“The Times They Are a-Changing………”

The times they are a-changing” sang Bob Dylan: a song that aptly came up on my iTunes the other day as I was sat pondering at my desk whether I’d been a blithering idiot to quit my previous profession for the sake of chasing a dream.  Just over a month since arriving in London, the pendulum shift from life as soldier to songwriter is in full swing and full of changes.  The stomping of marching troops and screaming sergeants every morning has been replaced by the significantly more sedate sound of the Thames lapping gently up the side of the embankment wall outside my flat, and I’m now re-discovering that cooking is no longer restricted to boil-in-a-bag rations or the microwave dinners I’d have to resort to if I didn’t feel like eating from the Officers’ Mess kitchen.

So how is this big change? Am I pining yet to be back under the military jackboot?  Well currently it is a very easy ‘no’, though I am sure there will come a stage when there will be some severe head-scratching.  I’ve only been heckled once with “You’re shit!” from some hooded viper on the boardwalk below my balcony and despite a massive drop in income, it has so far been completely liberating.  I am free to take charge of my own life for the first time in 6 years and pursue the thing that has run a riot of questions around my head.  Well thankfully I’ve got the balls to give it a go, and I will until it is clear I can survive no longer and my flatmates have kicked me out and I’m residing underneath Wandsworth Bridge……

Some people have said that it is “a pretty brave call” what I am doing.  Some inevitably will think “error”, given how fickle, difficult and soul destroying the music world can be, and I would be a foolish man not to acknowledge that the odds are stacked against me.  After all, everyone’s seen the demise of the reality TV hopefuls and graduates on our front pages, so why give up on a career with reasonably promising prospects for the sake of chasing a pipe dream?   It could prove fruitless and result in financial ruin, but ultimately I would hate to look back at 40 and say “I wish I’d just had a pop”.  I’d wanted to join the Army since I was a schoolboy but the romanticism it once had is lost.  Sadly, I feel I have left one of Britain’s last remaining bastions of tradition in the twilight of its own decline, reeling from bad foreign policy decisions and sapping morale, no matter what the ‘yes-men’ bigwigs might preach in the media.   Last week, the Ministry of Defence announced nearly 5,000 redundancies.  Whilst getting rid of people is always sensitive, what is interesting is that in this tranche a large majority volunteered for redundancy.  I suppose people don’t want to be part of an institution that is quick to send them into harm’s way and eager to dispense of their services when it suits them……….

It has been 4 months since I have worn my army fatigues and I do not miss them, though I must admit I occasionally put on my old beret for a giggle just to see if still fits with my ever growing mop of hair.  Not having to shave every day has been the most provocative novelty I am casually re-acquainting myself with of late.  This is likely a most banal subject for those of you reading, but after 6 years of thinking that failure to shave each day is a failure in leadership, a failure that can result in a ‘charge’ for ones soldiers and unthinkable for an officer to be found guilty of, it is an enjoyable slip of discipline.  This ‘slip’ is currently on an 11 days’ growth; needless to say my father is disgusted………..

"The Beard"

“The Beard”

I shall finish this entry by saying that so far things are slowly building musically and I’m enjoying the readjustment to life as a civilian and trying to build a new career from the bottom up.  Writing is coming on well in general, now that I have sufficient time to focus on it and the EP is currently in the final stages of mastering which will hopefully be on iTunes later this summer.  So yes Bob, I have started swimming and god knows whether I will sink like a stone.  Only time will tell……..




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. The Baldyman
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 16:09:25

    Good luck my bearded wonder! Looking forward to all those royalties fame will bring, with or without the hairy bits! – I’m thinking of having a transplant – know anyone with a few spare roots?

    Enjoy and get the EP global!!!



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