Feature- Black Velvet- with a twist of lemon


Black Velvet- with a twist of lemon


It is the final day of 2013, and I look back on the year; not with resolutions for the future- more of a clear message for what needs to be done.


I will keep this short, as we all have places to be- and better things to do…

as we head into 2014.  I have never fully understood the appeal and need to celebrate the new year (and bid farewell to the one just past).  To me the new year is not a re-evolution or rebirth; more a continuation of days.  When we wake up tomorrow morning (with or without a headache), will anything really change?  In so much as we will be saying ‘2014’ instead of ‘2013’ the truth is this: we will all carry on as normal and change nothing.  This is perfectly understandable as this is what should happen, yet it has always confused me what difference it makes that we transcend from year to year.  As well, people go to lengths to make ‘new year’s resolutions’- a cliché and laborious process where one decides what they want to achieve for the year.  No one ever fulfils their list and far fewer actually bother to attempt it.  You would only ever celebrate new year if it was the dawning of possibility and fulfilment- if you knew for certain that great things would happen.  As I said, this never occurs.  We all carry on unabated, without modifying our routine, or altering things for the better.  This got me thinking, and unveiled a real problem I have found with people this year…

I shall start by getting all negative connotations and points out of the way, first.  This year has been a particularly bad one for myself, personally.  The period has seen a lack of personal fulfilment, a few occasions of near self-extinction, and a real fatigue.  The combination and culmination of clinical depression, insomnia, neurological strife and anger has worn my down.  It happens to a lot of people, I know, yet makes living a ‘normal’ life, impossible.  I started 2013 by laying out goals that I wanted to achieve and get crossed-off.  These included recording an album, setting up my own business; finding a girlfriend and finding a new flair- amongst many others.  As I look back now, I wonder why my aspirations were so high.   Life itself has gotten in the way, and the sheer lack of energy I have has suspended any musical desires, and also curtailed any chances of finding any personal satisfaction.  Home life has been a necessity, but one of the top priorities for the coming year is to find a place of my own: and to live alone, with my own space.  This year I have also made connection with some variegated music peeps.  This has brought its own drawbacks.  As touched as I have been by the positive feedback many acts give me (when reviewing their work), there have been notable exceptions.  Quite a few people I have featured keep in touch and are always supportive and appreciative.   There have been some, however, that have giving no feedback at all.  This has infuriated me, and made me less willing to want to help anyone.  Some musical ‘friends’ have received a lot of attention and help from me, yet have offered nothing in return; nothing real: just keen to take without necessary reciprocity.  One of my ideals for 2014 is to cut those people out, and become a lot more wary.  It is a sad situation to arrive at, yet it has been compounded by people being people: you have some that are wonderful and brilliant, yet most that are self-absorbed and selfish.  As I say, I will be making strides to delete (these offenders) from my conciseness (and social media pages).  I love reviewing- as well as writing my own stuff- so will continue to do so, rampantly.  Those whom have been sweethearts- I will mention them more below- will continue to receive my patronage and time; whereas those ‘better off’ will clearly not notice my absence.  As much as it has been the toughest and most depressing year of my life, I feel that I could not have done things differently.  For every moment of desolation and destruction I have not regretted it- and will not when it happened again.  The next year will probably be as tough as the one past, yet I am keen to put the black and stressful moments behind me, as try and cope as best as possible as I can with what is to come.  It may turn out dreadfully, but as I say: new year is just another series of days, nothing more, nothing less.  Being single has been one of the hardest crosses to bear, yet is something that will be a prominent feature of 2014.  I have confessed feelings for some, and have not heard back, and I have resigned myself to not repeating this pattern, as it often leads to heartache and emptiness.  Dating websites are not the solution.  From my experience, embarrassment and an odd equilibrium mandates those sites ‘charms’.  After a while, it becomes an agonising slog, and it makes you doubt your own positives and worthiness.  As you can see, it has been a tough year, and there needs to be some drastic decisions made.  In spite of all of it, I have learnt one thing: I know what I need to do in 2014.

There have been some brighter aspects of this year.  I found employment after an ageing and hellish- year, and although it is not a dream job or my distant future, it is providing me with a purpose and I have some wonderful colleagues around me.  Our company move to Epsom in a couple of months, and the office there is awash with veritable near-supermodel-like women: hey I’m single, I can but dream!  I have money coming in, and I still have the same focuses.  Moving to London is still the goal, as truth be told, I do not like Surrey.  I have always found it so, as it is just filled with people who hate London.  People moan about how overcrowded and polluted it is, and seem happy enough to live their lives stuck in the same routine.  That is fine, if that is what you want to do, but it is the worst possible life I can imagine.  London offers opportunity for the ambitious folk.  I want to record an album, set up a band; design and complete a music café/bar; find love and create a comedy series.  The positive in all of this, is that I know where I want to move to and where I want to be.  I know the people I do not want to give my time and efforts to, and this has freed me up.  I realise that I do not need to help everyone and spend time on the unworthy: simply those whom deserve it.  If I can find a way to manage my problems and illnesses better, then I may be able to find a way to record music.  I am optimistic in that sense, but realistic enough to know that it may never be possible.  I guess the biggest upside to everything is, that I have made some great connections and have some good people in my life.  I will continue to do good, and help as much as possible; and spend as much time as I can trying to help them.

The message I want to put out is this.  Look out for yourself, first and foremost.  It is great to be good to others, but too many do not appreciate it.  It is not selfish to focus on yourself, it is positive.  I am dedicating more effort to try and keep afloat, to move on and try and get to where I want to be.  There is no use in making resolutions, as no one sticks to them and they are utterly pointless.  Instead, aim for some achievable goals and be realistic.  Celebrate new year if you want to, but remember that tomorrow if another day… next year is another year… if you really want to fulfil and justify the merriment that you will experience tonight, then make a real effort to make real change: stop blowing hot air.  As from tomorrow, I am trimming people out (that I do not need); I will be carrying on, but at the very core, continuing as normal.  Balance your time between assisting and making other people’s lives better, but do not forget about yourselves in all of this.  Too many people do, and it makes things so much unhappier than they need to be.  There are ‘friends’ I have and have never met; which I want to change.  There are priorities I have not adhered to, that need to be.  In all of it, there is the most important thing: wake up tomorrow with a clear mind, and not a sore head…

Make it your only true goal for the following year.


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