23 Jan 2011

Post 266: The soul-crushing inevitably of hope

Still trying to make something of the nothing month that is January, a month that only used to be any use because I used to give up Alcohol. It used to be amazing how much better you felt until I read somewhere that proving to yourself you could stop drinking for a month was a sign of being an alcoholic – meh, whatever you do you can't win! The myriad people I know who have taken up running, think of your knees!!
Anyway, the last few days have bucked me up a bit to make up for the unfortunate mental hammering that is the beginning of January – if more proof were needed – surely winter is more proof for the non-existence of god? Winter and the cold is sh*te. Especially in the UK.
Slightlty mitigating my meteorological low pressure ( see what I did there?) I was thrilled to be contacted out of the blue by an old schoolfriend who had googled me after a drunk old man on a train had muttered something about Exeter College .My equally pissed mate had overheard him and thought, I know someone who went there. Anyway the bloke in question was a guy called Owen Griffiths, a guy who I'd been good friends with at school (over 15 years ago) and last seen the night princess Diana died, at a Party which I have limited recollection of. Good times clearly. Owen now lives 15 minutes away and is married with kids. I shouldn't be surprised by this, he was one of my more charming friends and as I recall was very much a ladies man. B*stard!
Despite any underlying jealousy I may harbour he took me out for lunch at the bear – it was so good to see him!
My other efforts to recapture any latent youth have been about going to a couple of concerts (as usual). That's what this is about I suppose. Following on from that program I saw on the noughties the other day , apparently in the internet age the only music we're prepared to pay for is live music or rather the live experience which can't be replicated. This explains a lot of my behaviour actually.
On Friday night I went for the 2nd time to see some early to mid-teen favourites of mine 'The Cult' at the Hammersmith Apollo with 3 of my best college mates, Guy, Alex and Ric who unbeknownst to me were much bigger Cult fans than me, no, not gothic Satan worshippers, although we all agree that lead singer Ian Astbury, has eaten one too many pies (personally, I thought he looked like Meatloaf!) but the lead guitarist Billy Duffy rules! In fact very few people I know appreciate bands for much more than their music. None of my friends are moody black t-shirt clad gothic self-harmers – we can't be arsed. I can't be arsed with people trying to be something they're not. Fools. To further illustrate this I took in the Manic Street Preachers at Brixton Academy last night with Simon and Yvonne Dawes. I lost count of the number of times I said 'this is/ that was f*cking brilliant'. Particularly touching was the moment when bassist Nicky Wire said 'I just want to introduce my best friend, the genius, James Dean Bradfield' I love moments like this, although I find his 'working class hero' credentials disingenuous, he is a genius. I think I'd mentioned how much I'd loved the Manics in the first love letter I'd ever wrote aged 11 more than 20 years ago. Not even drunk I found myself saying to Simon last night 'mate, you're living the dream, you've got a wonderful wife, two awesome kids, and a promising job and future – nice!'. An honourable mention must also go to Christine,the security lady, who heroically cleared a path through hundreds of people to the disabled loo, without her help we would never have made it!
When I go back to my soul-crushing training regime tomorrow, all I can do is hope and be grateful to have been given some chance I suppose.

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