Communing With Nature, Bill Withers and “Lovely Day”

Well, I find myself lost for words, which is not the ideal situation for a blogger to be in. Looking up the phrase “lost for words” in the dictionary of idioms, I find it defined as such:

Unable to speak or articulate a coherent thought, typically because one is in shock.

I’m pretty sure my fellow bloggers here in the UK will know how this mental state has come about and the way things are going it might be some time before anything resembling normality returns. Speaking of normality, I have almost forgotten what that feels like, as for the last few years our successive governments have been in a state of disarray and the chaos has now ramped up to a whole new level. Yes, David Cameron was looking for a quick fix to a particulary nasty itch, and his solution hasn’t done the country any favours. Where is he now, as Danny Dyer asked on Saturday night telly. About to publish his memoirs apparently – It beggars belief.

AAH3P6B
The Prorogation Ceremony – A new one on me

Anyway, it’s been too long since I last posted anything, so all the ideas I’ve been mulling over have expired. I still have the long list of “posts pending” to tackle, but they all require a fair bit of research, so for another day. To kick start the blogging juices, it’ll have to be another picture post. It’s been a bit of a wet summer with us but this morning was lovely, both sunny and still, so for the first time this year I had my breakfast outside.

What with next door’s apple tree hovering over me, the second flowering of the patio rose (I’m so suburban, I know) and the pots of begonias (written about here before) giving us their final flush of flowers, I could almost forget about all that is going on in the news. It was last week that I first cottoned on to the calming influence of nature, as I ended up having two early morning forest walks in a row. Unlike this morning those days were not quite so lovely, but rather drizzly and a bit windy – Something bracing though about being out there facing the elements and definitely good for the old mental health.

My final pictures come from our trip down to The Cairngorms this last weekend. Mr WIAA had to return his repaired windsurfing board to the place where it usually resides, and by a stroke of luck, Saturday also turned out to be a “lovely day”. Not sure what came over me but on the way home I developed a craving for some good old fashioned fish ‘n’ chips. Last time I partook of that national delicacy it didn’t end well, but lo and behold, once we hit Aviemore we discovered that the Happy Haggis offered High Tea, complete with mushy peas, bread ‘n’ butter, mugs of tea and ice-cream for afters. We’ve driven past that shop for years never realising it also had a great wee traditional fish ‘n’ chip restaurant. It might be some time before we go again, as I’ve now had my quota of carbs for the year I think, but would thoroughly recommend.

But as I often say around here, this is supposed to be a music blog, so which song should I feature this time. The term “lovely day” has cropped up a fair few times in this post, so what better song to include than Lovely Day by Bill Withers. The most notable aspect of this song is that Bill sustains that note, towards the end, for a full 18 seconds, one of the longest ever recorded in a song. Lovely Day was first released as a single in late 1977, reaching No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1978 but has since been re-released at least twice and appeared in several television commercials.

As for Bill Withers, he is also responsible for one of my all-time favourite songs Ain’t No Sunshine which won him a Grammy in 1971. It was used for that great scene in the romantic comedy Notting Hill where lovesick Hugh Grant encounters all four seasons in the three minutes it takes Bill to sing the song.

Lovely Day by Bill Withers:

So, “What’s It All About?” – Last time I wrote about the band Madness, and how the term Night Boat has passed into cockney rhyming slang as a term for a giro, or unemployment benefit cheque. To use another bit of rhyming slang, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, and at the moment I can’t see the situation improving any time soon.

I remember suffering badly at the time of the 2008 financial crisis, as at one point it did seem as if the big four banks would go under and I anticipated all sorts of fallout. Some of the people I worked with were not in the slightest bit worried however, as they apparently “used another bank”, not realising the far-reaching effects of such an event. Similarly, there are plenty of people going about their daily business at the moment, not interested at all in what is going on in the Westminster bubble, as it “doesn’t affect them”.

As happened in 2008, nothing cataclysmic will probably occur on the 31st of October, and this cliff edge they talk about might turn out to be a gentle slope – At the moment we just don’t know, and there lies the problem. I wish I didn’t absorb all the negativity around at the moment but it’s pretty hard to avoid. What I am realising however is that a bit of communing with nature works wonders, so if you find yourself waking up to a “lovely day”, and you get the chance, I thoroughly recommend getting out and enjoying it. Works for me.

Until next time….

Lovely Day Lyrics
(Song by Bill Withers/Skip Scarborough)

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
… lovely day, lovely day, lovely day …

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day…..

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day……

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

16 thoughts on “Communing With Nature, Bill Withers and “Lovely Day””

  1. While “Lovely Day” is a fab song, my favourite Bill Withers number is a duet with Bobby Womack on “It’s All Over Now” (written by Bobby and Shirley Womack). It’s only 2 minutes 40 seconds long and fades out just as Bobby & Bill are really getting into a groove, but well worth a listen. I think there’s an extended version somewhere, but here’s the 2 minute plus one…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing the clip – There are so many Womacks I get confused with them all but I’m guessing you’re a fan.

      What gets me with the Womacks as well, is that they wear shades indoors, sport funny headwear and here Bobby is basically wearing multiple medallions, yet they always look just so ****ing cool. Doubt if your average Aberdonian would get away with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup, being out and about experiencing Nature is an excellent way to find some head space amongst all the turmoil of our daily lives. And, obviously, all that fresh air will work up an appetite! Hopefully, between music and wildlife, there will be enough raising of our spirits to see us through the next chapter of political upheaval.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, preaching to the converted with you but a great antidote to our stressful lives – Sadly for so many, not very easy to get out into the countryside, which is a shame. And yes, it must have been the fresh air that induced my craving – An uninspiring frontage to the Happy Haggis but really well run and fantastic fish ‘n’ chips!

      Like

    1. I love the library of music programmes on the BBC website, especially radio ones. If I’m ever doing a long, boring, manual task I pick one out to listen to. Much more interesting that just listening to normal radio. That Still Bill doc will probably appear again on the schedules.

      Like

  3. If Lynchie is going to suggest songs, so am I, namely I Can’t Write Left-Handed, from the Live At Carnegie Hall album. By the way, its happenes to be a lovely Day here, a nice 23C with a gentle ocean breeze.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was already going to write “lovely post, lovely photos” without realizing the “Lovely Day” reference, so you really did create a lovely mood here. It’s hard not to smile when listening to Bill Withers. I also loved your mention of the Happy Haggis restaurant. How is their haggis? It seems like they are mostly a fish-and-chips shop but with a name like that they better make a tasty haggis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a bit of a mundane and not very edgy word isn’t it, but “lovely” is sometimes just the right adjective for something – Why it’s used so much I suppose.

      As for the Happy Haggis, yes they do also serve haggis, but deep fried in batter with chips – A coronary waiting to happen probably! It looks rubbish from the outside which is why we’ve always driven past before but great inside and the fish ‘n’ chips was just perfect. Haven’t risked that dish for years but we’re now at Wednesday and so far so good.

      Thanks for dropping by – I must have been forgiven for my Sultans Of Swing anecdote!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes – communing with nature is the best way – just about keeps me sane (?!) even if merely limited to my garden at the moment. I’m starting to catch up with myself a bit now so hoping to be able to dip into the blogs a little more over coming weeks, fingers crossed Reading this and seeing your gorgeous photos (whilst experiencing several lovely days weather-wise) is reassuring in such crazy political times – I understand one of the Russian papers has a very apt headline about the state of things at the moment: ‘Has Monty Python taken over Westminster?’ The more I think about it the more I think it must have… each new unfolding scene could be straight out of a comedy sketch show, if only its implications weren’t so serious.
    On a brighter – literally! – note – your scenery is absolutely stunning, I can almost feel the clean crispness of the air. I’m having fun trying to pick out the ducks from the stones in your Loch Morlich photo too, they blend it rather well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit this post (although I imagine it’s bad for the health to have no free time at all) – Hope all is now falling into place and that your confidence has returned.

      Yes, our outing last weekend was the perfect antidote to all the political upheaval and we got away from all the news coverage for a whole day! Didn’t actually notice the ducks until you pointed them out actually, but yes, they do blend in rather well. Any time you fancy experiencing the crisp clean air, you know where I am.

      Like

I'd Love To Hear From You And I Always Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s