A Half arsed year review that petres out and goes nowhere.

half-assSo.  Christmas day.  Being as I can’t nip out for a coffee, I might as well just do a vague year review thingy.

It has been a bloody weird one.   Massive highs, massive lows and none of those associated with bipolarism. That, at least, has been relatively stable. I’ve seen dreams dashed, been to more funerals that I ever want to go to again, learned some very disturbing things and – in an unusual development – had some fun!!

I’ve also been able to help a number of friends in need, discovered some ace new music and, rather than write any new comics which seems to bring nothing but trouble, I’ve moved onto prose. At the time of writing, I’m about a third of the way through two novels and amassing material for a third.  I’ve discovered that after a break of about twenty years, I can still write a decent poem if I have to.

The agoraphobia thing has been peculiar.  Whereas in the last couple of of years, I’ve just sunk into the sofa and gone with it, this year, I’ve been getting frustrated and angry.  I’ve wanted to go out and do more. I’ve wanted to be more independent and not have to rely on Andy so much. It’s largely been a terrible failure, but i am at least trying really hard.

I think the worst thing is the devastating effect it has on my social life. Although I’ve met some lovely people, I can’t just go out and see them.  It’s such a bleeding palaver working up the courage to go out and if Andy is tired or doesn’t fancy it, I don’t want to make him go out.  He won’t enjoy himself, I’ll feel guilty . . . yadda yadda yadda.

So I stay in.

On the other hand, I’ve missed two gigs that I’ve had tickets for because when it came down to it, leaving the house and being crammed into a venue with hundreds of drunk and screaming people was a bit too much to deal with. Shame.

One gig I didn’t miss, thanks to a sudden influx of valium to get me to the venue, was the lovely Kate Bush. GIG. OF. A. LIFETIME! In all my days working in theatre and music, I have never seen anything as stunning as “Before The Dawn”. I could talk about it for days (and have done!) but there’s a review and much gushing elsewhere on the blog.

I suppose the need to get myself free of agoraphobia has manifested by demanding to go out more.   Seems like an obvious thing to say, but in previous years, I’ve been content just to stay in.  I can’t go out on my own, and I hadn’t pushed to go anywhere else.  This year, I’ve been quite pushy.  I want to get to more places, to see more people.   We’ve had a lot of weekends away.  Several visits to Norfolk to see family, Rad, Kel and the ever lovely Chris. Birmingham and environs to see Jim and Craig and then Worcester to see Jim when he moved there.

We went to Sheffield for my birthday and again for the funeral of a dear, dear friend. Bizarrely, her brother who is clearly in need of help, claimed that I was personally responsible for her death as I was illuminati and had instructed the Masons to kill her.

I’m fairly certain I’m not illuminati and I’m fairly certain the after 10 years of illness and a massive struggle to stay alive, the masons had nothing to do with it.  I was extremely angry and upset that her colossal struggle to stay alive was cheapened by his paranoid ramblings.  He completely dishonoured her and her memory.  Grief?   No.  Mental illness?  Undoubtedly.

One thing that filled me with absolute joy was finally, after seven years, getting back to Paris. I fucking love Paris. It was always one of the few places I felt comfortable in and one of the few place I felt that I could relax and just *be* in. I’ve missed it.  THere’s a whole slew of posts about my trip there, so I’ll not reiterate those here, however what made it especially wonderful this time was meeting up with a couple of friends from the internet. Guillaume, who I’ve been in contact with for about six or seven years via a comment on youtube about The Dylans, and Pam who saw Kate Bush five times and who I met on the gig forums! Both beautiful people who made this visit very special.

Possibly the weirdest thing was discovering recently, that I’m some kind of ‘monster’. It seems that for fifteen years, someone I once worked with has hated me with a fiery passion for getting him sacked.  News to me. I’ve been told that apparently I hounded this bloke by constantly calling head office both before after I’d left the company until they got fed up and sacked him. I’m intrigued.  I’m not claiming I didn’t have problems with him, everyone working for him did. When I left, though, I cut off all contact with everyone from the place and moved on.  It appears that I was used as a scapegoat; as the bogeyman; by both head office and the other staff to ease their consciences and deflect flak while it was all going on.

I didn’t really see him as a friend, more as a colleague, so I haven’t really lost anything, but it’s still quite shocking that someone has sunk so much effort and hate into something that simply didn’t happen. What galls me more is that some of the other staff, who have been in touch again, have been very friendly towards. Knowing this had occurred and simply not mentioning it seems a bit off. I feel kind of duped and abused by them, too.  Hey ho.

It was fifteen years ago, though. Mindboggling but over it.

TV has mostly been disappointing, or at least ‘genre’ TV has been.   Even Doctor Who didn’t quite deliver this season; a couple of stunning episodes, but mostly mediocre to awful. Mostly, we’ve watched standards like QI, University Challenge, Only Connect, etc., all the cosy stuff.

But apart from some pretty good documentaries on BBC3 and BBC4, there hasn’t been a lot to write home about.  I’ve enjoyed Constantine, Da Vinci’s Demons, Marvels: Agents of SHIELD and off the top of my head, that’s pretty much it.  I was disappointed that the second season of “The Returned” didn’t surface, but that’s due in the spring, so only a temporary delay.

Music? Not much to write home about.   I discovered CHVRCHES while watching Glastonbury and the live show blew me away.  I assumed the album wouldn’t be as good and mercifully, I was wrong! The Bones of What You Believe is staggering and in the right mood “The Mother We Share” can move me to tears. The jubilant keys at the end of Tether is better than any rave anthem I heard in the 80s/90s.  Truly stunning.

The Temples, Tame Impala and The Wytches and the return of Bis also rocked my world, but really, it’s been a bit limp for music. I’ve still yet to hear anything new and progressive (little ‘p’, not PROG) it’s all rehashes of old genres and/or TV Karaoke shows which is sort of depressing.

I still haven’t forgiven Jim for introducing me to Breton, though.

Movies?   We’ve hardly seen anything new.   Of the movies we’ve seen at the cinema, most have been disappointing, especially Godzilla.  In terms of coherent movies, the 90’s Matthew Broderick version completely outclassed this abortion.  Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy were fun enough, Interstellar made me raise an eyebrow, but most of the year seems to have been filled with slight fluff.  I’m gagging for something with a bit of substance.

No doubt there will be many addenda to this, but right now, it’s 9:30, I’ve been writing for two hours and need coffee desperately. I’ll come back in a bit and edit/add but dammit I need caffeine.   Go and open presents or something.


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