Forward and back.

Forward and back.

The moon was a striking crescent, low in the sky with a single evening star, as I popped out in the car earlier. Looked almost like a special effect, painted behind the silhouetted December chimney pots and roof lines. For yes, it is now the first day of advent – even if the dusky heavens looked more like an Islamic postcard.

Nearly Christmas.

So where did the year go?

Yesterday wasn’t the bright, fresh start to the holiday season that today managed all day. It was a day to stay inside with the lights on again – gloomy and wet and windy. But, as I said chirpily to Jules while we head-downed through the chilly sleet of Petty France the other day, I’m still loving the autumn and winter vibe. Don’t know why; it seems to fortify somehow.

Yesterday wasn’t really a day to be cheerful, though. Yesterday was Dad’s birthday.

He would have been 75. And he would have had a fit at what we’d done to his bedroom by the time dawn broke.

Caroline has made it her mission for him and for Mum – while she enjoys the festive snows of Colorado for a couple of weeks – to sort through his spectacularly time-filled room of memorabilia. Mike and Emma even gave over a whole Saturday to helping us strip walls and cart furniture away across town. It was a kind of fab day working together; Mikey hadn’t been back to the flat in quite a while. We fed them too much afterwards to say thankyou.

But the weather, the memories, the date. I should have been some shade of maroon blue this weekend. But I don’t really deal with stuff in that formal, respectful way. I mean, do I? With all that’s going on as the year ends, I know there’s plenty to weight the heart a little. And it is. I miss him. And probably only a bit as much as I’m going to.

But what can you do? If I didn’t get on with the creative at hand, I might grind to a halt. Which I’m not sure I can do.

So I thought of Dad and I wondered where the year had gone and I thanked him for leaving the room in such an indecipherably dense state back at the flat. And I pulled on my headphones as the rain lashed against the studio windows and spent the day trying not to fall asleep in order to finish the loud, brass-heavy, entirely inappropriate electro madness of the tunes I’m trying to get mastered – figuring that yesterday was precisely the day for pushing on and trying to get things done and trying to prepare for new things.

And prepare for a big fat, jolly Christmas, surrounded by loved ones for as many days as I can get away with it. It was Dad’s favourite, kitsch, colourful, loved-up time of year.

And I figured he’d be pretty pleased that I was too distracted with making music to wallow in loss or dwell on his unhappy birthday last year. That’s what I figured. You don’t sit still and remember Brian – you get on and do practical stuff, or you grin and whistle.

Which is what I continued to figure as I drove to the little studio out in the New Forest tonight, under the last new moon before Christmas listening to Metrophilia – a distinctly whistly, wistful tune – to drop off the final mixes.

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