Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Definition of Stupidity

This lunchtime at Sandaig

No pictures as yet of the wild weekend in Coll. Well, it wasn’t really all that wild. As far as the gig itself went it was a pleasure to meet up again with Robbie and John Allan – aka ‘The Rise’ – who played a couple of acoustic sets while The Defenders sort of headlined. I have mixed feelings about the gig itself. I think I was tense because I was having to replace James on electric guitar while he is on sabbatical. Also I still wasn’t feeling 100%. Into the bargain we had huge problems with the PA system. In the first half of last Saturday night’s gig we were so loud that people couldn’t bear to come near the stage. Sophie’s voice couldn’t be heard. My electric guitar seemed to loud. When we rested at the interval Bruce went round and turned everything down a few notches and that certainly seemed to help in the second half. In fact all reports about the second part of our gig are very positive. But I found it incredibly hard work to play and sing after such a time away from that type of thing. I was sweating buckets under the lights and – how’s this for rock ‘n’ roll – I couldn’t see the fret board of the guitar unless I wore my glasses! Imagine – the old man of rock had to put on his glasses so that he could see what the hell he was doing! It was all a bit of a party atmosphere and I duly got in to the swing of things – along with the rest of the team, I have to insist.

My bad luck pursued me all the way to Coll: while walking towards our van later that night I stepped on a sheet of plywood which was lying in the grass for some reason not realising how slippy it was after a brief shower earlier. I went flying up in the air, landing awkwardly and putting a slight twist in to my left knee. I was hobbling about all Sunday and Monday. So let me just recount for you the sort of week-and-a-half I’ve had health wise: last week began with gastritis, followed by a retching-induced injury to my left side, followed by a twisted knee. All these injuries and illnesses are, of course, playing havoc with my training for the half-marathon in October. I can do nothing but plead with the person who has that damn doll of me to have pity, to take it as read that I’ve learned whatever lesson you’ve been trying to teach me, and let me get on with life as normal.

Gigging apart, I was mightily impressed with Coll this visit. Saturday was clear, beautiful blue skies and boy, was it hot! Walking about needed a lot of effort never mind about playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band. If you’ve never been to Coll it’s worth a visit. Even if you go for nothing other than a visit to the Coll Hotel for a meal, do it! The menu is varied and inventive. The seafood is wonderful. Presentation, price, everything, just perfect. The only slight criticism I would make is that this is perhaps the third time I’ve had a meal in the place and all the staff look incredibly harassed. A little work needs to be done trying to look a bit more chilled even if it isn’t the case.

I was incredibly tired when I got back to Tiree on the Sunday boat. I had intended to sit and watch the final stage of the Tour de France and started out to do so. I feel asleep of course and woke just in time see Floyd Landis pulling on the yellow jersey.

My new bike hasn’t arrived yet but even if had I’m not sure I could use it. The injury to my knee is hurting a bit but it only really bites if I make sudden changes in direction. After last week’s lay-off due to gastritis, etc, I know I’ve also put on a few pounds, something I didn’t need to do.

It’s Wednesday, lunchtime, taking half an hour to myself to eat something until I have to go to my next job. I’m at Sandaig. That’s the Atlantic out there. Lovely blues and aqua marines, seagulls circle endlessly, a slight breeze, the sound of the water lapping against the rocks. But I can’t shake this feeling I’ve had for ages that I’m on the wrong path, that I’m not where I’m meant to be, or maybe just that I’m not doing what I’m meant to be doing. But hey, there’s only one person who can tackle those kind of problems and that’s me. I need to be a little more proactive with my life decisions instead of allowing myself to be swept along like I do falling into the same old snares. I suppose the definition of stupidity really is doing the same things over and over and thinking the result will ever be any different from the time before.

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