Saturday, 25 October 2008


Bit of a different weekend here as we are one child down. P is off at an adventure/activity weekend camp with about forty other local home ed kids. We’ve had a couple of phone calls and all appears to be going well. I had to work extra hours today because it was an open day at work. Dani and L had a quiet day at home. Dani, L and I have been working together at this silly word game on Facebook. Leo’s typing is really coming on. He’s also great at this game. It’s rather like Boggle so he has played it before. The other night, after I’d been playing it, I was trying to sleep. I realised that my brain was working on a set of letters and the words that kept popping into my brain were the results! That was very weird. Rather like those moments when reading aloud to the children and I become aware that I can hear my own voice reading the words while I’m thinking about something completely different.

Life has been pootling along here. I was very impressed with our Local History centre this week. I’d given them a quick call several weeks ago to let them know that we would be coming in with a group of six children and the sorts of things we were interested in. We arrived to find a big table full of stuff they’d looked out for us – census returns, maps and old photographs and so on. They were very helpful – scanning old newspapers for us and helping the kids with the microfilm readers. One of those moments when you realise that the council tax is rather good value for money!

I have also been thinking about music today after reading something on someone else’s blog about giving up music for religious reasons. Some people are not that bothered about music but I realised today that I have always needed music in my life. I’d miss it desperately.

In my early childhood I learned a strange selection of songs. My mum was in an old time music hall group and so I sang all those songs with her. Then I learned all the songs from the small selection of albums my mum had – Oliver! Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Sergeant Pepper. My four year old interpretations of the various lyrics gave me much to think about! I sang at school and played instruments. Then, in my teens, I abandoned all that classical stuff. For two or three years I probably bought an album every week or two, with my Saturday job money. Sadly, I’ve now lost most of that.

When my sister died I inherited most of her tapes. She’d taped her entire album collection to take to university and I spent hours and hours listening to it. She had made a particular compilation tape that I have put away safely. It had Northern Lights and Don’t Stop and See You. That tape was a connection with her and could get me to cry when I just couldn't.

Then there were all those years of making my own tapes and giving and sharing music with friends and lovers. There are songs that have lifted me and songs that have allowed me to let go.

I am always humming and whistling and being reminded of lyrics. Life with kids means that I haven't had much money to buy music and far less time. But now the kids are increasingly into music too and I love that. I'm not a music anorak and I can't stand music snobbery. I am not *serious* about music. I just seriously love it.

Purely for my own entertainment (because other people’s music choices are rather like other people’s dreams and are of little interest unless you love the person in question) here are just a very few of the songs that I have loved.

Joan Armatrading – Me Myself I. This meant a lot. A song about what a woman wants for herself and not all about luurve...

Erasure – Sometimes. This is just fun. Reminds me of a girl I knew. Girl who was sometimes mistaken for a beautiful boy in the gay clubs where we were dancing to this.

Pet Shop Boys – Only the Wind. This one was important when I realised that things that hurt need more than time, sometimes...

Kate Bush – Moments of Pleasure

Tracy Chapman – Heaven’s here on earth. This one was a baby-rocking song when P was newborn. I felt like Tracy was singing it right to our precious baby and it said everything I wanted to say.

Eurythmics - Seventeen Again. This was a song for L's babyhood and all the unforeseen challenges of life with a new baby and a toddler. Yes, this is my cracked nipples song, I guess...

Ten Thousand Maniacs - These are the Days. I'd always loved this song and then suddenly it felt very real. It talks about "the miracles you see in every hour" and that was (and still is) how I feel about life with children.

Right. Must stop as this is just self-indulgence.


Dawny said...

Nice to enjoy some self indulgent stuff at times, we've been childless for a few days (they're on hols with my sis) and our indulgence has been sleep ;-)

the history center sounds good.

peri said...

Oooo where's the local history centre please? J and I are about to embark on some local history to tie in with something he's doing about the Georgian era so it might be a useful resource.

Good choices - I adore Joan Armatrading, Kate Bush and Erasure. The latter I use as 'happy' music to get me through stuff I hate ... like the ironing, it always goes twice as fast if I warble along to them :-)

Allie said...

It's in Brighton Museum, Peri. It is actually what used to be the old Brighton Reference Library - before all the re-development of those buildings.

Oh yes, happy music for cleaning and ironing - very wise.

Nic said...

Ooh self-indulgence is nice :).
I do that reading out loud to the children and suddenly realise I have no idea what I've been saying and have lost track of the story although I'm the one reading it!

Em said...

we seem to have a bit of an addiction to scramble at the moment (assuming that is the facebook game like boggle you're talking about). E in particular loves playing it!

What a word verification! sinvisms haha!

Allie said...

No, it's Word Challenge. We've stopped now. No, really, I'm not clicking that little W again...

mamacrow said...

music isn't an indulgence, it's a necessity!

lovely, all of em

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to hearing your musical selection, will have to get to a poota with speakers on it, as the audio function on this one is broken.

I understand about the tape you have put away.

My dad and I were halfway through a film about beatniks and poets when he lapsed into unconciousness and subsequently fell off his perch a while later...the tape is stuck at the exact place where we left it that day, and I have been meaning to watch the end of it for all of these two and a bit years but am aware it may start me off again.

It's a case of choosing the right time methinks. And its there if I need it. I think it was called 'Don't look back' (some bob dylan one he loved).

I also inherited his music collection! But he was into a lot of hardcore punk stuff so it's rare I can stomach the most of it. Perhaps my kids will be grateful for it though. I think I may have to lose some of it - there are just hundreds of recordings.

I cannot live in a world where music is forbidden and books are burnt (pretty much the same innit?) so I keep to the straight path (straight away from that that is!).

EF x