A relief

Forgive the mess in this picture, Nala’s bedroom is being renovated. I wish I were kidding…

Actually it’s a weird room off of our kitchen that leads to the garden. When we bought our house the surveyor said ‘pull it down’.

Their exact words.

We know an amazing builder who said we could fix it. Hooray! Reduce, reuse, recycle probably isn’t supposed to apply to your house but it still seems like the thing to do.

The title of this post, relief, is down to my puppy and my weekend. Nala met a delightful 14 month old this weekend and was pretty much perfect.

The baby shuffled on the floor, Nala watched.

The baby laughed and shouted, Nala glanced and carried on her work on a bone.

The baby screamed, Nala checked everyone was ok and just chilled.

This was the relief of all reliefs. I could not be happier. Weirdly I’m not worried about the baby being born, lack of sleep etc at all, I just worry about Nala’s reaction. Test 1 passed with flying colours.

Now let’s get her to walk beside the buggy…

Things I love – music from the other day

I work in Brighton, East Sussex. Brighton people love music. They love it a lot. 

People are very committed to finding and appreciating new music. Go to Resident on Record Store day and expect to queue for most of the morning. 

In my experience it’s always been this way, the genres have just changed. When I was growing up we would go and watch rock and punk (pop punk I should say…) gigs, love the music and and probably never hear of that band again. You then have the conversations that go something like 

‘didn’t that bass player go to join the lanky sprockets’

‘Oh yes, but they disbanded and became the lars’

‘Oh. That’s a shame the sprockets were great’

‘Yes. Yes they were’

‘I miss them’

‘Probs too soon for that. Oh mate…no… don’t cry.’

These days I try to keep up with new music but just can’t.

It’s exhausting. 

This week I have decided to embrace that and only listen to music I loved years ago. 

Blink 182, Take off your pants and jacket. Makes me think I am 15 and playing PlayStation 1.

Red hot chili peppers, By the way. When I hear The Zephyr song it reminds me of the first band I was in. We were utterly obsessed with the chilis and I was convinced I would become Flea. We were rubbish and slap bass/jazz trumpet continues to allude me.

Matt Costa, Songs we sing. I met my now wife shortly after buying this album. It reminds me of drives in my Fiesta with her and finding out all the things we wanted to know about each other. I also decided I wanted to be a surfer and wanted to be with Pippa forever listening to this. I never became a surfer.

Very sentimental, but true nonetheless. 

In listening to these albums again I not only reflect on what they meant but I give them new meaning. 

Matt Costa ‘Sunshine’ will now have the meaning of not only meeting the woman of my dreams, but now decorating the nursery of our first baby. 

By the way now reminds me of the bands I used to be in, but now of dancing in the living room with my puppy. 

Experiencing music from an earlier part of life is wonderful for the nostalgia rush, but giving them new meaning is even more wonderful. 

I realise I didn’t cover Blink 182. What can I say? It put me in a good mood aged 15, it still does. Can’t wait to play it to baby Tucker. When Pippa isn’t home probably…

Things I love – books

I try to buy every 4th book from a physical book shop. It may save a small fortune to buy on Amazon but I will be sad if bookshops disappear. 

When I walk into the shop excited about what I might buy, what idea might be triggered, which new author might be discovered. 

Seth Godin said on a podcast that books represent a ‘stone cold bargain’, I couldn’t agree more. Ideas are tucked away, we just need to search. 

I realise that is very grand but I really, really love books.

Until I started reading lots I didn’t realise how lucky I was to have a train commute. I can get through books quickly and in only a few sittings. This is when books have the most impact for me, focus entirely on them and take note of the authors journey and what they want to convey. 

The fascination is because I believe the next truth that takes a part of my life to a brand new place is tucked away in a book. I just have to keep looking for it. 

My love of books will never leave, I intend to pass it on to my children and encourage them to read as much and as often as possible. From Dr Seuss to Narnia. When they want to start looking into the life of Steve Jobs, let’s just say there is a large part of our book collection waiting for them…

Hope you’re enjoying a wonderful book at the moment. 

Things I love – The Sea

I live by the sea and apart from a few years in Manchester I always have. Ideally I would always like to.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

When I was tiny I was afraid of the sea. Apparently I cried when I first touched sand when I was 8 months old. Brave baby.

I loved to be near the sea, but not in it. I would convince myself that sharks would get me even though Sussex is not renowned for its shark attacks. That an eel would electrocute me or just that I would drown. Brave child.

As I grew up I came to love the sea.

I read an article this week about why humans love the ocean. In this article Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist talks about a ‘blue mind’:

a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment” — that’s triggered when we’re in or near water.

I am going to try to read Nichols book, after reading the article above I want to think more about loving the sea.

I think In part I love the sea for its associations.

When I think of the sea I think of dog walks on the beach, kayaking, bbqs and surfing (I am a terrible surfer, I like long boards and small waves). I think of sitting still watching a sunset, trying to body surf with friends, writing pirate shantys whilst floating on a surf board. I can’t think of a single time I have been able to remain stressed and be near the sea.

Andy Irons said he surfs ‘because I am always a better person when I come in’.

I feel the same way just about visiting the sea. My mind relaxes and I think clearly.  Thoughts can be processed and put in place, or just let go off completely.

I really do love the sea and am going to make sure 2017 has much more time for floating on it.

Things I love – Family

Today I am feeling grateful for family. This is my immediate family as it stands, Pippa, (HRH) Baby Tucker on the way and Nala the dog (aka Admiral gunface sword tail).

I’m also grateful for my parents and siblings. My in laws and brother in law.

I’m grateful for the people in my wider family – aunts, uncles and the rest. 

I’m grateful for the people who have made us family when we moved to West Sussex. 

As the meme says, you might not see them all the time but when you do it’s as if you saw them just yesterday, everything is fine.

Today I am reflecting on the people I get to journey with and choosing to be grateful for every single one of them. Sometimes family is tough, it is the universes greatest tool for smoothing off the edges you don’t know are there, for bringing the best out of you and walking with you no matter what. 

I love family, I love the idea of it and it’s practical outworking in every day life. 

Here is to family, immediate, extended and those we choose who become like family.  

Good people, thanks for being you.