Have you known a year like this in many an English year? One where we actually get seasons?
A summer so hot and sunny and summery, it’s blotted the memory of a winter so long and snowy and wintery it eventually blotted the will to live. Even I was getting tired of the definite barometric work when May had a nippy wobble and made me get out my long coat again.
Now? How long ago does that feel?
We’ve been taking beachy bike rides and seafront strolls every damn evening and weekend we can. There’s a permanent dusting of sand on the hall carpet. And on Saturday, we just sort of camped out in Bournemouth lower gardens with strawberries and Marks’ takeaway Chardonnay glasses.
The summer’s a funny thing, though. All the feelgood makes you want to down tools and say Sod It. And this year is probably exaggerating the thing.
The new chancellor’s ball-punchingly painful budget has cemented the idea of a Tory outlook in Westminster, with poor people and those daft enough to be on benefits of any kind whatsoever sort of casually cuffed about the head, while bankers smugly tell us all and any hope of legislatively toe-punting their crown jewels to go do the necessary to ourselves.
Meanwhile, a decent toe-punt would have been nice to see from the desperate shower we sent to South Africa to represent us to the sporting world this month.
And did we bother to say the words: Afghanistan, or: Gulf Of Mexico? No. These too seem like gigantic, insurmountable things.
So a bit of lax summer heat is enough to make us all down tools and up tumblers.
So blessed indeed are the moments that restore hope. And music is so often the mysterious magician that will do it, against all the logical odds.
The Glastonbury Festival is forty this year. As will I be. And as cosmically resonant and harmonious as it would have been to see posters all over Michael Eavis’ good farm this summer emblazoned with the words: MOMO:GLASTO – Tempo Takes To The Pyramid or similar, alas my interminable efforts to set out my little musical stall have not so far led me to the mainstage at the country’s favourite music festival.
For some reason, they got in some soul singer. Wonder somebody? Steven Wonder?
Catching up on the iPlayer from lastnight’s concluding headline set, I spent this afternoon trying to concentrate on some magazine type changes but was finding it hard not to just sit and soak in
some legendary and strangely spiritual soul music, expertly executed by a stage full of sobbingly good creative talent.
Higher Ground made me want to throw myself out of the window with funky joy. Stevie’s preach before Living For The City had me cheering and looking for someone to hug like a moron in the crowd who’d not slept for three days. And to pick Human Nature from Thriller to cover as one of the most poised, pretty soul songs Jackson ever did… man. Just, man.
God has this guy on his iPod.
..God has a lot on his iPod.
I think everything, in fact.
But Wonder At Glasto Forty is on repeat, believe it.
(Okay, so Stevie felt he had to do I Just Called To Say I Love you as well, but hey. Turn a blind ear for a far-sighted legend.)
It was sublime musicianship and soul. And it made me want to forget about any work plans and dogged, sensible ambitions and just go write some tunes and words that no-one may ever hear without any worry about it.
Who cares? God has your tunes on his iPod, man. Including all those even you didn’t realise you’d written.
And this is one of the coolest things about lots of sun: It eventually gets to your head.
For us, I might say that the summer is another limbo time – albeit a hazy warm one between the positive ideas of new musical experiences and possibly moving on to a new chapter.
There is a certain sadness and worry for many people over this beautiful spell of weather, and I would say that the muggy wait of it is having the same effect on us in the background too.
And there’s that weird thing about too much summer – it is meant to be a limbo. A heat-haze-blurred, hammock-lulled limbo. A wait for the chill bite of change. A recharging of want. A lazy hang-around built about the understanding that eventually, however warm and splendid the present, there comes a time when sanity is almost crying out for change, for an autumn breeze.
When you are wishing you could get out of the hammock and get on with something fresh.
..All of which is something I will get to just as soon as that kicks in. Really. You’ll be the first to know.
Still half hoping it’s not just yet though, eh?
Top up the Gin tumbler, mother.