2018 - Reboot

10 December 2018

Before I go on to write up a post (it might go on a bit), this is a mix I put together earlier this year and I'm rather pleased with how this one turned out. It's the only mix I've done this year although I'm going to try and do another before the year is out. You will find the track list at the foot of the post if you want to skip the writing, which is just a personal post on how the year has been. I should just explain for anyone that's never visited the blog before, this is a personal / music blog and I occasionally share a little update on the personal comings and goings of my life in amongst the odd music post. It's a cathartic thing for me, and it's fair to say, we all face challenges in life at some point or another, if my wee rambles should highlight that, or throw some understanding on some of the things I post, then that's a good thing in my book.

So, that post I mentioned. We've been here a few times now, haven't we? Long periods of radio silence and then a blog post or two out of the blue. I've stated a commitment to being more active on here for a few years now, really since the blog was hacked and 5 years of serious effort and hundreds of posts were lost, but it's never really come to pass. With one thing or another, life has often got in the way and plans I make, goals I've set or even simply things I want to do have often not come to fruition. I'm not complaining, it's just sometimes the way of life and you just have to roll with it as well as you can.

2018 has been another year of ups and downs, dominated by two house moves in the space of 8 months, with some little health hiccups and the ongoing involvement in dealing with care for my Mum. On that latter point, her health continues to deteriorate, which in itself is a hard thing to witness and come to terms with. Over the years at various key junctions of her condition, I've often thought to myself "surely things can't get any worse", and yet, they do. She has been plagued by a constant stream of infections over the past couples of years now, she has pretty much lost all function of her hands so relies on support for absolutely everything, her power wheelchair was taken away this year as she could no longer operate it, which for me was a particularly sad moment as it felt like her legs were being taken away from her for a second time. Aside from the physical progression of her illness, there are now signs of it impacting on her mental health and capacity. A couple of years ago she was chatty and could hold great conversation and was very switched on, but gradually over the past couple of years that has diminished to the extent that it's more a case of talking to her with responses generally limited to one word, occasionally a little more than that, but certainly far from being a conversation and quite often confused in what she says. Yet, despite her challenges and the fact her body is failing, she does not complain. I feel very thankful that she is cared for at the Sue Ryder Dee View Court facility in Aberdeen, where she has been since October 2017. I think it's taken us until now to be able to say that she is starting to settle in and hopefully she will start to come out of her shell a wee bit more as time goes on. I'm sure I'll continue to share the odd update here, who knows, maybe even the odd bit of positivity. There are a couple of shows on at the Music Hall in Aberdeen in 2019 that she would LOVE, so hopefully I can get her out to those, or at least one of them, and possibly share a little on the experience here.

As for me, aside from having a little difficulty dealing with the changes in care and my Mums condition, it's probably fair to say things have been difficult for a while, probably mirrored by the fact that this blog / website / call it what you will, has been very neglected for the best part of 4 or 5 years. Anytime I try to find some spark to move things on, something comes along to put an extra hurdle or two in the way of progress. Again, I'm not complaining, it's just where I find myself at this moment in time, and as always (albeit sporadically at times), I have the mental cogs turning on how to move forward, how to improve my own situation, even in the smallest of ways. From the outside looking in it's not much, but over the past couple of months, I've been making small inroads into freshening up my blog and thinking about how I can try and be a bit more active with it than I have been. If you've been here before, you may have noticed I've given the layout and design a little spruce up and I've changed the logo, although it could be better, I don't have the design tools to do it quite as well as I would like.

I'm patently no expert on website design, social media interaction or graphics, all of which come into play with this music / blog stuff that I find myself involved in to some extent. I'd go as far to say, I'm very amateurish and a lot of it I find quite hard to get my head around. That said, I see it all as a bit of a learning process and with the limited tools and even less knowledge at my disposal I think that's a healthy thing for me to spend time on now and then. Even the main thrust of the blog, music, is not something I consider myself particularly qualified to blog about in any serious way. Some people are sponges that soak up every morsel of information and can retain and recite what they know with ease. I just see myself as a person that loves a wide range of music, constantly on a mission to discover new and interesting sounds, and occasionally share that through mixes. It's just something I have enjoyed doing over the years. Honestly, I'd say I'm not particularly good the mixes side of things either, especially when I compare myself against friends / peers, but that's really not what it's about. I guess, what I am saying in a rather long winded way is that I'm plugging away with things as best I can, and if you're here, reading this post or listening to a mix or two, then you have joined the journey with me. My journey. Where it goes, I do not know, so we'll find that out together, should you choose to stick with me. Do feel free to say hello, or engage in one way or another. There are links here and there for you to click should you wish. 

I'm going to try and keep up with the odd post here and there. Don't expect it to be a deluge of music and writing; we'll just see how it goes, eh? The odd mix from me and sharing the occasional musical discovery, with a wee personal post here and there. Hopefully I can do more than one post a year going forward. As I mentioned before, I'm going to try and do at least one more mix before the month is out and I'm going to post a series of mixes that aren't actually "mixes" that I put together under a different guise and haven't been posted to the blog before.

Before I sign off this post with that tracklist I promised, if you happen to download / enjoy any of my mixes etc, firstly please support the artists. I always try to provide an accurate tracklist. I would also invite you, if you are in a position to do so, to make a small donation to the Sue Ryder charity, and in particular the Dee View Court facility which is currently raising funds to double the amount of residents it cares for. It's a much needed facility where demand far exceeds the availability. All donations are gratefully received. I'm afraid I don't have the website coding knowledge to place a snazzy donation button here, but you can donate via the following link on their own website -

Here is that tracklist for the mix above....

03. Suzanne Kraft - Zé (Melody As Truth)
05. Halo - An Isolated Railway (A Strangely Isolated Place)
06. Hampshire & Foat - Lullaby (Athens Of The North)
07. David Darling - Cello Blue (Music For Dreams) 
08. 36 - Heather Spa (A Strangely Isolated Place)
11. Arovane & Hior Chronik - Morning Fog (A Strangely Isolated Place)
13. Field Recording - Thunderstorm
16. Trance - Ikarus (Growing Bin Records)
18. Wilson Tanner - Odd Low (Growing Bin Records)
19. Peter Pearson - Come Closer (Dreamtime)

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