Slow down

Why has it taken so long before I figured out that I only had to say slow down. When the lady from the hospital phoned to make the appointment for my treatment she was speaking too fast.

I actually asked her to slow down. I explained that I am partially deaf and needed her to speak slower. Which she was happy to do. The conversation was much easier for me to understand. Very often, and my husband is guilty of this, people think that because I have a hearing impairment they need to increase the volume. Sometimes that is the case but usually I can hear them but my brain has to translate what it’s hearing. If someone is talking too fast my brain can’t keep up and it sounds like a foreign language.

When I say slow down I don’t mean speak in an exaggerated slow speech. Just speak normally but not too fast. If we are talking in person please make sure you are facing me and don’t cover your mouth. It is so annoying when people talk to me when facing away or in another room. Equally (I had a supervisor who did this) talking with their hand partially covering their mouth.

Wearing face coverings in the last year hasn’t helped. Stupidly I find myself wanting to remove my mask in order to properly hear what is being said. As if that helps!

Yes I have not one but 2 hearing aids. I don’t wear them as much as I should. In many situations they don’t help as they magnify all the sounds around me but don’t help with conversation. I tend to wear them more to listen to the TV.

Thats another bug bear for me. Why can’t everyone on TV have their microphone on the same volume. I can be watching something and hear one person clearly but not others.

In the days when I had control over what to watch on TV, I kept the TV controller to hand. If it was a commercial channel I would have to turn the volume down for the adverts but up again for the program.

Is it just me ? When I listen to music I find that a lots of the music over the last couple of decades I have no idea what they are singing. The words are not clear enough for me. When I hear Will Young singing leave right now I hear the words Pooh Bear right now. There are several songs where I hear the lyrics incorrectly. Those are only the songs I can hear distinct words. Many songs are a jumble of nonsense with the occasional word decipherable.

That reminds me. Recently I tried to use the word tenterhooks. Only I had never seen it written down and always believed it to be tender hooks until a friend pointed it out to me.

Tonight on a question of sport (TV sports quiz game) one of the sections was about sports personalities whose surname began with the letter G. I heard E. For this reason I have s tendency to use the phonetic alphabet when telling someone my email address or post code even my name sometimes. Just ensure they get it right. I also using it to check that I have heard something right.

I’m pretty sure one reason I prefer to communicate with written words is so that there is no misunderstanding what I am hearing/reading.

I’m not in love

Isn’t it strange the way our thoughts can move from one thing to the next until we can’t remember how we came to the topic we get to. Last Saturday I came home from my errands my mother was watching Prince Philip’s funeral. She informed me that she had found some people from our distant past on facebook. I would say that I was asked but it was more like a command to make contact with either the father, son or daughter of this family.

I spent sometime looking for these three individuals. Bearing in mind that it has been about 40 years since I saw any of them. After some time to contemplate who I would contact and what to say. I decided to contact the son. Starting my message with “You won’t remember me but our families were friends when we were in our teens.”

It wasn’t long before I received a reply saying that he did remember me/us. Sadly his mother has passed away as has my father.

I won’t go into details of our brief communication. I did however ponder why it was that we had been talking about this other family from our past in the first place, then I remembered. A week or so ago mother was reading a book which mentioned the place of work during our time of acquaintance of the father. So now I know why she was thinking about these people.

That night I found myself trying to remember what I knew about them. We all belonged to a sports club. The sister was younger than me but we were part of a relay team at one point. The brother was a year or maybe two years older than me. I can’t remember what he looked like other that I have an impression of dark hair and height. Mind you even as an adult I have never been tall so most people are tall to me. I think we were friends.

During the time that I knew this family I was a fan of the group 10cc. One of the songs that has been with me throughout my life has been “I’m not in love”. So why then is it that over the years whenever I hear this song it makes me think of the son. Was I in love with him? No. Did we ever have a relationship? No.

I am not quite sure if my memory is right but I am convinced that for some reason that escapes me. He had a passport photo of me. For anyone who doesn’t know this song, the lyrics tell of someone having a photo of someone they are not in love with but they can’t give it back because it hides a stain on the wall.

I have loved this song since my early teens. It is one of those songs that give me goose bumps when I hear it. My love of the song has nothing to do with this guy but it does always make me think of him.

Do you have any songs that you associate with someone or something that has nothing to do with the song.

Mr Blue Sky

The sun has been out today and the sky has been oh so blue. Apparently many have rushed to the beaches and parks to make the most of this lovely day. Out on my rounds delivering to my Avon customers I saw many people working on their gardens.

Every time I think about how blue the sky has been. (Not now the light is fading and it will soon be dark.) I consider bursting out into song. One particular song, yes you guessed it Mr Blue Sky by ELO. There was a time when my youngest son was but a boy this was one of his favourite songs.

I have refrained from singing. I don’t sing very often these days. Sometimes when I am listening to music through my earphones I just can’t resist singing along, much to my mother’s amusement. She wouldn’t be so amused if I burst into full song. I used to love singing at the top of my voice when driving along the motor way, windows open radio turned up high. I don’t do this anymore mainly because I no longer have a daily drive along the motorway to and from work.

I used to sing a lot in my car. I kind of but not really feel sorry for the lads who I would take to football training and matches along with my own sons. The rule was if you are in my car, you have no choice but to put up with my singing. Singing made me happy. Singing helped me to get over headaches. My second husband played guitar and was in a band in his younger days. He was passionate about music but I never ever heard him sing. He found it amusing that I sang. He even said that now and again I was even in tune!

On the one hand I would say that I am tone deaf so singing wasn’t one of my talents. On the other hand I have often said that I am very good at singing the only problem is that other people don’t have the ability to hear it properly.

Who has a talent that others don’t appreciate and what is it?

Howzat

This morning on the local radio they have been doing their usual ‘what’s the year?’ feature where they play a variety of songs and mention various news items from the featured year, over the course of about 45 minutes. Listeners then phone in their guesses for the year.

I hadn’t been paying attention as we were having a chat, when I heard Howzat by Sherbet. I couldn’t resist singing along. After the song ended I commented that the song must be nearly 40 years old. By my reckoning¬†it must have been mid 70s. A little later I found myself singing along to Barry White ‘Let the music play‘ . ¬†The song played before the year was revealed to be 1976 was Chicago ‘ If you leave me now‘.

What amazes me is that I can sing along to songs from 1976 with no problem but anything recent is more difficult even though I hear them regularly yet these old songs I only hear on rare occasions.

Singing is something I enjoy a great deal, it lifts my spirits even if nobody else enjoys my singing. Nothing will stop me if I feel like joining in with the radio.

I have these songs on vinyl, maybe I shall dig them and a few others out and play some of my old records whilst I write the next instalment of ‘my book’ which I am yet to find a title for.

Howzat

Chapters

I’m thinking about new chapters.

Partly I am thinking about new chapters to be written. I have 2 chapters under my belt so far. My plan is to write a collection of chapters each of which could be a short story on its own. But using the same characters will allow me to later put them together, fill in the gaps and turn them into one longer story.

On another front it is time for new chapters to begin for my family.er

Number one son (Prodigal) is trying to break into the ¬†music world on a bigger scale than ever before. His current band New Desert Blues are starting to get radio play time as a new emerging act. In the coming weeks they will be playing a variety of gigs in Europe. Later this week they will be in Bournemouth. Followed by Manchester at the Deaf Institute on 24th & on 27th they will be at Bristol’s Start the Bus, along with Australian Band Cloud Control. Mad dash through the night will next see them playing the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg on 28th.

A day off before they start again, Paris, Brussels and Berlin, again all with Cloud Control . Finishing their stint in Europe in Dortmund where they will share the stage with Birmingham Band Editors.  I wish him luck in this new chapter in his life.

Number two son (Statto) has recently moved to a shared house in South London. He has graduated from Uni and is working doing what he loves, working with football statisics. Whilst looking for and applying for his ultimate career. I wish him luck in this new chapter in his life.

Number three son (Pug) has moved to Oxford to start his degree in Philosophy.  He will be making new friends, learning a new way of life and laying the foundations for his future. I wish him luck in this new chapter in his life.

Number four son (Skater) is continuing the chapter he began last autumn. He is now in his second year of studying creative media at college.

So our household is once again reduced to 3 plus our cat. My husband’s health is improving. I am no-longer the sole driver in our family. I am managing to spend more time writing.

So all in all we are all starting new chapters.

I will survive

Joyce commented on my last post Serenity that it was the most personal post she had seen from me. I was touched by her comment. so maybe I will post one or two more like that as time goes by.

This morning as I lay in bed listening to the radio they were playing a couple of songs that were featured in a listener’s favourite 5 songs. This is a feature that this radio station have been running for many years. A listener tells them their top 5 songs and the station then play 2 of those 5 songs. I have never sent mine in because how do you chose just 5 out of all the many many songs I have adored over the years of my life.

If pushed to name my 5 songs I would start with  this song by 10cc it was one of my favourites when I was at school. Some songs just send a thrill down my spine and this was one of them. 

Next would always be this Moody Blues Classic¬†again it sent shivers down my spine and still does every time I hear it. Both these songs were always played at parties and disco’s during my teens and early 20s.

A third song that struck me in a similar way as a young adult shortly after I had left school and begun working was this 1977 release by Rose Royce.

So now I have 3 out of my 5 songs but what else has struck me in the same way? There were many many songs that had a lot of meaning to me. Many also that I just loved to sing along to. The ones I danced to and ones I later loved to. I have countless songs in my head that I loved as soon as I heard them. Others that grew on me.

But how do I choose just 2 more out of the thousands?

There is one more song that I have long thought of as my personal anthem. I am sure you are all familiar with this classic song by Gloria Gaynor I will Survive. Being a child of the 60s I loved the disco era, Stylistics, Diana Ross, Hot Chocolate, Amy Stewart, Tavares to name but a few. I couldn’t not love this song.

In 2001 I was diagnosed with stage III Cervical Cancer, my then husband told our children that I was going to die. My children at the time were aged 5 through to 13. Obviously this was devastating news for them. However I had other ideas. With four sons to watch growing up I wasn’t about to give in to something like cancer. I had too much to live for. So I will Survive became my anthem. As you can see I did survive and have been in remission since September 2001. I do not however take my continuing life for granted.

In 2005 I reached a stage where my marriage was no longer bearable. Again I will Survive became my anthem as I struggled to get through the awfulness of a messy divorce where we both continued to live in the same house. I turned I will Survive into the tune played by my alarm on my phone so that each morning I would awake to the sound of these powerful words.

A couple of years ago I was thinking about this song and came up with my own version.

You  made me feel so small
You bullied me without me realising it
You told me nobody would want me
How could I manage on my own with four children
It was a long time before I could relax
Afraid you would return
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
But you won’t disappear
into outer space
You keep calling
Wanting to try again
I changed the locks immediately
Your key wouldn’t help you
I hoped and prayed that
you would stop bothering me
Go on Now leave me alone
Delete my number don’t ever call
Cause your voice is not welcome in my ear
weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with threats
You thought I would crumble
You thought you could make me lose my mind
Oh no, not I
I have survived
As long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive
It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my damaged confidence
and I spent oh so many nights
glad you were gone
I used to cringe
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I’m not that chained up little person
still afraid of you
and so you felt like calling up
and just expect me to be free
Now I’m saving all my loving
for someone who will cherish me
  

So I guess this would be my fourth song but number 5 is still elusive as there are just too many to choose from.

What would be your top 5 songs and why?