Well here I am reporting mid hols, at home and working today (and some of tomorrow)… as I prepare for the last of my Manilow shows in London tomorrow night! Yes I have been away… and then back… and then away… and it’s all great fun!
I am officially back in the office writing (yay!) and working from Monday. I think the Manilow is the only thing that ever took me away from my work when I was a student too. He is the one steady in my life, as I will explain. No I am not crazy (well only in a good way!) so do read on…
You know, I have realised something recently… about the small-mindedness of folk , character traits that will of course go in a story somewhere! It all has a purpose 🙂 But what strikes me is how easily people judge us for the things we do, the choices we make, the things we enjoy! How can that be right? As far as I can see, so long as these things are not hurting anyone (and for me I would say to the contrary) then I think we all need to stand back and allow others to be who they are. Agreed?
I have always been a bit odd in the sense I was a bookish nerd (never!) who studied really hard, had dreams and loved, and yes I do use that word, LOVED, Barry Manilow, from a young age. Don’t groan! Please! I first saw him live at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1982. I was thirteen! I remember what I was wearing (a maroon mini-dress!) and everything about that night so clearly. And there started a story that has been rolling ever since. Truly. It was the only thing that took this geek out of herself, yep. There are friends I made along the way, wonderful wonderful memories and such such fun. Some of the most important people in my life came out of that. When I was younger I gave into the obsession more because I could, I had less responsibility and apart from the financial costs, followed tours when I could. Don’t ask me why, I had never been like that about anyone else, but that’s how it hit me… right in the heart. Now I have grown up and other things are a priority, but the passion remains. The passion for all things remains. That’s how I am. In fact if I hadn’t been that kind of person would I have made it to vet school in 1988 (sadly cut short by serious illness), would I have recovered from that and eventually got three degrees? Would I have ever left the day job I hated for the dream and got my first novel accepted by a publisher and now a literary agent? Passion is a healthy thing. And it’s the reason for following some of this One Last Time tour. Okay he will be back for the odd show in London, but no touring the country. So this could really be One Last Time and so it is mixed with nostalgia and I dare say a few tears on the last night. But it also reminds me that there is fun to be had in the world — where so often the news is bleak. And don’t we know it, right?
Someone said to me last week (an old family friend) that what I was doing, seeing three shows (hey that’s only a third of the tour!) is sad. Really sad. And they meant it seriously. They actually said a lot more than that.They said they had never loved anyone enough to do something like that. It must be compensating for something. Er… no! A big emphatic NO. I will say it again NO! While they dissected my life I simply said, in response to the notion that they had never loved someone enough to see them a few times: “What a shame.”
It’s that small-minded failure to stand back and allow others to be, especially when they are hurting no one, that creates the issues in the world. It might seem small when I talk about it in the context of musical taste and holiday choices (which is what this is to me, a much-needed break from the norm) but looking at the bigger picture it’s failure to let others live their life. Inability to embrace the differences between us is what breaks the world. “It’s my life.” With me on that one?
So I was the geek who loved the Manilow and maybe many still think I am that geek… but I am so much more than that and always have been. When it’s about fun and love and all coming together, then music is a powerful reminder that we can all be united by a common love, right? So nasty comments are not welcome! I have a lot to thank Barry Manilow for, a lot. He has been with me through all of my darkest moments and his music has helped me ‘make it through the rain’ many times. He was the first thing I looked forward to when I lost Lee, and got to do the VIP thing in Vegas where I met him as part of a platinum package with proceeds to charity. And I told him that, I told him about Lee. He said it deserved a hug and I have the extra photo to prove it! See?
No this isn’t a ranty post, but something pertinent to me. And something I think needs to be said.
I am happy and having a lovely break although missing my writing. Looking forward to finishing my new short story next week and hoping to hear from my agent soon about the new novel. But sometimes when we stand back from our lives we get to see how truly special they really are and a break is a much-needed and deserved thing. How lucky I am.
Life is changing for me in so many ways (now I have a new love… finally and so much to look forward to…) but some things, like Barry and my writing, remain a constant in my life.
If it makes you happy and if it doesn’t hurt anyone, JUST DO IT.
I will now blog again next Monday when I will be back and writing and indulging in my other obsession. But know this… Barry teaching me never to give up on my dream (as he didn’t) is what led to my first novel being published, truly! Very proud moment 🙂
So, know what?
Is this the life?
Of course it bloody is.
This is me and my best friend, Elaine (been doing this since we were 16!) at the concert in Manchester last week! June 15th, MEN Arena
All you need is your bestie, a glow stick and a Manilow!
My sentiments exactly!
Oh and thank you Barry Manilow. Thank you so much. I would not have got this far without your music.
That is all.