Cold Winter Nights, George Harrison and “Here Comes The Moon”

Since discovering that all full moons have a name (given to them by the Native Americans who kept track of the months by the lunar calendar), I have written about each one as they appear in our skies. To accompany the post I always include one of the numerous songs that have been written about the moon and its many foibles.

Well, it’s been a bit of a cataclysmic week here in the UK. On December the 12th we had a General Election and by the 13th we woke up to the news that the Tory party had secured a “stonking” majority at Westminster. They certainly didn’t secure a stonking majority here in Scotland, but they never do, so no change there. As I often say around here, we are living through strange times and I don’t believe for a minute it will be plain sailing for the new government heading into 2020 – Things had come to a head however and it seems Brexit fatigue had taken over the country which is a great shame, as I have a terrible feeling that many of those who voted Tory for the very first time last Thursday, will be the ones who suffer most over the next five years.

Anyway, we all need a break from the politics and before the end of the weekend I just wanted to share this picture of the full moon which lit up our skies on election day. It’s not a great example in terms of quality, but it was the one I managed to take on my phone when heading back to the house after a trip to the hairdressers. When things are looking a bit glum, a trip to your local salon is sometimes just the tonic required and I am happy to report my tresses have now been lit up too, just in time for Christmas.

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The Cold Moon, from outside my house, 12th Dec 2019

We’ve been here before in this blog with a December Cold Moon post both in 2017 and 2018, but it’s the series that just keeps on giving as no two years are ever the same. It seems to be a bit of an optical illusion but the closer to the horizon the moon is, the larger it appears, and by golly that moon on the 12th of December certainly looked large. The politicians may come and go but thankfully the moon still waxes and wanes every 29 and a half days, which is a pleasant constant in a topsy turvy world.

I’m rapidly running out of songs I am familiar with for this series but here’s one written by many a fan’s favourite Beatle, George Harrison. I’m pretty sure it was put forward as a suggestion early on in this series, but it’s not put in an appearance yet, so now would be a good time. Here Comes The Moon was written by George whilst on holiday in Hawaii in February 1978. He came up with several songs for his album George Harrison there, drawing inspiration from his surroundings. He apparently recalled seeing marvellous sunsets and on one particular occasion, the full moon was coming up just as the sun was going down which totally bowled him over (but that was probably also due to the effects of certain hallucinogenic substances).

Here Comes The Moon by George Harrison:

As for George, he was the youngest of the Beatles and a mere lad of 15 when he first joined John and Paul in their skiffle group The Quarrymen. He was also sometimes called “the quiet Beatle” which is why so many perhaps warmed to him the most. He died far too young in 2001 at the age of 58 but has left us a large body of solo material as well as all that he recorded with the Beatles and Travelling Wilburys.

I for one will have to investigate further as I have become quite smitten by this uncomplicated song, written purely about the moment, and not intended as a metaphor for life in any way. Perhaps we should finish off with something from George himself, that gentle soul whose last words were apparently, “Love one another”.

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Until next time….

Here Comes The Moon Lyrics
(Song by George Harrison)

Everybody’s talking up a storm
Act like they don’t notice it
But here it is and here it comes . . .
Here comes the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon.

Impulse always quickens when it’s full
As it turns my head around me
Yes it does and here it comes
Here comes the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon.

God’s gift I see that’s moving up there into the night . . .
Though dark the mirror in the sky reflects us our light:
Looks like a little brother to the sun
Or mother to the stars at night
And here it is and here it comes
Here comes the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon.

Breath is always taken when it’s new
Enhance upon the clouds around it
Yes it is and here it comes
Here comes the moon, the moon, the moon.

 

Northern Soul, Frank Wilson and “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”

One of the loveliest things about having a blog, is that you just never know when a particular post from your archive is going to go viral, but that’s just what’s happened around here over the last couple of days because of a particular drinks advert. If like us you’ve been trying to avoid all the political programming on telly (we already know who we’re going to vote for and just feel depressed whenever we see the runners and riders in action), you might have caught some of the popular prime time shows that still attract a fair few million viewers of an evening. They’re not for everyone I know, but with no guests in the holiday hideaway and no-one ordering Christmas gifts from Mr WIAA’s website, we seem to have more time on our hands than is realistically good for us, and they do offer a bit of light relief of an evening.

The other night, in between watching celebrity campmates do things no human should ever have to do (eating kangaroo anus for entertainment comes to mind) we were treated to multiple showings of one particular seasonal advert, and it leapt out of the screen at us because it featured the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons song, The Night. A couple of years ago I had written a post about that very song after watching the film Northern Soul (link here) and it seems I was not alone in enjoying the ad, as later that evening my “viewing stats” for the post really started to ramp up and it looks as if it will continue that way for the duration of the campaign. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to share such things around here but if you haven’t yet caught it, here is that very stylish ad.

The Night by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons:

Always pleased when I find myself at the top of a search engine results page after the YouTube clip and the wiki entry, as I often experience “blogger’s guilt”, feeling I should be spending my time working on something more lucrative. Finding your blog in amongst the big boys makes me realise, like many others around here, I have quietly and anonymously built up quite a database of “stories and songs”, way beyond anything achieved at college or in the world of work.

You will notice there are a fair few party-goers dancing “Northern Soul style” in the ad. Despite not charting first time around, The Night became one of the most popular tracks on the northern soul circuit, becoming a hit in the UK in 1975. As often happens around here, a strange coincidence has occurred, as even before the ad aired I had already been revisiting my original post to remind myself just how great some of these lesser known American soul records from the mid ’60s were, and all because of another popular Saturday night telly show.

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It’s apparently been running for 17 years and along with the various X-Factor formats and the crazy jungle show, I’ve kind of forgotten what people used to watch before they came along. It’s a show that really seems to draw in the viewers though and although we have never been fervent devotees of Strictly Come Dancing, if you have the telly on whilst you’re preparing Saturday night’s dinner, it’s inevitable you will catch some of the performances.

The other week I think the “celebrities” had to pick a song or style of dancing which was personal to them and Kelvin Fletcher (a soap star and fantastic dancer as it turns out) picked Northern Soul, as his dad had been a fervent devotee back in the day. Since becoming fascinated by the movement a couple of years ago, my ears pricked up, and the song they danced to, Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson formed an earworm for the following week.

Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson:

This song was new to me so of course I had to find out more. Although it became popular at Wigan Casino and the like in the mid 1970s, it was originally recorded in 1965 on the Motown subsidiary label Soul. But here is the really interesting bit, it was Frank Wilson’s only Motown single and is a prized item amongst collectors as all but 5 of the original 250 demo singles were destroyed. Berry Gordy had apparently given the vocals a lukewarm reception and Frank himself decided he would rather focus on production, which has led to the crazy scenario where some of these original copies are changing hands for over £25,000 each.

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Every time I hear about the phenomenon that was Northern Soul, I regret not having been in the right place at the right time, as the dancing would have been perfect for me. In the mid ’70s we only had our local youth club’s disco, but it was there I discovered my passion and was never, ever to be seen dancing round my handbag. Oh no, we had the space so I made full use of it and watching the genuine afionadas of Northern Soul (the dance above was more a stylised version for the show), I reckon I could have given them a run for their money. As a form of exercise, it looks as if it would be much more fun than a workout at the gym. Time to look out the talc, some very wide trousers and get practicing.

Until next time….

Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) Lyrics
(Song by Frank Wilson)

Here I am on bended knees
I lay my heart down at your feet
Now do I love you

All you have to do is ask
I’ll give until there’s nothing left
do I love you

As long as there is life in me
Your happiness is guaranteed
I’ll fill your heart with ecstasy, forever darling

Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Indeed I do Indeed I do

The very thing that I want most
Is just to have and hold you close
Do I love you?

From early morning until late at night
You fill my heart with pure delight
Do I love you?

whenever I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord your soul to keep
And bring you home safe to me, for ever darling

Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Do I love you?

Indeed I do, sweet darling, indeed I do

Now whenever I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord your soul to keep
And bring you home safe to me
for ever darling

Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Do I love you?
Indeed I do, little darling, indeed I do

Sunrise, Sunset #2 – Trees, Tequila and A Bunch of Desperados

A bit of a picture post this one, as really into my new series where I intend to share pictures of sunrises and sunsets (accompanied by a relevant featured song of course). This morning I could tell there was going to be a beautiful array of orange and yellow in the sky as when I came through for breakfast, the colours were dancing across the obscure glass in the back door. I quickly grabbed my new iPhone (which has a much improved camera) and this is what I got. Sadly, most of my sunrise pictures will involve next door’s garage wall which kind of blocks our views down the hill into town. It was built before we bought the house, so we knew what we were getting, but at times likes this it would be nice not to have that big block of grey getting in the way. No matter, a fine sunrise shot whatever.

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A Scottish Sunrise, 3rd Dec 2019

I think I’ve mentioned this around here before, but back in 2009/2010 I set myself the task of taking a picture of something from the natural world, every day, for a whole year. Called my 365 Project, I ended up with a great set of pictures that recorded the seasons during the period from November 2009 until the following November. I had thought it would be a good idea to revisit the same locations a decade on, to compare the scenes, but of course that requires a fair level of commitment and so far I’ve been found wanting. What I have been able to record however makes for sobering viewing.

Exhibit A: On the 1st December 2009 I somehow managed to record the amazing sunrise on the left. Deep purple this one, with oranges so bright they looked like flames. Last Sunday was the 1st December 2019 and from the same vantage point I took the picture on the right. Not as impressive and I hadn’t even noticed before but it seems the cottage down the hill has lost its chimneys in the intervening years. Even worse is that the large tree in its garden has been chopped down, and there are now stumps instead – It used to look spectacular in summer when in full leaf, but now only one left. This got me to thinking about what else has changed so radically, and it didn’t take long.

Exhibit B: Some of the roads leading up the hill to our house were originally farm roads. Many were lined with very old Scots pines which could potentially have been there for hundreds of years. I took this fine shot on the left on a nice sunny day in November 2009. Sadly, a few years later the local council decided to cut down all but one of them, for health and safety reasons, and the shot on the right was the one I took on Sunday. Only one pine remains of the original four, and I don’t know about you, but to me it now looks really sad and lonely. Only two pictures in and already so much of the natural world had gone. Just think how I felt when I pulled into our street last week to be met with our next exhibit.

Exhibit C: The first house in our street has always been blessed with a tree that come springtime is covered in blossom. Our Japanese cherry flowers a bit later, and the blossom lasts longer, but the tree on the corner always flowers first and ends up producing a beautiful carpet of pink on the pavement. For some bizarre reason they have decided to get rid of it, to provide more light for their conservatory we suspect, but again just so sad to see yet another tree go.

But this is a music blog, and I have become side-tracked by trees, or rather the lack of them. This series is supposed to be all about songs relating to sunrises and sunsets so might as well get this one in early doors, as they say – Tequila Sunrise by the Eagles. The song wasn’t actually about the drink of the same name (that unmixed concoction made up of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup which does look remarkably like a sunrise), no, it was written for their 1973 album Desperado where all the songs were based on themes of the Old West. The band even appear on the album’s cover dressed like an outlaw gang.

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Tequila Sunrise was one of the first songs where Don Henley and Glenn Fry collaborated and when Glenn came up with a guitar riff that sounded “kinda Mexican”, Don suggested the title, as they had been drinking straight tequila all night and now the sun was coming up. As for the line “take another shot of courage”, they called tequila “instant courage”, as without it they didn’t have the nerve to go and talk to women (but trust me, not always the best way to woo the opposite sex).

Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles:

So, “What’s It All About?” – A fine picture at the top there, but having revisited my pictures from ten years ago I am sad that in the town anyway, we have lost so many long-established trees.

As for the Eagles, they are one of the many bands that seemed to do just a little too well for themselves and lost their kudos along the way, becoming a tad corporate. Personally I still love listening to their songs but more because of that sense of nostalgia, remembering where I was, and who I was with, when I first discovered them. Growing up in the 1970s, if you were lucky enough to hang out at the house of a friend who had an older brother, there was usually an abundance of Eagles albums.

Just in case you don’t remember what a tequila sunrise drink looks like, here is it – The one we are most familiar with originated in Sausalito, California and those gradations in colour certainly do resemble a sunrise. One of the first alcoholic drinks I remember consuming at our local nightspot was indeed a tequila sunrise and probably because it looked and tasted like a soft drink – An expensive 1970s alcopop.

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Until next time….

Tequila Sunrise Lyrics
(Song by Glenn Fry/Don Henley)

It’s another tequila sunrise
Starin’ slowly ‘cross the sky
Said goodbye
He was just a hired hand
Workin’ on the dreams he planned to try
The days go by

Ev’ry night when the sun goes down
Just another lonely boy in town
And she’s out runnin’ ’round

She wasn’t just another woman
And I couldn’t keep from comin’ on
It’s been so long
Oh and it’s a hollow feelin’
When it comes down to dealin’ friends
It never ends

Take another shot of courage
Wonder why the right words never come
You just get numb
It’s another tequila sunrise
This old world still looks the same
Another frame

Sunrise, Sunset #1 – The Walker Brothers and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)”

The two series I have most enjoyed putting together for this blog have been the ones concerning the natural world. First there was The Wheel Of The Year In Song and over the last couple of years, as regular visitors to this place know, I have become a bit of an expert on all thing pertaining to our only satellite, the moon. I have written 21 posts in total for The Full Moon Calendar In Song and can see there will be a few more to be added, as the way the full moon falls, no two years will ever be the same. When writing about the annual rituals performed by the ancient Celts or Native Americans, it is clear that Mother Nature was the overriding influence over everything they did and how they lived. Oh how things change.

As someone who is usually heavily invested in the political coverage ahead of a general election, this time it leaves me cold. We are in effect watching our leaders “fiddle whilst Rome burns” but the political system being what it is, we seem to be relatively helpless in doing anything about it. Life has changed just so much in the last 10 years (and yes, I’m looking at you Mr iPhone) but we struggle to adapt quickly enough to these changes. My recent posts documenting the suicide of a close friend’s daughter due to cyber-bullying, is a case in point.

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So, what do you do if you have decided to bank all the hours usually reserved for watching political debate, and commune with nature instead? Why you go off in search of sunsets of course. Our forefathers would have had a short day at this time of year, as sunset was at 15:47 here today in the North of Scotland. After a period of twilight when we would have passed through civil, nautical and astronomical dusk, the sun reaches a point 18 degrees below the horizon and it becomes night.

I have long been fascinated by this period of twilight and have built up a fair knowledge of its foibles over the years, so my new series about the natural world is going to be called Sunrise, Sunset. One of the highlights of my recent trip to Bergen in Norway was travelling to the top of Mount Fløyen on the funicular, just before sunset. With its magnificent views over the city we took some great pictures, but I’m going to save them for another time. Instead, here are some I took only last week by the shores of Loch Ness. We’d had an Australian friend staying with us and as it was her last day we tried to find somewhere special to take her, and the sunset was just perfect. Sadly the temperatures were sub-zero so we couldn’t linger long enough to wait until darkness fell, but hopefully down the line we shall.

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Loch Ness just before Sunset
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Loch Ness just after Sunset

But of course this is a music blog, and as with the moon, there are many, many songs that relate to “the sun, sunsets and sunrises”. As ever I would love to hear your suggestions for future posts, but to get us started, and because I’m still feeling rather sad about our recent tragic bereavement, this time I’m going to feature The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) by The Walker Brothers. It was written by the prolific songwriting pair Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. They wrote many hits for The Four Seasons (Gaudio was a member of the group) and although originally released as a single by Frankie Valli, it was much more successful when recorded by The Walker Brothers in 1966. It topped the UK Singles Chart and also became their highest rating song on the Billboard Hot 100 where it peaked at No. 13.

It can be described as a very despondent song about the feeling that comes with the loss of love. In an interview Bob Gaudio explained: “I remember it was a rainy day and Bob Crewe and I were in his office, which was in the Atlantic Records building in the Lincoln Center area of New York, and it started to come together. It was a gloomy day and we were both a little depressed. And out it came.”

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) by The Walker Brothers:

As for The Walker Brothers, they were an American pop group who moved to Britain around the time the British Invasion was happening at home, where bands like the Beatles were dominating the US Charts. They ended up achieving much more success in the UK than in their home country. They were unrelated and used The Walker Brothers showbusiness name simply because they liked it. After splitting up, all three continued to release solo records, with Scott Walker being by far the most successful and creating a large cult following.

So, “What’s It All About?” – I think I have a new series on my hands and I look forward to venturing out and about taking pictures of the perfect sunset or sunrise. Like with the moon, no two are ever the same so plenty of material to work with. Plenty of songs that refer to the sun, or phenomena associated with the sun (rainbows?) so feel free to come up with your own suggestions. And by this time you know, “I always reply”.

Until next time….

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The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) Lyrics
(Song by Bob Crewe/Bob Gaudio)

Loneliness
Is a cloak you wear
A deep shade of blue
Is always there

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
The tears are always clouding your eyes
When you’re without love, baby

Emptiness
Is a place you’re in
With nothing to lose
But no more to win

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
The tears are always clouding your eyes
When you’re without love

Lonely
Without you baby
Girl I need you
I can’t go on

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
(The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky)
The tears are always clouding your eyes
(The tears are always clouding your eyes)
The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
When you’re without love, baby

(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)

That Final Journey, Gerry Cinnamon and “Belter”

Didn’t intend this to be the third post in what has turned out to be a trilogy, but still in shock over the tragic loss of my friend’s daughter, and on Friday the funeral took place in a church right in the centre of our town. An emotional event as expected, which threw our highly efficient local undertakers into a spin, as they’d never before had to try and seat so many people at one service. It was standing room only, which again makes me question what on earth we are doing to our young people. How is it they can feel just so alone, yet have so many people who care about them? Far too complex an issue to go into here but it has left many of us fearful for our own brood.

After a heartfelt poem written by and read out by a family friend, a reading by her sister, and the eulogy covering all the amazing achievements racked up during her brief 18 years, it was time for Holly’s wicker coffin to leave the church. Once outside, the town’s pipe band of which she had been a member, marched in front of the hearse to the cemetery for a private burial. People who didn’t know her or her family came out of their homes and shops to pay respect to this local girl who’d had just far too short a time on the planet. None of us noticed it at the time, but because of the rain that was falling, a rainbow had formed in the sky.

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That very rainbow

But as I always say around here this is a music blog and amongst all this sadness I have made a new musical discovery. I have been tardy as ever, but Gerry Cinnamon, a Scottish singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist, has been slowly building up a following over the last few years and tickets for his latest stadium concert apparently sold out on Friday in three minutes. Like The Proclaimers before him, he sings using his local accent and has come to prominence purely on the back of word of mouth and social media, his first album “Erratic Cinematic” funded via the PledgeMusic platform.

My friend’s daughter and her buddies were fans of Mr Cinnamon and I have no doubt, had things turned out differently, they would all have been heading to Hampden next summer to see him. For this reason, his song Belter was the one her family chose to accompany that wicker coffin leaving the church. A moment of levity amongst all the sadness. The song was apparently written about that moment at the start of a relationship when things can go either way, trying-to-be-cool and not wanting to let your guard down for fear of rejection, but your heart doing exactly what it wants to do. A realistic, tongue-in-cheek love song.

Belter by Gerry Cinnamon:

Sorry to have written yet another really sad post around here but this is the place where I can share my thoughts anonymously without the real world getting involved or having an opinion, so a great outlet really. As for Mr Cinnamon, he is very unhappy at how those tickets got sold to “corporate goons” just so quickly and are now appearing online at highly inflated prices. He also however realises that if the biggest bands in the world can’t stop it happening or do anything about it, he is likewise stymied.

I hope my friend and her family will be able to come to terms with what has happened in time, but it’s not going to be easy. Listening to the song shared here will never be the same again, that’s for sure, but it will certainly always hold a special place in their hearts.

Until next time….

Belter Lyrics
(Song by Gerry Cinnamon)

She is a belter, different from the rest
Diamonds oan’ her finger and she always looks her best
She is a gangster, with a hundred-mile stare
When she walks her feet don’t touch the flare

She is a belter

She plays wae’ lightning
I’m a hundred miles high
Dishing out the thunder like a god inside the sky
She is a dancer and she dances in my dreams
Reminds me that the world is not as evil as it seems

She is a belter

No happy endings; unless fairytales come true
But she looks like a princess and there’s not much else to do
I think I love her
She gets underneath my skin
But I’ve been stung a few times, so I don’t let no one in
No even belters!

She is a belter
She is a belter
She is a belter

How can she reach me when I’m high above the shelf?
Lost inside a smoke ring
While I ponder tae’ myself
Is she the answer, to the question in my mind?
Is happiness an option, or has love just turned me blind?

Is she a belter?

No happy endings; unless fairytales come true
But she looks like a princess and there’s not much else to do
I think I love her
She gets underneath my skin
But I’ve been stung a few times, so I don’t let no one in
No even belters

She is a belter
She is a belter
She is a belter

Poppies, “Highland Cathedral” and A Brave Little Scot

Today was Remembrance Sunday and a parade took place through the centre of our town. One person was missing however, the person I wrote about last time, the daughter of my best friend who tragically took her own life just over a week ago. I hope this doesn’t come across as morbid but I have stumbled upon a clip I want to keep hold of, and for me this is the best place.

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Holly was a great piper and four years ago the local pipe band staged a “flash mob” kind of event to raise money for the Poppy Scotland appeal. It was held in our local shopping centre and 14-year-old Holly, in her T-shirt and leggings, had to bravely step out into the limelight (or striplight) and play for a full four minutes before being joined by the rest of her band. I now watch the shoppers casually going about their business and want to shout out to them, “Stop, and watch this amazing little girl play her heart out”. The first piece she plays is Highland Cathedral which I will always associate with my dad as we used it at his funeral. The music the band marches out to is Scotland The Brave and watching the clip again through the tears, Holly was indeed a very brave little Scot that day.

Highland Cathedral:

I went to visit my friend this afternoon who is in the throes of doing something no parent should ever have to do, arrange her child’s funeral. There will be pictures, stories, lots of music and not a dry eye in the church. I showed her the post I wrote last time and passed on the messages of condolence left by my fellow bloggers. No need to leave comments this time as this post is more for my own remembrance, my blog being my web diary. My hometown is still in shock and there is so much more to this story I don’t want to go into here, but may do some day. It’s going to be another tough week.

Until next time, RIP our Brave Little Scot xxx

Yet Another Very Sad Post, The Evils of Social Media and “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.”

I had fully intended to return to blogging this weekend after a particularly busy three weeks. There was a lot to write about and many pictures to share – My current propensity to write negative posts could perhaps be assuaged.

Two weeks ago I went to Bergen in Norway with my best friend. For the third year in a row we managed to fit in an October City Break and lord knows we both deserved it, having worked so hard over the summer months both trying to earn the spondulicks and support our families. Luck was on our side and we had three wonderful days of dry weather when the sun shone. A cruise along the nearby fjords was a highlight of the trip and for the first time in years I got that sense of wonderment that comes from being amongst stunning scenery so unlike anything I am used to.

As ever, because of modern technology, there was a live hotline to Scotland whilst we were away, and although we knew my friend’s 18-year-old daughter was currently struggling and a bit troubled, we thought all would come right in the end. Sadly, on Friday afternoon, she took her own life. I have no idea what will go on the Death Certificate but in reality it should state Death by Social Media. It is hard for us of a certain age to comprehend cyber-bullying, but it is very real, and on top of all the other pressures an 18-year-old has to face in today’s world, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

I will share a picture of Holly as I will remember her. She was a member of the local pipe band and was usually the person called upon to perform a bagpipe solo, should it be required at some civic event. She was a great sportswoman and a member of the Scotland squad in her chosen discipline. So much to live for, yet probably as a result of her success, and those who were jealous of that success, all now a dreadful waste.

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Holly, 2001-2019

So, another gloomy post from me but I needed to explain my absence around here and warn you I am not in the best frame of mind for blogging at the moment so may well be largely absent for a while yet. We will all try to support my friend and her family, but the one thing they want more than anything else, we can’t give them – To have their daughter back.

It has often been mentioned around here that social media can be ugly and vile but how can we impress on those youngsters (and those in certain sectors of the press) that what they say about people whilst sitting in the comfort of their own homes, can have a profound and sometimes fatal impact. We now have the first generation reaching adulthood who have never known a world without social media, and we are losing them fast. I know that we could have so easily lost DD at the same age, and many of my friends feel the same in relation to their own children, which is why it is hitting us all so hard.

I invariably was thinking of sharing something by Norwegian band a-ha in this post as it was supposed to be all about my trip to Bergen. It hasn’t turned out that way, but I still want to share this song, The Sun Always Shines On TV. Pål Waaktaar, the writer of the song, is quoted as saying: “The Sun Always Shines On TV was written on one of those down days. Mags and I were in a hotel watching English television on a rainy day and the guy announcing the program says, ‘It’s a rainy day but, as ever, the sun always shines on TV.’ The song is about the power of television and the way television presents life.”

They didn’t have social media when the song was written back in 1985, but the sentiment remains the same in today’s world – The sun always shines on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and so on. It looks as if your friends’ lives are full of holidays, perfect relationships, glowing skin, stylish hair & clothes and nights out on the town. Thankfully many of us are waking up to the unreality of it all and even risk FOMO in order to tend our mental health. Not so easy if you are a teen however and sadly parental influence has to take a back seat during those tricky teenage years, to be replaced by often unstablising peer-group influence.

The Sun Always Shines On T.V. by a-ha:

Not much more to say really. Apologies if I have not visited the comments boxes of the various blogs I follow for a while but hopefully you will understand why. When I started this blog at the start of 2016 life was a lot less ugly, divisive, dangerous and cruel than it seems to be only four years later. A lot of the blame lands at the feet of he who called the fateful EU Referendum, but of course much, much more to it than that. We are living through strange and uncertain times so all the more reason to hold on tight to family and friends – Keep them close and do whatever it takes to protect them.

Until next time, RIP Holly xxx

The Sun Always Shines On T.V. Lyrics
(Song by Pål Waaktaar)

Touch me
How can it be
Believe me
The sun always shines on TV
Hold me
Close to your heart
Touch me
And give all your love to me
To me

I reached inside myself
And found nothing there
To ease the pressure of
My ever worrying mind
All my powers waste away
I fear the crazed and lonely looks
The mirror’s sending me
These days
Please don’t ask me to defend
The shameful lowlands
Of the way I’m drifting
Gloomily through time

I reached inside myself today
Thinking there’s got to be some way
To keep my troubles distant

Touch me
How can it be
Believe me
The sun always shines on TV
Hold me
Close to your heart
Touch me
And give all your love to me