The Holy Trinity of Topics Best Avoided – Clearing the Backlog and Starting Afresh, Hopefully…

WIAA: Hey Alyson, it looks as if you’ve become a blogger who no longer blogs.

ALYSON: It does look a bit like that doesn’t it WIAA, and I’ve lost count of how many posts I’ve started recently apologising for my much reduced output. It’s kind of getting boring now so I either have to reinvent this place or bow out.

WIAA: How could you reinvent my pages Alyson? I am feeling a bit lonely and unloved to be honest.

ALYSON: Still not sure WIAA, but I think I’ve almost exhausted all my music-related anecdotes and delved into the back stories of most of my rock and pop heroes. I also used to share a lot of personal stuff around here (oversharing was my middle name), but now that I’m not as anonymous as I used to be, not as easy to do without feeling self-conscious.

WIAA: I remember the days when you rushed home from work and couldn’t wait to start blogging.

ALYSON: Indeed WIAA, and here’s a funny thing that’s happened this week. DD has just started a new job at my old workplace and has already met up with many of my old workmates. They have regaled the tales of “Breaking Bad Day” when I wore a Walter White mask, and of how I was generally the instigator of social events. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m in a bit of a rut at the moment and hearing her stories has made me a tad envious of her exciting new start. Although recounted on these pages, I seem to have conveniently erased all my bad work memories and if I did partly give up my job six years ago to spend more time blogging (which I think I did), I really owe it to myself to keep going, but it has to be enjoyable.

WIAA: I get that Alyson. How about we join forces to get you out of that rut and for me to feel less lonely and unloved?

ALYSON: Sounds like a plan WIAA. Give me a prompt and I’ll see what I can come up with?

WIAA: Well last time you wrote about telly shows you’d watched recently. How about we start there. Anything new to add to the list?

ALYSON: Funny you should suggest that WIAA as I’ve partly kept a low profile around here over the last few weeks because of my viewing habits. I know which topics it’s best to avoid around here by now, and lo and behold we’ve had a conflagration of all three of them over the last three weeks: The Royal Family, Eurovision and Football!

I was always going to watch The Coronation but I am also acutely aware it’s something more than half the population most certainly had no intention of watching, Mr WIAA and DD included. It wasn’t lost on me however that it might well be the only coronation I ever see as something that’s been happening for around a 1000 years in the same spot, seems likely to die out on our watch (there seems to be a pattern forming here). Much of it made me feel uncomfortable and I’m pretty sure the new king felt just as uncomfortable – the wording of the oaths, being stripped down to his nightgown and the canopied “anointing”, BUT, there was also much to be in awe of – Penny Mordaunt’s impressive sword-holding skills, Princess Anne’s red feathered hat perfectly obscuring the errant prince, the king’s very professional “hot” kilted equerry and the assembled congregation’s bladder control (they had to arrive at 6.30am).

Music played a large part in proceedings and I learnt a lot from the commentators. I had no idea that the piece of music we most associate with coronations was written by Handel back in 1727 for the crowning of George II. The words, which until now I had always thought were in Latin as hard to decipher, were translated from the biblical account of the anointing of Solomon by Zadok the Priest, and they have been used in every coronation since that of King Edgar in the year 973. Anyway, if you are a fervent Republican you can close your ears now but I found a whole new appreciation for a piece of music I had only ever heard accompanying some very grainy black and white footage of a coronation from 70 years earlier. I give you Zadok the Priest by George Frideric Handel. Rousing stuff at 1:20.

Zadok the Priest by George Frideric Handel:

On the Sunday night after the coronation there was a concert held outside Windsor Castle and for once the line-up was not purely made up of people from the world of pop music, old and new. In fact other than some dodgy singing from Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry looking like the Quality Street toffee penny, it was all very professional and this segment where the pianist Alexis Ffrench and singer Zak Abel performed a cover of the Simple Minds’ song Don’t You (Forget About Me) was for me the highlight of the show. It was a reference to how we must look after the natural world (one of the new king’s passions) and the drone display that accompanied it was beautiful indeed. If you only watch the section at 3:20 where a whale emerges from the centre stage, I hope you’ll agree it was worth it.

Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds:

WIAA: Crikey Alyson, considering this was a topic you were going to avoid you really got into your stride there. What was the second topic you decided no-one would want to read about?

ALYSON: Ah that would be the equally marmite-y topic, Eurovision. The song contest that started out in Switzerland in 1956 to bring the countries of Europe closer together (??) was held in Liverpool this year on behalf of last year’s winning country Ukraine. It’s 25 years since it took place in the UK and the BBC certainly milked it, sending all their DJs and television presenters up there to cover the hoopla. I’m a fan of Eurovision, which I mainly put down to my love of facts and figures (just so many), and all things geographical (37 countries take part). The music itself is a real hotch-potch of pop, metal, the bizarre and the beautiful, but the contest has really grown in stature over the last decade and is now a week long extravaganza.

For the first time since before the pandemic our friends who were the other half of Bucks Fizz with us when we went to the contest in 2015 (written about here) came along to join us on the night. DD and her other half were also invited, so a great excuse for a celebration of the food and drink of the participating nations. The music at these get-togethers is often the sideshow but for the record we all voted for the Finnish entrant Käärijä to win, along with the rest of Europe it seems in the public vote. Sadly the national juries had other ideas and the Swedish entrant Loreen won, ensuring the contest will head to Sweden next year for the 50th anniversary of Abba’s win with Waterloo. The conspiracy theorists have been out in force. I will share a clip of the Finnish song Cha Cha Cha which ended up in second place, a song which probably sums up the wacky nature of Eurovision and is typical of the kind of thing entered by that Scandi nation.

WIAA: You’re doing well Alyson, two topics no-one will want to read about, only one left to go. You’ve also gone from Handel to “metal-dance-pop fusion” in one step – what’s next?

ALYSON: In for a penny in for a pound WIAA. Just a short one this but last night I watched a great documentary about how in four short years, Aberdeen FC went from being the nearly men of Scottish football to winning the European Cup Winners Cup. It’s called Aberdeen ’83: Once In A Lifetime and was made because the 40th anniversary of their amazing victory in Gothenburg has just been celebrated. I lived in Aberdeen at the time and the whole city came alive both in the build up to the match, and once the victors returned home. The most poignant part of the programme was watching footage of the 19-year-old Neale Cooper, my friend’s brother, who sadly died back in 2018 and whom I dedicated a tribute post to (link here). He was the youngest of the “Gothenburg Greats” but is the only one to have passed on. I know it will have been tough viewing for his family but they were included in the recent celebrations which must have been really special for them.

When I wrote my tribute to Neale I included this abomination of a song which was hurriedly put together ahead of the big final 40 years ago. Is it the worst football song ever made? Quite possibly, but if you lived in Aberdeen back in 1983 and were a fan of football the European Song would have been played on repeat for sure. Happy memories of a great time for the city.

WIAA: And now a football anthem! If you really are thinking of reinventing this blog Alyson, you’re certainly getting rid of the backlog that’s been building up of topics to avoid. Also if you were going to make things a bit less personal around here I think you’ve failed.

ALYSON: You know what WIAA, I’ve kind of enjoyed writing this one in the end. It’s taken me nearly all day but you’re right, the topics I didn’t think I would broach have now all been broached so a clean slate as they say. Thanks for chivvying me up today as it’s got me writing again. Maybe the rut is just a shallow one.

Until next time…

Don’t You (Forget About Me Lyrics)
(Song by Steve Schiff/Keith Forsey)

Won’t you come see about me?
I’ll be alone, dancing, you know it, baby

Tell me your troubles and doubts
Giving everything inside and out and
Love’s strange, so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on

Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby

Don’t you, forget about me
Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t
Don’t you, forget about me

Will you stand above me?
Look my way, never love me
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down

Will you recognize me?
Call my name or walk on by
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down, down

Hey, hey, hey, hey
Ooh, woah

Don’t you try and pretend
It’s my feeling we’ll win in the end
I won’t harm you or touch your defenses
Vanity and security, ah

Don’t you forget about me
I’ll be alone, dancing, you know it, baby
Going to take you apart
I’ll put us back together at heart, baby

Don’t you, forget about me
Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t
Don’t you, forget about me

As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
When you walk away

Or will you walk away?
Will you walk on by?
Come on, call my name
Will you call my name?

I say
La, la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
When you walk on by
And you call my name
When you walk on by

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. 57 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 by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

28 thoughts on “The Holy Trinity of Topics Best Avoided – Clearing the Backlog and Starting Afresh, Hopefully…”

  1. Alyson, a very interesting and timely post!. My wife and I travelled with friends to the UK in late April early May and two events were certainly ‘front of mind’. The trip was a birthday celebration of sorts as Mike (of Mike and Nancy our travelling buddies) had just celebrated his ‘big’ birthday in March and I was crossing the same threshold in late April. Originally, our plan was to relax and sight see in London for two weeks with the occasional ‘out of town day trip’ thrown in. All was fine until your King decided to be coronated on May 6th. Hotel rooms in Central London that up until then had been merely expensive, were then ‘gone’ from the website for the dates of May 4 through 7. So after a few days of the British Museum, the Churchill War Rooms, Poppies Fish and Chips , various pubs and the mandated crosswalk at Abbey Road Studios, we checked out of our London Hotel and toured Wales for 5 days.
    Before leaving London, we had the second event, which nicely segues to the Eurovision portion of your post.
    As a life long music, an admirer of fellow Irishman Terry Wogan and a lover of Abba music, I have always enjoyed following the trials and tribulations of the Eurovision contest. (Heck, I even enjoyed Will Farrell in “The Story of Fire Saga”). That is what drew us on April 27th to the Olympic Park in East London and the Abba Voyage concert. What an amazing evening and exciting experience. Truly one of the best concerts I have ever attended. (Even having witnessed “Hamilton’ last night in Toronto, I stand by that statement.)
    The music, the energy of the performers (live band and singers), the sound, the lights, the avatars, the Production. All first rate! I encourage all WIAA posters to see the show. I would certainly see it again.
    A great UK trip was had by all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all a Happy Big Birthday to you (belatedly) – sounds as if you had a really good time on your trip but the timing of it meant you landed bang in the middle of all the Coronation hoopla. Wise idea to head to Wales.

      Glad to hear you follow Eurovision – it certainly is a lot bigger now than in the days of Terry Wogan but harmless fun I think. We too loved the Will Ferrell film – Ja Ja Ding Dong! I know of a few people who have been to see the Abba concert now and I hope to make it down myself at some point. Glad you enjoyed it so much. Eurovision heading back to Sweden again next year and now in equal joint place with Ireland as the biggest winners of the contest. Sadly Ireland rarely make it to the final nowadays so changed days.

      Thanks for dropping by.


  2. A very enjoyable post, Alyson, despite the subject matter.

    There was a coronation? I must have missed it. I did see some drones though… clearly repurposed from their usual job of spying on the population, for one night at least. Very pretty they were too.

    There was a Eurovision? I think I might have heard that through the bedroom floor. Apparently, Louise and Sam liked the guys in their underpants and the family where only the daughter actually wanted to be there. Or so I heard.

    There was a foot… ball…? No, you lost me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspected not many people who drop by here would have watched the coronation but yes, those drones were fantastic.

      One of these days you’ll have to join the rest of the family, then you can discuss the Croatian Monty Python guys in their underpants (sadly I can’t now unsee it) and the girl with her reluctant family. Was thinking Eurovision would be tough for you though as half the time we don’t know what they are singing about as in a different language – I on the other hand often favour a song because of its sound and melody.


    1. It is indeed objectively awful but from the template of football songs set by the England Squad of 1970 when they recorded Back Home. By 1983 football songs had become a bit more sophisticated – e.g. We Have A Dream – but that didn’t happen in Aberdeen obviously. Still feel proud when I hear it though and hear all those names listed.


  3. I wasn’t aware there were such taboos in blog writing; you should always write from the heart about stuff you’re passionate about. And if it takes you all day to write, then so be it. I give myself an hour or so max to bash out my 500 words (sometimes more, more often less). But I only write, generally, with me in mind. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, it’s kinda morphed over the years into a digital version of my pocket diaries. (And they were only ever read by me!)
    I’ve always liked your writing style because you mean every word: you could use your blog in a court of law and swear on a stack of Bibles that it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Mine on the other hand…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just know which topics lead to very little feedback in the comments boxes and when I finally cracked and wrote about the Queen’s death last September, you quite rightly picked me up on some of my wording. We are all free to write about what we want as you said at the time and I shouldn’t have expected others to feel the same as I did.

      I wish I could just set myself a word limit and a time limit but never seems to work out that way. If I do manage to reinvent this place a bit that is where I would start. As for my style of writing, it’s just stream of consciousness stuff once I get past the first paragraph – couldn’t do it any other way.


  4. Alyson, I’m going to come back to this when I’m not about to rush headlong into the madness of a working day and can give your post the time and commentary it deserves. Just to say that I am tickled by the “conversation with your blog” format, really made me smile. I suspect that were my own blog able to gain it’s own voice, it would very quickly talk me round in circles and prove to be far more interesting and articulate! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had to go down this route a few times in the past Khayem when I just “wasn’t feeling it” any more and needed a bit of chivvying up from my blog who knows me better than I know myself by now I think! I might make it a regular feature.

      I remember those days of rushing into the madness of a working day and funnily enough I too seemed to manage to be a daily blogger back then too. The old adage, “If you want something done ask a busy person”.


  5. She’s back and with a mammoth post!
    I’ve been eagerly awaiting your Eurovision post even though I didn’t watch it (or the Coronation).
    It was good to be reminded of the days when Scottish football was not dominated solely by the Ugly Sectarian Sisters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It did turn out that way didn’t it but I just thought I should get all the stuff I’d been thinking about out of the way in one fell swoop as not generally popular topics, and I didn’t expect any visitors to the comments boxes! How wrong was I?

      That period in Aberdeen was magical when football wasn’t dominated by the big two. I don’t think Fergie would be able to operate in the same way nowadays having heard some of the stories the players recounted about his locker room tirades. No tribunals in those days though, just lots and lots of silverware so they just got on with it.


  6. Brilliant, Alyson. Although I’d have eked this content out over at least a week, if not two – maybe that’s why your blogging has been less frequent of late, blowing all your content in long reads, not enough drive-bys! Not that I’m one to comment, not when New Amusements is neither new or amusing any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I said to CC, I didn’t think I’d get any visitors to this one so just got everything out of the way in one fell swoop. Turns out I should have maybe eked it out.

      As for New Amusements, it might not be new any more but it’s definitely amusing so keep on going.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, you got your mojo working! That WIAA of yours is a good motivational coach. So much in here, and the main thing is that you enjoyed it – as did we. Like Martin, I’d have eked the topics into a few different posts (they could have lasted me months at my current rate!) so kudos to you. I’m in the Rol camp re. coronation, Eurovision and football too, although to be honest I usually like to dip into a bit of Eurovision for sheer campness and occasional disbelief but we weren’t feeling it this year and opted for a different kind of music altogether that night- we watched back the documentary on the band Fanny that we’d recorded the previous week (and very good it was too). But I’m rather wishing now that we’d tuned into “the guys in their underpants and the family where only the daughter wants to be there” now as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, my pal WIAA is a good motivational coach at times – he needs me though (he’s male it seems) so a symbiotic relationship. With all this talk of AI taking over the world, he might even start writing the blog posts for me. Hope not.

      I don’t think anyone who has dropped by here yet watched any of the things I wrote about above, but that doesn’t seem to have mattered. I think you would have been fatigued watching Eurovision this year as we started at 7.30pm and finished after midnight. Great to have our friends back after a long gap though so we made the most of the food and drink options – Lidl and Aldi were plundered for European delicacies of varying degrees of tastiness.

      I only know of the band Fanny because Mr SDS identified one of the sisters in a picture I once shared of David Bowie with an unknown girl on my blog. Glad you enjoyed the doc – the guys in their underpants made for challenging viewing!


  8. Hi Alyson. I read this wonderful conversation between you & your blog the day it was posted, but I finally have time to comment now. Although I have no opinions on the three topics you discussed, I’m pleased that your conclusion was to move forward. Please never stop blogging. Your posts (or ramblings as you often incorrectly describe them 😀 ) are always enjoyable. I’m sure all of us in the blogosphere have gone through periods where we’ve questioned whether we should continue. I certainly have and, as you’ve seen, I frequently go through long quiet stretches over at my place. The great thing is that our blogs are there, patiently waiting for us to find motivation to share something. I hope you’re having a great weekend. I just finished watching the new Bowie documentary, Moonage Daydream, on HBO. It was fantastic. A very creative use of his music, audio clips of interviews and fascinating footage. If it’s not already on your radar I’m sure it will be now. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I don’t suppose you would have any opinions on such British things as a coronation, our hosting Eurovision or an anniversary of a Football Cup win but thanks for dropping by and for your kind words.

      You are a perfect example of a blogger who can bow out for a considerable length of time yet return down the line to find all your followers are still there. Still find it hard to believe I first discovered your place when you were revisiting 1977 from the perspective of 40 years on, and now you’re covering 1983 40 years on. Where did those last 6 years go?! A lot of water under the bridge since then and changes for us both but here we are both still blogging. I think you did toy with the idea of a podcast a while back but I’m guessing you’ve not started on that yet?

      Moonage Daydream is on my watch list but I really want to savour it so will make a slot for it when I have the house to myself someday. Great to hear you enjoyed it. If it comes to our local cinema I’d prefer to watch it there but it does seem to be on Netflix here now. Thanks for the reminder.


      1. I understand wanting to wait until you have the house to yourself to fully immerse yourself in Moonage Daydream. That’s what happened this week. My wife is away for a few days, so I watched it by myself (although my cat watched some of it with me, and he seemed to enjoy it). I look forward to hearing your thoughts whenever you get a chance to watch it.

        I am still considering a podcast but haven’t had the time to make it happen yet. I did, however, join Geoff Stephen on his The1002ndAlbum podcast, and my episode was just posted today. No surprise that I chose Big Country’s “The Crossing” for that discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I have just been listening to it and left a comment. Wonderful stuff. Well done. (And a reference to Be Bop Deluxe! Hadn’t thought of them in a while.)


  9. Your memories of Aberdeen FC winning the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983 took me back 12 years before that, to when Chelsea won the same trophy, beating Real Madrid – very exciting for 11-year-old me! My dad was a teacher at a school very close to the Chelsea stadium in 1971, so there was also great excitement among both the staff and pupils, particularly as one of the stars of the Chelsea team, Alan Hudson, was a former pupil. He was 19 at the time of the Cup Winners’ Cup Final – the same age as Neale Cooper when Aberdeen won the cup. I must admit that I prefer the Chelsea song Blue is the Colour to the Aberdeen song – but I could be biased!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, so you totally get it! With the connection to your dad and his school so close to the stadium that must have been an exciting time. Can you just imagine what it must have been like being part of that cup-winning side at 19 – no nerves or fear at that age but then again when you experience a high like that so young in life it can be hard to adapt to life after football, unless you are one of the lucky ones.

      Blue Is the Colour is another fine football song from the Back Home school of songwriting – right for the times. Our Aberdeen song was very hastily put together as I doubt if anyone (except Alex Ferguson) thought they would get to the final, but a jaunty wee number complete with Aberdonian accents, bagpipes and namechecks. Happy memories.

      Thanks for dropping by.


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