The essentials of life

Yesterday was a funny day!  I mean funny as in laughter, as opposed to funny peculiar.  Well actually scrap that last comment, there was a fair bit of peculiar on display too.  We had friends over for dinner you see.  

Dinner was a simple affair, home made smoked salmon and smoked mackerel fishcakes served with a warm beetroot salad, stuffed Chicken Breasts wrapped in proscetto followed by cheesecake and topped of with a range of local cheeses. The evening was fuelled by rather a lot of wine.  Actually the wine helped but in reality the evening was fuelled by laughter.

Laughter!  Such a precious commodity, one that we perhaps take for granted.  In the past couple of years I have come to realise just how precious a commodity laughter is.  I suffer from depression you see and depression has a tendency to suck laughter out of your life.  You certainly don’t feel like laughing when you are ill but more than that people around you don’t feel that they can laugh either.   There you are, a little black cloud sucking the laughter out of the room by making your friends and family feel that it is somehow wrong to be happy when they are around you.  It’s not true of course.  How people act around you has little effect on how you feel when you are ill.  For me at least it is great to see people laughing when they are around you.  It means they are comfortable, it probably also means that you appear better, at least to some degree.P7195389

As I reflected on my weekend I got to thinking about my summer.  It has been really busy and thankfully a lot of people have come into my life.  As I have travelled around my music festivals this year I have been able to relate to people in a social setting.  I have been happy to chat and mix rather than shunning people and most importantly I have made some wonderful new friends.  Now I won’t pretend that I am ‘better’, I am not.   I cannot deal with any type of stress, even small levels of stress can send me into a tailspin.  I am still taking large doses of medication, I still feel very poorly at times but having said that, being retired on medical grounds has helped me so much.  Not having to face the daily grind has removed a huge amount of the pressure of daily life, I am grateful for that as it has allowed me to take a very important step in my life.

P7195372That step sounds like a simple one, but for those suffering from depression it is massive.  I have allowed people into my life!  Sounds simple doesn’t it.  I have been able to talk to people, to realise that they are willing to accept me for who I am, that they don’t always want something from me and that most people are warm, kind, caring and generous individuals.  I have met so many wonderful people over the last 6 months that my faith in human nature has been, at least to some degree, restored.    Those people have brought something back into my life, something that, at times, I thought had gone forever.  They have brought back laughter.  I shall be forever in their debt. 

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

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