Monthly Archives: April 2016

Lodged within a heart!

If you could look inside your heart right now,what would you see?

If,more importantly,I could look into mine,what would I see?

For these questions,though not long ,or complicated,might take time to show.

In a life there are many events that shape us,Mold us,affect us,draw us to certain decisions.

So now we pause,reflect,ruminate,stand in the Mirror.

It’s like my favourite MJ song,”The man in the mirror”, we can’t really start a polemic of our fellow man until we have faced ourselves in the mirror so to speak.

I hope that there are good things in my heart,that I can help my fellow humans,because that is ,to me at least,the salient reason to exist.

This week,following the death of Prince,there has been the usual trash printed in the tabloid press about the artist.Altough not surprising,one thing  out

  to me about the man was that he was willing to give fellow artists a chance in the business,he would give of himself 

That ,to me,is testimony to his humanity,and that,to me,is a good heart

I know so many with good hearts ,good  people with good hearts,yet,at times,they don’t know it,they need reassurance that they have good  hearts.

So,look after that heart of yours,and celibrate all the good that is lodged there.



Just one! 

It only takes one act of kindness ,

It only requires one moment of reflection,

It only takes one observation,

It only takes one sincere compliment,

As Twain that great author of Huckleberry Finn knew,

It only takes one opportunity to ignite the fires of artistic fire,

It only takes one ,it only takes one,it only takes,……ONE!


Tonight I said to myself,”life is good,there are good things and good people in it”,

Those words,though easily written,come after much struggle,but they came tonight.

My thoughts are in the positive zone,my life is worth it,truly worth it,

My life has an aroma,a smell of worth  to it,it is going somewhere a direction of travel so to speak.

So,tonight,this Tuesday,This segment of the week,this snapshot of my existence is alright ,and I am happy with it,

As I bore than into the detail,I’m happy with what I am,and who I am,that is the truth as I see it,Ts the whole f how I see it.

In Praise of compromise!

Yes,being right might have its merits,having the last word could appear to be attractive to some,

To me though,it’s the inner contentment of living a life that is accepting of thers,their ideas,their thoughts.

When people tell me what they are thinking,then I’m in a better place,I’m communing with them,not fighting,

All arguments that denigrate another have at their core,selfishness,without compromise,just how do we rub along.

Try Livng in a house with 10 others without compromise and you won’t get very far,you really won’t ,

Try playing in a band with 3 other people,each with their own ego,talents,and wishes,without compromise.

You see,without mutual respect as a starting point and the shared goal of harmony,compromise will rarely come to the fore,

You can be deceived by yourself that by being right on sme trivial issue that yu are in some way being true to yourself.

Compromise lubricates many an engine room in the family,school,business,or organisation,it has merits that reach beyond the boundaries of that sauce nt society as a whole.

When we are tolerant of others then compromise has an ideal environment to grow,when we are stubborn and arrogant then it stagnates.

So,yes,we might have to compromise in little thngs at times,and large things in order to move thngs forward,n order to sustain momentum.

Thank you .


Fear,our biggest enemy!

We all face it,and sometimes,on a daily basis,

We mask it,we try to ignore,we explain it in odd terms,but we our always aware of it.

If we could exist without it,then we feel that life would be better for us,

Although we are not aware of it distinctly all the time,it is always there lurking in the shadows.

Those whose lives have been blighted by it have often spent ther whole lives in fear,

Fear of the Unknown,fear of illness,fear of poverty,fear of failure,just fear for the sake of fear.

Sometimes fear can be masked as a phobia,with thers who look on ,incredulous to ther plight ,

As anxiety is often th handmaiden of fear,it often manifests itself in tragic ways.

Fear can show up at anytime,and in any guise,and to anyone,no-one is immune to it,

So,is fear all bad?Should be pursue a life that seeks to rid us of all fear?

Are the marketeers of a brand right to extoll the virtues of their brand “No Fear”?

I would say that having fear is one thing,and that we all have a measure of it in oh so many ways,

But being paralysed by fear,now that is the true killer,and my heart goes out to anyone who is in that state.

So,it might sound over-simplistic,but ,to me,the real thing,the salient one to fear is fear itself.


First light,birds in flight,first cup of tea,first of many really,

We all have firsts in our life,we all remember that special affect.

Now as she creeps up on us,we might forget the things that happened first,

It’s apt to merge into one,but it’s still the first.

I remember the first time I heard what is now my favourite Beethven symphony,Number 5 in C minor for the purest.

Back then I didn’t have a clue what C minor meant,or cared for that matter,all I cared abut was that it made me feel alive.

It was on a record,and it was a Christmas present from my uncle,he had heard it himself in the war on and old 78, that was his first taste -a Beethoven virgin at 30-and I was 12,

From then on I would fill my boots with Ludwig so to speak,but never ever forgot Andre Clutons my favourite conductor ,baton in hand,ready to fire up the orchestra in their burst of sound that sent shivers down my prepubescent spine,oh what a first,what a first.

So,I’ve just had my first cup of tea,almost a religious experience to me in many ways,and it has stirred an emotional memory in me that I have shared in the ether as it were.

A precious friend uses that word ether,and I have thought about it ever since because I hadn’t used it ever really before.

Funny how friends can give you whole new firsts in your life ,

Here’s to your firsts,may they be wonderful and inspiring,may they be a spark that ignited in you a zest for somethng truly special.

I think I will pay Ludwig a visit in my head now,yes,that’s what I will do.


“It’s overcast”!

That short sound bite sounds like a snippet from the weather forecast,”It’s overcast”,but ,yes,it is outside.

It’s not a scientific fact,and it doesn’t mean that it will be permanently overcast,just now ,that’s all.

It got me thinking,when thngs are observed too much in the now,and not in context ,we could take that state as permanent,and not as it really is,temporary.

So,yesterday,it was sunny,it was bright,it was almost Summer like conditions.So,in the round,the weather has to be taken in context.

If the weather is a metaphor for how we might be feeling on any given day,it’s true that some days just being human is tough,you know,the stuff that has to be done,be it for ourselves,or for others in our family.

Conversely,on ther days,we feel good about ourselves and our relationships,in fact,the sun is said  to be truly up in our lives.
If we are fortunate enough not to suffer from depression,or clinical depression where we have,or have been treated in a therapeutic way ,we can get through days when things are overcast in our lives.Like a plane flying above the clouds we see beyond the now,and are in a state where our emotions allow us to see beyond ourselves and look at life in context,seeing that we have much to live for.

Hopefully,our society now is far more tolerant of those who do suffer from depression where the sufferer can’t emotionally ride above the clouds as it were,they just can’t.Its for those that platitudes like “surely life dnt that bad”,or “every cloud you know has a silver lining”,just don’t wash.Having witnessed this in my life with pupils over the years,and sadly,with a present pupil,it can test our empathy,it can drain us of our emotional resources.Normally,when someone spends time with another to help them,there is an expectation of gratitude or basic thanks,but when someone is truly “overcast”,truly in the clouds as it were,there doesn’t seem to be any way out ,because there is only the “dark cave abyss of now”where no context will suffice,no looking on the bright side will change things because when there is true darkness,there is no context.To illustrate,once when I was a teenager,I got myself inside a cave in Cornwall and my torch had a very low battery,as the light dimmed ,I realised just how it was,yes,there were echoes,but that lack of orientation of my physical was scary,I thought that life had stopped .

That phrase,”Life Stopping” is how I have often thought about those with serious depression,and why they need empathy,care,and Help.Almost 100% of those that I have known with serious clinical depression have been frightened,cut loose ,emotionally disconnected.They do deserve our empathy and kindness,and they are capable of recovery with the right treatment and guidance .

As someone with a particular interest in teenagers,I know that depression in teenagers is on the rise,with treatment centres for mental health reporting a proliferation in referrals to them.

Although mental health is no longer a Taboo phrase,it’s still vital that those wth mental health issues are supported and cared for.They are valuable members of yr society,and they can,and I feel ,will beable to regain their lives back and as the weather won’t always be overcast as it is today,they won’t always be depressed.

Thank you.


Carpe Deum for our Young People!

When I think abut it,I mean really really think about it,I am so very fortunate to have Food,clothing,and Shelter.

Quite frankly,these hygiene factors were considered an aspiration to me as a child,and I try never ever to take them for granted.

Sometimes,just sometimes,I sort of despair at how we can easily revert to moan mode,and I’m guilty of it myself.You know,the “my phone isn’t the latest”,my car is an old model,or I haven’t bought any new cloths for a month!!

Although in themselves ,these moans are the stuff of our daily existence,I think allowing myself to drown in a morass of how hard done by I am,or life is so,so hard is totally counterproductive.My life now isn’t spent in worrying about the next meal,frantically hoping that my one pair of shoes will last another winter,ya da ya da ya da.My life now is one f comfort in a relative way.

For years,I used to think that many men and women looked extremely tired all the time.As a child,I watched men doing hard work-miners and Fishermen-and I observed women not having enough to feed their families,pleading with their husbands nt to bow their wages at the pub on a Friday night.Those faces ,those codes told a story of deprivation that isn’t my lot anymore.
So what to do,what do we do,how do we live?To me,I live,or try to live as I often fail,in a state of gratitude for what I have,because I feel that I have much,I really do.However,I’m aware that I’m in my late middle age part of my life,and I have had to learn these things through time,knowledge,and ,to be brutally honest,through my own stupid mistakes.

Now,when I observe my pupils and see some of the pressures that they are on,I know that many face challenges that I did even now,but unlike when I was younger,they face threats to their existence through inner city gangs,drug use,and mental illness.These are real issues facing young people NOW,this isn’t a fantasy.
As I have often written,I was extremely lucky,and yes,I’m a survivor,but many today,don’t get a chance,many teenagers are struggling,so please don’t be fooled by their cloths,or their phone,or their exterior confidence.Its tough out there for youngsters,it really is.

When we can,we have to continue to treat young people as our fellow humans,resisting the temptation to label them as a negative,Lets try to observe beyond the mask,and really really think about them,and nt so much about ourselves.

You know,I sometimes think that we like to think that too many teenagers are selfish,but I can be selfish too,and so can many of my fellow adults.Yes,we are sophisticated at hiding it,and young people are more honest,but isn’t that what we were like or have you and I forgotten .

So,for me life is good,really good.Yep,I don’t have a new car,I don’t have a new phone,but really,I have my life,my art,my music,my assurance that I’m happy in my skin,Yu know,so many young people are not there yet,they are,like we were,work in progress.Some don’t like themselves at all.Some don’t like their bodies,they just don’t.Some don’t want to be boys,they want to be girls,some just feel outcasts.

So,that’s me now.Ive made mistakes in life,but I’ve also done quite a lot that is right.I have people who love me,and people who think I’m quite talented,That’s such a wonderful thing.

But,as long as I can,as long as I have somethng to offer,I think,no,I know,that I will always support young people as they are the now,and they make this planet worth Livng on .

If this is a rant,then I will improve in the way I explain myself,but never apologise for what motivates me.
Thank you 

It’s the stuff of Life!

Stuff happens,you either deal with it,live wth it,or bury your head in the sand,

So I prefer to deal with it,living in the now,accepting my lot in life.

If that sounds simple,then I make no apologises,

Life happens on various levels,and you can’t have depths without surfaces.

These surfaces are our determination to get up in the morning,look presentable,eat and drink,

Without these surfaces,then the naunced life we try to manifest to the sophisticated world could not exist.

We are all dependent on physical things,except,that is one VITAL thing,and that is a need to be Loved,

Without this,we are already dead,lifeless,dried up,we have no Spunk as it were.

So ,the love of family,the love of people around us,Love in its truest self,

Although we don’t go around with a badge that says we are loved,it’s apparent when we are not loved.

So,if you have these thngs,get up,eat,drink,and get on with life.

Have a good day everyone.

“I hear beauty”!

That appears an odd phrase,and so it is,but,to me ,it is an authentic one.

As a child,I have always associated beauty with sound,and it draws me like a magnet.

The sound of one voice can capture me in a vice like grip that I just want to lose myself in their presence.

Voices that have been recorded hold a fascination for me,as do dialects,or regional accents.Yes,it’s true that some are more attractive than others,but they all hold a fascination to me at least and I treasure the human voice,and think that it is a beautiful thing.

Many decades ago,I heard Kathleen Ferrier on an old 33 and a third ,it was mesmeric,and I still remember that day,and the time,and the weather,and everything about it.She had just a wonderful timbre that brought me to tears.She sang “I know that my Redeemer live th” from Handel’s Messiah.She took me to another place,a better one.So today,I love the sound of truly wonderful singing,and it lifts me up and makes life oh so much better.

My love for the beauty of the human voice isn’t just directed to classical singers though as it goes across the whole spectrum of musical genres and stays with me to this day.
As a teacher,I look for this beauty whenever I can find it,and I tell people if they have even one or two beautiful notes in their rep,as it means so much to a singer.

My own son is a singer,and I cry when he sings Schubert,Mozart,or Schumann,it is truly beautiful.

I hope that the human voice will continue to fascinate me ,and that I will find joy in hearing it.