Greetings from Sydney, where this year I am spending Xmas with my family-in-law or, as they say here, ‘Chrimbo with the rellys’.
It was a gruelling 24-hour flight via Qatar, and some unfortunate scheduling meant we took off just before the England v France World Cup quarter-final match.
I asked the air hostess while we were up in the air if there was any news of the result.
She said, “Ah yes, England won!”
At this, my football-obsessed 16-year-old son Elliot and I threw our arms in the air and hoorayed heartily.
And then she said, “France two.”
Or should I say Zut Alors?
Anyway, nice to be here down-under. The water is somewhat warmer than the photos of the snowy lido in London, where temperatures have plummeted to 1 degree and the water has become syrupy as it thickens to ice.
So now, as the year draws to a close, it’s time for a bit of reflection, some half-baked musings and the latest news about forthcoming stories, songs and live shows.
PLUS, a shameless plug to buy my book for Xmas It’s the perfect gift and there is still time!
For me, 2022 was mad and sad.
Sad because both my parents passed away. Mum in May and Dad in September.
And now, my role in this world feels different.
A nice friend said when your parents die, it is as if they make room for you.
I have found that thought strangely comforting.
Like a tree growing towards the light.
Having the odd creative pursuit helps too. A nice distraction and a way to process it all.
2022 was also full of adventures.
A 4-day trek along the Inca trail to Machu Pichu in July was a particular high point. Quite literally at 4000 metres.
And then, in August, I spent a month in Edinburgh performing my one-man show, Anoint My Head – How I Failed to Make it as Britpop Indie Rockstar at the Fringe, adapted from the book wot I wrote. It was a huge learning curve and I loved every second of it.
In November, I performed the show at the Museum of Comedy in London. Much merriment and good-natured heckling was had all around. There are now plans to take it on the road next year, so watch this space for more details. In the meantime, you can watch footage right here, right now if you so desire.
Then in early December we got the band back together again. That band was Big Slice. Formed out of the pointy birds ashes in 1994, we toured the Camden toilet circuit for two years during the explosion of Britpop until our Moog player buggered off to find fame and fortune with his side project called the Lo Fidelity Allstars.
Fast forward 26 years, Big Slice reformed for one night only and played 11 songs (minus the Moog) at the Betsy Trotwood. It was so much fun we might do it again. You can watch the gig footage here if you so desire.
You can also listen to Big Slice on your streaming platform of choice right here. Incredibly, there are nearly 10,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Not sure where they have come from.
So what’s next, I hear you ask?
Well, if I had a pound for every time someone asked me that question, I’d have at least three pounds now.
Firstly, I am in the process of finishing my new book. It’s a sequel to Anoint My Head, which I hope will be out next year. The working title is the Kings Of Camden and follows our protagonist’s attempts to cross the rubicon from wannabe rock star to band manager in the shark-infested waters of the music industry. But I haven’t quite sussed what it’s really about yet. Hopefully that will be revealed to me soon. Like a fossil.
Secondly, I have stockpiled about 12 Made-Up-True-Short-Stories. I’m not sure exactly when they will be out and about, but two are available to read now. One is called A Night in Dieppe, and the other is called the Quilt. They take about 17 minutes to read, so they go perfectly with a cup of tea and a mince pie and hopefully they are mildly amusing in places and slightly tragic in others. Plus, they have the snazziest covers designed by Matt Law. Click on cover below to download PDF or ebook. They are free or pay-what-you-want.