Saturday 30 October 2021

The Saturday List #325 - Ten things that make me irrationally happy on a Saturday morning

 Let's start by saying this is not just another excuse to play 'Wake up and make love to me' by Ian Dury, although one should always listen to the track on a Saturday morning. I had a minor revelation during the week. I was pondering on the subject of happiness. Although I can be a right miserable sod at times, I am by default a happy, positive person. I happened to be listening to a new mix of a track by The False Dots called 'Longshot didn't die' in studio reception. It has been given a brilliant remix by ace producer Boz Boorer. Reception was packed, including the amazing Congolese singer Miss Baby Sol and her band (who are pretty amazing). I wasn't paying much attention to them, but I noticed they all started bopping to it. One then came up and asked who it was. As a musician, such things are the source of amazing happiness. I think it may be a hit (I can but dream!).

Anyway, it got me think about the little things in life that bring irrational happiness. I have an immense debt to my much missed Dad. He always said that you should fill your weekends with joy and banish negativity. So I thought I'd make a little list of what gets me off to a good start on a Saturday

1. Carrie and David on BBC Radio London. These two are vocal coaches who live in North London and do the breakfast show. I don't know them, don't think I've ever met them, but our studio vocal coach Josh Alamu is a good mate of theirs. Their show is what wakes me up. For me it sets just the right tone for a Saturday morning. They know their music (which always earns my respect), have great guests and are generally full of life affirming positivity. Because I'm a good blogger and a nosy sod, I follow them on Twitter etc and I am in awe of how they've taken the challenge of their childrens autism and turned it into something glorious and positive. As someone who lives with dyslexia, it is great to see how they've used it as a positive force in their family life. This morning they played some afrobeat, which is great on a Saturday morning. I'd rather like them to play a lot more of it!

2. Cooking breakfast. The good lord has blessed me beyond belief with my missus Clare. With the things I put on her and the way I often take her for granted, I am amazed she puts up with me. The one thing I religiously do, no matter what the weather or how I feel, is try and cook her a lovely breakfast on a Saturday morning. This morning it was toast with smoked salmon and cream cheese, fried mushrooms and a fried egg with a sprinkle of parmesan (I didn't have the dairy on mine). It was glorious and I think that for five minutes every Saturday, she probably thinks it's worth the hassle of putting up with me. I love cooking and it always makes me happy.

3. Reading the Times in bed with a cup of tea. There is nothing more civilised than reading the papers in bed with a cuppa. During the week, we get the Daily Express and Guardian ( a sort of balanced view of the world). At the weekend, it's the Times and Sunday Times. Much as I dislike Murdoch, the Times is a very good paper and has some great stuff in it.

4. Robert Elms. Robert follows Carrie and David on BBC London. He's recently had his hours cut on the station. If nothing else, it's made me realise what a brilliant presenter he is and how much we should appreciate him, because nothing lasts forever. I generally only manage the first hour or so, as I have stuff to do. His show always puts a smile on my face, especially when he plays his Matt Munro track. When I was a sixteen year old punk rocker, the concept of listening to Matt would have been unimaginable, but as I've grown older, I've learned to appreciate the work of such geniuses, in no little part thanks to Bob (as us ex Orange Hillers call him).

5. Writing the Saturday List. I'm often asked how I manage to keep up writing this blog. The answer is that I really enjoy it. I find it relaxing and therapeutic. Of all the blogs, I enjoy making the lists the most. All of the subjects interest me. 

6. Walking my dogs. At some point on a Saturday morning, the doggies will get a walkies. In Mill Hill we are blessed with amazing walks and great trails. On days like today when it is raining, this is perhaps less of a joy, but generally, we always do a 3-4 mile walk at weekend and I absolutely love it. If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you'll see many of the pictures I snap. We all have our beliefs, mine is that God gave us an amazing planet and I'm damn well gonna enjoy it.

7. Tea. I've never really got coffee. It doesn't agree with me and I hate the taste of it. I especially hate the ones full of gunge and with rubbish sprinkled on top. Tea cannot be defiled in such manner. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, I banished the dairy. It took me a while to get used to black tea, but I've come to realise that it is the most wonderful drink of all. 

8. My garden. I always have a little walk around it at the weekends. So many people have paved their front gardens and sold off their back gardens. I will never do this, it is my little oasis of sanity and beauty in a punishing world.

9. My Guitar. I always sneak in a play of the guitar on a Saturday, It always brings me joy and happiness. If there was one bit of advice I'd give anyone, it's to learn an instrument.

10. The football fixtures. Although I am a football nut, I always love looking at the forthcoming football fixtures. When I was a kid, my Dad would do the pools with me on a Saturday morning. He was an Aussie who hated football, but he loved the pools. We always lost. He wanted to win so he could live the life of Riley. Although I always know who Man City will be playing, on a Saturday I study the other fixtures, to see if there is anything interesting in there. I find these irrationally fascinating. Every other Saturday I try and go to watch Hadley FC at home at Brickfield Lane. When I can, I watch Manchester City and when they are in town, I join my Welsh friends to watch Wrexham. In the last couple of weeks, I've seen all of them. Football is rather wonderful and Saturday is the day that we celebrate it. 

I thought I'd put a little playlist together to put me in the mood for a wonderful Saturday. I hope this works for you.

Have a great weekend!

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