KC and The Sunshine Band – Give It Up

After a couple of heavy blog posts, I have to share one of the most uplifting songs in the world. Give It Up is still as much a delight to me now as it was when I was just 6 back in 1984. The intro, and that awesome bouncy bass entrance still makes my heart leap,it’s truly a beautiful sound and fills me with joy. I used to leap around many a dance floor to this song and would still throw some limited shapes if it came on right now. It’s that kind of infectious tune that just fills your body with GROOVE!

I’d never seen the video before I sought it out just now for this post. It is seriously fucked up, I think they were going for some Star Wars references (it’s the year after Return Of The Jedi, says the Star Wars geek), but it’s probably too cheap to be successful. KC (I’m guessing that’s him, anyway) looks a bit menacing really, and with him looking a bit moody the lyrics of the song start to have a darker meaning when you dwell on them, so don’t! This video is an edited version of the song, but I’m sure you all have the song or know where to find it. In the meantime, watch this and get your hum on – my gift to you…!

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Friend for Sale or Rent

Now I promised that the next blog post would be much happier, but unfortunately over the last few days I’ve felt a bit smeggy.  Blogging may just be the tonic for the funk I find myself in?

I was fairly popular as a kid.  Because I was a clever one, when I was very young other kids were attracted to the fact I could spell better than them.  These were terrific days for me.  I was a genuine teacher’s pet – my infant school teacher used to keep me behind and then tell my mum (who had come to pick me up) how bloody wonderful I was.  She even kissed me goodbye at the end of a couple of terms!  I love the fact I can remember the popular Kedge days, but it’s a shame they are so long ago (altogether now….awwwwww).

So, when kids got a bit wiser, I started to get picked on for being brighter, and my false eye also came in for a lot of attention.  I won’t dwell on the bullied years (1988-1995, approximately), suffice to say that some of the friends I made during that period of schooling were treasured.  They were the rock upon which I could lean when things got tough.

It didn’t always work out right.  I have vivid memories of my ‘best friend’ when I started secondary school, who shall of course remain nameless, beating the science homework out of me.  I suppose kids are, by nature, very polar in the way they act sometimes, and I was more than happy to put up with the odd beating if it meant I had a best friend.  Sad really, now I look at it.  I should never have entertained the idea of being friends with such cretins – it wasn’t even a case of getting in with the popular kids either, as this guy was not much higher than me on the social scale at age 11.

Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with which friends I have had, and what they did to me, when I was younger.  I was lucky towards the end of my school life that I had a small group of loyal friends, some through school and others via my part-time job.  I had a couple of social circles to be part of and I became quite the party animal.  So many great times were had with these friends between the age of about 16 and around 30.  Now that’s a long-term group of friends, and something I have been proud of for much of my adult life.  People came and went, but the nucleus of my group remained.  I was even the glue that brought people together, something I was always proud of.  There were 5 of us in all.

This won’t become a Famous Five article, don’t worry.  I just wanted to stress that until quite recently, I had a strong group of friends who stuck together and saw each other regularly.  So what happened?  You will of course have noted I wrote the paragraph above in past tense…

  • Emigration.  Yep, my very closest friend of all went to the other side of the world.  It was incredibly upsetting for me and still is 6 years later.  The selfish bastard (*note: he’s not a selfish bastard, he went with his wife and children.  I’m just bitter).
  • Drifting apart.  One of my friends has always been notorious for not staying in touch.  Fair enough, but he has now recently stopped responding to my contact.  Now all his numbers are showing as cut off.
  • Marriage and babies.  Both perfectly normal, but they don’t have to get in the way of friendships, do they?  One friend in particular I haven’t seen since before his baby came at the end of last year.  I’ve not even met the child!
  • Adult lives.  Half my friends now have mortgages (including myself), responsible jobs, early bedtimes and the like – it seems to stop all the fun in it’s tracks.  Does nobody even want to go out drinking anymore?

It’s all a part of growing up, I hear you say.  And you’re right.  But here’s my problem.  I need my old friends.  I need them to remind me of the happy, innocent days, before Oscar passed and even, via some stories of old, before Ben passed in 2002.  I feel increasingly isolated, and my attempts to see my old friends are now as honest as this blog.  I no longer say ‘Fancy a few pints?’, it’s ‘Guys, I really, really need a friend right now as I’m going through a lot of shit and need help to deal with it!’

But the friends don’t come running – they have their own shit to deal with, their own stress-filled lives to lead.  I now have to question my concept of friends.  I still see these guys as my brothers from other mothers, guys who would drop everything to help me out.  Lord knows I’ve done it enough times for them over the years.  I like to think that if any of them came to me and said they NEED me, I’d be there like a shot.  Sadly, apart from one (clue: he’s 12,000 miles away) I no longer feel the lads would be the same way for me.  I can’t blame them for this, for the reasons listed above.  But I do question myself to an extent.  Is it because I moved away?  Have I grown too needy?  Or is it just the passage of time, turning us all into grown ups?  Should a 36-year-old man still be relying on friends to help him out of the doldrums?  My wife is very much my best friend and my go-to for everything in the first instance, but I feel I need an outlet – I think this is what I miss so much.

It’s been about two months since I last saw one of my old bunch of friends.  Since then, my Dad’s cancer has been fluctuating up and down (currently up, i.e. not good), I’ve started going to counselling again to deal with the anxiety and grief I constantly suffer with, and I have become emotionally exhausted with the strain of supporting my wife and myself through this most difficult of pregnancies.  I am definitely at the point I could do with a few drinks with the lads, but sadly I don’t know when that’s going to happen.

Do I get new friends?  If so, how does someone go about doing this?  These would be grown-up friends, I presume?  I’d have to talk DIY and World News, rather than remembering the day ‘X’ snogged that ugly girl outside the nightclub.  It sounds scary, but I feel I have no other option.  Do ‘grown-up friends’ have an extra compassion gene that ‘old friends’ may be lacking?  I tried to arrange drinks with the husband of one of Emma’s friends a few months back, maybe it’s time to try again?  Crikey, I’m nervous at the thought of it!  Maybe I should just get some hobbies?  I play a lot of Football Manager, but even that can get tedious sometimes!

What do other people do for friends these days?  Do you still have contact with the old school buddies, and are they there when you need them?  Am I just being a whiny bitch and should just man up and deal with it?  I’m interested to find out.  And if anyone out there wants to be my grown-friend around the Kingston area, I’d happily take offers – here’s my advert:

Male, 36, non-smoker unless absolutely shitfaced (or planning to be).  Interests: Football, Rugby, Cricket (hell, most sports, but always watching, not playing!), old music, weird comedy, really unhealthy food and great movies.  Loves pub quizzes but doesn’t have a team.  Can drink for England or whichever country you want me to.  Desperate for light entertainment, a real chatterbox and most of all needs someone nearby I can sound off to.  Please apply below…..

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Oscar and the Future

I’ve wanted to write about the story of Oscar for a long time, way before this blog came to mind.  It’s only now I feel brave and strong enough – there seems to have been a watershed moment where I finally feel I can use my words to help me deal with a whole load of BLEURGH that’s going on in my head.  I promise this post will be followed with a much happier one.

Right, here we go.  I hope this will help me, but I also hope my words can strike a chord with others who perhaps have been through the same thing and find it hard to come to terms with.

Oscar is the name of my son who was sadly stillborn on June 1st 2013 (about 1.15am, but who’s counting?).  My wife, Emma, had to give birth to the little man at 38 weeks, about a day-and-a-half after we found out that he had passed away in her belly.  I’d like to tell the story of what happened.

We had a routine appointment with the community midwife, but because Emma said she did not feel our little boy moving around inside her for about a day there was a little more tension.  It’s always my job, throughout our relationship but certainly during the pregnancy, to keep Emma calm and remain optimistic about everything.  I didn’t think anything bad about the fact the baby had not made himself known, they sometimes like to hide away or rest up, and because we had gotten through what I consider all the danger dates I didn’t think there could be anything terrible going on.  I always felt that if there was a problem with baby at such an advanced stage of the pregnancy, we’d get to hospital and he would be pulled out alive.

So anyway, the midwife can’t get a heartbeat with that crappy machine they use.  I continue not to worry – the handheld ‘doppler’ had already proven itself to be unreliable in the past.  But we don’t get any resolution.  And Emma starts to visibly panic.  So I step in, and I tell her everything’s fine, it’s just the machine playing up.  The Midwife says the same, and she’s the expert on these things!  But she says we should get up to the hospital and get a scan done anyway.  Good idea, I think.  I like scans, it’s cool when you see the little one moving around and sometimes they give you pictures you don’t have to pay for😉

Emma drives us to the hospital, and a student midwife comes with us.  She (the student midwife) was really nice but I think she was a bit nervous.  It wasn’t until afterwards that it dawned on me she may have been a little more up on the possibilities than the blind optimist I am.  We go straight into Scan Room 3, which is a room we’d never been in before.

They’re a professional bunch – Emma is covered in the gunk right away and the magic wand is placed onto her belly immediately.  I’m holding Emma’s hand but I vaguely remember her not wanting to look up at the monitor (though this may be coloured by the fact she doesn’t look at the monitors now).  Anyway, our baby boy is up on the screen right away.  We’ve had a few scans and the picture looks instantly familiar, I feel almost relieved to see the blobs of white on the black background.  It’s the classic side-on photo, head on the left and legs on the right.  Nothing looks wrong at all.  But then I look for a split second longer.  And there is no movement.  Something is different, then it hits me at the very same moment the Sonographer says she is very sorry.  The little pulse of light in the middle of the screen is not there.  Our lad’s heart is not beating.

The Sonograper has removed the magic wand now, seemingly after just a few seconds.  I want her to put it back on, to check again for myself, but I also know that my sight was not deceiving me.  Emma has turned away from the screen, towards me, and I can feel her grab my hand much harder.  Her body curls up and she lets out the most heartbreaking sound I hope ever to hear.  It’s a ‘No’ but it’s mixed with a cry.  I don’t know what to do.  At that very moment I felt completely empty.  About 8 months of planning just felt pointless.  It all flashed in front of me in a split second – buying the first suit for our baby when we go to the wedding in October; assembling the cot, chest of drawers and nursing chair; buying and moving into our brand new family home, with the nursery JUST FOR OUR BABY.  Picking up muslins, nappies, toys over a multitude of shopping trips to Mamas and Papas, Mothercare, JoJo Maman Bebe and the like.  Even buying our baby’s first two Arsenal kits (so he can still wear one as he gets bigger).  It all feels like a complete waste.

I hope many of you have never had to feel the way I felt at that moment.  I have no religious connection because of events from another time (clue: it’s a lot to do with losing my first son), but this moment in my life was definitely one where the most devout Christian / Catholic / Muslim / Whatever would have doubted having the faith in the first place. Why would any deity tease us like this?  But not me.  I had nobody to be angry with.  I hated the fact I couldn’t be angry at anybody.  It was clear that our son had passed away inside Emma without any warning or any chance for us to do anything about it.  Though a part of me would love the NHS to be at fault, they weren’t.  So why does the bad luck hit us?

A lot of words are said by the Sonographer and, I think, another Midwife at that time.  A lot doesn’t go in, as I am hugging Emma while she cries her heart out and all I can focus on is protecting her from any further harm.  I remember getting the gist that they want us to go up to the Maternity Ward.  We are picked up from the bed and helped outside to a waiting room full of expectant parents.  I felt for them.  How awful must it be to see us like that?  In that place, and in that state, it was pretty bloody obvious what had just happened.  We are led up to the Maternity Ward and I remember us walking along a corridor to the very corner room.  Emma now starts to resist both me and the Midwife.  I had understood by now that Emma had to give birth to the baby naturally.  This was to give her the best chance of having children again in future.  But Emma didn’t want to go through this, and who could blame her?  It took a great deal of effort and persuasion, but I managed to get her into the room.

We have a Maternity room to ourselves.  To us, it’s not the happy place it should be.  And this room was to be our prison for the next 2 days.  Emma wanted a Caesarean section, she just wanted the poor baby out of her as soon as possible.  I could see her point – why go through the hard work of childbirth with nothing to gain at the end of it?  But again it was explained to us that if we wanted to have children in future, the best way would be to go through a natural birth.  I persuaded her to go through with a natural birth.  Emma was given hormones to stimulate labour, but which took 24 hours to work.

I summoned family to the hospital (more through mumbles than words, but my sister in particular is very good at scrambling when something’s wrong), and sat with Emma while we waited for the labour to be induced.  Across 4 different shifts, we had three amazing Midwives tend to us.  We had one great doctor and one not so great, plus we got to see the anaesthetist we had seen a few weeks earlier too.  Emma’s consultant visited us as well and was very nice.  Emma’s parents, brother and sister, my parents, sister and niece all came and went at various points.  I spent two nights in the room with Emma and my family stayed at our new house – I think it’s the first time my sister had even been there.  The entire period where we waited for Emma’s body to push out Oscar was like some bizarre dream.  I couldn’t call it a nightmare as physically there was nothing missing yet.  I know that sounds strange but I was very much in survival mode – I could feel every ounce of my energy going into supporting Emma and what she had to do.  I sat and looked after her when she did sleep for a few hours, I dried her tears when she cried, which was almost constantly.  I hated the fact I could not change what had happened, but I was determined to make sure Emma and I could remain strong and push the little man out when the time came to do so.  Like my sister and mum, I enter survival mode when things go wrong.  I struggle to show emotions but I am good at being the man and staying strong.

I had had serious knee surgery less than 3 weeks before this all happened.  I know, great timing and all that.  The intention was to be just about back on my feet for Oscar’s due date, 13th June.  Instead, I was hopping around the hospital bed in a great deal of pain because I could not get about on crutches in the room and I wanted to be able to get close to Emma when she needed me.  I probably put my rehab back quite a bit those couple of days, but then maybe my mind felt a bit of pain was good for me at that time.

Before Oscar was born, Emma decided she wanted to go and light a candle for him in the hospital chapel.  We may not be religious, but Emma in particular believes very much in spirituality.  We asked for the Chaplain to come and discuss this.  He was nice if a bit weird, but we spelt out we wanted no religious gumph at all, just to light a candle or two.  Bet you can all guess how it went down huh?  Emma is wheeled to the chapel in a chair, I go alongside her on crutches.  Our French Midwife comes with us.  We sit in the Chapel and the Chaplain takes control.  He lights candles, I think we had a few but I can’t remember how many now.  Emma cries, I get a bit upset, then the Chaplain starts going on about Jesus and God.  I wasn’t best pleased,but what can you do?  Have a go at a Vicar in a Church?  That’s essentially what it would have been.  I bite my tongue.  On the plus side, we have lit candles for our son like we wanted to.

So, eventually, Emma has had an epidural, that injection in her back that numbs the pain, and the hormones have worked and she’s ready to give birth.  It’s just become 1st June which we’re pleased about as a friend’s birthday is 31st May.  Funny the things you think of eh?  The Midwife, a Scottish lady called Rachael, is on hand and delivers our baby boy for us.  It’s all taken about half an hour or so and Emma was great throughout.  I feel a huge amount of pride at the fact we did it.  Again, such a bizarre feeling that I can’t explain why it was there.  I suppose it’s all that expectation and the release of it all is in the baby popping out?

Baby Oscar is dressed in the Camper Van outfit we bought him, including a snazzy hat, and we get to hold him.  I call both the families and they come to meet their grandson / nephew, either then (2am) or later in the day.  He’s gorgeous, looks just like his dad (see, told you he was gorgeous).  His head was really heavy and I had to be so careful when I held him – he may have passed away, but we didn’t want to cause him any damage.  We took hundreds of photos as I wanted as much in the way of memories as possible.  We even took a photo of his knees – he did indeed appear to have the same knees as me!

Oscar was placed in a special cold cot, which preserved him, while Emma and I got a couple of hours sleep.  I remember waking in the big armchair next to Emma’s hospital bed, but with this wheeled cold cot between us, it was as good as we could make it but it still felt completely wrong.  We were with Oscar for about 13 hours I think.  We eventually decided we should let him go to rest, because if we had stayed in the hospital any longer we would have found it much harder to go at all.  The hospital staff were great about it, they gave us as long as we wanted.  We got all the SANDS stuff, the Midwife Natalie did a plaster cast of Oscar’s feet and also his hand and foot prints.  We eventually end up with two big boxes full of things relating to the little man, stuff that doesn’t all seem that amazing at the time but we’ll treasure forever (when I’m drunk, I have a habit of showing my friends all the bits and pieces – I’m so desperate for them to understand how much I hurt inside.  No idea if any of it really gets through to some of them, but that’s a story for another time).

Leaving Oscar behind at the hospital was awful, just awful.  I can’t explain it any other way.  I don’t think there is anything compared to a parent saying goodbye to a child.  To have come so close to the dream we have had for so long.  My first son passed away in 2002, so it was 11 years in the making.  The rug had well and truly been dragged from under my feet.  But I’m the big strong man here.  Mum always taught me to stay strong and that’s what I did.  Days and weeks passed by and Emma and I did very little.  I paid for us to go down to Weymouth for a few days as sitting in the house, with its fully arranged nursery, was very difficult in the short term.  We actually had a nice time down there, but things were very much the same when we got back.

Oscar had been taken away for a post-mortem as we wanted to know what had gone wrong.  Waiting for that was dreadful.  As you now know, I have a history with this.  My first son, Ben, passed about a day after he was born prematurely in 2002.  All I could think was ‘am I the reason for this happening twice?’, and believe me it’s a tough thought to shake.

We met with the consultant, and there was no explanation given for Oscar passing.  However, the consultant believed we would be fine to have more children in the future, and that there was no genetic reason for him passing.  We’ll never know what happened when he was in Emma’s belly, sadly.

 

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We arranged to bury Oscar in the beautiful Epsom Cemetery.  And as you can see from the photos, he has the most superbly pimped grave EVER, in the most picturesque setting – besides the SANDS-funded Butterfly Memorial Garden.  The cemetery also backs onto Epsom Racecourse.  His neighbours are all little boys who have been lost too soon, and we like to think that they all play together when nobody is around.  The funeral was obviously a terrible occasion, but lots of people came along and I was grateful for the chance to show people what Oscar meant to us.  We lost our Guinea Pig around the same time as Oscar, and the only place to sprinkle Blinky’s ashes had to be on Oscar’s grave – we like to think he has a little one-eyed pet Guinea Pig with him now.

What happened to Oscar is on my mind all the time.  I have suffered with depression since this all happened, and am now on my second round of counselling.  My employers have been very understanding, as my output has not always been that high.  In particular my line manager has had me crying in his office a few times, and he is an incredibly kind man who I think understands exactly how affected I remain to this day by what happened to us last Summer.

The good thing is that I am a naturally positive person, and always, ALWAYS the optimist.  Emma and I continue to be very close (i.e. this hasn’t affected our marriage), and we decided together that we wanted to make a brother or sister for Oscar as soon as possible.  Well it didn’t take long at all, I’m proud to say, and as I write this, she has reached 19 or 20 weeks pregnant.  As far as we know, all is well with Oscar’s brother or sister.  We plan to find out at the next scan whether it’s a boy or a girl.  If a boy, he will get all of Oscar’s clothes, including those Arsenal shirts.  If it’s a girl, the Arsenal shirts will still be worn🙂 – we just might need to buy some dresses as well!

Lightning has struck twice for me through the loss of two children, but I am utterly convinced it cannot happen again.  That would be frankly ridiculous.  Emma will be getting extra checks as this pregnancy goes on, more scans as well, and I’ll make as much noise as I can if we feel we’re not getting enough care.  We’re under the same hospital and, bar us not wanting to go to the same scan or maternity rooms, we are happy with everything care-wise being the same.

I’ve never known anxiety like I feel with this pregnancy.  I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, and that there has been no break in me supporting Emma since Autumn of 2012, when she fell pregnant with Oscar.  The dream for me now is for this baby to be born healthy in August.  I daydream about this every single day, and in the dream I become an absolute bucket of tears and fall to the floor with relief.  I think WHEN (not if – positive thoughts!) this baby comes, all the tears and stress and anguish and grief and torture and strength and pressure and guilt and strain and emotions will just fall away.  Oscar deserves a brother or sister and I think Emma and I deserve a healthy child as well.  I want anyone reading this who has been in a similar situation to know that the only way to survive is to have hope.  HOPE is keeping me going and I am CERTAIN that it will carry Emma and I across the finish line.

I cannot wait to bring our new little boy or girl up to see his or her brother this summer🙂

 

If you have suffered a similar bereavement to Emma and I, do try talking to SANDS – they’re very supportive and a helpful resource too http://www.uk-sands.org

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The Supremes – Stoned Love

 

I’m going to enjoy insisting my music taste on people.   I only hope I can get you moving and grooving, so I have to make sure the songs are of the highest quality!

This is a great anthem for peace and love.  It’s post-Diana Ross Supremes, but they still had what it takes to make a lovely pop song.  I’ve only recently got into this, it’s played on my Stone Roses BluRay as it’s played before the band goes on stage.  It sounds to me like the kind of song that ripped up dance floors when Northern Soul kicked off, but I can’t say for sure as I wasn’t there lol!  As I say, it’s just a lovely message for love and the power it has.  I sometimes like to remind myself that I’m a lucky guy to be in love and this is one of many songs I can sing to express that to my amazing wife!  She of course will tell me to shut up and turn the music down lol.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the superb bass line, and I challenge you not to be singing along all day after you have heard this.  At the very least I expect some ‘WHOO, wh wh hoo’ – once those backing vocals have got ya, they’re with you forever…..!

PS have a look on Spotify or Youtube or wherever for the 8 minute remix – more of the same, and the longer it goes on the more your foot taps!

‘You Held The World In Your Arms’ – Idlewild

This song has been in my head for a few days so I have felt compelled to share it. The video suggests the song is about the monotony of daily life, but the lyrics have always meant something very different to me. The song came out around the time I lost my first son Ben, who passed away about a day after being born. I got to hold Ben in my arms before he passed, at the time he was my world – well these lyrics just felt perfect at the time and still do now.

I don’t think of the song as a way to make myself upset – it’s a great uptempo, britpop-esque tune (the only one of Idlewild’s songs I even know, shamefully) – I find it a lovely reminder of the few short hours I had with Ben.

Play it loud guys, it’s a catchy one and will get you humming along. I love it when a song does that to me…

All About Me, Me ME!!!

 

 

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Hi there!  This is me, Rob Kedge.  Nice to meet you! *does awkward pretend handshake to thin air* I think the above photo is the only really good one I have of myself, so don’t expect any more lol.

This is my brand spanking new bloggy thing.  It’s cheap, it’s hopefully going to be pretty cheerful, and with plenty of good will from you the imaginary readers (as there are none of you yet), will be considered entertainment by ooh, what’s a good number, tens or even dozens of wonderful human beings?!

So, me.  I’m 36, I’ve been happily married to my wonderful Emma for nearly two years now.  We own our own house in Walton-On-Thames, Surrey, bought last April.  We’re still getting used to the idea of being able to do things to the place – we lived together for a few years in magnolia-decorated flats we couldn’t touch! – but it’s slowly becoming stamped with the Kedge personality (starting with the purple walls in the living room!).

Emma and I live with our three gorgeous Guinea Pigs, who you will see lots of adorable photos of over time.  I never used to be a pet person, but I was tricked into getting these and have rarely looked back (only when I found out some vet costs have I doubted the logic of pets, but I was won over again).

Emma is currently pregnant (yay!) though it’s extra stressful as we sadly lost our son Oscar to stillbirth last June.  He still takes up so much of our lives and remains a huge part of who I am.  I’m sure I will share more about our lovely little man in the near future.  A really good thing about me is that I am an eternal optimist, and I am very much looking forward to Oscar’s brother or sister coming in the summer!  Oscar is buried at a beautiful cemetery in Epsom, and I will certainly be showing you photos of his awesomely pimped grave (if I may say so myself).

My main interests are football, chiefly Arsenal, film, and music.  It’s the effect these things have on me that really inspired me to start this blog.  Let me explain…

A friend of ours has a blog (I’m sure I’ll promote it soon) where she sometimes lists the songs that are keeping her happy at any particular time.  I thought about this as a concept and realised just how much I need music in my life.  I was brought up with music in the house every day, I listen to it all day every day at work, and on the way to and from as well.  I have a ridiculous amount of music stored on my hard drives, plus the wonder of Spotify, and I always want to tell people what’s so great about song A, or a bit of trivia about song B.  I’m also one of those people for whom much music has a time and a place, be it good or bad memories I find listening to some tunes will stir some emotions – this is something I want to share with others!  I’d love to stick some music up on here and tell you what is so special about it to me, and I hope it’s something people enjoy reading.

(I’ve set myself up for some ridicule there haven’t I?  I’m listening to Phil Collins while I type this and now thinking I need to be very careful what music I select to share with people lol)

So yes, I’m passionate about music, and also about my beloved Arsenal.  I’ve been a fan since we were REALLY shit (no laughing at the back, there have been worse times!).  I used to go to games as a kid but I’m an armchair fan nowadays, though I’d dearly love to get along more often I’m not always willing to pay for the tickets!  Anyway, I might occasionally rant about things not going well, or boast when times are good.  At the moment, they’re in the cup final so I’m quite happy, but hey you’ll know when things go bandy, trust me…

As for film, I don’t go to the cinema too often, but I do watch as many movies as I can and I consider myself quite the critic (I blame years of reading Empire magazine!).  I like to discuss movies with people and I hope to give you guys some mini reviews as and when I see something worth talking about.

I work for the Probation Service in Kingston, South-West London.  It’s a beautiful place to work and I quite enjoy my commute via Hampton Court.  The job itself is something I’m happy to continue, at least until after the baby comes.  Probation are currently in the process of being butchered (split up & privatised) by the government – this may be something I mention in future, as it’s not going well so far!  I’m lucky I guess, I’m not a Probation Officer so I’m not as affected as others in the service, but I have solidarity with the plight of many colleagues and am feeling the stress a bit myself.  I don’t ‘do’ politics, but what a shitty government we have eh?

Anyway, like any good tart will tell you, it’s best only to give a tease before the cash comes out, so that’s your lot for post number 1.  I hope it will swiftly be followed with some regularity by many more other ramblings.  I’ve got opinions on most things and will no doubt share them, so I look forward to filling your heads with some Kedgey wisdom!!!

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