October Road

Another month in this very strange year has flown by, and it’s time for my recap of that month’s posts, my fourth of these. Thank you for your support: you keep reading them and I’ll keep posting them! First things first, though, as there is a little piece of finishing up to do. Last month’s round-up had a title I had borrowed, and I invited you to tell me whence it came. No one tried, so I’m going to tell you now! The post was my first in October and, as before, it contained links to all the previous month’s offerings, in case you’d missed one (how very dare you!). It was called:

September, Now It’s Gone

I adapted the title from one of the most beautiful songs I know, a song about love, family, and mortality:

I hope Roseanne won’t mind – I love the song and that video, and borrowing the title is my little homage to her and her father. If you don’t already know, I’ll tell you where this month’s title comes from at the end of the piece.

As usual, music featured in a lot of my posts last month. There were, of course, the usual Tuesday Tunes – four of them, starting with

Tuesday Tunes 29: More Sixties

which included music from The Equals, The Hollies, Simon Dupree And The Big Sound, Cream and The Easybeats.

Next in the series was

Tuesday Tunes 30: Sixties USA

in which we heard from The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, The Monkees and Crosby, Stills & Nash. I had promised to include some music from the USA in the series, and devoting a whole post to that seemed a good way to do it.

I then turned my attention to albums, for the final post from the Sixties:

Tuesday Tunes 31: Sixties Albums

which included music from The Moody Blues, Bob Dylan, The Who, The Byrds (again!), The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. I think that selection in itself is ample proof of what a great decade that was in which to grow up and get interested in music.

The final Tuesday Tunes post of the month saw me move into the next decade with

Tuesday Tunes 32: Into The Seventies

which was the first of two posts I’m planning for singles, before moving onto albums – as I was doing myself in buying records at that time. This post featured Status Quo, Deep Purple, Elton John, David Bowie and Jethro Tull. Again – not a bad time for music!

Not wanting to lose sight of why I began blogging in the first place, I produced my usual piece to mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October:

World Mental Health Day 2020

and followed that up with a post showing how music can affect our hopes and emotions, in

Stairway To…Hope – A Return

which was an update and edit of a post I originally wrote in 2015, about one of my all-time favourite songs, and how it demonstrates that music can be so powerful for us.

I returned to the mental health theme again in the first of two posts marking Halloween. This was the serious one:

Halloween – My Regular Reminder

This is, as its title suggests, a recurring theme for me: Halloween shouldn’t be a time for stigmatising those who are suffering from mental health issues but, sadly, some still need to be reminded of that.

The fun Halloween post came yesterday to round off my month:

Halloween Tunes 2020

This was a bumper post, including music from Michael Jackson, Bobby Boris Pickett, Ray Parker Jr, Sheb Wooley, The Automatic, Black Widow, Redbone and Warren Zevon – just the eight songs, plus an extended version of one of them! It was also my 450th post, though somehow I doubt that (m)any of you will remember the first!

To save you having to wait till next month, I did say earlier that I’d tell you where I got this month’s round-up title from. It’s going to have to be a static video, I’m afraid, as I could only find two live versions of this, and they suffered from poor sound quality and over-enthusiastic (and loud) American audiences. It’s a typically great song from a great artist, and it deserves to be heard properly, I think:

See you again next month, I trust 😊

September, Now It’s Gone

The falling temperature in my home has told me that September is gone – as if I hadn’t already realised. That must mean that it is time for my now regular (well, third) monthly round up of last month’s posts. I live in hope that you may find one – or some – that you missed first time round and can’t wait to acquaint yourself with. As for hoping that you might be encouraged to revisit a post you’ve already seen – too much? Let’s be realistic here – but I won’t stop you!

I began September with my trawl through the verbiage from the previous month – all with clickable links in case you’re desperately seeking something for your insomnia:

August And Everything, After

I had two attempts at posting that as WordPress, in its infinite wisdom, decided that I had posted it sixteen hours earlier than I actually did, which had the effect of moving it into oblivion on their Reader page. A small tip here: if you don’t already follow your own blog, you should, as it enables you to check that all is working as intended with email notifications and the Reader. In case you didn’t get the reference, the title for that post was ‘adapted’ from the first album by the Counting Crows: the comma, of which I was extremely proud, was all my own work.

As there were five Tuesdays in September there were, as if by magic, five Tuesday Tunes posts. I began with:

Tuesday Tunes 24: Strength

which featured music by Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Shawn Colvin and Tom Petty.

Next up was:

Tuesday Tunes 25: New Music – Part 1

in which there were Cat Stevens/Yusuf, Kate Rusby, Carolina Story, Caroline Jones and Molly Tuttle.

Then came:

Tuesday Tunes 26: New Music – Part 2

In that one, we heard from The Chicks, Walk Off The Earth (three versions!), Molly Tuttle (again!), Old Crow Medicine Show and Bruce Springsteen (also again – sometimes it’s hard to keep my favourites out!).

I followed that by going back – for just one week – to a theme drawn from the previous week’s news:

Tuesday Tunes 27: Six

which included music from the Tom Robinson Band, Ry Cooder, The Wallflowers, Steve Earle and the Rolling Stones.

My final Tuesday Tunes post for September started off what I plan as a mini-series, going back to the tunes of my younger years. This will comprise songs from the 60s and 70s – the first was imaginatively called:

Tuesday Tunes 28: The Sixties – Part 1

and featured songs from The Love Affair, The Herd, The Kinks, The Beatles and Traffic. As I said in that post, this was an all-British selection, but future posts will include music from across the pond – looking ahead to my list of future possibles, there is a very strong American contingent in there! The more observant of you may have noticed that I’ve reminded you of the music shared in each of those posts. This was a suggestion made on last month’s review, and it struck me as a good idea. Thank you, Jim – now you have no excuse not to revisit some of these!

There was also a musical theme for my tribute to those lost and bereaved on 9/11/2001:

Remembering 9/11 

The centrepiece of that post is a stunningly beautiful song by Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose music always speaks to and from the heart. The song was prompted by a broadcast MCC heard of an interview with a first responder, and I defy anyone to watch the video and listen to it without a tear in the eye.

You may also have seen a couple of health-related posts:

 Migraine Awareness Week

and

Mental Health Still Matters.

Both of these are important topics for me: the posts were reworkings of things I have written in previous years, as I feel strongly that their points remain valid and merit re-emphasising.

My birthday fell (from a great height) during the month, and I ran a couple of posts to ‘celebrate.’ The first of these was:

A Year In History

which was a newly edited version of a piece I originally posted in 2013 to mark my 60th birthday, with a collection of events and videos from the year of my birth. As the title suggests, it was a year with a fair bit of history in it!

The other birthday post was:

Birthday Celebrations

in which I edited a previous post about the grand day out my daughters gave me to mark my 60th and added in a new piece about this year’s event, in the year of Covid. It was different, but was still a lot of fun!

To save you counting, that made a total of eleven posts in September – an almost unheard of total for me! Hopefully there was something in there for you to enjoy.

I can’t close this review without a thank you. It goes to all of you who have read, liked, and commented on my posts. This has been my most successful year in terms of all three of those measures since 2015: last year was the best of the past four, and this year I had overtaken all of those numbers by 20 September. The icing on the cake was that September gave me my highest monthly total of page views since 2015, way in excess of most months since then! A heartfelt thank you – without you, I’d be sending this stuff into a vacuum. I thoroughly enjoy our interactions: long may that continue.

One final point. I mentioned earlier that I had adapted an album title for last month’s round up post – this month’s title is also borrowed and adapted. Brownie points for anyone who can tell me where it came from. No prizes, though, just the satisfaction of knowing that you have found your way into the weird recesses of my mind.

Till next time…

August & Everything, After

My first attempt at a round up of the previous month was well-received, so I though I’d inflict another on you. For me, August was a strange month in blogging terms: a regular pattern followed by what counts for me as a deluge in the final week. I hope you kept up!

My first post of August was that review:

July In Retrospect.

It has links to all of that month’s posts, in case you missed anything and are feeling distraught at having done so.

I then settled into my (now) regular routine of Tuesday Tunes posts, of which there were four – yes, August had four Tuesdays, if you hadn’t noticed. In chronological and numerical order, these were:

 Tuesday Tunes 20: Lockdown Music – Part 2

Snappy title, huh? I always knew that marketing degree would come in handy one day…

The rest of the month saw a return to more ‘normal’ titles, if anything I do can be classified that way. There were:

Tuesday Tunes 21: Growing Up

Tuesday Tunes 22: Disappointment

Tuesday Tunes 23: Happy

That last one had the strange result of attracting the fewest views and ‘likes’ of the August Tuesday Tunes posts, but also the most comments. Maybe I should have added some encouragement (sung, of course): ‘if you’re happy and you know it, like this post.’ Or maybe not – perhaps this series has run its course and it’s just the diehards left? I’ll see how it goes.

I then rounded off the month with two posts which showed – to me, at least – that I could occasionally write about something other than music. But music did feature in both: one day, I’ll write some words with no music! The first of these was an updated version of a post originally written four years ago, a reminiscence of my youth:

Born To Be Wild(ish) Revisited

As an additional bonus, that post included a link to a companion piece I wrote a few months earlier – they give each other some context:

Summer Of ‘69

I then rounded off my month with another reworking. This time, the original dated from 2013, and it seemed a reasonable bet that no one reading this drivel now would have been doing so back then – or would have forgotten, if they had:

You Go To School

That wasn’t one of my longer posts but it made some serious points, which are just as valid today as they were back then. And it contained a little music. Of course…

Do please tell me if this round up is useful, or if you’d rather not have been reminded of everything I’ve made you suffer in the previous month. Otherwise, there is always the danger that I’ll keep doing this.

Just saying…😉