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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Chapter 2 - A story about cereal, Run DMC and HMV



It’s safe to say that I’ve been blown away by your feedback from the last chapter. As an update – the twins are doing well (Charis is now 4lb10 and Joey is 3lb1). Obviously we’d all really appreciate your thoughts and prayers to hope that their health continues to improve……



Ok – so what have I been up to in the last week?  What has been going on? Well – as I take you through a selection of some of my more interesting moments from the last week - hopefully you will begin to get an idea about my 10 resolutions…and what they could be……

The Journal Selection

Cast List:
Cass Foster (Wifey) – My amazing wife. Pretty much sums her up!



Andy (Captain) Varley – One of the first people from the farmer lands that I met and without question a true friend. Is very fond of action films and he has his own personal ranking for films based on the theory of something being so bad – it’s great. (Example = Expendables films)



Matt Mortlock – Producer, friend, companion and legend. He’s behind some of the greatest moments on my EP (and quickly approaching album) – as well as some of the funniest that haven’t made it (which I’m sure he’s saving to hit me with later). I’m blessed to be able to spend so much time with him and that he took me on as a project!



Simon Padley – I’m utterly convinced that Padley created the phrase “blag it” – but Padley is very clever. Because although he comes across as disorganised – he actually has a very good idea of direction......He is amazingly humble (apart from about his hockey skills) and great to be around. He also has a slightly unnerving ability to be able to speak truth into your life no matter what the situation. A great leader, a great father (to his rapidly expanding family) and a great friend.




My journal starts on Tuesday last week. Picture the scene. I’m sat in my front room in my dressing gown at lunchtime with a rather epic bowl of Special K, Sky Sports news on the tellybox and my iPad in front of me with garage band open and ready to rock. I’m seriously procrastinating though as I’ve actually been sat like this for 30 minutes already. I should be writing the music to the final track (called “Breakthrough”) on my album. And whilst Garage band is open – Football Manager is as well –and my Wycombe team is marching up the premiership….. I must doze off at some point though because I wake up with a startle (probably complete with dribble) to a knock on the front door. Getting up quickly (as you do when you have a wife understandably moan at you for regularly missing the postman) I knock my bowl of cereal (complete with milk) all over my groinal region creating a rather large patch of white mess. Not wanting to miss the caller I run to the door and open it. The caller is not the postman or a delivery man – but in actual fact is my next door neighbour. She looks me up and down and sees the cereal accident all around the lower regions of my dressing gown (and by accident – I mean explosion). “Busy are we”? she says. “I was just, err, watching TV”…… She lets rip a wry smile that I don’t really understand (until later) and we have a conversation about something with her giggling throughout. The conversation ends and I turn away shutting the door behind me. As I do so I hear her start laughing hysterically through the door – and I have no idea why until I go upstairs to finally wake up with a shower. I take my dressing gown off and instantly see why she was laughing. Without realising – I’d sat on some mud that Milo the destroyer had brought in on his paws. Not only was my groinal region caked with a quite massive cereal patch – but my arse was brown. What a start.
That evening I took a trip to Hippo House recording studio to see my pal and producer Matt. My album is due for release at some point this year – but because of the Christmas period we’ve had a bit of a break. So this time with Matt acts as a “state of the nation” session – working out exactly what needs to be done to get the album ready – or at least to get the album ready enough to get the live drums done.  We listen to the tracks and take a listen to some of the stuff that Matt has been working on (Incidentally – Matt is awesome). We then re-listen to an early mix of one of my songs which sounds more like an 80’s dance anthem. And by that – I mean it sounds really really bad. We laugh at how bad my voice is on a number of tracks (at this point – Matt also chuckles by turning my voice into Justin Bieber) and we then restart the debate on whether it is inappropriate to include beer-can opening sounds on a Christian song (The debate continues….have your say). The evening finished with some quite fantastic car dancing to Run DMC – and lets face it….that’s a positive way to finish any day…
The next day started in a way that I have come to expect. “Scraaaaaaapppppp Ironnnnnn. Annnnyyyyyyyyy ollllddddddd irrrroooooonnnnn.” You don’t want to know the language that comes out of my mouth at this point……I don’t know about you – but these scrap iron things really annoy me. And the worst thing about them is that they will without fail come the morning after I’ve finished a night shift. And why do they come more than twice a week? We don’t have a secret iron mine underneath our house! I go downstairs and put the dog in the garden to stop his attempts at trying to smash through the window to assassinate the iron people (at least this is what I’d love to think he is thinking – in truth I think he just wants to play with them).
Back to bed. Eyes close. As I start to drift off I hear a jingle in the background. I try to ignore it but fail. A minor rage begins to brew inside me. I hear the dog start to bark in the garden. He has heard the noise as well. WHAT IS AN ICE CREAM VAN DOING IN JANUARY????  The van passes – I finally drift back to sleep.
An hour or so later there is a loud knock at the door. Postman or delivery man – it doesn’t matter – the same rules apply as yesterday. I will be in sooo much trouble if I miss either.  I throw the covers off me in something that must have looked like a military film and in one swift move do some form of backward somersault away from the bed. Or that was the intention. For my backward somersault thing actually completely overshot the bed and I landed on the floor – with one of Wifey’s shoes digging into my back. Despite the pain – I got myself up and ran downstairs. I opened the door to find……
That I had opened the front door to a charity person knocking my neighbour’s door. I quickly shut the door and hid in fear they would come for me next.
  
That afternoon I went with Captain Varley (real name Andy) to watch Jack Reacher – potentially the most average film released in the last year (incidentally – I’m pretty sure that was my #onelinereview). Don’t take my word for it though – as I was distracted by spending the whole film working out if (and how???) Rosamund Pike looked younger in this film than when she was hooking up with Brosnan in Die another Day 10 years ago……… Afterwards I think we both also let out a secret cheer inside when we saw some mouthy young ragamuffins (a word that isn’t used enough) being told off by the police…..

Thursday afternoon. Saw the Hobbit. Loved the Hobbit. Should have taken a cushion. (If you haven’t seen it yet – take a cushion)

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and after I’ve spent a morning in the office I come home to spend an afternoon (extending into evening) on the sofa with Cass catching up on the TV shows we have missed in the last week. I have no idea what we actually did watch though – so please don’t ask me!

Sunday was a busy day. I spent the morning in the office writing a (rather sarcastic) Health and Safety brief and then came home to watch a film called the “Perks of being a wallflower” with Cass. Although the film in itself is far from perfect – it’s a heartfelt tale with some real guts in its story for tackling an issue that is often pushed to the side. What you think is a simple coming of age story is actually much more entirely. And some of the challenges it throws at you are real challenges. It’s certainly a film that made me think.
In the evening I was part of a hosting team for an event that I (co) organised with my friend (Simon) Padley at a church in Cheltenham called Elim. The event was a service called “Seek His Face” which brings together people from different Churches to worship together as one community. Whether you go to Church or not – and no matter what you believe – you will have seen on the news or have some knowledge that Churches in general don’t work together.  And that is one of many reasons why these events are so encouraging and fantastic to be part of. Oh – and that evening I also discovered that two really close friends had finally got engaged.  The party is approaching on April 13th……    But I’m sure that you will hear more about that nearer the time….

This brings us to Monday evening and Les Miserables. And WOW. A story of grace, love, forgiveness, redemption, selflessness and of finding hope in unexpected places. (I hear you singing Rihanna....) I left the cinema feeling emotionally drained and strangely challenged. In so many of the situations how would I have reacted? In some cases I’m ashamed to say that I would have done the opposite to whatever the correct decision may have been (whether consciously or not). The quest to be a better person means that sometimes you need to fight the desire to take the easy option. In truth - In the past I haven’t always done that. But it’s time to make a change. Challenge accepted. (And no I haven’t just given away a resolution)…..    

As a quite serious spoiler alert – in next week’s chapter - two resolutions come head to head..........and hopefully the names of the newly engaged ones will be revealed...........as well as some other rather exciting news.
Oh - and by my count - I've given away hefty clues to 4 of the 10 resolutions in this chapter....


And on HMV......


It’s really easy to gather an opinion on HMV being skint through Facebook or the Twitter – but until you properly look at what is going on yourself it’s hard to see the whole picture. But what is happening to HMV now is not dissimilar to what it did to 1000’s of independent record shops (what goes around comes back around).
A lot of people are mentioning HMV’s failure to adapt to the internet as their main fault – something which I don’t disagree with. But with sites like Play and Amazon starting with the internet they automatically had a head start on HMV. HMV also invested strongly in its video games market at a time when the internet was just taking off – a decision that has never really paid off. It’ll be a sad day with no HMV on the high street (although rumours this morning are that a quite massive company are looking at HMV) and i genuinely feel for all of the staff members - but something is for certain. This time it really will be HMV’s biggest ever sale.



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1 comment:

  1. Amen ref churches working together and remembering that they are in fact one church...hope to be free to attend the next event, keep us posted!

    ReplyDelete