Dear FishHeads, Freaks, fans and the Company,
I would have to have been a cold-hearted, cynical, callous individual to have expected to get through this week without being affected by the emotional aftershocks that have hit me in recent months.
This is a difficult time as the last two weeks were kept free to allow time to ourselves in the run up to the wedding. The album done, the band rehearsed, the first gigs under our belt, the tour in order and only the Aylesbury gig in the 5 weeks between the wedding and the UK tour, this was planned to have been our private time after the intensity of the album project. A time for cycle rides, going to the gym, walks on beaches and all the other activities that were swallowed by my commitment to the new album and tour.
And now I find myself struggling to keep myself busy and trying to find ideas to occupy my mind. Like an amputee who still feels pain in a missing limb, I am still going through the mental process of dealing with an impending wedding. Running through schedules in my head (Hen night tomorrow, me going out with the boys, family meal at the Rocks Friday, bridal party moves to hotel, etc) and watching marquees go up in the garden, the ghosts are walking beside me just now. I was primed for this for so long it now seems surreal. Sometimes I think I'll wake up and find it was all just a nightmare! It has been a tough time coping with the reality of it all.
I took a double hit on Monday when Tara and I went to pick up her bridesmaid's dress. The last place I wanted to be was in a bridal boutique with racks of wedding dresses and reminders of what now was not happening. And out walked a truly beautiful woman from the changing rooms wearing an absolutely stunning pale gold gown, a vision that quite simply took my breath away. My daughter, so grown up, so glamorous and so jaw droppingly gorgeous. It was a true "proud father" moment.
At the same time I knew she would not be walking down an aisle and allowing others the chance to wonder at her beauty.
And it's been like that most of the week. High cruel twists of Yin and Yang, booby traps lurking in photo files and diaries that catch your eye and throw a hand grenade into your chest, a casual remark by Donald, the Big Issue seller at Tescos, who'd caught a newspaper article and made his feelings known, prompting another exhumation. Reminders just seem more prevalent just now. It's exposing a deep sadness and that is going to take a long time to bury.
My nights are uneasy and with Tara on her summer holidays and bouncing about friends houses I am often left alone too many times with too many thoughts. I often find myself in my dressing gown in the greenhouse in the wee small hours with a cup of tea and a smoke watching the pipistrelle bats swooping round the bird table and the kitchen garden. The new flower beds roar into colour and every now and then a shower of rain burst like applause on the roof. Last night I listened to the mixes again while staring at the glowing green lawn where the celebrations were due to be held. The album has become a soundtrack for my last few months and every lyric holds memories that are still fresh enough to taste.
The greenhouse, scene of so many midnight trysts, so many confrontations and arguments, so much debate and so many romantic and loving moments. I still find it the most peaceful place to be on my own. It's where I wrote most of the lyrics for "13th Star" and where I will listen to the new album for the first time on my own on Friday.
The first mixes will be played at the party with Calum polishing them next week to deliver the finished mastered album by the 13th of August.
I heard tracks today for the first time since singing them and even though the mixes were in progress I was taken aback at what I heard. As Calum said himself "they sound fantastic!" I am extremely proud of this album and to deliver it after the most traumatic events occurring in the first week of recording is a major achievement for the entire team involved. If someone had deliberately picked a moment to cause the most disruption and the maximum emotional damage the first week of recording was it. How I have got through to this stage defies me.
My ex saw the album as something that came between us and I was accused of holding the album in higher importance than her. She couldn't have been more wrong. It's so ironic that the relationship that was the burning inspiration behind the album has in turn been itself destroyed in the process of creation. It's again extreme yin and yang.
I have been slammed by both my ex and fans of her band for holding the launch party for "13th Star" on the original wedding date. I've been accused of being cynical and exploitative and cold-hearted. The point of fact is that Saturday offers me some sort of closure. It heralds a new beginning and new promises. I need it if just for the wake for the death of the dream.
I know it won't be easy despite my attempts at a brave face and a stiff upper lip and I am sure I will have a few blue moments on my own despite being surrounded by great friends and a wonderful family. But the day has to be breached and I am sure at the close of the evening I will have a sense of relief and closure. I am also sure there will be an abundance of smiles that will keep me buoyed and positive through out it all. I dread the day and look forward to its passing.
Everything is set. The flowers flowered on time and the garden is immaculate thanks to the efforts of my Mum and Dad. The marquees are going up as I type. The weather is supposed to be 23 degrees and sunny. The catering arrives with the Tyneside outside bar on Friday, the PA and lights and generator Saturday am with sound checks at 12. The stage schedule is arranged, the bands briefed ("Your own Special Way" not on any set lists!). Hotels booked, airport pick ups arranged. It's all done. It's a pity. It would have made a great wedding day!
I'm finding great solace in writing and just coming to terms with my feelings about all that has happened. Most of it is deleted and trashed as it's too raw and private. Once I am out the other side maybe it is time to write that book.
My heart may have been well and truly broken but it is still beating strongly! I place my faith in the Karma mechanic!
Until next week
Take care and stay alive,Fish xx