r.i.p. maxi jazz – bestselling author – bob marley

i look at my phone for the time.

it is 3.15

i can’t sleep.

i wanted to type “i can’t get no sleep” and make a segue into that famous ‘faithless’ track ‘insomnia’, which is flipping amazing by the way, and evokes memories for me of watching them in the rain at a festival, and as that unforgettable keyboard solo dropped, the grey skies started to clear and patches of blue started to shine through, and steam started to rise off the speaker stacks, which i remember thinking was so symbolic, as i danced with thousands of other disciples.

but i won’t because that is contrived, and i have never said ‘i can’t get no sleep’, though now i think i will, plus when i finish this blog i think i will stick on some headphones and crank up this amazing track, join me, and play it loud.

r.i.p. maxi jazz

music has played a big part in my life, from being an early teen going to reggae ‘blues’ played on sound systems, sneaking into the rainbow theatre in north london to watch a young bob marley and his wailers, and travelling on the 29 bus to soho as a very underage youth entering the very smokey, ‘grown up’ ronnie scotts jazz club to watch the likes of buddy rich, count basie, and duke ellington, my music taste was eclectic and heavily influenced by my finsbury park surroundings, where black culture enveloped me.

watching paul weller in the early days of ’the jam’ and sting fronting ’the police’ my love of live music grew, and as i sit here thinking about how music has provided a great soundtrack for my life i remember my girls presenting me with an everest playlist, with a selection of emotion evoking songs, which every time i listened to it in my windswept tent, broke my heart and had me sobbing, missing home, thanks girls.

music creates emotion, and is one powerful medium.

i remember skating out onto the ice to the theme tune to star wars, in all our home games as a streatham redskin, i remember winning the wembley playoffs as a cardiff devil, skating around, shiny silver trophy held aloft. as freddy mercury belted out ‘we are the champions’, and i remember a fifteen year old chloe and i listening to a young miley cyrus sing ’the climb’ on our kilimanjaro expedition.

this one is so symbolic, it’s worth a listen and watch, and it is very inspirational.

3.15 is mighty early to get up, but i resign myself to the fact that ‘i can’t get no sleep’ (that felt good)

i move the kettle into the utility room, so as not to disturb anybody, as tiffany and betty are staying, and i brew a coffee, with all the stealth i can muster.

the beans, roasted, ground and percolated, in an almost byzantine ritual, allow a sensation that really does hit the taste buds, and is worth every minute of preparation.

i am 100% awake, and start to type, as i listen to the rain outside, not knowing what words will make their way into this weeks blog.

writing a blog is a weird thing, and especially as the ceo of a charity, i feel a certain responsibility to write about everything bigmoose, but i guess what i do every week is write whatever comes into my mind with no real formula, and absolutely no direction, which i’m sure is so wrong and so bad from a writing craft perspective, but hopefully, if nothing else it provokes you to think about your world, your soundtrack, and your impact that you make on your world.

which reminds me about a blog from a few weeks ago, where i spoke about feeling impostor syndrome when it came to writing my book, which is now going well, kickstarted by you, so thanks.

after writing about feeling like an impostor, a friend messaged me saying they were surprised that i would feel that way, and it reminded me of a feeling i had this week.

so for context, a number of years ago i found a self publishing site, where i discovered a great book called 21 miles by jessica hepburn, which tells of how after a decade of trying to become a mother, eleven rounds of unsuccessful ivf, multiple miscarriages and pregnancy which proved almost fatal, jessica decided as you do, to swim the channel.

i was in.

it is a beautiful book, beautifully written, and upon reading it i researched this inspirational woman, finding her website, which, had loads of info on her, including a couple of mountains she had climbed.

in seconds i knew what she was up to, she was training for everest.

so i messaged her in august 2018 and said if she needed any help i would be happy to share my experience of everest, aka chomolungma, goddess mother of the world.

we connected and sparked immediately, and have now become good friends, with her doing an inspirational talk for bigmoose last year, which was brilliant.

she was one of the first people i shared my parkinsons diagnosis with, as i knew she would be great tonic for me, and she has not disappointed.

the interesting thing is she is an accomplished author, now having written her third book, about everest, she is a great public speaker, and i would say extremely confident.

however, she recently messaged me saying she was in south wales visiting a friend, and could we meet up, i jumped at the chance of having my batteries recharged, she is that kind of human.

as we talked, nineteen to the dozen, we discussed her new book, and how she would like to do a signing and talk at bigmoose which would be great, and we will be doing it in april 2024, date tbc, but very exciting.

but the interesting bit for me was at one point in the conversation, where she suggested she should interview me, either live, or on a podcast, which i then suggested maybe not, very much as a knee-jerk reaction.

she asked me why not, to which i replied, probably because of fear, or lack of confidence, or just not thinking about it properly and rushing my response.

oh that’s ok, i thought it was me, you didn’t want to do it because it was me interviewing you.

absolutely not, i was just knee jerk responding.

and in that moment, i saw a fragility, a self doubt, which i think from time to time we all have, and it made me think, we all have a modicum of impostor syndrome, however confident we are at other times, and it’s because we are human, and if you ever

feel that way don’t lambast yourself for it, it’s natural from time to time.

and, if you’d like to order a copy of jessicas new book, here is a link.

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