It’s Thursday evening, I made my way downstairs to lock up the house. I look out the window up to the night sky, in the darkness hangs the moon, or the super moon as I would later learn it was called. I’m stunned at how clear it is. I wonder if my eyesight has suddenly improved or perhaps…with the planes no longer flying above us, that I haven’t been aware of how polluted the sky above my home is. It’s a reminder of the weird times that we live in.
As I write from the heartlands of Scotland I think this is week seven of the lock down. Many people now believe that the pandemic has been with us a lot longer. Slowly and silently creeping unseen through the streets, workplaces and homes of our nation.
It was just a couple of weeks ago when I learned of the passing of my friend, colleague and manager Stevie Leslie. He was a gentleman, he guided me throughout my career with a calmness that I have always wanted to emulate. He had a brilliant sense of humour. He knew I was a keen runner and would often drive past me on the way to work. His small car had a sharp horn that he liked to beep every time he passed me as I ran. Every time I would jump three feet in the air. I would look towards the offending car to see Stevie’s broad shoulders shaking with laughter as he drove down the road. I will miss him greatly and my heartfelt condolences go to his family.
It was a brutal reminder of how horrible this disease is, it can touch anyone, this made me more determined to follow the lock down guidance as much as possible. When I look in horror at the daily increase in the numbers of people sadly passed, I think of all the loved ones that will be forever affected by this tragedy.
Weird Decibels, like every other musical artist has had to adapt. We have put out another LiveCast and we are currently stitching together all the live performances for LiveCast 4. It’s our wee effort to try and pass time for people. It’s the most active we’ve been for months!
Just a few days ago I went for a run, I run a lot, but I had been injured so exercise was curtailed for a couple of weeks. As I ran my belly shook, not just a wee wobble but a proper wave. It was like my stomach had a time delay from the rest of my body. Then the wind caught my hair, my growing, peppery barnet that, for some reason I’m refusing to cut until my favorite CrossCuts in Linlithgow reopens. I find myself sweeping my hand through my locks like some washed out middle aged rock star…it feels like I’m growing my hair again, just like I did back in the 90’s when the band started.
Its Friday I open the blinds. It’s another morning, the news lasts five minutes before I switch it off. I’m trying my best to home-school. I never took school seriously when I was young, now here I am as a stressed out parent hoping my kid will realise his potential while I’m trying to work out fractions. He’s correcting me.
I still have to go to my place of work, I like my job but the thought is always at the back of my head. What if I catch it…It’s good to speak to people, everyone speaks as normal, there are some laughs but every conversation eventually returns to how bloody depressed I looked in Live Cast 3.
That was a pain to perform, but yeah I wasn’t in a good mood that day and I think the songs were quite sad. It was however great to get Stu and Greg involved. Derek is laying parts for the next one. I’m loving playing the old songs though. Stripping back the tunes to a bare minimum seems to give them new life.
The doorbell goes. I open it to find a small man walking to a white van. He returns staggering with a heavy box full of beer, he keeps his distance before cheerful shouting ‘That’s you sorted for the lock-down eh?’. I look around the street hoping the neighbours aren’t watching. I store my lock-down booze in my secret vault. I do some more verbs and nouns with the boy. The door goes again. Another box of booze sits on the doorstep.
The 3rd LiveCast has done quite well some people actually liked the more reflective mood of this one, this lifts my spirits. Shuffledown had a virtual festival online, they played acts from festivals past and it was nice to be included. I got in touch with family and friends and things seem to be ok. There are things I like about the lock-down. The silent skies that give way to birdsong, the clear air. Even just being away from busy roads and masses of people. I worry a little that I’m starting to like being separated from society. That thought leaves when I phone my family and then it hits how much I miss them.
I’m going to keep busy with work, family life and the band. It seems like some people think the lock-down is coming to an end, the roads are getting a little busier and people are going out more. It’s not the end, we have to see this through. Please stay in as much as you can, join us on LiveCast 4 if you can, we are playing some songs from the HMR vaults and our Derek will be involved. Take care.
Oh the house martins (not the band…the birds) have returned! All is good!