In The Beginning... (52)

23 May 2024


I'm still not all together sure how I should approach this. I suppose I shouldn't overthink it and just get on with it. That's not the easiest as a self-confessed over-thinker. First things first, I'm going to post the media player here and you will find the tracklist at the very foot of this blog post. This blog post is going to be slightly longer than ones that will follow because I feel I need to put a little back story on here to remind visitors, or inform first time visitors of what it was about.

Back in January 2022 I decided I would try and raise some funds for the charity 'Sue Ryder'. My Mum lived in their Deeview Court facility in Aberdeen during her final three years. Deeview Court was the only specialist neurological care facility in Scotland, and one of only a few in the UK. My Mum had lived with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis for 30 years. It was a bit of a battle securing a place for her there, the demand far outstrips availability and it covers all manner of complex neurological conditions. It wasn't perfect, there were plenty of bumps during her time there, but I firmly believe it was by far the most suitable place to help her manage during the sharpest stages of her illness. In general the staff were very good, some not so much and one or two genuinely exceptional. It's hard work being a carer, it's long hours, it's emotionally draining and it's a role that is extremely undervalued. So, of course you want and aim for everything to be perfect all the time, you also have to be pragmatic and I think that's where (looking back) I think I fitted in during that period, filling the gaps and bringing whatever light I could to make things tolerable for her. Again, not an easy role.

Anyway, Sue Ryder, like most charities, were hit very badly financially when the Covid Pandemic hit. It was also a terrible time to have a loved one residing in place that provided care. A building full of people with very weakened immune systems being cared for by a team of people who were still having to work / travel / live in the same ways we were all being asked to. It would only take one mis-step for everyone in that kind of place to be given the death sentence, and it really would have been given their circumstances. The staff did remarkably well but my Mum still lost her own battle during 2020, acquiring pneumonia and passing away on December 1st.

In January 2022 I decided I would try and raise some funds for Sue Ryder. I had been booked to do a 100 miles sponsored cycle the previous year which was cancelled due to Covid. Because things were still pretty uncertain at the start of 2022, I decided to try and do something I could be more in control of and lean on something I already had a love for. Putting mixes together. I was used to doing a handful of mixes every year, so committing myself to posting one every week did actually feel like a challenge. It wasn't just about putting a mix together, which obviously requires time, effort and a suitable collection of music, there's also the effort to try and drum up interest, create covers, write blogs posts, link up tracklists etc.

Although I did hit my modest target, looking back, I don't think it was a great idea on a personal level. I'd jumped into it, not really expecting much to come from it, but definitely entering it it with a huge amount of hope. Hope that I'd raise some funds, hope that it would get traction and the goal would be exceeded in a big way, that I might also find something to hold onto moving forward, perhaps find a pathway, create new connections and. well, who knows what else. I just hoped for better, I mean we were all supposed to be caring and supportive post-covid,,,, right?. A handful of online friends contributed and offered some occasional encouragement, but during the year, it did more to highlight to me how little support I had around me and it definitely ended up with things feeling pretty negative in a personal sense.

It's water under the bridge now, there's not much I can do to change things. So, why am I reposting them all? Well, during that year I simply named the mixes 52, 51, 50 etc. The thinking behind it was that the mysteriousness and vagueness of the title might encourage more listeners, leading to more donations to the charity. Again, it didn't work the way I'd hoped and although some mixes got lots of plays, most were very low double digits, some even single digit play counts, which was a far cry from what my mixes had received through the years before. During the year I also used the blog to vent away some of my frustrations at life, loss, the state of the world and humanity. I look back and think I probably overshared. I don't regret that aspect; with so little people around me in a support sense, I needed somewhere to share how I was feeling, and that was here. My own little corner of the web. It's fair to say, not many people come around these parts these days, once upon a time it was a busy little blog,  but it hasn't been for a while and that's probably one of the reasons I felt comfortable using it as a place to offload some of my stresses.

Looking back though, and thinking about moving forward, I feel like I'd like it to be less personal, less of a vent, more just a platform for sharing the mixes I've done. Maybe the odd post going over some personal details if it's appropriate to the back story, which I think this slightly lengthy post is. So, I figured I'd take all the old posts down, perhaps give the mixes an individual name rather than just a number, post them to Hearthis where they have never been posted before (and I think I'll lean on more moving forward... it's a financial decision) and perhaps update one or two of the covers that I wasn't so keen on too. We'll see.

If you've managed to get this far, well done. So, about the mix. This mix was the first mix I posted that year, it was originally called 52, but I've renamed it to 'In The Beginning...' for obvious reasons. The aim was for each mix to be at least an hour in length, but this one was slightly shorter because I set out with the initial letters of each artists name spelling out S.U.E  R.Y.D.E.R, if you look at the tracklist below, I'm sure you'll see what I mean.

I'm not sure how frequent I'll be posting these reposts, I doubt there'll be much interest so it doesn't really matter, but I'll keep going until they are all online again.

A final note - I closed my Justgiving page that was set up for this charity fundraiser, but should you wish to donate to the cause Sue Ryder is still a very worthy charity, but I'd be more inclined to support M.S Research or the M.S Society moving forward, and you can do so via the links provided.

For convenience, I'm reposting the player here and the linked up tracklist below, as is always the case. If you prefer Soundcloud you can find that [HERE] though don't be surprised if the link disappears in time due to the costs of hosting etc.



01. Sven Laux & Daniela Orvin - The Writings (DRONARIVM)
02. Umber - From This Earth To Another (Sound In Silence)
03. Early Fern - Balcones (Métron Records)
04. Rovo & System 7 - Unseen Onsen (Translucent Mix) (Ahead Of Our Time)
05. Yum Yum Head Food - The Voice Of Experience (Back To Mine)
06. David Holmes & Brian Irvine - Isn't It So (Touch Sensitive Records)
07. Ecovillage - Sometimes I hear Your Voice (eilean rec.)
08. Robin Saville - Content Of Mind (Morr Music)

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