Doing a lot of reading just now.
After the 2016 Danish ‘Hygge’ thing that we all fell in love with, I’ve been reading more about the Swedish lifestyle of ‘Lagom‘, which in a similar way is about making positive life choices and trying not to be excessive in things, enjoy each moment for what it is and be more aware of it. So recently, we’ve also been trying to be better at spending time with kids outdoors and being more in tune with the world around us, from walks in the countryside, visiting nature reserves and simply feeding birds in the garden and being more aware of the natural world.
Between balancing a marriage, a working life, three children, and any kind of social calendar and personal hobbies and interests, it can be difficult to find place for it all and time. But we’re trying.
As we wind up for 2018, it’s always a good time to look back before we look forward. There has been so much going on this year, personally, professionally and just generally. We’ve had a new little daughter; Nina Siena, who is a ball of pure innocent love that has the most perfect little face. I enjoyed being off for a month when she was born (as it coincided with the World Cup and also with a freak heatwave here in Glasgow that was unheard of previously).
Some of the less important stuff.
- Erland Cooper
- Puma Blue
- Little Simz
- Oscar Jerome
- Phoebe Bridgers
- Skinny Pelembe
- Angelo De Augustine
- Sunflower Bean
- Moses Sumney
- Tom Misch
- Tune of the Year – Pick Up by DJ Koze / Tints by Anderson. Paak
Gig of the Year – Slowthai / Kojey Radical @ The Great Escape
Album of the Year – Sum of all your Parts by Fatherson or Songs of Praise by Shame.
- Marvellous Miss Maisel
- End of the F**king World
- Peaky Blinders
- Game of Thrones
- The Kominsky Method
- The Bridge
- The Missing
- Little White Lies
- American Crime Story – Gianni Versace
- Killing Eve
- The Deuce
- Benjamin Myers – Gallows Pole
- Boy at the Door – Alex Dahl
- His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet
- Timbuktoo – Tim Burgess
- Iron Ambition – Mike Tyson
We also made a trip to Venice which was a Christmas present for Joan, it was such a nice trip we decided to go back this January coming. With Nina.
Some of the not so good stuff include, Brexit and Family / Friends Funerals.
Thats the festival season over for another year for me. I was quite late in getting to festivals, mainly because I was normally more interested in going on holiday around the summer months and so missed out on them. Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to be able to visit some of Scotland’s best offerings as part of my job in music.
I’ve came to know Belladrum quite well – The Tartan Heart Festival in the glorious highlands of Scotland. A nice family vibe with plenty to see and do, a real feast for the senses all around with some great bands through the years. We’ve also been lucky enough to be able to give some live opportunities to some of the young artists we work with on the music project.
We’ve also become regular visitors to The Great Escape in Brighton, another wonderful festival that is actually overwhelming with the amount of talent and bands on offer everyday, I’ve saw some incredible bands and music industry panels at this festival. An absolute gem.
This year I managed to secure some tickets to take the family (Joan, Amélie, Leo, Nina and Myself) to Electric Fields in Drumlanrig Castle Estate down in Dumfries. This felt like a much smaller affair but with some excellent acts and a real cool family vibe and we met some absolutely lovely folks there enjoying the festivities. I hope to go back next year.
Its been a very different couple of months for us. Since the birth of Leo we’ve been busy learning and relearning all the things we had forgotten since Amélie was born. Its somehow the simple things that you forget about, the broken sleep, the number of things you have to remember to take with you when you leave the house, how difficult it is to fit a hat on a baby, creeping around at night and getting dressed and undressed in complete darkness.
Its been trying for all of us. Joni is getting back to normal and managing to firm up a type of routine that will suit herself and the children, it doesn’t help when they are both out of sorts at the moment as they fight off a nasty cold. I’m now back at work. I miss them all. Everyday.
As we approach Christmas, we have been trying to keep a lid on things and try to stay as patient as we can as parents. Its been a difficult time for Amélie to adjust to a new member of the family, so she has had moments of extreme tantrums and odd behaviour. I try to keep a cool head and be the gentleman / father that I’d love to be, but its difficult and sometimes I say things I don’t really mean, and instantly regret it all. I long for the day when we can all be peaceful and patient with one another.
Like when my daughter Amélie Sofia was born, it seemed a good time to take a similar photograph. Our lives as a family have changed in so many ways, we have grown in patience for each other (sometimes) and learned about how we parent our children, we have learned that we are both firm but fair parents. We have also learned that we like to offer opportunity but be mindful not to forget those who have nothing. Amélie is now at nursery and learning so much every day. Young Leo is about to embark on a very exciting journey of life, we are so happy and we see a new destination of challenges, different challenges.
He is a beautiful little boy, and will grow into a man with standards and a moral compass that we can only hope to influence and build with him, I hope to shape him into a better man that me, that will be my ultimate goal. As for Amélie I hope for her the same, that she is strong woman that will be there for her Brother and Mother. I have no doubt that she will be a smart young woman who will be an excellent Mother one day, just from the way she is interacting with Leo at the moment. She is an excited big Sister.
So, back to nappies and all the exciting nights of limited sleep.
Here is the one below of Amélie (nearly 4 years ago)