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With great age comes great stupidity 

Talking with my friend last week, he is looking forward to his 40th birthday in 2 years time. 

I’ve just had mine but missed any kind of mass celebration due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. I’m not one for having a birthday party in my honour but I’m a huge fan of nice restaurants and doing something that I wouldn’t normally get to do. 

Last year, Mrs. P bought me an Aardvark experience at Blackpool Zoo. It was fantastic. I got to go in their enclosure to feed and interact with them. We spent a lot of time at the zoo before my oldest 2 kids went to school and the Aardvarks really captured my heart. 

Several years ago Mrs. P really pulled it out of the bag and got me an Aston Martin driving experience at Silverstone. Absolutely amazing. These experiences are the best presents. 

Anyway, this year I kind of missed out on an adventure. Yes, I got my new snare drum, if you haven’t seen the unboxing video then please check it out on our YouTube channel, which is unbelievable but it would also would have been nice to have an experience too. Which is where my friend comes in. 

Like I said, his 40th is in 2 years so we’ve started planning. We floated some ideas about and decided the only way to celebrate properly is to have an epic trip away. Our ideas went from the fairly standard lads trip to Vegas. Jamaica was mentioned and then things got silly rather quickly. Apparently, there are good deals to Wuhan at the minute and I think North Korea was mentioned. Stupid boys. 

Vegas was a clear winner until inspiration hit me. ROAD TRIP! 

I love a road trip. Mrs. P and I spent our honeymoon driving down Route 66. Hands down the greatest holiday of my life and something I will definitely be doing again at some point. We had a red convertible Mustang and we lived the dream. Starting in Chicago, driving through Illinois, Missouri, cutting the corner of Kansas then the world seemed to change as we hit Oklahoma. We were quite literally not in Kansas any more. This is wild west country and as soon as you’re over the state line you can see and feel a complete difference. We couldn’t believe this was the same country. From there we went through Texas, I ate the biggest steak I’ve ever seen - 72oz (with Baked Potato, Shrimp Cocktail, Bread Roll and Side Salad) - into New Mexico taking in the old alignment up to Santa Fe then Arizona for the Grand Canyon and a massive Meteor Crater, which luckily landed at the end of Meteor Crater road - you couldn’t plan for such good fortune. We then took a detour up to Las Vegas and finally back down to Route 66 Through the Mojave Desert in California all the way to the Pacific coast where the route finishes at Santa Monica Pier. The whole trip was absolutely amazing. 

Music features so heavily in my life, obviously. I don’t just enjoy listening to it and playing it. I love the history of it, I love learning about its origins, I love learning about the evolution of my instrument so there is only 1 place to start our 40th (42nd) birthday road trip. 

New Orleans. 

From there, we will head north through the Mississippi Delta and take in as much of The Blues culture and history as possible, visit the crossroads in Clarksdale, see what deal I can get for my soul then on to Memphis and the home of The King. After Memphis we are going to head east across the great state of Tennessee to Nashville. The home of Country Music. I think I may also be persuaded for a trip even further east to Dollywood, well, you have to. Don’t you? 

Luckily, Mrs P is well on board with my buddy and me and hopefully another friend of ours heading out for our adventure/mid life crisis. I’ve got a good ‘un there. 

I’d love to know where you’ve been and where you’d love to go. Let’s take a trip together. 

Take it easy.

I can't focus on what you're saying 

I can’t focus on what you’re saying. I have too many thoughts in my head but I really want to hear what you’re talking about. 

I think I’ve suffered from this affliction for a long time, but just now, in the few minutes it has taken me to drive to Screwfix and back, I think I’ve made a realisation.  My wife must despair at me. It’s the classic ‘man’ thing of not paying attention but I don’t think it’s wholly my fault. 

The thing is, I’m a bit of a dreamer. 

I like to formulate one hair brained scheme after another, I love getting started on something. I’m not usually so bothered about carrying on after its started. I’m a bit like Scrappy Doo when it starts - all “Let me at ‘em, Let me at ‘em” - but then my focus turns to the next stupid idea. I listened to an audio book not so long back - I think it was ‘Be More Pirate’ by Sam Coniff Allende - in which he talks about starters and finishers. He identifies himself as a starter and I’m coming to the realisation that I am too.  Music is different though. This has been my constant, my forever love and the dream of all dreams. 

Everything in my life comes back to music and it is music (and audiobooks) that has hit me with todays revelation. I was listening to Duff McKagen’s (Guns n Roses Bassist). I love hearing the backgrounds of rock and sports stars but I just couldn’t focus on him. 

My head was spinning with, well, my need to write this. I’m supposed to be on a schedule with these things and I’ve fallen behind. I’m blaming having to home school the kids but its probably because I’ve been playing too much golf. Even though I was interested in his story, I couldn’t focus. I just had to put some music on, something familiar and easy and then the idea for this very blog has just surfaced naturally. Even as I write this I’ve stuck on some Blind Melon and just cracked on. 

I now know I need to set myself in the right environment for my current mindset or task, I’d like to apologise to Mrs. P for all the times I haven’t listened and will try to be more aware in future. 

I know I’m not the only one and I’d love to know what you guys are listening to to help yourselves. 

Take it easy.

The pubs are open 

I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me. It’s not that I crave going to the pub, I’m not even much of a drinker. My emotions aren’t taking into account the new health risks of going to the pub. It's just, we rehearse above a pub. My drum kits are above a pub. The pub is open so I can now go and play on my beautiful drums. We can get back to rehearsing, writing and recording. I get to spend some quality time doing what I love with 2 wonderful people who just happen to be 2 of the best musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with. 

I popped down to our rehearsal space over the weekend to drop a few things off. I’ve had a P.A. Speaker rattling round in the back of my van for weeks and obviously, I had to take my new snare drum down and have a little play. We can’t let these opportunities pass us by, especially as I’ve waited so long. If you don’t know the story of the snare drum yet then please sign up to our mailing list and also subscribe to our YouTube channel, we’ve got buttons for each on this web page. There’s an unboxing video and some exclusive photos of me being let loose in the drum shop pretty much as soon as they opened. 

Lockdown has been a rollercoaster ride for me. My work life has taken a battering. As a drum teacher I’ve been lucky that we have the technology of video calls to keep my private teaching practice going. Unfortunately, half of my working week is teaching in schools which I obviously haven’t been able to do since March. Nightmare. 

Even more of a nightmare is I’ve been home schooling my kids. I have 3, only 2 of them are of school age but still, this is far more challenging than I expected. I know I’m not alone so if you’re reading this and have been pushed over the edge on occasion then get in touch. We can help each other out with a bit of group therapy. The pubs being open may help with that. On the plus side, it’s nearly the summer holidays so we can bin off the school work and try to have a bit of fun. 

I hope you all manage to stay safe and well now that lockdown restrictions are being lifted and I look forward to seeing you at a gig as soon as we’re allowed. 

Take it easy