2016 – the good, the bad and the ugly
Haven’t written anything here for a while and I wasn’t sure about posting this as it is rather self centered and I don’t mean it to be a “look how great everything was for me” thing as it certainly wasn’t but as a very eventful year comes to a close it’s a time to reflect and maybe by doing so it’ll make someone else think of some good things that have happened to them too and that the year wasn’t necessarily all bad.
On the face of it 2016 has been awful as we’ve lost so many actors, musicians and celebrities that have impacted our lives and it’s felt like there’s been bad news almost every week, it’s been negative after negative and I know many people just want it to end. In fact over this Christmas period it’s been almost every day, Rick Parfitt from Status Quo who was a big influence on me hit hard, George Michael whose talent you could not question and of course Carrie Fisher, a huge part of my fandom interests since Star Wars came out all those years ago and sadly a day later her mother Debbie Reynolds. Heartbreaking. And I’m still sad about Lemmy (ok, that was the tail end of 2015) and David Bowie among so many others. Then there was the EU referendum here in the UK, a shock result for many and a real nasty divide in the country became evident which feels set to carry on for quite some time while everyone figures out what to do and how. And now we have a new and controversial, to say the least, US President about to be inaugurated. The world is becoming a strange, uncertain and more scary place in my opinion.
It’s hard to see past all the negativity and that has been the overriding feeling, one period of mourning or uncertainty after another with barely chance to come to terms with the previous one. I appreciate many people die every day, an old family friend sadly passed away on Christmas Eve and of course it’s very sad for those that know them but the loss of musicians and actors that you have connected with and who have had relevance in your life is no less meaningful and painful.
Not to discount any of that but there has also been many good things about this year too for me and hopefully for you too. I’ve been to New York for the first time which was amazing, seen Gillian Anderson in a play and followed that up with a first trip and guided tour round Paris thanks to the generous time given by a friend followed by Zurich to see and finally meet David Duchovny. David and Gillian within a week or so of each other, surreal and you can read about some of these trips by following the links.
Then there was Las Vegas for the 50th Anniversary Star Trek convention. Another fabulous experience although not the extended sightseeing trip I’d originally hoped for but some of those things will keep for another time now I’ve had a taste of it.
There have been conventions, meeting some great actors, a bit of theater which is proving to be much cheaper than going to most gigs these days and I finally got to meet Buzz Aldrin the second man to walk on the moon, hung out with friends, helped friends move house (probably not what you’d put under the fun category but it was a pleasure), helped get the archive of video and audio recordings made when I was on tour with All About Eve many years ago organised and available to the viewing public on YouTube (these will be released in stages so follow the link and keep an eye out, so many good memories) and rounding it all off with a wonderful trip with friends to Bruges, another first and what a beautiful place that was. There’s been a few gigs in there too, especially two David Gilmour gigs at the Royal Albert Hall thanks to the extreme generosity of another friend which were truly amazing and one of the highlights of the year.
It’s easy to focus on the bad and indeed there’s been a lot to be depressed and upset about, both personally for things I feel I’ve done wrong, especially when the anxiety and depression come to the fore and for what’s gone on in the world but, and this is a very personal perspective, there are good things to remember too. I can look at the photos and have great memories of good times with great friends who I appreciate very much (and don’t tell very often but I feel it’s important to say that given the year we’ve had and the reminders of how short life can be, thank you for being there) and I hope there will be more good times together in 2017 to offset some of the rubbish that’s very likely to rear its head.
So please forgive the indulgence and while the title is quite apt there is the word ‘good’ in there too and hopefully it’s not actually been all bad for you when you think about it.
A happy New Year and all the best for 2017, whatever it may throw at you.