A few weeks out…

Two weeks of adventure, yes relaxing, yes, exciting, but also exhausting. We reach for familiar tunes, comforting narratives and that elusive pilot to ease us back into harbour. The birds at home squawk a different squawk to those in rural France. So it’s to stories and thoughts that help us find our feet again. Familiar things, as well as fictional escapades, can act as footholds and resting places to find sanctuary while the sparkly dust of traveling settles.

The smell of the crowd, paint and powder, brighter lights and plastic promise are built up around us. Back in boxes, with keys and codes to pass through and gain access, so-called civilisation rattles and hums around us. We will try and hold on to the fresher air and cleaner lines of the natural. The stars and glowworms seemed more beautiful than the digital polish of contemporary consumable culture. A dash of fine coffee and a biscuit eases the contrast.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but last night I had a dream where everyone from my past ( quite possibly including you) met up at Lemon’s house and ate carrot cake and bacon, we all sang and danced, giggled and laughed, there was little inhibition, minimal anxiety, no expectation, no possessions, but an honest knowledge that we briefly knew each other. You may say I’m a dreamer, I do hope I’m not the only one…

Then I awoke with the song in my head, ‘On a wonderful day like today’. One of those songs we sang in a show as a teenager, happy days. “On a morning like this…”

Of course, said the jester, we share and invite others to reside in our world. We live as a cocktail of roles and characters. Our actions, our lives, taking on hints and suggestions from scripts and directions beyond our control… Yes, we are of course confident individuals, but when it comes to it we all subscribe, imbibe, consume and share others’ worlds.

A foreign culture and language can resonate an intoxicating nuance. Turning blue to bleu and red to rouge. Simple differences make the others’ customary things seem exotic, exciting, delightful and fun.

Can you picture, or even feel, the bluest sky, pin-sharp shadows on whitewashed walls, a lizard scurries beneath the Persian Albizia’s silky blooms. A bowl of grapes and a tall glass of iced tea… silence, except the wind…

We pop down the road to the bustling super-barn that stores bounteous delights. Lords and yacht-owners devise ludicrous luxuries; Crusty Crocs and Choco Boules, pop-wines and processed delicacies. And market people trade trinkets and trivia. Novelties might be purchased and imbued with meaning by travellers taking time-out from the mills, factories, and the familiar. Faced with abundant provisions, including a fine selection of Belgian biers, we relaxed and imbibed a jolly good holiday.

Without the need to discipline a routine our refocusing eyes journey and our minds race.

In the ancient village square, we encountered new people, novel ideas, new hopes, but essential to it all something akin to Nightingale’s vestigium reminds us of ghosts of yesteryear, old fears, old ideas and perhaps wiser elders. A newfound peace, albeit written on ancient parchments.

A new morning, waking to nature’s chorus, closed eyes might reach for new tunes and new narratives, new stories and thoughts. New escapades might invigorate, bright skies and sizzling seas soothe and delight…

But now back in harbour the crew need rest, familiar tunes, comforting narratives and a sense of that elusive pilot.

At home. Our dog looks with expectant eyes and gives me a lick. With a loving tweak, my wife whispers “pinch punch first of the month, no returns”. My daughter brings me a coffee, and a smile…
Utter joy.


Global Harmony & the Rutland Ospreys

Time flies! …as do ospreys! A few weeks ago now we (Global Harmony) had a fantastic evening with the Rutland Osprey Team at the concert A Musical Migration and here’s 2 clips from the evening. #keepsinging

A song from France (The ospreys fly over France) an arrangement of a French song “Tourdion”

And if you’re on facebook here’s another clip:  “Calon Lan” (from Wales of course)

Form more info on the Rutland Water ospreys (now with eggs!!) check out their website:

Also here’s some recent clips from “Close Harmony” –  a small group from the main Global Harmony choir.



Disney… ?

Which story do you believe? Suspend disbelief…
What would the world be without “bread and circus”?
Foolishness? Loneliness? Love hurts… if you fight it…

We received a wonderful gift! However initially the prospect of the trip to Disneyland Paris was dread-tinged. Pop-up plastic tinsel-town, fixed grins and sparkly smiles, with extra salt and sugar, and inevitable apple-pie, s’il vous plaît… humm… “well, the kids will love it”

However, It was quite a remarkable experience. The Americans don’t do things by half do they!  I guess whether it’s love or war they can lay it on with spades and in style?

Generally, at the Disney complex, not a thing was out of place, nothing was tardy or broken, no litter or debris, constant shine polish and the prospect of sparkle. And, that’s not just the facilities and attractions, it’s also the attitude of “the cast”, from the actors to the cleaners, they radiated something “fresh”.  It’s hard to “believe” they did it everyday without dropping the sparkly, shiny, hope-filled ball.

Perhaps the “Euro”-Disney had a certain je ne sais quoi… that an all-American park might not. It has a sense of fantasy that ‘europeans’ might identify with, the mix of languages added to the mystery and the small-world-ness, it somehow aided the suspension of disbelief.

Yes it’s “Disney” and all that stands for (that’s another story), but put aside for a moment, the brands, the money, and the negligence, and what comes through is some kind of hope. As their incessant but agreeable music goes “There’s magic in the air…”

Yes it was sunny, the whole family was together, our children were wide-eyed and in wonderment. It made it easy to imbibe the joy, the glory(?).

Yes, in retrospect it’s to do with hypnosis, hysteria, the chords and phrasing and lyric of the music, “the powwher of suggestion”.  It’s sugar coated, but what is it that the sugar is coating?


We included a trip to Paris, along with berets, pidgin french, Joe Dassin and a trip up the tower etc.  In contrast to my last trip to Paris 15 or so years ago (which involved copious wine, trousers, and piano bars) it was quite a different experience.

I guess the whole experience is coloured by my midlife perspective but enough analysis.

Thanks G&P for the fabulous gift, for us, a trip of a lifetime.

Belive: OK, it is not etymologically correct, but if you can be-live the experience, (and are lucky to get the opportunity), then en-glory it.

Suspend disbelief… what would the world be without bread and circus!?

You won’t believe the dirt, the rain…
This cruel world seems full of such unhappiness
If our lives collide we may get out of this
Surges of light
Breaking the dark
Shining across this universe
If our lives collide then we’ll get out of this
We’ll soar into the never ending universe
Nothing else but gravity will limit us
We will ride our rocket ship and fly away
To the avenue
Of stars

Deacon Blue: “Stars”, “The Hipsters”