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Black Lives Matter, exercise and loneliness

We thought we’d try a ‘Joe Wicks’ youtube home exercise class. Since the start of the crisis Joe Wicks has made quite a name for himself and he has thousands of people all over the world following him. We managed to do a class each day for a handful of days but our initial enthusiasm has waned somewhat. We do intend to get back into it though!

In the USA a mobile phone graphically captured the death of George Floyd by a police officer who was brutally restraining him on the ground with his knee on his neck while three other officers stood by. This has caused riots and demonstrations across the USA and the world in support of ‘Black Lives Matter’. Not surprisingly Donald Trump only managed to inflame tensions with childish tweets, rather than providing leadership and appeasement. While welcoming the idea of peaceful demonstrations politicians in this country have reminded people that during the pandemic they’d encourage people to avoid them.

One musician who is very vocal on social media, in between other angry posts, admitted how lonely he was. He lives on his own, out of town, and said how he can’t be bothered to cook for himself. It is difficult when most of your social life is made for you around gigs. There’s a whole community of dozens of people I’d normally see on a regular basis - all ages and walks of life. Over many years I’ve built a close relationship with many of them. We wouldn’t usually see each other apart from gigs, but we’ve spent a lot of time together on long journeys, and during the inevitable hanging around that is a large part of gigging. We all get along in some manner – it’s part of the job, and I miss seeing them.

Having said that I count myself very lucky that I have a wife I get along with and family close by, but I still have low days and find it hard to motivate myself.

I had a long chat with with one musician who is trying to keep his Saturday music school job going on-line. He admits it doesn’t really work very well, but he doesn’t want to lose the job. On-line teaching is a very poor substitute for face-to-face.

I’ve been busy writing and recording music to be taken on by a production music company to try to sell. It’s been almost like a full-time job. I didn’t know what they’d make of my tracks, but I sent a bit of what I’d been doing over to them last week and was pleased that they generally approved of what I’m doing. It’s just a first step, but they won’t waste time trying to sell music that they don’t think has a market so I’m hoping that my work will reap rewards at some point in the future. In the mean time it’s a good way of staying sane and feel like I’m being productive. Without the pressure of organising and doing gigs my creative / composing side seems to have changed up a gear, with new music and ideas popping up. I’ve conjured out of somewhere quite a collection of new songs.

The government are starting to gently relax the lockdown rules, which means sadly the roads are back to being busy again, but we can meet other people outdoors which is appreciated. Of course it’s a long way before the gigging music business can crank back into action.

Until a few days ago the weather has been glorious – warm sunshine every day for weeks. The grass has started turning brown, and the month has broken records for the temperature. Not a great record to break, but it has made the lockdown much easier to cope with. Sadly it’s turned cold, wet and windy now, so we’ve had chilly evening drinks with people in their back gardens twice this week.

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