfk_RJGfWuw1BG1Gig I’ve blogged before about seeing Fanny live in Sheffield and how good she was

Small Town Big Shot.jpg

, partnered by Dan Stanley Freeman on the upright base. Fanny tells a great story about picking up, packing off and, basically, buggering off. I can relate it to when Sarah and I had our biggest adventure before kids when, after knowing each other for three weeks we decided to hit the highway and travel 3000km from home. Almost a Jackson style of “being married in a fever”. Below is the link to the clip, while you are on YouTube, check out Totem Tennis, Soapbox and Elastic Waistband as well. https://youtu.be/R4RQc_HJyMI

So, this ends this little musical interlude. I hope you enjoyed it.

If you can think of any other tunes with no chorus that don’t involve football, please let me know, I’d love to hear from you.