A girl tying a bow in her hair

That moment, when you hear a song and the light goes on. A line or the story being told or the waves of the music. The opening of the mind as ideas spark. Or memories tumble in. Or images and dreams awoken.

Music is a passion of mine and it’s a space to disappear into. Just to be. To dive in and be lost in the tapestry.

And that’s just where the seed of these words was sown.

Welcome to a View From The Ground. It’s been a while.

That magic of finding a new band to listen to. To pick through their catalogue. To hear their stories. To, again, get lost.

I guess I’m a deep thinker. It could be said I think too much and should just be in the moment. Fair challenge, but I’m comfortable being me.

Through social media, I happened upon a Scottish band called Tide Lines, who were playing at the best venue in the U.K., Brudenell Social Club in Leeds a few weeks ago. So, after a swift download of their 2 albums and other tracks, tickets were bought and a magnificent night was enjoyed. Suffice it to say, we’ll be watching for further live shows and new music.

But there’s a track that caught my attention – Heroes. A song which strikes all kinds of emotions about something that seems to missing in many ways – tradition, with lyrics such as ‘Still I remember when I was told. Stories of evenings and days of old. Nothing to hide and nothing to lose. Down to the hall in their dancing shoes. Where a boy with nothing but hope to declare, saw a girl who was tying a bow in her hair’.

I’ve listened to this track countless times. It invokes real imagery. Imagery of, as it says, days of old. Days of – if you we’re lucky enough to have one – TV with 3 channels. Days of going to a dance at the local hall. Days of enjoying the simplicity of the entertainment options that you had.

Today, life’s way too complicated, in my opinion. I can scroll to channel 980 and still not find anything to watch. I can scroll through countless radio channels and still not find anything to listen to. Even when I don’t want to watch the news, it’s there. Always there.

Can you imagine the girl who was tying a bow in her hair was worried about what size her dress was – because of what some celebrity reality TV character was wearing? Can you imagine the boy with nothing but hope to declare was concerned over the label on his clothes?

It’s interesting how the COVID pandemic has restricted international travel – for most of us. That is, of course, the first pandemic. As I write, we face another, frightening, wave. According to the reports.

Years ago, a summer holiday was jumping on a train or bus and travelling to the nearest seaside town for the best week of the year – literally just down the road.

And then, package holidays became the norm, or the equivalent. A quick taxi to the airport. A quick, or not so quick, flight to our favoured sun seekers destination. One or two weeks soaking up the sun (which we now now is dangerous): eating different food (unless you like home from home dining. Not my thing, but each to their own); quaffing cocktails and other continental alcohol delights (unless for like home from home Tetleys in the sun); reading newspapers because you have to know what’s going on at home.

However, the pandemic, for a time, meant a back to the future period of jumping in the car, or on a train or bus, and hitting the beautiful British coast.

We were lucky to get to Whitby last year. Good old fashioned enjoyment. Cliff top walks, fish and chips the way they should be, a cheeky beer the way it should be, and lots of laughs. Traditional enjoyment.

If I’d have looked closely enough I’m sure there were plenty of people, let alone boys, with nothing but hope to declare. Sweet hope of enjoying this basic opportunity, to get out and just be happy.

For me, life has been made too complicated. We spent too much time worrying.

We worry about the pandemic – understandably. But that worry is also fuelled by 24 / 7 news. News that is confused and confusing. Confused because of the mixed messages from the government(s). And now we have the latest variant to add to the mix. A new level of confusion. A new distraction for the inaction of an inactive government, it might be said. Would I want to be in the government? No! However, those who are in government stood for election and therefore have gone into the job with their eyes wide open.

Sorry, I strayed from the blog theme. I guess I just get angry and a little worried. Like many people.

But, the more we are exposed to, news wise, the more we worry through that exposure. Oh, the dream to go back to news at midday, evening, and night. News from daily national and local newspapers, with professional, qualified journalists whose purpose was to report. Newspapers delivered through our letter box, by a boy with nothing but hope to declare or a girl with a tied bow in her hair.

I suppose what I’m imagining is that time when we just enjoyed life for its simplicity; through what we had and just made the most of that. Not wanting more, with a desire driven by advertising or peer envy. Gratitude is key. Gratitude for what we have not what we wish we had.

Gratitude for having a bow to tie in the hair (figuratively) rather than wanting a hair style of that celebrity, that sports personality or whatever.

It’s funny how everything is so much more complicated. Remember when the options when you ordered a gin. The decision was full fat or slim lime tonic. Now you can have several versions of tonic – dependent on the brand, or lemonade or ginger or whatever. Then there are what feels like 1,003 different flavours. Don’t get me wrong, some are brilliant . But, when you’re at the bar you want to be that boy (figuratively) with nothing but the hope of gin and tonic to declare.

Maybe we should go into the new year with KISS being our desire. As they used to say, keep it simple stupid.

More to come on this theme as I look at how to go back to basics.

With that, time to exit stage left.

Take care.

Jon

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