Thank you Boys

I have mentioned a few times in various blogs about my love for music, and how music helps me keep an even keel when my resilience is being challenged. At the moment my resilience is being tested. Now part of being resilient is accepting that there are times in your life that will hurt, and occasionally it will hurt so much that you find it hard to imagine anything worse. Now I am not quite there, but I have been there before. Accepting emotional pain is so hard to do. The key is making space, which is not the same as letting your pain takeover. Allowing pain and happiness equal space and attention is the answer. You have to actively do this, we will automatically move to and pay attention to the pain and then try to get rid of it.

As Paul McGee would say, allow yourself some hippo time (some time to wallow in your self pity, but don’t make it a place of residence. It is then time to look for what makes you smile, what you value. Now my go to for evoking positive emotion is music. I will always go to my playlist and find something that fits my mood.

I am super lucky, as I have 2 boys that are musical. Both are in bands, Jack’s band is in it’s early stages so their is no music to listen to yet, but I cannot wait to share there first single. Ben however you will remember is in a band called Vialetters and they play live regularly and have just released their third song on all platforms. Listening to their music has got me through some challenging times recently. So as a huge heartfelt thank you to Ben and the rest of the Vialetters here is their latest offering Genera.

Just The Tonic

As you know I have been a little fed up over the past couple of weeks. In my previous blog I mentioned the tonic of being coached for my well-being which was truly excellent.

Then on Thursday morning I woke up to this song on my Spotify. There is nothing better than hearing something one of children has produced with his band mates. They are so talented and they deserve all the recognition I am sure they are going to get. Please click play and have a listen, I know I am a proud dad but they are bloody brilliant. If you are in Hull on 13th February 2019, pop down to the Polar Bear to see them in the flesh. Tickets are available via Hull Box Office or you can pay on the door. They are supporting another talented Hull band Mauritia.

Make an old Dad happy give them a listen and let them know how good they are.

Being a Parent

Being a parent is a privilege, on the whole it is wonderfully rewarding experience, watching your child grow, and develop.

However it is also exhausting, stressful, and sometimes terrifying. We are after all hard wired to protect and nurture our children, we can’t help it we just do it.

When our children are young we develop eyes in the back of our heads, and survive on a few hours sleep (mums especially). This behaviour can be confused as neurosis. We all remember that look on the GP’s face when they see you in the surgery for the tenth time in a month with baby David’s rash, cough, funny eye, etc, etc…

Then before you know it they are starting school and you turn into a blubbering wreck. This doesn’t last and soon you start to relish school, some of you live the time to get back to work others relish the support network that develops at the school gate. You start to connect with you fellow neurotics. It is they say good to share your pain.

This network can be a double edged sword, with stress and anxiety creep in when you realise that Tabitha and Sebastian are on a higher reading book than Dave, and Sebastian is tipped to be the next David Beckham playing for the local under 7s. You start taking David to football, horse riding (good for balance), chess club ( intellect), and Guitar lessons (he could be the next Ed Sheeran). Your exhausted, Dave is exhausted and to be fair he is shit at all of them.

Within a blink of an eye your child is leaving Primary School and heading of to High School. And you thought starting Primary School was stressful!

The first 2 years at High School are fairly benign. Then puberty hits! This coincides with GCSES. You might call it a perfect storm. Hell on earth is more like it. If you have boys (I have boys so it might be the same with girls, I don’t know) the first thing you notice is the smell. They start to sweat a lot! Then they stop talking at length and barricade themselves in their room, making the smell worse. Every now and again they will come down, so you ask them how school is going, how is revision going, what subjects might they want to study in 6th Form. You know show an interest in their lives. Big mistake you get accused of interfering in their lives and interrogating them. So you answer back and before you know it you are in the midst of a full blown row, started by asking how they were!

Then they go and do something that stops you in your tracks, that might be something kind and thoughtful, or pass their exams, or produce something amazing. Your heart swells and you remember how proud you are and how much you love them.

As they get older you spend less time in contact with them, but the same amount of time worrying about them. There comes a time when you realise that they are not children anymore, and your role as parent is going to change, and pretty soon it will be more of a distant role. I am at the start of this stage and let me tell you emotionally it is draining. I am having to come to terms with a change in the way I support them, and it is hard.

Each of us is going to experience parenthood differently, and parenting one child is different from parenting the next. So everyday as a parent is a pioneering day. We are always on virgin territory, we are never going to be experts in parenting. Just when you think you can apply what you have learned from experience, you child bowls you a googly.

So give yourself a break, stop comparing yourself to your friends and family. Every family is unique. Also remember your child is new at this too.

If your are stressed and tired, but feel so proud that you could burst then you are on the right lines.

Enjoy your journey, you only travel this way once.

Unashamedly Proud Dad and fan

On 2nd January 2018 saw me and Lisa at the Sesh in The Polar Bear, Hull watching our eldest son play bass with Vialetters.

Now this is the third gig we have seen them and only the 4th they have played.

What a triumph it was. Easily the best gig they have played. They grabbed the attention of the crowd with their new indie pop anthems Dopamine and We Found a Dog. It was as if they had been gigging for years.

They played 7 songs in total and had the crowd buzzing throughout. The host of the evening was rightfully gushing about their performance. Look out for Vialetters in 2018, definitely a band to watch. I know I’m biased but all those in the crowd cannot be wrong.

Check out their new song on sound cloud.

Dopamine- Vialetters

´╗┐Vialetters’ First Gig

On Wednesday night, we went to see Ben (my oldest) play his first gig at The New Adelphi (Hull’s iconic music venue) with his band Vialetters. As I said it was their debut gig as a band at least one member (Ollie, the founder member) had played gigs before, but they had never played together in public before.

What a triumph it was. They were second on the bill supporting a Leeds band Young Amphibians. However most of the crowd were there to see them. They had managed to mobilise their friends from college, youth theatre, and family. Considering they were playing in front of their peers and relatives they didn’t show any nerves. Their music was vibrant and fresh, with a nostalgic nod to indie stalwarts from the 80s, up to present day. Even if my son was not in the band I would happily listen to them. It was the best debut I have seen. I cannot wait for them to record some of their tracks. I am definitely a fan. 

I have deliberately not gone on about how amazing Ben was, because the whole band were amazing. I am however incredibly proud of him and he proves that if you practice a lot and live what you do you can produce something wonderful, and what is more wonderful than creating music that people want to dance to. Trust me for the passed 6 months all I have heard is bass line after bass line coming from his room. Bass lines by themselves are quite tiresome, but I am so pleased I put up with, because all his effort paid off on Wednesday. 

I am probably not the target demographic, in fact the few parents and family members there felt quite old. But I am afraid they have me as a fan. 

As a parent there is nothing better than seeing your child pursue something they love and have worked hard at. If I was choosing a path for him it probably would not be this, but I am not, it is his life and I am so proud of his endeavour.

Keep an eye and ear out for Vialetters. As soon as they have some recordings, don’t worry I will be sharing it with you all.