Personally, it has been incredibly tough – but I am glad to say that the depression that nearly knocked me out entirely at the beginning of the year has mostly lifted, and I am almost fully back on my feet again after breaking my ankle and badly damaging the ligaments (although I still need a crutch to get around!).
I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the NHS staff who have treated me so well this year; from the ambulance crew who picked me up from the pavement and got me to Chelsea & Westminster hospital, the amazing A&E team there who got me sorted so quickly, and the physiotherapist at West Middlesex hospital who is currently getting me up and walking properly again, to my fantastic GP, the astute psychotherapist who got me thinking, and the community mental health team who have monitored my progress on these new meds with care and attention.
All these people are incredible, and their kindness and skill make me even more grateful for the NHS.
Also incredible are my family and friends (online and off), who have put up with a lot and have stuck by me nonetheless. Thanks to them for doing my shopping, brewing endless cups of tea, driving me places, making me laugh, reminding me to do my physio exercises, sending me great music and lovely messages, listening to me vent…. They know who they are – and they all rock.
And thanks to you, my dear, patient readers. For the first time ever, I have not posted anything on Another Kind Of Mind for many months, which is most unlike me and shows just how unwell I have been. I hope to get back to blogging regularly again in the new year – I have much I want to talk about. In the meantime, I’m planning to get a couple of Christmassy posts up over the next few days (if I can find the time), because Christmas isn’t Christmas round these parts without them! If you’re missing the usual festive fun, you can find links to all my previous seasonal posts here. Enjoy!
Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas to you all – and here’s to a better 2017 all round…
Hello my dear, patient readers.
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted for quite some time.
I apologise for this. Sometimes life just gets in the way – and sometimes, like this time, it’s a matter of having to battle the serious ill health that occasionally pops up and completely floors me, this time resulting in a change of medication which is currently knocking me out in a most interesting fashion.
And just to make matters worse, I now also have a broken ankle!
My ankle is still very painful and I’m on some rather spacey painkillers too (which is only adding to the fun…), but I have been looked after wonderfully by all the medical staff who have treated me so far (yay for the NHS!), and by my fabulous family and friends, both online and off.
It is frustrating to be pretty immobile and unable to do many of the things I take for granted (including writing), and I’ve turned into a bit of a Dalek when it comes to the stairs – but at least I have a cast-iron excuse to lie on the sofa and binge watch Euro 2016 when it starts later this week!
As a result of all this medical mayhem (ahem) I may not be able to post much over the next few months, but I have put together a selection of bits and pieces that I hope you will enjoy – including some more choice vintage selections from the BFI film archive to be going on with.
I was also thinking that it might be nice to have a few guest posts from a few cool and groovy people while I’m laid up. If you are interested in contributing something, please get in touch (you can leave a comment here or tweet me).
This is why I owe the late Sir George Martin (and the Beatles) a small and personal debt of gratitude.
When I started this blog in the summer of 2009, one of the first things I needed to do was give it a name. My previous blog hadn’t been called anything, it was just an extension of my MySpace account (yeah, I know…), so it really wasn’t a subject that I’d ever given any serious thought to. I spent several afternoons scrolling through the hours and hours of music on my laptop, hoping to hit upon a song title or a lyric that would fit in with what I was trying to express with this smart new blog I was so excited about.
Eventually, I gave up in frustration and just let the music play (as a wise lady once sang) while I got on with my work. I admit that I wasn’t really paying attention by the time the Beatles’ Revolver began playing – my mind had wandered off elsewhere, as it is wont to do. It would be true to say that I’m not the world’s biggest Beatles fan full stop (in fact, my views on them could well be considered somewhat…. iconoclastic, perhaps), but I do love Revolver. It’s the perfect transitional album between the ‘pop’ Beatles and the ‘psychedelic’ Beatles, effortlessly picking up where Rubber Soul left off, and it is arguably some of George Martin’s finest work.
Suddenly, that lovely, upbeat almost Motown-style brass opening of ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ kicked into my headphones and Paul McCartney began to sing:
I was alone, I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there/Another road where maybe I could see another kind of mind there
I instantly sat bolt upright in my chair. That. Was. It. Another kind of mind – it was perfect. It was me. As someone of an imaginative bent who has also had experience of mental illness, I guess I’ve always felt like I do have another kind of mind. It just sounded right. Much later on, I discovered McCartney had written the song about his early experiences with cannabis, and that also amused me no end. It really was the perfect name for this blog then, and it still is today.
So, thank you George Martin – without your genius, the Beatles might never have made Revolver, and this Another Kind Of Mind would have been very different (and probably nowhere near as much fun)…
Time for another annual tradition. A big thanks to the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys, who have prepared a 2015 annual report for Another Kind Of Mind (now go and have a nice cup of tea, stats helper monkeys!)…
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,000 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.
It’s nearly Christmas again. I hope you’ve all stocked up on plenty of booze and written your letters to Santa….
And, round these parts, the approach of Christmas can only mean one thing: new festive blog posts.
They’ve become a bit of a tradition on Another Kind Of Mind (indeed, folk read them all year round – you’d be surprised how many people seem to feel Christmassy in the middle of June!), and I try to do something different every year.
So, from next Saturday (that’s the 19th December) until Christmas Day, there will be a brand new seasonal blog post for you every day.
Until then, if you’re looking for some festive reading (and watching), you can find all my previous Christmas posts right here – and I’ll be adding links to the new posts there as soon as they’re published. Enjoy!
For the first time in six years, a combination of real life and technical problems have caused me to miss an entire month’s blogging. I may be pretty erratic as to when I post usually, but I’ve never managed to do THAT before!
But I’m back and I’m penitent. Slapped wristies and removal of chocolate privileges for me, then.
When I’ve finished sulking about the chocolate, I do have some new stuff coming up, including those long-awaited birthday guest posts (promise!), a few seasonal goodies (hopefully some Autumn colour – and a Halloween spook fest, of course), some photos from a recent trip to the lovely Down House in Kent (which was home to the remarkable scientist Charles Darwin and his family), and a good sprinkling of the usual random nonsense you’ve all come to expect round here.
Stay tuned…. (no, really!)
PS: I’ve also updated your list of music documentaries with a few new titles – if you’ve got any more you’d like to add to that (or to your list of music books), get in touch. Leave a comment or tweet me!
Another Kind Of Mind is six today (please feel free to send champagne and cake).
Thank you to everyone who had read, commented, liked, shared and generally been puzzled by the nonsense I’ve written about over the last six years – you’re all absolutely fabulous, and, as I say every year (because it’s true), I couldn’t do this damn thing without you!
Watch out for some birthday guest posts from some very cool people coming up over the Bank Holiday weekend, including an extremely exciting exclusive….
And while you’re waiting for that….. you dancin’?
Urgh. So, it’s January. And I must, again, apologise for my quietness on the blogging front, although I am sure that many of my readers will understand how things go when ill health rears its ugly head. Anyway, I do have some new odds and ends coming your way over the coming weeks, including, of course, more historical meanderings and the kind of general randomness that tends to happen round here rather a lot.
However, next up will be my long-awaited Albums Of The Year post – although it won’t be in any particular order on this occasion because I gave up trying to do that some time ago. As far as I’m concerned, 2014 was a year of waaaay too many great albums to even think about which one was the ‘best’, and it’s all so subjective anyway (as I am sure you will tell me in the comments and on Twitter!).
Then, since the first indication that 2015 is general election year has already dropped through my door, my occasional Election Propaganda series will be returning with a bang – this time, on Labour’s plans for the NHS. Watch out for more Election Propaganda posts over the coming months as I dissect the partisan rubbish that all the political parties send through the post in the run up to May…
Oh, and after all that ridiculous ‘Blue Monday’ nonsense (ummm… depression doesn’t work like that) earlier in the week, here’s the actual ‘Blue Monday’ for you. I recommend that you crank the volume and dance like no-one’s watching round your living room/office to this work of musical genius:
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for Another Kind Of Mind (cheers stats helper monkeys, hope you’ve got the day off today!).
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Much to report, but I’m going to start by sending a huge thank you to Rick, Fi, Ian and Rose for their brilliant 5th birthday guest posts – and an equally huge thank you to everyone who read those posts and responded on Twitter, Facebook and in the comments here. A fantastic way to celebrate five years of Another Kind Of Mind!
If you missed any of the birthday posts, you can find all four of them here:
I have lots planned for the next few months, including more in my World War One series of posts, a bit of the usual general randomness you’ve all come to expect round these parts, some dramatic and destructive 17th century history, and my recommendations for building a library of books about music.
And, on the subject of music, I have also been busy adding loads of new Debut Albums Top 50s to the List of Lists over at the Top Fifty Albums Lists blog. Please get in touch with me if you too have compiled a Debut Albums list and haven’t sent it my way yet!
As well as all this, my offline life is about to get busier again and I may not be around quite as much in the near future – I’ll be beginning a part-time MA course with the Open University in October (but don’t worry, it won’t stop me blogging…!).
Thank you again for all your recent input and responses – and here’s to another five years of Another Kind Of Mind.
PS: Despite the fact it’s only September (how did that happen anyway?), I’ll soon be turning my mind to my now-traditional Christmas posts. I’m not sure yet as to which seasonal topics I’ll be covering this year, so if you have any bright ideas or suggestions, please get in touch – it would be great to crowdsource a few Christmassy posts for this festive season!