Blogpost No 6 June 2023
June’s come and gone too soon.
I’m really cutting it fine (again!) this month. My reminder popped up last Saturday (June 25th) to collate another Blogpost (to be posted on the 26th!) but I’d done nothing towards it at all. Hey-ho … let’s see what I can come up with. So long as I get it up and posted before Friday (June 30th!) I’m in my self-allotted space/time continuum. I think it’s time to beam me up Scotty!
When last we met dear reader the TT races were just beginning their two week reign. And what a glorious couple of weeks it was. The weather was absolutely perfect from start to finish. Bright blue skies, mild, pleasant, to scorching heat, with flowers, veg and wild life making me feel full of possibility.
I ate strawberries every day for nearly four weeks. They’ve decidedly finished their bounty now but other things are just starting to give their best. We had our first new potatoes this week and French beans have already garnered several handfuls of sweet, tender deliciousness. And though tomatoes are still a ways off they’re all flowering with promise of fruit in the next month or so.
I’ve been pulling up bunches of (sometimes very small) beetroot while the courgettes are just starting to show their gorgeous yellow flowers with fruit promised right behind. As for the red onions, they look amazing … this is my third attempt at growing them and seems this time they’re happy. I’m reliably in formed I have to wait another month before harvesting.
We celebrated mum’s 85th birthday on June 11th. The house was like a high-end florist’s for at least a week. Lots of family and friends turned up to wish her happy birthday. It was a delightful day. She was (of course) quite confused as to why so many people had arrived and each time delighted to learn it was her birthday … small consolation for the loss of short-term memory but we’ll take it if it puts a smile of her face.
There are many stories of strange or ridiculous scenarios with mum on a daily basis but it’s hard to know what’s OK to share. I in no way wish to imply her life is some sort of horrible a joke but sometimes that’s how it seems. She understands less and less and sleeps more and more. Yet there are moments of ordinariness that swell the heart or simply make us smile. These we cherish.The frustration and incomprehensible nature of the rest is best left in a quiet corner wrapped in blankets with the lights turned off. There’ll be time enough to unravel and decipher later. For now we muddle along and give thanks for the sweet moments bestowed.
I have nothing to report with regard to Children of The Sea this month though I’ve been in touch with Nicola Dixon and she is about to begin her artistic explorations. This I am thrilled and deeply grateful for. Next month perhaps there will be more to share.
Musically I have failed to record a new song for this month’s Blogpost, as promised at the beginning of the year, however I’ve searched through the archives and found something I hope you’ll appreciate. It is a demo of a song never performed or shared (perhaps you’ll hear reasons why?!) But I’ve always had a soft spot for the song … you could say it marks the beginning of my exploration in turning folklore into song? Steve Lima who I started co writing with in the early noughties created this much more arranged version of the song starting with my very basic guitar part though we never really finished it as such. I am always grateful for skilled intervention! The song’s title is “Orpheus”:
The rest of the month is a blur of dipping, dog walking, Maggie-managing and a few hours a week where Bob and I remember what it’s like to wander the world relatively care-free, together (we haven’t left the Island for over three years, so this is our world for the time being) . Life is never less than interesting and in very many ways is rich beyond imagining. The natural world holds me spellbound and uplifted. Whenever things start to feel bumpy I simply have to go outside and breathe … take in the sights and sounds of this fair Isle and the bumps somehow even themselves out.
I was unexpectedly asked to sing at someone’s Memorial service on Friday (June 23rd). I say unexpected as it was someone I didn’t know, though their presence on the Island’s community and Political landscape ranged far and wide. Mark Shimmin was a dedicated Civil Servant who rose to become Chief Financial Officer of the Isle of Man Government and was awarded an MBE for his services to the island’s government and economy. He was an honourable and well loved man who was a huge supporter of music and beer! St Ninian’s Church was packed with standing room only. It was a very moving service that included a wonderful selection of diverse music. There was a beautiful live version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes by the incomparable Sandy Denny, taken from a 1978 John Peel session. It really set the emotional tone. There were also some very funny tales told to highlight Mark’s natural, easy and delightful sense of fun. It was an honour to be there and a very powerful experience to sing for him. He specifically asked for Songbird.
From beautiful summer days throughout May and the beginning of this month we’ve definitely turned a corner as far as the weather’s concerned. Yesterday (Wednesday) was deeply grey, with buffeting winds and intermittent drizzle … but still quite warm (20C). Then today the brightness returned … I do love a bit of bright light … it has the ability to instantly change inner and outer landscapes. I love a moody day too … I’m not complaining … but we had five days in a row with greyness as its base note and it starts to effect my mood and I begin to reflect the weather. This too shall pass - and it has - and so it will again. All is well all shall be well.
To end this month’s Blogpost I thought I’d share an old song/video from a few years ago. A co-write with Rob Cross that we performed many times on our handful of UK tours 10-12 years ago. Here is the studio version featuring the wonderful Davy Knowles who has a wonderful new Single out: Broken Time (check it out!). “The Ones That Love You Best” was released on one of my numerous Demos CDs 10 or more years ago now. This was on Feminine Logic. Enjoy the bubble magic :-) x
OK good humans of Earth I catch up with you again next month when I frantically try to beat time as it races ahead of me once more!
Until then take good care of each other, stay well and keep rising above the turbulence.
Much love and endless blessings